Tag: home


Hold on to your hats and glasses:   We’re selling our house. And buying another! We lived in our home in CA for the 10 worst years of the housing market since the Depression. We knew that everything we did to make that house nicer was throwing money to the wind, since at one point our home was worth half what we paid for … Read More Mogul-ish.

Living in the Digital Age

These past few weeks have been filled with nostalgia and dust. Lots of dust. At the age of 93, my Grandma Betty has moved into an assisted living home. Her health is touch and go, her eyesight is bad, and sometimes, she just can’t remember to eat. For us grandkids, this is devastating. Grandma Betty has lived in the same house since the 1950s. … Read More Living in the Digital Age

Free Range Christmas Trees

“Let’s get a tree!” I said. Shea looked at me warily. “Same place as last year?” “No! For five bucks we can cut it down ourselves out in the woods. Just think of it, honey! A FREE RANGE Christmas tree!” Saturday we were out the door by 9:15 am. Saw? Check. Permit? Check. Rope? Check. Coat for Annie? Not so much. Although we didn’t … Read More Free Range Christmas Trees

Called to Less

Last weekend we met the coolest family camping. The kids met first, as kids will do in a campground. Kate and Ezra were a perfect match, two cuties in glasses laid out on a blanket playing with their dolls. Her younger brother Phoenix, and Annie, just a year apart, took to each other like fish and water. There was a dump truck involved, and lots of … Read More Called to Less

Oregon Trail, Part 2: The First Six Weeks

The first morning we were here, Shea went outside to get something from the trailer. Since we arrived before the moving truck, and all he had were flip-flops, that’s what he wore. Icy sidewalk + flip flops = We’re not in California anymore. That was only the first lesson Oregon taught us. Since then we’ve learned… …that there’s something to the old wives tale … Read More Oregon Trail, Part 2: The First Six Weeks


I want to tell you a story about how we tried to do the right thing and were told it wasn’t possible. We moved into our California home ten years ago this Halloween. For eight of those years, we have been upside down. For a while, in 2009 and 2010, we were more than $200,000 upside down. The money we spent on the house—every … Read More Shorting

We found one! ~ Jen

I do not believe in the jinx, but Shea does, so I couldn’t update the house-hunting story until escrow closed. And it just did so, woohoo! We have a house! The house-hunting trip to Oregon in July was grueling. It was the hottest week of the year, over 100 degrees each day. The sun goes down later up there, so the heat lasted strong … Read More We found one! ~ Jen

Buying and Selling

When Shea and I bought our current house, it was at the height of the real estate market in So Cal. We did what so many other folks did—we toured the Inland Empire on Saturdays, looking at models of homes still to be built. We entered our names into lotteries and huddled with hundreds of other people at 7 am, waiting to hear our … Read More Buying and Selling

Oregon Trail*

So remember this post last Fall? We were waiting for some for guidance around Shea’s job. Was he supposed to stay in his current position  where he was successful and respected, but missed working with people on a daily basis? Or should he go back to being an agent, where he got to work with people, and give up a promising career in leadership? … Read More Oregon Trail*

Quilting~ Jen

My mom sent me to sewing classes in the early 80s. It was during the Stretch and Sew movement, when all earth mothers made tons of t-shirts for their families, striped with contrasting solid color neck and arm bands. I rocked those things in my Dorothy Hamill haircut. I’m still not sure how I feel about threading a machine, but I did learn that … Read More Quilting~ Jen

Dryer Balls

Update: Aaron is getting a dog! The Angel for Aaron page raised $12,000 in seven days. Seven. It wasn’t just money that made that happen, so thanks to everyone who donated, prayed and shared. The dog won’t be in the house for another 12-18 months, but we’ll keep you posted. Two years ago Shea had enough State Farm points that we could get a … Read More Dryer Balls

Best Use of Cheap Vodka

Six weeks ago, I rolled into Albertson’s before gym class with Annie in tow and bought a $9 plastic gallon of vodka. The lady at the check-out processed my purchase in silence, but her eyebrows disappeared into her hairline. The girl bagging held the bottle up, shook her head and cut a look at the bagger in the next lane. It was 8:45 am … Read More Best Use of Cheap Vodka

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