Monday, March 31, 2008

Look who I found among the daffodils!

Ok, so she's no spring pig, but she has got to be the cutest chalk pig I have ever seen!

If she were mine, I'd trim that little branch from in front of her saucy face. But it could be that the people who live in her house on NW Everett only look at her in profile, from the yard side of the wrought iron fence.

The spring continues

Up NW Everett, and I say up because there's an incline, one comes to the corner at NW 23rd Avenue. On that corner, which is actually the southeast corner of the intersection, there stands the Portland Rose Apartments, set back so that it has a nice front yard complete with flower beds, shrubs, trees and two sidewalks, one that goes towards NW 23rd, the other that goes to NW Everett, at a right angle to each other as they leave the building's front door. This flower and several others like it are in a bed alongside the second sidewalk. Later on when leaves fill the trees and shade blankets the yard all day long, the blossoms will be gone, but the green plants will remain, filling in the bed quite nicely.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Blossom by blossom the spring begins ... Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909)

This teensy flower, colorful, delicate, with hardy-looking leaves, is among a short row planted in a concrete-walled bed at Elephant's Delicatessen, half a block south of our apartment building. I like this bed because it's almost waist high which makes taking photos quite easy. I don't like this bed because they've left way too much naked dirt. And I don't think it's because they've left room for these little plants to become bigger since they've set them out close to each other.

What I'm hoping is that the naked dirt is destined for less hardy blooming things as soon as the temperature moderates into what spring really is in Portland, not these near freezing nights and 50 degrees or less days. Our average high in March is 56 degrees while the low averages 39 degrees--today we're predicted 47, 31, while Wednesday's predicted 56, 36 comes closer to the average for March and that will be April 2, of course. I'm not complaining one bit, just reporting. I love Portland!

Does anyone know the name of this beauty?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

It was pretty where I was, while it lasted on Friday, March 28.

From the work window I can see a small park-like spot that is actually inside a circular street ramp. So that you could see the snow, I zoomed in on it and took a few photos as it snowed. By the time I could have gone outside at break to take photos, it had turned to mere rain. That's life.

8:48 a.m.
8:49 a.m.
8:52 a.m.
8:56 a.m.
I know the time and date of these photos thanks to my splendid digital camera, the Nikon D50, which I am proud to have in my hands, strap around my neck, at any given time.

I didn't post these Friday night for Saturday because I needed a nap and ended up sleeping until time to take Duncan out for his last walk of the day. I have to tell you something about that little guy and sleep and hunger, or hunger and sleep. Which to list first is a sort of chicken-or-the-egg thing.

Last Sunday I had to quickly take Duncan to the vet because his diarrhea returned. Thank goodness they were open on Easter Sunday because once he got back on the antibiotic and the steroid, it only lasted about 5 outdoor walks (through Monday), with no accidents in the apartment. The vet says that it appears his irritable bowel disease is worse than we'd want it to be since this diarrhea return happened just a few days after he had taken his last steroid from the previous prescription.

As the week went on and he continued to wake up any where from 3:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m., I thought more than once, "How am I going to last however many years of this we've got coming?" Since I take him out for that last walk of the day between 10-11:15 p.m., that just doesn't give me much sleep in a row.

Wednesday evening as I sat at my ibook Honk, working on the blog, commenting at other blogs, I rested my head on the wall, mulling over what to do about the little dog and my lack of sleep. A thought--he's waking up hungry, not because he has to go outside. This entered the mull-mix after that morning's episode--before I could get his leash attached, he had disappeared from the kitchen. I found him on the doggie steps that lead to his warm spot beside Mama, under the covers.

Steroids increase the appetite. Duncan's always enjoyed eating, an understatement of great proportion. We don't want him to gain too much weight because it's not good for his spine, so we had taken it upon ourselves to cut his lunch third of a can in half. Why not give him that other half before the last walk of the day, I wondered? Then it would not be around 12 hours between meals. Maybe he'd sleep until after my alarm clock went off?

He did, bless his little heart! Thursday and Friday mornings he didn't wake up until about 15 minutes after the alarm, and this morning he made it until 5:30 a.m. which is OK even if I didn't have the alarm set.

I'd like to think that this idea is my most brilliant one for the first quarter of 2008, but I can't take credit for it. I was talking about it with a sweet lady at work when she grinned at me and said that on Wednesday she had thought, "He is like a baby. He needs to be fed something so that he will sleep through the night." But she didn't get a chance to tell me. I grinned back at her and replied, "Oh, you told me, just not verbally. Thanks!"

Now Duncan has eaten, gone outside and is back under the covers with Mama. I'm about to eat something and crawl back in myself, for a warm and cozy read, maybe a nap, until they wake up later on.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Too choice to pass up

Saturday, still on that trip to get Duncan's dog food--hey, it's 17.4 miles as the MapQuest flies from our apartment to PetSmart--I'm stopped at a traffic light, looking around, the camera on the seat beside me. I'm thinking, "I wish I had had the chance to take a photo of that jewelry store before ... oh my! That man's scratching his back on the support of that TriMet bus shelter, right beside that advertising poster for the Oregon Lottery!" I grab my camera and get a single photo before the light changes. I hope it's a decent photo because the situation was just too choice to pass up.


Here's why. One of the Oregon Lottery's campaigns involves Scratchercise, a totally tongue-in-cheek, advertising program to get your fingers in shape, using coins to scratch cards and find out if you've won any money. And there stood that man, right beside that big ol' word, Scratchercise, rubbing his back from side to side on that metal pole holding up the frame for the poster!


In the seconds that it took me to get the camera focused on him through the windshield, naturally he stopped scratching to check that hand-held device, but I know y'all trust me. Thanks!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Creative Creation

As I walked by one of my favorite local shops on SE Hawthorne Blvd., Presents of Mind, I stopped to window shop--I would have gone inside, but I had made it only a few bites into a cup of Ben and Jerry's yummy ice cream. Upon closer inspection of this dress, I realized it was made entirely of paper! I took several shots, all with the reflection of a vehicle, doggone it. Still and all, I cannot resist showing this creative creation to you. I'm going back soon to take a look at their wrapping paper selection--I like both of the bodice papers enough to hope some remains in stock.

Skirt and ruffle

Here's the Info from the store's Web site: Presents of mind is the brain child of Cinnamon Chaser. The store opened on the Historic Hawthorne Blvd. in 1989 with the goal of being a one stop gift store for people who wanted something beyond the big box generic and the teddy bear cutesy. These days the store is run by Cinnamon’s business partner and daughter, Seasons.

Since 1989 we have continued to pursue the latest and greatest, the classic and trendy, and all things cool. We are constantly on the prowl for new and unique items and dedicated to carrying & supporting local and independent designers, and companies that use environmentally friendly products.

Now we have this wonderful website to be able to offer a selection of our great goodies online. We have also secured several local Portland designers to sell on our site making it truly unique and allowing you to get something wonderful you probably won’t find anywhere else. Please enjoy and check back for new additions, as just like our store we are always adding new finds…

Our storefront is located at:
3633 SE Hawthorne Blvd in Portland, OR 97214
Hours: Open 10 to 7 everyday

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

ABC Wednesday - J is for Joe's

Picture this: I'm driving the Buick on SE 82nd, thinking about the hopefully interesting photos I had stopped here and there to take already, wondering what else I might see that would lead to my pulling into a driveway at some business, turning around, parking, whatever it took to get the shot I'd just noticed.

Well, that wasn't all I was doing. I was on my way to PetSmart to get Duncan's prescription dog food, and I was paying attention to the traffic, too. Once I loaded the cases of canned food into a couple of rolling suitcases and stashed them in the back seat of the Buick, I pulled out and headed for the Fred Meyer catty-cornered from Johnson Creek Crossing, the shopping center that holds PetSmart, Home Depot, and ... oh, boy, Joe's! Quickly I changed my direction and got this photo for today's ABC post. Picture me satisfied.

From their Web site: About Joe's
Joe's originated in 1952 when a young Army Air Corps pilot, Edward M. Orkney, returned from WWII and purchased a consignment of 2,000 army surplus sleeping bags for $1.50 each, which he sold at a modest profit from the back of his station wagon in Portland, Oregon.

Orkney continued to sell his surplus goods, first out of a tent, and later from a permanent location in a building on Vancouver Avenue in north Portland. By 1956 this store had grown to become a destination for bargain hunters looking for fun and unique products.

The selection at Joe's evolved over the years. Name brand sports and automotive products became the store's primary offerings. Orkney passed away in 1976, just prior to the chain's expansion throughout Oregon and into Washington.

Today, it's easy to see that Joe's has come a long, long way from such humble beginnings. Becoming the Northwest's premier destination for sports & outdoor gear, as well as top quality roof racks and other accessories for your car, truck or SUV, Joe's is a first-class store for the serious outdoor enthusiast. Highly trained technicians in Joe's Sport Services shop do quality repairs, install racks, and rent winter and summer sports equipment. And nowhere is the difference more evident from the early days than in the brands you find at Joe's. You recognize these brands as the best in the business, offering the ultimate in quality and performance.

Our Mission
To exceed customer expectations by offering passionate service, the best brands and a specialty selection of products, while supporting the community where we live and work.
Joe's is proud to provide ongoing support to deserving, non-profit organizations including:
March of Dimes
American Red Cross
Boys and Girls Club
Komen Race for the Cure
Salvation Army
The Nature Conservancy

I wonder if the roof shape represents Joe's tent days?

When Mama and I first moved to Portland in June, 2006, Joe's was known as G.I. Joe's. I found this on Wikipedia about the name change: In March 2007, the company announced that it was dropping the "G. I." from its name, as the old name did not accurately reflect its product line. In particular, the chain had not sold military surplus in many years. The name change took effect on April 1, 2007.

Be sure to go to Mrs. Nesbitt's Place for loads of other ABC Wednesday blogs! If I understand the new guidelines properly, you should look at her Comments for Wednesday to find links to them. Of course, she's in England, so please take that into consideration and go back if it's not ready yet. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Two readers on NW 23rd Avenue

I often see people reading in Portland. These two appear to be reading newspapers. What do you see people reading in public in your city?

The guy in the door, wearing the white apron with the pizza sauce stain, must work at the establishment the other guy is patronizing--Escape from New York Pizza. Note the Easter bunny complete with a loaded basket--pizza slices, not eggs--on the window. I wonder what will appear in its place now that Easter had come and gone?

Monday, March 24, 2008

A cawing crow stopped me in my tracks.

Thank goodness I had my camera at the ready Friday morning so that I could snap this communicating crow at the corner of NW 21st and Everett.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Rebirth of spring

I took this photo on Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Go Dawgs! I'm fired up for the Mississippi State Bulldogs!

And if I were not a 60-year-old full-time employee, I just might fix my hair like this young man to totally illustrate how fired up I am! Yippee! Whooeee! Clang! Clang! Clang! Clang! That's my virtual cowbell, rapidly ringing, loudly marking my joy.

I wonder if they make non-permanent-more-maroon-than-neon-red hair spray? I've already got the hair products to mold my hair into a celebratory shape, so I'm half way there.

Dawgs 76, Ducks 69

Clang! Clang! Clang! Go, Dawgs!

Friday, March 21, 2008

As for me, I'll ride the bus.

I took these three photos within a couple of blocks of each other on my homeward bound commute, aboard the 18 bus.

Looking back toward SW 2nd Avenue at a full parking lot, after the bus had turned onto SW Washington.
Looking at the ramp that empties the Morrison Bridge traffic into downtown onto SW Washington, from SW 2nd Avenue.
Looking out the window while the bus sat stopped by the traffic signal at SW 3rd and Washington.

I am thrilled each day that I don't have to fend with parking and traffic as a participant, merely as an observer. Thanks, TriMet.

What's your homeward commute like in your city?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The guys' muse . . . she's back.

Mama, Saturday, March 15, at the Taste of Tillamook, just about the time we finished enjoying the guys' demonstration plates.

The guys, Saturday, March 15, at the Taste of Tillamook, just about the time the other chef was presenting his food to the judges.

Roast beef and potatoes; butterbeans with okra; apple, banana and raisin salad; cornbread muffins, and a glass of sweet ice tea, Wednesday, March 19, at our apartment, right before we enjoyed Mama's homecooking. The guys couldn't be with us this time, but there will be other times, of that we are certain.

Thanks to Lindsay for those first two photos.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

ABC Wednesday - I is for Incredible Indulgence

Thank you for your kind indulgence at this show and tell of the food my sons cooked last Saturday at the Taste of Tillamook over on the Pacific coast. Lamont got invited to participate in the Chef's Blackbox Competition, and he asked his brother Leland to be his assistant.

Incredible appetizer--sautéed prawns (a secret ingredient), freshly made salsa verde, and sautéed leeks with bacon.

Incredible salad--quarter-sized cucumber slices surround a mound of match-stick-sliced fennel and Granny Smith apple, topped with paper-thin slices of red onion.

Incredible entree--pan-roasted cod (a secret ingredient), spinach sautéed with garlic and capers, and roasted fingerling potatoes.

The requirements were to make three demonstration dishes, using a different secret ingredient in two of those dishes, then prepare more of the same for the five judges to taste. At the end of an intense hour for the four cooks, Mama and I won the bidding competition for the demo dishes (a fundraiser for Food Safety in Tillamook County) and got to pick which chef's dishes we wanted to eat. That's a no brainer, right. While their food was delicious--we cleaned the plates in no time--the judges made the other guy the winner by 11 points.

Mama and I are incredibly blessed to have Lamont and Leland in our lives, and it's not just because we've not had to cook a single holiday meal since we moved to Portland, although that is absolutely nothing to sneeze at, right? All you always-the-one(s)-who-cook-holiday-meals know what I'm talking about. It's that and so much more. We love those two kind, creative, caring, talented, responsible men!

Be sure to go to Mrs. Nesbitt's Place for loads of other ABC Wednesday blogs!

Thanks to Lindsay for taking these great photos.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A bit of this, a bit of that, and they're off . . .

Fresh ingredients make cooking fun, tasty, rewarding.
The secret ingredients revealed--fresh seafood and cheese. The competition required each chef to make three dishes and to use a secret ingredient in two of them. I'm not sure, but I'll find out soon, if that had to be two different secret ingredients.
I didn't get a shot of the secret ingredients themselves because I felt it would be uncouth to walk up there behind the chefs while they were competing. And afterwards I was too busy eating and taking photos to even think of it. More about eating tomorrow.











. . . continued tomorrow.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Before the big reveal ...

Leland and Lamont spend time going over the pros and cons of fresh ingredients, the ones that they could see there in front of them on the table.
Out of sight to the left of this shot sat a large plastic tub, covered with a white table cloth.
Lamont's taking notes on a restaurant order pad as they think about what would come next, the big reveal--the unveiling of the secret ingredients.

More tomorrow, if I can get my computer to cooperate--something about the startup disk. I don't even know what that is, so I just might be in a world of hurt.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A symbol of one of the secret ingredients rests outside the building

Outside the Tillamook County Fairgrounds rests a symbol of one of the things the area is best known for--cheese. That's a giant baby loaf of Tillamook medium cheddar cheese in the grassy circle surrounded by National Guard vehicles. And how about that American flag, flying high over the whole thing? Neat.

As Mama and I left the fairgrounds after the Chef's Blackbox Cooking Competition, I noticed that cheese and pulled into the next driveway so that I could walk back and get these photos.

Lamont's efforts, and those of his brother Leland, were judged second to his competitor's at the competition. All of us took the decision in stride. We went over there to have a great time, and we did--even the guys who worked creatively hard at something they love to do.

Stay tuned. I have loads of photos to look through and details to get straight with the guys so that I can post them for you in the next day or so.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

We're some kind of excited about this!


From Wednesday's Willamette Week:

"Saturday Mar 15

Taste of Tillamook County Black Box Cooking Contest

Chairman Kaga won't be there, but four of Oregon's top chefs will—competing Iron Chef-style with mystery Tillamook County food ingredients out of a secret black box. On Saturday, Portland's Lamont Hanson of 3 Doors Down will compete against Piet Vanden Hogan of Pelican Pub & Brewery in Pacific City. Sunday's challenge pairs Chris Holen from Astoria's Baked Alaska and Josh Anderson of Lincoln City's Blackfish Cafe. Don't miss the food court, jam-packed with local vendors offering small portions at low prices; the clam-chowder cook-off; and the oyster speed-shucking contest. Visit for more info. Tillamook County Fairgrounds, 4603 E 3rd St., Tillamook., . 10 am-9 pm Saturday, 10 am-3 pm Sunday. $4-$5."

When contacted about participating in this event as the chef this time--years ago Lamont was an assistant--Lamont said yes, if he could get off work. Dave and Kathy agreed, and Lamont asked his brother Leland to be his assistant. We're heading to the coast, to Tillamook, around 10 a.m. Saturday. The guys want to get a good look at the burners, oven(s), pots and pans, and ingredients in sight. They'll start mulling things over in their minds, pondering what they could do depending on what the secret ingredient(s) might be.

I'll be taking photos as long as I don't distract anyone--you'll be inundated in all probability.

Here's the link to the Web site, where our last name is spelled incorrectly except where Lamont submitted his bio--be sure to click on Chef Lamont Hansen.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Impact--the light and the dark

If you saw this sky, you'd think a storm was coming to wreak havoc, right? Wrong, at least in my part of Portland. Since we moved here in June, 2006, I've seen dark skies like this a few times, dark skies that in Mississippi most often meant a thunderstorm would arrive shortly. Here in Portland, I've heard it thunder two, maybe three, times, period.

Coming from behind my building, the sun reflected on the downtown buildings and made for a photo with impact.

I couldn't resist focusing on the sweet gum tree through the window for a photo.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

PGE Park MAX Station


While I hardly ever ride the MAX, I am nevertheless fascinated by it, the smoothness with which it moves along its tracks, its almost silent motion whether you're inside or outside, how packed with people the cars can be after work. I ride by the PGE Park station on my way home most every day. I took this shot of it through my bus window Wednesday. See the park's red-neon-lettered sign reflected in the bus window? It's almost dead center in the photo, at the left end of the shelter. See how the sign at the front of the MAX car has a blue background? It's part of the Blue Line, which goes east and west. This particular one is headed west to Hillsboro. There's another sign of spring in this photo, too, those huge concrete tubs filled with daffodils. I wonder if anyone has time to notice them?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

ABC Wednesday - H is for Hug

Sophie Ryder's "Standing Lady Hare with Dog"

February, 2007, we had friends from Seattle visiting and glorious, surprising winter weather. We planned a ride on the then brand new Portland Tram on Saturday morning. At the top of the tram, at the Oregon Health Sciences University, we naturally got off to take in the view of the Willamette River and points east from outside one of the hospital's buildings. That's where we came upon this sculpture that epitomizes compassion.

Here's a bit about the sculpture and others at the hospital.

Be sure to go to Mrs. Nesbitt's Place for loads of other ABC Wednesday blogs!