Nothing Says Lovin’ Like Something From the Oven ~

It was swoon at first sight and love at first bite.

This weekend while a huge swath of the United Stated was hunkered down under ten feet of snow and bone chilling cold, Portland was aglow with bright sunny skies.   It was perfect weather for a winter walk.  All I had to do was convince hubs to pass on a little football, bundle up, and head out into the cold air and blinding sun.  Fortunately, I know the secret.  I enticed him with the promise of brunch and a new restaurant.  Works every time.


waiting for me to decide on our next tasty treat.

We headed over to the east side of Portland, where tucked away on a quiet corner of Hawthorne Boulevard sits a little slice of Heaven called Tabor Bread.   These folks are working more than a little magic with yeast and flour.  And the magic begins with locally grown wheat which they grind themselves.  Believe me when I say you can taste the love.


Real red wheat flour, spelt and kamut from local growers.

The flour mill.  How cool is that?

The flour mill. How cool is that?

The minute Hubs and I stepped into this delightful little shop our noses twitched from the heady aromas of yeast and sugar.   And here’s where my plan (not a resolution) went right out the window.  Cup of soup and half a turkey sandwich?   That was the plan.  Ha!  We were called immediately to the sweet, and oh so delicious, dark side – first up we shared a freshly baked pecan sticky bun.  Swoon.  That was devoured while we perused the menu.  Still trying to decide on what to order, we shared a tiny delight called a donut muffin.   DoMuf, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.   By this time neither of us was actually hungry and we were pretty well sugared-up, so we decided to be “good” and settled on two cups of rich, house-made hot chocolate and a plate of toast with fresh balsamic pear butter.  Oh my.  Is there anything better than toast made from thick slices of just out of the oven bread?  It was the perfect finish to our three course breakfast.  Oops!  We ate it so fast, I forgot to take photos.


Nothing says lovin’ like something from the oven at Tabor Bread

The tiny dining room was warmed by the giant brick bread oven along the back wall.   It was comfy and cozy and so we lingered over our toast and chocolate and settled in to watch the show.  The baker never stopped his dance.  A wooden paddle with a 6 foot handle was Ginger to his Fred.  Piping hot loaves of all shapes and sizes slowly filled the racks.  The air even had a hint of smoke.  Did I say heaven?

Finally, with gooey fingers, full bellies, warm hearts and huge smiles on our faces, we agreed it was time to get on with the second leg of our adventure.  We waved goodbye to the kind folks at Tabor Bread and set out to walk off just a few of the 1,000 calories we had each just consumed.  Hubs led the charge and we headed up the hill and then up a little more until we reached the top of Mt. Tabor.   The air was crisp, the sky was blue, the sun was bright in the sky and the birds were a chorus cheering us on as we trudged up the path.  The view from the top was well worth the effort.  taborbreadwalkview  And then we took the easy way down. taborbreadwalkstairs

Happy Camper

Happy Camper

This was one of the tastiest close to home and on foot adventures we’ve had in a while.  We found a little bit of everyday magic at Tabor Bread We will be back…very soon.  Next time we’ll branch out and try some of the savory bread pudding that we didn’t have room for.



It was a very good year!

Time flies when you’re having fun.

And, since 2013 seems to have flown by in a blur, I must have been having one heck of a good time.  I certainly hope so, because there is so much of it that I’ve already forgotten.  What’s up with that?  It’s a good thing I never go anywhere without my camera.

They say that looking back in gratitude at where you’ve been helps you adjust your sights on where you want to go next.  With that in mind, and with much gratitude to those who made my journey through this year the thrill ride that it was, here are just a few highlights from my 65th turn around the sun.

My 2013 Mandala -

My 2013 Mandala –

In January, I set my intention for 2013 during a Mandala Workshop at Via Artistica.  My words for the year were passion and risk.  The tarot card I drew was the Chariot which, among other things, signifies travel, change and movement.

Everyday Magic

Everyday Magic

I challenged myself to find a little bit of magic every day through the lens of my camera.  Thanks Tammy Strobel for inspiring my creativity this year with your brilliant online classes.

Published an article

Published an article

I officially became a published author.  Thank you Mark Chimsky for inviting me to take a very scary leap with my writing.

It's mom with FOOD!

It’s mom with FOOD!

I became a “grandma” when a momma Junko built a nest and laid 4 tiny blue eggs in the lettuce bowl planter on my front porch.  Yep, those are 4 tiny, wide open baby bird mouths.

Doing our best Vrikasana at the gate to the Japanese Garden

Doing our best Vrikasana at the gate to the Japanese Garden

Hubs and I participated in our first (but not last) Urban Adventure Race.  Thanks to my husband and partner in crime for (almost) always saying a hearty YES! to my hair-brained ideas.

Two weeks worth of Medicare Love.  XO

Two weeks worth of Medicare Love. XO

I signed up for Medicare.  Yep, I’m that old.  Thank you to the Government for providing this safety net.  Now, please quit trying to de-fund it.

And the race is on!

And the race is on at the Milk Carton Boat Races.

I participated in the 2013 Word Count Blogathon and blogged every day in June with the theme 30 Fun, Funky and Fabulous Things to Do Within 30 Miles of Portland.  I love this town!  Oregon ~ Things Look Different Here.

NancyCaminoI celebrated my 65th birthday by walking 65 miles on the Camino de Santiago in Spain.

Looking back over this year, I’m reminded once again that “Life should not be measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away.”

I am grateful for every breath I take these days, and it is my fondest wish that 2014 leaves each and every one of us absolutely breathless on more than one occasion.




You Might Be From Portland, Oregon if …

For many years our state slogan was Oregon ~ Things Look Different Here.  They sure did. And that’s why I moved to Portland way back in 1988.  Since then, lots of things have changed, but we still celebrate the unique qualities that make us Portlanders and Oregonians.  We wear our Keep Portland Weird bumper stickers with pride.

You know your from Portland if ~

1.  You’ve celebrated your birthday lunch in the rain at an Indian food cart.

Birthday lunch at Chaat House

Birthday lunch at Bombay Chaat House

2.  Someone at Home Depot has offered you assistance, even though they didn’t work there.

3.  You’ve worn shorts, sandals and a parka all at the same time, on multiple occasions.

4.  You’ve had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed the wrong number.

5.  A trip to the beach means jeans, long underwear, a sweatshirt and a beanie.

6.  You have gotten lost in the largest bookstore in the world, and didn’t mind spending 4 or 5 hours finding your way out.

7.  You have worn pajama pants to a McCormick & Schmick’s.

8.  You have switched from heat to AC and back again in the same day.

9.  You can’t remember your neighbor’s names, but know the brewmaster personally at your nearest McMenamin’s.

10.  More than half your income is thanks to your backyard garden.

11.  You install security lights on your house and garage, but leave both doors unlocked.

12.  You don’t know what a gas cap is, let alone how to put gas in a car.

13.  You use the phrase “sun breaks” and know what it means.

14.  You have been pulled over by a cop because he saw an ad for your car yesterday and wanted to know how you liked the rain-sensing windshield wipers.

15.  You don’t like traveling out of state because sales tax makes you cranky.

16.  You know all four seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and construction.

17.  You feel guilty throwing aluminum cans, bottles and paper products in the trash.

18.  You know more than 10 ways to order coffee.

19.  You have stood at a deserted intersection in the rain waiting for the “walk” signal.

20.  You own at least one pair of Birkenstocks and one piece of tye-dye clothing.

21.  You know the difference between Chinook, Coho, and Sockeye salmon

22.  You know that Boring is a place, not just a feeling.

23.  You know an engaged couple who are registered at REI.

24. You take waterproof matches and ponchos on midsummer camping trips.


25.  You think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or from California.





Winter in Portland ~ a haiku

Oh boy!  It’s another theme day at the WordCount Blogathon and this one is taking me way out of my comfort zone.  I was probably in 11th grade the last time I had to write a haiku and I won’t win any prizes for this one.  That’s for sure.   But in the spirit of saying Yes! to new challenges, I give you my Portland haiku.

Winter in Portland

Cloudy, chance of rain.

Showers drizzle heavy fog.

Praying for Summer.

January at Ponzi Vineyard - Portland OR

January at Ponzi Vineyard – Portland OR

Now, where did I put my umbrella?


Portlandia ~ the show

Today is a blogathon theme day.  It’s post a video day.  I love this tongue-in-cheek video promo for the TV show Portlandia.

You know you have arrived as a unique and interesting city when television comes calling and creates a satirical show gently pointing out and poking fun at every one of your beloved quirks – and the show is a hit!

Put a bird on it!



Sand in the City ~

Our fair city of Portland is such a relaxed place to live that it comes with its own “Living Room” aka Pioneer Courthouse Square.  This brick-lined square encompasses an entire block in the middle of downtown and is home to some of fantastic events – Tuba Christmas, Festa Italiano, Festival of Flowers, Christmas Tree Lighting are just a few.  Mix in a live broadcast TV station on the square, a daily parade of soapbox sermons, office workers eating lunch, a street dweller or two, tourists with cameras in hand, and moms from the burbs with kids in tow, and you get the vibe.  Come sit awhile.  There’s  little something for everyone to enjoy.

For me, nothing tops the summertime fun of Sand in the City.   Portland’s living room is magically transformed into Portland’s beach.  Then, in just six hours, sand teams and architects transform over 450 tons of sand and 4,500 gallons of water into magnificent sand sculptures. SandintheCity These temporary works of art are absolutely amazing.    A true labor of love.  And hard work.  And skill.  And attention to the tiniest detail.  My hat goes off to the creative souls who volunteer their technical and artistic skills.  Rain or shine. sandinthecitydragon sandinthecity2

Can it get any better?  Yes, it can!  This event, is the non-profit love-child of Junki Yoshida.  Yes, he of the yummy Mr. Yoshida’s Teriyaki Sauce fame.  His business has been a huge supporter from the beginning.  The event is completely volunteer produced so nearly every dollar raised goes to support Impact NW and all the outstanding work they do in our area.

This year’s event Carving a Future For Our Kids, starts on July 19.  The sand will be in place and the teams start working their sand-casting magic at 10:00 o’clock sharp.  They must be finished by 4:00 p.m.  Entries are judged, prizes are awarded and everything opens for close up public viewing at 6:00 p.m.  There is a $10.00 admission fee – it’s your chance to have fun + do good. sandinthecityelephant See you there!  Wear your sandals.







Thirty Fun, Funky & Fabulous Things to do Within Thirty Miles of Portland


I recently signed up to participate in my first official WordCount Blogathon.

30 posts in 30 days.  Yikes!

I’m excited, hopeful, daunted and more than a little terrified.  Do I have the goods?  Well, we’re about to find out.

Ya Gotta Have a Theme.  Here’s mine ~ Thirty Fun, Funky & Fabulous Things to Do Within Thirty Miles of Portland or TFFFTODWTMOP for short.

Waterfront Park Portland OR

Waterfront Park Portland OR

Please join me on this mini adventure as I explore Portland’s many treasures.  It’s going to be fun.  I guarantee it.

I’ll be back on Saturday, June 1st with Thirty Fun, Funky & Fabulous Things Portland – Day One.   

Dragon Boats Portland OR

Dragon Boats Portland OR





Spring is in the Air + a Little Link Love

Spring isn’t official for another week, but I’m here to tell you without a doubt that Spring has sprung in the Pacific Northwest.  It takes me by surprise every year.  One day I go out for a walk wearing my coat, scarf and a hat and the next day half way through my walk, the gloves are in my pocket, I’ve pulled off the hat, I’m wishing I could ditch the coat and wondering why the heck I didn’t bring my sunglasses.  I even saw people walking around in shorts and tee shirts yesterday.  If I didn’t need the sunglasses for the bright sun, I could have used them to cut the glare from those white legs.  Two days later and it’s back to coat, gloves, and all the rest.  Spring – you are a tease!

Nothing says Spring like crocus poking their colorful heads up in the garden.  I snapped these on a walk the other day.  Don’t you love the vivid colors?

springcrocus Since it’s Friday, it’s time to spread a little Link Love.  Here are a few posts that I really enjoyed this week.

This poem says it all  – Boomer Anthem

Another great post from the Love Being Retired blog –  Will Your Passion Dim in Retirement?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day – Here’s an authentic recipe for Irish Soda Bread from Shelly Miller Home Exchange Expert

What’s the biggest harbinger of Spring if you live in Portland?  The Shamrock Run of course.  It’s this weekend.  Time to lace up our walking shoes and hit the streets with 35,000 of our closest friends.  I ran it only once – came in 4th from last, earning the name “leader of the back”.  It was a long time ago.  I’m over it now.

Whether you walk, run or drink green beer, have a fun and fabulous St. Patrick’s weekend!

And here’s something from The Happiness Sprinkling Project to get your weekend started with a smile.  Their signs have been traveling across the country and soon around the world.