Remembering "The Office" (BBC)

Friday, November 30, 2018
I never watched the American version of "The Office", but I know it's great in it's own right, so I have that to look forward to some day.  I did, however, watch the BBC version of "The Office" which hands down made me laugh harder than any other show.  Here are a few of my favorite clips:


Nope, not the point at all, really, but that's David Brent, and why Ricky Gervais is so brilliant with this character.


"Free Love Freeway" was a David Brent treat as he takes over the training session during lunch.  "He went home to get it".  Dying.


David Brent as a motivational speaker had me in hysterics.  The straight faces of the employees is acting at its finest.  Wonder how many bloopers there were filming this.  I wouldn't have been able to keep a straight face!


 Can you actually imagine sitting down for a job interview with David Brent?  OMG.  Hilarious!

Hope you are all having a lovely last day of November, and that these clips brightened it just a little.  x o, Karli  

Beautyberry

Thursday, November 29, 2018

I came across a beautiful beautyberry shrub in Sellwood this morning, and the homeowner even offered me some sprigs to put around the house.  My own beautyberry (Callicarpa) is still recovering from being transplanted just over a year ago, so I only have a few berries on mine this year, and thought this one was an amazing specimen (about 7-years old). 


Beautyberry is not a native to the NW or Willamette Valley, but is beautiful nonetheless, so I keep it in my garden to add interest during the winter season.  Also, the sprigs keep year-round once they've dried, and add a pop to any windowsill.


I'm getting ready to start my three nursing shifts in the morning, but first, I'm going to cook up a couple of Alaskan salmon fillets with rice.  Then, it's another movie night with the family.  Tonight, we're going to watch a little Adam Sandler in "Billy Madison".  Happy late November Thursday, friends.  One more day before December! 

A Couple Favorites from Trader Joe's

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

There's only one lonely leaf hanging on my red twig dogwood, so that means it's time to start thinking about the festivities coming up this December, including Christmas!  I thought I'd let you know about a couple of favorites from Trader Joe's.  First of all, their "Nuts About Rosemary Mix" is perfect for anyone nuts about rosemary.  That includes me.  Seriously, they're a must-have for any holiday party or even just to have around for Christmas movie night with the family.  Best nut mix ever!


Next, I'd highly recommend Trader Joe's chocolate passports.  Chocolate from all over the world, they come neatly packaged in a box, perfect for a small gift exchange or stocking stuffers.  They're $9.99, but well worth it.


And a few things not from Trader Joe's are little vases of hypericum placed around the house mixed with cedar evergreens from my backyard.  I also like felted ornaments and wreaths.  The characters above are from a line I especially love--their little outfits are so sweet--I pick one or two new ones up every year.  They're meant to hang on the tree, but I like to place them around on the mantle.



What do you love around your home during the holidays and fall/winter seasons? 

Movie Day

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

And winter, slumbering in the open air,
Wears on his smiling face a dream of spring;
--Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Today I am going to do nothing at all but stay in my pajamas and watch Netflix movies.  I watched Groundhog Day with the family a couple of nights ago.  Bill Murray always makes me laugh; he's one of my favorite actors.  The "I'm a god" scene kills me.  Hope you are all having a good day out there on this very rainy November morning.


Iced Hibiscus Tea

Monday, November 26, 2018
I stopped drinking almost two weeks ago, and I've discovered a refreshing alternative to wine: iced hibiscus tea.  I've been drinking at least one to two tall glasses a day, and I absolutely love it.  Hibiscus tea has many health benefits, too!  Ayurveda Palms posted a few of these amazing health benefits on their blog:  "The health benefits of hibiscus tea include relief from high blood pressure and high cholesterol, as well as digestive, immune system, and inflammatory problems. It helps to cure liver disease and reduces the risk of cancer. It can also speed up the metabolism and help in healthy, gradual weight loss. Hibiscus tea is rich in vitamin C, minerals and various antioxidants, while also helping in the treatment of hypertension and anxiety."

 
I was hesitant to mix in sugar at first, but without it, the flavor of the hibiscus would be too bitter.  I use organic cane sugar with tagless Earl Grey tea bags, although any black tea would do (I bet Assam tea would be a nice choice).   I buy dried hibiscus flowers from the bulk bins.  They are super cheap--you can get enough for ten quarts for a few dollars.  It takes a few minutes to make, and you have a few days worth.  I have been loving it so much, I've started making double batches.  I take it to work in a thermos and drink it throughout my nursing shift.  And by the way, it's delicious hot, too.  Try it out--it's refreshing, healthy, and a festive alternative to wine this holiday season.



Iced Hibiscus Tea
1 1/2 quarts
Bring to a boil in a large saucepan:
3 cups water
Add and stir until dissolved
7 tea bags
1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers
1/2 cup sugar
Let stand 10 minutes, then strain into a pitcher.  Stir in:
3 cups ice water
Pour over ice in tall glasses.  Garnish with:
Orange slices or raspberries

(From Joy of Cooking, pg. 35) 

Works Cited:

Palms, A. (2016, June 27). Amazing Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea – Ayurveda Palms – Medium. Retrieved November 26, 2018, from https://medium.com/@AyurvedaPalms/amazing-health-benefits-of-hibiscus-tea-33d5ea53c2d

Rombauer, I. V., Becker, M. R., & Becker, E. (2001). Joy of cooking. New York: Scribner.

Time to Get Cozy!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Tonight, we're throwing a couple of pizzas in the oven, pouring a round of hot chocolate, grabbing the nearest throw, and gettin' cozy on the couch for a good movie.  Domino posted a list of Best Cozy Winter Movies to Watch on Netflix Over the Holidays this weekend, and we're going to start on the list!

The Color of a Cloudy Day

Saturday, November 24, 2018

"You can manifest your own reality" Helen says to Alison in Episode 6 of the final season of "The Affair".  I've been slowly watching this series over the past few years, and all moments in the series really pivot on this truth.  Michael Franti often says, "If you can change your thoughts, you can change your feelings."  I think there's a lot of truth in these statements, and something to think about on this cloudy November afternoon.  The story we tell ourselves about ourselves becomes the reality we live, so maybe it's time to change the storyline.

November Love

Friday, November 23, 2018

I have loved this November, which has been unusually dry, beautifully foggy and misty, the month where I found hope in American politics again, and a month of personal growth, newfound peace, and inspiration to create change.  Speaking of change, guess who's lost 12 pounds after 17-days of being sober?  Yep, that's me.  Feeling good, guys, feeling good.  x o, Karli

P.S.  To change up your music, heck out the lovely November Spotify playlist from leefromamerica

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends

Thursday, November 22, 2018
I love it in the fall where beautiful things hide beneath layers of mulch, when things feel messy in the garden, but are just as they should be.


Happy Thanksgiving, friends.  I actually worked at that the hospital today, which always puts Thanksgiving into perspective for me.  I ran into a man in the elevator at the end of my shift today, and he said, "You give thanks where you give thanks, I guess."  We don't need a turkey dinner to feel gratitude.  Thankfulness exists in the heart, and today is a day to reflect on those things for which we are so grateful.  And just like a garden in the fall season, things are just as they should be.  Be thankful for today.

Professional Resilience

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

I mentioned yesterday that I wrote an article for our unit newsletter about professional resilience.  We had some big changes on our unit this past summer, and I went through several stages of processing those changes.  While researching, I came across this story in an article about professional resilience by Razzetti:

An old man accidentally fell into the river rapids leading to a high and dangerous waterfall. Onlookers feared for his life. Miraculously, he came out alive and unharmed downstream at the bottom of the falls. Everyone asked him how he managed to survive.

“I accommodated myself to the water, not the water to me,” the old man replied, “Without thinking, I allowed myself to be shaped by it. Plunging into the swirl, I came out with the swirl. That’s how I survived.”

I encouraged our unit to take the plunge, ride the waterfall, and see what's at the bottom.  There is so little we can control in this life, but we can control our response, and we can engage, fight for change, seek inspiration, and never give up.

Work Cited:
Razzetti, G. (2018, April 03). This Is the Reason Why People Resist Change – Personal Growth – Medium. Retrieved
November 21, 2018, from https://medium.com/personal-growth/how-to-conquer-the-fear-of-the-unknown-1a6e885c781e

Longing for Change

Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Photo by Sam Kuhn: steel bird figurine on fence post in our backyard.
I just finished writing an article about professional resilience for our unit newsletter.  I am a veteran of resilience in my personal life.  Politically, I haven't found a way to be resilient yet, but I'm getting there.  The 2018 Midterm Election awakened the beginnings of resilience in me politically.  As I look to the future, I'm not sure what's next, but I'm hanging on for the ride, and going to put everything I have into the journey.  The current state of affairs is unacceptable.  Giving up or not participating in efforts to bring about change is not an option for me.

Tell me something, girl
Are you happy in this modern world?
Or do you need more?
Is there something else you're searching for?

(Shallow by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga)

Book Club: Tender Is The Night

Monday, November 19, 2018
We read a modernist classic this month for book club: Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, bringing me back to my English Lit. major days at Portland State University.


I was most intrigued by reading more about the genre of modernist classics, which was a genre that emerged from reaction to World War I.  The parallels between war and love were interesting to explore through our discussion.  Just as the Europe was broken to pieces, so are the lives of the characters of this novel.  As they pick up the pieces, they rebuild something that looks very different from before.  Did Rosemary really love Dick?  No, I don't think so.  Did Nicole really love Dick?  Doubtful.  Who does Dick love?  Love takes on many forms in this novel, but through those various love stories, lives are forever changed.  Their hearts are forever changed, as well as their identifies.  How many National identities were changed at the end of World War I?  Poland became an independent country, Russia became the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia became its own nation, and The Ottoman Empire was replaced with Turkey and a few other countries in the Middle East, just to name a few.  The characters of the novel have a similar shift in identity with the course of the story, and, as always with literature, it is interesting to consider the historical context in which these novels were written and why.

Teaching Children To Love Animals

Sunday, November 18, 2018
My youngest daughter, Amelia, with our dwarf rabbit, Ernie.
I have loved animals since the time I was a little girl, and have always had an inherent desire to protect these innocent creatures.  When I became a parent in 2005, I began teaching my son to not harm a living thing, including plants.  We would have a spider in the house, and we would gently put it back outside.  We would come across an army of ants erupting from a hole in the sidewalk, and we would watch, but not hurt.  Once a bird hit the glass of a building we were near, and we put it in a safe spot until it either died naturally or the stunned state faded and it was able to fly again.  My girls were born in 2007 and 2011, and since the time the kids were little, we have always had backyard chickens.  Later, we adopted Pepper, our cat, and a couple of years later, we adopted Burt and Ernie, our rabbits.  The kids have grown up with pets around, and no matter what, we take our job as their caregivers seriously.  It makes me happy to see that the kids now possess an inherent love of animals, it's a part of who they are now.  Being taught from a young age to not harm a living thing has taught my children to lead lives that demonstrate kindness (not cruelty), love (not hate), and tolerance (not intolerance). 


Plant Volunteers

Saturday, November 17, 2018

I came across this quote in Backyard Bird Shop's holiday newsletter and thought it was apropos.  The pot is my "volunteer pot" where I stick my plant volunteers that pop up in the yard.  Mostly, my volunteers are are invasive weeds, but sometimes I'm not sure or think they look pretty in some way.  I'm pretty sure one of these is a sarcococca volunteer.  Not sure about the one with the bright green leaves.  The brightly painted blue stone was a gift tucked away for a passerby that my littlest one found in Post Falls, Idaho last month.  The two rocks and bright blue shiny object are random collections from our travels.  The crows in our backyard like to pick up the bright shiny ones and drop them in other places in the yard.  They seem to be particular about where they go.  I'm always finding them in a new location.  

I'm busy this weekend working my nursing shifts while also precepting a senior nursing student.  Hope you are somewhere finding a moment or two to enjoy this beautiful fall weather we've been having here in the Willamette Valley.

A Few Posts I'm Loving Today

Friday, November 16, 2018
  • I've been following SF Girl for about fifteen years now, and love her recent post of best of: just one, please.  I love a nice gallery wall, but there is a place for just one, and she captures examples of this well in this gorgeous post. 


    • They hopped the fence: how our ideas (and our chickens) take off was an amusing post about writing.  Another long-time follower of Kristin Espinasse, her French Word-A-Day site keeps my two years of college French a little less lost to me while making the words come alive through her posts.  And since I often have fugitive chickens (a little less so now with our new fence) and am also a long-time blogger, I thought this post was brilliant.




     

    Gardenista

    Thursday, November 15, 2018
    I stopped by the Sellwood Library this afternoon and checked out a few garden design books.  This one is probably my favorite.  I'm not looking for books on what to plant, as I have heaps of resources for that through the Backyard Habitat Program, but looking more at ideas for hardscape design.  This one is probably my favorite: Gardenista: The Definitive Guide to Stylish Outdoor Spaces.


    Outdoor kitchens, backyard playgrounds, planning your center of attraction . . . the list goes on.  When I look at books like these, I have to pick the pictures apart to find the elements that I like.  If I take the entire landscape in all at once, it's too overwhelming, and let's be honest . . . there's a reason these gardens are featured in this book: they're pretty perfect!  And yours can be, too, but it takes time.  When on a budget, take what you like and incorporate it into your current landscape.  Bit by bit, you'll get there.  Envision the end result and make sure you are thinking ahead to that end result so your garden design takes into account the years and years to come of growth and maturity.  Take your time and do one job at a time just how you want it, then move on to the next project.  One day, you're garden, too, could be featured in Fine Gardening, Better Homes & Gardens, or even a book like this.  We can dream, right?  After all, when you've laid the proper foundation and design plan for your particular garden, the plants will beautify over time and Nature does the rest.  

    Garden Design Ideas

    Wednesday, November 14, 2018

    Still working on this section of the yard.  We've run out of birch logs to retain the soil so I either a) have to acquire more or b) transition the birch logs to rock along this section.  To the right, there is a recessed bed of Barbara's patio plants on Colorado Red flagstones.  Saturn hangs above it (also Barbara's) along with the "Pestacide-Free Zone" sign from Metro.  There is a path that snags between Barbara's garden on the right and the birch logs on the left that will eventually wind along the fence behind the plants.  Kinnikinnick starts are along the hedge.  The plants along the fence are red-flowering currant, red huckleberry, and evergreen huckleberry.  Within Barbara's garden are many native perennials and a few non-native perennials.  Surrounding it are lots of seaside daisies (Erigeron glaucus).  Barbara loved those, so I planted them here just for her.  At the base of the hedge is the beginnings of our rain garden.  Montana cobble will line it with water-loving native plants within and beside it.  I'm still not sure how I want to transition from the birch logs to rock or if I should just continue with birch logs.  This is definitely a special part of our yard, so when I'm not sure, I usually take a pause and wait until the right idea strikes me.  What do you think? 

    P.S.  I love how the sun falls along the fence at this time of the evening.  Now, I'm off to see Bohemian Rhapsody with Adam (his idea as it's a favorite band of his), then to sleep.  We just returned from a Thai dinner out with family.  x o, Karli 

    In My Garden You Will Find: Western Sword Ferns

    Tuesday, November 13, 2018
    Oh, my goodness!  12 mature sword ferns have been cleaned up, English Ivy removed, and put into the ground where they'll continue to thrive,  hopefully.  At least that's the goal.  It's a good thing they are able to survive above ground for a bit, because I had to mull over a few of them to figure out where best to place them.  In the end, I gave three away, kept the best looking ones, split a few others up, and one by one selected an optimal spot for them.  I have many native plants, such as evergreen huckleberry, red-flowering currant, and elderberry that will eventually be quite large.  Keeping that in mind, I placed the sword ferns appropriately for the eventual growth of the larger shrubs to allow space for the understory and other canopy layers to thrive.

    Mature Western sword fern awaiting transplant with a lovely patch of Petasites palmatus (Coltsfoot) behind
    The final two sword ferns I planted today were the one above and the one below.  I cleaned them up prior to planting them in their new home next to our new fence on the Northern side of the house.

    Mature Western sword fern awaiting transplant
    These sword ferns are so beautiful, and will provide cover for the birds that are attracted to our backyard.  I planted a few around the feeders beneath our evergreen cedars.  These ones, however, will grow beneath an evergreen huckleberry on the North side of the house.  Before I show you the end result, check out how the others are doing that I posted about last week, growing on either side of a young blue elderberry:


    We are slowly incorporating the stumps into the landscape, which serve as nurse logs, but also as a great place to show off a beautiful pot, giving it some elevation from the ground.


    This is a large pot that used to be my dear friend Barbara's.  The trailing native plants inside look lovely cascading down the side of the stump.  As you can see, I've also been placing bits of evergreen that have fallen from the cedar tree during our recent high winds around ferns and other plants to beautify the soil around and offer a little more protection for the roots as we get closer to winter.  Now, without further adieu, here is where the last two sword ferns have been planted (I love how they look in their new spot, don't you?):

    Two Western sword ferns find a new home on either side of an evergreen huckleberry.  Old birch stump with pot on top filled with succulents.  Iris bulbs rescued from a demolition site are in large terracotta pot.

    One of our cedar trees dropped a big limb during the wind storm, so I used the branch to border a bed, trimming off the evergreen pieces to lay around many of my plants.  In a way, it's like decorating for the fall/winter season, but also adds many benefits to the garden, one of which is beautification. 


    I hope you are all having a lovely week.  x o , Karli

    What's For Dinner? Celeriac, Leek, Potato, and Apple Soup

    Monday, November 12, 2018
    We receive Organics to You every other week, and I find that a big batch of soup uses up several root vegetables from the box, and is a good dinner option with a nice loaf of Artisan bread on a chilly fall/winter night.  I ran across this recipe after receiving celeriac in our box this past week, and we loved it!  YUM.


    Celeriac, Leek, Potato, and Apple Soup


    Serves about 8 bowls

    Ingredients
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 2 leeks, white and light green part only, halved lengthwise, cleaned and sliced or chopped
    • Salt to taste
    • 8 cups celeriac, peeled and diced (retain tops for  garnish)
    • 1 large potato , peeled and diced
    • 2  apples, cored, peeled and diced
    • 2 quarts water or vegetable stock
    • Freshly ground pepper to taste
    • Slivered celery leaves for garnish, optional
    Preparation method
    1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat and add the onion, leeks and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the celeriac and a generous pinch of salt, cover partially and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often, until the celeriac has begun to soften. Add the potatoes, apples, water or stock, salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 1 hour, or until the vegetables are very tender and the soup is fragrant.
    2. Blend the soup in batches in a blender (cover the top with a towel and hold it down to avoid hot splashes), or through a food mill fitted with the fine blade. The soup should be very smooth. Strain if desired. Return to the pot. Stir and taste. Adjust salt, add freshly ground pepper, and heat through. Serve in small bowls or espresso cups, garnished with thin slivers of celery leaves.

    Recipe from Soup to Start by Martha Rose Shulman.


    Parenting Teenagers

    Sunday, November 11, 2018

    My firstborn, Sam, is inching upon his 14th birthday.  He is becoming more and more independent, and parenting has become much more challenging for me.  His Dad and I divorced when he was four years old, so for the last decade, he has been through two new relationships in my life since his Dad and I split up.  He has adjusted through the changes so well, and always been a loving and supportive son.  As I parent, it is love and support that I most want Sam to feel from me, but the push-back that comes with adolescence is so challenging for me, that the end result of parenting doesn't feel so loving and supportive.  My life is my children, and it would be heartbreaking for me if I failed them as a parent.  And so I turn to parenting advice columns.


    I was reading the Top 10 Parenting Tips by Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. on Psychology Today this morning, and the one about identifying your child's strengths to build their self-confidence.  Today, Sam went to the shadow day at his highschool of choice, and looking around at the teenagers, I remembered how challenging it was to be self-confident in highschool.  When Sam thinks of home here with Adam, myself, and the girls, I want him to think of love and support.  And I want him to feel self-confident, knowing that he has someone that believes in him always.  And not matter what, through all the years, I have and always will be by his side.  x o, Karli


    The Magic of Johanna Wright

    Saturday, November 10, 2018
    I have been a long-time fan of the works of Johanna Wright, and will be purchasing from her this Christmas for gifts for the girls (shhh!).  Her work is absolute magic--she has the unique ability to bring the imaginative world to her work, and the colors are spectacular.  You can purchase her work through her Etsy shop or website.  Her site is also linked under Support Local Business on the right-hand sidebar of Beetles and Bees.

    "Colors in You" by Johanna Wright

    Description:

    “Into this new love, die
    your way begins
    on the other side
    become the sky
    take an axe to the prison wall,
    escape
    walk out like someone
    suddenly born into color
    do it now”

    Rumi

    Groves of Aspen Trees

    Friday, November 09, 2018
    I had never been to Central Oregon before during the fall season, and oh, my was it a treat. Quaking aspen trees everywhere, growing in groves, with bright yellow leaves and smooth, white bark. Perfectly stunning. I've always dreamed of having a grove of Quaking aspen trees in my backyard, but unfortunately, we already have a lot of trees on our lot. Did you know that they are native to Oregon? One of my favorite trees in the Willamette Valley and beyond.

    Black Butte Ranch, Central Oregon
    "Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let's not be afraid to receive each day's surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity."  -- Henri Nouwen

    Time For A Change

    Thursday, November 08, 2018
    Detroit Dam in Central Oregon
    It was a hard pill to swallow, but I had it coming after having our Australian parents here, many nights of eating out, and one two many pints of microbrew: I am heavier now than I have ever been without being pregnant.  At nearly 42, I take my health and weight seriously, and right now, my BMI is too high.  In addition, I haven't been feeling very good, and my energy has been low.  So, today marks the first day of going alcohol-free (I take two to three month breaks from time to time), with a new goal of joining the gym up the road with Adam.  Looking forward to a fresh start today, November 8th. 

    Post-Midterm Election Day

    Wednesday, November 07, 2018
    For the first time in two years, I feel hope.  HOPE.  Since 2015, when Trump gained momentum, I began to have a sick feeling inside that I haven't been able to shake.  Yesterday, however, proved for the first time since Trump took office that if we work together, we can achieve anything.  With the Democrats taking the House, and so many amazing firsts, not to mention we managed to flip formerly red districts, I am left with hope and an awakening in my heart to get to work and FIGHT for what I believe in.  Beto O'Rourke almost flipped TEXAS.  People are stepping up, amazing candidates have emerged, and if we rally together, strategize properly, and TAKE ACTION, we can do this.  P.S.  Back to Beto O'Rourke, though--I hope he runs for President.  P.S.S. He does not accept a dime from Political Action Committees (PAC funds).  P.S.S.S. He's the real deal.



    And because she can say it so much better than I ever could:

    "Thank you to every single one of you who made your voice heard, volunteered, and reached out to your neighbors.  You proved that we have the power to change this country--and that every single vote counts.  Now it's up to us to keep building this movement.  We've only just begun . . ."  --Michelle Obama

    VOTE!

    Tuesday, November 06, 2018
    Imagine this little bird tweeting "Vote! Vote! Vote!" 


    So much is at stake--we must allow our voices to be heard.  We have to.  For the birds, the bees, our children, our country.  The time is now.  We need change.  We need new leadership.  Take action!  Please vote.  x o, Karli

    Family Hike in a Scottish Garden

    Monday, November 05, 2018

    Today we all went on a crisp, November hike around the property of The Garden of Elk Rock at the Bishop's Close.  It's a beautiful, peaceful spot, and just right for an hour-long hike.  We get to look across the Willamette River to the city in which we live, and the views of Elk Rock Island and Mt. Hood are lovely.  There are several benches to rest along the way, and a little pond with water lilies, goldfish, and salamanders.


    I used to escape here at times in my life when I needed to think, needed to find a place where I was unlikely to run into anyone else.  Not many people know about this place, and it's so beautiful.  Willamette Week published an article about The Garden of Elk Rock awhile back, likening it to the beauty of the Japanese Garden.  It's free and open to the public from 8-5PM daily.


    The beauty of this nearly 100-year old garden is unmatched, and to have been given accessibility by the Kerr family's donation to the Episcopal Bishop of Oregon in the late 1950s is nothing short of a gift.

     
    Never having been to Scotland, I like to imagine when I come here that I'm the owner of this Scottish manor, with my own private gardener, and that I come from old money.


    Walking along the cliffs with magnificent views, it is easy to recognize the beauty of where we live here in the Pacific Northwest, a place full of so much natural beauty.


    Looking out across the Willamette River from the Elk Rock Cliffs, you can see Mt. Hood in the distance.


    An old wooden bench surrounded by licorice ferns--a quiet place to sit and be still.


    The purple-coated sisters look down a path with an old, iron railing.  The afternoon sun is closer to setting in the west now than it was rising in the east hours before.  The days get dark now around 5PM.


    Adam, standing on the edge of the cliff, looking down at Elk Rock Island.  Oregon Grape grows between us.


    It's the purple-coated sisters again!  They insist their coats are actually very different, because I don't think the littlest sister wants to admit that she wanted a winter coat just like her big sister's.


    Juniper, at 10 years old, has great appreciation for this big, old cedar tree.  She asked, "How old do you think this tree is, Mommy?"


    While the littlest sister, Amelia, at 7 years old, admires a big magnolia leaf.  The wonders of the natural world can bring joy no matter what your age or walk of life.  We hope you'll visit this garden sometime.  It's a special place to be.  x o, Karli
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