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.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Katie's at school ...

... and my life has become boring as you can see from my pitiful lack of blogging. Actually one teeny tiny interesting thing did happen last week, I have a new job. FINALLY! I have been thinking seriously about a new job when the classroom that I have worked in for the past 3 years was eliminated in June. Budget cuts. Thanks to Jessica and Sarah, I went to a couple of conferences and took bunches of classes in Autism. Autism is an area that I think I could make a difference with kids. So I applied for two jobs in August & went on two interviews, fun. I was offered one position & turned it down & was rejected by the Fife School District, sob. Even with my inside wheeler and dealer, Mr. Peter, I couldn't bust into most likely the best district in the south sound, sad. I thought I might be trapped in General Ed for life. Now there is nothing wrong with General Ed, but most of the kids do their work and don't complain. How fun is that??? Then this past Tuesday I got an interview with the Autism program at Franklin (a mere 2.2 miles from my house & just 3 blocks from the Mandolin Cafe). Hey Tracy, I could ride my bike to work & stop for a latte' before I head home ... how cool is that? On Thursday I got the call that I had the job & I took it! It was at the same moment that Paul, the teacher that I am currently working with got a job offer of his own & he took it. It's like the final scenes in the movie Backdraft ... You go, I go.

Here's a picture of Franklin elementary (sorry about the tiny picture, I lifted it off of the Tacoma website & they aren't very generous with their pixels). They have 4 Autism classrooms & I think my job is in the 3,4,5 classroom with the oldest kids. It was a weird interview in the fact that it wasn't held at the school & the teacher wasn't part of the interview team. They have more than one opening so I am just trusting the universe & the special ed director that I land in the classroom that is the best fit for me. They did ask what my preference was & truth be told, I would love to work with the preschoolers. But I never say that in interviews, I always pull a Mother Teresa. I say things like, oh, wherever you think I will fit best or wherever you need me the most. Because the bottom line for me is that all kids deserve adults that want to be with them & will do there best. Administrators are now duking it out over when I will start. Franklin wants me this Monday, Fawcett doesn't want to cut me loose yet. Since Paul is leaving I am sure Fawcett would prefer me to stay until the new teacher gets all cozy and comfortable in the routine, but that's not happenin' either. So I am hoping for sometime next week, or the 10th at the very latest. Will keep y'all posted.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

All moved in!

Jenn & Katie 2005!

Katie, Shiela & Jenn 2004

Jenn came to the rescue all day Sunday, helping Katie move in, get organized & put together a book shelf. Jenn was one of the first people Katie met last year in the icky dorm, Cedar, along with Jenn's roommate Shiela ... not a long lasting relationship. But Katie & Jen have stuck together this last year, a good thing!

Meet Meredith, she is one of Katie's new roomies. She is the one with great taste in clothes ... dig that green shirt.

Meet Meagan, another new roomie & a softball player. She is also a big fan of Colin Firth & that 5 hour & 10 minute version of Pride & Prejudice.

The out to dinner with the girls, the last supper before the start of classes. Jenn, Stephanie & Bethany have an off campus apartment. Lucky for Katie, since cable won't be hooked up in her new dorm until the middle of October, can't miss an episode of Gilmore Girls.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Fred Bear

Katie has some very good buddies from the dorm last year, Jenn and Bethany. Here we have Katie and Jenn shopping in the Medford Fred Meyers when who should they meet but Fred Bear (aka Bethany).

Though Katie's new room has some great furniture, she needed a bookshelf, which Jenn & Bethany have promised to help her put together (so you are off the hook for now Rob). And the mattress purchaser at SOU was Papa Bear from the story of Goldilocks, so we needed to get a cushy mattress topper. So with list in hand, Jenn & Katie attacked Fred Meyers. And when we couldn't locate something, Fred came to the rescue and led the way. Fred knows that store like the back of her paw.

The 4 of us went to lunch at Applebees (Bethany left the Bear suit at the store) and next onto Linen's & Things. We were all done there in time for me to get back to Ashland and the Blue Giraffe Spa for my hot stone massage with Zeb. Ahhhhhh, after I staggered out of there I did a little retail therapy of my own and found a couple of green things that I couldn't just leave in Ashland. Then I headed over to the football game for halftime. They were tied at 7 when I got there, which is good because they usually get clobbered by Western Oregon. After watching the halftime festivities, I headed over the the Women's Volleyball game. Their volleyball team has won the conference and region for the last 3 years. They are good & very fun to watch. They beat Concordia in 3 straight (the football team eventually lost 24-10). Next I headed to town to pick up dinner from Pangea's, my favorite wrap place, but they were closed, sad. Then over to Pilaf, my favorite vegetarian spot for take out, but they were likewise closed, hey! it's only 8:30. This town does really roll up early at night. Saved by Munchies, were I got a great veggie burrito, headed back to my "dorm" & large jacuzzi tub. The funny thing about this tub is that they left me some wonderful bath salts & a candle to add to the ambiance of relaxation...but no matches. Not even at the front desk. So next trip I will just have to plan ahead and bring my own.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Hello Ashland

Here we are, back in Ashland. Hmmmmm, seems just like a month ago that we were here ... maybe because we were here a month ago. As you can see, Katie is all moved into her dorm/apartment. She has decorate in the style of chaos in a small space, or why put away when you can pile. Just kidding Katie (luckily her apartment doesn't have internet yet, so she won't be mad at me for that last crack until I am safely back in Tacoma). To be fair I took these pictures right after she had unloaded her car.

Cool armoire ... but no handles or pulls to open it. Rob, you need to get on that asap! The bed frame & desk are also made out of a nice wood, not your standard dorm metal and particle board furnishings.

So far I have met 2 of her 3 roommates. All 3 are transfer students. Cassie is a pysch major and cheerleader. I can't remember Meredith's major, but I know that when she gets stressed, she cleans. I haven't met Meagan yet, but I think that when Katie talked to her, she is a big Colin Firth fan and loves the 5 hour & 10 minute version of Pride & Prejudice. Katie will correct me if I am wrong.

Monday, September 19, 2005


Tonight was the big surprise party for Rob who turns the big 36 today! Matt came over as the big surprise guest. Katie put the whole surprise, decorations, cake, etc. together herself. She is quite the party planner & Rob couldn't have been more surprised. The cowboy theme was just the ticket for our little buckaroo.

As you can see, we were not short on food tonight. A big thanks to Tracy who was out entertaining his sister from Texas. Though he & Robert couldn't make it, they dropped off a wonderful stew (sorry no leftovers) with extra potatoes for Katie's last Monday before she goes back to school. Katie got all of her favorites kalbi steak, green bean casserole, bananas foster tart & oooodles of potatoes.

Katie looks a bit pale in this photo. She has been working herself to the bone with kindergarteners and getting all of her school stuff together. But she promises me that this year at school will be the best year ever. Keep smiling Katie!

And as the evening drew to a close, all that could be seen on N. 5th was Marilyn riding off into the sunset!

Friday, September 16, 2005


After 11 days of school it's time for TGIF! Thanks to our new principal, Zeek who was the host with the most food & beverages galore. When he walked into the kitchen carrying the industrial size Artichoke Jalepeno dip, all I could say was I love this man. I have a feeling that he will be very successful at Fawcett. We had a great turnout, preschool through 5th grade. The nice thing about these gatherings is that you get to see the people that you work with. Between having classrooms at different hallways and lunch breaks at different times I go days without seeing people that I work with. And I really like the people I work with. At least the ones who read this blog.

Reunited cuz it feeeeeels so goooooood ... Do you think Shari & Georgene miss their ol' buddy Kurt? Heck yeah. Kurt moved from the 1st grade at Fawcett over to a kindergarten classroom at Stanley. He is really earning his paycheck with 20 very energetic Kindergarteners all day long. I have proof of this from Katie who was wokring with Kurt all last week. Katie keeps telling me that this experience has convinced her that she never is going to teach ... before she bends my ear each night for 2 hours about all the kids and what they did that day.

Mrs. Flynn & her excuse for not teaching since last December, Miz Maegan Michelle, stopped by to see what they were missing. Maegan is personality plus and has completely won over Katie as you can see. I don't think that Stacee misses all of the teacher talk. It was great to see them both.

One of our TGIF regulars, Mr. Art brought his lovely wife Sherry. We have these periodic gatherings just so we can all see Mr. Art. Always have a cold 12 pack of Fat Tire in the fridge to keep him happy.

Name that Tooshie! It's a dangerous thing to come to my house and talk to the fish in the pond when I have my camera handy!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Blogging, the next generation

I am spending my days at school working with 5 graders. I really like 5th graders, at least the vast majority of them. One of the biggest highlights every year at school is going with the 5th graders to Enviromental camp. 5th graders are funny animals.

Today, our Mrs. Sears asked me to work with 3 of her students to work on a classroom blog. So I showed them a how to create a post & they went crazy. They had the best time. First typing one sentence then looking at the blog. Typing another sentence, taking another look. They did a great job. So if you want to check out 5th grade blogging just click on Mrs. Sears classroom blog.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Look! We all fit!!!

It's a rare Monday night that we all fit around the dining room table. But tonight we did it. A small, intimate group of 14 friends and neighbors. Of course Peter made a lasagna that would feed a church choir with 37 members. Lots of hors d'vours, munch, munch, munch! By the end of the evening Katie was lobbying for lots of her favorite foods for next week, her last Monday night before returning to college. Katie's all about comfort foods, homemade mac & cheese, fettucini alfredo, green bean casserole (my contribution), bananas foster tart (Kathryn's specialty) & anything with POTATO in the title. Hope that we'll see you there, for Katie's bon voyage & a surprise to boot (ssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh).

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Family Time

Today Katie & I went to the northern edges of Seattle for a family gathering. Kevin Farewell has turned 31. & I remember when he was an obnoxious boy of 8 who knew it well and had no qualms of sharing his superior knowledge. Lucky for us, he has become a very good man with a wonderful family. Wife Dottie is at this moment hiding their son Dexter Joseph on this his due date. The older sister, Mary is not quite sure that she is ready to greet this new sibling yet.

We took this opportunity to deliver the Husky hats to their new owners. Mary is all about accessories & loved the hat. Mom & Dad are very anxious to see if Dexter's hat will fit him.

Kevin needed a little help blowing out the candles on his cupcake.

And was it a good party with good eats, you ask??? The answer is on the tip of Mary's tongue!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Back to Spin @ 5 AM

Happy, happy, joy, joy. I am back into my workout routine for the school year. Can't tell you how excited I am to hear my alarm chime at 4:35 again. In the car by 4:50 with my workout clothes on & my trusty water bottle at my side so I can be at the Downtown Y when the doors open. Gotta get up to the spin room so I can pick out my bike before anyone else gets their mitts on it. I wish I could say that after 45 minutes of spin with Beth (my favorite spin instructor) I realized how much I missed it over the summer. Unfortunately what I did realize after about 5 minutes was how much my butt hurt on the seat. Warm ups were followed by 3 10 minute hills with a 2 minute rest in between (like that helps). So my goal today was to just live through it. And I did. And I will be back on Friday to face Liz, the Spin Dominatrix, pray for me.

Tracy keeps buggin me to do the Puyallup ride on Sundays. It's easy he says. Only 30 miles. Mostly flat. And I thought to myself while spinning, if I rode on Sunday, I could justify making Monday my day off. Now that has possibilities. Setting my alarm for 6:15 on Mondays & still able to get out of the house by 7 for that all important latte run. Of course that means I would miss spin class with Walter, no comment.

Monday, September 05, 2005

PINK MARTINI !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Say hi to the Pink Martini fan bus from Tacoma! That would be Front Row: (L to R) Jessica & Tracy (with the cute pink flamingo puppet) Back Row: (L to R) Sarah, Katie, Moi (how they ever got me into the picture, I will never know) Jewel & Robert. Even though the Taste of Vancouver was a bit of a disappointment, the music more than made up for it. We had the best seats in the house, for about 3 songs until everyone got up and started dancing right in front of us. So, when in Rome ... Katie & I squeezed up to the front of the dance floor & danced our tootsies off. It was very fun. Perfect sunny, blue sky, 75 degree weather. Great friends to share it with & did I mention, PINK MARTINI!!!! The bonus of the day is that the band has new T-shirts & they're GREEN, at least the one I bought is.

The nice thing about the wall of dancers that we had to squeeze through is that I got close enough to get these amazing pictures of Thomas on the piano ...

... and China singing. A great day & perfect ending to an amazing summer!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Sunday Ride

This is not Tracy's Big Blog. In fact you won't see a "Sunday Ride" post on Tracy's blog. And why is that??? That's because Mr. Tracy did not ride this morning. Sleeping Beauty couldn't drag himself out of bed after a late night of partying. So it was Diane, Robert and I left to our own devices. (Chris appeared after his big ride to Sumner, which Tracy didn't show up to, for this photo op) We rode the hood and took a quick break at the Mandolin Cafe where we ran into Ric, Tiffany & ?. We ate, we drank, we chatted & then it was back to the bikes. A grueling trip that poor Tracy didn't have the energy for. Hopefully, he will be back in his saddle next week.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Lazy Saturday

Katie & I had a lazy Satuday, which was a good thing. Last week was crazy with the start of school & the ever looming possibility of a job change for me. I started a new job at school, interviewed for 2 others, turned one job down, still waiting to hear about the other, and got a call about still another job that will be posted next week. Crazy, crazy, roller coaster week. So Saturday was a time for rest & reflection. Jen & her good buddy Michelle stopped by to raid Katie's DVD collection. As soon as Jen sat down, Sydney the dog with no boundaries, made her move on Jen. Aren't they a cute couple. But Jen & Michelle were off to the spa and Sydney was left behind, sigh. Afterwards, Katie & I made it to Batman Begins before it disappeared from the theater. It was surprisingly good & now has elevated itself to our favorite Batman movie (not too hard to do if you have seen some of the others). A quiet night at home ended a perfect day.