Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

In the culmination of a years-long dream, my mother whisked me away on a Greek extravaganza celebrating both of our birthdays. After many months of meticulous planning on Mom's part, we found ourselves excited and jet-lagged in Athens!
At the Metro Station, headed to Syntagma Square
The view from Hotel Acropolis House - the Acropolis! Seriously.

From Athens it was on to the adorable village of Kardamili.

So many pleasant moments spent just staring out to sea, chatting, sipping cappuccino.

Dandelions the size of grapefruits!
And of course, beautiful sunsets.

We enjoyed some excursions to nearby sights:
In the courtyard of Monastery Vaidenitsa
Stuck in Stoupa
There was a great bike path that followed the coast from Stoupa to Agios Nikolaos
The host of Maison Viros, Nikos, was so helpful and thoughtful!
This place was perfect. Kitchen, pool, view of the sea. Couldn't have been better.
Nikos waited with us until the bus came to take us back to Athens! Such a nice guy.
Thanks, Mom, for an incredible adventure. I love you so, so much. Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Well hello, Spring. I've missed you.

It has been a long, gray winter. Desperately seeking spring! Every flower is a bastion of hope in the gloom, let me tell you what.

A recent bookstore acquisition, Seattle Townscape Walks, by Tyler E. Burgess, inspired a weekend adventure to revel in the "spring tree blossoms." Cherries, magnolias, daffodils, and so many new buds springing up!

 After taking the 66 bus down to Eastlake, crossing through I-5 Colonnade Mountain Bike Park, and hiking up a billion stairs....
Look! A flower! And leaves! Sigh.
The rare Snake-Skin Violet. Kidding. No idea what this is, but it sure is cool.

While we didn't go into the Volunteer Park Conservatory this time, we have been before. So lovely. And with a four dollar admission price, you can't beat the orchids, mosses, ferns, succulents and cacti. A garden tour that can't be rained out!
Look at those beauties.
The walk wasn't all flowers. We took delight in all things nature.
Respect to the spiky seed pod.
A ladder of fungi

On one charming street we found a tiny library, which the neighbor described as "a birdbath for humans." (There are a lot of these spread around Seattle. So adorable.) We also passed a row of huge birch trees. The peeling bark in the wind was making the most peaceful rustling sound.
Close your eyes and listen.

After two years in Seattle, we are still having so much fun exploring Seattle. You can expect more adventures as we try some of the other walks from Tyler Burgess' book. Yay! Outdoors!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Plumb Out of Ideas for Plums

There are two wonderful plum trees in the yard. The landlords and the neighbors assured us that there would be more plums than we could eat, and they were sure right.

In addition to eating four to six plums per day, per person, we came up with a few creative uses:

Michael's special dried plum recipe
Stewing plums and blackberries in preparation for pureeing

Blackberry-Plum Fruit Roll-Ups!
Plum Cake

A Plum Shrub. Don't know what that is? Check it out!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

How Lucky We Are

None of you, save Carrie, Rachael, Javier and Mike's parents, knew what The Shitty Apartment looked like. Good, you still don't. It was always part of the plan for our first place to be forgetful, and this entry helps us complete that process.
Don't be fooled by the fresh paint and new landscaping.
While we were loading the truck, the occupant of the balcony in the upper right intermittently, and stealthily, snapped photos of us. When Donica confronted her, she said, "Don't worry, I love you, I love you!" As a side note: Isaiah, you'd call the the 14' truck cheating, and it was, but they didn't have any ten-footers available and the cargo van was too big a challenge.
Donica's co-worker's friend's friend from church provided us the lead for the new place. After all of our craigslisting and driving around desirable neighborhoods, it's refreshing to be reminded that you can still count on serendipity and personal connections.
Hello lover.

The iris patch

We knew straight away that this was the apartment for us. After walking through the garden we entered into a dining area and nice-sized kitchen with more cabinets and drawers than we know what to do with, washer/dryer/dishwasher, ten foot ceilings in the living room, and lots of windows.  Inside of 30 seconds Donica had decided we were taking it.  Seriously, I remember her saying, "Jerry, this is great, so great, we'll take it."
Recently liberated from the ivy is our very own garden gnome
After living with a kitchen that had one cupboard for food and another for dishes, we had a very hard time unpacking. Throughout the house we found ourselves crowding our possessions into tight clusters despite the relatively sprawling shelves, cupboards, closets and counter tops.
Plates, glasses, tupperware, spices or pots and pans? They probably all fit in here.

The glorious pantry!

We heart mason jars. White sugar, barley, brown sugar and bulgur wheat.
True to form the kitchen and wine rack were unpacked first, while other boxes remain unpacked, even as you read this post.

Banana breading with the new, cool-ass scale. The recipe was metric, what?!
Oh, and books. It was much fun unpacking and deciding how to organize our library.
Every day we spent time reclaiming the gardening space.  Look closely, this is the first found worm.

Look at my pretty, gardening wife.

About 2/3 weeded, yard waste bin about 2/3 full.

Spring-time bulbs in Seattle are a sight to see. Daffodils, irises, lilies and the fashionably late tulips.

While not completely settled in, our nice new digs have markedly improved our outlook on life and our opinion of Seattle. It has also given Donica an excuse to spend most weekends thrift store shopping. Come visit!