Friday, July 25, 2014

Another Layer

The whole idea of the move from Taos to Portland was to streamline and simplify our lives. It's working. And I'm always on the lookout for things that can be added or subtracted to make life easier. Actual things that are allowed in have to be some combination of beautiful, fun, practical, and useful. They also have to fit nicely in our 571 square foot studio apartment. Other things, like my blogs for example, have to be fun to write, and at least have some potential of giving me something in return for the time I spend on them.

You see where I'm going with this?

The two food blogs, Positively Vegan and Eating Vegan In Portland are where my heart goes to sing and dance. I feel that they're my "work," or part of it, and my way of reaching out to the world. I even make a bit of income from them, and plan to expand on that in the near future.

I have a new jewelry product to offer! This is fun for me. After all those years of bead making, I still don't miss the glass one little bit, but I do still love to make jewelry. Hitting it with a hammer is especially satisfying, and that was never a god idea when working with glass. But silver work is perfect for my new tiny space, it loves the hammer, and it has always been my favorite metal to wear. I'm making these simple stamped discs with words like Vegan, Love, Happy... just about anything that will fit on a 3/4 inch circle. You can order them on my website, and on the PV Blog.

This blog, however, is for fun, and for only a handful of people who take the time to read it. It takes a lot of my time, it will never generate income, and most often it's an expanded version of things I've already posted on Facebook. I get no comments here, and no feedback (well, almost none), and I don't have any idea who's reading this, if indeed anyone is. So what's in it for me? Well...

Now you really know where I'm going, right?

Yep. Long Way Home is closing down. Again. If you're on Facebook, and you think you'll miss me here, befriend me over there, click "follow," and stay tuned for my ongoing adventures in Portland and beyond. If you're not on Facebook, well, catch up, would you? It's fun. And it's where I'll be if you need me.

Thanks for reading along here. Maybe I'll pick it up again someday. Until then, I'd love it if you'd read my other blogs and help me promote them. It helps. It matters. It's how I'll make this whole thing fly. See you 'round! I have a city to explore!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My First Birthday in Portland

If it seems like all we do is play here, well, it's kind of true. Sure, we're piecing together just how we'll support our fun new lifestyle, but mostly we're exploring and enjoying it all for as long as we can get away with it. Last week was my birthday, so of course there were festivities to be observed.

We started with breakfast at the awesome Vita Cafe on Alberta St, followed by a cupcake pickup for later at Back to Eden Bakery. Then we sat down and ate even more cupcakes ay Petunia's. Don't judge me. Later we caught a river cruise along the Willamette, followed by dinner with our friends Jim and Lani, and their granddaughter, Chelsea. What a day! It was a great first birthday here, thanks to Portland, and all the players!

Next I'm off to San Jose to celebrate my Dad's 85th birthday. My family is opposed to having their pictures posted on my blogs (even though they never read a word I write...), but maybe I can sneak a few in next week. We'll see. Know I'm having fun... and maybe even getting things done. xoxo

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Groovin' to the Blues by the River

We spent (most of) the 4th of July weekend just a 10 minute walk from home, at the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival. We're not big on crowds, but since it was so close to where we live, it seemed kind of wrong not to participate. Besides, it benefitted the Portland Food Bank, and you know how I like to get people fed.

It was an amazingly well-organized festival, except for one little glitch on Friday, when they let so many "day people" in that the fire marshall closed the gates to re-entry in the afternoon. This meant that folks like us, who paid a bunch of money for a 4-day pass had to wait in line to get back in if we went home to feed the dogs, while others with ten bucks or a couple of cans of food to donate streamed in and settled in for the fireworks. Not cool, and I imagine they'll be hearing about it from plenty of people. We somehow managed to slip right back in though, thanks to a sweet volunteer who didn't really know the rules. Oh well!

Other than that, and the crushing crowds on Friday, there was a lot to like about the whole shebang.  There were four stages - two at each end of the huge grassy area, and two tucked back into another smaller, quieter area. We preferred the small stage energy to the booming hillside, but each had its merits. I also loved that it was a completely non-smoking event, with smoking areas well away from the seating. Crowd-herding was better than I've seen in some places, with fenced off walkways where standing around was not allowed. Volunteers everywhere kept things flowing smoothly, and there was even a big booth where volunteers filled water bottles with good filtered water for free. Gotta love the volunteers!

There was a wedding onstage between acts. This couple met at the festival seven years ago. Sweet!
The music was terrific, which ought to go without saying. Lots of blues, swing, zydeco, funk, and more. And acts like Joan Osborne, Boz Scaggs, Maceo Parker, and Curtis Salgado filling in for Gregg  Allman. Rather than try to see and hear everything, we just wandered around and took our chances, knowing it would all be good, and it was. We actually took Saturday "off," after feeling sort of damaged by the heat, volume, and crowds of Friday. By Sunday we only felt the need for a short stay, so went in the afternoon and hopped from shady spot to shady spot, just relaxing and taking in whatever happened to be there.

As it turned out, my favorite band of the weekend was the last one we saw, and one I wasn't familiar with. Dumpstaphunk, with Ivan Neville was so much fun I pulled up my last remnants of energy and danced with the rest of the crowd. We didn't stay till the close of the festival. Enough was enough, and besides, the dogs missed us.

Will we go back next year? Well... I'm thinking not. But I'm glad we did it once. It was a great way to spend our first (and maybe not last) 4th of July in Portland.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Day at the Beach

It doesn't often get very hot here in Portland, but when it does, a lot of people head for the coast if they can. This week when the temp was predicted to reach 97, we joined the line of traffic and made our way to Cannon Beach. In the time it used to take us to get to Santa Fe from Taos we can be at the beach. That means we can pop over there whenever we want to, and I like that.

It was hot there too for a while, but not as hot as Portland, which did get to 97. And you know... it's the humidity that gets you. The coast was at least breezy, with a little bit of mist, and of course a whole lot of water to cool off in. We spent the day walking up and down the beach with the dogs, with a break for a picnic in the sand, and another for margaritas at a little place in town later in the afternoon.

By late afternoon we started to wish we could stay the night, and scoped out a couple of dog-friendly hotels for next time. Every time I go to the beach - any beach - I wonder why I don't live there. Really. If the whole "Portland courtship" doesn't work out, I'm going to try to talk Rick into giving the coast-of-somewhere a shot. I mean how many of these moves do we have left in us? Maybe a bunch, but that's not what we want. We want to find Home. Maybe it's in Portland, and maybe it's somewhere at the beach...