Diet Changes--Adios, November

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I happened to see Oprah yesterday, and Dr. Oz was on there discussing diet. Tonight I went to the store so I can start drinking his recommended smoothie for breakfast, and I now also understand the difference between enriched & whole grain flour! I'm going to try super hard to cut enriched grains out of my diet, which means switching to whole grain flour! Here is a list of whole grains you need to look for on the back of boxes--remember, the less processed, the better for you!

Whole grains:
brown rice
whole-grain corn
whole wheat
pearl barley
whole oats
wild rice
graham flour
whole rye

The Quick Magical Breakfast Blaster
2 servings, 136 calories per serving

1 scoop (1/3 cup) Soy protein (like Nature's Plus Spiru-Tein)
1/2 tablespoon flaxseed oil
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 large ripe banana (or other fruits of your choice)
1/2 tablespoon apple juice concentrate or honey
1 teaspoon Psyillium seed husks

Peel banana; break into chunks. Put all ingredients in a blender. Add 12 ounces of water and ice, as well as powdered vitamins. Cover, blend until fairly smooth.

--Karli Posted by Picasa

Cold, Day 2

Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Can't breathe. Constantly running for kleenex. Need medicine. Landon?


Tuesday, November 28, 2006
I seem to have caught Samuel's cold that he's been battling for the past 2 weeks. I don't have a fever like he had, fortunately. I had to cancel playgroup because of my cold & the icy road conditions. Majo is here working on our siding. Samuel has been super challenging today, and with everything going on around here, it's been kind of stressful on me. One of my plants got cracked when a piece of siding fell, and my strawberry planter got knocked to the concrete below, smashing it. That stressed me out more than anything else that's been going on today. I just carefully inspected my vitex tree, and it looks like it will be fine, and the tree still holds its shape depsite the limb that was broken off.

Ice & Snow

Monday, November 27, 2006
Cold temperatures brought us a light dusting of snow. It's pretty seeing it fall. Landon and I tried out a new family practitioner today at the brand new eco-friendly OHSU building in the S Waterfront blocks. We really liked her & plan to take Samuel to her as well. After our appointments, Samuel & I headed to the indoor play-park for the last 30 minutes. When we left the building, the snow was coming down, and Samuel & Ben played in the snow, laughing & chasing each other around. It was a fun morning. --Karli

Last Day of Holiday Weekend

Sunday, November 26, 2006
Landon goes back to work tomorrow. It's been a nice holiday weekend considering it was low-key, and we stayed home this year. We got groceries this morning at Trader Joe's, and mostly stayed home today. I did run downtown to spend my $100.00 at JJill. I got a few cute things, but the store is really expensive, so it's hard to get much for $100.00!


Saturday, November 25, 2006
Tonight Mike came over since Susan is out-of-town, because Landon invited him to try out Buster's BBQ with us in Tigard. This place is cheap & the food is really good. Plus, it's kid-friendly, which is always a big plus for us. Mike treated us, whcih was super nice of him, and afterwards, hung out at our place for awhile. I brought out some Green & Black's ginger chocolate, and Landon built a fire. Mike brought over some wooden toys for Samuel from the dollar store, and Samuel was really excited about that. --Karli

Winner: Karli

Friday, November 24, 2006
I woke up this morning feeling oddly motivated to head downtown for Black Friday. Landon decided to go with me, so we all packed into the car, since it was pouring rain, and headed downtown only to find the streets blocked off for a parade, and the Smart Park garages inaccessible. Landon was fed up with fighting traffic, so wanted to go home. Once we were home, I was a little irritated that my shopping trip had been cut short, so Landon suggested we all bus downtown. That worked out great, because Samuel had a great time & was so excited to ride on the bus. He insisted on riding in his own seat. He even said "bye-bye" to the bus driver--all on his own, too! The first place we stopped in at was JJill, and they were doing three drawings throughout the day for $100.00 gift cards, so I filled out a card, because you can't win if you don't play, and we continued on our shopping trip. We didn't find any real bargains, but we did pick up a few things, then headed home for Samuel's nap. Later in the evening, we decided to head back downtown for some exterior paint & a sushi dinner. After picking up the paint, I pulled over downtown so Landon could go check & see if the sushi place was still there. We were skeptical, because their phone number was disconnected. While Landon ran up the street to check, I noticed I had a voicemail--it was JJill calling to tell me that I'd won the $100.00 drawing! I was so excited! Landon didn't find the sushi restaurant, but he did find a Mediterranean restaurant called "Hush! Hush!" We ate there, and it was the BEST Medeterranean food I've ever had. The owner was super nice, and his son smiled & made Samuel laugh. We later found out that the sushi place we were looking for had previously been located where Hush! Hush! is. Weird coincidence! Afterward, the three of us walked to pick up my JJill gift card & then walked to Pioneer Square to enjoy the newly lit Christmas tree & peppermint chocolate milk courtesy of Starbucks (they had a booth set up & were handing out hot tasty beverages for free!). Tonight was a super fun family night, and made staying home this Thanksgiving worth the while. --Karli

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

We were in McMinnville today for Thanksgiving. For the past 5 years, we've been in the Bay area for the holiday weekend with Landon's family, but this year, we thought we'd save money since we bought a new house this past summer. It was nice to be with my family this year!
--Karli Posted by Picasa


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Have you had luck growing Rudbeckia from seed? If so, send me your tips! I hope to have tall bunches of this in my garden next spring.

Today was a slow day around here. Landon took the day off, and with Samuel being under the weather with a flu virus, we stayed home most of the day. I left at one point to get some groceries & liquor for tomorrow's Thanksgiving dinner down in McMinnville, but other than that, stayed around the house. Oh, I did pick up my A & P textbook--$235.00! Everything I learn in that class will be the foundation for a career in nursing, but you still have to cringe at current textbook prices!

I'm looking forward to spring already, but we have so long to go until the crocuses start to emerge in late February. For now, I'll be slightly appeased by photos like the one above. Nothing like a bright & vibrant bunch of Rudbeckia to cheer the overcast heart. --Karli Posted by Picasa

Comments on Celebrity Pop Culture

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Kelly Ripa has really taken this Clay Aiken thing too far. He's new to stardom. She's being just a tad too bitchy for my taste.

Michael Richards...what were you thinking? I'm horrified & deeply disturbed by his behavior at the Laugh Factory over the weekend. He says he's not a racist, but how does hatred & racism come from his mouth in a moment of anger if those thoughts were not already in existence in his mind? It always amazes me that in one moment a person can undo a lifetime of work at building a good reputation. His reputation is ruined. His career, too. Shame on you, Michael Richards! In this day and age, your behavior is inexcusable, unacceptable, and completely shameful.

Oprah wasn't invited to TomKat's wedding? People will have their wedding photos in this week's issue.

Okay, Samuel's been sick today--now I'm off to watch the AMA.

BTW, I got into the section & campus I wanted for winter term! Anyone who has any really helpful strategies for studing A & P, comment away!
Karli Posted by Picasa

Busy Day

Monday, November 20, 2006

Met one of the moms down at Coffee Plant this morning before we headed up to Fulton's indoor play-park. From there, Samuel & I headed up to Multnomah Village to check out Charity & the JamBand at Thinker Toys. Samuel enjoyed the music, but had a hard time focusing on the music & dance with a full train-table set up with trains gallore. Now we're home & Samuel is napping. Once he wakes up, we are meeting my parents at Newport Bay in Tigard for dinner, then I've got to head downtown for Frank McCourt's talk at the Schnitz. Today is a busy day, and I'm super tired--Samuel woke up quite a bit last night. I'm going to need more coffee than usual to make it through this busy day of activities! --Karli Posted by Picasa

First Haircut

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Samuel had his first haircut today. Ahhh, what a big boy! Karli Posted by Picasa

Shopping & Dinner

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I found some great sweaters & pajamas for Samuel this afternoon. I left Landon & Samuel home & left for Mult. Village & Hillsdale to browse a couple of second-hand stores. The trip was successful, and I found an ample supply of what I was looking for!

This evening, we met the food group at a Jamaican restaurant downtown. The food was great, but it was challenging keeping Samuel in his high-chair. Once the food arrived, he was fine, but the waiting is always the most challenging part. --Karli Posted by Picasa
Friday, November 17, 2006

Another beautiful day! Samuel and I left early this morning for playgroup, and usually, to make it fun for both of us, I stop for coffee. It was a fun morning at playgroup, and now Samuel is fast asleep. When he wakes up, we'll go for another walk after lunch.

Meanwhile, first day of online registration for seniors-freshman @ PCC was today, but since I've never attended PCC, I'm considered a new student, and new students can't register until next Tuesday. This is frustrating, because I have a bachelor's, but will be one of the last to register. Same at PSU, my alma mater--I'm considered a quick entry post-pac, so have to wait two weeks after online registration has opened in order to register. I'm just hoping by the time registration does open up to my academic status that I'll be able to get into the necessary classes. I'm sure it will all work out. I really do need to quit worrying!
--Karli Posted by Picasa

Nice Fall Weather

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Samuel and I went for a walk this afternoon before his nap. The skies were clear & the sun was out. It sure felt good to get some fresh air after all the rain & wind we've had.

Later this evening, I attended an info session @ OHSU regarding their new nursing programs (OCNE & ABN). I still have a year of prerequisites before I decide which programs I'll apply to, but was happy to learn that they've just come out with an accelerated program designed for those who already have a bachelor's degree in another field. It would be my life for 5 terms, and would be super intense, but it's nice to know I have the option of completing in 2 years rather than 4. We'll see when the time comes & based on our family life, I'll make a decision on whether or not to go full time.
--Karli Posted by Picasa


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I met Jen tonight @ Fulton, and tried their Hammerhead, which is a hoppy beer, and even though I didn't feel the slightest bit buzzed, and only drank 1 1/2 beers, boy did it give me a nasty headache accompanied with nausea that lasted all night long! I didn't get much sleep because of the headache. I'm not sure if the issue was the hops or dehydration--either way, I think I'll stick with my usual pale ale. --Karli Posted by Picasa

Fresh Air

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hey, so this picture was taken a few years ago in case you can't tell! Would love to be 25 again, but now that I'm going to be 30 in a few weeks, it isn't looking as bad as I once thought it would. Lift that glass of Merlot--here's to aging!

Today was a good day for me--Samuel & I spent most of the day outdoors. Raked up lots of leaves, planted many bulbs that we will enjoy in the spring, and ran some errands like mailing a book to a moocher of mine from Bookmooch, and stopping off at Kaady Car Wash to vacuum up many unidentifiable crumbs and particles that were beginning to give off unidentifiable smells, hence the emergency vacuum errand. Good luck on denying your child food in the car! My Dad always said, "You don't eat in cars." Well, that never worked for me, and this is why I will most likely never buy a brand new vehicle. In fact, today I was reminded of why used vehicles will be my vehicle of choice until I hit that midlife crisis where you buy a sports car to make you feel youthful again. The reminder for me came when Samuel, in a fit of frustration, took his Horizon milk-carton & squeezed it deep into his clenched fists at which point milk shot up in a continuous fountain up into the air and all over his car seat and all over the car. Do I want to cry some days? I do...but mostly, I laugh.
Karli Posted by Picasa

Slow Day

Monday, November 13, 2006

I was so looking forward to a nap this afternoon, which I hardly ever take opportunity to do so, but today I was sooo tired after staying up last night way past my bedtime listening & watching the wind storm. But, the neighbors decided to let their dog out in the backyard just as I drifted off to sleep, and the barking brought me out of impending sleep. Then, as I was beginning to drift off for a second time, the phone rang. Darn! I need to rememeber to put my cell on silent when I lay down. After that second time of being woke up, I gave up. Went outside, cleaned out some of the gutters, did the dishes & a load of laundry. Of course, had I been able to get to sleep, what a great nap it would have been--Samuel's been asleep for 2 1/2 hours now. Usually when I lay down for a nap with him, I'm lucky if he lets me sleep an hour. Bad luck today! I plan to take off tonight & get some reading done at a local coffee shop. --Karli Posted by Picasa

Wind Storm

Sunday, November 12, 2006

We had a huge wind storm tonight. As I watched our trees rock back & forth, I was reminded of how powerful the force of mother nature is! We've only tricked ourselves into thinking we dominate nature. In fact, nature can dominate us anytime she wants. Hello, 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake! Speaking of earthquakes, we had a tremor a few weeks back--don't forget, we're in for a big one any day now. Ahhh, so reassuring that we purchased real estate on the SW fault line!--Karli

Movie Night

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Mike & Susan invited us to a theater nearby them that has been completely remodeled. They offer babysitting as a service to parents for only $5.00. I was skeptical of what the babysitting facility would be like, but once I arrived & met the babysitter and saw the room, I was completely at ease. Samuel had a wonderful time. I checked on him once during the movie, and he was happily coloring with the teacher 100% interacting with him. When we arrived after the movie (The Illusionist), he was dancing with musical instruments. The teacher was dancing, too. She is a total free spirit, and kids love that. Landon and I would like to start going there about twice a month. It will be a great little night out for our whole family. We can enjoy the movie, and Samuel has a great time, too. Also, they serve pizza & alcohol! It's a great little theater. E-mail me for details on the theater if you are interested. --Karli Posted by Picasa

Toasted Steaks & Hard Potatoes

Friday, November 10, 2006

Landon had high hopes of a nice dinner tonight & a fire. He had a lot of trouble getting the fire started, and there was one small plume of smoke. Then, the dinner steaks were undercooked, then crispy black like toast. The potatoes weren't quite done. I did finally get the fire going, but looks like we're going to bed with little in our stomachs tonight after Landon's "botched" dinner. Posted by Picasa

Hard Work

Thursday, November 09, 2006

No one can ever say at my funeral one day that I didn't know how to work hard, because I do. In fact, I'm about to start prerequisites for nursing school next month, and it will be hard work--especially with a toddler--but, with some hard work & determination, I'll get through the prereqs & move on toward applying to BSN programs. Speaking of hard work, I filled twelve yard debris bags today with leaves, mowed the lawn, leaf-blew the sidewalk, and pruned back some dead perennials. My muscles were pretty sore by the end of the day, and no, I wasn't about to cook dinner, so we headed to Tigard and had some good old Po' Boy Sandwiches at Buster's. I used to mock that place, but now it's kind of nostalgic going back there since we ate there often when we lived at our Pasadena house.

Later this evening, a couple that fixes old windows for a living stopped by & talked to us about our windows & how to maintain them. Except for our kitchen windows that are sealed shut from interior paint, most all of our windows are operable. We have some broken sash cords, but all of our sashes for the most part move up & down. The water problem is due to old glazing, or glazing that was not properly applied. Landon & I have read up on reglazing old window sashes, bought the supplies, and Landon will begin the process one by one until they are all reglazed. We may have to replace some window panes that do not fit properly while we have the sashes apart. Everything should be sealed tightly against the wood to disallow water from entering & soaking through. Landon feels pretty confident he can also replace the broken sash cords on two of our south facing windows. Old window sashes come apart like a puzzle. The couple that came over was really helpful in showing us how to take them apart. Landon will get started on this project as soon as we have some dry weather.

As far as the water coming in through our foundation cracks, this will hopefully be greatly alleviated by getting some exterior drains put in. We may even get by for awhile by sloping the soil away from the house & keeping our gutters nice & clean so that the soil can't get overly saturated there.

Getting to know "this old house" is part of ownership. It can be stressful, but it's also a learning process, and the more you know, the less stressed you feel. Knowledge is power. I've always believed that! For Landon, it will be a lot of work to get all our windows reglazed, but the learning & confidence he will gain in mastering this skill & getting to know our windows inside & out will be well worth his while.

We subscribed to the magazine of "This Old House" today. I have a feeling this magazine is going to come in super handy for us!

--Karli Posted by Picasa
P.S. Here is some old window terminology that I have recently learned. I can now accurately describe to someone (to a degree) the problems we have encountered with our sashes!
Balance. A mechanical device (normally spring-loaded) used in single- and double-hung windows as a means of counterbalancing the weight of the sash during opening and closing.
Bead. A wood strip against which a swinging sash closes, as in a casement window. Also, a finishing trim at the sides and top of the frame to hold the sash, as in a fixed sash or a double-hung window. Also referred to as bead stop.
Bottom rail. The bottom horizontal member of a window sash.
Check rail. The bottom horizontal member of the upper sash and the top horizontal member of the lower sash which meet at the middle of a double-hung window.
Convection. A heat transfer process involving motion in a fluid (such as air) caused by the difference in density of the fluid and the action of gravity. Convection affects heat transfer from the glass surface to room air, and between two panes of glass.
Double glazing. In general, two thicknesses of glass separated by an air space within an opening to improve insulation against heat transfer and/or sound transmission. In factory-made double glazing units, the air between the glass sheets is thoroughly dried and the space is sealed airtight, eliminating possible condensation and providing superior insulating properties.
Double-hung window. A window consisting of two sashes operating in a rectangular frame, in which both the upper and lower halves can be slid up and down. A counterbalance mechanism usually holds the sash in place.
Frame. The fixed frame of a window which holds the sash or casement as well as hardware.
Glass. An inorganic transparent material composed of silica (sand), soda (sodium carbonate), and lime (calcium carbonate) with small quantities of alumina, boric, or magnesia oxides.
Glazing. The glass or plastic panes in a window, door, or skylight.
Glazing bead. A molding or stop around the inside of a window frame to hold the glass in place.
Header. The upper horizontal member of a window frame. Also called head.

Interior Stop.Small piece of trim removed with a stiff putty knife to remove sash.
Meeting rail. The part of a sliding glass door, a sliding window, or a hung window where two panels meet and create a weather barrier.
Pane. One of the compartments of a door or window consisting of a single sheet of glass in a frame; also, a sheet of glass.
Parting stop. A narrow strip, either integral or applied, that holds a sash or panel in position in a frame.

Pocket Covers.Small piece of wood that must be removed in order to get to the sash weights.
Rail. Horizontal member of a window sash.
Sash. The portion of a window that includes the glass and the framing sections directly attached to the glass, not to be confused with the complete frame into which the sash sections are fitted.

Sash Cord.Loops over pulley & attached to counter weights in order to keep sash opened.
Sash Weights. In older double-hung windows, the concealed cast-iron weights which are used to counterbalance the sash.
Sill. The lowest horizontal member in a door, window, or sash frame.
Single glazing. Single thickness of glass in a window or do
Single-hung window. A window consisting of two sashes of glass, the top one stationary and the bottom movable.
Stool. The shelf-like board of the interior part of the window sill, against which the bottom rail of the sash closes.
Stop. The molding on the inside of a window frame against which the window sash closes; in the case of a double-hung window, the sash slides against the stop. Also called bead, side stop, window stop, and parting stop.
Window. A glazed opening in an external wall of a building; an entire unit consisting of a frame sash and glazing, and any operable elements.
Window hardware. Various devices and mechanisms for the window including catches, fasteners and locks, hinges, pivots, lifts and pulls, pulleys and sash weights, sash balances, and stays.

Helpful links:

A Much Needed Change

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I couldn't have been happier with the election outcome this year. I never expected the Democrats to do this well. America voted for a change--now it's up to the Democrats to come up with a plan & make some positive changes.

I was pleased to see Nancy Pelosi voted in as Speaker. After the corruption we've seen, I look forward to seeing what Congress & the Senate can get accomplished with new people & a different party representing. First woman Speaker--it's about time! Look forward to seeing the minimum wage raised as well as interest rates on student loans lowered. I believe Pelosi will work in a bi-partisan way to find middle ground & hopefully make some headway on issues that have long been neglected. I also hope they will start reigning in the budget.

Don Rumsfeld--wish he would have gone long ago--I've never liked him, and think he's done an awful job, so I'm glad to see him go. I don't know much about Bob Gates, but anyone is bound to do better than Rumsfeld. I'm not sure why Bush felt the need to lie to reporters last week about Rumsfeld, saying he would be staying on. If he had disclosed last week that this change was in the works, the Democrats may not have fared so well in the election. The polls are saying that 29% of evangelicals voted Democratic this election. Many Republicans voted Democratic, because they felt that "stay the course" was no longer working. Had Bush disclosed the Rumsfled resignation last week, the elections may have gone differently. Still not sure why he waited until the day after the election to make the announcement.

I want to see troops come home NOW. We can't win the war there. I'm hoping with the Democrats in charge that we might start seeing progress with an exit strategy. With 3K troops dead, 20K wounded, and 10K of those 20K seriously wounded, more damage is being done than good. The Iraqis that wanted our help have either been killed at this point or have fled. The hornets nest that is Iraq at the moment needs to figure this out on their own. Our troops are in the way of a civil conflict, and are getting killed at an increasing rate. Time to support our troops by getting them the hell out of there. I've seen Saving Private Ryan, and I see our 150K troops over there as Private Ryans that need saving immediately. Unfortunately, this isn't a war we can win.

Someone said yesterday that if nothing else comes from the Democrats coming into power other than Rumsfeld being outed, then we've already accomplished a lot. I'm hoping Rumsfeld is only the beginning--now we need to start chipping away at the budget, social, & economic issues & work to start bringing our brave troops home.

As for local & state measures--the measures I voted for were passed, and those I voted against were defeated. Everything went my way this election. I read my voter's pamphlet, did research online, and read printed articles in the local & state newspapers. I was an educated voter this election season--even went down to the campaign offices & got signs for our yard to show our support.

America swung to the other side of the pendulam this election. The 04 election was depressing to me. America was slow to wake up, but they definitely got the message across this election season and that message is they are fed up with the way things are going, "stay the course" is not an acceptable strategy anymore, and America is looking for a much needed change in the way our government is running things. I only hope the Democrats can show America that they made the right choice.

In the meantime, it sure feels good to be fairly represented this time around. We'll see what happens in 2008. I sure hope Hilary isn't the Democratic candidate, because she'll never win. Even though it would be terrific to have a woman President in this day & age, I don't think she's the right candidate. Barack Obama (rhymes with Iraq Osama) seems like he has great potential, but I think if he's runs for 08, he's running prematurely. He's just starting out as a Senator, and I think he needs more experience before taking on a Presidential campaign. I don't feel confident that he would win the majority. Kerry won't have a chance again, because everyone will rehash all the issues that were dredged up during the 04 campaign, and don't forget that botched joke. Howard Dean would be an excellent Democratic candidate, but he got too excited during that one speech & America didn't like his high inflections, so for some reason, he was written off. I still think he'd make a great President. Republican candidates--McCain? I don't like him so much either--I feel like he's representing more of the same. We need a big change. I'm waiting for that special candidate to step forward. I wonder who it will be. We need another JFK. --Karli Posted by Picasa

Election Day

Tuesday, November 07, 2006
If you haven't cast your ballot, do so at any of the ballot drop-boxes by 8PM today! Your vote makes a difference!

Window & Drainage Problems

Monday, November 06, 2006
We bought an old house, and the windows in our house are beautiful & in overall satisfactory condition, but unfortunately, they are almost 70 years old, and after yet another day of heavy rains & windy, stormy weather, we realized that our windows need some work. We have over 30 windows in our house, and of those 30, about 25 need work, because rain is seeping in from the outside, causing the interior frame to get saturated with water. The south facing windows are the worst. The other windows have this problem to a much lesser degree. One of the south facing windows is letting in enough water that it is dripping to the window sill & at one point was dripping down the wall, due to water coming in from the seams around the frame. Some of our windows are jammed & do not open, and a few windows have broken sashes. We are in the process of getting someone hired to go through & fix our windows. It will be a long process of eventually replacing our windows with custom-made wooden framed storm windows, which we plan to do as we have money, but we want to make these ones last as long as possible. We need someone to come through when the weather is dry again & reapply putty to the exterior seams, possibly caulk the interior seams, fix broken sashes, and essentially get our windows back to working order. We might get an estimate on replacing a few of these south facing windows that seem to be in the worst shape. I'm assuming the problems are fixable, but it might be more cost-effective to replace them altogether. This could be a big expense for us this winter, but we have money set aside for hidden expenses like this. We have a friend that knows windows (Matty), and he is going to come over & look at them. We might end up hiring him to do repairs. Some of the maintenance we can learn to do ourselves & keep up on it from year to year, but for now, the issues with our windows are more than we are willing to deal with ourselves, so the plan is to hire someone to come in & get them all up to par, then try to keep up with the maintenance thereafter, and possibly start ordering & replacing a few each year until eventually we have all new windows.

To make things even more stressful, I went down this evening to do more laundry (it never ends, and just when you think you've caught up, there seems to be a new pile by the end of the day), and noticed yet MORE water flowing in from the crack in our foundation. I ran outside with a flashlight, and the drain from the gutter was working just fine, so now we have an issue with too much water around the foundation, and need to get the drainage experts out here pronto to recommend to us what sort of drain we need to have installed around the west & north ends of the house. Keeping water off the foundation is super important, because it will prevent further damage to the foundation, not to mention keep water out of our basement!

All of this felt really stressful, but when it comes down to it, we just have two issues we need to immediately address, and we are working to get them addressed as soon as we can! I'm just glad we have money set aside for these unexpected homeowner issues!

Tip to prospective home buyers--always factor in extra money in your budget beyond what your mortgage payment is, because there are always unexpected financial issues that come up when you buy a house!


Gutters and Drains

Sunday, November 05, 2006
Today it rained all day as hard as it did last night. Lots of rain. We were down in our basement doing some organizing, and then I decided there were some places along our gutters that I should try to clear due to the falling leaves, so Landon, Samuel, & I went outside in the pouring rain & Landon & I took turns getting up on the ladder and clearing the gutters. We ended up pulling down the leaf guards, because they seemed to be more of a pain than they were doing any good. Many of them had caved in, and I was having to pull them off to get debris out from beneath them, then had trouble getting them back on as our gutters are bent in places. After a struggle with them, we finally decided to chuck them, & have our gutters cleaned twice a year.

Later that night, I went downstairs to do some laundry, and to my horror, saw a puddle of water on the floor, which was coming from water seeping in from a crack in the foundation. We went outside, and found the downspout which connects to cast iron pipes that drain to the street clogged with leaves & debris, so water was pouring up against the foundation at a steady rate. By putting my hand down there, I was able to pull out some of the debris, but then Landon got the hose & shoved it down there, and the plug finally gave way & water started flowing freely--whew! Almost right away, the water stopped flowing so steadily into the basement, and luckily, the water was coming into the basement almost right where a drain is in the floor, so we didn't have any damage to anything down there, and the water was able to drain out of there quickly.

Our inspector had suggested we have a drain put around the house to keep water off the foundation, so that the cracks we have in our foundation do not worsen with time. We realized after tonight that we are going to have to do that ASAP. --Karli

P.S. When we came inside from the gutter cleaning in the afternoon & the 10pm blocked gutter problem, we were all three soaking wet! Coats, socks, shoes, & clothes came off in the basement & went straight into the wash!

Happy 5th Birthday, Kaenan!

Saturday, November 04, 2006
It rained all day today! We did some chores in the morning, then after Samuel's nap, we left to drive down to McMinnville for Kaenan's 5th birthday. We all met at the McMinnville Pizza Co., and Kaenan got lots of nice birthday gifts! Samuel had fun watching him open his presents. I have a feeling Christmas is going to be fun for Samuel this year! I'm starting to look forward to getting a tree. I'm hoping we can start a family tradition & maybe go to a u-cut farm or something.

Oh, and btw, the drive down to McMinnville was scary! The rain was coming down in torrents--literally! Visibility was low, and we could only travel safely at about 45 mph or less. It took us a lot longer to get down there, but traffic wasn't nearly so bad on the way home, and we made better time coming back. I was so glad to get home safely! I don't recall ever seeing rain like this here in the NW except for maybe 15 minutes in duration. This storm has lasted for hours!

Friday, November 03, 2006
A Debate on the View--Nov. 1, 2006

Art Expressions

Thursday, November 02, 2006
Took Samuel to an art class this morning, which he loved! They used shaving cream & food coloring, along with cookie cutters & sponges to make designs. He sat in his chair for the entire 30 minutes! He was the only toddler that had the attention span for it. I hope he does this well next week! --Karli
Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A commentary on our society's obsession with one version of beauty--kudos to Dove!
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