I know I will have lots of Christmas pictures to share with you, but they will come tomorrow. Auntie Bridgett and I went for a walk to the market (who knew we didn’t have any tomato paste?) and saw some lovely things. A friendly cat came out to check our credentials.
We saw another cat in a window, looking very warm and cozy, while this hummingbird mocked her from the top of a very bare tree. There was also n early blooming azalea making the world pretty.
We talked to a man about the tree by his door, which is blooming, in mid-winter. He said it is called a viburnum, and that he planted it precisely because in the cold dark, it would bloom and smell sweetly. There is also a Daphne bush, which we have by our front door! I look forward to all the lovely scents coming soon.
And by Sunnyside School, we found this posting of neighborhood friendliness. We just took one, because we already feel pretty full of love, with family, friends, home and hearth so close.
After I had explored old buildings and seen monuments, I found what I had originally headed north for, a fabric shop called Modern Domestic. It is bright and well laid out, and carries the variety of fabrics I have been looking for.
Martha, who is the ‘new kid’ at the store, and I had a wonderful conversation about the colors of Portland, and what I would need to do the city justice in my quilt. Greys, for the clouds, she said, and reds for the bricks. It was nice to talk to someone who understood what I was aiming at.
After moving bolts of fabric around, I found a perfect Easter Egg, a collection of Fat Quarters from Robert Kaufman in the colors and textures I had been looking for. I tucked it under my arm and continued looking, because the collection was lacking a forest green. Martha helped me find it, hiding in a corner across the shop. Everyone was so helpful, even letting me recharge my phone while I shopped.
Then I headed off in search of lunch! It is amazing how hungry I suddenly realized I was. I knew Martin Luther King Jr. was a main drag, so I just walked north, knowing something would turn up.
And something did. Aberus Ethiopian Food was on the next corner, a small restaurant, totally empty the whole time I was there, but the food was delicious. I told the lady (cook and waitress) that this was my first time eating Ethiopian food, but that I wasn’t afraid of spice. She recommended Doro Wat, a chicken and chili dish served on a large disc of spongy bread, a hard boiled egg, cheese, and salad. It was spicy, messy, and a wonderful experience. I left with leftovers.
Now sated and ready for home, I caught the number 6 south. Walking between Grand and MLK, I found a fellow leaning against a building who seemed to need the leftovers more than I did, so I gave them to him. We chatted for a minute, then my bus came.
After I had rested, Auntie Bridgett and I went for a walk. I keep finding new things! Did you know gingko trees have nuts? I didn’t! But now I do, and here is what they look like.
The rest of the evening was spent watching the Giants beat the Padres and playing with Mousekin.
I’ve told you that Portland is a city where dogs are very popular, but I still prefer cats. Our cat, Mouse (Miss Mousie Mouskin of the Mouseville Mousekins), is my favorite, of course.
She has the balance of a desire for adventure and a love of relaxation that I find copacetic.
But I’m not the only one here who loves cats. There are cats all over the neighborhood, happy, brave, silly and even weird.
There are cats in art here, as well. The McMenamin brothers’ chain of bars and hotels have a a picture of its “distillery cat”, along with Ruby the brewer witch and Hammerhead guy, who is painted in every one of their establishments.
While we were visiting Edgefield, which is a McMenamin’s location east of Portland, we saw this disgruntled cat on the back window of a car.
Sunnyside Environmental School, in our neighborhood, has one painted on its doors, I guess to keep the free roaming chickens company.
Auntie Bridget puts cats into her art all the time. My birthday card this year, which went all the way down to Salinas, featured her and Grandpa Nelson, as cats!
That’s all I’ve got to say about cats in art, for now. But rest assured, there will be more…later.
Now that is is officially summer, our evening walks have moved from six o’clock to more like 7:30. It stays light until nine and it feels silly to waste all that lovely sunlight!
Yesterday evening Auntie Bridgett and I walked around the neighborhood and noticed that the flowers are really exploding. Sweet peas, roses, day lilies and hollyhocks are shooting up out of the ground like the police are after them.
Even the sunflowers are getting tall and majestic. The bees all seem to be prosperous and busy.
We met a new cat, a very friendly young lady with beautiful markings and a tag that declares her to be “The Princess.” She not just allowed, but demanded, that we pet her, squeaking in a very royal voice.
On the way home we passed The Belmont Inn, and stopped in for a few games of Monster Bash, our favorite pinball game. We played together for a few, then went head-to-head. My score of six million made me very proud until Auntie Bridgett whupped me with forty-four million!!! Holy smokes, I need more practice!
Auntie Bridgett and I took a long walk the other day. We started at The Bagel Bakery on West Alisal, for coffee…because Auntie Bridgett doesn’t go very far without coffee. Then we walked downtown. We visited our friend Adrian at her shop, The Blue Aces Bakery, and got tasty coated sugar-pecans and walked out to the market to get flowers for our brunch hosts.
We continued down Main Street and turned off at George and Mimi’s house. They were hosting us and our friend Dan Beck, who runs Salinas Book and Sound. He brought his guitar along and played some music as we told stories and enjoyed George’s delicious waffles with all the trimmings.
George and Mimi host their brunches in their back yard, which they have recently turned into a patio “par excellence”. There is shade, space for a lovely table (made by George) with a large lazy Susan (made by George), two barbecues, and electrical outlets for the waffle irons! There is art on the walls, flowers all around, and cats!
Reddy the cat was my personal host for the morning. As soon as I sat down, he showered me with feline attention, which I recognized is a rare and beautiful thing. We hit it off and at the end of the morning, I was allowed to give him two tiny scraps of ham, which sealed our engagement, I think.
Before we left, George, Mimi, Bridgett and I stood in their living room and talked about everything under the sun. These lovely folks have been around a long time and have such great stories to tell….I wish I could write a book!
It is cold this morning, just 40 degrees, and the wind is blowing. The three tall Fir trees across the way are swaying like the Andrews sisters singing “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and waves of yellow leaves keep washing past our windows.
Mousekin the cat thinks she wants to go outside. She looks expectantly at the doorknob, but as soon as the cold hits her nose she looks offended, as if to say,”I didn’t order that.” So she naps on the rocking chair or lays in wait on the stairs.
I will be taking the #15 downtown today to do some more research into Portland history. Today I am looking for information on what schools were open in 1903, the first year Teddy Roosevelt visited the city. I will be sure to bundle up!
It is cold again this morning, but clear and sunny. I have two things to report that I have seen while still in my pajamas.
First, we have our first Rhododendron ready to bloom. These are magnificent plants that grow as bushes in California, but become major trees up here in Oregon. Many in the parks are 30 or 40 feet tall, and become their own ecosystem of birds, bugs, and small animals.
Ours has been kept trimmed to “only” come up to the second story landing. While all the other plants are kicking out seed pods and getting ready to retire for the winter, the Rhodies are budding up and looking good. Here it is. I will keep you posted on bloom progress.
Second, our cat, Mouse, has been out and about exploring since the weather got cooler. She had chased a squirrel up a telephone pole, met the dog next door, and watched people coming and going.
This morning she decided to explore the ledge right outside our window. It starts out being about 4 feet off the ground, and as it rounds the corner, the hill drops off, and it becomes about 20 feet off the ground.
The ledge is too narrow to turn around on. Mouse walked forward as far as she could, lost her nerve, and stopped. Sniffing and thinking fast, she discovered reverse gear as Bridgett squirmed and covered her eyes.
The reason this is a happy story is that kitten figured it out, came back around the corner, and sat on the ledge. She and Auntie Bridgett both caught their breath and all is well.
Now off to feed the kittens and hens at Auntie Katie’s!