Gearing up for Fall and Winter

This morning I woke up to fall. Our bedroom window is cracked and a crisp breeze is blowing in; a 180 degree switch from yesterday’s heat. A few leaves have even blown through the window onto the coverlet. Today I’ll be gearing up for an Oregon fall/winter by brainstorming new craft ideas and heading over to the Polish Festival/Alberta St for some food, dancing (polka anyone?) and merriment. Then onto a friend’s house for boardgames and pizza. Fall is my most favorite season because of the cool breezes, the leaf color explosions and the onset of crafting. I find that a wet Oregon fall and winter are best conquered with homemade soups, sewing, embroidering, felting and reading. My recent crafts include:

Inspiration: Felt Flowers, Twine Light Covers, Bunting, Necklace Display

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Last Night

Last night was another long walk up the hill from work in the pouring rain. Ever since we moved to the other side of Burnside, I’ve been walking to work. Downhill in the morning, up in evenings. It has also rained intensely hard the last few days, putting my walking to work dedication to the test. Luckily I have started a new rain tradition. Instead of being frustrated and wet, I have implemented my “authoritative first step” program. Some explanation is probably necessary at this point. When I wait to cross a street and my turn finally comes, I love to take a big first step out which I call the authoritative first step. I normally say it in my head as I do it. I explained this to Andy one time and he stared at me for a long time. Then he laughed. Regardless, I now use my big confident first step and pumping arms to power me all the way up the hill home in the rain. That way, even though I am dripping and soggy, my heart is racing from the exercise and I feel like I’ve defeated the rain on my own terms. If I were to run for office, my platform would be based on the authoritative first step.

Ride to Work

I am eventually going to tell you about groupon.com and how I love it. First however, there’s some background I’ve got to work my way through. I work at Portland State University and live in Northwest Portland so I can technically walk to work. I’ve done it a few times and it take anywhere from 25 minutes (power walking) to 45 minutes. I walked to my job interview and I think it gave me a confident edge. However, the Portland rain makes walking to work a very insufferable proposition. Instead, I walk 13 blocks to the streetcar inside the fareless zone where I can ride it to PSU for free. That way, I can still get a in a pleasant walk and avoid some of the bad weather with a ride. I am really close with my parents and everyday in the morning I call my dad as I walk to the streetcar and every evening after I get off the streetcar I call my mom. We talk about little stuff: work days, my parent’s cats and dogs, upcoming family events, etc. One day a few months ago, I was walking in typical Portland weather (sideways rain) and talking with my mom when I said the following: “Mom, I really wish I just had a warm bubble to travel in. It’s so cold and wet out here.”

My Mom: “Jessica, get a car.” Eye roll from my mom.

Me: “Oh right. That would solve my problem.” Palm to forehead.

However, parking in downtown Portland is expensive and honestly not worth it, given my proximity to campus. But Andy and I did finally get a car when Andy got a job as a banker at US Bank in Beaverton. Now, I use rainy mornings as an excuse to desperately attempt to persuade Andy to give me a ride to work. It rarely works. He just looks at me from the couch and rolls his eyes and then wishes me good luck. But this morning he took pity on my sorry state which also meant we had time to make a phenom breakfast of fried eggs on toast, veggie sausage, strawberry kefir and english breakfast tea. Mmmm. I am a breakfast fanatic so I was understandably pleased with this spread and my upcoming ride to work.

In my walk/streetcar combo package, I leave the house at 7:24 am, catch the streetcar and 7:39 am and then get to work at 7:50 am. In the Andy giving me a ride scenario, we leave at about 7:47 am and get to PSU at 7:52 am. As we drove in today, I was bouncing with happiness while keeping the bottom of my jeans safely warm and watching the rain slam into the outside the car. We passed a new restaurant/ice creamery/creperie called Pudding on the Rice one block away from work. I said: “Mmm, crepes. Don’t you think we should make some crepes?”

Andy: “You love crepes so much. It’s weird.”

Me: “That’s because they are perfect delivery devices for tasty food. What’s not to like?”

Andy: “I have no idea.”

And then I got to work and checked my email to find my daily email from groupon. Groupon is a daily coupon service with a lot of half-off deals on food/services in the Portland area. And believe it or not, today’s was for Pudding on the Rice. Crepes are in my near future and I am very happy about this. If you haven’t signed up for groupon, you really should. That’s all folks.