This is how Portland gets its name

Portland (Oregon) is called The City of Roses.  And yes, it is a sight worth seeing, each and every spring.

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We have this small, unkept rose bush, and it flowers every year, and I love seeing that little bit of color in that corner of the yard.  But it is those who know Roses, that I enjoy the most seeing their gardens.

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And of course, visiting the Rose Garden up in the hill is a real treat.

But it is the rhododendron what always fills my heart the most at this time of the year.  When we first moved to Portland (and didn’t spend our spring weekends in swim meets or baseball tournaments), and we hiked in the woods more frequently  that I enjoyed and amazed at the size of wild rhododendrons, underneath the tall canopy of trees, in the middle of the forests.

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Last weekend, without going too far for a hike, just a walk in the neighborhood, while the kids warmed up and waiting for the baseball game to start, I noticed these beautiful plants in front yards.

IMG_2051 The delicate colors and flowers…

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Oh the colors….. against that bright blue, I think this orange made the top of my list that day. IMG_2069 IMG_2070 IMG_2089 IMG_2084 IMG_2086 IMG_2078

I think Rhododendron should be Portland’s middle name.  Portland, The City of Roses and Rhododendrons (and Azaleas).

Posted in Oregon + Washington, outdoors, spring | Leave a comment

Spring in the second half of this April

IMG_1556Brighter and longer days, sometimes dark and fluffy clouds sprinkling above. Spring skies I call it.

DSC_0100More and more time spent outside.

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All of our Mason Bee homes are almost full.  It is really fun to see them fly around and help them with their life cycle. IMG_1443 IMG_1408 The porch Clematis is starting to grow.

IMG_1409I think our Lemon Verbena survived last winter… probably because I didn’t touch it, Mark did all the handling.

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Spring is here, and some days feel like summer has already arrived.  I will share a whole week of garden and nature posts, to celebrate the beginning of May.

And by the way, Happy World Naked Gardening Day today. 

Posted in Oregon + Washington, outdoors, spring | Leave a comment

Making :: a baby blanket

One of Mark’s co-workers and friend, just became a grandma.  And so I had to make a little baby blanket.

IMG_1363 I cut up 5×5 squares of flannel.

IMG_1364 IMG_1366 Sewed them together.

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And ta da!IMG_1369

He’s a little boy, so I put a truck flannel in the back with a fabric I had bought to make something for Lucas… and I never did.  So I am so glad I got to use it for another little boy.

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I put a cotton batting and didn’t put binding, I turned it instead, to make it with soft edges.

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I didn’t get a picture of it finished(darn it!), but I ended up tying it with blue cotton thread that I think tied it well with the blue in the back.  I just love flannel blankets and their softness.

Posted in Handmade, Sewing | 2 Comments

The playing we usually don’t do

IMG_0670 While in Idaho last month we went to this place.  Grandma took us a few years ago, and now it’s the thing we do when we are there.

IMG_0558 Yes, allowed the Unlimited Fun.  Yes, it is fun, but a different fun that I (we) are used to. It is a lot more busy and crazy that my normal day, and not sure I could do it more often.  It is the special thing we do when we go.

IMG_0556 We went straight to the go carts.  Seriously?  Is this allowed for kids younger than driving age?  It’s the same thing than driving! No helmets? What?

IMG_0557 Everyone was excited.  Until after a turn, we’ve realized that the sun in March, in Idaho… doesn’t warm very much.  It was cold.

IMG_0559 But anyways.  We had to go drive around.  No matter that the next day we were driving for 9 hours back home.  Way different driving, I know.  Of course.

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Yes, Hi Mama, I am buckled, don’t worry.  Which one is the break and which one is the gas? 

IMG_0565 IMG_0561IMG_0571 And went went.

IMG_0579 Never mind I am taking pictures while I’m flying on this curvy road!

IMG_0600 IMG_0574 Yes, another round of driving. This time with a jacket, hats and gloves.

IMG_0605 Are they going to drive like this when they get their driver’s license?

IMG_0619 Now to inside a little to warm up and some loud noises….

IMG_0629 Basketballing.

IMG_0622 Hitting those rats but not the cat…

IMG_0632 Please do not climb or sit on railing.  Oops… need to read the signs I guess.

IMG_0636 IMG_0649 OK, a few more rides.

IMG_0653 Mark and Lucas got warned and pulled over for bumping on the curve… oh those boys…

IMG_0656 Siena and I passed them.  An easy one at least this time.  And well, the last time.  We didn’t want to watch them get pulled over again and get kicked out.

IMG_0661IMG_0663 So onto the batting cages it was.

IMG_0672And yes, of course.  The choosing of the prizes.

Posted in family, playing, spring break | Leave a comment

The coolest storm

When we were in Idaho, we spent some time in Meridian, with Mark’s mom.

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While we were waiting at a restaurant one evening, we hear and see the coolest thunderstorm I’ve ever seen, I think.

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I had to go outside to see it.  Hailing huge size, lighting all over, thunders that made the ground tremble.  Nature is amazing.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The sling shots

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Two Christmases ago, the kids received a sling shot each, made especially for them by our friend.  She remembered how she made them when she was growing up, and told us the stories of how her and her brothers made them, and how her mom used to get mad at them for cutting the tongue of their leather shoes, so they could make these.  She has 6 siblings, so I bet their mom did get upset!  (I wonder if they each cut the tongue of their own shoe, ruining 7 pairs, or if they cut both tongues of a pair, and so ruining just 3 pairs?  I wonder…)

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Anyway.  She made Lucas and Siena a sling shot each, and apologize in advance for any damage they might cause.  We loved all of it, and will take the consequences, I guess (I hope my kids are not reading this one.)  This time she cut leather from a glove she had.  For the elastic part, she couldn’t find a good rubber even after going to the bike shop to get a popped tired.  She says the tires are not elastic enough these days, different from heydays growing up.  So she had to get surgical tubing.  And it works perfectly!

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We liked when she told us about her stories from growing up, as much as her stories on how she was trying to make them this time, and her thinking of all the possibilities they could use these now…. here in the city, as oppose to the farm she grew up at.

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The kids took their sling shot when we went for a hike here and there, but it was way more fun in Idaho.  DSC_0038 DSC_0039

They of course, were not throwing at anything to injure.  They were rocks, rabbit and deer poop sent to the air, or to touch the water, or reach the other side of the pond.  Real testing of what it could do.

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I remember I used to have one too growing up.  I wonder how many of us used to play with one, and how many kids today have one.  It was fun to see the kids play with it and not having to worry to damage anything or anyone was a big bonus!  Our friend knows us well, I guess.   Thank you Linda!

Posted in family, friends, Handmade, outdoors, playing, Recycle and Reuse, Repurpose | 1 Comment

Idaho colors

I think there’s a different color palette in Idaho.  Once I was looking at the pictures I realized, all the tones, the colors, and the textures I found there.  So very different from what we are surrounded by here in Portland.

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I like it when I notice.  I wonder how much goes by unseen.

Posted in outdoors, spring | 2 Comments