Sunday, November 27, 2011

I am thankful for my weekend on Orcas Island with Omar :)

On Thursday morning Omar and I drove to Orcas Island, WA. Orcas island is off the northwestern coast of Washington. It is beautiful and remote. Just enough removed to not have a phone signal or internet connection, but there are modern amenities available. I say this because when my grandfather heard that Omar and I were staying in a two person cabin that was built in the 30s, he asked if there was indoor plumbing. Yes, Pap Pap. I am not a out-house kind of girl.

After a failed attempt to catch the 4:30 ferry to the island and a quick game of Innovation in the car (thanks Judy), we boarded the ferry to our island paradise. Yes, it is winter. Yes, the weather was a bit cold and very windy, but it was paradise. Omar and I spent our days as relaxed as we wanted to be. Hungry? Throw something in the skillet. Tired? Take a nap. Bored? We were never bored :) It was wonderful.

I woke up this morning with a bit of a heartache. We wanted to stay in our little cabin. We could work from a remote location, right? I could switch gears and manage an apiary or a herd of sheep?
Being on an island during the off-season was the perfect escape. I have returned to Portland reenergized for the final couple of weeks of school (both PSU and BHS). I love my life in Portland. I love Omar, being in school and my community. Getting away for awhile let me appreciate all that I am thankful for.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

All Apologies!!

Yes, this blog is still active! I can't believe that I haven't posted since our trip to Vancouver. The summer was a whirlwind of travel and relaxation. Late August, Mom and Dad past through Seattle after an Alaska cruise. Omar and I went up and spent time showing them our favorite parts of the city.
Mom and Dad in Alki Beach outside of Seattle. 
Early in September, I flew east to Pittsburgh to visit my family. My grandparents, and many aunts, uncles and cousins live in western Pennsylvania. It was wonderful to visit everyone. My main mission was to make sure my younger cousins are getting enough homework from their teachers!! It was their first week back in school, and they were mostly enjoying it.

My dearest Abby and Mitchell moved from Atlanta to Nashville, and I was determined to get them there safely and sanely! After spending a few precious days in Pittsburgh, I flew down to Nashville. Abby had been working in Nashville for several weeks, while Mitchell was still in Atlanta. Abby and I drove from Nashville to Atlanta where the three of us spent the next few days packing and cleaning. We packed everything into a moving van and two cars. Late one night, we left Atlanta and back up to Nashville. I had enough time to see the moving van empty and the new house mostly unpacked before I flew back to Portland. I am so happy for Abby and Mitchell. I love Nashville! I truly believe that they will be happy there.
We just said goodbye to Mitchell's mother, Abby was a bit emotional. Sorry Abby! I wanted a pic of the budget truck! 
Soon after I returned from my trip, I was contacted about my placement for student teaching. I am so happy with my cooperating teacher, the high school where I am placed, and just everything to do with student teaching! I told Omar that I feel like I arrived at the superbowl. I have been working towards this for three years now! Put me in coach, I am ready to play!
I just had to include a picture of my buddy, Rudy. He loves the sunshine! 
And then the end of September arrived, which started me back at PSU. This term is a bit odd. I love the science classes that I am taking, but I do not like having to split my time and attention between the high school and PSU. I am so ready to devote myself entirely to the high school. I will always be fascinated by science classes; I will never tire of them. But I am ready to be a science teacher, not just a student of science. I am ready to share my fascination and passion with students!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Vancouver, B.C.

Last week Omar and I travelled to Vancouver, B.C. Omar attended Siggraph 2011 while I enjoyed the city. Vancouver is a very beautiful city surrounded by water and mountains. We stayed on Coal Harbor near the conference center.

The city has plenty of green space and dedicated bike and pedestrian paths that travelled through the city, through Stanley Park and along the seawall. Carina and Joaquin showed us a fine viewpoint on Cypress Mountain and then took us for a lovely dinner on Horseshoe Bay.

I enjoyed my time in Vancouver. I toured the campus of the University of British Columbia,

visited the Museum of Anthropology,

and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, which has the skeleton of a blue whale suspended from the ceiling. An impressive sight!  

Overall, the city endeared itself to us. Omar keeps saying we are moving to Vancouver, but I think that a few days back in PDX will cure him of this fantasy :)

-Take care,

Dora y Edgar in PDX

Omar's mother and brother recently came to visit us in Portland. We were very excited to have them stay with us and show them the beauty of Portland, Mount Hood and the coast.

We started the grand tour at the Rose Test Garden.

We spent time at Wallace Park and on Mt. Tabor. Here is the view from Mt. Tabor, picture perfect!

We spent a day around Mt. Hood. We ate brunch at Timberline, we watched kite surfing at Hood River, and visited Multnomah Falls. What a day!

For most of the week, we walked around Portland hitting up all the highlights of the city. We wanted to show Edgar and Dora how we live and how much we enjoy Portland. It is such a great city to show visitors. We went bicycle riding along the waterfront, shopping and eating at the Farmer's Market, watering the garden and browsing at Powell's.

For the grand finale, we went to the coast for the day. Omar and I enjoyed taking Edgar and Dora to Ecola State Park, which has a lovely secluded beach and amazing views of the shoreline. We ate well at Cannon Beach, and then stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory for ice cream on the way home.

 All and all, we had a spectacular week with Dora and Edgar. For those of you who have not visited us yet, let this be a preview of all the wonderfulness waiting for you in Portland!

-Hope all are well!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I bake.

I love to bake. If I didn't end up eating the majority of what I bake, I would bake everyday. In the future, I want to own a big, clay, outdoor, wood-fired oven where I could bake all day without heating up the house. Pizzas, pies, fruit bread, cookies, quiche. I would bake them all!

Today I baked a lemon meringue pie. My first. My family uses the recipe on the Jello Lemon Pie filling box, but the secret is to add the juice of a whole lemon and the lemon zest to the pie filling.

And, what better use of leftover dough than cinnamon rolls!

I wanted to share my favorite recipe of all time. It is simple, easy and delicious!!

Aunt Maggie's Brownies!!

Combine dry ingredients.
2/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

On double boiler melt together:
1/3 cup butter
2 squares of unsweetened baker's chocolate

Whisk together:
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat together dry and wet ingredients. Then add melted chocolate.
1/2 cup of nuts are optional.
Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes in a 9x9 inch pan.

They are always delicious, and I usually have all the ingredients in the house.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Sunday Parkways

Portland had gorgeous weather this weekend. I have to brag for a second. Portland has had gorgeous weather all summer. We have had less than 10 days with temperatures above 80 degrees, and more importantly no days with temperatures above 90 degrees. Listening to the news, I realize how lucky Portland has been to escape the heat wave that is frustrating the midwest, southeast and east coast.

Omar and I especially enjoyed this weekend's weather. Sunday Parkways came to our neighborhood. Roughly ten miles of city streets, our street included, were closed to traffic other than walkers, runners, bikers, skateboarders, etc. Omar hopped on his skateboard, and I borrowed his bike (mine is in the shop for repairs). We hit the streets for a four hour adventure. So much fun!

One highlight of the day was hula hooping in Wallace Park.

Wallace Park offered hula hooping, juggling, belly dancing, and other fun activities. But back to hula hooping.

There was also uni-cycling. But we didn't enjoy that as much as hula hooping!

Anyway, it was a super fun day. Omar and I caused a bit of a spectacle. On the up-hills and down-hills he hitched a ride by holding on to me. We saw other skateboarders being towed as well, but they were being pulled joyfully by their pet dogs!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011


So I am half way through my summer vacation, and I decided I needed a project. This consequentially falls after I read through all the books on my shelf. Anyway, it started with the shower head. Omar and I were in the hardware store, and we decided that our shower head was not meeting expectations. Well, the ball started rolling from there. By the end of the weekend we had gone on a minor shopping spree at IKEA. We spent Sunday night assembling new furniture.

This is exactly what I needed! Instead of a kitchen table that I never sat at, I have more counter space and storage.

This isn't a great pic of the new piece, but Omar is sitting at a desk that is long enough for us to share. Finally desk space for me! It fits nicely along the back of the couch. It is situated with an excellent view of the neighborhood and the television! (p.s. I love the cat hair roller sticking up in the front of this pic.)

In addition, I finally bought some picture frames. IKEA is the best. The ones you see range from 2.99 - 9.99.  No kidding. Awesome.

I do not feel guilty for indulging in this redecoration. We started thinking about how things could be better in our apartment. Our apartment is space limited, and when we first moved in together we just merged everything from two households without editing. Well we edited. And it works for us.

On another note, I started jogging. Omar has been jogging in the mornings before work. I decided to start going with him. Wish me luck. No! Wish me endurance.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011


So you may ask how I have been enjoying my vacation after all the travel. Well, I have been indulging my passion for crime novels. Just imagine me with a cup of tea, a sleepy cat, a comfy chair and a Scandinavian/Icelandic/British crime novel.

That has been my summer indulgence so far.
I compiled this Book list yesterday. Bear in mind, I wouldn't necessarily recommend them all.

Dahl, K.O.                                                                         
            The Fourth Man

French, Tana
            In the Woods
            The Likeness
            Faithful Place

Indridason, Arnaldur
Erlandur series:       
Jar City
            Silence of the Grave

Larsson, Stieg
The girl with the dragon tattoo
The girl who played with fire
The girl who kicked the hornet’s nest

Mankell, Henning
Kurt Wallander series:
            The White Lioness
            The Pyramid
The Man from Beijing

Nesbo, Jo
Harry Hole series:    
The Redbreast
The Devil's Star
The Snowman
Rankin, Ian
John Rebus series:
            Knots and Crosses
            Hide and Seek
            Resurrection Man

            Box 21

Smith, Tom Rob
            Child 44

I have to say, I am a bit tired of drunken detectives. Come on! Harry Hole and John Rebus just seem to disintegrate under pressure. I tend to prefer the characters of Siobhan Clarke, Ellen Gjelten, Beate Lonn. They do the real work of piecing together the evidence that leads the investigation. It seems that Hole and Rebus can't walk down a street in Oslo and Edinburgh without stopping in a pub for a drink. This may be why I adore Blomkvist and Salander so much. Like me they prefer caffeine to alcohol. :P

summer vacation 2011

Oh, the sleepy days of summer in Portland. Can I admit that I miss school? I guess that is a good sign. I am spoilt by the length of this vacation.

I guess I will use this time to catch everyone up on the summer vacation so far. I had a great first year of my grad school program. It was super busy. I didn't really understand the stress that I was under until I finally decompressed these past few weeks. One year down, one year to go. I will start student teaching in the fall at a local public high school. I don't really know how to prepare myself for it, but I can't wait nonetheless.

As soon as my term at Portland State ended, Omar and I travelled down to his hometown of San Luis to attend his brother's wedding.

It was a great time with Omar's family. We spent time with our niece, Scarlett. A super cutie pie.

I can't say enough of how much fun I had with Scarlett. She had Omar and I wrapped around her little finger. We read books and practiced walking. She loves to dance :) eh, eh, eh!

From San Luis we travelled straight to Daphne, AL to see my family and attend the Russell-Bedsole wedding. It was so great to see my brother. I hadn't seen him since July 2010.

It was wonderful for Omar and I to spend time with my parents, Derek and Caitlin, and Anna-Bellie!

All of the events around John and Amy's wedding were beautiful. The Bedsoles know how to throw a party! I wish I had a childhood pic to juxtapose against this one. We were reminiscing through old pics before the wedding of John, Terri Lynn, Derek and I on Smithfield Rd. I'll dig one up another time.

We finally returned to Portland on June 19th. What a trip! So many new beginnings. :) I wish John and Amy, Bella y Edgar and Derek and Caitlin a happy summer!

something new...

So here I go. I have been inspired by women in my life who are jumping into something new.
I am inspired by Alma, who is jumping into academia after a successful career at Nike.
I am inspired by Terri Lynn, who is jumping into blogging and encouraging me to blog too!
I am inspired by Aunt Laurie, who is jumping from the world of book-lover to the world of book-seller.
And I am inspired by Abby, who is leaping from Atlanta to Nashville to pursue her skyrocketing career!
I am so excited for all of you. And you have inspired me to share my thoughts and life online.
So here I am.