Archive for September, 2010
Our weekend at the coast was, in a word, perfection. Leisurely walks on the beach, evenings spent lounging around the house with my family, falling asleep to the lull of the ocean and waking to the sound of Elise’s chatter downstairs… I had forgotten how beautiful the Oregon Coast is, and savored every sandy moment spent there with my family, from my morning jog to our sunset stroll.
Elise is quickly moving from baby-hood to little girl-hood, but maintaining all of adorableness. She is curious, funny, affectionate, and has us all wrapped around her cute little finger. She is also totally smitten with her Uncle Shane, and spent much of the weekend nestled into his lap. Whenever any one of us asked if we could help her with something (“Elise, can I read you a book?”, “Can I brush your hair?”, “Can I change your diaper?”), her immediate response was, “I want Uncle Shane to do it!” And thus, we all got to see a side of Shane we never knew existed – he’s actually a diaper-changing, hair-brushing, toddler-snuggling genius.
Some of my favorite weekend moments were spent just hanging around the house, eating, lounging, and laughing. We took advantage of the fresh, local seafood offerings and pickup up a couple dozen oysters from Barnacle Bill’s for an appetizer on Friday night. Mitch gave Shane his first-ever shucking lesson, and the two of them slurped their way through oyster after oyster.
After our dinner of fresh salmon and roasted veggies, my dad and I grabbed our cameras and headed across the street to the beach to catch the sunset. The misty glow of the horizon and the interesting topography of the low-tide beach made for an incredible evening walk. I could so get used to this…
Still sorting through the rest of the weekend’s photos – more picture-perfect memories to come…
I am writing this from the passenger seat of our trusty Civic (my first ever iPhone post!), as we are en route to the Oregon Coast for a few days with my family. I’m having one of those beginning-of-the-weekend, ‘life-is-good’ kind of moments: We are listening to the Giants crush the Cubs on radio, I have a stack of books at my feet and a bag full of snacks that I can’t wait to dig into, and I am so looking forward to some quality time with Elise (and my parents, brother, sister-in-law, and husband, of course). It just started raining outside and I’m seriously considering snuggling up under my fuzzy blanket, reclining my seat, and shedding this week’s hectic-ness with a little cat-nap. Shane won’t mind…
Mint dark chocolate by Divine. Minty, but not too minty, dark, but not too dark, and sprinkled with little bits crunchy peppermint that give a perfect contrast to the creamy chocolate. Plus, it’s fair-trade and organic – bonus! The only downside of this stuff is that Shane, who is not usually a sweets-eater, loves it too, so I’ve resorted to hiding my share in the deep recesses of our kitchen cupboards (I never claimed I was good at sharing).
My art hanging on the walls of our home. Bit by bit, I’ve been getting some of my encaustics and prints up on our walls. It’s really satisfying (and motivating) to daily walk past the fruits of my creative endeavors.
Tomatoes from our garden – due to the cooler weather and all the rain we’ve had lately, this was not a stellar summer for tomatoes, but the handfuls we’ve picked from our vines have been sweet, juicy, and absolutely perfect when paired with fresh basil and drizzled with olive oil.
Modern technology – Shane I and video-chatted for an hour last night with our dear friends Brian and Nicole, who moved to Africa earlier this month. From our living room couch, Shane and I were able to take a virtual tour of their Tanzanian home, see the smiles on their faces as we cracked jokes and caught up with one another, and temporarily forget the thousands miles between us.
Also loving the thought of snuggling into my warm, cozy bed on this cool Fall-feeling night, as it’s been a pretty long day. Bonne nuit!
Yes – after a multi-month hiatus, I’m back into the groove of my weekly sketches. Playing a lot with collages, spending my evenings with magazine clippings and a bottle of Elmer’s. It’s fun.
west elm topos (2010.09.14):
The past couple of days have been perfectly chill and weekend-ish. Sad to see them come to an end… We spent Friday night with a couple of neighbor/friends, eating peach pie, watching a movie, and getting caught up with each other’s goings-on. As darkness comes earlier and earlier, I see lots of weekend movie nights in our future – this is a good thing. I like a fancy night out on the town, but I love an evening spent lounging on the couch.
I was up early(ish) on Saturday to kick off the day with a run, and for the first time in awhile, I felt like I flew through my 3-mile loop, rather than trudging through it. Shaved 20 seconds off my best time for that route (woot!). I’m wondering if the aforementioned peach pie had anything to do with this sudden burst of energy? I was so happy with my progress that I decided to counteract it with a trip out to Red Hook Brewery to meet up with Shane, Jack, and La V for lunchtime burgers. Shane and Jack had taken advantage of the sunshine and made the 25-mile trip on their bikes (stopping only once on the way for a wine-tasting detour – I’m so proud of them…), but since I’m not really the cyclist-type, I was happy to hop in the car to meet up with them. We scored a perfect table out on the patio, where I could soak in the surprisingly warm rays of September sun.
Saturday afternoon, I dropped Shane off at Lakewood so that he could play a round of disc golf with Jason and the G-man, then parked myself at nearby Dubsea Coffee for a latte and some ‘me-time’. I was totally impressed with the quality of the cafe’s space – I think I’ve found a new way to occupy my time while Shane is tossing frisbees. Lots of natural light, rotating art exhibits on the walls, and a ceiling painted the most perfect shade of turquoise. I found a cozy little table by the window, pulled out my book, and was completely in my element.
Saturday evening I pleasantly surprised Shane by asking him if he wanted to head out for a late-night cocktail (something ‘out of the ordinary’ for us…). We headed out to Tavern Law – a little bar in Capitol Hill that we’d heard has a cool speak-easy vibe and killer cocktails. My gin/lime/cranberry/lavender/egg white concoction was delicious, and Shane’s gin/Lillet/apricot/Absinthe drink was right up his alley.
Today was spent mostly at home, watching the Giants beat the Padres (holla!), cleaning up the house, and doing a bit of yardwork. I was happy to find that the plant I thought I’d killed during the mini heat-wave we had a few weeks ago is actually sprouting some new leaves. With a little more work and some TLC, I’m hopeful that we’ll have a lovely, flourishing backyard by the time next summer rolls around.
We’re wrapping up the evening with a bowl of ice cream and a crappy movie (anyone seen Date Night?). All-in-all, a rather perfect couple of days.
Happy, happy Friday! Looking forward to another chill weekend at home. And we’re off to a perfect start – just pulled a lovely peach pie out of the oven and we’re heading out the door in a few minutes to share it with friends. Shane and I have committed to taking advantage of our plan-free day tomorrow and doing ‘something out of the ordinary’, but we’re not sure yet what that is – I’m hoping it involves dessert. Or maybe a good foamy latte. Or a new pair of shoes. So many possibilities… Other than that, I’ll be working on an art project or two, getting caught up on the latest episodes of Project Runway, and taking one final stab at sprucing up our backyard planter beds before Fall officially sets in. And I suppose I should get around to sewing the missing buttons onto my two favorite coats – looks like t-shirt weather is gone, gone, gone… But pie weather is definitely here, so I’m still a very happy camper.
Despite frequent hopeful gazes out our living room window, I was unable to track down even a hint of blue sky today – seems that we have moved into a season (or seasons, plural, as is the case in Seattle) of gray skies and rainy afternoons. Summer felt so fleeting this year. I’m not sure if it’s because we’ve spent so much of the past several weeks on the go, or because this Summer was cooler than typical, but I’m having a hard time accepting that this season is really over. Do I really have to bid farewell to Saturdays spent working in the garden, evenings spent spent drinking wine on the back porch? The forecast (rain for six of the next seven days) seems to be telling me a definitive ‘yes’. At least this overcast weather was perfect for curling up on the couch and finishing up the book I’ve been reading, which turned out to be one of the best novels I’ve picked up in a long time. Set in the midst of a traveling circus in the 1930’s, Water for Elephants was full of drama, action, romance, and suspense, carried out by characters you love dearly and hate passionately. It’s was fun to be so absorbed in a book that I couldn’t put it down – especially during a weekend like this one, when I didn’t have big plans or sunny weather vying for my attention. This will be a tough novel to top, but as I pull together the stack of books I’d like to finish before the end of the year, I will remain optimistic – here’s to hoping that Chang-rae Lee, Chris Cleave, and George Orwell do not disappoint.
When I first came to Seattle and started looking for a place to live, I began evaluating neighborhoods based on criteria like proximity to downtown, rent prices, sense of safety, etc, etc, etc… But in the end, it all came down to the coolness factor, and Capitol Hill had me at hello. I chose a small-but-comfortable studio apartment at the west edge of Capitol Hill, loving the fact that I could walk to work, walk to the grocery store, walk to any number of stellar cafes, walk to the bars, walk to the park, walk to my art classes at Seattle Central – I had just about anything I could possibly need right at my fingertips. On average, I must have put about 15 miles a week on my car. It was fabulous. Plus, by living in such a hip, urban area, I was able to convince myself that I was actually cool by association (whether this is true or not is still TBD). Once Shane moved to Seattle and we got married, there was never really any question that we would stay in the ‘hood, and we scored a perfect one-bedroom apartment in a lovely old brick building, just three blocks from where I had been living. Life was good on Capitol Hill – we went out to dinner at Chez Gaudy or La Spiga on a moment’s notice, I spent my Saturday mornings Bauhaus Cafe, and on sunny afternoons, I would grab my book and head over to Cal Anderson Park to lay on the grass and watch neighborhood residents splash in the fountain.
Nearly a year after we’d settled into our apartment on Union Street, when we started looking to buy a place in Seattle, it was hard to make the decision to leave the Hill and transport all of our belongings four miles south to our spacious-but-not-nearly-as-hip townhome in Columbia City. In the end, I really believe it was the right choice for us, as we have fallen in love with our home and our neighbors and our greater neighborhood, but still, I think I left just a small piece of my heart back in Capitol Hill.
Which is why, when I found myself with a wide-open afternoon yesterday, I decided there was nothing I would rather do than grab my camera and spend a couple of hours strolling down Pike and Pine, pretending once again that I was one of the cool folks that actually belonged there. I had read a good review of Porchlight Coffee on 14th, so I started there, then proceeded to wander toward Broadway, detouring through Cal Anderson Park, then Value Village’s book aisles, and slowly making my way back east. It’s a little disappointing to see several not-so-charming vanilla condo buildings popping up around the neighborhood, but the underlying fabric of old brick storefronts, poster-plastered telephone poles, and trendy coffee shops on every other corner still exists, and that makes me happy.
Cool/uncool, hip/unhip, young/old, etc, etc, I suppose Capitol Hill’s greatest charm is in its ability to draw me in and make me think there’s no where else I’d rather be sipping my latte.
Woot! I slipped out of the office early when no one was looking and so my weekend starts NOW. Shane and I have a relatively plan-free weekend at home ahead of us, which I usually look forward to as a chance to run errands/do housework/get ‘caught up’ (what does that mean, anyway???), but I’ve firmly decided that this time, I will enjoy the break and not dwell on tasks that should get done. Then again, I am obsessively compulsive about making lists, and find an unhealthy amount of satisfaction in checking things off said lists, so I’m indulging my neurotic tendencies and have made a list of things to do, without actually getting anything done. I’m hoping the next three days will look something like this…
* Sit in a cafe with a latte and read my unbelievably good book.
* Buy a watermelon. And eat it. Just ’cause.
* Watch the sun set. Preferably over water. Or mountains. Or the silhouette of downtown Seattle. I’m not picky.
* Sit on our back porch and drink a glass of white wine. Or two.
* Enjoy the flowers we have growing in our garden. Just in case summer is on it’s way out (which is a fact that I am consciously choosing to deny).
* Remind Shane that I love him, and that quality time with him means more to me than checking anything off of any to-do list.
Ready, set, RELAX…