Matt and Joanne’s Page

April 30, 2010

New home sweet home

Filed under: Home, Random thoughts — joannestamplis @ 9:11 pm

We are now finally moved in and settling down again. My commute is 15mins and I love it. I love waking up at 7am and still get to work by 8am. And I love not having to deal with the highway rush hour traffic. Live if good. We’ll try to post pics of our new home soon but things are still a little messy here.

March 27, 2009

Matt Vs. Birds

Filed under: Home — Matt Stamplis @ 4:44 pm

So over the last years, birds have slowly found their way into our attic. Before our trip I remember hearing animals up there from time to time but it was never that big of a deal. Well, recently, it’s become a big deal. It sounds like there’s an entire flock up there, squeaking away. And I can hear some of them pecking away at the wood. Grrrr…that was the last straw.

After poking around outside, it became pretty obvious how the birds were getting in…

We have more than a dozen of these vents along the roof of our house. Upon closer inspection, I could see about 2/3 of them had holes in them, giving birds easy access. Judging by the poop streaks on the side of the house and the insulation on the ground, they were enjoying their new home.

Now I wanted to serve these birds with an eviction notice immediately but these vents are 20 feet off the ground so I needed a ladder. I’ll keep this short: Amazon had the best pricing by $100 but my ladder got back ordered. 6 weeks after ordering, I finally received the ladder (today). But they sent me the wrong ladder (way too short). Apparently, some other guy in Hillsboro had ordered a ladder and they had got them mixed up. They were clever enough to figure it out and came two hours later to give me the right ladder. Fortunately, the birds haven’t had any babies yet so I don’t feel too bad about kicking them out.

This ladder will take me anywhere…if I can work up the nerve to get on it. I’ve never been on a tall ladder before and maybe this is normal but this one is not particularly stable. I donned my climbing helmet, grabbed the staple gun (and camera) and slowly climbed up, the ladder trembling beneath my feet. The thought passed though my head that I’d feel more comfortable rock climbing without a rope. Well, somehow I managed to get up under the roof. I awkwardly snapped a picture and then sealed up the vent. Alright, just 9 more vents to go!

Here’s the finished job. It’s not really perfect but it should slow the birds down: it just needs to last until we sell this house.

February 16, 2009

Nothing much new…

Filed under: Home, Random thoughts — Matt Stamplis @ 9:52 am

As you might have guessed by the huge gap in posts, nothing new is going on here in Oregon. Yogi’s hair has grown out a little bit so that he no longer looks as…odd…

The weather has continued to be a bit strange this year – colder than usual with very little rain. It’s nice to have a winter without the constant rain we usually get but it would also be nice to have a little more snow up in the mountains! Meanwhile, we’re starting to get excited about Spring – looking forward to the longer days and more reasonable climbing conditions! Here’s a couple (two) pictures from the last month(!).

I think gingerbread houses are more of a Christmas thing but we made ours at the end of January!

This might be proof that we are going crazy inside the house. Joanne took the time to transform one of our old climbing ropes into this welcome mat. She got the idea off of the internet – I thought it looks pretty neat and it’s turned an old rope into a work of art!

December 23, 2008

Snow In Hillsboro

Filed under: Home — Tags: , , — Matt Stamplis @ 12:00 pm

I remember a post from a couple years ago where I got so excited by a few inches of snow in our backyard that I rolled all the snow up and dug out a little snow cave. Well, this year has been a bit crazier: I finally went out and measured the snow in our backyard…14 inches! (12/24 Update: A couple more inches fell early this morning!) Apparently Portland hasn’t seen this kind of snowfall in 40 years…woah!

Of course, the city isn’t really equipped to deal with this (minimal number of snow plows, no salt, etc.) so it’s been a bit crazy out on the road (chains required). We’ve mostly stayed near the house. Yesterday Joanne tried to get to work by taking the train to the bus station. But when she got to the bus station she learned her bus was stuck in snow an hour away and wasn’t going to arrive anytime soon. So we got to hang out at home all day!

Our home!

Piling up on the picnic table…

The best part has been the skiing: we’ve been able to get out and ski 4 or 5 times already. And there’s a nice trail through the woods just a block from our house. With all this snow it’s turned into the perfect cross-country ski route.

Yogi has two favorite places: the beach and anywhere with snow! So he’s been having a great time!

So we’ve had a bit of extra time indoors the last few days. Joanne was ambitious enough to reupholster one of our couches to add a splash of color to the room. I don’t have any “before” pictures but we bought this couch a few years ago for $30 or so: it was a dark green and had a broken arm (which Joanne fixed during the reupholstering).

How’s it look? And in case you don’t notice, those are roosters all over the couch. Yes…roosters…We sort of bought the fabric as a bit of a joke but we thought it turned out pretty well. So who knows what’s next? Rooster curtains? Rooster wall paper? In fact, Joanne already sewed roosters as patches onto a pair of my pants!


December 5, 2008


Filed under: Home, Random thoughts — Matt Stamplis @ 1:40 pm

Alright, it looks like my official job title is now “House Hubby”. Joanne’s bringing in the money and I hang out at home all day. It sounds easy but I’m discovering that a stay-at-home spouse has their work cut out for them. Besides doing the cooking, cleaning, laundry, job hunting, and dog-walking I don’t have a car so I ride my bike to buy groceries. It’s not particularly hard work for me but everything takes up time: from the time Joanne leaves in the morning till she comes home I seem to have my hands full. Who knew? So give your stay-at-home spouse some extra love tonight!

June 5, 2007

Our small house II

Filed under: Home, Random thoughts — joannestamplis @ 8:15 am

So I finally got the floor in the bathroom installed and tested to make sure the toilet is still functioning. It’s good :). I’m so proud of myself since this is my first task doing everything and learning on my own by looking up info online and asking advice from George. I have to take down the toilet bowl, cut the subfloor, trim the moldings, put down the vinyl floor (Matt helped a little here), chaulk the moldings and replace the toilet. Definitely think that if I’m to do the task again, I will make sure I have the right tool. I bought this handi-saw for $40 from home depot instead of getting a proper jigsaw for cutting the subfloor. Well, it’s really not that handy. I have to charge it for 4 hours each time for just 15 mins of cutting time so it took me 4 days to cut a small piece of subfloor to cover a 25 square feet room. Anyway, now that it’s done, it’s all good.

We cleaned out some clutters yesterday and getting the home ready for sale. We still have a long way to go because there are just so much clutters and junks in the house. We’ll do a home inspection this week to make sure there are no surprises when we put the house for sale. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for none…..

January 26, 2007

Webpage update

Filed under: Home — joannestamplis @ 8:56 am

Sorry if we keep changing our website layout. Matt came out with cool idea of map navigation. Click on ‘Oregon’ link and you’ll see what I mean. Unfortunately if you view the page with low resolution, this page will get messed up. WordPress doesn’t allow too much control on layout so we had to change around to see which one will work. I think the site is starting to look awesome and will be ready by the time we go on our long vacation :).

January 16, 2007


Filed under: Home — joannestamplis @ 9:01 pm

Welcome to Matt and Joanne’s page. This is the site we’ll use to document our life journey. Feel free to comment.

Our new site

Filed under: Home — joannestamplis @ 7:20 pm

Matt didn’t like our first website. He thought it was kinda dumb to have our webpage and weblog separated. One of my friend told me about this weblog so after checking it out, we decided to switch over. So you’ll notice we moved everything from the last website to here including all my weblogs. I like to keep them as a reminder of my thoughts.

Create a free website or blog at