Sunday, October 20, 2013

Oh where has the summer gone

It seems like we blinked, and it's October.... We've had a lot going on in a very short few months. Our biggest project has been the house. We are working on various updates so that we can get it on the market. We've added a new roof, new paint -- inside and out, new flooring, etc.

And if that's not enough, my mom bought a house when she was here in June. Took her 45 days to close (seriously.... and that's a whole other irritating story), but when she closed on the house in early August we moved in. So June and July were spent packing up rooms, and painting, and painting, and painting.

And then came August.....

Kayleigh got a job teaching 5th grade in Lincoln City -- before she even graduated !!! (yay Kayleigh) So the 1st weekend of August, we moved her and Chris out of their house and into..... well, most of their stuff went into their friends' garage, and some of it got moved in my mom's new house. The plan is that she has an apartment in Lincoln City (on the coast, about 2 hours from Portland), to live there full time. Since Chris works 48 hours on and then several days off, he'll stay at his friends' house when he's working, and he'll go stay at the beach when he's not. Dream come true, right?? They're young....

So, until she could finish her current job, and rent an apartment at the coast, they stayed with us --- about a week. And then the next weekend, it was our turn....

We moved in/out the 2nd weekend of August. We had enough advanced notice that we had almost everything boxed and loaded into a POD. And then it was just one large truck load of furniture. We spent the next week trying to get everything organized, and the kitchen and bedroom unpacked. And trudging back and forth between houses, packing and moving what was left.

Then the next weekend we began our annual trip to the dunes to play in the sand! Before we decided to buy a new house, we had originally planned to buy an RV -- so we planned for a full week, something we hadn't been able to do for a few years. It was great!!! A whole week of relaxing and riding, and mostly great weather.

Ahhhh.......... we LOVE our time at the Dunes <3 p="">
And then we came back, and continued work on the house. We even managed to squeeze in a little Fun (a concert on the lawn at Edgefield -- a great distraction.)

And then it was labor day, which led to a mini-vacation to Banff, Alberta. Jaime flew to Calgary on Tuesday to attend a work-related conference in Banff, which is about2 hours drive from Calgary. Knowing it wasn't likely we'd ever again have the chance to visit Banff (and have someone else pay for 1/2 of it!!!), we decided I couldn't pass up the opportunity to tag along. So I flew up Tuesday afternoon, and we spent the remainder of the week in Banff.

As part of the conference, the accommodations included a room in a beautiful castle!!!

On our agenda -- a gondola ride with a stunning view of the city of Banff,
 a peak at Lake Louise,
shopping in downtown Banff,
great food, and a stop by the Calgary temple on our way to the airport.
The city of Banff is literally tucked down in a valley, nestled in the Canadian Rockies. It was so beautiful, I can only imagine it in its' winter glory.

We stayed in what can only be described as a castle. In fact, Jaime described it as stepping into Hogwarts!! It was absolutely enchanting....

We also treated ourselves to a gondola ride to get these great views of the city.

Jaime was treated to great weather during the conference, and then unfortunately the clouds and rain moved in. So, our views from the top of the mountain were a little limited, but magnificent nonetheless. For me, the best part was sing the turquoise river winding through the valley floor. We were even treated to an up close look at some of the natives.....

And we kept seeing these piles of rocks on the path to the very top observation area. Jaime's theory -- chipmunks :-)

The next day, when the weather was worse, we set out in search of Lake Louise. Again, stunning...... I just couldn't get over the clear, turquoise color. The lake is fed from the mountain glaciers, and apparently they contain some type of turquoise material that produces a type of glacier flour or silt that gives the river its' color. We managed to stick around long enough for the clouds to move so we could get a glimpse of the glacier. It's kinda hard to see, but we could actually see the turquoise color in the bottom layers of the glacier. And I don't know how long the river is that runs from the lake, but it managed to maintain the turquoise color.

There were signs all up and down the roads warning about the wildlife.... elk, moose, bears, oh my!!! And we actually got a peek at more of the natives.... a very large female elk in town as we were coming from the airport, and 2 more large female elks on the edge of town on our way out to the airport. We couldn't get over how big they were. And they say the elk are the most dangerous -- obviously due partly to their size.

And now it's October.......... seriously. And October brought Jaime's 50th birthday. Seriously !!! He got to pick where he wanted to go, and he picked Reno.

We visited the capitol (Carson City), and toured mining country in Virginia City

and, of course, if you're in Reno you HAVE to visit Lake Tahoe -- only 30-45 minutes away.

Again, we were treated to such magnificent beauty..........

And, as is our tradition, we made a stop at the Reno temple.

So I think we're staying in town for awhile. At least until next April....... And, if I have my way, our house will be on the market before then end of the month (yipee). And that's our next adventure ;-)

Monday, July 1, 2013


It's only July (wait, ONLY July 1st....) and my last post was just a month ago. But it's already been a busy summer. I was afraid if I didn't take a moment and catch up, I would get too far behind.

So let's see, after our camping trip, May was pretty quiet. And then came June.......... the first weekend in June, we helped (our youngest) Darci moved into her very own apartment .... ummm room. She found a 130 sq foot apartment (yes, I did actually type 130 sq feet) down in a very trendy area of North Portland. She lives in a very old (historic registry old) hotel that has been converted into apartments...ummm rooms.
She bought a loft bed (yes, very smart) from where else -- IKEA --- so she still has all that room underneath (that's Jaime standing up after he put it together for her) for......stuff.

Just not alot of headroom.......... But if you look closely, that bar that's kinda in the center of the pic, to the left of the window, right beneath the bedframe? That's her closet..... Seriously.

But wait til you see the kitchen...

So there's room up top for a microwave (which she now has, courtesy of her very awesome parents), she has a 2 burner hot plate on the left, mini-fridge in the middle, and a small bar sink on the right. Not long after she moved in, she posted an instagram pic of her colander in her sink, and the colander was bigger than the sink!!! Seriously.

Oh, and did I mention mini-fridge???
Need I say more? I need not.....

And to make the apartment (room) complete, her shower (closet) is down the hall. Yep, down.the.hall. I think it was literally a closet.

She's still working full time, and attending P.S.U. She doesn't have a car (and if she did, she would probably have to park it 2 blocks away), but she lives just a few short blocks from the street car. She gets to ride the street car everyday. 

But seriously, it's all hers. She's living on her own, and paying her way.  The ultimate in being grown up & independent. Truth be told, we're a little jealous of her adventure!!

So June was also spent working on our bedroom. Ok, to back up a little. We moved out of our bedroom and into our family room so that we could begin "updating" it. Updating = new window, paint closet doors, remove popcorn ceiling (grrr), re-texture entire room, remove carpet-replace with laminate flooring, replace trim. whew.......

Truth be told, I had actually been working on it for a few months. Finally found my motivation, and the room was finally finished the 2nd weekend of June.
I think this was what I was most excited about. We pulled off the tracks, doors & all, and I spray painted those ugly gold mirrored closet doors. yipee!!!

And these are the pics that Kayleigh took once the room was finished.

And this was once we got our bed moved back in (thank you Pinterest).

Kayleigh took the pics because we were headed down to Roseburg for the weekend. Our youngest Oregon niece graduated high school (woo hoo). We made it down Saturday evening in time for her graduation party. Got to spend a nice evening with nieces and a nephew that we don't get to see very often. Then Sunday was church and graduation. And then we were back on the road home.

Then on the 12th, my mom arrived for a brief visit. Part of that visit included a trip to eastern Oregon the very next weekend to see (our oldest) Kayleigh graduate with her bachelors in Education. Not only does she have a diploma -- she already has a job !!!! I know, right??? She interviewed at a school district on the Oregon coast, and they offered her a position as a 5th grade teacher. She's super excited!! She & Chris have wanted to move to the coast for several years now. 

It should be an interesting adventure! They are going to sell their townhouse in Sandy and rent a place on the coast. Chris works a 3 day continuous shift as a deputy medical examiner for Clackamas County. So, he'll spend 3 days here (staying in a bachelor pad with a friend) and 4 days on the coast with Kayleigh. They'll try this out for a couple of years and then decide if they want to try to move to the coast permanently (meaning Chris will have to relocate and find a new job -- maybe a transfer) or if they want to move back to this area (and Kayleigh would look for a job here).

Totally random photo ---- I took this on the way home from eastern Oregon. The horses kept poking their heads out of the trailer. At any moment I expected to see their lips flapping --- like in that commercial !!!!

So, Mom would up her trip (literally) by putting an offer in on a house here in Gresham. It's part of her retirement plan. The real estate market is such that we thought it would be a really good time for her to buy a house. Wait any longer, and the prices will just increase. Until she's able / ready to move here (about 1.5 to 2 years), we'll play landlords and rent it out for her.

We finished up June with all things related to purchasing a house......

And now we're into July, which will prove to be even busier. The plan - "update" 2 remaining bedrooms (see definition above), paint kitchen, replace flooring in family room, paint exterior, replace roof and garage door. Oh, and I think there's some yard work to be done too....... You see, we are trying to get our house on the market by the 1st of August. Call me crazy, but instead of downsizing (like so many empty nesters in similar situations) we've decided to up-size!! Actually, we're really concerned about staying in our neighborhood for even another 5 years.

The first stop in our journey / adventure -- once Mom closes on her house, we're moving in!!! We hope it will help us get our "updating" completed much quicker if we don't have to keep moving our stuff from one room to the other.

So you can see, there's sure to be another update before the end of summer :-) and before we know it..... christmas !!!!