Learn Home Weatherization Tips with Sustainable NE Seattle

The days are growing shorter, the air is getting colder, and your heating bill is on the rise.

What a perfect time to learn about home weatherization.

Sustainable NE Seattle‘s November meeting will be held on Thursday, November 17, at the Wedgwood Presbyterian Church (8008 35th Ave NE), from 6:30-9 PM (social time with treats for the first half hour).

Here’s the event description:

There are some immediate things we can do to make our homes more energy efficient. We will learn what to do before replacing windows from our community expert [and Ravenna resident], Joel Gregory. Also, learn about Solarize NESeattle, project to bring reasonable pricing for solar power to our neighborhood. Additionally, SustainableWorks® home retrofitting org, will be here for input and Q&A.

Bring a snack to share, if you wish, and your own utensils.

Sustainable NE Seattle is, via their about page, “a community of citizens dedicated to building a sustainable, resilient future for our locality, which includes Seattle neighborhoods that are north of the ship canal, east of I-5, and north to about 110th St NE.”

For more information on the organization, check out their FAQ (PDF).

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center to CLOSE [correction]

UPDATE (Tuesday, May 24, 10:25 AM): I was told by Ravenna-Eckstein CC staff last night that the work plan for the building has changed. The floors will remain as they are, but work will be done on the building’s walls and ceilings (including the gym’s ceiling).

Regardless of the work being done, the center will still be closed from May 30 through June 12.

We regret the error.


Starting next week and continuing into June, the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Ave NE) will be closed while the wood floors are refinished.


Between May 30 and June 12, the wooden floors of both the multipurpose room (pictured) and the gym will be refinished as a part of the regular maintenance of the facility.

The center is scheduled to reopen on Monday, June 13.

If you have a class regularly scheduled to meet during this time, please contact your instructor or the community center (684-7534) for more information about rescheduling.

During a quick walk-through of the facility this morning, I saw one notice of relocation posted: Miss Chloe’s dance classes will be moved to the Laurelhurst Community Center (4553 41st Ave NE) on June 1, 3, 8 and 10.



PARENTS: If you’ve got small ones in the house as I do, you may have seen the title of this post and panicked a bit. Have any ideas of where to tucker out our tykes during the closure? Especially if the weather still isn’t cooperating? Please share your leads in the comments!

The Shoe Zoo lives on, celebrates rebirth this weekend

When last I visited with The Shoe Zoo‘s “Zoo Keeper,” Bruce Stern, the over two-decades-old local shoe store was going out of business. The fall back-to-school season, normally the Christmas of shoe stores, had seen far below normal sales. It seemed like the end was near, and in late January of this year, Bruce had decided that it was time to call it quits. A going-out-of-business sale started on late January.

Bruce Stern, helping a lucky girl's grandmother during the going-out-of-business sale in January.

And then, over the course of the sale, as customer after customer came through The Shoe Zoo’s doors telling him how much the store would be missed, Bruce decided he would make a go of it after all.

Bruce, via email, talking about the new plan for The Shoe Zoo:

Needless to say, I have heard hundreds of my dearest customers express their sadness about the closing of one of their favorite stores. Trust me, it has been terribly sad for me too. So, after weeks of sleepless nights, I’ve come to realize that The Shoe Zoo can and will survive. We are going to change its format to fit our trying times. The Shoe Zoo is now going to be a store that you can always go to for really great deals on children’s shoes. We will always have sale racks, with ever changing name brand shoes, marked at least 25% off, plus some of your favorite brands always marked less than anywhere else around. The lowest prices always.

A “Grand Reopening” sign has decorated his storefront windows ever since, and this weekend, May 21-22, he invites you back to celebrate.

Via another email:

As you know we are having our Grand Re-Opening sale going on now. This weekend, May 21st and 22nd we are giving away activity books and some other items with your purchases. Also balloons and a special appearance by Simba from the Lion King. You will also be able to enter our drawings for gift certificates and free shoes. It will be a lot of fun for everyone, so I hope to see all of you here.

The Shoe Zoo is located at 2920 NE Blakeley St, Suite B, and is open Monday through Saturday from 10AM-6PM, Sundays 11AM-5PM.

You can also find The Shoe Zoo on facebook.

Really, it *is* spring. Here are some local garden events to prove it!

[UPDATED 4:47PM – Added some Center for Urban Horticulture Events]

Spring has, indeed, sprung. The sun’s path has crossed the equator and is headed further north everyday. (Astronomers know what season it is well before meteorologists and Seattleites, unfortunately.)

Here are some upcoming local garden-related events you may want to attend. Just be prepared to bring along your rain poncho.

Ravenna Community Garden

Two April work parties are scheduled (and you can find out about future ones by visiting their website  at RavennaCommunityGarden.org):

  • Sunday, April 10th, noon to 3PM – plant cabbage in Bed #10, move dirt pile, re-position compost bins, BUILD SHED, weed and plant the herb border, install fencing around herb bed
  • Saturday, April 30th, 2 to 5PM – plant potatoes in separate containers, plant Bed #7 with root veggies, BUILD SHED, border plantings

Anyone in the neighborhood is welcome to lend a hand in the community garden. It’s located on the northern end of the field behind the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Ave NE).

Picardo P-Patch

The Picardo Farm Gardener Gathering date has been set for Saturday, April 9th, in the University Prep Commons Area (8000 25th Ave NE). (This meeting is really only for Picardo P-Patch plot holders. If you’d like to look into getting your own plot at Picardo [or any other p-patch in the city], you can read up on the process here.)

Here are some agenda highlights:

10-11AM – New Gardeners

  • Picardo history and culture
  • Expectations and gardener responsibilities
  • Mentoring program

11-noon – Whole Garden

  • Announcements: Leadership, Straw Bale and Coffee Bag sale, post garden plant sale
  • Master Plan updates: Compost bins, orchard areas, grant proposal
  • Composting Toilet: Demonstration after the meeting
  • Food Bank gardening
  • South Field conversion to year-round gardening: process and how to get involved
  • Door prizes

After the meeting to 2PM – New gardener orientation in the p-patch

  • Find your plot
  • Learn about the garden – composting toilet, orchard, children’s garden, toolshed, etc.

Center for Urban Horticulture

Over in Laurelhurst at the UW’s Center for Urban Horticulture (3501 NE 41st Street), gardening-related events ABOUND. Here are three that I would recommend:

  • Saturday, April 2nd, 9AM-2PM – Northwest Fuchsia Society Spring Plant Sale: Hardy, species, baskets & many hard to find varieties. More info at www.nwfuchsiasociety.com.
  • Saturday, April 2nd, 9AM-3PM – Garden Lovers’ Book Sale: Free and open to the public. Find a great deal on used gardening and plant books. Proceeds of the sale are used to purchase the best and newest in horticultural books and journals for the Elisabeth C. Miller Library. More info at depts.washington.edu/hortlib/index.shtml
  • Saturday, April 16th, 10:30-11:15AM – Young Gardener’s Story Time: The Magic of Seeds! Join us for a story program that starts small and grows into something amazing! After the stories, do a seed dance and plant a seed to take home. (Held monthly, through the growing season.)

There are MANY more events in April at the Center for Urban Horticulture. Visit their Classes and Events Calendar to see them all.

Thanks to Rebecca on facebook for the tip!


Do YOU know of any other Ravenna-area gardening events in April? Let me know in the comments below or by email, and I shall add them to the post.