Summer Tradition: Timothy Lake

For a few years now (2009, 2010, 2011...), we've been going to the Hoodview Campground at Timothy Lake for summer weekend car camping getaways.  We've had amazing experiences there (sharing it with my sister's clan was one of my favorites).  When we went this past weekend, we had a good time.  But something felt different from the trips we'd taken there in the past.  This time it was a little more crowded, a little less peaceful.  The camping trip we took to a different campground a couple weeks ago felt the same.  I think I need to graduate to backpacking camping trips so we can get out into the wilderness the next time we camp.  I'm trying to figure out how much food and beer I can comfortably hike with in my pack.  Backpacking might require a shift in my camping priorities.


The Dark and the Light of Summer

It's almost August and it's just now starting to feel like summer-for-real in Portland.  On days when it was overcast in June and July (there were lots of those days) I had a few freak-outs that the end of summer was already near.  That summer would be over before it really began.  That Portland was going to be straight up cheated out of summer.  Those days made my heart heavy.  Heavy, people.

But then there have been those days when the sunlight has been absolutely gorgeous, when the temperatures have been more-than-warm without being too hot, when the city of Portland has had a big old smile on its face because summer has landed (there have been lots of those days, too).  On those days, I've run to Sauvie Island for what has become a ritual of berry-picking and beach-bathing (which is bound to be followed by cake-baking).  Or I've jumped on my bike after work and headed to the park to read while the sun has slowly set.  Or Barry and I have strolled around our neighborhood with iced coffees and no agenda.  It's all been in attempt to soak up every summery second possible.  And I've loved it.  But I'll admit that on those days that have looked and felt like what summer should be, that have been filled with the summeriest of summer activities, I haven't been able to fully succumb to summer bliss.  I've been followed around by a little cloud of it's-all-coming-to-an-end-and-soon thinking.

By now I should know that Portland isn't on the same summer schedule as any of the other places I've called home (it has been helpful to have old blog posts to remind me of that, as I seem to forget it every July).  By now I should accept Portland summers for what they are and enjoy them while we've got them instead of wasting any time thinking about how short they are.  But my head is still not there yet.



I hope to see you at Union Rose for the five year anniversary celebration.  See below...


One Week From Today

Union Rose is a very special boutique that offers handmade clothing, jewelry, and gifts from Portland designers.  Exclusively handmade and local - that's impressive.  I'm proud that sulu-design jewelry is available there.  And I'm excited the Nicole, the owner of Union Rose, is celebrating five years in business with a huge sale next Saturday and Sunday.  If you haven't checked out Union Rose, next weekend is the time to do so.  See you there.


You Know What's Good?

Camping with your best friend along the banks of a ridiculously clear river on a hot weekend is good.  Barry and I set up camp along Little North Santiam River to be exact.  Camping season is in full effect.


Disconnected Recommendations

It's sunny and warm here and I have no interest in sitting at the computer, except that I've been meaning to tell you about a few things.  So I'll check in here with a few posts in the upcoming days, starting with today and this random list of things that I like and that I need to tell you about because you might like them, too.  And then you might not hear from me for a while.  Summer is on.

So... the recommendations.  Let's start with clothing.  I recently indulged in the purchase of a top and a dress from one of my favorite Portland boutiques, Betsy & Iya.  I'd long admired several pieces that they carry from the line UZI NYC.  I finally bit the bullet and brought two home with me.  I'm not good at biting the bullet on purchases like this, but in this case I'm so happy that I did.  I love the cut and uniqueness of the pieces I got.  They've gotten a few nice compliments which doesn't hurt.  You might be interested in checking out the line yourself.

Next - movies.  On Shona's recommendation, I checked Beginners out of the library.  And I just loved it.  It was nice movie to look at (do you know what I mean?), the characters were endearing, and it made me cry.  I cried big.  Barry liked it a lot, too.  All good.

We've been out to the movie theater a couple times recently (pre-amazing summer sun).  I liked but did not love Moonrise Kingdom (yay main character named Suzy, boo weird special effects at the end).  Jiro Dreams of Sushi made me think about a lot of things I liked thinking about (ideas surrounding commitment to one's work and striving for excellence) and it gave me a few heartwarming laughs.

Books.  I'm happily making my way through Shari's summer reading lists but I had to take a break from them while I was waiting for a few of the titles to materialize from my hold list at the library.  So I picked up Red House by Mark Haddon, which I'm currently enjoying, and was reminded of how much I liked his two earlier novels.

And to make this recommendation list random like I promised, I'm going to give a shout out to Organix Moroccan Argan Oil.  Yep.  A hair product.  I don't think I've ever made mention of a beauty product on this blog in the six years that I've been writing it, but I'm doing so now because I'm really pleased with this stuff.  It was sweet of my boss to buy me a bottle of it when I showed curiosity towards this oil that apparently everyone else on the planet is using.  I've joined the club and have a lot less hair breakage and ridiculously soft hair because of it.  Ask Barry.  I keep making him touch it.

Okay.  Done for today.  Do you have anything to recommend?  I'm all ears.


What's In A Name?

Some of you who visit me here call me Suzy.  Others know me as Susan.  To my family and long-time friends (those of you whom I met before I graduated from college), I'm Suzy.  But if you know me through work or through my jewelry line, chanced are you call me Susan.  Lines have started blur between the Suzy and Susan worlds, though, and I've got some friends who have become confused as to which name to call me.  I feel really silly that I go by two different names and feel awkward that I put people in the strange position of figuring out which one they should call me.  I think I may need to bite the bullet and pick just one.  My birth name is Susan, but I've been called Suzy my whole life.  Until, that is, I started teaching.

For a good stretch of time - from my mid-teens to my late twenties - I looked a lot younger than I was.  I didn't mind it much then, and I'd love it if it were the case now (it's not).  But when I decided to become a teacher soon after I graduated from college, I felt like I needed to appear older than my looks suggested both for the sake of establishing a position of authority with my students and for the sake of gaining the respect of students' parents and of other teachers.  I once had a parent tell me that she mistook me for a student at the school before she knew I was on the staff (I taught at an elementary school that only went up to sixth grade!).  Part of my attempt to come across as older than my appearance indicated included going by the name Susan instead of Suzy.  Susan sounds so much more mature than silly Suzy, right?

I taught for close to nine years, so I had some serious time to settle into being called Susan.  I ended up going by Susan in other professional situations, too, like when I applied for jobs when we moved to Portland and when I was dealing with all things related to sulu-design.  It just sorta stuck.  But even though Susan is my birth name and lots of people have called me Susan for 15 years now, it's definitely a lot less me than Suzy is.  I don't know, though, if I can ask people who have called me one name for so long to start calling me another.  It feels very forced and awkward.  Maybe I shouldn't ask anyone to change what they call me, but just go by Suzy from here on out.

What do you think?  Is it weird to be known by two similar but different names?  Is it strange to ask people who've called you by your birth name for years to start calling you by your nickname?  Are any of you in the same boat? 

And now that I've asked what's in a name, how about what's in a face?  Or, in this case (thanks, Barry) half of a photo-taking face...