Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Elisabeth says the title for this post should be “Get this hideous table out of this house!”

I was thinking more along the lines of “For sale, cheap: beautiful inlaid oak dining table with two upholstered arm chairs and four upholstered side chairs.”


We got this table in 1988. It was our first major “fine furniture” purchase and we’ve treated it with kid gloves and obsessive protectiveness since then. I’ve always loved (and still love) the inlaid wood!


But apparently it’s akin to a wedding dress with sleeves (which mine had) or parachute pants (loved those too). In other words, according to our kids, it’s “soooo 80’s” and it’s time for it to go.


This is what we’re replacing it with:

table chairs

…along with this sidebar (which Tom and Kat already put together, so this is the actual piece in our dining room):


But until we get rid of – I mean bid adieu to – our old dining set, we can’t do much with the new one.

I was asking $450, then I decreased it to $350 and now it’s a “make me an offer” deal! To my local readers... interested?

Addendum: The next week, this is what it all looks like (and the old set is sold!):


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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My famous green daddy

My dad is a bit of a celebrity around Ashland, Oregon.  Maybe that’s just an adoring daughter speaking (I grew up thinking he looked just like President Kennedy!), but I have a feeling he gets plenty of stares and waves as he makes his way through town in this:

Green daddy

(The full article can be read here.)

Yup, Dad is Mr. Environment and I’m pretty dang proud of him for it!  How many people do you know who sell a Prius because it’s not quite green enough?!

"This is a time of change,” says my 81-year-young father in the article, “and I consider the ZENN ideal for Ashland's size and hilly terrain." 

Dad gets 35-plus miles per charge and accelerates rapidly to the 35-miles-per-hour top speed, which allows him to zip around town at the speed of traffic at a cost of about 1 cent per mile!

Want to learn more about the Zenn?  You can, here.

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DO fence me in. (Oh, and cut the phone lines and almost kill yourself while you’re at it!)

I’ve been begging for a split rail fence in the front yard for three years (it was my favorite part of our original re-landscaping design), but Tom has insisted all along that the fence is pretty much the last thing to do and I’d have to wait until the rest of the yard is pretty much done. The fence, he’s said all along, is more like the cherry on the sundae or the frame around the painting.

(Fine. HE never said that; he only implied it. Kat actually vocalized it… because she knows how to turn her dad’s thoughts into visual poetry.)

So guess what Tom did last weekend? He generously created a beautiful split rail fence, exactly as I’d envisioned:

We bought the rails already “pre-punched.” They match his gorgeous garden shed pretty well, don’tcha think?


He stained both the rails and the posts so they can withstand the wet Pacific Northwest weather.


Then he rented a post hole digger and started digging. Was he looking out for phone wires? Most decidedly not… IMG_0842

As he hand-finished those holes, did he run into two severed ends of what seemed to be our phone line? He might have. I’m not allowed to say.IMG_0831

(But can I just say right here that, had he run into severed wires with that powerful post hole digger – let’s just say… and had those wires been live electrical wires -- well, I get sick just thinking about it…)IMG_0909

He certainly wouldn’t have gotten to this peaceful part of the project.


And we wouldn’t be appreciating this beautiful new fence because we’d be… oh, maybe planning a funeral! (I’m not feeling so good…)


And sure, I’d end up finishing the fence, but I’d hate it.


Not love it like I love this fence.


I’m fine with a dead phone line. As long as it's the only dead thing around here. (But we probably should get it fixed, eh?)

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cats are just WEIRD!

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Building Bridges

A new bridge is being built for Microsoft in Redmond!  With a hundred and some Microsoft buildings in Redmond alone, there’s a whole lot of connecting to be done, too.  The Microsoft campus spans both sides of the 520 freeway, both north and south (and far beyond), and for those of us who work with a variety of Microsoft business groups and in a variety of Microsoft campus locations, we’re constantly criss-crossing the freeway.

At the end of 2010, this bridge will be there to make our lives easier! (Notice the mass transit train on this schematic?  Ha!  Wishful thinking!)

Bridge Graphic (2)

Yes, we have to wait about 18 months since construction began, but this promises to be a pretty bitchin’ bridge!  (Can bridges be bitchin’?!)

I walked from my office to one of the many Microsoft cafeterias today to meet a friend for lunch and happened to catch a few shots of the construction (locations 1 – 4).  Then, on the way home, I grabbed a few more (locations 5 and 6).

Here’s a little tour for you.  First, of course, a map:

Marked up

And some pictures (click on above map for locations/directions of the photos):

1.) This is pretty much my view of the construction hub from my office parking lot.  It’s no Coke commercial.  ;-(


2.) The view across the freeway from Microsoft building 22.


3.) And back toward one of the other many Microsoft buildings (this is building 43).


4.) Yes, that’s a Microsoft security vehicle.  I wonder if that car stops hackers?


5.) Do not snap photos while you drive! Only stunt drivers like me should do attempt such insanity.


6.) Snapping photos while changing lanes is especially stupid .


It’ll be a nice bridge once it’s finished, but until then it’ll be noisy and dirty around the construction zone.  They could at least provide us captive workers a little incentive entertainment, don’tcha think?

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Monday, September 21, 2009

If I click my heels three times, could I be here tomorrow? (Please?!)







And my favorite:


(Images courtesy of

And some photos from when Elisabeth went to Oktoberfest last year, lucky girl!

And now, back to work…

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Friendship, fun, and food in Poulsbo

A few people – NONE of them bloggers – have “warned” me about getting together with people you meet on the internet. They might be sketchy, it seems, or (shudder!) downright dangerous! I have proven those nay-sayers wrong before and I am here to prove them wrong (oh, so wrong!) again today!

Lynn has been a faithful reader of my blog for about a year now. (But she doesn’t have a blog of her own – YET… hint-hint, Lynn – so I can’t provide a link.) We can’t remember how she came upon my blog originally, but she reads it daily and is one of my more faithful commenters (and you know how I love comments!). Lynn and her husband John live in the beautiful seaside community of Poulsbo, otherwise known as “Little Norway.” It’s a short ferry ride but a world away from Seattle. After our visit yesterday, I also believe that it could someday be our new home, with its beauty, its strong feeling of community and its proximity to the water and the Olympic Mountains.

As we drove up to Lynn’s house, Tom asked if was nervous to meet her. “Nah,” I told him, “I feel like we’ve met many times!” And that’s what it felt like when my good friend Lynn answered the door.


The internet might be a weird and dangerous place to meet people for some, but for me it has only led to great and lasting friendships! Tom and John became quick friends too, as we were given a tour of Lynn and John’s beautiful yard, complete with natural babbling stream, mini bamboo forest and fruit trees galore (we even got to take home some of their yummy peach harvest!). John and Lynn are both accomplished artists and their house beautifully showcases their talent and great design sense.

As we were given a tour, John and Lynn’s son Dax and his lovely wife Melissa arrived. Dax is an accomplished musician, composer and arranger (he was the keyboard artist for NSync and toured Europe with them!) and Melissa is a zoologist – and they are both smart, talented and friendly, just like our new friends Lynn and John!

The six of us then left the house and walked to downtown Poulsbo…


…where Tizley’s Europub is located. German beer, Wienerschnitzel, and good friends… what could be better?!


When I was Germany with Mom in 2001, we had Wienerschnitzel at a restaurant atop the festung in Salzburg, and this Weinerschnitzel was every bit as good! Here’s Lynn and John showing theirs off:


And Tom and I showing ours off:


And me showing off the fact that I was on my second (fabulous) beer, in spite of my “lightweight” reputation:


All six of us had a wonderful time:


On the walk back to Lynn and John’s house, we came upon an intersection that cracked me up:


(I’ll have to let Uncle Harry – Tom’s cousin is married to Harrison Ford’s brother – know about this!)

The evening ended too soon, but with a promise from Lynn and her family that they’d join us soon in Woodinville for a day of winery tours and wine tasting.

Thank you, Lynn and John, for a wonderful evening full of fun and friendship! We’re so lucky to have met you through this dangerous and scary medium (pffffffft!) called the (shudder!) Internet!

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Tom Cat

(Or rather - Cat, Tom)


How sweet is this?


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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kat’s Cute Cut

Remember my plea to bring back the wedge? Well, leave it to my obedient child to oblige! 

Kat IM’d me this morning (downstairs to upstairs – what has come of us?!) with a link to a haircut she was considering.  I immediately encouraged her, thinking the cut would look adorable on her.  Within an few minutes she’d made an appointment for 4:00 this afternoon!  Gutsy kid!

And she even asked me to go with her.  Sweet kid!

First we took some “before” pictures:

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The first thing Kat did when we arrived at Gene Juarez was donate her hair to Locks of Love.



Then there was some snipping…


and measuring…


and some drying…


and some styling…


And some checkin’ it out…


And voila!

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I love the wedge – of course!


Being girly girls and aspiring photographers, we of course came home and gathered some friends for a photo shoot:

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I think it’s the perfect cut for Kat and it really showcases her personality perfectly!  Don’t you?

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