Preparing and Purging

Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Adam's parents are coming from Australia and will be staying with us for about two and a half months!  We have a 5-bedroom house, and there is plenty of space for a guest room, but we let the kids have their own rooms, moving things around when we have guests.  This has been a perfect opportunity to purge, something I try to do each summer.  My car is loaded to the brim with Goodwill bags, and there will be many more in the coming days.  It feels good to purge, and I'm looking forward to making the guest room inviting for our Australian parents to stay in while they're here. 

Watch Out for Those UV Rays!

Monday, July 30, 2018
At the beach last week, I severely burned a section of my upper thigh that I missed with the sunscreen.  Here we are, a week later, and the section is still painful to the touch and a dark red.  For days, the muscle beneath it was also inflamed.  I can't imagine how terrible it would have been had I forgotten sunscreen altogether.  I am very pale, and have avoided tanning beds most of my life, as well as the beating sun.  Having said that, I had many, many severe sunburns as a child and in my early adulthood.  One of my sisters has had several pre-cancerous spots removed from her chest.  This burn, though only a patch, is quite painful, and was a bit of a wake-up call as I've been lax with sun-screen in recent years.  I gotta take care of this body--it's the only one I've got!

"The Handmaid's Tale" Hits A Little Close To Home

Sunday, July 29, 2018
Oh, man, was that good or what?  If you haven't seen this series, hold on tight, because you're in for some serious binging!  I gotta say, this series really has me thinking about historical totalitarian societies and how that actually happens.  Elisabeth Moss had this to say in an interview with The Guardian:  “In the book, Margaret calls it the new normal,” Moss continues. “It’s a line that Aunt Lydia says – this will all be normal to you one day. That’s scary to me.” She has no tolerance, however, for people who find the show itself frightening. “I hate hearing that someone couldn’t watch it because it was too scary,” she says. “Not because I care about whether or not they watch my TV show; I don’t give a shit. But I’m like, ‘Really? You don’t have the balls to watch a TV show? This is happening in your real life. Wake up, people. Wake up.’”  This series hits close to home--it is not impossible to believe that we could deteriorate into a version of Gilead.  Twenty years ago, I never thought we'd be where we are today.  I want things to change.  In my lifetime.  For my kids.  For our planet.

Photo Credit:

Investing in Friends

Saturday, July 28, 2018
Working full time as nurse, being new-ishly remarried, as well trying my darnedest to be a good Mama to my three growing children, I find that my friendships fall to the wayside.  I have days where this makes me very sad.  Today was one of those days.  I found myself feeling lonely and isolated.  It took me a day or two, but I started getting some dates on the calendar.  Dinner with a group of friends, coffee with another, and breakfast with yet another.  My friends are important to me, but I struggle to invest in my friendships the way I want to due to other areas in my life.  Finding balance is difficult.  I worked 103 hours last pay period, so there are times where I devote an insane amount of time to one area of my life, and the rest of the areas in my life suffer.  I have always struggled with balance.  I work with a budget for our finances--perhaps I should create a budget for my time to ensure all the areas of my life are receiving the attention they deserve. 

Adam and I with two of my dearest friends, Tim and Tara.

At Least There Is Air Conditioning at the Hospital

Monday, July 23, 2018
Where have I been, you might ask?  Working a lot of overtime!  103 hours logged this past pay period, so I'm looking forward to this paycheck!  Today I'm going to catch my breath a bit before planning a road trip with the kids to the beach.  It's been HOT here in Portland, and we will need to escape the heat this week beachside.  How have you been spending these hot summer days? 

Lazy Mornings

Monday, July 09, 2018

After a long weekend of work, I often spend Monday mornings laying in bed, catching up on my Instagram feed, watching the birds at the feeder outside our bedroom windows, and looking out on to the garden in the morning sun.  These mornings, I always have a hot cup of coffee on my nightstand, and often Pepper is sleeping at the foot of the bed.  I dream a lot about the things I'd love to do in the garden, with the house, and the adventures I'd love to embark on with Adam and the kids.  I love the life I have created over the years for myself and the kids, and the life I am currently creating with my husband Adam.  x o, Karli

Keep Giving, But Don't Forget Self-Care

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Some nights I get home from work, I feel like I've been hit by a truck.  I know I'm low on electrolytes, my body is tired from being on my feet all day, and mentally I feel like I have nothing left to give.  On those nights, I stop at New Seasons and buy myself a few treats.  Health-Ade Kombucha (Cayenne cleanse is my absolute favorite), Alaffia Body Wash (Vanilla Mint is my absolute favorite), and a good blend of salts for the bath (this one is by Sweetbody Laboratories, made locally!).  And of course chocolate.  These things bring restoration when I feel exhausted.  There are many ways to take care of yourself, and it isn't always about rest and recovery.  Some days I spend two hours in the garden with my own thoughts--even though I'm working, I feel that sense of restoration when I'm finished.  Self-care is so important.  Many of us spend our lives giving, and have careers centered around giving of ourselves to others.  Parenthood is all about giving of ourselves, and it's a 24-hour/day job.  So self-care, guys.  And don't forget the chocolate.  x o, Karli  

Sedums and Sun

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Do you know what likes these 90-degree summer days?  The sedum garden!  They are busy making lots of babies and soaking up the summer sun.  They aren't big fans of the Portland rain, but as long as they have good drainage, they thrive.  I love blending various textures and colors in the sedum garden, and am always looking for new varieties to add.  What is a favorite sedum of yours? 

Joy in the In-Between

Friday, July 06, 2018

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a favorite Instagrammer of mine, Ashley Petrone of Arrows and Bow.  The theme of her blog and Instagram feed is finding the joy in the in-between.  This life mantra means a lot to me as I work to find a balance between nursing and my life outside of nursing.  I work really hard as a nurse, and on my days off it is so important that I find the time to recharge what often feels like a depleted self.  It's those in-between moments that are so important, even while at work.  I might be priming tubing with a list a mile long running through my mind of what I need to do next, but when I take a few deep breaths and appreciate the simple task of priming, allowing myself to be present in the moment, I am able to find joy in the in-between moments.  I realize when I work with this practice that I don't feel nearly as depleted at the end of my shifts, and I'm able to give more on my days off to my family and to my self.  x o, Karli

Summertime Projects

Thursday, July 05, 2018
McMenamins Edgefield
So far, it's been 70s and sunny for the past two months, as we enjoyed 70s and sunny in Australia, and now most of June has been the same.  I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying this beautiful summer nights, only slightly cool and with mostly clear skies.  We're trying to keep the kids busy this summer, but I'm limiting myself to one big day per week where we will go out of town for the day to do something fun.  The rest of the time I am trying to tackle projects at home or do fun things here around Portland.  Family bike rides and walks are always a good option.  As far as projects go, I work in the garden a lot this time of year because the weather is nice, but when it's too hot to work outdoors, I focus my energy on the house.  Summer is a time to pass things on, and closet by closet I try to offload quite a bit each summer that we either no longer use or no longer want/need.  I've found I have many spices and medications, for example, that have long since expired and need to hit the bins.  Spring cleaning for me always happens in the summer.  What are some of your favorite ways to pass the time during the summer months when the kids are home?

Celebrating the 4th of July--Can We Ever Let Go of Traditional Fireworks?

Wednesday, July 04, 2018
After catching Jurassic World at Portland's Laurelhurst Theater, I drove the family down to Sellwood Riverfront Park to watch fireworks.  There were lots of campfires along the beach, and it ended up being the perfect site to sit back from slightly afar to watch the explosions in the night skies.  I take the kids because they love them, but I recognize the amount of waste, pollution, and noise that these fireworks create, which terrifies wildlife, not to mention many of whom have served in combat.  I guess I'm really not feeling too patriotic these days, either.  But, in the spirit of tradition, we still set them off, and I still take the kids to see them.  I do wish we could find another traditional form of celebrating, though.  Thank-you for the link to the article "Loud Fireworks Affect Wildlife", Eileen Stark!

Looking towards the barge near the Hawthorne Bridge from Sellwood Riverfront Park.  July, 2018
P.S.  Happy 2 1/2 years of marriage to Adam and I!  We have worked hard to be together, as we met by chance in New Orleans, then fell in love over the weeks and months that came after. With Adam down in Australia, we didn’t know how we could make it work, but we did! Now we have been married for 2 1/2 years and together for almost 4. I love the life we have created together, and am excited about all the years of marriage yet to come. I love you, Adam--the best is yet to come!

Celebrating 2 1/2 years of marriage at Pambiche Cocina and Repostería Cubana

Vance Joy at McMenamins Edgefield

Tuesday, July 03, 2018
Every year, I like to buy tickets to see at least one live music performance out at Edgefield, because rain or shine, it ALWAYS makes for a beautiful summer evening.  I've seen Brandi Carlile, Michael Franti, Steve Martin, Emmylou Harris, and this year, we saw Vance Joy.

Life is good, especially when drinking cold blackberry ciders on a July evening at McMenamins Edgefield with this guy playing live:

In My Garden You Will Find: Typha latifolia (aka Cattails)

Monday, July 02, 2018
These are actually along our rain garden, which is quite dry at the moment.  I am excited to have these growing along it, as 1) they remind me of the landscape where I grew up in Yamhill County--the rolling hills were full of them!  I remember they grew all along the fence lines and along creek beds.  2) It has great value medicinally, is ornamental in the garden, can be used as a food source, benefits and attracts wildlife, and can be used practically in many ways.  The Native Americans found many uses for this beautiful plant, even using it as padding for bedding.  It's also a great purifier of water, has antimicrobial properties, and when combined with manure, fire ash, and water, it can be applied to sickly trees to bring them back to health.  These are only a few of the many ways in which this plant benefits humans and wildlife. 

I spy a little girl amongst the cattails!  We hope this will do well near our rain garden.  We will most likely plant it at the trough where most of the water will drain as cattails like small amounts of standing water.

Live and Counting Crows in Ridgefield

Sunday, July 01, 2018
Last night, four of us got to go see the Counting Crows in Ridgefield, Washington.  The tickets were right up by the stage, and it was AMAZING.  I've loved Adam Duritz as an artist for as long as I can remember--he sings with his soul.  Live (who doesn't love the album "Throwing Copper"?) opened for them, too, and they were amazing in their own right.    

 Who doesn't love these bands?  U2, Gin Blossoms, Counting Crows, Blues Traveller, The Cranberries, Natalie Merchant, Live, etc were all bands I listened too during the 90s when I was coming of age and figuring out who I was.  Their music brings back many memories of those days where my friends and I had our whole lives in front of us--the days when life really was easy and free.  I've posted the lyrics and youtube clips of two of my favorite songs from Live/Counting Crows.  It was a good night, and probably hands down the best first concert Sam and Juniper could have attended.  They loved it!
Round Here
Step out the front door like a ghost
Into the fog where no one notices
The contrast of white on white.

And in between the moon and you
The angels get a better view
Of the crumbling difference between wrong and right.

I walk in the air between the rain,
Through myself and back again.
Where? I don't know
Maria says she's dying.
Through the door, I hear her crying
Why? I don't know

'Round here we always stand up straight
'Round here something radiates

Maria came from Nashville with a suitcase in her hand
She said she'd like to meet a boy who looks like Elvis
And she walks along the edge of where the ocean meets the land
Just like she's walking on a wire in the circus
She parks her car outside of my house, takes her clothes off,
Says she's close to understanding Jesus
She knows she's more that just a little misunderstood
She has trouble acting normal when she's nervous

'Round here we're carving out our names
'Round here we all look the same
'Round here we talk just like lions
But we sacrifice like lambs
'Round here she's slipping through my hands

Sleeping children got to run like the wind
Out of the lightning dream
Mama's little baby better get herself in
Out of the lightning

She says, "It's only in my head."
She says, "Shh, I know it's only in my head."

But the girl on the car in the parking lot
Says: "Man, you should try to take a shot
Can't you see my walls are crumbling."

Then she looks up at the building
And says she's thinking of jumping.
She says she's tired of life;
She must be tired of something.

'Round here she's always on my mind
'Round here (hey man) I got lots of time
'Round here we're never sent to bed early
And nobody makes us wait
'Round here we stay up very very very very late

I can't see nothing, nothing
Around here
You catch me if I'm falling
You catch me if I'm falling
Will you catch me because I'm falling down on here
I said " I'm under the gun"
'Round here.
Oh man I said "I'm under the gun"
'Round here.
And I can't see nothin', nothin'.
'Round here.
Songwriters: Steve Bowman / David Lynn Bryson / Adam Fredric Duritz / Charles Thomas Gillingham / David A Janusko / Dan Ryan Jewett / Matthew Mark Malley / Christopher C Roldan

Selling the Drama
And to love a god
And to fear a flame
And to burn a crowd that has a name
And to right or wrong
And to meek or strong
It is known just scream it from the wall

I've willed, I've walked, I've read
I've talked, I know, I know,
I've been here before, yeah

Now we won't be raped, hey
Now we won't be scarred like that, hey
Now we won't be raped , hey
Now we won't be scarred like that, hey

It's the sun that burns
It's the wheel that turns
It's the way we sing that makes 'em dream
And to Christ, a cross
And to me a chair
I will sit and earn the ransom from up here

I've willed, I've walked, I've read
I've talked, I know, I know,
I've been here before, yeah

Now we won't be raped, hey
Now we won't be scarred like that, hey
Now we won't be raped , hey
Now we won't be scarred like that
Scarred like that

And to love, a god
And to fear, a flame
And to burn, a love that has a name

I've willed, I've walked, I've read
I've talked, I know, I know
I've been here before, yeah

Now we won't be raped, hey
Now we won't be scarred like that, hey
Now we won't be raped , hey
Now we won't be scarred like that
Hey hey na nana

(Hoo hoo) we won't be scarred like that
(Hoo hoo) we won't be scarred like that
(Hoo hoo)
Songwriters: Chad Alan Gracey / Chad David Taylor / Edward Joel Kowalczyk / Patrick Dahlheimer
Selling the Drama lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
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