Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

New, energy-saving hot tub!

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

In October, 2014, I replIMG_2381aced the ancient hot tub with an energy-efficient one.

Just right for a friendly couple, the new Birch Bay tub has the same spectacular view and the same privacy as the old one.

Cottage guests are the only people who use it.WP_20141127_15_27_01_Pro

Folks enjoy watching eagles cruise through the treetops and hummingbirds zip around within reach.

I keep the hot tub ready any time of year.





More improvements to the cottage

Monday, September 15th, 2014

IMG_2248 Cottage guests will now enjoy greater comfort, and I will enjoy using less energy, with the new Daikin multi-split ductless heat pump system I’ve just installed.  The two “heads,” one in the living room and one in the bedroom, quietly produce either warmth or coolness, depending on which you need.   Our Seattle summer has been gloriously warm, but the cottage stayed cool, thanks to the new systemIMG_2249.

With autumn coming soon, I’m really looking forward to lower electric bills and a smaller energy footprint!

A Sweet Reward

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

I just wanted to share the note my last guests left on the dining table.  It really made my day.

Annie, thank you so much for providing this little slice of heaven! We thoroughly appreciated the lovely extras – from the flowers, to the fruit basket, to the well-stocked fridge and pantry.  And don’t even get me started on that BED – amazing!! The hot tub was so relaxing, and the view outstanding.

You are a gracious hostess, thank you! Soundview will be our “Seattle Place” from here on.

Andrea and Chris, Vancouver, BC

Improvements to the Cottage

Friday, December 13th, 2013

I took advantage of the slow season and added a convenience to the cottage. There is now a laundry closet off the kitchen so guests can wash their clothes when they need to. Except the cottage hasn’t really slowed down yet for the winter – my wonderful Homer has had to squeeze in his work between guests. He’s pounding away today in the rain so he’ll be finished before the new folks come tomorrow afternoon.
We also built in a small bookshelf and expanded the clothes closet.
The other news here is the charming new sleeper sofa from Calico Corners. I had it custom-made because I really loved this fabric! It’s kind of a nautical stripe featuring rust and aqua – so I just HAD to get new table linens and kitchen towels to go with it. Fun.

The sofa is so comfortable to sit on, and it will actually sleep two people instead of one, like the old one did.

Today was a beautiful chilly clear day.  You could see Mt. Rainier from the cottage.

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

The Chihuly Garden and Glass in the Seattle Center is a beautiful attraction for people visiting the city. These pictures do not do justice for all the wonderful pieces of glass artwork on display at the garden. There are small, intricate and detailed pieces of glass as well as large and almost overwhelming pieces.
It is a great activity for an afternoon, but if you are in Seattle for the day, the Seattle Center is full of other activities. The Chihuly Garden and Glass is located directly beneath the Space Needle, within walking distance of the EMP (Experience Music Project) building. The Pacific Science Center is also within the Seattle Center. However, if you only have time to visit one place, the garden is a beautiful experience and well worth the price of admission.
As you can see from the pictures, they have blended the glass work of Dale Chihuly with a lovely outdoor garden.  A glasshouse also displays a large selection of Chihuly glass.

Another Chihuly exhibit is located in Tacoma, WA.  However, it is nice to have one in Seattle as well. If you have not yet experienced Chihuly Garden and Glass, it is well worth your time.

September’s here…

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

…bringing the prettiest sunsets to Soundview.  People who’ve stayed here will recognize this view from the deck.  Usually things start slowing down about now, but not this year. The cottage is booked solid through October!  But I’m offering the low-season special anyway – 20% off for stays between November 1 and May 15 – because I enjoy my guests.

I’ve been up on The Mountain recently.  The last post was a hike to Spray Park on the northwestern flank, and a couple of weeks ago I hiked with a friend out of Sunrise.  The Sunrise road goes up to 6400 ft., the highest road in the Park, and it will close soon for the winter.  This was a beautiful view looking south across the terminus of the Emmons glacier.

And, looking far to the southeast, the Tatoosh Range pokes its pointy peaks into the sky.

Another fun recent Northwest happening for me was an informal fundraiser concert in a Bremerton backyard – for the local symphony.  Yummy BarBQ, amazing music performed live in a clearing in the woods, pleasant people supporting the arts – what more could one want?

Well, I guess if you really take that question seriously, you could answer world peace; freedom from hunger, disease, want and fear for everyone; a loving home for every child; and a true democracy for our country – washed clean from the corrupting influence of money in politics.

A glorious day on Mt. Rainier

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

We’ve had a spectacular summer, and last Friday I took an 8-mile round-trip hike into Spray Park on the Northwestern flank of Mt. Rainier.  It’s been warm, so a lot of the snow has melted, but there were still some patches left.  Water was gushing everywhere, and Spray Falls was brim-full.  What a day!

Great Summer Hiking

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Seattle in the summer is the perfect base camp for hikers!  There are hundreds of trails to explore — many different types for any type of hiker.  From beachfront walks to mountain-top climbs, anybody of any skill level can find a hike to enjoy.

The weather is ideal for taking in the outdoors and the scenery is beautiful.  There is a reason we call it “The Emerald City.”  A great feature of Seattle is that you can find hiking trails within the city limits to enjoy, but you can also go just outside the city and find huge, expansive trails that would take you more than a day to  fully explore.  These pictures were taken from the trails at Lincoln Park in West Seattle.

There are so many spectacular places to hike near Seattle, it would be tough to explore all of them in a lifetime, but you can find a detailed list of hikes in the area on the Washington Trails Association website.

I’d be happy to help you find the perfect backpack or local dayhike.  I’ve blogged about a few of my adventures in the Cascades and Olympics:   Seven Lakes Basin, Wallace FallsEmmons Glacier, Goat Rocks, and Summerland and Rainy Pass.  Enjoy and start planning, now!

San Francisco Trip

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

A few blogs ago, I announced the birth in San Francisco of my 6th grandchild, and I’ve been back to see her (and her parents, of course) twice since then!  I spent February and March in their household when Allison went back to work, and then another week last month when she had to be away.

I did a fair bit of sightseeing on both trips, and I wanted to share with you the most unusual field trip of all – a wine-tasting tour of the Quixote Winery in Napa Valley.  My San Francisco friend Bob took me there.

The winery building, including grounds, is the only project built in this country by Viennese architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928–2000). It’s designed in a whimsical, exotic way with ceramic tiles, irregularly rounded and painted columns, and deliberately uneven floors designed for their tactile effect on occupants’ feet.  There are no right angles, except in the basement.Quixote winery.jpg The design style has been called phantasmagoric, psychedelic, and Dr. Seuss-like, and also likened to “the creation of a beautifully demented child.” The winery structure is dominated by an onion dome covered in gold leaf, as well as a living roof (seen here in the foreground) topped with grass, bushes, and trees.

Oh yes, the wine was delicious, too.  Quixote is deservedly famous for its Petite Syrah.  And it was the best Rose´ I’ve ever tasted.

Here’s the bathroom, decorated with those outrageously irregular and colorful tiles Hundertwasser is known for.  And that’s one of his prints on the wall.

In case you’re wondering how the cottage gets along when I’m gone, I always arrange for a friend to stay in my (separate) home, ready to answer questions or help with any problem that arises.

And in case you’re wondering why I’ve made 2 trips to San Francisco in the last 4 months, here is the answer!




Franny has arrived!

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

On October 25, my 6th grandchild was born, my younger daughter’s first-born.  Sweet.  I flew down to San Francisco to join the new little family as soon as I could, and spent two sleepless, heavenly weeks with them, helping to care for little Franny.  She is a beautiful baby, as all babies are.

The quilt in the background is a labor of love.  Each relative or family friend sent a handmade African-animal-based (or whatever they felt like) square with a personal message of love for the new babe.  Elephants, monkeys, and giraffes are popular nursery themes these days – but also Franny’s parents worked in Tanzania for three years, so it’s especially meaningful for them.