Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Morning Adventure

HAAA! I just have to say this morning was great! Probably isn't very interesting reading about it (I'm not a story teller) but living it was fun. So we have been looking for a church home here in pdx. A daunting task, especially since we both have different things we are looking for in a community of Believers. But, we did find a great group called The Well Church. Last week we both liked it. This week we planned to go again.
Jump back to this Wednesday. We had the day off and spent it downtown in a coffee shop reading and doing homework. At one point I looked up and saw a college friend walking by. Turns out she was coming to the same coffee shop. Becca and I got to catch up a bit. I invited her to come to the church with us today.
Skip to this morning. We left our house with just enough time to pick her up and get to the church. As we got close the LONGEST TRAIN EVER was slowly rolling across the road. 15 minutes later we picked her up. Church started at 10 and it was already after 10. Since we were downtown already and the church she has been going to is downtown (and started at 10 as well) we decided to just go to that one.
We got there and it had already started. The only seats were right up front so the four of us had to tromp up to the open seats during a song. It was a liturgical type service so everything was scripted. As the song ended the person up front had us stand for a reading...a benediction. I couldn't find the reading anywhere in the bulletin and neither could Becca or Joe or my sister. At the end of the short prayer the pastor said, "Have a great week!". At this point we had been there just long enough (30-60 seconds) to notice the service times on the front of the bulletin: 9am, 10:45am. We had managed to make it for the end tip of the first service! We started laughing really hard. A friend from college (also leading the music) came over and laughed with us. He had seen us frantically looking through the bulletin looking for where everyone was. Turns out the service times change after Thanksgiving and Becca had missed that part. OOPS!
The great part, besides the humor of the whole thing, was that we were noticed. People came up to introduce themselves and chat about the church. One lady came up to us because she recognized Joe from the summer math institute. Turned out she was connected to both of us in many random ways.
Since the next service didn't start for 45 minutes we walked to a coffee shop and delighted ourselves with Stumptown goodness. The service was great. At the end of it, right at the benediction, we all started giggling, trying to hold it in as best as possible. We have been laughing about it ever since.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

First Day on the Job

Well, this was the big day. Finally started doing something, which felt great. 24 Hour Fitness will be interesting and give me opportunities to serve others. The lady I will be working for is great and I think recognizes that I can do more than smile at people when they come through the door. Joe and I are both thankful for work and hope it will pay the bills. Since it's only part time it should free me up for volunteering or seasonal jobs.
It is amazing the difference simple purpose makes in a day. I don't feel lonely like yesterday, even though not much has changed. Four hours of adult conversation did the trick.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Log In

I have no idea what our password is to post blogs...which is why I haven't been posting. Turns out if I find the right computer it has my password saved and automatically puts me through. Good to know!
Currently I am sitting at PSU waiting for Joe to get out of Set Theory. I've been really bored at home so this at least gets me out of the house. Usually I can keep myself busy doing things but lately I've been feeling isolated, lonely, and antsy. This was to be expected, moving to PDX after being used to living within 5 minutes of lots of friends, but nonetheless it's not fun to be in the middle of it. I found a job that is suppose to start this week and the waiting for the background check to go through and for them to call me is driving me crazy. But, it's also been making me think a lot about "waiting" and "purpose". Yesterday the term "lonely as hell" came to mind as I was sitting rereading a book, bored. Although bored and yes, lonely, I don't identify with the term. Hell would have to be absolute loneliness with no hope of that changing. Although in need of something to do and people to invest in, I don't have a deep underlying depression from lack of connection. I am never deserted by God and that is always an encouragement. I've been imagining what life would look like without that foundation. Horrible!
On a different note, we are trying to find a place to live in PDX. While we'd love to live downtown within walking distance of PSU and my job, it's very expensive for anything not a dump. (I've realized how grateful I am for our 950 sq ft home with a beautiful kitchen.) We need to decide by December what kind of place we are looking for. I have only rented one apartment in my life so this is pretty much new to me. Craigslist is rather discouraging. If you live in the area and know of more resources for listings/housesitting/etc. I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Great Banana "Smoothie"

A friend of mine is learning how to eat differently due to newly discovered food allergies. She recommended this treat, her new favorite since ice cream is out.
1 banana, not too ripe

Wrap peeled banana in wax paper and put in freezer till hardened. Take out, cut into small chunks, and whirl in a food processor or blender (Seems to be best in food processor if you want creamy texture without chunks). Whirl until smooth. Scoop into bowl and enjoy.

That's it! I'm not a huge banana flavor fan, although I do eat bananas. This was borderline for me enjoying the banana flavor but the texture was great. Since it is only a small amount is was good. I'm thinking of what I could add to it to make it better. Maybe mint or chocolate. Raspberries might be good too.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gluten-free pancakes

I spent the weekend in Roseburg and used it to go shopping for Joe. Not only are prices often lower but stores are closer so I can go to more and compare. Packed up my trunk with all kinds of gluten-free stuff to try. This morning was my first attempt. My mom has this pancake recipe we grew up calling "Best in the west" that we love. Bob's Red Mill makes a flour mix that can be substituted for wheat flour 1:1 so I used that. I added some vanilla and used cane sugar rather than brown. Put in a bit of agave syrup too. Bob's recommends adding Xanthan gum as well. I was nervous to try them since most things gluten free seem to have a bad texture or flavor. Since Joe really loves good food I hoped it would be something he'd enjoy rather than endure. When the moment came for the first bit we looked at each other, with smiles, commenting that these were some of the best pancakes we'd ever eaten! I almost cried...well, I actually did tear up. Maybe we will be able to live like this after all. Now all I need to do is figure out how to make my own baking mix for less than a buck a cup.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Looks like gluten's out

It's been about three weeks of testing foods. Monday we added in wheat in the form of my favorite breakfast food, spoon-size shredded wheat. What a treat! Of course we are suppose to eat it three times a day for three days so the treat wasn't as wonderful by the third day. However, the good/bad news is that by the morning of day two, Joe had all the symptoms return that made us try this in the first place. Headaches, intestinal get the idea. He's been feeling so great the past few weeks and now, with the return of symptoms, realized just how bad he's always felt. Since he was a kid! We are so thankful to have a place to start focusing. We know that it could still be something else everything seems to make sense so far though this lens. This week we've been working on learning all we can about gluten intolerance. I'm looking forward to trying new ways to make bread and other foods Joe loves. Any one that has good references on the subject feel free to comment!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

40 Mile Trail Search

The bike trails around here keep commenting on this 40 mile loop around the peninsula, but we have yet to actually see a real loop on a map. Anyone know where it actually is? The Green Way maps don't exactly make it clear. This morning we did part of what we think is that trail. From our house we took Willamette to the trail head by Fred Meyer's. It goes along a drop-off that the train runs through for a mile or two. Then, after crossing a few major roads, it gets into wilderness areas (loosely applied in pdx), along a couple lakes, and then off to the tip's park. We didn't go all the way to the tip today but it would be a great little day trip, maybe 15-20 miles round trip.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Stump Town

The first two real weeks after our move have been packed with all kinds of adventures. We started with hiking in the Columbia Gorge, Angel's Rest to be specific. Great little hike for those who are willing to go all up, then all down, for a fantastic view. After that my parents came to visit for a week (yep, we leave and they miss us =) ). They biked us all over P-town and Vancouver. Three days of riding putting in about 80 miles, which, for someone who doesn't bike, is pretty but about as far as one would enjoy in a week. My dad is amazing at planning bike routes. Much more ambitious than I would be on my own. By the time they left we were set up for commuting and excited to do more day trips on our own.
As soon as they left, other friends came to visit. This time we took the MAX into downtown and walked/wandered all over. Probably about five or six miles. In the rain. We'd best get used to that since most of life here is in the rain. That night we ate the best Thai food I've ever had. I love Thai! E-San's at 2nd and Pine nails it! We ordered four different dishes and none of us could decide which was our favorite. All so great!
Our next adventure has been quite different. Not of the wandering sort. We've been wanting to find out if we are allergic to any foods. Both of us suffer with various symptoms of possible food allergies: headaches, fatigue, etc. So, starting four days ago, we started a regiment of "safe foods" (aka ones we don't eat very much of and don't taste so great as some other foods). Been learning to cook lamb and have found that cold lamb with avocado lightly sprinkled with sea salt is excellent.
Unfortunately, part of this process means withdrawal from things we are addicted to. Caffeine, sugar, maybe wheat or dairy...all we haven't had in a four long days. We've been in bed with headaches and fatigue for the past few days. Ready to get moving on to better days. Supposedly tomorrow through Monday will keep getting better. After that we can start adding foods back into our diet. Until then I will keep craving a sugar free vanilla latte, Umpqua ice cream, french bread, thai food, noodles....(see list going on for a long time...)
The process of preparing for this has actually been very enlightening. We are learning just how many things have corn in them. Hopefully we won't be allergic to corn. Or wheat. That's almost as many foods. It's been a good jump start into whole foods, that's for sure. Go Micheal Pollen! We'll keep you updated as to the progress.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

More learn'n

Do you know who the Iron-Jawed Angels were?
How about the first east coast state to allow women to vote?
Do you know all the Beatles names and albums? (High school students don't.)
Ever heard of the Oregon newspaper The New Northwest? It was edited by a woman named Abigail Scott Dunniway who was a suffragist. Her brother started the Oregonian...he was opposed to women suffrage and made it known in his paper.
By the way, why the term suffrage? Anyone???

What's the difference

What's a pandemic verses an epidemic? Easy maybe for those of you who remember your prefixes. Pan relating to "world" and epi relating to "cover"...but what does that mean regarding these two words? All important now that the swine flu, according to the media, is called a pandemic and is going to kill us all. Apparently an epidemic is relating to a specific region whereas a pandemic is worldwide. So, in my book, that means people should stop calling AIDS an epidemic. Right?