Portion Control & SHEDCO

Portion control, of course, relates to food. In this case, it’s about why it just isn’t an issue when eating meatloaf. That’s what we had for lunch. I was tasked with cutting the left-over loaf and asked Diane if she just wanted to eat half. She said, “No! I just want a couple of pieces.” So, I cut her half in half, and my half in thirds. Apparently that was OK because I didn’t complain.

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I earned it, though, and so did Diane. We yanked a bunch of weeds out of the ground in our little fake garden plot. It’s a fake because the main crop is weeds, a stray blackberry vine, and a few walking onion plants that survived the winter. Maybe we’ll plant another tomato plant like we did in 2010.

We worked at this project before and after the epic meatloaf meal. Then we cleaned ourselves up and went to our scheduled Lion’s Club meeting. We don’t go to all the meetings so we’ll never get one of those perfect attendance awards many of the others get. That’s OK because we go to most of them. Tonight was a special night because Mary came to give a presentation on SHEDCO. I’ve mentioned it previously because she was scheduled to give her presentation last month but her spot was usurped by another presenter who was also there due to a communication error. Mary graciously stepped aside to accommodate the other presenter and agreed to reschedule for tonight. It was well worth the wait.

Mary is a University of Oregon graduate (go Ducks) who currently works with the city of St. Helens as a project manager for SHEDCO, the St. Helens Economic Development Corporation. The program is associated with the National Main Street Center which helps cities, big or small, redevelop their core areas. Typically, that means getting folks to rediscover the forgotten areas, and businesses, of their city that have been lost due to traffic flow. That’s a simplistic explanation, and probably doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it’s all I got.

In St. Helens’ case, Highway 30 has always been the way to get to St. Helens. The downtown area, where all the fun stuff is, has been ‘forgotten’, if you will, because of the numerous businesses that have line #30 past the roads that lead to the downtown area. The main street to get there is Columbia Blvd. I’m guessing it was named that because it leads travelers directly to the Columbia River. Back in the day, that’s where boats were constructed. Business was booming. St. Helens was destined to be the main deep water Oregon port on the Columbia River until someone flipped a coin, or paid off some politician, and that title went to Portland. Lots has happened since then and the current program is getting people involved to create a main street that makes them proud and gets folks downtown to fill the sidewalks. Diane and I do that quite often. It’s a great place to just roam around. They even have tours that take people around to the various areas used in the Twilight movie.

So, check out the SHEDCO and see what’s going on.

Now, for the important, breaking news, my Weekend Wound. I guess it really isn’t ‘breaking’, since it happened yesterday, and I actually forget about it until I look at my left hand. That’s where the burns are. I got the first one when I was directed to remove the first pizza from the oven. It was Baylee’s desire to have pizza, so that’s what Jeff & Heather got her. The burn was applied to the back of my wrist, just above where things bend, so it could have been worse. It was just a glancing injury so didn’t blister. It just hurt, really bad.

The second burn was administered to my left pointer and middle fingers when I was directed to remove the second pizza from the oven. You’d think they would learn to not ask me to do stuff like that, wouldn’t you? I mean, 425 degrees is really, really hot. and it hurts, a lot, when you bump your arm on that silver gasket thing that seals the door. The finger burns happened because I changed my approach to avoid contact with that gasket. I reached into the oven, with pads, putting one hand under the pizza and misjudged the distance between the oven rack just below the one holding the pizza. It looked like there was plenty of room, but there wasn’t. Consequently, I made excellent contact with the two mentioned fingers, burning the skin to a crispy light brown, about the shade of a well toasted marshmallow. Or the color of a done pizza crust. It was a 4th degree burn, for sure. I can say that because contact was long enough to make the blister, then burst it and cook it shut, sealing in my bodily fluids.

I’m confident I’ll heal just fine. I always have, so far, and have no reason to think otherwise. Apparently one of the blessings about getting older is that pain like I received doesn’t register in my mind as bad as, say, kneeling then getting back up. Or bending over, then establishing a vertical position. In the first case, knees protest. In the second, it’s the back. Burns? They heal and they don’t really hurt for very long because they kill all the nerve endings. Knees and backs? They’re going to hurt every time you bend then the wrong way, or maintain a position longer than necessary to do simple tasks … like pick up a penny in a parking lot.

Tomorrow Lydia has a double-header starting at 3:30, so if you’re in town, come on over to Campbell Park. After those games we can all go to our house for ice-cream and watch the Portland’s first game in the second round.

Go St. Helens High School softball teams, and Go Blazers!

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