Last CatFlat Supper(Club)

Making the squash soup pièce de résistance from scratch (whack!) earlier in the afternoon…

Tonight we had what will likely be our last SupperClub in the CatFlat. Thanks to all who attended it was a rousing good time! All of us were crowded around the dining table jammed full of mismatched chairs and every sittable surface was being sat upon. I bemoaned knowing there’s at least one, if not two, more leaves for this table somewhere out there in storage. I vaguely recall thinking that in the foreseeable future, what with Lake and the cozy quarters, we really wouldn’t be likely needing more that the three leaves that are currently extending our heirloom wedding table. The Last Supper came indeed as a pleasant surprise. 

We enjoyed a modest three course meal with squash from Carver Farms as the centerpiece. I roasted the squash while sautéing garlic and onions and prepared it into a thick soup for the main course. It was delicately seasoned with Herbes de Provence, lavender, truffle salt, Spicy Salt and steamed kale for contrast. 

Last SupperClub in the CatFlat

We have had many memorable dinner parties in this flat. One particularly special one was Christmas right after I bought the place in 2007 where my Grandmother, great aunt, uncle and cousins were all present. The theme was jewel tones and I recall peacock feathers capped the tablescape. Another very memorable dinner was Thanksgiving of 2009 which was beautifully plated and ended with a cheese course. My first cousins once removed brought the wine pairings so you get the idea of just how exquisite that feast was. Last year my uncle’s 70th birthday party was a jovially raucous affair, a champagne fête not soon to be forgotten! We look forward to continuing our family tradition of hosting memory-making dinners with Lake as migrate up the street to our soon-to-be new house in University Park next month. Meanwhile, Last CatFlat SupperClub was a night to remember!

Window Washing 

A few mornings ago I could no longer ignore that our windows were inexcusably coated in a film of grime. I had known this for a while. The difference was made clear from where in setting up the projector screen we had brushed against the windows revealing a clean streak. So with respect to this truth, window washing had been on my to do list for a number of months now. 

Earlier this week I was feeling overwhelmed by the seemingly endless administrative duties and house purchase anxiety. I was in strong need of a game changer. What better way to improve your outlook than cleaning your windows?! Literally right? I’m reminded of the viral internet anecdote about the woman with the new neighbors who are always hanging up dirty laundry to dry in the backyard. This bothers her and she blames them for not using a good detergent. Well then her husband cleans their windows and suddenly her neighbor’s laundry is bright and clearly spick and span. A moral lesson about tending to our to our own responsibilities and sticking to maintaining our own “dirty laundry” in life. 

So, after Lake’s breakfast Monday morning he watched me spring to action. After months of pervasive worry, my window washing endeavor turned out to be a super quick and easy work. The mummy hack? Cloth diapers from the service. No waste. No streaks! And I got a nice vigorous workout. Afterwards it felt uplifting and satisfying to be able to see clearly with a fresh perspective. 

Home Front

We have been very domestic these past few weeks since returning from San Francisco. News from the home front has been scarce. I’ve been concentrating my efforts mostly on the myriad administrative duties related to securing our new family foundations. A house. An au pair.  A kitten. The important stuff in life! Okay, mostly the house and the au pair. We haven’t done much on the kitten front besides generate some quality kitten names: Lord Ouf Boef, New Kitty, Nuky… Let us know if you have a good one! Meanwhile we are already full to brimming with condo, cats and kiddo. 

Lake is getting so big, it’s a solid endeavor for him just to keep pace. It’s all I can do to keep up, too! I think I have more cravings now than when I was pregnant… especially for that Full Tilt vegan pumpkin spice ice cream (gotta get back there!)! He keeps me busy since he’s still 100% mummy-milk powered. He’s weighing in at over a substantial 16 pounds now. 

Nice work Lake! Nice work mummy! Chin up… we are making genuine progress on the home front! It’s going to all come together soon and it’s going to be well worth the effort. 


Tonight we watched Jason Reitman’s Juno (2007) with Ellen Page on the homemade big screen. She’s a savvy 16 year old who’s not so savvy about the reproductive precautions and becomes instantly pregnant. It’s a sweet and poignant film that’s upbeat and quirky and I still managed to cry my way through it. The raw emotions are apparently still so fresh. 

October 2016

Lake is coming up on five months old this Saturday.  It seems like an absolute lifetime since he was born. This film, however, reminded me it has actually been less than five months ago. A lifetime.  But… not so long. 

March 2016

It reminded me of my longing for a baby. Oh, how I wanted with such aching. It reminded me of being pregnant. Oh, how I loved it. The two of us always together. Feeling my baby so intimately moving around inside his home, me. As I watched the film’s treatment of these phases for Juno and the adoptive hopefuls, it integrated the past with the present. These very distinctive and very different phases. Almost forgotten but not at all forgotten. Each phase so powerful and emotional and beautiful. And huge, larger than life, but dwarfed by Lake’s birth. They were suddenly being brought back to life and the vivid feelings of the past joined with the present moment. And I cried with overwhelming gratitude. Quite a film; quite a life!

Present moment

Play Date

It was nice amidst all the flurry of home economics activities going on this week to be able to take some time out this afternoon. It’s a godsend that I’m on maternity leave since finding our family a home practically constitutes a full time job. 

So, stop the clock… Lake has a play date!

Well, he had fun, but ultimately I think it was really more for me. It was great to head over to Ballard and see some of the PEPSers. It had been a while. I miss those women! 

A pretty fall day to enjoy a walk and some camaraderie!

And maybe a Full Tilt vegan pumpkin spice ice cream… so seasonal! so delicious! (Shhh, it’s the breastfeeding made me do it!)

Who, me?!

Yes, you! (And I love you dearly, Lake.) Thanks for the successful play date, friends. I really needed that!

Taking care of business 

It feels like we have been out to sea for a long while. We are back in port, home now, and in a big way. Getting our land legs back under us. 

Taking care of business. House hunting. Home loan application paperwork. Disclosure documents. Inspections. Au pairs interviews. Home visits. Rain. Lots of rain. Mother in law. Husband. Open enrollment. Laundry. Rain. Closing dates. Holiday plans. Inspection reports. Fees. Water intrusion. Undermining. Heaving. Differential settlement. Slope. Aspect. Sloping. Low point. High point. Drip cap and belly band flashing. Earthquake Retrofitting. Anchor bolts. Earthquake insurance. Escrow. Property taxes. Light rail. Neutral or negative drainage at grade. R-value. Appraisal. Catchment. Physical therapy. Acupuncture. Well-child checks. Skype interviews to Sweden. Conforming. Non-conforming. Credit versus remedy. Repair. Points. Mutual acceptance. 


Like a song. Lake keeping time. Safe haven. Taking care of business. 

Table Dance

This video doesn’t exist

What happens in San Francisco… is too funny to not share with you! So, enjoy Lake’s gleefully executed table dance (with a little help from daddy)!

San Francisco 

Lake was absolutely having the time of his life. Literally, he had never laughed so hard in his life as yesterday evening. We were staying with my cousins in San Francisco for a long weekend. His second cousin Sofia, who is four and a half, was regaling him with gales of laughter… and he was keeping up! Her antics included, but were not limited to, a big pink plush bunny and sparkling pink fairy wings. Hilarity ensued; they could not stop laughing. They had so much fun!

Sofia in action at the California Academy of Sciences

Lake enjoyed spending time with 2 year old Samuel too. Both siblings were very attentive and patient with Lake. It was great to have some good solid cousin time!

We went on a few adventures while we were in town in spite of the unusually rainy weather. It was endlessly charming to take in all the row houses. And the vegetation is quintessentially California coastal, smelling so fresh and aromatic with the Bay Laurels and Eucalyptus. We peeked at the Pacific Ocean in the height of the storm on Sunday. We really felt the wind and watched the crashing surf. 

Whee! Windy excitement!
San Francisco Zoo

We checked out the city’s zoo and admired their handsome heard of giraffes. We exclaimed over the fuzzy koala ears. Lake even rode on the carousel with the big cousins! This visit to San Francisco has been eye popping!

Golden Gate Park: dwarfed by the sights
Golden Gate Bridge: Lake saw the must see
Pacific Ocean sunset glow over the Bay Area


Bye bye Bay Area! We had such a great time! We look forward to coming again soon! 

P.S. Now that we have arrived home, it is safe to say: Lake is a champion traveler. He shed not a single tear on either flight!

First Flight

Who flies in a storm? Lake the Adventurer does! Our first flight, and we are aiming to fly to San Francisco to visit our cousins!

Here we go!
So exciting to check in our infant flyer! Then our flight is delayed two hours. So we set up our sprawling family encampment. We have lived together long enough now to have developed some favorite accessories, our trusty tools of the trade. Thanks to some unsuspecting friends we have the trusty waterproof flannel mat handmade by Katie, the JellyCat zebra from cousin Steve’s family. Lake also can’t get enough of his blankie, this green and gold silk ikat shawl I’ve had for ages. I think I may have gotten it at the old home furnishings store in the Wallingford Center before they closed their brick and mortar location, but I really can’t remember. At any rate we left home at 8:30 this morning to take the bus and light rail to the airport and all along the way Lake attracts a ton of attention due to his magnetic cuteness. He’s bright eyed and alert, making friends and taking names. 

Sporty little squirt! Intrepid traveler!

Our flight is delayed again and again. No worries! Lake is happy to hang out in the airport terminal indefinitely. No boredom, frustration, impatience or anxiety for him!

As we pass the time, our conversation drifts to “Ouf Bouf,” the prospective name of a flat-faced Exotic Shorthair kitten we fancied at the Portland cat show we checked out last year. This is Michael’s favorite breed, but I’d always found them a bit ugly. Well, I fell for this litter of kittens instantly. 

Flashback to March 13, 2016: kitten love

For a while we were saving up for the big Exotic Shorthair kitten splurge, but then all the cash went towards laundry money and the kitty jar is long since empty. Now that we’ve just put an offer in on a home in the Thompson’s University Addition neighborhood, the kitten acquisition may be resurfacing. That was the deal: a nice family home for me and as many cats as my husband wants! And Michael sure does love cats, especially the Exotic Shorthair! Mr. Cat, Mr. Silky and dear readers, stay tuned!

For now, Lake, prepare for your first flight! Take off is eminent!

San Francisco, here we come!