Monday, November 28, 2005

Wishing for Snow

The kids are on the edges of their little seats waiting to see if it will snow. Yesterday, one heard, there was snow in Everett. Tonight, another says, it will snow three inches. Two boys engage in a heated debate about the temperature range best suited to producing snow. They look out the window and peer out at the sky as if they might be able to cause something to fall with the power of their minds. The energy in the room is palpable. Officially, they want snow to delay or cancel school, and I'm sure that is a big part of their enthusiasm. However, on those rare occasions when snow does actually fall they are in complete awe. Looking at their faces, I feel certain that school delays are not first in their minds. I must confess that I feel exactly the same; snow is magical around here. We get just enough of it to keep the possibility out there, but it is still rare enough to be different and exciting. The sky IS looking pretty interesting out there. Maybe some youthful prayers will be answered soon.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Note: we still don't have an internet connection at the new house, so this post has to be a little early.

Warning: Shmaltz ahead

I LOVE Thanksgiving. In fact, I pretty much love holidays in general. Any reason to decorate, get together, eat some tasty food, and have a good time sounds good to me. Even so, Thanksgiving is one of my special favorites. To me it is a completely non-religious holiday (I know a lot of hard-core Christians would croak at the idea) and I really, honestly spend a good portion of it thinking of all the things for which I am grateful. Family, friends, good health, a warm and happy home, and a great job are all "treasures" as my great-grandmother used to say. The old saying goes that you can never truly appreciate something until it is gone, but I am going to make a real attempt to value them now. Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Parent Madness

Okay, I just can't resist any more. Today I have to write about school. I know this is a bit of a risk because people might get mad at me for speaking frankly, but I'm banking on the idea that I'm at least sort of anonymous. Anyway, if anyone wants to debate the truth of my statements, I would be happy to take them on.

My gripe for today (I have several) is about parents who do not let their kids be responsible for themselves. Today I got a message from one mother who wants to know why her child lost two points on a writing assignment that we completed THREE WEEKS ago! Another mother emailed me last week asking if her daughter could make up an assignment that she did not turn in because she "had a really busy soccer schedule over the weekend." These incidents both pale in comparison to the mother (why are they always mothers?) who could not see why her child should receive a zero on an assignment where she copied half the work from another kid. This parent really felt that half credit, and only on the copied portions, would be much more reasonable. I could go on and on. Aside from the fact that they drive me crazy, can these parents not see what they are doing to their children? It is no wonder that there are so many people out there with an extreme sense of entitlement. I know that there are people who err the other way and ignore, or even neglect, their children, but surely there must be a happy medium. Perhaps my opinion will change when I have kids, but at the moment I see this as a big problem. In twenty years will these mothers be sending emails to bosses asking why their child didn't get promoted?

Monday, November 21, 2005

All Moved (well, almost)

We did it! At least 95% of our stuff now resides in our new house. Of course it resides in big piles, but at least it's there. The moving went very well, and our friends were very trusty indeed. With very little ado we picked up the U-Haul, our friends arrived, we packed the truck, went to the storage unit, packed the truck some more, and then went up to the house. It took a few extra suburban loads to get the storage unit completely empty, but several people stayed to make sure it got done. We had beer, snacks, and pizza when it was over, and it was so much fun just to have people in the house. It was the first time to be in the house with noise and commotion (the nieces and a few other kids came too) and it was really warm and cheerful.

On Sunday we went over to the condo to gather some of the odds and ends. For some reason, this is one of the hardest parts about moving for me. I hate having to go back to the old place to pick up the leftovers and do the cleaning. Maybe it's because I just want to move forward, but I always dislike this part. We managed to fill Mark's car with stuff, and the condo is STILL not quite empty. Once we got home again, we spent the whole afternoon unloading boxes. Seven boxes of kitch stuff later, and I was just starting to feel like I have a handle on things. Of course I haven't even touched the living room, bedrooms, or bathrooms.

The biggest surprise of the weekend was the way the cats responded to the change. The black one, who is normally so brave and curious, was completely petrified to be in a new place. He found a deep, dark corner to hide in, and we didn't see him for the rest of the day. Thandie, on the other hand, is usually skiddish and frightened of everything, but she was much happier with the move. She hid for a few hours, but pretty soon she was being very brave and inspecting the house all over. By last night, both of them decided to venture downstairs. They stay close to the ground and slink around like big cats. My favorite part is the way they stretch their necks waaaay out to look around scary corners.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Moving Day

The fog is layered over Issaquah like a thick blanket, but at least it isn't raining. Nothing makes moving more miserable than cold rain. We are going to pick up the truck in a few minutes, and then our trusty (we hope) friends will arrive at 10:00 to help us. I am constantly amazed at the sheer quantity of our stuff. How did two people in a small condo manage to collect so much? And that's with an active effort to get rid of things regularly. The kitties are quite put out by all this commotion. I don't know what they will do when we actually crate them and take them to the new house. I think the little one might hide under the bed for a month.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

New House!

Yesterday at 5:00 I was driving to Redmon because I thought that I was going to hear a lecture by Stephen Hawking. I also thought that our agent had stood me up, and I was not getting the new house key as he had promised. Trying not to grind my teeth about the key; I could at least be happy about the lecture. By the time I arrived at Mark's office things had changed. Stephen Hawking was not feeling well (poor Stephen Hawking!) but the agent DID turn up with the key. Okay, change of plans. We grabbed dinner, Mark ran home and picked up the key, and we met up again to go over to the house.

Every time I see it from the street I just can't believe it's ours. It was very dark out by this time, the key stuck in the lock, but finally Mark got it to work. (Can you tell that I'm trying to remember every stupid detail about our first visit to OUR house?!) Without the furiture it looks much bigger than when we saw it before. You can also see much more clearly how shabby some things are. There are dents, dings, scratches and old paint effects; in short it needs some sprucing. We will definately have quite a few projects ahead of us, but most of them are in the cleaning, painting, updating range, so I think we will be okay. Anyway, it was just an empty, slightly worn house, but it was WONDERFUL! I was OURS!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Almost There

When we get home today the key to our new house will be waiting! It will probably be too late for us to go up and wander around, but at least we will get to hold that key in our hot little hands. Meanwhile, the listing for the condo went up today. I was actually surpised to find that when I looked at the listing it made me a little sad. That condo was our first home together, and it will always be special. Moving the ornaments made me remember our first Christmas when we didn't have a tree topper so we sat a teddybear in the top branches. Silly little details sometimes make the memory I guess. Anyway, we are just about out of the old and into the new, and hopefully the next time I write, there can be rhapsodizing about the wonders of the new house.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Tiffany at S.A.M.

The last time Mark and I visited the Seattle Art Museum it was for a showing of modern Chinese art. Let's just say I didn't have the artistic chops to properly appreciate most of that work. However, the exhibition on Lewis C. Tiffany was quite another story. The luminous colors, the curving, flowing lines, and the focus on the beauty of nature were really incredible. He is most famous for his lampshades, but they are really only a rough, mass-produced version of his better work. The vases and other free-form glass work are what really impressed me. Pictures don't do it justice, but you can see many of his pieces here: or better yet, if you are in the Seattle area, you should be sure to go and see it for yourself:

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Waiting, waiting, waiting

On Thursday we went to the title company to sign papers on the house. We each got our own shiney pen in a plastic wrapper. I was REALLY annoyed to find that my name didn't even appear on many of the papers. The young woman who was helping us appologized repeatedly. "It's just an archaic system" she said. Then why isn't Mark the one to be left off the top page? Did they ask us who we wanted as the "primary borrower?" No, they did not. They just put the male name on by default. I know it doesn't make any material difference, but I was irritated that it could still be set up that way. Anyway, we signed on Thursday, but the paperwork didn't quite make it through in time, so we don't officially close until tomorrow. We don't know if the "closing plus three days" clause is still in effect, so we either get the keys tomorrow or Thursday at 9pm. I think this has been the longest month in history!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Pride and Prejudice

Tonight we saw the new movie version!
I would pretty much watch any adaptation of a Jane Austen story just on the off chance that it might be appealing, and, while this one does have its annoying moments, it was not bad overall. I think most of us who are big fans of the story would agree that the BBC version is about as good as it gets, but just to see another director's take is interesting. First, the casting of the main characters was not as good in the movie. However, some of the supporting characters are reasonably satisfying. Jane and Bingley are perfectly sweet and vapid, and the Bennet parents are very good as well. The big treat was Dame Judy Dench as Lady Catherine, but you almost felt she was wasted on such a small part. There were several gratuitous moments though where the director clearly felt that we were not smart enough to reach our own conclusions about what was playing out. By the later scenes you are starting to get pretty tired of this, and when Mr. Darcy goes striding accross the misty field with his shirt undone I had the urge to giggle instead of swoon. Don't even get me started on the music and the sunrise. Still, it was fun to watch. I felt a little manipulated into liking the last scene, but I liked it nonetheless. I would watch this again when it shows on TV, but I won't curl up with it on a regular basis like I do the BBC version.


I have always believed that most of the blogs out there are more a form of self-indugence than anything else. I mean come on, who really wants to know that you cut yourself shaving this morning or that your boss is a jerk. I wholeheartedly approve of journal keeping, but maybe some of these things should remain private? However, there are certain advantages to blogging, so, for the sake of the ten people who might care, I'm going to try it out. I hereby promise not to talk about my shaving habits, what the kitty hacked up, or anything like that. In the end, my blog may be a little on the boring side, but at least I can spell, and I do know how to use capital letters :)