Springtime in Portland

Alas, this is a wonderful time to be in Portland…everything is blooming.  Of course, if you suffer from allergies, it isn’t ideal…just as one, Rayman.  His nose may be permanently damaged.  And his sneezes scare the bejeezus out of me because they are unannounced and quite forceful in intensity and sound.  Just sayin.

But I digress.

Since landing here in mid-April, we have done a lot of shopping.  UGH.  So many of you have said, “Oh, how wonderful.  You get to decorate a blank slate.”  Well, now.  It is not easy especially for someone like me that suffers from buyer’s remorse.  “Will it fit?”  “Will it look okay?”  “Will it be functional?”  So many issues that drive me crazy.  And then there is the negotiation portion of this with moi’s spouse, Mr. J.  His opinion is often spot-on.  And sometimes not so much.  What a trip.  

Our big expenditure has been our yard.  The SHIP has a very small front and backyard.  This is a plus.  The builder saw to it to pour a cement patio, fence the yard, plant Japanese maples, throw in some sod with sprinklers and few pretty plants in front. 


Original backyard.

We had other ideas.  Because the SHIP has no view (firrst house we’ve owned without one) we decided to start over on the yard and do it pronto so it could get growing in the long summer days of the Pacific Northwest.  So, we hired an outfit, Eric drew up the plan, we tweeked it and away we went.  Monday before last, the crew arrived bright and early and by noon all the lawn was gone, a tree replanted.  And this breakneck speed continued all week.  It was all done on Friday…of the same week.  Holy cow were these guys good.


Left side.






Right side.

There was one mishap as many know…the grass killing woman came out and sprayed the neighbor’s house by mistake.  So, they now have a sign on their front lawn that say, “Stay off. New sod.”  The company we hired replace their grass when they were also working on our project.  On their dime.  Great company…they even set up the timers for water for them and pulled a weed or two.  Once we got over being mortified about the whole thing, Rayman started a fire in our new Weber with a fuel source (hardwood) that he wasn’t too familiar with and there was smoke everywhere for an hour.  In these tight quarters, I’m sure we further endeared ourselves to everyone on the block.

Also, I have a running joke about my dislike of Italian cypress trees.  How is a long skinny tree a tree?  The shade cast is minimal, the look unappealing.   So, guess what we have in this yard.  A form of that tree…they are hedging the yard for privacy.  I can’t believe it.  Never say never.  


Almost finished backyard.

There were problems.  The air conditioner was placed on the corner of the patio and can’t be moved because of rules.  That was a huge disappointment.  Now we are looking for someone that can build a lattice frame to encase said air conditioner.  But all this detail is a bit boring.  

We have a Weber and a pizza oven on a stand.  That sits on the small patio.  And we have a fountain coming.  Fountain coming, you ask?  Yes.  I worked really hard to find the lowest price on a fabulous dragonfly fountain…the only problem is the company that makes it, Campania, is located in the east.  And apparently, they made this one specially for me because I ordered it on March 29 and it is still in Pennsylvania.  They now say it will leave Pennsylvania this week (mind you it is already Wednesday).  They say patience is a virtue.  I am apparently without that virtue.  I want the fountain but am forced to wait.  UGH.   Update.  It’s on a truck somewhere.

Tiny patio means tiny furniture and most outdoor stuff is fit for a king.  The look continues.  

We’ve gone to two movies.  I helped babysit.  We’ve been out to eat a couple of times…last night we walked to a place for a plate of spaghetti.  Walked to the bakery this morning.  Love the nighborhood.  I got lost on my way to Whole Foods today and drove through some wonderful neighborhoods with fabulous gardens.  We’ve gone to thrift stores, consignment shops, state liquor stores (can’t buy booze in the grocery stores here), attended a farmer’s market (lots of kale, cheese, a live band and hot coffee.  Am watching Les Mis and Forgotten on PBS with my cousin and been to her house for dinner many times.  

Tonight we are having cousin Susie and her husband over for flank steak tacos and all the trimmings.  My beans are done, the steak is marinating, and salsa will be made in short order.

Life is good.  

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