New Stuff

Well. I have taken a long purposeful break from this site and every year I renew my domain and then don’t write. Things are in flux and times are weird and my kids are growing up. I feel like in the past my writing, or lack thereof, has been purposeful and in a way, a controlled communication device. I’m not terribly eloquent but as an introvert I’m constantly trapped in my own head. I’m thinking about transitioning this blog to be my outlet for that, rather than just cute-sy pictures and random updates. There will always be cute pictures and randomness, let’s be real honest. I also have many old posts that I wrote in a moment of big feelings and then never published – why is that? 2019 me is trying to worry less about what people think about me and my opinions; especially here… this is my space.

My biggest blog fan, Uncle Richard, passed away recently. He made comments on most of my posts. I only met him once but he really understood the importance of family and connection and for that his commentary will be missed.

This picture is here because I like it. This artist made a few similar dog pictures and now anyone can download the high-res version of the images from The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website for freeeeee. I really like art but I don’t know much about it at all. This artist also made a lot of art I strongly dislike, so there’s that. Not even excellent artists can please everyone all the time!

Moriz Jung (Austrian (born Czechoslovakia) Moravia 1885–1915 Manilowa (Carpathians)) Greyhound, 1912 Austrian, Color lithograph; Sheet: 5 1/2 × 3 9/16 in. (14 × 9 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Museum Accession, transferred from the Library (WW.678)

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Catch up!

Laziest blogger ever.

Sept: finally moved into our house. We started school in a hotel which is SUPER FUN.

Elliott had his first solo recital with the string project

Evan and I went to Hawaii and walked across a cooled off volcano lava bed thingie

Elliott turned TEN

PJ got his first girlfriend

PJ turned EIGHT

I finished my masters. Evan and I also went to europe but I don’t have pics ready from that yet. Maybe I’ll post about it next year, haha.

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Well, it’s either do my homework, write a methodology paper, or write a post for NaBloPoMo.

I don’t want to do homework.

Or that paper.

So here I am.

I was going to post a picture of our new house… I know I had one but now I can’t find it. It’s pretty nice.  Totally flea-free and nice neighbors and all that. Instead, I will share a photo from our pumpkin patch trip.  We have had a really lovely fall, warm and sunny for the most part. The one day we had planned on going to the pumpkin patch, it was cold and POURING rain. The plus side is, you pretty much get the whole farm to yourself.

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Summer Updates

It’s been a weird summer. We decided that we liked Oregon better than Washington state for a lot of reasons, so we put our house up for sale at the end of April so we could go visit Oregon and buy a house there.  We thought our house would sell fast and we’d be moved maybe even before school got out in June.  Well, instead we decided to build a house around the corner and up the street from our old house in Oregon, which meant we couldn’t really sell ours til later in the summer.  While we waited, we had to tear out a horrible semi-above-ground pool in our lovely yard and endure the most ridiculous buyers traipsing through our house.

Normally I’m a pretty calm person but when the pool guy told me he couldn’t fix our liner and we needed to tear out the pool I was not pleased. Especially because I had a house showing the next day.  Not cool.

This is our literal money pit now:


What else is new?  Elliott is on a summer swim team: 

His favorite event is the 50 yard freestyle.  He took 4 seconds off his time at the last meet.


We went to Victoria BC and ate real Canadian Poutine made by people from Quebec.

Some park in Victoria: 

This sunset picture is taken from Semiahmoo, WA, but the land across the bay is Canada.

I finally got our grown-up dining room set!  From Craigslist of course. I picked up the chairs first, there are TEN of them.  Then Evan and a friend picked up the table on our anniversary. We’re totally adults now.

I gave our old table to a college student.  I bought this set before Evan and I got married…I think it was 15 years ago!  I recently refinished the top, it looked way worse before that.

I love having a truck 

I mean, I don’t really NEED 10 chairs but I’m not going to say no to that.  Party at my house!

And speaking of my house, this is what it looked like the last time my neighbor sent me an update:

We’re moving in sometime around the end of august-ish.

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Happy 7th Birthday!

This guy turns 7 today and has requested a green fire truck cake (chocolate) and to go see the Captain Underpants movie.

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Olympic Peninsula Road Trip

The boys had spring break last week and although my spring break had already occurred a few weeks before, we decided to do a quick one-night-away Olympic peninsula road trip.  Evan was gone on a work trip the day we left, so he didn’t get to come along for this particular adventure.

There are a lot of things on the northern side of the peninsula I’d like to take more time to see but for now a quick drive through worked well.  This time of year is still pretty wintry up in the higher elevations and many of the Olympic National Park facilities are still closed for the season.

We started out taking the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston, which is half fun and half timesaver so I don’t have to sit in traffic around Tacoma to drive up the eastern side of the peninsula. It’s about a 20-30 min ride.

I didn’t take any pictures once we got to the Kingston side but near there is an adorable tiny town called Port Gamble that looks like it would be super fun to hang out in during the summer.  Below is Dungeness Landing beach park in Sequim.  The lavender fields in Sequim are lovely but not blooming now, and I believe all those farms are closed to the public in the off season.  There is also some sort of wild animal park somewhere near here but we didn’t really have time to check that out.

This is at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center.  If you keep going past it up the mountain, there is a beautiful view area called Hurricane Ridge.  It’s covered in snow right now, so we skipped it. I’d like to go back eventually. This Elk is on display at the center.  Elliott says it is super glued to the floor.
At the visitors center.  There are hiking trails all over.  We didn’t go far.

This is Lake Crescent. There isn’t enough nitrogen in it to support algae growth so the water is exceptionally clear.

See all the logs at the bottom?!?  So cool

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No Vampires spotted here.  This is the where the Twilight books/movies are set.  In actuality the films were made in Oregon because it’s better there.  True story.

Cape Flattery. This is furthest point northwest in the contiguous United States. It’s on the Makah Indian Reservation and is very secluded.  This view was pretty much the whole point of going on the trip.  What we didn’t realize is that it’s about a 20 min hike from the parking lot to the view point and we got to the parking lot at 7pm and sunset was ~7:55PM. In this place you’re literally alone in a dark forest with zero cell phone reception and if you are me you have two children and a small dog too.  The rain had stopped and the evening was looking somewhat lovely, though darkness was coming fast. We made the decision to hike fast, got SUPER MUDDY and it was TOTALLY WORTH IT.

We got “home” to our cabin in time to catch the sunset on the beach. 

The next day we headed home the long way, around the western side of the peninsula.  This side is a bit more boring and there is really nowhere to stay overnight this time of year unless you are camping. I’m not that tough. We took a potty break here at Ruby Beach and the sun shined on us and it felt glorious.  You also have to hike down to get to the water and Patrick is mad at me that we didn’t do it because we were just passing through.  This is a real place!  So pretty.

Here is our day one:

and day two: See all those icons from Tacoma to home?  TRAFFIC all day every day.

We had fun.  The boys found tons of sand dollars, a sea urchin, a “mermaid’s purse” and of course excellent sticks. We saw bunnies, elk (real ones), and bald eagles. We had junk food and freezer pizza when there was no restaurant open on the rez. Next time I’d like to take several days during a warmer season to check out stuff in more detail.  More time in Sequim, Hurricane Ridge, walking to Cape Flattery with a flashlight mayhaps, and checking out the beaches on the western coast more.

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A Boy and His Cello

I think year 2 is where it finally comes together.  Year 1 is full of not knowing anything, lots of squeaky bowing and so many twinkles (twinkle twinkle little star).  Year 2 is when they start learning to read music and figuring out songs by ear and it begins to be a bit more fun.  We used to have such a hard time getting him to practice, but now he will do it voluntarily.  !!

Last year we rented a cello, but this year we decided that we could buy a beat up one for less than the cost as renting for a year.  He went up a size (this is a 1/2) and he should be able to play this for several years because the end pin is all the way in right now.  At first it was very awkward for him because the left hand positioning was a bit wider, but he got used to it fairly quickly. I have no idea what the brand is, I just know it was a former rental cello that had to be retired due to cosmetic damage.  It has a nice quality of sound.  Sometimes the real cheapie string instruments sound meh, but this instrument seems pretty good to my ears.

We finally have a bow holder and an arm for Patrick (which is a whole other post in and of itself, to come soon) so we’ll have to see if he follows in his brothers footsteps.

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New Old Sideboard

We have a spot in our dining room for a sideboard or some sort of china cabinet.  I had been looking for one on craigslist for quite a while.  Every once in a while I’d see one I liked but the price was not ideal. Then shortly before Thanksgiving I saw this beauty posted on Craigslist.  I emailed them, and never heard back.  I figured someone else beat me to it.  Then I saw it reposted again after Thanksgiving.  I pounced!

I almost walked away when I saw it in person.  The pictures online didn’t show some damage it had on the top veneer and where one of the back legs was crudely repaired after a break.  I really liked the style and hardware on it, and knowing that I had never seen any other ones like this posted for sale,  I talked the guy down some $ and took it home. Sidenote: this was an Evan-approved purchase 🙂

I actually had no idea furniture this old used veneer, but I suppose it makes sense.  Anyhow, I found this awesome Youtube channel and got to work.  I cleaned off 100 years of gunk.  SO GROSS and yet so satisfying.  I fixed the back leg with some epoxy.  Whoever repaired it before me literally screwed a metal plate on it to connect the two pieces. I found a local antique place where I could get a “new” old wheel to replace one caster that was missing.  All the wheels are made out of wood – pretty cool.

The top was in rough shape. The veneer had water damage on one side and had lifted. Thanks to my Youtube dude, it was an easy fix.

Veneer is now flat, but it needed to be refinished to even it out.

Sanding and oxalic acid to lighten the water stains

You can still see the large water stain.  Sometimes there is nothing you can do about this.  I could technically get the top re-veneered but I can live with this as-is.

Staining the top.  Got lucky, found a cheapie minwax stain that pretty much matches the rest perfectly.

Here is a closeup of the hardware.  A lot of these craftsman-style sideboards are simpler, with wood drawer pulls.  I really like how these add some extra decoration to it.  It’s fancy without being FANCY, ya know?  The only thing it’s missing is a key to the drawers, but that’s OK.

The funny thing is – I usually hate oak furniture.  There is something special about tiger oak though…so pretty!  Next on the list would be to find a table that somewhat “matches” this.  Most of them I’ve seen are round/oval.  I prefer rectangular tables, so I’ll have to keep waiting.

PS: WordPress did some automatic update and wrecked this site hard.  I had to take down all my plugins so some things may look wonky until I fix it for realsies.

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9th Birthday

This kid is NINE!

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Whidbey Island

A few weeks ago we went on a little daytrip out to Whidbey Island.  We took a ferry there, drove from the south end all the way to the north, which connects to the mainland by bridge so you don’t have to turn around and go back the same way to get home.

This first picture isn’t mine but it shows the view from Fort Casey.  This area is open to the public to explore, which is pretty cool.  They built this Fort ~100 years ago in case we needed to defend the Puget Sound area.  No guns were ever fired in conflict here, but many of the big guns (or replicas) remain.

In the lighthouse
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This is facing the Olympic peninsula/Olympic mountains.

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I know this is sideways.  I don’t know why.

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Then we continued on and went to Deception Pass State Park.  It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.  The pictures just don’t do it justice.  I accidentally left my big camera at home but I don’t know that it would have made much of a difference!


A photo posted by @pnwchristine on

There is a long, narrow strip of beach, a swimming hole area and campgrounds here.  It’d be tempting to go camping here but apparently the fighter jets from nearby Naval Air Station like to fly by when campers are trying to sleep.

If we were smarter we would have brought towels and changes of clothing and STUFF because we should know by now if you take little boys to a beach they will end up covered in seawater and sand no matter how cold it is.  Whoops.

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