Happy Fall Season!

Thursday, September 26, 2019
I'm back!!  It has been a busy six months (or so) since I last posted, and so much has transpired since then.  We welcomed our puppy, Banjo, into our family.  He is a whippet from the San Diego area, and is loving Oregon!  We went to Crater Lake this summer, bought a new Subaru, and all three kids are off to school.  I now have a high-schooler, middle-schooler, and one still in elementary school, so three schools means busy weekday mornings and afternoons.  The kids are getting used to new schools and new responsibilities.  The kids are involved with music, dance, and soccer.  It's a busy time of year, but a time of rest, too. 

I am so happy fall is here now, and am settling into a more restful season.  I made a fall wreath for our front door this week by weaving faux oak and maple leaves between faux apples. And of course, a faux bird with nest (Thank-you, Michael's!). No glue, so easy to switch the theme seasonally, using the materials again and again while the base remains the same. Lights in old Mason jars is also a pretty sweet touch. I ❤️ fall. Will post a porch pic tomorrow! 

"The Art of Raising a Puppy" by The Monks of New Skete

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
I am loving The Art of Raising a Puppy by the New Skete Monks from Cambridge, New York.  The writing is impeccable, and the writers are so present with the text, disseminating important information on how to raise a puppy.  They two other popular books called Let Dogs Be Dogs: Understanding Canine Nature and Mastering the Art of Living with Your Dog and How To Be Your Dog's Best Friend.  I highly recommend any of these books if you are thinking about purchasing a dog!  Lives devoted to spirituality above all else, you can imagine that their monasteries are the perfect setting for dog training.  They see the relationship between humans and dogs as a spiritual one, which is why the age-old expression says "a dog is a man's best friend".

 Adam and I are taking very seriously our decision to purchase a whippet, and are spending much time reading and gathering knowledge so that we from the day we bring our puppy home, we are on a road to success.  We see this decision to buy a whippet as a lifestyle change, one in which we want to make.  We want to lead more active lives, and are looking forward to the companionship a dog has the capacity to bring.  In The Art of Raising a Puppy, the Monks of New Skete write, " . . . a living, autonomous yet highly social pack-oriented creature who has an amazing capacity for companionship and love.  Capacity is precisely that--a natural potential" (5).   I see that our whippet will have capacity, too, and I will value that.  I am also seeing the capacity within myself, to learn to be around dogs again without anxiety and fear.  This will be a journey, for all of us. 

March Book Club: "The Woman from Cabin 10" by Ruth Ware

Monday, March 18, 2019
It was my turn to host, and I must say, I was a little embarrassed by my book selection, as I would only rate this book 1/10 stars!  For what it's worth, here is my Goodreads review of it--would love if you follow me there!  Click on the Goodreads hyperlink above to be directed to my profile page. 

I disliked this book from beginning to end. I was forced to finish it, however, as it was embarrassingly enough my selection for book club this year, and I am hosting a discussion this evening.  More than likely, our discussion will center around everything we didn't like about it.  Overused descriptors (i.e. whippet thin), body shaming, annoying and highly unlikable main character from beginning to end, unbelievable intensity in reactions of main character, irritating ending, plot holes, and pretty much poor writing all around. Literally felt like it was written with hopes of a movie adaptation, which she will actually get.  Not sure how books like this make it to UK's Sunday Times and NY Times bestseller lists, but won't be the first time a bad book makes those lists.  There was nothing remotely enjoyable about this book, and it really bothers me that bad writing like this rises to the top somehow.

Our Baby Whippet Has Arrived!

Friday, March 08, 2019
In the wee hours of the morning, a little of baby whippets was born, all red and fawn brindle in color with six boys and one girl. 

We aren't sure which one we will end up with, but I will be sure to keep you up to date in the coming weeks as we receive new pictures.  We are very excited!

Adam in the Kitchen: Lasagna

Wednesday, March 06, 2019
Wednesdays are our busiest weekday due to the girls both having after-school lessons on different ends of town.  It's a great night to either eat out or cook something easy.  Adam cooked up a double batch of lasagna tonight, so we'll have one to pop in the oven in the future.  It was very good! 

Visiting My Grandma Gilliam

Monday, March 04, 2019
My 94-year old Grandma doesn’t know us anymore, but she held our hands and showed us around the place. Started stacking dishes in the dining hall after dinner. She used to own a deli, and old habits stick around. She still has the same laugh. Still gets around pretty good, even after living with Alzheimer's Disease for more than twenty years.

My Dad visited her weekly until he got too sick. Alzheimer’s spared her from the pain of losing a son and a daughter within a year (my Aunt Myrna and my Dad). So thankful for the staff that love and care for her every day. I know how hard that job is. Thank you for taking such good care of my Grandma.

An Inspired Life

Saturday, March 02, 2019
A friend popped by my unit for a visit, dropping off a pretty box of pop-open cards, each with a different inspirational message, which made my day.  The first reads “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thank you for the sweet gesture and visit today, Meredith!  x o, Karli

In My Garden You Will Find: Tall Oregon Grape

Friday, March 01, 2019
Was it just yesterday our backyard was covered in a blanket of snow?  In a matter of a day, it feels like Spring again, and it looks like my baby Tall Oregon Grape that I planted just last year is going to bloom for the first time.  This Oregon native is an early spring bloomer, producing bright, long-lasting, orb-shaped yellow flowers that are beautiful and stunning--in fact, it is our Oregon state flower!  These flowers give way to little dark berries that are sweet when cooked, and can be made into jams.  The birds love the berries, too, so you will attract native birds to your backyard by providing both a food source and dense habitat for them. 

Oregon grape is also an evergreen, so it will beautify your garden year round.  It is an excellent choice for establishing a backyard habitat here in the Willamette Valley!  Check out this blog post by Eileen Stark of Real Gardens Grow Natives for more information on other best selections for early flowering natives, most of which we have incorporated into our baby garden, which is going into its first Spring this year! 

Watching the Michael Cohen Hearing

Thursday, February 28, 2019
I spent most of the morning yesterday watching the Michael Cohen testimony before the House Oversight Committee, and it was probably one of the most powerful testimonies I have heard in a long time.  I do believe that this guy, Michael Cohen, is coming forward now with the truth; in fact, he stated he has made mistakes, but silence won't be one.  His life has been wrecked by this, but it doesn't have to be the end all, and good can rise from this.  I was brought to tears by Rep. Elijah Cummings' closing remarks:

From the bottom of my heart, I hope and pray that it is true when he says, “I know that this can be hard. I know that you are facing a lot. I know that you are worried about your family but this is part of destiny and, hopefully, this portion of your destiny will lead to a better Micheal Cohen, a better Donald Trump, a better United States of America and a better world.”  And I am grateful, not for the part Cohen played in this, but that he chose to speak up and not let silence be another mistake. 

Winter Remains

Wednesday, February 27, 2019
This is the third morning this week we have been able to sleep in a little due to snow.  The two mornings prior, it was a 2-hour late start, but today, school has been cancelled altogether.  I thought about going back to sleep after I received the messages from the school, but then got up and took a few pictures outside.  Walking out in only my robe, it was cold at 29 degrees.  About an inch of snow accumulated overnight, with snow flurries expected throughout the morning.  Okay, guys, after today can it be SPRING?

Don't the birch logs look pretty in the snow? 

Winter, it's been real, and you're very pretty to look at, but you're much too cold.  Can this be the last snow day? 

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep

Tuesday, February 26, 2019
How many times have I met someone I did not find particularly attractive, only to later see them as beautiful once I got to know them.  The opposite is true, and this has happened more than the latter, where I have met an attractive person only to see them as unattractive once I got to know them.  Beauty truly is only skin deep.  I've been working on personal growth this past year, and even though I find myself slipping a little at times from my goals, the beauty is in the trying. 

July, 2013, at Klootchy Creek State Park standing in front of the giant Sitka Spruce that had fallen in recent years after standing tall since the 1200s when the Magna Carta was signed. 

Taking It Easy on Mondays

Monday, February 25, 2019
My Mondays are usually the day following a three-day work week, which as a nurse are twelve-hour shifts.  I'm usually so exhausted by Sunday nights that I sleep in on Mondays and then try to take it easy.  Today, I had a therapy appointment, which is around the corner from where Adam and I got married, so I sometimes walk there before or after the appointment.  Today I did both.  There were snow flurries all day.  Nothing was sticking, but it was pretty to watch.  I sat up in the event space there at Elephants on Corbett, sipped on some drinks, and simply took it easy.

I found this old work bench there, and I love the old markings, wear, and beauty of it. 

A pomegranate martini in one of my favorite Portland spaces on an easy Monday: what more could I ask for, really? 

Self-care on Mondays is especially important.  I give so much during three work days to others, and it's my chance to give back to myself, filling back up my empty bucket. 

Spring Is Just Around the Corner, Right?

Sunday, February 24, 2019

I see this little guy in bloom, and it starts me thinking about Spring, and all that must be done to prepare.  Wasn't it just the other day I was describing all the yard work that must be done?  Hmmm, well, it seems that Winter put her old foot down, as we have snow forecasted this week with temperatures dropping into the 20s overnight.  Poor backyard chickens and bunnies.  Feels so much like January, not late February.  

This unusual weather may very well be attributed to climate change.  A link to bookmark and reference for awareness is the NASA Climate Change and Global Warming site.  The sea levels are rising at 3.2mm annually.  With winter conditions gripping much of Canada and the United States, we are using our heat more often, contributing further to greenhouse gases.  Scientific American blog post "Why Global Warming Can Mean Harsher Winter Weather" (2019) points out: "If nothing else, we should all keep in mind that every time we turn up the thermostat this winter to combat the cold, we are contributing to global warming by consuming more fossil fuel power. Until we can shift our economy over to greener energy sources, global warming will be a problem, regardless of how warm or cold it is outside."

Work Cited:

Why Global Warming Can Mean Harsher Winter Weather. (n.d.). Retrieved February 27, 2019, from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earthtalks-global-warming-harsher-winter/

Flashback to Summer of 2013 in February

Saturday, February 23, 2019
They were soooo cute.  It was July 2, 2013, and I drove the kids to the beach.  The girls in their Salt Water sandals, Juniper with the kite, Sam happier than a clam, and Amelia with her little puppy sweatshirt that she wore almost every day for most of her toddlerhood.  I would have been on summer break with one more year of nursing school to go, and life wasn't easy in those years, but it was good.  Always have and always love these three unconditionally and forever!  x o, Karli

New Vintage Shelf

Friday, February 22, 2019
I picked up this vintage shelf today from Wildflower Vintage and it's become the home for one of my two essential oil burners, incense sticks, and dried sage for smudging.   Juniper's new terrarium is now there, too.  When we redo the office, I will change out the curtains, which we seldom use in this room anyway, to something lighter and less heavy behind the shelf.  Fits in nicely with our mid-century ranch.  x o, Karli

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