Monday, September 22, 2008

Anna Karenina

I finally finished Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. I thought that it was really well written and the characters were amazing. Tolstoy's attention to detail concerning the motives, thoughts, and emotions of everyone involved in the story fascinated me. The dynamic between Kitty and Levin during their marriage seemed so true to reality. Of course, Anna and Vronsky were the most captivating in the narrative. I did not like the ending as well. Everything after the train incident just seemed anti-climatic, but it did fit with the story, so I guess I cannot really improve on this classic. I thought that it was definitely worth reading if one is willing to put in the time.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Madison's Accident

Yesterday we were sitting down to lunch and Madison was jumping around in the chair next to me, when it keeled over backwards. She smacked her head pretty good on the floor. There was blood everywhere, but I thought it was just because she cut her lip. It started to swell immediately and I looked in her mouth and her front tooth had been shoved up into her gum until it was almost not visible. So I am sitting on the kitchen floor, Madison is screaming, there is a pool of blood, and I am looking through the phone book deciding where to go (we are still so new to the area that I had no clue where to start). Fortunately the Children's Hospital is right near our house. Once they got her into a room and turned on the Lion King she stopped screaming. We ended up going to a dentist who said that her tooth would eventually migrate down, but has no idea when. She is handling it pretty well. She can't really eat anything because the swelling is so bad. Hayes has been giving her lots of hugs. Poor kid!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The End of Summer

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote today that the end of summer in Seattle will probably be this weekend. So here is the wrap-up of our Summer. Bring on the rain!

1. The "Splash-Down Park" (as named by Madison) in Boise. We spent a couple of hot afternoons here.

2. Silver City, ID. We took a final trip before leaving Idaho to this ghost town. I loved it. Nothing has been restored, so they just left everything how it was when it was inhabited. I did not realize that we would be driving 20 miles on a dirt road through the Owyhee Mountains to get there (I think Joe got a little exasperated at the difficulty of getting there). No wonder it is a ghost town.

3. After our stint in Silver City we knocked all of that dust off at the YMCA swimming pool. Joe took Madison and Hayes down the slide about 50 times. This was during the Olympics and Madison told Joe that he could probably swim in the Olympics someday.

4. We took the kids to the Western Idaho Fair a couple of days before the big move. We looked at the animals, and went to a petting zoo which was really fun. Madison did a couple of rides and we enjoyed some nice greasy carnival food. It was over 100 degrees that day, so we could only stand so much!

5. One of our first weekends in Seattle we rode the bus out to Ballard to see the Locks with Grandma Kathy and Aunt Melissa. It was really cool to see the boats all dock in the lock, the water level drop, and then watch them sail out to sea. We also saw a fish ladder where the fish were coming through this time of year. A funny experience: We were standing right outside a five million dollar yacht waiting to head out into the lake and we could see right into the main cabin of the boat. Hayes was screaming and crying, so this nice woman asked from the boat if he wanted ice cream. He nodded. She came back and tossed us a box of fudgesicles. Hayes immediately stopped crying and started doing a victory dance. He is out of control.

Seattle Aquarium

One day we ventured downtown by bus to the Seattle Aquarium, thank heavens Aunt Melissa (Joe's sister) came with us or this trip would have pushed me over the edge. Melissa helped us figure out which buses to take and was indispensable in keeping track of the kids at the aquarium. Madison and Hayes loved the aquarium where we saw all kinds of fish, an octopus, sea otters, and sea lions. They had remodeled it since I had last been, and it really was fascinating. They actually enjoyed riding the bus almost as much as the aquarium so we will have to do that more often.

Northwest Trek

On Labor Day we went to the Northwest Trek near Yelm, Washington South of Seattle. It is a vast park where you can see animals indigenous to the Northwest in the natural habitats, with the exception of the predatory animals, that are kept separately for obvious reasons. We toured through the park and saw wolves, wolverines, beavers, and a grizzly bear (which was pretty exciting). We also took a tram ride and saw buffalo, dear, moose, mountain goats, and mountain sheep. The park was beautiful with some small lakes, and a variety of trees. The kids absolutely loved it, and Joe and I thought it was pretty cool too!

Where We Live

We live in a townhouse just above the U District in actual Seattle. We have a pseudo-backyard with blackberries lining the fence, and a path that leads to the Burke-Gilman trail right by our front door. The Burke-Gilman trail is full of bikers, runners, and walkers at all hours, and we have no idea how far it stretches so we will have to continue to explore. We live five minutes by foot from a higher-end market that I love to go to. We also live right by a park, which the kids love to go to. When you approach our front door you will be hit by the smell of Lavender due to the huge bush located next to our house.