Triple Your Enjoyment of Lake Oswego’s Village Flower Baskets

flower basket 2For six months out of every year, the Lake Oswego Village flower baskets grace our streets and give us one more reason to love Lake Oswego.

So how can you take something that’s great and make it even better? Here are three ideas.

1. Donate to the Lake Oswego Village Basket Foundation through the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce. These flower baskets are blooming examples of civic pride at work as they are funded by donations that cover the costs of hardware, planting and maintenance. Giving is one of the ten keys to happy living so increase your enjoyment of the flower baskets by knowing you helped make them possible! Call the Chamber of Commerce at 503.636.3634.

2. Learn how to make one of your own. The Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department is offering two Do-It-Yourself workshops on May 2 ($35 at Luscher Farm) and May 16 ($33 at the Adult Community Center). Lake Oswego residents will get all the equipment, planting materials and instruction they need to recreate these celebrated color-popping baskets. Register online. (Fees for non-residents are $53 and $50).

3. Practice your photography skills once the baskets are in full bloom and enter the Lake Oswego Photo Contest. Depending on how you incorporate one of the baskets in your photo, it would be a great contender in the Places in Lake Oswego division. Haven’t seen a basket show up in any of the winning entries in the past six years so this could be your year!

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5 Questions Raised by Paris Fashion Week and Answered by Runway on the Lake

Jennifer Grant models a dress from Mela and hat and accessories from Lucky Me Boutique at last  year's Runway on the Lake.

Jennifer Grant models a dress from Mela Shoes and Apparel and hat and accessories from Lucky Me Boutique at last year’s Runway on the Lake.

Spring Paris Fashion Week has come and gone but left a few questions on its runways long after the crowds left town. Fortunately Lake Oswego’s Runway on the Lake is coming up April 26 and has the answers raised by its European counterpart.

1. Is high fashion dead? With the likes of Kris Jenner wearing see-through pants and her daughter Kim strutting around in styles that might be called crass by those of us with a modicum of taste, syle mavens at the industry’s main event were lamenting that perhaps high fashion is a thing of the past. All they need is a breath of fresh air in the form of Lake Oswego’s Runway on the Lake where real people wear clothes we can actually picture ourselves wearing. Featured retailers this year include: Anna’s Bridal Boutique, Accessories from the Heart, Chico’s, Consigning Women, E.G. Page, Francesca’s, Glass Butterfly, Grapevine, Lake Oswego Golf Course, Lucky Me Boutique, Mela Shoes and Apparel, New to You: Simply Posh, Patrick James and the Clothes Closet.

2. What’s more important—the clothes on the runway or the celebrities in attendance? With Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller strutting on the catwalk to promote Zoolander 2, fashionistas had to wonder—what’s the point here? The point is the fashion which is why this year’s Runway on the Lake will feature volunteers, not celebrities. The focus will be on the clothes…not the personalities wearing them.

3. Are we looking at fashion for now or fashion for the future? Depends on who you ask. Iris Van Herpen’s fall collection featured wearable technology including 3-D printed shoes, stainless steel woven fabric and models that looked more like extraterrestrials than women. Much of what hit the Paris runways had the wow! factor but most of us would need a few years to warm up to the thought of even attempting to wear it. The clothes you’ll see at the Runway on the Lake will be the stuff you can hang in your closet today and wear tomorrow.

4. Is fashion just the clothes we wear? All eyes in Paris were on what we put on our bodies—the metallic jeans, faux fur, graphic stripes, herringbone skirts. But is that all fashion is? Runway on the Lake suggests not and this year will be offering beauty experiences with Lacome, Prada and Shiseido onsite sampling their products. Artisan vendors like Piper Louie Home Boutique, Sophisticated Beads, Selicias (jewelry), and Wish Bone Home Design will also be on hand to round out the offerings and extend your fashion sense into your surroundings.

5. Would you rather pay money to see fashion or to wear it? Runway on the Lake organizers assume you like to do both.

Runway on the Lake is Sunday, April 26 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the West End Building, 4101 Kruse Way. Tickets are $26/Residents; $39/Non-Residents. Register for course #11281 by calling 503.675.2549 or online.

Don’t Miss Lakeridge Company’s Variety Show This Week: Take It From the Top

Lakeridge High School’s show choir, Company, is staging its annual Variety Show this week with a theme, Take It  From the Top. Read previous blog posts to get an idea as to why you don’t want to miss this performance. Shows are Wednesday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 25 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $5-$12 and are available online or at the door. Lakeridge High School Auditorium, 1235 Overlook.

 

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10 Ways to Discover Unlimited Possibilities at the Lake Oswego Library During National Library Week

National Library WeekThe theme of this week’s National Library Week is “Unlimited possibilities @ your library®.” Organizers must have had the Lake Oswego Public Library in mind because week in and week out, it offers a wide variety of services and programming that you just might find surprising.

Consider these unlimited possibilities:

1. Check out a Kindle for your two week vacation. The library has 13 Kindle eReaders loaded with popular titles and ready to go with you on your next trip so you don’t have to lug all that beach reading in your carry-on. Check-out time is two weeks.

2. Get something you’ve created printed in 3D. Attend a 3D printing demonstration held most first and third Fridays of every month from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Get inspired to print something of your own and then make an appointment with reference librarian Todd Feinman at 503.675.2535. Cost is based on weight relative to ABS plastic spool and may be as little as $1.

3. Learn how to use Photoshop or study The Ethics of Eating all for free with online courses. Take advantage of free access to a wealth of online courses offered from a variety of sources including OpenYaleCourses, MIT OpenCourseWare, and Gale Courses. My wife found several that she paid to take through Portland Community College. Free is a much better deal.

4. Get 10 personalized book recommendations. Fill out an online form highlighting your reading preferences with questions like: “Name up to three books you enjoyed reading,” and a checklist to identify themes that interest you. Within ten days a librarian will deliver a handpicked selection of 10 titles you should enjoy.

5. Learn how to speak another language. Pronunciator is an interactive language learning service with 80 to choose from. Sign in and choose which lesson modality you want to follow: Main Course, Grammar, Early Learners, Travel Preparation, or various levels of Beginners through Advanced. Lo entiendes?

6. Save money at local cultural attractions. Reserve a Cultural pass and receive discounts and/or free admission at popular Portland area sites including the Portland Art Museum, Lan Su Chinese Garden, Portland Japanese Garden, Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, Pittock Mansion and the Evergreen Aviation Museum. 503.636.7628.

7. Load up your eReader for free. Check out the library’s collection of e-books, e-audiobooks and e-magazines. If you need help getting set up, a reference librarian can help. 503.675.2540.

8. Create your family tree. In addition to online resources such as HeritageQuest, Ancestry Library and Fold3 History and Genealogy Archives, like-minded family researchers meet up the second Wednesday of most months from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. to share and learn from each other.

9. Research your next purchase. You can access Consumer Reports online by entering through the library’s website Online Resources tab.

10. And…learn how to write a resume, look for jobs, help your teen through the college application process, learn how to knit, listen to live music, hear authors speak…and did I mention, you can also check out books!

Be sure not to miss future updates to “52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego.” Click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column and you’ll be notified when a new post is up.

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Test Your Tree Trivia IQ in Celebration of Lake Oswego’s Arbor Week

This Sugar Maple at the intersection of Third and C Avenue was dedicated as a Heritage Tree in 1998.

This Sugar Maple at the intersection of Third and C Avenue was dedicated as a Heritage Tree in 1998.

The City of Lake Oswego is getting a head start on celebrating National Arbor Day, April 24, with a lineup of festivities beginning this week.

It’s no wonder. Trees are a big deal here in Lake Oswego, where citizens are proud of their urban forest and the city government has put ordinances in place to protect it.

You can find a full schedule of activities online. They include:

Here it is in the fall.

Here it is in the fall.

  • a Heritage Tree dedication on April 7 in the Forest Highlands neighborhood
  • Heritage Tree walk on April 8 at Luscher Farm
  • Tree planting and poetry reading on April 9 at Lake Oswego’s newest park on Sunningdale Road
  • Arbor week crafts project at the Lake Oswego library on April 11
  • Stewardship opportunities with Friends of Southwood Park, Friends of Iron Mountain, Glenmorrie Neighors and Friends of Springbrook Park.

Why not celebrate Arbor Week by testing your tree trivia IQ with my short quiz? Have fun with it!

 

 

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What Do You Think of These New Slogans for Lake Oswego?

Live where you play reciteIt has been a while since Lake Oswego had a motto. Back in the 1860s, iron found in the Oswego hills gave hope to a “Pittsburgh of the West.” When that didn’t materialize, land developers pitched the lakeside town as a place where you could “Live Where You Play.”

I’d have to say that marketing slogan still fits. Boaters and swimmers fill Oswego Lake during the summer, crowds descend on city parks to listen to concerts, and children fill playgrounds, kick soccer balls on fields and are entertained by everything from visiting puppet theaters to traveling theater groups all year long.

As a Realtor in Lake Oswego, I’ve been marketing this town as a place to live for over 25 years and decided I’d like to see if we could find another tagline that explains why Lake Oswego is such a great place to live. A client of mine, reminiscing about what the town felt like when he was growing up said, it’s “Where Mayberry RFD meets Happy Days.”

Here are some of my recommendations. I’d love to hear from you. Leave your most creative slogans that promote the quality of life here in Lake Oswego in the comments section. See what you can come up with! And let me know which of my suggestions is your favorite.

suburban life pinwordsmore than a beautiful lake pinwordsdon't need a vacation homeDon’t leave without letting me know what you think of my ideas…or leave one of your own!

hop at huntLake Oswego Family Egg Hunt This Saturday!

If you’ve got little ones, don’t miss the Hop at the Hunt at the Lake Oswego Hunt Club, 2725 Iron Mountain Blvd. this Saturday, April 4 beginning at 11:00 a.m. Check out previous coverage.

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A Toast to Lake Oswego’s Water in Honor of World Water Day

waterWhen my daughters used to come home to Lake Oswego from college in California, they would remark on two things—how great the air smelled and how delicious the water tasted.

There are lots of things that go into tap water’s taste. Source is one—whether it’s surface water, like from rivers and streams, or groundwater, coming from wells. Then there are factors like the treatment, the type, age and condition of the treatment infrastructure, the distribution system, and the presence of naturally occurring minerals. I imagine how committed a city is to water quality also plays a role, which may help explain why one of the things my girls missed when left home was a good glass of water.

In honor of World Water Day, I wanted to point out some facts about the water in Lake Oswego Oregon.

1. The source of Lake Oswego’s water is the Clackamas River which receives runoff and snowmelt from a 940 square mile area on the western slopes of Ollalie Butte near Timothy Lake.

2. Water is withdrawn near Gladstone and pumped across the Willamette River to the city’s treatment plant in West Linn before being sent to the city’s distribution system complete with 15 storage reservoirs, 13 pump stations and 210 miles of water mains.

3. Despite how good my daughters think our water tastes, key facilities are in need of expansion and upgrades. With this in mind, the City of Lake Oswego endorsed a partnership agreement with the City of Tigard in 2008 to share the costs in expanding our water capacity and reinvesting in our water treatment facilities.

4. The City of Lake Oswego is serious about conserving this valuable resource and offers free water audits during the spring and summer months to help homeowners learn better ways to manager their water. The auditor looks at lawn watering system, water efficient appliances, conservation tools and leak detection. Citizens who have been through an audit and implemented the recommendations have seen as much as 20% savings in their water bill.

5. Homeowners can also take advantage of the city’s water conservation rebate program, receiving $75 while funding lasts for installing efficient water-conserving washing machines and between $75 to $125 for water efficient toilets.

6. The City of Lake Oswego makes it hard for homeowners to find excuses for not conserving. The Public Works Department also offers free tools/devices to help with conservation like leak detection dye tables for toilets, faucet aerators, high efficiency shower heads, shower timers, hose timers, soil moisture probes, and rain gages. Rain sensors are available for $5 and can prevent sprinkler systems from watering during or after rain.

7. The overall water usage of participants in the City’s water conservation program since 2008 (individual residents, apartments/condos and businesses) has dropped over 25% when usage of 2009-2014 is compared with patterns during 2003 to 2008.

So raise a glass of tap water and join me in making a toast to Lake Oswego’s water!

Another way to celebrate World Water Day is to register for Walk4Water8, a 2-mile walk beginning and ending at Foothills Park in Lake Oswego to simulate the trek Zambian villagers must take to get their water every day. This year’s walk is set for April 11, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

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5 Reasons to Try Footgolf at Lake Oswego’s Golf Course (Not Including That It’s FREE This Thursday)

Las_Vegas_FootGolf

Footgolf players on a Las Vegas course.

The Lake Oswego Public Golf Course is about to join a growing trend by bringing the new hybrid sport of footgolf to its links with a soft launch this Thursday, March 19. The sport plays by golf-like rules but with soccer-like foot skills. Players try to get a No. 5 soccer ball from the tee box into a 23” diameter hole in the least amount of kicks, while maneuvering around bunkers, trees, water and hills. Holes are shorter than on a typical golf course, with pars averaging 5 or less.

Here are 5 reasons why you should give it a shot.

1. It’s easier to play than either soccer or golf. Don’t get me wrong. There is skill involved as you need to read the course, determine the best path to the hole, and rely on precision as much as power. But chances are the learning curve is a lot shorter than golf and the fitness regimen a lot less demanding than a soccer game. While it’s considered a cross between golf and soccer, I’d say soccer players have the advantage here because ball control (with your foot, not a club) is definitely a predicator of success.

2. Less expensive. You save money on two counts—green fees and equipment. The rates for footgolf at the Lake Oswego Public Golf Course are $9 for nine holes; $15 for 18. That’s the same winter season rate to play golf during the weekdays. But weekend rates and warm weather rates for golf go up to as much as $24.50 for 9 holes/ $27.50 for 18, on a summer weekend. Footgolf stays a bargain year-round (especially this Thursday when it’s free); however, at the time, is only available on Thursdays after 3;00 p.m.

All you need to play is a pair of athletic shoes and a No. 5 soccer ball. Leave your expensive clubs at home. And if you don’t have a ball, the golf course will rent you one for $5 per round.

3. Calorie burner. It’s estimated you can burn up to 2,000 calories walking 18 holes on a traditional golf course, so set your step trackers once you get on the greens.

4. Takes less time than golf. Eighteen holes of footgolf generally takes between 2-2 ½ hours to play, cutting the commitment that golf requires by at least half.

5. Fun. Footgolf combines the precision and strategizing of golf with the energy and fun of soccer. Golf course officials hope that will widen the appeal of the game beyond diehard golfers to bring in a younger clientele as well as families. I imagine there will be more laughs and less restraint as players use their foot skills to chase the ball into the hole. As one recent player said, “FootGolf is officially the most fun you can have on a golf course.”

Footgolf will be available Thursdays after 3:00 p.m. and manager Tom Mueller has already signed up some tee times. In addition to adult rates, Juniors can play nine holes for $7 and 18 holes for $10. Call for tee times: 503.636.8228.

If there’s something about Lake Oswego you’d like to know more about, let me know in the comments section and I’ll feature it in an upcoming blog.

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