Welcome to Orting – Small Town, Big View!

 For Sale – 19512 207th St Ct E, Orting 98360 – $259,000 – MLS 966920

Welcome home to The Butes! If you haven’t been to Orting before it offers the most AMAZING views of Mount Rainier towering above the town. This 3BR+Bonus/2.5BA home is located in a gated community just a short 5-minute drive to town for easy access to restaurants & shopping. It offers a functional floor plan with tons of natural light throughout. With 2,000 square feet it offers plenty of storage space (including overhead space in the garage) as well as a shed in the backyard. Truly a must see home!

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Backyard oasis! Large, sunny deck perfect for entertaining & BBQs. Enjoy the flat, partially fenced yard which gets both sun & shade offering great outdoor space for everyone. Relax around the fire pit and munch on some s’mores! Shed for extra storage as well as a dog kennel. The side of the house would make a great dog run or the perfect place to put some raised beds for garden space.

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Bright and sunny kitchen with plenty of cabinet & counter space. Pantry and eating nook complete the well-appointed kitchen.

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The living room is located right off the kitchen & opens onto the deck allowing for the perfect entertaining space. Cozy gas fireplace for chilly nights and surround sound for movies or football games (speakers & sub-woofers stay).

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Dining room is conveniently located off the kitchen or could be used as a home office.

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Master bedroom overlooks private backyard & features a large walk-in closet & 5-piece bathroom.

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The lofted bonus room has surround sound (speakers & TV stay) and offers lots of natural light. Great game room or TV room… possibilities are endless!

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Two more bedrooms and a Jack & Jill bathroom complete the upstairs. For more information contact Megan Jacobson, 425.999.1182.

 

Pacific Northwest Garden Ideas

Ok, let me start off by saying I am NOT an expert gardener! However, over the last several years I’ve really enjoyed planting different veggies and seeing what works and what doesn’t work. I think the key to any garden is planting food that you enjoy eating so you are excited about watching it grow and look forward to eating it.
We don’t have a huge amount of space(one raised bed and some pots), so only grow a few veggies every year. I love to grow things in pots as it keeps my dogs from destroying the new seeds when they first pop out of the ground! I’ve found that two things play a big role in if we have a successful crop – sun and enough water. Last year I was much busier with miss Sydney and managed to kill several items that normally produce a great harvest. My biggest disappointment was my blueberry bush which I have in a pot. It was loaded with very small blueberries and I forgot to water it for about a week straight – oops – the plant lost all it’s leaves and we didn’t get a single blueberry. Oh well. I considered it a learning experience and luckily it has lots of new buds on it this year, so I didn’t kill the entire plant – I think the fact that it is in a pot probably dried it out quicker too and plan to plant it this year!

Here are a few things that we’ve had success with and some that we’ve found didn’t work well for us. Obviously, your experiences may be different, but hope you have fun experimenting with different veggies as I have!

Favorites:

-Tomatoes – we grow them in large pots and put a few plants in each pot. They are easy to stake up with a round metal support or some string and get delicious tomatoes all summer long. My favorite are cherry tomatoes.

Peas – we did bush peas so they don’t grow very tall and they produced quite well. Usually I plant a couple harvests – one in spring and another in late summer as they don’t do as well with a ton of heat (need lots of water), but early spring is great.

-Beans – most years we’ve had great luck and they grow super easy with just some water and a trellis or string. They grow up our side fence and a couple years ago were over my head. I love eating them right off the plant or cooked with some garlic. Yumm!!!

-Bell Peppers – we tried these for the first time last year and didn’t think Seattle area would be hot enough. Boy were we wrong. They grew great and were very tasty. Need lots of sun.

-Lettuce – we plan a mix of different lettuce and plant it in 3 week increments. It does great in partial shade as it can wilt if it’s too hot. Tastes great and perfect for a summer salad (easy to add some tomatoes on top)!

-Blueberries – Normally we get a great harvest – need water! 🙂

-Raspberries – I planted these for the first time last year. They were so good and easy. They almost grow like a weed, so be careful where you plant them as we had new shoots popping up in our grass. I think they’d be great in a big planter box or galvanized tub to help contain the shoots. We grew them on our fence and tied them up with string. Also great to add to a salad with some apple and balsamic.

Herbs – We grow these in a pot right out the door so they’re easy to access come dinner time and also remember to water them frequently. Our favorites are green onions (chives), basil(great for caprese salad), rosemary(perfect on baby reds), cilantro (have to cut it back frequently to keep it from blooming, and eventually will still bloom, then it doesn’t really produce many more leaves, but once it flowers & the flowers/seeds dry they are coriander seeds so you can harvest those if you’d like). Those have been our favorites, but we’ve tried others too.

Not such great successes & why they didn’t work for me:

-Broccoli – I couldn’t seem to harvest it before it started to flower and it needs a lot of space, so nixed it for future plantings.

-Rhubarb – this grew GREAT in our garden, like a weed, I seriously couldn’t kill it, it kept coming back, but I’ve never made anything with Rhubarb and just didn’t have any confidence or time in attempting something new, so I finally dug it up and gave it to our neighbor. She usually gets multiple harvests and has made some great recipes. Maybe I’ll try it again in the future…

-Blueberries in 2015 – see above, normally they are great!

-Squash – I tried a summer squash which is planted late summer. I think this only didn’t work as I planted it too late so it was ready in the fall and I would forget about it and several of them ended up rotting as it got wet and I didn’t pick them soon enough. I think they were more of a fail on my part than the actual veggie!

 

After writing this post I’m getting really excited to go pick up some seeds and start planning our garden!! I’d love to hear your feedback!! What you’ve had success with? Other veggies to try? Tips for my garden?

Weekend Getaway… Winthrop, WA

Located in Northern Washington at the base of the North Cascades is a little town called Winthrop. In the summer it’s around 3.5-4 hours & 200 mile drive from Seattle over the scenic North Cascade Highway. In the winter you can either head over Highway 2 or I-90 which are both around 4.5 hours(depending on pass conditions) and 230 miles. Winthrop is located in the Methow Valley along with three other towns; Mazama, Twisp & Carlton.

The town itself looks like an old western town complete with wooden boardwalks. There are several restaurants and bars, coffee shops, boutique clothing stores, sports stores and many fun options for tourists. It truly is a great town to visit any time of the year!

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Winthrop Glass Works provides some great options for useful souvenirs and fun gifts. We have a few glasses from there and have given several as gifts, which are always a hit. Below is a photo of some of their larger items… vases, etc.

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The Rocking Horse Bakery recently expanded & has free wi-fi to go along with it’s great coffee, pastries & pizza.

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Springtime usually means sunflowers and other wildflowers are in full bloom & makes for some gorgeous hikes.

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Some of the above photos were from a hike near Patterson Lake (on the way up to Sun Mountain). They also host several races throughout the spring & summer (& ski races in the winter). The photo above is the finish line at the Sunflower Relay, which is held in May. It’s a marathon, but you can run it on your own or participate as a team with up to 5 people/team.

This summer, fires have been particularly bad in Eastern Washington & unfortunately Winthrop hasn’t avoided them. On a recent trip we could see a couple different fires burning in the distance. The town itself is ok and hasn’t been hit as hard as some of the surrounding towns, although many neighborhoods outside of town have been affected… and the fire season isn’t over. There have been about 3,000 firefighters that have come in to help with the fires and you can definitely tell the town fully supports & appreciates all they’re doing to try to keep everyone & as many homes as safe as possible. They do make for some pretty pictures though!

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If you like to golf, don’t worry, there is a golf course that you can visit!! Just outside of the town, Bear Creek Golf Course, offers great views and a fun course.

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There are tons of fun outdoor activities in Winthrop. It’s home to Several Olympic athletes (3 Cross Country skiers made it to Sochi in 2014). Not a surprise based on all the amazing trails and athletic activities in the small town. Although 2014 was not a great snow year, we still managed to have fun on the cross country ski trails in Mazama (about 15-20 minutes West of Winthrop on Hwy 20).

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The Methow Valley Sports Trails Association has all the information you’d need for both winter and summer activities. There are over 120 miles of cross country ski trails! There are also several races and events that are held throughout the year.

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Another great view of the valley… even on a foggy morning!

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If you aren’t into cross country skiing you could also enjoy snowmobiling or some good old fashioned sledding!!

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In the winter there is ice fishing at several lakes… these fish were caught at Patterson Lake. It was a successful day & meant yummy fish tacos that night!

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Winthrop is one of our favorite places to head for a fun, outdoorsy, weekend getaway. If you haven’t been and are looking for a new weekend getaway, I highly recommend this little town… any time of year!!

Summer Activities Around Seattle Area!

The sun is shinning, school is out & there is fun to be had in and around Seattle! It’s hard to argue that the Seattle area isn’t one of the best places to live in the summer… the weather is perfect in the mid 70s to low 80s, nice enough to be outside, but not too hot to enjoy the outdoors, the lake is calling your name, flowers are blooming & yet it stays green with all the trees and previous rain. We live in a pretty amazing place. Here are a few ideas for summer fun in and around Seattle. If you have any ‘must do’ activities let me know as I’d love to add them to the blog!

Wine Tasting – Woodinville is just a hop, skip and a jump from most Seattle area neighborhoods & is home to over 100 wineries and tasting rooms. There are countless events going on throughout the summer. Check out the Woodinville Wine Country website for more information & upcoming events. The wineries are open year-round, but are especially appealing during the summer as you can walk from tasting to tasting or enjoy outdoor seating at many places.

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Redhook Brewery – While in Woodinville you might as well check out Redhook Brewery. They have a great patio, restaurant and brew tour plus several special events including movie nights (many are family friendly), festivals & more fun!

Woodland Park Zoo – Besides being able to see tons of animals the zoo offers summer concerts & camps for kids.

Ride the Ducks – Ok, so I’ve lived in Seattle area my entire life and I’ve never done this… maybe it will be one of my to-do’s for the summer. I’ve heard it’s lots of fun & informational! It started in 1997 & is now up to 40 ducks and is open year round.

Wild Waves – It’s Washington’s only Water and Amusement Park. Fun for all ages… many water slides, lazy river, wave pool and tons of rides.

Ferry Ride – Riding the ferry is both fun and relaxing. If you take it from Downtown Seattle on a sunny day you can catch a great view of the Seattle skyline, Giant Wheel & waterfront. Both Bainbridge Island and Whidbey Island are  fun places to go for an easy day trip, however, there are many other destinations via ferry. View the ferry schedule and information here.

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Biking(running or walking) on the Burke Gilman Trail – It’s flat in many sections so can be a great place to go on a bike-ride for all level bikers. There are many access points so you can park & ride for as long as you’d like. There are also parks, restaurants or breweries along parts of the trail which make a perfect resting place! It connects with the Sammamish River Trail so the fun can continue!

Picnic along Lake Washington(or enjoy a sunset) – There are way too many beaches and parks around Lake Washington to list them all, but if you don’t already know of one close to you I’m sure you can find one online. Most of the parks are great for swimming in the summer. Many have playgrounds for kids, docks, volleyball courts & plenty of grassy area to relax in the sun.

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There are countless other options for summer fun in and around Seattle, but these few ideas should help you get started! Happy exploring & enjoy the sun!!