Sunday, April 29, 2007

Submarine Ball

This past Friday, the boyfriend and I went to the annual US Navy Submarine Birthday Ball, in downtown Seattle at the Westin Hotel. I should mention that I am assuming this is the Sub Ball for NRNW (aka Navy Region Northwest, one of the geographical regions that the Navy is split into...ah, another SAIC memory, arising to the surface). It was quite nice - lots of ceremony at the beginning, but they try to stuff food in your face while people are talking at the podium, so you can sort of shut up.

We sat at a table with several other junior officers and their dates/ girlfriends. My favorite guys are Cook (and his gf Joanna), Nestor (and his gf Jamie), and Jim (and his hot gf in the Navy reserves whose name I forgot). Cook is just a goofy white guy, Nestor is pretty funny, and Jim is like their Denzel from "Crimson Tide". The new ensign (?) is pretty cool, too - he reminds me of my brother in some ways (red hair, glasses, sort of big - which is a) remarkable, because most all other submariners I've met are not even remotely squishy, and b) shouldn't apply to my brother anymore because he's skinny now), anyway, I pulled him onto the dance floor when the boyfriend had to go take care of something... the XO's wife thanked me for pulling him out there, but really it wasn't an act of pity; I think he's sweet.

Here is a picture of me and the boyfriend, at "Grown-Up Prom":

My sister was sad that there were no good full-length pics of the dress, but I can remedy that with a self-timer shot from my camera. :-)

We left around 10 PM, since he had to work the next day, and I, coincidentally, had a friend's birthday party to attend, so we parted outside in a nearby lot, and I went to my friend's shindig. Had a great time - met a lot of interesting people, and hung out for a bit. Then I went home, and discovered the boyfriend sitting in my hallway in front of my condo! A pleasant surprise, to be sure, but I was somewhat taken aback. Turns out there was a Seattle Mariners baseball game, and the ferry line was too crowded for him to get his car on there, so he came back to my place. A smart move, however he had to wake up at 0530 in order to make the 0600 ferry so he could get to work on time. Poor thing. Thank god I work in private industry, and don't have CO's giving me weekend duties. I spent the day with him today in Bremerton. It was very domestic - we hit up the NEX (Naval a P/X, but Navy, not Army), went to a Fred Meyers, he fixed his inflatable mattress to ensure it's operation before his parents arrive at the end of May, we had an expensive sushi lunch, he mowed the lawn while I stayed inside in the clean air and watched TV, and then we watched some more cartoons together before I had to come home.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Wool Combs

I want some wool combs. Like this:

I want to try blending fibers (and opening up fibers like my alpaca down that just needs a light cleaning) on them. I'd like to get a drum carder one day, too, but these are a *lot* cheaper ($50 - $80 (or so) vs. ~$300 for a drum carder...)
I just bought some sock yarn - a beautiful hand-dyed rainbow yarn from the Great Adirondack Yarn Company. It's called "Silky Sock" yarn, a blend of 70% merino / 10% nylon / 20% silk. It's nice and shiny, with a nice hand. I am going to try my hand at knitting my first pair of socks! I'm going to try the "Clessidra" sock pattern from the latest issue of Knitty:
I started casting on this afternoon, hungry and went out to the grocery store to forage for dinner. I ended up randomly finding those candied fennel seeds that you always see at Indian restaurants for sale. I love them, and am very excited to find them for sale! I also bought some random dried fruit and nuts with which to make my own trail mix. :-)
I am also trying to think of something to knit for my friend's upcoming birthday. Any suggestions? He's a boy. Sort of a punk hippie and grad student at the University of Washington... I'll think of something. Lots of yarn to spare, anyway. ;-)

New Kitchen Light

Thursday night, I asked my friend Mark to install a new overhead kitchen light from Home Depot for me. Here it is!

The beige line across the ceiling is the remnant of unpainted ceiling that was exposed when Mark removed the old track lighting. The light itself was fairly cheap - around $45 and it included the halogen lightbulbs. I thought it would be brighter, but alas.

I am still contemplating having Mark install a second light, but first I'd like to replace the bulb in my pot-light and see how much overhead light that adds to the space. It's nice to have the option of a second overhead light in the kitchen, though. (Right now there is a plastic plate covering the access hole where the second light could potentially go).

So now, all I have to do is fill in the old screw-holes, and touch-up the paint.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Out of Sequence: Pre-Worm Discussion

Again with the Out-of-Chronological Order! I found that I had written this somewhere else and emailed it to myself to post later...

On Monday (09 April 2007), my coworker Amie brought me her old Can O' Worms vermicomposter! I am so excited to learn to use this thing! I have already started saving vegetable scraps from my veggie trimmings and cooking. They are in a plastic Safeway bag for the time being. I am somewhat concerned about the alliums (onions, garlic, etc.) making strong odors, but we'll see what happens. Everything vegetable-related, as well as eggshells, is fair game. No dairy or meat products are recommended for addition; I think it's more that it attracts rats than that it is harmful. It also will smell awful when rotting (mmm rotting flesh).

Last night I had rehearsal with the Jazz Police, so when I got home after rehearsal, I finally unloaded the composter out of the trunk of my car, along with my horn and other assorted stuff that needed to be extricated. So then I put the composter outside, and just shoved the plastic bag in it for the time being. Amie recommended setting it on bricks, since it is missing a leg, and she said it isn't super stable on the legs, anyway.

I am going to score one of the free weekly newspapers and tear it up in preparation for the worms. I am going tomorrow after work to Seattle Tilth (on Sunnyside Ave. in the Wallingford area), to go buy 8 oz of worms in a "to-go" container (a direct quote from the lady on the phone) for $15. And no shipping, which is the best part! (Which means no questions from the concierge, issue I won't be able to skirt when my pole is delivered..."Oh, it's a gift"...)

Anyway, I am also planning to shuttle a Tupperware container back and forth to work to hold my food scraps and those of a few coworkers. I figure my group can participate if they so choose. As long as they remember to remove the stickers from the fruit. :-) I might also start collecting coffee grounds from the pot here at work.

I've read an interesting article about vermicomposting for pet waste, as well. I think it's an excellent idea, if a little more smelly than normal food composting, but they also recommend using it on ornamentals due to possible pathogen contamination. Something I would do, unless I cooked for my dog and trusted what was going into the animal in the first place. Of course, a word of caution from the author was that if you de-worm your animal, this medicine might well kill the redworms as well.

Incidentally, redworms are used for fishing, too...

I am also going to try my hand at sifting the compost at the P-Patch. Hopefully today I will have time to go and start my weeding there... I think I should buy some kneepads. The beds are raised, so I can at least sit on the edges while making the rounds. And my friend Tori has plenty of seedlings for me to experiment with. She has basically peas, tomatoes, carrots, and some cilantro, but I will bypass the cilantro, since I don't like it.

I also discovered an Edible Plant Sale at Meridian Park on May 5-6, 2007:

Youtube Videos

TurboTax rap 1:

TurboTax rap 2:

"Drop it Like a FOB":

"My Cubicle":

Tulip Festival - 08 April 2007

Last Sunday, my friends Kris, Randy, Randy's mom Doris, and I went to the Tulip Festival north of was such a beautiful day, if a tad windy. The only problem was that Doris' wheelchair got stuck in the muck a few times, but we pulled her out of it. I think there are plans to return and see it again!

Me being silly in front of the tulips:

One of the many tulip fields. Check out the giant swaths of color:

A great combination of orangish tulips and violet grape hyacinths

Kris and me, getting blasted by the wind and sun:

Worms Are Eating My Garbage!

I went yesterday to the Seattle Tilth office, to buy redworms. Yes, worms. I am starting a vermicomposting bin, and am uber-excited about it. I was going to order them online, but then discovered that the 'Tilth sells them for $15 / 8 oz in a "to-go" container (seriously). I had to track people down to get into their office yesterday, but it was well worth it. I tore up some newspaper bedding for them, dumped the little guys in, and was pleased to discover that they aren't that gross to handle (just cool-feeling, not slimy or anything). I did forget to water the bin yesterday, so this morning I ran out and poured some water in there to moisten the newspapers. I have about a cabbage heads' worth of vegetable matter in there, starting to rot, and so far it looks like the worms are doing well.

I thought you could feed them whenever (like a normal hot-bin), but it turns out that disturbs them, so the lady at the Tilth recommended I keep my veggie matter in a Tupperware in the fridge (to discourage fruit flies) and drop it in once a week, and rotate where I put it (the "hole" method of feeding them.) The alternative is to layer it over the top (evenly) and put newspaper over that, but I'll figure it out.

You can see a few of the critters in this picture, on top of the newspapers. I buried them, because they don't like light so much, and was pleased to see them cruising around this morning. A few tenacious ones had stuck to the top of the bin above it and fell off when I removed the lid.

I am using a "Can O' Worms" composter. It is three sifting trays that sit atop each other, plus a lower tray that catches liquid compost-tea (with a handy spout) and a lid on top. The theory is that you fill up the bottom tray, then work your way up and the worms should follow the food, while the liquids drain down and provide a nice liquid fertilizer for plants.

I am very excited about this because the composter is compact and sits in a corner of my deck, and should produce faster than normal compost piles (cuz of the worms). Yay!

Closet Organizer!

Last night I finally got to install my closet organizer. $X from the Container Store. It was definitely more than I planned on spending on a closet organizer, but I definitely feel the results are well worth it.

Their Elfa systems are extremely modular. They start by giving you a person who knows how to work their little CAD-type program. You give them dimensions of the closet, and they start designing it to best fit your needs. I went in knowing what amount of clothing I had (e.g. 30 pairs of pants, etc.), as well as what else needed to fit in the closet (bedding, wool, snowshoes, etc.). The lady at the store did an excellent job, and even helped to trim off some of the cost when I balked at the final total.

They sell you a ceiling track (well, a track that mounts at ceiling height, but on the wall), which is what everything else hangs off of, screws and drywall anchors, which you install with the ceiling track, vertical hangers, which hang on the ceiling track, and then shelves and shelf supports / closet rods/ rod hangers / whatever else you need to complete your closet.

Here is a pic of my shelves:

Oh, Glorious Day! It took me about an hour to install everything (from ceiling tracks to shelves). The shelves snap into their holders, and this can be somewhat disconcerting (I had one snap off and onto the floor once), but once you get the hang of it, it's fine and goes quickly.

Here is a picture of "after" I installed everything. This is the left side of my closet:

Here is the back wall, which faces the closet door. (I would like my mom to know that I have less than the average woman's pairs of shoes. Apparently the average American woman has 30 pairs. I have about 26. So she can't call me "Imelda Marcos" anymore! (at least, not for a while). ;-)

And here is the right side, where my clothes are. I still have not hung my pants up, because I need new hangers for them (Container Store, conveniently, sells some very handy ones that are steel and very narrow).

I still definitely need to organize, but Sweet Jesus it's awesome. I LOVE IT.
I am going back today to get a system for my coat closet. I still have a 16" deep shelf, but I think it's too short. So I am going to return that, and get a new shelf that will span over the top of my closet rod. That's all I really want. Storage up there, and then maaaaybe a shelf below? I don't know yet. The coat closet is where I am hiding my upright fan and vacuum cleaner, so I don't think I will have room for a shelf below. We shall see.

Condo Process Backwards: Moving In (Job 4)

The final big process in this Move To The Condo was, well, moving in! I had Mark, Igor, Tori, Ryan, Pasty James, and the boyfriend helping me. It was SO nice to have all that help for such a little (relative) load. I moved on 31 March, 2007 into my new place.

Once I got in, the boy and I were supposed to go snowshoeing that evening with Mark, as it was a full moon outside and the snow promised to be beautiful. But, of course, we got done and collapsed on the couch after having fed everyone and returned the truck to the realty office ( a nice perk for buying with Annie: you get free use of their truck). The boy almost instantly fell asleep on the couch (he'd been out with the boys the night before), and then I sort of lazed around for a minute before starting to unpack. Here are some pictures of the result.

The IKEA lamp didn't really survive this move, which would be it's second already came from Baltimore. I am donating it somewhere as soon as I install new lights in the kitchen.

A view of the closet. Note the distinct lack of good use of space. This is soon to be solved with a closet organizer from the Container Store.

And, finally, a view of the kitchen area. Yes, there is crap everywhere, but I just moved in.

Condo Process Backwards: Murphy Bed Installation (Job 3)

The next job in the Moving To The Future (a title I snipered from the job, where our move to Renton was preceded by a year-long process someone in HR thought best to title, "The Move To The Future". Oy!) was (where was I?...oh yeah...bed..) installing the Murphy bed. Once I had closed the deal on the condo, I immediately called up Emerald City Closets here in Seattle (ironically, they are located in one of the ground floor shops of the building where my old apartment is), and had them make a bed for me. I chose MDF (medium density fiberboard; think "IKEA furniture". Heavy but relatively stable if you're not unscrewing and rescrewing it together all the time.) with a maple foil (i.e. it's a picture of maple grain, glued to the top of the MDF), and since my mattress is humongous at 14" deep, I had them customize the cabinet part by making it deep enough to fit the bed and bedding. The whole shebang cost me $2400, which is ...about what Murphy beds cost, I'm sorry to say. They start at roughly $2000, and go up from there. Had I an extra $3000, I would have had cabinets built into the wall along with the bed, but, alas, I have made excellent use of some IKEA cabinets that flank the bed.

Here is a pic of the installation process. This is the cabinet part that the bed folds into:

And here is the bed, fully installed. I haven't put the mattress in at this point. I think it looks nice and clean. Some of the company's upgrades include things like mouldings, fancier handles, or you can even select hardwoods for your bed and cabinets, but all those things add up in cost very quickly.

It also works nicely with the floor color. I am very pleased with it, and I don't think I would have survived in this small of a space without it. It really helps the space to not feel like it's 466 sqft.

Condo Process Backwards: Pergo Installation (Job 2)

The next job in the long road to Moving In was installing the Pergo laminate floor.

In all honesty, it wasn't Pergo. I can't afford Pergo yet, even for a floor like this. I priced several different types of floor, from tile (too hard on the feet, plus I couldn't match the existing and would have to do the entire condo to get the effect I wanted), bamboo (tempting and eco-sustainable as a quickly growing reed), to hardwood (ha! I am not paying $4+/sqft in a condo that I won't be in for more than 3 years), to this stuff. Laminate flooring. It's cheap (I found mine for $1.09/sqft at Lumber Liquidators), it installs relatively easily (click-together), and it is pretty resilient. I have dropped a few things, and it has yet to nick (knock on wood...oh wait...)

Here is a picture post-installation:

The paint cans on tiles are stationed at the door to keep the quarter-round molding we glued in down against the floor. I shouldn't say "we". My friends Mark and Tony installed the floor, and the boyfriend helped them. I ended up entertaining Tony's wife while they did their thing, and then bought everyone dinner.

I will say one thing: plan on longer than you think you'll need. I thought this floor, at roughly 180 sqft, would take about 2 hours, maybe 3. Nope. Took 8. But I am happy it's in now!

Condo Process Backwards: Painting (Job 1)

I have decided to be somewhat out of chronological order, and post pictures from when my condo was painted, a mere month or so ago.

This first one is from the priming, and when Gary, the painter, and I had set up paint chips on one of the sections. This is the "fireplace" area (yeah, it's an electric heater. I feel like I'm at Disneyland when I turn it on and stare at it. It should have one of those light wheels like at Disneyland, and I can hear something rotating inside of it...)

This next one starts to show the colors. As I said before, I selected espresso, Tiffany blue, and acid green for my colors. This is the area that the guy originally had covered up by that hideous Diaper-Flautist-whatever he was:

And here is the same fireplace area, now painted in the colors specified:

Gary took about a week to paint everything. The job ended up being about 2.5 times what he quoted me in price, but he did have to paint A LOT. There were at least two coats of primer, and possibly more since he said the tar kept bleeding through the paint. He also said all the colors required two coats, and the green required 4 coats because the paint was streaky, for some reason. I think the brown needed three coats.
The lesson here is: if you pay someone to do something for you, always budget for way more than you think it will cost. That way, when the work is done, you can sigh, but not be angry because they cleaned you out till your next paycheck.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Fiber Overload

I don't think I could ever have "enough" fiber. However, my friend Kim had dyed a bunch of Bluefaced Leicester wool for me (you can see some of her gorgeous dyework at, and buy her and my handspun yarn, and her glass art and other creations). I also have some old dyed soy silk to use, as well as some mohair curls Kim dyed, amongst the silk caps, alpaca down I bought up in Whidbey Island when I asked the boyfriend to drive me up there (since it is on his side of the peninsula), pygora, cashmere fluff, and POUNDS AND POUNDS of stinky dog hair from my friend Mark's brother John, who wants the yarn to weave a blanket. I told him I should knit him one. It would work better, but weaving will be more economical a use of the yarn.

Did I mention there were pounds of stinky dog hair? I think I might look into trying to wash it in a metal sieve I have. I figure it will mat itself into the sieve, and I can just lift it off once it dries out on the porch.

My ultimate goal is to buy a drum carder, and be able to efficiently blend the dog hair with undyed BFL. It makes a nice blonde yarn... I want a more consistent blend, though, which I cannot currently achieve with the long times spent hand-carding the suckers. A drum carder makes sense... I am also thinking of combs, but I currently do not possess any fibers which I particularly have a burning desire to comb and rid myself of the short hairs.

I almost wish I had this weekend to myself, to spin and knit and put my community garden together and buy things like track lighting and a plant stand. Almost. I do love going to see the boyfriend. And since weekends are all we have together, I make the effort. And so does he, work permitting. I am going to help him garden this weekend. He has aspirations for a pumpkin vine and some other stuff. Which is interesting, because he abhors most vegetables. I have yet to figure out the underlying reason for this...

Oh well. More CSA organic asparagus for me!


I recently got into a P-Patch in Seattle! I am very excited about this.

P-Patches are community gardens that are run by the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. The basic idea is that people who normally might not have a space to garden, can go dig in their own little patch of dirt, and for a nominal fee ($34/year per 100 sqft), have an organic gardening space to call their own. It requires a minimal amount of volunteer work, 8 hours per year, and 4 hours must be in your own garden-site.

It was actually a bit of a process to garner my patch o' land. I learned about this program shortly after moving to Seattle last year (January of 2006), and promptly put myself on the waitlist for the P-Patch in Belltown, since that is where I lived. Of course, I got into the Belltown P-Patch as I bought my condo, so I emailed the kind folks at the P-Patch office and asked them how to go about revising my original request so I could get into a P-Patch in Ballard. They put me back on the appropriate wait-list, and I got an email about a month later announcing the good news! So that was exciting.

I had my orientation last night. I learned where the compost was, how to get in the tool shed, where my plot was (it happens to be the one with all the weeds in it. Obviously the growing season has taken it by surprise.), etc. The soil appears very healthy, crumbly and dark. Mmm. Like a good chocolate cake. I am looking forward to this; despite my hippie sensibilities, I have never gardened organically.

I am still trying to decide what to plant. I learned that you don't have to really worry about getting organic seeds, though it's a good idea and I might start doing that next year, but this year I need to get things in the ground, so I might go with starts from my local stores. I am thinking of lettuces, beets, green beans (since my friend promised her mom would pickle them), maybe a watermelon? The space is small, however, and I think I may end up with more of a cutting (flower) garden this year than fruitful plants. There is also a bunch of wild arugula behind the compost bins that is very tasty...I shall have to harvest some for myself! :-)

Oh, the sky is beautiful right now! I wish I had the day off! Although I will be done soon, so I can go garden then go do my due diligences (?) before bussing-then-ferrying off to the boyfriend!

New Home

And a Good Morrow to You! As many of my friends know, I recently purchased and moved into the World's Smallest Condo. It's all of 466 sqft (or 469 if you want to believe the appraiser, or 460 if you want to believe common sense. But I will take 466 and be done with it). I had been searching for a condo for about 6 months, with the aid of a friend and realtor, Annie. Annie is the bari sax player in the Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra (, and I am lucky enough to get to sub with them sometimes. So I enlisted her services, and we went searching. My original criteria were simple: something $200 000 or less, in a nice neighborhood, plenty of light, no carpet, a parking space, and a balcony. It often felt like the search for Who Fits The Glass Slipper - places would be gorgeous, but overpriced. Or have something insane, like a view of the water, but no balcony. Or be too far away from where the action is. A sub-requirement was that I be able to conduct off-hours tasks (like getting a cup of tea) via walking or biking. My aim was to use my car as little as possible when I am not commuting to and from work. I finally found it. A diamond in the rough. Annie warned me that the guy was a smoker, and that his agent wanted to meet us here, because the guy was weird. The asking price was $185 000, and it was in Ballard, which is a very desirable neighborhood. Who knew? We could smell the place as we walked down the hall. We entered to a cloud of thick cigarrette smoke, and, as Michael Jackson put it, "the funk of 40,000 years". To put it in perspective, the largely stained mattress had no sheets on it, there were dirty, yellowed boxers strewn about the floor, and we were scared to touch anything. Large, bad-hotel-art covered what little wallspace was left after the crazy guy's massive dark furniture was done covering the window and door. The place was, quite literally, a shithole. But the view was to the south, there was a large shared deck, it was on the second floor, and the building was built in 2001. Needless to say, I purchased it with an eye towards rehabilitation.

Here is one of my many "Before" pics. Note that he is covering up the sole source of incoming light in this place by placing that whacked-out Pan-flute-playing-diaper-dude over the window, as well as the ugly, oversized cabinet next to it, covering the door.

Did you notice the lack of sheets upon his mattress, and the filthy sheet that is curled up on the corner, there? I wish I could take smell-pictures. This place smelled like a smoky bar after a night of serious grossness.

Here is a picture of what, at this point, is generously called the kitchen. The expansive electronics collection this guy had puzzled me. I mean, I'm an engineer and I don't yet have the 42" flat-panel TV that this guy had. But check out his desktop computer, if you can spot it amongst the miasma of filth:

We had to offer asking price, and we had to offer a closing + 5 days, which ultimately meant that the crazy guy got to live here for 5 days after we closed the sale. Yay. I came in the day the crazy guy moved out, and almost started crying. The deal was that he was supposed to clear all his crap out, then hire a cleaning woman to come in. (Really. That was one of the sale stipulations.) It seemed like he had only taken most of his furniture, some of his clothes, not all of his prescription pills, and left me with a miasma of dirty laundry and rotting patio furniture. I called Annie and left a very colorful voice mail on her phone.

Things started to happen once the "crap-removers", as I like to call them, came in and hauled everything away. Annie was nice and even had them remove the carpet, which improved the smell factor by about 100. Then Carol, the cleaning woman, came in and worked what magic she could. She worked for two days, even though he had only paid her for 10 hours. She worked 4 hours on the toilet alone. And there was still a large, nut-brown stain in the "exit nozzle" area. Bless her heart, she did the best she could. She never even got to the tile floor (in the kitchen and bathroom). I even hired her on for three extra hours so she could wash the walls down with TSP (tri-sodium phosphate; a toxic chemical used to strip crap off of walls before painting. Crap like cigarrette tar).
[Note: I was going to paste a picture in here, but the blogger is picky about where I can put pictures... look at a later post :-) ]

Then my friend Gary the painter came in and worked his magic. I selected espresso, acid green, and Tiffany blue as my colors du jour. (Being that I had already done a great combination of red, orange, and magenta when I lived in Maryland, I thought it time to try something new). He did an excellent job, though the whole job cost me about three times what I originally thought it would.

The next step came in installing the laminate (think Pergo) floor. I purchased it from Lumber Liquidators, and got an excellent price per square foot. The color selected was a light maple tone. I asked my friends Mark and Tony to come install it, and got the boyfriend to help them, as well. (I intended to help, but with three guys there, I ended up entertaining Tony's wife, Minyee). It's amazing how easily a free meal will get people to do things for you.

Shortly after the flooring was installed, the Murphy bed installer came to do his job. I selected a Murphy bed from Emerald City Closets in Seattle. I ended up having them do some custom work, because I have a large (14") mattress, and so they had to make a bigger cabinet to hold it. Again, I selected a light maple tone of MDF to go with the flooring, and some brushed nickle handles for pulling the bed down. In the end, I removed the bar that is supposed to flip over the mattress and has the bed-feet attached to it, because it was still too much of a squeeze on my giant mattress. The bed works wonderfully; it was an ideal solution to saving space in this tiny place.

Had I extra money, I would have had Emerald City Closets build up additional storage to flank the bed, but I did what any enterprising person in their mid-20's would do; I went to IKEA and bought shelves that fit the space. This meant that I had to spend about $150 more than I intended (the shelves I wanted were about 1" too wide to fit into the prescribed nooks). The shelves conveniently fit the large plastic IKEA boxes (Lekman?) that I love for storing big things like wool rovings and knitting/ spinning supplies. They also came in the light maple-ey color.

Now that I have moved in and am starting to unpack and get organized, a few things remain to be solved.

1) I need closet storage. Today I plan to head out to the Container Store, for they have a free closet-organizing program consultation they will provide before trying to sell you some of their Elfa line of closet-stuff.

2) New track lighting needs to be bought. The old tracks not only are stained with tar and cooking funk, they are incompatible with the new generic track lighting connections. I found some cute brushed-steel looking ones at Home Depot for around $40 each. I figure one in the kitchen, and one in the living room, to replace a sad little pot-light with a stained globe, will suffice. It may even allow me to get rid of an IKEA lamp that needs to be glued back into serviceable condition.

3) Once I get organized and get my clothes into the closet, I need to CLEAN THE TILE FLOOR. Despite my efforts at multiple moppings (once with TSP and twice with Simple Green), and a tile-by-tile scrub with Simple Green and a plastic scrub-sponge, my socks still turn black when I walk on the tile for more than a few minutes. It is time to break out my vinegar and hydrogen peroxide cleaning duo.

4) Eventually, I want to get a flat-screen TV and install it above my fireplace. It is materialistic, and I already do have a serviceable CRT TV, but it takes up room that could be used to house my 90 year old dresser that my grandpa made and I refuse to part with right now.

5) I want to start up my outdoor deck garden. There are some discount pottery places I am going to go visit in the near future; I am very excited about having a deck garden again. I just got a spot in a Community Garden here in Ballard, but I want something pretty to greet me in the morning :-)

6) I need to buy some window coverings. I actually don't use window coverings anymore (I used to live in an 8th floor apartment, my bed was adjacent to the bay window, and I didn't close my blinds for over a year, so I feel no need to hide behind them), but I feel like the windows look sort of naked without them. I am going to buy some bamboo roll-up blinds that will fit neatly within the window openings, and stay tucked out of the way during the day.

7) Plant holder. I have a collection of orchids, ferns, African violets, and succulents that need to be elevated off the floor. I thought I saw one at IKEA, but I'll have to go look again.

8) Eventually, I will invest in new furniture. A new couch and coffee table, and possibly a side chair, although right now I am using some wobbly wooden dining chairs that my brother donated to me while still in Maryland, and they are great as a stepladder substitute, as well as for when guests show up and want to sit somewhere other than the couch. I suppose eventually I can relegate them to the outside?

I was originally considering getting the Murphy bed with the couch that appears to be directly in front of it, but those things are cheaply constructed and not as comfortable as my current couch - a donation from an old coworker in Maryland. It is sort of an unoffending olive color, striped chenille fabric, and has feather filling in the back cushions. A great napping couch. Although the wooden feet tend to fall out if you insist on moving the couch around. Plus the couch-in-front option is no longer offered by Emerald City Closets, and they said it cost $1000 when it was offered...which is the price of a good couch.

9) Gas grill. Need a small one. Enough said. Looking on Craigslist.

10) Patio furniture....?.... I haven't decided whether it will be worth the space for a small table and chair(s). I'd rather devote the space to my incoming worm bin (from a coworker- I am very excited to have a compost repository), BBQ, and plants...but we shall see.

11) I need to clean the oven. I am scared to cook in it till I get it done. I tried running the oven's "self-clean" cycle, and I got smoked out of my condo (acrid, burnt-food, eye-watering smoke that stank up the place for a whole day) in about 10 minutes.

The oven cleaning actually may be an ideal task for today. I am going to visit the boyfriend (he is stationed at the local Naval base on a submarine), and I could spray in the Easy-Off before leaving, since I won't be back till Sunday morning...*musing*...

So, in the end, the condo is coming together. And I love the view, even if it is tempered by symbols of capitolism: Denny's, Goodyear Tires, Walgreens, and Wendy's are all in my immediate view, and there is a Safeway just to the east.


Greetings! I am attempting to make a blog as interesting as my friend Kim's: In doing so, I will endeavor to stay away from work issues, and focus on things like my new community garden (aka P-Patch), my crafts, and outdoor activities.

Such as snowshoeing:

During the day, I am an engineer at Boeing in Renton, WA, in the Propulsion System Division. It's fairly interesting, at least I think so, which is good because it pays well and allows me to do things like own a condo, live in a decent neighborhood, and pursue crafts and hobbies that I am interested in.

If you really want to know what I do, you can always email me and ask. :-)