Thursday, July 19, 2012

a westerly fold

An interesting thing happened a couple months back; Leif expressed some interest in starting a blog with me.  We finally went ahead and did it, although I have no idea what it will be about as I'm sure it will evolve over time.  But I do know that it will be a little bit of Leif: art, music, graphic design.  With a little bit (more) of me: wordy sentences, half-finished crafts, high caloric food.  Probably a little of us together: home-remodeling (When we buy a home of course, we aren't going to be remodeling any random person's house.  Unless, of course, you're offering to finance us remodeling your space because then hell yeah, there'll be some of that), city-exploring, Clio-loving, photography and hopefully some small business-starting.

A little something for everyone.

So I am going to bid adieu to The One Year Lease.  I hope you can come by and visit us at A Westerly Fold.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

real estate stalking

Life has been busier than usual these days, hence the stillness in these parts.
 Clio's squarely in the thick of a very clingy stage.
She is hot on my heels even when I am just going to the bathroom.
She is sleeping much better at night.  Yay!
But she still is rarely napping during the day.  Boo!
This all leaves very little time for much else.

We rarely ever let her watch television but right now Clio is watching
Les Animaux Amoureux 
while I finally get to finish my -now cold- coffee 
and look up real estate in Portland.

This is one of my favorite recent finds that also happens to be in our budget.
I think we can all agree that yellow houses are happy houses.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

getting excited or something like it anyway

Lately I've been in a funk.  I've been overwhelmed by the magnitude of the things that need to be done in prep for our move this summer.  My licensing, as it has turned out, is a huge pain in the ass that has become a serious time and money suck. Leif and I both need to finish our resumes and start sending them out to potential employers but every day it seems that task falls down on the list of things to accomplish.

Then of course there is this child.  This sweet, lovable, adorable and completely crazy-making child.

Currently -by "currently" I mean the last two weeks straight- there is a continuous ribbon of snot draining from her nose that makes her both extremely irritable and clingy and has changed her into an insomniac.  Oh, and then there is also the whole curiosity and cruising around things which means that there is rarely a moment for me to sit down and actually get any of the above mentioned things done.*

I've been seriously reconsidering trying to have another child.  Not because I don't love Clio so much that my love is straight busting out of my eyeballs like lasers. Rather it is because I just don't know that I am up to the task of raising another kid.  Maybe I am just lazy and I am finally coming to terms with that fact.

In spite of my decided lack of accomplishments in preparation for this move I am starting to get excited (and nervous) about it.  Work has been slow and so while I find it in bad taste to look for another job while I am at work and getting paid I do not find it in bad taste to look through real estate listings.  We all have our ethical standards, no?  Portland is full of funky neighborhoods and cool old houses and I get easily lost imagining where we could live and what I would do to renovate any particular abode.  Don't get me wrong I still have the ultimate fantasy of buying some land and starting a farm/wedding venue/B&B/survivalist community/cult/cheese factory/distillery.  Obviously I am joking about a couple of these- brides can be a bunch of mean jerks and no one likes beer in Portland.  But for now the more realistic goal is to find a place to settle that is actually in the city itself.  The land and the cult farm can wait for another couple of years until we can finishing convincing these folks to move and these people too (if they can envision themselves living outside the city).  Crazy isn't going anywhere for now so if you too would like to get in on the action let me know.

Speaking of real estate stalking have you ever seen the blog It's Great To Be Home? They flip houses.  I know, don't hate them- they seem like a nice couple and her hair is super cute.  Also there is not -that I can tell, anyway- a single slab of black granite countertop in any of their flipped houses.  A fact which for reasons I won't go into endears them to me.

Baby is sleeping now was sleeping for ten minutes...and I mean sleeping in between coughing fits which I assume is her just trying to get rid of all the snot running down the back of her throat.  Has anyone ever had any success with claritin for their infant?  Our pediatrician said we could give it a shot or just wait and see if this is a seasonal thing for her.  But I am leaning toward trying it out because I suspect she must be miserable with a constantly runny nose.  Girl needs to sleep and I need to get shit done.

Well, glad I ended this post with a nice mind-numbingly boring paragraph about claritin and snot.

*This begs the question, "Why are you writing this when you could just as easily be doing productive things like working on your resume?"  Don't be rude.  I do it because I am a procrastinator like every one else.

Edited to add: Melissa should come to the crazy farm too.  And my sister's family.  And my parents.  And all the rest of my friends.  I don't think that uprooting everyone's lives to come to Portland is too much to ask.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


To this soundtrack on repeat obsessively.

This lengthy but so far awesome book.

Park's Korean BBQ with Leif's parents

With my sister and her two girls.

This office space to work in, only with more comfortable chairs.
It'll be a long while before I can have the actual office but I can have the 
chandelier right now if I make one myself like this blogger did.

This photo of a very happy Clio.

This clever video to a beautiful song.

Monday, May 21, 2012

father's office

It is kind of unfair that Leif's office has cool toys and swingsets.  Mine only has germs and the smell of disinfectant. 

I think it is obvious who the loser is in this competition.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I have a fantasy of running away from city life, buying some acreage and starting a farm.  Chicken coops and an orchard and vegetable gardens.  Maybe a wedding venue for a couple months during the summer?

I've never had much of a green thumb.  In fact if the plants in our living room could talk at this very moment they would barely be able to rasp out a parched plea for water*.   Which is kind of why the idea of living on a farm is way out of the realm of intelligent ideas.  Still, it is a fantasy I carry right around in my heart next to the one I have about suddenly inheriting a large sum of money after the death of a distant, elderly and unknown relative.  And the one about being invited on stage during a rock concert to sing the chorus of a song and being so good that I get asked to be part of said band.

But since we are moving to Oregon in just a couple of months, where land is still relatively cheap, the farm has been a fantasy that I've been indulging in more of as of late.  My unrealistic aspirations aren't deterred any when people feed into them, which is just what Josh did when he sent me and Leif a link to a property thirty minutes outside of Portland that is for sale.

15 acres of farmland.    

1600sqft, four bedroom house.

Rolling green hills.

And are those lilacs fields I see? 
I'm getting light-headed.

For 299,900 dollars.  I'm not even joking a little.
Want to see what that gets you in my neighborhood in Los Angeles?
Nothing.  Not a single piece of property.  You would have to spend 350,000 to get a 2 bedroom, 1000sqft house on a lot that is 4000sqft.

I'm not crazy.  I know that realistically speaking 15 acres of farmland is not possible to work and maintain by two city mice with full-time jobs and no experience in growing anything but weeds.   But it does make me wonder about what is possible for us.  I feel like there are more opportunities to be had than just an 8-5 job and a house in the suburbs.

For now though, until I figure out just what is possible, I'll just keep daydreaming.

I'm curious, what are your daydreams?  Realistic or not when it comes to your ideal living situation?

* My guilty conscience got the best of me and during the writing of this post they actually got watered.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


This lady here is my mom, Beth.  Age indeterminate in this photo.  20something?

Look at all that dark hair.  Nice eyebrows Mom!  They are the same type of eyebrows I spend too much money on maintaining on myself each month.

Beth is one smart lady.  Super smart, actually.  She will kick your ass at any word game in existence, which is why I don't often play against her [read: I am a poor loser].
Beth bakes a mean apple pie.  Your apple pie is not as good as my mom's.  Sorry. Sometimes the truth hurts.
Beth is a master crafter.  She knitted the coolest hot air balloons for Clio's room. I'll have to share them here sometime.  She also makes jewelry that is pretty cool.
Beth is a great mom.  Love you mom.

This is my sister, Lisa.  She's a mom too.

She's probably the most patient person I've ever known.  She is a Special Ed teacher of 5-6 year olds.
Crazy patient and kind, people.
She loves her girls so much and is such a wonderful mom to them.  And her girls are the happiest, most well-behaved children I've ever met.

This Ginger Lady is my mom-in-law, Tricia.

She raised Leif.  He. Is. The. Very. Best. Human. On. The. Planet.  That simple fact right there makes her pretty awesome.
She makes gorgeous pottery.
She is super nice and kind.
I really lucked out with her as my mom-in-law.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

the desert

For our anniversary we went out to the desert this year.  
We kind of love us some desert.  

This is the third year in a row we've chosen to spend celebrating our marriage in one of the most inhospitable environments in all of California.

Usually we go to The Ace hotel in Palm Springs because it is the one time of year we can pretend that we are hipper than we really are.   They play good music at the pool (think; The Shins, Modest Mouse, Arcade Fire) and the sticky toffee pudding is abnormally good.
Although, I can't tell a lie, the major drawback from staying at that particular hotel is that it does come with its fair share of d-bags.  

This year it was booked solid.
It is almost as if they did not get the memo that it was our anniversary.

Instead we stayed in a pretty crappy hotel in Desert Hot Springs.  Admittedly I am a hotel snob.  I'm not ashamed of it though.  Generally hotels sick me out because I know that even the nice ones are still germ-laden bodily fluid-filled boxes of filth. 
The one we stayed at was particularly disgusting.  
But it was closer to Joshua Tree State Park, which was why we went out there this year.

It was beautiful and, ahem, deserted.  
Like, more beautiful than I thought was possible for a place that only receives 4.5inches of rain a year.  
The weather was cool (low 70s) and so we ended up hiking around for three hours while Clio spent a lot of time zonked out.