Archive for November, 2004

Rising Dark

I have been having trouble enjoying the outdoors lately. I wake up in the half-dark and get MrF ready for preschool. This involves looking out the window while he eats Lucky Charms and I eat Trader Joes granola. The cats miaow to get let out and then balk as I open the door to a blast of cold and wet. They fluff their fur up and step out – taking eat step twice as if to wince at the wet deck underpaw.

Finally, its light as we drive to preschool and gather in the playground for outdoor time. Its always wet but we prevail because Its Good For Kids to Play Outside. We drag the wagon full of towels from the school to the playground and wipe down all the playground equipment. After the parks ppl noticed us doing this a lot they drilled holes in the seats of the swings and base of the slide so the water drains rather than pools but they are still wet all over.

So, we dry the stuff off and then shiver with our hands in our pockets, squinting at the bright grey sky, and sharing how tired we all are. But its tired in a good way. Of having no reason to push at doing things. Of just being warm and comfortable all day rather than Hiking and Halling and gardening all day. There’s a time of retreat.

After school its noontime and the afternoon closes in on us. When he wakes up from nap its already dark and he asks “is it nightime now?” and I persuade him it isn’t sort of. But it is.

And then we wallow in library books from the Seattle Public Library and watch TV and make lego robots for ages and look out the window at the wet dogs going after-work walking and the way the trees are leafless, mostly.

Actually, I guess have been enjoying the outdoors a great deal lately – just from inside the house.

entertaining visitors

I’ve been entertaining visitors for over a week. They are my in-laws, and they visit twice a year: spring and Thanksgiving. I try and give them at least one new thing to do every time they visit, otherwise they look like they might be getting bored. It’s not always easy to figure out what they might like, because the husband and I live our lives the same, day in and day out. I think I did a good job this year:

I introduced the dad-in-law to Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park. How have we lived here for four years and failed to visit this park? Mostly, I blame Kelsey Creek Park which is my Park Of Choice. It’s closer to our house than Cougar Mountain, and there are always the animals to look at. Cougar Mountain was beautiful, although the trail was quite muddy in some places. Some trees had completely lost their leaves, but others were still wearing a coat. There was moss everywhere. We did a short 2-mile hike and called it good. We grabbed a trail map at the park, and that will hopefully give dad some future plans.

I finally remembered about Twenty-five for $25 (which ends on Tuesday by the way), so for the farewell dinner, we went to Yarrow Bay Grill. I did this for two reasons: one was that it was on the eastside (shorter commute for us), and the other was the review on the website mentioned a Kobe Beef Pot Roast which I thought the husband would particularly enjoy. He said it was the best pot roast he’d ever had, so now I’m in good with the entire family.

Nutcracker

I went to the opening night performance of the Nutcracker last evening at McCaw Hall and must say it was beautifully done. The show runs until December 28th and it is definitely worth getting dressed up for. The members of the Pacific Northwest Ballet really bring to life the childhood story and put a virtual bow on this holiday season.
Pacific Northwest Ballet

Cabs!

Upon moving to Seattle, I was glad to see that we had about 10 cabs or so that are currently going to and from to pick us up and take us where we want to be. As a car owner, I’ve found that its often just easier to cab it or bus it to wherever unless I really want to pay 15 dollars downtown to park. I took a Yellow Cab to McCaw Hall last night and the driver let me off at the Sonic’s Game. This was not my destination. After my evening it was time to head back to the hill and my friend and I needed another cab. A cab picked us up that we had never seen before. North End Taxi. Our driver (J.D.) was one of the neatest guys I’ve ever had the pleasure of riding with and I will definitely call them again. He was nice enough to give me his cell phone number so he could be the one to pick me up when I needed a ride home from dinner. (We ate at Julia’s, I recommend it!) So if you’re in the northern part of Seattle like me (U-district), I recommend that you try and give North End taxi a call; it was a really pleasant experience for once! (206.363.3333 or 425.775.9999)

All you gotta do is swing your hips…

Ah, the lovely booths of flowers and fruits…the great Market Spice store…Pirosky Pirosky around the block. Nothing really beats Pike Place Market…any day of the week. From the times I have been there, I am starting to realize that our street performers are more like permanent additions to the ambiance that we call the market. pikeguitarman.jpg I just happened to be walking by and got to see a little harmonica/guitar/hula hoop action. I recommend that we all throw a little bit of love in his boot.

Noone ever comes out…

At Pike Place Market on the ever festive day after Thanksgiving, I was monitoring the space toilet from afar. I noticed that people keep going in…but noone ever seems to come out. Has anyone else noticed this…phenomena? spacetoliet.JPG

Plants: Space and Desire

I know this entry is unseasonal but as I sit at breakfast the bare garden looms at me. Its wet today. Bleak with leaves stuck to the fence, beds waiting to grow weeds in spring, bare patches and overgrown lilac.

You see, this wasn’t a problem when we were DINKs and lived in an apartment on Capitol Hill, but now that we have a house and yard and kid there is this thing called a garden outside. If I do nothing the bare earth does more, as if to balance out my inactivity. The more emptiness you leave (even artful emptiness with grey stones) the more it becomes a mess in a month. The answer is to fill the ground in with plants and let them do the work of fighting weeds.

Now, if anyone has ever visited our good local nurseries – Swanson’s, City People’s, Molbaks or Wells Medina (oh hallowed ground among gardeners with $$) you’ll see that plants are pricey. It would take thousands of dollars to fill our bald spots with anything larger than a head of broccoli.

Then there is Flower World USA near Woodinville (once referred to as the Walmart of nurseries). You can get a lot more for your money here, but like Costco or Walmart you also spend a lot to get a lot. Still, when I need something that isn’t too particular, I go here. There’s even a petting zoo where the kids and non-gardening spouse can frolic by the fake-lake.

For trees, especially larger trees, on a budget. I like Olympic Nursery which specializes in trees. They have big trees, decent sales and a good range. The trees are a lot bigger than the ones you get at neighbourhood nurseries.

My latest discovery has been Gardenweb. Gardenweb has discussion groups for gardeners including a local network. There are also plant exchanges where people make trades (your brugmansia for my um, oops, I don’t have any plants yet) and donations to new gardeners. Also, spread through the year there are plant swap meets where gardeners in the region gather with their trunks full of plants and swap or donate them to others with space and desire.

If you watch the plant exchange list the dates and times are posted. There is one “Green Elephant Trade” coming up in spring.

Oh, must make some more waffles… breakfast… and its Thanksgiving so I’d better..

And pumpkin pie too …

One of my boyfriend’s co-workers mentioned that he remembered seeing vegan pumpkin pies at Madison Market last Thanksgiving, so I walked over there this morning to find out if they were available again this year — and indeed they were. Madison Market gets the pies from Flying Apron, a small mostly vegan, mostly organic bakery in the U District. Although the pie is beautiful, I’m still a little dubious about how it’s going to taste (especially since it’s also wheat free). I’ve tried making vegan versions of pumpkin pie before and they have always been a disappointment, but maybe Flying Apron knows something that I don’t. I’ll report back once we’ve tried the pie.

Rossi Wins Washington by 42 Votes

It seems (King5.Com is reporting) that Dino Rossi has won the Washington State Governor’s race by 42 votes. King County, where Gregoire gained 219 votes over the original count, was the last county to report in the recount, which began last week. Will there now be a second, hand recount? Forty two votes, after almost 3 million votes cast. Dino Rossi as Governor for at least 4 years. I say, get out the moisturizer and the eyeglasses and let the hand counting of paper ballots begin.

Maybe we’ll have a governor by Christmas.

Tofurky Day!

For the past few years, the boyfriend and I have gone to Caf

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