Drinking

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Hi there! Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Happy Birthday to my Great Aunt Mary, the kindest woman I ever knew, who would have been 106 today! I am not wearing green, but I do have a bowl of cauliflower soup with roasted jalapeno happily swimming in my belly. Does that count?

And now, a step back in time, to Saturday. We had brunch at Olympic Provisions to fortify us for the walk ahead. This is not your typical brunch, not in the least. Everything impressed. Service with a smile, a wink, a nod, and a laugh. Then there were the consumables. The Edith Piaf cocktail was as tasty as it was beautiful. The badass plate of food is the Braised Short Rib, with laser potatoes and lardons, because that hunk of meat was clearly not enough. The hubster, beyond pleased with his choice, devoured it in no time. I had the biscuits and gravy, and they were the best I’ve ever tasted. Boom! To top it off, the chefs were very kindly to us, engaging in conversation while they worked their tails off to make every last belly full and happy. They even gave us a plate of fresh house smoked trout, just because. Oh my, my…

buttercup winter hazel

blossoming quince

Like all of Laura O. Foster’s walks, we learned a little more history and saw Portland in a new light, despite having walked and driven by these buildings a thousand times. Take Jantzen, for instance, did you know they were originally manufacturers of sweaters and hosiery? When a local rowing team asked them if they could make a lightweight suit for winter, the world of bathing suits was forever changed.

Hi!

This bulldog, originally from a Mack Truck, is now happily ensconced on a Volkswagen. Or maybe not. I don’t suppose anyone can ever truly know the feelings of a hood ornament.

We stopped for a sweet at Alma. The icons are chocolate!

Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery – Funny how the clouds came just in time for the photo…

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A fond memory of snow: the bright stillness of night, everything aglow.

The best and gentlest man I know with my favorite, and almost nineteen year-old, girl.

At Bob’s Red Mill, the white is a sheet of ice. I bought a cardamom bun, scads of dry beans, and a 25-pound bag of whole wheat flour. I can’t believe how quickly we go through it.

A “Welcome to Kentucky” flight of whiskey and bourbon at Tapalaya. Not a bad start to a lazy afternoon. I love sitting my nose close to the rim and inhaling just as much as I love the flavor on my tongue. Maybe because it reminds me of pipe tobacco and my Grandpa, the tins he stowed around the house, with me lifting the lids just enough to concentrate the scent in my eager nostrils.

The flight was followed by the quite literal blue plate special of crayfish etouffee, black-eyed pea salad, and garlic bread; and an oyster po-boy, sweet potato fries, and red beans. All was fabulous, as always, the biggest surprise being the salad. Unaccustomed to cold black-eyed peas, we were leery, but the flavor won us over right-quick.

My weekly decaf latte. It does a body good.

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new camera

sweet

Christmas

addition

F O G

new

Triumph

lattes

so long 2013…

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Off for a long weekend retreat, planned when I thought a lack of sun would be weighing down on us. Happy to be wrong, we left sunny Portland for sunny Bend.

Mount Hood

Three Fingered Jack

Mount Jefferson

Fishermen on the Deschutes

Warm Springs

Railroad Bridge over the Crooked River at Peter Skene Ogden Viewpoint

Juniper Country

Gotta love a palindrome!

In Bend now, at the Old Mill District

The Hubster’s favorite.

Margarita and super fabulous Relleno at Hola!

We stayed at Brasada Ranch. Lovely and picturesque, it was everything we could have asked for. This was the awe-inspiring view from our room, with me waking early to watch the sun light the Sisters each morning.

South

I have never seen so many Robins! They are VERY keen on juniper berries.

gnarled old juniper

Fake smile and, quite possibly, the best pimento cheese ever at Drake. They have pretty snazzy cocktails, tip-top service, and a bad-ass roasted trout, too.

 

Homeward bound through fog-laden Prineville.

Mount Hood, again – jiggity-jig!

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How cute is our little Schmoo? I think that is nick name no. 100 for him, by the way. Funny how that goes.

My favorite four-year-old is now FIVE! It was a fun filled afternoon of picking him up from school (where he is rather handily learning and singing Chinese), choosing and reading books from the library, watching a movie, making pizza, puzzles, and colossal block towers. Squee!

We hosted a cocktail party with some of our best pals, with much imbibing, laughing, eating, and reminiscing after one GIGANTIC glitch. I went to the store to get ice and those last minute items one always seems to need, and on the way home the poor little Mini went kaput. On Powell Boulevard! During rush hour! Thankfully, I was rescued by Kate and Kimberly, two lovely ladies in a Volkswagen with Montana plates (Are you reading? Please let me buy you that beer!). They stopped to help while others zoomed and honked, even though my hazards were madly blinking. Then, the nice TriMet driver instructed a passel of burly teens to push my car to the safety of the Wendy’s parking lot. The cherry on top? Kate and Kimberly loaded the wagon of all my party goods without a second thought and whisked me home. Oh, fantastically marvelous helping hands of the universe, I LOVE YOU!

As for the Mini, it was the transmission, and it could not be salvaged. Apparently it was a problem particular to 2003, and one that we forestalled by babying it and only driving some 55,000 miles. So now, a bit ahead of schedule, we are getting a new Mini, and our mechanic is getting gently used one in fine condition, save one minor (ahem) detail. It all works out in the end, doesn’t it?

Banana Cardamom Ginger Smoothie

We bought a Vitamix, and it is ON, peeps, ON!

Sometimes I forget what a looker the hubster is.

This photo reminded me in a BIG way.

 Her tights had sparkles on them!

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