Thursday, April 17, 2008

New Rule!

Over the past few weeks of freakishly cold spring weather, I have been observing people's reactions to the temperature. I have also come to the conclusion that we need to make a new rule about thermostats and personal responsibility for temperature control. Here it is: if you're cold, put some socks on. If you're still cold, put a sweatshirt or a sweater on. Still cold? Okay, check with the people around you, and then turn the heat up. On the flip side, if you're too warm, take off the sweatshirt or sweater that you have on! Still too warm? Check with the people around you on their temperature, and then open the window or turn the heat down. But only open the window if everyone else is warm -- if they're wearing their jackets indoors, or their teeth are chattering as they utter "I'm f-f-f-ine," don't open the window or change the thermostat!

Note that every time I mentioned changing the temperature of the room around you, I mentioned that you should check with the people around you first. The world does not revolve around one single person, so the temperature shouldn't either! Shall we try to meet in the middle? I think so...

I predict that warmer weather is coming soon -- and that we can put away all of the thick sweaters (again) and enjoy some fun sandal weather. Sunshine's coming, I just know it! (Yeah, yeah, snow flurries are in the forecast for this weekend, I know, I'm just looking on the long-term bright side.)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Community & Tiptoeing Through the Tulips

We had another great day today, starting out with a trip to church. I was reminded of the power of community, as we got to reconnect with friends and were delighted to catch up with people and exchange a few waves and smiles from across the room. I'm alwasy amazed at how God calls us to be in community with one another, and what a difference community can make. I'm really glad that we're able to go to church and connect with people.

After church, Lennie and I connected up with my parents and trekked up to the Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley. Was an uneventful drive, if you don't count the part where I said "Hey, wasn't that our exit?!" and the rest of the car kind of disagreed with me... and I was slightly right. Either way, we got a nice side tour of Mt. Vernon, and I was reminded of why it's smart to check the directions to things before you get in the car and go. It was a fun Sunday drive, and we did see some tulip fields that were partially in bloom, and a whole sea of daffodil fields that were completely in bloom. It was amazing, that's for sure! Since we chose to go to the tulip fields on a partially grey day, we were fortunate enough to find plenty of parking, and not be inundated with people in the field that we stopped at, which was definitely a nice perk. Despite the fact that the fields weren't completely in bloom, I took my fare share of photos. Here are a few of them (and here's a link to all of them) for you to enjoy:

Saturday, April 12, 2008

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Today was a beautiful day in the Seattle area, with reports that the temperatures got as high as the 80's. I don't know if I believe that it was that high, but I'll take it. Lennie and I got up this morning and promptly got to finisihing our master bedroom project. It took us an hour, but we measured and hammered until all of our framed pictures and artwork was masterfully placed around the room. It makes the place feel like a home now, which is very comforting.

Around 11:30 or so, we drove over to Issaquah to enjoy a Georgio's sub sandwich and then to "brave" the crowds at Lowe's so that we could pick up this year's bounty of plants and planters. Surprisingly, the crowd was light, and I was able to skip through the aisles picking out my new flowers and gardening supplies. I tend to get a little "plant fever" this time of year -- thinking that my porch is bigger than it really is, and spending just a little more than I really should on supplies. Lennie kept me in check, and we were off with less than a truck-full of plants. OH, and I should mention that none of the plants were tomatoes or basil, because I already had a farm load of starts from seed that I had planted and have been cultivating over the past few weeks. We'll get to that in a minute.

We then headed to the grocery store for the week's food stuffs, and went home to enjoy the afternoon outside planting in the sunshine... except for the fact that once again I have successfully lost my shovel/trowel for my planting. Scratch that, I have lost both of my shovels this time around. Every year, I place the shovel in the "perfect spot" where I won't lose it, and every year, I can't find it. I think that somewhere, all of my shovels are sitting next to my lost socks laughing at me.

Needless to say, Lennie made another run to the store, and I was back in business. Two large bags of potting soil (and then some) and a few sweaty hours later, I have nine pots of tomatoes (what was I thinking!?!), three railing baskets with flowers, three lavender plants (which wintered beautifully from last year), a hanging basket with fushias, and some new filler plants in the community planters out front.

Here are a few photos of our garden:
9 pots of tomatoes, really!?!?! Seriously, I think I went a little overboard...
I'll keep you posted over the coming months on our progress, as I'm convinced that we're going to be sick of tomatoes before the summer is over... stay tuned on that one!

After dinner, we took one more trip out to brave Walmart to get a few of the last supplies that I needed for our garden -- like more plant stands so that the condo association won't fine us for having pots on the deck surface, and some gardening gloves for future potting sessions. (Side note: I noticed after working with my bare hands for three hours in the soil that the potting soil bag said "Waring: always use gloves when working with this product." Seems that the fertilizer built in to the soil isn't so hot for your hands and/or health. Ooopppsss....)

Anyone want to buy some tomatoes? They'll be fresh off the vine, I promise! Only fertilized with the highest quality fish water, really!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

You Can't Make This Up...

Last night, Lennie and I were driving in the Kent / Tukwila area, when we passed an electronic sign that said the following:
Craft Show, Bake Sale & Cancer
Friday, April 11th

What the? Excuse me? So on Friday, I can drop by and look at a few crafts, eat a sweet treat, and get cancer? Huh? Was it supposed to be benefitting cancer? Was I supposed to drop by to learn about cancer?

Man, I sooooooo wish that the stop light had been a little bit longer, and I had had a camera at my fingertips to immortalize this sign!

Monday, April 07, 2008


This past weekend, Lennie and I repainted the master bedroom a fun slate blue. It turned into a completely consuming weekend project. On Friday night, we emptied out the contents of our room, moving all of the furniture to different nooks and crannies of our condo. Saturday was spent taping, priming, and putting the first coat of paint on the walls. After our second night of camping out in our living room on our matresses, we got up on Sunday morning and put the final coat of paint on the walls.

Then it was off to hang out with my parents, where Lennie put together a sweet new desk for them while I helped out in the yard and enjoyed the hot tub. Love it! We reloaded the bedroom that night, rearranging furniture and generally settling back in. It's amazing to me what a difference a fresh coat of paint and an extra angle on the furniture will do to make a room, and your home, feel completely different.