Sunday, July 29, 2012

Seattle Fun

Saturday was tourist day in Seattle, for us and for thousands of other visitors, it seems.  

Corey's mom and step dad and niece Allie were visiting the Northwest.  They had spent the week at the Rockaway cabin with Jill and the kids, and came to Seattle Friday afternoon for a day of touring the Emerald City.  This morning they were on a plane heading back to Colorado.

We packed a lot into that one day.

Waiting for the LINK light rail.

 Yep, those are blue trees in West Lake Center, someone's idea of 'Art'.
 The kids played in the water wall fountain, and then we headed for The Market.
 The view from "Totem Pole Park", as we call it, is explained by Tour Director Tom to Tourist John.  
 Irene and I love the market flower stalls.
 Of course we had to show off the gum wall, and add to it.
 The Market was getting very crowded, so we went further down the hill to the Waterfront.
 The photo below is the only one Isaac has given me permission to publish.
 We had lunch on the pier at Ivar's, of course.
 Fish and chowder for the people, fries for the seagulls.

 Then it was time to head back to West Lake Center and catch a ride on the Monorail out to Seattle Center, where we had a 2:00 reservation  to Ride the Duck.
 Tom and I will have to return some other time to do the new Dale Chululy Glass Museum.
 The view as we waited for our Duck ride.
 Some of us were all quacked up.

 The official, and pricey, group photo.  Andrea sprang for it; we scanned it.
 The "ducks' are WWII amphibious landing craft that have been revamped as touring vehicles.
 The 90 ride took us around Seattle and along what would later that evening be the route of the Torchlight Parade.  Some folks had quite the set up for parade watching.

 We drove over the ship canal to Lake Union for the "Sea" part of the Land and Sea ride.
 Here we go.

 Lake views.
 The tour was a lot of fun and a lot of silliness, which was fun too.
 Before we returned via monorail and light rail, the kids stood on the feet of the Space Needle.
Back at the homestead we enjoyed appetizers which included Market smoked salmon, and a BBQ grilled dinner, followed by TV parade and Olympics watching, and pie.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


The hedging and edging and mowing and clipping are done for now. 

 We are both tired and achy.  It's time to relax, in one of these places.

I don't know if I can stay awake either.

Monday, July 23, 2012


No, not me hedging my bets, but the real plant sort of hedging. I just felt like having a vague title.

July is hedge pruning time.  It's a job Tom and I both hate, but we like the final results, and it is heartening to know that we can both still handle the work - barely.

When we moved into our newly constructed house with no landscaping 34 years ago, we had more time than money.  We spent a year just clearing our half acre of bramble and ivy and broken down willow.  Then we watched to see what would emerge naturally.  The birds supplied us with lots of holly seedlings, some of which we left in place and the others Tom dug and planted along the fence row along the side of our property. 

All these years later we have free standing holly "topiary"  and a thick holly hedge that keeps out dogs and stray kids.

On Sunday we got started on the pillars.

 Today we tackled the holly hedge and began on the fir hedge along the front of the property.  The ladder awaits more work tomorrow and Wednesday.
 A pillar and the hedge by the deck.
 Another pillar that awaits trimming.
 The beginning of the holly hedge in the upper part of the yard.
 Along the secret garden, a cedar pillar and holly.

 The holly hedge is looking good now that we have all of the trimmings picked up.
 The secret garden was buried in holly trimmings until I got it cleaned up.  That's my job, along with ladder holding where the tall ladder and uneven ground are involved.

Tomorrow I get a reprieve, as I have a haircut appointment at 10:00 AM and we have a lunch date with teacher friends at noon.  We are hoping to get a few hours work in in the afternoon, and Tom will work at it in the morning.  We're hoping to be done with all but the back side of the holly hedge on Wednesday.  That last part will wait until next week.  We will need a day to work in the rest of the yard and then rest up before getting ready for overnight guests.

On Saturday afternoon Isaac and Irene helped me pick crops.

 And, as promised, we got out Irene's rainbow umbrella, and that is where they shelled and ate the peas they picked.  Why cook them when they are so good right out of the pods!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Update on Our Remodel Project

Things are happening!

The plans to redo the fireplace and shelving, lay hardwood floors, and replace the TV are under way.   

This is how the family room has looked for a long time.  You probably can't see the carpet stains that are the result of what the cat drug in, literally.  The TV is small by today's standards.  The fireplace hearth is cracked and the old insert is ugly.  Out with the old!
 To start, Tom has been building shelves for the bedroom wall.  Yesterday we got them up.

 Then I began unloading the family room shelves.  Some things will stay upstairs, and for some it will be a temporary move.

 Then this morning we began dismantling the existing shelving.  We loaded it up in the van and took it to Good Will.
 Then we went to Video Only and picked up our new TV, which was being stored at the store.
 We brought in the temporary TV stand I bought for $15 on Craig's List, my first experience with this service.  The cart is on casters so we can move it around an bit, but we will have to move it out when the contractors come.

Isaac and Irene are here for the night and the day tomorrow.  They think my new "birthday present" is pretty cool with it's life size people.

Contractors are signed up to do the fireplace beginning August 20th.  The flooring contractor will begin August 23rd. 

In the mean time, we have our new TV for watching the Olympics!

Now we just have to figure out how to use all of it's features, like the wireless Internet.