After a stop at Trader Joes, Brett and I moved over to our long-term rental last Sunday morning, and all I can say is this place is fantastic! It looked good in the pictures but it’s even better in reality. The spacious two-bedroom apartment was built into the attic of a 100-year-old Craftsman home, and you can tell the hosts had a lot of fun decorating and equipping the home for guests. I especially love the huge dining table we have this year as well as the big desk for Brett to work at, and all the room we’ll have to spread out when the girls are here. The house has everything we could possibly need as well because the hosts, a retired couple our ages, have really thought of everything. Every time we see them they ask if we need anything more, but so far we haven’t been able to come up with anything (they stopped by Friday evening with additional umbrellas for us). They’ve even offered to wash our towels and other linens for us (which we will do ourselves though). The neighborhood is nice too, quiet with lots of big, old Craftsman homes sitting on big lots, and we’re not too far away from WinCo, Costco, and other stores as well as the airport (but far enough away that we’re not bothered by jet noise).
We enjoyed some pretty nice weather for several days we arrived in Portland, with blue skies on many days which helped my mood considerably. However, rain arrived on Friday and had continued for the past few days so we’re dealing with that once again. We took care of most of our big shopping errands this past week though so as long as the weather remains damp Brett and I will spend time indoors. We will be getting together with friends a couple of times this week though and I’ve got a medical appointment next Thursday evening.
The doctor I saw last summer wanted me to stop the medication I’d been taking for GERD when my prescription finished (because it negatively affects my bone density) and I took the last pill a week ago. The heartburn came right back, worse than ever, so I’m heading back to see her this coming week to find out what’s going on (and hopefully new medication). I’ll also be getting a DPT booster and a flu shot, and whatever else she recommends.
This morning I am:
- Reading: The library took The Guns of August back yesterday. My stomach problems made made it difficult to concentrate this past week so I got little reading done. I’m not sure whether I’ll check it out again or hold off for a while. Brett got me a copy of the fifth book in the Inspector Morse series, The Riddle of the Third Mile, at Powell’s yesterday, but the fourth book, Dead of Jericho, is out of stock everywhere, new or used.
- Listening to: We’re enjoying another wonderfully quiet morning here. Brett is in the kitchen making breakfast for us this morning (avocado toast and coffee). It’s foggy outside so it’s very quiet out there too (although the neighborhood is regularly pretty quiet all on its own).
- Watching: The viewing highlight of our week was The Irishman. Just WOW. Superb storytelling, and even more superb acting – Joe Pesci deserves an(other) Oscar for his performance. We also watched The Highwaymen on Netflix (the story of how Bonnie and Clyde were caught) and we binge-watched a very creepy British mystery/thriller, Requiem. We also binge-watched the third season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and are going to start watching Late Night tonight, with Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson. The house has a 72-inch television and full cable including Netflix and Amazon Prime, so we’re feeling very spoiled.
- Cooking: Meals will stay simple for us again this week. We’re having stuffed peppers tonight, and other meals this week will include leftover quiche; broccoli & cheese soup with a sandwich of some kind; and teriyaki chicken over cauliflower rice along with some cucumber. We’ll fill in the other nights with leftovers. I am trying to eat smaller portions, and stay away from acidy foods, but there is currently nothing I can eat right now that doesn’t seem to aggravate the GERD.
- Happy I accomplished last week: We got our big Costco shop done on Thursday afternoon and stopped at New Seasons Market for a few things yesterday so we’re ready for the girls’ arrival (although they won’t be here until the week after this one). The house is stuffed with food right now. I’ve gotten all the girls’ gifts sorted and wrapped, and ordered gifts to take with us to Japan for the grandkids. We stopped at Target on Wednesday and picked up a new spiralizer (third time’s a charm, fingers crossed, etc.) and a couple of other cooking utensils that we can use now but want to take along to use in Japan.
- Looking forward to this week: I am getting my hair cut this afternoon and I’m so looking forward to it! I was surprised to get a Sunday appointment, but that’s one of the days the Deva curl specialist works. We’re having lunch with our friend Joan at her home on Tuesday afternoon, along with the nomad couple we met last summer, Chris and Sarah, who are back again in Portland. On Thursday I’m meeting up with another good friend, Elaine, for coffee at our favorite spot so we can catch up and set the world straight once again. While I can’t exactly say I’m looking forward to seeing the Dr., I do want to find out what’s going on with my stomach and hopefully get some new medication!
- Thinking of good things that happened: Moving into our current Airbnb home has been a very good thing – Brett and I are still pinching ourselves that we got this place. We had dim sum with our long-time friend Sylvia on Thursday and had a great time catching up (and a good meal too). Sylvia is from Hong Kong and had just returned from a family visit, so we got to hear some about the situation there. Getting together with friends is always the best part of coming back to Portland!
- Thinking of frugal things we did: We’ve finished almost all of our food shopping (just need to buy more produce after the girls arrive) and we are well under budget – we have been super strict about sticking to our shopping lists. I ordered both our grandchildren’s Christmas gifts and received free shipping for both gifts as well as Cyber Monday discounts of at least 20%.
- Grateful for: I’m very grateful I could get in so quickly to see the doctor this time – last summer I had to wait nearly two months for an appointment! As always, I’m extremely thankful for our good medical insurance (Medicare and TricareForLife) that covers everything with little to no out-of-pocket cost.
- Bonus question: What’s on your Christmas list this year? I remember that when I was young I could always come up with a long list of things I wanted for Christmas and was always puzzled when my mom and grandmother would both always say they didn’t have a list because they didn’t need or want anything. Who couldn’t come up with a list for Christmas? Well, this year I have a very short list with just four things on it, and I had to struggle a bit to come up with these: an Amazon gift card that I can use to purchase books for my Kindle; a J. Jill gift card; a Coldwater Creek gift card, and a pair of silver hoop earrings because I have lost yet another pair. I made a list because the girls insisted and because we do a Secret Santa gift swap each year ($35 or under). Like my mom and grandmother, I really don’t need or want anything else this year other than time with Brett and the girls.
Overall, I’m enjoying the calm of being back in Portland, of being in familiar territory, so to speak. I like knowing my way around and the convenience of having a car again to get to places, although we did fine without one last summer. We’ve already been talking about coming back next year, but with the intent of going through all the stuff we have in storage with the girls and letting them take the things they want, and then downsizing the rest even more. We neither miss nor have deep feelings these days about most of the stuff we kept. We’ll see though – it will depend on whatever we finally come to a decision about the keep traveling/settle down divide we’re currently working our way through.
That’s a wrap for this week! It was a good one for us, and I hope a good one for everyone else as well. Here’s to another week of good food, good times, good friends, good books, and good health for everyone as the holiday season approaches.