Wednesday, October 31, 2012

November Happenings

This is my monthly list of free and low cost events around the greater Portland area for the month of November 2012.  I compile this list for the homeschool group we belong to, which includes kids 9 and under, but most have much broader appeal.  I look for events with some educational or cultural value.  This month, I got  legendary scat singer Bip Bippadotta and his friends, the Two Slowths, to proofread it for me! Unfortunately, their suggestions were completely unintelligible.  So please doublecheck anything you'd like to attend in case of typos, mistakes, or cancellations.  

Veterans Day is November 11. A statewide list of Veterans Day events is here:   And of course Christmas preparations begin at the end of November. Check the PDX Kid's Calendar for an extensive list of holiday activities and lighting displays: 

Miracle Theatre Group presents "RAÍZ, An original, bilingual celebration of Day of the Dead", now through November 11, 425 SE 6th Ave., Pdx. Ticket prices vary, see website:   (You should check out this link for its marvelous article on the Day of the Dead holiday!) "Every year, the dead have been commemorated in Portland's longest-running Día de los Muertos celebration. This season, a cabal of Aztec gods, having fallen out of favor in the modern world, seek to revive their relevance by reuniting a young clown with his departed partner, Augustina. Time turns backward as we unearth the interwoven roots of pre-Hispanic customs and traditions found at the juncture of life and death. Are we but dreaming and awake only when we die? Through music, dance and legend, we explore that thin veil that separates our world from the realm of our indigenous ancestors."

"Día de los Muertos", Thursday, November 1, 6:30PM, Tualatin Library. "Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a festive occasion set aside to honor, remember, and celebrate the lives of departed loved ones. Join us with your family as we celebrate this holiday with special crafts, games, and food." 

"Homeschool Program: Explorers", Thursday, November 1, and Thursday, November 15, 1:30PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie. Suggested or ages 5 and up. "Homeschoolers will learn about famous explorers through arts, crafts and games."

"Family Clay Nights", Fridays through December 7, 6PM- 8:30PM, Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy., Pdx. $20 a session per adult and child pair. $10 a session for each additional family member. Pay at MAC office. Come as a family and play with clay! Includes glazes, firings and 5 lbs of clay. Not for solo participants. This is an adult and child activity. Use of the potter's wheel by instructor approval only."

Christian Youth Theater presents, "Great American Tall Tales", opening Friday, November 2, through Sunday, November 11, Fort Vancouver High School Auditorium, 5700 E. 18th St., Vancouver, WA. Adults $12, youth 2-18 and seniors $9, all tickets $9 on Nov. 3 7PM. "When several kids stumble into a dusty exhibit during a museum field trip, their adventure comes to life. Together they meet the beloved characters of American folklore like Annie Oakley, Davy Crockett, Pecos Bill, Annie Christmas, John Henry and more. Through story, dance, and song, they learn that history is alive and vibrant while discovering that sometimes fact and fiction work together to create unforgettable legends. Written for teen-age features and plenty of ensemble appearances."

"Multnomah Arts Center Open House", Friday, November 2, reception at 5PM, Jazz concert at 7PM, free. 7688 SW Capitol Hwy., Pdx. "Come hear four of our city's fine jazz musicians perform at Multnomah Arts Center. Aaron Pruitt, Dave Fleschner, James Blackburn and Jack Buddeke – all teachers at the Center – will create an evening of unique music, each in his own style. Along the way they may be joined by some jazz trumpet, bass, mandolin or even a second piano. Where has the lineage of Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, Thelonius Monk and others brought us? Where will the new pianists lead us? Listen to these new explorers and get a taste of the answer November 2."

"Día de los Muertos Storytime", Friday, November 2, 3:30PM, Hillsboro Shute Park Branch Library. Preregistration required; call 503-615-6500. Suggested for grades K-5. "Join us for a bilingual family storytime celebrating Day of the Dead, a traditional Meso-American holiday dedicated to the ancestors and that honors both death and the cycle of life. Come and listen to stories about this holiday and stay for a special craft!"

"Northwest Library Comic Club", Friday, November 2, 3:15PM, Northwest Library Meeting Room. "Do you love to draw? Do you love comics? Join the Comic Club! Each month make your own comic and then trade with friends. Lead by artist Kanani Miyamoto with help from library staff, kids will learn drawing techniques, research skills and have fun!"

"Fashion Show of Nordic National Costumes", Friday, November 2, 7:30PM, Cramer Hall, SW Mill and SW Park Ave., Room 171, Portland State University. "Lectures are free, open to the public and refreshments are served in the Finnish Room afterwards. Beautiful national costumes from the Nordic countries will be modeled by local Scandinavians and unique aspects and history of each outfit will be explained. Carol DeSau will be our moderator."

"Annual Chestnut Roast", Saturday, November 3, and Sunday, November 4, 1PM-5PM, Nella Chestnut Farm, 3435 Neal Creek Rd., Hood River, OR. Chestnuts $5/lb. Children are welcome to come try freshly roasted chestnuts. "Here at Nella Chestnut Farm, we combine our efforts with a local winery, Hood River Vineyards, and celebrate a chestnut roast with red wine, Italian Style. Come join us for a fun filled day of enjoying chestnuts hot off an open fire and vino. According to Italian custom, the chestnuts are roasted, peeled and dropped into a glass of red wine. As the wine is sipped, the flavors and aromas of the chestnut mingle with the fruitiness of the wine, creating a unique sensation." 

"Mount Hood Model Engineers Open House", Saturdays in November, 12PM-5PM, 5500 SE Belmont St., Pdx. Donations requested. Come see their amazing model railroad layout!

"Newt Day", Saturday, November 3, 12PM-4PM, Tualatin Hills Nature Park, 15655 SW Millikan Way, Beaverton. $2 per person, free for kids 2 and under. "Do you love wet, fall weather? Do you want to get your family out exploring the out-of-doors in the "off" season? Have you always wanted to know about local wildlife of all sizes? Join the newts on the trails and around the Interpretive Center as we delve into the wonders of autumn and all the exciting natural discoveries that it brings to park visitors. Follow nature's cycle of life into fall as you learn about how change is good. Some cycles follow the seasons and some are the transition between generations. From newts and trees to mushrooms and wooly bears, learn about the cycles that these forest inhabitants go through at indoor exhibits. Then venture out into the park to find evidence of these plants and animals on a self-guided adventure. This is a family-friendly event that provides activities designed to inspire exploration of nature during the season when it is tempting to stay inside. Come dressed for the weather so that you will be comfortable participating in the outdoor activities."

"Portland Youth Spelling Bee", Saturday, November 3, sign-ups at 12:45PM, Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave., Pdx. "Are you a W-H-I-Z at spelling? Kids ages 5-18 are welcome to come strut their spelling stuff on the Mississippi Pizza stage. Three difficulty levels give everyone a chance to play. Winners take home fun prizes, and every speller gets a treat."

"Come Fall for Rats", Saturday, November 3, 11AM-5PM, Washington County Fairground, Hillsboro, OR. Adults $5, kids 4 and older $3, kids 3 and under free. The RatsPacNW Rat Fanciers Club annual show!

"Día de los Muertos", Saturday, November 3. 11:30AM, Beaverton Library. Suggested for ages 2-11. "Join us in celebrating the Day of the Dead with crafts at this drop-in program in the Storytime Room."

"Día de los Muertos", Saturday, November 3, 2PM, White Salmon Library. "Enjoy music, sugar-skull decorating, hot chocolate and pan dulce."

"Liberty and Union: Presidential Campaign Songs of the 1860 and 1864 Elections", Saturday, November 3, 2PM, Central Library US Bank Room. "Music was a main component of the campaigns for presidential candidates in the 1860s. 'Illinois' Doug Tracy's performance gives the audience insight into the candidates' positions and how divided Americans were at the time of the Civil War and the election of Abraham Lincoln. Discover how music helped to shape one of the most crucial presidential elections in our nation's history."

"Copper Wire Gifts", Saturday, November 3, 1:30PM, Rockwood Library; Tuesday, November 6, 4PM, Holgate Library; and Saturday, November 10, 2PM, Albina Library. "Artist Kathy Karbo will show you how to create one-of-a-kind sculptures using copper wire, pipe cleaners, colorful beads and ornaments. Gain experience with hammers, anvils and needle-nose pliers. Fun for all ages!"

"Guided Nature Walks", Saturdays in November, 10AM-11:30AM, Tryon Creek State Park. "Join a park ranger for a free, guided nature hike to explore the forest and stream ecosystems and natural history at Tryon Creek State Natural Area. Topics will vary from week to week but will be appropriate for all ages. Parents must accompany kids on all hikes." November 3: Conifers of the Creek; November 10: Ethnobotany; November 17: Stories about Stumps, History of Tryon Creek; November 24: Forest Fungi.

"Columbia Gorge Model Railroad Club Show", Saturdays and Sundays in November, 10AM-5PM, 2505 N. Vancouver Ave., Pdx. Adults $6, kids 3-11 $2, bring cash. VIP tour available by advance reservation for $15. This is the granddaddy of model railroads! Check it out!

"Let's Lego", Saturday, November 3, 1:30PM, Oak Lodge Library, Oak Grove; and Saturday, November 17 at Sunnyside Library, Clackamas. Suggested for ages 5 and up. "We'll supply the LEGOs; you bring your creativity! Build with other LEGO fans and then tear down your constructions."

"Library Lego Lovers", Saturday, November 3, 10AM, Ridgefield Library, Ridgefield, WA; Saturday, November 10, 2PM, White Salmon Library; Wednesday, November 14, 2PM, Washougal Library; and Thursday, November 15, 6PM, Battle Ground Library, Battle Ground, WA. Suggested for ages 5-11. "Join us each month for a new Lego challenge."

Author Talk, "Julie Crabtree", Saturday, November 3, 1PM, Sherwood Library community room. "Julie's first novel, 'Discovering Pig Magic', won the Milkweed Prize for Children's Literature in 2008, and in 2011 'The Crepe Maker's Bond' (the sequel to 'Pig Magic') was published by Milkweed Editions. Julie anticipates publishing the third and final book of the "Pig Magic Trilogy" in the near future. 'Discovering Pig Magic' follows the exploits of Mattie (or Miss M, or just M) and her friends Ariel and Nicki as they attempt to overcome the problems that plague their 13-year-old lives. After finding a book of spells, the three girls perform a ritual that will grant each the object of her desire. This requires that they each bury a special object. Ariel buries a tiny antique spoon; Nicki puts in a thumb-sized leather mother-and-child doll; and Miss M contributes a small ceramic pig with real gold inlays. When the magic starts to take effect, the girls' longed-for wishes carry unintended, and unwelcome, consequences. Breaking the spell before something really bad happens becomes crucial, but doing so may be too much even for these resourceful friends. Julie Crabtree's wonderfully funny novel captures the everyday lives of three quirky, engaging girls, and shows that some wishes may be better left unfulfilled."

"Native American Dance", Saturday, November 3, 11AM, North Portland Library meeting room; Saturday, November 3, 2PM, Gresham Library; and Saturday, November 17, 2PM, Midland Library large meeting room. "By combining traditional Native American dance and music with contemporary elements of jazz, tap and hip-hop, Painted Sky's Northstar Dance Company performs a colorful, high energy show that celebrates rich Native American traditions. Fun for all ages."

***Daylight Savings Time Ends Sunday, November 4 at 2AM- Set Clocks Back 1 Hour***

"Oregon Koto-kai Concert", Sunday, November 4, 2:30PM, Epworth United Methodist Church, 1333 SE 28th Ave., Pdx. Tickets $5. "Please order by Friday, November 2nd by email ( Specify your name, phone number and number of tickets. Oregon Koto-kai, organized by Koto master Mitsuki Dazai, will perform their first concert November 4, 2012 at the Epworth United Methodist Church in SE Portland. Koto is one of the traditional musical instruments of Japan, having been brought to Japan from China over a thousand years ago. The program for the upcoming concert will include "Hanakage Hensoukyoku (Hanakage Variation; ensemble) " by Seiho Nomura, "Kinran (brocade; duet)","Gaku"(music; solo), "Tori no yoni" (Like a Bird, solo) by Tadao Sawai, "Kazekko" (Japanese folk song; arranged by Naoko Matuzaka) and "OKOTO" (koto; ensemble) by Hikaru Sawai."

"World War II Newspaper Display", Sunday, November 4- Saturday, December 8, Tigard Public Library 2nd Floor. "Stop by the library to view a display featuring a special collection of front pages from The Oregonian during World War II. Presented to the library by a local family, these volumes cover world events from December 1941 to September 1945. We invite you to browse through them. Perhaps they will evoke memories from your family's history."

"Sci-Fi Authorfest IV", Sunday, November 4, 4:30PM, Powell's, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton. "A starfleet of science-fiction and fantasy authors descends for one galactic booksigning event. Attending authors include: Alma Alexander, Kevin James Breaux, Alyx Dellamonica, Ru Emerson, Mark Ferrari, Barb & J C Hendee, M K Hobson, Louise Marley, Michael Martin, Todd McCaffrey, Devon Monk, Peter Orullian, Shannon Page, J A Pitts, Phyllis Irene Radford, Deborah Ross, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Ken Scholes, Mike Shepherd/Moscoe, Dave Smeds, Brent Weeks, Daniel Wilson, Matt Youngmark."

"There's No Place Like Home Tour", Sunday, November 4, 10AM-3PM, departing from Union Station in NW Portland. $18 adults and $15 youth, students and seniors. Get tickets online and read the full itinerary: "In the wake of the recent rise in home foreclosures, the growing population of homeless families and the economic disparities brought to the forefront by the Occupy movement and May Day actions, this tour aims to uncover the myths and realities of who is homeless and why. Join us for an afternoon bus ride as we will hear first-hand accounts from currently and formerly homeless persons, as well as individuals and groups who work for social change around housing and homeless issues."

"Homeschool Archery", Monday, November 5, and Monday, November 19, 10:30AM, Archers Afield, 11945 SW Pacific Hwy Ste 121, Tigard. $6.75. All ages welcome. Archery lessons with equipment provided.

Author Talk: "Robert Michael Pyle", Monday, November 5, 7PM, Powell's Books, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton. "'It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us…'
 --Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

Robert Michael Pyle's 'Tangled Bank' column appeared in 52 consecutive issues of Orion and Orion Afield magazines between 1997 and 2008. Each essay collected in 'The Tangled Bank' explores Charles Darwin's contention that the elements of such a bank, and by extension all the living world, are endlessly interesting and ever evolving. Pyle's thoughtful and concise narratives range in subject from hops and those who love them to independent bookstores to the monarchs of Mexico. In each piece, Pyle refutes 'the idea that the world is a boring place,' sharing his meticulous observations of the endless and fascinating details of the living earth.'"

"Sleeping Beauties and the White Dwarf", Monday, November 5, 7PM and 8:15PM, Mt. Hood Community College Planetarium, 26000 SE Stark St., Gresham. $2. "All shows are presented under a realistic representation of the night sky, featuring the latest galactic, stellar and planetary images."

"Sir Cumference and His Library Math Lab", Tuesday, November 6, 3:30PM, Beaverton Library. Suggested for grades 1-5. "Fun ways to learn basic math facts, understand math ideas, and stretch your brain! Drop in."

"Symphony Storytime", Tuesdays in November, 11AM, Northwest Library. "An innovative partnership between the Oregon Symphony and the Multnomah and Washington County Library Systems brings music and literature together during library storytelling times for pre-schoolers and their parents. Storytimes feature musicians from the Oregon Symphony performing music that enhances and deepens the storytelling experience. Each one-hour storytime features one of the four families of musical instruments: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Children and their parents experience a live musical collaboration between the library reader and an Oregon Symphony musician 4 times in a month at each location. Musicians play short selections, talk a little about their instrument and, after the stories are read aloud, audience members can try out each instrument!" These are likely to be very popular and their community room is small. The way they usually do things at this library is to put a sign-up sheet on the meeting room door, and the activity is closed when the sign-up sheet is full.

"Everyone's Hometown Band", Tuesday, November 6, 7PM, Forest Grove Library. "Everybody's Home Town Band performs a variety of musical genre's including: Blues, Jazz, Big Band, Patriotic, Popular and Seasonal favorites." From Banks, OR.

"Sally Harmon and Frank Gruner", Tuesday, November 6, 7PM, Lake Oswego Library. Pianist Sally Harmon accompanied by guitarist Frank Gruner play popular classics.

"Legos and More", Tuesdays in November, 2PM, Vancouver Community Library, Vancouver, WA. Suggested for ages 6-11. "Drop in for creative construction with Legos, Clics, K'nex and other fun building toys."

"Storytelling with Emmy Blue", Wednesday, November 7, 6:30PM, West Slope Community Library. "Emmy Blue tells lively original tales and traditional folktales sure to ignite your imagination and fill your heart. All ages welcome. Cookies and tea will be provided. This lively storytelling program, geared towards children ages 6+ and adults, includes a seasonal selection of Emmy Blue's original fall folktales and legends about the magical creatures who live deep in the enchanted forests of the Pacific Northwest. Emmy Blue's uplifting program will surely fill you with gratitude and love as the holiday season approaches!"

"Perfectly Playful Paper Puppets", Wednesday, November 7, 3:30PM, Hollywood Library; Saturday, November 10, 2PM, Central Library (free tickets will be given out at 1:30PM); and Thursday, November 15, 4PM, Midland Library large meeting room. "These are not your ordinary puppets; these are puppets with a capital 'P!' Dig into a treasure trove of art supplies as you make magnificent paper puppets. Under the instruction of artist and teacher Judith Hankin, each participant will construct their very own puppet creation – be it pretty, plucky, playful . . . or? Join us and see!"

"Beverly Cleary Children's Choice Award Book Club", Wednesday, November 7, 4PM, Beaverton Library. Suggested for grades 1-4. Preregistration required; call 503-350 3600. "Read and talk about the nominees for the BCCCA and help pick this year's winner! Pick up a copy of this months' book when you register."

"Lego Builders", Thursday, November 8, 4PM, Beaverton Library. Suggested for ages 3-8. "Come and play with Legos and Duplo blocks."

Author Talk, "April Streeter and Elly Blue", Thursday, November 8, 7:30PM, Powell's, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Pdx. "Powell's welcomes two of Portland's top bike advocates, Elly Blue and April Streeter. Complete with anecdotes from the history of women on bikes, Streeter's "Women on Wheels" offers concise advice for making biking work with kids, groceries, pets, and weather. Blue's 'Taking the Lane' is a quarterly that explores bicycling from a feminist perspective. The latest issue, Childhood, contains diverse accounts of childhood bike memories, parenting by bicycle, and building the bicycle movement for the next generation."

Author Talk, "Obert Skye", Thursday, November 8, 6:30PM, Barnes and Noble, 18300 NW Evergreen Pkwy., Beaverton. "Obert Skye will be here to sign his new book, 'Beyond Foo, Book 2: Geth and the Deception of Dreams'." "Beyond the borders of Foo lies the land of Zendor a place where dreams are held captive with little thought for hope. Clover and Geth are determined to change that. Fleeing from Pencilbottom Castle, Clover, Geth, and their allies must find the wise Lars, who may have the answer to save Zendor and return dreams to Foo. As a brave Lithen once said, Do what you fear most, and the death of fear is certain."

"Hidden Portland: City Treasures! Walking Tour", Friday, November 9, 10AM, meeting at Director Park. Tickets $18 adults and $15 youth, students and seniors; buy tickets online:  "What if the City was a Museum? Hidden Portland: City Treasures! attempts to answer this question by allowing tour goers to discover and appreciate the often unnoticed parts of the city. With an eye towards the small, quirky and curious, this tour lets you in on some of the little-known but best-kept secrets of the city. This is a visual and interactive tour of Portland and encourages participation, play and active learning. Focusing on the Cultural District, sites include a wide-ranging selection of public art, museums, buildings and architectural features…all bound to get you to see the Rose City with new eyes and experiences."

"Holocaust Remembrance 74th Anniversary of Kristallnacht", Friday, November 9, 7PM, Tigard Library Burgess Community Room. "Local Holocaust survivors Les and Eva Aigner will talk about their experiences in Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps during World War II. Kristallnacht, the first mass Nazi assault on German and Austrian Jewish citizens, victimized thousands. Many were sent to concentration camps. Many historians believe Kristallnacht was the first major event signaling the Holocaust." I called to ask what the library's policy will be on this event, because obviously it is intended for adults, but these storytellers aren't getting any younger and may not be here to tell our children what they witnessed when our children are older. There are definitely those of us who think that their stories are vitally important. The Tigard library tells me that children will not be excluded but that parents are definitely advised to use their discretion. 

"Life in Space", Friday, November 9, 1PM, Sellwood-Moreland Library. "What do you wear when going to space? Join staff from the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum to learn about the environment of outer space. Since humans cannot live in space, we have to wear a space suit, which acts like a mini spacecraft and lets an astronaut hang out outside in the vacuum of space. You can even check out a real space suit and helmet. Fun for all ages!"

"Chasing Ice: Filming Our Changing Climate", Friday, November 9, 7PM, Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St., Pdx. $5 suggested donation. Minors welcome with an adult. Featuring Extreme Ice Survey founder James Balog and team member Adam LeWinter. "National Geographic photographer James Balog was once a climate-change skeptic. But a 2005 trip to the Arctic changed his mind—and his life. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, Balog conceived The Extreme Ice Survey and began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the Arctic to capture a multiyear record of the world's changing glaciers. These hauntingly beautiful videos—which compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate—are part of the new film Chasing Ice, which opens at the Hollywood Theater on Nov. 16. Adam LeWinter, EIS Field Coordinator, has worked and filmed extensively in Greenland, Iceland, Alaska, Montana, and Nepal. As the climate-change debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, LeWinter shares clips of the film—and the story of one man's mission to change history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet."

"Fort Stevens Wild Mushroom Hikes", Friday November 9 and 23, 1PM, Fort Stevens State Park. "Meet at Battery Russell for a ranger-guided hike to look for and identify wild mushrooms."

"Quizissippi Jr.- for kids!", Saturday, November 10, sign up starts at 12:45, Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave., Pdx. "Why should grown-ups have all the fun? Portland's only kid-friendly trivia event invites your whole family to "the best trivia on Saturday afternoons on Mississippi Avenue." Questions for both adults and kids, multimedia clips, physical challenges, and plenty of great music mean a fun challenge and a good time for all. Teams of up to five players play FREE for fun prizes." 

"Jugglemania", Saturday, November 10, 11AM, Lake Oswego Library. "An astounding juggling acrobatics show that must be seen to be believed."

"Old Town and Chinatown Tour", Saturday, November 10, 10AM-12PM, Meeting outside Voodoo Donuts. Tickets $18 adults and $15 youth, students and seniors; purchase tickets online: "While today Portland is known as one of the whitest cities in the U.S., its multicultural and immigrant history is rich and storied. Old Town/ Chinatown shows the challenges faced by Portland's ethnic communities, as well as their many contributions to the city's economy, industry and culture. Topics covered by this tour include Portland's first African American community, Japan Town, Chinatown and more. Focusing on the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, this tour charts Portland's urban development, and how these transformations created the city we know today."

"Kid's Storytime with John Skewes", Saturday, November 10, 11AM, Powell's, 1005 W. Burnside., Pdx. Author and illustrator John Skewes reads "Larry Gets Lost in Portland". "In Larry the adorable pooch's latest adventure, he goes on vacation with Pete and the family to Portland, Oregon. As usual, in hot pursuit of a tempting treat, he gets separated from the family and frantically tries to find them again. Along the way he discovers some of the city's most fun and interesting landmarks and cultural attractions, including the waterfront, the zoo, the Portland Art Museum, Hawthorne Bridge, Old Town, and the Park Blocks."

"Diwali 2012 Celebration", Saturday, November 10, 5PM-9PM, Stoller Middle School, 14141 NW Laidlaw Rd., Pdx. Adults $15, ages 4-18 $10, free for kids 3 and under. Tickets available at Apna Bazaar, India Imports and online: DJ, entertainment, and Dinner.

"From the Inside Out", Saturday, November 10, 12PM, 1:30PM, and 3PM, McLoughlin House, 713 Center St., Oregon City. Free. "Ever wondered what Victorian ladies wore underneath those fancy clothes? Listen to a fascinating lecture about undergarments of the 1800s!"

"The Reluctant Dragon", Saturday, November 10, 2PM, Capitol Hill Library (free tickets will be given out at 1:30PM); and Tuesday, November 20, 3:30PM, at Hillsdale Library (free tickets will be given out at 3PM). "The cowardly knight, Sir Cans-O-Lot, must prove his knighthood to the village, while the fearsome dragon needs to show everyone that he is actually nice. Together they come up with a plan to have a fake battle in order to trick the village into thinking that the knight has heroically tamed the dragon. Join Dragon Theater to see what happens in this entertaining puppet show." 

"Lego Robotics Demonstration", Saturday, November 10, 10AM, Sherwood Library. Recommended for grades 3-5. "Come and learn how to program Lego robots at the Sherwood Public Library on Saturday, November 10 from 10am to noon. Team AFOOFA, a veteran First LEGO League and the Oregon State Champions in 2010-2012 will be leading the event. You will learn about the FIRST Lego League Robotics Program and have the opportunity to ask about how to form or be part of an FLL team. There are 400 FLL teams in Oregon and 12,000 world-wide. The FLL program is an excellent way for young people to experience the excitement of technical creativity and gain insights in the possibility of a technical career. Participating on an FLL team is a fun way to learn about mechanical design and computer programming as well as teamwork and other life skills. No previous technical or programming experience is required to join a team."

"Raven Steals the Sun", Saturday, November 10, 11AM, Sellwood-Moreland Library (free tickets will be given out at 10:30) and Saturday, November 17, 11AM, St. Johns Library. "The world was once dark and cold because the sun, moon and stars were locked in a box. Based on a Native American tale and performed by Tears of Joy Theatre, this performance shares how Raven the trickster brought light and warmth to the world."

"The Snowflake Man", Saturday, November 10, 11AM, North Portland Library; and Saturday, November 17, 3PM, Northwest Library. "Do you know what a snowflake looks like? This puppet performance is inspired by Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley, a farmer and scientist who in 1885 was the first person to capture the image of a single snow crystal. Sarah Frechette, of Puppetkabob, performs Bentley's fascinating story using a unique trunk show of marionettes and props."

"Why Aren't There More Black People in Oregon? A Hidden History", Saturday, November 10, 2PM, Midland Library. "Have you ever wondered why the Black population in Oregon is so small? Oregon has a history not only of Black exclusion and discrimination, but also of a vibrant Black culture that helped sustain many communities throughout the state -- a history that is not taught in schools. Portland State University adjunct professor Walidah Imarisha will lead participants through an interactive timeline of Black history in Oregon and will also discuss how history, politics, and culture have shaped -- and will continue to shape -- the landscape for Black Oregonians."

"American Indian Heritage Month", Saturday, November 10, 1PM, Water Resources Education Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way, Vancouver, WA. "Observe American Indian Heritage Month with fun, hands-on crafts and activities. Families are invited to celebrate and learn more about native cultures. New this year is a display of photographs taken by students selected for the Journeys in Creativity Program at the Oregon School of Arts and Crafts illustrating Native American art and culture. 'Catching Our Own Shadows' was taught by world-renowned Tlingit artist, scholar and photographer, Larry McNeil, who mentored students to produce photographs based on personal culture meaning."

"Brick Builders", Saturday, November 10, 10:30AM, Beaverton Library. "A drop-in program where kids ages 3-5 can play with Duplo blocks and kids ages 6-11 can play with LEGOs."

"Beltaine Quartet", Saturday, November 10, 2PM, Wilsonville Library. "Dual Dulcimers, guitar, flute, marimbula, and accordion offers a unique and bright sound to Celtic and traditional music from around the world."

"Lone Fir Cemetery Guided Walking Tour", Saturday, November 10, 10AM-12:30PM, Lone Fir Cemetery, entrance at SE 26th Street between Stark and Morrison Sts, Pdx. $10 suggested donation, which goes towards headstone restoration and educational programs. "Come for an informal history lesson while enjoying the beauty and tranquility of Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery in SE Portland. Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery conducts monthly tours, highlighting Portland's founders, pioneers, its famous and infamous alike, as well as interesting headstones and monuments. Come visit this hidden jewel! Explore 30 acres of mature trees, a very special rose garden and fascinating architecture in this unique place, the only cemetery in Portland listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Suitable for all ages. No advance registration required. Meet in the center of the cemetery, at the soldiers' monument." Lone Fir was the first public cemetery in Portland, and a tour is a must for anyone learning about local history.

"Fort Stevens Mysterious Mushrooms", Saturday, November 10 and Saturday, November 24, 1PM, Fort Stevens State Park. "Meet at Picnic Shelter A at Coffenbury Lake for a program on wild mushrooms followed by a hike to hunt for fungi." 

A-WOL Dance Collective Presents: "Project Warehouse", Saturday, November 10, 5PM and 7PM, tickets $5 in advance. Live music by Tyler Stensont, art, aerial dance by A-WOL and guest artists. Highly recommended!

"Aloha and Western Oregon Lines Open House and Operating Sessions", Saturdays and Sundays, November 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 and 25, 10AM-4PM, 12755 SW Beaverdam Rd., Beaverton. Come just to see this model railroad club's big layout, or bring your HO-DCC locomotive and run it!

"Towering Trunks, Falling Flora", Saturday, November 10, 1PM-4PM, Wildwood Trailhead on NW 53rd Drive. $10. Preregistration required; register online: "Sentinels of solitude, the trees of Forest Park stand high, mighty and colorful in November. Walk along Wildwood Trail amongst these peaceful giants and discover each tree's lifecycle. Learn about forest secession and how it constructs the habitat, character and future of Forest Park. Follow along with us as we talk trees and look deeper into fall colors."

"Willamette Falls Symphony", Sunday, November 11, 3PM, Oregon City United Methodist Church, 18955 S. South End Rd., Oregon City. $12 adult, $10 students and seniors, free for kids under 12, tickets available at the door. Mark Berlman, conductor. Beethoven "Pastoral" Symphony #6, Stravinsky "The Firebird" Suite, Brouwer "Remembrances".

"Portland Origami Paper Shapers", Sunday, November 11, 1:30PM, Belmont Library. "Enjoy origami-paper folding for fun, relaxation and stretching your brain. Learn a new origami project each month with various local origami instructors." 

"Fungi Forest- Mycological Marvels of Tryon Creek", Sunday, November 11, 1PM, Tryon Creek State Park. Free. Preregistration required; register online: "Park Ranger and Mushroom Enthusiast Dane Osis from Fort Stevens State Park will visit Tryon Creek to share his knowledge of mushroom identification and ecology. This program will provide an introduction to the important ecological role that fungi fill as well as helpful tricks and tips for identifying Pacific Northwest Mushrooms. We'll then hit the trail to discover what species live in Tryon Creek State Natural Area."

"Ignore the Risk- Try Lutefisk!", Sunday, November 11, with seatings at 12, 2, 4, and 6PM. Norse Hall, 111 NE 11th Ave., Pdx. Call 503-236-3401 for reservations and more info. "The historic Grieg Lodge Lutefisk & Meatball Dinner is a family affair and unforgettable banquet of Nordic specialties found nowhere else in Portland. Are you Viking enough? Here's your chance to find out. Menu: Lutefisk, meatballs, boiled potatoes and cream gravy, coleslaw, homemade lefse, flatbrød, fresh cranberry relish, prune pudding, coffee, tea."

Author Talk, "Frank Shamrock", Sunday, November 11, 7PM, Barnes and Noble, 18300 NW Evergreen Pkwy., Beaverton. "Mixed martial arts legend Frank Shamrock will be here to sign his new book, 'Uncaged'." "This riveting book tells his whole story: his neglect as a child by his hippie mother and absentee father, his salvation under the foster father who took him in when no one else would, his desperate act of armed robbery and subsequent incarceration in state prison, and his eventual rebirth as a cage fighter who would go on to dominate the entire sport for the next two decades."

Author Talk, "Shasta Kearns Moore", Sunday, November 11, 2PM, Annie Bloom's Books, 7834 SW Capitol Hwy., Pdx. "Annie Bloom's is proud to host the launch party for local writer Shasta Kearns Moore's new children's book, Dark & Light: A Love Story in Black and White. [The book will be available soon!] Dark & Light is a beautiful love story personifying black and white. The illustrations are simple and engaging enough that young children want it read to them again and again. But unlike other more one-dimensional children's stories, with each re-reading adults will find deeper layers of meanings: elements of race relations, Taoism, conflict resolution, sharing, difference, acceptance, love, sexuality and romantic relationships. In the book, Dark meets Light. Light is strange and beautiful, which makes Dark afraid. Dark lashes out at first, but through the shared creation of things like the moon and lightning, they come to understand and even love each other. Before long, shades of gray are born, making one big happy family."

"Nature Mobile Visit", Monday, November 12, 11AM, Beaverton Library. Suggested for grades preK through 5. "Discover nature and science through games and activities hosted by the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District."

Author Talk, "Christopher Kimball", Monday, November 12, 7PM, Powell's, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton. "Christopher Kimball, founder and editor of 'Cook's Illustrated' and host of 'America's Test Kitchen' presents 'The Science of Good Cooking', a groundbreaking new cookbook from the magazine that put food science on the map. Fifty unique experiments from the test kitchen bring science to life, and more than 400 landmark 'Cook's Illustrated' recipes (such as Classic Mashed Potatoes and Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies) illustrate each of the basic principles at work."

Author Reading, "Debbie S. Miller", Monday, November 12, 7PM, Audubon Society of Portland, Heron Hall, 5151 NW Cornell Rd., Pdx. Free. "The Nature Store presents a free event with Alaskan author and naturalist Debbie S. Miller, lead author of the new book 'On Arctic Ground: Tracking Time through Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve', recently published by Braided River. This beautiful hardcover book is a collaborative work between Miller and 13 professional wildlife photographers (including Audubon favorites like Gary Braasch and Paul Bannick) plus other writers, as well as an accompanying CD with wildlife sounds recorded by cultural anthropologist Richard Nelson. Miller will give a multimedia presentation exploring the vast natural beauty of the National Petroleum Reserve, a 23 million acre chunk of public land that has so far escaped exploitation, but is at risk of development for energy resources. The book and Miller's tour is part of a preservation campaign waged by advocacy partners Audubon Alaska, The Wilderness Society, The Sierra Club, Alaska Wilderness League and more. The Reserve includes spectacular wildlife, with caribou, polar bears, wolves, seals and many other species calling it home. It is also the summer destination of huge numbers of migratory birds. Join us in Heron Hall at 7 p.m. for a fascinating look at one of the earth's most remote areas."

"Vegan Thanksgiving Feast Demonstration", Monday, November 12, 7PM, Tigard Library Burgess Community Room. "This Thanksgiving feast echoes tradition, yet uses only wholesome, animal-free ingredients. Blending humor with practical information, Portland vegan cookbook author/instructor David Gabbe will demonstrate recipe preparations and provide samples of a number of vegan Thanksgiving dishes. All recipes are cholesterol- and gluten-free and contain no white sugar or white flour."

"The Tortoise and the Hare: Slow vs. Fast Earthquakes", Tuesday, November 13, 7PM, Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St., Pdx. $5 suggested donation. Minors welcome with an adult. "In the past decade, earthquake scientists have discovered a family of unusually slow earthquakes. Like ordinary earthquakes, they can occur in diverse geologic environments and slip on the same faults. Unlike their ordinary counterparts, they take a long time to unfold, growing at a constant rate instead of explosively. Comprising a new category of earthquakes, these slow quakes occur on the deep extension of large faults - a location that is 'strategic' because it adjoins the part of the faults that generate the more familiar, and dangerous, 'ordinary" earthquakes. In other words, slow earthquakes have the potential to trigger large earthquakes, and for this reason alone they merit intense study. At this Science Pub, learn about exciting new discoveries in earthquake science and find out how highly sensitive monitoring networks identified a new class of quake."

"Birdsong and Birdbrains- Fall Changes", Tuesday, November 13, 7PM, Audubon Society of Portland, Heron Hall, 5151 NW Cornell Rd., Pdx. Free. "Fall migration is well under way, and birdsong has changed dramatically since the clamorous breeding and baby bird season this summer. Birds are among the very few animals that are capable of learning to vocalize, and those baby birds have had to learn their species' songs as well as learn how to fend for themselves. Fall is the season when birds are getting quieter. Both the songs and the birds' brains are changing as the birds either prepare for migration to warmer climes, or for facing the hardships of the coming winter. After a brilliant presentation in May, neuroscientist Dr. Claudio Mello returns to Nature Night on November 13 with more insight on bird song and bird brains and the lessons we can learn and apply to human brain function. He will discuss how birdbrains change in the fall, and how these seasonal differences can help us understand brain plasticity. To some extent, that seasonal plasticity also affects our brains, and we can certainly learn from studying the birds. Dr. Mello will augment his presentation with audio recordings of birdsong, and photos and video of songbird behavior."

"Into the Scene Readers Theatre with Mask and Mirror", Wednesday, November 14, 6:30PM, Tualatin Library. "Gather around to enjoy a reader's theatre by the warm winter fire. 'Crossroads at Chambersburg' will be read, a short original play written by local playwright, Fred Cooprider. The work imagines the dialogue between Frederick Douglass and John Brown at a meeting that actually took place just before the conflict at Harper's Ferry. It is a powerfully written piece about the difficult time in our country's history. We will also read selections from a new comedy, 'Almost, Maine'."

Author Talk, "Sandor Ellix Katz", Monday, November 12, 7PM, Reed College, Vollum Lecture Hall, $10 donations at the door (campus map here:; and Wednesday, November 14, 7:30PM, Powell's, 1005 W. Burnside, Pdx (National Pickle Day!). The Art of Fermentation is the most comprehensive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever published. Sandor Katz presents the concepts and processes behind fermentation in ways that are simple enough to guide a reader through their first experience making sauerkraut or yogurt, and in-depth enough to provide greater understanding and insight for experienced practitioners. While Katz expertly contextualizes fermentation in terms of biological and cultural evolution, health and nutrition, and even economics, this is primarily a compendium of practical information—how the processes work; parameters for safety; techniques for effective preservation; troubleshooting; and more."

"An Oregon Story: Family, Memoir and the Business of Publishing", Wednesday, November 14, 6:30PM, Holgate Library meeting room. Annette White-Parks' father, Emmet Cochran White, was born into a pioneer family and raised in Grant County, Oregon in the first half of the 20th century. He left the Rimrocks as a man of 40, but he began to write about his love of the area and his and his family's lives there until the end of his life. White-Parks discovered her father's writings and spent decades researching and editing them until they were published in 2009: 'Cowboy of the Rimrocks: A Memoir on Grant County, Oregon, 1860s to 1940s'. In this presentation, she will read from the memoir and talk about its long journey from journal to printed book." 

"Bird and Nature Walk", Wednesday, November 14, 9AM, Tualatin Heritage Center, 8700 SW Sweek Dr., Tualatin. Free. "Join us for bird walk at Hedges Creek Marsh. This 1 ½ hour walk around Sweek Pond is led by the Wetlands Conservancy."

"Nisha Joshi", Wednesday, November 14, 1PM, Lake Oswego Library. "Come and enjoy the enchanting music of Northern India with a concert performance by Professor Nisha Joshi, director of the Swaranjali Academy of Indian Music."

"Simon Benson: Northwest Lumber King, Civic Leader, and Visionary" with Sig Unander, Thursday, November 15, 6:30PM, Wilsonville Library Oak Room. "Multnomah Falls. Portland's iconic "bubbler" fountains. The Benson Hotel. These priceless public assets exemplify the dedication and generosity of lumber king Simon Benson. But who was Simon Benson, and how did he leave such a mark on the Oregon landscape?"

"Walloping Weather", Thursday, November 15, 10AM, Mad Science Lab, 1522 N. Ainsworth St., Pdx. $15. Preregistration required; register online : "The forecast calls for meteorological mayhem in the form of thunderbolts, heavy winds, and the occasional tornado – all produced in the safety of our laboratory. Join us for an in-depth look at wind, clouds and rain and how powerful these forces can be!" 

Author Talk, "Barry Deutsch", Thursday, November 15, 7:30PM, Powell's, 3723 SE Hawthorne, Pdx. Local author and illustrator Barry Deutsch reads his graphic novel, "Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite", a sequel to "Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword". "Welcome to Hereville, home of the first-ever wisecracking, adventure-loving, sword-wielding Orthodox Jewish heroine. A delightful mix of fantasy, adventure, cultural traditions, and preteen commotion, this fun, quirky graphic novel series will captivate middle-school readers with its exciting visuals and entertaining new heroine. Mirka is back, and she's still the only sword-brandishing, monster-fighting Orthodox Jewish girl in town. Or so she thinks. When a misguided troll aims a meteor at the witch's house, the witch grabs hold of the closest thing possible to transform the flying, flaming rock—and that would be Mirka's hair. The meteor is changed, all right: it's now Mirka's identical twin. Doppelganger Mirka, vowing to be a better version of the real girl, sets out to charm all of Hereville, including Mirka's own family. Our heroine challenges the meteor girl to a three-part contest . . . and the loser will be banished from Hereville forever!"

Author Reading, "Paulann Peterson", Thursday, November 15, 7PM, Oregon City Library. "Join Oregon's Poet Laureate as she presents a reading of some of her poetry."

"Swedish Oregon", Friday, November 16, 7PM, Cedar Mill Library, upstairs meeting room. "Come along with Swedish-American author Lars Nordstrom on a fascinating journey through the Swedish history of the state of Oregon from the late 1800s into the 21st century."

Author Talk, "John Marzluff", Friday, November 16, 7:30PM, Powell's, 1005 W. Burnside, Pdx. John Marzluff reads from "Gifts of the Crow". "Crows are mischievous, playful, social, and passionate. They have brains that are huge for their body size and exhibit an avian kind of eloquence. They mate for life and associate with relatives and neighbors for years. And because they often live near people—in our gardens, parks, and cities—they are also keenly aware of our peculiarities, staying away from and even scolding anyone who threatens or harms them and quickly learning to recognize and approach those who care for and feed them, even giving them numerous, oddly touching gifts in return. With his extraordinary research on the intelligence and startling abilities of corvids—crows, ravens, and jays—scientist John Marzluff teams up with artist-naturalist Tony Angell to tell amazing stories of these brilliant birds in 'Gifts of the Crow'. With narrative, diagrams, and gorgeous line drawings, they offer an in-depth look at these complex creatures and our shared behaviors. The ongoing connection between humans and crows—a cultural coevolution—has shaped both species for millions of years. And the characteristics of crows that allow this symbiotic relationship are language, delinquency, frolic, passion, wrath, risk-taking, and awareness—seven traits that humans find strangely familiar. Crows gather around their dead, warn of impending doom, recognize people, commit murder of other crows, lure fish and birds to their death, swill coffee, drink beer, turn on lights to stay warm, design and use tools, use cars as nutcrackers, windsurf and sled to play, and work in tandem to spray soft cheese out of a can. Their marvelous brains allow them to think, plan, and reconsider their actions. With its abundance of funny, awe-inspiring, and poignant stories, 'Gifts of the Crow' portrays creatures who are nothing short of amazing. A testament to years of painstaking research and careful observation, this fully illustrated, riveting work is a thrilling look at one of nature's most wondrous creatures."

"Gem Faire", Friday, November 16, 12PM-6PM, Saturday, November 17, 10AM-6PM, and Sunday, November 18, 10AM-5PM, Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE MLK Jr. Blvd., Pdx. $7 for an adult weekend pass and free to kids 12 and under. 2 for 1 coupon on their website: Gem Faire has lots of beads, but also stuff for the rockhound, including crystals and fossils. 

"Night Walk", Friday, November 16, 6:30PM, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Sherwood. Free. Preregistration required; please contact Jenna Mendenhall:; 503-625-5944 x222. "One of the best times to experience nature is when the sun goes down. Come learn about the adaptations animals have which allow them to be most active at night and discover the sights and sounds for yourself on a guided walk through one of the few urban refuges in the country. This event is family friendly."

"Portland Cello Project", Friday, November 16, 7:15PM, Community Music Center, 3350 SE Francis St., Pdx. Suggested donation $5 or $15 per family. "Since the group's inception in late 2007, Portland Cello Project (or, PCP, as their fans affectionately call them), has wowed audiences all over the country with extravagant performances, mixing genres and blurring musical lines and perceptions wherever they go. No two shows are alike, with a repertoire now numbering over 900 pieces of music you wouldn't normally hear coming out of a cello. Cello Project's stage setup ranges from the very simple (4-6 cellos), to the all out epic (which has included 12 cellos playing with full choirs, winds, horns, and numerous percussion players)."

"East Portland Tour", Saturday, November 17, 10AM-3:30PM, departing from Union Station in NW Portland. $20 for adults and $15 for youth, students, and seniors. Get tickets online and read the full itinerary: "East Portland may be some distance from downtown policy-makers and business leaders – but from 82nd Avenue on up to "the 100s" a new community has emerged as a home to at least 82 languages, to all five of our major religious traditions, and to all of the unrestrained optimism our city and nation of immigrants has always aspired to. Join us for an afternoon bus tour to meet some of the New American personalities, the immigrant & refugee organizations, businesses, and the high school teachers, that are today making all that optimism, civility, and unabashed ambition, possible."

"Herb Walk", Saturday, November 17, 1PM, Forest Park, NW Forest Lane and Firelane 1.  Free.  Preregistration required; register online:  "Join a National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) student for an hour-long herb walk in Forest Park! This educational romp will focus on the medicinal uses of plants that can be found in your own backyard."

"Salmon Release Walk", Saturday, November 17, and Sunday, November 18, 1PM, Tilamook Forest Center, 45500 Wilson River Highway, Tillamook, OR. Free. "The much awaited salmon rearing and fish release program has returned! In October we became the proud guardians of 500 spring Chinook salmon eggs. The eggs hatch and develop into tiny fish in our rearing tank, which is a window into what happens in the streams throughout the forest. You are invited to a guided walk to release the small fry into Jones Creek."

"Fix-It Fair", Saturday, November 17, 9:30AM-3PM, Madison High School, 2735 NE 82nd Ave., Pdx. Free. "The Fix-It Fair is a free City of Portland event where you can learn simple ways to save money and connect with resources. Join your neighbors and talk to the experts about how to spend less and stay healthy." 

"Felted Finger Puppets", Saturday, November 17, 2PM, Woodstock Library (free tickets will be given out at 1:30PM). "Learn how to create tiny gnomes, monsters or bunnies from recycled felted sweaters. These make great little gifts for the holidays or goodie bag items for birthday parties. All materials provided. Bring a pair of sharp sewing scissors if you have them." 

"Weaving for Kids", Saturday, November 17, 2PM, Rockwood Library meeting room. "Weaving is a fun and easy way to make your own cloths and textiles. Emily Purdin, of Hedgehog Hiker, will show you how to weave using a recycled cardboard loom and colorful yarn. Start your weaving project with us, and then take your loom home to keep the fun going all winter long."

"American Indian Symbols and Mask Making", Saturday, November 17, 3PM, Kenton Library. "Learn about Northwest Coast Native American culture through mask making. Handcrafted masks were used by tribes for various occasions: masks were worn during ceremonies, given as gifts or used for medicinal purposes. In this workshop, participants will create their own mask while artist Maranee Sanders tells stories and shares the meaning behind the masks."

"Native American Flute Demonstration", Sunday, November 18, 1PM, Tigard Library Burgess Community Room. "The Native American flute is thought to date back more than 60,000 years. Nancy and Rob Downie will demonstrate a variety of different Native American flutes and explain their history and significance to the Native American culture. Afterward, see the flutes 'up close and personal'."

"Apple Pie Making Party and Fundraiser", Sunday, November 18, 1PM and 2:45PM, Old Venersborg School House, Venersborg, WA. $15. Preregistration required; call 360-666-9012. "Your holiday pies don't have to come from a box or a bakery. Now is the perfect time to learn how to make a delicious apple pie from scratch. It does take a little more time and effort but once you have the recipe and a little hands-on practice, you'll be amazed at how easy making a good pie, apple or otherwise, can be. Here is your chance to spend quality time with a friend or family member. We will be using borrowed rolling pins, pastry blenders and apple peelers. We'd happily accept donations of these items for next year but after taking this class you may decide you want to keep them! We provide everything you need to make a perfect crust and filling. Participants take home one un-baked, double-crust apple pie, enough dough to make another and a sense of accomplishment!"

"Thanksgiving Walk at Oxbow", Sunday, November 18, 10:15AM, Oxbow Regional Park, 3010 SE Oxbow Pkwy., Gresham, OR, meeting at the boat ramp. Free with $5 per vehicle day use fee. Preregistration required; register online: Take time to celebrate the simple gifts of nature at Oxbow Regional Park with Metro naturalist Dan Daly and Terry Kem from Deerdance School. While walking along the Sandy River, open your senses and notice how wildlife responds to the changing season. Then gather around the campfire circle as naturalists share the "Thanksgiving Address" passed down by the Iroquois Nation. Hot drinks provided. Consider bringing a sack lunch for after the program. Suitable for adults and families." 

"Visiting Viking Sites in Scandinavia", Sunday, November 18, 1PM, Jasper Heights Clubhouse, 15038 NE Rosa Parks Blvd., Pdx. Free and open to the public. Coffee and Norwegian almond cake will be served. Author William L. Sullivan will present and will be signing copies of "The Ship in the Hill". "This historical novel is based on the true story of the excavation of a Viking burial ship from a hill in Norway in 1904. The find dumbfounded archeologists because it was the most elaborate Viking grave of all time, yet it contained the bones of a woman. Historians had thought that the Viking world -- and certainly Viking ships -- were ruled by men. Who was this woman? Alternating chapters in The Ship in the Hill follow the archeologists unearthing the ship in 1904 and the Viking queen who sailed the ship a thousand years before."

"Life Under the Ground", Monday, November 19, 3:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library. Preregistration required; register online.  Suggested for grades 1-3. "Many animals live below the surface of the ground. How do they do it? What special adaptations do they have that help them survive in dark places? We'll take a close look at our subterranean neighbors. Wear warm clothes and comfortable walking shoes for our adventure." Presented by Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve. 

"Denmark: Rediscovering Family and a Shared Past", Tuesday, November 20, 6:30PM, Battle Ground Library. "George Domijan's grandfather, Christian Jorgensen, emigrated from Denmark to the U.S. in 1905. Last year George's cousin, Poul Erik Jorgensen, contacted him with genealogical information that led George and his wife Jennifer Hull (White Salmon Community Librarian) on a journey to Denmark and a family reunion on the island of Fyn. George will share impressions of his journey in search of family and a shared past."

"Mexico's Aztec Eagles: Hispanic Heroes of WWII", Tuesday, November 20, 7PM, Walters Cultural Arts Center, 527 E. Main St., Hillsboro. Free. "Local historian and journalist Sig Unander presents the film, The Forgotten Eagles, which tells the story of the legendary "Aztec Eagle" fighter pilots, the only Mexican military unit to serve in combat outside of Mexico. This elite unit of volunteer aviators and support personnel helped American forces drive the Japanese from the Philippines during WWII. The Eagles' exploits were largely forgotten after the war and are just now being recognized again. Mr. Unander will follow the film showing with a Q&A session."

"Tree Lighting Ceremony", Friday, November 23, 5:30PM, Pioneer Courthouse Square. "Be Merry at the Square! On the busiest shopping day of the year, the day after Thanksgiving, thousands of Portlanders will gather at the Square to celebrate the official start of the season by lighting the City's spectacular 75ft Douglas-fir tree provided by Stimson Lumber Company. The Tree Lighting Ceremony, now in its 28th year, will feature a holiday sing-a-long featuring Portland's own Thomas Lauderdale with members of Pink Martini and friends. With a big tree, 14,000 colorful lights and a festive community sing-a-long, this is an event you won't want to miss in Portland's living room
*Strobe lights will be used during this event."

"Hmong New Year Celebration", Saturday, November 24, and Sunday, November 25, Washington County Fairgrounds, Hillsboro. It's on the fairgrounds calendar but no details are posted at this time. 

"Lelooska Foundation Evening Programs", Saturday, November 24, 7PM- 9PM, Lelooska Foundation, Ariel, WA. $12 for adults, $8 for children 12 and under. Tickets must be reserved in advance; call 360-225-9522. "The Lelooska Family brings to life the masks, stories, songs and dances of the Sewide lineage of the Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwakiutl) in the glimmering firelight of their cedar ceremonial house."

"Human History of Forest Park", Saturday, November 24, 1PM-4PM, meeting at Lower MacLeahy Park. $10. Preregistration required; register online: . "Travel along Balch Creek and back in time as we explore the human history of Forest Park. From the outlaw occupancy of Danford Balch to the rose gardens of George Holman, this three-mile loop will investigate some of Forest Park's first human inhabitants and the marks they left on the landscape. Join us for a walk down memory lane and rediscover Forest Park."

"Mega Craft Workshop", Sunday, November 25, 1:30PM- 4PM, Tigard Library Burgess Community Room. "Create fused glass art with Rae Campbell, one-of-kind jewelry, and much more. Make gifts for friends and family…and yourself! There's no age limit on creativity. Adults, turn your inspiration into art. Kids, make a construction pit stop at the LEGO® table." 

"Christmas Tree Train", beginning Sunday, November 25, and running weekends through December 16, Chelatchie Prairie Railroad, Yacolt, WA. Ride the train through gorgeous countryside and woods, meet Santa (kids receive a gift), and (optionally) pick out a Christmas tree to be taken back to the station by train. A wonderful train ride!

Author Talk, "Simon Winchester", Monday, November 26, 7:30PM, Powell's, 1005 W. Burnside, Pdx; and Tuesday, November 27, 7PM, Bagdad Theater, 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Pdx ($5 suggested donation, all ages welcome). "Bestselling author Simon Winchester plumbs the depths of the mysterious cases that surround the brain in 'Skulls: An Exploration of Alan Dudley's Curious Collection.' Winchester presents a spellbinding exploration of an obsessive collector of over 300 animal skulls, including amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles. At the center of 'Skulls' is a stunning, never-before-seen-in-any-capacity, visual array of the skulls of more than 300 animals that walk, swim, and fly. The skulls are from the collection of Alan Dudley, a British collector and owner of what is likely the largest and most complete private collection of skulls in the world. Presenting details about the parts of a skull (including the cranium, the mandible, the shape and positioning of eye sockets, and species-specific features like horns, teeth, beaks, and bills), information about the science and pseudoscience of skulls, and a look at skulls in religion, art, and popular culture, his stories and information are riveting and enlightening."

"Paper, Plastic, or Cotton Tote Bag? Life Cycle Assessments of Everyday Items", Monday, November 26, 7PM, Venetian Theatre, 253 E. Main St., Hillsboro. $5 suggested donation. Minors welcome with an adult. "Every day we are confronted with choices that impact our environment: Paper, plastic, or reusable tote bag? Disposable plastic cup or reusable ceramic mug? Prius or Hummer? How do we really know what's best for the environment? Learn more about how we evaluate the environmental impacts of various materials and products and some of the fundamental principles of green chemistry and sustainability as well. Warning: your intuition about environmental impacts is not always right!" 

"The Bug Chicks", Tuesday, November 27, 6:30PM, West Linn Library. Free tickets must be picked up at the Youth Services desk beginning Nov. 15. Suggested for ages 4-12. "Kristie and Jessica are entomologists and they will be joining us for an evening full of creepy crawlies! You will learn all about the amazing world of spiders, insects, arthropods and more during this interactive program with these cool ladies and their troupe of live insects." Highly recommended!

"Classical Guitar Concert with Andreas Ehrlich", Tuesday, November 27, 6:30PM, Stevenson Library, Stevenson WA. "Come experience the full rich sound of the 8 String Classical Guitar, played by musician Andreas Ehrlich. Andreas has been a classical guitarist for 30 years."

"Oregon Humanities 'From Print to Pixels' Conversation Program", Thursday, November 29, 6PM, Sherwood Library meeting room.  May be of interest if you're thinking of in incorporating ebooks in your homeschool.  "The works of James Joyce are the same whether published in print or pixels. But the question remains: does the Joyce devotee read the same way on page as on screen? Cultural critic Neil Postman said, 'Technology always has unforeseen consequences and it is not always clear, at the beginning, who or what will win, and who or what will lose.' In what ways do e-books serve or change the act of reading? As reading becomes a predominantly digital experience, what effects might this have on writing and on our interactions with information overall? Oregon author Mark Cunningham will lead a conversation about what happens when we change our methods of reading. Please join us for this informative and interesting discussion!"

"Quilting History and Trunk Show", Friday, November 30, Hillsboro Main Library. "The Westside Quilters Guild will be presenting the history of quilting where they will showcase quilts representative of their work."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall Nature Walk

Rough-skinned newt
We went on a fall nature walk with homeschooling friends, and I asked the kids to help find some wonders. Here is what we came up with!
Seven-spotted ladybug.
Black lampyrid beetle.  If it looks like a firefly, that's because it's a cousin.
Lichen is in its lacy glory!  Lichen is fungi and algae (a protist) growing together, and not a plant.
Another rough-skinned newt.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pumpkin Bread

We love this pumpkin bread! I got the recipe from a magazine several years ago and made Jasper's favorite recipe alteration- adding chocolate chips!  It's really, really good.  The recipe makes three loaves, which sounds totally ridiculous.  But when you try it, you will be glad you didn't scale down the recipe because it will disappear quickly and then you will wish you had some to share!  It does not call for any eggs or dairy.

1 29oz can pumpkin
4 cups sugar
1 cup oil
5 cups flour
1 TB baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 TB cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional)
1 1/2- 2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour three loaf pans. Mix the pumpkin, sugar, and oil completely.  Mix in the dry ingredients until there are no lumps. Add chocolate chips.  Divide batter evenly among the three pans. Bake for 1 hour and test for doneness when a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Jasper gives archery a shot!
Kids are allowed to take their targets home.  Jasper was very
pleased about this shot!
Awesome homeschooling mom Meagan invited our homeschool group to check out Archers Afield, an archery shop in Tigard.  On the first and third Mondays of every month, 10:30AM-12PM, they offer an all-ages homeschool archery session.  We thought it was a blast!  The instructor, Steve, was everything an instructor should be- careful about safety, great at teaching, and enthusiastic about this cool sport!  Archery is known to date back as far as 12,000 years, and kids are thrilled to relate to the heroes of Greek myths and the legends of Robin Hood.  A recent article in the Oregonian lists even more places to learn more.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


American kestrel and owner.
We attended a demonstration by generous members of the Oregon Falconers Association, and got to see some incredible birds up close and learn about this ancient hunting practice.  Falconry is at least a 4,000 year old art.  A falconer was there with her American kestrel, which she had trapped and was training.  Licensed falconers are able to trap wild American kestrels and red tailed hawks. She told us that her bird will catch sparrows and starlings, both of which are invasive in Oregon.  Two falconers were there with gyrfalcons, which are the largest of all falcons and magnificent birds. They are used to hunt ducks.  When they are released, the ducks will take cover.  Hunting dogs are used to flush them out, and the gyrfalcons will then hunt the much slower birds in the air.  Their gyrfalcons were captive bred birds.  Training consisted of lifting a quail wing (purchased from a quail farm) high into the air on the string of either a weather balloon or a large kite, releasing the birds, and allowing them to catch the quail wing and return it to their owner.  These birds are fed each and every time they hunt as a reward. After feeding they have no interest in eating for at least another day, so they can only be given a single training exercise every two days at most.  When they are together, they are hooded because they are very territorial and would fight with each other.  The gyrfalcons had two kinds of directional tracking devices on them, a detachable one on their tail feathers, and another on a leg band.  Bells on their legs also help the falconer to find a bird after it is released.

Another falconer was there with a harrier hawk.  He explained that training and hunting with a harrier hawk is completely different.  The harrier hawk is used to hunt rabbits on the ground, rather than hunting birds in the air.  In nature, they often hunt cooperatively, so falconers with harrier hawks are  often able to hunt together.  Harriers also can be rewarded multiple times without completely losing interest.  Hunting with a harrier would mean releasing it and allowing the harrier hawk to follow from treetop to treetop.   The falconer then would proceed through the forest as the hunting dogs flush out rabbits for the harrier to capture.   Training consists of placing the hawk on a perch with a very long tether.  The bird is then given the command to come to the falconer, several times at each practice session.  The distance between the perch and the falconer gradually increases. 

We had no idea how fascinating this sport could be!  While not as efficient as hunting with a gun, it must be a truly  unique experience to hunt with a raptor that you have spent months or years carefully training.  We marveled at the beauty and obvious intelligence of these magnificent birds.
Gyrfalcon with hood.
Ready to fly.
Away we go!
The gyrfalcon approaches a quail wing attached to a weather balloon tether.
Feeding on a captured quail wing.
Grabbing the prize.
Jasper braved the rain to see the falcons.
The harrier hawk.
Leaving the perch.
Returning to its owner.