Thursday, February 28, 2013

An Evening of Free Fun

Sometimes there are perks for being devoted to something you like doing anyway. 

As active members of our Sounders fan supporter group, the North End Faithful, we were selected to be among the invited guests for the revealing of the new Sounders team jersey and the US premier of the movie Oz, the Great and Powerful.

The event was held downtown at the Cinerama Theater.   Joe Roth, majority owner of the Sounders, is also a Hollywood producer, and the producer of this movie.

We took the Link light rail into the city and walked the few blocks to the theater in the rain, our Sounders rain coats keeping us dry.  Our names were on the list, we got our wrist bands, and in we went.  Sounders players, management, and team celebrities were all over the place.  

We checked out the new jerseys, which met with our approval because they stayed true to our Seattle Rave green and sky blue.  Then we lined up for free food at the snack bar.

Armed with a huge bag of caramel corn and Cokes, we found  seats in the large theater, where there were gift bags awaiting us.  

The movie was in 3-D and was just lots of fun, a family movie with no on screen sex, no vulgar language, gloriously funky "scenery" and lots of flash bang action.

I have no photos because recording devices of any kind were banned from the event. It was a "sneak preview", after all.

The walk back to the train was dry, and needed after indulging in too much caramel corn.  We had a great time, and the only downside was the tummy aches from such indulgence which reduced our sleep considerably.  

Today will be a slow day.  It was worth it.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Project Me

It takes a lot of work to keep all of my parts working these days.

Here's my checklist of daily physical therapy exercises, which I do in addition to walking 3 to 4 miles or 10 miles on the stationary bike.  All in all it takes about two hours, and I am trying to do this six days a week.  Of course, I don't get all of it done every day, but it is my goal.

I had an appointment with a Rheumatologist today, and had some additional blood tests and hand x-rays.  The test results are coming in via e-mail, and so far it looks like I don't have rheumatoid arthritis.  I hope that's the case, although there is medication for that.  There is no treatment for osteoarthritis, except what I'm already doing.  The doctor complimented me on my efforts of weight loss and exercise.  It's good to have positive reinforcement.

This will be a lifelong project, this Project Me.  But I'm already doing better with the sciatica symptoms due to increasing some core exercises.  

Project me is coming along, and "Me" is excited for the new Sounders soccer season to start.  The first match is this coming Saturday.

I'll be ready!

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Market at The Northwest Flower and Garden Show

If you haven't seen my previous post, be sure to scroll down for information about this garden show.  This is Part 2.

Everything imaginable having to do with gardening is for sale in the various markets at the garden show.  We drooled over much of it and did make a few purchases.  Tom bought a few hand tools, and I bought some little rusty birds.
They'll find a home in the garden somewhere.

It was as I was sitting admiring these rustic sheds that I spotted DJan.  They are made on Whidbey Island, I have seen them before, and I want one!  I told Tom to start saving up.

 I loved the glass cactus.
 I bought some bobbing birds from this vendor last year.  This year I wanted  the stone and metal rooster below, but it was a bit heavy to carry home on the train.  Good thing.  I don't need it!

 Great use of color draws me in every time.
 And of course, so does glass.
 The glass flowers we make are not this fancy, but they certainly are less expensive than these.

 All kinds of wonderful pottery.
 There was a small display of bonsai, and another of Ikebana.

 We checked in with Marie at her Chocolate Flower Farm booth.  We always visit her in her shop in Langley on Whidbey Island.
 There was a new section of vintage garden furnishings this year.  I loved it!
 And of course there are plants for sale.

 We were especially drawn to the colorful conifers.  As we think about making our garden lower maintenance, we are looking at color from shrubs.  Tom wants one of each!

 Flower arrangements near the main entrance are done by professionals.  By the time we got to them it was getting dark, and they are not lighted, but here is an idea of what to see.

 It's cold and stormy here today, with heavy snow falling in the mountains.  I bought a few carnations at the grocery store this morning in these colors for a bit of sunshine for my kitchen table.
And I'll try to remember that if we didn't have winter, we wouldn't appreciate spring and summer nearly so much!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Found Her!

At the Northwest Flower and Garden Show!
DJan had told us on her blog DJan-ity that she would be attending the garden show on Wednesday.   In a comment I let her know that Tom and I would be there too, on the same day.

The NWF&G Show is huge, filling much of the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.  Finding each other was about like looking for a needle in a haystack.  But about 11:00, when I was ready for a brief sit down rest, having arrived at 9:00, I looked up and saw her!  I would know that smile anywhere! She had not been there long, having arrived by tour bus from Bellingham, 80 miles north of Seattle.

We have "known" each other for several years, only through blogging.  And yet seeing her felt so familiar, just another visit like we have two or three times a week.

We went our separate way, knowing her time was limited and there is so much to see.  But we did actually bump into each other two more times during the day.  I know she is hiking today, since it's Thursday. You'll be hearing from her later, I'm sure.

DJan mentioned that I post so many photos, and she tries to limit hers.  I told her that when you take 300, it's hard to limit yourself to ten!  Again, I will be posting a bunch, but without much comment.

The garden show has lovely display gardens showing off plants, hardscapes, and the skills of designers and artists.  They are the stars of the show.  Then there are the markets, with garden art, clothing, tools, furniture, plants, and anything related to gardening.  There are also ongoing seminars presented by garden "experts".  We spent all day there, opening the show at 9::AM and closing it at 8:00 PM.  We saw everything, attended three seminars, and did a little shopping.  It was a fun day.

I love the view from the sky bridge looking toward the Market and the bay.  There were small displays there.

 In the large display garden section it was hard to get away for the orchids.

The huge room was dimly lit, with spotlights trained on featured parts of the gardens, so my little Canon camera had some trouble knowing where to focus and capture enough light without a flash, which just washed out everything.
 I especially liked the color and texture achieved by shrubs in this sunny garden above, and again the sunny colors in the one below.
 The gardens had a movie theme this year.  Below is "A River Runs Through It".

 The Hobbit House was such fun!

 Here I was attracted to the fragile little early bloomers nested in the stones.

I hope this brightens your day for those of you stuck in winter.  It sure helps us get through the gray days.  

Tomorrow I'll post some of the market photos.