25 May 2010

All Moved In

There have been some big happenings since I've posted last -- we moved into our new house, and our old house is no longer ours.

Moving day was a small miracle -- made possible by our wonderful friends.  On the day, a good number of friends showed up at 9 a.m. to help us with the lifting, last minute packing, and moving.  I'm convinced that the only thing worse than moving yourself is moving someone else.  I will be eternally grateful for all the help and support we had from our friends on moving day.  It made all the difference!

One of the last boxes we packed and appropriately labeled.

The other thing that made all the difference were the homemade chocolate chip oatmeal cookies that Chelle and Dail brought to sustain us.  The two big bags of cookies were a serious hit with all the movers!  The other highlight in the day was lunch from our favorite local spot, Mr. Gyro -- falaffel sandwiches, baba, hummus, and spaghetti rice (you got to try it!).

After several moving truck loads from the house and our "storage unit" at my sister's place, we had all our stuff under one roof.  The final item we moved:  the giant table.  It took at least four burly guys and had to come through the house to get onto the deck.


And the help didn't stop there. Chelle, Janna, and Cathy managed to cover our kitchen drawers and shelves with contact paper and completely unpack the kitchen.  It's wonderful.  We can cook and function like normal people.


Darcy unpacked all my towels and linens. And the help just kept coming . . . last week Lisa totally unpacked and organized my bathroom.  Thanks to everyone else, we're finally settling in.

Oggy seems to be settling in too.  By day two, he had figured out how to use his litter box (I had been skeptical) and, by all indications, he is adapting to his new life quite well.

10 May 2010

Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote

There hasn't been much cooking going on around here, with all the fixing and selling and packing and painting and moving we've been doing.  But thanks to a couple fellow p-patchers who have given me rhubarb, I've found a way to make three batches of strawberry-rhubarb compote.

It's been the only homemade thing to cross our lips lately, which could be part of the reason we're both so crazy about it.


This stuff is easy, fast, and comes together in a sauce pan (which is lucky because it's the only pot I haven't packed).  And it's oh-so-versatile.  We've been eating it on ice cream (Snoqualmie Vanilla), in Ebelskivers, and on pound cake.  Probably would be great on waffles, too.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote

4 or 5 stalks fresh rhubarb, sliced
1/2-3/4 cup diced strawberries
a scant 1/4 cup white or cane sugar
1 Tb. water

Put everything in a sauce pan, stir it up, and let it macerate for about 10 minutes.  Bring it to a boil over medium heat and turn it down to simmer for a few minutes, covered -- until the strawberries break apart and the rhubarb has all separated into strands.  Remove from the heat and cool a bit before serving.

05 May 2010

Sold


It's official, our little yellow house is sold.  With inspection and appraisal behind us, all that was left was for our buyers to get their loan approved.  Looks like that is now complete and the buyers would like to move up the closing date so they can take possession a week earlier.  It's all come together so nicely I can hardly believe it.

We're now packing boxes every day, getting ready to move.  Luckily the new house is nearly ready for occupancy with the floors being refinished this week.  I admit that I'm finally getting eager to move, with one exception.  (You already know what I'm going to say...)  The garden. 

But, that said, I have been fortunate to have a friend who is helping me come up with a plan for my new front yard garden.  That project is taking lots of thought and creativity, and hopefully will provide a good distraction from the garden I am saying goodbye to.  As soon as we have a plan, I'll share. 

Oh, and before we say goodbye to this house, we'll get to meet the buyers.  They've asked us to give them a tour of the house and the yard with tips and information.  It will be fun to share what we know with them, and it feels like a nice way to pass the house along.

Sigh.

03 May 2010

Seattle Food Banks Need our Support

On Friday night we attended the West Seattle Food Bank's Instruments of Change dinner at the invitation of our friends and table hosts Dawn and Jeremy.   The event was well attended as evidenced by the $14,000 raised in the dessert dash.  We pitched in to help our table buy a great dessert -- the Phoenix Cake prepared by Bakery Nouveau.  Caramel mousse.  Toffee.  Chocolate.  Pear.  Need I say more?


You like how the dessert gets first billing in my post?  Well, there were also some other nice things about the evening.  Speaker Robert V. Taylor talked about how to live a life with more meaning.  And a social worker shared how the West Seattle Food Bank makes a valuable difference each week in the lives of adults with mental illness.  The food bank also had a "funds for food" appeal where donors got to shake their tambourines and be "instruments of change."


While I don't know how much the evening raised, I hope it was a lot.  This organization deserves strong support.  One of the most memorable statistics that the board president shared was the fact that two years ago, the food bank budgeted about $40,000 per year to purchase additional food.  This money allows the food bank to offer a well-rounded choices to its clients -- rounding out the donated food with more dairy or protein or staples, or whatever is needed each week.  This year, that budget number is approximately $150,000.  The increase reflects the large number of people who rely on the food bank.

Other facts that impressed me:  In 2009, 1,759 senior citizens sought assistance at the West Seattle food bank-- a 71 percent increase over the year before.  In addition, the food bank delivers 150 bags of groceries to homebound elderly and disabled members of the West Seattle community each week.
 
This year, thanks to friends who sit on the boards of the West Seattle food bank and the University District food bank, I have become more aware of the important work these organizations do to improve the lives of people in my community.  Without organizations like these, thousands of people in Seattle would go hungry. 

I'm proud to support organizations like these that help people who need assistance -- and that do so with compassion, and care.