The spring craft fair


… Breathe in… breathe out…. Phew!  A fun (and very busy) weekend we had, filled with colors, and beautiful handmade goods, of all sorts.  Ceramics, photography, textiles, paper, leather, jewelry, clothes, and even music and performances by the students of the school the craft fair was (that I wish we could have been closer so we could watch and hear better.)

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It was a busy and tiring two days.  Loooong hours, but we survived and had fun.  Siena did great, and after we get our check, we’ll have a chance to talk and decide what we’d do different and the same, and what we’d like to do for next time.


We didn’t really have time to shop or look much to all the tables, maybe to and from here and there.  But we got to meet and spend all weekend with our table partner, a mom, jewelry maker filled with beautiful hand-mades.  She was so nice, and her daughter was too, and both really fun to hang out for all those hours.  Interesting for Siena too, get to talk and even get a trade!


Now, all put away, boxes organized, and thinking what we’ll do next and Siena already making new things.  She’s on top of things!  I think I’m going to finish my Christmas quilt when I get a chance.

A winter walk and some reminders

I’ve said it before, and I say it almost every day, I love where we live. And I love the rain too.  It makes where we live, the beautiful place it is.  I am glad I took my camera.

DSC_0004 We were lucky to go for a walk at a park we don’t usually go to, with a good friend and two happy dogs.

DSC_0010 DSC_0014And two happy kids.

DSC_0012 Green.

DSC_0008White. Snow. Berries.

DSC_0017 Winter sights are there, waiting for us to discover.  Dormant.

DSC_0020 Bare.

DSC_0021 Colors.  Textures. Delicate.  Subtle.

DSC_0025 DSC_0027 Brown.

DSC_0030 Shapes.  Sharp.

DSC_0032 DSC_0033 Red.

DSC_0034 Water.

DSC_0035 Black.

DSC_0036 Gray.

DSC_0037 Clouds. Rain.

DSC_0038 Orange.

DSC_0041 Yellow. Life.

DSC_0044 Levels.

DSC_0046 Open.

DSC_0047 Happiness.  Freedom.

DSC_0050 Dried.


DSC_0052 New.  Alive.

DSC_0055 Space.


DSC_0060 Water.

DSC_0065 Work.

DSC_0066 Life.

DSC_0068 New.

DSC_0074 Air.

DSC_0076 Sky.

DSC_0078 DSC_0079 DSC_0081 DSC_0082 DSC_0088 Green.

DSC_0087Thankful. Friends.


Moda Center in Portland

Last year we went on a tour to the Moda Center, where the Trail Blazers play.  We got to visit the place when the team was good, and had lots of players liked by my family.  I’m glad we went then.

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DSC_0109 copy DSC_0112 copy DSC_0113 copy The large pictures on the wall towards the changing rooms and the court are amazing.

DSC_0118 copy DSC_0130 copy DSC_0133 copy RoLo’s shoes, size 20.

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Robin Lopez was a favorite Blazers, and he got to sit in his chair and put his feet next to his shoes.

DSC_0136 copy DSC_0137 copy DSC_0139 copy Damian Lillard’s shoes. DSC_0142 copy DSC_0143 copy Chris Kama’s shoes.

DSC_0145 copy DSC_0146 copy Wesley Matthews shoes.

DSC_0149 copy Matthews the one we actually  ame to see I think. And so very sad he was injured last year, and even more sadness when we heard he was leaving Portland.  So this season, we gave Lucas for his birthday tickets to see the Blazers play Wesley Matthews with his new team, Dallas Mavericks.  It was fun to see him play again, and got a big ovation when he was introduced.  Portland liked Matthews.  We miss seeing him play for Portland.

DSC_0154 copy DSC_0153 copy DSC_0156 copy The Blazers get a much nicer space than visitors.  Funny to see the difference.

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A stop at the (empty) showers, with the shower heads so very high up in the ceiling almost.  Got it… these are all tall guy ins using it.  And the funny thing… a Kirkland shampoo laying around…. with the many thousands of dollars these players get paid and using Costco brand shampoo… funny.DSC_0163 copy This (also) tall seat in the treatment room, if they get injured playing.  The kids had to jump high to be able to sit on them.

DSC_0201 copy DSC_0208 copy We then walked to the court.  the day we went they were getting the court ready for ice hockey.  I had no idea how they did this.

DSC_0187 copy They put water over the floor and cold. Right now they were painting the field.

DSC_0210 copy DSC_0214 copy The drawings and logos were amazing!

DSC_0255 copy After painting all the signs and logos and sponsors, they put another layer of water, to cover these.

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It was so much fun to watch them get the court ready.  So that night they had a hockey game, and the following day there was a Blazers game, and they said that they put the floor on top of the ice and have the basketball game.  The players and coaches and people sitting in the front row notice that there is ice underneath, because they have to keep the court cold enough to keep it frozen, so it makes it for a much cooler sitting.  Which the players (playing) actually enjoy.

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DSC_0224 copy DSC_0234 copy DSC_0245 copy DSC_0252 copy DSC_0254 copy DSC_0257 copy DSC_0275 copy The VIP sections are cool too.

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It was a real fun tour.  If you live here, I recommend it.

a snow day

DSC_0139 copy DSC_0140 copy The one place we get donuts at, Joe’s Donuts in Sandy.  It’s a stop every time we go up to the mountain or in that direction. It is a must stop and a hard decision for sure.

DSC_0141 copy Nope, this one is not mine.  I like my donut old fashion, please.

DSC_0148 copy A wintry day, dark, gray, with beautiful full clouds, but no rain. Dramatic colors for us to enjoy and feel.

DSC_0149 copy DSC_0151 copy Lucas is someone who can’t stop not playing or touching the snow.

DSC_0152 copy DSC_0155 copy DSC_0156 copy DSC_0161 copy And who couldn’t, really.  When it’s just numbered the days we spend playing in it.

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His laugh, his smile, his happiness around snow is contagious.  Of course, until one of those snow balls hits a frozen face, or your back, or when you were least expecting it… but then it’s fair and square.  And I think that is all he’s after, after all!

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I know, we just can’t keep him off the snow… what a fun day.  We should get up there more often.

pumpkin patch

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On a beautiful sunny, fall day we headed to Sauvies Island with some friends.  It was a no-school day, and we like those, so we can hang out with our friends that go to school.

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Duck racing… who would have thought it was that much fun! DSC_0039 copy DSC_0040 copy

I know… we are growing out of so many games at the pumpkin patch…

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But there’a always ways to have fun, no matter how much our visits have changed since those baby, toddler years.  Still fun. DSC_0051 copy

And even on a week day we got to go on a hay ride to the patch where the pumpkins where growing.  Sometimes farms are not fully “functioning” on week days, but this one it was! and what a treat it was.

I love hay rides.  I remember the first time I went on one, when I was in high school, as an exchange student in  Michigan.  There are no pumpkin farms in Chile, so I enjoyed all the traditions there were from friends and my host family.  Lots of memories.  And of course, all these years of living here now, and the last 13 with these two goofy kids.DSC_0055 copy DSC_0056 copy

And because it is more fun to go with friends, we did.

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Searching for the perfect pumpkin.

DSC_0066 copy DSC_0067 copy DSC_0069 copy DSC_0074 copy Deciding.

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Taking it all in.  The sights. The colors. The cooler weather.  This is my time of the year I love the most.

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Look at the colors!

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And of course.  A corn maze to complete our trip to the farm.

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A day to remember, for sure.

a fall walk in Oaks Bottom and last minute batting practice

DSC_0208 copy DSC_0212 copy A walk through the park to get to Oaks Bottom.  A beautiful sunny day in November.

DSC_0215 copy DSC_0216 copy DSC_0218 copy Sunny, but barely warm.  The sun is lay in the horizon, even in the middle of the day.

DSC_0213 copy DSC_0217 copy The plants turning brown, drying up, but wet from the rain.

DSC_0220 copy Leaves as a carpet in the forest floor.

DSC_0221 copy DSC_0223 copy DSC_0225 copy DSC_0226 copy DSC_0222 copy DSC_0227 copy DSC_0234 copy The trees and hills turning colors. They keep turning.

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And why not!  Just find a stick and be lucky to find a tennis ball during the hike and you’ve got a last minute batting practice.

in the kitchen

Lately, this is what we’ve been making in the kitchen.

:: I am glad I’ve been (sort of) keeping up with a weekly menu.

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:: I made a few batches of roasted tomato sauce base, based on this recipe on Smitten Kitchen. DSC_0017 copy

:: Made the apple and pumpkin galette after reading and seeing Amanda’s photos of her individual pies.  We liked it.  I think we’ll have to try them again. DSC_0029 copy DSC_0031 copy

:: I’ve been making bread more often.  it is so nice to have the oven on when the days are cooler, and the soups have started to appear more often on the table. DSC_0204 copy DSC_0206 copy

:: Though not on the food stall in the Farmer’s Market, I had to bring these fall colors to brighten the rooms at home. DSC_0217 copy

:: Thank goodness for menus already planned. Once I have dinner figured out for the week, it makes our days, and week, go so much smoothly.DSC_0215 copy

:: The garden is slowly slowing down.  Mark has been cleaning the plants, and picking the last of our produce.  It was such a rich year.  Thank you gardeners for all your hard work in making it all happenDSC_0011 copy DSC_0001 copy DSC_0014 copy DSC_0218 copy DSC_0008 copy DSC_0220 copy

:: After our trip to Hood River and seeing all there is out there, we brought some home and have been enjoying them for days and days. DSC_0003 copy DSC_0002 copy

Such a variety, it’s fun to try them all.

in search of orange

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We took HWY 35 to go around Mt. Hood, on our way to Hood River last weekend.  And because we were looking for autumn, we also wanted to taste it too.  Oh… all the orchards!  I love this drive. A long time ago, when Siena was 2 and 3, we got to live in Mt. Hood during the summer.  We drove this route twice a week, for 8 weeks, two summers in a row.  It was a real treat.  I think it is my favorite drive.  Coming from Mt. Hood, from Cooper Spur, towards Parkdale and Hood River.  Just amazing views of the mountains in Washington.  Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier on a clear day and Mt. Hood behind us.  All the trees, fruits, farms, homes.

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So this time, in search for pumpkins, we went to three different farms.  Because you can never have enough of farms, right? The flowers, the apples, pears, dirt. DSC_0111 copy DSC_0112 copy DSC_0113 copy DSC_0114 copy DSC_0115 copy DSC_0125 copy Our first stop Mt. View Orchards.

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Look at the apples…. but please also do look at the rain!  It felt so good.

DSC_0124 copyDSC_0119 copy DSC_0121 copy DSC_0122 copy And yes! All the apples.  We got to taste them all before buying.

DSC_0126 copy DSC_0133 copy DSC_0132 copy DSC_0129 copy DSC_0131 copySunflowers so big!

DSC_0130 copy DSC_0142 copyWe bought one to plant the seeds at home next year.

DSC_0135 copy DSC_0134 copy DSC_0127 copy DSC_0128 copy DSC_0138 copy DSC_0137 copy DSC_0145 copy The red. So intense and bright in such a cloudy, gray day.

DSC_0146 copy DSC_0147 copy DSC_0141 copy DSC_0140 copy DSC_0149 copy DSC_0151 copy We loaded our car with 7 kinds of apples a few pears.

DSC_0152 copyAnd apple cider, that we couldn’t wait to taste it.

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Then onto our next farm, Rasmussen Farms, in search for orange.  Pumpkins.  But if I would have read their website it says they are retiring from farming, and the farm is listed for sale.  We found that out when we arrived at the farm.  That was the pumpkin patch we went to last year, when we went to Hood River last fall.

So, from our drive to go find the farm, we drove one more time by this gorgeous home!  I remembered it from years ago when we had stopped first, and then again last fall.  And now, a picture was a must.  I love this home.  DSC_0158 copy

Including the dog in the from lawn.  DSC_0161 copy

So, from here we went to Drapers Girls Country Farm. (No pictures taken, nor pumpkins found.)  Then to our last stop.  Packer Orchards and Bakery (Hood River County Fruit Loop #10 if you are looking at that map or following that tour.)

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We founds lots of apples, at 89 cents a pound, but we were filled from our first stop that were lucky to get at 75 cents a pound!

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But look at this spread… spreads! Two tables put together filled with all different kinds of jams and jellies. Oh my!

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Every kind was different.  From peach, apple, strawberries, huckleberries… so many kinds! I think 10 feet of spreads. DSC_0169 copy DSC_0171 copy DSC_0182 copy

And then some other yummy foods.

DSC_0180 copy DSC_0173 copy And check out this Huckleberry Pie Filling… haven’t tried that yet!

DSC_0190 copy But Huckleberry Jalapeño… I think I’ll have to make that next year.  It was so good.

DSC_0191 copy DSC_0192 copy Yes, we spent lots of time in this display.

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And because we wanted to have a better life, we followed their suggestion. DSC_0195 copy Not a cookie, but a pumpkin cinnamon roll.  Wow.. it was good.  But next time I think I’ll take it warm and with a cup of chai.

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I think this is the first time the kids have had a caramel apple. This was the place to do it, for sure!

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And well?  Our search for pumpkins ended here.   They had pumpkins bought from another farm, placed them on the side of their building.  Not a real pumpkin patch as we had hoped.  So we got some other kinds of orange, still beautiful and fun gourds and a car filled with apples.  We found autumn and brought some home with us.