Nifty Threads

Nifty Threads -

Walk for ALS

ALSIt’s incredible how many stories I hear these days of people being diagnosed with ALS – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – or more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Just two weeks ago our good friend James (who is only 28 himself)’s mom was diagnosed. She’s just 63. And then my friend Sally –whose mom passed away from the disease many years ago – heard the dreadful news that her sister now has it. And she’s not even 40. It’s awful. And so scary.

I guess it was all of this that inspired us to take both the kids on the ALS walk in town. We walked three miles to raise money for research into ALS. Despite the depressing nature of the cause, the event was beautiful. We covered Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Steel Bridge, Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade and Hawthorne Bridge. Kids were tired by the end but nothing too crazy.

I think the walk brought in close to $25,000. So that’s good. But seriously, what a terrible, terrible disease. I pray a cure is discovered soon.

Concern for Portland Environment

portland-riversI always thought that the Portland environment was something of which I could be proud. I felt like there were enough Portlanders who had worked on making the environment a priority; that it was something with which I didn’t need to concern myself.

So when I heard that Oregon’s waterways recently ranked the 33rd worst in the country, I was disappointed to say the least. According to Environment Oregon, just two years ago the Oregon industry dumped 1.3 million pounds of toxic chemicals into rivers, streams and lakes. What is going on and why didn’t I know about this??? Where are all those staunch Portland environmentalists who are meant to be on the case for me and my family? Oof!

I really thought that we were safe and protected from this kind of stuff. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has been working in this area for a long time. Just a few months ago, all revisions it made to the state’s toxics water quality standards were approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). At the end of last year, these recommendations were brought to the DEQ at a meeting in Portland and thereafter came into effect in April for all Clean Water Act programs.

Still I wasn’t thrilled by what Alexa Pettinari of Environment Oregon said, “With facilities dumping so much pollution, no one should be surprised that more than half of our waterways are unsafe for swimming and fishing.” Still, according to the 1972 Federal Clean Water Act, it is illegal to discharge pollutants into navigable waters unless the discharger has a federal permit. I hope at least that is effective and to the benefit of Portland environment.

Getting Away with Bimini SuperFast

bimini-islandsIt’s time for a break. Daniel has been promising me for ages – years actually – that we’ll go on a cruise to the Bahamas one day. Well, now that day has come. I am cashing in on his promises. I recently found something perfect. I started reading about this really cool ship – the Bimini SuperFast. Not only does it go to the Bahamas (superfast!), it also has great deals. When I told Daniel, there was nothing he could do BUT agree! Especially attractive was the part that kids 12 and under go for free!

So we just booked Bimini SuperFast for late August. This Bimini cruise from Miami is really exactly what I need right now. I need a change of scenery. I need something different and I for sure need something to look forward to; I’ve been working way too hard recently. In addition, my whole life I’ve associated the word ‘Bahamas’ with R&R so that is for sure what I’m counting the days down until!

Wow. The Bahamas: with over 700 islands, cays and islets, I am certainly looking forward to basking in the delights of the island boasting 180,000 square meters of ocean space. Perfect for relaxation. And I’m sure the kids will find something fun to do while I’m off in la la land!

Portland Calendar – Summer Drinking Fun

beer-festivalI’m not such an avid beer sport but when it comes to festivals it’s something else. Earlier this month Portland calendar got a good dosage of beer. The beer festival – that took place between June 5th and June 15th – was presented by Pizza Shmiza. Events on the calendar included: Cheese and Beer Special: $1 for a slice of Steve’s hand selected daily cheese pairing with a purchase of a full beer on tap or a bottle. Then there is the All Day Happy Hour (on Draft Beer), Sizzle Pie + Fort George Week (at which Fort George will be taking over 4 taps), Atlas Cider Tap Takeover, Widmer Brothers Small Batch Tap Takeover, East Glisan Pizza Lounge + Hop Valley, Masters of Lagers (PNW lagers and guests get to meet brewers from Heater Allen, Full Sail, Base Camp, Upright, the Commons and Breakside).

Other events at the festival include: Alameda Brewing Tasting Night, the Kickoff Party with Brewer Bands@ Ecliptic (live music and beers from favorite brewers kicking off with Brewmaster John Harris), Sierra Nevada & Ballast Point Tap Takeover & Fundraiser for Western Rivers Conservancy, and the Oakshire Arcade Tournament to name but a few.

This sure is something in the Portland calendar I was glad I was around to experience and enjoy!

Portland Happenings

tango-salsaI love Portland.  I never tire of it in fact. It seems like there is always something to look forward to and right now it is the festival season.  Between brew festivals and pirate festivals Daniel and the kids are going to have a blast!

As for me, I may end up at the Tango and Salsa Dance Festival!  Organized by Portland Parks and Recreation this outdoor event will feature live music from four bands and professional dancers will be there to teach us some of their tricks!  For a mere $8 I definitely want to be there.

I think Ethan would go crazy over the Balloons Festival.  We can watch tons of balloons going up into the sky.  That’s cute and simple and perfect for a 4 year old.

Summer around here is going to be fun.  I’m so glad we live here.