Northwest Flower & Garden Show is here in Seattle this weekend.

Spring is coming and this weekend is the 21st annual Northwest Flower & Garden Show at the Washington State Convention Center in Downtown Seattle.  The Theme this year is “Sustainable Spaces. Beautiful Places” and unfortunately since it was earlier announced that the NWF&GS is up for sale, this Beautiful Place may not be a Sustainable Space any longer. 
The Seattle Times reported in January about the Show closing for good after the last day of this years’ show on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009 unless a buyer is found.  It may be unlikely that a buyer will be found given the current economic conditions, so take advantage now, and see the show this weekend.  For more on the Northwest Flower and Garden Show which opened Wednesday, Feb. 18th and runs through Sunday Feb. 22nd, check out the official blog, Flora’s Blog.
At the NW Flwower & Garden Show you can see so many ideas for your home and patio at the Display Gardens, shop for fun and practical garden things at the three marketplaces, and learn at the many, many lectures scheduled through out the entire run of the show.
I was given the opportunity (Thanks NWF&GS!) to attend the media preview tour on Tuesday, the day before the show officially opened.  I planned on using my Flipvideo camera for the first time to do a video tour and taped a 20 minuet video.  Now days later after a lot of technical issues,  I have found out the file size is too large to post LOL!
So I am posting some photos instead…enjoy!

8 New Seattle Neighborhood Blogs Added to Neighborhood Round-Up

Since my last Neighborhood Round-Up, we have 8 new Neighborhood blogs added to the Rain City Guide Blogroll.  When I go through the existing blogroll reading the neighborhood blogs, I am always looking at their blogrolls to find new ones to add to RCG.  Two weeks ago I emailed Dustin the most recent ones I found, and he added them…did ya notice? 

So I want to introduce our 8 new Neighborhood blogs, please welcome….

Over at My Ballard , the struggle to FREE Ballard from 101 years of oppression is being marked with a free prize at Archie McPhee…just say the Secret Word!   

Moving to Southeast Seattle, The Rainier Valley Post announces all (it’s quite a list!) the fresh goodness now at the Columbia City Farmers Market.  

Central District News reports that a CD P-Patch will soon be growing from a vacant lot. 

 A Tree Grows in Capitol Hill…8 Block Walk is worried about a favorite Pocket Park tree. 

How to bike to work from an island…photo essay from Surrounded By Water: A Mercer Island Blog 

At The South Lake you can make your mark on a poll…”Do you pay to ride the S.L.U.T.?” 

cap to the hill reveals a secret place…joe’s bar…to spend some time.  

inBelltown …well, “it’s currently down while we undergo maintenance.  We’ll be back online soon!”…is missing it’s RCG debut! 

New Seattle Neighborhood Blogs….  Welcome to the Rain City Guide Blogroll!

Seattle Neighborhood Round-Up

The weather is warming and so are the Seattle neighborhoods….

Issaquah Undressed asks: 50 to 80 in a day?   More changes happening on Beach Drive Blog.

Get your “Spring Cleaning” in gear for CHS Capitol Hill Seattle and The Garage Sale, and Miller Park Neighborhood Association announces neighborhood clean up this Saturday.

Capitol Hill Triangle and a favorite breakfast treat in a tiny cafe, and on Capitol Hill, the poster for this years’ Block Party! 

Captain Columbia City launches it’s new neighborhood personalities interviews, for more cinematic news…vote for your favorite “Movies on the Wall” at West Seattle Blog.   

Blogging Georgetown and the annual Georgetown Art and Garden Walk and Mid Beacon Hill is covering Georgetown and uncovering a new mural. 

It’s Farmers Market time again at Kirkland Weblog, and at the Outer limits: The Lake City Blog the Farmers Market is relocating. 

Broadway Seattle  bikes Broadway… The Wedgewood Blog … and the Rock Walk.   

Atop the Top: Queen Anne Highlights points out that a person can always learn something new about their neighborhood. Cosmo Seattle and new info on Denny Park. 

Pondering Fame and Infamy at One A Day -Mostly Seattle and lastly…Breaking News on Ballard Avenue!

May Day Seattle Neighborhood Round Up

It’s May Day today in Seattle and hopefully we are now finally into Spring and warmer weather.  To celebrate the return (not to mention the return of the Neighborhood Round Up after its unscheduled winter hibernation) are a few Seattle Neighborhood Blog postings on Spring….  

Happy May Day Seattle! 

Alki  marks the time for Tulips at Pike Place Market, and Ballard Avenue marks an earlier, colder Tulip!  

Over on Broadway Seattle the warmer weather is bringing fresh produce…another kind of “produce” is noted on Capitol Hill Seattle.   

Arbor Day festivities last weekend in Issaquah Undressed.  Market fresh produce is coming in May to SammaMishmash .  

Kirkland Weblog and the False Spring Day on April 12th, and Spring brings color, blooms and babies on Queen Anne: All About the Neighborhood.  

Spring brought more than flowers to Lake City Blog…Tweedy and Popp!  And lastly, a different “sign” of the Rites of Spring in West Seattle Blog

Thank goodness Spring is finally warming up!

REALTOR (R) Magazine Welcomes Web 2.0

REALTOR (R) Magazine’s March issue has as it’s cover story: “Welcome to Real Estate 2.0”.

0308 cvr toc 1 2 3 4 5 6 7The article gives an overview of Web 2.0 and how a few innovative people in the real estate world have been on the leading edge of applying the new technology in effective ways. A few of the many well regarded real estate bloggers are mentioned including ARDELL DellaLoggia and Dustin Luther, and Rain City Guide as being one of the sites for promoting Web 2.0. Congratulations Dustin and ARDELL!

More leaders in Web 2.0 are highlighted such as St Paul Blogger Teresa Boardman of and Matt Heaton of the Real Estate Social Networking site ActiveRain in Bellevue. Some of the others also mentioned are Frances Flynn Thorsen (Realtygram Blogger) Jeff Turner (Turner’s Perspective ) and Daniel Rothamel (Real Estate Zebra blog)

A few large companies are joining in on the conversation, Coldwell Banker with Second Life, and is also joining with Scripps Networks (who owns HGTV) with their

Definitely exciting times in real estate with so much going on, and the Web 2.0 conversation (party!) is only just beginning!

It's coming….SPRING (!) and The Northwest Flower & Garden Show….

Okay, are you tired of the cold, the gray, and the rain…are you ready for SPRING yet?

I am, so I’m off to see the flowers, gardens and “stuff” at our spectacular Northwest Flower & Garden Show !

The show is this week, February 20th to the 24th at the Washington State Convention Center in Downtown Seattle, and I am planning on going Friday evening. I think this will be the 14th time I have gone, the first two years I went was as an apartment renter to see garden ideas and learn about gardening in the Pacific NW (I’m from Southern California). I wanted to know as much as possible so that when I was able to buy my Seattle home, I would already have ideas to work with when I was looking at homes with my realtor. Having a yard with garden potential was one of my criteria for finding a home. Seattle has so many homes with beautiful gardens, and I wanted one of my own!

There are ideas for patios and outdoor rooms as well as planter ideas for condo dwellers who yearn for some living green plants to soothe the urban soul. Last year one of my favorite displays was actually a bathroom as a tropical spa retreat.

At the show there are the display gardens, which are my favorite, lectures on various topics on gardening, an orchid show, more events, and my second favorite the Vendor booths with all sorts of wonderful things (STUFF!) for the garden.

If you are tired of winter, longing for the promise of Spring, enjoy gardening or think you might, then the Northwest Flower & Garden Show is the place to revive, recharge and refocus on that other part of your home…the OUTSIDE!

* Note, photos to be added when I figure out how…. 🙂

1 1

2 1 2

Patio Bistro Garden

This is a bathroom tropical spa  1 2

Urban Swank with a Twist

Great Views = Landslide Waiting to Happen? Looking for a Geologist to Evaluate Slope Stability

Wow, what a view!  It takes your breath away…now let’s not let it take away good judgement too.

Sometimes a great house, with a fabulous view needs a little extra inspection and evaluation to help our clients make informed decisions when buying a house.  I have been working with a wonderful couple for awhile now and it looks like we have finally found their next home.  This home is hitting all the important criteria, and has a bonus of a beautiful view. 

There is a BIG territorial and mountain view because the home sits on a high, steep bluff.  So while to my untrained eye there does not look to be anything that indicates a problem, I have suggested to my clients that we have the slope’s stability looked at and evaluated by a professional to be reasonably sure that this is good home for them.

Since I have not needed a geologist technician before, I asked around and found one one who was referred to me by a commercial Geo-tech company and will probably have him evaluate the slope.

My question is, have any of you needed to have a slope evaluated either for clients or yourself?  If you did, who did you use?  What did the evaluation determine?

Round-up of Seattle Neighborhood Blogs

What neighborhood bloggers are saying is happening in their Seattle area neighborhoods….

“Car-free” and happy on Broadway Seattle , and “parroting” similar sentiments on Capitol Hill …. 

Capitol Hill Triangletoasts” with an Elysian Immortal IPA to celebrate a Grand Re-opening.

“Home (less)” thoughts in Cosmo Seattle  and more social issues when “trash” raises its’ ugly head in Red Brick Blog

Happy 2nd Birthday to Kirkland Weblog! blog games when Mid Beacon Hill starts a game of where am I? 

Miller Park Neighborhood Association  gets a “bright idea” for improving safety in Capitol Hill, and the Outer Limits: The Lake City Blog finally wakes up after a long blog snooze and tells us about breakfast at LC’s 

Bug alert for mom’s in SammaMishmash , and Super 8 Film Fest in Blogging Georgetown

Exotic Cat capture in West Seattle Blog  and finally…Moon over Seattle in Beach Drive Blog

Why did YOU move to Seattle?

Seattle attracts many people to move here from other states, if you did why? 

In 1994 I moved to Seattle for lots of reasons, a job was not one of them, but many people do move here for work reasons.  I am wondering  about those of you who moved to Seattle, why did you?   I know some of Rain City Guide contributors are natives (lucky you!) and others moved here from elsewhere.  Oddly enough many people I have met or know moved to Seattle from Chicago, Karen Kirr here at Rain City Guide, moved here from Chicago and has been chronicling her experiences here on RCG.  

I’ll kick this off with a few of my reasons:  I transferred within my company from San Diego to the L.A./ Orange County area and it never felt like home to me even after 5 years.  Since my family had already moved away from San Diego to Alabama years before, I was looking for another place.  I wanted to be able to buy a home (something I would not have been able to in California) and get away from what I called “relentless sunshine”…because coffee is better savored in cooler weather!  The place had to have a metropolitan feel to it and be supportive of the arts.   Be close to mountains and water because views are important to me…they calm me and give me a sense of space and proportion.  I choose to move to Seattle because it seemed to have what I was looking for.  The decision was a leap of faith since I did not know anyone who lived here, and it has turned out to be a wonderful choice for me, I love living in Seattle! 

I am curious, why did YOU move to Seattle? 

On the flip side, what do YOU Seattle or Washington Natives find to be the best things about living in Seattle?

Who Needs to Register as a Contractor?

There have been some questions and discussion here on Rain City Guide about the changes made on July 23, 2007 regarding who needs to register as a contractor.  This change was made as to who has to register as a contractor and:

“Requires property developers, consultants, and some property owners to register as contractors: Owners that build and develop multiple structures, e.g., “spec” houses, construction consultants and property developers who make improvements to property for sale must register as a general contractor.”

Russ Cofano posted about the changes in “Are YOU a Contractor? “on October 3rd, and Eileen Tefft posted another in “Home Owner Quicksand ” on October 10th, both sparked comments and questions.

The Department of Labor and Industries has posted a “Frequently Asked Questions about changes to the Contractor Registration Law”  (pdf, page 2) which answer a few of the questions that came up on the earlier posts. 

The most basic question that I had was do homeowners have to register as a contractor to get their home market ready? 

#1:  “I have owned my home for three years and am fixing it up to sell.  Do I have to register to be a contractor?  No, if you have owned your home for more than 12 months, you are exempt from the contractor registration requirement”

I have also found out that there may be some exemptions to the 1 year rule regarding improvement work a homeowner has done to their home.  The exemptions would be due to circumstances that cause a homeowner to have to sell in less than a year, such as a divorce, sudden job transfer or loss or other circumstances that fall outside of a homeowners control.  The Department of Labor and Industries will evaluate, and do some background research to determine the validity of the circumstances to determine if the homeowner would be exempt from having to be registered as a contractor.

Another question I had was if you recently purchased a house as a rental property and it needs work before leasing to tenants, do you have to be registered as a contractor?   

#3:  “I am purchasing a residential properly that I am going to remodel or make improvements and then rent it out.  Do I need to be a registered contractor?  No. 

When I called L & I (800-647-0982) to find out more, I spoke with Dennis Yonker, who told me that they are scheduling Public Hearings to get feedback from the public.  While the dates are not scheduled as of now, I have been told that they will be scheduled sometime in the last week of February and/or early March of 2008.  I will do a follow up post with dates for the public hearings when available. 

Dennis (or someone else from the dept.) would also be available to “large groups” to explain and answer questions regarding the changes.  Please remember that they would need at least a 2 week notice to schedule it in.  Dennis has allowed me to post his phone number, and can be reached directly at 360-902-6303.

Because the law is still so new, there is much uncertainty regarding how the law applies to homeowners.  For specific questions, Dennis can help with answers by calling the number above, or contact your attorney to determine the answers to your particular circumstances.

UPDATE: I got an email from Dennis with the dates for the Public Hearings and the message to contact him to check for any changes:

Public hearing dates for testimony on sub House Bill 1843 and changes the 18.27 RCW Contractor Registration Law are set for:
Feb 26-08 10:00 am start in the L and I Tukwila service office. ( 12806 Gateway Dr. 98168)
Feb 28-08 9:00 am start in the L and I Tumwater service office. ( 7273 Linderson Way S.W. 98501)
Mar 6-08 10:00 am start in the L and I Moses Lake service office. ( 3001 W. Broadway Av. 98837)
These dates may change, so contact me, one to two weeks prior to the first testimony/hearings  for updates