Category Archives: Uncategorized

Boy Carrying His Dog Through Flood Waters

Kindness Blog

We’re not going to be able to get this image out of our minds for a while.Heavy rains lashed the Philippines last month. According to the Atlantic, the rain was compounded by Tropical Storm Trami, resulting in some of the Philippines’ heaviest rains on record.

And then this photo happened.

Source: Huffington Post

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If the sights of a flood ravaged building had a musical backdrop, this could be the song.

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We found this abandoned dance hall, part of a riverside restaurant, on the banks of the Elbe river after the last big flood.
The hall is in Hohenwarthe near Magdeburg, Germany, Saxony-Anhalt. Maybe not only the water (from the 2013 flood) destroyed the beautiful architecture (built around 1900 I believe) but also the hate of the communism, who ruled this region for 40 years. In East Germany the joy to dance was called decadent…
I like to play on my guitar: this ol’ house …


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How Many Balloons Would it Take to Lift a House?

After stopping by my construction site this morning and learning that we had several serious snags and disconnections between our architect, the builders, and the local building department, I needed a little levity. Does lifting a house really need to be so complicated?

Not according to the Movato Real Estate Blog. They’ve actually figured out the exact number of helium balloons (the sort you can buy at any party supply store) it would take to lift a house based on average weight per square foot.

Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures

According to the interactive calculator you can find on their website, it would take roughly 77,646,000 balloons to lift my house. That’s a lot of hot air! By comparison, the White House would need a whopping 2,976,470,589 balloons. The one glitch I can see right off the bat – and they would be numerous – is how we could maintain the helium inside the balloons long enough for our crew to build up the foundation walls.

“Sorry, we had the house lifted and were all set to build the new foundation so your house would no longer endure any future flooding, but the darn helium escaped before could finish the job.”

Although our architect is full of it, unfortunately “it” doesn’t happen to be helium. Or ideas. Or time management proficiency. Or even accuracy, for that matter. So while the “lift” went off with nary a worry, the same can not be said for our architectural plans.

Upside to Downsizing: Why Temporary Housing Isn’t All Bad


Moving from a house to an apartment has a few unforeseen advantages.

1. Downsizing to an apartment required me to bring only the essentials. Not that much really. I realized how much extra stuff we’ve accumulated over the years. For example, those boxes collecting dust in my attic for the past 10 years are mostly just taking up space. If I haven’t had a need to rummage through them in a decade, chances are I could do without them permanently. Am I ever going to reread some paper I wrote in college? Not likely.

2. A smaller place really is a lot easier to keep clean.

3. I know where my children are and what they are doing at all times, not that I needed or wanted to do this, but they can no longer hide away up in their rooms for big chunks of time. Our family together time has vastly increased – for better or worse 🙂

4. Smaller grocery bills – with a lot less storage, I have to consider where I’m going to put everything.

5. We’re getting to know another neighborhood in our community that we would otherwise not have known much about. Every neighborhood has it’s own vibe and subculture.

6. My boys are getting exposed to an alternative housing option and are learning that there can be some fluidity in where you live and that’s ok. It’s not where you are, but who you’re with.