The Real To-Do: Seattle, WA

Seattle Skyline 2008

I’ve been missing Seattle immensely as of late, especially my little apartment near Volunteer Park and having innumerable restaurants/bars/activities seemingly right out my door. In the three years I called Seattle “home,” I set out to devour all of the food, cocktails, hikes, and sights I could manage on a very (very) tight budget.

My friend Jessica is moving up there this week and our discussions leading up to her move made me yearn for the city I left nearly two years ago. So much has changed (new restaurants and bars, especially!), but much has stayed the same, too.

I arrived in Seattle with a clear vision of what this city and its surroundings would hold for my early-20’s existence. I grew up outside of San Francisco (arguably one of the best cities in the world), so my standards were high, and when you’re poor like I was, a lot can be said about a city that has places to go and things to do that don’t cost an arm and a leg. (Seattle has some of the best Happy Hour deals out there.)

In that respect, Seattle really can’t be beat…

Jonathan Proposed!

Scavenger Hunt Marriage Proposal 13

One month ago, Jonathan asked me to be his wife with a super creative, intensely personal, and completely surprising scavenger hunt.

If you’re interested in getting a play-by-play of the whole thing, come right this way…

Outing: The Huntington Library Desert Garden

Huntington Library Cactus Garden 01

For the first time since I left college almost five years ago, I’m living within 30 minutes to an hour (with Los Angeles traffic, it’s a crap shoot) from my sister and numerous friends. This gives me incentive to leave my one-square-mile of comfort, and explore, explore, explore.

There are endless things to do down here, and so much I don’t know about the area. I’ve resolved — along with Jonathan, Kim, and our friend Shannon — to see more of it.

The four of us started last Saturday with a trip to the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, and while there are umpteen reasons to spend the day there, the main reason I wanted to go was to see the Desert Garden

Christmas and Thankfulness

PaperFashion Katie Rodgers Merry Christmas 2012

Thinking of my friends and family, near and far today. I am happy happy happy today, and hoping that everyone is enjoying their Christmas mornings.

It’s still the early hours of Christmas, but we all know that the height of the season comes just before the presents are ripped open and the tree’s base becomes barren. Mugs are full of hot coffee, breakfast is cooking, and we’re slowly making our way towards opening gifts.

The best time of the holiday for me, always.

I’ve been pretty absent during this last quarter of 2012, but I had to let everyone know:

I love you. I wish we could celebrate today and enjoy the last days before the new year together.

Kiss your loved ones today. Cherish your gifts, and relish in the generosity of others.

Be thankful. I thank you.

(Image by Katie Rodgers, aka PaperFashion)

Outing: Long Beach Antique Market

Jonathan and I went to the Long Beach Antique Market this past month to see if we could find an item or two for the new apartment and I was in pretty things heaven.

We got up at 6:30 a.m. and headed out shortly after. This antique market happens once per month (3rd Sunday) and takes up 20 full acres of a parking lot adjacent to the Veteran’s Memorial Stadium. There is a fee to get in, though the cost is higher the earlier you arrive, since some of the incredible pieces likely get swooped up by serious buyers as soon as the gates open.

How beautiful are the handmade/vintage Persian rugs in the above photo? There were literally piles of them, and the prices were actually surprisingly reasonable. We almost walked away with this one but didn’t want to spend all our dough so early in the day.

In addition to loads of rugs, there was, well, everything else you could imagine. Here are some photos of some of the cool stuff we found, if you’d like to see…

It Always Happens This Way

ITHTW 1

Every year, the end of summer brings with it a uniquely familiar laziness; a heavy sleep and slow pace brought on by too many heat-stricken days. Our senses remember this annual dance as we unconsciously adapt—physically, mentally, emotionally—to the next phase. The year begins, always, with the weary exposition of a frigid winter, encouraging us to move with anxious feet through the refreshing rhythm of bright spring mornings and bursts of color in rebirth. We’re fully awake now, which means that the journey can really begin. The livelihood of summer is paved with unstructured activity and anticipated busyness, always pulling, never ceasing. Then, as promised, the heightened energies of summer build to their inevitable climax, sending us full of tired relief into the denouement of cooler, welcomed, autumn nights.

In Case of Fire

Burning House art installation Texas Clint Alexander Emily Sloan Alexander July 2006

Have you heard of the blog The Burning House created by photographer Foster Huntington? Over a year ago, I stumbled across a post on Apartment Therapy that asked:

“If your house was burning down, what would you save?”

This led me to Foster’s blog which showcases photographs submitted by people of the belongings they would hope (and try) to save in the event their home caught on fire.

Anatomy of a Morning

Morning Light on Bed - Valeria Heine

It’s stupid hot and humid here. Were it not for the cool whirring of the fan placed squarely in my direction from the foot of the bed, I would certainly have devolved into a goop-y, gelatinous blob during the night.

Ennis needs to be let out; he’s asking me politely, but I ignore him. Every so often I’m startled back awake with the help of a little wet-nose poke on my arm. It’s five o’clock and I want to be a good mom. But I’m not a good mom. I roll over one, two, three times more, and each time the fan hits me somewhere different on my body. It’s so nice. I forget about Ennis.

Six o’clock, I hear his whines again. Maybe I’m a better mom than I was an hour ago? Yep, turns out I am. I roll out of bed the way little kids barrel roll down a grassy hill. Somehow I find yesterday’s dress and something for my feet, then I walk outside. I don’t open my eyes once.

Back inside, Fry is crying for food, but his cries do not distract me from my mission: back to bed, back to the soothing breeze of my fan. Ennis is satisfied, for the moment, and curls up between my feet. Fry joins us, pressing his furry orange face against mine and curling up to share my pillow with me. I kiss his little nose and then remember the giant cockroach he picked up and carried around in his mouth last night. It’s the first time I’ve seen a cockroach anywhere I’ve ever lived. I am disgusted that it won’t be the last. (Humidity and heat, and we just can’t do anything about our dog bowl full of fresh water. Lovely.)

Fry grabs my arm with his paws and licks my hand. I remember how he spent the entire evening prowling, saddened and confused as to why we took his new friend/meal away from him.

I hate him for eating bugs. I love him for hunting them down and killing them.

I forgive him. He’s so cute. We cuddle.

7 o’clock. It’s time for work, but I’m haggard and drowsy. Fry has moved to his dreary-eyed daddy now; Ennis is gone. I pull my computer out from under my night stand and get started, eyes barely open. I hurriedly finish two projects, sending out emails one, two, three, ticking them off my mental check-list, and then place my head back on my pillow.

I’m suddenly mad at Jon for not having prepped coffee the night before. I’m terrible at making it, and he knows it. I roll over again, accepting that without a pot of coffee waiting, there’s no reason to get up.

I sleep. I am fanned by a cool manufactured breeze. I need much, much more time.

9 o’clock. I am forcing myself awake.

It’s Jonathan’s first day of school. I kiss him good morning. I ask if he’d like me to take a picture of him with his fancy, graduate school book bag. He says maybe later.

I tell him to make me coffee, since he knows I’m awful at it. Turns out, he did prep it the night before. I count my blessings, congratulate him on being a jerk, and begin my day.

I think it’s going to be a beautiful day.

(Image: Morning Light on Bed by photographer Valeria Heine)

Peekay

Peekay Australian Shepherd 02

I want to avoid this sounding or looking like a eulogy of some kind, so I’ll start by saying this: Peekay, our Australian Shepherd, is not dead or gone or anything close to that sort of thing. He is alive and wonderfully cute, healthy, and sheddy.

That being said, with Jonathan, Ennis, Fry, and myself moving down to Orange last week, we were noticeably short one member of our family in the form of Peekay da Dog…