Sunday, February 28, 2016

It's raining out, a Sunday and I've got mellow love songs filling up an empty office.

I'm fighting day dreams and distractions because I just want to get this all done and get home. But my heart keeps taking off anyways. I want to get away someplace, any place with him.

I want a weekend by the coast, with books and coffee and just the two of us.  No work.  No house.

I'd take Portland though. Or Vancouver. Whistler. Anywhere on the islands. Ocean shores. Cannon Beach.  I'll knock out a few hours of work and then I'm back to looking for cheap airbnb spots.  NO - work, Kati.  Work.

No, Work.  No.

I need books.  I need him.  I need to be watching this rain fall.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Part of Your World - Little Mermaid (Claire, 3 Years Old)

Have you ever been a part of a team?  Not just on a team, a part of it.

I was running downtown tonight and came to a stoplight.  We were down by the waterfront and clearly no one would be coming down this street just then - I looked at the runner across the intersection from me.  We made eye contact and both started running toward one another - we were going for it - both crossing from our opposite sides.  I had an incredible desire to reach out my hand and give him a high five in passing. But he looked away. In that split-second connection, the amazing feeling of being part of a team had lept back to flames inside me.  Tagging out - checking in - great job - go get 'em - a high five at a run.

I've been on a lot of teams over the years: on the field, the court, the classroom and the office, but being a part of a team, not so often.

It's a good feeling.  I'm looking for it - also, I want to learn how to create real teams, real teamwork. Having a group of people more concerned with working hard together, building each other up, pushing each other, sharing their tricks and secrets, challenging each other, feeling free to be strong themselves; good Lord, creating with a group of people like that - getting into a tough situation together - taking on some crazy feat and walking away successful- it's sooo ridiculously good you guys!!

I think I'm going to start offering high fives to any jogger I pass when on a jog. Also, I'm gonna build myself a team. I'm going to work better at being not just a teammate - but back to being a captain.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


It's difficult to weed someone else's garden.

Years ago, when my mom was away for a bit, my sister decided to weed her garden.  By the end it looked beautiful - clean, plenty of dark freshly turned soil.

Too much dark soil. She pulled more than some weeds.

This past weekend was filled with yard work - the good kind that leaves you achy and sore in a fulfilling way. As I pruned the lavender and hedges, and weeded through the front beds, there were several times I had to pause and think "What is that?" A master gardener might know, but I think even they have to think twice in the first days of spring.  I'm no master gardener; I'm absolutely in the apprentice stage.  I sat there staring at the little leaves just breaking through the soil, trying to make out the shape and recall what bulbs I've planted and where over the past couple years.  Ah!! That's right!  That's what that is!  I thought to myself, thank goodness this is my garden, I think someone else would have pulled that.  Shoot, in anyone else's garden I would have pulled that.  It's difficult to weed another woman's garden. And yet, we do. The thought blazed through my mind, and began to take root.

How often do we look at another and determine what is weed and what should bloom on some sunny day?  How often do you think we're actually wrong about it?

I spent the rest of the day cutting, digging and planting, feeling thankful for all those in my life that haven't tried to weed my garden for me - grateful for those who recognize that they didn't plant anything in that dirt - the ones who've been willing to show up and water for me, willing to wait years and watch, willing to keep an over-eager weeder at bay even. Thankful for those who know a thorny ugly thing is just a rose in the winter. She'll be beautiful by spring and blooming by summer.

We're all a bed of surprises, so let's agree to not weed each other's beds, okay?  Chances are if you try, you'll pull out some daisies that really just needed a little sunshine and water from you. Or perhaps, just patience and a person for whom to bloom.

Maybe you think you're the exception because you're just good at reading people. Or, you're prophetic. Yeah, I've told myself that too. But I've had a few prophetic women tear me to shreds in a winter and I've still got some roses that just won't seem to bloom any more. If you're gifted in really seeing through things, look for the flowers.

Feed, don't weed. ;)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Hermione Mix | Pogo & Jeesh

It would be totally normal to name a daughter Hermione. Right? Totally normal.


5 Reasons I Love Living in Maple Leaf

Having known a number of friends toying with the idea of moving toward the city, I've been considering my favorite things about living where we do.  Below are five reasons I love living in Maple Leaf. They aren't mind-blowing, in fact, they're mostly very obvious, and I think these pertain to all our little neighborhoods on our edge of town:

1. Tiny Libraries - I know these are making their way out to the burbs, but tiny libraries was one of many reasons I loved living in Fremont. When they started popping up on my own street and the surrounding areas in Maple Leaf, my heart lept! I always keep books in the back of my car (books for unexpected park days, books I need to return to friends, books I'm ready to donate).  Several times now I have hopped out and traded a book in the back for something appealing in the little lending library on the sidewalk.

2. Parks - My mom took us girls to a lot of parks growing up.  I have such strong, happy memories when I pass by the one with all the flags halfway between Bothell and Edmonds. That's where most often we'd end up with Elise - I remember us setting our sodas in the sand so they wouldn't fall over while we enjoyed the swings.  Sure enough, our teeth met a nice amount of grainy soda when we returned. We always drove to the parks though. And as a kid, I had no complaint about this, as an adult I don't either really. I love driving to a favorite park.  But you know what's even better?  WALKING to the park! I love that living in one of the outskirt neighborhoods of Seattle essentially means you have a park within walking distance.  For us, we have two or three, but one of them is so great it's the only one we even think to go to! Maple Leaf is made by it's incredible Maple Leaf Reservoir Park!

3. Local Businesses - For us, the local businesses starts with coffee and ends with either Ace Hardware or The Maple Bar.  Not because there aren't other awesome businesses (like a Vet I can't wait to visit someday soon! When have you ever heard those words before, right?), but because we LOVE these local haunts and something about buying goods from the guy who literally lives on your street is awesome! But in our little Maple Leaf town center strip, we also have accountants, a florist, a mechanic, a cake/bakery shop, two salons, until a month ago a drug store, midwives, a naturopath, a chiropractor and a dozen other shops.

4. Short(er) Commute - I decided yesterday that the only thing that sucks about Seattle, is the traffic.  It seriously is ALL the time now.  And it's awful; no denying it. Everything else about our green city is awesome. That being said, living on the edge of the city is a pretty nice situation. It shortens your commute into the city for work each day, while also allowing you to avoid the nasty traffic on your off days. I really like not having to sit on 45th or 50th for close to an hour any time I want to hit I-5, or go visit my parents. Where we live now, we are essentially 15 minutes to everything! (Except Bellevue and Kirkland.) And by "shorter commute" to work, I also mean we get to commute in on a bus! Sitting on a bus, instead of behind a wheel means you're spending less money and you're probably enjoying a good book. You're also walking from your bus stop to work, which is healthier for you. Of course, this is also healthier for the environment, and for the nasty Seattle traffic so everybody please get on a bus! And now that you're on a bus, read a book.  Look, I am literally solving so many major US problems right now - we're all on buses and we're reading, so there's no traffic, less exhaust, and an educated, empathetic population! I'm getting t-shirts made!

5. Community - we're still figuring this one out.  But I visited our Community Council Executive Board meeting this past month, and I'm happy to know there are wonderful people who have been members of this community for 30 years.  Like every part of Seattle (and Washington), the neighborhood is undergoing massive changes, amidst that, it is wonderful to have long-term, committed neighbors who can hopefully help us hold on to the very best parts of who Maple Leaf has always been, while wisely adapting to how the city needs to change. Living in tight quarters with neighbors can be frustrating - it's hard to not be all up in one another's business, but it also leads to conversations and hellos and goodbyes and "Great day to work in the yard, isn't it?" across the street. When Heidi lived here, she made friends with other moms at the coffee shop. I love that (as did she). As I said, we're still figuring this one out, but I think these specific neighborhoods have a lot of promise for community and I treasure that.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Day 3

I'm thankful for those moments when you totally know you got something you shouldn't have... or shouldn't have gotten something you did.  (PS, I hate the word "got" - I have no idea why I just used it multiple times in the opening sentence of this blog.  But now that I've written a whole second and now third sentence about it, I haven't the time to rewrite.)

You see, I drove today because we are getting a new fridge and we were chatting about it and I was dicing onions (oh dangit, I forgot to put in the onions!) and carrots and celery to put in the crockpot with the chicken.  All this means I missed my bus and the next one I could catch wouldn't get me to work until almost 11!

So I drove.  I parked on the street and determined I would repay at 12:30pm.  Then at 2:30pm, I'd move to the garage that my gym reimburses for up to 3 hours.  Smart, right?

Only at 2:30pm, I realized, OH MY GOSH I DROVE TODAY! That's right.  I'd only gotten up (there it is again) from my desk briefly and was rushing to hit a 3pm deadline for the day and had completely forgotten to repay at 12:30pm.

I ran down to my car to pick up my parking ticket.  And it wasn't there.  2 hours past due - and I had no ticket!!!!

Today, I am thankful for that.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Day 2

You know how we all love countdowns?  I decided that instead of doing a count-down.  I am going to just count up.  Keep it positive - keep momentum growing - staying focused on what I have and how much I can accomplish in these days.  Yesterday was day 35 for me and I decided to start 35 (Work)Days of Thankfulness.  Yesterday, I was home sick and I ended the day with movie and dinner on the couch with John. As every list of things I'm grateful for begin - Day 1 went to my Beau.  

Day 2. I'm grateful for coffee.  Not in a "I'm always tired" way.  I am literally just so grateful for one of my favorite daily rituals.  Most mornings, John makes me a morning cup.  He often asks "What kind?" or "Do you have a preference of method?"  And typically, but not always, I let him decide.  On weekends, I'll often request the mocha pot with a hearty amount of creamy foam on top. He'll pick mocha pot or aeropress, or maybe his siphon pot.  He'll pull out some of our favorite beans and grind them up.  We're back to boiling water on our stove, so he'll turn on the faucet and fill  up a sauce pan. Yesterday he used the pour over - which is incredible rare. Within time he'll hand me a cup of coffee, and if I'm lucky it will be in one of my favorite metalic stone ones and we'll have time to sit on the couch and half-cuddle and talk. 

Today, I'm just drinking the office coffee, which is terrible.  But I'm drinking it as the ritual right now - as the start of my morning and the beginning of my day.  And I'm thankful. I'm grateful for such a lavish little ritual that begins almost all of my days.