My Darling Little i-Car!

May 17th, 2012

I love my new little Mitusbishi i-Car!  I’ve had it since Feb. 22, and it did take a little getting used to, because it will only go about 72 miles on a full charge.  It’s all-electric!   I got it to save money on gasoline, to reduce my carbon footprint, and to advertise the cottage with the graphics on the sides.

I kept my old faithful ’96 Subaru wagon for longer trips and for hauling the occasional sheet of plywood or lots of plants – although I did recently bring home 3 giant fuchsias for the cottage in my new little i-Car.

I couldn’t get the graphics right away – I was picky about the design, and my good friend graphic artist Lari (Power Graphics SD) was very patient with me through about 17 takes on the design.  Then the application was a little problematic – had to be redone cuz of a technical glitch.  But now it’s finished!  And I absolutely love the graphics and the car.

These photos show how the graphics were applied.  These cool young guys came out to my place and put the printed film on right on the spot in just about an hour!

The car is  really pretty zippy.  The brakes and steering are marvelous, and I can turn on a dime and tuck it into a very short parking space!  Best of all, the electricity it takes to charge it doesn’t cost me much at all.  I had a “Level 2” charger installed in my garage – it takes about 7 hrs from no-charge to full-charge.  My last electric bill was hardly increased from the same 2 months last year, and the rates have gone up, AND I also have a new electric heat pump (installed last July) for my own house – to replace my oil furnace.

This Mitsubishi is cheaper than the other all-electric on the road, the Nissan Leaf.  After I get my tax credit for 2012 (fingers crossed), the price tag, with graphics and leather seats, will be about $25,000. (plus the charger)  In Washington State, they don’t charge sales tax on electric cars.

For my local errands, which is most of my driving, this little car is perfect!


New all-electric car!

March 9th, 2012

My new Mitsubishi i-Car is so cute!  It handles beautifully and has lots of pep, even on the freeway!  It’s all-electric. No gas, no pollution.  It won’t go very far (about 60 mile range), so I’m keeping my faithful Subaru wagon.  Within a couple of weeks, it will sport this graphic to advertise the cottage.  More photos soon!  I can’t wait.  (there’s no orange stripe between the doors – that was just to see where the break would come in the design process.)  My old friend Lari Power did the beautiful graphic.

Democracy, are you still there?

December 21st, 2011

Last October, when Occupy Seattle was only an encampment in Westlake Park, I ventured downtown with a friend to see what it was all about.  We were impressed with the variety and sincerity of the protesters, and their messages resonated for me: we are the 99%, the rich are getting too rich on the backs of the poor, restore American values and the middle class, bring back democracy.

I began participating in meetings, especially the working group called Get Money out of Politics (“GMOP”).  I  joined nationwide conference calls for the national working group focusing on this same issue.  These people are inspiring.  All ages, all backgrounds and income/educational levels – bright, creative, cooperative – motivated by what I call our national values of freedom, compassion and fairness.

Here’s a photo from a recent GMOP meeting – they’re held at our beautiful  Washington Convention Center in downtown Seattle.

Some people may think Occupy Wherever has packed up their tents and gone home, bowing to police or winter or just petering out.  They will see.  The “occupation” of so many public places has served its purpose: to get our attention.  And now the movement begins.

January 20 and 21 will mark the 2nd anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that narrowly (5-4) gave corporations the same “free speech” rights as real people, allowing them to donate unlimited money to political campaigns, anonymously.  Just wait for next summer.  Big Money will drown TV programming with short, shallow ads which will buy the results of many races.

In Seattle on those dates, a coalition of many groups including Occupy Seattle, Move to Amend, and WA Public Campaigns, is currently planning a march, a couple of rallies, some brilliant street theater, concerts, and other events to promote the need to amend the Constitution to clarify that only people are entitled to free speech.  Similar events will happen that weekend across the country.

A Constitutional amendment is the only way to overturn a Supreme Court decision.  Many city councils across the U.S. have recently passed a resolution, which is then passed on to the voters, advocating such an amendment.  So far, the cities include Los Angeles, New York City, Boulder, Missoula, and Duluth.  Voters agree, by around 75%.  We are working on Seattle and King County to get with it!

I know some of you disagree with my liberal views and activism.  That’s fine, this is a democracy.  But I can’t be honest with myself and hide my political views.  It’s time to take a stand.  This is our moment to start cleaning up our government and restoring our democracy.  The Occupy movement is providing the energy and visibility to make it happen.  Count me in!



Goat Rocks Backpack

October 13th, 2011

I had wanted to backpack in the Goat Rocks Wilderness for years. The Pacific Crest Trail (“PCT”) runs through it – and this is one of the highest stretches.  In fact, this year (2011) summer came so late that when we went in August, there were still snow fields to cross and a cornice to scale!  The incredible wildflowers were peaking, and streams, lakes, and waterfalls were full.  Mosquitos were having a field day, and the sun was really strong – that’s why I’m wearing the Lawrence of Arabia headgear.

That is water, not wine, in the bota bag.  (just a funny-shaped canteen)

Goat Rocks (so named because it’s home to herds of mountain goats) lies between Mt Adams to the south and Mt Rainier to the north, about a 4-hour drive from the cottage.  We were a group of 5, and we went in on Friday and came out on Monday.  I celebrated my birthday there!  Noplace else I’d rather be than sitting around a campfire with friends on a clear, starry night up in the high country.

Discovering Whistler

September 23rd, 2011

Whistler Mountain is only a few hours away from Soundview, across the border into British Columbia.  But I had never been there, winter or summer.  It’s a spectacular resort – refurbished and enlarged for the recent winter Olympics, with beautiful shops and common areas, respectful of the fantastic landscape.

The natural obelisk you see on the horizon is Black Tusk – the ubiquitous landmark of Garibaldi Provincial Park. Blessed with two peaks, lakes, forests, meadows, and waterfalls, the area is a mecca for mountain lovers like me.  In the summertime, there are free outdoor concerts in the village almost every evening.  We totally enjoyed Jason Mraz – just him – acoustic and personal – with one other musician, a fabulous guitarist.  What luck!

To get oriented, we took a chairlift up Blackcomb Mountain, then boarded the Peak-to-Peak Gondola which sweeps across a deep abyss to Whistler Mountain, and then walked down (you could have ridden down instead).  Normally in the summer there are many trails open at the top for hiking, but this year summer came late, and even in August snowfields blocked most of the higher paths.

So we hiked to Lake Cheakamus (lower elevation) and drove to a couple of spectacular waterfalls.  Our weather was splendid, and we had a great time.

Another Splendid Day-hike!

July 26th, 2011

Saturday I hiked to Emmons Glacier, the largest glacier in the continental US.  It’s on the east side of Mt Rainier and very easy to get to.  It’s about a 2-hour drive from the cottage to the Sunrise entrance of Mt Rainier National Park.  Then you drive to the White River Campground, park your car, and start walking UP.

But the trail is easy, punctuated by delicate waterfalls, and before long you are straddling the ridge of the glacier’s lateral moraine.

Emmons Moraine trail is the most bang for the buck I’ve experienced around these parts! (the most spectacular mountain wilderness scenery, for the least amount of effort to get there.)

B&B or Conventional Hotel?

July 10th, 2011

A new blog-post on a hospitality trade website talks about why more vacationers are choosing to stay at a B&B, as opposed to a hotel.   According to this article, people enjoy the unique, personal nature of B&Bs.  And Soundview is unique among B&Bs.

The cottage is a separate guesthouse, totally private.  Guests have complete freedom to do whatever they want, whenever they want, and that includes breakfasts.  I don’t cook.  I do provide almost all the breakfast foods you can think of, but you choose and you cook, not me.  I think I would burn out very quickly if I had to get up and make an elaborate breakfast every morning.

This may put off some potential guests who enjoy a lavish breakfast served to several guests at once in a central dining room. But my guests enjoy this self-catered idea.  In the complete, new kitchen in the cottage, they can also prepare other meals and save money and control what they eat.  More and more people these days have special dietary needs, such as avoiding wheat, sugar, or lactose…and managing your own diet in your own kitchen gives you total control, just like at home.

It works for me!

Spectacular Spring Hike to Wallace Falls

June 15th, 2011

Last week I took a spectaculNorthwest Streams Are Full This Springar hike up a series of waterfalls on the way to Stevens Pass, Highway 2.  It’s a state park called Wallace Falls.  The hike is pretty easy – 5 or so miles up to a picnic point, then turn around and come back.  On this brilliant spring day, the trail was crowded with exuberant hikers of all ages and abilities, thrilling to the rushing water, suddenly blue sky, and the impudent, luscious green.  The trail is out of the hamlet called GoldBar, on the way up to Stevens Pass, and it’s less than a 2-hour drive from the cottage.

Yoga Classes – another local gift

May 22nd, 2011

My yoga teacher, Janet Crawley, is offering Soundview Cottage guests a free introductory class. It’s only 5 minutes away, in a pleasant classroom, and Janet is a caring, careful leader.  The one hour+ sessions help me keep my flexibility, balance, and strength. They’re very relaxing, too, and we girls usually enjoy a latte and chat at Starbuck’s afterwards.

Janet always has extra yoga mats. That’s me on the purple mat.

The classes are at 8:30 Monday and Wednesday mornings, in Normandy Park, just down the hill.  Janet’s own websites:  for yoga go to and for her ceramic art go to

Moshier Community Art Center – a local treasure!

May 10th, 2011

People come here from miles around Puget Sound to throw pots, glaze and fire them.  The facility and the artists at Moshier are the best – and it’s only 5 minutes from Burien, where I live and where Soundview cottage is!

I’ve taken classes for years here, made dozens of bowls and mugs, gotten dirty, laughed and sighed and groaned at the clay, and marveled at the way the glazes come out of the kiln.

Here are some photos of the teachers (who are also friends) with their work at a recent show/sale, and of me at the wheel.