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You can Save the Day!

Cert_003 CERT Class #10 just graduated (left) and there's a new one starting up soon.   My mom got certified, so if she can do it, you definitely can!  CERT= Community Emergency Response Team which is a national program that helps prepare you to help yourself, your neighbors and your community in the event of a disaster. 

That's right sister, we've got to get ready for the big one.  That wind storm last year was just a little taste of what it could be like if things went sideways here.   You will learn how to do search/rescue, prepare your home/work with emergency supplies, understand fire behavior and apply basic medical and psychological techniques.  There's a test at the end where there are similated scenarios, so be prepared to do some heavy lifting.  Our own fire dept instructs the weekly classes for the low low price of- FREE! (for citizens who live, work or attend school in Kirkland).

Cert_004 The next session starts on April 9th and runs for 8 Wednesdays 6-9pm.  There's an application here or you can also contact the coordinator, Robin Pastor, if you have questions: 425-587-3659 or rpaster@ci.kirkland.wa.usThere she is, photo left, with our Fire Chief Jeff Blake. You should encourage your neighbors to go too.   When I checked how many CERT's there were in our neighborhood of over 800 homes, there are only 2.  Good news is that I know where they live, bad news is there would be quite a line at their door.  The net of the story is we need to get more people CERT-ified.  So go ahead and take advantage of this program so you can help save the day when it comes.  ~j

My Secret Sunshine

When Steve and I moved here from Atlanta, it was the winter of 1998.  Do you remember it?  The one where we seemingly broke a record because it rained ninety days in a row.  This was not the warmest of welcomes for us, so we vowed to head back to sunnier skies the minute Steve's 4 year contract was up.  That was ten years ago and clearly the Northwest has grown on us since then.

Images8 Here's where we get to my secret.  After enduring all the long winters of rain and gray skies, I have discovered the warmth, light and solitude of a tanning bed.  Gasp! Boo! Say it isn't so- I know!  I'm prepared for a few comments that will rip me a new one but I figured it's time to fess up.  Some people take anti-depressants or zip off to Hawaii for the 5 month rainy spell.  Tanning has become my coping mechanism.  It's NOT about being tan (they have lotions for that), but I have to admit that it's a helpful by-product that keeps me from looking like a slice of havarti.  It IS about  20 minutes of bright light and pure warmth that heats me to my bones.   It's a quiet toasty hum that sends me to a sleepy state of suspended consciousness.  At first my head races with my to-do list, then my solemn mind realizes my children couldn't possibly find me here and there's a relaxed surrender.  POP!  Darkness.  Twenty minutes flies by way too fast but I feel the same type of euphoria that I do on a sunny day in my car with the music on and sunroof open.

I know it's bad for my skin (I'm not getting any younger) and probably all of my organs that I am slow roasting every 2 weeks.  But I seem to rationalize this behavior by saying that it's still far less UV than I'd be getting if we lived in California.  I'm also notably surprised to see the people coming in and out of the tanning salon.  It's not all orange-skinned teenagers with bleachy white teeth as you might suspect.  It's quite a diverse crowd, actually, many of which are do not appear tan at all and are secretly reading this post nodding their heads but are outwardly denying their addiction.  I know who you are ;-).

Saab937699751 If summer would just hurry up and get here I could go cold turkey and live off the REAL sun.  Seems we'll do anything to encourage summer's arrival in Kirkland.  I was at my hair appt yesterday- it's 40 degrees outside- and the salon owner was prancing around in a sleeveless dress and sandals on her beautifully french pedicured feet.  Come to think of it- I was dying my hair blond.  And I've seen a few convertible tops down too.  Maybe if we all join together and just pretend summer is here.......it will be???  ~j

2008: Seven Hills of Kirkland

Images21 It's here again!  So get yourself geared up for KITH's Seven Hills of Kirkland on Monday May 26th-Memorial Day.  You begin riding from 7-9am at Kirkland's Marina Park and can pick one of three routes dependent on your skills, or in my case, lack thereof.  There's "40 miles" which is 7 hills, "Metric Century" is 11 Hills and "Century" is 13 Hills.  My legs burn just thinking about it.  That's a lot of hills and it's for a good cause- you can check out more about KITH here.  Your registration fee ranges from $30-$60 based on which route you choose and how quickly you register.  They are projecting 1200 participants and you can register online or there are flyers at businesses all around town. ~j 

St. Patrick's Day Sunday Brunch (and benefit)

Wrlogo Come support the Kirkland Downtown Association (KDA) while celebrating St. Patrick's Day brunch at the Wilde Rover this Sunday (March 16th).   The event is being held from 10am to 2pm and tickets are only $20 per person.    $15 of every ticket benefits the KDA and includes your choice from five menu combos--including traditional Irish breakfast as one of the choices!  Coffee and tea included.  Sorry, but you will have to pay for the Guinness separately.   

It should be fun.  The tables will be  pushed together and you are guaranteed to meet some new people as you enjoy games, raffles, music, and great food.  Oh, and don't forget the Guinness.   Beerg

You  can get your tickets in advance at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/29548 or you can bring cash the day of the event.  Don't forget, it's the KDA that does all the flower pots, the Weds Market, Classic Car Show and holiday decorations downtown, so let's get out there and support them! Steve 

MuShoe 'Shoes' Up on Park Lane

Mushoe_001 You can never have too many shoes.  My husband doesn't seem to understand why on earth you could need 12 pairs of black shoes, and I just nod my head in disbelief that I have to explain the reasoning again.  You ladies know what I'm talking about-each pair has its own distinct role in our lives.  We need some edgy ones for going out and some flats to go with our footless tights and boots to sass up our jeans and........you get my drift.  Have I mentioned I love shoes?

Mushoe_006There are some fun finds at MuShoe which just opened on Park Lane last week, in addition to their Edmonds location.  It's got a small boutique feel with zest- bold red walls, bamboo floors and some swanky furniture.  There are lots of top name brands like Donald Pliner, Paul Green, LaCoste, and check out these fun Sinela turquoise patent wedge sandals for spring ($204, photo right).   There are definitely some cool European finds here too.  Prices range from $40-$300 a pair, but  most seem to be around between around $125.

Mushoe_007_2 Don't forget there are also some great handbags and accessories.  To the left there's a Maxx lime green patent bag ($145) with a Sandra McManus turquoise rope necklace ($245).  And guys, in case you haven't lost interest already and gone back to scratching your belly, this store is only for the ladies.  Unless, of course, you're buying ;-)    


What the ....??

Islandmarketdaytime Yes, it's open and it really is a little market on Central Way called The Island Market.  I can't imagine many people park just to stop there, so I made a point to.  It's basically 7-11's teeny kid brother that is glad to supply a soda or candy bar or some Oodles of Noodles.  No slurpees though- darn! There were also some Hawaiian food items-most of which I hadn't seen or heard of- something that looked like frozen peeled potatoes in a bag, for example. The lady working there is the owner who is from Hawaii and tried to tell me what it was but I simply had never heard of it.  She has another store in Seattle where she said things are 'very different'  from Kirkland (she is a resident here).  She was so darn sweet I didn't have the heart to question her business plan.  I felt so guilty I even bought a pack of batteries.  If you're thirsty and walking down Central, please go buy 14 diet cokes from her.  Or a few cases of beer, whose ads are proudly displayed in every window, on your way home from 'Time Out'.  If we each do this, it might cover her rent.  ~Janis

uBRDO: Check out the new uber cool bike shop

Ubrdo_001 Scott Richardson recently opened uBRDO Cycle and Mountain Supply (pronounced ooo-bird-oh, and is Croatian for 'in the hills/mtns') at 122 Central Way in downtown Kirkland. I couldn't help but notice a bike hanging in the window as I daydreamed at the red light at the intersection of Central/Lake St, so I decided to check it out. 

The vision is to be a 'lifestyle shop.' I quickly informed Scott I don't really bike and have no idea what Ubrdo_006 that means, so stick with me while I explain (or skip this part if you've already got the smarts).   Scott (left) was previously a manager at another local bike shop, so it's obvious he's pretty dialed in to what the cycling community is up to.  His store isn't there to simply sell you a bike, many of his customers are the types that will go for a trail run in the morning and then a bike ride in the afternoon, so he's gearing his products and atmosphere towards this athletic cross-over outdoorsy crowd (which there must be plenty of-it sounds like a familiar poster child for the Seattle area).  So, you might buy a Gregory backpack or Lole active/casual clothes or maybe a bottle holder for your bike and some Hammer energy gel packs to get you through the weekend. 

Ubrdo_004 Right now he has three brands of bikes: Intense, Gunnar and Swobo which range in price from $450-$5K.  More inventory is on its way every day and he is personally selecting his products for quality, design and utility.  If you've got the time, you can even kick back and watch some extreme cycling maneuvers on the lime green couch while snacking on some Red Vines.  This was my son's favorite part (photo right) aside from that little ticky noise the bicycle wheels make.

Scott has a real interest in learning about his customers and creating community too- keep an eye out for a future espresso table in the shop, a breakfast event to watch the Tour de France, and staying open til midnight on Fridays and Saturdays this summer!  Oh, and it's also a full service shop- if you can hustle your bike on in for a tune up by 3/7 it's only $40 (it's usually $85).  Happy Trails! ~j