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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Washcloth Women

Tuesday night was devoted to knitting (and Gilmore Girls). Stacee & Marilyn are making washcloths, YEAH! And, Katie just to let you know, Marilyn is counting. They have both mastered the YO (yarn over) increase. YO is very easy since it is usually the first mistake that new knitters do, so it comes naturally. Neither is too thrilled with the K2tog (knit 2 together) decrease. Keep practicing girls, you'll get it.

But the amazing thing is that neither one of them has come at me with their sharp, pointy needles.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Misbehavin' All Over the Place

After getting Katie to the airport, I zipped home for the cast & crew party of Ain't Misbehaving. Robert and Ruman were already hard at work preparing food for 50 people (or course we only expected to have 15-20 guests, but you just don't wanna run short). Anytime you need to plan a party, I would highly recommend these two as your caterers (and bartenders). Parties are so fun to do when you don't have to do anything.

Tracy and Aseja were definetly the big personalities on stage and off.

Annie, Jeff & Amy had a great time sharing show stories with us. Seems there was a whole lotta "Misbehavin'
goin' on!

A great time was had by all.
So the next time you're in a show Tracy, I hope you want to have the end of show party at my place. You all are just too fun to miss!

You shouldn't have

And now Tracy opens a gift!

What's this??????? For me????????

No you didn't!!!! It's not the watch I was drooling over?


Thank you Robert.

Katie & Derek

Before Katie headed back to Ashland, she HAD to visit with her beau, Derek, one more time. She wanted to give him some good advice on how to deal with parents (we can be such a handful). But as you can see, Derek has a mind of his own & had a lot more to say to her.

Finally she had to plug him up with a pacifier to get one word in edgewise. I have a feeling that no matter who is talking, these two still have a lot more to say to each other.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ain't Misbehavin'

The gang came out to see Tracy in Ain't Misbehavin'. First we gathered for a little pre theater party. Cindy (doesn't she look great!) stopped by to hang out and visit. Unfortunately she couldn't come with since she is fighting a major cold. We all hope that she has infected us so we can call in sick on Monday. Katie & Cindy enjoy a mutal admiration society!

Robert & Marilyn are looking dapper and making plans to save the world. Or are they just discussing the finer points of red wine? hmmmmmm, enquiring minds want to know.

YEAH, Tracy! He was fabulous! Absolutely, positively fabulous. You think Katie is a great big fan? Yes she is!

The gang's all here! We love our star! What a great show! All of the cast was amazing. So much work, so much talent, and how lucky for us that they are right around the corner.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Derek @ 6 weeks

Katie came home this weekend to visit her favorite men. The plan was to come and see Tracy perform in Ain't Misbehavin'. But since she was here anyway she had to pop in and visit with Mr. Derek, now a whole 6 weeks old.

Isn't Derek turning into quite the young man!!! He is just too photogenic. We love him to bits & pieces!!!

Very proud Mom! Tiffany and Derek have really figured this all out. They are great together. That nervous Mom of 6 weeks ago is all gone, she is the expert & Derek loves his Mommy for so much!

Very proud Dad! Derek & Ric have their nightly walks where they bond and discover the neighborhood. What a treat for them both.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I am officially old

Sigh. Remember the things that you did as a kid? Things that you did without effort, without thinking? I remember those things. One of mine was doing a forward somersault. I was a backyard gymnast. Forward rolls, backward rolls, nuthin'. Cartwheels, nuthin'. I could go into a backbend from a vertical stance in about 3 seconds, no sweat. Handstands, walking on my hands for 30 seconds. Headstands, no problem. I never mastered a backflip or round off, but I had the basics down.

So today, while working with a student in PE, it was suggested that if someone modeled a forward roll, he might attempt it. (Now this was a bit dillusional, because he's not gonna try it, he is having way too much fun refusing to try). I've been watching the PE teacher & all of the general kids doing this for weeks. No sweat. A forward roll is nothing & I am in good shape. Spin class, elliptical trainer, even yoga, these things are all way harder than a forward roll.

I'm ready. Forward roll. No prob. I assume the position. On my mark, get set, roll. Whooooooooooooa. Total vertigo. I mean, total, head spinning, which way is up, did you catch the license plate on the truck that just hit me??? Everyone else stands when they complete the forward roll. I, on the other hand, am stuck on my butt. Adhered to the mat. Not moving, just feeling lucky to be sitting upright. It has been a few years ..... mmmmm, let me see 30, maybe one or two more. Maybe it was the shock to my system after so many years. One more try. I'll land on my feet. I mean, jeez, this is a whimpy, forward roll. Here we go. Nahhhhhhh, just like the first one. The good news is that this a much quicker buzz than drinking a beer through a straw on an empty stomach. I am officially old.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Good-bye Ashland

Well my fabulous weekend has to come to an end, sigh. And now for the long drive back to Tacoma. Oh well, it is all worth it because the weekend was GREAT!!! Thank you Katie. I enjoy spending time with you more than you will ever know. You know, you are my favorite person on the planet.

And I am so proud of you. You knitter! Just had to post your knitting pictures from this morning. Look at you go! Don't forget to bring it with you on the plane. Can't wait to see your progress from this week. BTW, have a great week & we'll see you soon!!!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

More Ashland

Katie took me on a tour today of the places that she works. She works at 2 different Boy's & Girl's Club, one in the town of Phoenix & the other in the town of Talent. She really enjoys that staff & the kids that she works with (none of which are pictured below because it was Saturday and the clubs were closed). Just get her started telling stories about her co workers & kids & she could go on for hours

She also demonstrated for me what she does at work all day. Such a hard worker my girl is!

After shopping at Target with Jenny & Stephanie it was dinner time at Louie's (local burger emporium, I had a salad since my internals aren't so fond of beef anymore) with Alisha & Samantha. Alisha is an old buddy from the dorm last year. Samantha is a new buddy (and Prius owner, what a smart girl) from the B & G Club. Then it was over to the Angus Bowman Theater to watch "The Diary of Anne Frank". Last night the stage was almost bare, tonight is was the interior of a multi-story building. What they can do between plays is amazing. It was an excellent production. Very moving. The acting superb. And even though you know what is coming, in the end their was not a dry eye in the house. It has been a weekend of winning theater. Back to the hotel to hang out, the girls posed for me after poor Alisha regained control. It seems sweet little Alisha has a small condition. She snorts when she laughs. Which is hysterical. Unfortunately for her when she snorts, we all laughed harder, causing her to snort more, us to laugh more, a vicious cycle.

And now for Katie's knitting progress. Isn't she doing great! She learned to unknit today, a most useful skill. She is a very even knitter and a bit tight, and her work looks great. She even counts every row, Marilyn. Hopefully she will knit every day this week & be ready to learn purling when she visits Tacoma (gotta go see Tracy in Ain't Misbehaving, and if that means visiting wee Derek, so be it). She is not a big fan of the garter stitch and is looking forward to being a stockinette girl. keep on knittin' Kate!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Ashland Weekend

I'm spending a nice long weekend in Ashland, Yeah!!! Got lots of BIG plans with Miss Katie & her friends, Yeah!!! We are going to see the Preview Weekend of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Tonight is Shakespeares, "A Winter's Tale" and tomorrow night "The Diary of Anne Frank". We will also hit every favorite restaurant in town, which is hard to do in just 4 days since their are too many fabulous restaurants in Ashland to name. Last night was dinner at Wiley's World. Off the beaten path of the tourists and a big favorite of the locals, Wiley's has EXCELLENT pasta.

Today I woke up to a light dusting of snow on the ground, which didn't last much past sunrise. Then I went down to breakfast & watched the poor Women's (got that Jenn, Women's, not Ladies) Hockey team lose to Sweden. I may never be allowed to watch them again since they were up 2-0 when I started watching and they lost in an overtime shoot out 3-2. I am a curse, I tell you. I picked up Katie at noon and we were off to Greenleaf. Great deli & restaurant with too many good choices. Then we wandered down to Webster's, a knitting store (I know you are shocked). Poor Katie was not in the mood to shop, so in a masterful ploy to get me back to the hotel so she could relax she said, "Can you teach me to knit?" Well after the woman in the store revived me, we bought Katie sticks and yarn and hurried back to the hotel. I didn't have the heart to tell her that while knitting is relaxing after you learn, learning to knit is anything but relaxing. To my amazement Katie picked it right up & is a natural. See Katie knit.

Knit Katie knit!

AFter a wonderful afternoon of knitting, Katie's buddy Jenny came over after her job interview. The good news JENNY GOT THE JOB!!! She'll be working at another fabulous Ashland restaurant, Martino's. Why do we get so excited when we have friends on the inside of the most popular establishments? Well I'll tell you. Jenny was going to the play with us tonight, but dinner first at Red Robin where her roommate Stephanie works. We walked into Red Robin at 5:50pm where there is not a parking space to be found and at least 35 people in the lobby waiting. They immediately show us to our table that Stephanie was saving us in her section. We love Stephanie. Stephanie got a whopper of a tip. The only unfortunate thing is that the hostess didn't get Jenny's hint to seat some hot guys next to us. The 3 guys she did seat next to us, yeah, very not hot.

Then off to the play which was fabulous. I didn't know the plot of Winter's Tale, but 10 minutes into it is was easy to follow. Costumes great, set great, acotrs great. WE loved it. Even Jenny, who hasn't been to a play in Ashland and dove into the deep end with Shakespeare, enjoyed it. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that we stopped by Katie's dorm on the way to the play. Katie wouldn't let us into her room, rude! So we did what anyone would do, we stood at her door & when it opened started flashing pictures like Hollywood Paperazzi! Obviously the professionals have better cameras than I do. All of my pictures turned out blurry (lucky katie). So you are left with an Impressionist version of Katie's Dorm Room. Monet would have been proud.

Just one more peek at Katie's knitting. I know, I need to just be nonchalant about this so I don't scare her off. No tatoo's proclaiming "Katie Knits! 2-17-06". I just hope that she enjoys it as much as I do. Ok, I'm calm. La di da di da (nonchalant).

Monday, February 13, 2006

Valentines dinner, almost!

So I started early. Monday night was an early valentine with lots of people I love and some very great food. What more could you ask for. Many of the usual suspects arrived with, what else, too much food. (Luckily we are making weekly care packages to Ric & Tiff or we might actually feel guilty about starving people in 3rd world countries) & I had an excuse to cook with 4, count them, 4 cans of artichoke HEARTS (keeping with the theme) Does it get any better than that??? Well it did. Chris invited some friends to stop by for dessert & boy did they ever bring dessert. Boxes of huge pieces of gourmet cakes. Thinkin' these boys are welcome any old time.

It was great getting to spend another fabulous Monday night in the company of wonderful friends! Thank y'all for making it a great Valentine's Day.

As you can see the right side of the table has mastered that whole lean back thing & smile for the camera. We keep working with the right side of the table & someday they will get it too, I'm sure.

And now for the Monday night personal add of the week. See Jenn. See Jenn wash dishes. Wash Jenn wash! Doesn't she look just like June Cleaver without the pearls? And boys, she is available for that special, certain someone. And with skills like these, she won't be available for long. So what are you waiting for????

Sunday, February 12, 2006

More Knitting???

Well, of course more knitting. It was an all knitting weekend. On Sunday I had another great class by Sally Melville, fabulous knitter, designer & teacher. I learned how to weave in the ends of a contrasting color while I knit. Not thrilling you say? Well it was for me. Almost life changing, I may say. She taught us about stripes that aren't stripes. Very cool. I am looking forward to putting her favorite stitches into practice. Like the Yarn Harlot, Sally flew out from Toronto to be with us. Below are pictures of her teaching in a couple of her own creations.

The pictures don't do them justice. The colors and textures are absolutely delicious. & I came home with 3 of her books autographed. The color one was about the class. & then I bought her "knit stitch book" (currently on loan to Stacee) & her "purl stitch book" (currently on loan to Marilyn). All I can say girls is keep on knitting!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

From Denmark to Tacoma

All day Saturday I took this FABULOUS class from Vivian Hoxbro, called Shadow Knitting. Vivian is a Designer & Teacher from a tiny village in Denmark where her home overlooks the sea. She very talented, down to earth and a wonderful person. And shadow knitting is fun and easy with a cool surprise. Here Vivian is showing us a bunch of sample squares that she has done.

The cool thing is that from this angle they look like pretty basic stripes.

But when they turn you see the very cool pattern that comes out. Neato. Ask Jewel sometime. She is making an alien scarf with this technique, if she ever gets it done. So get knittin' Jewel & maybe, just maybe you can model it on a Monday Night before June. Jewel, this is your challenge.

Friday, February 10, 2006

From Toronto to Tacoma

Here she is. In Tacoma! Stephanie Pearl Mcphee, the Yarn Harlot. She was so funny. Pat, Marilyn, Stacee & I all went to hear her speak on Friday. I did get a great picture of our little group, but alas, did not have the memory card in the camera, my bad, so I don't have proof that they were actually there, you're just gonna have to trust me. Anyway, Stephanie told the Memphis story and the Edmonton story (both knitting lore classics). She talked about knitting not as a craft or an art, but as a sport. She even did some "Olympic" play by play commentary of a knitting competition that was absolutely hysterical.

Tada! Here she is. Note the color shirt she is wearing! I also saw her sporting a green shawl. The woman has definite style. next to her on the table is a the cuff of a very complicated Dale of Norway sweater that she is knitting for the Olympics (only 16 days to knit, the woman is amazing). BTW, note the color of the sweater also. & there we are. A nice knitter took this picture of the two of us. Many of you know that I am not a fan of getting my own picture taken, but she is the Yarn Harlot. In Tacoma of all places. And I am also wearing a wonderful multi-green poncho that I myself knit last weekend. One of those: saw the yarn & had to have it! So then I had to make something out of it or just visit the lonely balls of yarn stuck in the back of my closet.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


THE YARN HARLOT IS IN TACOMA!!!!! I know this may not be very exciting to you, but it is very exciting to moi. Stephanie Pearl McPhee, packed up her knitting and has arrived in Tacoma for her appearance at the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat (where I will be spending my entire weekend starting tomorrow night, don't worry, you will be treated to many pictures). I love her, she is such a hoot!!!

Jewel & I saw her on her book tour in August up in Seattle. And now she's here. Right here in Tacoma. You have to check out her blog & see the pictures of Tacoma & get her impressions of our little berg. She left her home in Toronto & family just to hang out with we the seriously twisted knitters of the Northwest. Even if you are not a knitter, but want a really great laugh, go to her blog , go to the August 2005 archives and read her entry for August 9th (There is a Down Side) and enjoy. It is truly one of my all time favorites.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Super Bowl 40

Is it the Super Bowl Queen riding atop her Super Bowl float??? Naaaaaaa, it's our own Kathryn ripping off the roof of her garage. Doesn't everyone plan to rip the roof off of their garage on Super Bowl Sunday????

So did I tell you that Sarah asked me if I was going to have a Super Bowl Party??? I never suspected that she was such a football fan. She's not. She was just asking for her husband Mark & Jessica's husband Lonny wanted to know too. Seems the boys thought my TV would make the perfect centerpiece for THEIR Super Bowl Party. Well, you know me, I never turn down the opportunity to hostess an important cultural event. So the girls dropped off their boys (reminded me of my old day care days) before they headed off to the movies. And good party planners that they are, the boys arrived with beer and too much food. Thank heaven Robert & Rob came over to help consume calories. My contribution was a Chocolate Mousse Football cake from the Metropolitan Market and some brand new beer called "Hairy Eyeball", very tasty. i just can't pass up beer with a clever name & label. Here are the party boys, Mark and Lonny overseeing their many fine goodies. Getting ready for kick off. Don't they look happy and carefree, wonder how long THAT will last.

Time for kickoff and the boys are settled in for an afternoon of giving the referees encouragement, yeah, right! We will remember them just like this forever. We will forget the bad calls, the screaming, the &%@#*!!! Hey, there's always next year. Next year's game will be in Miami, a much better place for a February holiday as opposed to frigid Detroit.

The highlight of the evening ended up being a visit from Derek & his folks. He is so relaxed and content, not bothered at all by the football frenzy. Of course, he will be 30 years old before the Seahawks make it back to the Super Bowl again (opps, did I say that out loud).

Truth be told, I am a bit uncomfortable with the fact that the Seahawks did so well this year and that they are so popular. I miss the 80s when they were really bad and we all complained. Oh well, maybe we'll get back to the good old days sometime soon.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Wet enough yet???

I don't think we will be worrying about a drought this summer. My rain boots are getting quite a work out this winter. I have heard a rumor that it will be mostly sunny on Monday. But Monday is a long way away. And I did hear that prediction from a weather man, & you know how those guys can be. If you want to read a truly accurate weather prediction, you'll have to ask Punsxutawney Phil, since it is Groundhog Day. Phil did see his shadow today (and you know what that means). If you want to make some outdoor plans, you need to wait til July 5th, just to be on the safe side.