Living Together Guidelines

Willow Cottage Basic Guidelines

by Andrine de la Rocha, Massage Therapist

Welcome to Willow Cottage! We’re happy that you’ll be joining us for a time. In order to make your stay more wonderful for everyone, please be mindful of these basic guidelines, and feel free to ask questions if you’re unsure about how they apply to you – they do apply to you, regardless of your status as resident, guest or family member. These are not ALL the rules, but basic rules of thumb which will help you to know how we roll. We request that you read this document and agree to the basic rules if you choose to stay. If you are uncomfortable with or don’t agree with the guidelines in this document, please tell us so we can negotiate terms that work for everyone.

We value friendship: Join In!

  • come to meals (even if you didn’t cook)
  • join us for movies in the living room
  • play fun games with us
  • offer to help us with yard work, cooking, cleaning
  • join us on walks, bike rides, yoga, running
  • tell us about yourself and/or ask us about ourselves
  • respectfully discuss politics and religion

We value contribution & reciprocity: Chip In!

  • clean up after yourself
  • clean up after someone else
  • wash dishes, or put them in the dishwasher
  • unload the dishwasher and dish rack
  • wipe off the counter, table, cutting board, stovetop
  • sweep the floor, wash a sink, scrub a tub or toilet
  • offer to cook a meal
  • buy groceries if you can
  • if you use something up, replace it, tell someone, or at least write it on the grocery list
  • help clean up after meals

We value order and beauty: Keep Things Tidy!

  • keep your personal belongings in your personal space, not the public spaces
  • if you feel compelled to move something, please put it back where you found it
  • if you want to borrow something, ask before using it and return it in good condition
  • if you break something, fix it or tell someone who can get it fixed
  • offer to help fix it, or help pay to have it fixed or replaced
  • consider taking off your shoes when entering the house to preserve our beautiful refinished floors; there are shoe racks in the hallway and many slippers available

We value safety and security: Be Aware and Secure!

  • lock the door when you go out and at night when going to bed
  • lock the garage if you use it to keep bicycles secure
  • introduce yourself to people so we know who belongs in the house

We value health: Respect Others’ Needs!

  • use only unscented products and avoid toxic cleaners & other allergens that trigger illness
  • don’t smoke cigarettes, cigars, pipes or anything else on the property
  • don’t bring animals into the house without explicit permission
  • please keep pork and shellfish out of the house
  • if you are cooking, ask about dietary restrictions (and ask for help if needed)
  • keep all illegal substances off of our property

Our House is a Resonant Musical Instrument: Sound Carries Unusually Well:

  • keep noise to a minimum between 10pm and 9am
  • please be gentle when closing doors; keeping your hand on the doorknob will help keep doors from slamming
  • walk quietly on the stairs, and anywhere on the 3rd floor

We value the Earth: Conserve!

  • Reuse, Recycle & Compost
  • avoid packaging when making purchases
  • bring your own shopping bags and containers to the store
  • sort your trash before filling our tiny garbage can
  • ask if you’re not sure about how to dispose of something
  • take large amounts of recycling directly to the outdoor can
  • turn off lights & fans when you leave a room
  • take shorter showers, turn off taps to conserve water
  • close windows in cold weather

We value communication: Talk to Us!

  • if you don’t know where something goes, ask!
  • if you don’t know how to use an appliance, ask!
  • if you would like to have visitors, let us know when, for how long & introduce us
  • for guests staying more than 1 or 2 nights, please ask permission
  • please be responsible for your guests following the basic guidelines
  • if you will be gone for several days, please let us know so we don’t worry

Related: Make sure you’re getting your Vitamin T right now!




Hawthorne Farmers Market Week 3 – 2019

Today at the Market

1844 SE Cesar Estrada Chavez Blvd, Portland, Oregon, 97214

2019 Season: June 4th – August 27th

Tuesdays 4:00pm – 7:30pm

Hawthorne Farmers Market on Facebook

On Instagram

Here’s a newsletter I did about Market 2, 6.11.19

Lopping and Helping One Another

Lopping and helping one another

I was walking by Richmond Elementary School just now. Kids playing, sun shining, laughter in the air. If you need a reminder of something good in the world – walk by a playground full of kids. Across the street a woman who I’ve met before stood in her driveway – sweating and doing some yard work. We got to talking about the amazing tree she has that drapes across her garage. She mentioned it needed trimming and I offered to lop it some. Lop, lop, lop, lop and a few minutes later she can walk under the tree without getting bopped so much.

I’ve been wanting to write something about home preservation – and how we might aid people whose homes need a hand, but perhaps they can’t manage it anymore. I don’t have an exact solution – but what would it look like if everyone who was able dedicated 30 minutes a week to working on someone else’s yard/house? Or, just walked the street trimming bushes/trees (while asking permission) to clear the sidewalks so they are passable, and signs remain visible. I know these folks are working on developing a model like this. – but perhaps there’s something easy we could do.

In this vein, I imagine we could create some sort of matching service for people with pets that need walking + those who can’t walk them anymore, but love having pets at home + can’t afford to pay someone to walk their pets. Ideas welcome. – The Future Is Here – A Great New Way to Meet Your Neighbors and Build Community

If you’ve been anywhere near me in the last year or two, or have been reading my newsletter, you’ll know I’ve been doing my best to spread the word about

I have been a fan of local all my life. I love the idea of the 20 minute neighborhood – being able to walk to everything you need in 20 minutes – which leads to less car use and having a lighter impact on the Earth. It leads to a lot of other benefits, as well. Not being in a car means you use other modes of transportation such as walking, biking and roller-skating. And while you’re out you end up meeting your neighbors and catching up – sometimes learning important news that you wouldn’t find out any other way. Knowing who lives around you also creates safety as everyone can keep an eye on things. This is what life used to be like in village days of yore. We’ve lost much of this familiarity as the United States has developed suburbs and we’ve designed our world to fit the car rather than what’s best for our thriving.

Enter the internet and social media platform, Nextdoor is a combination of social media worlds that many of us are familiar with (particularly, Facebook). Once you’ve signed up (which is a simple process where you, a real person, living at a real address are verified) you suddenly land in the neighborhood you live in on-line. There’s a newsfeed where you can see what your neighbors have posted, and you can also view the feed of your surrounding neighborhoods. For me, that’s North Richmond, Portland, Oregon = 200+ members, and the greater area about 2,000 members. I can connect to the people on my block, or to all the people in about a mile radius around me.

What I’ve seen so far is a mixture of things. People use NextDoor to offer each other extra of what they have (fruit was popular last Summer), kind of like Freecycle, which I helped jumpstart in 2003. The conversations are about everything from people seeking recommendations for home improvements; bodyworkers; tech support; local events; to neighborhood-watch type notifications about break-ins; missing pets and the like.  There’s also a fair bit of discussion about how our neighborhoods are developing. Currently, in the neighborhood I live in there has been an increase in old houses being torn down to be replaced by much larger scale buildings and that’s led to a lot of discussion of where we’re headed as a neighborhood and city.  These type of discussions used to happen on community discussion lists and at neighborhood council meetings, but this new forum provides an opportunity to use collaborative technology at the neighborhood level.  Without ads! Then, there are the yardsales and notices from the City and other odds and ends – things for sale; re-posts of Craigs List ads; homes for sale or rent; and new groups forming (the first of these I have seen is a local singles group).

There are many reasons why I am so gung-ho about As someone who has been involved in high-tech for years, I am always excited when I see something come along that will help on a local level. I see this as that – a way for us all to get closer – to build community resilience through locals being in each others’ lives more. To make local bonds rather than keeping up networks that take a lot of fossil fuel to maintain. NextDoor also dovetails with another passion of mine: Farm My Yard. Farm My Yard is an effort to connect homeowners who have sunny yards with those who have urban farming skills and would like to grow food, but are lacking the space to do it. I also see Farm My Yard as a possible youth employment/business opportunity. In my dream I see teenagers using the Farm My Yard agreements and walking their neighborhoods to find a few yards to farm. This can and does lead to real income; vegetables for all; and less trips to the grocery store for everyone.

Farm My Yard

So, for me, it’s all coming together – and, I hope, we’re coming together. I see these types of developments leading to something fantastic in the future. is not perfect yet – it doesn’t always correctly identify neighborhood boundaries; the tech support can be iffy; disputes are left up to neighborhood “leaders” who sometimes make questionable calls; and I’m sure there are other imperfections, as well. That said, for now, this is one horse I am betting on! And, I recommend, if you’re not a member yet that you give it a try and see what you find. If you have comments, please leave them below.

For a better world,

Albert Kaufman
February 21, 2015

Update: 6.25.18Here’s a new article about Nextdoor by yours truly – about How to use it effectively for neighborhood change

March 4, 2015 NYT Article

9.24.15 – My neighbors pulled together via a great conversation on to preserve some giant trees and build community at the same time in Portland, Oregon, The United States.

2015-09-22 09.46.51