Musings about music, writing, Portland, my new house, my travels, my family, politics, whatever.....

Thursday, February 21, 2008

My new house

A got a couple of requests for house pictures, so here they are. These are from about a month ago before I closed. The furniture in all but the last one of them is staged (not mine). The house burned mostly down a few years ago, so it's all redone, just the original 1908 foundation and frame. It's very spiffy except for a few corners of the basement. Kind of surreal to be here, actually, but I'm adjusting. :)

OK, here's one from tonight of my mess. For Tracy, who asked for pictures of transition.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Home ownership and responsible shopping

So I moved into my new house yesterday. It's beautiful. I'm still adjusting to the fact that I could possibly live in such a nice house AND even (co)own it. Pretty amazing.

Equally amazing are my friends. I am so hugely grateful for their help yesterday and all through this process. There is no way I would be here without them.

My real estate agent, Neil, rocks. Not only did he help me move, but tonight he brought me awesome housewarming gifts including a gift certificate to the tea shop I love, wine, and a Mezuzah (a small decoration inscribed with a Hebrew prayer to put outside your door). Oh and leftover sushi. If you live in Portland and you ever need a realtor, find Neil and tell him I sent you (he's also a friend of Holly's).

My neighbors on both sides seem really cool. On the left is a young couple with an adorable 18-month-old daughter and a small flock of chickens in the backyard. On the right is an older couple who brought me homemade blueberry muffins yesterday. :)

There are a bunch of things I need to get for my new house, domestic type things like a lawnmower, some furniture, a fence, window coverings, etc. There are all kinds of resources for things like this, but one thing that's been bugging me is how to find out which companies and products are environmentally (and socially) responsible. As a homeowner, I think it's especially important to pay attention to this stuff. I knew there was a web site for it, but it took me until today to find it:, an offshoot of the Co-op America site, subtitled "economic justice for a just planet." One of the stores specifically that I was unsure about was Home Depot, and they have the scoop. So check out that site, use it well.

Also, a helpful book is "The Rough Guide to Shopping with a Conscience."

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Never too late to give away a horse

For the past several days I've been pretty sick, at the worst of it I had a fever of 102.8. I only ever watch TV when I'm sick, and last night I saw something on OPB that really got to me. It began as the story of C.E.S. Wood, the man who befriended Chief Joseph, and was the one to translate his famous speech, "My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever." C.E.S. Wood's son, Erskine, ended up spending two seasons with Chief Joseph and his tribe in the early 1890s. At the end of this time, Erskine's father asked him to find out if there was anything Joseph wanted in return for helping to raise his son. He said he wanted a stallion, but Erskine thought this was too small a gift (he thought perhaps he should ask for his father's help in getting his land back), so he never passed on the message. He spent the rest of his 104 years telling stories to his family about his time with Chief Joseph and his regret about not fulfilling that last request.

The show I saw on OPB was about how Erskine Wood's granddaughter, Mary, decided to fulfill that request and give a stallion to the Nez Perce, which she and her family did in 1997. Instead of recounting the whole thing here, I'll let you read about it yourself. I hope you read it, it's a great story (and apparently also mentioned in Winona LaDuke's book, "Recovering The Sacred: The Power Of Naming And Claiming").

For some reason, this story really moved me and I wanted to share it. I guess the point is, it's never too late to clean up your family baggage...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Primaries & my own news

So this week the only thing on NPR (my main news source) has been presidential primaries. We here in Portland don't get to vote for a while yet, so we have time to ponder. I am mostly for Obama, I like him, his appeal to younger people, and what he has to say, but I am still a little nervous about his lack of experience. I want to believe in him.

And I do love the Yes We Can video. Watch it, if you haven't already.

Some people say Obama should wait 4 or 8 years and then run. Some people say that Hillary has too many enemies in Washington. There are all kinds of other things flying around, obviously. I'd love to know the take of my blog readers (if you're out there).

What do you think? Speak up.

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On an unrelated note, it seems I am actually for real about to (next week) close on a house that my lovely grandmother, Happie, is helping me buy. Its a beautiful house with a spiffy kitchen, a great backyard, just south of NE Alberta, and I am so excited! Of course now that I should be packing up my current house, I am reading blogs about politics, music, lesbian parenting and all kinds of fun things (and this post about something totally lame).

I also have two really great concerts coming up, Tracy Grammer solo, and Kris Delmhorst with the amazing Winterpills (how much do I love Signature Sounds artists?!). I'll say more about them soon (but I will say now that Tracy's show is fast on it's way to selling out).