2014.08.29 – Hanging Out with Friends

I spent a really nice day with John and Spencer. We went to Clackamas Town Center and looked for new bath towels. No luck but it was fun looking. We grabbed lunch at Native Foods, test drove a truck at a Dodge dealership and then drove all over Portland checking out different neighborhoods. It was nice to catch up with them.

I got home around 18:00 and the guys were looking for dinner suggestions. After about 30 minutes of indecision Andrew suggested we walk to one of the nearby Ethiopian restaurants. Jayde doesn’t like Ethiopian food so she went to La Bonita for a burrito. She could eat burritos every day. Our dinner was delicious!

We had a nice walk home and then Andrew made us popcorn to eat while we watched a movie on our new, super cool television.

Today I learned where Clackamas Town Center is. It’s really nice for a mall.

2014.08.28 – Programming, Pizza, and Pests.

There was definite progress today even though Shanna and I only got in one day of coding. We both kind of went into the day not feeling very confident but Shanna suggested we watch the videos together and then code at the same time instead of each wearing headphones. Wow, that worked really well. I got stuck quite a bit more than she did and she was able to get me back on track each time so that helped move things along. We both felt pretty good about our abilities and understanding by the time we were done. Whew!

It was the monthly BSD Pizza Meetup later this evening so we drove down to Milwaukee and had less than great pizza with a really nice group of people. There were nine of us this time so I think it was our largest gathering so far.

By the time we got home the kids were in bed and the house was dark so I wandered upstairs to get ready for bed. I was sitting at my computer desk in the dark, text messaging Lauren and some stupid fucking flying insect of some sort tried to fly at or in my ear. It scared the shit out of me and I shooed it away but the thing tried like four more times to get in my ear! It finally left me alone so I finished my conversation and then went in our room to get undressed and the damned thing tried again! I freaked out again and shook my hair out and batted at the air in the dark. It went away again. I got in bed and as I lay there I couldn’t fall asleep because I just knew the little fucker was going to try again. It was about 45 minutes before I was finally asleep and sure as shit it tried again! I swore, jumped out of bed as fast as I could, and did the whole head batting, shaking thing again. Ugh! I went and found some cotton and stuffed it in my ears and then went online to see if there is some particular kind of flying thing that likes to fly into people’s ears. It turns out that all sorts of things like to get in people’s ears and it happens fairly often. It typically results in a trip to the ER, the creature buzzing, wiggling and sometimes dying along the way. This does not make me feel any better! I think I need to go to Costco and stock up on some cotton.

Today I learned that tiny little things can bring about giant fear.

2014.08.27 – Fun at the Science Museum

Today Jayde, her friend, and I spent the day with Alena and the kids, Tiberias, Rialla, and baby Anya at OMSI. We have a membership and hardly used it last year. Since they just moved here I figured it would be great to share our membership with them.

We met there at about 09:30 and left at close to 15:00! We all had so much fun. The museum is perfect for all ages. There is a room just for little ones 0-6 and it has a variety of things to do. A water area, sand area, blocks, air, gravity, flubber, crafts….We did a lot!

We also had an awesome lunch there. When I have been before, I have ordered the veggie burger which is very good but this time I wanted to try a pizza. I didn’t see a vegan pizza on the menu but I figured I could have them just leave off the cheese and any meats. I was so surprised to find out that they make their own vegan cashew cheese and it was wonderful! My pizza had the cheese, chard, onions, hot peppers and sliced pears. I will definitely be ordering that again.

Usually the guys and I go to OMSI after dark when it’s open for adults only. It’s a once per month evening but I really think I had more fun and could do more things with all of the kids vs drunk adults.

Today I learned that OMSI makes their own vegan cashew cheese. Funny that’s what I learned at a science museum!

2014.08.26 – Back to School Already?

Our two youngest are headed back to school on Thursday. This seems like a really short summer compared to the Never Ending Summer of last year. Because of the difference in school calendars between our schools in Arizona and the schools here in Portland the kids ended up with a ridiculously long summer but it was full of the joys of moving into a century old home. Lots of stuff to put away, tons of weeds to pull. They couldn’t wait for school to start! That’s not really different for them though. They both love school and are both great students. Natale is a freshman in high school this year and Jayde is a 7th grader in middle school.

We, as usual, waited until nearly the last minute to go school shopping but got it all done today. Lots of paper, pens, folders and such. They each got a new backpack even though we have so many here at the house. It’s nice to have a new one though I think.

We came home and I made dinner for Dinner Night, our Tuesday ritual for the last ( I don’t even know how long) over a decade. I’m glad it’s a tradition we could bring to Portland with us. I just love being able to reconnect with our friends and neighbors each week and find out how everyone is doing. Life is sure good.

Today I learned that Jason does a great impression of a dumbwaiter.

2014.08.25 – Beet Pickling Day

We have so many beets in our front yard. I went through the beds and just picked the biggest ones. I got a variety of red, golden and some whitish pinkish beets that I can’t identify.

It's a messy job

It’s a messy job


I ended up with 20 pints of various beets and let me tell you it’s quite the job! It probably gets easier over time but wow, it was a lot of work that first time. I love pickled beets though so it was worth it.

Beautiful results

Beautiful results


We also have really happy jalapeño plants in our back yard. We have too many to eat and will definitely have to share these. They are really pretty!

Pretty jalapeños

Pretty jalapeños


Today I learned that we have some other variety of beet growing in our yard. I will have to figure out what it is.

2014.08.24 – Summer Sunday

Today was really beautiful. The three of us got up early and went for a run/walk to Arbor Lodge park. It’s nice to traverse our neighborhood and look at other houses, yards and gardens. In Lake Havasu not a lot would change from week to week but here it seems everything is constantly growing, dying, changing. I love it!

We got back home and I watered our front garden and did a bit of weeding. I was surprised to see that we are still getting a fair amount of strawberries considering how late in the season it is. I love to pick and eat stuff as I water and weed. Blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, carrots, fennel flowers, chocolate mint, basil, golden raspberries……

I decided to migrate this blog from the free wordpress.com site over to hewus.com and that was ridiculously easy. I now need to mess with getting the theme to look the way I want it to. Shanna is not available to work on our IOS tutorial tomorrow so I will spend some time on that.

Today I learned that ‘a la mode’ means ‘in the style of’ and although the words are French, it has no context in France so don’t order anything that way if traveling there.

2014.08.23 – Making Progress

I’m still working on this IOS tutorial and it is definitely getting more in-depth. I have to follow along with the videos still but I think with all of the repetition I will start to grasp the way things work. I know it’s all different with Swift but that’s ok since I’m not really interested in becoming an IOS developer. It just seemed like a fun and interesting thing to do while I wait for the Ascend Project to start.

Wayne and Andrew got our tv installed in the arch today. It’s really cool and also very practical since there really is no room in the living room for a tv. Especially a 65″ one. Now Wayne just needs to get the wall fixed up and we will be good to go.


Wayne, Andrew and our neighbor getting things level.

Wayne, Andrew and our neighbor getting things level.

I made another giant pot of spaghetti sauce with ingredients from the gardens. There is just nothing better than a homegrown, homemade sauce! I am going to try and make as much as I can this summer and freeze a bunch. Today I am going to attempt to can some pickled beets because we have a ton.

Tomatoes peeled and herbs gathered.

Tomatoes peeled and herbs gathered.

Sauce beginning to simmer.

Sauce beginning to simmer.

Today I learned that a loofah or luffa sponge comes from the fruit of a vine classified in the cucumber family. The fruit can be eaten when young but becomes too fibrous as it matures so is then dried and used as a loofah sponge.

2014.08.22 – Eat Local

When we decided to move to Portland we knew hardly a thing about the city. We visited for four days while on a road trip and on the way home declared we would move. I will write a more complete story another time because what I really want to get at is that we ended up in a great neighborhood. I got up fairly early this morning and went out to water the front garden. It’s a 2 hour job at the very least and I trim and harvest as I water. People wander by, some I know and most I don’t but everyone says hello or good morning. Once I have some veggies and herbs harvested I will offer things to people as they pass by. People seem delighted by this and I always wonder why they don’t grow their own stuff. It’s pretty easy around here! Anyway, I gathered up a bunch of stuff to juice but still had quite a bit of kale, tiny yellow tomatoes and some squash left so Wayne, Andrew and I walked to the corner food carts and brought a basket of produce to the very best pizza place in all of Portland, Handsome Pizza, and gave it to the owner. He in turn made us a free pizza and used some of our produce along with some other toppings to make us one of his ridiculously delicious vegan pizzas. How much more fresh and local can you get with the exception of making it at home?? He has a wood fired pizza oven though so we couldn’t make it at home and have it taste even remotely as good. Things like this constantly delight me about Portland. Maybe they happen in lots of cities but they sure didn’t in Lake Havasu so this feels really special to me. We’ve been here just over a year now and I can’t stop saying how much I love living here and how happy I am.

Today I learned that a man named Christopher Knight lived as a hermit from 1989 to 2012 when he was caught stealing food. The Last True Hermit

2014.08.21 – Just a Regular Day

Today wasn’t terribly interesting but it was productive. I worked with Shanna again on our IOS tutorial, picked a ton of tomatoes, harvested some squash, did some laundry, went with Lauren to Lush so she could get a few things, made a quick trip to Trader Joe’s then came home and had dinner. I hit a bit of a comprehension wall with the tutorial but when I showed my issue to Andrew he was able to explain it in terms I could understand. Once again I was over-thinking things.

Today I learned that there is a club devoted to collecting vintage fans. Antique Fan Collectors Association

2014.08.20 – A Tech Meetup for Me

Tonight I went to my second Women Who Code Portland meetup and it was great. There were about 25 – 30 women, all with varying degrees of coding experience. We had a JavaScript class for those interested and a general hack night for the rest. It feels like such a wonderful group of women. The meeting was at PDX Code Guild where I am a graduate. Kinda, I guess. It was in their new space which they moved into at the very end of my class time with them so it doesn’t feel like “home” but it’s a really great space. Tons of room and lots of areas for small or large groups to gather. Sheri, the school director, provided snacks and drinks. I did the JavaScript class but it was pretty easy. I really like the woman who runs the WWC group. She is really down to earth and is very good at explaining things. She refers to herself as a regex ninja and will be teaching us about them in a few weeks. I am very much looking forward to that as regular expressions still elude me.

Today I learned that I am part German. I never knew this! I was always told that my maternal grandfather was completely Irish but it turns out his mother was completely German. 23andme says I am 98.3% European.