Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Today is my last day of unemployment; certainly bittersweet.  I like money, don't get me wrong, but I love being able to do things that I didn't get to do when I was working full time, like bake bread, read non school books, go on walks with Honey, take naps, etc.  But alas, back to the real world, sort of.  I'm only working part time, so I will still have time to do lots. 

Last weekend we visited the Chinese and Japanese gardens in Portland.  It was great to get out and do something fun, and the best part-  we didn't have to pay the admission fee because our library carries passes that we can reserve to get in free. 
                          The first set of pics are from the Chinese Garden

These other pics are from the Japanese Garden.  This garden is so beautiful and peaceful!  We enjoyed sitting by the waterfall, just watching the fish.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Tra la la la

My dog thinks I am the funniest person she knows.
Laugh attack
I love that Honey bear!

Found this outside our front door yesterday.  
There are spiders everywhere here!  Luckily I have only found 2 inside the apartment, but the trees outside are littered with spider webs.  Gross!

Today was the hottest day of the week at about 85 degrees, and they decided it would be a good day to shut our pool down for the season.  Not cool. 

For some better news - I have two job interviews on Monday!  I am definitely qualified, and very hopeful that one of these will work out. 

And now - a picture I found that I really like from our visit to Rockaway Beach a couple weeks ago.  :)

Blake building a masterpiece in the sand.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Speckles of Echols - very 1st attempt at blogging



Where to start...where to start.  How about a disclaimer that I lack complete eloquence in writing.  You are warned. :)

Portland is green and beautiful!  We live in Lake Oswego, a small town just outside of the city inhabited by many well to do people.  As a result, the town is clean and practically crime free, and yes, there is a lake.  It is a small, nearly privatized body of water, surrounded by houses bigger than I could ever imagine, but it is beautiful and there is one local access area we found with a beach suitable for swimming.

Our apartment is just around the corner from the beautiful Portland temple.  I love being close to a temple, and unlike the Boise temple, this one is open now.

We are just starting out our 3rd week in Portland, and the glorious sunshine that welcomed us to this place is gone.  Our first two weeks I was sweltering from heat and humidity in our tiny little apartment with no AC.  I was expecting cool weather and cloudy skies!  We brought my little mini schnauzer, Honey, with us, and we would both end up panting by the end of our daily walks.

 But, we have adjusted to the humidity, and last week I frequented the pool at our complex and began to welcome the sun that brought the prospect of weather warm enough to swim.  I love water!  There is nothing like being submersed in cool clear water with zero distractions and the warm sun.  I feel totally peaceful and serene in the water.

pool area
Poolside at our complex.
 Today, I feel threatened by the cloudy grey skies that everyone here tells me will last all winter.  Luckily, the weatherman says I will get a few days of hot sunny weather again at the end of this week, and then I can likely kiss the sun goodbye.  It will be sorely missed.
           Blake spends his days living at the Lewis and Clark law school, studying the day away.  He reserves most of his evenings for me, thank goodness!  He is a hard worker and fabulous student.  I am positive that he has been a favorite of nearly all of his professors.  Blake is the type of student that has no problem going to his professors with questions or concerns.  As a result, he has developed relationships of trust and respect with many of his educators.  I have no doubt of his abilities to succeed in law school and feel confident in our future.  And oh how I love that boy!
Blake smelling the roses at the rose gardens
       I have not had a job since the end of July; a strange sensation for sure.  I have worked for the last 5 years at a rapidly growing corporation in the accounts receivable department; a fast paced peon job that I thoroughly dispised.  I don't miss the job, but I do miss some people that became my good friends there.  After two weeks of doing nothing but watching Walker Texas Ranger (the only thing worth watching on local tv) and taking Honey on walks, I decided I had better start looking for a job.  Blake has the gas for our car budgeted down to how much we can use in a day, so I guess if we want to start going places, we need some money. :)  I have sent a few applications out, but have been reminded of how much I hate searching for a job.  But, I guess that's life. 
       We have yet to experience much of Portland, but we did decided to splurge and spend a Saturday at the beach....totally worth it! Its too cold at the coast to swim, but we had fun playing in the sand and then eating icecream at the cheese factory after.
      We have been blessed to meet some great people in our church who have welcomed us with open arms.  Just this week I was invited to go on a blueberry picking outting.  It was great fun and I'm so grateful for good people!  Berries and all kinds of fruit are harvested around here with lots of places that will let you come pick to your hearts content for a minimal price.  I got blueberries for $1 per pound and they're so delicious!  I had to immediately freeze them so I wouldn't eat the whole bucket in a day or two.

That's it for today.  Hopefully the next time I write, I will have a job!  Onward and upward!