Friday, December 19, 2008

Cabin Fever!

It is day 3 of no school........and I think cabin fever is beginning to set in. I have cleaned all the dishes, washed all the laundry, cleaned the bathroom, baked banana bread, have been reading Breaking Dawn ( almost finished), walked down to the market and local coffee shop 2 times.....oh yes all the while striking up conversation with complete strangers as we all try to get down the hill without falling. It really is funny how something like an icy hill and the lack of human contact can make you feel compelled to become friends with someone you don't even know. I have made several friends the past couple of days.....not only the fellow friends trying to get down the hill.....but my friends at the coffee shop,the market and oh yes my neighbor Tara. Thank god she came by last night and asked me to go with her to run some errands....all on foot of course. We even stopped into a local bar and had a drink. I actually have some shows to watch on Netflix....I have been saving them....who knows how long this will last. I did think about getting on the bus to go downtown today but the news was reporting that if you didn't have to leave the house you shouldn't....even buses were not doing well with the ice. So hopefully I will be able to take the bus tomorrow.

As I was leaving to head to the coffee shop today I watched a Jeep Cherokee go down my street and lose control.....OMG.......the damage it did not only to the car but the sign and tree it hit while it was spinning down the hill. At that moment it was confirmed I am not going anywhere in my car! As my good friend Velvet Brick knows.....I have a difficult time navigating up hills in the middle of summer....the passenger side of my car is proof of that! So it will stay safe in my garage where it has been since Tuesday. So I will embrace the season of winter and the hunkering down that comes with the snow and cold.........tis the season of rest. So i will make tea, wrap myself in a warm blanket and just be.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Let it Snow...Let it Snow.....Let it Snow

Saturday night Seattle received it's first snowfall of the season......... it was beautiful. Huge snowflakes came down it was such a sight. I always love it when it snows in Seattle....not only is it pretty but it doesn't stick around long! Hey a girl has got to be honest! I love the snow but on a superficial level......I am not good with digging out cars, shoveling sidewalks or deicing cars. So Seattle is perfect because not only does it not snow that much......we are not really a snow city everything shuts down for the day! How did I get so lucky??

Unfortunately, we have school today....I was hoping for a snow day, who knows we still might get one this week. It is cold, cold, cold outside..... but the sun is shinning, making it seem so bright outside. Snow and sun is incredible....and to be quite honest incredible to be seeing the sun this time of year. I feel like I live somewhere else today!

If we get more snow.....I will post more pictures......... Have a Happy Monday!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Angels in the Dust.......

I watched this amazing documentary this weekend....... it is about this women Marion Cloete who has dedicated her life to helping children with HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Currently she educates and shelters over 550 orphaned children.

It is said that by the year 2010...... 100 million people in Africa will have HIV/AIDS.......26 million children will be orphaned because of it.

Africa alone has 6 million adults and children are infected but the government has turned a blind eye to it.

If you get a chance....... you should watch this is truly amazing to see the devastation happening to children in Africa.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend!

I love Fall and I love the Holidays........even more I love living in a place where it is not 85 degrees during the Holidays. But......... it is this time of year where I really start to miss my family and miss having such a strong support group made up of friends that I have had for several years. So I was thrilled to hear that my friend Susan was going to come up and visit for the Thanksgiving weekend......and boy am I glad she did. At the very last minute all of my plans had fallen apart and I had come to realize that for the first time in my LIFE I was going to be eating my Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant! To make it even worse........I was going to Chandlers Crab house........YES you are reading that right....... a crab house for a turkey meal.

I picked Susan up from the airport on Wednesday. We woke up Thursday morning made breakfast, took a 6 mile walk and got ready to head out for dinner.

To my was WONDERFUL! Of course that is in part to the fabulous company...... but the dinner was delicious. We got to have a window table, looking out to Lake Union and all the very gorgeous boats. The dinner was 4 courses....I chose to have prime rib instead of turkey...... I know....I know.........truth be told I am not a huge fan of turkey.
After the 4 courses, along with a couple of yummy beverages......Susan and I had to practically be rolled out. We were stuffed.....and we had a nice box of leftovers to take with us. So the pros to eating out.... 1. don't have to cook 2. don't have to clean 3. still get to go home with leftovers! I just might be a convert to restaurant eating for Turkey day dinner!

Here are pictures of some highlights of the rest of our weekend. We did a ton of stuff.......and our weekend theme was: "Living the Life".........more on that in another post!

At Pike's Place Market

A band playing in front of the Original Starbucks

A couple getting a carriage ride downtown

The carousel....this is also downtown

Susan and I downtown right before the tree lighting ceremony

So this group was downtown on the street corners with their signs and passing out fliers. I had to laugh! I believe they were poking fun at Black this place!

and then the other protesters....... the religious freaks! Yes they are usually out every weekend in downtown Seattle......but were in larger quantities on Black Friday and with mega phones...... I love the sign...."Fear God"........that's America for you.....

The downtown Christmas tree and Macy's star......this is an annual holiday tradition here in can see all the people .......

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday weekend as well!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Random thoughts .........

It is the week of Thanksgiving.......this means only a 3 day work week and I have to say I am so excited about that! Work has been crazy busy and of course with the end of November comes the start of cold and flu I feel as though my body is beginning the battle....... I hope it wins.

I had an amazing weekend filled with an abundance of friend time.....which is always much needed this time of year when the feeling of missing loved ones back home starts to seep into my system.

Yesterday was the perfect day. It started with Meg and I meeting for absolute all time favorite meal of the day. We went to this place called Portage Bay Cafe........oh my is filled with yummy, organic, local food. It is like dying and going to heaven.......or what I would imagine it would be like! After breakfast I met up with Hope and we went for a walk around Greenlake. These are some pics from the of my favorite spots. It was one of those most perfect Fall and crisp ( only 49 degrees) and sunny.........not hazing sunny which we get here in the NW quite a bit.......but clear, blue skies sunny. Get out your scarf and wool hat kind of days. One of the gifts about living in the NW and what I just love is that unpredictable just never know what you are going to get. Well let me correct that starting in November and lasting until June.....we get rain and lots of it.........but we also gets those great gorgeous days......the kind of days that we don't tell visitors about.........because......well we want everyone to believe it is always rainy here. But that is just not true. The wonderful thing about Seattle is that when you have one of these wonderful days.......everyone come out to play. I don't know if you can see it in this picture but there are alot of people walking at Greenlake.

It is so energizing to see everyone out.....either walking, biking, running and even kayaking. I love living in a place where the motto is......when it is nice outside....ditch all previous plans and head outdoors!

You have to of course......because you are not sure when the next "nice day" is going to come. Keeps you living and thinking in the moment. Even on days when all you want to do is lay on the find the energy to get up and do something active outside.

Here is my self-portrait! I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend...............

Monday, November 3, 2008

Morning Reflection........

The Universe works in perfect order and therefore......right now your life is unfolding exactly as it is meant to be........

I have believed in this phrase/philosophy since I was 19. It is what drives my choices and decisions. This weekend a dear friend called to say this to tell me that she believes she is right where she is suppose to be. It was so nice to hear her say actually feel the belief behind it. It brought a smile to my face Saturday morning........and also a gentle reminder for just like everyone else I have my moments of moments of "am I ever going to find someone" or "why do I live so far away from my family".......and once in a while the thought...."I have no friends here in Seattle". I try to push these thoughts away.......because according to Eckart Tolle ......this is your ego talking.....your ego trying to hold you back with negative thoughts. I believe that. It is our inner voice that can be our biggest enemy at the end of the day. It can hold us back from what we want or believe.

I saw this phrase this morning in an e-mail another friend sent to me......and I just stopped.....took a big deep breathe and really absorbed those words.....that meaning.........and took a moment to realize that yes indeed.....I am exactly where I am meant to be........and you know what it feels good!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Washintion Park Arboretum

Yesterday was one of those amazing Fall crisp air, lots of sun and people out everywhere. Now I believe Fall is my far the best season here in the Northwest. However we are starting to head into that much dreaded rainy season. So when these days come along you must take advantage of them. So although I have a chore list a mile long........I decided to head outdoors for the day.

I decided to head out and explore the Washington Park Arboretum. The arboretum is located right in to the University of Washington. Although I did not get to explore all of the arboretum, I did explore a good portion. I walked around Foster Island and spent some time watching the water and the constant stream of boats going by. I also took some great pictures...or at least I think they are good. I might be getting the hang of this. Enjoy!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Wallace Falls

Yesterday my friend Meg and I set out to go on a marvelous Fall Hike. The weather was perfect....sunny and crisp 56 degrees. Tonga Ridge was the hike that we set out to find. It promised spectacular Fall colors. Now I should give you some background information about how outings go when Meg and I get together........ well let's just say we never end up where we wanted to be but always have a good time and see something new. Well yesterday was no exception. We headed out the door at 10am with coffee's in hand and fleeces on. We drove just 20 miles from Steven's Pass and were so excited when we found the Forest road that we needed. We headed down the road only to was CLOSED!! So plan B.......well we had passed a sign for Wallace we decided to turn around and head back. On our way out we passed this train track......I took this picture for my friend Velvet Brick.

Isn't this neat! It's one of the many things that I love about this great state.

Now neither Meg nor I have ever been to Wallace Falls and to be honest we have never been interested in going.........mostly because it is right off the highway and a big tourist spot. But oh was lovely. We hiked 5 1/2 miles and enjoyed every second of it. Here are some pictures from the hike.

This hike was so lush and green!

Here is the waterfall. It was beautiful..........the picture on the right is a part of the trail.

This is my friend.....Miss Meg.......yes I do actually have friends up here! Of course yours truly on the right.

This quote greeted you as you started the trail to Wallace Falls. Let nature be your teacher........I love that! What wonderful things we can learn from nature. I know that every time I get to spend my day outside in nature it is always a good matter what. I feel blessed to live in a place that is so full of nature. Today was a good day!
Happy Fall!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I have been meaning to post a few pictures of my apartment. Now it's no cute white and black house in Mesa, AZ but it is where I am currently living. This is a picture of the front of my building. I do have to say I love the street I live on.......and I will post a picture once the trees all change colors. My apartment is located in a wonderful neighborhood called Fremont. I will most certainly be posting pictures of my neighborhood soon as it is so unique.

Here my living room/dining area. I know it is so plain......I need to hang up some pictures and decorate a bit more. I was also able to get my girls in the picture. That is Abby and Chloe's favorite spots.

Here's the kitchen.....don't blink or you must might miss it! It is tiny that you can NOT open the dishwasher and fridge at the same time. Oh my! I have to keep reminding myself that yes indeed I chose to leave my cute somewhat spacious house to move to Seattle.....and experience apartment living again. I have moments where I do feel I am going backwards in life. But....someday I will own a house here and it will be a cute house....old and full of charm......but until then this is the place I call home.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Happy Friday!

I decided to capture a part of my morning routine today. Every morning I take a shower and every morning Abby waits faithfully outside the door for me to get out of the shower. As soon as I open the door she bolts into the bathroom and leaps......yes she leaps into the WET shower and sits in there. She loves to lick the water off of the shower curtain. Is this normal?? Do I have a special needs cat?? That would be just my luck.........well makes me laugh every morning, which is always a nice way to start the day.

Happy Friday........

Sunday, September 28, 2008


According to Chinese Medicine, the season of Autumn is associated with the element Metal, and is a time for letting go of the old. It is the time for gathering fruit and vegetables before getting through the winter. As Nature prepares to retreat, leaves are turning golden colour and starting to fall form the trees. For us too, Autumn should be a time to slow things down, take the time to take in the fresh the fresh revitalising air of these bright crisp Autumn days and letting go of what isn’t needed in our lives.
I LOVE Autumn! I think I enjoy it more than summer and well that is saying alot from a girl born and raised in Arizona. I enjoy so many things about Seattle......but by far I love living somewhere that actually has seasons. I enjoy the crisp air......the excitement of watching the leaves and trees change before my very eyes.... and the colors......they are just beautiful.
A few years ago I was introduced to 5 Element Acupuncture from my friend Autumn ( yes that is her real name) who was studying Chinese Medicine in New York. I really enjoyed reading about the seasons and what they mean......what I most enjoy about Autumn is that fact that life will be slowing down......we will start drinking tea, eating yummy soups, wearing scarfs and wool socks. Wrapping up in a blanket at night while snuggled on the couch reading a book. It is a time to give our bodies permission to "rest" to slow down for a bit. To recharge and nourish ourselves.....I love living in a place where I can be in sync with nature.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Snow Lake

Two weekends ago I FINALLY went on a backpacking trip! I really enjoy backpacking and was looking forward to getting back into it once I moved to Washington..........2 years later........and my first trip has happened. I went with a fellow teacher/friend.......Tracey.

We went to Snow is up in the Alpine Wilderness Area. It was only a 3 1/2 mile hike in........BUT with an 1800 ft elevation gain. It would be putting it mildly that I was a bit slow. Poor Tracey was a trooper as she is Miss Mountaineers and I am sure felt like she was backpacking with her 3 year old son.......but she kept a smile on her face and talked about where we should go next summer........thank you Tracey!!

This is the view from our camp site

Saturday morning we got up had a little breakfast and headed out for some more hiking and exploring. We hiked another 3 miles to Gem Lake. This is a picture of Gem Lake........I need to work on my photography skills as none of my pictures look as amazing as it did in person.

a view from the the Alpine Area....

What I love about backpacking is it's simplicity. Carrying everything you need on your all meals out of 1 pot.......wearing the same clothes for 3 days straight.......sleeping in the fresh air......... no frills or fluff just the very basics. It is nice to be reminded of how very little we really need when it comes right down to it. I really needed this soul really needed this trip and it came at the perfect time. Fall is around the corner and I have a backpacking trip planned for the end of September......from what I hear it is Fall that is the perfect time to camp and backpack. I am looking forward to my next trip!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Strike A Pose

On Monday, September 1st, 2008.........the Bellevue Education Association went on strike!! Yes that means instead of teaching students this week, I am out holding a sign for hours each day on the corner by my school. Now those that know me......know that I did not want a strike and actually voted against it. However one thing I have learned about this great state I call home, is that it is very much a union state. I am a member of the union......and that means I stand in support of my colleagues and walk the line with them. What are the issues?? They are compensation, Health care and the curriculum web.

me and Tracey with signs and smiles

Mary and Jillian striking a pose

Sarah taking her job seriously

What has been great about this week is spending time with fellow teachers that I don't usually get the chance to visit due to schedules and locations in the building. The community support has been wonderful.......I really expected to get yelled at.....possibly a tomato thrown at me.......but we have received constant honks, waves, thumbs up and shouts of "we support you". Students have been constantly coming by bringing us homemade cookies, cakes and coffee. Even one of my kiddos came by and brought me some water. It is really touching to know that you are supported so much by parent and students. It is great to watch them stand behind us on our issues.......for those who are fellow teachers you know how difficult it is for make this kind of stand. It is against our nature to stand up for ourselves.......we are use to giving ourselves to our profession.... to the feels wrong to not be in the classroom ........teaching. But if we don't stand up for ourselves ...what we need and what we think is best for kids.........who is going to??

P.S. A HUGE thank you to my dear friend Velvet Brick for all of her help and inspiration on my blog......and the idea for this post name!!!