Sled away a Snowy Portland Day

It snowed a historic amount in Portland- 12 inches of fluffy, white snow (on 1/11/17).

The snow took out our power for a few early morning hours while we slept.  And since we have only electric heat, we were glad when the power came back around 9:00am.  We bundled up as much as we could.  I left all our snow gear packed up in boxes in Iowa.


Ryan found a cracked sled by our apartments trash cans.  We got a little more use out of it before leaving it back by the same trash cans.


We have been through quite a few snow storms but in the Midwest life doesn’t stop.  The Midwest is prepared for the snow with salt, plows and shovels.  Portland is not prepared.


We headed out on a snowy walk to find unplowed streets and sidewalks.  Portlanders were out in the streets walking, skiing and snowshoeing.

Lots of snow people made us smile.  One rather large snow person built in a park wore a black wig!



That’s our car, Hank, covered in snow sitting in front of our apartment building


We are now preparing for an ice storm this afternoon.  -Carrie

Celebrate Three Kings Day

Three Kings Day is the 12th day of Christmas, typically celebrated in Spain and Latin-American countries.  I made crowns with the girls on Wednesday leading up to the day and started talking about the day.  Ryan ordered a Rosca de Reyes cake.

img_3170 Thursday night Iola lined up our boots by the back door for the Kings to leave gifts in – similar to Santa leaving gifts in stockings hung up by the chimney.  We woke up to our boots filled with gifts!  Iola received a pair of socks, orange jello, M&M’s, and lemon gum.  Frida got a dinosaur balloon and a pear.

Thursday we picked up the Rosca de Reyes cake from a Mexican Bakery in Portland.  The shelves were filled with boxed cakes.  The smell of the cake teased us the rest of the day Thursday.  It smells so good!

We found a nice little Mexican bakery – 5 de Mayo Panderia,8416 SE 32nd Ave, Portland, OR 9722


Our friends came over to eat the Rosca de Reyes cake with us.  Traditionally the Rosca de Reyes has a baby Jesus doll hidden inside of it.  Ours had three hidden in it!  Iola found the first little Jesus in her piece.  The cake is the shape of a “O” – or looks like a crown or wreath.


Happy Three Kings Day!


Eat your heart out in a pie eating contest!

Clean face ready to dig in and eat some cherry pie

Siren, Wi has an annual pie eating during their Summerfest.  And this year after googling ‘How to win a pie eating contest,’ I decided to enter.  My competition was a 60 year old woman and 5 men.  Ryan gave me some pep talks because I told him I was just going to casually eat the pie.  Ryan told me to give it my all and that’s what I did.

Getting ready to eat pie!

We were able to choose our pie flavor.  We had the choice of peach, blueberry and cherry.  Ryan and I strategized and decided peach would be the least messy.  I ended up choosing cherry at the last minute because I decided that cherries would go down faster with less chewing.

Fierce competition.

The pies were set in front of each of us and we had a full minute to see who could eat the most.  I finished my filling and started in on the crust.  The guy next to me ate more of his crust than I did and he won.

Cherry pie – gone!

See all the action in the video Ryan took:


Resurrect a sailboat

The Hobie cat sail boat has been sitting dormant under a young oak tree (who is already starting to show beautiful fall colors) since last summer when Ryan capsized it. It was a windy day.


The Hobie Cat before the grand sinking of 2013

The boat was sadly destined for scrap.

A few weeks ago Ryan turned it in to a fun pull behind the jet ski ride. The past couple of days Ryan was yearning for a small sailboat. Instead of buying one Ryan came up with a plan to resurrect the Hobie and make it sail again.

We went to Your Chucks hardware store in Webster. Ryan bought an assortment of supplies- some 2×4’s, box of screws, PVC pipes and a 10 foot metal pole. I bought a bird feeder and pipe cleaners.



building a stable mast holder
building a stable mast holder



Cutting a new smaller sail
Cutting a new smaller sail


Back home the grass grew even taller as Ryan worked all day on his sailboat project not even stopping for lunch. I was recruited to sew the sail. Ryan cut the old sail and I hemmed up the edge and made a pocket for the mast.

Sailing the new and improved (smaller) sail.
Sailing the new and improved (smaller) sail.
Checking out the sail
Checking out the sail


Ryan finished up his project this morning when the lake was beautifully still. He had lunch and the winds picked up and he took the sailboat out for a spin.

The hobie cat sails again.
The hobie cat sails again.


Watching Ryan sail
Watching Ryan sail





Como Zoo & Conservatory

We went to the see to see the animals and the conservatory to see the plants.  It was a beautiful winter day, about 40 degrees outside!  We saw slowie Chloe the sloth, monkeys and more.  Iola’s favorite was the orange and black striped tiger pacing his outdoor cage in the snow.  Carrie found a flattened penny machine.

The monkeys were fun to watch!
The monkeys were fun to watch!

Iola's favorite animal to watch at the Como Zoo. The tiger paced the snowy cage.
Iola’s favorite animal to watch at the Como Zoo. The tiger paced the snowy cage.

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