Hello American Pie

The weather in Portland has been a bit gruesome for a while. That definitely makes things a bit tougher with the kids as we have to find more indoor activities to do with them, especially over the weekend when there is no preschool.  Still, at least yesterday it was only drizzling – the rain wasn’t too bad – so we managed to do some stuff. 

Since I’d been reading last week about the cool event taking place at Baker & Spice in the Hillsdale neighborhood of Portland, I decided yesterday that we should brave the weather.  On both Saturday and Sunday, the store was celebrating its annual Pie Day, marking the store’s birthday!  How cool is that!  Each year they have Pie Day during which over the weekend, people can come along and eat as much pie as they want (or can!).  This year apparently the store is turning 7-years-old (so I had Jayden saying the whole time “but I want to be 7 too,” which kinda makes sense as the way he counts now he omits 5 and 6, so given that he’s 4, his next birthday – in his logic – would be 7. Still I digress.

I ordered a slice of Mocha Almond and Super Duper (mega-chocolatey) and by then, truly I was done.  Daniel of course has a way sterner stomach than me so he managed a slice of: Pink Cake, Black and White and Vanilla Dream.  And Jayden shared a slice of the store’s Birthday Cake with Ethan which they both really loved by the look of their faces when the plate was clean.  Since Jayden made my birthday cake with Daniel a few weeks ago, he’s talked about nothing else.

Anyway it was a fun afternoon and what made me feel a bit better about my gorging was learning that the store will be donating a quarter of its pie sales to Neighborhood House’s emergency food box program – an organization that “helps neighbors help themselves.” I thereafter explained the charitable organization to Jayden, and he was so cute, he asked if he could give them half of his cake too!  What an adorable child.  I love him so much.

Not Happy with No Power

It was nuts yesterday.  We suddenly had the craziest power outage. Well I guess it wasn’t really all that sudden as the weather had been indicative of something like this happening.  And, I shouldn’t be all that surprised as I am used to our crazy weathers.  Still, I don’t remember having such a long-lived power outage. Thankfully our house is very well-insulated so the crazy storm that was raging outside didn’t impact us in terms of being cold, or windows shaking.  But it did affect the power.  Daniel told me today that we weren’t alone; apparently around 30,000 homes throughout Oregon also lost power.  He’d read about it on a statement from Portland General Electric.

What happened was, first there was snow (in the early evening Jayden really wanted to go play in it but I figured it would just be a slippery mess rather than something fun for him to actually play with so I said no).  That very quickly turned into rain as the snow melted and there was just a mess of slush (as I’d predicted).  Anyway, things are pretty much back to normal now but it reminded me that we have to go and get those emergency light thingies so that our house can at least have some light if – or I should say when – this happens again.

At least now it’s back I can get back onto Facebook.  Because, as Daniel says, that is my main priority!  Have a great Thursday!

More on Portlandia


I just downloaded Portlandia – the first season.  Last night I got the kids to bed early (Jayden can often still be up at 9 which is pretty tough for me as I like to be asleep by 10; but he is so yummy and cuddly at that time, but still) and started with the first episode.

I enjoyed it.  For a start, it’s definitely cool to have a show reflecting your hometown. That’s the only reason Daniel started watching it with me.  He didn’t think it would be “him” as he figure it would be a bit chic-flicish, but it turned out it wasn’t at all. Truthfully it was kind of surreal; the way it’s produced and directed is a little strange. It’s got dance/music and then sit-com so it’s a whole mixture of stuff and very different.  In the beginning they are singing a song with a chorus "The dream of the '90s is alive in Portland," indicating that truthfully in America today, with its economics and policies, come live in Portland as then you can live an idyllic life.

We also discovered that the name of the show – Portlandia – is a reference to the Portlandia sculpture (I never knew that big thing we pass regularly was called that) which is on the Portland Building on Fifth Avenue, downtown.  So a bit of hometown history isn’t too bad either.  I’m sure Jayden’s has asked me about that sculpture when we’ve driven by a million times and I have no answer for him.

Anyway, I digress.  I really enjoyed it because I love TV shows that feature couples and this one has Fred and Carrie as the main players.  The first one was about a particular bohemian couple whose priority it is to have the most humane and ethical restaurant. It seems it’s important to some people (especially Portlanders I guess) what kind of life the chicken had before it arrived on their plates at the restaurant.  Apparently the chicken they were eating had 4 acres in which to run around; and then they showed the somewhat weird couple a picture of “him.”  Oh well, as Daniel says, each to their own!

Good Ole Portlanders

It was nice to read about our community today in the paper.  I learned that there has been a lot of goodwill and charity over the last year in my city.  Indeed, of special note has been the work of the Portland Community Fund which distributed many items of food and gifts over the Christmas season.  In addition, those families who cannot afford them, received delicious Christmas dinners.

So it’s nice.  It’s just another thing that makes me happy about living in Portland.  I also heard that kids from the Portland School District have been receiving much-needed assistance. One of Jayden’s pre-school friends has a sister in that school and I know first-hand how much the family needs help. Everyone’s really been pitching in throughout the city; from churches to local residents; businesses to other schools and food banks; it’s great how the community is rallying around.  Jayden even donated a few of his toys to the cause; I don’t like him to always feel bad for others; but at the same time it’s important he has some awareness of the poverty that exists amongst his peers so I often try to strike up the right balance and I think through the work of the fund, I’ve managed to do just that.

Here’s to more great Portlanders!

Post-Christmas Non-Blues


Great News Even After Christmas

I was a little concerned I’d get the post-Christmas blues.  Mom and dad left this morning so I was suspecting feeling a bit blah.  Luckily I found an old newspaper lying around (we really hadn’t gotten around to reading the dailies a few days leading up to the holidays as we had so much to do).  But that worked out really well since I found it just when I needed it most.

I learned that a teenager from Portland is doing really good things.  Just when it seems like all teenagers should be locked up until they get to their 20s, I read about this kid who wants to change the world to a better place and has a plan to implement this.

Thirteen-year-old Julien Leitner is planning on raising a staggering $2m. And he’s not even asking people for all that much money to make this happen.  Indeed, he is only requesting $2 from each person.  Through these donations and the power of social media, he believes he will be successful in changing the world.

Apparently he’s already come a long way in this goal!  The young lad has raised $8,000 to date. He has done this through the foundation he created – Archimedes Alliance – as it was Archimedes who said “give me a lever long enough and a place to stand, and I can move the Earth,” which became his inspiration. On his YouTube video featured on CNN, Leitner then informs his viewers “you are the lever,” before requesting $2 from them.

Giving a donation also enables one to vote for one of the three charities that his foundation seeks to benefit.  And once he has raised $2m, the charity that has the most votes will get all the money.

Who could say no to that?  I certainly couldn’t.  I placed my $22 donation (it felt like $2 was too little) and then casted my vote.  Good for Leitner and good for US society (and especially Portland) for having teenagers with such caliber living in our midst.