Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Things to be excited about

Go to

Search for "Indian Restaurants, St. Louis, MO"

354 results - now THAT is exciting

I find myself giddy about all the options we will have once we move to St. Louis. I think people will actually want to visit us there because there is so much to do!

One of the first things I want to do in St. Louis is visit the City Museum. Check this place out - Yes, it's a children's museum, but it is amazing. This is when I really wish we had some kids, but I think this can be the enticement that all our child-rearing friends need to visit us. Seriously, this place has caves, a giant dream of a jungle gym city, an aquarium, a toddler town, an art city, giant ball pits, a treehouse, a two-story slide and oh, so much more. I just might have to buy a season pass.

And, I am a huge fan of zoos. After visitting the San Diego Zoo and the Henry Doorley Zoo, it is going to be hard to find something that beats those. And even though the St. Louis Zoo isn't either of those, it is said to be wonderful and it is also FREE. Hmm, maybe I'll work close enough that I could spend my lunch hour there.

St. Louis has professional football, baseball and hockey teams. Plus Forrest Park and the arch, of course.

And, I can't end without mentioning that I will be in the same town as not 1, but 4 Trader Joe stores.

I think I'm gonna like the big city.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The One Picture

This is the ONE picture we took during Christmas.

We were all together. And since we won't be together next Christmas, it will be interesting to see if the family grows in 2 years time.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Winter Skies

Lately, I have been noticing the sunrise and sunset. I attribute this to the amount of windows in our home - double the amount in our old residence. And, each time I have noticed the vividness of the colors. It seems more eye-catching then a summer sky - brighter, bolder, and more vibrant - which I attribute to the crisp, cold air.

Of course, I snapped some photos with my point and shoot which really can take some great pictures, but for a sky-scape, just doesn't do God's glory justice.

Years ago, I would have never been able to tell of something beautiful in Kansas. Now I can whole-heartedly say that the expansive skies are the saving grace.

Beautiful sky, but it sure would be nice to have a white Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Our dog has some smarts. Hubs and I will forever be amazed that he found his way back to my parent's house in Kansas City this summer. And, although he does lick the oddest of things, he really adjusts to life in a very smart manner.

I mean, he knew that something was going on during our move. He whined as we packed up and he was constantly on our heels ready to dash to the truck, not to be left behind.

Within 30 minutes of being in our new house, he had found "his" couch and was curled up relaxing. Five hours later we left for a party and he knew exactly where to go when I said, "Kennel." And by the next evening, when we said, "Ransom, let's go night-night," he trotted straight back to our bedroom and plopped down onto his bed.

After 2 days of being fed at our new house, Ransom has completely adjusted and knows where home is. He has even (and we have too) adjusted to hearing himself walk along the floors. Our old home didn't have a basement and he was quiet as a mouse. Now, we hear his ever step, which could be a very good thing. AND, he knows that the best place to poop in our yard is as close the fence as possible, so that he doesn't step in it while playing.

After 5 days, however, I still have to think when I get out of bed of where the bathroom is, when my contacts are, and how to go about my normal routine. And, let's not even go into finding items in the kitchen.

Victory occured yesterday and this morning, though, when I finally found my salt dish and my fleece jacket, both of which I was missing severely. I still have no clue where my napkin holder is hiding.

Yes, I would say Ransom feels right at home.

And we do too.

Monday, December 20, 2010


I could possibly be M.I.A for any of the following reasons:

1. Internet is not hooked up at our new house

2. Our new house is in chaos.

3. It's Christmas this week and there is much to do.

But, most likely I will find some time to snap some photos and post anyway. Because I just can't stay away.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Dream Came True

When I was young and carefree I dreamed of being a doctor. Not just a doctor, a forensic pathologist. And then not even just that, but the Surgeon General of the United States!

Now, I wouldn't have the stamina and determination to be in medical school or residency or fellowships or anything else that required me to study during every free moment. I'm happy with where I ended up - the wife of a doctor - but every once in a while I think about that long lost dream.

And then, on Sunday night, my dream came true!

In our Christmas Program, I was "Dr. Newheart." Children came to the doctor on Christmas Day feeling down. I came in, diagnosed, ran tests, and helped them understand the cure for their sinful hearts was salvation through Jesus Christ!

This was a new endeavor for me, but I had so much fun. Here's why...

1. The kids. The children who were in the musical wth me were GREAT! It is one thing to get kids to memorize and say lines in front of almost 400 people; it is another thing entirely when they act out their part. And this kids did awesome. They made it so easy and fun.

2. The director. When my friend asked me to help her with this, I was clueless. Like I said, this is a first for me. But she was completely prepared. She coached us in acting the part. She encouraged 45 children K-6th grade to sing. She kept it all together and, most importantly, she always reminded us why we were doing this. We were sharing the gospel with all the people that were there and were watching online.

I'm sad it is over and I won't get to hang out with the kids each Sunday evening. But, I think they did an amazing job and had a lot of fun, too!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Cheer

In the past week I have:

packed 0 boxes.

caught Ransom licking my bath towel.

put my bath towel in the dirty clothes.

got dressed up 2 times more than usual.

had exactly 3 freak-out sessions concerning our move in 9 days.

decorated our mantle for Christmas.

No tree this year, but at least it feels a little more like Christmas now.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The thought that counts

Reason #1358 why I love my Hubs: He offered to make puppy chow for me

Reason #552 why I love my Hubs: He makes me laugh

When Hubs asked me what he could do to help me out, I asked him to make the puppy chow. I was wearing a black shirt and I wanted to stay clean, so I thought this would be perfect. I handed him the recipe and the ingredients and went to tackle other chores.

About 7 minutes later, Hubs calls me over to look at his creation, saying that it didn't look quite right. There were rather large clumps mixed with dry Chex cereal.

I tried to say, Oh, it looks okay. To which he replied, "NO IT DOESN'T!" And we burst out laughing at the interesting mix.

Turns out, he tried to take a shortcut and it didn't work so well. We made a new batch, and it turned out very pretty.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Get It. Together.

That is what I am telling myself every second. This week has been a blur and I am now beginning to see that I might now have been totally "with it." I am looking at things wondering, What was I thinking?

You see, I've been letting the stress get to me. I don't show the stress. I'm very light-hearted and happy-go-lucky. I go to all my scheduled events and smile and work and talk and listen. But after it is over and I am alone, everything crashes down and I (silently) freak. Then I sit down and read so I don't have to deal with the world.

Today is different. Today, I am tackling tasks that must be done before the packing even starts. Today, I am working out and baking. Today, I am going home and taking an Excedrin Migraine before I collapse.

So pardon me, while I work on getting it together. Hopefully I'll have pictures of our new home soon, with Ransom playing in the background. But, I'd prefer to have pictures of our stuff IN the new house. Magically having appeared there with a twitch of my nose.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

St. Louis

Population: almost 3 million in the Greater St. Louis area

St. Louis is our big news. We got an email this morning that told us our new home will be in St. Louis. I screamed when I found out - screamed with excitement. I'm excited about this move.

Life doesn't actually change for a while. We won't be moving for another 6-7 months, but it is nice to know where we will move. For the next 5-6 months, though, we will still be focused on our life here and the people here and what God has for us here and especially on our upcoming Israel trip!

But now that we do know, the planner in me will begin to research the area, the dog parks, the shopping, the jobs, the housing, and everything else. As excited as I am and as much as I do like visiting big cities, living in one is sort of intimidating.There will be so much to discover!

A new chapter of our life will begin. It seems so real today. Though the planning has taken months, it didn't seem real until today. Until we found out that we are moving to a place that neither of us knows anything about. A place that God has been preparing for us. A place where God will be using us in other's lives.

 St. Louis, here we come!

As you know, I try to keep our blog semi-annonymous. If you would like more details about the move, call me, email me, or facebook me. I'd love to share!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My to-do list keeps getting longer

Buy Christmas Gifts

Figure out what to get people for Christmas first

Make vanilla bean scones (Friday)

Pay bills

Get stuff done at work

Memorize verses

Order Christmas Cards!

Read Bible

Go to the bank

Prepare for Bible Studies

Normal, everyday chores and cooking

Oh yeah, pack the house

Continue working on the Christmas Program at Church

Buy Israel Tickets

Work out

Buy travel insurance?

Make a doctor's appointment

Find out big news on Wednesday

Kiss Hubs

Play with Ransom

Love on our friends


Take truck to get worked on (next Friday)

Stop biting my lips (bad habit)

Buy dog food

Monday, November 29, 2010


"God's providence is His constant care for and His absolute rule over all His creation for His own glory and the good of His people."
Jerry Bridges

Months ago, our friends moved to Dallas. Their house has been for sale ever since. It was supposed to sell on November 15.

On November 16, a court summons was being stamped. It was made out to John Doe (tenant) and Mary Doe (tenant). 

Last Tuesday, I went to the Y after work. I got home around 4:15 and noticed there was a rolled paper in our door. I took Ransom outside, got the mail, and then went to grab what I thought was junk in our door. The rolled up paper was actually a court summons. And the details of the summons made it clear that our house (which we rent) is in the process of being foreclosed. I chuckled, not because I found this funny, but because it was unbelievable.

I remembered an email that I received from our friends. The selling of their house did not go through and they were going to rent it out. Calmly, I texted to see if it had been rented yet. It hadn't. And although we were not being evicted and although it may take months for this all to go through, we thought it better to move into an open home now than when we only had 30 days notice. 

The past 6 days has been filled with twists and turns and lots of new developments and details and hoops. And today we are still not sure how everything will work out, but we do know this: God is working all to His glory and to the good of His people, even something as small as a home to rent. He knew we would have this need, and He was preparing a house to meet our needs. 

We are praising God. He loves us so much!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Christmas Card Out-takes 2010

I was going to share some funny pictures of our Christmas Card photo experience. Last year, it was a challenge.

But this year, we got the shot on the first take. So, I have nothing to share except this nasty picture of Ransom and I.

In other current events...

My parents are camping on a beach in southern Texas. They will be eating Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant overlooking the Gulf. It's 75 degrees and there are porpoises in the water. Doesn't sound too bad.

My brothers and sister-in-law are in West Virginia hanging out and celebrating Thanksgiving there. I'm so happy they are together for the holiday.

I am getting Black Friday coupons and emails by the hour. Normally, this would excite me because they are from my favorite stores and they are great deals. However, for the month of November I am not buying one item for myself (besides the basic hygiene essentials). One reason is because I splurged a lot in September and October and buying things for myself has become second nature. I need to be more self-controlled in the shopping area. I knew Black Friday and Cyber Monday would tempt me, which is why I chose November. So, this Friday I will be shopping completely for Christmas gifts!

Yesterday, we received an interesting notice in our front door. God is in control and we will see where it leads. (More details to come when I get them)

And in 1 week from today Hubs and I will learn some exciting news!! You'll have to wait to hear what it is...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Walmart: A place to ruin joy

Rarely do I shop at Walmart. Not necessarily because I have a particular vendetta against the place, but because I don't feel like it is worth the trip. And after today's trip, I am once again drawn to the same conclusion.

It began as I drove into the parking lot. I took the first spot I came to. Of course there was a cart trapped between my car and another from the lazy, selfish person who had just pulled out of the spot. I grab the cart to take it inside so that cars are not needlessly banged up by other's lack of respect for mankind. To make it even worse, as I am walking towards the store a man takes his cart and doesn't just place it near someone's car; no, he gives it a small shove in the general direction and walks away, disregarding where the cart actually ends up. I work on grabbing his cart, too; mainly out of anger. Then I start walking with two carts towards the store. This same man nearly runs me over trying to get around me and his cart. This is all that was necessary to ruin the trip. Honestly, just take a short trip to Walmart to remind you how utterly depraved mankind is and how desperately we need a Savior. And I was reminded of this before I even stepped into the store.

(If you are one of these lazy people who can't seem to return your carts to the proper spot, please think on this. I cannot think of a valid excuse, besides an armed gunman chasing you, for not returning your cart. Nothing in your life can be so important that you can't take 2 extra minutes - if that - to be a responsible shopper and human.)

I drop the carts off, because I didn't actually need one, and start looking for my items. The store is packed with people buying things they don't need, which is another reason I don't like shopping there. I ALWAYS end up with items that aren't needed, but are so cheap that I buy them. And our Walmart seems to have a wider selection of food items, which means I end up buying "new" pre-packaged things that weren't on my list and aren't any good for me. Anyway, I gather the few items I need (including two fleece throws for only $5 - cheap toys for Ransom.)

The fellow customers aren't necessariliy happy either. I mean, don't get in their way. Because you may just cramp their style. And its all about them, you know.

By the checkout lines I am hot (temperature-wise), which makes my crabbyness sky-rocket to new levels. Walmart was partially redeemed by a very friendly cashier, but my mood was already set. And then, she put my 5 items in 3 different plastic bags, when I would have preferred everything to be smushed into 1. I hastily re-sacked them and threw the wasted bags into the recycle bin, you know, to prove a point.

I got in my car and rolled down the windows to cool off. Then, I got a grip on my attitude and realized I act no different than the people that I let irritate me. Keeping it inside didn't hide it from God. Sickened, I confessed my lack of love for others.

All that said, it might be a while before I go back.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Top Ten Favorite Smells

I am so thankful for the sense of smell. Without thinking, we go throughout our days breathing in aromas. They warn us of danger, make our stomachs growl, and even bring back memories. These are just a few of the smells I love.

1.  My Hubs' deodorant. It means comfort, love, protection and home. There is no where I would rather be than in my husband's embrace.

2.  Wood burning. Whether a fireplace or a bonfire, the smell of wood burning just brings a sense of calm and warmth. I usually take deep breaths to inhale that woodsy goodness.

3.  The ocean. That salty air smell of course takes me back to O'ahu and our time there. It makes me relax and enjoy the peaceful breeze.

4.  Grey Flannel Cologne. Reminds me of my parents, mainly my dad, but really I can't think of one parent without the other because each is so connected to the other. It reminds me of them and how much I love them.

5.  Coffee. Coffee takes me to so many places - including Pop-pop's truck, days of homework and studying, and friends. Especially the smell of coffee and cardboard mixed together. The smell of coffee compels me to drink a cup and discuss the issues of my life with someone I love.

6.  Books. You know the smell of Barnes and Noble or the smell of a public library? Either of those smells reminds me of my love of words and the amazing talent of those who express themselves by writing. Whether opinions, or thoughts, or history, or fiction that takes you to another world - I love it all.

7.  Tobacco. The smell of hugging my grandpa-in-law in a giant bear hug where I completely disappear in his embrace. It reminds of this man currently residing in Heaven, whom I anticipate seeing someday soon.

8.  Pumpkin Pie. Another smell of fall, which I love. Pumpkin pie is a staple of the holiday season and makes me think of family, laughter, and fun.

9.  Frazier Fir. Ah, the smell of pine needles and sap. Makes me dream of the forest and the complete encasement of one's self by trees.

10.  Warm Vanilla Sugar by Bath & Body Works. The lotion I took to Italy in 2001 and anytime I smell that scent, I immediately think and pray of those missionaries and the people they minister to in Venice.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

False Advertising

I'm not much of a vitamin-taker. It's not that I don't think I should take them, it is just that I never remember to take them. And when I do remember, I still don't do it because I hate the taste of the pill.

But then I found adult gummy vitamins; and now, I rarely miss taking my vitamin. It's really very fun to squish them in my mouth, and they don't taste bad at all. Hubs even started taking them. And then he asked me if I had read the directions.

Of course not. They are one-a-day multivitamins!

But after reading the instructions, I realized that the label wasn't actually correct...

Even though they are "one daily" vitamins, you are actually supposed to take 2. Does that make any sense? No, it just makes the vitamins cost 2x more. I even checked the name brand gummies and they also direct you to take 2 gummies.

I should be more upset, but this just means I get to eat and extra gummy each morning!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What he said about my boots...

I love showing Hubs all that I got from my shopping trip. So, as I went through my birthday items, I was excitedly showing him all the fun buys. He was mildly enthusiastic about them. And then, I got to these boots:

I was very excited about them; and I asked what Hubs thought.

"Now those, I don't like at all," he said.

I was just a little put out, but it didn't really damper my mood.

Then he said, "You need to circumcise those things."

And then, we all were speechless. I didn't explain that they were cuffs. I didn't try to reason with him about their cuteness. There was nothing to say after that comment.

And now, I will forever think of these as my "uncircumcised boots."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Low Key

I hung out with my parents and extended family this weekend for my birthday. A first in the past six years. It was very low key. I went to church, read, did some shopping, drank some coffee, and just vegged. And I'm not complaining since the past month has been such a whirlwind. It was nice to take it easy.

I did get to have a couple of birthday meals, though. Hubs loves to ask our waiter or waitress how old they think I am. At our first meal, our waiter thought I was 18. Not surprising.

Our second waitress thought about it for a while. She guessed 20, which I think she thought was older than I was. Then she brings out all the employees. I can handle being sung to, but that was not the case. She also brought out a wooden contraption with a saddle on it. Then invited me to sit on it, wave a napkin over my head and yell, "Yee-haw!"

The options were to be a poor sport/kill joy and decline the offer to sit on the pretend horse, thus embarrassing myself and the waitress further than what was needed. Or, do just have some fun and get out on the fake horse.

Here's what I did (fuzzy because taken on cell phones)...

What's a birthday without a little excitement?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Old Age

I drove off with the drive-thru tube at the bank yesterday. I didn't notice until I was inside Starbucks and set it on the table.

For my birthday, Hubs fixed the kitchen faucet. It no longer screams while the water is running, plus water doesn't splatter all over my cloths. It's the best gift.

These two small things may or may not be a sign of my age. But, today I turn 27 and actually, I feel 27. Even better, I am happy to be 27. For a while I struggled living in the present. I would sit and wish I was younger and less "tied down." I would mourn those days of fun, freedom, spontaneity, and ease. Other days I would sit and dream about the future, planning it in my head and wishing that I was already there - a  house, kids, stability.

But living in the here-and-now is so freeing. As we make plans for the future, I leave them to be experience in the future. Instead, I concentrate on what I is going on now, in real life. I concentrate on loving my family and friends, serving others, and growing. And as I look back into the past, I enjoy the memories, but I leave them there and don't think of what could have been.

I think that is why 27 is so exciting. I don't know everything that is going to happen this year, but I do know there will be changes. But that isn't the focus. The focus is this: how am I going to serve God with my life today?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Java Jitters

To me, there is hardly anything better than a good hot cup of coffee. The aroma. The taste. The warmth, especially on a cool morning.

My coffee love began in high school. I started drinking it with more creamer and sugar than coffee until my dad challenged me to "drink it like a man." Why I wanted to be "like a man" brings up so many other issues, but from then on, I rarely used cream and never used sugar.Then I went to italy, where shots of espresso were served after each meal. The love intensified from that point on.

Coffee drinking became a very regular occurance. I never struggled with drinking caffinated coffee at any time of the day. I would drink a pot and fall a sleep an hour later. It was comfort.

When I went to Nebraska for college, my coffee drinking reached the point of addiction. I would make a pot of coffee in the morning - drink it all. Then I would make a pot of coffee in the evenign - drink it all. That was somewhere between 20-24 cups a day. I determined that I would never be that addicted again.

Since then, I have not been addicted and I don't need it like I used to. I still enjoy it and drink it frequently; but it is under control.

For the past few years, however, I have developed a new problem with coffee. The Java Jitters. It's more than jitters, though. My blood sugar has always been sensitive. If I don't eat normal meals and snacks, I will find myself with virtego, the shakes, hot flashes, claminess, and unable to focus or concentrate. Coffee seems to intensify these symptoms.

I used to combat it by eating dense food with the coffee, trying to combat the effects. In the past 6 months, however, I have learned that isn't even helping. If I drink more than 1-2 cups of coffee in the morning, I will go haywire in the afternoon. It is hard to explain, but I just feel weak and "not-all-there." I have my theories that caffiene causes you to metabolize faster and therefore the food that would normally keep me going for 4-5 hours, runs out after 3-4. I have no idea if this is biochemically accurate, but I feel like I learned that years ago.

Whatever the reason is, I don't know. But it happens. No matter if I make sure to eat good meals and snacks, or if I don't, the problem is still there. It just may have a different intesity level.

Does this make me stop drinking coffee? Absolutely not. I just deal with the java jitters.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pike's Place, continued

Pike's Place was fun. I bought this tiny lemon white-chocolate cheesecake that was delish and a really funny gift for Hubs. As I browsed, I was always searching for a certain store.

The original Starbucks. At first I thought this was it:

It was on Pike Street and it was the first one I saw. So, I went inside and got a drink. I decided not to buy any gifts there since I had just arrived. I thought I would just stop by later. It wasn't much different than a normal Starbucks, just a little different atmosphere.

Half a block later, I stumbled across the REAL first Starbucks.

It was smaller, older, and if that wasn't enough, the inside SHOUTED that it was the first Starbucks.

No tables and chairs. No normal Starbucks merchandise. No pastries. Two tall counters against two of the walls. The other wall was shelves containing merchandise and coffee beans ONLY sold at this store. And the other wall was the front door.

It was tiny, compared to most, and it was busy with tourists. I'm pretty sure everyday Seattle dwellers go to the many other Starbucks store in town. I browsed and bought some unique gifts. The lady at the counter told me they sold waaaaay more merchandise than coffee, she compared this store to a Target. It wasn't surprising. They had the coffee mugs all boxed and ready to go for the tourists.

This Starbucks store only uses the original brown logo. If you haven't seen it, it is the one with the naked girl in detail. So, I was very careful with my selection of mugs. Call me crazy, but I felt a little odd buying someone a mug with a large Starbucks logo, "aka large naked breasts."

Being such a big fan of coffee and of Starbucks, this was a definite highlight. What I didn't think about was that I would now need to lug all my purchases uphill to my bus stop. I verified my bus choice with a local and hopped on. It was nice to sit after walking for a solid 3+ hours wearing cute flats - the tennies just didn't go with the skinny jeans.

But, then I got off the bus and had a mile and a half walk back to the hotel. This walk was quicker, now that I knew where I was going. But this time I was also carrying a large back of purchases. Our hotel wasn't very fun to hang out at, and I still had seven hours until Hubs was done.

Off I went for another 4 hours of shopping, in my flats. When my feet couldn't stand it anymore, I got a yogurt parfait from Red Mango and cozied up in a chair at Barnes and Noble and read. A great way to end a fun day in Seattle.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pike's Place

I actually debated about whether or not I was actually going to take the journey to Pike's Place. As I perused the bus routes, I became increasingly confused and almost gave up. My adventurous nature won me over though, and I set off with my camera, purse and bus route book in hand.

I calculated that I would need to walk about 1 mile to get to the bus stop that would make the trip easiest. I just needed to get to 45th street. I found 47th street and then found 44th street, but I never passed a 45th street. I kept looking over my maps, which showed a 45th street intersecting with the road I was on and could not understand what I was missing. Stress set in, which means I immediately became hot within my abdomen and started sweating.

Then, I happened to look up. High, high, very high above me was a street - 45th street, with no possible way to get up to it. So, I began to make the trek up into the University of Washington campus. And I don't use the word "trek" lightly. Many stairs, lots of uphills, and paths that curved in and out of buildings. Keep in mind that you can only see until the next tree or hill. Basically, I pointed myself in the general direction I needed to go, and I went.

Forty-five minutes later, I had maneuvered myself to the desired bus stop, which I actually thought would be a train station. Slight mishap. Panic set in again. What if I didn't have enough money? The buses only took cash and I only had $2. Thankfully, the fare was exactly $2. I was on my way to downtown Seattle, unaware of the soreness of my feet due to the high of my adventure.

When I got off the bus, I pointed myself towards Puget Sound and began walking downhill. Then I saw this sign:

I was there! From then on, I just walked and took in my surroundings. First, I noticed the fish:

 Whole crabs, if you are interested. Or, they also had live ones if you really want them fresh.

 Random sea life that I would never eat.

This poor guy doesn't look so good. I think they thought the sunglasses would help.

And they would fillet these whole fish for you right there. I didn't stay around to watch.

 Hey, and if you were from out of town, no biggie. They'll ship it for you! I didn't purchase any seafood.

Next came the beautiful produce:
 It was so colorful and it looked delicious. It was my dream grocery store!

 They gave out samples along the way. And there were so many different vendors.

These were very popular arrangements made from peppers.

Finally, there were the flowers:

Bouquets and arrangements everywhere. They were beautiful. And since I love fresh cut flowers, I would be tempted to buy one each week if I lived anywhere near here. They even had bouquets in hollowed pumpkins. So beautiful.

 These was the just one of the bouquets that stuck out to me. Look how beautiful for only $5. The $5 bouquets at Dillons are no where near this beautiful.

There were so many other things. Cheese, pasta, cheesecake, books, trinkets, clothes, novelties, and more. Level upon levels of shops and booths. I just walked and walked until I had seen enough. 

Then I just sat in a park and looked over Puget Sound sipping my coffee.

Nasty picture, but it's all I've got.

Speaking of coffee, I have left out one of the best parts about my trip to Pike's Place. 

To be continued...

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Ferry Ride

Hubs and I had an afternoon together in Seattle and needed something fun to do. We thought we would drive to Olympic National Park (and right through Forks for all you Twilight readers). As we were driving I noticed something odd. We were getting closer and closer to water, yet Gigi (our Garmin) did not show a bridge coming up. Sure enough, soon we hear Gigi say, "Board ferry."

Well, after talking with the ferry attendant we learned that Olympic National Park was a little too far away, but she suggested we take the ferry ride anyway. It was cheap if you were just passengers and that week they had been seeing orcas in the water.

Um, if there is a chance to see an orca, you better believe we went on the ferry! I'm glad we did, too.

The ferry was HUGE and I couldn't believe the number of cars on this boat. It makes sense considering this was the only way people could get to these towns, but still. There were lines and lines of cars on either side. We boarded the ferry and took in the beautiful views.

The town on the other side was Kingston. We had lunch and walked around taking in the quaint village. Although not our original plan, it was perfect.

This was the bus stop in Kingston. We chuckled over the seating that someone had provided while you wait.

The ride back was just as fun. We didn't see any orcas, just this bird and a very cute dog that had the same curly tail like Ransom.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Another state to check off my list, and this was a good one. I thought that I would like the Pacific Northwest, but I can now conclude that, of the cities I have visited, Seattle is my favorite. To give you a reference point, these are the major cities I have visited (Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Honolulu, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Orlando, Rome, San Diego, St. Louis, Venice, Washington DC).

The path that I jogged on. So beautiful I didn't even realize I was jogging!

The phrase I heard most before taking this trip was, Oh, it rains all the time there or some version of that theme. I'm happy to report that it does not rain all the time. For the 4 days we were there, we did not see one drop. We asked many locals about the weather and they said it rains a lot in the winter, instead of snow. Rain vs. Snow. 35 degree lows, no wind vs -10 degree lows, 30 mph wind. You take your pick.

In fact, of all the locals we talked to not one said anything bad about the Seattle area. Quite the opposite, actually. They all loved it. That was impressive to me.

Mount Rainier is in the background.

I loved it. There were ginormous trees everywhere. I finally got to show Hubs what I mean when I say, "trees." These trees make mid-Kansas trees look like shrubs. 

A quaint little town accessed only by ferry.

Mount Rainier was always in the backdrop, along with other various jagged peaks from the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. 

Morning fog lifting off of Lake Washington.

Lush green grass and cool clean air. And large bodies of water all over. Whether it be lakes, sounds, straights or bays - there was plenty of water.

Again, Mount Rainier right in the center.

From what I was told, Seattle lays right in a valley. There aren't many places where you are on flat ground. Instead, you are either walking uphill or downhill. The mornings were covered in fog, but it cleared up and became sunny each day. And even when I was downtown, the air smelled clean and fresh.

And finally, there is so much to do in Seattle. Shopping, coffee, outdoor activities, state parks, mountains, skiing, hiking, touring, and more!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


The pups has always had some separation issues. We found that out during the first month of him joining the family. We learned how to manage his separation issues, though, and life has been good. I've never understood how a dog could love a crate, but ours truly does. To him it means that we are coming home - so relax.

But, in any other circumstance, Ransom still feels the need to find us if we are not nearby. At the dog park, Ransom wants to play but only if he knows that we are sitting on a bench nearby watching. If he loses sight of us, he immediately starts searching.

Ransom wants to be wherever we are. Here, he is directly under my feet as I am rolling out cinnamon rolls. He couldn't be more in the way.

So, I guess it shouldn't surprise me that 30 minutes after dropping Ransom off at the pet-sitters/kennel I got a phone call about his "behavior." He is now not only jumping short fences, he is climbing over 6-foot fences to get out. We book this very nice indoor/outdoor run with plenty of room to move about and stretch, but he won't stay in its confines.

I should have known it would not be a good stay when we walked in the door and he turned right back around and ran out. I'm still not quite sure how it is possible, but he has been moved to a crate for safety.

The thing is, he isn't the only one who is attached. I am too. I've never been super anxious to get home from a vacation, but now that I know I will get to see him...I'm thrilled.