Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Melfi’s are on the move again!

Last Saturday we moved into our new house!  Things went very smoothly, well . . . almost!  The house has hardwoods under the carpet on the main level, so we came in Friday night to tear the carpet out.  The floors look great with the exception of the dining room which is some kind of ancient linoleum 🙂  Now we get to figure out what to do with the floor!!  I have uploaded pictures of the house to my website if you are interested . . .you can take a peek!  www.juliemelfiphotography.com/Pembrook.  Our new address is 9915 SW Pembrook Street, Tigard OR 97224.  New phone number:  503-639-3812.  Hopefully you will not have to change our address for a very LONG TIME!!!  The house was built in 1961 and it is a cute daylight ranch.  Cali loves the HUGE yard (& so do we!).  There is plenty of room for us to do all of the things we want to do . . plant a vegetable garden, compost bin – there is even room for a pool!  The house could use some remodeling, but for now, we are just going to enjoy being in a house again!

We have had some beautiful weather and Spring is definitely in the air!  I went downtown and took some pictures of the beautiful trees that were blooming.  I love Spring!!  It gives us hope that sunny days are on the way!  I hope eveyone is well . . I’d write more . . but I’m exhausted from unpacking 🙂  Enjoy the pretty pictures of Spring in Portland!  Click on the picture to see it larger!

Where did February go??

I just realized that it is the last week of the month and I haven’t posted in FOREVER!! I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my life 🙂 I’ve been applying for jobs, had a few interviews . . .still waiting for the right opportunity to appear! In the meantime, I’ve been wasting LOTS of time on facebook (it’s so easy to do!!). Let’s see. . . I’ve started running again! It’s slow going, but I’m starting to feel pretty good! Last week I was sick with a cold (thanks honey!) but today I was feeling better so went out for a run in the rain. Turns out, I got rid of all my rain clothes, so I got pretty wet! Oh well, at least I was out there!!

It’s been pretty quiet around the house- turns out that the dogs and cats just sleep ALL DAY and don’t really care to entertain me! I have been torturing them with the camera 😉 I think I am the only photographer that has all black animals to photograph! Let me tell you . . they are tough! Kevin suggested that I go out and buy a teddy bear and practice with that 😉 (A tan one, of course!) I just might do that!!

Kevin’s job is going well – he has been busy!! To0 busy to call and chat during the day (poor me!) Just another reason . . .I need a JOB!! I have WAY too much free time on my hands. You would think that I would accomplish alot, but it turns out . . I’m not quite as motivated when I’m not busy- it seems that I thrive on deadlines 😉

Kevin is currently on what we are calling “The World Tour”.  He is visiting some of the offices that do the Charter High Schools so he can see how they function and put together some business requirements for their new systems.  Today he flew to Minneapolis and drove 4 hours to Fergus Falls, Minnesota- it’s very close to the border of North Dakota and guess what . . it’s COLD!! Currently it is 17 degrees and “feels like 1”.   He will spend the day there tomorrow and then drive 4 hours BACK to Minneapolis, spend the night and fly to Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Wednesday. From there he will drive to Waukesha, Wisconsin and then drive back on Thursday so he can fly home on Friday. Whew . . makes me tired just thinking about it!  The sites are all remote and not close to an airport, so he has to take 6:00 am flights to make it to the site at a decent hour- he’s going to be exhausted by the time he gets back!

But it won’t end there! Next week he flies to Kansas City (via Denver) and drives to Manhattan, Kansas- then drives back to the airport and flies to Las Vegas and heads to Lake Havasu, Arizona- then back to Vegas and home again on Friday! Fun, huh? Unfortunately, he didn’t take a camera . . so there will be no photos to share 😦

We have been starting to look at houses and will see if we can get approved for a loan this week. The last time we bought a house we did a “no doc” loan- we just told them what we made and they believed us- ummm, they’re not doing those loans anymore – so we will have to show verifiable income. Luckily, Kevin is working in the same kind of job (business analyst) as he was at Nike, so we should be able to sway the underwriters in our favor (keep your fingers crossed).

We will probably have to spend about $300,000 on a house (and that’s cheap!!) The good news is, we are buying at a VERY good time and there are lots of houses to choose from. We have only seen a couple of houses that we have liked- we know what we want, so we are going to try to be patient . . .but Cali really wants a back yard!!

I’ll leave you with some photos of the kids . . .like I said, I’ve been torturing them 😉

Oh yeah, if you didn’t see the video I made for Kevin for our 10 year anniversary . . . here is the link!
http://animoto.com/play/s2b0lk3kvJoEB4X1LwWoiA?from=share

Happy 2009!!

I have started out the year with a bang!  Teaching yoga, writing an ebook and taking an art journaling class . . . I wonder why I have neglected to update the blog??  We had a wonderful holiday season!  It was so nice to be back in Portland and the snow made it even more memorable!  Bob (my youngest brother) came for Christmas with the kids and his girlfriend Teresa – I should have taken more pictures- but we were inside the whole time!  It was a nice, relaxing holiday 🙂

We spent New Years eve with two of our favorite people Ken & Candi and they got us hooked on Wii!!  We had a blast playing games and were worn out by the time the clock struck 12:00 to ring in the new year!  We’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to track down a Wii- and I finally found one on Tuesday!!   We can’t wait to have people over to play!!

Kevin has been getting busy at his new job and is finally getting in the groove of having a job again (I think).  The bummer is his 45 minute commute each way.  It was nice when his commute was just across the house 🙂  Even when he worked at Nike, it was a short commute, so this will take some getting used to! 

I have been teaching a 7:00 am class on Tuesdays and Thursdays – that means I have to get up at 5:30 am to do yoga!!  I am NOT a morning yogi . . .turns out, we don’t have many early birds at the studio either, so starting next week I will be teaching on Monday and Thursday at noon (that sounds MUCH better!!).

Not much else new to report!  Cali is going to be 10 years old on the 19th of this month.  It’s hard to believe that she is already 10!!  Most of the time she still acts like a playful little puppy but I can tell that the stairs in this townhouse are wearing on her; she doesn’t even come downstairs to say hello when I come home!  She stands at the top of the stairs and waits for me!!  She’s a smart girl and we are looking forward to finding a house so she can have a backyard again.  It’s really obvious that she is sick of being cooped up in a house- when we take her for her walks, she starts draggin’ when we get close to home and looks at me as if to say, “please don’t make me go back in there!”.  Poor baby!!  I have included a picture of her with her new favorite toy – papa always sends the best toys!  I’m sure it’s also because she knows it’s from papa!

Oh yeah!  The day after Cali celebrates her 10th birthday, Kevin and I will celebrate our 10 year anniversary!  Ten years sure flew by!  We are looking forward to many more wonderful years together 😉 

Happy New Year!!

It’s still snowing!

That’s what we say as we occassionally look out the window!  Local weather guy, Matt Zaffino said the Portland metro area hasn’t accumulated this much snow in the month of December since 1968.   (woohoo- lucky us!!)  As of Monday morning, 14 inches has accumulated in Portland, a record for this month. The all-time record in December is 18 inches.  

I am happy that we have snow instead of the freezing rain that they were calling for all day yesterday.  We were so surprised when we went out this morning- poor Cali was all the way up to her belly!   We have been trying to have Cali’s joyful appreciation for the snow- afterall, it is beautiful!  She can’t help but stick her nose deep into the snow and run around in happy circles!  She is always reminding us to savor the moment!

We put the chains on today and went to visit a kitty that I am taking care of – it was a fun adventure!  It was so nice to get out of the house!  Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have a reason to stay home; time to watch a few movies, catch up on some projects and start thinking about my goals for the new year – but geez, I like to have the option to go out! 

Great news!  I got a job teaching at a new yoga studio on 185th.  Poise Yoga Studio (http://www.poisestudio.com/ ) is opening on January 3rd and is offering 2 weeks of free classes.  I will be teaching Tuesday mornings at 7:00 am – I can’t wait!  It’s a beautiful studio and they offer a wide variety of classes from Kid’s Yoga to Pilates.  I teach my first class on January 6th – come and take a class!!  It’s the new year – is there a more perfect time to try something new??  Why not you??  Why not now??

I read something that got me thinking the other day . . . “Some people spend all their lives on a boring little island called the “Someday Isle.”  “Someday I’ll be happy.  Someday, I’ll hike in Nepal.  Someday I’ll build a log house.  Someday I’ll have a great adventure.”  Life is not a dress rehersal.  Life is here and it is now.  Reach out and seize it, you deserve it!”

I have lived on “Someday Isle” and  luckily, I voted myself off the island 🙂  One of the many things yoga  has taught me, is to live in the present moment.  No matter what has happened in the past, or what the future holds, all we have is this moment.  It’s easy to get caught up in worry- it’s estimated that 99 out of 100 things we worry about never come to pass.  What did you worry about a year ago?  How many of your biggest worries have actually come to pass?  Yoga helps me put life in perspective and it has changed the way I handle lifes little ups and downs –  That is why I LOVE YOGA!!!

Enjoy the photos . . .we had fun taking them!!

Let it snow (somewhere else!!)

It snowed on Sunday- I must say, we were excited for it- but now, I’m over it.  It snowed and then got really cold and icy- and the snow didn’t melt . . . it just made it impossible to get anywhere!  Tomorrow we are supposed to get MORE snow!!  The Melfi van is not what I would call an “all-weather” vehicle.    We went out Sunday around 10:00 am to visit some kitties and ended up walking up a little hill to the kitty house because our tires were spinning.  Santa: Can I please have a Subaru Forester????

Yesterday I got nervous because the weather started calling for snow all next week (what??)  This is the Portland Metro area- NOT THE MOUNTAINS!!!  Chains are in order- afterall, I have several kitties that I will be caring for over the next couple of weeks and I need to be able to drive to their houses!!  Here’s the funny thing . . . almost every year, it snows one or two days in Portland and then everyone runs out to buy chains and all of the stores run out.  Kevin and I always laugh and say . . . “they have been telling us all week we were going to get snow . . . why didn’t they get their chains before the snow came??”  Well- the laugh is on us- we didn’t have chains, ignored the weather reports and then scrambled to find chains for the minivan.  One guy actually laughed at Kevin when he called (jerk!). 

One of my cat sitting friends told me where she found some chains so first thing this morning I called and purchased a set over the phone 🙂  (whew!)  I ventured out onto the icy roads to go pick them up around noon.  “The roads are fine” – that’s what more than a few of my friends said – and they were almost right . . . most of the roads are fine- others are icy and I just happened to be lucky enough to find myself spinning my tires at a stop light- I was stuck for about 10 minutes!!  Finally I was able to back up enough to find dry pavement and begin moving forward again!  ARGGGHHH.

I am not a fan of icy roads.  Snow is fun as long as you don’t have to drive in it 🙂

Oh yeah, in case we haven’t told you- Kevin started his new job last Wednesday with a great company;  KC Distance Learning (a division of KinderCare) and he is slowly adjusting to coming out of retirement (don’t tell him I said that!).   I am still working on some yoga teaching opportunities and expanding my Pet Business.

I actually finished designing our Christmas cards yesterday . . . now I just need to get them printed and in the mail!  Can you believe that Christmas is next week?  Are you done with your shopping?  I’m NOT (stupid icy roads . . . )

Here are some pics from our winter wonderland . . . don’t forget to enjoy every moment!!

“It’s outside my boat” . . .

Sorry I have been neglecting my blog – maybe it’s because I’ve been spending too much time worrying about things that are “outside my boat”.   

I was going through some of the readings I have shared with my yoga students and I thought I would share this with you!  It’s one of my favorites, one of my very wise yoga teachers shared it with me!  Thanks Dolly!

It’s Outside My Boat

A man was interviewing the people involved in the rowing sports at the Olympics.  He began questioning them, wondering about how they handled things like strong currents, hot sun, pouring rain, nasty weather, competition, fatigue, etc.  They all responded with a similar and resounding “That’s outside my boat”.  They had been trained to control only what was inside their boat (their attitude and their focus) and let the rest go.

This story had a great impact on me.  Try though we might, we are unable to control things like the weather, our spouse, rude drivers, the economy, etc.  Now I often find myself in situations asking “is this inside my boat or outside my boat?”  Then I try to adjust my attitude accordingly!  If I’m out for a walk and the sky opens up in a torrential downpour, that’s outside my boat.  My getting pissy about the rain isn’t going to make it stop!

When you notice yourself getting tense or tweaked about something, take a huge, full, deep breath.  This will help get you fully embodied in the moment and more clear in what you’re feeling.  Then inquire, “is this inside my boat or outside my boat?”  If the answer is “outside”, then it takes discipline to channel the energy toward the only thing we can control, which is our attitude.  For me, this almost always involves finding gratitude (how lucky I am just to be alive and have two legs that work, how lucky we are to have the rain) and/or compassion (for the couple trying to hide under a jacket under a tree to avoid getting wet!)  Either way, through gratitude or compassion and breath, the shift of attention has switched from what we can’t control to what we can, which is our attitude.  Having the discipline to change our focus requires that we learn to let go.  It’s often easier to stay stuck in the blame game.  It’s easy to blame the rain for our bad mood, but in reality the external landscape has nothing to do with our own internal landscape.  Letting go asks us to step back calmly and figure out if the situation is something we can genuinely control or not, then acting from that with conscious choice.  Letting go of the need to control outside influences also brings us fully into the present moment.  Suddenly, we’re not wasting energy worrying about a future that hasn’t happened yet, or dwelling in a past that is long gone.

Wayne Dyer says, “You cannot always control what goes on outside, but you can always control what goes on inside.”  Life will likely continue to be challenging and our project is to be like the cyclone that derives its power from a calm center.  When we are able to focus simply on what’s inside our boat, we are then able to embrace the beautiful, perfect, messy unfolding of our life, just as it is!  Ask yourself if you want to be bitter or better, then alter your thinking to support that paradigm.

Remember, you are the captain of your own soul!  Your boat represents your life journey while the condition of the water and weather represent the challenges you face along the way.  There will be days of calm beauty followed by raging winds and and choppy currents.  Your attitudes and thoughts are the paddles that keep you moving forward and upright despite the external forces.  So, next time you feel challenged, ask yourself if it’s “outside you boat”.  If it is, then focus on what you’re in control of (what paddles you’ve got your hands wrapped around) and let the rest go!

Are you ready for some football??

We were- but unfortunately, we spent the day at the VA Hospital!  Kevin has been sick for about 3 weeks and today he was much worse, coughing like crazy and having trouble breathing . . . so, off to the doctor we went  (which is the hospital, because things like this ALWAYS happen on a Sunday!)  There weren’t too many people there when we arrived, “maybe this won’t be as bad as we thought” – WRONG!!  We were there for 3 1/2 hours.  We are happy to report that it is not bronchitis or pneumonia – apparently, you can have asthmatic symptoms from a cold- so they gave him an inhaler and some drugs.  Hopefully, he will be able to breathe and sleep (which means I will be able to sleep too!)

On another note . . .Just how many resumes do you need to send out to get a job?  Has anyone done that study?  I’d like to know, so I can relax a little and not feel like such a huge loser!  This week I put together a website for Dog Walking (www.outandaboutpetservices.com) but I haven’t quite finished it.  It feels harder to get motivated to start a new business when I don’t have the stability of my husbands NIKE salary to support us like I did the first time! 

I’m going to work part time for my friend Margie – she has a great store called Petutopia.  It will give me an opportunity to meet people and make a few dollars while I’m looking for a job and/or starting my new dog walking business.  Yesterday, I went and took some pictures for an event she had in the store and the local Pug rescue was there- I LOVE PUGS!!!  The Helvetia Winery was there doing a wine tasting, Rubi, a local animal massage therapist was there, and there was even a pet psychic!!  It was lots of fun- what could be better than hangin out and talking about dogs all day??? (I posted some cute pics from it!)

It has been raining for a few days and the trees are all starting to lose their beautiful fall leaves.  I took this picture this morning to show you the beautiful color- it’s been chilly, but I’m still not ready to wear socks!  🙂

All in all, it was a good weekend  . .  no pneumonia, the Chargers won, the Patriots won . . . life is good!!