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.

Too Much Time…

Too much time has passed since I’ve updated!  Below is a little recap of Seattle life and what’s new on the West Coast.

  • Youth in Focus is going wonderful!  I can’t believe it’s been almost three months since I’ve started here.  I love my work, my co-workers, the students…just about everything!
  • I am still writing a monthly column, The Senior Dog Files, for Seattle Dog Spot.  Here is my most recent post about choosing boarding or a dog walker for your senior pooch.
  • Alex has a new co-woker that moved to Seattle from Illinois too with his girlfriend and two dogs.  We’ve enjoyed getting to know them and swapping dog stories!
  • Summer is HERE and we are so excited to hit the hiking trials, taking long dog walks, picnics ad everything in between!  Lets hope it just keeps getting better!

Well, that’s just a short recap of life these days.  I will be back to regularly updating with new pictures and posts starting this week.  I need to get back in the writing-blog habit!