Watermelon Roses

A collection of random thoughts, commentaries, and journaling. There is a lot to explore here, including links to other sites of mine. These are mostly for my own benefit, but guests are welcome to browse and explore as much or as little as they like.

Friday, August 31, 2007


I joined a great mom's group a couple of weeks ago, and am very excited about having met such a great group of women. It has gone a long way toward helping me not to feel so isolated up here. We also went to our local park for an outdoor showing of Charlotte's Web. There was a great feeling of community there, and we had a great time. Mid-August, and it was cold enough for coats after dark! That was exciting for me. :-)

We had our cars serviced and bought raincoats last weekend. Apparently nothing marks you as a tourist in Seattle more readily than an umbrella. I read this in a travel guide, and several people I've talked to here have confirmed that indeed, they own no umbrellas. Our large umbrella collection is now gathering dust in the garage.

K took me to Chinook's tonight, a restaurant that his partner took him to when he came to interview. It was wonderful, and had the best bread pudding I've ever had in a restaurant (beating out Old Country Buffet/Hometown Buffet, now in second place.) I can't wait to go back just for the bread pudding! I can't wait to go somewhere with crab legs, though. When my dad found out I was moving to Seattle, he had me watch The Deadliest Catch on the Discovery Channel. I've been craving king crab legs ever since! Chinook's is right on the water in Seattle's Fishermen's Terminal, and I can't help but wonder if any of the boats moored there are from The Deadliest Catch.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Washington Renaissance Fantasy Faire

Loyal readers will know how much I love the Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, Texas, so imagine how excited I was while looking for something to do this weekend when I came across the Washington Renaissance Fantasy Faire!

As usual, our plans for an early start fell by the wayside, and by the time we left, it was just about Rayan's naptime.

He was able to nap during the hour-long drive to Gig Harbor, southwest of Seattle, where we stopped at the small Tacoma-Narrows Airport to watch the small planes and helicopters as we enjoyed yummy fish and chips in the Narrows Landing restaurant with a view of the runway. After lunch, we headed across town to the Faire. Layth and Maya had fond memories of chasing bunnies in the petting zoo at Scarborough Faire, so their main goal was to find bunnies. We encouraged them to keep an eye out for bunnies, though once we saw how very small this Faire was in comparison, we didn't hold out much hope. Imagine our surprise, then, when Maya spotted the biggest bunny ever crossing a bridge ahead of us!

Notice those muddy knees ... it rained lightly off and on throughout the afternoon, and we lost count of the number of times Maya slipped in the mud as she ran up and down the slopes of the fairground. By the time we got back to the car, she was covered in mud!

The thing I was most excited about at the Faire was the fact that The Rogues were going to be there. They were the one act I knew from Scarborough Faire, and had, in fact, been one of my favorite performances there this year. I posted a few clips of them on YouTube, which you can find by clicking here. When it was finally time for their show, it felt like seeing old friends, and made me homesick for Texas for the first time. Don't misunderstand - I miss my family like crazy, but I don't really miss Texas itself very often. I'm hopeful that I'll be able to squeeze in a visit to Scarborough Faire once a year when we go back for the Mina and Layla Butterfly Festival.

Look who else was enjoying The Rogues ... it's Hairy Potter! :-)

K took Layth and Maya to the games tent after a few minutes of chasing them up and down the bleachers, but once the games and The Rogues were done, there wasn't much left to do. We headed over to the Tides Tavern to pick up some of their prize-winning clam chowder and admire their picturesque view of the harbor.

We then drove up to Bremerton to catch a ferry back to Seattle. We were just a tad too late to watch the sunset from the ferry, but we had a great view of the city lights as we sailed in. It was a great day!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Settling In

Have a sip (and try not to notice that clutter is already accumulating on our counters.)

Somebody in Texas loves us! (Thanks, Mimi! xoxo)

We went to Seattle Center and joined the Seattle Children's Museum. Rayan loves the water table more than anything!

After grocery shopping in the pretend fruit market and serving me lunch in the pretend restaurant, Layth and Maya enjoyed playing dress-up in the little theater.

I had to drive around for ages in search of a playground with some shade. Believe it or not, Seattle is too sunny for me so far! I can't wait for all the clouds I've been promised! Rayan has decided that walking is much more fun than play equipment and spends most of his playground time just walking around and around.

I was washing dishes when I realized I hadn't heard a peep from Rayan in some time. I went through the whole house looking for him and was just starting to panic when I realized he had fallen asleep by my feet.

I remember Mina falling asleep just like that in Charlottesville one summer ...

... but then, she always could sleep anywhere!

Monday, August 06, 2007

From Texas to Washington, Part III: Seattle

The flight was blissfully uneventful. Our children were well-behaved and our cat was calmer and more patient than I dared hope. I was fascinated by the view over Oregon near the Columbia River of all these green circles on the landscape.

K thought they might be water treatment plants, but there seemed to be too many for that. Some of my readers may already know that they are irrigation circles, but it took me a while to find that out! In Texas, the fields are all rectangular in shape and the view of farmland from above looks like a patchwork quilt. Apparently the irrigators up here are long arms on a central axis, and water circular patches of farmland.

As we were flying, I saw what I thought might be Mt. Rainier and started taking pictures.

The pilot even said if we looked out there we would see Mt. Rainier. I felt smug that I had figured this out on my own, and then the real Mt. Rainier came into view.

After flying for hours and seeing everything so far below us, and then to suddenly come upon this peak that looked like it could almost reach the plane was awe-inspiring! Based on the location of that first mountain relative to this one, I think it might have been Mt. St. Helens. This flight marked the beginning of my infatuation with Mt. Rainier.

Our luggage had arrived the day before and had already been set aside, so when we got off the plane, we picked up two rental cars (a minivan and an SUV) before collecting our eleven boxes and bags. The minivan was a one-day rental, but had a navigation system, which was nice. I've become completely dependent on the one in my Odyssey!

Upon our arrival in our neighborhood, we saw this notice posted on the mailbox just around the corner from our house:
Bears! Bobcats! Cool, yet scary.

We love the house. Good thing, since the children and I were pretty much stranded there after we returned the minivan and K started work. We were there a week before the movers finally came. The truck couldn't make it up our hill, and tore up the pavement (and his truck, no doubt,) backing out of the neighborhood. I informed him that we had been told there was an easier, less steep way in that we should take if there was ice, and that perhaps he could try that if he had a map. He said that it wouldn't make a difference (although having driven that route ourselves now, we think that it would have,) and went away to unload everything onto two smaller trucks (and to charge us nearly $1,000 for the trouble,) before bringing it back to the house. As they neared the end, they no longer cared about the labels on the boxes or where they were supposed to go, and just started stacking everything in the garage. Among the overall damages: the back of the refrigerator was heavily dented and the front panel of the water/ice dispenser was skewed (they insisted the refrigerator was like that when they picked it up, but it wasn't,) approximately 2 square inches of the lower front corner of an armoire had been chipped off, the bottom drawer of Rayan's dresser had fallen out and broken beyond repair, the metal frame of Maya's and Rayan's bassinet was snapped and beyond repair, a folding chair was missing (this was left on our doorstep the next morning, but I couldn't help but wonder what less obvious things might be missing as well,) the pegs necessary to place the shelves in our TV stand were missing, the bed was reassembled improperly and a nut was missing (even after I gave him the vital missing piece he had left behind in Texas,) and despite the promise that 5 boxes of my choice (which I had placed the required "welcome home" stickers on) would be unpacked for me, none were. Still we were glad to have our things, and glad to see the movers go. We were even more glad a day or two later when our cars arrived! Other than being filthy, they were in the same condition we had left them in, and I was so happy to have my car and my navigation system back!

K is settling into the practice, but it will take some time for it to feel like home, I imagine. We've been spending most of our free time at furniture stores. Our top priority was a kitchen table, since we gave our old one away in Texas. K is so happy to have an Ikea nearby, but I'm very tired of Ikea furniture. I want real furniture that I don't have to assemble myself! That said, after a week of disagreeing on furniture, I finally agreed to one that neither of us hated, at least, just to have a table in the house. I had to pick it up at the warehouse and ... assemble it myself. Still, at least we have a place to sit and eat now! Next on the agenda: a king-sized bed. We put our queen in the guest room. I'm looking forward to not being squished or hanging off the edge when one or more children climb into the bed in the middle of the night!