Who Brought the Money?

The weather in Portland this time of year is generally in the high 70s to mid 80s with an occasional not so nice day. As the summer greets the area in July the temperatures are generally in the 80s most days with an occasional 90+day tossed in for fun. August is generally a repeat of July with warmer days and the occasional 100+ day tossed in just to make sure you are paying attention. So, imagine if you will, when in June the temperatures are in the mid to low 60s with an occasional 50+ added in the mix, just so Portlander’s can complain. And let me say they do complain. Myself included. It is ridiculous, having cold horrible weather. Did the weather gods not get the memo that is summer in the northern hemisphere? And to think this entire week I will be dressed in my winter woollies as the temperatures will not surpass 60. Maybe next week it will finally arrive. Summer. We can always hope.  It is rainy and cold. We apparently didn’t receive enough rain this winter and spring, we must contend with more. Note to the weather gods, we received plenty of rain this winter and spring. Thank you. Can we please have summer.

This being said, all of the signs of summer are here. The market we attend each week is booming, the flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, kids running around as classes are over until September – summer is here. This past weekend the market was busy with more people than last year, even given the questionable weather, which mind you was on the cusp of raining. It becomes frustrating as I pack my hat, scarves, and any extra warm clothing I can shoove in my handbag, which has grown to the size of a small suitcase, in order to also allow room for my camera, to go anywhere. This past Sunday was no exception.  I packed myself up, Lloyd and I headed to the market. I wore at least three layers of clothing. I fit right in. The markets in Portland attract an often eclectic clientele which dress in anything from near nothing to being bundled up with so many layers one can barely move, which adds to the fun of shopping for produce and whatever else excites one about shopping at the market. This past Sunday we were finally in the mood to buy plants for our patio and front porch where we like to sit outside and enjoy the summer warmth. Who brought the money?

So, please keep in mind, each Sunday morning you will find us at the market – we never miss a day, not even if it is pouring down rain. So one would think we would be ready with money in hand to buy our produce and other items (plants), in case the vendors don’t take a card; this past Sunday no different. We forgot the cash. No problem there is a cash machine handy to help those of us non-planners get cash. That is unless the cash machine is broken, which it was (I swear it is every week). This creates a bit of a problem when one has all of their plants ready to go to the car and oops, no money. We look at each other like the other should have it. Well, it would have been a disaster not to mention an embarrassment and disappointment to leave behind the items we had picked out. We were nearly living in that situation, when this delightful man who sells plant hangers and squirrel feeders leans inwards and whispers “you know that you can buy tokens at the information desk.” No kidding!  Who knew one could simply buy tokens at a token booth for use at the markets. Where have we been? We have come to the market for the past five years….. I never noticed anyone buying their produce with tokens before, but interestingly enough each vendor accepts these tokens, our problem was finally resolved. While Lloyd went to secure our tokens, I thanked the nice man.  I could now relax and began mission number one to snap a few photos, while we made our way around the market checking out who was there, chatting with a few friends we happen to run into, eat (Lloyd loves to eat from the Bohemian stand and loves their fresh gnocchi. (Bohemian Gourmet Food) I pass on the food offerings as A) I don’t eat food with gluten, and B) I generally eat before we come to the market, so that I don’t pig out on the gluten-free desserts, newly available at the market this year. Must stay away from the dessert booth. Mental note to self.

I love lavender. The fellow above made its way home with us to sit on our porch and made the air around us smell of fresh lavender.  For those times when we can enjoy our porch. Last year we sat out on the porch two time. Twice, because it rained the entire summer. This year I am determined to sit out there if I have to wear my layers – hat, scarf, and blanket if necessary.

Bows that are as bright as sunshine for every girls hair. These are very cute. I actually purchased some last year as gifts. I noticed that two vendors seemed to be selling these it looked like. I could be wrong. The booth was too crowded for me to find out for sure. I will check in case anyone is interested in buying some. I can post this next week. They are about three dollars apiece. Last years prices anyway.

Freshly grown organic herbs and vegetables.

Hand woven baskets. I keep looking at these baskets. I may end up with one for Lady Morgana, our little girl kitty. She is a bit too big for her basket bed now, even though she gets in it each night. How, I have no idea.

The wool products shown here are from sheep and alpaca and some silk. What makes these items different from others around is that the wool comes from a local farmer and is is spun on a spinning wheel.  I featured this vendor in a blog last summer (See archives August 2011). The yarn is then used to either knit or crochet these remarkable products from hats, gloves, scarfs, and shalls (which are extraordinary, shown below), potholders, and various stuffed toys.

My favorite place at the market apart from people watching and taking photos of the people is the flower vendors. I love shooting photos of the wide selection of flowers that come through the market. All are grown locally from nearby farms and brought to market each week. It is fun to watch as summer temperatures change so do the varietals of flowers.

Typical flower arrangements that make any room or patio look lovely. You will pay between 7 and 15 dollars for the flowers. Most are 10 dollars. Very reasonable. The number of vendors this year has increased thus the prices are very competitive. I would buy some each week if I weren’t allergic to most of them. This is in part why I love to shoot flowers; it is the only way I can enjoy them. Plus if we had flowers, I am sure our cats would love them too. Best remained in picture format.

Quite an eclectic group of people from the neighborhood and some that actually drive specifically to this market each Sunday to purchase local products.

I had to do a double take when I saw this grass species, which is actually papyrus offered for sale by a local nursery that features native plants but also grows a few exotic species you may not find anywhere else in the area. The papyrus was special for me as we saw a lot of growing in Egypt.  I was reminded of our trip to Egypt and specifically Saqqara where we went to a papyrus factory and saw first hand how the papyrus was made into paper. It was a fascinating process that takes several days before ending up with dry paper that is tough enough to write on. We actually purchased a (extra large) large papyrus painting, which is now framed and hangs in our living room. The Egyptians make wonderful paintings on this paper. Ours papyrus tells the story of a married man and woman painted with gold, silver, and bronze flecked paint with turquoise, pink and a few other colors, and the story is told of their love for each other on the hieroglyphs in the scene. We had our names added in hieroglyphs at the top of the piece which made this piece very special.

You know you are at a market when you can buy Elk burgers and fresh fish not far from one another.

These planters caught our eye as we had seen several people in the neighborhood who have them, but never figured out where they purchased them. They are made in Australia by a girl named Mia, and sold by vendors in certain areas of the US and elsewhere. The plants literally grow upside down. They are beautiful. We purchased one of the terra cotta pots in the large size, which we had potted with a Martha Washington Petunia. Beautiful.  Our mission of purchasing plants was a tremendous success.  If anyone is interested I can get the information from the vendor this weekend. It seems that every vendor we stopped at were out of cards.

This planter was our other purchase. We have one very similar hanging on our porch but I wanted another one to match and offer more privacy from our neighbors.

Wooden hanging baskets up close. We have one hanging on our porch. They are three-tiered and nicely block the view to our neighbors porch. Love them.

This concludes our Sunday experience at the market with a few tokens remaining for next time. The hood strawberries are ready. Can’t wait. So, with plants in hand we made it home; the plants waiting to be hung. A job for Saturday. Now if the weather will recognize that it is summer, then we will be in great shape to sit outside and enjoy our flowers. I am hopeful the weather will at least give us one day this weekend to enjoy our porch. Keeping my fingers crossed.  Until next time.




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