Saturday, May 26, 2007

Portland thoughts

I've been working now for two weeks. And I commute via bus every day.I've noticed a few things about my fellow Portlanders and I just had to share them.

First, people here are very polite. About 80% thank the bus driver as they leave, even if it's from the back door. When the buses are full, people automatically move back to make more room when they are standing. Men (of all ages) hang back and let women get on the bus first. And I even saw a teenage girl give up her seat to an older woman. Not elderly, but older.

Second, there are a LOT of bike commuters. On an average day, I will see at least 75 commuters along my ride.And in general, bikes, cars and buses all coexist peacefully.

Third, I am constantly amazed at the number of restaurants in Portland. I go down this one street, NW 21st ave, where on one block alone there are 4 restaurants, all full when I go past about 5:30-6pm.

I've said it here before, but I will say it again, I do love this city. Oh yeah, and roses are in bloom everywhere!!


Friday, May 25, 2007

One year diet and cola free!

Today is May 25th. One year ago today, I stopped drinking all diet sodas and all colas. This is after drinking huge quantities of Diet Coke for all of my adult life. I stopped because of all the bad things I read about diet sodas with aspartame and so on. I also know that colas are bad for your acid/base balance and for your bones.

I've actually found it fairly easy to give it. 90% of what I drink is just plain, filtered water. I really enjoy it and drink it all day. I also drink chocolate almond milk sometimes, a glass of orange juice maybe once a month, V-8 and about once a month or so, I'll have a Fanta Strawberry soda or a Sierra Mist. However I have gotten so into the water habit, that recently I went out to two fancy restaurants (as a guest) :) and just had water.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sunday cooking

I did some cooking and baking today, preparing food for lunches this week at work. I know there is a refrigerator and microwave there, so I know what kind of things I can bring.

I made some sloppy lentils with kale. I also made some italian bread, which fell a bit but will work for a side at lunch and breakfast. I've been eating Nature's Path Optimum Power cereal with soymilk for breakfast. It's a very tasty, sweet yet high fiber, multi-grain and tasty. I also grilled up some chicken breasts.

I'll make some of my famous whole wheat bread tomorrow.


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Portland Vegfest 2007

I went to the Portland Vegfest 2007, put on by the NW Veg group. I had a blast and came home with lots of literature, some samples and a nicely full belly.

Bryanna Clark Grogan and Julie Hasson gave a cooking demo with some very tasty treats then did a Q&A session in the Veg101 room. I attended two sessions there and they were very well attended. There were also salad samples in the back of this room from several restaurants and they were all excellent. This photo has Bryanna on the left and Julie on the right.

There were tons of exhibitors and lots of free samples. (Yes I'm all over the free food!) I did find out that this all vegan restaurant called the Pirates Tavern is actually about 4 blocks away from my new job. I told my partner we'll have to go on a Monday night, when they have live jazz.

Two pictures taken from the food court area should give you an idea of how many people were there. It was crowded but polite.

All in all, it was a good time, I learned a lot, tried foods that I will be buying in the future (and some I won't!) and I plan to come back next year.


Friday, May 11, 2007


The other day was a couscous day for me. I made Sweet Breakfast Couscous for, guess what, breakfast! :) It was nicely sweet. I don't remember where I got this recipe though.

Sweet Breakfast Couscous

1/3 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup couscous
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Put all ingredients in a pot.
2. Bring to a boil, cover, turn down to low. Cook for about 3 minutes.
3. Remove from heat, keep covered. Let rest for 3 minutes.

I used whole wheat couscous. It turned out great.

For dinner I made black bean and couscous salad. Didn't take a picture but it was a very tasty cold salad.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Yay! Got a job!

Well, it's finally happened. After 2 1/2 years of not working I found a job. And it only took 10 days total.

I posted on craigslist that I wanted a job as a dispatcher. I figured, what the heck, I might get a bite. And I did, from a company affiliated with Trimet, Portland's bus/rail company. I emailed back with my resume and they called me for an interview. That happened last Friday. They said they were very impressed with me and sent me for a drug test. I emailed details of my jobs on Monday and today they called and said I'm hired. I start on May 14th.

I don't know much as far as details yet. I should make as much as my partner makes and maybe even a little bit more. This will double our income. We can pay off our one credit card, get some emergency savings and set some goals. I'm getting a book from my local library about couples and financial goal setting.

We're both excited. It will be nice to not worry quite so much about money, since we'll have some to save.