I can't seem to get myself together and post regularly. I've started a few posts that are lingering in the draft state, and I hope to finish those. In the meantime I've put together a new page here. I'm calling it "Hope Chest." Of course, I'm married already, so it isn't that kind of hope chest, full of fine linens and silver and frillies. It's for the hope of our next home, which we hope to do a little differently than our last. Especially when Jane came, I was driven mad by all the stuff we had to care for and put away. With a baby there just wasn't time (not that we did it before anyway). Since we have a little one and all her paraphernalia; and since we're both naturally messy but both hate mess; and since we just got rid of a lot of our stuff, my plan is to slowly accumulate the things we need before we leave our temporary squatting place. I will follow the dictum of the great William Morris:
If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
I'm not sure if that is the exact quotation, but it is accurate enough for my speed-blogging today. The idea is that we should have only what we need or love. So let the search begin. If you're in Portland and you have any thrift shop recommendations, please comment! (I just went to a Goodwill yesterday, so excited, and it was really depressing.)
I also wanted to show you a bit of what we did this weekend. On Friday Grandpa babysat so I could have coffee with a friend. He did a great job, and so did Jane. Here they are eating breakfast.
Like the moose jammies? They are new, from Costco, and they are size 18 months. That's right folks. Jane is 9.5 months old.
Later, while Jane was napping I had a fit of feeling sort of hopeless and useless, and remedied that by bringing my sewing machine upstairs to the porch and working on Jane's new wipes.
I found a twin set of flannel sheets at a thrift store for $2. The wipes pictured here are from the fitted sheet, which I tore into 8 inch strips, stacked, and cut into 8 inch squares with a rotary blade. I zig-zagged the edges, nothing fancy. It's not fine sewing or anything, but it's been a good project for getting comfortable with the sewing machine again. Nothing like a bit of mindless, repetitive work to build confidence...sometimes, anyway. I'm almost done, and some of these are already in use, so I don't have a final count, but there are more than 40. Since I do diaper laundry every night, that's plenty. I can make a fresh box of wipes every few days. I like these a lot better than the terry ones that came in the package I bought online (FuzziBunz). They were too thick and rough. These come out more like disposable wipes, and can be folded so that they pop out of the wipes container (a Pampers box) the same way, which gives me a thrill. What can I say. Eternal wipe happiness for the cost of A DOLLAR. Oh, and half a spool of thread. Not sure how much that cost.
Friday night we went on a date. We decided to go out just for drinks. First we went to Saucebox. I used to go there all the time when I lived in Portland five years before. It was pretty dead, and the services was bad. I was really disappointed that the giant post-apocalyptic painting was gone, too. In short, it was really disappointing. So we left after one drink and wandered around. We ended up at Clyde Common. It was bright, clean, a tad rustic, and they played Fleetwood Mac the entire time we were there. We sat at the bar, and you know how I love sitting at the bar. Nothing on their cocktail list sounded particularly good so I ordered a Champagne cocktail, prepared for the inevitable response. "Sure. Um, what's in one of those again?" Honestly. What a treat when the bartender said, "Of course!" And swiftly and elegantly made the most perfect and delicious Champagne cocktail I have ever sampled. That was enough for me to love Clyde common. They had an incredible selection of liquors, and as he made drinks, you could tell he knew exactly where each one was. He measured with a jigger sometimes. He was wearing a vest. An alchemist. A professional. Know what I mean? We ate a little dish of olives and fried almonds. Delicious. And the man next to us was served a whole trout on home fries with a perfect sunny side up egg on top. I can't even say. We had a wonderful talk about the future and our plans (one of my favorite things to do) and then we went home happy. And woke up with a headache (I did, at least. Pathetic.)
On Saturday we took a drive to Sauvie Island. I'd never been before. We went to a great beach I didn't know existed.
And Jane and Daddy took a swim. Maybe the last of the summer...
There were particles of sand that looked like little mica flakes, and when the wave stirred the sand they glittered and spun. It looked like a snow globe. Magical.
Sauvie Island was charming. We drove around a bit, loving life. Last, we went to Kruger's Farm Market, which I'd read about quite a bit on my fave blog. In spite of what I had read, I was unprepared for how great it was. I wanted to buy some of everything, and practical considerations aside (no, we aren't going to be pickling this year), we probably could have. The leeks were stunning, the tomatoes plump and healthy, and we bought some Italian prunes...I've never had anything like them. I've been mashing and slicing them and feeding them to Jane. She's never had anything like them either. After we shopped, we ate the last of our picnic (salami, cheddar, crackers, apples, and hard boiled eggs) in the shade.
Jane crawled around in the grass while we ate, and then had snacks herself. She showed us her fiercest face.
RAAAARRR! Look at those swollen gums (teething like crazy).
Besides all that wholesome goodness, there was a mobile brewpub.
That's right. Organic beer. It was so good. Matt was very impressed. I remarked that it struck me as a very Oregonian thing. Matt said he liked Oregon, and my heart felt glad.
Yup. It was pretty much bliss.