27 December 2006
26 December 2006
On Sunday, we went to the San Diego at Seattle football game -- with Eric being one of very few Chargers fans in attendance. I was very impressed at the noise level--both high and low--that the crowd produced at the beginning of each play, depending on who had possession of the ball. Funny that the intimidating man with the shaved head and tattooed scalp who was cheering right in Eric's ear while the Seahawks were winning, suddenly disappeared when the Chargers took the lead in the last 25 seconds of the 4th quarter.
I hope you all had a great holiday season and are busy working on your new years resolutions!
18 December 2006
I hope to be getting down there to visit in a couple of weeks -- I cant' wait!
And for those of you who have been asking about our wet and windy status (and thank you for your concern!), Eric and I have fared just fine. We had no damage to our home, and we are one of the very lucky folks who never lost power in the whole ordeal. Earlier in the week we discovered a small leak in our roof, which we immediately patched up and have seen no problems since -- and with the 60+ mph winds and accompanying rain 36 hours later, I'd say we can safely say that our patch worked. Trees came down all around our neighborhood, including our immediate neighbor to the south, and all over town, small evergreen branches and twigs are still in the gutters and in the middle of the road -- as though someone decorated the streets themselves for the holiday season.
14 December 2006
13 December 2006
27 November 2006
14 November 2006
*make cards (birthdays, get wells, holidays)
*mend summer clothes
*complete finn's kennel application
*mop the floor
*quilting, scrapbooking and knitting
*add photos to blog
*install closet shelves
*reading…Desert Solitaire (almost done....next up is Angle of Repose)
*eating…lots of toast and not nearly enough veggies
*crafting…rediculously close to done with Jana's quilt, baby quilt also very close to done
Activities on deck:
*driving to Vancouver, BC first week in December
*having Thanksgiving at our house
*maybe going to San Diego for christmas -- not sure yet
26 October 2006
Finally got Eric in to see the Capitol Building. One of my project managers' sons is the Deputy Press Secretary for one of our senators, and he gave us a tour of the building, dropping us off at the the Senate gallery. Very interesting, and it was great to be there, but it also made me sad that a gallery that was once open to the public to come and listen to their elected officials debate the day's issues has become so restricted. We had to leave anything with a battery at the check-in station outside the senate chamber. I later learned that my aunt, who visited Washington DC with my mom and cousins shortly after we were there, had to leave her chapstick outside the White House while she toured there. A very sad state of affairs we have here, and I don't know what else there is to say about it. At least they let us take a picture outside the building...
We also went for a couple of lovely canoe outings. The morning air was crisp and the water was calm. I could get used to such a lifestyle...
Autumn is settling in over the Pacific Northwest. Regular temperatures are in the 50s now, and I haven't had to water an outdoor plant in about two weeks now. I have to get the bulbs planted before it gets much colder/wetter. Leaves are turning colors everywhere you look. Shades of not only red, orange and yellow, but shades of purple, peach, pink and one variety of Euonomus that is so bright, it nearly glows when sunlight hits it just right. Contrasted against those trees and shrubs that remain green all year, the colors are simply striking, and I am simply not good enough with words to describe them.
I feel as though I have been acutely more aware of this autumn than I have been before. Indeed, we have lived north of the California border for four autumns now, and I always thought fondly of the cooler months -- scarves, sweaters, and a mug of hot tea with a good book -- but I don't remember experiencing these events with as much delight as I have been feeling this year.
Mom and Dad just returned to Maryland from visiting us last weekend. It was their first trip out to see the house and to meet Finn. We all had a great time -- I know they think I keep moving farther away from them, and I hope they realize that it's not intentional. I truly miss being able to hop in the car and drive the two hours from Sacramento to Sunnyvale or Arnold and see them once every other week.
While they were here, we saw the Dead Sea Scroll exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. A fantastic, thought-provoking exhibit -- I highly recommend it, if it comes to a museum near you. And I thought Mom and Dad might be tired of museums and exhibits, having been to each and every Smithsonian building by now, some multiple times. We also just hung out at the house. Dad showed us some of the technical stuff of the house (him: "where's your winterizing spigot?" us: "the what now?"). And then there was our spontaneous crab dinner (mmmm...craaaaab)...
We took Finn to Marymoor dog park, where he swam and ran and generally wore himself out.
We also had lunch with Cousin Dorothy, who hadn't seen Mom and Dad in about 25 years. At 99, her sharpness of memory just blows me away. The picture here was taken at University Village, an outdoor mall near UW -- Dorothy told us about when it used to be a swamp, and then a dairy...
We're beginning to make progress on the house -- we painted the second bedroom a nice, warm olive green, with beige ceiling and white trim. It looks great, but now I am even more stressed about how to paint the remaining rooms (what if they don't "go"?).
[photo coming soon!]
All is well here in cloud city. How are you?
06 September 2006
Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Ray visited us in Seattle last weekend and introduced me to my second cousin, Dorothy, who is 99 years old, and sharp as a tack.
The garden has been fantastic -- we've been munching on more tomatoes than you can shake a stick at (four cherry varieties: red grape, green grape, sungold and yellow pear, as well as regular sized early girls), as well as green beans, corn, an artichoke, carrots, zuchini, and blueberries. We have a three-tiered fruit basket hanging in the kitchen right now. Throughout the summer it has held fruits and veggies from our own garden as well as pears, peaches, apples and garlic from co-worker's gardens. I love it!
And of course, a bunch of FinnFotos.
We took him on a hike up Mt. Pilchuck a few weeks ago -- he did spendidly on the 5.5 miles.
During our latest brew party, we found out that Finn loves soccer/basketball.
must. get. all. milk.
31 July 2006
*train with Finn
*mend Finn’s toys
*clean and organize the garage
*clean the house for houseguests this weekend
*quilting and scrapbooking
*laundry & ironing
*hang stuff on the walls
*reading…The Handmaids Tale
*eating…veggie whenever possible
*crafting…emily’s quilt, jana’s quilt, another baby quilt (all equally pressing, and all getting equally dusty), about 3,000,000 baby craft ideas for emily…is it a boy or a girl???
Activities on deck:
*CK & Ray coming to visit in September
*then we go to Baltimore later on in September
*arrange for puppy-sitting for said trip to Baltimore
We had a little picnic lunch before the park – our hidden camera caught Eric feeding Finn from the table!
Finn loved the tall grass at Marymoor -- the white tip of his tail makes the perfect locator system for when he’s bounding through it.
There was a great dane play "convention" there that Finn got immersed in (he had to jump to sniff them!). [Tangent: we get asked quite a lot if Finn is a dane puppy. But then, we get just as many people asking if he’s a beagle. Once a guy told me that Finn looked like a pit bull-lab mix. I told him no, he’s a boxer-border collie mix. The guy acted like no, I was wrong, he’s definitely a pit bull-lab. Whatever.]
My dog and me....
20 July 2006
WORK: I had a great work visit to southern Oregon last week. Public scoping meetings and site tour took me from Portland to Roseburg to Coos Bay to Medford to Klamath Falls. And I got to go on my very first helicopter ride! I think we should all travel by helicopter more often.
DOG/HUSBAND: We took Finn to Carkeek Park over the weekend for his first real trail hike, complete with streams and trees and a dirt trail. We also went back to Magnuson Dog Park and he ran ahead of us to the water, and went right in! He even fetched his tennis ball a few times in the waves.
He learns entirely too quickly. We’ve added hand motions to “sit” and “lie down,” which he picked up in about ten minutes flat. We’re also working on “[go] inside” and “off” as in, get off the kitchen counter. He seems to have rather selective hearing on these latter cues.
GARDEN: I took some artsy photos of the veggies – I’m addicted to the macro setting on the camera and love to take very close photos of everything.
09 July 2006
I'm writing from the road this evening. I'm in Portland for a meeting tomorrow, then on to a whole host of towns in southern Oregon. My room at the Downtown Waterfront Marriott overlooks the Willamette River (as one might expect), as well as Mt Hood and Mt St Helens peaking it's southern face over the hills to the north. Our flight weather was spectacular, we had crystal clear views of Mt Rainier (up close and personal), Mt Adams, Mt St Helens (the blown-out north face), and Mt Hood. I had forgotten how pointy Mt Hood is in comparison to the other peaks, which all have more rounded-off tops (save for St Helens, of course).
I had a lovely dinner with our dear friend Gail. She tells me that the garden that Eric and I planted at her house last year has self-sowed about 50 tomato plants, as well as some sunflowers.
05 July 2006
Finn went for his first swim on the 4th at Magnussen Park off-leash area (the dog park to beat all dog parks). Eric and I both waded in and called to him until his feet were paddling and he was swimming! He took to it quickly, but is still clearly unsure about the whole thing. I should mention that just about every dog in Seattle was trying to share the same 30 yards of beach, so it may have been the overwhelming number of dogs (and their owners calling them) that made him nervous, and not just the water itself. There were so many dogs, it’s amazing that the dogs seem to know which tennis ball is theirs.
Finn handled the fireworks just fine, except for the morons in our neighborhood who were setting them off from 12:30 to 1:00 this morning. None of us got a great night of sleep last night.
I remember celebrating the 4th of July as a kid with block parties and dressing up in redwhiteandblue, having water balloon tosses and putting on patriotic skits and songs with the neighborhood kids. As an adult, I celebrated by dressing up my my cowgirl hat, having a picnic with my best beloved and our pup, then having a backyard barbecue of steak (Eric) and salmon burger (me) and grilled corn.
We start obedience training this Sunday, and he has a puppy socialization “play date” on Saturday. Ugh, when did I turn into this yuppie-mother-person? Next thing, I’ll have a bumper sticker on the car that reads “My puppy is an Honor Roll Student at…”
And to give you an idea of what a “long dog” he is….
He also seems to be conditioning to the car... he hasn't been car sick for about three trips now, and seems to like having his head out a little.
30 June 2006
29 June 2006
But the puppy is well. He got his last set of parvovirus and distemper shots this week—meaning that we can take him to the park now! There’s supposed to be a great lakeside dog park not too far from our house: we’re planning on taking him there this weekend. Can’t wait. He gets along great with other dogs as long as he can interact with them. If they’re barking at him from behind a fence or even from inside a house, his fur stands on end and he gets skittish. Which means that even the tiniest, yappiest feeder dog will scare him, if it’s behind glass. If he can sniff the other dog and get close to him, then he’s good, even if the dog is huge and imposing.
His new shots also mean that we can enroll him in an obedience class! We have started some basic training, like Sit, Lie Down, Stay (he’s 80% on this one), Come, “Off” and I just started “Drop It”. We’re trying to teach him to sit at corners when we’re waiting to cross the street on walks, but I don’t know if he understands this or if he’s just sitting because he wants to while we’re standing there waiting. The biting continues, but the house breaking has made great strides in the last two weeks—there’s about a third of the amount of stuff in the house when we get home from work as there used to be. And incase anyone is keeping score, he weighed in at the vet at a whopping 29 pounds!
I was planning on riding my bike to work this morning, after dropping my stuff off with the vanpool (the plan being that I would grab my stuff from the van after it beat me to the office—riding with my laptop strapped to my back royally sucks). Usually I just carry whatever clothes I am going to wear at the office in my bag, but since I was dropping it off at the van, I could just throw my clothes and lunch in the van too! Catch up with all of it 90 minutes later. But wait. How am I going to get my computer bag and a big old canvas bag of clothes and lunch to the parked van all on my bike? I know! Eric can leave the house a bit early and drive me and my bike to the van. Perfect! Frantically load all of my bike/work/lunch stuff into Eric’s car. Eric drives to the parked van. Unload all my stuff onto the ground near the van. Point out the closest I-5 on-ramp for Eric and he’s on his way to work. Start loading my stuff into the van….done. Now, get on my bike and start riding to work. Hm. Something feels funny. Ack! My head is naked! My bike helmet is in Eric’s car! Nooooooooo!!!! Now I am stuck at the van, with 30 minutes before it’s time to go, with nothing to read. Oh well.
Get to the office, shower (feeling very dumb that I am showering at work after NOT having ridden my bike in). Realize that I forgot to bring socks. Nooooooooo!!!! Ended up wearing GAP khaki pants, sweater top and bright blue Keen sandals (VERY good thing that I work where I do—not terribly fashion savvy).
06 June 2006
We made some real progress over the weekend in terms of “settling in”. Most of the boxes are out of the house, the garage is under control, and we have pictures hanging on the walls. We’re in good shape now.
Finn continues to be an incredibly cute handful-and-a-half. Those puppy teeth sure are sharp! We built a fence for the “dog run” this weekend, as well as getting the front yard under control. We planted: Point Reyes Ceanothus, Meadow Sage, Atropupurea (Sedum), rock rose, Papaver somniferum, Helianthemum ‘Ben Nevis’ and ‘Wisley Primose’, two heathers: Erica cinera and Calluna vulgaris, a beach strawberry and a creeping chamomile. For a while, Finn had taken to pulling the hen & chick succulents out of the rock wall in the back yard and running around with them in his mouth. We saved about ten of them from his jaws and transplanted them to the front yard. He has taken to tearing through the vegetable garden, which seems to be doing fine, otherwise. I swear, he gets into the beds, turns around as if to say "Ha ha! Look where I am! Come and get me!" But he's training well. He does "sit", "lie down" and we're working on "stay" and "come". He gets "come" when he's interested, and he gets "stay" sometimes. But it's more like he understands the routine of sitting, then lying down, then waiting for us to walk away and then him joining us. He doesn't quite get the command part, just the timing. We've started to take him on regular, 'round the block walks -- he still has one round of vaccination shots to go, but we're uneasy with his being so sheltered, and besides, it tires him down right before bed. He's getting so big -- he's 16 pounds as of yesterday.
30 May 2006
That's the other thing we did over the weekend: bought $200 worth of plants for the back yard and started planting them. We have a gigantic Japanese maple that shades a good portion of the yard, so shade-tolerance is a must for these plants. So we went with regional natives: salal and sword fern. We also got several different plants for the rock wall in the front yard (the sick cottoneaster has to go). And a blueberry bush for me. Yay.
25 May 2006
17 May 2006
Yesterday I brought home an O-shaped rawhide toy, which he took to immediately (he doesn't like any of the toys that are rubbery-tasting or smelling (kong, rubber dumbell, tennis balls), just fuzzy or animal-part ones (squeaky plush alligator, bully bone, rawhide, rope toy). He usually chews his toys in silence, but he is very vocal when he plays with this rawhide O. He makes throaty sounds: not growling, not whining....just as though he were talking to it, or maybe telling me how much he likes it.
12 May 2006
I took him to the office this morning, where he was the star of the show. He was almost like one of those therapeutic animals you see on the evening news. Men, women, scientists and engineers, everyone loved him and wanted to pet him. The office manager (whom I rarely even see) held him three times, once on his chest has he leaned back in his executive chair. People I had never even seen in the office before came out of cubicles I didn’t even know were occupied to see him. He was friendly, if not tail-wagging thrilled, with everyone, but he seemed to go in short waves. He would wag his tail and trot along for a few minutes, giving kisses to people’s hands, then he would sort of “come down” and lie down, and fall fast asleep. He was everybody’s best friend from 9:30 to noon.
He follows at my heels at all times, to the point where I have to walk carefully so that my heels don’t hit his chin. He won’t go anywhere first, though he took to the office elevator faster than I was expecting. He was very mellow at the office, I had thought he was going to be wired or completely petrified and seeking a dark spot under the lobby couch. He likes his Bully Bone (dried bovine tendon, we think), his rope toy and the squeaky alligator Eric picked out, though his mouth isn’t quite big enough to activate the squeaker when he chews on it. He has the most beautiful dark grey and blue eyes and the tiniest freckles on his nose. He is not a fan of car rides, or of the manual lawnmower Eric and I intercepted from a co-worker’s dump run this evening. He likes the sound of air blowing across the top of a beer bottle (he does the classic puppy head tilt to this), and he is way cuter in person than he looks in his photos.
I think he’s going to be an awesome dog.
11 May 2006
Introducing Finn! Finn is our brand new puppy dog. We adopted him from a local puppy rescue organization. He’s two months old and is a Boxer/Border Collie Mix. He’s just the most adorable little guy. It was nearly impossible to choose just one of the three from his litter, we so wanted to take all three home with us. We love his little "mohawk" stripe and the freckles on his nose.
Now that we have the house moved into, the garden planted, and the dog adopted, we're just one happy family. Cheers!
08 May 2006
06 May 2006
01 May 2006
And another thing about Oklahoma is it's complete lack of topography. Not just flat, but eerily flat. I had a hard time getting my mind around how there was just nothing on the horizon. Not a mountain, not a rolling hill, nothing. It just goes and goes, making you feel strangely claustrophobic. Lisa described Oklahoma as being "so flat, you can watch your dog run away for three days".
(the view from our hotel room in OKC)
We missed the rehearsal itself (our role was to distribute long-stemmed white roses for the flower communion), but we caught up with the family in time for the rehearsal dinner, which featured apple fritters in lieu of bread and butter. Emma stole the show by trotting around the table and giggling after telling the waitress that to drink, she wanted "cake!" I didn't get to spend much time with her, but I'm glad I got to see her so soon after our trip to San Diego.
The Bachelor Party took Eric to a divy bowling alley that exclusively served Budweiser. Eric sought to go with the flow, and nearly gagged on it. But, playing under the assumed Okie name "Festus" (as selected by Colin), he tied one game and won another.
The Bachelorette Party took me to a cheezy, tropically themed restaurant, where we imbibed drinks called Beach Blanket Bingo and Toasty Almond. We proceeded to a house and played Bachelorette Party games. The eclectic group of women was almost out of a sitcom: the indie-music lover, the intellectual, the girly-girl, the comic book enthusiast, and me.
Due to persistant rain, lightening and thunder, the wedding was moved inside. Ironically, it was Oklahoma's weather that drew Lisa there in the first place.
The wedding was lovely--everyone was very elegant and the Unitarian ceremony was based more on love than religion. Emma was adorable in her emerald green flower girl dress, and clicky shoes that she adored. Eric looked sharp in his uniform--it didn't take me long to realize that I am now married to "the guy in the uniform" when it comes to events like this. I like it.
I think I have consumed more deep fried food in the last five days than I have over the course of the last five years. Apple fritters, mozzerella sticks (twice), flaquitas, jalepeno poppers, tater tots, etc. Nothin but celery and top ramen when we get back to Seattle.
After attending the gift opening brunch, we headed to Austin to visit Heather and Stephen. The weather cleared up nicely for the drive and we stopped at Cabella's in Fort Worth, which contained more examples of taxidermy than your average natural history museum. I felt compelled to call my parents and tell them this, and my dad reminded me that in 1976, he very seriously considered taking a job with Texas Instruments in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I spent some time over the rest of our trip considering what a different person I would be today if I had been raised in Texas. I like to think that Dad made the right choice. Thanks, Dad. I'll pick y'all out a right nice old folks home.
It seems that Texans must actually schedule time into their day for road rage. Like it's a pasttime or tradition that cannot be ignored. Football, cowboys and road rage. As Stephen put it, Texas hospitality is evident when Texans are outside of their cars. When they're inside their cars, you see the Texan hostility.
At the Texas Capitol Building.
We toured the capitol building by latching onto a high school field trip. We visited the Whole Foods flagship store and picniced on the shore of Town Lake, where we saw common grackles, a turtle, an assassin beetle, a crawfish and ducks. Later we dined at Trudy's, then rolled out of Trudy's to Cavender's Boot City, where I procured a cowgirl hat. Eric tried on a black Stetson, but just would not be convinced to buy it. We played a little dominoes before heading to bed.
We drove back to Oklahoma via Dallas. Eric wanted to see Dealey Plaza (where JFK was assassinated). We skipped the museum but checked out the grassy knoll, the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository and the JFK memorial. I did note though, at the door of the museum, was this sign:
You know you're in Texas when they have to tell you that you're not allowed to bring your concealed weapon into a building.
The drive back to OKC brought a lightening storm on the horizon, but we didn't get rained on too badly. Our flights were uneventful, save for a very rough landing in Denver. Initial touchdown had us only on the port side landing gear, then a bounce and hard thud down on all wheels. Wheeeee!
Back in Seattle, we're back to unpacking the remaining boxes. It was a great trip, I hope we never stop going to new places. Cheers.
26 April 2006
I took the Vanpool to work this morning. A built-in three mile walk to and from the pick-up spot will be good for me. I’ve gotten entirely too lazy as of late.
No sooner do we get to begin to unpack than we pack up again and head to OKC for Lisa and Colin’s wedding. I am looking forward to the trip—I have spent almost no time at all in the middle of our country. Also a side trip to Austin, to see Heather and Stephen. I was just perusing the road atlas and maybe I’ll try for a side trip to the side trip, just to get a photo of the city limit sign of Democrat, Texas.
22 April 2006
after participating in the March of Dimes Walk America event this morning, we picked up our new house keys! We've got the apartment mostly packed up, and tomorrow we collect Matt from the airport, the moving truck from the rental place, a couple of Eric's co-workers, Amy and Andrew, and we load up the truck. Then a pizza dinner, drive over to the house, and check it out. We drove by it again this morning -- the Japanese maple in the backyard has leafed out beautifully. I look forward to many lazy summer weekends under its canopy.