Sunday, July 15, 2018

Freckle Face 

Yes, I have freckles. No, I don’t hate them. 

My sister used to tease me about them but my sweet Grannie told me that a girl without freckles is like the night sky without stars. 

They make their debut in summer, multiplying rapidly in the warmth of the sun. They sprinkle my nose, chest, arms and even my knees until gradually and then suddenly they fade into Fall.

 (L.A. Summer 2018) #freckleface #freckles #summer #writer #showmeyourspots

Monday, June 4, 2018

Going Green...


We all know its savvy to save, but what if everybody could cut their home energy bill to zero? Greenstone Homes, one of the area’s leading builders predicts that one day we’ll to do just that.

Sounds great, but how is it accomplished? A net-zero, sometimes referred to as a zero energy home, is the answer. It’s just like any home - except it’s better. A zero energy home combines advanced design and superior building systems with energy efficiency and on-site solar panels, resulting in renewable energy generated from the sun. Zero energy homes are ultra-comfortable, healthy, quiet, sustainable homes that result in energy savings and, therefore, have the ability to offer a greatly reduced or even a zero energy cost for its occupants.

Greenstone Homes, which has been building homes throughout the Inland Northwest since1983, recently built a net-zero concept home in their Rocky Hill neighborhood, nestled in Liberty Lake. The home produces enough energy onsite to meet the occupants’ needs. Drew Benado, building division manager for Greenstone Corporation, says the home is creating a lot of interest. Fans of the local builder are not surprised they are one of the companies blazing the trail for "green" building in the Inland Northwest.

In addition to solar panels and increased and more complete insulation, Greenstone uses an advanced framing technology, and the company has been committed for some time to using low-emissions paints and carpeting to improve air quality. Building "green" involves a lot more than just the use of generated energy from elements such as sun or wind. Benado says there’s a big emphasis on completely insulating the home, and that even 5-star energy appliances play a role in the "green" endeavor.

These homes are so efficient that sometimes more energy is produced than needed. Tom Lienhard, Avista’s chief energy efficiency engineer, says that excess energy can be credited for future months when the occupant may need to use more energy. Lienhard suggests thinking of Avista as a battery for energy, only using it when needed. At the end of the year, any leftover balance its zeroed out; hence, the moniker net-zero homes. Basically, these homes are regular grid-tied homes that, when built to "green" standards, are so air-tight, well insulated and energy efficient that they produce as much renewable energy as they consume over the course of a year, leaving the occupants with a net-zero energy bill, and a carbon-free home.

Lienhard recommends that if someone is interested in adopting renewable energy products such as solar grids into their life, the first step is to reduce their energy consumption. This is a smart prerequisite to investing in renewable products. After reducing consumption and making your home as energy efficient as possible, only then should one look at matching renewable products to the level of required energy left to tend to. Common ways to reduce your energy are turning off lights, buying appliances with a good energy rating and insulating your home from top to bottom.

Global climate change is one of today’s most pressing issues with most of people in favor of taking meaningful action. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) claims that buildings alone are responsible for 40% of the primary energy used in the United States. In addition, buildings account for 72% of the electricity consumption and are responsible for 39% of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. "Green" building has the opportunity to reduce these staggering statistics dramatically. Zero energy homes are a cornerstone of a reduced carbon future -- one that is not reliant on fossil fuels.

Owning a net-zero home puts you in control of where your home’s energy comes from. Jim Frank, founder of Greenstone Corporation knows renewable energy is the future of home building nationally. Frank says that the state of California already has mandates in place for builders to exclusively build energy efficient homes by 2020. It is not known how soon Washington State will follow, but Lienhard reports that the state has good incentives and tax credits in place for home owners and businesses to adopt renewables.

This summer, Greenstone is adding what may be the area’s largest solar ray system to Kendall Yards, the corporation’s thriving urban mixed-use neighborhood. The 35-kilowatt community-based system will supply all the energy for the businesses and common spaces, which includes the business district street lights and charging stations. Although Frank says the corporation wasn’t named Greenstone 35 years ago with "green" building in mind, it now seems quite appropriate as he assures us there’s more to come.

You can learn more about the Greenstone net-zero concept home located in the Rocky Hill neighborhood at 2101 N. Wolfe Penn St Liberty Lake. It is open for viewing, from noon to 4 p.m., weekly, Thursday through Monday. No reservations required.

Laurie Allen is a freelance writer, and a realtor with Windermere City Group, LLC.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Sushi LOVE!

Why YES, it possible I could live on Sushi! 

Photos taken at the freshly opened Umi Sushi Bar in Kendall Yards! #EdibleArt

Monday, April 23, 2018

Elephant.ade ♥️🐘

I can’t stop thinking about the remarkable 10 year-old girl I met at The Honolulu Zoo. She had a cute little lemonade stand by the elephants and was selling bracelets. I soon discovered this was more than just a shopping opportunity.  

Here’s her story: One day TĂ©a Malia Megill spent the day at the zoo with her family. She learned that the elephants are on their way to extinction. She was shocked and saddened by this fact. So much that she wanted to do something to make a difference and help the elephants. TĂ©a started Elephant.ade with her parents to raise money and bring awareness in an effort to save the elephants. Shop for a cause at to get your own, handmade elephant bracelet. 100% of the proceeds are donated to help save the elephants from extinction. 

(Morgan Williams is modeling her purchase)

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Art Matters...

Collecting ART is addictive but never regrettable. With ART, the regret I do have is from the pieces I talked myself out of. I have a few sad stories of inexpensive ART I passed on and now the artist's work is spendy. Buying ART is not extravagant or reserved for the wealthy. For me, it's just I have my priorities straight. Think about how much ART you could own if you didn't have cable, that unused landline and you limited the times a barista made your coffee.

When embarking on collecting art - start small. Buying student art is an inexpensive way to get original art. Its like listening to a talented yet unsigned musician in a dive bar prior to making it it big. You very well could be investing in and therefore encouraging the ART world's next big thing. Buying local art enriches your community and supports the local ART scene. Incorporating original ART in your home adds an unmatched warmth, texture and depth to your space.

ART MATTERS. I know my life is richer because of the ART I own and cherish. Thank you once again, Neicy Frey, Artist. I adore this elegant floral work you created. It hangs in our entry way and when I look at  it, I'm happy💛 It's true, money can't buy happiness, but it can buy ART and it's kinda the same thing.

Freckle Face