The little house that could

by Beth Shepherd
( April 13th, 2015 )

As many of my reader’s know, I live in a very small, very old house, which is why I have a soft spot for one tiny 600-square-foot Ballard home. If any house could tell a story, it’s Edith Macefield’s house. In 2006, Edith made headlines around the world when she refused to sell her childhood home to developers, even as it was literally enveloped by commercial buildings on three sides. Rumor has it that she even refused a $1,000,000 offer on her humble abode and, as a result, one 84-year-old-woman and one 106-year-old bungalow became cult heroes.

As the construction swirled around her, Edith opera blared from inside Edith’s home and she regaled visitors with stories of edgier days in her life as European undercover agent during World War II. Edith had a lot of spunk and I admire that!

Edith Macefield memorial balloon

When Edith died two years later, a friend inherited her house, and then sold it to a real estate coaching firm called Reach Returns. Reach Returns announced a scheme to raise the house thirty feet in the air, inspired by the movie ‘Up,’ where a retired balloon salesman, and recent widower attaches balloons to his house to avoid moving to a retirement home and, instead tries to fly his home to Paradise Falls, South America. But in this real life story, Reach Returns investment scheme collapsed, investors lost a lot of money and the lender took Edith’s house back via foreclosure.

Edith Macefield's Ballard little house

Enter Paul Thomas from Realty Brokers, Inc. in Seattle. He’s the listing agent for Macefield’s former home. Yes, that’s right, the tiny house is For Sale! My brain has been churning with ideas, even though my bank account couldn’t afford to by Edith’s former home, like turn the house into Edith’s Diner with a portion of meal proceeds to benefit low income senior housing.

But this sale isn’t typical. Thomas said there is no asking price. Buyers need to make an offer and the highest price offer may not be the winner. Thomas said the buyer needs to guarantee that the home or something will remain to honor Macefield’s memory.

In the meantime a ‘Memorial Balloon Wall’ has arisen out in front of Macefield’s house and when I went with Little Bird to get her hair cut (Sharkey’s is literally around the corner), I wanted to stop by and show her the house. I tried to explain how Edith loved this tiny old house, just like mama loves our tiny old house, but all Little Bird wanted to do was blow up a balloon.

Ballard memorial balloon wall

So we did. She picked a balloon and we used the marker provided to draw a picture. Then we attached our balloon to Edith’s Memorial Balloon Wall.

Edith Macefield's ballon wall

And took a picture.

My daughter at Edith's 'Up' home

Interested in buying a slice of Seattle history? You have until April 20 to come up with an idea and make an offer.  Personally—I’d like to see that happen.

Edith Macefield's ballon

If you want to read more about all things Pampers, follow me on Facebook, Twitter or RSS/email.

Take the road less traveled, Beth

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Kim Kardashian visits Armenia: Five posts she should read

by Beth Shepherd
( April 10th, 2015 )

Word on the street is that Kim Kardashian, her sister Kloe and two cousins are visiting their motherland. Bari Galust, Kim. Welcome to Armenia!

Airport Welcome to Armenia

1. Since you have your daughter North along for the trip, you’ll definitely want to read my post about sightseeing in Yerevan with an infant.

Children's Museum Yerevan

2. I’m not sure how long your family plans to stay in Armenia, but if you are there on April 24th you can participate in the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Here’s a great article from the New York Times that describes what happened in 1915. Definitely go see Tsitsernakaberd and visit the Armenian Genocide Museum. I wrote about my visit in this post.

Genocide Memorial in Yerevan

3. Of course, you must try Lahmajun. I wrote about Mer Taghe, my favorite spot in Yerevan to enjoy Armenian pizza. And if you want some privacy from the paparazzi, they even have take-out.

Armenian pizza

4. And, to work off the many calories consumed on your trip (oh-how-I-know), a few treks up and down the Cascades will help keep you fit and in fine curvy form. I wrote about all 572 steps in this post.

The Cascade and Cafesjian Center for the Arts

5. Finally, because I know you LOVE to shop, especially for your daughter, check out my post this week about the Sharan Crafts Center. Just leave a few things for the rest of us.

Little Bird Sharan dress

Have a great trip, Kim!

If you want to read more about Armenia, follow—Pampers and Pakhlava. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter or RSS/email.

Take the road less traveled, Beth

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“The” Dress Shop

by Beth Shepherd
( April 9th, 2015 )

There is a dress shop in Yerevan that those of us in the know refer to as “The” Dress Shop. Sharan Crafts Center employs talented local artisans who produce beautiful items for family and home including sweaters, pillows holiday ornaments, Christmas stockings, toys, hair accessories. And dresses.

Sharan owl detail

I’ve heard the store is mostly frequented by tourists and while that may be true, whenever I see a child dressed in something from Sharan, all I can think about is Armenia. I know every single one of my fellow adoptive moms with kids from Armenia, swoon at the sight of one of our children wearing Sharan. Each of our little ones has her own unique charm, but those dresses add a certain je ne sais quois.

Sharan mushrooms detail

In 2009, when I visited Sharan, we went to the original location in a residential neighborhood. A sweater, a few dresses, a few hairbands, a knit cat, and a wonderful Christmas stocking all made their way into our luggage.  A year or so later, they opened up a beautiful shop in the center of Yereven on Sayat-Nova 6. I’ve made sure to stop by—at least once—on every trip I made to Armenia.

The first dress our daughter wore featured a sheep. We are Shepherds, after all.

Sharan sheep

Clothing comes in an assortment of hues, from richly saturated like this dress she wore last year, to pale pastels. Every piece has delightful knit-work. I always find it hard to decide and I’m sure the shopkeepers wonder why I’m spending so much time perusing every last item on display.

Sharan orange blue flower dress

You can find sweet floral hairbands and ponytail holders with a knit ladybug or a snowman. Little Bird still tries to squeeze her head into these hairbands she wore as a baby because she loves them so much.

Hairband from Yerevan

Sharan green hairband

There are hats too. And lest you think Sharan is just for girls, let me tell you that they are always well-stocked with sweaters, vests and all sorts of awesome duds for boys. Sharan also has pillows, stuffed animals, and a small assortment of table linens.

Sharan red panda hat

Whenever I’ve visited the store, I’ve found it nearly impossible to resist their delightfully decorated clothes. I always seem to leave with my purse heavier and my wallet lighter. The treasures I’ve brought home, especially the dresses, definitely fall far from my usual, I only buy second-hand clothing rule, but they are so darn cute.

Every time Little Bird puts on a dress from The Dress Shop, I think it must be the most adorable dress I’ve ever seen. Until she puts on another and I’m sure that one is the cutest, which is what I thought about this year’s dress featuring…a little bird.

Little Bird Sharan dress

Take the road less traveled, Beth

Want to be in-the-know on all things Pampers? Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or RSS/email.

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