Artichokes and Pink Martini

If you like artichokes, Pink Martini, knitting, then read on. If you are interested in the woes of losing the last 20 lbs or working in education, then read on. If you want to know what it's like to be an empty nester or to share that nest with to two dogs, then read on. If you want to know what the theme is for Monday night dinner, when the kayaks are going out, or who was at the Y at 5am, then read on. If none of this interests you, just hit the button that says "next blog", & read on.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Ethnic Fest

What a fabulous weekend! The weather couldn't have been better, it was definitely a weekend to be out and about. Katie and I went to Ethnic Fest at Wrights Park, not once but twice! There is Katie doing what she loves, shopping. But she showed a lot of restraint and didn't buy a thing. Yesterday we also caught this great Seattle band called Picoso. If you ever get a chance to hear them, go! They are trying to get a booking at Panamonicas in Tacoma, so I will keep my eyes open & when they do, I will sound the alert. They have a very fun latin sound. Edgy, there roots are as street musicians and it really comes thru in their music. I like 'em.

Today we dragged Peter and Tom with us & had some lunch there as we listened to the Smilin' Scandinavians. You got it, polka music at it's finest. Though I am not sure how a song about San Antonio, Texas slipped into their set, but it's all good. Ethnic fest, the only place you can listen to the African All Stars followed by the Smilin' Scandinavians, back to back. But that's Tacoma for you. Back to eating. I have been a Weight Watchers Saint of late because I really want to hit my goal NOW! and live the rest of my life in Maintenance Land. But today the Crepe People were there with my all time favorite. Artichoke & chicken crepes. They are so delish. And they have spinach in them that kind of cancels out the very rich sauce. Ok, not really, but I have been downing the water today at a gallon per hour hoping that any calories I let in will go whooooooshing out before they grab a hold of my thighs.

Friday, July 29, 2005


Katie and I traveled down Chehalis way to visit with my Aunt Pat and Uncle Ron. They are touring the west coast in their very slick motorhome. (Marilyn you would love the leopard skin decor). They are from Tulare, CA where it is 100+ degrees there, so our 80 degrees is very cool and refreshing to them.

The park that they are staying in is beautiful and we got the grand tour. Lots to do. Ron bbq-ed lunch for us, yum. After a trip to the cafe for choclate sundaes they taught us how to play "Pegs & Jokers". It's a card game & board game that is very popular around the motorhome parks. Pat and I won the first game in style. Then Ron & Katie kicked our butts the next 2 games. We quit while we still had a small sliver of pride. I think Ron was layin' low in the first game. He is Mr. Competitive & I am guessing he doesn't lose often.

We had a great time & may go bug them again before they head south.

Mickey the Ham

I just had to post this picture. Check out Mickey the chihuaha. In the other picture he is a bit camera shy, or is just expressing his opinion about getting his picture taken. He is such a comical dog. He is definitely Ron & Pat's baby. He doesn't like it when people hug or touch or anything. He goes crazy barking and growling and nipping if you are within reach. Not a big fan of PDA unless it's all about him.

Last year Mickey helped introduce Ron & Pat to their travel buddies. It seems that they had just gotten this motorhome and Mickey didn't like it at all. Then a motorhome, the exact model of their old motorhome, pulled up and parked beside them. Every chance that Mickey got he took off and ran straight into this other couple's motorhome. So they had to become good friends, just to keep the dog happy.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Havin' a Heatwave

A week in the 80's definately counts as a heatwave in Tacoma. I thought I would share a nice, cool, refreshing picture of our fish and their mother, Sydney the Austrailian Shepherd.

Since we brought her home from the pound, Sydney thinks these fish are her very wet puppies. She likes to wade into the pond very slowly. As soon as she does the fish come swimming over to her. They like to swim in between her legs and suck on her toes. A definate experience for anyone brave enough to try it. Sydney likes to stick her nose into the pond and blow bubbles at them & lick them as the swim by. It's a crazy show to watch. The only bad thing is if a raccoon ever got near the pond these fish would swim over & serve themselves up like sushi. Luckily, anytime the Sydney and Duncan get a whiff of a furry creature (sorry, squirrels) they charge thru the yard like mad barking hyenas. Not so fun at 3 am.

Only suppose to hit 81 today. So if you need a place to cool off feel free to come sit under my shade trees, dangle your toes in the pond, and the fish will give you a toe massage, free of charge.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Ahhhhh sun!

sunny backyard
Originally uploaded by sfarewell.

I am totally weather flickle. My favorite weather is usually what's outside. The only weather I don't get excited about is "Maybe rain/maybe not". I don't like non-committal weather. I like in your face weather. I love sunny in the 80s and beyond. I love thunder and lightning and torential down pours. And snow. Ahh snow. I love a couple of days of snow that can make a regular weekend into a long weekend during the school year. I love how everything is quiet when snow covers the ground. Snow days are days where responsiblity takes a holiday and you're given a free moment in time to do anything that you want. But it's July now & I am loving it!!!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Ahhhhh Rain

A summer rain is such a nice sound to wake up to. It smells great and leaves everything feeling clean, fresh and cool. What a great way to slow down and end the week.

Was that thunder I just heard??? I think it was. I love thunder and lightning on a warm summer night, it's the best! That is one of the few draw backs to living in the Northwest. Nature doesn't put on very many late night light shows for us. I do remember one August night in the early 90's that we had a lightning storm that literally went on for hours. We put the lawn chairs out on the back porch and sat watching lightning bolts dance on the horizon with all of the neighbors. It was fabulous! Who knows, this summer we may get treated to another such show. We are due.

So for now, I am just movin' slow and enjoying the sounds and smells of summer rain.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Katie. Brandon & Lucas
Originally uploaded by sfarewell.

Katie would like to introduce you to her 2 month old cousins, Brandon & Lucas. Or is it Lucas & Brandon? Their parents, Sean & Toni, are taking the boys on a family tour by minivan. They left Bellingham this morning after their 2 month check up ( shots, oweeee) and we were their first stop. Eventually, they will make it to Turlock, California. (crazy) Did I mention that they have the family dog, a yellow lab, in the back of the car? (crazy, crazy) And they plan on passing back this way next Monday. (crazy, crazy, nutz!) Oh well, to be young & crazy.

So Katie is completely smitten with these two young men. (She doesn't usually let me take pictures of her with men resting their heads on her chest, especially 2 at once). I think we will have to visit them again before Katie heads back to school.

Katie & the boys

Katie, Lucas & Brandon
Originally uploaded by sfarewell.

Aren't they cute when they sleep? They have great little personalities when they are awake. Big blue eyes that love to talk to you.

Of course, I can't tell the difference between them. Luckily one of them had the good sense to paint one of his toenails. Unfortunately, I just can't remember who.

Monday, July 18, 2005

World's Cutest Couple!!!

Ric & Tiffany
Originally uploaded by sfarewell.

This is Ric and Tiffany and they are the world's cutest couple. Friends since high school, they are the embodiment of true love. Shortly after they escaped So. Calif and moved to Tacoma, Chris brought them to Monday Night Dinner. And now we won't let them leave, ever.

I remember the night we had snow a couple of years ago. These recovering Californians had never had a snow day. We knocked on their door at 1 am, so they wouldn't miss the snow. We all made snow angels and got into a snowball fight with some passing teenagers. Boy oh boy, Ric has the arm of a major league pitcher. Don't ever get on the wrong side of a snowball fight with him.

Tonight they gave us the BIG news!!! They are going to be bringing a new neighbor into the hood.

Soon to be a Trio!!!

& baby makes 3
Originally uploaded by sfarewell.

Look at that HUGE tummy. No more perfect size 2 for Mom. 16 weeks along, making our due date December 30th, almost a New Year's baby! BTW kids, enjoy sleeping in now, your days are numbered.

Tiff has 30 lbs to gain. I have a suggestion, Tiff you take the 30 lbs that I don't want & we can call it even!!! Actually gaining it on your own will be a lot more fun. If you need tips, don't hesitate to ask, I know all of the weight gaining tricks that you would ever need to know. Just keep eating girl, that has always worked for me! Bread, butter, dessert, just stay away from those vegetable thingies & you will succeed!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Whadda Weekend, Whew!!

I am sooo glad that weekends like this one don't come around every week. Where should I start? How about Saturday with yoga followed by breakfast out with friends. Then after a quick shower I went out to Gig Harbor to a book signing of an author I really enjoy. The signing was in a yarn shop so I accidentally came home with more yarn. Not sure what the project will be, but the stuff just called to me and begged me to take it home. Next we headed out to an AWESOME party at Tracy & Roberts. Those boys no how to partay! Food was awesome & they have great friends, why wouldn't they, they are great people. Had to leave the party early & back to the harbor for Shapreise & Sandy's wedding. What a beautiful ceremony in a garden on the water. The food was fabulous and hanging all of our Fawcett friends was terrific. After a piece of cake it was back to Tracy & Roberts until they threw us out at 1.

So why did I wake up at 6 am on Sunday? Just lucky I guess. Katie & I were at the Y at 10 am, me for the eliptical trainer & Katie swam laps in the pool. We had just enough time for a quick shower & down to the Thea Foss Waterway for Dragon Boating. Our buddy Diane snagged a Dragon Boat Experience for her & 20 of her closest friends. What a great time!!! We paddled all over Thea Foss, in the 80 degree sunshine. Life is good. Then we had some burgers and fries at the Dock Street Bar & Grill. Next we had to zip over to the movie theater to meet Jenn & Kurt for Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. A really good film. Johnny Depp really worth seeing. & the Ooompa Loooompa's have been really working on their production numbers for this flick. We finished it all off with beverages and munchies at the Mandolin Cafe. Enough? Yup, enough. I'm calling it a weekend.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Yakima Conference

sarah & jessica
Originally uploaded by sfarewell.

Here we are in Yakima at a Special Ed Conference. It's a cool & refreshing 90 degrees outside. I took this picture with my buds Sarah & Jessica as they chat with one of our presenters who has been working with children for the last 25 million years. Talk about stories, she has a bunch.

But seriously, the conference has been very informative & the food has been great, which is important. The conference provides snacks every afternoon, today was ice cream, thursday rootbeer floats, yum. Our hotel makes homemade cookies every night between 7 & 8:30 and sends the aroma through the venillation system. So I have been at the Yakima Y each and every morning. Today was spin, tomorrow will be step aerobics. I now know why I never do step aerobics in Tacoma, someone might see me fall of the step onto my large muscle group that cushions my tail bone. Oweee.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Yakima, here I come!

Originally uploaded by sfarewell.

Lucky me, I am headed for Yakima, WA (the Palm Springs of Washington, or so says the sign on the way into town) tomorrow for the Combined Summer Institute on Special Education. I'm getting all trained for a job that I don't have because it doesn't exist yet. Hey, am I a planner or what.

Wanted to share the picture of our lovely, 4 star (or should I say 4 pole) hotel. I hope these teepees have air conditioning because it is supposed to be in the 90s all week. I was reading the Yakima Visitors Bureau website & one of their advertised activities is "Listen to the sound of nothing". I think that pretty well sizes up Yakima. Jealous?

So, just to let you know, that this week the party's at Katie's pad! Alcohol, orgies and Bollywood movies, she has it all. All I ask is that someone who knows what they are doing load the silverware in the dishwasher for her.

Thank you for your continued support!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Memories of Dingle

Pub Session by Bob O' Cathail
Originally uploaded by sfarewell.

Katie and I went to our favorite caffiene joint, the Mandolin Cafe, yesterday afternoon for a beverage. To our surprise, they had just hung a new art exhibit by Irish artist, Bob O' Cathail. Bob is from Ventry, Ireland on the west coast, just 7 miles from Dingle. Dingle is one of our favorite places on the planet. In fact the picture above is of his memories of O'Flaherty's pub in Dingle. We were in Flaherty's Pub just about a year ago. We hit all of the pubs in Dingle (surprise) to listen to the traditional music and sip a wee pint or two. Flaherty's was packed the night that we went in. I ordered a Guiness (another surprise) and Katie an Irish coffee as the musicians began to play a little Rod McKeun ditty. Rod's Canadian, not Irish, but it was close enough for us. We enjoyed the music, beverages and settled in for an evening of people watching. We never did quite decide whether our server was 13 or 14 years old. But I guess he must have been part of the Flaherty family, learning the family business.

Back to Tacoma. So Bob the artist from Ireland was having an opening last night at the Mandolin, complete with traditional Irish music played by local musicians. Of course we had to come back. We met Bob and his wife and chatted about Dingle. We listened to some great music, sat with some friends and I even had a Guiness (no Irish coffee for Katie, sad). We had a fabulous evening. I must admit, some of my favorite experiences on this great big planet, are the ones that remind me that it really is a small world.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

So what did you do on the 4th???

Katie, Tracy, Jewel & Brandon
Originally uploaded by sfarewell.

Part of the 4th Katie, Jewel and Brandon tried to get Tracy to wiggle his tootsies in our pond so the fish could get to know him better. Unfortunately, you can't hear audio with this picture or you would hear Tracy squeal like a school girl. As you can see both Katie and Jewel are being very supportive and empathetic. Oh well, the summer is still young, maybe they will get Tracy to take the plunge before too long.

Fishy Toes

fishy toes
Originally uploaded by sfarewell.

These are not Tracy's toes in the pond. But maybe someday he'll be brave enough to dangle his digits for the fleet to nibble on. You'd think that we never feed these poor creatures when you see them swimming like crazy toward the fingers or toes of anyone. These are very tame and social little guys. They feel like little mini wet vacuum attachments as they try to swallow you whole in one glup. It kind of tickles a little. So if you are feeling brave, come on by and give our fleet a little taste. Tracy???

Saturday, July 02, 2005

And now a little knitting

Finished Bag
Originally uploaded by sfarewell.

When you go to the tall ships and know that you will be standing in line for a long time it is good to take something to do. I took this knitting project along with me and completed it today. It is a Vintage Bubble Bag the is first knitted and then felted by putting it into the washing machine. It looked very different before it went into the wash.

The book that I found this pattern is now in the capable hands of Jewel. Yes, after 2 scarves she is now moving onto this. I can't wait to see hers completed. She chose the same main color (hello, green) but picked out a very different accent yarn. It will be cool to see them both side by side to see how different they turn out.

Friday, July 01, 2005

More Tall Ships

Mitch, Tiffany & Katie
Originally uploaded by sfarewell.

We planned on touring the Tall ships today at the crack of 9, before the lines got bad. And who should we run into, but the neighbors, Mitch and Tiffany. We stood in line for only 45 minutes (later we heard the line for the big ships was advertising a 3 hour wait) and toured the two biggest ships with them. Lots of fun. For as big as this event was, we ran into people we knew all day long. That's just how small town Tacoma is.

Why's the Rum gone???

danielle & katie
Originally uploaded by sfarewell.

Here is Katie and fellow SOTA alumni Danielle actually touching the railing on the Lady Washington that Johnny Depp touched when he was filming "Pirates of the Carribean". Can you see their goose bumps??? They played it very cool, but as you can see, they are ooooozing with excitement.

Katie's Engaged!!!

Vladamir & Katie
Originally uploaded by sfarewell.

Can you believe it??? My head is still reeling. We were on the Tall Ship Pallada for less than 5 minutes, when this attractive sailor popped the question & Katie said yes. Of course, he doesn't speak English & Katie doesn't speak Russian, but they don't see that as a problem. Kids! He did said something about defecting, & we are picking him up at the Swiss around midnight tonight. But I put my parental foot down and told Katie, No honeymoon until her room is clean!!!!