Thursday, December 17, 2009

Out of Time

Sometime in early to mid-November when my December issue of Sunset magazine arrived, I was really taken in by an article titled Kanella Christmas by Joyce Maynard. Her cookies, the Kanellas, sound absolutely amazing, and I've been fancying her Kanellas my signature cookie every since. I've gone so far as to tell many friends about these fabulous cookies I'm going to make and give to coworkers and loved ones alike. I've described them and their adorable, stubby, misshapen form. I've even imagined myself years from now eating a lovely Kanella and thinking I really hit the nail on the head back in 2009 when I found that Kanella recipe. They're just right, I imagine myself thinking then as I do now. Timeless, simple, yet surprising.

Keep in mind I have yet to taste a Kanella. I can tell you that the recipe seems like a good one and that the picture on page 76 of this month's Sunset is adorable. It's just I don't seem to have enough time. And while I know everyone says that, as the year draws to a close this is something that is really troubling me. Over the past week, I finally got through all of my obligations for work and now it's 9pm and the Kanellas take two hours. I have the whimsical jars to present them in, charming gift tags and all the ingredients in my kitchen. It's just not going to happen tonight.

I have to go to bed now. 26 children need me to be full of energy for them tomorrow. Maybe I'll just lug all the ingredients in to school and make the Kanellas with them. Now there's an idea. Besides, I can't risk everyone going on a diet and not eating them come January!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Fall 2009

Winter is almost here. Sometimes it's almost hard to believe how much change actually takes place during the fall. From the bright yellow sunlight and bold blue skies of hot summer days, to warm orange sunlight, red leaves and long shadows on crisp fall days we somehow arrive at cool blues, icy greys and low white sunlight hovering on the horizon. I cherish the changing of the seasons, but I'll admit, fall is definitely my favorite.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Life Lessons

I've made a resolve to relax more and stress less. I made a list of activities that help me de-stress and a list of those that actually make me stress more. In an effort to stress less, I've set the goal of doing at least two de-stressing activities each week. This afternoon, I drew myself a hot bath with bath salts and candles, got a glass of water and the December issue of Real Simple. It was wonderfully relaxing. Especially when I got to this article. It's a good one, and definitely made me feel like I'm on the right path these days. Photo from realsimple.com

Thursday, November 19, 2009

And how do you say 2010?

I would have to agree with W+K Art Director, Jimm Lasser. This is a fun little ditty, not too long and will surely make you laugh. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Balance?

I have no idea how I'm ever going to finish the yoga challenge I signed up for. Every night there is some sort of conflict which makes it impossible for me to go to yoga. Okay, difficult to go to yoga. Alright, fine. Easier not to go to yoga.
The last time I went was a week ago! Going once a week will not exactly help me reach my goal. But I haven't been since because of various things. I wanted to stay in and make a nice meal with Joel one night. I had a work function the following night. The next night was Friday night and I had happy hour with the girls, but had to take care of some errands for work before that, so missed the early class then. Saturday was Halloween - Sunday I was hungover. Monday was conferences so I was at school until 7pm. Granted I did go in later, but I had to go to the DMV during the couple of daytime hours I had for the first time in months. And here we are on Tuesday night again, my goodness. Tonight I'm not going because Joel has a work function and we like to think we're really green because we only have one car. Hmmm.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Half Empty

I've never wanted to be a person who views the glass as half empty, but I am. I have never even questioned whether the glass is half full, I mean, come on! Look at it. Where's the rest of the water? I am inclined to be a bit pessimistic. But, I suppose one can change that. I'm working at focusing on the good things in my life. And that means that I often times have to look for them because it's easy to overlook things when you're convinced of a bad outcome. I guess that lots of yoga and lots of looking for the good stuff will pay off in the next six weeks. And it doesn't hurt that today is a sunny beautiful day either. Time to go express my gratitude and optimism. Yea!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I'm Back!

After nearly a month of slacking off and being a loser blogger, here I am. Let's just say that I've been busy. I knew that it was going to take us a good three months to feel settled and confident in our new job, but managing an apartment building is much more to wrap one's head around than we originally thought. It's easy enough once you get the hang of it, but getting there is a lot of groping in the dark - and not the good kind! A few major sacrifices have had to be made along the way. The worst of that was missing my cousin Ashley's engagement party in Seattle on the 3rd of this month. Guess what people pay between the 1st and the 5th? RENT. And guess who collects all of that rent? WE DO. All of the tenants slip their rent under our door and then we deposit the money and fill out a greensheet. Simple enough, right? Actually no. It sounds simple, but then day after day from about the 25th (early birds) to 11:59 pm on the 5th (last minuters) every time you walk past the door, or open the door after getting home from work, or return from just popping down to the laundry room, they're there. Checks. Everywhere. Big ones. And there are notes with them asking for this and that. One person's stove has a burner out, another person wants their phone number updated in the intercom system. It happens all at once, like a flood or an attack. The paper under the door attack. We scoop them all up and put them with the strange metal filer thing for doing the greensheets. Then it's actually time to do the greensheet and it's confusing, and time consuming. So many columns, so many carbon copies to line up. Several hours later, the first one is finished. Checks keep appearing. Aaaahh! Next month will be easier, but the first one? Tough! So finally, by 4pm Saturday afternoon, I had done the bank deposit and finished the greensheet and making my way up to Seattle at that point was out of the question. It was also not very convenient that Joel had a work function that day and could neither entertain the idea of going to Seattle nor any help with the greensheets. Then I tackled all the maintenance requests, updated the long-neglected spreadsheet for the entry intercom and proceeded to push buttons like a crazed maniac on the intercom system for a good 15 minutes. Constant beeping. Must it beep so much? Phew! It's getting easier and more automatic as we go along. To be perfectly honest, it's actually pretty fun once you get the hang of it. As of today, we're down to one vacancy. A very adorable vacancy, so it will go quickly. Rah!

On another note, I'm doing a yoga challenge. It's for Living Yoga and I'm fundraising so get your checkbooks ready! The money goes toward bringing yoga to low-income populations and other populations that would otherwise never get to benefit from the amazing health boost that yoga is. More on that later! You'll sponsor me, won't you?? :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pictures Pictures Pictures

My blog has been a bit boring lately. Mostly because of the lack of pictures. This is due to the fact that our lives have been turned upside down recently in myriad ways and we're really not fully settled yet. We still haven't gotten the Ireland pictures onto our computers and there are still boxes all about in our apartment. Not only that but school has started and sadly it's as if summer never happened. Different children have arrived and other children have moved on, but the school itself, the politics and all that are exactly the same. Anyway, here is one picture to hold you over until the camera software is installed and ready to go. Our new apartment is so lovely. Even if it is infinitesimally tiny.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Timing

People always say timing is everything. And it is. Timing is really getting in the way of my yoga practice. This is because I am a hungry person. I love eating and I feel hungry and want to eat every couple of hours. I absolutely always must eat a mid-morning snack and then a big lunch and then an after school snack and then a big dinner and sometimes I still feel a bit hungry close to bedtime, though I do not like to eat and then sleep as this can lead to nightmares. But maybe a small piece of Ezekiel toast an hour or so before bed? Not so terrible.
The problem is yoga. It's best (critical) that one have an empty stomach when practicing. So I'm getting ready to go to yoga in an hour and I last had a small bunch of grapes at 3pm. I'm really hungry. I want to eat something right now, but worry that if I do, my stomach will not be empty enough. The guidelines say no food 1-3 hours before class. That is a big window. So, you know what? I'm going to try it. I have 10 minutes to eat something and still be within the hour window. I'm hoping I can find something simple to eat so that I will have enough fuel to have a good practice, but not so much food in my stomach that I feel sick. And we all know I commonly feel sick during yoga - well lately anyway. So, while food intake and the need to eat may have stopped me from going yesterday (yes, I know, I am a flake) I'm not going to let it stop me today. What a lot to think about!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bikram

Wednesday night Andrea and I signed up for Bikram yoga at the studio on Fremont and we have the next month unlimited, which of course means we're going to go as much as we can. Unfortunately that means that I have to go back today and I really don't want to. It feels like torture. Attention all Bikram fans out there: If you're currently practicing Bikram don't ever stop! It's fun to start and easy enough to keep going, but to get into it again after a period of non-practice, say a year or so is nearly impossible. At least that's how it feels right now. Yesterday I started off class strong, I was feeling good and I was doing an awesome bow pose. Then I started to feel a little loopy and by the time we were on the floor for the spine series, I was a wreck. I felt nauseated and a little dizzy. All normal, of course, when you're detoxing and I believe I am. Then some nasty emotional blob came up and decided to settle itself right in my solar plexus chakra. That's when the nausea really took off, and then, I felt like a crappy yoga student and really wanted to leave the room, but didn't. Instead I just suffered and tried to breathe normally in savasana which was completely unsuccessful and then I cried a little bit. It was pretty painful and I think the nasty emotional blob was somewhat eradicated by the crying because the physical symptoms started to go away. Once we got into half tortoise, it was a relief to get into the posture and seemed helpful. But then of course it was time for camel and while I normally love camel, I just couldn't take it. God, what a class. It was brutal, so the obvious fact is that I need to go back sooner rather than later and work through all that garbage. I think I'll have a better chance of staying healthy this flu season if I move some of those nasty emotional blobs along. Yoga is so real. You can't pretend, you can't ignore. It's truly good if not always pleasurable. And I'll get to where it feels really good again. I know I will. I'll try and remember that while I'm suffering later on today.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Chaos

So let me get this straight - the Mercury Retrograde started when we began packing for our move and will end just after I turn T-H-I-R-T-Y. As if turning 30 wasn't going to be enough on its own, I now have astrological madness thrown into the existential mix. Crap.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Horror.

I cannot believe, I mean really seriously cannot believe that I am in the process of dismantling by beloved apartment! This is beyond comprehension. How can this be? I just got this place organized, beautiful, perfect in every way and now it looks like this. I am too lazy to hook up wires to my computer and relay a picture, so imagine countertops covered with junk, giant ziploc bags littering the table, piles of newpapers, open cupboards half packed, bags of garbage, bare walls. Oh God, it's too much! I just want to sit down and cry in a big heap of self pity. To top it off I had the most crap day at work. I mean, really. This is awful. If you are a teacher you can understand just how life shattering this is for me. As a matter of fact, I know that my friend Erika who is also a teacher, and her husband are moving, too and they have a one year old to boot. Perhaps I need not feel quite so desperate. After all, I do not have a child running around. But I do feel desperate and self pitying. Oh yes I do. I think all of this has more to do with my crap day at work. Well that and the fact that Joel is on a run and has only contributed thus far by packing the bookshelves. Books are the easiest. Everyone knows that. Sigh. Anyway, if you have any shake the crap day at work tips, I'm all ears. Now back to this hideous mess.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Hungover

Burning toast in order to avoid a hangover was unsuccessful. However, it is possible that all of the water I had to drink in order to choke down burnt toast helped lessen the severity of the hangover. All in all it was a very hungover day, though. Naturally I am headed straight to bed for a nap and then it's time to get packing. Last night we enjoyed our apartment as is and all put together for the last time. We had a gorgeous dinner party for our friends Vince and Emily on the third floor who are moving to Minnesota. It's terribly sad to see them go. That seems to be the way things go though. Make some friends you really like and then they move. Get your apartment just so and then it's time to move. Ah well. Nap time.

Hangover

I'm in the process of burning toast in order avoid having a hangover. We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

In the Mood

School is just around the corner, and with the stress of a new job as apartment manager, a big ring of new keys to our new apartment in hand and all of our worldly possessions looming in front of me waiting to be packed, I've given little attention to school. After months of leisure time, it's hard for me to get in the mood of school and now with all this, it's even harder. So today I am attending a workshop at Montessori Institute Northwest. Yes, I am a poster child of sorts for Montessori - you'll know what I mean if you click on that last link. So I guess it's good I'm living up to my pictorial reputation by attending this workshop and getting the creative Montessori juices flowing. It just occurred to me that you may think it's strange that this is the first time I've really come right out and talked about my career on Folio Rose, but I guess that's really the point of Folio Rose; to indulge in the things I really don't have time for otherwise. Wouldn't it be great if blogging could be a form of exercise? Who has time for that?!? Anyway, the stress has diminished slightly now that all of the dotted lines have been signed and the decision to hire movers to carry all of our things up to the third floor has been made. I can't think of a better way to spend a couple hundred bucks. I really can't. I'll be sweat free pointing to where things should go. Heavenly. Now back to that school year starting. I think I have time to do a couple loads of laundry before heading off to the all-day Montessori fest.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Moving

If I were to start seriously freaking out right now it would be completely understandable and appropriate. Well, maybe I already did start to freak out last night. But I got lots of sleep and now I'm coping well and managing to be madly efficient. What's the fuss, you ask? Between now and September 7th, Joel and I are moving to a new apartment in a building we shall be the managers of and setting up for the school year. Nothing major. Haha! Just kidding. So fucking major!

This morning I awoke at 6:30 am and being a decent person, killed time doing the dishes until 7 when it was acceptable to call my mother. I was mentally categorizing tasks and devising a strategy as to how we'll pack and what we'll get rid of as I cleaned the kitchen. Then, what should happen? My mom offered to come down for a visit and help us move! My mom has a lot of friends in Portland, so I won't be terribly surprised (or offended for that matter) if she actually doesn't want to help move all that much, but I know she'll be a big help. How fabulous. I spent the rest of the morning changing our address with everyone and Joel did a lot of that too, although he did have to work today.

Now we're off to a meeting to get our new keys and sign on all sorts of dotted lines as we take responsibility for managing a multi-million dollar property. We only found out this was happening for sure on Wednesday (up until then we were about 90% sure, banking on it, but still nervous) and now the stress has hit full on. Hopefully we'll manage to keep at it in manageable chunks and stave off an all out freak fest. I'd really like that. Send us good, calming thoughts.

Monday, August 24, 2009

{tc} Dublin

Folio Rose shall now have a new category, {tc} which stands for travel companion. My friend Andrea, who works for a big, not-to-be-named airline company, has named me her travel companion, or in fancy Folio Rose terms, {tc}. Being {tc} means that I basically get to fly around the world for *free*. Fancy! However, while being {tc} has its bright side: the obvious one I just mentioned, it also has its very dark side: being the standby passenger, or as I've been the past couple of days, non-passenger. Let's start at the beginning when my very first {tc} experience began just ten days ago.

For the last week of summer Joel and I really wanted to do something spectacular. We wanted summer to go out with a bang and so, in the days before {tc}, that idea was a road trip to California with a stopover at Crater Lake, a couple of days in San Francisco and a quick visit to Santa Barbara. Then {tc} happened and we quickly became far more grandiose in our planning. Bali? India? Nicaragua? Those places were all having very hot, sticky weather, and Portland had been hot as hell itself, so we decided, where else? Ireland! It's always freezing in Ireland!

When we arrived at the airport to fly, we did not get on our first flight to New York. Sometime later when we were in Houston and it didn't look like we were going to get out of Houston, the reality of being {tc} really set in because instead of being on Grafton Street and sipping tea at Bewley's, we were walking past statues of George Bush and drinking nasty diner coffee at the Bayou Cafe. Hmmm. During one very low moment in Houston I vowed to myself that in the future, if we didn't get on our first standby flight, we'd forget the rest of the trip right then and there. But it was fun being in first class on the way to Houston. Who cares if it's thousands of miles in the wrong direction? I lulled into a lovely sleep following a hot toddy in that big, generous seat. And the snack plate was top notch as well. Mango slices on an airplane? You betcha!

The longer we were in Houston, the feeling of being a princess in first class was quickly replaced with a terrible sense of dread as we raced from gate to gate, standing by, never getting on a flight and passing the bronze George Bush statue each time. Uggh. The one redeeming point was these echoey chambers on the ceiling that are lit like little starry skies. It was fun to walk under those and hear our echo. Joel liked whistling as we went through. But we were still happy as clams when a connecting flight from somewhere was delayed and we were on our way to New York in time to get our flight to Dublin. Yee-haw! as they'd say in Texas.

Once in New York, another stroke of very good luck put us on the flight to Dublin and we arrived on schedule. Crazy! Fabulous! Amazing! Being {tc} is tremendous.

What followed was a week of fun, sight-seeing, visiting with friends, walking around. We were delighted to be sipping tea together on the James Joyce balcony at Bewley's on Grafton Street. That is a must, by the way, if you happen to be a tourist in Dublin anytime soon. Joel and I rode bicycles, saw a huge prehistoric tomb, met up with Andrea in Belfast, partied like rock stars and then the time came for us to go home.

And that brings us to the present. I am still in Dublin.

Well, I did say that being {tc} has a very dark side. And I've been able to experience that in full force the past two days. If we thought being in Houston was bad, we were crazy, because Houston has more flights going out than you can shake a stick at. Oh no, Dublin is bad. Just two flights a day go out on my particular airline behemoth. Two!!

In such situations, being {tc} requires strategy and skill and dividing in order to conquer. This we did not fully understand yesterday when Joel and I turned down a seat on Andrea's flight so we could fly together. Oof! Of course we didn't end up flying together. Joel went on alone. In our defense, we were all exhausted and had had very little sleep, so decision making was not really even possible, actually. And furthermore, the gate agents at the airport were very laid back (they are Irish after all) and it seemed like it would be no problem to get on the next flight together. When I didn't get on, I was horrified. Mostly because we'd given up a seat and it was going to be 24 hours before I had another shot at getting home. Oh the agony! I did what any reasonable drama queen would do and waited in vain until the plane pushed back, then went quickly to the bathroom and sobbed for a minute or two. Maybe three. That felt good. Being totally exhausted, I became extra dramatic, more so than normally and I began thinking of how much I love Joel and how badly I wanted to be in our little apartment together. I was deeply, desperately homesick. And self pitying. Which of course led to a bit more crying and eye wiping as I sat on the disgusting airport floor and plugged my computer in order to send an email to Andrea, feeling she was the only person in the world who could rescue me from this airport hell.

It's amazing what a nap can do for a person.

By the time I'd come back into town, had a nap and a hot shower, I was a new gal. My life in Portland, I came to realize, would still be there 24 hours later. And in the meantime, I was allowed a life in Dublin. Dublin! As in Ireland. So Shelly and her flatmates and I went out to dinner and then I went and had a great chat and glass of wine with Jenny. Being {tc} is pretty damn great!

Today was more airport hell, yet I had a new zen perspective. I was cheerful. I made a new best friend between the hours of 7 am and 1 pm named Jason. He is also an employee of the large, not-to-be-named airway giant. Jason has mad skills when it comes to standby. He can really analyze a screen of information and he even stands at the gate and counts the number of passengers boarding to make sure it's all legit. He chats with the captains and flight crew and gets the skinny on everything. Then he brings it back to me explains it all so I can properly understand my position, my options and make a strategic and calculated next move. Yes! Being {tc} really is like gambling as Joel likes to put it. Gamblers are always counting cards and stuff like that. I just had no idea how to hedge my bets before meeting Jason. On Jason's advice, I'm listed for the flight in the morning, and I am pretty damn sure I'm going to get a seat. When we parted ways, he said, "All right, kid. See you in the morning." He's like my standby godfather.

Tonight before I go to bed, I will be saying a little prayer to Saint Christopher, patron saint of travelers. First I shall thank him for my standby godfather, and then I shall ask that I get a seat on the 9am flight. Oh, and Saint Christopher, coach will do just fine, but Business Class wouldn't hurt a bit.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Belfast

Our hotel is amazing. Just got out of the most satisfying shower I've had in a very long time. Off to meet Andrea and buzz around town. More later.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What would I say?

I have been told by several friends that I give sound, true, helpful advice. Yet often times in my own life I forget to step back and look at my own dilemmas objectively. Today I asked myself, "what would I say to someone in my situation?" while trying to deal with conflicting priorities at summer's end. The practice of turning to oneself for answers is not only obvious, but essential. Our friend Goethe said it nicely in Faust.
As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.
- Goethe

Friday, August 7, 2009

FBC

Last night Joel and I joined my Uncle Cyrus and Aunt Lynne (my late dad's brother and sister) and a couple of Cyrus's friends for a ride with the Spokane FBC. The eloquently named Fucking Bike Club holds a Full Moon Fiasco ride each month and last night was particularly exciting. A huge thunderstorm was passing through Spokane and between dazzling lightning displays and thunder, we were rained on multiple times throughout our pub crawl evening. Nonetheless, it was a great time.
Hundreds turned out and dressed up for the event. As with any city, Spokane has its hipster track bike constituency. And of course the roadies were out and representing in force. I really had fun, much to my surprise. Here we are locking our bikes together as we started out. Note the glow stick halos. Very handy for sticking together in the peloton.

Monday, August 3, 2009

What a lot of Blarney!

My friend Andrea and I loved to wax poetic about the Emerald Isle when we worked together at Kathleen's of Dublin, an Irish import store in downtown Portland. We made several failed attempts at visiting Ireland together. Mostly we just dreamed of Ireland as we organized boxes of Barry's Tea and folded giant Irish sweaters while listening to Irish music and the ding-dings of the cash register up front. Finally our time has arrived to be in Ireland together. Andrea is a flight attendant, and as her brand new Travel Companion, I shall be flying to Ireland August 15th. Joel is coming along too and we're going to be bonafide tourists, something I am looking forward to quite a lot! Well, maybe not bonafide tourists. I do not intend to go around telling people, "I'm Irish!" I guess I'll just be a pleasure traveler, rather than a working traveler on the island. I can't wait! And although I spent several months working just around the corner from the Guinness Factory in 2002, I've never visited it. Touristy Ireland, here I come!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

It's in the Mail!

My daily trips to the mailbox have been so enjoyable lately. Check out this mail run - no pesky bills or junk mail here. Two issues of Lucky, three new Netflix and the Phantogram EP. Hello!The next day, I was greeted by a large package from Anthropologie upon arriving home. Quelle surprise! It turned out to be a wedding/anniversary gift from our lovely and dear friends Kate and Travis in San Francisco! The only thing better than getting an ultra-beautiful gift from them is knowing they'll be in Portland to visit in one week. Eeek!And, as if that wasn't enough, my fabulous fall boots arrived from Nordstrom. I can't wait to layer fun outfits with leggings, dresses, cardigans and skinny jeans and wear these babies in myriad different ways. Watch out fall fashion!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Hiatus and 911

I guess that when I went on vacation for a few days, people stopped reading my blog. Maybe you are all on vacation, but at any rate, I have not received any comments since returning and that makes me a bit sad.

In more important news, I dialed 911 last night in response to haunting, guttural screams I heard across the street. Then, under a big street lamp, I saw a man run away. I assumed, given that he ran away, that he had mugged the screaming woman. Later I found out from police that he had attempted to rape her. The officer I spoke with as a follow up to my 911 call was frank, if not blunt. I assure you he was a very sweet police officer. I just think these people are desensitized at a certain point. He told me that the attacker ran up and grabbed the woman from behind, pinned her to the ground, told her to shut the fuck up and tore her underwear off. That strong, fighter of a woman did not stop screaming and kicking and it's a good thing she didn't because I heard her and the police were there before I was even off the phone with 911. In fact, I think the attacker ran away because he heard me at my window shouting, "Hey! What's going on out there? What is this? Oh MY GOD!"

I saw his full face as he ran away.

Today I went down to the precinct, worked with a forensic artist to make a sketch and felt really, really, exceedingly good about being a tax paying citizen in the City of Roses. The detectives I worked with were thankful that I had called 911, concerned for the safety of the women in my neighborhood, reassuring in that extra patrols have been added in the area, and immensely thankful that I took the time to come down and help them formulate a sketch. I just kept telling them that of course I would want to do these things. What else would a person in my situation do???? Apparently witnesses are not always forthcoming and willing.

That I will never understand.

When I heard that woman's screams, I did not hesitate for one moment. I didn't even think. I am so glad she is safe.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lopez Island Getaway

Following my cousin's wedding in Wenatchee, Joel and I went to Lopez Island in the San Juans for a little getaway. It was blistering hot up there, but that didn't stop us from having a great time. We spent lots of time reading - against cleverly arranged driftwood on the beach and in the shade of a big pine tree at our campsite. In the evening we created our very own Lopez Island bicycle tour riding piece-of-crap rented bikes all over the island. The morning of our departure we took a kayak out in the Puget Sound. It was beautiful!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Home

Departure

It was too hot to stay in Portland today. Much too hot. In fact, right now it's still 102 and it's 8 pm. My goodness. So, instead of staying here and typing on my warm keyboard as promised, I went to Indian Beach with Sam and Joel. Layla, Sam's dog came with us and it was heavenly. On the way down to the beach, I thought to myself that I might be cold. Imagine that! And eventually I did have to put on a light sweater. It was around 85 degrees, foggy and misty with a very light breeze. It was quite possibly the loveliest beach day ever. Joel surfed while Sam and I chatted and traded some books. I gave her Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri and she gave me Julie/Julia by Julie Powell.

I've been back in this heat for about an hour now. I've dunked Rudy in cold water in the bathroom sink twice today because it's positively sweltering. Time to go take a cold shower. Then I can sit in front of the fan eating popsicles while I read.

AWOL

I should really be doing mobile posting given how busy I've been buzzing around the Northwest lately. Tomorrow I promise to do the following posts (do I dare make this promise?)
  1. Anniversary Beach Trip
  2. Leavenworth
  3. San Juans Camping Trip
  4. Random Thoughts as of Late
Won't that be fun! It wasn't a question...ding!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Saturn Return

I am so in the thick of my Saturn Return it's not even funny. I suppose on some level it's just a bunch of astrological mumbo jumbo. However, I totally buy into that mumbo jumbo, so it's a big relief to me to read this. Time to go write in my journal and read some self-help books. For real.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Phew!

After literally months of procrastinating, I finally went to a Bikram class on Tuesday. Today I am still sore! It's good to get back into it again. I am hoping to try out a couple of the different studios in Portland and find my favorite. The studio I went to on Tuesday is really beautiful and peaceful and close to work. At Bikram Yoga Phoenix, where I practiced in Arizona, the instructors talked a lot throughout the class about the benefits of the poses, noting that during one posture you're aiding digestion, that in another, your strengthening your fingers and keeping arthritis away. I found all of that health benefit speak very motivating as I sought to release into the asanas. I noticed that during my first class here in Portland there wasn't a lot of mention of those things. None actually. Hmm. At any rate, it is still my favorite thing to do to feel healthy, rejeuvenated and transformed. Now I just need some cute new yoga clothes from Lululemon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

L'anticipation

I can't believe I have to wait until September to see this movie. It almost makes me excited for fall, and the associated end of summer. Just like Desperate Housewives almost makes me excited for Sunday, and the associated end of the weekend, when school's in session. Almost being the operative word. See you in September, Audrey. Until then, long live summer.

Pretty Perfume

Tokyo Milk has the prettiest perfume around. Yes, it smells wonderfully pretty, but the bottle design is awfully pretty, too. My favorite, after smelling and awing over them all on a recent visit to Cargo in The Pearl, is Song in D Minor, shown on the right with the delicate birdcage motif. With white orchid, orange flower, gardenia and amber, it's powerful without being overwhelming.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Quotable Sunday

A good home must be made, not bought.
- Joyce Maynard

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Bastille Day {Portland Style}

Yesterday was a very Francophile day at Jamison Square in The Pearl. It turns out that Portland's Bastille Day Celebration, held each year on the Saturday before July 14th, the actual date of Bastille Day, is the largest Bastille Day Celebration on the West Coast. It is sponsored by the Alliance Française of Portland and there were plenty of thick accents accompanied by "Je parle français" buttons all around. C'était magnifique!
Some of the day's entertainment above the Jamison Square Fountain. The fountain is possibly the most genius design ever. It's essentially an urban beach and the kids love it.
Happy wine drinkers.
A bit of escrime.
Pétanque.
My friend Anne and her daughter Lily with a vintage Citroën.
La Course des Serveurs.
Judges deciding the outcome of La Course des Serveurs.
Joel enjoying our pique-nique.
Me with my pique-nique.
Delicious pique-nique dessert. Can you believe that is a flourless cookie? It is. Mmmm. From the delectable Nuvrei. What a lovely day.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Curious Case of Lovemonkey

One of my neighbors has no internet because of me. Allow me to explain. Last night after book club, and too many glasses of red wine, (so much for that feeling of pure detoxification I was after) I came home and decided it was a good time to hook up our new internet and router. I got the CD going and started up the instructions, all the while not noticing that my computer had automatically logged on to a neighbor's wireless by the name of Lovemonkey.

With all that wine in my system, I also failed to realize that when I went to http://168.192.2.1 to set up the password that the screen said Belkin, not US Robotics as it should have for my modem. Then, being in a bit of a stupor and feeling very determined to hook up the internet, but not entirely knowing what I was doing, I proceeded to do something that generated a WEP key. How magically techy! Of course, I did not write the WEP key down. And the next moment, I no longer had internet and Lovemonkey had a brandnew password. A password I had assigned yet did not know. Oops! By the time I understood what I had done, it was too late. Lovemonkey was under lock and key.

It occured to me this morning that it might be a good idea to figure out whose apartment emits the Lovemonkey signal and tell them what I did. But the thought of explaining the whole ordeal to a total stranger and informing them they'll need to reset their modem and reconfigure their network is wholly unappealing. They'll figure it out soon enough.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Happy Camper

A common question among my family this week has been wondering what my nephew Lewis is doing at camp at any given moment. I am absolutely certain that he is having the most amazing time ever. I was a camper at Camp Reed myself and I admit that while dropping him off, I would have given just about anything to be 10 years old embarking on a week of camp. Won't it be fun to hear his anecdotes when he returns? And what could be better than childhood summers at camp?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

So Adorable {and pink!}

I love this poster. Love. It. The first time I saw it was in a Domino spread on a 30-something couple that had recently moved in together, thereby merging and purging their stuff. I thought to myself, not only is that poster so darn cute, but it's also a good reminder in a relationship. Keep calm and carry on. Sound advice, indeed! This combo of pink and white has solidified my longing for a pink and white bedroom. Mostly white of course (I don't think I'm ready for pink walls just yet!) No. Just enough pink to make it really cozy and inviting. La.

Quotable Sunday

I just realized that I was signed up for a cool blog project I discovered from my friend Kyrie. I also just realized that I completely neglected to do said project. So this upcoming Sunday I will definitely be participating in Quotable Sunday. Such a lovely, inspiring idea.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Green Sea

Joel said that watching the stormy winds whip across The Palouse was just like being at the ocean shore. I quite agreed. Possibly one of the most beautiful things I've ever experienced.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Detox

Since being sick, I've been taking lots of supplements, avoiding sugar, had no alcohol and generally feeling really healthy. I'm craving some yoga. I can tell my body's ready to go even further toward health and feeling wonderful. I miss this. When I return to Portland, from my visit in Spokane, I'm going to sign up and do a 30 day Bikram challenge. Pure detoxification, here I come.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Beautiful Bride

I was so completely nervous on my wedding day that in looking through the photos as I assemble our wedding book, I don't even look like myself in many shots. Except for this one. This one is definitely the real me. Enjoy a good laugh from me!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Eat Pray Love

I have not posted for a couple of days because I was on a mad hunt for some books. It all started when I went to Powell's and spent $40 on books! OMG. This is something I just do not do - books are something you get at the library and then when you're done with them, you take them back to the library and your life remains happy and clutter free. In this particular instance, I was feeling a bit impatient with the library system, but the regret of spending that much money on something I would want to purge immediately after reading was too much for me. I returned all $40 worth of books to Powell's and returned my efforts to the library.

I searched for Eat Pray Love and the system said that I could place a hold and would be behind 8 other holds. With a total of 94 copies, I figured I would get the book quickly, but not quickly enough! I wanted the book then - as in now! Then I happened to notice that there were copies listed as "available." Why am I being asked to place a hold when the book is available? After a number of phone calls and a visit to the grand Central Library, I emerged victorious with my book. Joel and I drove straight to Cannon Beach and I spent the rest of the afternoon reading on a blanket on the sand. So heavenly.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Smoothie

Our blender has been turning out some fabulous smoothies as of late. My recipe of the moment? Mango Banana Orange. Mmmm. To get the smoothest, creamiest, protein rich smoothie around, pick up some Fage Greek Strained Yogurt. It's also exceptionally tasty with honey and berries. I think I'm off to whirrrr up a few smoothies right now!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

City Walk

Today I took a stroll through downtown and the Pearl. On my way home I stopped in at Oblation Papers & Press. It is quite possibly the loveliest paper store in the world. Go look and be inspired.photo credit Oblation Papers & Press

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Touch

Touching base with a longtime, close friend can have such a positive effect on one's day. I feel a great deal of gratitude for the truly wonderful friends I have in my life. One such person I could not live without is my dear friend Helen. She and I have shared many experiences in the 9 years we've known each other and I'm thankful to have such a vibrant, intelligent, interesting person in my life. Here's to you, Hel!

Monday, June 22, 2009

To Die For {Close Second} Design

A gorgeous Pearl District showroom full of to die for pieces, EWF Modern, was dubbed by one reviewer as "...what West Elm wants to be when it grows up." I routinely drool when walking past its windows on my way to West Elm.From ewfmodern.com


But I must say I am relieved that West Elm has not yet grown up. Our living room is looking so good with the addition of a new rug and coffee table. And we managed to do it for a song! When we purchased our couch, we used the West Elm credit card and got 100 Design Dollars in the mail. The rug was on sale, plus a 10% discount for being a hanging (not on the floor) store model. We loved West Elm's white coffee table, but the Lack model from IKEA for just $12 is a perfect fill-in. So modern, yet cozy enough to call home. That's what I call good design.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Frugal {fancy} Spa

On Thursday, my friend Andrea and I went for luxurious, essential oil scented spa pedicures with a sea salt scrub and parrafin dip with hot towel wrap for only $19! Where, you ask? Aveda Institute Portland! Unlike going to conventional nail salons that smell really awful and toxic, Aveda's products are so gentle and eco-friendly you can actually feel good about using them. One unique part of the Aveda pedicure is that they don't ask you which scent you'd like. Instead, they have you smell each one without seeing the label and you choose based on scent alone. That way you choose the aromatherapy that best suits your mood at that moment. So lovely!

Aveda Institute Portland has an amazing line up of services. It is students who are working on you, but it has nearly always been my experience with students that they are extra careful and attentive, making the experience a positive one. Be prepared that after your services, you will be guided through the retail section by your student with a cute little wire shopping basket in hand. And they will proceed to load up said basket with all the products that were used on you during your services. In the past, when paying $16 for the haircut, I've always welcomed this part of the visit. But with the pedicure, it's a little silly and I'm definitely going to go back to experience the lavender scented footbath before I buy the oil myself.

The only problem now is that I'm having a hard time deciding what I'll do on my next visit. I think I'll be unable to resist the Botanical Skin Resurfacing Facial for a mere $30. 90 minutes of pure bliss! It truly is the best thing around.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lesson

Joel has been completely uninvolved in our finances since we tied the knot. This is not entirely his fault. After we moved into our new place, I took the reins and handled everything. Then, as it was Joel's first year teaching, it made sense that he was extra stressed and busy. But, over time this has become somewhat irritating for me and more recently I have begun to feel resentful about it, so it had to come to an end.

Yesterday Joel got a lesson (from me) on our online banking Budget Management tools. He now knows how to track spending and assign categories. After that, he got an equally valuable lesson on how to file statements in our at-home filing system. He didn't enjoy his lessons. Not one bit. But he agreed with me that it's better he do these things himself than have me annoyed with him for not doing them. Here! Here! Tomorrow he's getting a lesson on internet bill pay and how to call and set up electronic debit. My life is getting a lot easier. Three cheers for summer and having the time to organize our household -- together!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Conquering Debt

All posts up until now on this blog have been fluffy and noncommittal. There has been no true purpose to what I've been writing about and as a result my posts have been sporadic and disjointed. Folio Rose has a focus at last! Since our wedding last summer I have been fine tuning Joel's and my modest salaries to do my bidding and point our lives in the direction of my choosing. It's not easy. And, up until the big economic burst, being in debt was something that people didn't talk about. Hilarious considering just about everyone was in way over their heads! But now, my day to day struggles with wanting, restraining, economizing, budgeting and credit card conquering will be shared with you here on Folio Rose. As a practical slave to beautiful things, I can guarantee you this won't be a boring journey. I am a true American in that I am a consumer of the finest quality. I love to shop and bring home lovely new things. But you could also say that I am a true American in my persistence and willingness to stick to a difficult, drawn out task. And that is exactly what getting out of debt is. Here we go!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Elusive Summer

Just as the school year came to a close, I came down with a dreadful fever. I have now been sick for five days. I'm starting to feel much better at last.

Oddly enough, having the time to reflect while lying in bed has been nice. I feel relaxed and ready to enjoy my summer, and I know I'm not going to cram too much in. When you're sick and resting time moves differently. More slowly and naturally. It's easy to become stressed out about enjoying one's vacation enough or resting enough or getting out of town enough. All sorts of 'enoughs' can get in the way of actually doing things. I don't feel that I will start my summer wanting it to be enough. It's not something I have to go after, grab at and force into place . If I simply relax, it will come to me. I feel very grateful for this time to enjoy the simple things in life and leave my worries behind.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Neighbors

Tonight Joel and I went to our neighbor Beth's apartment for a casual soirée with Emily and Vince from the 3rd floor. When we got home, I said to Joel, "I feel like a real adult!" Beth had a delicious spread from Whole Foods tastefully served in gorgeous ceramics from Twist. The conversation was easy and light and we chatted away through three bottles of wine. Knowing one's neighbors is truly a wonderful thing. I must say, the longer we live in Portland, the less I want to go back to Europe. There's just something about being here that is so good. I love it. I love it completely and throroughly and I feel loved in return. Portland really is the greatest city on earth. It attracts interesting, cultivated, intelligent, creative, curious, conscientious, thoughtful people. Being here is exciting and comforting. I love this city!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Geranium


Alright, I'll admit it. I haven't come up with my blog focus just yet. But this was too good to pass up posting about. Mrs. Meyer's Countertop Spray is simply marvelous!

I fell in love with the Mrs. Meyer's Geranium scent when visiting a colleague's classroom a while back. She had set up Sink Scrubbing and the children used the Geranium Surface Scrub to that end. It delicately scented the entire room. My children also use the Surface Scrub and it makes the entire classroom smell heavenly. La.

Since that chance discovery, I've been waiting for things to run out so I can switch over to Mrs. Meyer's at home. Not only do these products smell spectacular, but they're plant-derived and non-toxic, too! Best of all, Mrs. Meyer's actually outperforms Mr. Clean spray making my tile countertops gleam. Splendid.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Focus

I really need to narrow the focus of this blog. It needs to be about one thing, but I'm not sure what that one thing should be. It makes sense though because I think to myself, "Oh, I should update the blog." And then I think, "But what with?" Hmmm, that's a problem.

I'm going to put some real thought into this conundrum. I have some questions that need answering. What is my life really about? What is my life really about that everyone else's life isn't really about? What is my life about that everyone else's life isn't really about and is also interesting? Yep. Good questions. Now to go off and find the answers.

Summer is Here

For the past ten days the weather has been gorgeous here in Oregon. We've taken advantage by camping at Bagby Hot Springs, enjoying many evening walks through the Pearl District and down to the Willamette, and going out to the beach. Yesterday I accompanied Joel and our neighbors Vince from the third floor and Beth from the first floor to Indian Beach at Ecola State Park. It was a rare hot day at the coast and I set up camp on a little blanket and watched them surf from the shore. There was a cool breeze that kept the temperature just right. Not too hot, not too cold. Today Joel is on a bike ride in the Willamette Valley. Having just woken up half an hour ago, I'm not sure what I'm going to do today. Whatever I decide, I'm sure it will be heavenly. This weather is hard to beat.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

To Die For {Close Second}

While out shopping and strolling with my friend Samantha along 23rd Avenue a couple of months ago, I discovered this body cream which is no less than to die for! It has a subtle yet heady scent that is comforting while almost exotic. I'm no stranger to Santa Maria Novella, having a bottle of their luxurious rose water my brother gave me as a gift following his sojourn in Florence. On a hot summer day, nothing beats splashing rose water all over my arms, neck and decollete. It makes even the stickiest summer days feel fresh and intoxicatingly rosey.

But even Italian prestige coupled with that je ne sais quoi scent can't justify the $88 price tag on this covetous pot of cream. Then I happened to be poking around in Anthropologie yesterday when I came upon a {close second}.
Tocca solid perfume in Stella is very similar to the scent of Idrasol and at $30 is much more affordable up front. It is much, much smaller than the Idrasol and it's just a perfume solid, not an extravagant, silky cream. However, the Tocca solid contains sparkles (!) and it's small enough to get through airport security.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Trust and Proceed

I came upon this magnet and was surprised to see that this mantra of sorts is actually a Cadet Maxim. Over the past week I've put a lot of thought into how I live my life and what makes me who I am. I have been contemplating a big change and confronting all of the questions and fears that come long with such consideration. Along my train of thought came an apparently defining moment of my childhood. I've always been very small. At Catholic school a common PE activity was Dodgeball. Naturally, my strategy was to hide at the back so as not to experience the inherent discomfort in being hit with a ball. And, naturally, I then discovered that once my team was down to two or three people, I was completely vulnerable and totally exposed. So, I came to the logical conclusion that in fourth grade, as a burly girl of 3' 10" I had to put myself out there. I walked away from dodgeball unscathed, exuberant and vitalized.

I strive to move through life with unwavering intrepidity. As I stumble through the Meisner class I'm currently taking with Michael Mendelson at Artists Repertory Theatre, I am called on as an actor to reveal myself truthfully and vulnerably. I can honestly say that I began the class with my usual gusto, but then, inexplicably, I withdrew deep within myself and stayed there, feeling insecure, and even fearful for several weeks of class. Last week I resolved to go into class and confront the work. In what followed, I revealed and uncovered a self in which I feel immensely proud. I walked away feeling light and humble. In my entire life, I am comfortable taking great risks, making mistakes, discovering the truth and finding my own way as I advance into the unknown.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Skin Change

Perhaps it was moving back to lush Oregon from Arizona that did it, but my skin is a mess! I never dealt with pimples or blackheads throughout high school or college and now I find myself needing a completely new skin regimen because my skin is no longer dry, but actually a bit oily! Ick. I picked up a few samples of Kiehl's Herbal Blue face wash and moisturizer last week and have used it for the past few days. I don't dislike it, but I'm not completely sold either. Another product I'm considering is Clinique's 3-step System with Mild Soap, Clarifying Lotion 2 and Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. For the time being, I have a few Biore strips drying on my face. Does anyone have any other good suggestions for combination skin? Or maybe an answer to the question "what is going on?"

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tupperware

So maybe it's a little crazy, but I attended my first Tupperware party in Switzerland while working abroad and absolutely loved it! We had a blast and made some delicious treats with the nifty Tupperware contraptions all while we drank wine and chatted away. It's been nagging at me for a few months that maybe I could have a lot of fun being a Tupperware Consultant. It would kind of be like joining a cult devoted to leftovers, I know this. But just look at those little pepper, garlic and onion keepers. Tupperware is not all puke green and burnt orange square containers anymore. They actually have some really great stuff!

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