Friday, June 28, 2013


I have just returned from Kotzebue, Alaska where I spend that last two weeks collecting geophysical data for an Archaeological survey.  We have been using ground penetrating radar to look for cultural features in a five acre near the Kotzebue airport.  The weather in Kotzebue was amazing and on top of that this way my first summer solstice spent north of the arctic circle!  What a great project to kick off start of summer.  I also got to see the change of the seasons over the last two weeks.  When I arrived there was still patches of snow and the ice was constantly flowing along the coast as it drained out from the lakes and rivers.  By the time I left it was very green and there was no ice to be seen.

Beach south of Kotzebue with offshore packs

Oogruk (Bearded Seal) drying near the beach 
Kids fishing for herring and sheefish along the Kotzebue waterfront

Ice flowing along the water the coast

freshly caught Sheefish

Thursday, June 27, 2013

More Ireland Photos

We are still busy organizing for the family gathering, sightseeing, and shopping, but here are a few more photos for the time-being:

Poulnabrone Dolmen - a 5000 year old tomb - at the Burren

My aunt Clare and aunt Lois at Poulnabrone

Clare and I at Poulnabrone 

The view from the place we are staying in Lissycasey

All the old family photos my mom had printed, organized by town, hung in the pub where we're having the gathering. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


I've been in Ireland for a few days now getting ready for our Melican family gathering (Melican is my mom's maiden name). We've been meeting all sorts of distant relatives that are here for the reunion - some from as far away as Australia.

Today I'm visiting the cliffs of Moher for the first time. Next up is the Burren. Here are just a few pictures from my iPhone. 


My parents at Craggaunowen tower


At O'Brian's tower at the Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Moved Out

Today I said goodbye to our house in Seattle. It was bittersweet of course and would have perhaps been more dramatic had I not been alone and had loads of other errands to run. This was the first house we owned and the longest we have lived in one place as adults. I will miss our quiet neighborhood and the convenience of living less than a mile away from three grocery stores, several restaurants, a post office and a library (not that I use the latter two more than a couple of times a year). Just as I was feeling sad thinking that I'll never spend time in Lake City again, I sat in traffic for 45 min trying to get to South Seattle where I'm staying with friends. At two o'clock in the afternoon. Why the afternoon traffic starts up at two pm here I will never understand. I do know I won't miss that part of living in Seattle.

I did have a chance to eat a few ripe(ish) raspberries today before I left the house.

The hardest part of leaving

Erik rode all the way to Fife with me to help me ship our stuff with Lynden Transport
The hardest part of moving is always leaving behind friends. Ryan couldn't come down here this week to help me move out because he unexpectedly had to go in the field. Our friends have been more than generous offering to help me. I am deeply grateful to everyone who helped me move heavy furniture, take things apart, make runs to Goodwill, load the U-Haul, ride with me all the way to Fife, host going away parties, let me sleep on their futon tonight, and take me out to dinner so I wouldn't have to eat bananas and peanut butter for dinner while sitting on my kitchen floor - you guys know who you are. And yesterday my parents, on their way to Ireland, spent their layover in Seattle helping me clean. You are all the best!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Ripe Raspberry

This morning I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of the raspberries I photographed yesterday was turning pink. Just a couple of hours later it was looking much more ripe. Now I have some hope that at least one raspberry will be ripe before I leave!

Sunday, June 16, 2013


It is shaping up to be a fantastic raspberry year here and sadly, I don't think they are going to ripen before I leave. I wasn't sure it was going to be a good year because I forgot to trim the bushes back until this spring when they started leafing out. But it doesn't seem to have mattered - they are all covered in fruit and falling over. Even the tiny patch on the other side of the yard that I transplanted a couple of years ago finally has some berries.

Raspberries might just be my favorite berry. I have certainly never met a berry I didn't like, but raspberries, fresh home-grown ones anyway, can't be beat. This patch in particular is hard to leave because it has taken so little maintenance and produces such a large amount of berries in a small area that I doubt I'll ever have such a good patch in Alaska (and definitely not at our condo!). But, we won't have to go far to find wild blueberries in Eagle River.

Believe me, I will be checking on this patch up until the day before we sell the house next week just to make sure there aren't a few ripe ones.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

An Old House Photo

Our house in September 1947
Today I found this cool old photo of our house from the year it was built - 1947 - on the King County tax assessor's website. There is nothing particularly surprising about the photo - the house looks just as I would have expected it (without the addition in the back that it has today) but it is still fun to see. The trees in the background are bigger today and the house next door is now a church yard. It is interesting to see that the garage was original to the house - we had always wondered if it was added later because it has a different roof line. You can also see the chimney that no longer exists; it once had an oil-burning furnace.

I've always enjoyed the two windows on the right side of the house that are along the corner; they give the living room wonderful late afternoon/evening light. I learned from an architectural historian that this style of placing two windows up next to a corner is very distinctive of 1940's and 50's houses. Ever since I found that out, I've noticed that this style is quite uncommon (especially because so many houses in Seattle were built before the 1930's).

This has been a great house for us on quiet street in a neighborhood we love and we are sad to see it go, especially on a warm sunny day like this. But, we are on to new adventures...and a condo with a view in Eagle River!

Our house in 2011

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Baby Pics

A while back I went to a baby shower for my dear friend, Brooke. Her sweet baby boy, after taking some extra time, arrived six weeks ago. Logan is a pretty content little guy but like all new babies, he keeps his parents on their toes all hours of the day and night. Like us, Brooke and Adam are in the middle of  packing for a big move to Alaska (Fairbanks for them). And while we'll be closer to them up in Alaska than if they were staying in Seattle, it will probably still be a few months before I see Logan (and Brooke and Adam) again.

I went over to their house for a few hours this weekend to hold Logan while they did some packing and to get my share of baby love before we all head on our way. Logan was adorable and very well-behaved (Brooke graciously saved me from having to change any diapers). I caught a few cute photos while I was there. This kid is a miniature of his dad with his mom's wild hair.