Nature is Amazing

Although it’s been a bit on the hot side this week, we have been having a glorious spring (or early summer I suppose) here in Portland. Over the past few days the heat has broken and so I have taken some time to show my sister, (and new intern) Erin around the neighborhood. After fueling up on (gorging ourselves on) raspberries from the yard of course.

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We’ve had so much fun checking out all the flowers, veggies and herbs that people are growing in their yards. And we are certainly taking time to stop and smell the roses– and lavender and sage.

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It’s so great to be able to take it slow and absorb all the beauty around us.

My whole body aches…

…and it feels so good! Gardening is sometimes tricky for me because my sciatica usually gets irritated after about a half hour. One of my goals is to eliminate that pain through healthier living and gardening is a big part of that. It has become one of my favorite forms of exercise. I spent the day gardening yesterday and ripped out some truly horrendous weeds. Their bulbs were down a foot or two, causing me to have to dig down and basically turn over and sift through my whole garden bed. I am thankful that my back lasted the whole time.

weedsMeet Italian arum or Orange Candleflower. It has a reputation for being nearly impossible to eradicate. So much so that the city of Portland recommends throwing the bulbs you dig up in the trash rather than the municipal compost! (I love that Portland has a municipal composting program. It was one of the reasons I wanted to move up here.) This plant, that looks nice at first, has been trying to take over my whole garden.

I don’t know who was in charge of the landscaping before I moved into this house buy for some reason they picked all the WORST plants! (Except the daffodils, I love my daffodils).

After much ado I was able to get my two new blueberry bushes in the ground.

Here they are, Jersey and Earlyblue.

They’re not very photogenic yet but they will be soon. Good luck little guys! I am pretty excited about the bounty of fruits and veggies I am going to have this summer, I’m well on my way toward a more self sufficient life. It’s a good thing too, the drought in California could have a major impact on the availability of some foods.

A trip to SCRAP

a look at SCRAP in Portland, OR
SCRAP – It’s like a thrift store for crafts!

The first step in starting my clothing line is cleaning out my sewing room so that I have a functional space to work. Going through boxes of old fabric acquisitions, scraps, and unfinished projects was really difficult process at first. I didn’t know where to start and I have a hard time throwing things away so I tend to just move things from pile to pile. I feel bad being wasteful and contributing further to our landfills. I keep bits of things, thinking someday I will turn them into something – a quilt, a bag, stuffed animal. All the ideas I had when I first obtained said random piece of fabric rush back to me. The thing is: I am in all likelihood NOT going to turn all this random fabric into some great work of art. But someone might.

Here in Portland there is a magical place where I can donate my odds and ends so that they can make their way to some crafter that will actually put them to use.

SCRAP is nonprofit organization whose mission is “to inspire creative reuse and environmentally sustainable behavior by providing educational programs and affordable materials to the community.”

And it’s a wonderland of goodies and craft supplies, all donated, all diverted from the garbage. If you are ever in the area I highly recommend stopping in (also go to the ReBuilding Center, it’s the same kind of thing but for building supplies)

So I loaded up my trunk and headed to SCRAP. When I arrived, much to my chagrin, I saw that they were not accepting donations because they are moving! All the way across the river (it’s not really that far, I’m just complaining) Looks like I will have to haul around my donation for a few weeks.

I did however find some fun stuff. I wound up with a super retro 1977 book on Tatting, in all its earth-toned glory and a calendar from the Union of Concerned Scientist featuring entertaining cartoons about science deniers. Score!

Look for an update about SCRAP’s new location, later this month.