Sunday, June 30, 2013

What a great way to start summer! (Monday Listicles)

Monday Listicles this week are 10 things about summer, and we've just returned from an AMAZING weekend at the Oregon coast. If you're not from Oregon, you have to know that this is not a typical occurrence. It often rains, of course, but also...even if it's nice weather inland, once you get out on the beach, it's often really windy. Not this weekend. While Portlanders were enduring really hot weather, the beach was pleasantly warm, sunny, and free of too much wind. It was fantastic. So here is my list, and some photos:

1. Fresh, garden veggies and fruits
I cooked fresh green beans with garlic one night, and glazed yellow and orange carrots with lemon and basil the next night--veggies I bought at the Portland Farmers Market. We also had salads with lettuce and basil from our garden. Bring on the homegrown and farmstand tomatoes and cukes!!

2. Oregon berries
I also bought a whole flat of raspberries last week, which I've been savoring (and freezing some). Berries are my all-time favorite fruit!

3. Leisure time with my family
With the kids' busy theater schedules, we had not been to the beach for almost a year! That is simply ridiculous given the fact that my parents have a wonderful beach house we can use. It struck me this weekend that although I am an ardent feminist and simply adore my female friends and spending time with women, I am the only female in my family and spend most of my time with males. But my four men are so sweet and loving--they are awesome!

4. My last surgery, I'm hoping
My last ear surgery is scheduled for July 12--it's outpatient, and I'm hoping it will be the last one I'll have to have. Should be easier than the brain surgery in December and more similar to the one I had last August. The surgeon will try to rebuild the bones in my ear. Don't ask me how. This pretty much shoots out most of July.

5. Visiting with friends and extended family
Last week I had a wonderful dinner with a friend (two of my boys' second grade teacher, who I've become friends with), who I hadn't seen for awhile. I realize, over and over again, how my women friends are so good for my soul! I'm looking forward to future beach trips--one with another couple, and one with another family--and spending a week in the Bay Area with my sister and her family!

5. Chuckling at Oregonians complaining about the heat, after complaining about the lack of heat
Suddenly, we've been hit with a heat wave. The joke in Oregon is that summer starts on the 5th of July. This year we are a week early. I commit to not complaining about the heat, partly because I prefer to be hot than cold...and our house is sheltered by a lot of trees and stays reasonably cool. But it is hot tonight! (Not a complaint, just a statement of fact...)

Outdoor music in April, even!
6. Outdoor concerts and plays
This is my favorite thing about living in Portland in the summer! We have a plethora of opportunities to get cultural outside, much of it free. I truly believe that we are rare that way, simply in the abundance of free or cheap culture. Concerts in the park, outdoor movies, and Shakespeare in the Park (we usually have 3 or 4 plays per summer, for free!)...can't get enough of them!

7. Dining al fresco
I love to eat out on our back deck, hoping that the yellow jackets don't come and attack.

8. Everyone's in a better mood because of the sun
Even though you have to be pretty tolerant of rain if you live in the Pacific Northwest, everyone's happier when the sun is shining.

9. Glimpses of the mountains
As we say in the Northwest, in the summer, the mountains are more likely to be "out." I guess that could be taken more than one way, given our highly gay-friendly culture here! In the summer, we are more likely to get a clear glimpse of Mount Hood or Mount St. Helens. We've never actually taken two out of our three kids up on the mountain, but we are planning to remedy that in the next week as we have an online coupon for the alpine slide at Ski Bowl!

10. Feeling grateful that I live in such a beautiful place abundant in gorgeous scenery!
This weekend at the beach, that really rang true. I am so fortunate to live on a coast and have easy access to the ocean. I am a coastal person--I've never lived inland, more than a couple of hours from the beach. I'm not sure I could do it! In Oregon we also have easy access to rivers, mountains, and deserts. I can walk to the river from my office, in fact. I feel supremely fortunate to live in this place in the world.

Read other Monday listicles about summer at The Good Life, hosted by Stasha!

And I leave you with wonderful Oregon Coast in late June photos:

Friday night sunset

My sweet teenager--almost 17!

Me and my honey

Nicholas loves the forts he finds at the beach

With three of my four males


On the jetty

Nicholas' sandy bottom (the shorts got wet, so they came off!)

Kieran wanting to take an artistic, romantic photo

The classic stranded-on-the-railway shot, Nicholas ready to rescue!

Elephant ears

S'mores manager! (that's a lot of work with five people!)

Visit to the Tillamook Cheese Factory

With the boys at the cheese factory, after ice cream!


  1. I've never been to Oregon but have always wanted to go and your pictures make it even more appealing.

  2. I hope it's your last surgery too. It is fun to eat outside, especially with all those fruits and veggies.

  3. Oregon is absolutely STUNNING in July. We were out there years ago for my brother-in-law's wedding and I want to go back someday. This is a super list, but I especially love all the photos! Great looking family there! :)

  4. What beautiful beaches and the railroad tracks gave me anxitey! haha. I loved your list and pray that this IS the last surgery and you will be feeling better rather quickly.

  5. I love the term Smores manager!! Oregon is so beautiful in summer. Just had some visitors from Washington DC and Louisiana and they were thrilled with our weather and beautiful sites. After seeing your post, I am dying to get to the coast!! Good luck with your surgery. Your boys are very sweet. Love the romantic shot!

  6. How lovely! Oregon is beautiful in July - I think that places where great weather is rare are even more precious when the sun comes out!


  7. Way to go Kieran!! Love that photo. I really hope this is your last surgery. And your mountains are out made me laugh and spit out a piece of pie ;)