Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Sunday morning Mike and I got up and were ready to catch the bus to downtown Seattle for the Seattle Seahawks v. Washington Redskins football game.

We grabbed our bus passes and umbrellas and headed out. We were so excited…sitting in the Nintendo suite for any game is a treat! It was raining so hard we were laughing and wondering how we’d stay dry on the walk from the bus to the stadium.

And then it happened.

The rain and wind was strong, Mike’s walk became unsteady, our umbrellas flipped inside out, and I could see it coming. But it happened so quickly that there was nothing I could do. The poor guy looked at me and then he went down. Thank goodness his head hit bark in a flower bed and not the paved street. But there was blood everywhere, including his Seahawk cap.

We hobbled back to our apartment and cleaned up Mike’s face and his bloodied hand that broke his fall. He was shaken and unsteady, but alert and coherent. I felt so bad for him. We got him situated on the couch with the heating pad and blankets because Mike was in no shape to go to the game.

Our neighbor, Mark, went to the game with me and we made it to the suite in time for the national anthem. The game was exciting - very close - however, the Redskins ended up winning.

We got home and Mike was still resting his achy, ole body on the couch so we hung out and eventually made a pizza to share. Yesterday he was doing better even though his body thoroughly ached. Hopefully today the pain will lessen. Get better soon Mike!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Haiku

Friends gather at my table
Dog looks for a treat
One chair is empty this year

Fire burns low in the morning
Wood fuels the hot flame
By nightfall – it is all is gone

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Nintendo Suite at the Clink

One of the great benefits of working at Nintendo includes all the amenities available…


Mike and I will be enjoying the luxury of the suite as we watch the Seattle Seahawks National Football League team take on the Washington Redskins on Sunday afternoon.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Searching for Mr. Scott Vanderpool

I’ve been listening to KZOK FM radio for years and years – it’s Seattle’s best rock. It’s a classic rock station and I never get tired of listening to the Doors, Beatles, Who, Stones, Jimi...the greats.

For the past year I have been commuting from Kenmore to Redmond in a grueling freeway/highway/arterial route that takes about 45 minutes each way. The commute is bearable because I listen to KZOK and I particularly enjoy the antics of morning DJ, Scott Vanderpool.

Scott is a local musician, a drummer, and he loves his rock and roll. His radio selections are excellent. He walks the talk and shares personal stories of days gone by in the rock world. He’s well known – and liked – and he has many guest appearances from local celebrities. He is the king of music trivia and it is interesting! He knows the Seattle area and he references local activities. He supports good works like “The Schools of the Rock - Battle of the Bands” in which local high school bands compete for cash prizes for use in their school’s music programs. (Did you know many school districts have eliminated music programs due to budget cuts?? How are we ever going to have more great musicians without great music programs?)

So imagine my surprise Monday morning when I started up the truck and heard a most annoying, gravelly, scratchy voice on my radio – and then I realized who it was. It was Danny Bonaduce. He’s the red-haired, trouble-making kid from the old Partridge Family show from the 1970s. Ugh.

Quick research found that Mr. B replaced Scott Vanderpool on the morning KZOK show! Yet I can find nothing about what happened with Scott. However, I did notice that ownership of the station changed hands November 1 and I suspect that has something to do with it. I sent an email to the station manager – venting gently.

Tuesday morning I listened again. Ugh. I don’t like Mr. B or his sidekick, Sarah. They just moved to Seattle so they don’t know anything about anything local. AND they don’t know music. They never even talk about music. They talk about weird stuff like buying a car. Who cares. Ugh.

Wednesday morning I listened and began to think I need to write a post about Scott Vanderpool. Mr. B and Sarah talked about more weird stuff – so weird I forgot what it was.

Thursday morning I heard that knarly, irritating voice and I hit my radio’s scan button. Adios Mr. B and Sarah…I’m looking for a new station.

Scott Vanderpool – if you’re reading this tell us where you are!!! And what happened over at KZOK??

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dad's Birthday

My dad's name was John. John Johnson. I remember growing up and everyone called him Johnny. And he was from the South where they called him Buddy. I called him Dad. And I recently learned that my brother called him Johnny Danger. I'm not sure what that means, but Mike and I chuckle about it.

Today Dad would have been 82 years old. But he died when he was just 49.

Here is a picture I took of Dad back in 1976. I had been living in Florida and I was driving home to Seattle when I stopped in Mississippi for a week to visit Dad and my grandparents. Of all places, Dad and I visited Vicksburg National Military Park.

And we climbed, and posed, on the horses. We probably weren't supposed to, but that's just how Dad rolled.

I wish he was here today so we could climb on some more horses and maybe we could find out why my brother called him Johnny Danger...RIP,Dad.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Haiku Time

Dead leaves falling from the trees
Wipers - can't keep up
Mounds build along the way home

Cat ready to pounce on it
Life is near the end
Cat eats very well tonight!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran’s Day at Applebee’s Restaurant

Today we want to say THANK YOU to all of the men and women that serve/or have served our country!! And a special shout to to Dad and Mike.

And once again Applebee’s Restaurant honors our veterans and active duty military by offering a free meal today. Check it out!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Earn$t Money

The original cashier’s check was returned to us on Monday. It is now resting in our bank account...waiting for the next house!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Inspection #1

We found a house. Last month. But it’s been an uphill battle.

It’s a foreclosed house. Little did I know what that entails. But I am learning.

I learned that when a bank owns a house they don’t know how to be a “seller.” They are not in the real estate business and it shows. And even though the bank uses a real estate agency that focuses on foreclosures it doesn’t mean that that agency is going to play by the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) rules that were drilled into me when I was a real estate agent.

I contacted my former Coldwell Banker Bain broker/mentor and asked him to be our agent. We put in our offer on a Wednesday morning, with a response requested by Thursday at 5:00pm. It wasn’t until TEN DAYS later that we learned they had gone with a “cash buyer” and we were knocked out of the competition. Hmpff!

But I kept watching the MLS listing and never saw it change from Active to Pending. I thought that was weird, however, considering my short-lived experience with the bank’s agent I wasn’t that surprised. So every day I watched it and then – out of the blue – our agent contacted us and told us the cash buyer backed out. Whoo-hoo!!! We were back in the game.

We had additional documents to sign (plus, we had to magically turn our earne$t money check into a cashier’s check) and those went back and forth until last Thursday when we were told the offer was accepted – even though TO THIS DAY we have not received a copy of the signed around Purchase and Sale Agreement which documents mutual acceptance! Nevertheless, I noticed last Thursday evening that the MLS listing had changed from Active to Pending Inspection so we presumed our deal was on the table. Whewww…

So we had our agent set up an inspection and we crossed our fingers.

The inspection was Wednesday afternoon. Mike and our agent met the inspector at the house and the plan was to have me meet them at the house to hear the “results” when the inspector was done. My heart sinks when I think about the next paragraph I am going to write.

First off, it appears that someone used a water pressure cleaner to “clean” the roof – multiple times – and they ended up damaging numerous shingles and actually causing enough damage to see the plywood under the shingles in places. Cost #1 – a new roof NOW.

Secondly, since the house was vacant the water had been turned off. So the inspector turned it on and heard a leak behind a wall in the bathroom. Cost #2 – tear out the wall, find the leak and fix it.

Third, the gas water heater is old and near the end of its lifespan. Cost #3 – a new water heater and quick before it quits working.

Fourth, someone somehow made a "new" laundry area in the kitchen, but the dryer they have cannot fit into the laundry area so that the laundry door can shut! And in order to open the dryer door you actually have to "unhook" the laundry door to give it enough room! Cost #4 - re-engineer the whole laundry area.

And I could go on and on with the other issues. But I won’t. The bank stipulated in the Purchase and Sales Agreement that they would not pay for any repairs and that the house was sold “as it.” So much for negotiating. (As an aside, our agent offered to go back to the other agent and request concessions, but we have our doubts that that would ever happen.)

The drive home with Mike was quiet. We both knew in our heart of hearts that we didn’t want to buy a “fixer” and sink extra money into it just to make it livable. When we got home the floodgates opened and we debated the issues until we came to a resolution.

Not this house. Nope. Too many issues.

So yesterday morning we talked to our agent and said we were ready to walk away from the deal. He posed some good questions for us to think about, but could not change our minds. We explained that we’d rather keep looking. And we will. And I have no doubt that we will find the perfect, little house for us – one day.

Now the question at hand is – how long will it take for that lame seller’s agent to return our earne$t money???

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Where in the World are Mike and Cynthia?

We’re right here in Kenmore, Washington. And we’re living the good life.

Mike’s health is excellent – even with all of the pills he has to take and the numerous doctor visits.

Cynthia loves her job and all that goes with full-time, permanent employment again!

Cynthia’s brother is doing pretty well…he had a bad few months in the hospital, but he’s recovering and almost back to par.

Our doggie, Rock, is eating well. He does, however, run off down our street every now and then – causing me to chase after him!

Our kitty, Squeak, is also eating well and sleeping quite well.

Everything is going so darn well that we’re moving forward with another goal in mind. We want to buy a house. Our “nomadic” life is drawing to an end…and while it was fun to pack up and sell everything and travel - we long for putting down roots again.

There is something about pride of ownership that we miss. We’ll never have the perfect garden, but we can grow tall sunflowers! We’ll never have the newest car on the block, but we can keep ours washed and shiny. We’ll never have the biggest house, but we can keep the gutters cleaned and the windows washed. We'll never have the biggest party at our house, but we can get to know our neighbors and be there when someone needs a hand.

Just the idea of settling in to our own place again makes me smile...stay tuned...there is more to come…