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.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Family Portrait

Derek is still the most popular guy in town. Tiffany's parents came up from California to meet their grandson, They all stopped by for lunch on Saturday. Derek behaved like a pro and slept throughout lunch so the grown ups could chat. I must report that Derek's grandparents are very nice people and I thouroughly enjoyed the afternoon. I hope that we all can visit again soon.

Only 2 weeks old & Derek has the "Mom, Dad, Not In Public" look down. He is so advanced for his age. Get used to it Derek, these people will be embarassing you in public for the next 20-30 years, it's their job. After 30 years or so, you'll get used to it. They mean well. And in 16 years you might just want to borrow the car on a Saturday night, so putting up with a little PDA might get you an extra hour before curfew. Just remember that.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Ahhhhh Green

Green is my favorite color. I love green. Green just makes me happy. So when I walked into the birkenstock store and saw these beauties, I knew I had to walk out in them. And so I did. They go with just everything in my closet.

And now they go with everything that's in my garage. Last October when I went shopping for Katie's Christmas present I never saw this coming. On that day I remember telling Rob, who went with me, that I was not going to buy a car that day. And then I did. I bought it without even a test drive. So the day that we went to pick up Katie's car Rob said that someday I will have to get one for myself. Yeah, I know. Maybe in a year or 2, I just wasn't ready. After driving Katie's car .8 miles I was ready. Very ready. I realized that I had gotten Katie the coolest car in the world and it gets 50+ mpg. I ordered mine & it arrived today. So with a heavy heart & said good bye and good luck to the Honda & the Acura (hope that they get good new homes), and cut my insurance bill in half. But if that wasn't enough, the dealership gave me a great big check. Brand new car, lower bills & they write me a check instead of the other way around, it just doesn't get any better than that.

Isn't it cute. This is Toyota's picture of my car. I would have taken a picture of mine, but those of you who have been in Tacoma the last coupld of days know it would be hard to make out the car with all of the raindrops on the camera lens. So if you would like a ride in the coolest car in town, just let me know & I would be thrilled to take you out for a spin.

Monday, January 23, 2006

That baby!

Ok, so I'm a little obessed with the new baby in the neighborhood. But just look at him. He's sooo cute. How could you not want to take pictures of him. Hey, it's not like I have an image of him tatooed to my ankle. Anyway, I have to post pictures for Katie to see. So Kate, these are for you!!

What do you mean you think I need my hair combed? Aren't I adorable just the way I am??? By the way, what's a comb?

Oh so that's a comb. Hey this isn't so bad. I think I could get used to this.

Enough already!!! No. I am not going to get used to this at all. I want Dad's hair style.

Whew, that was exhausting. Mom, dinner ready yet? I'm starvin'.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Happy Bday Robert!

Doesn't look a day over 29 does he? Tracy sure knows how to throw a party. We all gathered at Mama Stortini's in Puyallup to yell surprise & Robert was! Of course, the hostess took Tracy and Robert to the wrong table first. A big group of people who didn't look familiar to either one of them. Tracy had to tell her, nope, don't know these people, let's try another table. Luckily they didn't give up and they found us (we were the very rowdy group to the very back of the restaurant). Before the evening was over we drove all of the other tables out of our section. The people next to us were quite friendly & shared a dirty joke with us. It was very funny, I just can't remember it. The food was great, even after the small menu debacle. Believe it or not, the General Manager told Tracy that he had agreed to the short menu (which he didn't) and Tracy was just mistaken (obviously the GM didn't know who he was talking to or how unruly his friends could be). But we got exactly what we wanted, without too much of a scene. All & all we had a great time. Anyway the evening is always made by who you are with & we all have excellent taste in friends.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Baby Sighting!

On my way home today I just happened to stop by and check up on Derek & his parents. I must report that everyone looks well rested. Derek has gotten the eating thing down. And speaking of down, he's pretty proficient at the pooping thing too, as he blasted a big one while I was holding him. Derek is sleeping for 3 and 4 hour stints, what a smart little guy. As you can see this is one of his favorite places to nap. Just wanted everyone to know that all of your good wishes for the new family have not gone to waste. Keep sending those good vibes their way.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Peter's new toy

I put on the blog that low cal/low fat would be nice for Monday night dinner. So what does Peter do? He runs out and buys a Chocolate Fountain. So much for my New Year's resolutions. Chris & Peter are like two kids in a candy store. A candy store in My Kitchen. Trying to stay in these size 6 jeans that I squeezed into last month has become quite a challenge.

In the immortal words of Homer Simpson, "Mmmmmmmmmm Chocolate..."

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Note to the Derek Fan Club!

After an all Derek weekend, this blog will return to focusing on the political unrest in Kyrgyzstan (just kidding). I will continue to stalk the little guy and snap photos. BTW, I have a bunch more pictures than I have been able to post & will continue to have more pictures than I will be able to post. So if you are interested, I would love to email you the entire collection, destined to give you numerous hours of entertainment on a screen saver near you. Just email me ( your email and I will keep you informed. Thank you for your continued support.

Derek's Home!

Ahhhhhhh, so this is what home looks like! I like it!

As you can see Mom & baby are very glad to be home. Derek is bright eyed and bushy tailed, taking it all in. Hoping that the change of scenery will provide a little more rest for the new little family.

Dad is doing a great job of taking care of everything. Derek really likes hangin' out with the old man.

Katie is enjoying spending time with the little man before she goes back to college tomorrow. She'll be back for a weekend visit on the 24th of February. Derek will having a lot of growing to do between now and then. Hopefully she will recognize him when she returns (we'll have to keep sending her pictures so she will). He will definitely remember her, his first visitor and good buddy.

Nighty, night Derek. Sleep well. We'll be seeing you soon.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Another Derek Day!!!

What a cute boy. His personality was sure coming out today. He has definite ideas of what he wants and when he wants it and isn't shy to ask. But who could resist this charmer? Not us.

Mom & baby. Doesn't she look great? And he's so handsome too. Tiffany caught up on a little sleep today. She is looking forward to being home again and getting into a new family routine. Hopefully tomorrow will be the day that she feels well enough to go home (those C sections sure can take a lot out of a person, literally & figuratively). In that case, expect new pictures of "Derek at Home".

Mom feeds and Dad burps. What a great division of labor. It looks like Derek is training them well. Mom & Dad seem to take very well to their new supervisor. And why not, he gives them one heck of a work bonus.

Surrounded by girls already. Told you that Derek was a charmer. That's Katie again. Does she ever put that baby down? She is trying to get her fill before she has to return to college on Monday. 4 1/2 year old Eva is waiting for a new arrival at her house (Mom's due toward the end of February). So Eva took this fine opportunity to practice her sibling skills with Derek. She was very excited and captivated by Derek, hopefully she will be as thrilled when Mom and Dad don't leave her new sibling at the hospital and bring him/her home. More patient than me, they are waiting for their baby to arrive before they find out girl or boy.

Tiffany you've earned this one. After 10 months of being oh so good, a cold beer is just what the doctor ordered. So lean back & relax while you give Ric & Derek some father/son bonding time. Mom's gonna honor that German heritage and have a little Oktoberfest in January.

Friday, January 13, 2006

It's A Derek Von Matthies!!!!

Hey, whatcha lookin' at??? Hey, I'm only 8 hours old & the paparazzi has already found me. I made my big entrance at 7:47 this morning. I weighed in at 6 lbs. 10.5 oz. & I am a lanky 22 inches long, which I must admit impresses alot of people. In fact, I have been told that I am perfect & I wouldn't disagree with my elders.

Here's me & Dad. Isn't he a swell guy. He has such a nice voice that I try to open my eyes and look at him every time I hear him talk.

Doesn't my Mom look great!!! Even though I made her go through 24 hours of labor & then they had to come and get me via C section. Hey, a know a good thing when I have it & I wasn't givin' up easy. Though it is pretty cool on the outside. Lots of very friendly and nice people, who all think I am the center of the universe, so I know that they are very smart too.

This is my good buddy Katie. Did you know that she flew all the way from Medford Oregon just to be my very first visitor? She held me a lot today, cuz Mom & Dad were pretty pooped. I think we are going to be very good friends.

Hi Ric's Mom!

Tiffany just called me to let me know that you are in Africa. Wow. That's a long way from Tacoma (I know that because I work in education & we have globes). Since I am guessing I won't be running into you at the hospital this weekend, I thought I would post some more pictures of your fabulous grandson (and son). I'll be taking some more pictures tomorrow (and the day after that and the day after that and the day after that, just call me Sandy Stalker). I'm guessin' this will be an all Derek weekend on my blog. Hopefully this will help take the pressure off of the new parents who really want to post pictures on the web and email, but have a few more important things to do at least for right now. So here are even more pictures of the newest neighborhood heart throb.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

It's a Woman!!!!

No baby news yet. But lots of entertainment instead at Robert's show!!!

Don't we look GREAT in green? Dominque (Robert's stage persona) wore green just for me. She mentioned that she wished she had a green feathered boa. Shoulda called, I just happen to have one in my closet (like that's a surprise).

And now for the star of the show, Dominiue DuBois! Isn't she stunning (must be the green)! What a fabulous entertainer! She had the crowd on their feet, throwing money at her.

And the crowd went wild!!!! Just a typical night for some elementary school teachers & friends. You always wondered what your old kindergarten teacher did after you went home. Wonder no more.

What do we have here??? This is what happens, when you go out for a little fun & to support a friend. Friends turn on you. The owner of the club who was running the show dragged me onto the stage (thanks Robert) for a "suicide drag" number. That's when a totally unsuspecting and unprepared civilian gets the "opportunity" to enter the world of drag to the tune of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" (no comment).

So my advice to you if you ever find yourself in this prediciment is keep moving and fast. So when all of your "supportive" friends start snapping pictures of you, the best they get is a blur. In a moment like this, trust me, everyone looks better as a blur.

Think Happy Baby Thoughts!

Today's the day! Or maybe tomorrow. Tiffany & Ric have been patiently waiting for their reluctant son who was due 2 weeks ago. Tiffany is scheduled to be induced this morning. So keep happy thoughts for a speedy delivery so we can all meet the little prince soon.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Breakfast for Dinner

Mmmmmm, breakfast for dinner was yummy. It's funny how breakfast is the most important meal of the day & it is filled with cholestrol, carbs & sugar, sugar, sugar. Makes you wonder all about that whole food pyramid thing. Anyway, the food was great even if it wasn't health food. French Toast, egg casseroles, coffee cakes, i could go on. The big score of the night was maple syrup that Doug and Marilyn brought all the way from Vermont earlier that day. Boy, do we have timing or what.

As you can see below, Robert and I went all out for the theme & wore our pjs for dinner. We were very comfy and everyone else was very jealous. Just to set the record straight: Anyone can wear pjs to Monday night dinner any time they want.

Did I mention the Mimosas??? Well we had to finish off the champagne from New Years Eve. Can't have that stuff laying around getting stale, now can we. As you can see, Tony & Jewel really enjoyed the Mimosas? Did I mention that they are now engaged, or maybe they are adopting each other... or something like that.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Official End of Winter Break

Actually, my winter break ended at 7:59 am last Tuesday morning, but Katie had a whole 'nother week to stay up til 3, sleep in til noon & loggy-gag in her pjs. Today it all ended with a long drive back to Ashland where classes start tomorrow. But not before she said good by to her best friend Alicia & Alicia's fiancee' Matt.

When did kids start to dread getting their pictures taken. I got this gem after 3 tries and faces that I can't post on this blog because of our PG-13 rating. Dig those stylin' pjs, very cute Miss Alicia! Katie is going to be Alicia's maid of honor this June and they spent most of Saturday shopping for dresses. Luckily, I was attending a birthday party for a one-year-old. On Wednesday Alicia and Matt fly back to Maryland where they are both living, working & going to school. So the girls will be left to communicate long distance on all of the important wedding decisions. Katie will be throwing Alicia a bachelorette party, so be sure to let me know the names & numbers of any good male strippers that you know. I am planning on spending most of April & May auditioning them. It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it!

Katie go bye bye. There she goes. Getting into her new ride & heading back to college. Isn't she a cutie-patootie? I'm sure gonna miss her. Just hopin' that she will really like her classes, have fun on the job & enjoy her good buddies during the time she has left over. Updating her blog so I can share a vicarious moment or two would be nice also. Luv ya baby!!!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

It's Showtime!!!

We may not be a New York or Chicago, but Tacoma is the place to be in January.

First, mark your calendars for Thursday, January 12th. We are headed to "On the Rocks" in downtown T town to see Robert's (aka Dominique) show. I was lucky enough to see his show last May & I had a great time. Robert will be performing along with other gifted guys in drag that know how to put on a hugely entertaining show. You won't wanna miss it. The show starts at 8 & we'll see you there!

The following Thursday, January 19th we are headed to the Blackwater Cafe, the hot new downtown coffee spot to hear some great music. The Super 8 will be playing at 7pm. The band members are Will, Stuart & Kathleen. They are fun people and great friends. Will was one of the talented artists that worked on my house & designed Katie's "princess" bed. Stuart & Kathleen are good buddies of Rob (but don't hold that against them) and are very fun people to hang out with. We'd like to pack the Blackwater for them. So if you want a great evening of music and beverages, please join us.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

How could I forget???

And the highlight of the night was a live performance by Pink Martini Themselves. I got an email that Pink Martini had been selected to play the west coast into the new year on NPR's Toast of the Nation. So I tuned it in about 11 pm, turned on every speaker in the house & the 2 outside (because Pink Martini is the real reason to have a monster sound system and speakers in every room of the house). When I heard their first song, I cranked it. Well, duh! It was fabulous, fabulous, fabulous!!! Listening to China & Thomas, count down to midnight, live in my very own home followed by "Brazil", it just doesn't get any better than that.

Everyone commented on what a great party it was. With amazing friends, great food & drink, and Pink Martini playing live in your home, how could it not be the party of the year!

Happy New Year!

Are these Party Girl's or what??? Ready for anything, even the new year! Nothing will stop them from ringing in the new year with style.

A crowd shot. I think we had a total of 30 people come through the door, with enough food for 300 people. This was the staging area for the food. Every kitchen outlet was supplying power to a crock pot, fondue pot or other essential appliance. I am surprised that we didn't shut down the whole Tacoma power grid. It was a happy and well fed bunch. One highlight was taking this whole congregation (all 30 of us) across the street and into the new neighbor's house. Jason said they were having an open house until whenever & we took him at his word. They were, to say the least, a bit surprised, and very good sports. Giving tours to strangers even after they had put their 2 year old down for the night. Don't you wish you had moved across the street from me???

Then their were the SERIOUS card players. No peeking. I think Chris won the first round. Probably because he had arrived late & didn't consume any alcohol.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! With sparklers & noise makers & poppers, we let the neighborhood know that 2006 was officially here! I think we were a teensy bit louder than our friendly neighborhood rooster.

That's all she wrote. Later Sarah tried to convince me that it was my chairs that were too comfortable & she couldn't help drifting off. Aaaaaawwwww, not buying it. I think it was more likely the therapeutic value of Dr. Mac's Cosmopolitan's. I've sampled Mac's Cosmpolitans and Margaritas now & I think we need to rent him out as a bartender & make some money off of that boy. Note to self: Don't fall asleep in my house when I have the camera & laptop handy.