Seattle Freeze / Little Free Library

Seattle cat

Neighborhood Cat

I recently moved to Seattle and I am getting to know the area. As with any move, there is a lot to do… locate a place to live, find a job and make friends.

This is overwhelming and there is a lot of “rejection” in each of those tasks.

At the same time, there is a lot of excitement in exploring a new area. Thank goodness for GPS.

Not long ago a friend asked me if I had experienced the “Seattle Freeze.” Being new, and not thinking quickly enough on my feet, I said, “I didn’t know it snowed here.”

My friend laughed and said, “It’s not about the weather, it’s about the culture. It’s been said that while Seattle folks are friendly, they don’t take it further than answering questions, no one will invite you for coffee, a walk, etc.”

I am happy to report that so far I have not felt the Seattle Freeze!

I was first welcomed by this cat that seemed to be prowling around the front door. He does look a bit like a lion. You can see he was investigating WHO the new tenant was and he didn’t look too pleased. Maybe he was missing the old tenant who left food for him, but I still tried to be friendly.

Oh, and I was recently asked out for drinks… OK, it was a fellow Midwesterner, but “HEY,” she’s been here for two years, so technically not a newcomer anymore.

Seattle Library BirdhouseWhen the rain starts, I can just walk down the street and find a book.

Look at this lovely bird house called the “Little Free Library.” The concept is that you take a book, return a book. Great idea!


Is there really a Seattle Freeze?

If it turns out there is, just look for me at the “Little Free Library.”

Africa – A Zebra and a Lucky Penny

zebra and penny2I read a book not long ago called, “There are No Accidents,” by Robert H. Hopcke.

The book was interesting, because we can all look back at our lives and remember situations where we met someone or were guided in a direction that felt like “it was meant to be.”

For years, I had been wondering if I would make it to Africa. It wasn’t my biggest desire to go there preferring to see Morocco, but still Africa lingered in my mind.

One day, I was out walking with my daughter in the neighborhood. We were sharing stories and suddenly in the middle of the side walk we saw this toy zebra.

We both stopped in surprise… How funny to see a zebra!?!

You see my father has been to Africa many times and we love the zebra, so I suddenly had that feeling of “you’re going to Africa, but I shook my head and thought — this is strange, no trip planned, why am I seeing this zebra?”

Another feeling came over us and that was a child who would be very sad when he/she got home and realized they had lost their zebra. We were on a busy street, no child in site. If we left the zebra someone else would take it, so we decided it was “meant to be” that it was passed on to us.

As we kept walking, suddenly there was a shiny penny in our path. Again, we BOTH looked at each other in surprise. I think you know, the penny is Lucky, because it says, “In God We Trust.”

I took a picture of the zebra and lucky penny and thought, “let’s see what happens.”

It must have been 18 months later when my Dad called and said, “Do you want to go to Namibia?”

What??  I had him repeat himself. I thought of my zebra and lucky penny and said, “YES, let’s go!”

I knew it had been pre-destined!

So, don’t pass up a “sign” no matter how odd it might seem… who knows where it will take you.

Wearing Vintage

Rainbow T-shirtYesterday was a day for unexpected compliments.

I happened to be walking through Target and this HAPPY t-shirt caught my attention. While it is not the style I normally wear, it did make me FEEL happy!

I went to investigate. The first thing I liked was the soft cotton. I find it hard to wear those t-shirts that feel like cardboard. The second thing I liked was the price, it was cheap and third, the color looked good on me. So, I decided to buy it.

Puget Sound Lighthouse

I admit as I was paying for it, I was having second thoughts. It reminded me of Berkeley, and I am not an earthy type of dresser preferring a preppy kind of look, but that little voice said, “you’re going to like it.”

I decided to go hiking at Discovery Park in Seattle. Of course, I put on my NEW Happy t-shirt for the occasion.

Do you know I received five compliments on the walking trail regarding my Happy t-shirt from various aged people. One younger lady even asked me if it was “vintage,” she liked the t-shirt / straw hat combo and wanted to buy it herself.

I smiled, while my mind went into entrepreneurial mode.

I immediately thought I could buy the t-shirts at Target for $12.99 and sell them for $49.95 claiming the vintage inspired look.

My dad always said “profit is not a dirty word!”

Puget Sound view of Mount Rainier

Lighthouse view of Mount Rainier

Moral of the story is to go out of our “comfort zone.”

Who knew I was capable of wearing vintage?

THIS t-shirt made people HAPPY.

So, it’s a keeper that’s for sure!

Globetrotter – German Sportswear, Outdoor Gear

imageI was recently in Munich walking down the sidewalk and kept seeing these fantastic store windows of outdoor displays. The colors of the clothing and equipment were so bright and vibrant, I thought, “What is this store!”

Store window

So, I went in. Wow – I felt like Charlie did from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” when he walks into the factory and he’s amazed by the “Oompa Loompas” and the factory process.

I had that same feeling of wonderment. This store was modern, bright and beautiful. Three levels to explore. imageThey had everything from outdoor clothing, to camping gear, biking, hiking boots, skiing, travel maps, canoes — what am I missing?  Oh, a tiny cafe too.


We have REI, Cabela’s, and Bass Pro Shops as our “go to outdoor stores,” but this was unique. When trying on shoes they had different terrains to test them out. They had a pool on the ground floor, so you could try out your kayak. I got a kick out of this alligator one, great way to get a child involved in kayaking.

You can try everything out. Before you buy the rain jacket, go into the rain chamber and see how it works OR test a jacket for warmth, go into the cold chamber, where it is minus 20 degrees. That’s great!

If you are an outdoor person, if you are traveling through Germany, I highly recommend adding this store to your list of “things to see.” I promise you, you will be like a kid in a candy store.

If you’ve been there – post your recommendation. Would love to hear what YOU thought.

OK — heading to Green Lake, canoeing races today!