October in Portland, Oregon

October in Portland, Oregon

portland photo

RM and I are headed to Portland in mid-October so that I may attend a Grants Administration Professionals Conference. While I am learning lots about better ways to write and manage grants, RM will have 6 days to explore the area.  Below is our draft plans for the days but we would welcome suggestions from locals or previous visitors to the area.  I know I want to see the bridges and eat the local food.  Happy trails!

Portland, Oregon Itinerary

To attend Grants Administration Professionals Conference

Day 1

12:10 p.m.   Dallas/ Fort Worth International Airport (DFW): AA #157               

2:05 P.M.      Arrive in Portland, Take MAX Red Line $2.50/way or All Zone Ticket to hotel

  • Explore Pearl District or Washington Park

Dinner reservations at 7:30 p.m. at Ava Genes (Italian), 3377 SE Division St Portland, OR 97202 Cross Street: SE 34th Avenue
(971) 229-0571


Marriott Courtyard

435 NE Wasco Street, Portland OR 97232

 Day 2

Blogger to Conference

Suggestions for RM

  •  Voodoo Donuts 24 hours, cash only
  • Museum of Contemporary Craft
  • Food carts for lunch
  • OMSI
  • Hippo Hardware and Trading Company at 1040 East Burnside, Portland 97214

Dinner together at Pok Pok, open until 10 p.m., no reservations required.

Check out Powell Bookstore before or after

Day 3

Blogger to Conference

Suggestions for RM:

  • Coffee and breakfast at Albina Press
  • Tom McCall Waterfront Park
  • Host Analog
  • Portland Bridges
  • Portland Classical Chinese Garden

Dinner together at Café Castanaga, No reservations required

Day 4

Blogger to conference

Suggestions for RM

  • Check out woodworking organizations and sources
  • Portland Art Museum
  • Pittock Mansion 11-4 Daily
  • Shopping

Dinner near the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

Reservations to see comedian Nick Swardson Taste It Tour at 8 p.m.

Day 5

Blogger to conference until noon

Suggestions for the day:

  • Portland Saturday Market
  • Portland Farmer’s Market
  • Visit Dave’s best picks from the week
  • Shopping
  • Walking tours

Dinner reservations at 7:30 p.m. for 2:  Le Pigeon (French)

738 E Burnside St Portland, OR 97214 Cross Street: 8th Avenue
(503) 546-8796

Day 6

Food favs and shopping

MAX to airport, leave by noon

AA # 157 departs 2:50 p.m. and arrive DFW at 8:30 p.m

The rattles of the man

The rattles of the man

(c) Glasgow Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

1635, Artist Unknown, Girl with Coral Necklace and Rattle

Rattles are among the oldest toys in the world. Though a rattle was first and foremost a small toy used to distract the young child and calm the baby when teething, it was also believed that the object had exorcising and protective powers as well. It was thought to avert calamity and to help dispel evil. RM turns and designs baby rattles made of hard woods intended more to showcase the craft of wood turning than its original utilitarian use. He gives these little beauties as gifts to friends and colleagues who are new parents.  He often engraves a name or initials into the side of the rattle for a customized look.

In the past, hollow clay figures shaped like birds or dogs were made with small balls inside that would rattle.  Materials like coral, rock-crystal and wolf’s tooth were used for rattles not only because of their beauty, but also because of the special, supernatural powers attributed to these costly materials. Wolf‘s tooth, for example, symbolized power. It was supposed to transfer power from the animal to the child and in that way protects it against danger. Coral was widely known as a defense against evil, while rock-crystal was reputed to soothe wounds. In other words, a rattle was once much more than just a toy. By the 1800’s, the famous silversmith Paul Revere and others were making silver rattles that also could be chewed. In the early 20th century, Tiffany’s, the famous New York Company, made sterling-silver rattles as baby gifts.  RM’s wooden rattles are so much more than toys, not sure of the protective powers, but they are little works of art and timeless childhood keepsakes to commemorate the birth of a little one.

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“Two bar bells for mice”

Farewell then, verse, and love, and ev’ry toy, The rhymes and rattles of the man or boy; What right, what true, what fit we justly call, Let this be all my care for this is all.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich for Grown Ups

Grilled Cheese Sandwich for Grown Ups

grilled cheese

Voted #1 by RM

Yesterday I caught an episode of America’s Test Kitchen and the test cook made a grilled cheese sandwich to salivate for so I tried my version this morning for our breakfast.  And it was delicious.  Here are the quick steps I took:

1.  Take two or three types of cheese from your cheese drawer (you have one right?).  Use one type of soft cheese (brie, gouda, cream, whatever you have on hand) to one to two part harder cheese (Vermont sharp white cheddar is awesome). Place the chucks in a food processor with the metal blade and chop it all up.  Add either beer (I used Boulevard beer) or wine slowly through the tube until the cheese comes together like a chunky paste.  Stop.

2.  Get four slices of good bread  such as a sour dough or multi-grain variety that has some heft to it.  Mix together equal parts brown mustard and butter and slather one side of each of the slices of bread.  Then spread on a healthy layer of the cheese spread to the non-buttered side.

3.  Heat up your non-stick pan for 2 minutes until it is super hot.  I love my T-fal pan so much for these types of recipes.  Put your slices together with the butter to the outside (duh, I know).  And place the two sandwiches side by side in the pan.  Let them get good and brown on one side and then flip and proceed with the toasting.  Remove from pan and allow to cool for 2 minutes before slicing in half.  Serve with fruit and refrigerator pickles.  I love this recipe if you need one to try


Kinda sweet and tangy and nice with the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.  This sandwich would be great with tomato soup if it would ever cool off here on Ashland. Bon appetit!

Serenity: a state of calm, peace and few troubles

Serenity: a state of calm, peace and few troubles

I try to live a life full of as much serenity as possible by filling my days with as much of the following as possible.

Maine vacation 150

1.  Dinner on Ashland on the screened porch with RM enjoying a home cooked meal

2. Reading a book just because I am interested in the topic (not always recommended by KERA but by a dear friend)

3. Walks in the morning with my walking partner of countless years

4. Contacts with neighbors, friends, and family through social media and a knock on the door

5. Wine

6.  Hot tub

7.  Letters written in long hand with a stamp (received or sent)

8. Quiet and stars

9. Music in the background

10.  Rubbing cat

11.  Candles of any kind

12.  Flowers and succulents

13.  Being alone or not

14.  Stretching and travel

15.  Pleasure and nature

16.  Being creative

17.  Changing a pattern or habit

18.  Giving a gift

19.  Forgiving of my faults

20.  Living a life of purpose and love and to a change in the seasons

Happy Friday on Ashland.

TBT and Recipes

TBT and Recipes

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Collecting cookbooks and recipes is my guilty pleasure like buying shoes are for my gal pals.  I like shoes too but I relish collecting and reading cookbooks.   I usually purchase a new one to add to my collection during my travels and the habit helps me to continue to explore the local cuisine long after I am back in the fort. Every region has a specialty, have you noticed? I inherited my mother’s recipe box with all the cards and handwritten notes scribbled by the long gone bakers in their own unique style of longhand.  There is one recipe for basic bread that my mother made nearly every week.  When she was no longer able to make the bread, she coached my Dad in how to prepare it and you can see his horrible penmanship added to hers on the recipe card.  There is a recipe for Croghan Bologna, shared by my North Country Mother-in-Law that I modified and added pistachios and garlic which pairs well with sharp cheddar cheese and a buttery cracker.  There is a recipe from my brother, Ed, who shared it with me years ago and is always enjoyed around the holiday season as it involves bacon and crab.   My maternal grandmother Helen made  a holiday cookie that she called Sandies.  She kept them sealed in a container in the refrigerator so the cookies were sweet and cold and tasted divine.  At my bridal shower, each guest shared a recipe with me to start my own recipe box.  While this tradition is very TBT, I still treasure the recipes and added them to my mother’s collection and keep the box next to my ever expanding shelf of cookbooks.