Sunday, November 20, 2011


The last roses of the season were these Peace roses, which were growing out of one stem.  

For some strange reason, my grape hyacinths got a signal that it was time to come up.  Wrong.  
Try again next March. 

Another late bloomer in my Halloween-October garden, this yellow day lily.

On the phone with my pal Pat the other night, she complained, "you need to do another new blog entry."  Sighing, I told her not much is happening at the moment.  "Whaddayamean nothing's happening," she replied.  "You've got a new roommate and you just redid your landing on the second floor."  Well, I guess there are a few new things going on.

Yes, I have a roommate.  At 61, I am again, sharing my living space, this time with a 69-year-old grandmother.  Her name is Bev and she's very cool.  She drives a red Miata convertible (that's how I know she's cool). Bev, a life-long Oregonian, has been living in Hawaii.  But her youngest son and his wife, welcomed twin baby boys recently.  Both parents have big careers and Bev decided she wanted to be more involved her her grandson's lives.  Until the beginning of this month, she's been living with her son and daughter-in-law, but wanted some space of her own.  She answered my ad on Craigslist and we struck a deal.  The other candidates (including a newcomer to Portland, who was also new to the drag queen scene--I didn't want to discourage her, but I also didn't want a nocturnal creature as a roommate, and trust me, drag queens are nocturnal creatures). Bev has raised three children--two sons and a daughter, sold real estate and taught acting at the college level. She's a liberal Democrat, thank god, and we get along very well. It's cool sharing my house with her.  It's an ideal situation--Bev is busy with her grand kids and I'm home working in my upstairs office.  So far so good.

Upper landing TV room.

Bev's arrival has caused me to rethink the way the house was set up.  I had to move out a lot of things from the guest bedroom, where she's now ensconced until I finish the basement.  Once you begin to reorganize, other things suddenly demanded reorganizing as well.  My great grandmother's china was in the bedroom, and needed to move.  I suddenly saw the need to re-arrange all the china cabinets, which resulted in a far better result.  Now I don't need to pull everything out of the way to find something I use only once a year. The next thing you know, there's wholesale changes going on and a few weeks ago, I'm in my flop chair upstairs watching TV when I look around and notice the whole room looks drab.  So that got re-arranged, and with different rug and a new pillow in my chair, the place looks completely new.  It's now an even cozier space where I can relax, watch TV, read and chill.

There's usually a week in November without rain--and from Wednesday afternoon on, we've had sunny, pleasant weather and I could finally get out into the garden and pull all the annuals and put the vegetable garden to sleep for the winter. Those tomato plants were a twisted maize and needed to go.  The umbrella is now in the garage, and I should put the patio table and chairs there too--maybe sometime during this week. I've salvaged two large coleus plants from the front door and an unusally pretty pale green and copper-leafed geranium, which I couldn't allow to freeze. Repotted, it should last the winter and go back into the garden next sprint.

Thanksgiving is coming, and since we're only going to be four for dinner this year, I have a turkey breast, which I'll do a porchetta-style rub on the inside (capers, fennel and coriander seeds, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes), and let marinate for two days in the spare refrigerator in the garage.  Then I'll roll it and tie it up and cover it with pancetta and roast it.  I'm banishing sweet potatoes and creamed onions.  I found a terrific recipe for rolls that don't have to be fussed with--they're even ready to be heated for 10 minutes, so that became a no-brainer. I'll make a simple stuffing of sausage and mushrooms, some mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts with shallots and bacon, a new cranberry sauce--jelled from scratch, and for dessert--so long pumpkin pie--a refreshing lemon tart. I hope not to be staring at a sea of leftovers in my fridge for a week.

It's always difficult to be out and about with Beau and find myself hungry and in the mood to eat.  Food carts can be a great way to have a bite to eat and have Beau with me begging at my side, as was the case today.  I had gone to buy a new coffee/espresso machine and because it was a beautiful day, brought Beau with me.  On my way home, I saw this pod of food carts with a tent and pulled in.  Only two of the carts were open on this Sunday afternoon--a cart selling burritos/gyros, which didn't look to promising, and an Italian cart where I eventually indulged in a meatball hero.  Yowza, was this a great sandwich.  The bread was soft and crusty and came from a local Vietnamese bakery I often shop at for banh mi sandwich rolls.  Split, the roll was lined in provolone, and stuffed with three giant meatballs.  It was then given a generous splash of red sauce ("my Nanna's special recipe," said the kid behind the counter who comes from Lawrence, Massachusetts, which has a large Italian population in addition to being the hometown of Leonard Bernstein). He then topped this heart-attack-on-a-plate beauty with grated mozzarella.  OH-MY-GOD! The meatballs were very tender, the perfect combination of Parmesan, breadcrumbs, garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, salt and pepper. This $5 feast was eaten in a heated tent with Beau at my side looking more than curiously at my every bite.  I happily burped my way home.

Happy Thanksgiving.

1 comment:

  1. Your Blogs made me want another Gregory Chairs
    – and I just got the West Elm Parsons in Polished White! I adore the Parsons Gregory Chairs
    – its super versatile and beautiful, especially in the white.
    Thanks fr sharing with us.