August 19

I like my birthday month. I like my sun sign, Leo. People say I’m an odd Leo. Maybe that’s because of a Gemini rising.  Dunno. But I had a nice birthday. Henrik lavished me with things this girlie adores — aromatherapy soap, bath salts, and a jar of Royal Jelly Body Butter smooth enough to endure purgatory for. We shared coffees with friends and a very large slice of rhubarb strawberry pie at a Caffe Ladro and then enjoyed dinner at our favorite restaurant, Waterfront Seafood Grill, on Pier 70. Most exciting were two surprises — one thing Henrik created … a blog for things real estate … Seattle-Avenue.com … and one thing Henrik arranged … a couple days on Orcas Island based at Rosario Resort and taking a keel boat sailing course by Orcas Island Sailing!

The sailing company sent us a study book and materials to read before we arrived. The class was held entirely on a 26′ sailboat. There were four students (Henrik and me, a brother and sister) and our instructor, Philo. Everything was hands on, from the time we arrived at the dock on the first morning to the time we finished the intensive class and took the exam the next afternoon. I saw my first herring ball and seagulls, mud sharks, seals, and an eagle feeding on it. We had wind appear and disappear, a little weather perk up, and fog. Mostly it was shorts and t-shirt weather. I was happy with a few deer sightings, one very close up.

The sailing class was total review for Henrik, his goal was to learn the English sailing terms because he knows them in Swedish and Dutch. The sailing was 95% new learning for me. My brain was overwhelmed the first day and my hands hurt. The second day my brain felt mushy and I wanted to turn off my thinker and float through a day mindlessly.

I wonder if our room at Rosario is haunted. I swear I saw dark, black, shadow male figures harmlessly creeping around our room in the middle of the night having come from outside through the glass slider.



Henrik passed the exam and received his real estate license recently. He held his first solo open house last Sunday and will be BRILLIANT working with buyers.

 http://www.cbbain.com/henrikbrameus



We’ve been working on the boat and sailing when we can. Mostly organizing which was hugely needed. Lemon Pledge is a wonderful product and I’d like to hug the Navy Officer who told us that’s what he uses to keep the Admiral’s ship looking spectacular.

 

We’ve decided on a new color theme for the boat: basic black and white. Our first interior design investment were two simple curtains that we made to separate the forward sleeping area and the bathroom. Future design projects will include looking for nice b/w fabrics for interior cushions and pillows, painting the boat, replacing the exterior sail and tiller covers. I also have a new name idea for the boat: B/W

 

We took my brother Mike and his wife Aileen sailing last Friday as our official “first” guests. Unfortunately, there was no wind. The water was often smooth as glass and awesomely reflective. Excellent waterskiing conditions for salt water! We tried sailing for two or three hours then decided in order to get to Whidbey Island we needed to use the motor. The original plan was to moor at the Langley dock on Whidbey Island for the day, have lunch, grab a coffee, walk around the shops. We arrived just before 5:00 PM, shops were closing for the day, and we needed to eat dinner and motor back before dark because, as Henrik just learned, our running lights don’t work. Even with no wind it was a nice day on the boat and we had several “confirmed” seal and sea lion sightings.   



Henrik had his green card appointment. He fussed about it the entire night before, organizing a file and notebook of photographs and documents with more diligence than I’ve seen him tend to anything EVER. He wanted to leave really early for the appointment so we couldn’t be late. We stopped for a coffee so we wouldn’t be ridiculously early and with unforeseen traffic backups we arrived right on time, paid the stupid $5 cash for parking, proceeded through the security checkpoint and to the second floor where we were called by a nice interviewer who was working there after retiring from a 20-year Navy career. The appointment lasted less than 10 minutes and was painless. Since Henrik is now able to work and travel, it’s pretty much as things were — though we have much less money coming in the household and neither of us have health insurance. At least we know Henrik won’t get booted out of the country and I’ll have more time to learn Swedish in a comfortable fashion.



We have a lot of plans and ideas for the realm of real estate things and plan to begin sharing them on January 1 2008.

 

Kula recently had a tumor on the side of her belly removed and her teeth cleaned. Her fur is slowly growing back but she still has a soft and very cute naked patch by her tummy and she doesn’t really like us messing with it or looking at it. Henrik discovered that although she’s afraid of squeaky toys and doesn’t like balls or fetching, she likes to chase small limes. Another oddity is she really loves to eat raw baby carrots.

 

Pawka also had a vet visit and is reportedly well. It appears he may be older than I thought; age can’t be confirmed because he’s a rescue. He had vaccinations, an ear cleaning, and a pedicure. He’s due for another vaccine and needs to get his teeth cleaned and some extractions. Two days ago he lost his collar so Henrik got him a new shiny, smooth, orange, reflective, Mod looking collar. Our home is turning more Mod as time passes but that’s another subject.



My days and nights have been filled with work and play this summer; downtime for casual writing, and my energy for it, has been limited. I’m sure there will be more writing with the coming of Autumn and Winter when outdoor activities are limited.