Finally a Day At Home!

So worn out today. It has felt like we have been at a run for the past two weeks. CK’s brother, house guests, Atari’s passing, tattoos, big shopping expedition, then days of activity around Open Source Bridge, parties, and the Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple Founder’s Dinner (which I helped out at). On top of all the busyness of the past couple of weeks I’ve not been sleeping really well, neither has CK.

I’d woke up early and sat zazen, planning to head into the office. I felt generally exhausted, had a headache and was generally nauseous. I opted to work from home and dragged myself, with as much mindful attention as I could muster, to meetings. I was grateful to head over to an appointment with Beth for a massage.

I warned her I might fall asleep on her, but some of my muscles were so bunched up and tight that it would have been impossible to doze off. The pain in my left shoulder and back reminded me how grateful I was to have ordered a new bag on Saturday. My beat to heck bag from Vy & Elle is not good to carry around even my ultra-light laptop. I felt merely tired when she was done, some of the thick fog of exhaustion had let up a little.

Had told E I’d take her yoga mats back to her this evening but was enjoying making dinner with CK and just didn’t feel like leaving the house. She got the marvelous artichokes we picked up at the King Farmers Market on Sunday ready and researched how to do them in the pressure cooker (cut in half, 8 minutes, yum). She also made a balsamic vinaigrette to dip them in. I sauteed the stems of the rapini we’d picked up, added all the green tops and balsamic to steam. I caramelized half a sweet onion then added a whole, heirloom tomato with some more balsamic to make a simple sauce. I tried making steamed amaranth, but it came out something between porridge and polenta, but stickier. Despite the not-what-I-was-going-for texture the amaranth was still tasty, especially paired with the onions, tomatoes, vinegar & mustard-y rapini. We are all fired up to experiment further with it, amaranth is another “super grain”.

Showing off Oregon

Today we slept it, which felt wonderful!

DSC_3516

Once we all were up and showered we decided upon Vita Cafe (really like the new space) for a big breakfast and then up to the Downtown/PSU Farmer’s Market. It meant we got there past noon, much later than either CK and I usually get to the market. We were not very surprised to see that some stalls didn’t have as much left.

Musicians were all around the perimeter of the market and the band that was playing in the center was awesome! We quickly picked out some asparagus then looked around for rapini (none to be found, sadly). Since we hadn’t found rapini we decided to get some chard. I also grabbed a small bunch of spring red onions – shining red bulbs and stiff green shoots. Some vegan basil, garlic, mint pesto was sampled and purchased for dinner later. I also got some fiddlehead ferns to try out.

CK and I picked out some more starts for the garden. She found a yellow watermelon and a spaghetti squash. We also got two types of lettuce and some red choi. Then vendor at that stall had a broken Italian bush bean (1 out of 6 starts in the tray was damaged) that she gave to us free!

The last two chocolate panini at the Pearl Bakery booth were purchased and then we decided to get a “soda” made from fresh raspberries, lemonade and mineral water. This was very refreshing and tasty. We enjoyed these while heading over to Pearl Bakery to see if we could get a round boule of their multi-grain bread. They didn’t have any left so we picked out a cibatta to go with the veggies with dinner later.

Brought the market goodies back to the house and decided to drive up the Gorge a little bit since NR has never seen it. As we drove past falls we made a spur of the moment decision to continue east to Hood River. Once there we went to the Full Sail Brewery and had a late lunch with beer. Then down to the river to watch the windsurfers and kite-boarders.

DSC_3561

Back to the house CK and I worked on the yard a bit. I planted seeds for various lettuces and greens as well as the starts from the market. Still need to find homes for 3 more of the bush beans. CK leveled out the area by the compost pile so that she can make mounds for all the winter squash and melons.

Then inside for a late dinner of grilled, baked tofu & tempeh with pesto. Chard sauteed with the red onion and a little minced garlic in olive oil, tossed with balsamic. Seared, steamed asparagus with sea salt. Plus crispy slices of garlic bread. All of it was so delicious.

Made for a long day, but it was a lot of fun showing off our city and state. I really enjoyed being able to go from the Farmer’s Market to a delicious dinner later. That CK & I also managed to squeeze in a little garden time ourselves was very cool.

Glorious

When I got back to the flat after teaching my Sunday yoga class CK had decided we were going to Sauvie Island to explore, maybe pick some berries, and take pictures. The day was warm, sunny and beautiful out. We snacked on the leftover tempeh and I threw together some of the barley, some balasamic vinaigrette CK had made, and fresh veggies so we had a salad. We packed a couple of apples as well as the salad into a bag so we could have a snack lunch later.

Time for a Snack!

We drove around, just enjoying the beauty of the day, and finally decided we’d drive across one end of the island and go to Columbia River beach side. We parked and walked around a pasture for a while, looking at the cows, a couple of snakes, a woolly caterpillar, and lots of birds. It was a lot of fun just to walk along talking. We discussed ideas about working with online writing, which is this wonderful meeting of our technology and creative interests. I really enjoy that CK wants to share this with me too.

Headed back to the little red truck and headed back around the loop we’d selected. We made our way to Columbia Farms where we decided to have our lunch/snack and got an empty half-flat along with directions to the rows of raspberries. After we finished our snack we got to picking berries for about 40 minutes.

I was surprised CK had never done this before. Mom and I would often go to u-pick places and farm stands for produce. She enjoyed that connection back to her childhood in the country as well as the inexpensive aspect. The bees, busy with the flowers and berries still thick on the canes, were a little unnerving to CK, but she gamely picked berries. Each of us stopping to eat a few as we went. Oh, raspberries just picked, still warm from the sun, and the half flat for under $5!

And we're done!

From there we went on to the Pumpkin Patch where we purchased half a dozen different winter squash. We also bought a bag of still warm kettle corn and sat on a bench watching all the birds in the sun flowers, munching and planning a future visit, closer to Halloween. Eventually, half a bag eaten, we made ourselves close up the kettle corn and headed back to Portland.

Creating Dinner at the Farmer’s Market

AM and I finally both got up, got dressed and went over to the Hollywood District this morning. I was on a mission to buy produce for us and CK. She was attending WordCampPDX so I had her list of produce to pick up. High on the list were more apples from Kiyokawa Orchards, Romanesco broccoli, greens, beets, broccoli, carrots, and anything else that appealed to me!

It was overcast and chilly out although the forecast called for warmer weather. By 10AM the sun was trying to burn through some of the clouds as I made my way through the people at the market and live polka music filled the air. I quickly stepped into the bustle of the market, exchanged an ATM card swipe for some wooden tokens to shop with, and got out my list.
Dinner for later came together as I purchased beets. The cylindrical type of beet is a little easier to work with for raw slices for salads, or so my bias thinks, so I was attracted to Persephone Farm’s stall and the bunches of them, complete with greens. I also selected some beautiful broccoli being set out and two small heads of the Romanesco broccoli. As I stood in line to pay they were setting out lovely Lacinato, or “dinosaur” style kale. Long, sweeping leaves of it and I asked for a bunch. One dinner item down — kale and beet greens braised in balsamic vinegar.
I selected carrots from a stalls somewhere midway to Kiyokawa’s spot. Finally at the apples I got over a dozen Pink Pearls, about 8 Honey Crisp, as well as some Ginger Golds, Tsuguro, and McKintosh varieties. While in line I happily sampled slices other varieties they put out. By the time I weighed everything, for both homes, there were $30 in apples! I was utterly unsurprised and willingly handed over my money. We all wanted lots and I had intentionally bought extra apples to make a recipe for apple preserves I read in the NYTimes.
Picked up the last of the things on CK’s list at her favorite vendor. I wish I’d waited to get Romanesco there — they had enormous, amazing ones. I’ve never seen any get that large before. I also picked up a Delicata squash there, which finalized dinner for me.
CK and I both love squash so I planned to roast the small Delicata I’d just purchased. That served along with the beet greens & kale and some barley sounded just lovely. I figured I’d ask if she were more interested in vegan sausage or some tempeh and we’d be set.

I love putting together dinner around what looks most appealing at the market.

Autumn is Nigh

Slept in until 8:30 this morning, which is pretty late for me. It was nice to sleep until I woke up, including waking up for a moment at a few minutes before 7AM and getting to go back to sleep. AM and I stumbled around, took showers, I got together all the stuff I’d be taking with me later, and then we made our way to the Hollywood Farmers Market so I could get more apples.

Once I got there I breezed past the Kiyokawa booth and spotted several new varieties since I’d been there two weeks ago. I was thrilled to spot the Pink Pearl apples were out. I got some wooden tokens from the info booth (can be purchased instead of getting cash from an ATM and used at any of the markets throughout Portland) and quickly made my way back to the apples where I picked out at least a dozen apples.
Back in the car I polished up one of the Pink Pearls and took a huge, satisfying bite. So worth waiting for, not that there is any choice about that. These apples only appear at the end of summer for a few weeks. Since they do not keep or ship well they must be eaten up and then they are gone with the season. They are not very showing, being a tan color but once they are rubbed with a cloth they practically glow.
We made our way on to the Bike Gallery to get a “tube top” for my bicycle. This is a bit of telescoping tube that clamps onto the seat post and the neck of the bike so it will hang on a bike rack. I also picked up a Pearl Izumi beanie to keep my head and ears warmer (I’ve liked the riding gloves I got from this company a lot). My head has ached a little in the morning because my ears get so cold. The same woman who sold me my bike helped out and was fascinated by the shockingly red apple I was eating so I took her in one before we took off.
Coffee and bagels at Seven Virtues, a nice bit of routine AM and I have been enjoying for a few weeks. We check emails, talk, and I work on homework for teacher training. It is a nice quiet time together before I have to dive back into my teacher training. Then we headed back to the house so I could load up.
It was a good class, again. I’m enjoying the depth of study on anatomy and adjustments. It is very much what my basic training lacked. I’ve not necessarily suffered for not having that since I had studied, but it is very good to get to spend this time on these topics. I feel like I am learning the asana and theory in far greater depth than before.
The ride over to CK’s was long, although I was able to keep breathing through my nose and didn’t feel quite as exhausted coming up the steepest part of the climb. It was good to have the movement in my legs and hips after sitting for so long in class, however, having sat so long meant I was fatigued and hurt quite a bit. It was really nice to arrive at CK’s to the warmth of her company and the smell of dinner cooking.
It really feels like autumn this evening. The air smells of leaf fall and the leaves composting, breaking down on the ground. It is markedly cooler as well. When we popped out to go get cookies and chai I needed a fleece of CK’s to be warm enough. I’m really happy to spend this time with CK, anticipating the anniversary of her move up here and getting to enjoy this time of year together.

September is for Apples

I headed to the Hollywood Farmers’ Market today on a mission — apples from Kiyokawa Family Orchards. I found the apples were in and immediately stuffed several in the bags along with a couple of pears that will ripen in a few days. I asked about the particularly delicious, but very short seasoned, Pink Pearl variety, they usually are only in for a couple of weeks at the beginning of September. I was told another week, week & a half. The season is off to a late start with our cold, damp year.

I rubbed off a small Gravenstein and ate it with absolute pleasure on the way over to Seven Virtues. The incredibly talented, and cute, barista made up my hemp latte and drew a blue heron in the foam. It was very lovely and totally recognizable. It almost seems a shame to drink it, but it makes the foam images closer to the sand drawings that are meant to be destroyed. Impermanence in foam?
Then we picked up a few things at the market before heading home. I hopped into a quick shower the loaded up my bike and headed over to Prananda. I was thrilled to get to chat with CC when I got there, what a treat!
I’m enjoying getting to spend so much time on anatomy and physiology! It is a pleasant surprise to discover just how much of this I remember. We also spent a great deal of time on adhomukha svanasana. Funny moment when everyone came round to feel my collarbones — I was the only one who’d broken one and it can be felt. More of the DVD, I particularly liked the way Georg Feuerstein commented that, “Suffering has to do with how we relate to pain.”
After the first really full day I’m feel much more grounded in this decision. It will be a tough 27 weeks and at times it will be really stressful. However, it is the next logical step in my growth as a teacher. The energy of the class feels good so far and I know I’ll progress a lot in the time.
Nice, although tiring ride over to CK’s after class. Lovely evening, again nice temperature and not too much traffic out even for just past 7PM on a Saturday night. The tomatoes from the garden got a little squished. CK made a yummy zucchini chowder that has cashews, nutritional yeast and tahini blended into it.

September is for Apples

AM & I both slept quite late for us, it was past 8:30 when we woke up. I wrote a little about what I’d had in my mind when I went to sleep the night before; the chanting entry. A discussion about going to Seven Virtues for coffee expanded to include a foray to the farmers’ market to see if apples were there yet.

Apples are one of my favorite types of fruit and when they start really coming into season it is wonderful enjoying them. Every year I look forward to a particular family orchard bringing apples to the market.

We picked up a few things at the market, including apples, before heading home. I hopped into a quick shower the loaded up my bike and headed over to Prananda. I was thrilled to get to chat with CC when I got there, what a treat!
I’m enjoying getting to spend so much time on anatomy and physiology! It is a pleasant surprise to discover just how much of this I remember. We also spent a great deal of time on adhomukha svanasana. Funny moment when everyone came round to feel my collarbones — I was the only one who’d broken one and it can be felt. More of the DVD, I particularly liked the way Georg Feuerstein commented that, “Suffering has to do with how we relate to pain.”
After the first really full day I’m feel much more grounded in this decision. It will be a tough 27 weeks and at times it will be really stressful. However, it is the next logical step in my growth as a teacher. The energy of the class feels good so far and I know I’ll progress a lot in the time.
Nice, although tiring ride over to CK’s after class. Lovely evening, again nice temperature and not too much traffic out even for just past 7PM on a Saturday night. The tomatoes from the garden got a little squished. CK made a yummy zucchini chowder that has cashews, nutritional yeast and tahini blended into it.

Big Blue Ball and Summer Market

Listening to Big Blue Ball finally. Hearing snippets about it for the past 15+ years it is a real pleasure to finally hear it. AM felt that perhaps some songs showed a little age having sat around on tape for years. I’ve found the songs range pretty wildly, which is to be expected. One hit me a little off but that’s more likely due to listening to it after a yoga class, dinner and after 9PM when I’m feeling a little more chill.

I went up to the farmers’ market a little before noon. It was already brimming with people getting lunch, flowers, or other purchases. I knew CK and I were going to make dinner after yoga this evening so I went to seek out some fresh raspberries or cherries to be our dessert. I did my usual tour around the small, but packed market and then settled on purchasing a pint of golden raspberries; delicate and glowing in the sun. I’d noted some of the “cue ball” zucchini squash we’ve put into our garden (ours are the size of pencil erasers right now) and picked up two lemon-sized ones to saute. While standing in line to pay for them I stood next to a pile of beautiful carrots and was unable to resist picked a bunch of yellow and orange ones. I also found a lovely variegated sage start to plant in our garden.