Tag Archives: New Seasons

As the page turns… in the real Portlandia!

Go ahead and judge this book by its cover.

Go ahead and judge this book by its cover.

Grieving is hard. It’s long. It does you in. It doesn’t end. Some days getting out of bed is the most courageous act you can imagine. And accomplish.

I already know I will be grieving Blaine the rest of my life. You have no earthly idea how much I miss him. Just to exchange one more glance, I would give everything. To see him smile. The universe for one more hug. The chance to say goodbye.

In what now seems clearly a survival strategy, I actually managed to finish the book I was working on when Blaine left. I dove headfirst into a deep and consuming project. Not only were the words my responsibility, but also the design and layout. And know this: when the author does the layout, the words seem never to be finished. Catch that typo. Use a different turn of phrase. Put in that cool thing you forgot. So it takes longer than it takes. (Credit to an old friend, Paul Nyrczinski, for that aphorism: “Things always take longer than they take.”)

But it finally got printed. And delivered to us. You can see a video of Joyce and I opening the first copies here. And we have a real live website and everything, look here.

Since the shipment of three pallets with 2,500 books arrived, we have embarked on a marketing campaign so we can sell the books and recover our costs. Yes, we self-published. It’s our very own necks on the line.

So far, in addition to purchasing the book from our website, you can buy it in a growing number of retail locations. Powell’s Books, for example (all stores except the one at the airport)! Did you know you can order from Powell’s online and pick it up in a store without any shipping cost? Or you could buy two books and they would be shipped for free!

The book is also available at a number of New Seasons Markets. Multnomah County Library has it (OMG, all copies are checked out right now, they better order more!!). Other bookstores like Broadway Books, Reed College Bookstore. Quite a few quilt/fabric stores: Cool Cottons, Fabric Depot, Pioneer Quilts, The Pine Needle, A Common Thread, Greenbaum’s Quilted Forest, The Cotton Patch.

And soon it will be in Made in Oregon. And who knows where all. We are relentless in our marketing efforts. By the end of this, we should be able to write a book about marketing a book. Not that that’s never been done. 🙂

We are proud of our book. We think it will appeal to a whole lot of people:

  • people who live in Portland and want to discover what they don’t know about their home town
  • people who visit Portland (or want to) and want a tangible record of their experience that goes way beyond a phone full of selfies,
  • quilters who have always wanted to see quilts in a leading role, and
  • every person not in the above categories

So we think you might fit in there somewhere. Check it out!


CKC #33: Our Safeway has a sushi bar. But is it sustainable?


Yes, it’s true, the new Safeway on Hawthorne – the one that replaced the older smaller set-back-from-the-street Safeway on Hawthorne that seemed to be having too few customers – has a sushi bar. And Ric brought some sushi home and it really wasn’t bad. We had it for dinner.

I confess I’m a little concerned about this new Safeway. It looks like they are trying to do the more sustainable natural organic thing, but not as much as other nearby options. You really can’t outorganic New Seasons, and there are two of them within 15 or so blocks south and east of this new store. There’s a semi-outdoor vegetable and fruit and fresh fish market just a couple of blocks west of Safeway, with a lot of produce that is fresh from Kruger’s Farm on Sauvie Island.

Then there’s the remodeled Hawthorne Fred Meyer just down the street to the east, with so many green features I’ve lost track of them all. I do know there are more electric car charging stations than there are disabled parking spaces on the roof parking lot.

And there’s a Zupan’s 10 or so blocks away to the north, and it carries more locally sourced food. 

In other words, that’s one heck of a lot of places to buy groceries. This is a densely populated neighborhood for the west coast, but I wonder if even our collective mass can support all these options. I think they better have a whole lot of those club card deals planned.

It’s a pleasant enough environment, but some of the neighbors are still angry at the store because it’s so big. I noticed a window had been broken within a few days of the grand opening. Every time I’ve been in there (four times to get a latte at the Starbucks, we’re not really buying that many groceries now without a kitchen to prepare food in), it looked like there were more employees than customers. I do like the new sustainability features and the covered parking when it’s pouring rain, but that employee/customer ratio sounds unsustainable for the bottom line.

As my mother always used to say, we shall see.

On the home front, the mudder is here mudding again. It turns out he is also doing the sanding, which will happen this weekend. Just in time, even though the doors to the space are sheathed in plastic, dust is somehow getting through and making the rest of the house somewhat more unpleasant than it already is.

But in a few days, that will be over and Ric can paint. I believe I chose a wonderful color. 🙂

CKC #8: A healing meal


Well, Toaster Moon has had a few issues. Last night as we were drifting off to sleep, we heard something like a wet explosion followed by the sound of … well, sorta like Niagara Falls. With a healthy stream of water spraying out of the shower area. Hero Ric climbed out of bed, put his clothes and shoes back on and went out to turn off the water at the source. Then dove into the shower and discovered that a hose clamp (or was it a clothes hamp?) had come loose… so he reattached it but to err on the side of caution, we left the water off the rest of the night.

Summer soft fruit salad. Yum.

When we tried it out again today, we had a rerun of the night before, so we drove into town and bought a new one (and a spare just in case). And oh by the way, the Ace Hardware store in Prineville is super awesome, not only do they have almost everything ever invented in the way of ware that is hard, they even had baking soda! But the best part was the personal shopper that took us to every part of the store to locate the exact item we needed on our list. Except socks and worms. Ric is planning on fishing tomorrow because it’s supposed to be 66 degrees.

But back to food.

Tonight, an honest to goodness home cooked meal in Toaster Moon. Thai peanut chicken skewers from New Seasons Market, wondrous fruit salad of blueberries, red grapes, bing cherries, nectarine and champagne mango. I love fresh fruit and can hardly resist anything in this genre. Can you spell a-n-t-i-d-o-x-i-c-a-n-t-s?  And a random black bean salad because I didn’t have a better idea.

And oh yes, I am trying my hand at making mojitos. We drove to a place where I was able to get Edge just strong and long enough to quickly jot down a recipe from the web. Didn’t have any ice, but put extra club soda and by george, I think I’ve got it. Not as good as Andina’s, that’s for sure, but totally fine for roughing it.

Maybe it’s the mojito talking but I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER TODAY! I declare victory over this menace that took both Ric and Blaine down for more than a week. I genuflect at the altar of oscillococcinum. That shit works! On me anyway! Yeah, yeah, I know, skeptics say it doesn’t. So they shouldn’t take it.