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.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Our neighborhood

Since the sun has come out, the snow has melted and the streets have dried out, little surprises have appeared in the street. Potholes. The North Slope Historic District is really living up to their name now ... Slopes are everywhere. So next time you visit, be careful and keep your eyes on the road. One benefit is that you don't need to worry about parallel parking, all our parking is now perpendicular.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Knitapalooza '07

This weekend the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat was held in Tacoma. It was Knitting Meca! Knitting Luminaries from the Northwest and beyond were all there. It was fun, inspiring, creativity on steriods. But best of all it was friends reconnecting. This is my very good knitting buddy Naomi. Naomi is an awesome knitter! We met a couple of years ago at the Y Women's Wellness Weekend while we were both knitting. Knitters tend to gravitate to each other in public. It was great to reconnect with her. She has also become my mentor on my newest knitting project so she won't be getting rid of me anytime soon.

Speaking of friends, this was our table at the banquet on Saturday night. Marilyn, Pat, Jewel, Mary and I were joined by some very cool Seattle knitters. We enjoyed sharing the evening with Christy, Daniel, Sarah, Zola, and Jenn. I met Daniel when he manned the Knitting 911 table and helped me out with my new project. He is patient, very knowledgable, and even though this project is the most intimidating thing I have ever attempted, I had a great time knitting the afternoon away with Daniel.

Meet my new project. I spotted it in a Vogue Knitting magazine a couple of years ago. I am finally brave enough to tackle it. Wish me luck. Actually luck has already smiled down on me. Naomi knitted it when it first hit the newsstand and has promised to hold my hand through it. My goal is to be wearing it at next year's Winter Retreat.

I took two amazing classes. The first was a medley of hats with Kristin Spurkland. Kristin teaches out of one of my favorite yarn stores in Portlnad, Knit Purl. Knit Purl hosts Stitch and Sip (that's a knitting froup that meets every Thursday night along with a generous supply of champagne). I had no idea that while I was upstairs sipping champagne that Kristin was teaching in their basement classroom onThursday nights. This is the hat that I was making in her class, almost done!

The second was with Leigh Radford. Leigh also lives and teaches in Portland (look out Katie, I may have to move into your neighborhood). Leigh Radford is one of the most creative knitters on the planet and she makes me want to knit 24/7 (I may just have to quit my job). This was a color exercise that we did in class. The other really cool project is now felting in my washer. If it turns out, I will share the before and after pix after it dries.


This is it!!!! I made this in Leigh Radford's class inspired by her Alterknits book It may not look exciting to you, but it is to me! I took 2 strands of everyday wool yarn and knitted them on needles that could have been made of broom handles to create this crazy mess. Next comes the fun part.

This is the same yarn after it has been knocked about in my washing machine. Isn't it cool??? Well I think it is very cool & I can't wait to experiment further with this technique. Thank you Leigh!

Friday, January 26, 2007


There's a cool new Irish Pub in T town, Paddy Coyne's on Pacific Ave. This has been a much anticipated opening. Paul and I showed up about 4:40 pm to find out that the official opening wasn't til 5. We don't follow directions very well so we went in anyway. We offered to sit quietly until the hour of 5, but Paddy himself gave the bartender the green light to pour us a couple of beers. And that, dear children, how we consumed the first historical beers of Tacoma's Paddy Coynes. Yum!

Truly the pictures don't do the place justice. It is a beautiful space with a great attention to detail. You have to go see it for yourself.

This is how the bar looked a few minutes after we arrived. Within a half hour, the entire establishment was packed, standing room only. My quess is that seating capacity is in the neighborhood of 150 people. Look out Tacoma, Paddy Coynes has landed.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

This is why I live in Tacoma

I don't buy the newspaper. So serveral times a day, I check out the Tacoma News Tribune online paper. My eye goes straight to the news updates. You know, the really, really important news that happens during the day, before it can come out in the print version of the paper. Today, when I got home, the top news update was this 5:15 pm Point Defiance's Elderly Aardvark Passes On.

I ask you, where else would a newspaper consider this to be a top story??? Not in the Seattle Times, LA Times or the New York Times. Just in Tacoma. Tacoma, a place that cares about all creatures. An aardvark named Kikuyu who made it to the advanced age of 30 years and 16 days has now passed. We will miss her.

(My favorite part of the story was when they described her 30th Birthday cake: " a three-tiered cake of frozen insectivore chow covered with mashed avocado frosting, bits of fruit and mealworms." Everyone should be so lucky on their 30th birthday. Think of it Katie, only 9 more years)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Movin' on up!

I got a call from my nephew Paul telling me that he was moving to Tacoma this weekend. When I asked where, I found out that his new apartment was just two blocks from my house, to both of our surprise. So being the kind and helpful aunt, I offered to help him move in today. My timing was perfect. I arrived when the last two pieces of furniture were being unloaded from the truck. I jumped in with my supervising skills. Then I carried in the most important possessions, the beer.

Now is this a boy's refrigerator or what? 1 piece of cold pizza, a carton of mocha mix and lots of PBR. Are those vegetables hanging out in the crisper??? Must of been left there by the previous resident.

Welcome to the neighborhood Paul!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Another Birthday?

This is definitely the week of birthdays. Today, we go all the way to Louisville, Kentucky for our big celebration.


This is a picture from Robert's Surprise B Day Party 2006. We all went to Mama Stortini's in Puyallup. Tracy made sure that even though we were a large group, they would let us order off of the full menu. When we arrived we found out this was not the case. Note to restaurant managers, don't tell Tracy that he must be mistaken. Let's just say that we all got exactly what we wanted, we had a great time exchanging dirty jokes with the table next to us. We had sooo much fun that we cleared out our entire section. But most importantly, there were no fatalities amongst the restaurant staff.

Robert, we hope you have a wonderful birthday this year and you send us all pictures!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Eve's 7 Today!!!

Happy Birthday Eve, you are 7 years old today!

You are Supergirl! You are a published writer (the youngest person ever to write a letter to the Tacoma Weekly)! You are a talented knitter (now go finish that scarf for your Aunt Bea)! And the World's Best Sister (who else could have kept Eli alive this long).

Enjoy your special day & make every day that you are 7, spectacular!!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

What day is it Today???

All this snow and no school, the days just seem to run together. If the local districts ever wanted to see what year round school is like, this year they will certainly get a taste of it. I think today makes our last day of school June 29th, one more snow day and we will be into July. Following that train of thought, a friend of mine who teaches in Tacoma asked me yesterday how I am enjoying my summer vacation. I've decided I'm just going to enjoy my summer right now. Today, I may even grab a book and jump into the hammock in the back yard.

And now, an email from a concerned Tacoma School District parent:

Another snow day--my kids are getting dumber by the second.

In the olden days---I believe one house would start up the fireplace and gather all the neighboorhood kids. The teachers would all gather at that house, pull together scraps of paper and pencils and teach the kids until they could reopen the schools.

Then again--you guys could just go to the Parkway.....

Warmest regards,
(at work/Tuesday, 8am)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Happy Birthdays Derek & Natalie

Happy 1st Birthday Derek!!! He's pretty excited about turning one.

Derek is just about to take off. He's been working hard at this walking thing. Mom and Dad are excited too. Now let's see how long they can keep up with him.

Happy 3rd Birthday Natalie!!! It's a busy party weekend in the hood. Yum, that looks good, can we have a bite?

Natalie demonstrates excellent skill at "Pin the Tail on the Donkey". A little peeking is allowed if you are the birthday girl.

One of the bigger kids in the neighborhood needs some assistance. That's our Mitchy! Luckily daughter Eve is close by so he doesn't humiliate the family. Eve, make sure he at least sticks it on the paper and not the cabinet.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Whoa ... Snow!!!

8 inches of snow in Tacoma means two things: Snow day & hittin' the slopes with the neighborhood kids. The little ones and the big ones.

The Boone-Robinsons lead the way up Mount Wright Park.

Derek' first sledding experience & he was all pro! Tiffany didn't do to bad either (she's from Southern California originally, but we like her so much we don't hold that against her).

Eve & Eli went all the way to Iowa to find snow at Christmas & found none. Who knew they would get a blizzard when they got back home!

Mo Snow!

Look out below!!!!! Our camera man Mitch is going for a potential Sundance Award with his short film entitled "Mitch Crashes Into Neighbors Laughing Too Hard To Move Out Of The Way."

Kyle & Tiffany brought little Addie out to the slopes. She was not to thrilled about the cold weather. Just wait a few years and she will be flying off the Wright Park ski jump with her Dad.

I think Eve had more runs down the hill than anyone else. And each and every time down the hill she looked just like this.

So what do you think Derek, do we have more snow coming???

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

And now a wise word from Mitch

I love my new phone. I got it in part because Mitch has the exact same phone. I love reading my emails at work the second they arrive. Today I got an email from Mitch and here it is ...

"We are tired of seeing Jason's face on the blog.

(Yikes! I hope that Jason isn't reading this. Because Mitch, I think Jason in his carharts and red bandana could take you down)

"Please feel free to use the attached

(See what happens when kids get a day off from school? They just go WILD!!!!!!)

"or anything else you can think of. Or--feel free to use this:

Mitch Robinson's Top Five Reasons He Checks Sandy's Blog:

5. Chance to see friends and neighbors in unattractive positions or unusual clothing. (This is why Jewel is nervous)
4. Good diversion from gambling and selling my stuff on ebay when on the internet.
3. Great tips on new restaurants and bars have caused me to gain 8 pounds, which help to keep me warm in the winter. (Ohmygosh, I poked my head into Paddy Coyne's last night. It's not done, but it already looks fabulous. Looks like opening night is Jan. 27th. Mark it on your calendar, we gotta go!!!)
2. No longer need to update friends and relatives on what's up in my world. I just tell them I have hired "crazy lady down the street" to run website. (Wait just one minute Mitchy .... Are you talking about ME?????)
1. My kids are cuter on a computer screen than they sometimes are in person." (Hope your kids don't hold a grudge or you will be celebrating one bleak Father's Day this year)

Snow, AGAIN?????

You'd think we lived in Iowa. But we don't. This is a picture of North 5th Street in Tacoma, Washington at 8 am this morning. Thought all the districts around us whimped out and closed. Fife played hard ball and went in 2 hours late. We are already going to school through June 26th (yuck!) we don't want to go one day longer.

This is my backyard version of a snow lady. Brrrrrrrrrr, it's cold outside. Funny, she does look a bit happier on a nice 75 degree day in July. I think she has a long wait ahead.

It does look beautiful around the pond. I love the look of snow clinging to branches and leaves. It's magic and oh so very quiet, until the dogs start barking at it.

It seems we did have an overnight fatality in our backyard. One of the dogs favorite toys succumbed to the cold. Poor little guy will be waiting til the Spring thaw for attention. Sydney and Duncan are not really that into popsicles.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Who's This???

This would be Maura Flynn. Maura is just 7 weeks old. She is Maegan Flynn's little sister. Maegan turned 2 today and was too pooped to hit the town with Maura. So, Maura came to Monday night dinner to party with the hood. Isn't it cool how well her eyes match her outfit?

Squirmy is her middle name.

Oh, she did bring her Mom, Stacee with her. Maura also had her eye on Derek, she digs older guys. Of course Derek was a little more interested in the kitchen faucet than Maura.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Derek's Discovery

Derek popped over to say good bye to Katie before she went back to Portland. But Derek discovered something even more interesting than Katie.

Hmmmmmmm, what's this????

It has this really cool stuff coming out of it. I wonder how it tastes???

Yummy & it tickles!

Tasty and fun to play with!

I like it!!! I wonder if Mom and Dad has any of these at home?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Hello 2007!

A great big THANK YOU to our Fabulous Host & Hostess. These two know how to throw a party and have a great circle of friends and family, making a perfect evening.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Let's head out and wake up the neighborhood. The New Year's Carolers serenade the hood with their own special rendition of Auld Lang Syne.

Let's get it started, HA! Let's get it started here! Let's get it started, HA! And you thought that midnight meant the party was winding down.

Happy New Year Katie. Thanks for another wonderful year. You traveled to Florence, Barcelona, Chicago & Yuma this past year. You found a new place to belong in Portland. Met new friends named Elphaba & Galinda. You turned 21 finally, who could forget that! 2007 has 365 fabulous new days for you to discover. Enjoy!!!! Love you ooooooodles, Mom.