For What It's Worth

Monday, October 30, 2023

Weekly check-in...

Still not reading so I guess I'm going to turn the blog into a weekly check-in for now lol

I cannot believe tomorrow is Halloween! It's my favorite holiday and I got a jump on indoor decorating in September but still haven't done a thing outside yet. I just bought candy this morning. Kevin dragged my skeletons and gravestones out from the basement Sunday, so there's still time, I guess lol

I did buy a few books at my new local indie bookstore, Copper Bell Bookstore and at Powell's in Portland.

I haven't been getting many physical books but I wanted to support them. I got Teach the Torches to Burn by Caleb Roehrig. I've always enjoyed his books and how he writes in several genres (all YA). This is his take on a queer Romeo & Juliet remix.

Solitare by Alice Oseman. I love the Heartstopper graphic novel series and Charlie's sister Tori is a favorite of mine. This is her book - in regular novel form - not a GN.

My Roomate is a Vampire by Jenna Levine has a super fun retro cover (which you can't see here lol) and it's been ages since I've read anything paranormal.

The spines of three books - Teach the Torches to Burn, Solitare, My Roomate is a Vampire - face up. Bookended by a black staub ceramic pumpkin witha gold stem handle tot he left and black and white skull napkins to the right. Orange with white leaf pattern in the background

This past weekend we checked out the Portland Farmers Market at PSU. It's one of the oldest and largest in the area and that's where a lot of chefs go to get their produce. I can see why. The sheer variety is off the charts. There had to be at least 50 apple varieties between all the vendors and all grown locally. There were about 20 potato varieties as well.  

A long row of baskets filled with different apple varieties on a table, at a farmers market

I picked up some unique grains like this Abenaki Polenta. It's a heritage corn variety with red and yellow corn. I bought wheat berries because I can never seem to find any at stores.

And my new seasonal obsession, squash lol I had no idea there were so many kinds and just picked them up at the grocery store. The two rounder ones are both spaghetti squash, but unique, and the one to the right is sweet potato acorn squash. And a pretty radicchio.

I also got this GOREOUS fresh Peruvian ginger. I've never had fresh ginger. This smells and tastes amazing!!!! 

a bundle of fresh ginger. pale yellow with pale pink at the top with greens tems

And just because...Ripley - standing next to the weekly famers market pun sign

"What helped the witch win the race?
Her vroomstick."

I'll see myself out after that one lol

Happy Halloween!!

P.S. I have a follow up CT scan this week (they saw several nodules on my lungs 6 months ago) so please send good vibes. I'm trying and only half succeeding at not freaking out and wait for actual results.

Thursday, October 26, 2023


Once again, I'm not reading - UGH - but I'm going to share a fun adventure I had last weekend. 

Kevin and I explored Ape Caves and a few surrounding area hikes. The caves are in Gifford Pinchot National Forest in WA - near Mount Saint Helens. There are 2, 3000 year old lava tubes - an upper and a lower. We did the 3/4 mile lower tube, as I am SUPER claustrophobic, and the lower is more open, shorter and flatter for walking. The upper tube is over 2 miles long, requires some rock pile climbs, an 8 foot wall with only a rope and much narrower sections. Nope! lol

Like I said - super claustrophobic - but I'm trying to overcome some of my phobias with (in therapist speak) exposer therapy. Kevin had actually taken his sister to the cave the week before so he could scope it out for me. Plus, I wouldn't be ruining his chance to see it if I did panic. BUT I DID NOT. I'm So proud of myself!! Here I am at "The meatball" lol

Woman, wearing orange jacket, standing with arms outstretched  up at round rock suspended between two rock walls in an underground lava cave

It is 42 degrees, drippy and pitch black without lights. They recommend at least 2-4 light sources but Kevin had these superpowered head lamps from his work and they worked great. are a few pics from the cave.

Upper left: man with head lamp shining brightly in underground lava tube. Upper right: rocky stairs from an underground lava tube wind up with a view of lush green and sunshine up to the exit. Lower left: a sunbeam shining through the trees. The end of the light makes a blueish, star shaped pattern on the ground. Lower right: inside the lava tube with light gray, curved walls. A pattern that looks like trees is on the left walls.

That's Kevin with his head lamp shining on the top left, to the right is when you emerge from the caves and climb the stairs back out. The bottom left is kind of cool. That's looking down going in (opposite angle of the exit). You can't even see the entrance because of the sun, but what caught my eye was that star like pattern on the ground. There's nothing there that should have made it. Aliens??? lol And the bottom right pic was cool because I thought it looked like little trees imprinted on the walls (left side).

Afterwards, we did a hike to June Lake nearby. It's a really cool spot with small waterfalls and dead tree stumps sticking out. It's kind of eerie but I loved it. 

a lake with a waterfall straight ahead. Tall tree stumps and dead fallen logs litter the lake. Lush green trees and ferns surround the area.

And finally, a nearby trail that has incredible views of a lava canyon, where the lava had flowed through, and waterfalls. It kind of looked magical with how lush green it was and the water thundering through. 

A valley of lush green trees is cut through the middle with a carved path of rock and a raging water from a nearby waterfall

A valley of lush green trees is cut through the middle with a carved path of rock and a raging water from a nearby waterfall

We had a great time but I was EXHAUSTED!

Total change of subject, but with Halloween around the corner, I have two streaming rec's. 

#1 is the new Goosebumps on Hulu. Great modern update on an older favorite. It's still directed at teens but i
t is darker that previous takes though. Which I love. It's topical with great acting and not cheesy, which can happen with a lot of YA-ish shows. My only complaint is not all the episodes drop before Halloween. 

#2 is The Fall of the House of Usher on Netflix Ok, so this one is WEIRD and kind of batshit but I really enjoyed it. It is based on an Edgar Allen Poe and includes many of his poems and references to his works. 

That's it for now!

Have you been on any fun adventures lately? Have any rec's for me to read/watch?


Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Hello, hello!

I was sort of back on a semi-regular blogger roll and well...I'm not now lol

My reading fell off again and then we had visitors last week. My niece came in on a Monday, followed by my SIL on a Thursday.

I had THE BEST time with my niece! She is the sweetest person and loves books, food, baking and the animals. We spent the week going through old cookbooks, baking pie (she taught me how to make pie crust), doing puzzles, visiting bookstores, Asian markets, and watched horror movies. 

Then when my SIL arrived Kevin took her hiking and we all went to the farmers market, Japanese Gardens and Powell's Bookstore. 

I'm exhausted and need to introvert for the next month to recover but it was a nice visit.

Here are a few pics because I have read nothing.

This is the apple blueberry pie we baked. We had extra dough and my niece stuffed it with a tiny piece of apple and a blueberry, plopped it in the center - we called it pie inception lol - but I had no idea it made the pie (with the venting holes) look like a face with a nose until I took an overhead picture 🤣

the top crust of a pie with three slits in a circular pattern and a small knob of pie crust int he center - making it look like a face

I baked bread that was GORGEOUS

a beautifully browned artisan baked bread in a red dutch oven. Scoring reveals an x pattern in the baked bread

But....because social media doesn't show the other, non perfect, side of life - the crust softened, so I popped it back in before it finished pre-heating - forgetting I have a gas oven and....

Baked artisan bread loaf that is burned black on the top

I had to slice the top off but it still tasted great ha!

And finally, here is a picture of the tea service we had at the Japanese Garden in Portland. We were able to get an outside seat near the tree tops that overlook the gardens. So pretty and relaxing.

japanese tea service tray. A small cup of tea in left upper corner, with white tea pot in lower left corner. Small slice of nut bread in the upper right corner and a small bowl of miso soup with rice in lower right corner.

Welp, that's it for now. I'm so far behind in visiting blogs and saying hi so I hope to get to it this week. I hope everyone is doing ok and enjoying fall!