House Hunting Story on Seattle Dog Spot

It’s that time of month again: my new blog post is up on Seattle Dog Spot.  This month, I wrote about house hunting with a  senior dog and the difficulties we had especially here in Seattle where a lot of homes sit high up on hills.  Nevertheless though, we found the perfect home and we’re so excited both dogs will now have a yard to run and play in!

New backyard!

New backyard!

We have a HOUSE!

It’s finally official: Alex closed on a house last week in Seattle’s Mt. Baker neighborhood and we move in at the end of the month!  It’s a charming 1912 house and we can’t wait to start renovations and make it our own.  With it’s two decks, lots of space and a yard, we couldn’t be happier or more excited!  It’s been in the making for over five weeks and my parents were able to see it this past weekend when they were visiting.  That meant so much to me and I’m so happy they got to see it.  It’s going to take some work to make it shine so be on the lookout for updates and before and after photos.  Alex will be starting his own blog about the process so I’ll share that when he gets it up and going.  Seattle is even moreso our home now and we can’t wait to get to work!

Sold!

Sold!

Blake is now a painting!

I can’t believe the amazing customer service chewy.com offers!  Not only did I receive a hand-written thank you card after my first order, but now they send me this awesome painting of Blake as a thank you for mentioning them on Seattle Dog Spot!  I have never had such a great experience with any other company before; they rock!  After my first seamless order with them, I knew they were the place to buy all my pet-related items and now I’m even more convinced.  Be sure to check them out!

Thanks chewy.com!

Thanks chewy.com!

All the Comforts at Home

For my July post at Seattle Dog Spot, I chose to write about the various things I’ve done for Blake at home to make his senior years for comfortable.  Hope my ideas inspire you to make changes for your aging dogs too!  It’s been a great first year here in Seattle with Blake and I’m happy that he’s been enjoying himself too.  I like to think it’s the little things that make his daily life better and surely a homemade orthopedic dog bed doesn’t hurt either!  I’d love to hear what you’ve done to add a little comfort to your senior dogs environments.

blake_sleeping-1

Blake’s big, comfy orthopedic bed I made him.

One year anniversary

Wow!  I can’t believe that it’s been a year today since Alex and I moved out here.  It has gone by so fast.  One this day last year, we pulled up in front of our apartment, met the neighbors upstairs and introduced them to the dogs.  Unpacked the car and ate Pagliaccis’ pizza for dinner, which we also had tonight as well to celebrate our anniversary!  It’s been a roller coaster of a ride, but an exciting one at that and we are so happy to be here in the Northwest.  Who knew that we would ever have moved out here, but we’re here and loving every minute of it.  Alex’s job at UW is going great and mine at Youth in Focus is too.  We are still house hunting to find the perfect place to settle in at and the dogs are better than ever.  We’ve made some good friends over the past year and are looking forward to many more.  Thanks, Seattle, for being the change we wanted and a great place to live!  Here’s my blog post from this day last year.  It’s been fun to re-read about our adventures.

Let the House Hunting Begin

When Alex and I first got the word we were moving to Seattle, we only had about two weeks to find a place to live.  We scoured Craigslist and finally found a place and took it site un-seen.  Lucky for us, it has worked out great for the past year, but we’re ready to move.  Into a house that is.

We already know we’re going to be here for a number of years and are anxious to find a single-family home and settle in and make it our own.  It hasn’t been easy though over the past couple of months.  The Seattle real-estate market is crazy with houses being snatched up in just two or three days.  When you find one you want, you have to jump on it because chances are, five other people will too.

We consider ourselves pretty easy house hunters though: we don’t have a laundry list of must-haves as our biggest considerations are just price and location.  We’re also looking for a fixer-upper, no new construction for us.  We want to put sweat equity into our house and be able to say, yeah, we re-fisnished those hardwood floors and painted the entire place ourselves.  But that’s just the start of it.  We want to be able to turn a 100-year-old house into a modern oasis in the city and bring it back to life.  That’s the fun of house buying for us.

We’ve been doing our research and even attended a home buying class recently.  We know all about pre-inspections, escalator clauses and the “love letter” you write to the home sellers.  We are in a multi-offer environment here so anything we can do to sweeten the deal, we do.  Just how crazy is it: one house we put a bid on had nine other offers and went for 115% OVER asking price.  Sometimes you just can’t compete with more money.

Nevertheless though, we aren’t getting our hopes up.  It’s not like we have to move by any certain time; we’re able to renew our lease in our apartment if need be.  But we are anxious and would much rather move into a house in the coming weeks, than live another six months in an apartment.  So we keep on trekking and know that the right house will come up at just the right time.

Nutrition and Supplements for Aging Dogs

Here it is, my new column post for this month on Seattle Dog Spot.  It’s been great writing for this super helpful dog website for the past three months.  Not only do I get to keep up with my writing, but I am also doing it on a topic I really enjoy: my dog, Blake!  Hope it’s helpful for some folks out there.

Blake and Leo eating dinner.

Summer in Seattle

Ah, finally summer is here in the Pacific Northwest and we couldn’t be more excited.  Chicago was great for outdoor activities that mainly revolved about street fairs and patios, but Seattle has so much more.  Below is a list of what we enjoyed last year and what we are hoping to explore this year:

  • Kayaking at Green Lake and beyond.  And beyond I mean getting enough courage to venture onto Lake Union or Washington maybe this year.
  • Stepping out at street fairs and festivals.  Did I mention the majority are free?  Unlike Chicago where you can expect to pay a “suggested donation” of at least $10 every time.
  • We can’t wait to go to Bumbershoot again in August; great way to spend his birthday weekend.

Photojournalists Laid Off at Sun-Times

Having gone to school for journalism and then getting my graduate degree in writing and publishing, I’ve been inclined to follow the lay-off debacle of the entire Chicago Sun-Times photo department.  I find it so discouraging to know that they are now hiring iPhone photographers to do the job of these great photojournalists, many of whom have worked at the Sun-Times for years.

During school, my professors told me that print would, at some point, go away.  That newspapers, magazines (like Time Out Chicago just informed me via email) and other publications would make their way solely on the web.  But photojournalists?!  Sure, smart phones are great and all, but you can’t possible capture the same photograph that an actual camera–and gear–can.

Working at Youth in Focus where the students are taught not only  black and white photography but digital as well, I find this shortfall of the Sun-Times even more upsetting.  The students I work with truly enjoy photography, most of them want to make a living at it.  I’m not sure what kind of message this latest lay-off round sends to young people like the students here in our classes.  True, you carve your own path, make your own future, but simply cutting an entire , essential department as this can send a shockwave felt throughout various groups of people.

In the midst of this sorry news, though, has come some great blogs and Tumblr accounts of prior Sun-Times photojournalists.  They are great to read and I wish all of those affected by this unfortunate turn of events the best.