Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Events and Happenings, all in the last two weeks:

·         The freezer died.  This is the ‘new’ freezer, turns out it was 17 years old.  Of course it was defrosted and clean during the move less than 4 months ago but frost had started to build up a little on the coils.  Then I looked one day and said those coils at the top are all clean, again.  No frost.  The next day the top two shelves were melted and things were starting to melt on the other shelves.   We were able to move the stuff in the freezer to the freezers of the three fridges in the house and wait for the new freezer to be delivered.   We did throw away a lot from the top two shelves but I know we were able to averted huge waste and I joked about it being such a first world problem because of the backup refrigerators.  Thank you for your service old freezer.
·         The clothes dryer that came with the new house died:   Bill took it apart and discovered it had been repaired before and it had not been repaired correctly.  The heating coil wiring had broken before and had been repaired with solder which worked for a while but we ordered a new part, along with 2 other parts.  This all cost about $300 instead of a new dryer at $1000 and essentially we have a new dryer.  Extending the life of something instead of sending it off to the landfill.  Thank you clothes dryer for continuing to serve us.
·         The Microwave in the kitchen died. (We have one in the kitchenette also, again a first world problem.)  Right in the middle of preparing a dinner for 12, I was able to steam the first two bowls of green beans and on the third bowl at the end of 6 minutes the beans were still frozen.  It took some testing and evaluating to confirm that indeed the microwave was dead.  Thank you for your service.  We still have the “new” microwave from the old house sitting on the back porch.  We just hadn’t gotten to deciding what to do with it yet.  Now Bill is planning on taking down the old broken microwave and replacing it with the “new” one from the old house.  Turns out it is handy to have back up appliances.  But nothing is easy either; the mounting brackets are not the same, the screws and holes are not the same either.  We are using the microwave in the kitchenette until it all gets changed out.  (A few more steps on my pedometer)
·         The stove that came with the new house is having problems.  The lower heating element is not getting as hot as it should. I was in the middle of roasting Greek Lemon Chicken and Potatoes for that same dinner for 12 when the oven took half again as long as it should.   Guess what, the stove from the old house has been sitting against a wall between the kitchen and the front room of the new house, since we moved in.    I love my old stove.  It is a duel fuel stove; electric ovens and the top burners used propane at the old house.  Bill had to change out a little jet inside each burner to make it correct for natural gas.  Remember nothing is easy.  It took days to get the stove apart; screws were frozen and had to be drilled out.  He had to get all the new parts together and replace a few things also and we have both cleaned on that thing for days.  The cooked on stuff, under the burner and on the sides of the stove that you can’t get to even when you are trying to keep things clean.  Another $300 plus project and my stove from the old place is about to take center stage in the new kitchen.   We hope to sell the old stove for $75 or so and let it service someone else for a while and we will be back to using our previous stove.   I loved the gas cook top and the two ovens.
·         The clothes dryer from the old house, was not new.  In fact I had been saying from time to time that I didn’t think it was hot enough or that it wasn’t drying clothes well enough.  However with the other dryer out, Bill decided to hook up the old one as a backup.  So then, I am carrying wet clothes through the house and down the hall to the other laundry room and using the dryer there.  When Bill was installing the dryer he cleaned it; vacuuming the insides and all the lint traps and the little places you don’t reach to clean out all the time.  Now is works just like new drying a load of clothes in about 45 minutes.
·         The kitchen refrigerator, we brought with us works fine but the ice maker hasn’t worked in the new house.   I don’t think it has been hooked up correctly and since there is an ice-maker in the kitchenette I am managing but since I am mentioning the broken things that goes on the list.  Hopefully Bill will get it fixed, someday.   I know you are going to think we are crazy but we sold the fridge that came with the house.   It had the ice maker and water in the door and I really don’t like those.  I find that mostly they seem good for getting water all over the floor.  We also pulled out the garbage disposal and sold it.  Bill and I have composted for years and we needed the hole in the kitchen counter for the instant hot water machine.  Now those appliances have gone on to serve others in new homes.

We have a dear friend who broke a bone in her foot.  I have another dear friend that is on dialysis now her kidneys are ‘broken’.  I pray daily for a dear friend with cancer, she is going through chemo therapy trying to kill cancer and extend her life. Then we were eating lunch with a very special someone and his tooth chipped,  he said his teeth were chipping a lot.  Another friend has a failing heart and a different friend has failing lungs. Bill and I have both had our second colds of the winter which makes me feel vulnerable. Today I am grateful for the body I have and the ability it has to function as well as it does even with Addison’s disease and diabetes and the complications that come with it.   I will do all I can to take good care of this body so that we might serve each other a couple more decades anyway.
I have mentioned broken appliances and broken body parts.   During the move I have looked at and discarded furniture, clothing, games, books, dishes, cooking utensils, spices and canned goods but there is another very delicate part of our lives that can break.
Bill and I are good but around us lives are shattering:  We have friends that are suffering; broken hearts, broken relationships and broken lives.   If you have ever known someone that took their own life you know what an utterly selfish act that is.   The loss and pain that touches every single life that was connected to the person who dies is changed forever and not in a good way.  It seems broken promises work the same way.  The commitments we make to each other and to those around us when broken are devastating.  Some times when young people partner up I look and say, I just don’t see that working and other times I look and ‘judge’ they are a very good fit, then time passes and the truth shows in the end.  Last summer we were reeling from breakup of a young couple that we loved and really did think they were a good fit. We have had friends that were married for years separate and get back together we have friends that have troubled children breaking up it was easy to see how the stress got to them.  There are relationships where a partner has broken a promise and hurt the other partner even I have been guilty of this and for that I am sorry.  But when it happens to someone you love, someone you are close to, someone you counted on, someone you trusted, someone you care deeply for, the pain is almost unbearable at first.   Then somewhere inside me I hear a voice saying, that relationship brought beautiful children into this world, it brought families closer together, it brought out the good more often than not and I am grateful that the relationship was good as long as it lasted.   I can’t choose anyone else’s behavior for them, only my own.  I can be sad that people are hurting and wait for time to move on and watch the rebuilding begin.    

The Seahawks are resting up and getting ready for next season, kick-off is Sept. 10, 2017.
Thank you for reading. I have so enjoyed your emails and messages back.   I love staying in touch with each of you.  

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CeLinda K

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Mid-Winter Slide Show

Our Northeast Corner of Kirkland;
Our House
In August 2016, we made plans to host “The Mid-Winter Slide Show,” again.  We had just bought the new house and we were looking to celebrate with these long-time friends.   This is the same group we had last January.    I did not realize then that it was inauguration weekend, nor did I realize that there would be so much activity going on that weekend.  The closer we got to the party weekend the more afraid Bill and I were that no one would come.  We figured after everyone had marched all day they would be too tired, especially those coming from further away.   We didn’t need to worry.
photo by Mike Nelson 
The gathering was a great success.  We all discussed the state of the country,  and in friendship we comforted and encouraged each other.  Generally I don’t talk politics or religion in this blog, not that I don’t have opinions about both it is just not what this blog is about.  I have been going to a new church for a few weeks and this past week I heard something that touched me personally;  Life is a gift, Love is the point and Kindness is the path. This speaks to me.  I am so grateful for the many friendships we have that mean so much to us that are so accepting, kind, loving, gentle, and  inclusive.
All 16 of us had great food and enjoyed photos of each other’s experiences the past year. One friend had hiked most of the Pacific Crest Trail this year and the photos were just amazing. Other friends had some pretty special adventures also.  The photos were fun to see and dream about.   Only 11 stayed overnight, we all had a nice breakfast and spa time before everyone had to leave.
photo by Mike Nelson

The day after everyone left I went to a National Geographic presentation with Hilaree O’Neill the leader of a group attempting to summit Burma’s Hkakabo Raza.  The presentation was at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle.  It was fascinating and beautiful and harrowing and everything in between.  Tuesday I went with a girlfriend to have a skin cancer removed from her forehead and that night we had 6 people for family dinner.  I made oven baked salmon on a bed of steamed spinach with oven roasted ‘smashed’ potatoes and steamed asparagus.  Wednesday I did a lot of errands and Thursday I had a “tea-party” for the girls from the dentist office where I work, and another girlfriend was over in the evening for knitting time.  I made cute little smoked salmon sandwiches on “Paleo Cloud Bread”,
I love a buffet.
chicken salad sandwiches on croissant sliders and deviled eggs.  I had lemon pound cake, chocolate caramel brownies and cheesecake too.  Friday, is usually date nite but we had lunch out with friends and then granddaughter Halie came over for the weekend.  We went out for pizza and then watched “Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot” at home eating popcorn and drinking sodas.  
If you don’t live in the Seattle area MOD pizza may be new to you but they are popping up all over this area.  ( personal description is if you like Subway sandwiches and you want pizza, this is the place to go; from fresh baked crust (it is thin, but if you like it thicker they will double it.) all kinds of fresh sauces, meats, vegetables and special options to add on.  Your personally crafted pizza is then cooked in a brick oven and comes out just delicious.  In a real restaurant review I should include that they also make salads and shakes for those who want those choices.    Bill and I always get the MOD size, to go.  Bill usually gets two meals out of his and I get 2 or 3.  It is also, industrial, move-them-through atmosphere not an Italian place with checked tablecloths and an old wine bottle as the candle holder.
Saturday Halie and I had home-made ‘egg-mc-muffins’  then she and her grandpa entertained each other while I went to work.  We all went to see “A Dog’s Purpose” at the movie.  We Loved It, but we were all glad that we had put extra tissues in our pockets.   There was a family just down a few seats from us and 4 or 5 kids were all boo-hooing pretty loud.  Sunday Halie and I went to church and Bill went to a meeting also.   Sometimes I think to myself; I never go anywhere, boy I am not so busy now that I am semi-retired, I am really lazy sitting in this chair knitting but I have not had any of those thoughts recently. 

In My Travels,      
After Halie left Bill and I were sitting around watching television when I started looking at the week ahead;  if we cancelled family dinner, which I don’t do lightly we could maybe have an adventure.
So Beautiful, Leavenworth at night. 
Leavenworth Washington is a cute little town just east of Stevens Pass.  In 1962 the town was struggling with the slowdown of the timber industry when leaders of the community had a meeting to decide what direction the community should go.  They decided on the Bavarian theme and everything in town goes with the theme; food, hotels even Mc Donald’s all look like they were in the beautiful mountains of Germany . This past Christmas they celebrated their 50th year of having an annual tree lighting ceremony.  The entire city and hundreds of trees are decorated with lights.  It is just magical to see.  I think I asked Bill to drive through the downtown circle 3 maybe 4 times and he just laughed and turned the
What a Surprise! 
car again.   When we woke up the next morning we discovered it had snowed 5 or 6 inches.  We were shocked, it had not been in any of the forecast we had seen.  Bill is so careful;  before we left town he had purchased a new jack for the car, collected the gear for putting chains on the car, practiced putting chains on the car, stocked the car with extra water and de-icing gear just in case but we had checked the weather and everything was clear.  I think Bill is extra cautious because we drive a Hyundai Sonata,  it is a small mid-sized car that is pretty low to the ground. At the old house we had trouble getting our cars out of the driveway because we would drag the center of the car in the snow.  I think we both wanted to see the snow not necessarily get-snowed-on.  Well, snow it was; fresh, soft, fluffy lots of it. The night before coming in from dinner the old snow everywhere was this smooth, thick, scary ice and we knew it was under this innocent looking snow.  Thank goodness for really good boots that grabbed the snow just fine, we had the car cleaned off and were on our way. We had a really good breakfast and a good long walk through town and all the cute shops. Did I mention that it is sort of Christmas all year in Leavenworth with nut-crackers being “Bavarian” and all.  Anyway it is a cute town and I loved the change of scenery and we never needed those chains.  Driving home towards Seattle we stopped at Stevens Pass for another good walk-around and a really good lunch.  There were lots of skiers and snowboarders to watch. We discovered where a lot of very fit seniors are hanging out mid-week.  Hardly any crowds and Bill was really excited to see that the price drops big-time for him, at his next birthday.
Bill, standing on the Wenatchee River 
CeLinda enjoying the snow. 

Around the House:  
Bill and I got a new bed.  We got a King size bed just to help fill up the space in our ginormas bedroom. (spell checker says there is no such word….)  If you have a king size bed or if you have any trouble at all changing sheets on the new deep and heavy mattresses then you may be interested in this product.   Bill and I were changing the sheets on our bed. The mattress is 16 inches deep and it sits directly on slats, not a box springs.  When I lift my corner of the mattress I have to put my knee under it to help hold it up because it is so heavy.  Bill, in his never ending effort to make my world better decided it was time to invent something to solve this problem.  The first thing that came to mind was those things that you roll under a car and pump it up to lift the car, but in his research he found Magic Mattress Lift:
It really is just as easy as the video says.  We got 2 sets of 2 for $50.  I see now that the “special” is 2 sets for $50 and the ‘regular’ price is $70 for the 2 sets, so it looks like the price is going up.  They are amazing and a lot nicer than having an automobile jack under your bed. 

Another really cool thing around the house is the Kitchen Sink.  The sink and counter top in the new house are Corian, over the years since the sink had cracked a lot.   The house inspector said we should address the sink because it had potential problems for us in the future.   Bill did a lot of research and we had a company called Miracle Method come to repair the problem.  He said it probably did all that cracking over the years from draining boiling water into the cold sink.  The answer was to apply a layer of fiberglass over the Corian.   I am thrilled with the results.      Miracle Method refinishes tubs, tile, counters, and sinks.  If you want to change the color or repair the chips and cracks it is a very reasonable way to go and our results were beautiful.  If I had known about these guys before, I would not have had a green bath tub for so long. 


My Latest Knitting,  
In 2015 I knit 15,517 yards of yarn into projects
In 2016 I knit 16,005 yards of yarn into projects.   I just barely made my “goal” last year because I literally quit knitting for 3 months while we were moving.   I do not really expect to knit 17,000 yards of yarn this year so I will just keep track and let you know what I do knit.  My real “goal” for this year is to knit out of my stash more than I purchase new yarn….. that is a huge goal.   We are 2 whole weeks into the new year and I haven’t bought any new yarn, yet. 
the hat goes great with her
In 2016 I also took a couple of classes that added new skills to my knitting toolbox.  I took a class in stranded knitting; by the simplest definition, stranded colorwork describes knitting a multi-color pattern and working each row with at least two colors at the same time. As you knit stitches with one color, the other colors are stranded along the wrong side of the work until needed.  This is not Fair Isle which is a different kind of stranded knitting.    I made a really cute hat and since it is twice a thick it is really warm.  I gifted it to a friend recently.
I also took a class in double knitting.  Double knitting has a two layered fabric that is often different on each side, but both sides are knit at the same time.  I am working on a headband, the class project.  It is really nice to add a couple of skills to my knitting quiver.

On a Side Note:
The Seahawks are resting up and getting ready for next season, kick-off is Sept. 10, 2017.

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