Thursday, December 15, 2016

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and a Warm Winter Solstice

Seattle Ornament 
Merry Christmas to my Christian friends,  Happy Hanukah to my Jewish friends,  Warm Winter Solstice to others.   May the time you spend with family and friends be blessed and special.   If you are reading this we thank you, we care about you and we hope you are healthy and feel blessed this season of the year.

Greetings from NE Kirkland, we are settling.  I was so proud when I had unpacked every single cardboard box we used in the move, now I am unpacking some of my plastic packing crates that I had stuff stored in the attic at the old place.  This place has a bit more room and we put some awesome storage shelves up so there is room.  Now if I want a thermos for a picnic lunch I don’t have to go to the attic and move boxes around.  I just have to go to the store room and reach on a shelf.   Each box I open I still look at the stuff and decide if we use it and if I should find a place for it or take it to the Goodwill.   I am down to about twice a week trips to the Goodwill. 

Small, but Special Christmas Tree 
Christmas is coming, and for the first time since I can remember I am inspired to decorate some.  In the old house adding all the decorations just felt like clutter that choked both of us but new house has more space and decorations feel like fun.  For years I have collected those Santa's from around the world, my mom also collected them and she was so happy to give me some of hers.  She is always happy to know that someone else will also treasure the things she has treasured.  I am thrilled to enjoy her Santa’s.

Here is a look a recent week:   Monday; roofing company to look at problems ( one skylight is leaking,,,)  and give us an estimate and furniture delivery (2 loveseats; one for my office and one for the front room.   Tuesday; electrician from the heating and air-conditioning company hopefully finishing up his work and then in the afternoon we get trained on how to use the thermostats….. Tuesday is also family dinner; it is the evening during the week that I know I will be cooking.   Often friends join us that night also. I love the discussions that happen on Tuesday nights; politics, religion, science, food, technology, healthy living and travel. I don't think anything is off  limits because it is such a safe environment, tolerance is the rule, we don't all agree but we don't put down others or what they believe, in fact we often try to figure out what the heck some other people are thinking.

CeLinda and Lido, taking a break 
One week my Uncle Ray and his girl friend arrived to break in the guest bedroom, they went north to visit others and came back through at the end of the week and joined us for family dinner.  We also have had a house guest, Lido, his parents have gone to India.  Lido is a cute little thirteen year old Havanese dog.  He is really bonded to his mom and so that means he transfers his attention to me,  he follows me everywhere.  His mom is an early riser and now he wants to follow me and I don’t get up so early.  When I wake up he is at the foot of the bed resting and waiting for me to wake up.  Halie, one of the granddaughters is also pretty regular and pleasant surprise.  We think she thinks of new excuses to come see us but whatever we love it that she likes to “hang out” here.

The weather has been amazing this fall.  We have had a couple of storms, enough to blow the leaves off the trees but also a lot of nice days .   Bill has been working like crazy to clear a spot and reassemble the yard shed so we can move the last items from the storage unit into the yard shed.  When the storage unit is gone we will officially be moved.  I think we are supposed to get snow soon.   We haven’t had any snow to speak of in years so I guess we will wait and see what shows up.

Pile of Hats....... 
Thursday is always knitting for me, sometimes I go to the local yarn shop in the day time and I always have one and sometimes more over to the house for salad dinner and a few hours of knitting.   Thursday evening’s Bill often joins friends to listen to music; jazz and blues are his favorites.  Friday is date night; we both look forward to a break from our projects and spending time with good friends. I still work some Saturdays and Sundays are for church and of course football but we also try to see friends and family that are busy all week.

I am finally knitting again.  I felt like I lost my knitting mojo during the move just because I chose to not sit down but this week I cast on a new project.   It is a really sweet baby romper, it is just challenging enough to be fun and a big stretch in the middle of mindless knitting to give me a break.  Other than that I have knit a few hats;  scrap yarn and knitting in a circle, easy hats for my gift bag. 

We had a nice Thanksgiving holiday seeing lots of family and catching up with each other.  I contributed non-dairy mashed potatoes to one of the thanksgiving meals and Bill made a blueberry pie for the other.  I confess in the past that I have complained about spending so much time in the car but this year I realized I love being in the car with Bill,  we always have fun on ‘road trips’. We talk and laugh and solve world problems while we are driving from place to place.   I have no spectacular new recipes to share but I had better get with it one of my new year’s goals was to go through the piles of recipes and get them into my computer and eliminate that pile of clutter.  I am afraid I may have to extend that goal into next year

I am still watching football,  the Seahawks won't win the  Super Bowl this year but there have been some really good games and the University of Washington Huskies have had a  great season. The Seattle Sounders, the local soccer team just won the MLS Championship.  The parade celebration didn’t draw quite the crowd that the Seahawks Superbowl parade did but it was a big deal and so nice to be celebrating something good for a change. 

P.S.  This is your Christmas Card...... 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Moving Day has come and gone:

Boxes piled high in the old library
Many of our friends from out of town are wishing they could help with the move and one friend, Alice O, even said to thank the ‘locals’ for helping out and helping to keep me healthy.   So here is a great big  personal thank you to Jeanne Moo, Cindy W, Dale and JoAnn P, Tamara, Emily H (she cleaned up all the blood from Bill’s head), for all the packing help and even meals.   We are packed and ready to move on.  This has been very emotional at times but we are ready to settle in to the new place.  

Other Side of Library, before move
One box for each sink in the new house 

We didn’t have any luck with Habitat for Humanity or two other recycling companies, this was too small a job to bother with, and so we went to the apps on our phone; Offer Up, and Nextdoor.  We are giving everything away for free to anyone who will take it out.  Almost all my outside plants have gone to new homes.  We have even driven by their new homes and admired them all nicely planted in new places.  We have family lined up to take the play set in the backyard of the new house,  but there are people coming to take out the kitchen counters and cabinets, bathroom cabinets windows, lighting fixtures and whatever else they can use.  We have put a great deal of effort into this because it was so sad to watch the developer crunch the houses near us that had clothes, dishes, food, books, furniture, cabinets and counters.   Bill calls this type of developer the ‘scorch and burn’ verses a green developer like the ones who built the cottages behind us.  We made the decision to leave but we still have respect and value for the house that has kept us safe and warm for so many years.
After - Kitchen in old house
Before - kitchen in old house 

Bill had a drill fall on his head while he was taking something down outside and he has 5 new staples in his head.  We are past the 400 number in boxes packed and close to 30 rolls of tape.  I like the 10 pound packages of paper better at public Storage but Home Depot definitely has the best prices on boxes and it is worth it to stop at Costco for packing tape (even when they move it from school supplies to Christmas department and you have to look all over and then ask someone because I bought some yesterday.)   One night in the middle of everything we took a break to have dinner and listen to some music with friends, thanks to Priscilla and Jeff who got us together even though they were in New York.  Tamara came over Saturday morning with groceries and worked all day, feeding and helping us.  Sunday I didn’t pack anything while the Seahawks were playing, they lost anyway.  Barb and Steve came over for sandwiches and we walked all over the development site.  From a distance, it is easy to see that we are ‘in the way’ and looking a bit misplaced but I still think we had a cute little house.

Cute Little house in Cute Little Forest
Soon to be Demolished  :- (

A lot has happened:  we are in the new house.  All 400 boxes are unpacked and have gone to the families that are moving next,  see we are even recycling the boxes and paper.  We had our open house/housewarming this past Sunday afternoon.  Bill says a house isn’t a home until you start making memories and that having the open house was an important thing to do to start making memories.   We had about 75 people make it now they know where we are and can start to think of us in this new place.   We have met a lot of the neighbors in the cul-de-sac and are looking forward to spring and summer and getting to know everyone better.  Our next door neighbor “Kat and Carmichael” says that we have tipped the scale towards more owners than renters in the neighborhood and that is a good thing according to them, owners care more. 

Bingo card by Alice O
The highlight of the party was the “Self-guided tour” that each guest got to make as they played BINGO with cards that had photos from around the house, and a few trick photos included to fool people.  The game had people talking to others they didn’t know.  Many of the neighbors had never even been in the house and since the neighborhood was built in the early 70’s, people were really interested in what others had done with practically the same house.  

Of course, I cooked.  I had chocolate brownies with fudge icing, lemon cheesecake bars and mini pecan pies.  I had fresh baked rolls, smoked brisket, BBQ chicken and cole slaw also and fruit and veggie plates in different spaces.   I totally forgot to get out the Seahawks cookies I bought at the bakery, now I have to eat they all myself, Bill helps but he scrapes off the icing first….. 

We choose this house for many reasons but one was the potential for projects which will keep Bill happy.  Today I am listening to noises as we are having air conditioning installed.  I know it is November but it is on the list and we are definitely beating the rush before summer.  The installers told us we are in the perfect lull as the first frost has not come yet and when it does they are always swamped with calls about all the furnaces that don’t start up the first time.   We still need to hang more stuff on the walls but I am thinking about where they feel like they need to be.  I have not really been knitting……..   Shocking I know.  I have made a couple of hats and added a few squares to my “cozy memory blanket” but other than that not so much.   I have actually put away most of my projects as my current projects have more to do with settling in to a new place.  

The party was good for breaking in the kitchen and seeing how things work.   I didn’t notice any big bottle necks in traffic like in the old house,  people could spread out and visit too,  so far no big flaws.
Just a note:  the old house is still standing but they dropped the power and internet lines the day after we moved out,  I think that was costing the developer extra money every day.   

Kitchen in New House

What you see as you come in the front door. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

We Are Moving

Bill and CeLinda
at Snoqualamie Falls 

Big news on Rose Hill: the developer came to our house, knocked on the door with an offer to buy our house, and within 2 weeks we agreed to sell. This is the first time he has made us an offer. We are not the hold outs, they never ask to buy and we were very content.  Moving is a big deal and we didn't feel the need to change; our house has met our needs for a long time. 

CeLinda and Deborah Kay
My best friend from 7th grade, Deborah Kay was here visiting and so we all went looking at houses together. We put together a list of needs and a list of wants and pros and cons of areas and started looking. Just when we thought about giving up, our daughter Tamara came over on my birthday and gave us quite the lecture on all the options out there, reminding us to use Zillow on our phone to look for places. Really within an hour of that lecture Bill had picked out our new house.  We saw the house on Zillow, drove by it, walk around the house looking in all the windows and called the real estate agent. We set up a meeting for the next day 1 hour before his official open house started we made an offer after we walked through the house. They had agreed to wait for an offer coming in on Monday so we had to wait till Tuesday night to hear if we got the house. There was a bit of a bidding war but we came out on top, and we needed to because we needed a place to move to right away. We have 30 days till closing and two weeks after that before the house is demolished. It is kind of sad to know that all the effort we've put into the house are going away however we're both pretty excited about the new place.  We will be 3.6 miles north of our old house in an area of Kirkland called Kingsgate.   The house was built in 1970 and remodeled in 2007.  There is more square footage but we have a very full attic and garage, the new house has no garage and we will handle the storage differently.   Bill is excited to have a shop and there will definitely be projects for him. I will have my own office and crafting space and there is plenty of room for guests so make your plans to visit or stay longer with us and see our new home. Did I mention that we will have a real dining room and a beautiful covered deck and back yard?

If you want a virtual tour just message me and I will give you the address and you can do a walk-through on Zillow. 

Moving seems to be like a review of life. Touch something here and a memory explodes, turn the other way, reach for a book, the onslaught of memories rocks my very footing. I am having dreams of falling, or getting hit head on by a truck. Why do people like to move? This event is definitely challenging the management of my  Addison's disease.   My new doctor once told me events in life are stresses and to manage my meds I have to decide how much of a stress the event is; is it like a cold, the flu or major surgery.   So far this is like the flu and I don't really have a grip on it yet.  

CeLinda and Aunt Dena 

Recently we went  to Sequim to visit Bill's Aunt Dena and his cousin.    Aunt Dena hasn't been well.  It was a beautiful 65 degree day, the sun was out and fall is in the air.  Aunt Dena looked good and recognized both of us.  

We are still having family dinner on Tuesday's and house guests during this transition but I did cancel a trip to Texas.   I was going for my college 45th year reunion and a visit with my mom but I will reschedule a visit as soon as we get settled in the new place. 

CeLinda found some time to Knit

We took Labor Day weekend and went camping.  It was a nice diversion and a good time to get grounded about moving and moving on.  We went to the Lake Crescent on the Olympic Peninsula and really had a wonderful time.   The first day and night it rained but with the right gear it was perfect.  We were snuggy in our sleeping bags had a large canopy over the picnic table.  We were with good friends, ate some good food, had some nice talks and all in all it was wonderful. 


All nice and Dry, even in the Rainforest 


That is CeLinda, on the edge..
The construction continues around us.  This week they are starting to grade the land for houses and digging a hole for the water retention area.  Bill says it is about 100 feet by 100 feet with 20 foot walls.

As for knitting,  not so much.   I am carrying my cozy memory blanket everywhere and working on it a little bit.  

How many weeks until football season.   ONE!!!!!
Woo Hoo!!   Go Seahawks!!!

How I handle stress:     

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.     Eleanor Roosevelt  

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Things have officially started....




Our Corner of Rose Hill   Things have officially started.  On July 21 a honey bucket showed up and we knew this is the official start. The next day a couple of machines showed up and started munching the smaller trees and bushes, since then the “lumber jacks arrived” and the big trees started going down.  One week of work and about half the new development is cleared.  The barn went down today and so did the house attached to the barn.  Today I counted 8 large pieces of heavy equipment and all of them are busy and doing different jobs.   

Zoey was the star of the show 

CeLinda & Bill 
In My Travels – Last weekend my cousin’s son got married.  Bill and I got to go to the wedding and spend time with family.  Robert, the groom, visited us nine years ago.  He was a young man who had never been out of the city of LA.  We took him to see all the normal tourist sites in the Northwest but the thing we enjoyed most was how much he enjoyed chopping wood.  Bill was chopping some up so we could have a little bonfire while they were here. Robert was great at chopping wood and he chopped a big pile for us that lasted a good long while.   Robert and Jen have been together 6 years now and have the most precious 2 year old daughter Zoey and Laylah is Jen’s 10 year old daughter.  The girls are both so much fun to be with and watch.  They definitely made the whole weekend more fun.   We also got to spend time with my cousin Mark and his wife Jackie, their daughters Sophie and Gina and  my Aunt Jeanne, my daddy’s little sister and we even got to see my cousin Jan at the wedding.

Jackie & Mark
Parents of the Groom 

The Beautiful Flower Girls 

Aunt Jeanne will be 90 in October
We have a similar photo of Bill dancing
with my grandma on her 100th birthday. 

My Latest Knitting,  I did make a cute poncho while I was travelling.  I cast on at the airport waiting for my flight and I cast off the day after we got home from the wedding.   I have 2 dresses this little poncho will go with.    The pattern was from the Tea Cozy Yarn Shop this year as their pattern for the Fiber Love yarn crawl. 


On a Happy Note:  Bill and I celebrated being married 35 years this week.  He is my best friend and favorite playmate.  He makes me laugh and looks out for me.  He helps me to be strong and I am so much stronger with him.  We cherish each other above all others and we have similar core values.  We are content; we have traveled and explored lots of places together, we love working on projects and we both have a long list of projects to do. We like to hike, kayak, camp, listen to music, and spend time with friends and family.  We got married in the side yard of this house and we are still here 35 years later and are hoping to be here a lot longer.  

CeLinda & Bill 

How Many weeks until football season.  (hint - 4)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Little House Moves

Just Starting 
Pouring Cement for the Tracks 

Look how much of the hillside he took out.  

New Resting Place 

Our Corner of Rose Hill is a little bit different this week   Bill has been preparing since February to move the “playhouse” out back.  (See May 24th 2016 blog post)  It is a 10 X 12 foot building that houses everything ‘Karen”.  When he built this studio in 1990 we stood there together and decided where to put it.   We choose the easiest location where he didn’t have to do much to prepare the land.  We also intended to build a three car garage with a master bedroom suite above it in the main house.  That would have incorporated two separate lots into one lot.  Years go by and we are thinking we don’t want a bedroom upstairs, and the two lots are more valuable to us as separate lots so the playhouse that is now straddling the lot line needs to be moved.  I know Bill has been thinking about the process for years, maybe 5.  As he thinks and we talk things start to fall into place.  It all came together on July 2, Saturday of the holiday weekend.

Here is a video of moving Day:  It is a time lapse photography taken by our friend Bill Mohn.             


In My Travels:  Bill and I went to the Oregon Country Fair.  We rented a van that was converted to an RV so that I could be in air conditioning if needed.   Heat is one of the first things to set off my Addison ’s disease.  As it turned out, the weekend weather was just wonderful and we had the best time.    I will include a poem that I wrote and photos to tell the story of our adventure.

Zumwalt:  a park in Lane County near the Oregon Country Fair,  once a year for that particular weekend it is used as a campground to house thousands of people for the fair.

Blue Moon Street:  really one of the 18 stages were music and entertainment played from 11am to 7pm for all three days of the fair.

Fairy's on Stilts 

Oregon Country Fair   by CeLinda Kotsogean     
Come to Zumwalt
   Young and old
Follow the fairy wings
   Down the road

Listen to the music                                                                           
Dance to the beat
Under the trees

Random Parade
On Blue Moon Street

Here we are
at the Oregon Country Fair
There is nothing else like it

It is important to feel free
Dress or not just let it be
Paint your face
Don you hat
Layer up your jewelry

Magic is in the air
Music is everywhere
Laughter comes from
Young and old
This is the place to let your
Inner child roll

At the end of the day
We are laden with treasure
We have seen lots of things
Paint your face
Experience so much pleasure                                              

Dusty and tired at the end of the road
All of the crowd to their
Campsites flowed
There is a line at the shower
There is a line at the gate
But here at Zumwalt
There is no line at the lake.

Christie BK & Mick under the influence
of the Oregon Country Fair
at the Blue Moon Stage 
CeLinda Resting

Making Breakfast

Comfy Bedroom 

On a Happy Note  We spent the last day of the trip with Mimi, a dear and special friend that has moved to Amboy Washington, and on the way home I was thinking of her.

On Seeing Old Friends   by CeLinda Kotsogean
There is your face
I see your smile
I haven't been with you 
in such a long while

Hugs and Greetings
It is easy to see
We are real friends
yes, you and me

Pull up a chair
Let's have a drink
Tell me what's up
Tell me what you think

Hours go by
We might laugh or cry
Then it is time to say goodbye

Down the road and after a while
We keep on driving mile by mile
I count my memories with words I compile
Thinking of you and your beautiful smile. 

How Many weeks until football season.  (hint – 8 weeks)