Thursday, December 28, 2006

Title Revealed

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will hopefully be published and distributed in 2007. I am eagerly anticipating the parties, costumes, long lines and staying up all night to read the final :( book in the series.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmastime Greenery

We took the dogs for a walk yesterday and I took my camera to capture a few images for Nancy Pants. This is what we see in our neighborhood when we wander.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Meme from Stucco

1. Three things that scare me:
-Losing any one of my family to death
-conservative republican ideaologies
-some of my nightmares

2. Three people who make me laugh:
- Stucco
- Stephen Colbert
- Billy Connolly

3. Three things I love:
- My family
- The Ocean
- Labrador Retrievers

4. Three things I hate:
- Solicitors
- Mincemeat Pie
- Clutter

5. Three things I don't understand:
- People who need to try to persuade me to believe their religious views
- People who believe war is good
- Computer languages

6. Three things on my desk (at home)
- Scrap paper
- Photo of the Oregon Coast
- Junk mail

7. Three things I'm doing right now:
- Trying to decide what to make for dinner
- Petting the puppy
- craving a lime popscicle

8. Three things I want to do before I die:
- See Europe
- Love on my grandchildren
- Decide what I want to be when I grow up

9. Three things I can do:
- Bake a delicious Tollhouse cookie
- Multitask
- Calm infants

10. Three things I can't do:
- Ski
- Cook very well
-Sew clothing

11. Three things you should listen to:
- Music from Brandi Carlile
- Your children
- Ocean waves

12. Three things you should never listen to:
- People who are always negative
- Video games
- Rush Limbaugh

13. Three things I'd like to learn:
- How to play the piano
- To save more $
- To let go of my anxiety

14. Three favorite foods:
- burritos
- chocolate
- Masaman curry chicken

15. Three beverages I drink regularly:
- coffee
- lattes
- coffee

16. Three shows I watched as a kid
- Little House on the Prairie
- Bugs Bunny
- Gilligan's Island

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy

We have all had such a busy week this week. We started last Saturday the 9th by taking the monorail to the base of the Space Needle. We rode the speedy elevator to the top and wandered around the observation deck taking-in all of the beautiful views. It was a clear day, but very windy and cold, so we spent a lot of time in the indoor part of the deck. A. and Z. sat on Santa's lap and got a candy cane and then proceeded to the craft table to make a snowman mobile. We all decided we were hungry so we left and took the monorail back downtown to get a bite to eat. We decided to wander around the downtown area for a while and I was surprised at the number of people all around us. It reminded me of the pictures you see of Times Square and the crowds of people walking along the sidewalk.

We took Stucco to the airport on Sunday for his flight to Boston. He had a class this week so we had to do without him. :(

Tuesday, A., Z. and I decided to head to the Woodland Park Zoo. It was a mild, sunny morning and after we drove around the park a few times, I found the entrance. Seattle got it right when they decided to put the zoo in the middle of an area with a lot of trees and a natural setting. It was such a beautiful experience to walk around with the air smelling of evergreen trees and rain. The animals are grouped according to region and there are a few areas for children to play indoors (smart because it did start raining while we were finishing our visit!) All in all, a very nice day! We will definitley be returning soon for another visit!

On Thursday we ventured downtown for a visit to the Seattle Aquarium. It was raining really hard so we drove in the truck vs. taking the bus. We brought A.'s umbrella but it turned inside-out in the fierce wind (we need to get better umbrellas!) The aquarium was an educational, and exciting experience. We learned so much about the lifecycles of sea stars, fur seals and sea otters. We must've watched to sea otters for a half hour alone. They are so funny. They are almost like dogs in their mannerisms. A. and Z. loved the area where they could touch the sea stars, anemones, scallops and urchins. The greatest thing we found out was that the creatures all came into the indoor area on their own. The indoor "ponds" are connected to Elliot Bay directly, and they migrate indoors with the tide. After we were finished, we found a restaurant by the Sound to have lunch. We watched the ferries come and go while we had lunch. Then it struck me that we needed to get home before the Seahawks traffic closed us in. But it was too late! We were stuck in a horrific downpour of rain with blowing winds. It took us an hour to make it home (usually a 10 minute ride.) That was the night of the "hurricane-like" storm. We were lucky that we only lost power for an hour.

The worst of the "hurricane" came at about 10:00pm. The sustained winds were going at about 40mph and the gusts were about 60-70mph. It was crazy! It felt like this house was shaking and going to seperate from its foundation! The basement flooded and I was glad we hadn't set-up the office yet. Nothing of ours was destroyed. We surveyed the storm damage on our walk with the dogs on Friday. A lot of people lost portions of their roofs and whole sections of fences. Many people are still without power and it is cold here. Hopefully they will get power back soon!

We are picking Stucco up from the airport tonight. We all can't wait to see him! We hope everyone is having a fun holiday season.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

This One's For You Stucco

A Bit of Goodness In An Ugly News World

I was watching "House" last night (one of my favorite shows) and I had to let the dogs out just as it ended. When I came inside after they were finished with their business, I heard the headlines on the news. Now I do realize that it was Fox News, and Fox always leans on the whole "if it bleeds, it leads" news angle but, by the time I'd heard the first few minutes, I was checking the locks on the door, in a panic. I suffer from anxiety disorder anyway so it was like adding fuel to the fire. With Stucco being out of town as well, it is worse. I am very tired of the way our society glorifies violence. One cannot use the news as a source of information about the weather or activities to enjoy around town anymore. I get my news from the internet and just click on the info I need. Now I am not all cotton candy, babies and rainbows all the time. I do watch some violent TV and the occasional movie, but I don't understand why people get all "up in arms" about Janet Jackson's nipple popping out on TV and these same networks have no trouble going over every detail about a bullet hole in someone's head. I'd much rather our children walk into the room and see a couple all over each other on the television, than see someone get shot. What do you think?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Strange Sights Downtown

I thought I'd share a few unusual things seen in passing while we were downtown on Monday.

A presumably homeless fellow was holding a large sign that read: "My father was killed by ninjas and I need to avenge his death. Need money for karate lessons!"

While walking by the Walgreens store we saw a young guy sitting against the wall on the sidewalk, surrounded by cops. The funny thing was, the cops were bicycle cops, wearing helmets, and had made a sort of barrier around the guy with their bikes. The guy was nearly crying and saying he didn't do whatever it was they were accusing him of doing. I felt that it was sort of odd that it seemed to take 4 officers and their bicycles to subdue one small guy who was in tears.

When we exited a t-shirt shop at the end of the day, a man came up to us with his ferret and told us he had "saved" the ferret from a house fire and was collecting money for his care. He let the kids hold the ferret so I gave him a dollar. Very creative stories for collecting cash!

While A. was making a purchase at the Market, Z. and I were watching a guy playing a piano and a gal who had been dancing, fight for space to perform. The piano guy was furious at the woman because she was crowding his space (taking possible cash-flow from him.) It was a peaceful, reasonable-type argument that ended with the piano player leaving in a huff.

I've always enjoyed people-watching, and downtown Seattle offers quite a bit of interesting people to observe.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Downtown Rocks

We had a really great day today. It all started with A. and Z. being their creative selves. They worked Sunday evening to make a surprise for me when I awoke today. They made a series of games to play. They made a "pin-the-nose-on-the-snowman" game, a target to "hit the bullseye with the ball," they cut-out snow flakes and made breakfast for me. (Yes, they really are the best!) When we were done, we boarded the bus for downtown. Pike Place Market was first on our list of places to explore. We roamed through a small part of the very large market and were throughly delighted by what we saw. Fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh fish and seafood (yes, we saw the guys throw the fish), bookstores (heh, hemm), jewlery makers, coffee places, etc. etc. It was exciting to be in that atmosphere for the first time! Next, we headed up to Stucco's office building where he works and were introduced to all of the great people there. Stucco took us to Westlake Center for lunch in the food court. I had some really delicious Indian food. When we were finished, we took the kids across the street to ride the holiday carousel. A. was given a microphone and asked to sing a song for the folks on the ride. She gladly accepted and launched into a very fine rendition of "Jingle Bells." She got a round of applause and it made her day to entertain people with her singing! Stucco had to go back to the office so we visited a few stores in the Westlake Center and finished our purchases at the Pike Place Market after that. Then we put our feet up at the local Borders for a bit. When Stucco wrapped-up at work, we all headed back home on the bus together. I love spending time with A. and Z. and hearing their take on Seattle. They are enjoying it so far and Z. definitely wants to explore the Space Needle next! Life is good in Seattle.