Monday, May 23, 2005

Weekly Update - Finally..... The House Beautiful Photo Shoot!

Hello all!

It's been a busy week starting with my first trade show last weekend which went very well. It was small state show and a little on the slow side, but it was a great chance to get my feet wet. I was grateful to get some practice before I am thrown into one of the national shows.

Work was very busy last week. We were prepping for another trade show in Cleveland. All of my co-workers for the city that ROCKS (whenever anyone mentions Cleveland, I remind them that Cleveland ROCKS!, they are not so convinced and growing less and less amused by my reminders) and they will be back in the office on Wednesday morning. So, that leaves me to hold down the fort in the meantime. This would have scared me to death a month ago, but I am fine with the idea now.

I have been promising you all pictures of my apartment for weeks and weeks and now.... I have them. Don took this pictures with his digital camera and built this webpage, it's almost like a real "House Beautiful" photo spread. You can view them all at once or in a slide show, it is very cool. Check it out at... (link removed because it's too old, if you want to see pics, email me).

Shortly after I moved into my apartment, I purchased and hung a bird feeder on my patio. I was quite annoyed and upset when it went untouched for a month. Finally one afternoon in mid-April I noticed some debris below the bird feeder and thought that it was finally being used, but it took another 2 weeks before I saw a bird. Since the beginning of May, I see them often and am really enjoying them. When discussing birds and bird feeders at work, several of my co-workers warned me about squirrels and told me of their battles to keep squirrels out of their bird feeders. I dismissed this because my bird feeder is hung on the roof of my 3rd story deck, and no squirrel is going to get to it. Well I was wrong. I was sitting on the patio Friday night and in the corner of my eye caught the glimpse of a squirrel eating the bird feeders remnants from the floor of the deck. I watched him for quite sometime and he didn't seem to be bothered by my presence at all. I was planning on planting some patio tomatoes this weekend, but decided against to hold off until I can figure out how to keep the squirrels out.

The frustrating thing about this squirrel situation is the attraction that these animals have for me. Two
years ago when living along the edge of Cottonwood Creek, my storage area was taken over by rats who ate many of my holiday decorations. Last year at the community garden at Church, I lost 17 plants to the gophers. And now, it's squirrels. Why do these rodents love me so much! AARRHHG!

In addition to potting some patio plants, I had quite a few things other things planned for this past weekend, but got very little done because I spent the majority of the weekend fighting off a bit of the flu. I am feeling better today, but still not completely 100%!

I am a little bit delayed in celebrating one of my friends, but since she is out of the country right now, maybe she didn't even notice! :) My dear friend Elisa Owen graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary on Saturday, May 14th with her Master of Divinity! I met Elisa in the fall of 2001 at my very first event with National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. It was one of those immediate *spark* friendships and we were very tight very soon! Elisa saw me through my darkest days when I was going through cancer treatment and never let me lose sight of hope. Athough we are many miles apart now and we are don't talk as often as we should, I think the
world of her and know that she is going to be GREAT at whatever adventure is around the next bend for her!

I hope you all have a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend! My friends Karri and Dale (from SLC) will be visiting Seattle for the weekend and I am sure the weekend will be filled with non-stop adventure!

Friday, May 13, 2005

Weekly Update - A week of work craziness!

Hi all!

I decided to send my update out early this week since Sunday and Monday are super busy days for me!

I am sitting at the office and it's nearly 6:00 p.m., and it's a FRIDAY! Usually if I were crazy enough to be here at this hour, my car would be the only one in the parking lot, but not today.... today there are 7 cars and 1 motorcycle in the parking lot. It is a very busy, exciting and crazy time to be working for this company. We are shipping 7 systems on Tuesday, which is a new company record! In the past, the most systems ever shipped in one day is four. So all aspects of the business are a buzzing.... production, engineering, marketing, we are all crazy!

On top of that craziness, we have two trade shows next week. The first starts on Sunday afternoon and is ALL MINE! It's my first trade show with this company and I am pretty excited. I have checked and double checked my lists and I think that I am finally ready to go! I will let you know how it goes next week.

And on top of all of that.... I had my first big sale TODAY! I sold a system, but I don't get credit for it, as it is one of my co-workers accounts.

So I am going to head out of here, at least until Sunday, and attempt to cram a whole weekend into the next 36 hours! I hope that you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Weekly Update - Holding on to spring.... as an official Washingtonian

Hello all!

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend, and for those of you who are mothers, I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Spring is in full swing in Seattle, but I fear that it will be over before I know it. I love the sights and smells of spring, the trees and shrubs in bloom, the rain, the birds, all of it! I could really get used to spring, but it seems that as soon as you get used to things the way they are, they change. I was surprised to see something new on my commute Friday morning, two gigantic cruise ships in Elliott Bay. Friday marked the official beginning of the "cruise season." In the next several months over 700,000 people will travel in and out of Seattle on cruises. I have never seen a cruise ship close up and I know that I will really enjoy watching them come and go as I drive past the bay on my way to work every day.

Friday night I enjoyed one of my favorite things in the world.... FIREWORKS (over water)! The Windermere Cup Sky Light Celebration took place at 9:30 p.m. on Friday evening. The Windermere Cup is an annual rowing regatta that is followed by a boat parade that marks the "official" launch of boating season and subsequently summer in Seattle (see I am still enjoying spring, and it's time for summer already!). So picture this... It's 9:30 p.m. on Friday night. I have found the perfect, hidden-away spot to watch the fireworks, my radio is tuned to the station playing the music for the show and I am very excited! The fireworks begin and all of the music is "Summer" themed. "In the summertime, when the weather is hot..." etc, I am standing in jeans and a sweatshirt, watching the show thinking, "Summertime, my ass!" I really enjoyed the fireworks and I have been told by numerous locals that we have 2 weeks of summer every year. So I guess we have to start pretending that it is summertime now, so that when those two glorious weeks arrive, we are ready to go!

After two months of living here I can now officially say that I am a Washingtonian! On Saturday morning I went to the Department of Licensing completed the last two tasks to becoming an "official Washingtonian" by getting my WA Driver's License and registering to vote. I have to say that it was the most positive experience that I have ever had at the DMV or similar agency. Everyone was friendly and helpful and the entire process took just a little over a half an hour. Several co-workers had warned me that the test was "really hard" and the state took great pleasure in failing people the first time. So I ran out an got the book last week and then didn't spent a whole lot of time reading it, so when "test time" came around I was a bit nervous, but in the end I only missed one question. All that worry for nothing...

The weather was great this weekend and I was quite the weekend warrior. I circled Green Lake numerous times on Saturday and Sunday! Green Lake is becoming one of my favorite places in Seattle. I have walked around it's 2.8 mile loop too many times to count and yet I never seem to get tired of it. It is always changing and there is always something new to see. This weekend the park was alive with activity. People transporting themselves and many various types of transportation from bikes to boats, people of every size, shape and color, and boy some of them are really colorful"! You can check out the lake and park at the following link:

I always use this platform to report on the events of my life and as a result you often hear about the people that are in my life. Many of you have met one another through me or have come to know one another by reading these emails. So, I have decided that occasionally I will include notes of celebration about the lives of the people I love and the great accomplishments of their lives. Today I am celebrating my friend, Jenna Seeley.

A little background... I met Jenna under a tree on the campus of Skyline High School during gym class when one of us (think it was me) didn't have a watch and we were required check our heart rate! Jenna has been in my life now for 17 years, so I have known more of my life with her than without. Jenna is one of those friends who is always there for you, especially when you are moving. You don't even have to ask, she is just there! And I am not exactly sure why, but it seems that whenever Jenna moves I am unable to assist. Unfortunately this will be the case again this weekend as Jenna moves into her recently purchased town home in Salt Lake City. I am really excited for her and wish that I could be there to help her. We have joked for years about "growing up and buying a house" and Jenna did it! Congrats girl!

Hope this email finds you all happy, healthy and enjoying spring in your corner of the world!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Weekly Update - If it looks like a DUCK and quacks like a DUCK, it must be....a TOURIST!

Hello All!

It's been another incredibly busy and fun week! WOW! I had only two days to catch up a bit between Jimmy's departure and Mom's arrival. It was just enough time to do some laundry, change the sheets and clean the house and take a deep breath.

Mom arrived on Thursday afternoon, Dave and Kristen met her at the airport and they all came to my office. I showed them around the office and they got the brief training on the equipment that I sell and a tour of our manufacturing area. We then went to dinner at Red Robin.

Mom met me at the office on Friday at noon and we went to lunch with some co-workers and then spent the afternoon shopping at the SUPER MALL. They have a lot of stores available in Seattle that are not in SLC, so it proved to be full of options for us! We then headed back to my place where we met Don and went to Rock Bottom Brewery for dinner.

On Saturday, Mom and I had breakfast at the Queen Anne Cafe and then we were then joined by Dave & Kristen. One advantage to having visitors is that you can do those cheesy tourist things that locals never do, but really want to do. When you have someone visiting you can blame them for your participation in such activities. So, we took full-advantage of this opportunity and did one of the tourist activities that locals never do, we rode the duck, which is an amphibious World War II vehicle that tours the downtown area and then splashes into Lake Union. The Duck is known around town for loud music, crazy tourists waving and "quacking" and those on the street. In celebration of this reputation, we took full-advantage of that and quacked, waved and sang the entire way through the tour. It was great! Following the tour we spent some time enjoying the people, sights and sounds of the Seattle Center (home of the Space Needle) and then visited the Pacific Science Center and watched an IMAX movie titled, Forces of Nature. We then had dinner at Ivar's Salmon House and ate on the deck on the banks of Lake Union. It was great!

On Sunday, Mom and I had a lazy morning at home and then headed to the airport for her afternoon flight.

For those of your a bit more curious about the places we visited, you can check out the following links.

Auburn Super Mall -
Rock Bottom Brewery -
Ride the Duck -
Seattle Center -
Pacific Science Center -
Ivar's Salmon House -

Spring is in full swing in Seattle. The rhododendrons, azaleas and many more flowers and plants that I can't name are blooming. It's amazing to watch the trees fill in with new growth and the entire landscape change. I hope spring is appearing where ever you are and this message finds you enjoying it.