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Hearts and Shamrocks

First I want to say thank you for all of the comments and emails I have received on my recent PSE post.  I am now able to sleep at night knowing I am not the only person getting these nasty report cards from the power company.  The PSE marketing dept must have some anger mgmt issues.  Apparently they compare you to 100 neighbors with proximity and a home size  similar to yours.  Yet nobody has stepped forward as getting a positive report.  If you are up for it, I heard that PSE provides a free service of coming to your home and checking where you may be able to be more efficient in your energy usage (call the number on your bill).  Might want to wait til they are done getting everyone's power restored from the storms and wind first.  They have some tips on their site too.

Need a last minute Valentine's Idea? I get hungry just thinking about this one.

Northwest Face Spa at the Woodmark 

Be My Chocolate Valentine Couple’s Chocolate Treatment

A one-of-a-kind chocolate lover’s experience. Cocoa inducts the production of endorphins in the body and stimulates the senses, releases tension and produces wellbeing. The treatment includes: chocolate mask, side-by-side hydrating body wraps, relaxing massages using organic chocolate, signature chocolate martinis and executive chocolate pedicure. Package price is $330 per couple. To schedule your appointment, please call 425-803-9000.

Super Cute Valentine Card Idea...xoxoxoxo....

A mini photo shoot at Classic Kids Photography and 25 cards for $135.  Hurry- ends Jan 27th! Call: 425-739-9761


Kirkland's First Shamrock 5K Race and Family Fun Run on Saturday 3/17
.  Sign up by Feb 1st to get a shirt! Costumes are encouraged so don't be shy for this fun run around scenic downtown Kirkland.  Post race festivities at the Wilde Rover.  Fee is $35.  Volunteers are still needed so if you'd like to register or just sign up to help, click here.

Why is PSE always picking on me?

It can't just be me.  So I'm throwing this out there at the risk of being a bad example because I am curious if EVERYONE gets that same letter from Puget Sound Energy declaring that they are terrible awful energy wasters.  Every quarter I dread opening the "home energy report" that tells me that I use 49% more energy than my neighbors, which is then illustrated in colored bar graphs and breakdowns by electricity and natural gas.  I also apparently used 74% more energy than my neighbors in the past 12 months- ack- shoot me now. Is this true?

Do they have to start name-calling?? PSE tells me here's what the "energy efficient" neighbors use, "all neighbors" use and then "YOU." It really is bold and capitalized like that so you feel like someone is pointing a finger at your nose.  REALLY?!  Although we are a family of 5 which means lots of laundry and dishes, we are also energy conscious (turning lights out, only running full loads, etc) and our recently remodeled and relatively small home has newer/energy efficient components.  We're good people- we recycle and do our best to lessen our environmental footprint.  But I think PSE keeps us on their whipping board.  Does anyone out there get a letter saying, "you are doing a fantastic job conserving energy! Way to go!" ?? I need to know. Maybe my kids are secretly sucking up energy when I'm not looking (we know they steal mine).

Staying Safe under all this Snow..

This storm is going to kill me one way or another. If I don't freeze to death and I don't inhale carbon monoxide from a grill or generator and I don't get washed away by the impending flooding, I will surly go INSANE having my entire family in this house for 4 days straight. How do home schoolers do it?!? I am sending up some rescue flares hoping a passing flight to Hawaii might see my signal and scoop me up.

Enough banter. This is serous. Good news is the temp should go up tomorrow (43ish) and this all turns to rain. Here's the forecast. Bummer is there is an area flood watch in effect through Saturday. Some homes have lost power- many due to downed trees and power lines from all the heavy snow. Currently, there are 98 homes in Kirkland without power.

And there are important messages that important people and agencies want you to know that are important to your safety...please read...very important..

City of Kirkland:

KIRKLAND, Wash. – Snowy and icy road conditions continue throughout the City of Kirkland. City crews have removed fallen trees on several roads. According to the National Weather Service, western Washington will continue to see a “mixed bag of wintry weather tonight with freezing rain.” Weathers conditions are expected to turn to rain by Friday, January 20, 2012; with temperatures remaining above freezing. For current weather conditions visit the National Weather Service website at www.weather.gov/seattle.

Road and Sidewalk Maintenance; Road Closures
City maintenance crews are responding to a downed tree on Juanita Drive at approximately NE 137th Place.

The following roads remain closed
• NE 116th Street from 98th Avenue NE to 104th Avenue NE.
• NE 52nd Street between Lake Washington Boulevard and 108th Avenue.
• NE 97th Street between 112th Avenue NE and 110th Avenue NE.
• 5th Avenue South between Lake Street South and State Street South.
• 5th Place between 15th Avenue and 18th Avenue.
• NE 104th Street between 113th Court NE and 111th Avenue NE.
• Several steep slope roads are currently closed; including the side streets off Market Street from 10th Avenue north to 19th Avenue.
• 13800 block of Holmes Point Drive is closed due to a fallen tree in the roadway.

Structural Damage Reports
Residents or businesses that experience structural damage on their property, should call the Kirkland Building Department during business hours at 425-587-3600 and ask to speak to a plans examiner to arrange for an inspection. Staff will work to perform inspections and issue emergency permits for repairs as quickly as possible.

Citizens’ Help Needed
• Residents are asked to call 9-1-1 for life emergencies only. Calling 911 for information delays emergency calls from being answered and can delay help. These delays for emergency calls can have devastating effects on those most in need.
• Residents and businesses are encouraged to be prepared for flooding and can find preparedness information at www.takewinterbystorm.org
• Be aware of the potential of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous and odorless gas that cannot be seen or smelled and that can kill a person in minutes. Carbon monoxide is produced whenever any fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal is burned. During power outages, carbon monoxide poisonings can happen when people bring charcoal grills and barbecue units into the home for heat and cooking. Carbon monoxide poisoning can also occur when generators or propane heaters are used indoors or in areas without sufficient ventilation. For prevention information, go to the State Department of Health website at www.doh.wa.gov and select “Winter Weather.”
• To report fallen trees in the roadway, call the Public Works Maintenance Line at 425-587-3900 (24 hours).
• To report a fallen power line or power outage, call Puget Sound Energy at 1-888-225-5773.
• Property owners adjacent to sidewalks are responsible for keeping them clear of snow and debris.
• Property owners are asked to keep storm drains clear of snow and debris to allow for water to properly drain, reducing flooding.
• Residents should prepare for possible local flooding as warming temperatures cause the snow to melt.

Future Storm Updates
The City of Kirkland will issue storm updates as new impacts to services, programs, and meetings are known. To receive storm updates via email, subscribe to the “News Room” list serv at www.kirklandwa.gov/ebulletins or follow @Kirklandgov on Twitter

King County Public Health:

Carbon monoxide warnings

Carbon monoxide poisoning can kill you. Carbon monoxide gas comes from burning fuels such as gasoline, propane, oil, kerosene, natural gas, coal or wood. You can’t see or smell it.

Prevent poisoning from carbon monoxide:

  • Only use a generator outdoors and far from open windows and vents
  • Never use a generator or portable propane heater indoors, in garages or carports
  • Never cook or heat inside on a charcoal or gas grill.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen suddenly and without warning. Physical symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include splitting headache, nausea and vomiting, and lethargy and fatigue.

If you believe you could be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, get fresh air immediately. Call for medical help from a neighbor's home. The Fire Department will tell you when it is safe to reenter the home.

For a full list of carbon monoxide prevention tips and other safety and disaster information in English and other languages, visit www.kingcounty.gov/health/disaster.

Staying warm indoors safely

If you have a power outage, use safe ways to stay warm:

  • Find places where you can go to get warm, such as the home of friends and family whose homes have power. Many cities have opened centers where people can go during the day to stay warm. Center locations can be found at http://www.kingcounty.gov/safety/prepare
  • Wear several layers of light weight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. Wear hats, mittens, and blankets indoors.
  • Close curtains and cover windows and doors with blankets. Everyone should try to stay together in one room, with the door closed, to keep in body heat.

Help others

  • Warn others about carbon monoxide poisoning. Share the information with neighbors, friends, family and community groups.
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially if they are elderly or if you think their power might be out.
  • If you know someone who has lost electricity, invite them to your home to stay warm.

Food Safety

If power goes out where you live, keep food safe by keeping the doors closed on your refrigerators and freezers as much as possible. A full freezer can stay at freezing temperatures about two days; a half-full freezer about 1 day. Potentially hazardous foods, like meat and fish, should be discarded if thawed and warmer than 41 degrees F

Kirkland Family Raises Funds for FSH Research

Terry Colella
has lived in the same Kirkland home since 1980.  But in 2004, everything changed when her son, Brian, was diagnosed with FSH (Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy) and they turned from your typical Kirkland family looking forward to college and grandchildren, into one of fundraisers.  What they discovered was that very few researchers were studying this condition due to lack of funds and its complexity.  This family does not sit and ponder.  Now they head up a non-profit charity, Friends of FSH Research, and raise money for research.

They have raised more than $1.5M from their home-based charity with a volunteer crew.  Today, researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Research Center and the University of WA are leaders in FSH research and are working in collaboration with researchers in the Netherlands and Rochester, NY as a result of their funding and support. 

Please consider joining the Colellas for the 8th annual gala auction event to benefit FSH on January 28th at 5pm/Bellevue Hyatt.  There will be a silent auction, champagne/appetizers, 4 course gourmet dinner with wine and a live auction led by auctioneer David Silverman.  1976 Gold Medalist Wendy Boglioli will be emcee for the evening.  And local band The Offenders will be playing after the auction so don't forget your dancing shoes!  Tickets are $110/per person and parking is free.  100% of the proceeds from the event go towards supporting FSH research.  Purchase online or call 425-827-8954.

Juanita Village: Frozen Yogurt Twins Arriving Soon


This  must be a closet eaters dream! Two new frozen yogurt places are "opening soon" in Juanita Village. Signs have gone up recently for Cherry de Pon (next to Noppakao) and Chilly Wave Yogurt (near Bala Yoga).  It appears that Cherry is opening this spring and Chilly is opening in a few weeks.  Isn't that cute... Cherry and Chilly?  Like twins separated at birth.  Both appear to be a concept with self-serve frozen yogurt flavors that you can add a fun array of toppings to.   And- fantastic-they are walking distance from our house which could prove to be problematic during the summer months.   That's all I know right now- comment below if you have some  SCOOP. :-) j


520 tolling? I'll drink to that...

Beach Cafe has decided to help ease the pain of the new 520 tolling.  How thoughtful of them! For $5.20 during happy hour (4-6 and 9-close) you can enjoy the following drink specials:

The Good to Go Cosmo: Rejuvenate your commute with freshly muddled Basil and Lime, Veev, Acai Superfruit Spirit, Pama Pomegranate Liqueur and Absolut Mandarin that is shaken and served up in a chilled martini glass

 Bumper to Bumper Special: Choose your favorite draft beer - from Mac & Jack’s to a rotating local IPA, there are eight options to choose from - and pair it with a Fresh Made Pretzel served with Chef Matt’s delicious Signature Cheese Sauce

Today was Steve's first day back at work and he breezed over the 520 into South Lake Union and home to Kirkland at what used to be high traffic hours.   Whether you are doing the 520, the park/ride, the 90, going around the lake or just working from home these days- you can still raise a glass and toast to the bridge from the Kirkland shoreline at Beach Cafe. Just don't drink and drive, of course.

PolarPlunge2012CrowdPolarPlunge2012BobPennyCity Council members Bob Sternoff and Penny Sweet aren't scared!
PlungeexpressionsChristi looks like the happiest first time turned lifetime plunger I have ever witnessed. Can you spot her?

Speaking of shorelines, here are a few photos from the Polar Plunge on Sunday.  The water and the air were both in the 50's so it was more like a springtime dip.  Lots of takers this year, my dear fair weathered friends.  You could tell by everyone's smiles as they WALKED out of the water....no screams or running or ghastly faces of shocking electric cold.  It's still a good cleanse and a fun way to start the new year with some good luck (at least that's what I told my friend Christi to convince her to do it and she believed me). :-)