Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sitka xoxo

On Monday morning Sitka passed from this side of our world to the other side. But she had a great ride while she lived with us and she made our lives so much richer.

My very first blog post was about Sitka and our decision to take her to Mexico with us. I wrote about her many times after that. My favorite post was from last September. I just reread it and it made me smile.

To Sitka: See ya at the Rainbow Bridge, my little monkey. xo

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Sammamish River Trail

Recently I wrote about the Burke-Gilman Trail that is right across the street from where we live. I got up early this morning to beat the Sunday trail crowds and took a bicycle ride on the Sammamish River Trail with my handy camera in my bike basket. This is some of what I saw...

Starting at its intersection with the Burke-Gilman Trail, the Sammamish River Trail heads east.

The paved trail runs parallel with the Sammamish River which is home to all kinds of waterfowl. The Canada geese and Mallard ducks are oblivious to the traffic on the trail. The flock spilled onto the trail and they barely moved as I stopped to take a picture and then rode on by.

There are several small bridges like this one that cross the river.

I spotted these mushrooms and wondered what they are. Does anyone know??

Imagine my surprise when this hen and rooster came into my view! I got off my bike to take their picture and they actually came racing toward me thinking I had some fowl-food. A woman came along with grain and bread to feed them and she explained that they have been on the trail for the last three weeks. She believes they were abandoned there and hopes they can outlast the wily coyote who also calls this area home.

All along the trail are “Exer-Trail” stops. Stops with workout benches, bars and pits. Like riding your bike isn’t enough?!

Further east is a mobile home park that abuts the river. I have noticed the mobile home park from the street above, but I had no idea that some of the mobile homes had river access. I love this one with all of the geraniums on the deck and the boat ready to run the river. How cute is that?! And look at the double-wide with the huge boat docked on the river. I think you have to be 55 to live in the park...maybe (when we’re old enough) a mobile home on the river is in our future!

There are also several large apartment, or maybe condo, communities on the river.

As the trail continues east it winds beneath the concrete ribbons that we call freeways. From my vantage point, the architecture was very interesting.

There is so much green – trees, bushes, grass – I don’t know how green is supposed to make you feel, but it makes me feel content.

Lastly, here is my trusty bike. I spruced her up this summer and she’s now sporting some new red roses. Isn’t she pretty? Hope you liked the river tour!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Shelves, Shelves, and More Shelves

Mike and I are on a decorating spree. (I have to do something in between my hours of job searching and interviewing.) We have had such a good time furnishing our little apartment and we just need a few more things to feel satisfied.

Our latest endeavor has been hanging shelves. Well, I should say that Mike has been hanging shelves…and I have been providing input as to where they should go.

I really like these 3 “floating” corner shelves in the dining area. There isn’t enough room for a hutch or cabinet, but the shelves provide a spot for some of our special things that have followed us around the US and Mexico.

And my favorite new shelf is in the bathroom. We’re sticking with the “tiki hut” theme and needed a place for this tiki light fountain. You light the candle on top and switch the waterfall on...ahhh, just like back in the tropics...all I need to do is run a hot bath, grab my ukulele and sing along with Don Ho to Tiny Bubbles...

Check out the closeup. How long until Mike sees where I have hidden Baby Jesus? Hehehe

Friday, June 25, 2010

And the Winner is…

Gloria! Followed by Brenda, Steve and Betty...

Willie Nelson sang it so well:

Blue skies smilin' at me
Nothin' but blue skies do I see

Yes, my contest was an easy one. The picture I took was of blue, blue, blue Seattle sky. Something we have not seen much since our arrival on May 15th. But the past couple of days were very nice – clear and warm. We even BBQ’d dinner on Wednesday and last night. Today has been a mixture of drizzle, clouds and gray. Thanks for playing!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My First Blog Contest


Who can be the first person to tell me what this picture is???

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day, Mike!

Mike has 3 kids. His oldest son, Kelly, lives in Eastern Washington. Another son, William, recently moved to Las Vegas. And his baby is Robin, his daughter who lives in Denver with her 2 kids. Mike heard from 2 of them today...and he’ll probably hear from the 3rd before the day is over. Mike loves his kids so much and I know they love him too.

Kelly and Robin with Robin’s son, Evan.

Yours truly and William on Mike’s Harley Davidson FATBOY in Duvall.

Since the kids live far away it was up to Sitka and me to celebrate Father’s Day with Mike. So we gave him our corny Father's Day card and headed toward downtown Seattle. We stopped for breakfast at Cyndy’s Pancake House Restaurant where he enjoyed steak and eggs and flirted with the waitresses.

Unfortunately, we haven’t seen much sun in Seattle yet, and today was no different. Nevertheless, we wound up at Kenmore Air on Lake Union to visit the counterpart to the Kenmore Air seaport at the north end of Lake Washington. There were 2 seaplanes ready to take off and we watched and wished we were on them.

Regrettably, from our vantage point we were unable to capture the acutal take-off from the lake. There were a few boats that went by – certainly not as many as there would have been if the sun had been out.

Big paddle boat, the Queen of Seattle.

A lone kayaker on a cloudy day.

Kayaker catches up to big paddle boat. And see that background? That's Capitol Hill - I lived there for about 25 close to all the action in downtown Seattle!

Dragon boat at the seaport.

We drove around a bit and Mike got some great shots of the Space Needle on a not-so-sunny Father’s Day.

Happy Father’s Day to all dads out there!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bloggin' on

I began writing this blog in November 2007 when Mike and I made the decision to move to Mexico to teach English and eventually retire there. My reason for this blog was to provide an easy way to update family and friends on our lives in Mexico.

That plan has changed considerably since we actually made the move in May 2008. But the basis for continuing this blog remains the same – to provide updates.

That said I am continually surprised and interested in who reads this blog.

I have 2 widgets embedded in this blog. One is the FEEDJIT Live Traffic Map and the other is the Site Meter. Both are located in the mustard yellow column to the right. Both provide information to me about blog visitors. And for some reason I am simply fascinated by wondering about the visitors.

I don’t understand all of the information the widgets provide. But I can see some statistics that make me laugh. Like the sheer number of visitors who viewed the post titled Sonny and Cher...uh I mean Mike and Cynthia... and the Antonio Bandares & Eddie Vedder post. I guess if my goal is to increase readers, I should post more often about musicians and actors.

So when you’re visiting this blog tell me what you were looking for. I’d be interested in the feedback!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Our New Home in Kenmore

I know it's crazy. We have moved a lot in the past 2 years. But now we are home! And we are making our new home comfy with the help of Craigslist, estate sales, friends and $mall amount$ of money. Some of you have asked for pics so here goes...

Enter our sweet abode – and notice the tribute to my mom with the Holly Hollow sign. Mike had that sign made when we had our house in Duvall and since my mom loved our house so much we named our house Holly Hollow after she passed on. We have schlepped and hung the sign in Mexico, Salem and now Kenmore. And the pics are tulip shots I took last year in Woodburn, Oregon.

Turn right and you’ll see the bathroom. When Mike and I were apartment property managers (while working our corporate AT&T jobs) we had the luxury of using the property owners’ Maui condo. We love Hawaii (Tahiti is on my bucket list...) and I couldn’t resist this Tiki Hut soap dispenser for the bathroom. ( do you like that, Princess?!)

And to go along with it, we just had to have the palapala shower curtain with the flower leis at the top.

On the left is our lovely lavender bedroom which has a wonderful western exposure for lots of light.

And on the right is our 2nd bedroom that we use as our office. This magnificent dark-stained pine roll-top desk was a find on Craigslist and well worth the 200-mile round-trip drive to Centralia.

The dresser was an Edmonds find and I just have to display our family photos on it. (As well as John Wayne and Bob Dylan on the wall above...)

Swing back through the hallway and our kitchen is on the right. I love the lay-out. It is small, but open, and it has a window and a pass-through to the dining area.

Our living room is cozy and was built around the loveseat that we brought with us from Salem. (Thanks Ron and Betty!)

It has a massive fireplace and we have already lit several fires. (It’s not quite summer yet here in Seattle!) The oak table that houses the TV and stereo is an old family piece that I reconditioned many years ago and have hauled from here to there. We had kept it in our trailer in Salem and I am so pleased to look at everyday in Kenmore. When I think about furniture, pictures or momentos I am surprised at the emotions that surface.

Finally, Sitka and me – relaxing in front of the fireplace.

Pictures of the yard and patio to follow!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Girls' Lunch Out on a Friday

It was over 2 years ago when I posted about “my girls” and it’s about time that I post about them again.

Yesterday was the first time we have all gotten together since Mike, Sitka and I moved to Mexico. Our hair is a little different – mostly just different lengths – but we’re still the same inside. We met for lunch and gabbed and gabbed about how our lives have evolved over the past 2 years. Surprising to me, the conversation was on a much more serious level.

We discussed health issues, employment (or lack thereof), death, family and pets among other things. We shared ideas and encouraged each other in areas that needed encouragement.

But don’t get me wrong. We also reminisced about our high school escapades. With some of us remembering more details than others. And best of all, we laughed and laughed and laughed. It was just what I needed. And wanted. A few hours with 3 people that know me so well. Thanks Beth, Julie and Cheryl – where are we going next month???

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Burke Gilman Trail

It began as a railroad line and has evolved into the Burke Gilman Trail a 17-mile paved public biking, running, walking and skating trail. And guess where it begins? KENMORE! We live right across the street from it and I have been power walking and “wogging” (my term for ½ walk and ½ jog) on it for the past 2 weeks.

This morning Mike and I woke to something strange – sunshine! So we tweaked our bikes and got out on the trail. I brought my camera and want to share the highlights.

This is the part of the trail that begins in Kenmore. At this point the trail becomes the Sammamish River Trail and continues for 10 miles to Marymoor Park in Redmond on Lake Sammamish.

As we headed west we passed Wayne Golf Course. As you can see, the bountiful spring rain has been good for the grass.

At this point the trail runs along the Sammamish River Slough. There are many extraordinary homes on the Slough, including this beauty.

Next is a small marina and I’m guessing that some of the homeowners keep their boats there while others keep their boats in their “front yards.”

The trail runs parallel to the Bothell Highway and soon enough we came upon my favorite – Kenmore Air! This is the very north end of Lake Washington.

Here is another marina with many boats hauled out.

There were a lot more people on the trail today than the early morning commuters that I usually see. In fact, Mike and I had to bike single file and be careful not to hit any runners.

It was a great ride and we hoped you enjoyed the tour. And now...back to my job search...