The other day, I looked down at what I was wearing at work. A flannel, a ForestJustice t-shirt, a handmade scarf, jeans from high school and Converse. Oh my, I think to myself. I’ve turned Portland. There is a new show premiering this month on IFC called Portlandia, a show that uncovers (and makes fun of) all of the things that keep Portland weird and perhaps a bit stuck in the 90s. Oh well, I’m all for it.
Its been a great transition back into Oregon life this past week; everyone is back from their respective travels and we are gearing up for our next area visit from our area director, Jillian. Last week was catching up on email (that makes me sound professional?) and some meetings. I am hoping to help out on some grants that SOLV is writing since I think it can be a really good skill for non-profit and life experience. SOLV is helping one of our Green Team schools write a grant for water quality testing equipment and support for our student restoration project on the stream behind their school. We started back up with Green Team schools last Friday and its been great to get outside, though a bit cold! Friday was a focus on native planting and beaver caging on our new plants to protect them from deer, beaver and other creatures. Today, I took our high school groups on an invasive plant identification walk around the site they work on; we talked about invasive plants and they were able to recall a great amount of information, which reinforces the work we do with them.
This weekend was a relaxing one as we spent Friday night in with all the housemates under one roof; we splurged with a Domino’s gift card (who knew there was such a thing?) and bought pizzas (with coupons of course) for dinner and watched Inception. Simple living just got luxurious! Saturday was a great day; I finished making my very own prayer flags! Super simple and pictures to come!
In the evening, we travelled into Portland to spend some time with some of our JVC support people, Steven and Susan. Steven joined us for dinner at JVC orientation in August and has been a great friend ever since; he and his wife moved from Connecticut a few years ago and are such amazing people to talk to. They spent their first six months in a cabin in the forest to get a taste of truly living simply and really enjoyed their time out there, snowshoeing and hiking. They have lived in NE Portland for the past four years and invited all of us for dinner on Saturday; no easy task feeding the seven of us! But Susan made stuffed shells and there were even leftovers! Great conversation was had over dinner and a few of us accepted the invitation to stay the night.
Steven made us french toast the next morning, calling his home a B & B; what a lovely way to wake up! After many thanks, Steven drove us to St. Andrew’s for the 9:30am liturgy. No helmet hair for mass! We saw some Portland JV’s at mass as well as our good friend, Jeremy (JVC NW recruiter) and our area director, Jillian.
Elena, Christie and I wandered around NE Portland for the morning, stumbling upon some great little shops and coffee houses. We stopped in Bolt to peruse their great fabrics, into Close Knit to check out some wonderful knitting patterns and yarn. Christie, our Portland tour guide as always, brought us to the fantastic Pine State Biscuits for delicious buttery goodness; pictures are included! After many thrift shop visits, I purchased a lovely pair of shoes; thanks Grandma! We also visited with the Morris JV’s, just back from a wonderful jaunt to the Oregon coast; jealous!
The first weekend back ended with youth ministry at St. Matthew’s in Hillsboro. We talked about bullying; how to be agents of change instead of keeping the status-quo. We had some really great discussion and its been great to get to know students better as the months go on. We played a fantastic game called Quelf; so random and ridiculous and fun… I had to quack like a duck every time someone picked up a card. I must purchase this game.
Another week begins, GO DUCKS! Off to the Blazers/Knicks game tomorrow. After all, simple living has its perks!