Due to the fact we were staying 90 minutes away from the place we thought we were staying, we cancelled one other planned activity, but we decided to still do the half-day kayak trip.
This meant getting out the door at six a.m. and retracing our tracks from where we had been. But we did it.
We were picked up at a gas station and taken to our launch point. First, we picked out jackets and life jackets. Matt is excited.
We kayaked for a spell. It was the first time either of us had done so. Aside from our guide, our group consisted of a father and daughter who had experience kayaking in bays. The woman was from Portland.
The day was nice and the river was low, so it was a leisurely trip. Halfway in, we got out to do a short walk through the redwoods.
Our guide grew up on the Smith River, which is the only free-flowing river in California. He showed us the rock where he got married that summer, and the house he grew up in, which overlooked the river. The next day, he was starting back as an eighth grade English teacher.
He was a great guide and gave us lots of good information about the trees.
It was very cool how the redwoods loomed.
This platform was built to protect the tree’s root structure. It’s fairly shallow.
Since Redwoods don’t have a tap root, they can keep growing even when their center rots out. Hence the ability to drive through trees.
Or stand inside a still-growing tree.
After that, it was back in the water. I enjoyed kayaking and would like to do it again someday.
This big old space above the TV has been haunting me for months. What will go there?
And now we have our answer: a so-so student project that someone archivally framed and then eventually discarded so we could buy it for $15 from someone on Craigslist.
I’ve had a few months to stare at this since it went up, and I’m quite pleased with it. While the art isn’t stunning, I enjoy tracing the lines and circles with my eyes. Plus, I like how the slight diagonal of the TV makes it a subtle paralleogram floating below the very vertical nature of the art.
Plus, it was fifteen dollars.
In a perfect world I would rent art from the Portland Art Museum and trade it out quarterly. But cost and logistics mean that wasn’t a thing that was going to happen at this point in my life. This is the best solution for now.
I’ve had a dream for years of making my own time zone clock display, but instead of New York, Paris, Tokyo, it would feature all the time zones where Matt and I have lived.
The thing that has been thwarting this dream is that Matt doesn’t like ticking clocks. However, I ordered a new clock for work and it does not tick! So I got the go-ahead from Matt and ordered six clocks.
Then they arrived and sat for a couple months until I could find the time to test out arrangements.
Here are the cutouts of the clocks and the labels.
Test #1: Tight above the map.
Test #2: Less tight above the map
Test #3: The least tight above the map.
Test #4: Next to the map
You can see what we went with.
Still to do:
Buy batteries, so we can make the clocks run. (Future me can tell you that this took months.)
Get name plates made with the name of the cities. Right now we have pieces of paper cut in the size of nameplates and printed with the names.
Still, I’m happy to have gotten this project up to this point. I’ve been dreaming of this display since 2005.
For Matt’s birthday we visited Han Oak and partook of their very delicious tasting menu.
For appetizers we had the kimchi plate, curried potato salad and the seaweed and greens. We picked the chicken wings and the onomiyaki for the snack and had dumplings. Also the smoked hanger stake and the pork bo ssam. Plus the dessert.
While we didn’t love the dessert (we reestablished that neither of us like mochi, or meringue) the rest was incredibly delicious.
Plus, they were playing hair metal ballads the entire time, much to my delight.
When the door is opened, will the cats go outside?
The answer is yes! As usual, Sentinel charts the course, and Antares follows.
Things I’ve learned? Our windows and doors are really good at blocking out a lot of the sound that happens outside. With the front doors open, it’s really loud.
The cats don’t like to go outside during the day. Newness is a factor, plus the volume. Plus they mostly sleep during the day. Early in the morning is a great time for them, as is after dark. I think they are going to like it when we get the cat door in and they can go in and out on their own. Also when we get the shelves, so they can be above things.
It’s going to be a great summer at the Orange Door.
We have completed Phase One of the front porch catio!
Our original intention was to make the full front porch a catio, but inserting the fencing in the existing pergola proved challenging, plus I’m not confident in the longevity of the pergola and it will be easier to make a frame to fit in between the sides of the house should the pergola need to come down in the future.
This provides a space for the cats to hang out, plus a space for a person to hang out. I also like that when people come to the front door I can talk to them through these two doors. While people appearing on the doorstep is rare, it does happen and has always worried me a little. With no screen door, anyone could push their way into the house if they wanted and I’m often home alone in the evenings.
I don’t think that would actually happen, but by answering the door from the porch, that worry is gone.
In even more exciting news: I can now open the French Doors in the front and the bedroom doors (where we already have a catio) and I can get a delicious cross breeze running through the house. I’m going to love that this summer.
It’s our seventeenth anniversary and to celebrate, we had a delicious meal at Navarre. The restaurant was deserted, as it was a glorious warm spring day and everyone else was probably hiking or some other outdoorsy Portland thing.
Due to the full staff and the lack of other customers, our food came fast. While we ate dinner we traded off asking questions of our favorite memories. Examples: favorite vacation we’ve taken/ favorite wedding we’ve attended/ favorite thing about our house, etc. It turned out to be a pretty fun game.
We forgot to take a picture in the restaurant, so here we are by the car.
I don’t really mind spiders setting up shop in our house. (Though I don’t love the little black speckles that appear where they do set up shop.) I often wonder what they find to eat when inside. There are a few bugs, but not really that many.
This spider completely lucked out. And this caterpillar did not.
There was a long, grisly process of sucking the juices. You can see that juices were spilled. As the spider ate, it’s body got rounder and rounder.
It was very gross and also fascinating. Reporting from the future, I can tell you that soon after this large meal, an egg sac appeared. As of June, it’s still there. I keep meaning to put it outside before the baby spiders emerge. We shall see if I do.