Thursday, January 29, 2015

Before Michigan

So I don't forget:

Things to pack in my car:

  • Box of toys for Kaylee
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Viola
  • Violin
  • Saddle
  • Potted plants?

To Do List:
  • Paint the laundry room
  • Empty the third bedroom
  • Paint the third bedroom
  • Install the trim in the 4th bedroom
  • Set up carpet install
  • Rip up carpet
  • Sell as much furniture as possible
  • Schedule the movers date
  • Get quote on trim install with carpet
  • Make a pvc saddle stand for shipping saddle in car/ship via USPS
  • Pick up saddle Feb 7
  • Pre write board and farrier checks once departure date is known'
  • Pick a realtor for the sale of the house

Monday, January 26, 2015

Lots of crazy!

A lot has been going on in the McKenna household.

  • I met with two real estate agents assigned to give us quotes for how they plan to market and sell our house. From their impression, it sounds like we'll definitely be making our minimum sale price if not more, which bodes well for purchasing again in Michigan!
  • I got sick again, which sucks, but I'm soldiering through. Eric was kind enough to share his germs with me.
  • I'm finally getting my new saddle! I'll be getting it in February, a week before we're likely to be moving. So not a lot of time to use it here in Washington, but at least I'll have it from a saddle fitter I trust and not have to start the process over again in Michigan. 
  • Today was beautiful and we got a ton of stuff done to the house. I cleaned up the garage and loaded my car up with trash to take to the dump/transfer station. Then Eric was able to cut trim pieces for the baseboards to finish up the family room. It looks so amazing! We even got the transition piece from the hardwood to the tile cut to size! 
  • My to-do list is getting smaller, which is making me breathe a bit easier. 
  • Kaylee got to play outside in the sun today. Temperatures topped out at low 60s F. That's unheard of for January!! I was in short sleeves all day and it was so pleasant, I even got some gardening done!
  • I picked up some cross stitch I hadn't touched since college. Now I'm looking for geeky cross stitch designs. 
  • I want to teach myself how to crochet. I found a pattern to make Toothless, from How to Train Your Dragon. It is adorable, but I need to crochet it. Maybe that will be my 'things I do in Michigan until Gwyn arrives'
  • I'm slowly accruing more contacts in the Michigan horse world. There's an endurance ride in April only about an hour away from where we'll be living, and I'm hoping to volunteer at the ride so I can meet more people. Eric has already okay'd me camping and him staying with Kaylee. That would ROCK.

Friday, January 16, 2015


Today I had an amazing opportunity to go visit a private parrot rescue and free flight sanctuary on Whidbey Island. The visit was incredible and I doubt I'll ever forget it. I'm so thankful that I was able to visit before we left the PNW.
This was my buddy the majority of the time!

It's such a crazy juxtaposition to be driving through classic PNW forest with dark green fir and ferns and moss hanging everywhere and suddenly come to this opening and see these giant, beautiful, brightly colored birds swooping through the sky.

Bird in a tree

Zak and Susan

Poor bird, he lost his toes (I think to frostbite? Zak correct me if I'm wrong)

This one bit me. I think he was just getting grumpy. I'll be okay, I'm already on antibiotics for the cold...

These giant blue macaws were far friendlier than their size leads you to believe! 

Aside from the free flight of some of the larger birds, Susan also has a greenhouse that's been converted into a giant free flight aviary with some larger cages for birds who need a time out (Toddler much?)  When you walk in, especially if you have sunflower seeds or peanuts, they swoop down, dive bomb you, and land on you. They have the choice to socialize with humans or not, and I think it made a difference in how I saw their behavior versus birds I've seen in more restricted captive situations. 

Baby!! Daintily taking a seed.

My buddy. Such a sweet bird who loved to cuddle!

Toddlers and Germ Theory

My husband and I have had a persistent cough since Christmas. We're not congested, nor were we running a fever, but the constant scratch in the back of our throats was enough to drive us both to the walk-in clinic for an evaluation. In both cases, we were handed prescriptions to ease the symptoms of our apparently nasty post nasal drip.

What this has meant is that Kaylee has been hearing about how we are all sick. Now, she's no stranger to the doctors office or being sick. Her uncle is a med student, her Grandmother and Grandfather are a PhD Nurse and surgeon respectively and they have eagerly taught her how to use a stethoscope and acquired a kids toy doctors kit. Plus, Daniel Tiger, the show that she watches near fanatically, has a few episodes where they go to the doctor.

So I wasn't surprised tonight when, at bedtime, she informed me that "Daddy has germs."

Me: "Yes, honey, but his body also has white blood cells, and they come out and fight the germs and kick them out of your body to make you feel better."

Her: "Kaylee has germs. I'm sick."

Me: "No, you're not sick right now. You are healthy!"

Kaylee: "The germs go away?"

Me: "Yup, getting lots of sleep, like Daddy is now, helps white blood cells get rid of germs. Eating broccoli and carrots helps them too, so does running around on the playground!"

Kaylee: "Where they go?"

Me: "In the trash and in the potty."

Kaylee: "They go?"

Me: "They disappear. Maybe they try to find someone else to get sick, but they usually just disappear."

She thought about that for a while, then this:

Kaylee: "Let's go wake Daddy up."

Me: "Nooooo silly goose! Daddy needs sleep, just like Momma needs sleep, to get better and not be sick. Goodnight kiddo."

And that was that. It was always my goal (Eric's too) that we would try and answer her questions, no matter what. We haven't reach the infamous "Why why why" stage yet, but she is inquisitive, and capable of asking follow up questions to information we provide. I cherish that I truly hope she never loses that spark of curiosity.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Seattle Aquarium

I wanted to head to the Seattle Aquarium one last time before we depart Washington in a month. Kaylee is pretty much at the start of perfect ages to really enjoy and appreciate what she's seeing. It was such a fun day. I carpooled down with my friend T and her two kids, O (who is 4 months younger than Kaylee) and her 3 month old B. We had a blast!

I have a degree in marine biology, so a trip to the Aquarium is always fun for me. This time I brought my new waterproof camera to get some underwater shots in their tide pools. You can touch the sea stars, anemones, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins!

With fronds like these, who needs anemones?

Sea cucumber

Close up of an anemone. Each little tentacle has many somethings called nematocysts. These are tiny coiled harpoons that are released on contact and contain a mild (to humans) paralytic. The anemone paralyzes fish and eats them! Human skin is too thick, so you just feel like the tentacles are a bit sticky.

Invasive, deadly yet beautiful Lionfish

Elliot Bay from the Aquarium.

I love this photo

Our friends T, O and B

Watching the sea stars

The giant clams are one of my favorites

Pretty corals

Clownfish with a very short field of focus. 

Kaylee at the cuttlefish tank, my MOST favorite! They're so cute!

Giant Pacific Octopus. Once upon a time I was a volunteer at this aquarium and was trained to feed this animal. SO MUCH FUN.

Kaylee and baby salmon

Staring up at the fish ladder above us. We are underwater!

Fish dome. The architecture allows for some really nice abstract photos

Northern Fur Seal

We ended the day with a walk through the market. I pick up two more leather bound handmade journals and a handmade stool that will be a nice piece to have forever.

The ferris wheel on Elliot Bay

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Home Progress

Even though we're going to be putting our house on the market shortly, in preparation for our move to Michigan, we're still trying to finish some of the home improvements that we started.

Everything in this photo I made with Eric's help. (Except the recorder)  We painted the walls, put in that flooring, stained the stair treads, and cut and paint the risers to fit. Plus that kid, we made that kid together too, and she's probably our crowning achievement of everything!

I love how everything turned out, especially the staining. It's just perfect.