Monday, June 25, 2007


Boy, I totally suck at keeping this updated.  I keep waiting until I have more pictures to post, but I realized that at the current rate, I wouldn't post for the next month or so, which is unacceptable.

Things are going well.  I have a job starting in the next couple of days in Benefits Administration for a manufacturing company that makes cutting blades for chainsaws.  I'll have to check and see if Worker's Comp is included in the job description because that is liable to keep me busy all by itself :)  This is a temp to permanent position, but the company was really enthusiastic about me coming on board and really really really wants it to work out, so they may buy out my contract earlier than the 6 months allotted if they decide I am a good fit.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is a good company to work for.  If it works out, and they provide good benefits, I'll switch J and I over to their policy - J's insurance is very expensive, and not all that great.  In the meantime, I am technically employed with a temp agency, which means I submit time cards and get paid on a weekly basis, which is pretty cool.  Oh, and this position pays more than what I was making in OC, which is even better :)

The weather has been nice and cool up here, in the 60s and 70s.  It gets up to the 80s for a couple of days, then goes back to cool and rainy.  We have learned that it pays to go out when it is rainy, because EVERYONE comes out of their houses on sunny days!  I know, we're not normal.

Actually, we do have pictures from this weekend, they just need to be uploaded from the camera.  I can tell you we went to OMSI on Saturday for the Body Worlds 3 show, and toured the submarine used in Hunt for Red October!  We then tried to go to the International Rose Test Gardens without success (because of the aforementioned sunshine and the obscene number of people out and about).  We did manage to find an excellent sushi place in Lake Oswego which will be our new go-to place for good fish.  On Sunday (a rainy day), we made it over to see the roses and to the Japanese Garden across the street.  It got quite damp, which reminds me that I need to keep an umbrella in the car at all times :)  We were done by 2pm, so we looked at some of the million dollar homes in the West Hills for a bit, then decided to go wine tasting.  So we headed over to Helvetia, in Hillsboro.  We finally found some good Pinot Noir!  We were able to fire up the big wine fridge for the new case of wine we purchased.  We ended the day at Sandoval's Mexican Restaurant (about a block or so from our house), and I had some really good chicken mole.  It was a very good weekend that seemed long for once.

We'll get those pictures updated so you can see the gardens, and some other things we snapped along the way :)

In terms of knitting, I once again cast aside what I was working on to start my Rockin' Sock Club sock for June. The yarn is gorgeous and the pattern is really easy. I'm still working on my mom's jacket. I had hoped to get it finished by her birthday (July 1st), but I don't think that will happen. I'll keep trying :) At the very least, I want to get it to her by the beginning of August, so she can wear it on vacation.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I spy a Harlot....a Yarn Harlot

I happened across the webpage of Powell's last week and what did I see? The Yarn Harlot was coming to do a reading there on Friday! I just had to go, to see what the fuss was all about.

So I made a trip all by myself into downtown. I got to the area of the bookstore at around 5, and wandered the area on foot. Lots of cool stores to check out, and of course I had to do some shopping at Powell's as well :) I had to move my car (I'd parked in one of the 90 minute spaces), and managed to score a parking place beneath Powell's by some stroke of luck. Then I went to dinner at P.F. Chang's, mainly because it was close, and I could sit outside and people-watch. By the time I was ready to head back over to Powell's, it was 6:45 and I thought, "Excellent - plenty of time to find a seat!"

I was so, so wrong. I found a seat on the floor. I don't know how early people got there, but I will have to plan accordingly for next time.

I did meet this really nice woman and we chatted pretty much the whole time. Unfortunately, I didn't have the presence of mind to ask her name - duh! So, if you are reading this blog entry, drop me a line!

I didn't have a decent camera with me, so I took a couple of pics with my cell phone (sorry for the crappy quality):

There had to have been at least 450 people there. I tried explaining this phenomenon to my husband and his friend, but as non-knitters they just didn't get it. Kinda went along with Steph's presentation for the evening :) It was all definitely worth the trip.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Some pictures

This is where we live. Quite cute, in a rowhouse kind of way. Our neighbors are friendly, and there aren't a lot of screaming children around. Yay!

And this is the view outside our back door. And yes, that is a house out in the green belt right behind our place. It's all good.

Here's a similar view. Did I mention this was taken at 9 o'clock at night? The days are super long right now - sunrise is at 5:30, but it is light long before then. This is still freaking me out a little.

My favorite room of the house right now. It was even bigger than what I was expecting. And there's even a pantry!

I think I forgot to tell you that we went wine tasting out at Willamette Valley Winery over the holiday weekend. Poor J was totally exhausted - he didn't figure this out until he was nodding off behind the wheel on the way there. We still had a great time - you really can't go wrong with juicy lamb burgers and wine. Yum. I was less than impressed with their wines. They were good, but what they called Syrah was really more like Zinfandel. I'm so used to the inky, punch-you-in-the-face CA syrahs that I was a little disappointed. But you can't beat that view. Lordy, it was beautiful out there.

In other news, I'm almost done with the first Grasshopper sock. I decided to do the knee-high version. After some mild mental retardation, I think I have the pattern down pretty well, and the second sock should go much faster.

Lastly, we'll end with a picture of a fat, happy, stoned kitty:

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Yesterday, we were pondering what to do this weekend.  Then J gets a call from our friend James, who happens to be in town for a wedding!  Yay, somebody we know!  :)  I hadn't met him in person yet, so I was excited.  We ended up meeting him, his friend Jim and friends of Jim in SE Portland at this Vietnamese restaurant off of Hawthorne.  Mmmmmm - good good food, and lots of it.  Prior to meeting at the restaurant, J and I took the opportunity to stroll around and check out that little area.  I'm in love - that is definitely one of the areas I want to consider when we start looking for places to buy.  It was mostly older Victorians and bungalows.  Hawthorne itself is very funky but cool, with a lot of hippies, goths and punks.  And what store do I manage to find right off the bat?  This one.  Reminded me of Ipso Facto in Fullerton, but with much more reasonable prices.  And parking around there wasn't too heinous, even for a Friday night.  Plus, we saw a hearse drive down the street, so I took that as a good sign.

After filling our bellies, we toddled over to Dots, a little neighborhood cafe/bar a few blocks away.  I didn't have any of the food (even though the jalapeno fries looked pretty spectacular), but we had a couple of drinks and hung out for a little while.  In our travels, we came across the Baghdad Theatre, which is the only one locally playing Grindhouse, so J and I will have to go very soon so he can finally see it.  It's in the McMenamin's chain, so it will only be $3 and we can order beer and food.

After the bar, we drove James into downtown to meet up with the rest of his friends who came for the wedding.  We ended up at Saucebox, which is this upscale restaurant/bar with a DJ.  Again, we didn't order food, although what everybody else ordered looked pretty good.  By that time, J was getting really tired, and we wanted to give James a chance to hang with his friends, so we bid him adieu.  All in all, we had a great time hanging out and talking with James, meeting all of these interesting new people, and finally checking out areas of Portland that we hadn't seen yet and taking some of the mystery out of getting around this town.

And I love that all of this is only 9 miles away from our house.  It's like having all the best parts of Orange, Fullerton and L.A. right in our backyard.

I'm still unpacking.  The books are almost done, except for my smaller bookshelf.   We are using our coffee table as our entertainment center, since the old entertainment center bit the dust in the move (our fault, not the movers).  We'll still be able to use the shelves that came with the center, but I think they are going downstairs in the office.  But we are very nearly finished.  Most of the boxes I've come across just need to go to the garage.  Once things get straightened up a little more, we'll take some pictures.

And we've been shopping.  Our toaster oven was on its last legs, so I tossed it before the move.  We got this one to take its place.  This is the weirdest toaster oven I have ever seen, but it works great!  We also ordered new phones and a microwave, which have yet to arrive.  And today we are buying a bed (most likely just mattress, box spring and frame) for the guest bedroom.  Gotta take advantage of those Memorial Day sales.

On the job hunt front, I've had a couple of phone interviews so far, but nothing yet.  Maybe next week I'll get more calls, after the holiday weekend.

I also managed to unpack my needles yesterday, so I am totally cheating on my Dr. Who scarf and knitting on my Grasshopper socks for the sock club. I am loving the Silkie yarn! I'm going to make the knee high version, but I'm going to see if I can squeeze them out of one skein, since I have small feet. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Back online!

I don't even know where to start, but I'll give it a shot :)

Our drive up was fairly uneventful. We didn't hit much in the way of traffic, and I think we only had to stop for gas/snacks about 4 or 5 times. This drive was a major milestone for me - I've never driven for more than a 2 hour stretch. You can imagine the Grapevine was a bit of a challenge for me, but I managed to pull through. The first day (Saturday), we made it to Redding by 6pm. At that point, we decided to go for broke and push ahead to Roseburg, OR before settling in for the night. I'm still not too sure whether that was a good idea or not. We made it there safely, but that meant driving through the Shasta mountains and through the major hills on the border of Oregon. This is challenging enough during the day, but we were driving in pitch blackness by the time we crossed the border and beyond. We rolled into Roseburg at about 11pm, and I was never happier to see a hotel bed! J was fortunate, in that Lenore has that Caddy suspension and steering. The steering on the Benz is so stiff, I was fighting it through the winds in the Grapevine and the whole trip up, so I felt like I had Popeye arms. But I was awfully proud of myself for getting through the drive like I did. Then it was only a quick 3 1/2 hour drive the next day to the Beaverton area, so we had time to relax and drive by the property management office and our home for a look-see before the next day. Oh, and to hit a McMenamins for lunch as well :)

Tangent - am I just a big nerd for liking McMenamins so much? I was so utterly charmed by this little chain on our first trip, but I wonder if I am making a big deal, when they may just be the local answer to TGI Fridays? All I know is that they serve good food and great beer.

The cats acquitted themselves pretty well on this trip and managed not to kill each other. They didn't even pee outside of their litter box in the crate! I love my girls :) We smuggled them into the hotel in Roseburg because we were unsure of their pet policy, and kept them in their crate. We did let them out in our hotel in Lake Oswego, and they seemed to enjoy the opportunity to roam, cuddle, and hide behind the bed. We kept them in their crate during the move, and finally let them out in the afternoon on Monday after we had things sufficiently situated. They seem very happy to be with us, but I think they also miss J&M, because they've been yowling a bit :(

Tangent #2 - I highly recommend the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Lake Oswego (which is also about 10 minutes away from our house). It was really nice, Embassy Suites quality, and they had a surprisingly lenient pet policy ($25 flat fee per night). It was only $108 per night with our AAA discount, and I think the rates might be even lower than that in the winter.

Monday was fortunately not as crazy as we feared it would be. We got to the property management company early, and they were able to get us in before our appointment time, so we got out of there at about 10:10. We zoomed over to the new place, and the movers had just pulled up to the house. We took a quick run through the house to determine where stuff would go, and started directing traffic. Whilst this was going on, we met two of our neighbors and talked to them for a little bit. They seemed to be about our same age, and they both have young-ish children. They both seemed okay with the hearse too, although they didn't understand too much WHY we have one, but that's to be expected :) At about 1pm, Comcast showed up to do their thing, and they left at about the same time as the movers, around 2-2:30. The rest of the day was spent rearranging some of the furniture, setting up computers in the office, getting the cats situated, and having a much deserved bottle of wine to celebrate the end of the move. Last night we slept in our own bed, and I was close to unconscious until about 5 this morning. Best night's sleep for the past few weeks!

Some observations about the house - we have lots of room, but the master and guest bedrooms upstairs are tiny, which sucks. I think we can still fit both of our dressers in the room, but we'll need to be creative. The guest room will be able to handle a bed, and that's about it. Yet both rooms have walk in closets! The mind boggles. I love that the W/D are upstairs, so I don't have to haul laundry around. The layout of the house is interesting - you walk into the garage and through the door, and the office area is on the right. There is a sink in the office, which apparently counts as a half bath, and there is piping in the closet for a shower (which gives new meaning to the term "water closet", har). You walk up half a flight of stairs, and that takes you to the landing at the front door. Up another flight, and you are on the second level, which consists of the living room, dining area, kitchen and breakfast nook. This floor is enormous, and I love having a big kitchen and living room. No bathrooms on this level, though - they are all on the third level with the bedrooms. We will take a lot of pictures, and I will point out some of the other oddities at that point.

The people up here are interesting. Totally laid back, friendly, and can't drive worth a shit. There's no real road rage, but there's a lot of eye-rolling when somebody gets cut off. There doesn't appear to be a lot of speeding, at least on the surface streets. It is gorgeous and green, even in the crappy parts of town. Where we live? Totally not a crappy part of town. In fact, it is more like Newport Coast. And apparently we live about 3 miles away from their version of South Coast Plaza. And yet, no real Nazi Germany aspect to it (yet, knock on wood). And at least in this area, most people are not from around here, either - our neighbors are from Boston and New York, respectively. And there are tons of Californians as well. But we're still getting our registrations changed and new license plates as soon as we can manage it.

Oh, and the rain. Rain rain rain. I love it :)

If you made it through this rambling entry, congratulations! Believe it or not, I've left a few ranty things out that I will let J cover, because I want to leave him SOMETHING to write about ;) We miss and love everybody in CA, and we'll update often with all the weird and wonderful things we encounter here.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The final stretch

If any of you thought that, because I am unemployed, that I would get some form of a break this week, you would be wrong. I've been doing the last of the packing during the day, then some more at night after J gets home. Yesterday I taped and labeled most of the boxes, which is a chore in itself. Today I packed up the rest of my closet, but didn't tape up the box because I may still need some of those clothes for when I pack for the trip. I'm going through the office and garage today to see if there is anything else that needs to be packed up/taped. These two areas are primarily J's domain, so I am still a little unclear what he plans to do with some of it, but I will do my best.

We're scheduled to close today. We also have Eddie and some guy coming by to take away the spa and one of the big potted plants that apparently is dead. Can you tell I don't have a green thumb? ;) And I love how these people are making us do stupid stuff like getting rid of the ponds and this plant. They could have just done a bulky item pickup with the trash people. Whatever - I'm getting over it.

I can't quite believe that we're only going to be in this house two more nights. It's weirding me out a little bit. I've been concentrating so much on making sure we have a place to live and getting everything set up that I really haven't thought much about the fact that, "Oh crap! We're leaving!" I know I've said this many times before, but it still hasn't hit me yet, even with all the boxes packed up. Probably because we haven't even seen the new place in person, so it doesn't seem real to me yet. And I've been dreaming of OR for so long that THAT doesn't seem real to me either.

In other news, we had a good time at J&M's on Saturday for his mom's surprise b-day party. As usual, J and I were totally oblivious to the drama going on right before our eyes, so we probably had a better time than most everybody else. But I think that N. was surprised, and she was mostly just happy to see her sister who flew out for the occasion. It was also the last time that we would see A&L before we leave, and I admit to getting a little teary on the way home :)

Sunday was Mother's Day brunch with both families, and we had a good time. We'll see J's folks the day we move, and I have some glasses to drop off with my parents at some point, probably tomorrow when J is home, so we'll see them once more before we leave.

Oh, and on the job hunting front, I have a phone interview this afternoon with a company in Camas, WA. It would be an hour commute, but the job is exactly like my previous position, except without the stock admin stuff (yay!). So, fingers crossed for me. It would be great to have something waiting for me when I get up there.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Is That It?

Today is my last day here at work, and it appears that I'm going out with a whimper. My boss is out sick today, and everybody else is leaving at noon, so I will too. I even printed out my own exit paperwork to complete - heh. Comes with having an HR job, I guess :)

I did get a lovely breakfast potluck yesterday - scrambled eggs, devilled eggs, sausage, waffles, fruit, the yummy potatoes from the Jazz cafeteria (I will miss my breakfast quesadillas). Not to mention donuts, cake, and enough baked goods filled with poppy seeds that I started to wonder if they wanted me to fail any impending pre-hire drug tests. It was small, quiet, and I got to say goodbye to all the people I work with on a regular basis.

The packing continues and continues and continues. We have one more dish pack to fill, and then it's just smaller boxes of things to pack up. We're most concerned about the garage, but I think we can get a lot done in there this weekend.

We had the final walk-through yesterday afternoon, so I'm sure I'll hear today how that went. The new people have made such strange requests on stuff they want us to get rid of. Thank goodness our realtor is there to fight these battles for us :)

We also had a very nice going away party last Sunday. Wwe had so much fun, and it was really nice to see everybody together. I still can't quite believe that we won't be seeing our friends when we get up there. It will be a shock when it all finally hits me. I'm still in "roll with the punches" mode until all of our arrangements are complete and realized.

I'm sorry for not writing in here very often as of late. This will change once we get up north, since the computer will suddenly become even more important as my mode of communication to the outside world. I know a lot of you understand this well.

Not a lot of knitting to report, as you can imagine. Still slogging on the scarf when I am not packing and making arrangements. I did finally reach the halfway point, and I will be turning right around and doing the stripes in reverse order, so they mirror each other. I think it appeals to J's retentive tendencies :) I just wish now that I had done the original pattern in the first place. No time for regrets now, and I'm sure as hell not starting over!