Friday, May 30, 2008

Flip Flop Personality Test

What Your Flip Flops Say About You

You are super laid back and peaceful. Not much disturbs you.

You're content with what you have in life, and you can't stand feeling worked up.

A lot of good things tend to come your way in life...

You're not too busy or stressed to let an opportunity pass you by.

Your ideal warm weather place: Hawaii

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The hope of something great

Update: 6/1/08

The version of the poem I used in my original post was found on the web through a google search. I have this poem on the bulletin board above my desk. When I read it the evening after I posted it, I realized that the version I have and love is slightly different. So I have updated it below.

Also, I realized after receiving a comment that I left someone off my dedication list. My brother Jimmy is going through some pretty big changes right now and I should have dedicated it to him, as well. So to Jimmy, anything is possible.


This morning after the alarm went off I spent a few minutes lying in bed not wanting to get up. The quietness of the morning was perfect for thinking and this morning I thought about changes. I seem to have quite a few people in my life that are dealing with major life changes right now. Change can be a scary thing, but it can also be a time of great promise and excitement if we face it with the right attitude.

"The start of something new, brings the hope of something great."

Those words have be resonating in my brain all day. I originally heard them as part of the saying that appears below and they have always rung true for me. So to my friends who are facing life changes, more specifically, Barb, Deede, Laurie, Christy, Kipp and Christina, I dedicate this to you.

If there was ever a time to dare,
to make a difference, to embark on something worth doing,
it is now.
Not for any grand cause, necessarily--
but for something that tugs at your heart,
something that's your inspiration,
something that's your dream.

You owe it to yourself
to make your days here count.
Have fun.
Dig deep.

Dream Big.

Know, though, that things worth doing
seldom come easy.
There will be good days.
And there will be bad days.
There will be times when you want to turn around,
pack it up,
and call it quits.
Those times tell you
that you are pushing yourself,
that you are not afraid to learn by trying.


Because with an idea,
and the right tools,
you can do great things.
Let your instincts,
your intellect,
and your heart,
guide you.


Believe in the incredible power of the human mind.
Of doing something that makes a difference.
Of working hard.
Of laughing and hoping.
Of lazy afternoons.
Of lasting friends.
Of all the things that will cross your path this year.

The start of something new
brings the hope of something great,
Anything is possible.
There is only one you.
And you will pass this way only once.
Do it right.

-Author Unknown

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend Wrap-Up

The holiday weekend at home in Seattle turned out to be a fabulous weather weekend and chock full o' fun. The highlights:
  • Left the office early and met Kat at my place so we could run to the store to pick up essentials for the evening.
  • Introduced Kat to the magic of the of the Laughing Cow.
  • Ate clam dip and watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in preparation for seeing the new Indy film over the holiday weekend.
  • Woke early Saturday to complete the usual laundry bit.
  • Created new starts and baked the Amish Cinnamon Friendship Bread from the start that I received from a colleague 10 days prior. (If you live in the Seattle area and would like a start for this yummy cinnamon bread, let me know via IM, email or comment.)
  • Downloaded pictures from my camera to Flickr including pictures of Mom's visit to Seattle, Jimmy's 30th and the trip to Utah and driving home through California.
  • Ran errands.
  • Attempted to take a walk on the beach at Golden Gardens but couldn't find parking so ended up at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks on the Lake Washington Ship Canal which was fascinating and totally cool. I can't believe I haven't been before.
  • Had my eyebrows waxed.
  • Enjoyed the afternoon and sunset from the deck at Eastlake Bar and Grill. The drinks and food were good, but the service SUCKED!
  • Woke early again thanks to the sun and headed out to Costco to beat the crowds.
  • Took pictures of the flowers and herbs on my deck and completed a blog post about them.
  • Took a nap.
  • Decided to go watch the big boats (a.k.a. cruise ships) leave Elliott Bay from the deck of Bell Street Diner but when I arrived they were closed due to a plumbing problem.
  • Watched the cranes and dock workers load tons of luggage onto the Norwegian Pearl.
  • Drank a beer at Anthony's Fish Bar.
  • Frustrated by the heat and late departure of the Norwegian Pearl I left the Seattle waterfront in search of a sunny deck and possibly some Copper River Salmon.
  • Soaked up the summer sun and watched the big boats sail by from the deck at Ray's Boathouse. Kat came down and joined me for dinner and the sunset which was amazing.
  • Woke to a dreary cooler day on Monday so I opted to stay in bed for a couple of hours and read.
  • Had lunch with Kat and Don at Red Robin in Bellevue Square.
  • Saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull which I loved.
  • Watched as Don kicked my ass all over the pool table at Rock Bottom.
  • Found my iPod, full story here.
  • Shared a glass of wine with Kipp when he stopped by just after leaving Folk Life.
  • Enjoyed some wine on the deck with Don and the sun faded away and the holiday weekend came to an end.
How was your weekend?

The Case of the Missing iPod

Last Monday I arrived at work and in my typical fashion I reached in my purse to grab my iPod so that I could plug it into my little speaker set and enjoy music in my office. But alas, there was no iPod in my purse. I removed everything else from my purse, no iPod. I assumed that I had left it on the little table in the entryway where I put my purse at night but when I returned home on Monday night it wasn't there. I looked in the usual places (atop the stereo, on my desk) and couldn't find it, so I assumed that it had fallen out of my purse and hence the long, painful search began.

The last time I remembered having it was on Friday evening. When I picked Don up at work it was plugged into the FM radio transmitter in my car. When we arrived at Yarrow Bay Grill I unplugged it and put it in my purse. Since my purse spent a great deal of time in both my car and Don's car over the weekend, I thought perhaps the iPod had slipped out at some point when it wasn't zipped up. So on Tuesday morning prior to heading to work I searched my car and NOTHING. I shot off an email to Don asking him to check his car and again, NOTHING.

I was now beginning to believe that it may be gone.

Tuesday night I searched my entire house. I had set my purse on my bed at one point over the weekend so I took all the sheets off the bed and searched, nothing. It has been in the kitchen, so I searched there and again, NOTHING. I had been working on the deck and thought that I perhaps set it on the arm of the couch since I had thought about plugging it into the stereo and never did and you guessed it.... NOTHING! UGH!

By Wednesday I was sure that it had fallen out of my purse at one of the places that we visited last weekend. So I began calling to inquire about it. I called Yarrow Bay Grill, Maltby Cafe, Bell Street Diner and Silver City Brewing. NOTHING.

Then it occurred to me that there was no identification or contact information on it. So even if an honest person had found it and wanted to return it they couldn't. Damn!

On Thursday I felt that I had exhausted all possible resources to finding it and began to accept the fact that it was gone forever. Work days were longer without it, my office was painfully quiet. Home life wasn't the same without it and I actually had to use CD's in the stereo. I have all the music on my laptop in iTunes so I wasn't sad about losing music just the method of being able to have all my favorite songs in the palm of my hand. Sure I could buy another one but I didn't want to, I wanted mine back.

Saturday and Sunday were sunny and busy and I had accepted the idea that my beloved iPod was never coming home again. I spent some time on the website looking at the newer options in the iPod world and thought that I would likely replace it in the coming week.

Then yesterday afternoon Don and I were at Rock Bottom playing pool and drinking some beer. Don was on-call for the weekend and had just received a call so we were quickly winding things up so that we could head home and he could handle the problem that had come up. I reached in my purse to get my "card wallet" (the wallet that I keep all the bonus, membership, point, punch cards for various retail establishments) and get the Rock Bottom Mug Club card out. My purse was stuffed since in additional all the regular stuff I also had my digital camera in there. I removed my wallet to give myself more space and reached to the bottom in search of the card wallet and felt something with a velvety texture. Could it be? I grabbed it and pulled it out and it was my iPOD! Oh happy day! Had it really been in my purse all this time? Unbelievable.

When Don returned from the bathroom he couldn't believe it. He thinks that I didn't really check my purse well. I swear that I did. I took everything out and actually shook it upside down. Upon arriving at home I plugged it into the stereo and enjoyed my tunes again. I'm so glad it has come home to me (even if it never really left).

I think instead of buying a new iPod that I need a new purse. One that is big enough for everything and has a zipper that will close when it's packed with stuff.

Jewells as Cereal

You Are Corn Flakes

You are traditional and easy going.

If something is high quality, you're satisfied with it.

You don't need much variety or novelty in your life.

You're happy with what you have. You're quite loyal.

You're the type of person who eats the same breakfast every day...

And likely at the exact same time each day!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Giant Movie Posters

Atop Lincoln Square in Bellevue as we are headed to lunch followed by the new Indiana Jones flick.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Orangesicle Delight

The magic chefs at Ray's have managed to put the taste of summer in a dessert.

Another Beautiful Day

Sunset from Ray's Cafe marks the end of yet another perfect Seattle day.

Urban Deck Gardening

As I mentioned previously, I planted flowers, herbs and tomatoes on my deck last weekend. As promised, I have taken photos to share.

I planted a total 6 "color bowls" (2 for me, 2 for Kat and 2 for my brother and sister-in-law) and 2 rectangular planters (for Don) with the same flower combinations. They each contained: Fuchsia Geranium, Bonanza Yellow Marigold, Blue Forget-Me-Not, Dazzler White Impatien, Sundial Pink Portulaca, Dreamland Scarlet Zinnia and Dazzler Cranberry Impatien. (Click on the photo for exact identification of the flowers.)

Deck Flowers, originally uploaded by JewellsinSEA.

I also planted 2 rectangular planters for myself. They each contained: Red Geranium, Orange Marigold, Blue Forget-Me-Not, Sundial Pink Portulaca. (Click on the photo for exact identification of the flowers.)

Deck Flowers, originally uploaded by JewellsinSEA.

I planted an herb garden for myself containing: Sweet Basil, Oregano, Golden Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. (Click on the photo for exact identification of the herbs.)

Deck Herb Garden, originally uploaded by JewellsinSEA.

I also planted 2 tomato plants, one is pictured below.

Deck Tomatoes, originally uploaded by JewellsinSEA.

I'm anxious to see how they do this summer. The weather was a little too cool for the tomatoes and herbs last year so I'm keeping my figures crossed that we have plenty of sunny and beautiful days.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sun Slippin Away

The sun is slipping lower and lower in the sky. Soon it will be gone and this beautiful day will be over. :-(

Rainbow Hair

Hair extension samples. I wonder how I'd look with pink extensions?

Friday, May 23, 2008

My Ideal Place

You Should Live in a Small City

You are definitely an urban person, but not any old city will do.

You want a city that matches you well. For you, big cities lack individuality.

You prefer a smaller city with lots of personality, local culture, and history.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What Flower am I?

You Are a Carnation

You are down to earth and grounded.

You tend to be more traditional than trendy.

Your confidence gets you through anything.

People trust you and are very loyal to you.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Top Pic

Magic Kingdom, originally uploaded by JewellsinSEA.

For months this picture has been gaining in popularity according to my Flickr stats and yesterday received 2 additional views which pushed it over the top.

It's now my #1 photo on Flickr! :-)

My mother is SO proud!

My grandparents were all born in cities outside Pittsburgh, PA. My mother graduated from North Allegheny High School. My mother and father were next door neighbors prior to dating in Allison Park, a Pittsburgh suburb, so I guess I come by my Pittsburgh-ness naturally.

You are 85% Pittsburgh.

Great job! There's nooooo doubt about it. You're from Da Burgh. You deserve a reward, so go have an Ahrn City or two. And GO STILLERS!

How Pittsburgh Are You
See All Our Quizzes

Weekend Wrap-Up

Seattle was the place to be last weekend as the weather was unbelievable. The highlights for me included:
  • Left the office early on Friday thanks to my long hours earlier in the week to run a few errands and soak up some rare Seattle sunshine.
  • Picked Don up from work and headed over the Beach Cafe at Yarrow Bay Grill for alfresco happy hour which turned into dinner. It was sunny and in the 70's which made for a perfect sunset.
  • Enjoyed breakfast at the Maltby Cafe with Kat and Don.
  • Arrived at Flower World just a few minutes before they opened to find a line waiting at the gate to the property. Flower World a.k.a. Plant World (the mind of Jewells is a complex thing) was everything I expected and more! We got everything on the list and saw amazing plants, flowers, trees, ponds, fountains and fish, I can't wait to go back.
  • Made a quick stop by Home Depot to pick up potting soil and then headed back to Seattle to initiate the "playing in the dirt."
  • Started potting 94 flowers/herbs/veggies in 17 pots in 90 degree heat.
  • Ran back to Home Depot in the midst of the planting for a few forgotten items including fans for Don's apartment and more pots.
  • Finished potting 94 flowers/herbs/veggies in 17 pots in 90 degree heat (more details about flowers/plants to come in future post).
  • Cleaned the deck, wiped down the furniture and watched while Don scrub the grill, apparently my scrubbing skills are inadequate.
  • Showered not only to remove the dirt but also to cool down.
  • Headed down to the Seattle waterfront to enjoy another alfresco dining experience at Bell Street Diner. Never did we dream that we would get to enjoy the people-watching of teenagers at the prom. Oh joy!
  • Woke early on Sunday morning so I drank 3/4 of a pot of coffee while I colored my hair and hung around at home.
  • Rode along enjoying the sites while Don drove us to the "boring side of the pond" i.e. the Olympic Peninsula.
  • Enjoyed beer and lunch and beer on the patio at Silver City Restaurant and Brewery in Silverdale, WA.
  • Dropped off color bowls of flowers at Dave and Kristen's in Port Orchard, WA.
  • Drove back around the pond and ended up at Red Mill Burgers where we enjoyed dinner, outdoors, of course.
  • Ran by the grocery store and headed home to get ready to face the week ahead.
How was your weekend?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Excused Absense

I started out the year planning on doing a "Weekend Wrap-Up" post on the happenings of the weekend every Monday. I was good until April, then it just stopped. It seems that when life gets a little bit crazy and I have too much on my plate the first thing to suffer is my blog. Which now that I think about it, makes perfect sense. When I am stressed, worn out, tired and with generally too much on my plate the few moments that I can find to re-energize myself are not spent expressing myself but totally enriching myself with things I love. After all, I'm an introvert!

In order to excuse my absence from the blogging and especially the Weekend Wrap-Up's I thought I would rewind to mid-April and catch you up on the events (or at least part of them) since then. Mid-April found me in the midst of planning a birthday celebration for my brother Jimmy's 30th birthday. I was creating and mailing invitations, making lists and scanning pictures for a slide show presentation. Every evening after work seemed to be consumed by some sort of task which often spilled over into the weekends (like the Sunday when Don and I spent 9 hours working on the slide show presentation) just to stay on top of it all. I had wanted to have all the major tasks completed by Wednesday, April 23 when my mother arrived for a long weekend visit and I did.

I had a great time with my Mom. We went shopping at the Seattle Premium Outlets in Tulalip and both got some great spring/summer essentials. We enjoyed an informative and fun tour of Chateau Ste. Michelle winery and an afternoon of beer drinking in the sun with Kat and Don at Red Hook. We talked and got caught up the the happenings of life. We laughed. Mom shared some really funny yet really embarrassing stories about me. Basically your normal family stuff.

Four days later on Thursday, May 1, Don and I set out on our grand adventure. We arrived in Salt Lake City that evening and had dinner with his Mom (Nancy) at Red Rock Brewing. The next two days were filled with party prep craziness but we found a few moments to have breakfast with my friend Jenna and time to deliver my friend Karri's wedding pictures.

The party was a ton of work but worth every bit of it. Jimmy is a fantastic brother and totally worth celebrating for any occasion, but being able to celebrate a milestone birthday with him was just awesome. Fifteen minutes before the guests arrived I plopped down on the couch next to Don, we were both exhausted, and was already beyond exhausted. I think I suffer from *past party amnesia* because I am never remember how much work throwing a party really is and therefore planning one seems like a GREAT idea. Maybe the amnesia is a necessary ailment for the official family "camp director," I don't know.

When the party was all cleaned up I couldn't feel my body from the waist down. I don't much remember the ride back to the hotel except for the fact that I could not find a comfortable position in the car. I don't remember going to sleep, I think I just passed out. Don had been dealing with a lingering and annoying head cold for a few days and we both needed sleep desperately.

The next morning we slept in a bit and then met Nancy for brunch a Squatters Pub in Salt Lake. Following brunch we began the second leg of our journey, a tradeshow in Reno.

I don't know what I was thinking when I decided that I could be Black family "camp director" and then company "tradeshow coordinator" back to back, but clearly I was NOT thinking. The show in Reno went as anticipated, no major glitches. The meetings we had scheduled went well but certainly not as planned since a major twist was thrown in on the way in the door. And all the while that I am coordinating and meeting and being the Queen of Everything downstairs, I'm worried sick about Don who's head cold has turned into a high-fever and intense sinus pressure/pain. He was in the room, in bed asleep the entire time we were in Reno.

When the show finished and we were packed up and ready to go we were quite a pair. Don had just returned to the land of the living that morning but was still only half-human with lingering sinus pressure/pain. And I was beyond exhausted from the back to back activity of the party/tradeshow. We had a leisurely lunch at Brew Brother's restaurant and then left Reno and headed northwest through Susanville, California and then around the south side of Mt. Shasta until we joined up with I-5 in Mt. Shasta, California. The scenery was EXTRAORDINARY beautiful. With each passing mile I found myself getting more and more relaxed among the snow, tall pine trees and majestic mountains.

We made it to Medford, Oregon that night and then home the following day. I never realize how much I love my home until I return from a trip tired and worn out and then I realize how my home is warm and nurturing and totally re-energizes me.

Don's account of the Utah/Reno trip can be read here.

The following weekend was very mellow. I spent a great deal of time a home except for lunch at Cheesecake Factory and a matinee performance of Made of Honor with Kat in Bellevue on Saturday.

I've already started a wrap-up post for last weekend which should be up soon so that brings you up to date on the past few weekends.

Work has been a bit busier that usual of late as I'm facing some new challenges and changes in the coming weeks but I will certainly do my best to try and stay up to date with my entries and not leave you all wondering if I'm alive and thriving.

Oh so annoying

A conversation with a colleague today revolved around Woody Woodpecker. I had forgotten how annoying Woody is, in case you have forgotten, here is a clip.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dinner Guests

A mallard and his mate stopped by our table at Red Mill Burgers this evening hoping for some people food but were disappointed.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy Hour Sunset

The perfect end to a perfect Seattle day.

Thursday, May 01, 2008