Goldendale, WA

Last weekend, some friends from my women’s group headed a monastery couple hours north to Goldendale, WA for the weekend. It was so beautiful to spend time unplugged and in a peaceful environment so secluded that we couldn’t get cell reception even if we tried. I really enjoyed hiking in the woods, communing with friends, and playing with baby goats (my fave!).

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Now it is back to reality, and wishing this season of life to be over with.

xoxo
-P

Sunday in Wicker Park

Last Sunday I spent my final day in Chicago hanging out with my friend Anna. We got brunch in Wicker Park at The Bongo Room (phenomenal food, I highly recommend), and I even got to rent a Diana Fish-eye camera from the Lomography store a few blocks from the brunch bar. It was fun to take photos despite the frigid temps.

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I’m back in PDX now after returning from Chicago and a quick 2-day trip to New York. So happy to be home.

xoxo
-P

I’m in Chicago for the week to attend Pittcon –the most attended annual conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy in the world. Riveting, I know. The cool thing is that I get to reconnect with my friend Anna (whom I met by way of the Barretts while I was a graduate student at IU), and I met her roommate Karen who shares many commonalities with me, and stay in their cozy home for the week.

We’re doing a lot of this…

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And I’m doing a bit of this (the conference site)…
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Despite the cold weather (it was 3 degrees this morning), Chicago is a blast. It also helps that it is a city of gourmet junk food ;)

xoxo
-P

February Sweater

My latest selfish knit has been the Bedford sweater designed by Michelle Wang. I liked the simplicity of the raglan pullover, the texture of the reverse stockinette sleeves, and the right twist stitch pattern coupled with the tweed yields an interesting fabric.

I used the Brooklyn Tweed Shelter yarn in Stormcloud. The sweater grew by ~20% post-blocking; I’m not happy with the size of the jumper post-blocking since it is now baggy on me (and fit perfectly before blocking). I suppose I have finally learned to not only knit gauge swatches, but to ALSO block the swatch before calculating gauge. With my OCD tendencies, I may end up deconstructing the sweater entirely and re-knitting it so that it fits me perfectly, or the sweater will be resigned as my weekend yoga/errand sweater since it is rather comfy as it is.

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Guess I’ll have to put my needles away for a while… I doubt I’ll have much time for knitting next month.

xoxo
-P

First time snowboarding

One of the friends I’ve met here in Portland is an avid snowboarder. Inspired by the winter Olympics, and a desire to visit the mountain I borrowed Lena’s skiing attire and convinced my friend to teach me how to snowboard. We spent the day at Government Camp atop of Mt. Hood. Once we rented our gear, I learned how to strap into the snowboard (without falling) and we hopped on the ski lift for adventures!

I had a blast, and I was surprised at how easy snowboarding was to learn. I did eat snow quite a bit, but by the end of the day my skills had improved substantially and I fell much less.

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Ski/snowboarding season is almost over, but I will definitely try to make it to a mountain next season (and maybe have a go at skiing)!

xoxo
-P

Trip to the Oregon coast

We spent the day travelling along the coast, soaking up one of the few gorgeous coastal sunny weekends, and tromping on beaches. Oregon coasts are unlike any other I’ve seen, the water is sparkling blue, and the topography is majestic!

We started our adventures in Oceanside where we ducked and tiptoed through a tunnel formed by fallen rocks that brought us to spectacular views. I loved seeing mussels, sea anemones, dogs playing on the beach and the feel of my hair blowing in the wind

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The Oregon Coast

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Beach houses

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Tiptoeing through a tunnel

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Having fun in the water

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Sea anemones and mussles

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Queen of the rock

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High up

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With Lena!

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In Oceanside

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Beautiful coast

After hanging out in Oceanside, we made a slight detour to check out Camp Meares were we hiked a bit to find a 300 year old octopus sitka tree, a lighthouse and spectacular views.

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Apparently, no trip to the coast is finished without a bite of Tillamook cheese. We stopped by the cheese factory and learned how cheese is made while eating Tillamook ice cream

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For a pick-me-up, we stopped by and espresso bar near the train on our way to Cannon beach.

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It was a perfect Saturday

xoxo
-P

Weekend in a Yurt

We left on Friday evening to go to the coast for the weekend and stayed in a yurt! The yurts remind me of the trekkershuts that I camped in when I go to Belgium, they are cheap to rent out at ~$40/night, and are super cozy. The drive out west was gorgeous as we got to see the sun set. I also had a little bit of fun playing around with a fish-eye lens.

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The yurts were impressive

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The next morning, we had brunch at a restaurant on the beach and spent time soaking in the forest air.

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xoxo
-P

Currently pondering: creative vs. distributive work

Economic life is a mix of creative and distributive work. Creative work is defined as creating something (a tangible good, or idea) that adds to the total available for all to enjoy while distributive work is defined as work that takes goods or services that would otherwise be available to others and therefore comes at their expense.¬†¬†Successful societies maximize the creative and minimize the distributive. Societies where everyone can only achieve gains at the expense of others are by definition impoverished. (See Roger Bootle’s The Trouble with Markets)

“This distinction between creative and distributive activities applies in today’s society. Consider the doctor tending to a patient or the midwife helping to deliver a baby. Everything they do is creative rather than distributive.

Or consider the marketing executive for a washing powder manufacturer. Her job is pretty much purely distributive. It is to do her best to ensure that her company sells more washing powder than its rivals. If she succeeds, the rewards will be greater for her and her company. But her success will be mirrored by other companies doing badly. Her contribution is purely distributive. Most jobs are a mixture of the creative and distributive. And society needs a mixture.”

just an interesting thought/book.

xoxo
-P

Softies

Hello sweets, I hope you’re having good laughs today and that you have a great weekend.
This morning I found out that I’m going on a surprise weekend getaway to the coast. I haven’t yet checked out the Oregon beaches, so I’m excited to breathe in the scent of the Pacific Ocean…and spend the weekend in a yurt!

Yesterday evening, I finished sewing up some softies made of actual woolen felt and stuffed with wool batting. My friend Rose owns a natural fiber shop a few blocks from my apartment and I decided to take the plunge and get myself involved with yet another crafty hobby. I love the colorful and playful look of the toys, and the fact that they are made of wool fiber adds a touch of warmth to them.

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I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s day!

xoxo
-P