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home improvement

home improvement



Why in the world do we tolerate it here in our otherwise gorgeous and “green” city? When I walk in my neighborhood, I can go for blocks before coming to a public trash receptacle and these are only located at bus stops, often overflowing with trash. Because Capitol Hill is so densely populated, many, many people are adversely impacted. Shameful! And when I look on the Seattle Public Utilities website, I find no regular trash pick up scheduled for Capitol Hill at all, with the exception of Broadway. Why is this so? In an effort to find out, I’ve just  written an email to the SPU asking this very question. Maybe I’ll adopt a street myself. I’m sick of looking at it.

home improvement

Door to Door Delivery


Each December, as the year comes to its conclusion, I get out and deliver calendars to my clients and friends. Door to door. It gives me a wonderful chance to reconnect with people I like and with whom I have history. Sometimes, when I am lucky, I get invited in for a look at a new baby, or a kitchen remodel. Sometimes, the entire home has been remodeled and I am offered a tour. That’s a pretty thrilling thing for me. Especially when the remodel is inspired and/or inspiring.

Like this one today, in Leschi.

Simply beautiful throughout.

I also got to photograph the photogenic gardens.

The photogenic gardens looked even prettier when framed by the photogenic dog in residence, Rubin. We hadn’t yet been introduced, but today we were – another fantastic perk of my job, saying hello all the creatures in residence.

I learned that Rubin keeps an account of his daily activities here on his blog:, replete with dog photos and dog stories. Check it out.

Will wonders never cease?

home improvement

Refrigerator Madness


I have been doing this job for more than 20 years and I have never seen nor heard of anything like this: an over the counter refrigerator, lined in pink no less. But here today, in Laurelhurst, pinnacle of all that’s proper in the world, I found that such a thing actually exists. I searched the internet to learn more about it, but no information was readily available. So let me be one who documents it here. For posterity.

In the words of my cohort Spafford Robbins, This is too good.

According to the listing, the estate can’t guarantee the condition of things. But who cares? It’s thrilling to see the exuberance of an era expressing itself in such a tilted way. And I assume this refrigerator served a family well for half a century (according to tax records).

While I have no hope at all it will exist beyond the sale of the home in which it resides, I am glad to find it has existed at all.

home improvement

A Tree Story


When we moved into our house in Madrona all those many years ago, we were surrounded by trees. Too many trees really, which we felled, one by one, over the years. They were crowding each other out and some of them had to go in order for the others to live. Also, we were looking for the light.

The one tree we kept and pruned and fretted over for eighteen years was an enormous fir tree in the southwest corner of the backyard. It was a bit of a hazard because of its age and size, and even when it was able to withstand a terrible windstorm, it still divested itself of fairly threatening branches from time to time. It was also always messy and nothing else could grow in its vicinity since it hogged all the sunshine.

We kept it because it shielded us from the neighbors and provided privacy, and we kept it because it was venerable.

A long-standing neighbor had told us a story of how, when the one-time matriarch of our home died, no hearse ever came to take her body away. Instead, in the middle of night after she died, a couple of people living in the house dug a deep hole beneath this tree, noisily hacked up a broken washing machine, threw it in the hole, and covered the whole thing back up.

It was this neighbor’s belief that the old woman who died was buried there with the washing machine. Burying the washing machine was merely a diversion.

Over the years, we added the bodies of deceased birds and our two beloved cats to the graves underneath this tree.

Driving by the other day, I was stopped by seeing that the new owners had finally had the tree removed. Completely.

These new buyers also took down some fencing and added a new walkway, presumably to make it easier to wheel their band equipment to the basement. They are musicians. When I saw their real estate agent the other day, she told me they had also wanted to let in more light. I don’t blame them. I actually like the improvement.

It made me happy then to also see that they have kept some things the same, including the mail basket on the front porch.

We did wonder, though, what they found back there when they dug up the old tree. It was a thorough job; shredded wood chips, a result of the removal, now cover the ground throughout the yard. Ashes to ashes.

home improvement

Outdoor Kitchen


My friend Cari is remodeling her little cabin on Vashon Island so has moved her kitchen outside while under construction. It is exquisite in its utilitarian yet perfectly designed and gorgeous detail. Truly.

The living room is outside, too. Waterside.