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, November 27, 2005

Thanksgiving 2005!!!

Thanksgiving is becoming my most favorite holiday. Once that holiday that I dreaded (long story), Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday in 04 & O5, thanks entirely to family. This year we visited Arroyo Grande, CA (near Santa Barbara). Ya know, the beach, the sun, not a bad place to fly to in November.

We stayed with my favorite cousin from childhood, Ken (sorry Sharon) and his fabulous wife Sallie Mae. I think I was born with a crush on Ken. When we were preschoolers he could make me laugh for hours & I followed him around like a puppy dog. Family lore claims that I swore I would marry him (I obivously didn't have that whole cousins shouldn't marry thing figured out then). They have a great house and love entertaining the whole clan. So we spent the Saturday after Thanksgiving bbq-ing and toasting marshmellows over the bonfire into the night. They apologized for cool evening. Helloooooo, it's November, I think we can handle the 60s. These people are obviously spoiled.

This is Sharon and Dave. Sharon is Ken's sister. I may have had a crush on Ken, but I can honestly say that Sharon was the person I aspired to be. She was my idol. Growing up, Sharon could do no wrong, my life goal was to be her. I remember a dress that she handed down to me. It was red (yes, red) velvet with giant red flocked roses on a white sheer skirt. I loved that dress and cried when I finally outgrew it. To me, Sharon was beyond cool, and still is. She has a great career and husband. She also has two very wonderful daughters and 3 adorable grandkids, and she is only 3 years older than me. Having grandchildren to spoil seems too cool. Be afraid Katie, be very, very afraid.

Emily and Natalie look very excited to be giving up their rooms to us once again. They are great sports. And as you can see by this picture, very loving sisters. Emily is the knitter, Natalie crochets & both can kick Katie's butt at a mean game of Skipbo.

Danielle is Ken's oldest daughter & in my humble opinion the "coolest". She is personality plus as you can tell by this picture. I really enjoy just hanging out with her and listening to her tell stories. She has a gift of humor that keeps everyone riveted. She is very smart and can make anything interesting. Even stories about of all places, Home Depot.

Did we mention that sneaky Ken had a painting party planned for us on Saturday? If you want to see what color we painted Ken's barn, just ask to see my jeans. It's a paint that never comes out.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Monday, November 21, 2005

Thankful for Mondays

See Mac. See Mac do dishes. Wash Mac wash! Actually Mac has done dishes before, but what made this a memorable occasion is that it's after dinner (we have the dishes to prove it) and Mac is still here. This is rare. This fall Mac has been playing basketball on Monday nights (screwed up priorities). He still shows up (so he can exercise his dog in my backyard), he has a few beers (makes him a better player), munches on the horsdeavours and then slimes out. Tonight marks the end of his basketball season, so he can make it thru a whole Monday night, dishes included. Psssst, unknown facts about Mac: he prefers doing dishes to drying (then he doesn't have to put the dishes away), he won't wash wine glasses (a breaking phobia) and won't dry them (still the breakage issue). Hope to see you back again soon Mac.

And for your after dinner entertainment, Rob's rendition of "This Little Light of Mine." Looks a little on the creepy side. Almost like PeeWee Herman after a few shots of tequila. Isn't Tiffany cute in the background? What a genuine and innocent smile. She has no idea at this very moment what kind of a psycho she is sitting next to. Someone really ought to tell her. Naaahhhhhh, she'll find out soon enough.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Full Moon

Can you tell it's a full moon tonight? Actually, a black leather moon if ya wanna get technical. Chris just scored these black leather pants this weekend. He didn't wear them over, but we made him go change and model them for us. Cute huh! We all had to tell him that they look GREAT from behind. Definitely a behind made for black leather. Thanks for the show Chris.

Robert & Tracy stopped by on their way out to dinner & again after dinner. They skipped Monday Night Dinner to go out and celebrate their 14th Anniversary. Congrats you two! So I had to ask where were they going to dinner. The Keg. Oh, no, Rob & I then preceeded to tell them that they had to go to Asado. We ranted, we raved, we demanded! And so they went. They had to come by on their way home to tell us how much they enjoyed it, loved the food and had a FABULOUS time. It's a great restaurant, its just hard to believe is that it is on 6th Ave in Tacoma. That's Tacoma these days, one surprise after another.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Must See!

Its been a fun Sunday of discoveries. First, Rob & I went and saw the new movie Capote. WOW! What an intense movie. Phillip Seymour Hoffman was mesmerizing as Capote & definitely deserves the Oscar for his performance. If you are tired of brainless movies, treat yourself to this one quick before it disappears from the theaters.

After all of that work watching the movie, Rob was hungry (such a boy). So where to go for dinner? Even though I live in Tacoma & have eaten out in Tacoma more than 100 times, picking a restaurant is always a quandry. So we decided to drive down 6th Ave for inspiration. And there it was, Asado. I have been watching the brown paper over the windows since the summer. Looked open so we decided to check it out. Ohmygosh, so very glad that we did. It was FABULOUS. Created by some of the talented people who were at El Gaucho has done it up right. They just opened on Friday and by the time we left tonight the place was packed. On a Sunday. In Tacoma. Great variety of food that all tasted marvelous. A little pricier than the average, but not as high as El Gaucho. Well worth the price. Jessica, if you are reading this, Asado has great steaks! I have braved new restaurants in Tacoma & most have food or service issues even after being open for a month. Asado was perfect on day 3. You can tell their staff was trained in the El Gaucho way. Very attentive without being irritating. They make you feel very well cared for.

Capote & Asado, a great way to end a 3 day weekend.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Free for Life!

Well I did it today. I slipped under my WW goal weight (still got 4 more lbs to hit my personal goal weight). So, if I stay a good girl (which I will), I will never have to pay to weigh in again. And my plan is to keep weighing in every week forever. Not gonna let those unconcious pounds creep on again.

Last month I bought a little black dress that I couldn't zip up. I told Katie when I could zip up the dress, I would take a picture in it and post it for her. But first, my favorite GREEN coat. I saw it in Ashland, but didn't have the courage to buy it until Katie and Jenny told me that I had to get it & you know how I do what I'm told when clothes buying is concerned. Don't they have great taste!

And now for the little black dress, Ta Da!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Just for you, Katie!

Hmmmmmmm, what does it say on that itty bitty sign?

That's right Katie, it's Sal's in Philadelphia. Your all time most favorite italian restaurant in the whole wide world. Remember the fettucini alfredo??? Close your eyes, can you still taste it???? mmmmmmmmmmm So, how did I, your mom, get this up close picture of the front door of Sal's??? It's not a professional picture. Would you believe that I flew to Philadelphia for dinner last weekend and it has taken me this long to scrape up the courage to tell you? Is that the sound of you screaming profanities??? Well, no, I didn't go. But I know who did. And you know him too! It was Robert. When I heard that he would be in Philadelphia over the Halloween weekend, I told him about Sal's and demanded that he go. I also told him to take a picture so I could terrorize you with it. He is such a good boy, always doing what he is told. The good news is is that he went. The bad news is very, very bad. So the very, very bad news is that he said Sal's has changed management and it isn't as good as we remembered. Sad news. But we were there when it was great, and it was GREAT!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Mall Stories

Ok, so I don't like shopping at the mall. I actually dread it. I would much rather give my money to a small local shop where I can chat and catch up on the neighborhood doings with the owner. But sometimes I just have to bite the bullet and go to the mall for those few things I can't find anywhere else. This was the case tonight. I left the house at 4, told the dogs that I would be back in a couple of hours and bravely plotted my course for the mall.

I park near Macy's and walked in. I thought since I was there anyway, I would pop up to the second floor where they keep the short people clothes and look for a fancy sweater for my little black dress that should fit really well, in 5 lbs. Oh oh, a sale. And if that isn't bad enough, they have GREEN things on sale. Well it won't hurt to look.

8 hangers later I trek into the dressing room, past the sign that says 4 garment limit & start trying on clothes. I emmerge with 4 things that might work, including a jacket (green) that I'm not sure where I'd wear, but I am hoping for a good rationalization later. I pick up a few more things and then migrate toward dresses. I am still looking for a sweater for my dress, so I think that maybe good dress sweaters with be hanging out in Dressland. I pick up a few more things, black jacket for the dress + matching skirt and head to the dressing room now lugging 12 hangers. Past the 4 garment limit sign & into a room. What I thought was a jacket is really a top, but tried it anyway with the skirt and checked it in the 3 way mirror. Looks good, but I am not sure, will it be too hot, will I really wear it & then there is the jacket.

I need help & not a sales person working on commission to be found. Hey, I have a serious pile of clothes here. I just need a tiny little compliment & I could make a commissioned salesperson's night. No help. I need help. Ok, do I know a professional who lives nearby??? I'll call Jenn. Jenn & Jessica & Sarah are professional shoppers. They actually like the mall. They like several malls. Maybe Jenn could give me a little phone encouragement & my agony will end.

i dial. She answers. Is she busy? No, just talking on the phone to Jessica, what do I need? Well, I hem, I haw and then I explain that I am standing in a dressing room at Macy's. Without one more word, Jenn blurts out, "i'll be there in 15 minutes!" Click. She made it in 10. My mall and shopping allergies are well known, but when I professional shopper hears that a lost soul has found themselves in a dressing room it's a bigger deal than a crack addict getting clean and finding religion.

Long story short. Jenn came, she saw, she conquered. I made one nice salesperson very happy and I left the mall at 9 pm, so glad that the dogs can't tell time. Though they were slightly miffed. Now don't faint, but I actually had fun. Couldn't have been the mall, must have been the company. Thank you Jenn & Kurt for a wonderful evening, we must do it again sometime ,,,, maybe April 2006.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Oh Black Water!

I know, it sounds like the lyrics to a song, but it is actually the hottest new coffee emporium in Tacoma. Love the colors & the atmosphere. The coffee is the best in Tacoma. It's just a coffee and gathering place that has been done right! Go check it out at 747 S. Fawcett in Downtown Tacoma.

This is Rachel and Wes. This is Rachel's brand new business & Wes would be her trusty partner in crime. He also makes a decaf nonfat capucinno to die for. This has been Rachel's dream for as long as I have known her. We met eons ago when she was a reliable morning barista at the Kickstand Cafe. Truly the day she left, the place totally went down hill, but that's a long story. Wes was the primo night guy at the Mandolin Cafe.

AJ is the coffee genius and roaster. All the Tacoma coffee geeks know him from Queen Anne Thriftway on Proctor, when their coffee was the best in town. Then he moved on, they changed their name, and dare I say it, yup, all down hill from there. He is making the first coffees of the night for invited guests to the VIP premiere.

Now this is the Wes that I know from the Mandolin. Talk about your customer service. I was thinking that since our friend Scott, of Calendula Gallery & Nursery, is a Tacoma Icon because the photo of the back of his head (with a small plant perched on top) is plastered on all of their advertising. Rachel should consider doing the same thing with this photo of Wes with his tongue sticking out. He could be a legend in his own mind.

Look, dirty dishes before they are even open. Katie, this shot is just for you. I don't want you to think that you will be bored over Christmas break. I will talk to Rachel for you & maybe you'll luck out and get a job washing dishes. I know what an expert dishwasher you have become in your apartment.