Portland, Japanese Gardens, Day 3

Monday was a day for exploring. I had been to the Portland Japanese Garden before, but Susanne had not, and I sure did not mind revisiting that wonderful place. However, I decided that I could no longer stand my hair so first we got that taken care of. After the Japanese Garden we went to Oblation Papers and Press and Dick Blick’s, and of course another trip to Powell’s. I took advantage of not having to pay sales tax or shipping for a few items at Blick’s, but I was good only because I did not have much room in my luggage.

Portland, Oregon

^^^View from the room

Haircut, Portland

Haircut, Portland

^^^haircut

Portland International Rose Test Garden

^^^Roses at the International Rose Test Garden

Portland Japanese Garden - view of Mount Hood

View of downtown Portland and Mount Hood in the distance from the Japanese Gardens

Portland Japanese Garden

^^^”Forest of Dreams: Ainu and Native American Woodcarving” exhibition. This “Statue of Fusa Sugimura,” by Takeki Fujito, was carved from one piece of wood including the base.

Portland Japanese Garden

^^^Susanne

Portland Japanese Garden

^^^iris

Portland Japanese Garden

^^^koi

Portland Japanese Garden

Portland Japanese Garden

Portland Japanese Garden

Portland Japanese Garden

Portland Japanese Garden

Portland Japanese Garden

^^^So much here is about shadows and light

Portland Japanese Garden

^^^A bite to eat and tea at the Umami Cafe

Portland, June 2019, Days 1 & 2

My friend Susanne and I headed out to Oregon on June 22 to attend the Focus on Book Arts conference at Pacific University in Forest Grove. We decided to spend a few days in Portland first. We got out there early and took the MAX light rail line and walked the rest of the way to a sweet AirBNB in northeast Portland on the edge of the Mississippi Arts District, something I will not do with heavy luggage again, although I would stay there again. The neighborhood was full of Craftsman houses and creative gardens and the historic Peninsula Park Rose Garden was only a block or two away.

We had heard of an awesome store named Cargo, so we called a Lyft and went shopping on Saturday afternoon. While we were there, we bought snacks and take-out dinner from the Japanese deli within, called Giraffe, and then drank a smoked marzen and pear cider at the brewpub next door, Hair of the Dog.

Portland, Oregon

^^^Entrance to Cargo

Portland, Oregon

^^^Happy Susanne in front of Cargo

The next morning we walked to a coffee shop for bagels and caffeine, then strolled around this historic park:

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

^^^Peninsula Park Rose Garden

My friend Cat picked us up from our AirBNB at 11 and we ate brunch at Gravy, then walked around on Mississippi Avenue.

Portland, Oregon

^^^Lovely dying tree in front of our AirBNB

Portland, Oregon

^^^Mississippi Avenue sidewalk

Cat and Laurie in Gravy, Portland

^^^Cat and I at Gravy

Cat, Susanne, and Laurie in Portland

^^^Cat, Susanne and I somewhere on Mississippi Ave.

Blue Star Donuts

^^^Susanne, Donut Bitch, in front of Blue Star Donuts.

Cat dropped us off at McMenamin’s Crystal Hotel, where we dumped our luggage and immediately went to Powell’s City of Books, our happy place.

Portland, Oregon

^^^The Crystal Hotel

Crystal Hotel, Portland

Crystal Hotel, Portland

^^^The Gillian Welch “Revelator” room

It’s kind of funny that we got the Gillian Welch room since the one concert that I attended with my friend Cat was a Gillian Welch/Dave Rawlings show.

Portland, Oregon

^^^”TriPPPy” Cider at Al’s Den in the basement of the Crystal Hotel, and the last photo with long hair.

We ate take-out from the Whole Foods deli across the street the rest of the time we were in Portland. I don’t usually shop at Whole Foods, but this time I was thankful that it was next door. Plus we had all those damned doughnuts to eat. It was just terrible, forcing me to eat doughnuts like that. I got a chocolate donut with CBD and the server seemed really concerned that I might not know what CBD is. Uh, I feel like I am pummeled with information with CBD constantly, so I am not that out of touch, thanks anyway, now for your own safety, remove your body from between me and that doughnut.

Changes

As I am in a life transition of sorts, I think that I’m going to change this blog, drop the domain name, and add a gallery. Most people are on Instagram or Facebook these days anyway. Plus, there is a truly repugnant blog out there now called slowly she turned dot com where this man mocks his unfortunate wife’s journey through menopause. He seems to think he is funny. There’s nothing I can do about it. I should have bought that domain name too, but who knew that would happen? I didn’t want a dot com domain name because I wasn’t selling anything. I liked using dot net because of my connection to fiber arts and my focus on the web of the world around us.

So, beginning September 1, 2019, my URL will likely become slowturnstudio.wordpress.com and I will develop more pages. I’ll still blog, but there might be ads. I’m currently paying $30 per year to keep ads off this blog. I am cutting my budget in many ways and the expense of this blog is one small cut, but it all adds up. I truly hate the ads, especially since I have no control over the content, so we’ll see if or how long I can stand it.

We will all need to transition to the new world, so I know I am not alone. We will all need to find what it is important and let go of what is not. I plan to retire at 62 and travel as much as possible and live frugally as I can. Hopefully there will be plenty of art and gardening and front porch sitting. Who knows what might be ahead? It doesn’t look pretty from here, but I’m going to grab as much beauty from it as I can.

I may begin selling books and fiber art again, but it will probably be through here or Facebook. This will be how I will raise money for travel. Lots of ideas are percolating. Stay tuned.

Two additions to the family and two additions to the studio

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Meet Bernie and Liz.

Bernie is a scrappy little thing and he bit the shit out of Sandy twice when he moved them from their very small cage to the new one we bought for them on Saturday. He hung on like a snapping turtle too. Maybe we should have named him Snapper.

We love birds but we have never wanted pet birds. This spring and summer Sandy bought bird feeders and we have enjoyed watching them and learning to identify them from the front porch. To me, a bird in a cage is a tragedy. However, these birds needed rescuing from a sick relative who had them both crammed into a 13x13x10 inch cage and they had been neglected. We didn’t know about them until he called from the hospital to ask us to feed them. When Sandy went over there, he brought them home.

They are very stressed out and I was half convinced that they would die. Sandy was working a late shift late week and I have had a phobia of being attacked by birds since I was little, so I had a major panic attack before I settled into accepting it. Their cage was nasty and we don’t know a thing about caring for birds. But we are learning. Friends have been giving us advice on Facebook. I hope that we won’t need to take either of them to a vet for a while, because they understandably hate us.

Anyway, here is their new abode, on a sturdy shelf in Sandy’s man cave, where we can shut the door when we aren’t home to keep the cats away. The cats don’t seem interested at all, though. I hope that they become happy. We will try.

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The week before, I snagged a Mirrix Little Sister loom at a local thrift/reuse store for only $8.00! It would have been a bargain at $80.00. It appears to have never been used. At the same time, I picked up an old Beka rigid heddle loom for $6.50. I’m looking forward to playing with these this summer.

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On Saturday, Susanne and I will go to Focus on Book Arts in Forest Grove, Oregon for the fourth time! We love Forest Grove. I keep checking the real estate prices there, but compared to Greensboro, everywhere seems more expensive. We will spend a couple of days in Portland first. So there will be more travel and book art blogging in late June or July.

I am almost to the end of that long twill gamp that I will use for curtains. Then the plan was to tie the other half of the warp on and weave another set. Whew, that does not sound very appealing right now. I had planned for it to be double weave rugs, you see. Then when I started warping I realized that I had misjudged this warp. It stuck together in the reed so badly that I put half of it aside and switched gears completely. We need curtains. Of course, Diego and Pablocito will destroy them, but that’s life with cats.

Sunday: Santa Fe to Albuquerque

I tried to laze around on our last morning in Truchas, but suddenly realized that we had to return the rental car in Santa Fe by noon. Thank God we had packed the night before or that could have been a mess.

The Rail Runner Express is a very comfortable commuter train that connects Santa Fe and Albuquerque. It cost only $9 for me and $4 for Sandy, as a senior. It runs frequently during the week, but on Sundays we found ourselves having to wait until 3:15 p.m. Fortunately, the Santa Fe Railyard Arts District is full of restaurants, galleries, and shops. We headed with our luggage to Cafe Sonder to have lunch and mango mimosas. The staff and food were fantastic. I was most happy with this Mediterranean platter. The smoked roasted beet spread was to die for. I need to find that recipe.

The mountains on either side of the train were beautiful but I couldn’t get good photos. I was fascinated by the telephone poles that ran along the track. Most of them still had glass insulators. Then I noticed that some sections had wires missing or cut and hanging down. I really fixated on these images.

Then there was this sad little one next to the tracks.

Also this sad bigger one. He was one tired puppy.

Once we got to Albuquerque, we found out that the free shuttle that you can ride to the airport that is included in your train fare does not run on Sundays. No problem, Lyft to the rescue, straight to the hotel where we collapsed for the night. We didn’t even eat dinner. So we didn’t see much of Albuquerque. That will have to be included in another trip.

Even though there were terrible storms that disrupted my cousin’s plane travel from Denver on Monday, we had a normal flight from Albuquerque home. We had changed these tickets from Denver a week before the trip. It seems that we stopped the snow when we were there and then the snow came back as we left. The only bad thing about the plane trip was that my ears were stopped up and we landed and took off three times. My ears hurt so bad I almost cried…I tried every trick to pop them. I feel so sorry for the little kids who have this problem in the air and don’t understand what is happening to them.

We loved our trip. I really thought we would come back home with my obsession with checking real estate prices anywhere in the West I visit intact. But I don’t think we can live in New Mexico, at least not that area. Sandy’s problem with the altitude was almost too much for him. I definitely want to go back to see some of the many areas we missed, and maybe take a workshop or do a week’s artist retreat at the place in Truchas.