Watching the Michael Cohen Hearing

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

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

Winter Remains

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

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

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

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep

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

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

Taking It Easy on Mondays

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

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

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

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

Spring Is Just Around the Corner, Right?

Sunday, February 24, 2019

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

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

Work Cited:

Why Global Warming Can Mean Harsher Winter Weather. (n.d.). Retrieved February 27, 2019, from

Flashback to Summer of 2013 in February

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

New Vintage Shelf

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

Pretty Great Kids

Thursday, February 21, 2019
Let me introduce you, once again, to my three pretty great kids, Sam, Juniper, and Amelia:

We met my Mom for dinner tonight at Pastini's to celebrate Sam's 14th birthday, albeit belatedly, with her.  Sam received the last few "peripherals" for his computer that he asked for, as well as some more birthday money.  Save, Sam, save!


Wednesday, February 20, 2019
We adopted Pepper the summer of 2013 from the Oregon Humane Society.  We had originally come in for her sister, a calico, but she wasn't well when we arrived, so we kind of looked around at the other siblings from her litter (a black and white female, and 2 orange tabby males), then left for the evening.  The black and white one, however, had kept reaching out to Sam through the cage, and the woman who was showing us the kittens commented on what nice temperaments black and white cats have, not to mention being very bright.  Long story short, I came back later that night for Pepper, and the kids were absolutely thrilled.  She will be six years old this April, and here is a recent picture of her:

And, of course, the picture from the day I surprised the kids with her:

And a picture of Pepper sitting in the sun as a kitten.  We love you, Pepper!  P.S.  We are getting a puppy in two and a half months, so your life will be even more exciting than it already is!

x o, Karli

Wellness and Self-Care

Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Prioritizing self-care lately has taken many forms and opened many doors to wellness.  I now have regular acupuncture, massage, cognitive behavioral therapy, integrative therapy, and looking into yoga and fitness.  

During my massages lately, I have been receiving cupping therapy, which stimulates blood flow, which can lead to many forms of healing.  The path to wellness and healing helps us live our best life today.  What forms of self-care are you integrating into your life?


Monday, February 18, 2019
"'If only there could be an invention," I said impulsively, "that bottled up a memory, like scent.  And it never faded, and it never got stale.  And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again' (du Maurier, 2008, p. 39)

Rebecca is beautifully written from cover to cover.  A gothic novel, the story of romance is laced with the sinister, horror, and tragedy.  It is easy to imagine yourself walking with the nameless narrator through the gardens of Manderley, as well as along the rocky cliffs near the shore.  The creepy Mrs. Danvers is eerie in the way she slinks behind curtains, leaving the impression that she could be watching the second Mrs. de Winter's every move, preserving corridors of the east wing of Manderley as if the dead were still among the living.  The novel takes twists and turns quite unexpected, and in places is hard to put down.  A tale of jealousy and obsession that is oddly rewarded in the end, I would highly recommend curling up with it on one of these rainy winter evenings!  It also sparked an interesting discussion at book-club!  Definitely one to add to your list on Goodreads!  I was surprised I hadn't read it when studying English literature in college!

Work Cited:
Maurier, D. D. (2008). Rebecca. New York: Harpercollins. 

The Battle Over Screen Time

Sunday, February 17, 2019
Parenting these days is a little different than when I was a kid and was called into dinner from playing outside.  These days, I'd give anything to have my kids choose to play outside over screens.  I found this article "One Good Reason You Shouldn't Use Screen Time as a Punishment" had helpful links to research by the American Academy of Pediatrics as well as a Media Plan tool.  Research shows that consistent limits after the age of six is most important.  We haven't been the best about that, but are working on a plan that everyone can stick to, utilizing a white board to organize time by family member.  There are many ideas online, and I plan to share how I implement ours once I do!  x o

My son's 14th birthday purchases, which is where he would like to spend all his free time.  We are going to a consistent plan we can all stick to with daily limits.

2019 Native Plant Sale at EMSWC

Saturday, February 16, 2019
I was working today, but Adam picked up the natives I ordered through East Multnomah Soil and Water Conversation's native plant sale at their offices in NE Portland.  You might remember that I picked up quite a lot of natives at last year's sale with Amelia. 

Not the most stylized photo, but a big thanks to Adam for dropping by to not only pick up the bare root natives, but a new free t-shirt for me as well (click here to see last year's t-shirt).   This year, we brought home four more Kinnikinnik plants for the slopes of our rain garden, three more Douglas Spireas for the rain garden, one Nootka Rose (not sure yet where I want to grow this one as it's a climber), and two more Redosier Dogwoods, because they are one of my favorites, and I don't think you can ever have enough.

EMSWCD is a beautiful place--I highly recommend signing up for one of their workshops or even stopping by their office to pick up information about native gardening.  They have a wealth of resources to help get you started!

Celebrating with Children

Friday, February 15, 2019
My own Mother was big on celebrations when we were growing up, and although I do not quite go to the extent she did, I try to make holidays special for them, teaching them the value of celebrating.  I thought this photo from Amelia's second-grade Valentine's Day party reflects the innocence of childhood, and how they really are like little sponges, soaking up all the love and life they can.  x o

Amelia, reading a Valentine and wearing a hat she picked up in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho this past summer

Happy Valentine's Day

Thursday, February 14, 2019
Adam took me out to a wine bar, and our favorite Cajun restaurant in Portland, Eat: An Oyster Bar.  Love is a choice we make every day, but it doesn't hurt to celebrate, and I'm a sucker for Valentine's Day anyway.  I like the chocolate, wine, and red roses.  Oh, and a little romance.  Pretty sure Adam doesn't mind those things, either.  x o, Karli

My Backyard Mid-Winter

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Halfway through winter over here, and after doing inspections today, I have found that none of my pots cracked as we had a mild winter, but the yard is starting to look atrocious!  It's right on that cusp before everything will bloom, but there are weeds and branches everywhere with dead leaves and old growth left behind from last year to help add organic material to our clay soil.  All the plants must be looked at carefully, one by one, some of them need pruning, all must be marked and labeled, cleaned up, mulched, and we need to order more filbert shells for pathways, not to mention Montana cobble for our rain garden.  The squirrels have dug up some plants, so there are a few losses, and this year I need to mark everything so I can figure out exactly what I had so I know when something doesn't come back and determine whether or not it is worth replacing.  So much work to do, so little time.

The Right (Or At Least A Better) Direction

Tuesday, February 12, 2019
I saw a psychologist this morning that specializes in panic disorder, and guess what? turns out it's treatable, so we're going to conquer the panic together this year.  The thought of living in a different way, without the panic, is almost something I can't imagine, because I can't remember a time when I lived without it.  I've lived with panic disorder for over twenty years, and am only now finding help, but you know what, it's never too late!  For the first time in my life, I feel hopeful.  I found someone who helped me believe for the first time that I can beat this, that it's treatable.  Can't tell you what that means to me.  The thought of my kids remembering me differently from the person I am today is what will keep me going this year as one by one I face those old demons that have plagued me for so long.  I guess I just got desperate, and I'm needing something more . . . there's something else I'm searching for . . . and I still haven't found what I'm looking for, but I think I'm heading in the right (or at least a better) direction. 

From "Shallow"

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

I'm falling
In all the good times I find myself
Longin' for change
And in the bad times I fear myself

Written by: Andrew Wyatt, Anthony Rossomando, Mark Ronson, Stefani Germanotta

Tracing Time

Monday, February 11, 2019
Just over two years ago, Sam was eleven, and looked so much younger than he does now.  The kids asked me the other day if I wish they would stay little forever, and I can't honestly say that I wish they would, as I remember how exciting it was to grow up and gain more and more independence from my parents.  Of course, at times I do miss when they were little, but I am also excited for their future.  Here's a pic of Sam, just after he landed in Australia in October of 2016:

Sam in Brighton-Le Sands, NSW, Australia in October, 2016
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.  There's this thing called hormones, and the changes in just over two years are amazing.  But no matter what, he'll always be my little boy.  x o

Sam at Timberline Lodge in February, 2019, just 28 months after the first picture was taken.
And now, how about we crank up a little Bowie to commemorate the changes of my growing boy.  Sam, if you're reading this some day, just know how much your old Mommy loved you, even if the posts embarrass you a little.  x o , Mommy

"Time may change me / But I can't trace time" --Bowie

Happy 14th Birthday, Sam!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

And just like that, I have a fourteen year old!  Today was Sam's birthday, and we gathered all our winter gear and piled into the Subaru for a day trip to Mount Hood.  We stopped in at Timberline Lodge for drinks, had pizza for lunch at Ratskeller's in Government Camp, then spent the rest of the afternoon tubing at Ski Bowl.  What a fun day it was, and it all ended at home with a chocolate tarte, homemade by Adam. 

At 9lbs. 13oz., Sam was born with big feet.  Like a puppy with large paws, I always knew he'd tower over me one day!  The years are flying by, but I am so proud of the young man he is becoming.  Love him so much!

A Special Announcement

Saturday, February 09, 2019

After a couple of year's of thought and planning, and in lieu of recent events, it has become clear to us that the time has arrived for us to add a new member to family . . .

We are so excited!  Mama is due with the litter March 8th, and we will bring it up from Southern California in mid-May. We are currently preparing by reading books, doing research, and getting our house ready for this special puppy.  I haven't had a dog since I was a kid, and my own kids have never had a dog of their own.  We are looking forward to training the puppy, taking it to classes, and maybe even showing him/her. Stay tuned for lots more info to come in the weeks/months ahead! We might not get it all right the first time, but look forward to learning from others and sharing our journey with our whippet with you.  If you have any blogs or sites that you recommend for learning more about the whippet breed, don't hesitate to share what you know with us!

x o, Karli

The Last Two Weeks

Friday, February 08, 2019
It's been two weeks since my last post, but nine of those fourteen days, I was at work.  I've been at work a lot.  This might have been a good thing, as I was actually going through quite a lot, and being at work was a distraction from the fear, anxiety, and pain.  Infertility is so painful.  Our last month of trying with fertility medications did not lead to a conception, and I am very sad that Adam and I are unable to have a child together.  In addition, I had a medical scare that led to some additional testing that has resulted positively, but it's been a hard couple of weeks, and I think it would have been a significant challenge in terms of working that many shifts in so many days, but I've had to process and cope with so much more.

But, here I am, back again in this space.  It's supposed to snow a lot over the next week, and I don't have to work again for the next seven days, so I'm looking forward to nothing but relaxing, time with Adam and the kids, celebrating Sam's fourteenth birthday, and moving into a better space physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Look for a big announcement on Beetles and Bees tomorrow!  x o, Karli
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