Friday, February 28, 2014

Endless, Eternal February

Do you see that? You see what's different? Yes. L has finally started to show that yes, she has some of her mother's genes. Unfortunately it came in the form of being nearsighted and needing glasses in the third grade. But whatever. She picked the frames herself and she looks FABULOUS. I was sort of hoping the glasses might make her a little awkward because as it stands, she gets more beautiful every day. No such luck. She wears those glasses with style and grace.

I'm still holding out that she'll have an awkward stage. I mean, mine lasted 10-15 years. She's bound to have at least a short one, right? RIGHT??

In other news, it's been a month. It's been February. Which is my worst and most hated and longest month. Despite it being Shawn's birth-month, I just can't wait for February to end. It feels like an eternity. The last two weeks feel like 4 months. Everyone wants spring. Everyone wants warmer weather, and everyone in the Pacific Northwest wants more than 7 hours of daylight. (My apologies to the Midwesterners.... You win on the absolute worst and longest winter ever. Sweet Jesus I hope it warms up soon for you all.)

Winter in Seattle is strange. Not a lot (or any, sometimes) snow in the lowlands, but usually a lot in the mountains. Very mild temps considering how far north we actually are. I think my daffodils tell the story:

Here's late January:

Yay! Green sprouts! Modeled by the fabulous Lorelei. :) But yeah, that was JANUARY. Now here's February:

Uh, what? [insert expletive] How do the daffodils start blooming and it SNOWS??! Yeah, well, daffodils are pretty hearty. This was last week:

They are in full bloom now, but apparently we are supposed to get snow this weekend. I mean, honestly. No wonder everyone here is half-schizophrenic by the end of February. Who can keep up with this? I have a ton of flowers coming up in the various beds around the house but I can't get outside to do the weeding and the rest of the yard work because it either pours rain or now, snows. What.the.hell.

The upshot is that whoever lived here before LOVED flowers. There are so many cool gems sprouting right now! I will take some pictures soon. We probably won't keep all the beds (lots of work), but we'll keep some for sure.

Before I get too far away from it, snow really is kind of rare for Seattle, as we are so close to sea level. But when it does decide to fall in the lowlands, it is so pretty. Here is the front yard:'s the backyard, complete with crazy dog:

Gretel loves that damn snow. LOVES IT.

Seattle gets a little weird when it snows because this is not a town you want to navigate in a lot of snow and/or ice. The hills of Seattle give me panic attacks still on a regular basis in my stick-shift. Throw snow on top of that and well, we might as well all be driving drunk for all the good sobriety will do us. They are careful about treating the roads because everything on the roads washes into the Sound. So, um, no special chemical concoctions or a ton of salt, or it will affect the salmon population. So what do you think happens when you mix 4 inches of snow with hills at 75 degree angles, in a town that treats snow with gravel/cinders? Yes. Mayhem.

Thank the Lord for all-wheel drive and emergency brakes. Oh, and chains are legal.

Speaking of snow, Lorelei and I were supposed to snow camp on Mt. Rainier last weekend. It was a trip with a co-worker of mine who plans this trip every year. We planned to go, packed our packs, bought snow boots and rented gear....and then L wasn't quite feeling 100% (ear infection) and conditions on the mountain were a little rougher than we'd hoped. We had to cancel. I was bitterly disappointed. I vow to go next year if not before. Mt. Rainier is the biggest reality check we have out here - the single largest thing that reminds us where we are.

It will be better to go when Shawn can go also. He is very busy this semester with school, so it didn't work out on his end at all. BUT - there is a light at the end of the school tunnel....after this semester, 5 classes left. Whew.

Also in February we had Shawn's work party. The holidays are busy at, so the company party is in February. We took part in the casino theme of the party:

Here is the guy that was dealing our blackjack table. He was great, as he had to basically teach us the game. I mean, come on, there was also a vodka bar.

Earlier this month I went to Port Townsend for work, which is up on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Look it up on Google Maps - this is a really cool part of Washington. The Strait separates the US from Canada, and is the passageway inland from the almighty Pacific. Port Townsend is one of the small towns dotting the coastline along the Strait. We've been to Port Angeles, which is just next door, so I thought Port Townsend would look like Port Angeles.

Uh, no. Port Angeles is lovely in its own way, but it feels like a port town. Toledo folks, and maybe the Cinci folks, will get that, or anyone who has spent any amount of time in a port town. Port Townsend, on the other hand, felt like a picturesque storybook town that happened to be on the water. It was beautiful.

Here is the beach where I walked before my meeting:

Port Townsend also boasts a theatre (the stage kind):

And holy ravioli, check out this courthouse!

Now THAT makes me feel like a lawyer. It's just as amazing on the inside. Depending on where you are in the courthouse you can see the Strait or the Olympic mountains. I'm starting to question our choice to live in Seattle. Maybe we should keep our options open....

There is, however, something to be said for having to travel to Port Townsend for work. I love a day that starts and ends with a ferry ride. This is what I look at when on the ferry:

I'm so excited - I think I have to get on ferry Monday for a hearing, too.

So yes, that was February. March will bring us getting ready to market the house in Ohio and hoping for a good spring in both states.

You know how long February is? I didn't even post in here about the Seahawks parade. I'm going to have to do that - it was pretty cool. But this post is already long enough and I hate to be that blog that stays too long at the party.

Big shout out to Paul, Leah and William for helping us with the Ohio house this month. This post is dedicated to you. You guys are THE BEST.

Love to all -

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Like the Ceiling Can't Hold Us!

Welcome to Super Bowl Weekend! You may have heard, the Seahawks are bound for the Meadowlands where they intend to prove to the world that they are the Champs! Here in the Emerald City, this is a VERY BIG DEAL.

I have not lived in an NFL town outside of my year in Pittsburgh, and they weren't in the Super Bowl that year, so I don't know if this is normal or not. But even the natives here tell me that this time, it feels different than it did the last time the Seahawks went. And the Seahawks have only gone to the Super Bowl twice. The first time was some odd years ago when they lost to my beloved Steelers on a bad call. A call, in fact, that was so bad, the referee who made it came out later and admitted it was a bad call. To say it remains a bitter loss is a gross understatement.

But you know, Seattleites do not hold onto bitterness and bad feelings. This town has a positive and upbeat energy, and people are generally happy and friendly. And they are absolutely thrilled that their team is in the Super Bowl. You can't go 5 feet without seeing the 12th Man flags everywhere. The skyscrapers downtown, peoples' homes, the gas station, even the Space Needle sports a 12th Man flag! The Boeing jet painted to honor the 12th Man flew a special flight pattern yesterday that was in the shape of a 12. The city is abuzz, on fire, and alight with Seahawks fandom.

I took that one from I-5 in my car coming back from Everett yesterday. Everett is about 30 miles north of Seattle. I was there for a hearing, and when I cam out of the courthouse, they had live music on the courthouse lawn to celebrate the Seahawks Super Bowl trip! Things like this are happening all over western Washington.

I haven't been able to take very many 12th Man pictures, so the two above are from the internet. This is just a small example of what is happening all around us here. It's hard to not catch the Seahawks fever! There is no other topic of conversation right now, and people who don't care about football or know anything about it find themselves saying things like, "Peyton is awesome, but no one beats Russell Wilson on the read-option." has gotten in on the action, tagging Marshawn Lynch's love of Skittles, and has a recipe for a Seahawks cocktail, made with the blue and green Skittles. Yep.

Maybe this city is more excited than other places when they go to a championship game because Seattle is generally a beleaguered sports town. It's rated pretty low on the list of sports towns, and true fans are abused more than having something to celebrate. The Sonics leaving was a slap in the face Seattle has had a hard time getting over. UW has struggled to rebuild in the college realm, and the Mariners are, well, the Mariners. The Mariners are beloved because they are a team of pretty good guys, not because they win a lot. Anyway, having something to celebrate in the world of mainstream sports in Seattle is huge. (I left the Sounders out of this discussion - I think they are the anomaly - always pretty good.)

If you follow pop culture at all, you have heard of a rap artist named Macklemore. He's a Seattle guy. His songs have a positive message and when he sings about Seattle you can tell he is having a love affair with his town. In a way, Macklemore is the true embodiment of Seattle: he's a positive, upbeat guy with a crazy-cool talent, but at the end of the day, just considers himself a regular guy. My favorite story about Macklemore is that he cut a record at a local small studio in Seattle (or it might have been his basement, I can't remember), and then immediately ran over to KEXP (local radio station) and asked them to play it, which they did, on the spot. 2 years later, Macklemore walked away with a couple of Grammies for that album, and the title of this blog is a reference to Macklemore.

Below is a link to a song by Macklemore, in which he pays tribute to Dave Niehaus, who passed away in 2010. Dave Niehaus was the voice of the Mariners.  But this song is about more than Dave Niehaus, it's about Macklemore's great love for Seattle. What he's singing/rapping about in this song, that is what's happening now for the Seahawks. Now is their time, and this city is ready for a championship.

My, oh my, Seattle. I'm in.