Although we have been enjoying our time in Portland and will miss it when we leave, both Brett and I noticed that we are both starting to feel a bit restless. We have five more weeks here before we leave for England, and several things we still want to do, and people we want to see before we take off, but we can just now feel and see the end of our stay approaching, and the changeover to travel mode beginning.
This week we had planned to visit the Oregon Zoo, but a timely comment from reader Emilee about the zoo’s current renovation (almost half the zoo is closed) plus the cost for admission made us change our minds, and we instead decided to visit the Portland Art Museum this past Thursday. That didn’t happen either – there was a special event going on that day and the museum closed early! We also decided that in the end we were better off not spending on that either – we are heading out to the coast this week, and now have a few extra dollars in our pockets for that outing. The museum will still be here when we get back.
Otherwise it’s been quite a nice week. I had my bridge prep done on Wednesday morning, and I now have a big gap right in the middle of my lower teeth – so attractive (not). I go back on August 13 for my cleaning, and my final appointment will be on August 21, when the bridge will be set. Somewhere in the next week or so I will go in to have my teeth whitened – the gel forms are being made now (I had impressions done for those Wednesday) and they will call me when they are ready. I will be so glad to get all of this work done, although I do not want to think about what the total cost is going to be (thankfully the cleaning is free).
This morning I am:
- Reading: I finished two books this past week: Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician by Sandeep Jauhar, and The View from Flyover Country by Sarah Kendzior. Doctored was a good read, and along with the author’s story gave an insightful overview about how screwed up health care is in our country. There’s lots of blame to go around, but it is a mess. The View from Flyover Country is a series of essays about where we are as a country right now and how we got there, as viewed from the bottom up. It was a compelling read. Next up I have three mysteries by Andrea Camilleri, all set in Sicily, and The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914 by David McCullough. I love his writing – he makes any topic he takes on fascinating.
- Listening to: It was noisy outside early in the morning – I think the family (with young kids) downstairs was was getting ready to go somewhere – but it’s delightfully quiet now. I’m sipping my cup of coffee (I’m down to one cup a day now) while Brett is doing stuff in the kitchen. After several days of cool-ish weather, it’s going to be hot today, in the upper 80s, so it’s a day for staying quiet. Actually, the whole week is supposed to be hot.
- Watching: Tonight is the season finale of Big Little Lies – last week closed on an interesting note so we’re looking forward to seeing how it ends tonight. We’re also still watching Father Brown and the new-to-us seasons of Midsomer Murders. Father Brown’s little parish sure has a lot of murder going on, but nothing compared to the blood that’s still being spilled in Midsomer County.
- Cooking: I went through the freezer and cupboards yesterday to assess what we have on hand and what needs to get eaten when so that we can use everything up before we go. This morning we had omelets stuffed with the last of carnitas from this past week, and tonight we’re having sautéed peppers and onions with Italian sausages. We’re looking forward to eating some tasty seafood out at the coast, but other meals here this week will be Snake Alley zoodles (which didn’t get made last week), mabo dofu, and our Friday night pizza, probably bacon blue cheese burger.
- Happy I accomplished this past week: I got my entire goals card filled in, and am especially happy that I got in six days of walking this past week. Otherwise we had a pretty normal week, just taking care of the usual stuff.
- Looking forward to next week: Both Brett and I are excited about our little getaway to the Oregon coast. We reserved a Zipcar for two days, and are going to leave town heading south to have lunch in Yachats, one of our favorite towns, and then driving up to Depot Bay, where we’ll have dinner and spend the night. The next day we’re going up to Tillamook, for ice cream, cheese and sausages (from the Tillamook Creamery and the Blue Heron French Cheese Company). Afterwards we’ll head north to Manzanita (our favorite beach town) and finally stop in Canon Beach before turning in to go home.
- Thinking of good things that happened: We did another Old People’s Happy Hour with friends Julie and Ken on Friday afternoon, this time meeting up at Jake’s Famous Crawfish. It was nice enough for us to sit outside to eat, and we talked for nearly three hours – Julie and Ken are getting ready to become nomads at the end of the year so we had lots to discuss. The food at Jake’s was pretty terrific too. We went downtown a couple of hours earlier and enjoyed walking around and having coffee at Pioneer Square. Before Ken and Julie arrived at Jake’s we chatted with a lovely couple from New Jersey who were sitting at the next table – they were also nomads, and currently on the road visiting all the lower 48 states and Canada!
- Thinking of frugal things we did: Brett patiently waited almost all summer for the Nordstrom anniversary sale which began this past Friday, and finally bought himself a pair of Olu Kai flip flops, saving 25%. Olu Kai’s are not cheap, but they wear like iron and will last him several years (mine from 2016 are still going strong in spite of daily wear for two years in Hawai’i). I stuck to my shopping list and only bought a small jar of moisturizer and a pair of tights at the sale. We had four no-spend days this week, and put $9.73 into our change/$1 bill bag. Once again, no food was thrown out and all leftovers were eaten.
- Grateful for: I am so thankful Brett discovered and has been able to continue studying shodō (Japanese calligraphy) this summer. It’s challenging for him – shodō is always done with the right hand only, and Brett is left-handed – but he shows improvement every week, and best of all he is enjoying the challenge and learning both stroke technique and Japanese characters. He was able to purchase a smaller brush yesterday which will help give him more control. Some of the things he previously liked to do have become more difficult for him this summer, like hiking (his joints hurt more these days so long hikes are difficult) and calligraphy has been a great way for him to pour his energies into something else.
- Bonus question: Were you ever a smoker? Oh yes. I started when I was 18 and went away to college – I thought smoking was so cool, and my dad was a heavy smoker (four packs a day) so I was very accustomed to it. Over the 15 years I smoked, I eventually got to where I was a pack-and-a-half/day smoker. I could quit for long stretches, like when I was pregnant and when our son was little, but eventually would go back during those years – all it took was one puff and I would be hooked again. Brett also smoked, and when he was in the navy and we were both smoking we used to buy three cartons of generic menthol cigarettes every payday, back when a carton cost just $5, although $15 out of our paycheck was a good piece of change back then. I quit for good on January 15, 1984 and Brett quit a year later. Quitting was one of the most difficult things I have every done. I got through it a day at a time, but it took years before I knew the addiction had truly died. For the first couple of years after I quit I took the money I/we would have spent on cigarettes and purposely bought or did something we could not have afforded otherwise – that really drove home what a waste the habit had been.
Finally, an announcement: I will be taking this week off from writing as we’ll be out of town for a couple of days, but I also feel like I need a little break from the blog. I’ll be back next Sunday though.
I hope everyone had a lovely week, and had lots of good things happen as well as having good books to read, tasty food to eat, and got lots accomplished. I’ll see you next week!