Finding Hope and Joy in Challenging Times

Saturday, March 31, 2018
It can be hard to find hope by looking around the world in which we live.  Add into the mix challenges in your personal life (recently for me, there have been several losses), and it can be overwhelming.  I like some of the TED talks highlighted in post How to be more hopeful, especially the one by Paul Tasner, who was laid off at 64, and by 66 became an entrepreneur.  How inspiring!  I like how he holds a space in his life for both loving his grandchildren AND wanting to make a positive difference in the world.

We hold many parts of our lives as sacred, and accepting those parts brings peace.  For example, I want to make a positive difference as a nurse, but I also want to be the best Mother to my three children I can be, and I also want to have a close, loving relationship with my husband.  When I allow myself to feel guilty about the time my job takes from my children or the time my children take from my marriage or the time my marriage takes from my personal hobbies, I begin to feel stretched thin, and this fosters anxiety and robs my sense of hope and joy.  Recognizing there is time to be present with all parts of one's life, and putting one foot in front of the other as we work to reach our goals and aspirations, is a good place to be in maintaining hopefulness.  And it's never too late to make changes to your life and form new habits to better facilitate a more joyful life.

Working Lots of Overtime

Friday, March 30, 2018
I have worked a lot of overtime at work this week, and I think I just about did myself in.  I am working hard to pay for the plane tickets to Australia later this year.  In nursing, overtime has to be worked carefully, as burnout and fatigue are felt more significantly than in other jobs. 

I noticed this week that I didn't allow myself enough time for rest.  I slept maybe five hours a night and worked up to 17-hour days.  When I get off work, it can be really hard to go right to sleep.  Four years into my nursing career, and I still haven't figured it all out.  Saying yes to overtime comes at a price, and sometimes the extra dollars on the paycheck aren't worth the cost to physical, mental, and emotional health.  Thinking I might take a break from overtime for the next couple of weeks.  I'd like to try to maximize the overtime until we leave on our trip, but I have to find the right balance some weeks, so I don't over-commit.  

Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 29, 2018
On some afternoons after I pick up the girls from elementary school, we drive to Portland Nursery to have a look around at their new inventory.  The girls love running around and exploring, and I guess I do, too (though less running, more exploring).  Happy planting this spring, everyone!

The Native Plant Sale at Audubon Society is Coming up April 21st!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Here is a cut and paste from Audubon Society about their upcoming native plant sale!  I'll be there!

When: Apr 21, 2018 10:00 AM to Apr 22, 2018 04:00 PM

Native Plants for Native Birds

Spring is sprouting and blooming at the Audubon Native Plant Sale! All gardeners are welcome – we are eager to help you celebrate the growing season. The sale is held Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Audubon Society of Portland's main facility at 5151 NW Cornell Road, Portland.

More than 100 species of Oregon wildflowers, shrubs and trees will be available to enhance your yard, woodland or stream bank. Special shopping lists will be available for shade, sun, butterflies and hummingbirds. Plant experts will also be on hand to answer questions and talk about topics like:
  • Why native plants benefit habitat
  • How to design a native plant area
  • Planting and care of native plants
These events are free and open to the public. All proceeds benefit Portland Audubon programs such as nature education, wildlife sanctuaries, and wildlife rehabilitation.
For more information: 503-292-6855 x 107

Image Credit: Audubon Society, Brooke Chamberlain pictured, 2011
 I'm so excited, I can't wait! 

BotJoy Part III: What's Your Inspiration?

Tuesday, March 27, 2018
1205 SE Stark Street "What's Your Inspiration?" by Gary Hirsch with Juniper and Amelia

At work, I teamed up with another nurse to create a newsletter titled "Thrive" in order to bring inspiration to our team.  Every day I am inspired by my patients and fellow nurses and doctors that work so hard to make a positive difference in the lives of our patients.  What inspires you? 

Portland artist Gary Hirsch is spreading joy around the world via bots!  He leaves them all over the world, donates them, sells them, and paints murals of bots on city walls that beautify, encourage, and inspire.  For the next few days, I will be posting a few examples of these wonderful murals--check out Botjoy for more information on Gary's latest projects!

BotJoy Part II: What Brings You Joy?

Monday, March 26, 2018
1205 SE Stark Street Mural "What Brings You Joy" by Gary Hirsch with Juniper and Amelia
Gardening, my children, my job, my husband, my friends, and the arts are all sources of joy in my life.  What brings you joy?

Portland artist Gary Hirsch is spreading joy around the world via bots!  He leaves them all over the world, donates them, sells them, and paints murals of bots on city walls that beautify, encourage, and inspire.  For the next few days, I will be posting a few examples of these wonderful murals--check out Botjoy for more information on Gary's latest projects!

BotJoy Part I: How Can You Help?

Sunday, March 25, 2018
Portland artist Gary Hirsch is spreading joy around the world via bots!  He leaves them all over the world, donates them, sells them, and paints murals of bots on city walls that beautify, encourage, and inspire.  For the next few days, I will be posting a few examples of these wonderful murals--check out Botjoy for more information on Gary's latest projects!

Juniper and Amelia reflect at the Bot Wall at 1205 SE Stark Street

Find additional bot murals by Gary Hirsch at 3050 S.E. Division, 1037 S.E. Ash, 1006 S.E. Salmon, S.E. 17th and Rhine and 2043 S.E. 50th.  Enjoy other murals around Portland by doing the SE Portland Mural Crawl!

Amelia's Turn to Travel to Australia

Saturday, March 24, 2018
For the past several years, we have made annual trips to Australia, and each time we go, we take one of the kids with us.  This year, it is Amelia's turn.

Needless to say, she is very excited.  Adam will fly out a few weeks before us, then we will join him.  We are looking forward to our trip together, making new memories that will last a lifetime.  x o, Karli

Dusting With Banana Peels

Friday, March 23, 2018
Hey guys!  I found this article on Apartment Therapy titled, Can You Really Dust Your Houseplants With A Banana Peel?  We Tried It, Here Are Our Results!  This is so far up my alley that I'm not even going to try to rewrite it!  I LOVE THIS!  x o, Karli

The Portland Mercury's Highball 2018

Thursday, March 22, 2018
Come participate in Portland Mercury's Highball event March 19th-25th--$5 specialty cocktails at some of the best bars in Portland!  I had the Mango Ginger Sting at Limelight yesterday, and this afternoon, Adam and I are heading over to Loyal Legion to say cheers over barrel-aged highballevardiers!  So come on out, drink some fun cocktails, and support local and community while you're at it! 

In My Garden, You Will Find: Corylopsis (Winter hazel)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Even though I am primarily focusing my gardening these days on Oregon and Willamette Valley natives, I still have spots in my garden for some longtime favorite non-native plants.  Many of these I brought with me from my rental, and have been growing in pots for many years.  A few, such as euphorbia, I will keep in pots, but as for the two varieties of corylopsis I had, they are now happily in the ground, growing beside other natives.

Corylopsis pauciflora (Buttercup Winter Hazel) originating from Japan
I love the Corylopsis pauciflora so much!  Originating from Japan, it has clusters of creamy flowers that hang down like little lanterns on reddish-brown branches.  The blossoms are starting to fade now, but this one was actually thriving to this height in a 1-gallon pot!  It will most likely get quite large here, maybe 12-feet tall.  I planted it a good 4-5 feet from the fence to allow for growth.

Amelia admiring a Corylopsis pauciflora much more mature in the Sellwood neighborhood.
We found a more mature one in the neighborhood of Sellwood in SE Portland a few weeks ago growing beside red-flowering currant.  Ours is also growing near red-flowering currant, as well as red-twig dogwood, mock orange, and Indian plum.

My other Corylopsis was only re-identified yesterday at Portland Nursery.  Thanks, guys!  I bought it there four years ago when I graduated nursing school, planting it in a 4-gallon pot that my old neighbor bought me as a graduation gift.  I knew the blossoms were very similar to the Corylopsis pauciflora shown above, but it bloomed about a month later and the blossoms were canary yellow.

I remember that it was sensitive to hot summer sun and sometimes got scorched if left under-watered in its pot for a few summer days in a row.  It has beautiful bright green leaves in the spring, which turn golden into the fall.  It grows much wider than it does tall, but might have been somewhat affected by its pot for the past few years.  I took a picture of it in full bloom down to Portland Nursery and they identified it as Corylopsis by its blossoms, then checked their database for varieties they had sold in past years.  It was then identified as a Corylopsis spicata "Gold Spring Spike Winter Hazel".

Corylopsis spicata "Gold Spring" in full bloom this mid-March
I'll be curious to see how this one does.  It's planted near native plants mock orange, Pacific Ninebark, sword ferns, wild ginger, common yarrow, and beneath four cedar trees.  I hope it does well--may need to water during summer until more established.  It will look nice as an edge to this particular garden bed.  It will take a few years to establish, but this particular garden design should eventually grow into a multi-layered understory for our backyard insects and birds.

Corylopsis spicata "Gold Spring" at edge of garden with Pacific Ninebark to the left and other native plants noted above but not visible in this photo. 
 And there, my friends, is a small window into my ever-evolving backyard habitat--a work in progress!

P.S.  As you can see, the rain has rolled back in after yesterday's BEAUTIFUL spring day.  Check out my post "First Day of Spring" for proof of how beautiful it was! 

First Day of Spring!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Today was a blissful day on this first day of Spring.  I don't really know how today could have been more perfect.  I picked up Amelia from school, and we spent most of the afternoon together at Portland Nursery. 

First Day of Spring at Portland Nursery

Water features at Portland Nursery
Hellebore patch in my garden thriving here in Milwaukie soil
Amelia at Portland Nursery
My little spring tulip (Portland Nursery)
To top off the lovely spring day, Adam made a delicious manicotti with green beans and a side salad.  It was SO good!  We ate outside on what will one day be a beautiful patio.  We've prepared the site, but haven't decided quite yet how we want to design this space.  The chickens tried to join us at the table for dinner, but they were politely and indiscreetly shooed away.  Best day in a long time! 

Sara Agah Franti Interview

Monday, March 19, 2018
I wanted to share with you podcast The Kate & Mike Show where Sara Agah Franti was interviewed!  This podcast is inspiring to me as Sara shares how she moved from her career as a nurse to entrepreneurship with her jewelry line LUA (which I love!) and how she has transitioned into the public spotlight as Michael Franti's business partner and wife.  Candid and thoughtful in this interview, I think you'll find inspiration as you listen, too.  x o, Karli


Save Our Centers PDX

Sunday, March 18, 2018
It's amazing to see what can be accomplished when community members activate to fight for a cause--never ceases to inspire me!  On St. Patrick's Day, my oldest, Sam, played with his school marimba band at the Sellwood Community Center rally.  Four Portland community centers, all of which my children have used many times over the years, are on the chopping block AGAIN.  The community centers at risk for closure are the following:  Sellwood, Woodstock, Hillside, and Fulton Park Community Center.  We need MORE community centers, not less of them.  This absolutely cannot happen--we must fight to save our centers!  

What can you do?  Sign the petition to save Portland community centers!  Sign today! 

Show your support by attending one of the budget forums wearing your neon-green #saveourcenterspdx t-shirts--we need large numbers to turn out at these budget forums!  Here are the details:

Community Budget Forum #1 @ David Douglas High School, April 3rd, 6:30-8:30PM.
Community Budget Forum #2 @ Roosevelt High School, April 17th, 6:30-8:30PM

For those community members involved in this effort, I am so thankful for you!  Because of you, those things that add value to our lives are protected--you fight to protect land, historic buildings, community centers, and so much more.  I love community, and I love the people that make up communities.  Never stop fighting, and if you are able to get involved, I highly encourage you to attend one of the budget forums!

St. Patrick's Day, 2018

Saturday, March 17, 2018
For the first time in many, many years, I took St. Patrick's Day off.  No babies, no exams to study for, and enough seniority at work that I was able to easily ask for the weekend off.  We headed to one of my favorite places to listen to live music, McMenamin's Edgefield.  And what better way to kick off the afternoon than with a pair of Irish coffees?

 We had the best time!  It wasn't too crowded, and there was back-to-back live music.  The Irish stepdancers of Yeates Academy of Irish Dance and Molly Malone Irish Dancers were there, and some of my favorite Irish bands, like Cu lan ti.  

We had Amelia with us all day--she loved the music, and Adam got to experience a St. Patrick's Day in Portland.  Not sure who does it better.  One thing's for sure--St. Patrick's Day is SO FUN no matter where you are. 

In the evening, we dropped Amelia off with family and headed downtown where it's REAL wild and crazy to meet friends at Jake's Famous Crawfish for dinner, which was genius, because with reservations, you get into the place, as well as the tents with live music.  These tents had a steep cover with a line around the block.  I will be doing this same thing next year! 

Adam and I at Jake's Famous Crawfish

Adam and I with our friends Stefan and Evalina

Adam's first martini xo

I can't think of a better St. Patrick's Day, and I've experienced quite a few crazy ones!  After dinner with Stefan and Evalina, we headed over to a friend's house where a bunch of people were hanging out doing Irish whiskey shots and sitting around playing Drawful2.  We joined in, where as usual, I came in with minimal points.  Got to bed at 1AM, and luckily was called off work in the morning.  Lucked out on that one.  Hope wherever you celebrated you had a great time, too. 


x o, Karli

In My Garden, You Will Find: Lonicera involucrata (Twinberry)

Friday, March 16, 2018
Just a baby, this Willamette Valley native is a lovely addition to the garden we are creating.  Its black berries will ripen in late summer, which our backyard birds will love.  One of my favorite features of the twinberry are the pairs of yellow flowers that give way to a pair of black berries, hence the name "twinberry." 

I plugged this plant into the handy dandy Native American Ethnobotany database and found that many different Native American tribes used the bark as a pulmonary aid for cough and congestion.  The poultice of chewed leaves or toasted bark were used as a salve for itching or open sores, even to treat venereal diseases like gonorrhea.  Juice from the berries was used to soothe sore eyes.  The Kwakiutl Indians used the bark for sweatbaths and even rubbed it on their breasts to help stimulate milk production.  It was used to soothe sore muscles and as a treatment for arthritis and rheumatism.  These are just a few highlights--there are many other uses listed!  Check out the link above.

It gives me great joy to learn about the medicinal uses of plants.  Even if I don't use my backyard native plants as medicine, having the knowledge about how they can be used is important to me.  As I continue to learn, I plan to experiment over the coming years, especially with the various berries several of our native plants will be producing.

I still love this video on elderberry by Rosemary Gladstar, and have watched it many, many times.  I hope to buy Rosemary Gladstar's book, Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide

What is growing in your garden?  What medicinal properties do your plants possess? 

x o, Karli

Shoot the Breeze

Thursday, March 15, 2018
There are times I find myself engaging with a complete stranger about something trivial, and an unexpected connection happens.  A line, or a queue as Adam would call it, seems to be the perfect time for this--you're standing in the check-out line and someone behind or in front of you makes a trivial comment, and then a meaningful connection strikes.  Love these moments!

For many, many years, I have been following Kristin Espinasse of A French Word-A-Day.  She posted about this very topic a few days ago, writing about the French phrase "an invitation to talk to strangers" or "parler de pluie et du beau temps".  Defined as "to talk about the weather, to talk small talk, to shoot the breeze.

It seems these encounters happen for her in grocery store lines, too.  Consider following Kristin's blog--it's a great way to brush up on your French, and her posts are sweet little snippets of her life in Provence.

And don't be shy about shooting the breeze with a stranger!  You never know--you just might find a friend.

Walk Out Portland

Wednesday, March 14, 2018
I had to work today, on this day my children participated in the Portland walkouts to take a stand against gun violence in honor of the seventeen victims who lost their lives on February 14th at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 

Adam came to Sam's middle school to show support.  I am moved by these peaceful processions to show solidarity and support for the victims of school shootings, and to put pressure on Congress to adopt gun safety measures, such as banning assault weapons like the AR-15.

It broke my heart to see my littlest daughter holding up a sign of protest against gun violence at her elementary school.  But we have seen some of the most horrific shootings at Sandy Hook.  I thought that over five years ago, when the Sandy Hook shooting occurred, that the lives of twenty little girls and boys my own daughter's age, would be enough to prompt CHANGE.  But it hasn't, and here we are in 2018:  


We need change now.  I don't know how we will reach it, as the battle will be long, but I believe when we stand together, anything is possible.

Finding Inspiration from Jenny Komenda's Design Projects

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Yesterday's sun has disappeared, and it is in the low 50s today with cloudy skies and lots of Pacific NW rain showers.  The daffodils are bowing their heads in the rain and the backyard birds have taken shelter as I haven't seen a one all morning.  Even the crows are up high in the trees.  I haven't heard one "caw" all morning.

I am home alone this morning, a rare treat for me these days.  Adam accompanied Juniper on a field trip to the Children's Clean Water Festival, and Amelia and Sam are at school.  Tomorrow the kids will participate in school-wide processions to honor the 17 victims of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the National School Walkout.  

I wanted to leave you with a link to Little Green Notebook: Adventures in Design by Jenny Komenda and her Gentry Office Reveal.  Most houses have a little one-window small bedroom like this (we have one almost the same size, but with two windows), and I absolutely love what she did with this room.  Her post is inspiring--maybe you will find inspiration for your own home office.  I am now rethinking how we have our office arranged.  I've always wanted my desk directly facing a window, but placing a desk in the center of the room creates depth and is inviting.  Also, since we have two windows in our office, if we were to place a desk towards the center of the room, we would have back-light from one window behind the desk with peripheral vision to the side window.  I also think facing towards the inside of the house would help connect me to the rest of the family when I'm using my office, and would feel more inviting for the family to come in and have a seat.  We have a bookcase in the office full of children's books, so I can imagine that the kids might want to come in and read a book if we had two office chairs like Jenny placed in the Gentry office.  

I follow many design blogs, but few inspire me like Jenny Komenda.  I like her down-to-earth approach and frugality.  She does a wonderful job walking you through her thought process not only on her blog, but through her Instagram Stories

P.S.  Jenny links to a similar Boho bamboo shelf like the one she used from a thrift store in her office, and I have to say I love vintage bamboo pieces for the home.  I actually have this bamboo plant stand, but am considering the bamboo shelf as I love it!  I was so inspired by Jenny's post that I finally brought the bamboo plant stand in from storage and found a new home for it! 

70 and Sunny in Portland

Monday, March 12, 2018
It was 70 and sunny in Portland today, and everyone was happy, including me.  Sun exposure increases seratonin levels, which is why people feel happier in the sun.  After many months of rain and overcast skies, it felt good to feel the warmth of the sun on our skin.

Amelia admiring a mature Buttercup Witch hazel on our walk back to the car.

Adam and I parked a few blocks from where we had lunch together, then walked to pick up the girls, then walked back to the car.  It was a beautiful afternoon.  

New Mugs from Wildflower Vintage PDX

Sunday, March 11, 2018
I bought these three lovely mugs from Wildflower Vintage PDX, and I'm loving them!  They are even nicer than I thought they would be with a good amount of weight to them.  They're the perfect size, too, for how much coffee I drink per cup.  In choosing a coffee cup, there are several important elements to consider.  Here are a few I look for initially:

1.  Handle.  Does the handle fit your hand well, and does it have features that make holding it even better, such as a thumbprint at the top of the handle?  Those are my personal favorites.

2.  Weight.  Is it too light?  Too heavy?  Too wide?  Too tall?  How much coffee do you like to drink in one setting?  Buy a mug that matches your volume per cup each morning.

3.  Material.  Is it clay?  Ceramic?  Glass?  Or is it metal?  Metal does not work well for reheating, and the handle usually heats up pretty nicely making it difficult to hold.  Find out what the material is and if it is even dishwasher safe.  Most members of reputable potters' associations, such as Oregon Potters Association, create pottery that is microwave-safe.

And by the way, this is the second time I have purchased from Wildflower Vintage PDX.  A couple of months ago, I bought this cute shelf from her.  I love her taste, and I'm sure this won't be the last time I do business with her.  Follow her on Instagram for the latest updates to her shop!

In the Morrow

Saturday, March 10, 2018
You know when you hear just the right song at just the right time?  Music is powerful as it stimulates one's emotions--it can affect a person in many ways.  I love the lyrics and melody to this one:

In the Morrow

Found myself today, I took my cross up and walked away
With amazing grace and opened eyes
Even though I'm born to lose my way
Tomorrow comes on a hurricane
When the weight of the world's been on your mind

In the morrow, I'll be gone
I gave it everything I had for so long
Save your sorrow for your song
Don't we always find a way to carry on

No ones sees it coming
And no one walks when they should've been running
And nothing hurts like knowing you've tried
And we can see how years can slip away
In the cold dark nights and the long hard days
But nothing aches quite like goodbye

In the morrow, I'll be gone
I gave it everything I had for so long
Save your sorrow for your song
Don't we always find a way to carry on

In the morrow, I'll be gone
I gave it everything I had for so long
Save your sorrow for your song
Don't we always find a way

In the morrow, I'll be gone
I gave it everything I had for so long
Save your sorrow for your song
Don't we always find a way to carry on
Don't we always find a way to carry on

"In the Morrow" as written by Phillip John Hanseroth Brandi M. Carlile
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Then I read this post by a favorite Instagram/blogger/designer Ashley Petrone, and started thinking about summer and how much fun it will be to go to some music festivals with the kids.  One of my favorite parts about summer is attending outdoor musical events, whether it be a concert in the park or music festival.  We booked tickets to see Vance Joy at Edgefield in July.  Can't wait!

Night Skies in March

Friday, March 09, 2018
The other night, I came home from work and just happened to look up.  The moon was so big and bright, and the skies were so still.  I took this picture to capture the moment.  I love the home Adam and I are creating together.  x o, Karli

International Women’s Day

Thursday, March 08, 2018
My girls, March, 2018

"Women are the real architect of society."  --Harriet Beecher Stowe

Union Wine Company's Underwood Wine in a Can

Wednesday, March 07, 2018
A few summers ago, wine in a can was all the rage. Union Wine Co here in Oregon released their Underwood Wine cans for the first time, I think, in 2013, and two thoughts crossed my mind: "who would ever drink wine from a can?" and "I will never."  I was totally skeptical at first!  It took me until this past summer (2017) to try wine in a can for the first time in a pinch (traveling without a bottle opener).  Gotta say, I'm hooked!  
For the record, I still love uncorking a bottle of wine and drinking from a wine glass just like the next person, but wine in a can is lovely in its own right--easy and soooo good. Love the Underwood cans (haven't tried a one I didn't like), the innovation of Union Wine Co (the beer-ification of wine movement and pinkies down campaign), and pretty much all their wines, can or no can.  And I have to say, I'd much rather drink wine from a can than beer from a can any day!    
P.S. The Australian kangaroo and Buddhist snake approve of this message.

Gardening with Amelia

Tuesday, March 06, 2018
Yesterday I was going through some of the old potted plants from our last house and transplanting some into the ground and others into bigger pots.  My youngest daughter, Amelia, was inside the house, and since it was such a beautiful day, I called her outside to help me.  We worked for about two hours together, and I loved sharing that time with her.  She helped me make a "pebble line" to border a garden bed, decorated the tops of pots with various rocks and/or objects around the freshly potted plants, and even potted three or four plants herself from our mulch pile, placing them around the garden herself.  She took pride in finding spots for them.  I put my phone away during this time, so I don't have any pictures of our gardening session, but here are a couple of photos of Amelia in Hood River from a few years back that I came across recently (album cover, anyone?):

. . . and this:

My little Amelia Ann . . . love you, baby girl!  x o

What's In Your Fridge?

Monday, March 05, 2018
A bright spot in my Bloglovin' feed this morning was London blogger Rosie's post What's In My Fridge.  I love taking a peak inside someone's fridge--says a lot about a person, actually!

I think I need to make a few lifestyle changes before I give you a peak into mine.  x o, Karli

"Some Things to Say" --Frances McDormand

Sunday, March 04, 2018
Adam and I saw Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and the film blew me away.  I absolutely love the work of Frances McDormand, who will always inspire me to be myself and rise above.  Her Best Actress acceptance speech had me speechless tonight.  If you haven't had a chance to see her speech yet, I'll post it here for you: 

She is one of my favorite actress HANDS DOWN.  "I like being my age, and I kinda have a political thing about it."  Her comments on how Three Billboards is really a film about grief and trauma really resonated with me, as I work with these elements of the human experience in my nursing career every day--these themes in the film hit me hard as I watched.  

This was one of those films that does not spare the viewer.  I appreciate the honest and transparency  Frances McDormand brings to her acting role:

I have to admit--the film hit home for me, as one of the main characters is dying from pancreatic cancer (this is revealed in the beginning of the film, so no spoilers here), a disease that has taken so many people in this life that meant a lot to me, my Dad being one of them.

A brilliant film, and best actress Oscar well-deserved.  This film has inspired others to put pressure on elected leaders (I would argue that many are not leaders at all), many of which stand by in corruption and do nothingThe Grenfill billboards are another example.  This film is not only about grief and trauma--it is about injustice.  If our politicians' inaction year after year as our children are murdered in their own classrooms is not injustice, I don't know what is.

Camera Shy Chicken

Saturday, March 03, 2018

I have four hens that are two years old, originally hatching in the Connecticut area.  They spent their first 24 hours of life being shipped from My Pet Chicken!  They are well-loved, but this one (a bantam silkie) doesn't like her picture taken too much.  Either that, or she had somewhere else she had to be.   

Our New Shelf from Wildflower Vintage

Friday, March 02, 2018
I bought this shelf recently from Rena of Wildflower Vintage, (great find!) and finally decided where it belonged!  Figuring out where to hang things in a new house takes time; you have to let the walls grow on you a bit before making any decisions.  I have no formal training on styling a shelf, but using intuition and inspiration, I ultimately placed a few things on this shelf that mean a lot to our family.  A bit of Australia here, a memory with my Dad there, etc.  A corner of our finished basement is brighter now, adding a spark of character and making our house feel more like a home.  Thank you for hanging it so well, Adam.  x o, Karli

Planting Our Red Huckleberry

Thursday, March 01, 2018
Red huckleberry likes to grow near or out of rotting wood, and I had the perfect section of a birch tree we had to take out when we moved here with a big rotting hole in the center.  I had initially though I'd plant it inside the stump, but when we got it home, I decided to break up rotting wood and mix it into the soil, planting it next to the stump instead.  I then planted a bare root sword fern in the stump, and eventually I will cover it with moss.  I'll keep adding dead wood to the soil as the microbes are needed for its soil system.

Vaccinium parviflorum (Red huckleberry) near birch log.  Bare root sword fern planted inside log.  Rotting wood next to red huckleberry, with two other pieces broken up and mixed into the soil.  Cedars on either side with sword ferns in background and wild ginger to the left outside this picture.
 Red huckleberries are a native plant to the Pacific NW and Willamette Valley and are deciduous.  Birds love the berries, and they are edible for humans, too.  Yum!   Check out the list of ways Native Americans found to use the red huckleberry.  The bright red berries follow creamy blossoms in late summer, and its foliage is delicate.  It likes shade, so it is beneath our four cedar trees, and it always grows near rotting wood in nature, so its root system will be growing next to a rotting birch log.  I'm excited!  I also planted wild ginger nearby, which is an associate of the red huckleberry.  These plants have evolved over thousands of years to grow together and when planted together help the ecosystem thrive optimally.  Beneath the cedars are also many sword ferns--our backyard is really starting to come together and will be so beautiful one day (I already love it, spending long mornings looking out my bedroom window at the plants and birds while I drink my coffee).

And just in case you might not know, we have four sweet hens that love our backyard garden, too.  Here's a short video of them this evening--enjoy!  x o, Karli

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