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.

Monday, October 31, 2005


Halloween 2005, a very spooky night!

Got the house all decked out. Ready for all of the Monday night ghouls & goblins. Thanks to Rob I have cobwebs everywhere, wish he would clean up now and then. The house looked great, but the dining room really looked like the Addams family guest cottage.

Because of the horrible weather it was a slow night of trick or treaters. So all of the brave souls got a handful of candy. Here are our neighbors Fionna & Shrek ... actually Eve and her little brother Eli. Aren't they adorable? Mom says it was the only time they got Eli to put his mask on.

Then some old Fawcett buddies Adrianna & her brother Pj stopped by with the folks. Can you tell that PJ is now in the 6th grade and totally bored with this trick or treat thing, but just try to get a piece of candy from him.

Is it the 3 stooges??? No it is the famous Munizza's Ella, Joe & Rose. Ella is in first grade and a princess for halloween (and the other 364 days out of every year). Joe is a spooky ghost complete with the white swim cap. Rose, her dad brags, has been dying to be a pig & has been talking about nothing else for months. It was good that they stopped because Joe was more than ready to use us as a rest stop.

While Joe and Dad were in the restroom, good sport Rose, the pig, guarded Dad's beer with her life. She is well trained and definitely Daddy's girl! Wish trick or treating were like this when I was a kid, candy in one hand and a beer in the other. Doesn't get any better than that!

hallllllooooooowwwweeeeen 2!

Welocme to my Haunted House of Fun. Who says Halloween is just for the kids?

Yes it is me. I was sooooo disappointed that I didn't have time to dress up, so I had to wear my usual home attire. Is the dress divine or what. I got it from my girlfriend, Dominique. She says that Tracey doesn't like her in green (fool) so she passed it along to me. Green, I think I can find a place for it in my wardrobe. Robert was kind enough to shape my wig and give me extensive instructions so I would look fab. And I do, Thank you Robert!!!!

The most talked about dish to arrive was Tracey's "Kitty Litter Cake" served in a kitty litter box and served with a kitty litter scoop. If you can get past what you are looking at, the cake is delish. You just have to get past how totally realistic it looks.

Chris had no problem getting past the looks. One of my favorite reasons that Chris has been a Monday night regular since day one. Truth be told, the first Monday Night Dinner we ever had came about because I was trying to figure out how to get Chris the wonder chef to cook in my kitchen. So he is a star chef, all around fun guy & has proven that he will eat ANYTHING! That's how I get leftovers and desserts out of the house, I just pack them up and he takes them. We love Chris.

Did I mention that we got a little crazy? Well its not our fault. Tom and Peter wouldn't come to the party so we had to bring the party to them. Specifically we brought the Kitty Litter Cake to their house, rang the doorbell and then ran and hid. How Jr. High of us. Tom doesn't seem to be really thrilled with our halloween humor.

Speaking of Halloween Humor, I am surprised that Peter is talking to me let alone giving me a hug (check his hands for sharp objects and email me if you notice anything susupisous). Peter opted out of Monday night because he wanted to give candy out to the kids that came to their house. So I thought if I could clean him out of candy quick, he would come and join us for dinner. Then my evil plan: I told every kid that came to our door to go to Peter's house, demand a handful or two and announce that Sandy had sent them. Of course Peter is so well prepared buying enough to feed hurricane victims world wide). Luckily about 9, he came down for a quick visit. As always, greeeeaaaaattttt having you Peter.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Happy Halloween Katie!!!

Katie, you know I always think of you at this time of year with the most fond and loving thoughts of your childhood. Halloween of 1990, when you were merely 4 was the Halloween that I remember the most. That was the year that you were the PLU cheerleader. Remember? You were very cute ( as always ). When I was on my Elementary School Carnival tour Friday night, I didn't see any PLU cheerleaders. What I did see though was some very adorable Snow Whites. Just wanted to share with you what might have been, if you had only listened to me, so many years ago........

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Halloween as a 4 day Holiday

Ya know, when Halloween falls on a Monday, it becomes this 4 day holiday. You get parties on Friday night, Saturday night, events Sunday afternoon & the big candy sacrifice on Monday night. So in my tour of Elementary school carnivals last night (by the way, when I drove past Lowell on my way home I could tell by the cars that they were having a carnival too, but I refrained from stopping) I hung out with a very diverse group of individuals.

First there was Daniel. Daniel is a preschooler in Miss Jessica & Miss Sarah's class. Look at those bulging muscles. (they do yoga in their class every day & it really looks like it's working for Daniel) Doesn't he look tough??? You should of seen him an hour later when he thought his parents had ditched him for a romantic evening alone, somewhere else, he was a loud, wet, soggy mess.

Hailey & Chloe are sisters. Chloe is still in preschool, while Hailey has moved on to Kindergarten. Last year in preschool, Hailey had the BIGGEST crush on a 5th grade boy in our class. She was stuck on him like glue. I wouldn't be surprised if Hailey tracks him down post high school and marries him. You can tell that she be a woman who always gets what she wants.

After Fawcett, I went to Jefferson and met this cute little flower and then she smiled. Orange Fangs!!! I am guessing that Mom picked out the flower costume when this angelic looking child really wanted to be a witch. It's soooooo sad when a Mom has such a great costume idea and the loved and adored child just won't get on board with it! (Know anything about that Katie??? I'm not bitter. Really, I have totally let go).

And my costume winners for the night is this flock of chickens I saw at Jefferson. Dig the Tasmanian Devil slippers on the one on the left. The picture doesn't capture how adorable they were. You had to see them when they moved. They sauntered around, looking even more like chickens. Too funny.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Friday Night out on the Town!

Another exciting Friday night. And what does a single, unattached, elligible woman over the the age of consent do on a Friday night??? Well, I'll tell you. With all of the limitless, exciting possibilities available, I went to an Elementary School Carnival (true confession, I went to not one but two Elementary school carnivals tonight). Of course you know it is the best place to pick up men this side of the frozen food aisle at 12:30 am.

Here are my partners in crime, Paul & Jewel. The 3 of us ran the Amazo-game. And we were truly amazing. We were loud and crazy and I think the kids had a really good time playing our not quite ready for Vegas game of chance.

And here are a couple of Fawcett's brightest 4th graders. Yup, the WASL will rest firmly on their shoulders. Fawcett is in big trouble, kidding. There were tons of kids and families, I really huge turn out.

Even the Fabulous Flynn Family turned out for the festivities. Maegan is very styling in her ladybug costume. Her parents are dressed in their suitably boring parent attire. They can't help it, they're old. That's what happens when perfectly nice, interesting people have children. They become immediately boring & the only interesting thing about them is the new baby. Then you are hard pressed to remember what you ever talked to them about before the baby came.

It was such a successful night that Sarah, the purple winged fairy has a big pile of cash in front of her. Wonder how those remodeling projects are going at her house??? They're sure to get done now & hopefully the carnival will break even

But the true star of the night was Principal Zeek Edmonds & his dunk tank of fun. Mac got it all warmed up for him, but the line for Zeek was at least 25 kids long, with money to burn and scores to settle with the authority figures in their lives. Zeek was a very amiable target, and drippy. Is that a Cougar shirt that he is wearing??? Hope the Cougs do better in their game tomorrow than Zeek did in the tank tonight.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Alone again, naturally

There she goes. All ready to get back to her exciting college life. Her classes, her friends & that party town known as Ashland, Oregon. And I will return to my boring life. Sigh. Brown rice for dinner & bedtime by 9:15pm. Ho Hum.

Doesn't she look like a grown-up? Miz Independant checking in & ready to jump on the plane. Unfortunately the plane was not ready for her. Her 5:05 pm departure time got pushed back to 5:30, 6:20, 6:40 ... By the number of phone calls I've gotten from her, she is VERY bored with the SeaTac airport. Hopefully she will be in the air soon, can't miss a minute of Desperate Housewives. Don't worry Kate, I'll tape it for you just in case. What are mothers for?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Baby Shower

Only 2 months of waiting left until we all get to meet the Mini Matthies. The Monday night crew threw a gang buster shower for the parents to be. Ric and Tiffany will be great parents. We are a very excited bunch of neighbors and friends, anxious to have a new baby to spoil and corrupt. A very helpful group of "aunts" and " uncles"to give our sage advice. We will make the family in "My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding" look down right dull.

Katie flew home for the festivities and to pose for this picture with Robert and Jessica. Aren't they a happy trio & they haven't even hit the over the top chocolate cake yet. Can you imagine this group peering over the side of a crib??? We may need to check an online pharmacy for some baby valium so the little prince can endure Monday Nights.

Tiffany in her jeweled Mother to Be Crown. I hope that they give her a big birthing room at St. Joes with a lot of seating. Hopefully she will pick a Monday night to deliver so we can all walk down after dessert to celebrate the new arrival. Do you think our group could pass for immediate family???

Daddy Ric examines his new Little Bunny Fru Fru. Of course you could spot all of the retired camp counselors when Little Bunny Fru Fru emerged from his gift wrap. We were the ones who immediately broke into song, complete with all of the right voice inflections. Don't worry about it Ric. We will teach you all of the words to the song before b-day comes & you will be an all pro parent, guarenteed.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Do I look stressed to you?

After an exhausting day at school (good day, but this job is the most demanding job that I have ever had) I ran my errands. With a full car I arrived home a little after 6. I unloaded the car, fed the dogs, put a kettle on the stove for a cup of tea. It was time to relax and unwind. Then I noticed our new neighbor in front of his house. So being a good Gladys Kravitz, I scooted out the front door for a neighborly visit. Jason offered to give me a tour of the progress of their house. Looking good, they should be moved in sometime in December. Then I chatted with the Ashley who mows our lawn. I finally strolled up the steps to find the front door locked. Hmmm, how could that happen? Reached in my pocket. No keys, darn. Then it hit me, the sound of the tea kettle screaming. My mind flashed to a picture of flames shooting up the walls of my kitchen. Ohmygosh!!! Now I am sprinting across the street to see if Marilyn had an extra set of my keys. Nope! OK, sprinting back across the street. Move the yard waste bin and hop the fence. Not like it happens in the movies. Ouch. The dogs had a good show. Ran into the house & turned off the burner with a whole 1/4" of water left in the pot. From here on out I am only cooking on the "Katie" burner. I walked out on the porch to let Marilyn know that all was well. I just couldn't figure it out, I am usually so good about unlocking the front door when I go out onto the porch. Then I saw it. The door to the den. I walked out the door to the den. I reached for the doorknob, it was still unlocked. It was unlocked the whole time. I was never locked out of the house. The mind is the first to go.

Monday, October 17, 2005


Me, I got a package in the mail, that I didn't even send to myself. Aren't these the most beautiful kitchen towels that you have ever seen??? They came all the way from Talent, OR (a mere 5 miles outside of scenic Ashland). And who has the most fabulous taste to pick these stunning towels out??? Bethany & Jenny, Katie's buddies who visited Tacoma last Memorial Day Weekend (so they know all about my artichoke issues). In fact, they spotted the artichoke tatoo before Katie did. We love Jenny & Bethany & hope that they can pop up sometime during Winter Break (hint, hint).

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Empty Bowls

Empty Bowls is a great event that can be found all over the country. In Tacoma it is sponsored by Metro Parks and is held every October. The proceeds go to the Emergency Food Network. Artists & regular people create bowls all year long and bring 2000 of them to this event. We the public then gather up bowls for $10 a piece and then we are treated to our choice of soups. Delish!

Jennifer and Jewel are rookies to this event while Jessica is the seasoned professional. Here they take inventory of all the bowls that they have gathered. Decision time, which ones will go home and which will go back on the table? Actually, I must admit for rookies, Jenn & Jewel scored big time with some very beautiful bowls.

And now for some soup. Here we are, the bowl hunters, with our newly purchased bowl booty. And yes Katie, Jewel did her job. I bought one green bowl and 2 others that weren't green. I am branching out, proud of me.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Going, going ...

Almost gone. This morning I hit a major milestone at Weight Watchers. I am now OFFICIALLY at the default weight setting of the elliptical trainer at the Y. Woooooo Whoooo!!! This has been a llllooooonnnnggggg time coming. I looked back over my WW history & it seems that from April to September of this year I had been playing around with the very same 5 lbs. But now this is a distant memory, yeah! So this puts me 4 lbs shy of my Weight Watchers goal (they told me this morning as soon as I get within 2 lbs of their goal, I don't have to pay every week, bonus!). And now I am a mere 10 lbs from my personal goal, which I am confident is totally doable by Christmas (my present to me). Now I can smell it, or is that the brown rice cooking? Did I mention I squeezed into a new pair of jeans today that have been sitting on a shelf in my closet, mocking me all summer??? Katie, are you listening? My promise to you is that when I hit my magic number I promise to take a picture in this little black dress (that I bought a few weeks ago but had major difficulties zipping up) and post it on the blog, just for you.

Monday, October 10, 2005

First day at Franklin

I started my new job today. Franklin Elementary is not Fawcett, as I was reminded several times today, but it is a mere 2.1 miles from my house, which just begs to be a bicycle commute to work on nicer days.

I met all of the kids in my classroom & I like them. Even the toughest ones. And I didn't get bit or pinched once. But these battle scars may be inevitable as soon as I relax enough to feel like I am doing a good job. A little pinch of reality is sure to follow. But for now I have cat-like reflexes and have my guard up.

I really like the program that Heather, the classroom teacher, is in the process of setting up for all of the kids. I am hoping that as I learn & I do have a lot to learn, with these routines the kids will develop skills and I can make a difference in their lives. I am looking forward to this becoming natural to me so I don't have to constantly think so hard. I am also looking forward to getting to know the classroom staff, the staff in the other autism classes & the school staff. Tomorrow is afterschool volleyball so hopefully I will learn a few new names & have some faces to got with them.

Wayward Cellphone Returns

Jewel rescued my phone from Fawcett today & yes, I left it in a bathroom. I have this habit of unclipping it from my pocket and leaving it as far away from the water source as possible (because of the unfortunate demise of a previous phone). Then I leave the bathroom without a thought or a care. Luckily, since Katie's face appears when you open it up, it always comes back to me.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Suitcase Sightings

One of my favorite Tacoma artists, Christopher Hoppin, emailed me to let me know about the final event of the Suitcase Sightings project in Tacoma. And since I love his work, I decided to go. I already have some of his work adorning my kitchen & thought I could maybe make room for just one more. So off Jewel and I went to check out the suitcases.

I saw this little case in the silent auction & thought it might be just right for Katie's Judy Garland collection. Happy Birthday Katie! When you come home for Christmas we will have to go visit it at the Museum of Flight because it is one of the 30 pieces that has been selected to be displayed there through February 4th. I met the artist, Vivien Kleiner, she made it with her daughter Jaquelyn. Their inspiration was Jaquelyn's return home from Kansas.

And then the bidding for the live auction started. I planted myself and waited for Christopher's suitcase to hit the block. I had an idea of how much I wanted to spend, but was ready to go higher. I opened the bidding, I was determined to get this suitcase & people who have been to auctions with me know that I don't like to lose. Someone from behind me bids. I bid again. They bid, I bid. They bid. I bid. They bid. I bid. Ok, I am now leaving my comfort zone, so I start thinking a little before my bid. My enemy does not. Against my own best advice I keep bidding, slower now, but I keep bidding. Finally, I give in, I give up, I quit, before this turns into another Raku Party. Oh well, at least Christopher has a new fan & someone else will get to enjoy his work in their home. I look over to see my nemesis and who do I see ... Teri Placentia. Teri is a friend, Katie's drawing teacher in High School and was the hostess of the before mentioned Raku Party. My first instinct was to leap the 14 people between us and punch her lights off. Then, I regained my sanity since she could probably flatten me in a fist fight. At least if I couldn't take the bag home, I know it will have a good home that I am allowed to visit, generous of you Teri.

And the winner is .... ME! Finally. I think I got the most beautiful suitcase there, Pair O Dice, by Connie Diffenderfer & Jacque Willis. They are stained glass artists & you know I have a thing for glass artists. It has some fun secret messages embedded in them. This too will be going to the Museum of Flight with Katie's case & Teri's case.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Bon Voyage

This was my last at Fawcett Elementary after 5 fabulous years. Great staff, great kids and a bunch of fun extra stuff to do. I am going to miss it all. But I am not the only one jumping ship. Below I am pictured (yes that's me posing for a picture, don't passout on your laptop) with Paul and Jewel, two 5th grade teachers who's last days are next week as they embark for new schools and new adventures.

I was counting and since the first of June last year we have lost a total of 8 staff members. Cindy, Shapreise and Kurt went to Stanley. Debbie to Spokane (hi Debbie, how is that crazy student of yours?) Jennifer to the Central Administration building (ooooooooooooo Miz Important). Paul to Boze and Jewel to Jefferson. You know when I left my last place of employment, half of the staff left within 2 months of me leaving. So I think it is only fair that I tell new employers that they need to make sure that I am happy because when I go, a whole lot of people tend to go with me. I need to remember to only use my power for good and not evil.

So Monday my new adventure begins at Franklin. Today I met the principal at Franklin and she seems wonderful. It just boggles my mind. For the number of crazy things that the district does, in my experience, they get really great principals. Go figure. Luckily it seems that the principals that they hire love the kids, take care of the staff and take what the district does in stride.

Cellphone MIA

I think that I left my cellphone at school today. Peter says it was a Freudian slip and that I really don't want to leave Fawcett. Uh-huh! Actually my thoughts are that I left it in the bathroom, which is my favorite place to leave my phone when I leave it somewhere. I was so busy and so scattered that I could have put it in a kid's backpack before putting them on the bus. So if you wanna call me this weekend, call the home phone & we'll talk.

Monday, October 03, 2005


Anyone know any good German drinking songs? Me neither. Y'all know my favorite beer drinking song. Anyway, the Monday Night theme was Oktoberfest, which means really good beer and lots of it. Which also means lots of people, a full house. We had oodles of good grub. Brats & Sauerkraut & authentic german potatoes (that I can't pronounce the german name for, thank you Rick & Tiffany) & beer & black forest torte, mmmmmmmmm.

The kids table. Aren't they cute. Poor things, had to sit on the floor because we ran out of chairs. Rarely does this house run out of chairs. Glad I have friends that are such good sports that they don't mind being relegated to the cheap seats. Next week we are back to potluck. But be thinking ghouls & ghoblins, Halloween falls on a Monday night this year. Sounds like we are headed to a Trick or Treat theme.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Ebbing slowly to goal

I don't blog much about losing these last 20 lbs, but it's not 20 anymore. Today at Weight Watchers I realized I am now a mere 5 lbs away from the default weight on the elliptical trainers at the Y. I am looking forward to the day when it that number pops up & I don't have to add anything to it (will be even more fun when I start subtracting). That puts me 9 lbs from my Weight Watchers goal and 15 lbs from my own personal goal.

So I have recommitted myself once again and plan on living the life of a Weight Watchers saint until I get rid of these pesky pounds and enter into, for once & for all, maintenance. I am thinking that if I am very, very good, I will be on track to have hit all of my goals by Christmas. It's been a long, strange trip since I embarked on this odessy 2 1/2 years ago. After it's all gone I still plan on hitting the Weight Watchers scale once a week to make sure that it never creeps back on again.