Campylovacter and the Super Moon

When I mentioned that Barry and I weren't feeling well last week, I thought we were on the healing end of what was just a bad weekend.  I had no idea how much worse things were going to get.  Barry and I both dealt with fevers, aches and pains, and extremely upset stomachs for several days.  After I found myself writhing on the floor in fetal position and in tears due to insane abdominal pain, my doctor ordered a CT scan.  Apparently my insides did not look good.  The tech who read the results asked my doctor if I'd been to Africa recently.  Um, no.  But another test revealed that a nasty bacterial infection was wreaking havoc on my intestines.  Barry's, too.  A week of misery and a round of antibiotics later, we finally felt human again.  Having lost one weekend to illness, we were more determined than ever to have a wonderful weekend.  After shaking the campylovacter bug and with a super moon falling on our days off, we decided that a backpacking trip to Mount St. Helens was in order.



We hiked up to the Plains of Abraham for an unobstructed view of the moon, watched it rise over the practically treeless landscape, and slept nearby on the pumice deposits.  It was my first camping experience without a tent, sleeping in the open air under the stars, and it was spectacular.  The temperature was just right, the sky was stunning, and aside from two guys on mountain bikes, we had the scenery all to ourselves.  It was perfect.  Campylovacter be damned!  We're back and determined to backpack the hell out of the rest of this summer.


Super Duper Sale













All those earrings up there?  $7 and $10 a pair.  And currently 100% of sales go to Portland's Friends of the Children.  Take a few pairs home with you!  In the sulu-design shop now.


I Got What I Asked For

I said we needed a weekend in Portland - no hiking, no backpacking, mosquito-free.  We got it.  Big... because we were cooped up in the apartment all weekend, both of us ragingly sick.  We're on the tail end of two miserable days now, but we're both exhausted and bummed to have missed a beautiful weekend in the city.  In between taking naps and groaning in pain on the sofa, I tried to be as productive as I could so the weekend didn't feel like a total waste.  Kitchen cupboards were cleaned.  Teak furniture was oiled.  Plants were tended to.  And jewelry was made.  Lots of it.  Turns out I was more productive this weekend than I have been in a while.  Maybe getting sick was just what I needed.


Soon I'll feel up to making jewelry drop-offs to Portland boutiques.  Until then, you can still find necklaces and earrings in my sulu-design shop, with 100% of selling price going to Portland's Friends of the Children.


We Join this Mosquito-Infested Weekend Already in Progress

Barry and I headed for the mountains right after work last weekend to go backpacking along a trail that loops the peak of Mt. Adams.  We planned a short, two-night trip: night one in the campsite at the trail head, night two on Crystal Lake - 12 miles away and just a bit off the marked trail according to the maps we consulted.  On day two, by the time we'd hiked the 12 or so miles into the lake's vicinity, I was exhausted and ready to set up camp for the night.  The last mile or so of the hike had been pretty brutal with swarms of attacking mosquitoes.  Unable to find our way to the lake (Barry could have found it, I'm sure, if I'd had the energy to follow him) and covered in bites, we finally gave in and abandoned the idea of sleeping near the lake.  We hiked back in the direction we'd come for a mile or two and (after I'd cried a few tears that I didn't let Barry see) we set up our tent in the middle of what turned out to be a beautiful mountainside meadow with a gorgeous view of the Mt. Adam's peak.  The mosquitoes by that point were relentless, though, so there wasn't much to do but hunker down in the tent, eat granola bars, and read (note to self: if the book that you're in the middle of happens to be a hard-bound, 400 page book at the time you're going on a backpacking trip, start a new, shorter paperback fo).  I fell asleep by 7, slept fitfully due to a sore body and gnawed up skin, and woke up to a gorgeous sky full of blazing stars. I went back to sleep until the next morning to find the mosquitoes still at it.  We packed up camp faster than we've ever done, forgoing our morning coffee to head back to our starting point.  I'd felt pretty desperate the night before but found myself renewed by the amazing views of the surrounding mountain peaks and the beautiful lines of the trees around us, many of which had been scarred by a fire in the recent past.  By the time Barry and I got back to our car, all of the horrible (truly, truly horrible) feelings I'd had about our trip the night before were erased.  With a clear mind and happily aching legs, we took off for Hood River (a beer at Pfriem is always a nice way to end a weekend in the mountains).  The lingering mosquito bites this week made us come to the realization that it's time to spend a weekend in good old Portland.


For the Friends of the Children

I've gotten requests for the sulu-design etsy shop to be updated.  It's been empty for months now, I know.  I'm in summer-mode!  But when you ask, I can't say no.  I thought I'd have a few of the latest necklaces to fill up the shop, but after making my drop-off rounds to Tumbleweed, betsy & iya, Tender Loving Empire, and Noun in the recent weeks, I have absolutely no new designs left.  I did, however, pick up a few sulu-design pieces that haven't sold at those shops, so those are now listed at reduced prices in the sulu-design etsy shop.  There are also a handful of previously listed earrings that are on sale for ten bucks a pair.

I'm excited to announce that 100 percent of the selling price of all of the pieces that are now in my shop will be donated to Friends of the Children, a Portland organization that does amazing things for children in my community.  Maybe it's because one of the people who asked for a shop update is a teacher, maybe it's because my former student getting in touch with me has me thinking about my own teaching days, maybe it's because my friend Robin's recent experiences traveling and working in schools in Asia have me thinking about kids and their welfare.  Whatever it is, I'm feeling inspired right now to do something that will benefit kids who need it.  Have a look at the earrings and necklaces in the sulu-design etsy shop and know that their sales will benefit a wonderful cause.











Good Stuff

I'm still on a high from the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds concert that Barry and I saw almost two weeks ago.  I've had Abattoir Blues on repeat since then.

I got an incredibly sweet e-mail from one of my former sixth grade students from the Bronx (Hi, Felix!).  He'll be a senior at a liberal arts college in Maine this Fall, and it was wonderful to hear about his successes since he left my classroom.

It's hot here.  Super hot.  And sunny.  I love it.  So do our plants.

A good friend from my childhood will be in Portland in a couple days and I'm really looking forward to catching up with her in person.

What's good with you?


The Bug and The Blues

I felt pretty crummy this weekend.  A sinus infection maybe?  It was gorgeous in Portland, though, and I - sick or not - intended on taking full advantage of the amazing summer we're having.  Barry and I spent hours with books at the beach and at our local park.  We strolled around town in the evening hours while the city was still hot and the shadows grew long.  We ate and drank at sidewalk cafes and restaurant patios.  And when we'd had enough sun and/or the crumminess took over, I retreated inside and made jewelry.  Lots of jewelry.  I ended up having a nice, long weekend despite whatever bug I've got.

I've been remiss about photographing my recent jewelry designs.  There are, in fact, new collections of sulu-design at betsy & iya and at Noun that I didn't document with photos here.  So I made a point to get back on track and take a few photos of pieces I made this weekend.  Most will make their way to Portland shops soon.  Some might end up in the sulu-design etsy shop (Carolyn pointed out that it's currently empty).  And I might keep one or two myself... there are lots of blues in these pieces, and I do love blues.