Getting Great Service in Portland

I love living in Portland.  We moved just before we had the kids.  Before that we were living in Connecticut where I’d grown up so I was really reluctant to relocate, but anyway we didn’t have a choice as Daniel got a new job.  Anyway, since we’ve come here, I am more and more pleased we were forced into it, almost on a day-to-day basis.

One of the places I discovered very early on – probably because we needed a decent supply of groceries in our home pretty immediately – was Zupan’s Markets.  Located in three convenient areas in the city (Belmont, Burnside and Macadam), the produce sold there is so fresh I cannot work out how they do it. I also like the idea of a family-run business and this is really the feel you get at Zupans – like, I even felt a personal loss a few months ago when the founder and owner of the store – John Zupan – passed away.

Another early discovery I made in the city was the restaurant, the Old Wives’ Tales.  Being a vegetarian veering on the edge of veganism (don’t tell Daniel, he’ll divorce me – he’s SUCH a carnivore), this was a great find.  As well as having a great play area for Jayden (and Ethan is happy as he can just glare lovingly as his big brother and hero plays), it has a huge vegan/veggie menu with some great meat options so I don’t get a sour look from the big man. Sometimes, I even find myself dreaming about the salad bar as I run to pick the kids up from daycare to take them there for a treat…when really I know it’s actually my treat; great food and fun for the kids!

So I’m constantly discovering new and awesome things to do in Portland.  It really does seem that every time I turn around there is something else great about this city.  Apart from missing my parents who are still in Connecticut, I love living in Portland!  They are actually coming to stay over Christmas so I have that to look forward to as well.  And I’ll sure be showing them around my great city that I’m ever so proud of!

So, until next time…have a great Tuesday and try to find something you love about your city!

They’re Still Bouncing Up and Down

We had these new neighbors move in over the summer.  They wrote something on the local email list asking for help putting up their trampoline.  Her husband is away a lot so Daniel offered to help.  It was him and a few other guys and it took them hours and hours to finish putting it up. 

But it was sure worth it. Every time we look at our window – morning, noon or night, literally – there they are, bouncing around on it.  They have four kids ranging from around 7 to 14-years-old, but it’s not just those guys who are using it. Jayden was given a free pass (since his daddy was so helpful in its assembly), but he’s somewhat cautious (or as Daniel would say “a wimp”) so hasn’t taken them up on it yet.  Still, every time I look, there are at least 3 kids bouncing up and down. Even when I take Moo Choo (our dog) out for a walk before 7 am, there they are, jumping up and down on the trampoline.  Daniel often wondered how safe it was, but it does have a net so I’m hoping it’s okay and the company does have a good reputation for safety. For sure it has to be good for the mom who probably has her hands full, what with her husband traveling a lot for work.  I think he’s in the diamond business.  Either that, or gold; some kind of precious gem, I forget which exactly but he’s for sure never been seen on that trampoline!

Food Deliveries  

On the recommendation from a couple of our other neighbors (Kayla and Ruth), this Friday marked the first week of our family receiving an organic food delivery from Organics To You.  I was getting tired of reading about all the cancers that can be caused by non-organic produce and figured since it was so easy, why not check this company out? 

We started off with the Small Bin as we thought – from the description – that would cover our produce needs for the week.  At $33 I was impressed with the price and when it came I was delighted! I got apples, pears, oranges, satsumas, turnips, celeriac, onion, kale, carrots, beets, potatoes, leeks and broccoli.  I can use it all.  The fruits will go in Jayden’s lunch box and be available for him and Ethan as an afternoon snack and I’m planning on making a root vegetable soup with the turnips, celeriac, carrots, potatoes and leeks. The broccoli I’ll use for a quiche (Daniel just picked up some great dairy products over the weekend that I’m dying to try out) and the potatoes will be good for a meal of potatoes, beans and cheese or potatoes with tuna melt that Ethan simply gobbles up.  And if I have any leftover, I can always send it to the bouncing neighbors who must be working up a crazy appetite!  I’ll definitely be trying other baskets from this company in the future.

My Personal Thanks”receiving” Tale

So I guess I had a special Thanksgiving story of my own from last week.  It didn’t happen exactly on Thanksgiving (it was the next day) which is why I’m only reporting on it now.  But still, to me, what happened definitely gave me big reason to be thankful.

It was a crazy afternoon.  Jayden, my four-year-old, had an infected arm that needed to be treated.  It had started off so stupidly; with just a scrape from when he was coming up the stairs outside our house.  But somehow it just wasn’t really getting better – a doctor friend of ours had told us to go check it out. Now, you have to understand something about Jayden.  Great, wonderful, sweet kid that he is, he simply hates doctors.  I knew it wouldn’t be fun.  Meanwhile, I had to take Ethan (the one-year-old) along for the ride and I was pretty tired myself too. So it wasn’t bearing for a good afternoon. Continue reading My Personal Thanks”receiving” Tale

Women’s Magazines: Today and Yesteryear

Magazines have come a long way in the last few decades, especially the feminine-based ones. Indeed, half a century ago, the very thought of having a magazine for women was at best, scorned at, and at worst, the creator of goose-bumps among anyone daring enough to bring up such a suggestion. Indeed, just 40 years ago when Gloria Steinem and some other women – viewed at the time as staunch feminists – began their magazine for women, by women, it was little short of revolutionary. But it was also welcomed by many; the first issue of ‘Ms.’ sold out completely in eight days.

Today, ‘Ms.’ is still going, and is not just seen as a magazine, but actually more of a movement. But it is no longer unique in its service for women. There is now a huge array of different titles offered for women – magazines that are written by both women and men – but which focus on subjects important to the female species. For those interested in getting good deals on these magazines, companies such as the National Magazine Exchange, iSubscribe, or MagShop-make very attractive subscription offers. So for women who want to enjoy their femininity and make the most of it with the help and encouragement of a magazine, they should check out the different titles available through a company like the National Magazine Exchange or Discount Mags.

At the time ‘Ms.’ was first launched, very few women were involved in the magazine process, from writing to publishing, even though the large majority of the readership was female. Thus the stories that were written were focused on what women should do to keep their men happy, including looking good and being a great cook. Steinem was received shockingly when she suggested a political edge to the stories in The New York Times Sunday Magazine and these jobs were left to the men.

It was only when the feminist organizations began to emerge that things changed, and magazines for women got a real makeover. Thus today the female magazine titles available through these magazine subscription companies have the women’s slant they require to make them contemporary and to appeal to what women really want.

The Amazing Wisdom of Non-Homo-Sapiens

If at first you don’t believe, look, look again.  It seems like there are some animals out there hitting the top of the IQ chart.  Apparently, if you want to make a killing on a gamble, your best bet may be a sheep! 

Sonny Wool, hails from New Zealand and is said to be able to predict the winner of the World Cup.  The furry friend determined it would be New Zealand to take home the winning prize against Tonga in the Rugby World Cup’s opening match.  Wool was given two containers of food which each had a flag of the different teams playing and it was the one with the New Zealand flag that he picked.

Apparently it didn’t come as such a great surprise to Sonny Wool’s owner.  According to Dan Boyd, even as a young lamb, Wool was able to predict when it was going to rain and thus he hoped his furry friend would follow in the footsteps of another super-smart non-homo-sapiens, Paul the Octopus.

Paul the Octopus

Paul came before Sonny.  Last year the octopus made the correct prediction on who would win the matches in Germany.  He knew Spain would kick Holland’s butt in the World Cup and he was right.  Paul could be seen on a tank that had a Spanish flag on it before he grabbed a mussel and ate it.  Apparently he showed absolutely no interest in the Dutch tank.  Not only that, but clever Paul also predicted the wins Germany would enjoy over Argentina, Australia, England, Ghana and that it would lose against Spain and Serbia.

So, next time you want to take a gamble and try and predict which team will win in a big game, instead of checking into traditional methods, maybe get yourself a clever pet!