What a Day! Part 2

Dear Liza,

After I had rested a bit, we continued my birthday by all working on the Gia Whitlock puzzle. It is so pretty! The colors are amazing and I love that I got to see her process on the SideStreet Arts Art Talk last week.

Then there was a delivery from our local flower shop, Flower Bomb! Grandpa Nelson had ordered a Spring bouquet. It is gorgeous! Hydrangeas, lilies, dahlias, two tiny tulips, even a Love Lies Bleeding. Sad name, gorgeous flower. The unusual color scheme of the bouquet coordinated exactly with the Gia Whitlock puzzle and Michele Maule birthday card, and looked great in our Nicole Cursio vase! It was amazing.

Bunch of flowers….

For dinner, we braved nasty weather and walked to Monster Smash, a great food truck just behind the Belmont Station tavern. We got burgers, fries, some cider and beer from the tavern, and ate in their very noisy, but socially distanced patio. It was weird being with people again, but felt good.

We got home before the storm hit, and got a delivery of an edible fruit arrangement from Auntie Bridgett’s momma Donna. That, with a little cheese, will be lunch tomorrow.

Bunch of fruit

Then, as if the day wasn’t perfect enough, Auntie Katie and Cousins Jasper and Kestrel stopped by, bringing a wonderful ranunculus in an owl planter. It will live on the porch for now because I don’t want the pretty blooms beaten up by our spring winds.

I took these lovely people to see the allotment and we agreed that they should come and help me put seeds in the ground when it gets dry enough.

Bunch of family!

Our dessert was the lovely French creations we had picked up way back at the beginning of the day from the Pix 0 Matic Patisserie. They were delicious, delightful works of art. We ate them slowly and loved every bite. Our better selves knew we should save some for later. Nope. We ate them all up!

Being well fed and completely worn out by affection and good wishes, we curled up on the couch and watched William Powell and Myrna Loy solve crimes in The Thin Man, watched an episode of Foxes Afloat blog, and wafted our way to bed.

The Jane Avril pastry looks just like her poster by Toulouse-Lautrec!

What a great way to turn 65!

Love,

Grandma Judy

Birthdays and Birds

Dear Liza,

It is SideStreet Arts’ Third anniversary! The gallery Auntie Bridgett shows at, and is a partner in, is having a big on-line (and tiny in-person) celebration. You can see all the art at SideStreetArts.com.

Happy Birthday, SideStreet Arts, at the corner of Ash and 28th

And because every party needs flowers, we stopped at our favorite flower shop, Flower Bomb. Solara moved her business from a truck to a shop front at the corner of Stark 29th last February, and has been doing very well.

As a matter of fact, the place was a bit chaotic. Solara is having a pop-up shop down on Division in the days between now and Valentine’s Day, and was busy both taking a delivery and sending plants off. Good business is busy business!

Also, there was the small matter of a tiny bird who had flown into the shop and was having trouble finding his way out. The tall ceiling and perches kept him up high, and he couldn’t see all the doors and windows left open for him to escape. The rumbling delivery truck was probably scary, too.

As Auntie Bridgett collected chrysanthemums and stargazer lilies for the bouquet, I tracked the little feathered friend from light fixture to twig wreath to potted plant, trying to get pictures. He was easily ten feet over my head, and never stayed still for more than a few seconds.

As we finished up and the truck got ready to pull away, we were hopeful that the little guy would find his way out. If not, I’m sure Solara has a bird feeder and birdbath in her inventory to keep him comfortable him for a while.

Love,

Grandma Judy

Flower Bomb’s New Digs

Dear Liza,

Sandwich Board for new place!

Here in Portland, we have a lot of stores that sell their goods out of trucks or trailers. That’s because property is very expensive, and a new business can start easier by renting a spot in a parking lot rather than a whole building.

Old digs ( Photo by Danger Garden)

For example, one of our favorite places to eat is cluster of food trucks on 28th Street near Burnside, and Auntie Katie has her first food truck, La Sabrosita, in her parking lot at Books with Pictures.

Solara, happy owner and plant lover

But I am writing this to tell you about a Flower truck that has now become a flower shop. Flower Bomb was a truck parked in the lot at SE 28th and Stark. Solara Schoeffler, the owner, had a smallish truck, an awning, and a rented garage across the street to keep her extra flowers in. We would see her out most mornings, pulling wagon loads of flowers across the street in the cold, rain, and heat. It had to be hard, but she was determined.

The flowers are calling us in!

This past Friday, after I left the First Friday party at SideStreet Arts, I got to walk into Solara’s new building, at SE 29th and Stark. It is wonderful. The large windows will let in plenty of sunlight, and the high ceilings allow for Benjamin ficus and fig trees to reach their potential.

High ceilings

“Look!” She said, sweeping her arms around in delight. “I have a roof! I have a door! I have HEAT!” Friends had come by to help celebrate, serving delicious mango-orange juice ‘mocktails’ , pizza and sweet treats.

Great ceramics

Stark Street Studios decorated the shelves with surprising art and customers walked out with summer in their arms despite the chilly rain.

Arms full of summer

I am so happy to see new businesses doing well in the neighborhood!

Love,

Grandma Judy