Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Poppy Restaurant Review & Thoughts on Time

I love fine dining.  That's all there is to it.  Last night I was able to experience one of the nicest of fine dining.  Poppy Restaurant in Seattle is in the Capitol Hill District.  I hadn't been to Capitol Hill yet. I'd arrived early, it was still daylight, so I drove around for a good look see.  The homes and gardens are delicious (oh wait, that was the restaurant).  Okay,  I'm still savouring.  

Poppy's is run by Chef Jerry Traunfield.  He has a great track record, named James Beard's Best American Chef: Northwest & Hawaii in 2000 for his work as Executive Chef at the time at The Herbfarm in the Seattle area.  I knew walking in I could expect good things.  I was not disappointed.  Poppy serves food as thali, a presentation inspired by Indian food.  That means lots of little dishes.  It's not a series of appetizers.  It's an entire meal of 9 dishes plus naan, an Indian bread.  It wasn't Indian food with curry in everything either.  It had pea greens and saffron and spring herbs in season.  I ate things I'd only heard of before, like fiddle head ferns.  The fiddle heads were so interesting to look at for god's sake, and delightful on my tongue.  Earthy and rough and light (okay, so I'm not real good at descriptors - I'm working on it - but that's what it tasted like).  The egg-lemon soup complimented everything that came off my fork; the salmon in wine herb reduction, the croquette of I don't remember what (but damned good).  The place setting included silver chopsticks; I used the fork, I didn't want the meal in my lap.  My partner in crime was adept at chopsticks though, two points there.  The tandoor roasted pork had the most interesting, tasty olives with it...almost peppery.  Oh man, the smells coming from this platter (grinning - think cheshire cat).  Oh, oh the rubarb pickles.  I never would have thought, rubarb pickles.  I haven't eaten this slow in eons. Every bite was a mindful, melting explosion of newness.  This platter was heaven on the table.  I was a good girl and kept it down to one glass of wine that I nursed all evening.  Of course, I needed to drive home; mostly though, I didn't want the meal in my lap. Two points for me.

Tonight I'm back to pb&j and a diet Pepsi.  This must be to make me enjoy these great moments even more.

One topic of discussion over dinner was Daylight Savings Time and it's insidous part in ruining the economy.  Here government decides to change when our Daylight Savings Time goes into (and out of) effect by a whole two weeks - a year and a half later we are experiencing an economic meltdown.  It must be the clocks.  After looking into this theory I'm even more concerned to learn that some New Zealander is responsible for this melt-down by offering up the Daylight Savings Time ploy back in 1895.  This can only mean that the melt-down has been in the making for 114 years.  

Monday, April 27, 2009

Shouting nonsense

Last question of the day...why is it that people in the cities(homeless looking folks) tend to shout at no one?  I didn't hear this stuff in little ol' Janesville. It's seemed pretty "normal" when I lived in San Francisco and downtown in San Diego while I was there.  I heard it in Chicago and Milwaukee too.    

The woman was shouting to no one this afternoon.  She appeared to be shouting at a woman walking away.   I was concerned at what had just occurred, thinking I had missed an altercation.  I accidentally made eye-contact with the shouter and I witnessed the fear in her eyes.  It was then that I realized she was not shouting at the woman walking away.  She was just shouting.  The man shouting last Friday only shouted when someone was on his side of the street, on his block.  I can only imagine he feels better being the aggressor, all bark, rather than being bumped into for not being seen.

Lest we forget, there are people in need among us.

Breakfast at Stetson

Coming off the bus downtown each morning I am greeted by a marvelous display of hats.  This display makes me smile every morning.  Oh, to see any of these hats on a man, possibly in a trenchcoat, probably with a briefcase...takes me back to a time before I was even thought of.  The display is from some movie I've never seen.   These hats are the only time I wonder if I would rather be a man.  It would be just like me to wear one of these anyway.  Think Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's except rather than standing outside Tiffany's with her pastry and coffee, I'd be standing outside the Stetson store with my pastry and Starbucks.  Hmm, Breakfast at Stetson?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Private lullabyes

David Burgess played guitar last night in Seattle at the Nordstom recital hall.  His program was Brazilian Music.  David is a solo classical guitarist.  The music was enchanting, sassy, well played.  What I found most memorable, what I woke this morning thinking of, was his tuning. Between pieces, after he speaks of the next selection (each piece was a wonderful selection), he tunes his guitar.  Pretty normal stuff.  As David does it, I felt I was listening to private moments, private lullabyes that just made everything right.  They were short phrases, played softly, leading nowhere; right where a lullaby leads.

His link below...I read it and wonder if I didn't see some other guy...This is just for the clips.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bus Rides Early Morning

The bus downtown drives past some pretty heavy hitters in the retail world.  I love the window displays.  This one is Brooks Brothers.  Maybe it's the color I like and the cheeriness first thing in the morning.  Window shopping is a good thing.  There are plenty of windows to look at.  

While I still lived in Wisconsin I would drive down to Chicago for the day maybe once every year and a half.  One occassion it was my birthday, that week before Christmas.  Snow was in all the street gutters.  Everyone bundled in their coats and hats and gloves. All the window displays on State Street were worth standing in the cold biting wind to look at.  I spent hours in the Marshall Field's, after watching the Christmas Story in each of the windows.  The Store itself had qualities of a fine museum.  Just keep looking up.

My brother, the tour guide, took me into a furriers somewhere near Marshall's and told the attendant that we would be trying on some coats.  She was so helpful; she knew full well we weren't buying anything.  She could tell we didn't plan on pouring pig blood on anything either. We all relaxed into the shopping of it.  I spent my time feeling each of the furs, the heaviness of the coats, and the cool silk of the linings.   All three of us had a great time.  My brother tried on full lenght coats.  Men's fur coats are too gorgeous.  He looked damn good.  I have, in my lifetime then, worn a mink coat and a chinchilla jacket.  I probably wore some other animals too, I just can't remember which. (some I don't want to remember, snark!)

Every week day, early in the morning, the bus brings me into downtown.   The actual store in front of me as I get off the bus is a Stetson hat shop.  Some truly interesting windows there.  Maybe it's time to try on some hats.  I'll post that photo next week.  I'm sorry men don't wear hats the way they used to.

Hmmm, men's fur coats and fine hats...I may be living in the wrong era.  More probably, I've seen some fine costuming in the movies.  Thank goodness for the movies.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Snoqualmie Falls

 Camera in my phone wasn't too bad after all.  Here's the powerful and picturesque Snoqualmie Falls.  And loud.  It was very loud there listening to the pounding water.  It was pounding on itself as it fell and then the roar of pounding into itself at the bottom.  It was not a sunny day.  Maybe that's why I like this picture.  There's an ambience, a tone.  I haven't spent any amount of time to 'name' the tone for myself.  I just like it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

From the bus...

This beautiful beast hangs out at one of my favorite corners coming into downtown after work, this is the last corner of the International District (Chinatown, to those of us who don't know any better).  

I had hoped to take the bus downtown on Saturday night and not have to deal with my truck and parking and all that.  But, I see that bus service up this far north is extremely few and far between after 6:30 at night.  I'll be driving into downtown after all.  I know I like the bus a lot, but I know when to put gas in the truck too.  I'm thinking I should just go all out and really treat myself - a double mocha latte from a "real" coffee shop while I'm down there.  That might just be too much for me, though.  I'd hate to become a spoiled brat.

I'm ready for the weekend. I know I've got one more day, but first thing Saturday morning...I'm sleeping in.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Nothin' much to report. Had a nice lunch. Came home re-wrote my resume again, and again, and I'm still writing....

Tomorrow I get to cash another paycheck. I have my DNA kit already in my bag - a cotton swab. A friend suggested taking in a small vial of apple juice and offering it up as a urine sample. I'm thinking on it. I would have to smile JUST right to pull that one off. As a refresher here, last week a bank I have never been to before requested three forms of ID, two telephone numbers and my fingerprints before they would cash my paycheck, the one written from their bank. There was some off-handed remark made about blood testing and we all started laughing. I think they will remember me when I go back tomorrow.

I'm off to the Classic Guitarist performing Brazilian pieces on Saturday night in one of the recital halls downtown. I'm told it's time I treated myself. It has kinda has been a long haul. I'm ready to relax. Classic guitar is inspiring to me, or rather it is riveting. I'm wondering if I can find another instructor, if I can afford some lessons, if I will take the initiative to re-learn that stuff.  At one time, I played Leyenda well.  Now, I've no idea where to start.  In any case, I'm looking forward to Saturday.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Momentum Continues

I've been bothering the Dutchman for an interview for over a month now.  He started it.  He got in touch with one of the many in my network and said to give him a call.  I have been.  And e-mailing and calling again.  Tomorrow I finally get to meet him.  I'll be taking the afternoon off from the contract position I've been going to.  I get to drive over to Renton and have a nice meet and greet lunch.  ahhhhh, sigh.  This Dutchman has been instrumental in a lot of my dreams and prayers and focus.  I'm curious what he has to say.  It's not a job that would start next week, maybe not even next month, maybe a little later.  This would work out well with the position I'm at now.  I can finish the contract without upsetting anyone and still come out ahead.  Crossing my fingers and sitting in silent prayer.

Just keeping it moving.  While I smile like a crazy woman.

**Update:  Coming home is so cool when my son has the day off.  I walked in the door and he is closing oven doors and grabbing a different potholder and starts rattling off the menu for tonight while he picks up a pan and swirls the heating oil around.  I dropped my bag on the floor and just thanked him for being there and gave him a big old hug when he set down the pan, like I haven't hugged him since he graduated in February.  I love coming home when he has the day off.  I finally let go of the tip toe and my son, and he says to me, "No one hugs like Mom."  

So, here I am tapping away at the keyboard, catching up on e-mails and he brings me in a glass of wine.  He's gonna make some one a great husband/significant other/boyfriend (whatever he wants).  I done good on this one...and he's taken it to a level I didn't know existed.  What a cool kid. - just bragging away here. 

Monday, April 20, 2009

The tourist in me...

There are so many places I've been and seen that have not made it here yet.  Yes, SunTiger, I made it to Alki Beach.  The smell of driftwood and sea air is pungent and brings back my teenage days sailing around Monterey Bay and hanging out at Santa Cruz Beach.  That was Easter Saturday.  Walking down the hill to the beach I passed a beautiful bush, trimmed into a perfect round ball, full of little blue flowers all around it.  I ran my hand through it as we walked past.  Excellent surprise to find it is rosemary.  My hands smelled wonderful the rest of the walk.  Can't you just see it, some chick walking around smelling her fingers?  It'd be disgusting, except it was me.  

This last weekend I again headed up to North Bend and visited with the best of friends, both old and new.  I was taken to Snoqualamie Falls.  That was powerful.  And loud.  It must haave been prom night as there were quite a few young ladies in evening wear and some pimply young men shadowing them, all of them taking pictures.  There looks to be some excellent trails to hike over there.  I'm looking forward to having the opportunity to find the trail heads and start walking.  Excellent falls, the water was power.  That's all there is to it, power.  I did get some of the history from my friend.  Things like that always add to the experience.  I'm ready to go back.

Sunday I took three boxes, a cooler and a tote over to storage, we'll call this apartment cleaning.  Then I headed out for nowhere for a drive.  I was looking for a park to stop in and park the truck to open the box I've been stashing my bills in.  I didn't find a park.  I found a cemetery with a marvelous view of Mt. Rainier.  Got my bills sorted among the headstones and put myself back on track so no one comes looking for me (for my money) later.  It does seem kind of bizarre when I think on spend the afternoon in a cemetery paying bills.  Hey, whatever works.

It's still sunny here, and warm, and it's definately improved my outlook.  Work is great although one of the women in my office just doesn't give me warm fuzzy feelings when I walk in.  That's ok.  It's a short assignment.  And one of the companies I've been courting in the background popped back up to the top this afternoon.  Warm, happy sigh.  (ps: the trenchcoat has a removable liner - today that liner got stuffed into my bag on the way home. oh yeah)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Back on track...

Sunday night...laundry is in the dryer, lunch is ready for tomorrow, spent the day out and about doing nothing to speak of here.  

Oh yes there is!  My friends yesterday told me about the local resale shop.  There's not just one in this county, I drove past two on my side of the city today.  I stopped in at the first one.  New weather, new season, new city...I've been looking for a regular, classic trenchcoat to wear as I hop on and off the buses downtown during the work week.  I'm looking for something basic, something water resistant, preferably black and just below the knee.  I wouldn't mind showing up at someone's door with little else on, but that's another story.  In any case...(back to my adventure du jour),  I found Value City, or Center, or whatever it's called and a whole rack of used coats.  I am finally, finally the proud owner of a black leather jacket.  I have wanted a leather jacket for practically ever.  You are wondering what happened to the trenchcoat part of the story.  Put that on the back burner for a minute and let me ooze on about acheiving yet another minor goal in life.  Wilson Leather coat, excellent condition, classic lines, falls to just below the hip and absolutely best of all - da ta! $10 US.  Happy dance.

The trenchcoat?  Oh please, $6.99, but it's teal blue.  I'll find a black one later. (smiling away - two coats for the price of half of one heehee

Dodging bullets and hiding out

I dodged the bullet yesterday, let my shyness take over and fled in retreat.  Today, there's some tension in this lovely one bedroom, four person apartment.  I'll be making myself scarce here as soon as I get a shower slot.  Woke up with a apparent reason.  Just feeling out of sorts (ever since my roomate got home this morning - no, it started last night when I got home, I thought the apt. was wasn't).  

Found that my camera is not working, it needs a new rechargable.  I have cell phone pictures, but it's not the same.  My computer is creaking under the weight of all the photos that I download on here.  I have two year-long projects I'm working on...then I can transfer the projects to another drive and this baby will speed along again.  One project is done in June...I'll share then.

Coffee is ready but I'm still waiting for my slot time in the bathroom.  My bed is again a couch.  I may just put on a ball cap, grab the stuff I'm fixing to put in storage, and get out of here.  This isn't my energy and it's not feeling right...unless somebody opens up and starts talking soon...this isn't the day to stick around here.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Her-story or Back to the future

I suppose it's true that we can each rewrite history to fit our needs.  I suppose it's true I can, at times, tell a good story.  Sometimes history comes back and bites me.  Lately, my previous marriage has come up as the topic of discussion.  The blather that comes out of my mouth always surprises me.  It's not the truth that comes out of my mouth, but it is, in a sense.  I keep rewriting my marriage, trying to find that thing that makes sense, that is plausible, or"acceptable" reasons not to have continued it.  I was never hit (it would have been easier to leave if I had been), neither one of us cheated on each other and we never gave each other a reason to doubt our fidelity. I don't truly know anymore why I felt so compelled to leave.I just remember coming across a book with the title,"How To Save Your Marriage Alone".  I almost cried in the aisle.  I was so incredibly sad to be so alone.  No, I didn't even take the book off the shelf.  I was too sad to go there - again alone.

I do find it interesting that when I did decide to leave I was applauded, in a sense, by friends and family.  I was given more heartfelt support than I had felt in decades.  Leaving felt right.  Everything came together more than all the years of bucking up and making things "right", everything just became right.  I had played the role.  I had played it well.  I had become the perfect wife; Stepford was my middle name.  Greet him at the door with a drink, dinner on the stove, his favorite show already channelled in on the television.  I sat with him for the first half hour of being home and listened, yes listened, while he talked about his day.  I was packing up the vehicle for camping, unpacking and cleaning when we got home.  Cleaning out the bbq after he had made the previous meal.  I put on mascara before he woke in the morning to put on a good face.  I hugged (with feeling) and kept clean clothes in his drawers folded and arranged per instructions.  Twenty two years of learning the ropes and getting it right more often than not.  OK, maybe he was an ass.  Maybe after six months of meeting him at the door and not once getting a kind word (about that time I had started listening to hear if I would actually get one), maybe after sleeping alone for ten years because he couldn't sleep unless he was in the Lazyboy (aptly named), maybe after shoveling sidewalks and driveways (which I like doing actually) and not hearing a thank you while he drove off to work while I went back in the house to get the kids ready for school before I went to work - well, "thank you" means more than "I love you".

It has been brought to my attention that my sweet ex is not doing so well.  He's not taking care of himself physically, he's dealing with bouts of depression, and bad money decisions.  I was told that he is suffering from a broken heart.  That he had no light left behind his eyes.  I'm a little upset by this.  Was I the only one that saw the light go out?  It happened long before I left.  Our counseling was for him, get some life into that bag o' bones.  He wouldn't do it.  He still won't, he just has another excuse...oh poor baby, his wife of twenty some years up and left and now she's half way across the country living it up and leaving him behind.  Shit!  I'm downright angry.  How dare they include me in his drama.

One of my friends wants me to meet a single friend of hers.  I'm feeling trepidatious.  I wonder if he says, "thank you".  At this point that might be all it takes.  Gawd, I don't want to be desperate.              

OK, done whining.  

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cashing In

Well, that was certainly interesting.  In order to cash my check, at the bank it was drawn from btw, I had to show three forms of ID.  My credit cards say, "Please request ID" in the signature strip.  I guess I just make things difficult.  I had two "official" letters with me that have my new address on them (carrying around yesterday's mail, don't know why.) AND THEN, they had me put my thumbprint onto the check.  I was laughing about it with the teller when a manager walked by and off handedly suggested he get the blood testing kit.  I hope I remember next week to bring a q-tip and put it on the desk as the DNA swab.

I did warn the crew there at the bank that I will be back next week.  I may have made new "friends" today.  What a giggle.

I'm learning the bus system.  There is a different bus that affords a much nicer view of Seattle just south and east of downtown.  I've made it a practise to wait for that one instead of using the suggested route.  I may have found my neighborhood.  I'll give it another week before I get on craigslist to see if this reality is possible.

Fujific, you keep commenting on how amazing this all is... the move, the job hunt, the settling in and starting over.  Yeah, it is.  But, only in hindsight.  While I'm "in it" my life is one of focus.  I will look back on this year sometime in the future and maybe be amazed too.  But ever since the decision was made, I never doubted.  I got a rebuilt transmission out of the deal (ok, that was maybe a little tough - sitting in Fargo waiting to keep movement).  Once a decision is made and action takes over, the momentum feeds on itself.  There is no other outcome.  I personally don't know of any other outcome than the one I am working toward.  I feel this outcome completely.  I live it.  Later, when I am cozy wrapped in a blanket on a couch with someone that I care about and that cares about me, looking out at the Seattle rain through a picture window while the fireplace crackles, while my dog is curled on the rug in front of the fire, then, then I will joy.  I love your comments, Bobby.  They stop me in the moment to see what is actually, really and truly in front of my nose before I step out of my friend's house each morning and do another day to get there.

(ps: I don't own a blanket, a home, a fireplace, a dog and I don't have anyone "special" at the moment. - Job first.  Which makes me wonder at how hard I may be driving myself right now.  Another post maybe.  'Cept if you find what you really enjoy doing you can't call it work.  I'm loving this part, the starting over.  This isn't work.  This is an adventure.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

good news/bad news

Good news first...The State of Wisconsin has taken me off their unemployment role.

Bad news...The State of Wisconsin has taken me off their unemployment role.

I'm walking around with a paper check (cheque) from my current employer and no permanent home address to start a local bank account with. Oh, believe me, this is not a problem for long...I'm merely whining out of habit. Certainly not because anything is wrong. I've purposely chosen local banks during my working lifetime specifically because they were local. It's not bitten me in the arse until now. It's just a little bite, a nibble, a tease (if you please).

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Zip Drive

I'm beginning to feel a little more "at home" here in Seattle. The job certainly has a rudder affect on how I feel. I'm also feeling the need to decompress. I've held so many things close. I am aware it is not time to unzip this file of my belongings and personal space and truly be at rest.

I'll not download yet. Though I am looking forward to opening the file and downloading soon. I just need to hold myself within a bit more; till the end of the tunnel light becomes the end of the tunnel.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tunes running through my head

I know why I woke up this morning with the Frou Frou's tune running through my head.

I love waking up with songs in my head.  I enjoy turning on the radio and the song that is on is extremely apropos. I have been woken my voices calling my name.  I may have blogged about that another time.  I just get nervous when they are angry voices.  I have yet to be woken by a loving voice of someone I know.  There is one voice I hear in the wee hours that I don't recognize in this world.  I suppose we all need angels.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

There's Poetry on the Bus

The buses in Seattle have poetry to read if you sit in the back.  It's up near the ceiling.  This morning the poetry was from Erin Malone...

Why Dreams are Like Babies
Otherwordly, they may be naked
& speaking a language
you can't understand.

My three favorite numbers are now 522, 39 and 312.  Okay, so they are my bus numbers.  Two to get there, two to get home. 
It takes me half an hour to trudge up the hill from the bus stop to home.  It's a workout.  If I'd known it was going to be dry I wouldn't have had my car left near the bus stop today.  I was expecting rain.  No workout today.  I expect tomorrow I'll hoof it up the hill again rain or no rain.  It does feel good.

Oh, oh!  The bus in the morning let's me off right there at the corner for the Seattle Symphony box office.  Next weekend - I'm treating that I know where it is.  I just need to find an escort.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Nice position.  Nice people.  I am exhausted.  Out the door at 6 am and not back in until 6:30 pm.  I've not had these kind of hours in over two years.  

Dinner and a glass of wine waiting for me when I got in the door.  Somehow, I have energy left for a wonderful and relaxing night.  I'll catch up on all my blog reading maybe tomorrow...maybe this weekend.  I have notes from the bus ride to share.  I have an interesting job that I can sink my teeth into.  And I love the atmosphere of this place.


Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go

It's oh dark thirty. Big sigh...what a great vacation I had...full of adventure, new places, scary times and bored out of my mind too.  Vacation's done.  I'm jumping  on  the bus this morning at 6:10.

I dreamed of priests last night.  I was one of them and we were just smiling away...wouldn't quit smiling.  Is one of those dreams in reverse, or can I just take this at face value?

Ya'll have a good day.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

start tomorrow

i'm set for six weeks.  i hope this is the dam that's broken.

Phone Issues - Matrix reviews?

My three year old (Barbie pink)Razor cell phone finally bit the dust on Sunday.  Actually, it will make phone calls as long as I know the number, and it will answer phone calls and I have no idea who's calling.  The caller ID thing doesn't bother me, in fact it was almost thrilling to go "pre-ID" and just see who's calling when I pick up the phone.  I find it interesting for all the things I have in storage I do have with me here at my friends my hard-copy old-fashioned rolodex.  It got thrown in the box to come with me at the last minute.  Now I know why.

Sunday afternoon I found the local provider store for my service and found a phone that appeared to fit my needs.  ACK!  It's a LG "Shine".  I was not a big fan of the Razor - but it worked ok.  This hunk o' junk has frustrated me more than I ever thought a phone would.  As soon as the store opens this morning I'm off to replace this phone.  That little button in the center is driving me out of my mind!  (quit giggling - you're thinking of the wrong button) This button is supposed to navigate left, right, up & down.  It is also supposed to approve functions and to "send".  This jumpy, jittery, miss take happy button has me sending and searching and approving more wrong moves than I care to deal with.  When I think I am navigating, it thinks I am approving.  That one frustrates me the most.  Battery life?  What battery life?  To be fair two days of semi-usage does not fully determine battery life.

I'm heading in to exchange this "Shine" (up my a@@) for a Pantech Matrix.  The Matrix has regular arrow keys for navigation and a pull down qwerty keyboard - I like my texting.  Anybody out there have one?  Any reviews or thoughts you want to share?  I'm open to suggestion...

Monday, April 6, 2009


I discovered today (because every day is a discovery) that I was parked right across the street from the Botanical Gardens.  I slogged through the mud in my good slacks and freshly buffed flats to go check it out.  I'd signed papers to start work (yes, Wilhelm, they want to see your papers!) and I have the whole day free.  

I am pleased to say that the Janesville Rotary Gardens in Wisconsin give these people a run for their money.  Yes, both gardens are free - donations heavily encouraged.  I was mighty surprised to see the Rotary Gardens hold their own.  I thought they were beautiful because they were so close to where I lived.  I volunteered there and loved it even more after raking the paths and pulling the weeds.  Someone asked me if I was practising to be an old biddy while I worked in the gardens.  And while it's true I was the youngest volunteer, by twenty-two years, I didn't have a garden of my own.  I wasn't being an old biddy wanna-be...I just like getting dirty (sounds better).
In the courtyard of the Bellevue Botanical Garden is this lovely frog.  I love the way he's leaning on the log just checking things out.  As far as sculpture goes he's almost up to my knee (2 1/2 feet high?).

For the real scoop on Bellevue Botanical Garden you can just go to  I haven't been there yet so I have no idea what you will see.  Below is what I saw, and this is only very early spring.

Like this first photo...there used to be a house on the premises.  The house was most definitely in a clearing.  I found it funny that the trees that were in the clearing in the area grew INSIDE the foundation walls.
Ferns are growing all over the place.  Nothing surprising there.  Except when I looked UP, they are growing on the limbs IN the trees.
Ferns are growing out of the sides of trees.
And some trees are NOT going to be harvested for lumber (hmm, I wonder why?).

Work starts on Wednesday.  It's a contract position only, for now.  My slacks and a skirt are ironed.  I have three blouses hanging in the closet at the ready.  I have already gotten out my scarves and dress shoes to accessorize - I am such a girl.  I'm ready for three days of work.  Wednesday, Thursday & Friday.  If I do really, really good I'll get two days off already.  I think they call it Saturday and Sunday.  I'm going to do really, really good.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

The 'Hood

Welcome to my 'hood.  We have been blessed with sun, sun, sun and I have been walking, walking, walking.  This is what I found.  I am surrounded, absolutely surrounded by amazing views.  Objects in camera are closer than they appear.  Okay, probably not...they sure appeared closer in person than they do in these photos.

This first is the Seattle skyline from my hill.  It's a trek up to this spot, good for my thighs.  Great for my eyes.  This shot is looking south.

Turning west I can see the Olympic Mountains.  These are the bothersome bumps that create the Convergence Zone here at Puget Sound (see previous post).  You may not be able to see it, but I did, they are snow capped and rugged looking. Spectacular view.

Looking East - literally turning around from the previous photo - are the Cascades.

I started walking back down the hill going south (using a road, rather than the "no trespassing" zone I usually use) and I have to remind myself to look up, the bill of my baseball cap can keep me from seeing what's right in front of me.  I was lifting my face to the sun and this THING jumped out at me.  The biggest damn hill I've seen in forever...Mt Rainier.  This one, this mountain, this has a presence. (Friggin' camera doesn't EVEN do it justice).

And finally,  I'm going out on a limb here...I'll share just a bit about my personal likes.  This is my dream house.  

I love it because you can't see it.  I could hide in a sanctuary like this.  My friends and I could be ourselves here.  This, to me, looks comforting and welcoming.

The best of my hood on a sunny, beautiful day.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

SunTiger's Tag

Three ways to save/not spend money?

1. I paid for a gym membership, twice in my twenties. The first time my friend and I both signed up and we attended religiously. Unfortunately we'd get done with our workout and stop at the frozen yogurt shop next door and buy a treat with chocolate dippies, and colored jimmies and not only did it neutralize our workout, but it cost more too. The second membership I'm not sure I went twice. I've been running in my neighborhood ever since. A good pair of trainers and some warmies for the cold days and I'm good to go, without having to get in the car or be anywhere at a particular time. I run on my time and spend nothing but the cost of good shoes.

2. This last summer when gas prices became insane I parked my car at the end of the day on Thursday night and didn't get back in it until Sunday when I had to go back to work. I rode my bike around town for the weekend. I rode for pleasure. I rode to the farmer's market. I rode to the library. I rode my bike or I walked. It was then that I realized how close everything is that I really needed. I only needed to fill my tank every week and a half when I did that.

3. Empty the crisper. I refused to grocery shop when there was food in the refrigerator. I actually get pretty creative and I've found some amazing pairings by making sure I use the stuff in the crisper instead of throwing it out for having gone bad. I bought less by knowing just how much I actually use. I bought small bottles of worchestershire sauce, not the massive "money saving" ones. Come on, it's just me. What do I need mega anything for?

4. Just for good measure idea number four (extra credit) - move in with a friend. :) She's the best I ever could have imagined. Love the people you are surrounded by. They are a reflection of you anyway. Might as well love them. Like I said, they are a reflection of you. Total money saving - love costs nothing.

Friday, April 3, 2009

OMG! It came today!

The phone call came today.  I'll be starting my new job on  Wednesday.  I go in Monday to sign paperwork...and return on Wednesday at a very, very nice wage.  I am maybe a little stunned.  I've kinda been in tears on  and off today - short bursts out of nowhere.  Maybe it's relief seeping out of me.  Maybe I'm just PMS'ing.  

In times of medical emergency I've always been pretty level headed. But, once I've gotten home from the ER, or put the injured to bed, or returned from the pharmacy with whatever pain-killer has been prescribed and taken care of whomever needed care, that is when I lose it.  After all is done and in the wash, I tend to just roll over, pull the covers up past my chin and cry myself to sleep.  

That is how I feel right now.  I don't want to party, or go out for dinner or anything.  I want a nice dark room all to myself, a soft comforter and several pillows to toss around me and I want to go to sleep.  

Why's & Wherefore's

Why we have the weather we have in the NW US region specifically the Puget Sound area is referred to as a Convergence Zone.  I'd never heard of it before I got here.  The local weather reporters and meteorologists mention this term pretty much every night.

Wikipedia says:"Convergence zone usually refers to a region in the atmosphere where two prevailing flows meet and interact, usually resulting in distinctive weather conditions.

An example of a convergence zone is the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), a low pressure area which girdles the Earth at the Equator.  Another example is the Sout Pacific convergence sone that extends from the western Pacific Ocean toward French Polynesia.

A smaller example of a convergence zone occures in the Puget Sound region, known as the Puget Sound Convergence Zone.  This happens when winds in the upper atmosphere are split by the Olympic Mountains.  The winds then converge beyond the mountains, producing convection uplift that results in the development of clouds and even stormy weather.

Convergence zones can also be associated with sea breeze fronts." (my emphasis in blue)

The Olympic Mountains are beautiful.  So are the Cascades.  The snow topped  mountains on the horizon look just as they are seen in the best of photographs.  While I'm out today I'll see if I can get a decent photo of either of them.  I know there are perfect photos online I can paste in here...but, it gives me another reason to get out today.  I need to find a closer Trader Joe's for more Two Buck Chuck anyway.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

If It Doesn't Move

If it doesn't move it's probably growing.  I still need to wash the road salt off my truck after taking the trek across the country.  I was given the opinion that the salt will keep the moss from growing.  I thank my friend for that; and continue to drive a rather whitish red truck (as opposed to a rather greenish red truck).

I have a fair amount of hand washables that benefit from air dry-ing.  I'm working on that today.  Did I mention it's raining here in the Seattle area?  Probably not, that's a given.  I'd like to get my under thingys dry before everyone comes home from work otherwise I'm caught with my undies lying on pretty much every flat surface in the apartment. (Hey!  They're clean.)

I lived many years ago, for many years in San Diego - the most perfect weather in the lower 48 states - and yet my favorite bumper sticker was, "Just another shitty day in paradise."  If I can't have fun with the weather, by no fault of her own of course, then what am I doing here?  I used to have fun with blizzards, until they got the better of me and I was reduced to a wimpering, almost catatonic driver during rush-hour that couldn't see beyond the windshield wipers for all the snow that was rushing in.  I still don't know if I was alone on that road or if I was surrounded by other equally invisible, 1,200 pound speeding hunks of metal.

I love the rain.  Blue sky has become precious.  And my fine washables better be dry pretty soon.  I'd hate to look like I'm advertising for the wrong kind of job when everyone gets home.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Contestant Number One

The interview was ok.  They didn't pick the top three to interview, I think they picked the top twenty four, or maybe ALL the respondents.  There was more than one interviewer even.  I was told to expect they will call my references today and second round of interviews will begin on Thursday.  At least I won't be hanging around wondering if I'm a contestant.  I'll know by tonight if I made runner-up.  The firm services defibrillators.  With the regulation from the medical community my interviewer appreciated that I worked within the guidelines of the FAA while I was doing aviation.
I'm thinking I should make a regular contestant's sash emblazoned with "New Employee" rather than "Miss America".  If I'm going to be a contestant, the least I can do is look the part.  And I AM working for world peace, if you really want to know.