Looking for answers to life's questions

Portland Oregon is a wonderful little city. I have been trying to move up here since the mid 1990’s. It wasn’t easy but after several false attempts, as of almost 3 years ago, I’m a permanent weird Portlander.

Last weekend Word Press offered their first ever workshop called Press Publish in downtown Portland. That’s part of why I love this place. Wondrous things happen here. My friend Sabine at “In Cahoots with Muddy Boots” gave me the heads up before I read my e-mail. She wanted to know if I’d like to go with her. We decided to take the MAX for a cheap public transport ride, stopping just a couple blocks from the event.

Great bag for our goodies

Great bag for our goodies

I must say, and Sabine did, that for a fledgling event, this one was extremely well-organized. The speakers were marvelous, informative and extremely entertaining. You know how most of those things have you looking for coffee to keep your eyes open? Well this one didn’t even though there was coffee (and snacks) at every corner. The staff was cheerful, and right on the spot to help with any questions. Did I get my money’s worth? Yes, and then some. I met new bloggers like Susie at nutshellversion and found out how to do things I’ve been struggling with in the technical area from the Happiness Engineers.

Our panel of bloggers/authors

Our panel of bloggers/authors

One of my favorite speakers and people there was Cecilia Gunther at the kitchens garden. She is a transplant from New Zealand to the Midwest. She runs an organic farm and photographs all of the events there. Cecilia has a strong following that she calls the fellowship and together, they wrote a book. Yes, I bought it and she autographed it. I adore her kind and inclusive nature. I’m reading it one story at a time.

Stories from women about women

Stories from women about women

Another speaker that I was quite fond of was Mary Laura Philpott at I miss you when I blink. You can also see some of what she had to say at the Press Publish event here. What a sense of humor. She has a funny little book coming out and I will have to order it. You can take a look at her information on the book here.

photo captured from her blog and pinned to Pinterest.

photo captured from her blog and pinned to Pinterest.

I must say the food was so much more than I could have anticipated. I brought nuts and a protein bar expecting the worst. I left waddling slightly. And everyone just kept smiling. The genuine warmth matched what I found online. Would I go again if offered? In a heartbeat. The next one will be in Phoenix. If you are in that area, please plan to attend. I’m not easily impressed. Word Press impressed me.

The worst thing I could say about lunch was that it was LOUD.

The worst thing I could say about lunch was that it was LOUD.

Their team of Happiness Engineers did have to ask me if this was really my last name.

Of course it's not really my last name but I kind of like it.

Of course it’s not really my last name but I kind of like it.

Do you feel like where you live is the best place in the world? What makes it that way? Have you learned something new recently?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of a New Event" (58)

  1. Hi Marlene, I couldn’t agree with you more. The conference was fabulous and extremely helpful. But what made it even better was going with you! It’s great when you can share an experience like this with a great friend, where we could listen to different speakers, listen to some of the same seminars and explore it all together and individually.
    Thank you for participating and making this event even more special. Plus, you beat me on the ping back! Now I really have to do one too! Looking forward to tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. NotAPunkRocker said:

    I am looking for a new place to live/start over. I love that the event went well and that you got to enjoy it. I especially love the title of the penguin book! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • We talk a lot about the rain here because we want to keep Portland small. I’ve lived all over the world and all over this country. Someone recently asked where I would live if I could choose. This was my choice. There is something here for everyone and there is a great tolerance for the unique. I personally love the rain. You don’t have to shovel it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The speakers I heard on the livestream were all exceptionally accomplished, specially the first one: what an ordeal to be the opening act! If you look in the index of Celie’s book, you’ll find me lurking somewhere there!
    I’m glad you’re happy in your chosen city. I thank God daily that we came to live in France – almost by accident in the first ince, 20+ years ago.
    love,
    ViV

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    • I’ve always wanted to spend some time in France. Maybe in my next lifetime. Now, you know there are no accidents. You are exactly where you are supposed to be. My sister has been here in the Portland, OR area for 35 years. Always wanted to call it home because it reminded me a bit on my home in Germany. Green and lush. I would have returned but my family is all here now. Thanks for stopping by. I did look in the index but didn’t find you. After next week, life should slow down to a slow roar and I’ll look again. I hope they make tapes available to hear the speakers again. I didn’t get to hear them all Those I heard were wonderful. I’m going to catch up soon. How can an old woman with no job be this busy???? 😉

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  4. Oh MY I AN SOOO ENVIOUS!!!! That sounds like a BLAST:-) I wish, I were a Portlander:-)
    What a great place to live. Does WordPress ever do one of these in the Midwest?

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    • Like I said, this is their very first and the next one will be in Phoenix, They are checking out receptivity I think. Lets hope it goes well enough to continue as I would go again next year.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for sharing-my fingers are crossed they keep it going! I will go next time they do it for it seems like a great idea:-)

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  5. Portland sounds like a great place. I enjoy living in places where I can be my own weird self amongst others of similar but pleasantly different kind. And, PressPublish… so good you were able to attend, and meet up with Celi. A little too far for me but I was there in spirit and via livestream 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • This had been a great place for me and I’m grateful that I am finally a resident here. I like places that are more embracing of uniqueness. I’m glad you were able to watch on live stream. I didn’t get to see all the speakers but I think I got what was important to me. Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. It’s a contented feeling when you know where you belong in the world Marlene, and you are lucky to have found yours; many don’t.
    Hubby and I left the UK many years ago to start a new life in Australia and we have never regretted it. I love it here, and although I do get homesick at times for my siblings and friends, Australia has opened up many doors for me which would never have happened in the UK. I feel free here.
    I enjoyed watching the Livestream event, and it was great to see and hear Celi. The speakers were polished and and their informative material was very well received…and you and I have connected because of it!

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    • Where in Australia are you? I have an aunt in Toowoomba QLD. I’ve always wanted to visit. This was my 35th move. I don’t want to make any more but never say never. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I live on the Gold Coast in South East Queensland. It’s a beautiful place and has everything you could ever want. We have beautiful beaches and the hinterland not far away – we call it the green behind the gold! I live at the bottom of a mountain at the edge of the gorgeous hinterland and rain forests. Wildlife abounds.

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      • You have the best part of that area. Lucky you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Toowoomba is a 2.5 hour drive west of where I live – another beautiful area. One of my sons lives there.

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      • I have a cousin there and her daughters. More cousins scattered around Australia. Most I have never met.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. So much fun for you and Sabine – really very envious, but in the best of ways. Portland is such a special city, definitely has a place in my heart. However, we are enjoying being close to our kids and grandkids in sunny Central Oregon. Happy Easter!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Looks like a fun time. I love Portland, have visited several times. My favorite place is anyplace my family is. My heart leads me to my home 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a fun event and to have the chance to learn some of the technical stuff too I’d go in a heartbeat.

    No where I live isn’t perfect but I have some constraints on where I live. Family is so important to me that even though I would love to live where there isn’t snow I stay here. My new town is devoid of much of the amenities I am used to. There are no farmers’ markets, place to buy organic food (even in the one small grocery store) no book stores (new or used), no thrift or consignment shops.

    That said this place has two things I needed, family and space to grow my own food. For that I will try to overlook it’s failings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Lois. I hear you. My last husband hated coming here. Too much traffic and too big a city. He’s in LA now. No place is perfect. I came here for family as well. That was the most important reason. And no snow. I’m making the best of the rest. You haven’t been there very long and it’s possible you will eventually find what you are looking for. Or, you may create it.

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  10. Hi Marlene! Typing from Laurie’s (Life On A Bike) place in Radford Virginia. It’s actually 3:17am and Alys and I are just going to bed. I had coffee after supper so I’m still wide awake. Gah! I will be so tired tomorrow.

    So that was pretty fantastic to have the conference in your hometown. Snap! I’d really love to go to one too. I doubt that I’d bother with Arizona but maybe if it ever goes to San Diego or even Washington. I had just a fantastic time with Julia (Defeat Despair) last week. Sounds like it was very informative. I liked your tag 😀 We’ve met up with 4 other bloggers since we’ve been here too. Three at a lunch and one gal invited us over to her fantastic home.

    I really fancy that they have Happiness Engineers, LOL. I’d like to think I could do that job too 😀 Hey? Who wouldn’t. I love the new look on your blog and the new header picture too. We’re here for a couple of days then off to Washington by train to see (hopefully) the Cherry Trees Blooming. It was chilly last week and nothing was blooming yet. I bet your garden is going to be gorgeous this year, can’t wait to get out there myself.

    Ta ta for now, Love and Hugs K

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    • So the coffee had you wired tight through the night. ;( I’m surprised you had time to read much less reply while you are out and about having a wonderful time. We were the test market so they may be seeing if there is enough interest to do more. Our speakers were from Chicago, Nashville, LA, and several other places. I’m looking forward to the post when you all get home and tell on each other. I hope you get to see the cherry blossoms. My son, (tech support) helped with my header and page. He took the photo and cropped it. I love it too. So springy. 🙂
      I hope my garden is gorgeous too. It’s just squishy wet out there right now and I can do nothing. Tech support is going to build me some hand rails so I can get up there and have something to hold onto.
      You girls just have the best time possible and stuff your memory banks plumb full. Living vicariously here. 🙂 Hugs to you and Alys and one extra for Pauline when you get your hands on her. XO

      Liked by 1 person

  11. That sounds amazing! I’d love to visit Portland. My mom’s best friend lives there and is the President of the Rose Society (or something). The pictures Mom brought back last year were stunning. Anyway, very glad you got to go to such a fun and informative event. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by. It really was amazing and Portland is a great place to visit. Portland is the city of roses and they have a famous test garden here. They just aren’t in bloom yet.:( Still not enough sun.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Sounds like an awesome time Marlene, how wonderful to meet up with other bloggers there and also to learn so much. As I’ve said before, I’ve not heard of anything like that here but in London, who knows? I miss my friends in California and those years I had there when the kids were small, but my life has changed so much and now I’m happy to be in England with my hubby and family and of course all my three kids moved back here too, so for that I am very happy 🙂 I hope you had a wonderful Easter. Hugs 🙂

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  13. Thanks for stopping by, Sherri. I’ve learned there is no perfect place. Only perfect for now. Each place I’ve been has something wonderful to share. Events like this do usually require a major city with airport access. Had they gone to Seattle, I probably would not have made the trip. The only place I miss a bit is my original country of Germany but there is no one there anymore and I could not afford to live there now. I’ve gown quite content with my new home town. I too miss people from long ago but find myself drawing more inward as I age. Our Easter was quiet and uneventful. Hoping yours was lovely.. Have a wonderful week ahead. Hugs.

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  14. Hey! I missed this post, but I don’t dare blame it on WP. 🙂 What an awesome event! Thanks for sharing your experience, Marlene. “I left waddling slightly.” Ha ha! I’m very impressed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jill. It was more fun than I ever anticipated. I’m so hoping they do more of these. Now I need the energy to write a new post to try out the things I’ve learned. If I could learn anything in life, it would be how to see and say things with a sense of humor. I think it’s the most important thing to surviving this journey. 🙂 Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Portland does sound a very nice place – or at least you have sold it to me Marlene! I am now willing to believe there is nothing but nice places in the US 🙂 I do hope the nice WP folk decide to keep interesting and varied educational meet and greets going on – sounds so worthwhile! I would love to attend one. I just arrived home a couple of hours ago from my version of a WP gathering and am taking a few moments to catch up with my favourite blogs xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • So you made it home safe and sound. So did I. Been gone over the weekend and my daughter was driving like a race car driver. Scared the stuffings out of me. If WP thought it did well enough, maybe they can do it internationally. That would be wild. I like your version of it too. Wish I could have joined you all. Kept good thoughts for you. Hugs to you and now just enjoy your fuzzy family. Looking forward to hearing about your trip.

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  16. Yes. I love where i live. I live 5 minutes walk from the picturesque Quayside in Exeter, in the UK. It’s 5 minutes to the nearby town, 5 minutes to my local train station and 15/20 minutes walk into the city. I have the best of 3+ worlds. I live in my own studio flat in a shared house and have lived on my own here for 11 years this September. I am part of the furniture – Ha! My landlord lets me have indoor piggies too. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by. I had myself a bit of geography lesson this morning checking out your area on the maps. Yes, you do seem to have it all. And piggies to boot. I was born and partially raised in Germany but never had the opportunity to wander about much. I would love where you live too. Easy access is important. It’s rare here in the west of the US. 11 years is a long time in one place. I’ll be seeing you again soon. Catching up.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh I did not realise you had written this one.. thank you for your kind words and I do hope they do another conference because i would love to speak again. Have a gorgeous day and WELCOME to The Fellowship! .. c

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Somehow I missed this interesting post. How fun that must have been. Great to be able to connect with other bloggers and the blogging world. Portland isa nice city from the small glimpses I have. Nice that you found your true home.♡

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m quite jealous Marlene – I would love to go to one of these (I hope they have one in Melbourne some time). By the way I haven’t visited for a while and you blog is looking lovely.

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    • Thank you for visiting, Crafty. I was just saying to my son that I need to sit down and write because I haven’t done a post since this one. Time to get busy writing about being busy. 🙂
      I hope I’ll see you one place or the other soon. You’ll have to let WP know you are interested.

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  20. Marlene, what a fantastic event. I loved reading your perspectives, and grinned when you mentioned the typical ‘stifle a yawn’ conventions and meetups. It’s good to hear that it exceeded your expectations, at that you learned new things, met great people and discovered new books. Wow! You really did get your money’s worth.

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  21. What a fantastic idea!! Wow…to be able to connect in person with the wonderful souls here! I’m so happy you enjoyed yourself so! Many blessings to you my friend. Wish we lived on the same coast…we would have a better chance of meeting in person! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I heard about this ahead of time from Curt at Wandering Through Time and Place, but was unable to attend. I didn’t realize it was the first one. From your review, I would really like to attend one. I’ve got lots of friends in Phoenix, so maybe I’ll try for that one. Hopefully I can find info on it, since I never saw this one advertised anywhere. How did our friends Curt and Sabine learn about this?

    And yes, I have so many great things to say about Portland. How lucky I feel to have fallen accidentally into this city 8 years ago before it got crazy popular. (Wish I could have bought a house for myself back then when they were cheap…but that’s another story…) It’s wonderful to hear how you think of this as the place you are supposed to be. It’s soul food when you love your home.

    Your site looks so great! I wish I could get a tip or two from the Happiness Engineers.

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    • Thanks for stopping by Crystal. You have such a busy life. How is the house buying going? Sabine said WordPress sent out a message but I don’t think I got it either. It was called Press publish. I’ll keep looking for the link. Tech Support is responsible for the update on my site. He took the picture and put it up.

      Liked by 1 person

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