Thursday, January 27, 2011

We are...

Moving to Seattle!

We recently came to the realization, after I lost my job, that the academic-track career we have been following is most likely not going to give us the life in the location that we want. For almost 10 years we have been in limbo (graduate school and post-doc work) and become tired of being away from our family and friends. So, after making some calls, John was offered a job by his longtime friend in Seattle. Four days later he accepted the job and we have been in a whirlwind ever since.

We are planning to pull out with our moving truck on March 27th, taking a week or so to drive and visit friends and family along the way. I have been in a "getting rid of everything" mindset for a while now and finally have a good reason to do it. Brutal honesty! If I don't love it or need it, it's not coming with us. There is quite a bit to do: sell the house, pack, and say good-bye to everyone here in Cleveland while finding a new home, insurance, and church in Seattle. The furry children are starting to suspect that something is going on, what with all the boxes and shuffling and what-not.

We are really excited to see what is around this bend in our road.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What Tonys Do Best

Where's Tony?
There he is. Swaddled somewhere underneath those 4 blankets on the couch.
See his feet sticking out the back?

This is how he spends his winter days. In summer, he only wants one blanket.

What a happy hound-dog!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Today's View

And it's currently 1 degree.

Friday, January 21, 2011

January Doldrums

Every year I dread January. Somehow it's just a yucky month. It's cold and snowy, no holidays to speak of, and cabin fever has set in. Watching many hours of BBC miniseries and crochet/knitting under a blanket is about all that I can do. The only redeeming thing about it is Nic's birthday.

This year, January has lived up to my expectations and then some. It's been snowing a lot, with temperatures in the teens (except for that one teasing day when it got up to 40 and melted some of the snow) and ice under the snow. Daisy is starting to rip up her toys again, which means she has cabin fever, too. Tony just looks sad as he sits and shivers next to the heat vent or under my Slanket on the couch. We finally discovered that the reason his eyes have been so swollen and blood-shot is that he stares at the heat vents instead of closing his eyes like a smart dog. The only way to get warm in this drafty house is to take a bath in our really awesome jet tub. It has a heater built in so that when you turn on the jets it will stay at that temp for as long as you want, as long as the fuse doesn't blow.

Spring is still two months away. But today is sunny and 14 degrees, so we're pretending like we're in Montana and waiting for the first snow drops to push through the ground.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Handmade Gifts

This Christmas I decided to make as many gifts as possible by hand. I really love handmade gifts. They are so personal, unique, and so much love and thought about the specific person goes into each one. I had fun making them and learned a lot, too. For those of you on Ravelry, click the links to see my project pages.

Crocheted with 100% Merino Wool in Atlantic Blue
Knitted with 100% Acrylic in Charcoal print
Basket weave knit in 100% Acrylic in Blue Heather
Crocheted with 100% Peruvian Highland Wool in White and Bayberry
Crocheted with 100% Peruvian Highland Wool in White and Dark Navy
My first knitted project!
Knit with 100& Acrylic in Ombre
Mom's Mickey Mouse quilted wall hanging

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Icky the Cat

This silly kitty takes himself so seriously!

Wating for dinner he always gets his chest hair in his food dish.

He thinks he can make pizza just like Daddy.
And somehow water just tastes better when it is drunk while sitting in the sink from a mug containing leftover oatmeal.
No wonder we find cat hair in all our food.

December Adventures

Our Christmas was quiet and small this year. My Aunt Pam came to stay for a whole week, which is the longest visit we've had with her here by herself. We had a good time doing things that families who live near each other probably take for granted: going out to eat (The Melt and The Cheesecake Factory), wandering around Costco and the mall, going to Christmas Eve Service, and sitting around visiting. One of my Christmas presents this year was tickets to the Manheim Steamroller Christmas concert. This happened to be their 25th year doing these Christmas concerts, and it was fun to see the show and be a part of the celebration. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas I sang in 11 concerts and who knows how many rehearsals. It's exhausting, but really fun. No one can play 'Sleigh Ride' like the Cleveland Orchestra!

On the 8th, we got something like 15 inches of snow at our house. Of course I had a concert that night and here are pictures of what I had to trek through to get there. Fortunately, I don't have that far to go. Many chorusters were stuck in traffic for hours and never made it to the concert.
On one of our outings, Aunt Pam and I drove out to Chagrin Falls. John and I took Mom and Dad out here last year for dinner, but it was at night and we didn't get to see the falls. They aren't very big but I was amazed at the amount of ice that accumulated even with the moving water. A very Christmas-y scene.
One of the stores in Chagrin Falls has this old newspaper framed and hanging up. Of course it isn't for sale, although that's probably good because I would have had to buy it for Nic's birthday present. It is the front page of the Billings Gazette announcing the death of Marilyn Monroe. What a crazy thing to find in a small store in Cleveland!
These are the first truffles I have ever made and boy were they good and rich. The recipe is from Celebrate with Chocolate! by Marcel DeSaulniers. I've also made his 3 layer chocolate cake from this book, which was loaded with so much butter that John couldn't finish it and told me to give it away. These truffles have a Kahlua ganache center and are then dipped in bittersweet chocolate and sprinkled with chocolate powder.
New Year's Eve we spent with a couple of John's work friends. They came over around 8:00pm and we played board games and had pizza, snacks, and various drinks until about 2:00am. It was fun, even though John seems "blessed" with winning every round of any board or card game that he touches. Nick and I are demanding a rematch on Super Bowl Sunday. (No, not while the game is on!)