It Begins….PDX Life

A major update is overdue for how DB and I are doing out here in Portland.  I’ve had many enjoyable moments of, “This will be great for my blog,” but there’s been more moments of presence and thinking only about what’s in front of me…the new life in front of me.  To summarize, we have been moderately busy.  DB jokes of his “five hours of freedom,” meaning the time from 5pm to 10pm where he isn’t inside the Intel compound, under florescent lighting, standing on an uncomfortable aluminum floor, covered head to toe in his gortex bunny suit.

Meanwhile, I job search, train the puppy and try to get the lay of the land mostly by getting in my car and getting lost at every turn.  I have found a yoga studio to continue my practice, but feel as if Portland yoga digresses 10 years prior.  At times we both miss Denver, I am missing the yoga in Denver, the easy layout of Denver, the mountains, the friends and family, the knowledge of basic daily functions like recycling and getting gas.

As true explorers, we have made a few simple trips to make the most of what we enjoy: being together, nature, coffee, beer, food.


Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival.  Happiness abundant as the beautiful flowers.  Picturesque with Mt. Hood reaching up to the clear, blue sky.  Enjoyed with a glass of wine and the love of my life sitting next to me on the bench.


Just being together, was all I could hope for in the world. Lucky me, we had dream-like scenery and each other.


My farm-girl roots loving this steam powered tractor.


Our new hood, St. Johns, has this famous, historic bridge. Underneath, Catherdral Park and the Willamette River with fresh salmon from the Pacific! (Not to mention, the Yetti families in the forest on the other side of the bridge…claims one St. John’s neighbor.)


Happy Easter. I went to the dollar store to make this little display for a little cheer! Trader Joe’s assorted Jelly Beans, with a key on the box, for a tradition that Grandpa George always enjoyed.


Ivyn and I put on our bunny ears then pounced on a sleepy DB, to get him up and running for our day! She maybe doesn't like the outfit very much....maybe.

Ivyn and I put on our bunny ears then pounced on a sleepy DB, to get him up and running for our day! She maybe doesn’t like the outfit very much….maybe.


Hunting for eggs, or critters. We’ve explored many dog parks and among all the dog owners, this one is the place to go on rainy days to stay out of the mud. I


Garage sale treasures. Portland’s largest garage sale held at the expo center successfully derailed us from our “must have” list for house needs. A silk flower arrangement, a barnwood frame and an antique milk can. I can replace the picture for one from my collection, no prob.


After a week of submitting applications to various retail shops and not getting any calls, 6 ounces of drinking chocolate and pistachio and vanilla macaroons are in order. Outside this cozy cafe, the rain splashed continuously.


A shuffleboard in almost every bar, for free! My game improved on this super slippery board.


Our adorable puppy remains fearful of water, but can do serious damage with her digging skills!


Lots of growing. She loves her crate, and sleeping in the the way of St. Bernards, on her back.


Lots of beer sampling out here. Vertigo brewery, near DB’s work, offered us great beer and conversation as well as teacher networking!


Sitting outside Stumptown Cafe, one elitist, entitled, obviously over-privileged, Portlandian kid (young 20s) explained, “There’s a lot of crap coming into Portland….too many people moving here…..pieces of crap, like yourselves, move here.” DB’s reaction was surprisingly self-contained and intellectual. I have different scenarios played out in my mind, if it were to occur again.

This is what happens whenever we take her anywhere. A group of people take notice, start oooing and awwwwing, Ivyn catches on, starts wiggling towards the spectator and flops on her back to give "the belly show."

This is what happens whenever we take her anywhere. A group of people take notice, start oooing and awwwwing, Ivyn catches on, starts wiggling towards the spectator and flops on her back to give “the belly show.”

At Kelly Point Park, dogs can run off leash....humans too.

At Kelly Point Park, dogs can run off leash….humans too.



Ivyn digging a trench under Dain’s legs and next to the log. Mud puppy!




DB has been gone for 2 weeks and I am so totally over the distance between us.  We were able to see each other on Valentine’s Weekend, also DB’s birthday.  He flew home with a 4 day weekend that didn’t quite align with mine, so I still had to work, but nonetheless, I got to see him, touch him, hug him, and kiss him.  The time we were together felt great, but the goodbye always sucks.  Even though our weekend was spent a very normal way, with very ordinary Colorado fun, it FELT so right to be together and be doodling our time away….

Even though it’s his birthday, DB still spoils me on the commercialized Valentine’s holiday.  First of all, I was sick, sick, sick.  As a teacher whenever there is a day off, I always spend it with fever, sore throat, sniffles, congestion and the scent of eucalyptus permeating anyone within a 10 foot radius of me.  So, he helped take care of the sick girlfriend and the energetic puppy, which was a treat.

Taking a break from chores and have another helping hand to help pack, reorganize and declutter wasn’t the only way he spoiled me.  We ate hot and sour soup from the neighborhood Chinese food place, “Sweet Rice Cafe,” stopped by the Starbucks where we bumped into a colleague from the science and education world, someone whom we both have worked with, then ran the errands to Comcast and Costco, I just hate doing those boring chores by myself.  We walked the puppy around Confluence Park and she met a giant Cane Corso at REI.  I was terrified when Ivyn went right up and started licking his mouth!  There was time for catching up on TV shows, chatting over a bottle of wine, our generous friends cooked a steak dinner for us and we visited about their upcoming cruise.  The ordinary seemed so spectacular with DB home.  I miss him terribly and I know he is hurting, but we will get through it and put everything back together soon.

It was with great excitement that Dain and I try to go skiing at Winter Park!  We haven’t been up this year, and I have been dying to get on my snowboard.  Luck would have it that high wind closed the top lifts creating long lines and we skipped the pricey ticket for this experience.  Instead, Ivyn got her first high altitude hike on Berthoud Pass and she LOVED tromping through the deep snow, much faster than her human counterparts.  Down the hill, we met DB’s folks for a sandwich and a beer in Golden, another opportunity for our social puppy to interact and steal the hearts of passersby.

We had just enough time to squeeze in a visit to DB’s Colorado favorites before heading, teary eyed to the airport.  My heart hurts each time I say goodbye, but I also feel it strengthen through each challenge.