Thursday, December 23, 2010
Talking with my dad last night about home, and what that means to each of us... I realized I really do feel so at home in Pittsburgh. I'm not sure what that's about, but it is true. I've spoken on this blog before about how this place reminds me of various aspects of my life and maybe that's why it's been so easy for me to settle in here.
Regardless, after having gone away during such a hectic time of year... I am so glad I get to come home to here!
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
After some hiccups getting the kid into a new school, she is settling in quite nicely. From what I can tell the kids mostly are interested in learning and the teachers spend less time yelling and breaking up fights and more time teaching. She's made some friends, and the best part is she gets a bus pass for the Pittsburgh Public Transit system, which means she also has some self mobility on the weekends.
The kid and I have started doing yoga at a friend's local yoga studio and loving it. There are sidewalks for walking; although the dog does prefer her grassy yard to walking, but sometimes we manage to drag her out.
A few of my friends are within a mile and it's been nice to spend more time being social (I became a bit of a recluse living all the way out in the woods).
The husband LOVES his garage and his commute and since "his girls" are both much happier being in the city it just makes his life easier.
Our landlord left behind a garden, and we enjoyed the bounty for the remainder of the season.
I just can't say enough good stuff about it. Oh yeah... and we have an actual guest room, so feel free to come visit, and hang with us on our fabulous porch.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Saturday, July 31, 2010
kinda even maybe pretty
no fun walking into the bathroom to find this
just the shell (the bugs that leave these make a very LOUD NOISE for hours)
Friday, July 23, 2010
Last summer when we moved here it was actually chilly for a few weeks (60s). While Seattle was having a heat wave (100 degree weather for several days)... I was wearing sweatshirts here. In August of 2009 it started to warm up a bit and we got a little taste of a "normal" Pittsburgh summer, warmish days and high humidity, but nothing that was extraordinarily unbearable. This summer... we've already had one Weather Alert for extreme heat conditions, and this weekend there is another one.
While I typically prefer being warm, I don't know that I am mentally prepared for roasting like a turkey on Thanksgiving.
Monday, July 5, 2010
A year ago we pulled up to the In-Law's house:
- U-Haul et al.
- Voluntarily Unemployed (I've since had three jobs and he has had two, the kids even had a few: sewing, and cat sitting)
- Homeless (we remedied that quickly, thankfully)
- and some (okay, who are we kidding A LOT) of uncertainty
Certainly there are some things I would have had happen differently, but all in all NO REGRETS.
Viewing my life through my lens over the last 12 months, I am happy to see that there was lots of love: we connected with each other as a family, connected with old friends, made new friends, and spent a lot of time hanging out with family (one of the reasons we moved here). Explored a lot: both the city, and the surrounding countryside. Experienced some classic Pittsburgh: a hockey game in the Igloo, Kennywood, the Andy Warhol Museum (which on a tangent: I experienced more art here then I did in the last 5 years I lived in Seattle). And otherwise, despite the uncertainty of it all, managed to make it through our first year in tact and mostly happy.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
It was nostalgic for him, and fun for me (I heart roller coasters). Unfortunately we were too early to ride the newest one which opened a few days after we went; but it will be nicely broken in by the time we try it out. Can't wait to go back with the kid.... now that I've gotten familiar we can better prepare. The pics are all with my new phone, I was sc'red to take the big kahuna camera, but there is always next time.
the second dip of the Phantom's Revenge, which goes under the Thunder Bolt
Thursday, June 24, 2010
- the weight of air
- the colorful song birds
- the way the grass smells after a blistering hot day, and then a good down pour
- the storms
- the fireflies (which are not that easy to capture on video, but I tried)
very short and you have to look closely, they are brief little flashes of light...
longer, but right off the bat there is one that flashed right before me...
Sunday, June 20, 2010
It's driving the hubby mad. I keep telling him, "You can change your number, I DON'T CARE, but I'm not ready to change mine." He hasn't changed his either. He's the one with the 412 tattoo, not me.
I have wondered if cell phones were as prolific then as they are now, would I have hung on to my Colorado area code when I moved around way back when I was moving around a lot? I think it's interesting that both Michael and I grew up in certain area codes, his was 412, mine was 303 (but neither of those cover the areas where we grew up in any longer, they have since incorporated new area codes....)
I even got a new phone (I think I had my Blackberry the longest I've ever had any phone) recently, and yet it still has my good ol' 206 digits! Maybe when it's been two years!
Friday, June 11, 2010
It was AAA-maZing!!!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
America's Best Places to Raise a Family
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Seattle Weekly Voracious
"But really, it's the small, strange details that really give a place (and a scene) character. And now, Pittsburgh has this: Conflict Kitchen, a restaurant (well, a hole-in-the-wall, really--a literal hole in a wall) that serves, on a rotating basis, only foods from places where the U.S. is currently having a war. Or maybe threatening to have a war, considering that it opened and is going through its first iteration as an Iranian restaurant and, unless I missed something on CNN this morning, I don't believe we are currently in a shooting war with Iran.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Strange fascination fascinating me
Ah, changes are taking the pace I'm going through
Turn and face the strange
Oh, look out, you rock and rollers
Turn and face the strange
Pretty soon now, you're gonna get older
Time may change me, but I can't trace time
I said that time may change me, but I can't trace time
Obviously there has been a tremendous amount of change in our lives over the past year; and this past weekend was no exception.
As I was telling the story to a friend of ours how I had decided to name my daughter (in her presence), I mentioned one of the other names I had considered… and without hesitation she said something like, “I really like that name, can I change my name?”; and similarly without hesitation I said, "If you're really serious and want to change your name then sure I suppose you can change your name."
Just as I understood that our choice to uproot our lives and relocate with no job prospects, no housing, and (if I were being honest) no real sense of what it meant to do what it was we were doing would be LOADED with implications, FRAUGHT with challenges, and otherwise not something to be taken lightly, this choice too will carry its own burdens.
I can only hope that just as our true friends loved and encouraged us through this process so will the people in her life. Already there are those who are fighting it, turning heads and whispering doubt, but more importantly there are those who are lifting her up, loving her no less (maybe more) and saying, “What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
For the last 14 years I have been blessed to know you as my daughter and for the next 14 and beyond I will be just as proud to know you as Lincoln Huntyr Griffin.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Today I am leaving Pittsburgh for the first time since we moved here. This will be strange for me on many levels:
- The last time I flew into and out of the Pittsburgh airport I did not yet reside here.
- I normally travel by plane at least twice a year, but I haven't traveled at all in the past year (the last time I flew was last May) except to move here (which I don't really consider traveling) and to run up to Maine to pick HFG up.
- It will be strange to fly back home from where I am going, and not be flying back to Seattle, but instead flying back to the 'Burgh.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Due to limited hockey viewing access, I boxed up my little winter sport passion and tucked it away. Until... May 13, 2009; I was in DC for my work conference. While out and about one evening I walked past the Verizon Center, where a critical hockey game was going on between the Penguins and the Capitals (it in fact was the deciding game in the Penguins moving on to the final series and winning the Stanley Cup). I came back to my hotel room and called Michael.
me: "Um... Pittsburgh has a professional hockey team..."
him: "Yeah? [sarcastically] the Penguins, they're owned by Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby is their cap't... blah, blah, blah"me: "I guess I wasn't really aware of that. "him: "Are you really into hockey?"
me: "YES, pretty much the best spectator sport ever"
anyways, you get the idea. I think that had one of us not loved hockey, this past 7 months would have been even more challenging. There are a lot of games, and we are both dedicated watchers. I would even go so far as to call it date night for us. We take our place on the couch, the surround sound is turned up, the reminder is set to FSN Pittsburgh for Hockey Night. To be honest, I would go so far as to say that hockey is probably, if not the #1, at least the top three, common interests we have with the same intensity [maybe because he is a guy, and has just that much more testosterone, he likes it a little more].
So we love hockey, and in Pittsburgh the only kinda hockey there is = Penguins' hockey & and Penguins hockey is some seriously AWESOME hockey. The history of hockey in this town goes back to the late 19th century; that vein runs deep. It is a story rich with rewards and wrought with regrets, ups and downs, fall behinds and come backs... a story I can certainly relate to. A story that is now interwoven with my story.Though one thing that might not be in Pittsburgh much longer is the Igloo, the home of the Penguins for the last 40 some odd years. (Once upon a time it opened up, I can only imagine how heavenly that would have been... I digress). I didn't really imagine that we might get to see a game in the Igloo, since this was the last season the Penguins would be playing there... but after some serious persistence and sacrifice, I convinced a coworker to sell me two tickets for one of the last home games.... needless to say, that was at the top of the best moments we've had since moving to Pittsburgh, hands down. I actually giggled for the first 1/2 hour we were there. I will even go so far as to say it was up there with seeing Madonna at the Pepsi Center in Denver (and those of you who know me, know how big a deal that is). Some of the reasons for the amazing-ness of it all:
- We had fantastic seats (despite the height we were at) right behind the visiting team's goal.
- The game ended in a shoot out, more bang for your buck.
- Michael and I experienced a timeless Pittsburgh "thing" together.
- The team we were watching are at the top of their game and just might pull off the ultimate and keep the cup one more year.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
While I am very much looking forward to the end of the class... I will miss some very specific things..
- My teacher, Mister O. , he has taught me more then just "Arithmetic Fundamentals".
- My table neighbor, Miss. Cunningham (she is solid, I truly LOVE her).
- The guard and the janitor postin' up at the door, always with a helpful hand and kind greeting.
- I will even miss the hooligans and fooligans (inside and out)
- but most of all......
I will miss the LIGHT... that shines in through the shades, that illuminates the hallways of a school, that settles on the desks before the end of day, that emanates from humans sharing knowledge....
lucky am I to share in that tradition.
Friday, March 12, 2010
I am grateful that I've made the effort to document every aspect from saying goodbye to long time friends, and the life we've known for so long to saying hello to family and making new friends, and creating a life for us here. Time has flown by so quickly and so much has happened. Emotionally it has been such a roller coaster ride: the sadness of leaving friends, to the excitement of making new ones. The fear of leaving a job I love and worrying about finding a new one, to the joy of being offered a dream job at the one place I wanted to work in Pittsburgh. The anxiety of HFG's transition, and how she was going to handle all of it, to the pride and amazement that she has managed to make the Honor Roll not once, but twice; make friends, and also continue to love her parents not hate them for taking her away.
We have 4 months to go until the one year anniversary of being in Pittsburgh, but I don't think our journey will end there. I look forward to writing about it, and sharing it with whomever finds my story on the interwebs; so that the next time I wonder what the heck we have gotten ourselves into I have documentation that everything happens for a reason and usually turns out for the best.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Snow leaves mess in Seattle, sets stage for deep freeze
This is the story my first winter in Pittsburgh:
Pittsburgh sees record monthly snowfall - and more is on the way.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Today the whole family ventured out... and although the paths were covered in snow, and we ended up mostly walking in the road, it was nice to get out, get some fresh air, and practice something familiar.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I really love my new job, I can't say enough good things about it. I couldn't even compare it to my last job in any way, because in nearly every way the new job is fabulous and the previous one was not at all. But it is a new job and it has it's learning curve.
And school... although I am not exactly fond of the subject, Arithmetic Fundamentals; I am exceptionally fond of my teacher, Mr. O. Mr O has been teaching since before my mom was born. He doesn't have a gigundo wrinkle down the middle of his forehead, no he calls it "his dimple"... I am grateful for this opportunity and experience, and it is wearing me out.
So here I am adjusting to all of that, and still trying to do all the things I did before, being a mom and a wife, having a dog, grocery shopping, laundry, mail, sleeping... and out of nowhere (and I mean NO WHERE)... Western Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic is WALLOPED by the "4th largest snow storm on record in ALL the years that they have been keeping a record of snow storms. No freaking joke... I went to bed on Friday nite (Feb. 5th) with the little shiny flurries beginning to fall, and woke up the next morning with easily a foot of snow outside my front door, which was after the snow had started to stick. Within the next 48 hours Pittsburgh was under a 36" blanket of snow (in some parts). We lost power sometime late Friday nite, until the crazy eyes on our Wii remote controller charger woke me up around 5:30 Sunday morning. We cooked food on the camping stove, and listened to the Pen's game on the radio, then spent Saturday night downstairs so that we could be in front of the fireplace (always a fantastic feature in any home).
It was fun, sort of. Obviously we were overjoyed to have the electricity back on for at least one of the days we were home, there were chores that needing to be done after all. Unfortunately we were also unable to go anywhere, there would be no plowing our street for a few days. Thanks to the large evergreen tree attempting to mate with some wires and a telephone pole at the wrong end of our cul-de-sac.
HFG who had gone for a sleep-over down the street on Friday nite, finally made her way home on Sunday afternoon (that house had not lost power) to happily find no school on Monday. Ultimately I hadn't needed to contact my manger earlier on Sunday to notify her of my inability to leave my house on Monday, since in an unprecedented move work was closed for three days! The city was in total chaos, obviously we weren't the only ones with power out and snow filled streets in the area.
So although I didn't have school or work... I found it hard to resist the urge to hibernate, unless I was out shoveling out a path for the dog.
Several things I've said to describe the experience of being stranded in your own home during severe winter weather include:
- It's like having an avalanche envelop an entire metropolitan area.
- A few times I've experienced disorienting snow blindness.
- Didn't you just shovel five minutes ago?
- Didn't I just shovel five minutes ago?
- Oh, is it snowing? I hadn't noticed because it just blends with the rest of the mile high snow piles.
So here we are nearly two weeks into some sort of snow flurry activity (either because it was actually falling from the sky, or the high winds were just blowing it around); and they are predicting measurable snow precipitation for the next week at least.
me + shovel = constant companions.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
I would have gladly gone without the last three months professionaly; but it is what it is and I will acknowledge I learned a thing or two through that experience. Now though, I am going to get back on track and begin the business of doing what I said I wanted to do; working back at the University of Pittsburgh will help out with that.
I would not change where we live, I am still happy with our living quarters. Other than no garage, it's durn near perfect. for now anyways. I am looking forward to spring... I am pretty sure there will be lots of chirping in the trees all around.
HFG continues to do as well if not better then any 14 1/2 yr. old I've ever known; who was ripped from their life and everything they've mostly ever known.
The huz is who he always is... the rock; with mad skillz in the kitchen. Thank heavens for him.
The dog still loves the yard, and is happy as ever.
As much as I am trying to be in the moment, I admit to wondering what the next six months will be like.... and where we will be on the one year anniversary of arriving home.