Friday, September 28, 2018

Travels, Fall Color and a TJs Meal

It's been an interesting couple of weeks. Portland was delightful as always, with not a lot of fall color yet, but good times with Susan, Kate, McMenamins and Powell's Books. Visited SCRAP PDX, a fantastic place for crafters because they recycle all sorts of crafty items that are donated, so the prices are very low. I bought a scrap of black leather that had already had lots cut out of it, but was big enough for me to fashion a phone case (at some future date), plus a handy strap to attach to the case...from another bin. Took in the semi-final game of the Portland Thorns, which they won! First professional women's soccer game I've seen in person and it was wild. The fans are amazing, creative, and vocal. Did a little shopping, some fun eating, took a hike in the Bishop's Close at Eagle Rock along the river and had fun in an antique shop, too. Good times!

Home for two days with a sore gut...probably something I ate on the way home. One busy Wednesday of feeling O.K, then off to Denver to help my brother celebrate his birthday. My older sister was there, too, in from North Carolina via Michigan. It was a Big Kids reunion. Had a good time the first evening and next day, then came down with Sweetie's cold. Still managed the birthday party during the weekend, but hope that I didn't get everyone else sick!

One of the highlights of the trip was the last day there. We took a drive to Estes Park and finally got to see some fall color because the aspen that high up (12,000 feet above sea level at one point) were turning their amazing golden color with hints of orange. Because they are almost always surrounded by dark green conifers, the color pops even more. Photos below.

While I was gone Sweetie got over his cold and worked on the deck some more. It's almost finished and looks really good. He is a true craftsman. Will post photos soon.

While in Portland I had a great vegan dish that you might want to try, especially if you love Trader Joe's. It was created by Kate's friend Jackie, who works at TJs. Doesn't look like much, but it is delicious and filling, too. First you bake some sweet potatoes (yams actually) until they are soft, then you cut them in half and top with Trader Joe's Cowboy vegetarian patties (from the freezer section), which you have baked along with the sweet potato during the last 10 minutes or so. When I made it I couldn't get the oven to work, so I just pan fried the patty and it was fine that way too. You can divide the patty up into three or four pieces. Add some Trader Joe's garlic spread and some sliced avocado or guacamole on top and you have a great meal.

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