december opportunities

i finished finals this week. the quarter felt very, very long. i have been unhappy with the opportunities that uw has offered to date. transferring is still one of the best decisions i have ever made in my life. however, i have become increasingly anxious about whether i will truly get the experience i need to have a career in policy right out of the graduation gate.

that MIGHT all be changing...another student left her legislative position with House Representative Eric Pettigrew. Rep. Pettigrew is a very well-respected community organizer in seattle and south king county. he was just appointed to house caucus chair. i jumped on checking into whether i could move into that vacancy. well, i shouldn't say jumped as i agonized over whether i should even ask. thanks to prodding from classmates, i asked. and then had a long sleepless night while trying to figure out the best way to tell my united way supervisor. i told her and she has been very supportive. i learned the position is open. however, there are some special conditions. i interview next week and will learn about those special conditions then. currently, i am all over the board about whether i should commit. see, the capitol is nearly 2 hours outside of seattle. this means i will need to find housing in olympia. that means we have to pay rent on two properties for 3 months. that also means anthony and i will be living apart again. and i will have to commute for class. and i will have to drop 2 of the policy classes that i have really been looking forward to. and i will have to buy a new wardrobe that is appropriate for legislation making- suits, suits and more suits. there is usually as very small stipend ($250 a month) for students, but with the severe budget deficit i am assuming one of the special conditions will be that i cannot get this stipend. that is scary. very, very scary. so, i'm going to have to get a private loan to afford all this. AND the session starts in just a few weeks. so, first i have to interview, then i have to accept. and then comes everything else- finding housing, dropping classes, figuring out how anthony and i will share 1 car while living 100 miles apart, etc. ugh. this is all very overwhelming. and then i remember that THIS is why i transferred. THIS is the opportunity of a lifetime. THIS could set my career in motion. THIS could be the ONE opportunity that puts me on the road to legislation greatness. that's right folks- legislation greatness. :)

anyway, no decision yet. i'll keep you posted.

i've been cooking a lot lately, and am loving it as usual. our csa box is getting more and more boring with the change in seasons, and i cannot imagine eating the same damn root veggies for the next 4 months. but, for now i'm using food blogs to get creative. at this moment i'm eating roasted beets with horseradish dressing and fried capers. if you've never fried capers, try it. even if you don't like capers. they are very tasty! and they puff up and open like flowers. they are really quite beautiful! i've been doing some cleaning, but am really itching to do more. i want to take everything out of every cabinet and drawer and shelf and clean out those cabinets and drawers and shelves and then throw away and re-organize. that kind of cleaning.

as for now, i'm craving brussel sprouts. let the roasting begin!

p.s. we had a great time in oregon for thanksgiving and will be in denver for xmas in less than a week. happy birthday dad and lilli and umeko!


seattle snow

as many of you have heard by now, seattle was hit with an icy winter storm on monday. forecasters called for light snow showers, and the people of seattle were in full panic mode come sunday afternoon. i was actually pretty surprised on monday morning to find the snow already sticking to the streets in my neighborhood at 7:30am. i still thought people were being a bit dramatic, but not wanting to get stuck downtown i left work an hour early. well, it took me nearly 4 hours to get the 7 miles home. it was disastrous! although we only got a mere few inches of snow, the roads were treacherous. very windy + very cold = very slippery commute. even our bus with chains got stuck on ice for a few terrifying moments. thankfully we made it home just fine and fared far better than others that got stuck on buses for upwards of 12 hours!

on tuesday both of our offices were closed, so anthony and i walked around the neighborhood a bit to take pictures. it was sunny and clear, but very cold. highs in the 20s is very unusual for seattle, and we've already broken some records.

and now it's wednesday. schools are still closed and buses are still running on snow routes. i had physical therapy this morning and decided to take the bus just in case my big hill climb was icy. however, the roads were in much better shape than i expected. i had a pretty uneventful trip out.

this afternoon i'm headed over to the u-district for a volunteer orientation. anthony and i are going to start cooking breakfast for homeless teens 1 sunday morning each month at ROOTS. i never thought i'd be working with youth, but somehow i've become entrenched. through my work with united way i've had the opportunity to do some qualitative interviewing with homeless youth ranging from 15-20. these are unaccompanied youth, meaning they have no parents are guardians. it's hit me really hard. much harder than i expected. and with this severe weather, it's all i can think about. there is only one shelter in seattle that serves this population (that's ROOTS). many youth sleep in the woods. these are KIDS. please, do what you can to support your local shelter. we've started picking up extra pairs of gloves and socks when out shopping. oftentimes, it's just an extra $5. blankets and food are in huge demand. but if you've got time, that's needed too. cook a meal, even just once. it might change you.

side note: we've been trying a lot of new recipes. pictured are goat cheese zucchini pizza and cranberry apple pie. (for some reason these pictures won't rotate or change size.) the pizza was phenomenal. i still hate pie, but anthony ate the whole thing in 2 sittings.


seattle's dark days

it's mid-november and seems to be dark 'round the clock here now. it actually is light in the morning by 7am, so i catch some sun on my way to work and school. however, the sun sets at 4:30 in the afternoon so it's dark by the time i get out of work or class every day. i didn't seem to notice last fall, but this year the change has really surprised me. i think part of it was that daylight savings happened while we were in MEXICO! i swear, the season seemed to have completely changed while we were away.

so, mexico...we were in cabo san lucas for just a few short days for christy and ben's beautiful wedding. it was such a wonderful break (hello sun and beach!) and such a treat to be a part of their special weekend. we didn't have too much time for lots of activities, but we did get to swim with dolphins and enjoy massages on the beach. anthony also went atv-ing. it has made me look forward to the other weddings we'll be flying out of seattle for in april, may and july. better get a new swimsuit for the bahamas in may!

i've got exactly on month left in this quarter, and i am so looking forward to a new set of classes. for next quarter i am registered for ALL policy classes and will get to take one at the school of public administration. it should be interesting to analyze policy from a different theoretical perspective. i actually will be taking one (and possibly two) more classes than i'm in right now. i'm just trying to remind myself that i will have a very light load in my last quarter and will hopefully be spending my free time enjoying the gorgeous spring weather we WILL have!

things aren't easy right now, but i'm just trying to hold on through the next few months. i sense a lot of change on the horizon (what's new for us, right?), but i'm counting my privileges and doing my best to enjoy what i can. stay tuned for the holiday excitement!


updates all around

can you believe november is just around the corner? the autumn has been beautiful thus far, but today the real rain finally moved in. we had a big storm last weekend (i was out of town) and we're in the midst of one right now. it's actually supposed to turn worse with possible flooding on monday and/or tuesday.

i'm a little disillusioned with school right now, which is hard to say since i left du in hopes of better things. i'm not sure that i'm getting the experience i need to find a job i will actually like. we'll see how it goes next quarter, but right now i'm still feeling a huge gap.

as for the foot, i'm still in physical therapy but have scheduled a termination date. it's just not helping anymore. they told me i have a deformity that means i'm not built to run. alas, my running days are over. they told me to take up swimming or biking. honestly, i'm a little scared to bike. cars are scary. also, it's not exactly the right season to start biking. i'm going to wait until after the near year (when i will hopefully have more time) and then re-evaluate.

we've had some visitors over the last 6 weeks! first, maureen and jana came. we got to do some tasting at novelty hill/januik winery in woodinville. we also had pizza there! we did the theo chocolate tour too, which was amazing! it's definitely a great way to spend time with visitors. then, joan came and stayed with us for a short weekend. we went to the seattle art museum's picasso exhibit. it was wonderful, and i'm so glad we made it. i am always excited about new exhibits, but we so rarely make the time to actually go. i was really pleased we were able to go to this one. for the past few days my friend sophie and her boyfriend james have been visiting. they are the ones with the wine property on sonoma mountain. they've got 4 barrels of wine in the works! last night we went to the pink door and japonessa. the pink door is a seattle institution in pike's market. the food is amazing. japonessa is a new sushi place. i prefer more authentic sushi. the food was pretty good, but i don't like all those extra ingredients and aiolis's on my sushi. anyways, they stayed at the sorrento hotel and raved about it. so, if you need a place to stay, there's one recommendation!

i was in denver last weekend for a friend's bachelorette party and to celebrate sarah's 30th birthday. i missed her surprise party, but still got to surprise her with a very quick visit. we got pedicures and went to lunch. it was absolutely wonderful. i really miss girl time. it's getting hard not having friends here.

next weekend we'll be mexico for christy's wedding and then we'll be in portland for thanksgiving. we're heading to denver for xmas. we also have some trips in the works for next year!

hopefully i'll be able to explain my school situation a bit better later in the school year, but for now hang with me while i post less often. i will definitely try to get some mexico pictures up!


bus adventures #2 and #3

i'm on a new bus to my internship and riding the bus to school more frequently as well. this means a different crowd. since my internship falls into normal business hours, that bus is mostly filled with professionals. the school bus is mostly students but a bit more mixed, since the u-district has a very high homeless population.

the other morning i sat near a woman who was sewing lace. as in, she had white thread, a regular needle, and was MAKING lace! MAKING LACE! it was amazing! i had no idea that was possible! i always figured it was made on some kind of fancy loom. but no, it's made by middle-aged ladies on the bus!

on a bus ride home from school i sat across from a very... dynamic? man. he is 85 years old. he has been shot 23 times. i know because he showed us all of the scars. meaning, he pulled up his shirt AND pulled his shorts all the way up to his crotch to make sure we got a good view of every single one. he also drinks 25 $0.99 beers every day. he showed us his backpack full of beer. he also showed us his 50 hits of acid. he smokes cubans every day. he also carries around a steel water bottle full of cuban rum, which he proceeded to share with those that wanted a swig (only one guy took him up on it). oh, and he has 16 kids, ranging from their 20s to their 60s. he's a grandfather and a great-grandfather. his grandkids drink all his booze and smoke all his pot but they're good kids. i'm sure there was more he shared with us, but those were the highlights.


foot update

i have a lot to you update you on (i'm back in school, my internship, maureen and jana's visit, more bus adventures), but for now we'll focus on the dreaded foot.

tendinitis (or as my PT continuously points out, it's truly tendonosis) in 3 tendons on my left foot plus bursitis. i've also developed some tendinitis in my right foot as a result of over-compensation (not to mention hip weakness, and back, neck and shoulder pain). anyways, i'm in physical therapy twice a week and have to do lots of stretching and some exercises at home. i did a round of 6 days of steroids, which was what i imagine a crack binge to be. right now i'm at about 5 weeks no running. my goal is october 21st to get back. although, when i asked my PT about it she kind of laughed and said, "we'll see." basically, it's much worse than i ever imagined and requires long-term therapy. i'm also doing ultrasound and electrode therapy with each visit. at first it was a lot of massage, which was great. but this week she broke out the medieval torture tools. excruciating. basically she takes these weird shaped tools and runs then all along my achilles and the bottom of my foot. there are cracking sounds. that is the sound of fibrous tissue being broken up. there is me clutching the table for dear life and burying my face wherever i can to cope. it's bad. but i guess there's lots of research supporting it. so, i'll deal. i'm scheduled into november for now, and hoping i won't need to go into the holiday season. hurray for running! :)

today is frankie's 3rd birthday. happy birthday frankie jane!!!


seattle bus adventures

for months i’ve joked about dedicating a blog solely to my adventures of riding the metro bus. it truly is an adventure, and not always pleasant. i actually do enjoy riding the bus (the majority of the time), and some days you’ll even hear me say that i love it. why? well, it’s actually a humbling experience. riding the bus reminds me to keep it real, to use my manners, and to recognize my privilege. just about every day i see (and/or hear) something strange, scary, hilarious or heart-breaking on the bus. so, i’ve decided that i should begin sharing some of those experiences.
while boarding the bus, a little girl looked up at the driver and confidently announced, “excuse me, i’m four years and 5 months old today.” she was so proud, and just about everyone in ear shot of her smiled.


denver revisited

i forgot to mention something very important about my trip to denver. i visited my grandparents. they are getting a bit senile and are even showing signs of dementia. i’ve been hearing lots of stories, but i have not seen my grandparents in long enough that i just couldn’t imagine them being any different than i’ve always known them to be. anyway, we had a lovely visit, which was timed perfectly with my grandfather’s 84th birthday. it was wonderful to see them, and i even left with treats. one of my (and probably all of my siblings’) favorite treats growing up was muisjes. there are different versions, but we always had the chocolate sprinkles (dark or milk). yep, pretty much just chocolate sprinkles. but, you have to get right kind (the dutch kind of course), and you have to put them on buttered bread to make it officially dutch. deliciously dutch!


labor day weekend

as we head into the weekend once again, i’d like to tell you about a few things that happened over the holiday weekend.

to start, we had a gorgeous run on saturday morning along elliott bay. we started at the olympic sculpture park and made our way along myrtle edwards park. we got to watch a seagull gulp down a starfish for breakfast. another wonderful thing about living on the water. later, we had lunch at an indonesian restaurant i’ve been wanting to try for awhile. those of you reading this should know that my father and his side of the family are from indonesia. honestly, i didn’t get much exposure to indonesian culture while growing up, and as an adult i feel i’ve missed out. so, this was a big deal for me. anyway, i got nasi goreng (essentially chicken fried rice with an egg on top) and anthony ordered beef and rice a la carte. we ended up trading, and neither dish was excellent enough to elaborate on. however, the teh tarik (black tea with milk and spices) and the black rice pudding (sweetened with coconut milk) were incredible! incredible enough that i will certainly go back just for that. and, although the dishes we selected weren’t mind-blowing, i’d like to continue sampling. i’m sure there are a few things on that menu that warrant writing home about.

on sunday we went on a beautiful (albeit CHILLY!) hike up rattlesnake mountain. during the hike we met some seattle newbies (as in 2 weeks and 2 months new) looking for new friends. we had such a great introduction that they invited us for a labor day cookout. so, we spent monday hanging in ballard with our new friends who love wine. woo hoo!


stopped in my tracks

ok, not literally. but i do seem to have injured myself again. some kind of bursitis/achilles issue in my heel. and it's actually throbbing as i type this, even after ice and ibuprofen. it started bothering me during my first run post-race (nearly 3 weeks ago). i figured i had just twisted it a little in the mud as it wasn't painful, just irritated. since then i've had 2 speed classes, 1 4-mile run and 1 4-mile hike. this is less than half of what i would normally be doing, and it's just getting worse. the only thing that seems to help is wearing heels. seriously. not tennis shoes, not flats, not a 1 inch wedge heel. real heels. i know it seems nuts, but it's the only relief i've gotten.

i skipped speed class last night and am supposed to start my half marathon training on saturday. i'm pretty bummed that i might need to halt my training. i keep thinking it will just heal with my limited activity, but it's getting so much worse. anyways, i'll keep you posted, but there is a chance i'll have to keep the running to a bare minimum and re-start my training with the new year. yucky.



i spent almost 5 days in denver at the end of august. the weather was nice and hot (what summer should be) and we got to see lots of friends and family. besties maureen and jana picked me up at the airport (many thanks), and we got to spend the day together. we all met up with my sister at pajama baking company for afternoon treats. that evening joan treated me to dinner at the squeaky bean. i've heard lots of buzz about it, but i think we were both a little disappointed about the small servings and high prices- and i live in seattle. however, we got delicious dessert at little man ice cream to make up for it!

i got to spend most of the next day with my little sister, catching up since her return from japan. and then i went to henry's salon to get my hair chopped off! hooray! the following day joan hosted a yard party for us so we could see lots of friends. it was fun catching up with everyone (like hearing about amy and stephen's engagement story, bill and josephine's wedding update, how much baby isabella has grown, meeting baby evan, and getting the dirt on amanda's job and nick's crazy workouts). one of my favorite moments... talking to sydney about her upcoming first day of kindergarten. we definitely had to get a picture to commemorate that conversation! and now sydney is a kindergarten pro at more than a week in!

we couldn't leave without having breakfast at lucile's, and i had the privilege of seeing christy at her new place (not so new for her anymore!). can't wait for her mexico wedding in just a couple months! we had so much fun seeing everyone, and we hope to catch you during our next visit over christmas!


sarah visits seattle

yes, i'm very behind. i finished school and still can't manage to keep up. but, it's important that i keep track of these special visits rather than just starting at present.

my beautiful, wonderful friend sarah came to visit in august. it was a quick visit, but we managed to pack in lots of fun and tons of love. to start, we had a fantastic lunch at one of my all time favorites- volunteer park cafe. then, the sky completely cleared for a gorgeous, sunny walk around green lake.

sticking with the water theme, we had drinks and dinner at joey's restaurant on lake union. the views were pretty incredible, with plenty of sea planes landing and taking off during our meal. the next day we spent some time in ballard, but the highlight was definitely the urban wine tour. i did the tour a few months back, but this time around i got to try all new wines and visit different wineries! very exciting! we did end up buying a couple bottles plus some new wine glasses from 106 pine.

we had such a great time, and fortunately, i got to see her again the following weekend in denver!


3 and counting...

happy anniversary to my amazing husband. i cannot believe our wedding is 3 years behind us. and you readers probably won't believe that we've been together for nearly a decade. that's right! our lives have been a whirlwind for the last few years- bought a house a week before the wedding, wedding, joined americorps 3 days after the wedding, 1st year of graduate school for me, new job and moving to seattle for anthony, me moving to seattle, moving to a new neighborhood in seattle, another new job for anthony and starting my last year of graduate school. phew! a whole lot of stress, but we've only grown closer. you rock my world. you are my rock. i love you.

photos by jenna walker


lake union 10k

i've been waiting for the race photos to do this post, but it turns out they aren't letting us copy the pictures this year. so, you're just going to have to follow a link if you want to see me crossing the finish line. i finished in 1 hour and 3 minutes. you might recall my goal was 1 hour 5 minutes, so i came in well under. plus, i obliterated my time last year. yay! click here to see my pictures. i'm pictures 7, 8, and 9 on that page.

i haven't done much running since then. we've had one speed class, which nearly killed me. and i tried running in denver and the altitude stopped me short. so, hopefully all this resting hasn't taken me out of the game. the long runs start again this weekend! gearing up for half-marathon training!


trying to get back

hi friends! i seem to have fallen out of the habit of blogging. between trips and finals and visitors, i haven't had much time for updating. i also haven't done anything of interest, at least until recently. i still need to update you about the happenings from a couple weeks ago...

we finally made it to seattle square! seattle square is an outdoor market in the historic district of pioneer square. i actually work in the pioneer building, which is just gorgeous. it was such a lovely day, i decided to get a picture of the building on our way to the market. we had lots of fun visiting the vendors, but we were really there for the mobile food trucks. unfortunately, none of our favorites were there at the time, so we ended up walking around pioneer square in search of lunch. we hit a jack pot! we discovered delicatus. warning: this is not a spot for you if you are vegetarian. if you are not, wow, this place has any kind of meat sandwich you could hope for. and mexican cokes (you know, the kind that come in a bottle and use cane sugar instead of corn syrup)! i am really looking forward to going back. and, once again, we rounded out lunch by getting a scoop at parfait's truck. great ice cream. i'm now starting to like it better than molly moon's. but let's pretend it didn't say that out loud.

after seattle square we got ourselves ready for a fantastic wedding in discovery park. i've blogged about the park before, but i'd like to remind you all that this gem sits in seattle's magnolia neighborhoodand is just waiting to surprise you. the weather was divine and the nuptials were so touching. check out the gorgeous sunset we watched during the reception. but the highlight was definitely the food! isn't is always? but get this, they had a mobile food truck at their wedding! and not just any food truck...it was marination mobile! fantastic korean-hawaiian fusion. they weren't serving my normal staples, so i got a chance to branch out. um wow, i have new favorites!!! if you're ever visiting seattle, you HAVE to make a point to track down this truck! you won't regret it and certainly won't forget it!

as for more recently...i finished my summer quarter and am happily on a break for the next month. my friend sarah spent the weekend with us! and we completed the lake union 10k! i'll save the visit and the race results for upcoming blogs.

also, i'll be in denver in a few days!


meet zoe!

we had a pretty busy weekend, full of lots of seattle fun. however, the most important thing that happened was the birth of my newest niece. here she is, miss zoe in her first moments...



i'm up to 12 spider bites now and i finally got a picture of one of the culprits. the light was just right for me to get this... can you see it? these are EVERYWHERE around my yard and IN my house!


by the way...

despite the cold snap we've been having (which is supposed to turn into a heat wave by friday), spider season is still in full swing! i've been seeing less webs (likely due to the wash out over the weekend), but my spider bite tally is now up to 10.


alright, so i've turned into the worst blogger ever. grad school will do that to a person. my life now consists of school and running. i feel like an impostor saying that. but, it's true. i now schedule my school projects around my running schedule. that's right, running is taking over! and it's kind of fun- kind of. yesterday i did a 6 miler that just about made me want to quit forever. the run was actually beautiful, and mostly flat. but, i was not in the mood. the first 3 miles, i was ANGRY. just plain angry. but, half way through the endorphins started to kick in and i hit my stride. i ended up maintaining a 10 minute mile pace (and if you think that's slow, then i hate you. no really, i do.), which is pretty much my goal for the lake union 10k. as i've mentioned, i'd like to hit 65 minutes or less. i'm sticking with that goal.

this week's running involves 5k club tonight at green lake, speed class (i.e. most difficult workout i've ever had) on wednesday at woodland track, happy hour run (YAY!) on friday at roanoke park, and trail run (first time!) on sunday at mercer slough (hello, this place has a blueberry farm!) .

as for life outside running, i was in san francisco for a few days at the american bar association conference. no, i did not magically become a lawyer overnight. but, even we laypeople can teach lawyers a thing or two. plus, we had tom ammiano as a speaker. he was close to harvey milk and was even in the movie. i didn't know this until my boss told me, but exciting none the less.

the weather was glorious. for some reason, every time i go to san francisco the weather miraculously changes. this time was no exception. meanwhile, seattle was getting plenty of rain, the first in months. this is a good thing.

anyways, i did manage to do some walking around town and hit yerba buena gardens for the first time. now, it's not much of a garden, but it does have a spectacular tribute to martin luther king junior. i got some pictures of the quotes that fill the walls behind a 50 foot waterfall. the park also has an excellent view of a large catholic church. from a block away, i managed to snap this picture of wedding in progress. can you see the bride in the doorway? she's getting ready to walk down the aisle!


too busy to blog

i'm fully engrossed in school and busier than ever! right now i'm in the airport getting ready to head to san francisco for a work trip. apparently it's the dead of winter there. anyways, i haven't been doing anything exciting here in seattle, so there isn't much to say. in a couple weeks i should be back in exploration action!


another reason to love seattle

on the walk home from our run today (through beautiful cowan park and ravenna park), we spotted a plum tree in one of our neighbor's front yard. the fruit was already ripe and falling to the ground, so we each helped ourselves to a plum. i am usually not a fan of stone fruit, but damn those plums were good!


research project announcement

i need your help finding participants for a school research project! here are the details:

Attention LGBT/Queer Community and Allies:

We want to gather information about the experiences of people coming out in a religious family. We do not want to exclude anyone, so that's as narrow as the topic gets. All experiences, all religions are welcome to participate (including people who no longer practice the religion of their family and people who are not coming out to their family because of religious concerns). We will be doing a qualitative project, so we are just looking to learn more about these experiences. There is no final result we are aiming for. We will ask for narratives- open-ended interviews. We would also love it if people wanted to share their experiences in any other ways- art, poetry, song, photos. However, this is certainly not a requirement. The interview process would take 1-2 hours. We would like to do it by Skype, but this is not absolute. There is no compensation. Ultimately, we are hoping to increase our own awareness of such experiences, as well as the awareness of other social workers viewing the project (professor and 19 other classmates).

Other important things to know: the project is QUICK. Essentially most of the research portion will be done over the next 10 days, so we need participants by Wednesday, August 4. Our final paper is due August 17th. So, this won't be a long process. This is not a professional study and will not be submitted for publication. Only myself, my research partner and my professor will see the final paper. We will also do a presentation for the class. We need people with access to a computer, and ideally a Skype account (or the willingness to set one up). We will protect the identity of the participants in the paper and presentation. All contact information (such as phone number, email address, skype account) will be destroyed at the end of the project.

People can email me: gohollo@u.washington.edu for more information or if they are interested.


spider season, pluots and volunteerism

it's spider season here in seattle! i imagine many of you outside of seattle are experiencing the same thing. i have to say, though, i don't recall so many spider webs growing up in denver. there were of course spiders, but those colorado species must be more careful about hiding their webs. here, you can't walk 3 feet without crashing into a web. it's actually kinda icky. they even create webs on our car. seriously, they are EVERYWHERE! (i tried to take a picture of a web, but no luck.)

i also wanted to post a picture of pluots. pluots are a cross between plums and apricots. it looks like we got the "flavor supreme variety. you can't tell from the picture, but they're actually green with streaks of red on the outside.) i'm not a fan of stone fruit, and the taste of this didn't surprise me any, but the color... isn't it fantastic? so beautiful! my favorite fruit hybrid is the grapple- pronounced grape-pull i can't get blogger to show the long a symbol). they were big for a season in denver, but i haven't seen them here at all. anyways, those things are GOOD!

i just saw that my favorite store in seattle (paper delights!) posted about a new book: 100 best volunteer vacations to enrich your life. if anyone is looking for a gift for me, this would be wonderful- along with plane tickets of course!


giving up sandals?

running isn't pretty, but i wouldn't have guessed that i would have to give up open shoes! it's july, and believe me, i want to wear them. but see picture below (i'm putting it at the bottom, so it's easier for you to avoid looking at if you prefer) for just one area of my destroyed feet. my running coach just reminds us that running makes for cuter butts. i don't know about that, but i do know i'm feeling ambivalent about giving up more shoes. first i have to give up heels to cope with all the walking and the hills. and now i have to give up sandals in order run? bummer. for now, i'm not giving up either. i'll be wearing my sandals (cute orange ones!) at the zoo this afternoon, and i'll be running again on monday. so watch out seattle! if you see me coming, avert your eyes from my damaged feet!

on a lighter note, we've begun harvesting strawberries!


something a little more interesting?

i realize my recent posts have probably bored you all away, but sometimes i've just got to get it out! those who know me know that i love to over-analyze and even complain the interest out of life. so, there you have it. anyways, i thought it was time for some pictures. not exciting pictures, but hopefully interesting enough to bring you back to reading. :)

running has been going... just going. some weeks are fantastic and others are enough to make me cry. this week it was almost vomit and faint. i had my first try at speed interval training. basically, you go a shorter distance and alternate between a slower jog and a sprint. i lasted about two miles and then quickly veered off path while gagging. thankfully i didn't fully expel the contents of my stomach (yep, i swallowed!), but soon after i started seeing spots. so, that was fun. since then i've been taking it easy. especially since i pulled a hamstring while sprinting and then smashed my knee (yes, i trip in my own house quite often) in the same day. but, i can't take it too easy since i've only got 4 weeks to go before the lake union 10k. in a couple weeks i'll be starting a speed class, which will hopefully make me a more efficient runner and help me stay on pace. i'm aiming to "shave" a full 20 minutes off my race time, so i've got to get my butt in gear! i know, all this suffering for a measly 6 miles? makes me feel lame! and so, it is now the eve of a hilly, 5 mile run at 8am tomorrow. i'm gonna rock it! right?

speaking of four weeks away... my bestie sarah is coming out the same weekend as the race! i am sooooo excited! she hasn't visited yet and i can't wait to drink wine! yep, i'm going to have to risk mild dehydration on race day to catch up with one of the loves of my life. we have a bit of a wine history... wine walks (yes, that is walking around our neighborhood while drinking out of huge plastic cups), wine while watching so you think you can dance and american idol, wine while on the phone with eachother, wine while cooking, just a whole lot of wine. and i miss it. i miss it so much. wine is not the same without sarah, and it is time for a reunion.

garden news: we brought the strawberries inside and have been able to enjoy them at last. the plant is doing very well and we're getting about 3 times more strawberries than i expected. the raspberries are slowing, which is a relief. the tomatoes are FINALLY turning color. however, this morning when i went to check on their progress i found holes chewed into my gorgeous babies. holes! damn squirrels! i couldn't bear to takes pictures of the damage or tell anthony. i know i can't bring those inside, so we're going to have to come up with some other solution in order to actually get a harvest. lavender is growing like CRAZY. pears are getting bigger, and apples would be getting bigger if the squirrels weren't at those too.

anyway, i hope this blog gets more interesting for all of you again. with 5 weeks of school, it may not, but we've got a few things planned: woodland park zoo this weekend, a softball game and a bbq next weekend, san francisco (again), seattle square, the big race, and denver all in august. i'll try to take better pictures so you at least have something pretty to look at while pretending to read!

and now i better start working on my school assignments!


first day of school!

we just jumped right in! this is going to be a struggle... i am a very detail-oriented person who likes to control my surroundings and to take responsibility for herself and only herself. this poses a lot of challenges in school, especially a graduate social work program. be forewarned that this is now going to turn into a laundry list of complaints.

first, our syllabus is very general. it does not even describe our assignments! assignments that are due NEXT CLASS! next, our professor has a very rich history and is clearly very educated and knows just what she's talking about. however, she knows so well what her thoughts are that she sometimes forgets to share them with the class. this is difficult for all new students that are anxious about upcoming assignments- me. back to the syllabus... it doesn't even list some of our assignments! what?! how am i supposed to prepare?! today she asked us to do a project about our identity (which requires a lot of reflection) that is due next week. this is on top of the other assignment that's due NEXT CLASS! i realize that in graduate school there is always too much work to do. there is endless reading and there are ridiculously long papers. however, i need some time to prepare! as in, put it on the syllabus so i know just how many projects and papers i'll be juggling before randomly announcing them in the last 10 minutes of class! now back to my upcoming assignment... (can you tell i'm overwhelmed here?) we were randomly placed in groups of 4 (who the hell likes being randomly assigned to a group?!) and told to select readings. this turned into a jumbled mess and it turns out that my group has to do a 20 minute presentation about the readings for the class during our next session. of course we are all busy and no one can meet until monday- the day it is due. what?! ridiculous! oh and it can't just be a dry power point. we have to incorporate activities so the class is engaged in the learning process. what is it with social workers and group projects that have to be engaging? really now, you know you all hated doing group projects too.

so now i'm doing the best thing i know how to do when i feel off-center: make a list. in fact, i have made 3 lists. 3 lists that will get me through the next several days. i have a feeling that i'll have 10 times that number of lists by the end of this quarter! here goes nothing!

 by the way, my mind is already buzzing with project ideas. i'll share my "photovoice" pictures next week (you'll see) and may end up soliciting you for data (i.e. using you as a participant for my final research project) in a few more weeks. [some of you already got to be the very interesting foci of papers for my 1st year of school. i am eternally grateful and sincerely hope you did not suffer as a result of my wretched clinical "skills." thank you!] just you wait. i'm taking you along for this ugly ride and you're going to suffer right along side me. bet you now wish i had turned this into a blog about my running adventures, don't you?


say something

apparently my dad has tweeted out the link to my blog. don't get me wrong, i'm flattered, but now i feel pressured to say something witty or interesting. or to just plain say something. the truth is, i mostly write this blog for myself and a handful of family and friends who want to know i'm up to here in seattle. perhaps a couple of people from the general public have stumbled upon it, but i'm pretty certain they never gave it a second look.

so, instead of relying on me to tell you something about seattle, here are some of my favorite blogs and websites:

seattle metronatural
seattle metropolitan
my neighborhood blog
my old neighborhood
nearby neighborhoods: wallingford, ballard, queen anne, university district, maple leaf


weekend at home

we had lots of big plans this weekend, but ended up spending much of it at home. there was actually a lot going on in seattle this weekend and we are sorry to have missed some of it. however, sometimes i just need a break! we were still busy though! i picked up my reader for my summer class, which starts this week. wow, that thing is huge! having a year of grad school behind me already, i figured not much could surprise me. but the heft of that thing for just 9 class periods still blew me away! i honestly can't believe how soon i'll be sitting at a desk, frantically searching for answers in readings that i didn't get through all while thinking about that darn 20 page paper that's due tomorrow and i've barely started. ah grad school, you just seem a world away! this past year off has been so full of change that i have completely and totally separated myself from the act of being a student. while school has been on my mind this entire time, i've completely lost all memory of how to write using apa and the best way to decipher which readings i'll actually use. i am desperately hoping i'll pick it all up again very, very quickly.

although i haven't started classes yet, i have been very busy preparing for my advanced internship. for social work students, the internship placement is incredibly important in getting the practical experiences necessary for a career. my first year practicum was the greatest work experience i have had to date. it was incredibly rewarding and challenged me in ways i could have never anticipated. the work was fascinating and drew out my passions for social work. i should have known it would be nearly impossible to find a placement to rival that one. however, i have done the necessary work of deciding how to make a confident choice in my internship search. stay tuned for more news on that front!


the seattle myth

Knute Berger writes about "the myth of the seattle nice" in his book, Pugetopolis. i've seen evidence of it in researching particular issues. and now, it's right in neighborhood. essentially, the people of seattle are known as crunchy liberal types. and, many are. but a lot are afraid. afraid of people. all people. they support social services and liberal causes on paper. but bring a person who isn't gentrified near their kids, and they scream wolf.

for instance, i have recently been researching the great jail debate of 2008. i would first like to say i am against building new jails, because (as evidence shows) more time does not equal less crime. however, if a jail had to be built (in this case, it does not, which is why they took the idea off the table), it wouldn't be so bad having it down the street. research from the u.s. justice department shows that neighborhoods with a jail show no difference in crime rates than comparable neighborhoods that do not house a jail. in some cases, the crime rates are actually lower in neighborhoods with a jail. additionally, property rates are not affected by presence of a jail. and further, there is a greater police presence. believe me when i tell you that criminals want to be nowhere near a jail. think people. just think. or read the research. anyways, i read the thousands of comments people had when their neighborhood was being considered as a potential site for the new jail. just about every one mentioned their children or their property rates. they had so much to say about bringing negativity and "trash" and crime to their area. but many clearly didn't understand the failings of the justice system and the dismal failures of our society. for these failures have led to the need for so many jails. [and yes, i have worked in the criminal justice system (and still do), and have done a whole lot of research. i do actually know what i'm talkng about.] oh, and did i mention that this would be a municipal jail, housing only misdemeanants. that means no arsonists, no sex offenders, no violent offenders. i.e. no child molesters, no murderers, no rapists (at least not for the current charge which landed them in jail). anyway, perhaps children would be less inclined to get in trouble if they had a jail across the street to remind them of hell every day. what do you think?

my point is, people in seattle LOVE to say, "NOT IN MY BACKYARD!" i am so over reading and hearing those 4 words strung together. and now, it's all in my face.

i live in greenlake. my neighborhood is middle to upper middle class, pretty darn gentrified (as most of seattle is), and full of jocks and young families. however, being in liberal seattle, surrounded by the well-educated, i suppose i just assumed most of my neighbors believed in social justice and you know, civil liberties. i believed that until i became aware of the uproar my "civilized" neighbors are causing over 20 homeless men moving into the neighborhood. a church right in the middle of the 'hood has decided to host the SHARE program, a wrap-around transitional housing program. the men would live in the church, look for work, build life skills and get other resources while searching and preparing for permanent housing. this is not an emergency shelter that will attract whatever it is my neighbors seem to think is cause to fear for the end of the world. these neighbors of mine were interrupting and shouting at the preacher during a community meeting last night. come on! i'm a serial interrupter, but i can refrain from shouting at least. and if i can be respectful, then i would hope my genteel neighbors can too.

anyway, i would like to remind people of their privilege. i would like remind the people that surround me that most of us have never suffered in the ways that these men have. your life experience is no less meaningful, it has just been different. please respect those differences. please show our children that we can be a community that supports one another. please act with kindness and compassion. please be an example in humanitarianism. please bring back my faith in the people of seattle. it's so very important to me.

that's enough ranting for today i suppose.

read more about this on the neighborhood blog.


fun-filled seattle weekend

sad news... those damn birds managed to eat our ripe strawberry... again! i think we're going to have to bring it inside if we ever want to actually eat the fruit.

our weekend started with a 4 mile run through woodland park and around green lake with beth baker's 10k club. saturday was warmer than expected and we certainly all felt it. after recovering from our run, we headed to mobile chowdown iv. mobile chowdown is a street food fest, offering the best mobile food seattle has to offer. this time around, there were also several vendors from portland and a beer garden. it was pretty darn hot, so we didn't stay as long as we originally intended. but, we did brave the line for marination mobile's kimchee fried rice (with fried egg on top) and aloha pork sliders. we also got scoops of meyer lemon and mint stracciatella from parfait. next time i'd like to try the sliders from maximus minimus.

on sunday it cooled off to a perfect 79 degrees. we headed to the international district for the annual summer fest. the international district hosts all things asian (including the huge uwajimaya market and the best darn asian food (from dim sum to veitnamese to traditional japanese to filipino to sushi to whatever your heart's content) this continent has to offer. the summer fest is a celebration of asian culture. we made it just in time to watch a kung fu demonstration, followed by the lion dance and a whole lot more kung fu. we had lunch at the best vietnamese restaurant in the country, green leaf, and then got lopez island creamery ice cream. every time i visit the id, i wonder why we don't go more often. it truly is always a good adventure involving excellent food.

speaking of excellent food, we ended sunday with a homemade fruit crostata. we used raspberries from our own garden and apricots, plums and peaches from our produce box. i still do not love fruit desserts, especially those involving a crust, but it was good to use up some fruit!

we've had a major cool down today, only in the 60s. i am relieved. i love seattle's cooler, cloudy days and i'm not looking forward to the next heat wave. besides, who wants to run when it's so hot and muggy?

finally, sammy is not feeling well once again. some of you have been privy to his chronicle of stomach and eating issues. well, they seem to have returned. he's stopped eating and started throwing up again- in the bed no less. he is constantly uncomfortable and you can hear his stomach growling in the next room. i don't know what to do to convince him to eat, but we'll keep trying!


his legend lives on

several days ago bear, my brother in law's dog, passed away. he was a very special dog with a wise soul. he is very beloved and there will forever be a place in our hearts that shines with his light. many of you met bear and commented on his gentle spirit. he truly was one of a kind.

bear was adopted from wolfwood refuge, a nonprofit rescue organization for wolves and wolf dogs. my brother in law has adopted 3 wolf dogs from wolfwood. bear was the first. from what i've heard, wolfwood is an incredible place, where they are very careful to maintain the rules of the wild. they don't adopt these dogs out to anyone, and they take special care to make sure a new owner understands the contract they enter into when taking such a dog home. not everyone can handle the responsibility of caring for a wolf dog. but if you are interested in supporting the cause and honoring bear's memory, please donate to wolfwood today. if you had the opportunity to meet bear, let them know! i have no doubts they remember him well.


hot? in seattle?

that's right, it's extraordinarily hot here. i had no idea how horribly humidity could affect my capacity to handle warm temps until tuesday rolled around. the temps weren't even high yet, but i could definitely tell a huge difference in comparison to the dry heat in colorado. my heart goes out to all the east coasters suffering 3 digit temps with 85% + humidity. in my book, that equals death. since tuesday, the temps have inched higher. yesterday we hit upper 90s. inside my house, it was in the 90s as well, as proven by my thermostat. temps in the 90s are unusual for this area, so NO ONE has air conditioning in their homes. it just doesn't exist up here. so, it's pretty much impossible to function during these mini heat waves. thankfully, temps are falling a solid 10 degrees tomorrow and after the weekend we should hang right around mid 70s for the next week. perfect.

as always, it's important that i mention food. these days we have more raspberries than we even know what to do with! we're averaging about 3/4 pint a day now, which is far too many day after day. so, i'm freezing them for smoothies and raspberry ice cream. i see lots of raspberry ice cream in our future! we have put our strawberry plant under a metal chair for protection from the birds and we're just about ready to pick our first one! just one single strawberry, but we have very high hopes for the little guy. we just increased our produce box delivery to every week. i'm sure you're all sick of hearing about it, but i'm just loving it. we got a ton of fruit this week- apricots, plums, peaches, cherries and blueberries. i'm making a crostata in a few days. i'm not a lover of fruit deserts, but i'll give it a shot. i can only handle so much fruit and cream, so i've got to start branching out if i want to continue enjoying the bounties of summer.

somehow, i've taken to running once again. somewhere, deep in my soul i've always felt like a runner. but my body thinks it is on the verge of death any time i move my legs faster than a 20 minute mile pace. as such, i've never kept up with running. i burn out too easily. but for now, i'm really loving it. loving it more than i ever have before. this is all very much due to beth baker with running evolution. beth is a hilarious running coach that hosts groups for non-runners, turning them into runners. i've now got a "running groupie" membership (this is a real thing folks) that includes a happy hour run and a trail run, among other perks. i'm also in the 5k club AND the 10k club. 10k club starts tomorrow with a 4 mile run, so let's hope i can keep up! i'm half tempted to turn this into a running blog, but my attempt this morning was a dismal failure due to the heat, so i'll spare you the gory details. except for this one: blood blisters. yep, the most i've run so far is 3.5 miles and i have blood blisters! yuck. good thing i loaded up on blister prevention socks at the nike employee store!


frankie loves to sing!

when we got home from portland we got this little report from frankie's dog day care. cracks me up since i'm always telling everyone she loves to sing. you just have to hear it for yourself, but i can absolutely guarantee it will make you laugh. :)


4th of july weekend in oregon

it has been a long several days without internet, but i'm back to update you about our trip! it all started with the seattle train station. what a let down! somehow i got it in my head (no thanks to all of you!) that riding the train would be romantic or glamorous. um, no. not at all. no security lines was great, and the leg room was also a plus. the views were pretty decent (especially on the way back!), but the food was horrendous. next time, i'm packing a cooler! anyways, we arrived at the portland station (which is about 1000x more beautiful than the seattle station) and were greeted by uncle keith. we drove through portland to west linn, a suburb of the city. keith's  house is right on the willamette river, so we dumped our stuff and hurried down the hill to take in the scenery at the shore.

the next morning, the action really began! we had a nice run into the lake oswego farmers market. we got lots of goodies for the family bbq and had breakfast at just about every stand. that afternoon, cousin timm took us to where he works- the nike campus (fondly nicknamed "disney land" by the family). that place is spectacular! the gym is like nothing i've ever seen. it truly was a treat to get a tour of the place. he also took us to the nike employee store- the highest grossing store in the WORLD. we certainly dropped a pretty penny in the place, but well worth it at 50% off everything. i have enough running gear to last me years!

the excitement continued with the holiday. the 4th is always a holmes circus. that family has pyromania running in their blood and they spend hundreds (and up into the thousands) for fireworks each year. it takes hours to get through all those boxes! many of the neighbors also put on their own shows, so it's nice to just plop a lawn chair on the shore and watch all the commotion. there was also quite a bit of eating involved. and lots of nervous laughter over the little kids exhibiting early signs extreme pyromania.

anyways, it was all absolutely exhausting, but we managed to pull ourselves together for a trip to multnomah falls the following morning. just beautiful. there are a lot of options for hiking and camping, but we weren't really dressed for hiking, so we did a short 2-mile trek and called it a day. next time, we will definitely have to come prepared for a full day's worth of hiking. after our wonderful wilderness adventure, we went into the city for lunch and then back to the train station for our ride home. today i am just beat, but i need to pull myself together and get ready for work tonight!

finally, it's important to mention that today was anthony's first day at his new job with the architecture firm callison. we'll keep you posted!


more yard happenings

while visiting, joan asked if there are hydrangeas in seattle. i told her i hadn't seen many, but wasn't sure  when the blooming season is. a few days later i walked over to check out the pink rhododendrons in an unexplored corner of our backyard and found 3 blooming hydrangea bushes! can't wait till they're in full bloom!

we also got our first harvest from our raspberry bushes. we got a couple of handfuls from our first pick, but i'll bet by now i could get another handful. i ended up throwing them into a bowl with some blueberries and and a peach from our produce box for a delicious snack with cream (or course).

another fruit in season- cherries. it's cherry mania up here. stands popping up on the side of the road, people talking about the batch they picked up from their farmers market, pulling over at the sight of every neighborhood tree with ripe fruit to steal a few. oh yes, it's that time up in the northwest and we are participating in full. i swear, i rarely ate fruit until i moved here. and now, it's a daily thing. too bad they're getting a major trimming from the food pyramid!

we had a busy weekend, and i can't believe it's monday again and i have full a work week ahead. on saturday we went to mighty o donuts, which is a bit of an institution here. they make vegan and organic donuts and have been nationally recognized by the press. i personally missed the fat. i eat donuts rarely enough that i'll opt for the trans fat in order to have a delicious donut, full of fat as intended. we also finally made it to our neighborhood wine store. they do mimosas and croissants on sundays, but we ended up just buying a bottle of syrah for a friend's birthday bbq. and then we headed to dinner at anchovies and olives in capitol hill. it's an italian inspired seafood restaurant, and i loved the vibe. i loved the look of all the employees, and i thought the decor was just fantastic. i still can't completely jump on the seafood bandwagon, but they had some great plates to offer. i'd like to check it out again as their menu changes on a daily basis.

enjoy this week! we'll all get through it knowing we've got a holiday weekend just up ahead. woohoo portland! here we come!


produce box #2

we got our second produce box, and i swear, it's like christmas morning when i get to haul that thing home and open it. this time we got: 2 large yams, 1 bunch of carrots, 1 cucumber, 1 bunch of broccoli, 2 avocados, 1 lb. zucchini, 1/3 lb. snap peas, 3 peaches, 3 nectarines, 1 pint of blueberries, 2 large tomatoes, and 1 bunch of red leaf lettuce. i'm going to be making stir fry this weekend, but haven't yet decided what to do with the rest. last time i ate the fruit with cream. it was divine. i imagine there will be a lot of fruit and cream throughout the summer. yummy! we did decide that after we return from the independence holiday we're going to increase our delivery to every week. everything is so delicious we just can't make it last!

check out our tomatoes. the weather here has been ridiculous- record lows across the board. i'm surprised these guys have hung in so long, but am still not confident they'll fully ripen. we'll just have to wait and see. in the meantime i'll be enjoying the organic tomatoes that come in our produce box!


i'm a husky!

here it is folks, my new school id! now i just need to figure out what i do with the space that says "affix enrollment validation here."


by the way...

for those of you i told to try the mailing announcement, i apologize. looks like you can just email that one post to yourself or others, rather than getting new post announcements. looks like you'll just have to keep checking back!


san juan island

the weather held out for our san juan island adventure! considering we had 3 boat trips in 3 days, i'm very pleased we missed the stormy waters. we took a ferry from anacortes (about 1.5 hours northwest of seattle on fidalgo island) to friday harbor of san juan island. of the san juan islands (san juan, shaw, lopez, orcas), san juan is the furthest from seattle and is actually right next victoria, b.c. it also is the most populated and has the largest town- friday harbor. (photo of friday harbor by joan holmes.) we drove off the ferry and four blocks to our bed and breakfast, harrison house suites. this was a great place to stay as it was right in town and an easy walk to many places.

after checking in and unloading we headed state for lime kiln state park. we went to see the lighthouse, but ended up catching the whales! the lighthouse is actually the whale research center and naturalists/marine biologists are there all day long tracking the various pods and transients. (photo of lime kiln lighthouse by joan holmes.) it was pretty exciting to catch a glimpse of them before our boating excursion. (i actually caught this pic of mom cookie and juvenile offspring oreo just as my camera ran out of batteries.) 

the next morning we walked into town and took a tour through the whale museum. all the guides call this place a "must-see," but i thought it was pretty grim. the museum has several fetuses in jars and is mainly focused on educating visitors about the species that have gone extinct and which are endangered. they even have a plaster cast of a baby whale that washed up on shore after starving to death. really glad i paid $6 to see that. after the museum we had a fantastic lunch at the bluff, which overlooks friday harbor. (photo from our lunch spot!) and then, we were off for some whale-watching with san juan safaris. i was extremely nervous about getting motion sick, but 3 dramamine and all the excitement kept my stomach and brain pretty well tricked. i didn't even bring my camera on the boat, because i knew it would be impossible to get any decent pictures. however, the "whales" (we learned that orcas are actually porpoises) did get VERY close to the boat. it was incredible. there have been 7 orca births this year, and we probably saw 2 or 3 of the new babies. the several hours on a boat were definitely worth it, and this is a must if you make it out to the san juans. our final morning on the island was spent at pelindaba lavender farm. now this was an educational experience! apparently lavender is an excellent cleaning product and is antibacterial. you can use it on your pets to deter fleas, on your plants to kill aphids, on skin burns, as a bathroom and kitchen disinfectant, and on and on. it was pretty incredible to learn about all of the qualities and uses of lavender. (photo of lavender fields from joan holmes.)

next we had planned on visiting san juan vineyards, but we had already tasted their wine at one of our dinners (it was a great cab franc!) and didn't feel like tasting at 10am. so, instead we headed to the little road bee farm. now this place was pretty creepy, but we mustered up the courage to walk around. still, it was interesting to see the hives. they also have very vocal chickens and an incredible orchard. we bought some honey, but i haven't gotten a chance to open it yet. and then we ferried back to anacortes and arrived just in time for a stormy drive back to seattle. oh summer, why must you evade us?

next we're headed to portland for the independence weekend. we're also thinking about going to the olympic peninsula for some rainforest hiking. i'll be starting summer school in about a month, and shortly after my term we'll be back in denver for a quick visit. and by the time we get back, summer will be over and i'll be back in school! wowza!