Days of PDX

Today marks my 11th day in Portland, Oregon.

The house is still full of boxes, though fewer and fewer as time passes. We haven’t had many times we needed to open something in a hurry, but there have been one or two incidents.

Peaches and strawberries are still in season. I didn’t manage to each ANY in Chicago this year, so I can’t tell you how happy this is for me. So far in PDX, I have eaten peaches straight and in cakes and as sides to savory meals. I have gorged on strawberries. (And tomatoes.)

Strawberries, farro, mozzarella, and tomatoes. Oh, my. What a meal.

There’s a farmers market just across the street from my house. And there’s a couple green spaces nearby that are fun to walk around. A big park nearby has me considering purchasing this cart and an exercise pen to have a makeshift yard for the pups to run around in while I work nearby. I considered it a few times at the old place as well, but (honestly) the elevator in this building makes it a much more feasible option here than it was there.

The kitchen in this space is terrible, but we’re slowly figuring out how to make it less so. Delivery of our buffet/island made things a lot better, but it’s not enough. I am thinking we need to add this one, which I plan to do this weekend. (Though Jen is a fan of this one. Any opinons?) That’ll make cooking more feasible.

That said, we have had our first home-cooked breakfast already. Our bachelor cook friend has a CSA out here, and wasn’t able to pick up her share last week. So, we did. And my plan was fritatta, but then our oven was making horrifying smells. I guess I need to run it empty for awhile, to burn off some of the “shiny and new”. I haven’t done that yet, but my stove-top fritatta came out very well. And used up some groceries and CSA items.

A quarter of an almost Spanish tortilla, surrounded by peach slices. Because it is still peach season, yay!!!

I’m studying hard, so everything else is taking a back seat to that. For those who don’t know, I want to be a Certified Cicerone®. I’m terrified I won’t do well, but sometimes the way to go is to commit before you’re ready. I signed up for the October exam in Portland, Oregon. I’d originally thought I’d take the exam in December, but that one is in Chicago…

I’ll post some about what studying for that looks like in the next few days. It’s been incredibly disjointed due to the move.

We’ve found an amazing winery in the city, Cooper’s Hall, due to our building having a little welcome packet. They make a cabernet sauvignon that’s smokey and full and mellow. I’ll be buying more. But probably not until after the exam.

I always swore I wouldn’t move north of Chicago, yet here I am. My friend Corrine is probably laughing at my old vows now, and she’s not wrong to do so. Why did I so swear? Because I knew what was to come.

I’m not adjusting well to the mornings. Not even a little. I didn’t sleep well for the first week, and the mornings here are so dark. On top of that, we have not located our amazing sunrise-simulating alarm clock yet, which I have had some version of since 2004. Thus, I either need coffee or a nap first thing in the morning.

And coffee was rather hard to do for awhile, but has gotten better. Bill made our first in-home coffee about four days ago. The dogs didn’t care. Jerks.

Dogs sleeping right through the momentous occasion of COFFEE IN OUR NEW HOME. Dogs can be so rude sometimes.

As for Bill, he’s doing pretty darn well. He’s made coffee in the house! He’s found several good coffee shops, including one that does an amazing “cold fashioned.” I hope to get one or two more before the season ends.

Bill’s walking to or from work every day, and some days both. He’s really happy about that. And his job is treating him well, which doesn’t hurt. They are even a pretty coffee-centric culture, so he fits right in.

We’ve visited his family out here once so far. I got my feet a little sunburned there, and he had a great time catching up with his uncle, Russ. I also enjoyed Russ’s punny, punny company, and Russ promised to make me smoked salmon roe again in the future.

It’s been kind of a hard change, I have to be honest. But there’s a lot of good too. And there’ll be more goodness the first time I get some salmon and/or salmon roe in my face. And my designation as a Certified Cicerone®.

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