Saturday, December 31, 2005

I was wrong

The cat could get back up in the chimney. And she did. I don't know how - I was SURE she was blocked out because I:
  1. Closed the flue
  2. Blocked off the fireplace opening with a baby gate
  3. Covered the baby gate with a card table
  4. Secured it all with two heavy boxes of books
Yet, after searching the whole house for her, wondering where in the world she could possibly be now, I pulled away all the barriers and looked up to find her little furry face looking down at me.

*I* think someone is playing a joke on me and came into the house and let her back up and then put everything back. My husband of course thinks I'm crazy. I think maybe I am.

Great news

The cat is OUT of the chimney. And can't get back up it. We are all (including the cat) just thrilled.

Friday, December 30, 2005


will this never end??? The other holiday tradition I'd forgotten about because I've been lucky enough to avoid it the past couple of years. The one where I get sick as soon as Christmas is over. This year it's a flu thing that seems to change symptoms every other day - I'm on day 5 now... what will it bring today? I feel like I'm wasting valuable vacation time not getting the new house ready - there is so much work to do there. At least I'm getting some good reading in. Danny Gregory wrote a new book and I'm enjoying it - it's called The Creative License. And then there is a strange but good book called Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman that I'm almost through. I want to paint though... There are some trees and some houses and some birds and some hearts that are calling out to be created - but... ug, it takes all I have just to hold a book up and turn the page every so often. Oh and I signed up for that new Live Journal Embodiment journal project. I'm looking forward to it. Must get well so I can get out and find a new blank journal before the new year.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

I just have to say I LOVE Chukar Cherries. Yum! And Mary Oliver poetry... and my new oil paints and especially my Starbucks gift card - guilt-free mochas!

Here is another happy old girl - her 6 squeaker toy only lasted 10 minutes but she was in pure bliss for the whole 10 minutes.

Luke, of course, was happy all day, even when we woke up to a neighborhood power outage and had to light candles to see to open our stockings.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Did it.

10:42 PM - It all happened - or close enough anyway. Must get these tired bones to bed before Santa comes. Why does HE get all the credit for pulling off a magical Christmas morning anyway??? Doesn't quite seem fair at this hour... ah well, it will all be worth it in the morning.


I'm almost done, but I'm way behind. Think I'll get it all done? Frank has volunteered to do the baking. He even found a corn syrup-free pecan pie that I'll be able to eat - yum!
  1. grocery shopping
  2. bake cookies
  3. bake a pecan pie
  4. bake a cheesecake (bought one)
  5. make a ruby and jade bracelet for C.
  6. make a crystal bracelet for J. (Bought gift certificate instead)
  7. buy a gift for D.
  8. buy some stocking stuffers for F.
  9. make the gingerbread house
  10. clean the house (just a bit, it's not too bad a.t.m.)
  11. hang the stockings
  12. wrap some more presents
  13. cook dinner and celebrate Christmas Eve
  14. put out cookies for Santa and reindeer food for the reindeer
  15. Prep the Baked French Toast to soak overnight
  16. watch Santa's travels on Norad

Here's hoping your list is way shorter than mine and that you have a very magical Christmas this year. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Amber Update

We went up today to see what we could do about the cat up the chimney problem. Discovered she ate all her food... and then jumped back up the chimney. So, she's not stuck, just stubborn and, I'm sure, filthy dirty. "So Pam, why don't you ever have a fire in your beautiful new studio?" "Oh, well, I can't, my cat lives in the chimney."

Happy Winter Solstice, btw. We built our cairn today because it seemed like a very good (calendar) day for it, except it was pouring out and it felt like we were rushing and I really didn't want to rush it. Picture later...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A Bad Day For Pets

First, I walk in the door in time to witness Tyger under the table, shaking his head, with a red ribbon sticking out of his mouth. I try to grab it and end up wrestling him to the ground just in time for him to swallow the whole thing.

Then, the girls (dog girls) unwrap my gifts, the ones under the tree that Frank and Luke wrapped - the ones for me... and leave a shredded paper mess and a little boy almost in tears about it.

And THEN, and this tops it all... and you may not even believe this one... and honestly, I wish I were lying... Amber, the cat we pulled in from the cold, the cat we took to the vets and got updated on shots and her ears cleaned out, who then got relocated to the Edmonds house... IS UP THE CHIMNEY. Yes, she really is. Up the chimney. And won't come down.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Love This

I've been looking at this for 2 days now - I just love it. I wonder if I could figure out how to make it - I guess I would need to learn to crochet? Because bead-weaving one would take forever. Or I could just purchase it... I'd like a dress maniquin like this too. (Santa, are you listening???)

Amber In

Frank-the-tender-hearted, (he's such a good guy) snatched up the wild cat we host in our yard - her name is Amber and we feed her and take her to the vet and worry about her when we hear coyotes in the valley or a cat fight in the neighborhood - and he deposited her in the guest bathroom last night at midnight. It was COLD. And she really didn't struggle that much. She curled up in the sink and let me pet her and started purring. She's been around enough to know this happens about once a year if it gets too cold out and this year she seems to actually appreciate it. I wonder if we should just take her up to the Edmonds house and let her get used to life up there... maybe by the time we move in she will have morphed into a tame indoor cat? One can only hope.... besides, she's a good mouser.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Cairns, Crystals, Cuteness

Had my feng shui friend come to the new house yesterday to clear out past-owner energy, detect and redirect geopathic stress streams and do what she could to set up energetic barriers to discourage the rats from living in our house. It was great - the house feels so much better already.

She said 65% of the problems in the house, and what was attracting the rats, was past-owner energy. She removed that. She found 3 little stress streams and redirected them, and then there is a BIG - as in 16-18 foot - magnetic field/band running through our yard and a corner of the house. I'm still learning, but apparently the Earth has many of these bands running around it on the surface, above, etc... and this one just happens to pass through my property. It was the largest one she'd ever seen - they can be physically draining, they can mess with electronics (explains why my cell phone shuts itself off every time I go into Luke's room and why it barely works in parts of the house) and there isn't much you can do about re-directing it... but you can do some things to set an intention that the energy from it on your property and in your house be supportive to human life and not interfere with health and happiness.

So what I have to do is bury a crystal (yes, woo-woo to the max) and then build a granite cairn over it - we went around the yard picking out the granite stones that would be most beneficial for this and there were 4 of them. Now to just find the right crystal and I'll start building my cairn. I would love to build one of these balancing ones... but I doubt that's a good idea with kids and dogs...

The architect visit was fun too - he liked our house a lot - loved the "Old Edmonds" charm and the wood paneled walls and all the windows. He kept comparing it to a house he's working on in Carmel, CA. Now I have to get a book about those old artist homes to see what he's talking about. We should have plans for our new bathroom early next week.

And here is a link - cute animal pictures. I figured with a name like Cute Overload I'd hate it, but it's kind of fun. Baby animals, etc.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Hello Moon

It's been wonderful these past few days to have clear skies at night to see the moon going through it's phases. Here it is coming up over the mountains tonight:

A few seconds later:

A little later with the flash on and zoomed in:

And then the show was just about over - going, going.... gone.

good morning sunshine

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

More Lights

My friend Jody sent me this link to a page of holiday lights in her town of Jamestown NY. I really love some of these old houses - I miss East Coast homes sometimes. Frank used to live in Jamestown for awhile - I think he went to college there or something. Things I should know but don't - weird.

Here is a light I love. Tinkerbell Garland Lantern. I think I could just get some metal garland and make it myself - do you think so too? I'm thinking for my covered patio area - but it would be great in the bedroom or my studio even. Maybe I can make a whole bunch of different kinds... maybe I can take some wire and string beads and make my own beaded garland! Hey now...

Monday, December 12, 2005

Some Jewelry for a Change

Hey, check this out - I made something that doesn't have anything to do with house decorating or cleaning or moving! Both of these feature my lampwork beads as a focal - this is the same idea I'm thinking of for my cabinet handles in my new studio - I just can't decide what colors.


Spent the weekend working at the house - got to do some fun things there for a change - lights! Absolutely nothing in my livingroom, but the mantle is festive. I'm happy.

My magic garden lights are up (but I'm going to re-string them when I get a chance).

Speaking of magical lights, check out this amazing Faerie Cottage and Yule Table that one of my livejournal friends made. I love it!

And here is link find for the day: a kind of fun site of celebrity what-not-to-wear.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Holiday Cheer

My amaryllis bloomed overnight:

Luke's room has a Christmas corner. In part because his Meme sent him this wonderful quilted wallhanging that she made for him and partly because he discovered we own colored lights that I refuse to ever use. (This is why when you have a child you should sort through the stuff before you bring it up for all to see.) After two days of "Mom, why don't you like colored lights?" and "Mom, I like colored lights." and "Mom, I really wish we could use those colored lights..." I broke down and bought him this little live tree. And we put the lights on it and there you go - everyone is happy and at peace about the colored lights.

Riddle Me This

What do you get when two big dogs get into the pantry and pull out (of all things) a box of pancake mix and open it up and spread it around and only eat some of it?

Answer: Aside from the white powder mess everywhere, shredded box and plastic bag, you get white paw prints in every room of the house, a thick glue-like substance (think paper mache maybe?) under those piles of white powder and a big old hard white glue stain in the middle of the living room rug. Oh yes, and two guilty dogs faces with little specks of white glue on their snouts.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Better Day

I'm feeling a lot better today. Luke and I went up to the Edmonds house to clean up the exterminator's mess. (Frank is out of town or I'm sure he would have helped... or maybe not - he might have decided to tear down yet another wall or the the kitchen floor or something, which would have made me cranky all over again.) Anyway, we walked in and there were absolutely no signs of rats - none seen, none heard, and best of all, none smelt. It's the first time I've been in the house and it didn't have that funky smell. (Now I know what that expression "I smell a rat" was really referring to.) So - we got busy and started sweeping and mopping and cleaned down the kitchen and vacuumed up Luke's room (which is under the attic opening so his carpet was full of debris). Luke helped - he loves to mop. And he was thrilled to have his room back - emptied of the crap they pulled out of the attic - boxes and boards and stuff... and when we left, the house - or at least the top floor of it - was happy. And so was I.

My Mountains This Morning

After a night of rip-roaring winds and listening to tree branches fall and crash and watching the shadows of the trees dance wildly through the moon reflection in the ceiling of my bedroom, Mother Nature gives me this amazing sunrise:

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

My Mountains Tonight

My view tonight, with a thick heavy band of clouds sitting over the foothills. Glad it's not over my hill.

A New Day

I'm trying to have a better outlook today. It's not working very well... I couldn't bring myself to go up to the new house and start cleaning... I'm afraid of what I'll find there this time... so we went to paint Christmas ornaments instead, but that didn't help really... and so I'm trying my old stand-by: I'm making a list - or two or three. Let's see if this helps.

Things I'm doing to make things better:
  1. Made an appointment with my woo-woo energy/feng shui person to come up to the new house and clear the house of past-owner energy, check for geopathic stress and energetically discourage rats from living in our house and property. I told her about the rat problem - thinking she'd want to come out after that was all taken care of, but she thinks she can help. I'll take all the help I can get!
  2. Made an appointment with architect to help us design new master bathroom. This is the same architect who helped us with our Carnation home and I really enjoyed working with him. It will be fun to have a plan and be able to move forward with this.
Things to buy or gather together from here before going back up there:
  1. A good garbage bin with a tight lid.
  2. A shovel or long handled dust bin thing.
  3. Rubber gloves.
  4. Disinfectant spray.
  5. A mop & floor cleaner.
  6. Cleaning supplies.
Things I want to buy, but probably won't:
  1. A Hoover Floormate.
  2. An E.Z Reacher tool.
  3. A pedicure.
Things I'm looking forward to doing once we actually move into the new house:
  1. Starting up with a CSA like Pioneer Organics to get fresh, local, organic, seasonal fruits and veggies delivered to the door. Would love to hear if anyone knows of a better CSA for the Edmonds area.
  2. Starting a dailing walking routine. With or without the dogs and/or Luke. (Yay sidewalks!)
  3. Getting a team of babysitters lined up.
  4. Finding and hiring an affordable house cleaner so I will have time to make art - even if the art only pays for the house cleaner, it's still a win-win situation.
  5. Getting out and meeting Kim from Something To Say for coffee and art talk.
  6. Joining a Stitch n' Bitch group and getting out and making some new crafty friends.

There, that's a start. Will keep at it.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Rats Rats Rats

Ugh. I have had it with the Edmonds house. I don't know what to do. I guess I'll have to give it a little time to see if the exterminators have done a good job or not, but I'm thinking we have not seen the last of the rats. Today Luke and I saw way more than we wanted to - we walked into the house to find one on the living room floor - dying. I don't know how or why... if it got trapped inside, now that the exits are sealed... or if it got injured in a snap trap... or what. I thought it was dead, told Luke to stay away from it while I figured out what to do... but curious Luke... had to get close to see the details (Look Mom - it has little tiny hands!) - and then I saw it wink and one of it's whiskers twitch. OMG.

THIS time I got lucky, the exterminators were there finishing up and cleaning up and so I asked them to remove it. But I know there will be a day when there will be no one to ask for help and I'll have to do it myself. Or what if the dogs find it first... or... Tyger (the rat was half the size of my cat!)... or... yuck - all the scenarios running through my head are too much for me. I figure I need a plan for next time... but I don't have one. Especially if it's still alive. What do I do - chase it with a broom??? Or what if it's (gasp) in the toilet - I just read that they can travel up through the sewer pipes. You are supposed to squirt some dish soap in through the closed toilet (why??) and wait a little (again, why??) and then flush. OMG. OMG. OMG. What if it's not there when you first sit down??? What have I gotten into with this house????

I need some success stories to know that we are not just wasting our time and money here. Is it possible to get rid of them??? I am so grateful that our Carnation house has not sold yet. Only one person has even come to look at it - it's like the Universe knows and is keeping us safe here while we figure out what to do. Which brings me back to.... what do I do???

Sunday, December 04, 2005


Tree Sneak

We got our tree yesterday - we tried to do the cut-your-own, in the beautiful snow, how fun - what a good memory this will make for Luke... but quick - before it starts raining. Except it started raining as soon as we pulled in and the trees were all small and very Charlie Brown and Luke was walking next to me all bundled up with his teeth chattering and after searching around for a good half hour looking for the lot of Noble Firs (can't have been that area with the 2 foot tall trees!?), with my hair dripping water into my eyes, I called it off - said let's go to Home Depot and get a nice tree for half the price of one of these sad trees. And that's what we did - we found a tree in less than five minutes, and five minutes later were on our way home to put it in the house.

Of course Luke wanted the lights on it five minutes later, but that did not happen. Frank decided to take a nap and let the tree relax. Luke just couldn't understand the concept and kept bugging me to decorate it. After a gazillion "No!"'s, he finally seemed to stop asking. And when I came up from the basement after sorting through the Christmas ornaments, I saw why. He decided to get busy all by himself. Here he his, caught in the act.

(Notice my stark white walls - I've been looking at too many home decorating magazines and books and decided to take down all my art and do a "coordinated decor" for the holidays - something simple and natural that is clean and fresh and open and welcoming so that the house wouldn't feel too small when people came to look at it and buy it... (and also because adding holiday colors proved too much to my already colorful decor), but so far the only result I've achieved is bare and cold and discombobulated. Part of my couch is now in my office, art is floating around in the guest room, and I have no idea what to do to make it right. I hope no one calls to see the house today.)

And here is a great link I found - the public can submit digital photos to the news and they post them - there are some great shots of mostly local sunsets and sunrises and the moon, etc.: Komo TV Weather Shots.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Winter Wonderland

This is what we woke up to this morning. You might not think it's a big deal, but we only get snow like this maybe once a year or so. It reminds me of New England and so many winters there...I love it. Especially since it melts quickly and I don't have to shovel or drive in it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Winter Color

While Luke and I were waiting for the plumber to show up at the new house today (he never did), we decided to go explore part of the yard and look for interesting things to take pictures of.


A Brighter Note

On a brighter note, my new studio is almost done - I've been painting and painting (a bright clean pure white) and I just have some trim and the cabinets to finish - I'm going to try to make glass handles for the cabinets myself. Eventually, we will put new floors in, but obviously we have higher priorities at the moment.

Here is my view from the studio - I think that's a big old cherry tree out there. I will someday build a brick patio down here too so I can paint outside if I want.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Good-bye Guestbook, Hello New House

Sadly, there are mean people in the world who just wouldn't let a fun little business alone - they had to spam my guestbook with all of their drug and weight-loss links and fill my in-box up in the process. So I've removed that feature, even though I loved hearing from people all over the world. Perhaps one day I will try again and hope that the spammers have forgotten my site by then.

In other news, things are moving along at the new house - though I'm not sure what direction we are heading in there. It turns out our new house is more shabby than chic - in fact, it's missing most of it's chic right now. The shower has been leaking into the wall for years and it's all rotted - Frank has torn all that out. In the process he discovered that there were layers and layers of white paint over the beautiful blue ceramic tiles in the bathroom. No wonder the tiles looked so dingy. Honestly, I had not looked that close - figured a good cleaning was all they needed. Worse, the house is infested with rats - there is a huge rat's nest in the attic and the exterminators are having a heck of a time pulling out all the contaminated insulation there and in the crawl-spaces. What a mess. Just gross. They said they've been up there for at least 10 years. The first day we got the keys, we walked into the kitchen to find a rat had left us a mess on the counter - welcome to the new house! Even the mailbox is wobbly and ready to fall over. I just keep trying to remind myself of all the possibilities I saw in it before I realized how much actual work it was going to take. More than just a good coat of paint and a little shopping for accessories...

Here is the rat's nest. Frank said I wouldn't want to show it on my journal... but how often do you get a chance to see what a real rat's nest looks like? I hope this is my last one, and yours too. I imagine the exterminators removed some of it - I'm sure it was more 'cozy' a few days ago.

And here is the master bath demo. Frank is very proud of himself - he did a good job not destroying the whole bath and bedroom. Now we *just* have design the new master bath.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A History Lesson

This is so fun. The seller of our house called yesterday to wish us happiness in our new home and to give me some details about what's going on before we take possesion (cleaning stuff, etc.) and she also told me a little about the history of our new home. It seems that the property was once a lot larger, of course, and that rumour has it the first owner was a mobster (LOL!) and then a family bought it and used it as their summer home and built that loft over the dining room for the kids to sleep in (because the house was smaller then than it is now) and that one of those kids was Bridget Hanley who later starred in "Here Come the Brides". She said that there was once a log cabin on the property and that it was saved and moved to downtown Edmonds next to the museum. From what she told me, I was able to dig up this link about the history of the cabin - and it does mention the "summer house" which is our house! See, I told you this was fun!

A little more research has dug up this Edmonds Historical site and I found this picture which I *think* is our house from the backyard (which must have been where the tennis court was) - I think that big chimney is our fireplace and the little one is the furnace exhaust (which currently has a brick lodged in it - I don't know how we will ever get that out!).

The caption for this picture says: "A view looking North across the tennis court to the main house. The Cabin was to the West from this location." - I think they meant the "summer house" not the "main house".

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

There is a Turtle in My Sink

...and other reasons to move. Luke and I have a difference of opinion on what would be a good selling point. I like to have a clean sink with a nicely folded clean towel in the rack before we leave... Luke thinks a bowl full of water with a turtle in it would be better, and it doesn't bother him in the least if the towel is on the floor in a crumpled heap.

And here are a few more items to add to my list:

26. Art galleries in town.
27. Live and film theaters in town.
28. Can hear ferry horn from yard.
29. Neighbors all wave and say hi to each other.

Moving Ahead - Staying Still

It's that limbo thing - being busy but not feeling like I'm moving ahead, and having to stop and wait be patient at the same time - that drives me nuts. So yesterday I made some beads to try to get out of that stuck feeling, and later on today I'll clean them and maybe turn a couple of them into necklaces. It was fun to melt glass again. And in the meantime, I've been counting out the things I love about our new home in Edmonds - to remind me why I'm doing all of this. Here are some of them - I could keep going but I have to go deliver a big order of jewelry that just sold!
  1. Sidewalks. Yes, I'm sooooo excited about sidewalks!
  2. All those windows - I finally get to play with window treatments.
  3. Rooms to paint. With color even! I'm thinking of painting the living room a tuscan gold with cream trim and black on the window pane frames. Or! An icy blue with white trim... and I'm thinking of making the master a robins egg blue... maybe. So many choices!
  4. A bathroom or two to remodel.
  5. A real yard.
  6. Fireplaces!
  7. Circular Driveway.
  8. Parks to walk to.
  9. Beaches.
  10. Swimming Pools & Parks less than 5 minutes away.
  11. Cute shops and restaurants.
  12. Trader Joes just up the street.
  13. My friend Becky will be really close by.
  14. My friend Lara will be really close by.
  15. Community College with Art Classes just up the street.
  16. More Sunshine/Less Rain (really!)
  17. A patio to plan and build.
  18. Kids for Luke to play with in the neighborhood.
  19. Schools in the same town - and we can walk to school!
  20. Room to plant a garden.
  21. Saturday market all summer.
  22. Summer Festivals.
  23. Great kids programs at the parks.
  24. Dog's park at the beach.
  25. Lower gas prices at the pump.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Starbucks Holiday

Stopped at Starbucks today and was served my favorite beverage (a grande no-whip mocha in case you didn't know) in their new holiday cups. They are NOT as cheery as they were last year - those cups would make my heart sing every time they handed me one. These cups are just Ho-Hum... a faded burgundy color with some line drawings. Nothing exciting or in the least bit... Ho-Ho-Ho. Ah well... it's what's inside that really counts, right?

We Closed on the Edmonds House

What a whirlwind this past 20 days has been! Everyone (except the sellers) thought the contract said we were closing on the 18th... but NO - it said today was the closing day and the day we could take possession is the 18th - we found out yesterday and managed to make it happen - and so we signed papers and we own the house! We actually own two houses - we NEED to sell one fast because we can not afford two mortgages obviously. Good vibes on selling our Carnation house please!! It's officially listed now through our agent and it is currently sparkling and ready to show. I'm just about burned out - I'm going to need a vacation somewhere sunny and warm very soon. (Though I'm sure that is not going to happen.)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Something Magical

Something magical about my new house that I forgot to write about: this summer Luke and I went to tour a home in Edmonds that was next to an elementary school. The location was great, the yard was amazing, the house was even very nice, but it just wasn't "our" house. There was no room for an art studio, it had both formal and informal living and dining areas and I really wanted a greatroom kind of home. And it was priced at the top of our budget, so no money left to build a studio or remodel either. But I loved the yard and spent a moment on the deck looking at all the wonderful gardens... and then I looked over the fence at the neighbor's home. Now THERE was a home and a yard I could fall in love with. It had a covered patio with white twinkle lights strung under the ceiling - and you could see the stone fireplace on the outside, with vines climbing up the house next to it... the old windows with all their panes were sparkling in the sunlight... it was exactly what I was looking for - on the outside anyway. So I said to myself - THAT is the kind of house I would like to find - that house right there would be perfect for me. I would LOVE a house like that. And then we drove away and I forgot all about it... until we were standing outside at the inspection and I was looking over the fence into the neighbor's yard... and then it all clicked.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

All Done...

And it feels like it's almost time to start over again. May this house please sell quickly and easily so I can stop cleaning and scrubbing and picking up things over and over again. Please.

Good news, all the loan paperwork is done and we sign papers soon. I think I even found a wonderful new preschool for Luke - they teach the kids Yoga there! Along with science and math and reading and art... It sounds so great. We will try to tour it this week and sign him up if it feels and looks good.

Here's a bit of fun: these photos are circulating the net and so I snagged my favorites to share here. I wonder how my girls would feel about painting their toenails.