Why Living in Lake Oswego Can Lead to Short Term Memory Loss (and why that’s a good thing)

Give Lake Oswegans (or most Oregonians, for that matter) one day of sunshine and gone and forgotten are the gray days, the wet and windy days, the threat of freezing rain days. We have this incredible capacity to be in the moment and as a result squeeze more joy and satisfaction out of one sunny day than a southern Californian might eek out of a whole season!

Here’s why I know it’s not just me that suffers (or should I say, benefits) from this affliction (or should I say, blessing).

●The line queuing up at the car wash when our periods of winter doldrums are interrupted by a blue sky day.

●The checkers at the grocery store who ask what my plans are for enjoying the nice weather

●The neighbors who have been missing in action all winter that suddenly appear in their yards, walking down our street, or taking a bike ride.

●The raid on flowers at Al’s Garden Center, Fred Meyer’s and other local nurseries when the temperatures rise just a bit and the ground is tillable.

●The talk about the great forecast in the locker room at my club as though a few days of sunshine are as exciting to talk about as a Blazer win.

●The crowded parking lot at Home Depot as do-it-yourselfers come out in droves to tackle the outdoor projects they’ve been putting off until good weather arrives.

●Kids that are seen walking to school in shorts and t-shirts when the day before they were bundled up in their winter sweats.

This all runs contra to the negativity bias which suggests that negative things have a greater impact (some researchers estimate three times greater) on our psychological state than positive. That would mean we’d need almost an entire summer of good weather before we could start putting some psychological distance between us and a bad winter.

Well, the researchers need to come to Lake Oswego. Because we don’t need a whole season—heck, just give us a good day…and consider us inoculated against winter doldrums completely with a week’s worth of sunny days. Catch me in the middle of a warm summer day and I’ll have no recollection of anything but that glorious sunshine beating down on me at that very moment. It may be short term memory loss but you won’t find me complaining.

You too can be blessed with this affliction should you decide to move to Lake Oswego. Let me show you around. I’ve been helping people find homes in Lake Oswego for over 25 years and I’d love to put my experience to work for you! Give me a call at 503.939.9801 and/or check out my website.

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Lake Oswego Housing Market is Hot as Summer Approaches

With summer around the corner, Lake Oswego is heating up and I’m not just talking about the weather.

The housing market in Lake Oswego is hot and here’s the evidence to back that forecast up.

  1. The median price of homes in Lake Oswego has gone up 12% in the last 12 months to $660,000. This compares to a historic 6% climb each year.
  2. The average listing price of homes in Lake Oswego in March of this year was $1,061,091, a slight increase from last year’s $1,036,189.
  3. The average sales price in March was $839,631 compared to $749,141 a year ago.
  4. Fifty-five homes sold in Lake Oswego in March with an average 49 days on the market. Last March 49 homes sold after spending an average of 62 days on the market.
  5. The current inventory is 3.6 months, same as last year.
  6. The entry level house in Lake Oswego is now just under the $400,000. A year ago it was $350,000. Folks who bought then have already made money on their investment.

That’s it for statistics. Let me offer some anecdotal evidence.

  1. Last month I listed a 5 bedroom 2 bath 1,680 square foot house in the McVey/South Shore neighborhood for $459,900. It received three offers and sold in one day for $15,100 over asking price.
  2. I was the sales agent on a 3 bedroom, 2 ½ bath 2,201 square foot home in the Palisades neighborhood representing my clients along with three other offers. Ours was the winning bid at $60,000 over the $625,000 asking price.
  3. Higher priced homes are moving as well. A 5 bedroom 3 bath home with 3,523 square feet in the Forest Hills neighborhood sold after six days on the market for $1,425,000, just $24,000 under the asking price.
  4. I represented the buyers in the sale of a home on the Blue Heron Canal which sold for $2,850,000 before even going on the market.
  5. Another home on the Blue Heron Canal sold in 24 days for $2,600,000, just $50,000 under the listing price.
  6. I’m finding several buyers are opting out of Lake Oswego and looking into West Linn and Tualatin in order to find a house and price that would work for them…and even that proves challenging.

The bottom line is that the housing market in Lake Oswego continues to be strong due to lack of inventory. Last summer inventory did pick up and it appears that it will continue that trend this year. So if you’re thinking of moving to Lake Oswego, it’s more important than ever to work with an experienced Realtor who can match your needs with what’s available (sometimes before it even comes on the market!) I’ve been helping people move in, out and on for over 25 years and would love to put my experience to work for you! Give me a call at 503.939.9801 and/or check out my website.

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Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market Features New Crop of Vendors When It Opens May 19

Each year the Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market yields a new crop of vendors to offer shoppers an exciting, well-rounded experience. Take a look at some of this year’s newbies:

Goodmoon Adzuki. Foods that are good for you often get a bad rap for tasting bad. Sarah Wang of Lake Oswego is out to change that. Adzuki beans, touted for their antioxidant capability as well as being a source of fiber, protein and iron, are front and center stars of her Goodmoon bean bars, snacks that combine the ancient Chinese moon cake tradition with the healthier eating habits of today’s consumer. Featuring all natural ingredients like raisins, honey, hemp seed hearts, cocoa powder, agave and organic brown rice flour, the bars are gluten, dairy and nut free so diet restricted folks can feel like they’re getting a treat!

Bread Lovers. There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh baked bread and now you can have that, thanks to kits provided by Bread Lovers. Choose from six different varieties that contain all the ingredients and instructions you need. All you do is add water and some muscle power (mixing and kneading). I’m sure vendors will be there offering baking tips and of course samples! Check here for dates that Bread Lovers will be at the market.

Joy for Bread. Speaking of bread…that’s something that gluten-free folk are in constant search of. Joy for Bread understands their pain and seeks to re-introduce them to bread that’s “worth being joyful over.” Offerings include a white loaf, mini white loaf, white and multi seed baguette as well as buns. They will be at the market every other week.

Sanctuary Produce is a no-till, no-spray family farm out of Dallas, Oregon that focuses on salad mixes, greens, tomatoes and roasted peppers.

Tonic and Bloom will be joining the market every other week encouraging visitors to “Rethink your drink.” Their specialty is hand blended energy teas with names like “Rise and Chai” and “Reishi.”

Sisters Fruit Company. This family run operation out of Cornelius offers fruit snack chips that you can enjoy guilt-free. The ingredients list is short, letting you enjoy the naturally sweet flavor of Pacific Northwest grown fruit crisp-dried according to their exclusive natural process. They’ll be on hand on selected dates.

Scratch Meats. Jeff Garritano relies on his Italian heritage, culinary travels and passion for sausage to produce handmade, locally sourced meats. He prides himself on their freshness due to the fact that he vacuum seals and quickly freezes them as soon as he’s done grinding, seasoning, stuffing, twisting and packaging. Flavors run from ethnic like Italian and Chorizo to creative seasonal like Cherry Bratwurst.

Groundwork Coffee. This Portland roaster walked away from the 2017 Golden Bean North America Roasters Competition with four awards, including a gold for their filtered coffee so they’re worth checking out. They’ll be at the market every other week with their Cold Brew.

Other vendors new to our market include Garden Bar, Birkeland Farm grass fed beef and pasture raised chicken, Blue Moon Bakery, Cardamon Hills chutney, Creperie le Bon Temps, Jimmy Tomato Italian tomato and meat sauce, Kenai Red Fish Company, Mud Dog Farm, Portland Cider Company and Tom Pilgneri Italian pastries. With many of them having rotating schedules, you’re bound to discover something new every week!

The market will be open on Saturdays, May 18 through October 13 fro 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Millennium Plaza Park at the corner of First and Evergreen. Enjoy live music from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. as well as kids’ activities.

The Farmers’ Market opening is just the beginning of what is always a fun-filled summer. Don’t miss out! Subscribe to my blog by clicking the “Sign me up button” in the top right hand column.





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Sign Up Now for Lake Oswego Summer Camps

Whether your child is a budding actor, movie maker, iGame creator, musician, athlete, dancer, engineer, chef, artist, explorer or scientist, there is a camp with his or her name on it in Lake Oswego this summer.

Between the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department and the Lakewood Center for the Arts, all bases are covered. All you have to do is sign up….and best to do so early as camps fill up fast.

LAKE OSWEGO PARKS AND RECREATION. Included in the usual lineup of preschool, kinder, art, dance, music science, Lego, tech, outdoor and sports camps, the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department has put together some new offerings. Take a look.

Little Music Makers for ages 3-5 introduces children to instruments like the piano, drums and shakers through fun games and activities. Plant the seeds for music appreciation early. Offered twice from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for two week June 18 through June 22 (#17772) and August 6 through August 10 (#17773). Fees are $120/Resident;$138/Non-Resident. Before care is offered from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. for $25/week.

Miss Eve’s Princess Dance Camp for ages 3-5. Campers will learn basic ballet and get their princess-fix making wands and crowns. Week culminates with a princess party and performance. Monday through Friday, July 9 through July 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. with before care available. Fees are $100/Resident; $115/Non-Resident. Class #17768.

Into the Wild Camp for ages 5-9 teachers campers wilderness survival skills from building a shelter to setting traps. Offered from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. June 25 through June 29. Fee is $213/Resident; $245/Non-Resident. Class #17668.

LO Explorers. While these weekly themed camps for school aged kids (ages 7-12( are offered every year, new themes are featured. Some of them include: Holy Summer Camp Batman! And Muggles Beware! Camps are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with before and after care available for an additional fee.

Teen Contemporary and Jazz Camp for ages 11-17. Dancers will work on technique, improvisation, choreography and floor week and cap the week off with a performance. Offered July 9 through July 13 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with after care available from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. for $25/week. Fee is $127/Resident; $146/Non-Resident. Class #17789.

Wordsmith Songwriting Camp for ages 8-12. Songwriting wannabes will learn how to translate their ideas to paper whether they already know how to play the piano and/or the guitar or need to learn the basics. Offered July 16 through July 20 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with after care available. Fees is $147/Resident; $170/Non-Resident. Class #17793.

Reel Fishing Camp for ages 8-13. Campers will spend the mornings learning how to catch (and prepare) their lunch! Includes casting, baiting, proper placement, as well as how to clean and cook their catch. July 23 through July 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Fee is $200/Resident; $230/Non-Resident. Class #17670.

Sport Ninja Warrior and Parkour Camp for ages 10-14 offers kids a chance to train with 4-time American Ninja Warrior finalist Elet Hall. They’ll learn parkour fundamentals, how to navigate obstacles, as well as circus skills. June 18 through June 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Fee is $294/Resident; $339/Non-Resident. Class #17583.

THE LAKEWOOD CENTER FOR THE ARTS will keep your resident thespians inspired with programs like the one week Kids Create-Summer Stars sessions for ages 4 through 7 beginning July 9 and running through August 17. The Sleepy Hollow Children’s Theatre Workshop and Production for ages 7-17 uses original musicals as a venue for teaching students about all areas of theatre including auditioning, staging, improvisation and directing. Check out the full schedule.

Things really pick up in the summer in Lake Oswego. Don’t miss a thing–subscribe to my blog by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the right hand column.

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5 Ways to Be Mentally Prepared for Lake Oswego’s 42nd Annual Lake Run

They say that running is 90% mental, so if you plan on signing up for Lake Oswego’s Lake Run set for May 12, that can be a good thing.

Known as “the race you love to hate,” it throws a lot at you that can boost your efforts (like the views) as well as thwart them (like the McVey climb). Knowing what the challenges are, you can be mentally (as well as physically prepared for them). Here are some things to think about (and say to yourself) to keep your head in the game.

  1. “I am so grateful for the views.” The glimpses of the lake are breathtaking and sure beat the scenery of some other races you could have signed up for like the sand, sand, and more sand of the Sahara Race in Egypt. So count your blessings.
  2. “It could be worse.” Sure, the McVey Hill is a doozy, and especially challenging as it hits you within the first mile of your run. But according to maymyrun, it’s only a Category 5 climb, making it the least difficult of categorized climbs. Yes, it could be a lot worse if you were running the Mt. Washington Road Race in Gorham, New Hampshire. Instead of a 3% gradient, you’d be looking at 12% as you tackle a 7.6 mile climb up Mt. Washington which tops out at 6,288 feet.
  3. “I can do this.” Chances are, even if you’re hurting, or have to walk, you will finish the race. You might not be able to say that if you were competing in the 2001 Siberian Ice Marathon. Record freezing temperatures (averaging minus 39 degrees Farenheit) prevented 92 percent of the starters from finishing the race.
  4. “Just think about how good I’m gonna feel when I cross the finish line!” There will be lots of fanfare, a banner to herald your arrival, clapping and cheering fans, pictures and a Family Fun festival. Visualizations help even the most elite of runners so picture yourself running with your hands up and a big smile across your face as you cross the finish. And look at it this way—at least you have a finish line. If you signed up for one of the 13 Wings for Life runs around the world, you wouldn’t. Instead the race ends when a Catcher Car (that sets off 30 minutes after the race starts at a speed of 9 miles an hour) passes you! How anticlimactic is that!
  5. “I’m doing this for a good cause.” Sometimes if you’re really feeling the pain, it helps to stop thinking about YOU and start thinking about SOMEONE ELSE. In this case, it’s the Annie Ross House and Northwest Housing Alternatives, the charity that will benefit from your entry fee. Annie Ross provides emergency shelter and services for families experiencing homelessness. So think about them to get yourself through any rough patches you hit along the way.

Registration for the 42nd annual Lake Run is open. Fees increase after April 30 and are $35/$45 for the 10K, $30/$40 for the 5K, and $15 for the Kids’ Dash. T-shirts are only guaranteed if you register by April 30. Course details and further information is available online.

Want to learn more about the Lake Run? Read some of my previous posts here, here and here.

And if you want to stay on top of what’s happening in Lake Oswego, be sure to subscribe to my blog by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column.

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Lake Oswego Offers Emergency Preparedness Fair This Week

When the next big one hits Oregon, here’s one statistic you don’t want to fall in—the 65% of American households that do not have an adequate plan or supplies for a disaster.

That’s one of the reasons behind the City of Lake Oswego’s Emergency Preparedness Fair on Wednesday, April 25 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the Palisades campus at 1500 Greentree Road.

Even if you’re a nay-sayer when it comes to believing predictions that the Cascadian Subduction Zone that runs along the Oregon Coast is going to send us a doozy in the near future, there are other crises Lake Oswego’s Emergency Management Program would like you to be prepared for like severe winter storms, fire and flooding.

Since moving to Lake Oswego, my wife and I have encountered two of the above. Severe winter winds sent our kids home early from school in the 1990s and we spent the afternoon and evening hiding out in our basement. A couple years later a combination of snow and freezing rain shut down our electricity and heat for five days and came back on just as we were about ready to check into a hotel (much to our kids’ dismay). In 1996 our basement flooded and we became the recipients of the City of Lake Oswego supplied sandbags and neighbors helping hands as we moved everything out of our basement and onto our main floor.

So yes, it can happen to you. Yet despite even our track record, we’ve been slow to prepare. This year, the emergency box-on-wheels we bought several years ago, finally started getting stocked with a first aid kit, emergency blankets, water filter, food…and the list goes on. The city’s Emergency Preparedness Fair will make getting organized all that much simpler by having all the information and many of the resources you need all in one place. Here’s what you’ll find:

●Over 20 information booths where you can learn about water filtration and storage, emergency food options, pet preparedness, portable sanitation, seismic retrofitting and more.

●Giveaway of 300 BPA-Free 3 gallon water containers and 1 gallon soft-sided water bags (1 per household)

●Hands-only CPR training

●Sandbag demonstration

●Amateur radio demonstration

●Junior Firefighter course teaching you how to exit a burning house

In addition Jay Wilson, Clackamas County’s Resilience Coordinator with the Department of Disaster Management will be leading a seminar on Cascadia and Other Disasters We Face in Oregon and Being Prepared for Self Sufficiency from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. For more information, check out their website.

Stay tuned for the latest on what’s happening in Lake Oswego and why you should move here if you don’t already call Lake Oswego your home. Click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column.

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Arts Council of Lake Oswego Lets You Have All the Fun of Family Art Making Without All of the Mess :-)

Artists-in-residence at the Arts Council of Lake Oswego’s Family Art Making program display their masterpieces.

Imagine if you could have all the fun of doing an art project with your child without all of the mess!

Thanks to the Arts Council of Lake Oswego’s Family Art Making Program, you can.

The program was started in mid-2017 shortly after Kelsey Ferreira joined the Arts Council as the Public Art and Program Manager. “I come from a museum education background and love to see kids creating and making art in our gallery space,” she explains.

Last year over 200 budding artists and their families took part in the program. Ferreira tries to tie projects in with what’s being exhibited in the 510 Museum. Past masterpieces have included Picasso inspired paper faces, valentine collages and printmaking techniques.

Some of Ferreira’s favorite moments in the program are when “kids just create, get messy, and interpret the project in their own ways.” A recent glitter activity was a big hit with both the kids (who could glue with abandon) and parents (who didn’t have to clean up!)

Family Art Making is geared towards kids 3-8, but younger or older siblings are welcome to make it manageable for parents’ schedules. It is held from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the last three Thursdays of the month with updates on the Council’s website and Facebook pages. All supplies are provided; however a $5 donation is suggested to cover the cost of materials. Registration is not currently required.

Here are the remaining April projects scheduled:

Earth Day Muffin Tin Prints on April 19. This one has kids painting the bottoms of muffin tins—see why you want to do this at their place and not yours?!

Springtime Cardboard Flowers on April 26.

Check the website for May’s calendar.

Support the Arts Council of Lake Oswego by attending their annual fundraiser: Art in the Garden on Saturday, May 19 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Tumwater Vineyard in West Linn. Food will be catered by Nicoletta’s and the evening will feature a silent and live auction. Tickets are $95 and available online.

Be sure to sign up for weekly updates on what’s happening in Lake Oswego. Click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column.

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