Sunday, April 27, 2008

Spring is Here!

Spring in Portland is extremely fleeting. It can fluctuate from 50-70F from day to day. But yesterday was one of those perfect days and we went out to Virginia Lake on Sauvie Island. Its an idyllic wildlife refuge. We saw snakes, birds, tree flogs, dead mice (but no bald eagles). We let Anjali walk the 2.5 miles, and she did quite well. Watching the boats on the channel between the Willamet and Colombia rivers was equally pleasant. Really excited about the oncoming outdoor season.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Why we love Portland - 19

You see a lot of bumper stickers that say "Keep Portland Weird", but I feel like it should be "Keep Portland Unique" instead. Here's an example:

Back in the 1920s and later, folks in Portland would tie their horses to these curbstone rings. And now Portlanders are keeping the tradition by tying these plastic toy horses. You see them everywhere, even in our neighborhood where it had been a horse racing track long time ago. Its amusing to see some horses with heads chopped off (especially with people like me trying to parallel park) next to the curb. And neighbors faithfully replace these horses.

Obama Mama Part III

This past week I was (sadly) getting a little lukewarm about Barack!
Especially with the bitterness comment. But a dose of the Colbert Report and this has helped me recover!!!

We stumbled upon this as Anjali has been asking about Mariachi music. She loves it! Its by an independent group named "Amigos de Obama" (Friends of Obama).

Friday, April 11, 2008

Why we love Portland - 20

I LOVE Portland, Oregon. I may be even bold enough to say its the best city in America.
So I am posting 20 things I love about Portland (these are not in order of how much I love them!)

20. Japanese Garden

Raising an environmentally responsible child

That title is loaded! Well... two years ago (I cant believe that Anjali is going to be 3 this year) a bunch of us in the neighborhood did a book study group called "Healthy Planet, Healthy Child" about raising kids to be environmentally responsible and become stewards of the earth. It was a great experience on many levels: we got to KNOW our neighbors, we realized that most of us had more or less the same philosophy about raising kids (most about the same age), and we were all able to openly discuss our challenges as individuals and parents. The topics in discussion were everything from too much TV, Computer, video games to sustainable food, and family/holiday rituals. The companion book they have is wonderful with great discussion topics. Personally, this experience made me more aware of my influence on the environment as I strive to have a smaller footprint on the world.
I do talk to Anjali about the environment, water conservation and electricity among other topics, but plants have been the easiest since you can see, touch, feel and smell them. So we planted some seeds a few weeks ago and she has been watching them grow with amazement. And I really hope to instill a sense of wonder about the world so she will grow up knowing that its her role to protect her 'other mother'.
P.S: Toilet paper cores make great seed pots, and you can plant them right in the soil since they are biodegradable.

Love in the mail

The most challenging part of living in the US is the distance from family in Sri Lanka. This year Anjali and I started a new tradition of making hand-made birthday cards for her grandparents. Since becoming a mom I have realized how many cool art supplies exist now a days. Its not like when I was a child when we had BAD crayons, color pencils, and water colors, and that was it. Here is the most recent card she made for Achchi with finger paints and glitter glue. Oh and I specifically wrote on the envelope DO NOT BEND, and Achchi called last night to say that it was stuffed into her mailbox folded in four (next time I'll write it in Sinhalese). She delightfully straightened it out to much joy.