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.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Friendship Theater

One of our students has been talking about a production of Cinderella that she was going to act in since last September. Tonight was opening night. It's a production that is put on by Federal Way's Park and Recreation Dept. "Recreation Inc." Recreation Inc. (Inc. stands for Inclusion) is committed to people of ALL abilites, genders, ages, and cultures recreating together. Friendship Theater is just one of the many activities that people can participate.

Cinderella was an ambitious undertaking with a cast of 40 people.

Curtain call with the stars of the show in their fabulous happily ever after costumes.

We went to watch Nichelle, who did a great job playing one of Cinderella's very helpful mice. Nichelle is wearing the orange vest. She did a great job. Acting, singing and dancing, she did it all.

After the show Nichelle couldn't be happier and we couldn't have been prouder. Theater goers Mrs. Eller, Teacher and Ms. Palmquist, Asst. Principal, get into the picture with the star. We had so much fun and were so very glad that Nichelle invited us. It was definitely a night not to be missed.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Portland Surprise!!!

Did I mention that I had a FABU time in Portland a couple of weeks ago??? I love Portland. Love the food, love the yarn stores, love the Benson. Love, love, love Portland. But this most recent trip was extra special because I got to FINALLY meet Katie's good friend Becca. It's been Becca this, Becca that for months now. Every time that I went down, we never got the chance to meet. (To be honest, I almost got to the point that I started to worry a little about Katie and her "imaginary friend" Becca). But no worries, Katie doesn't need a straight jacket (yet). This trip I met the one and only Becca. Not only did she introduce us to Voodoo Doughnuts most unmentionable carbohydrate delights and Pambiche marvelous Cuban Cuisine, but the girl knits. Making her practically perfect in every way. And if that wasn't enough, I got a great card & package from her this week with these adorable martini earrings. Upgrading her now to totally perfect in every way. Thank you Becca, you shouldn't have (but I am very glad you did). Can't wait til we meet again and you get your first taste of Pink Martini!!!!

I also have to say, that I was truly blessed 21 years ago with this little person named Katie. I am so glad that she has made the choices that she has in life, because each and every one of them has made my life much better. I am glad that she played hockey, quit hockey to go to SOTA, found Ashland her sophomore year, left Ashland for Portland and puts up with all of my crazy addicitons. Without her my life would be merely 3 sad shades of grey. I could go on, but I won't. So for all of her fabulousness, I made her a small token of my esteem ... socks, the color of which is Puck's Mischief. You knew I would work knitting into this some how :0 Love you Katie!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Something Wicked!

Peter & Tom are in NYC! I was wondering if they were having a good time, when my phone started ringing. I answered the phone, but no one said hi. Just a lot of noise. And then I heard it. "Good News! She's dead. The Wickedest Witch there ever was ..." It was the opening song to Wicked! Tom and Peter were sitting in the Gershwin Theater on Broadway watching Wicked. And they called me to share. It made me alllllllll misty. It totally made my day!

This is the picture that Tom took with his cell phone and sent to me of Peter on Broadway with our favorite Wicked poster. Sigh. They had a great time. BTW they saw "The Producers" yesterday and "Avenue Q" tonight. They are having a great time. Tomorrow they will be singing at Carnagie Hall. It's good to have stars in the neighborhood.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Too much Knitting???

Can there ever be too much knitting??? I think not. Truly we were a bit obsessed this weekend, but trust me, it could have been a lot worse. ; )

I forgot to mention ...

The only good thing about waiting for the train on Friday was that I finished my Blue Moon Socks. This colorway is Thistle. I am really proud of how they turned out, boo boos and all.

And they are oh so comfy. I may become a sock knitter, so watch out.

Here I go on the next pair. Katie picked out this yarn at Tricoter, named appropriately Puck's Mischief.

New Yarn Store???

On Saturday we attacked the unsuspecting yarn stores of Portland once again. We found the Knitting Bee (no easy feet since part of the freeway was closed) and Northwest Wools. The bonus is finding Northwest Wools is that we discovered a new favorite neighborhood in Portland, Multnomah Village. It is 4 blocks of complete cuteness. Next time you venture to Portland you have to check it out.

So guess what new Portland yarn store is pictured below. It's the Naomi and Sandy yarn extravaganza. Not admitting to where her yarn stops and my yarn stops. Let's just say that the economy of Portland is healthier than ever. Hey, no sales tax! So smart shoppers that we are, we were actually making money! And that's the story I'm stickin' to!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Dinner at Pambiche!

The tour of Becca's favorite Portland hot spots continued Saturday night. Pambiche is a tiny, crowded, wonderful Cuban restaurant in Portland. Becca discovered it during her first term at PSU. She took a Carribean studies class and the professor didn't like teaching in the classroom, so they all met instead at Pambiche. Why didn't I ever get classes like that?

We waited over an hour for a table, so we had to find something to do to amuse ourselves. Katie, keeping us from being bored, spotted this guy that she swore she saw in a movie. He looked familiar to me, but I couldn't place him. Was he really someone? Or did he just look like someone??? Then the image popped into my mind. I could see him dancing in his tighty whiteys. Not a bad look for him if I must say so myself. His name is Samuel Ball and he was the hockey playing boyfriend of Jennifer Garner in the movie "13 Going on 30". Here we were trying to be oh so sly at nabbing his picture.

Now you do the comparison. Is he or isn't he?

Another great night of eating and laughing. Thanks again Becca!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Yarn A Palooza!

Up bright and early and ready to attack the unsuspecting Portland Yarn Emporiums. First stop, Yarn Garden! If you look at the picture below, you will see that the Yarn Garden stretches across 5 store fronts on this Portland Street. Once 5 different businesses, now the yarn has moved in and taken over. Never turn your back on yarn it is mighty powerful stuff.

Naomi is sitting in the Sipperie of the Yarn Garden. It is a Portland innovation to put a espresso bar and cafe into a yarn store. Brilliant! Naomi is my knitting buddy from Seattle and she took the very late train ride down with me (I'm not bitter, I am totally over it). We met 3 years ago at a YMCA Women's retreat. When our eyes met each other's knitting project, we became instant friends and have been that way ever since.

After the Yarn Garden it was off to Abundant Yarn and then Mabel's Cafe and Knittery. Mabel's is the cutest little shop and cafe in a little house in the Hawthorne District. It is very cozy and a favorite place for Portland's knitters and spinners to hang out for hours. And they have enough yarn to get anyone into trouble.

After Mabel's we picked Katie up from school and went to lunch at a great little restaurant called Cha Cha Chas. Then it was back to the mean streets of Portland to hunt more yarn. We visited the Naked Sheep and Lint. We were still committed to shop til ya drop!

Le Happy and Voodoo

Katie is a big fan of Le Happy. Le Happy is a fabulous French inspired creperie. The crepe combos are limitless and the cocktails are delish too. I would highly recommend the "Frisky Mitch". I had no idea his reputation stretched all the way to Portland. Way to go Mitchy.

Katie was all set for a dessert crepe when her friend Becca intervened. Becca suggested that we do Voodoo Doughnuts, open 24 hours and only a few blocks from Powells. Since I try to keep the content of this blog teetering on a PG rating I am not able to tell you the name of their signature doughnut. I can't even post a picture of Katie about to bite into it (but if you email me I will email the picture to you). I can tell you what the components of this magical doughnut are. The Voodoo artists scuplt into a masterpiece of sugar and carbs consisting of 2 cream filled doughnuts and a large twist doughnut cleverly positioned, then covered with a layer of chocolate glaze. Yum! Did I mention that it was huge?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Train to Portland

I visit Portland on a semi regular basis. I like to visit Katie, hit the yarn shops, stay at the Benson, and get lost in Powells. Every time I go, friends say, "You should take the train." So this time I did. I wouldn't have to drive & I could knit on the train. While I'm in Portland, I can steal Katie's car. It's the best of all worlds. Or at least, that is what I thought.

I booked the 10:31 am train. (I decided the 12:05 pm would get in to Portland too late in the afternoon). Got to the train station before 9:30 to get my ticket and make sure I wasn't late. This is what the train tracks looked like at 10:31.

So the train is running late. Delayed until 11 am, then 11:30 am, then Noon. At this point I realize that if I just drove to Portland when I left the house, instead of driving to the train station, I would have been in Portland by now. grrrrrrr.

Oh lookie, here comes the train!!!!

Not our train. It's the 12:05 train (running on time). The 12:05 train that I didn't book because it would arrive in Portland later than I wanted to get there.

Oh here comes my train (10 minutes behind the 12:05). So the next person who suggests that I take the train to Portland, beware, take a big step back because I can't be responsible for my reaction.


The first knitting stop in Portland is Knit Purl for Thursday night "Stictch and Sip." That's knitting and champagne ... nirvana!!!! As you can see, this is the hottest spot in Portland on a Thursday night.

Katie brought her knitting and brought her two great friends and knitting buddies, Becca & Eva. How lucky is she to make friends at school and then discover that they are knitters. Clearly, it's a sign. Keep knittin' Katie!!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Socks All Done!!!!!

Not my socks of course. I am still plugging along on the 2nd sock. Maybe if Naomi lets me knit this weekend on the sock (instead of the shrug which I should really be knitting on) I might have a finished pair by the end of the weekend.

These beauties are the socks that Margaret knit. Twin pairs for twin nephews, Kieran and Alastar up in Anchorage, Alaska. It was their wish for their 5th birthday to have hand knit socks from their Aunt Margaret (socks, a very important part of life in Anchorage). Very smart boys. So here are the socks. Fabulous!

And here are the boys! Very cute and very happy. Hand knit socks will do that for a person, so I am told.

Now Alastar has to try out the magic socks to see how they work. Get your light sabres gentlemen!

It's Alastar Skywalker and Uncle Dave Vader! Uncle Dave, maybe if you are very nice, do all of your chores and tell Aunt Margaret how fabulous she is at least 20 times a day, she might knit you some fabulous socks. Until then, I wouldn't take on Alastar Skywalker and Kieran Solo, the force is clearly with them!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Workout King!!!!

I have been trying to get this picture for weeks. Paul has been rumored to be a YMCA member since January. He even claimed to be there at 6 o'clock in the morning. When I go to the Y, I am there at 5am but have to leave just before 6 to make it to work on time. So I have been packing my camera in my gym bag just hoping to get a glimpse of this event. I knew the skeptical Alaskans wouldn't believe it without photographic proof. Once I saw Paul as I was leaving and he was arriving, so I knew it was only a matter of time before I caught him in the act. Today, since I am on spring break, I asked Paul if he wanted to carpool to the Y. He agreed and I sprang into action. So here is the picture you have all been waiting for.

Paul is Mr. YMCA these days. Liftin' weights, sweatin' on the elliptical trainer. And all before the light of day. You rock Paul!!!

Monday, April 09, 2007

PJ Partay

Breakfast was such a big hit in February that the Monday nighters decided to revisit the theme. Stuffed French Toast ala Peter, Tiffany's crepes, Kathryn's bacon, it was a total gastronomic celebration. Since it was breakfast, jammies was the attire. Here are Eve, Eli & Derek, the 3 winners for the best dressed of the night. Wish we all looked that cute in our jammies.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Alicia's New Baby

Thought that might get your attention. For those of you who don't know Alicia, she's Katie's best friend from freshman year at Stadium High School. Alicia married Matt last summer, Katie the Maid of Honor, and now the happy couple lives in Maryland. But as a good daughter, Alicia keeps me up to date on the happenings in her life, sends me Mother's Day cards (hmmmmm is that coming up again? I never pay attention to those things). Anyway, she sent me this picture of the newest edition to their family, Kyra Grace, only 11 weeks old and oh so sweet. Congrats!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Ta Da!!!

Hey, look, it is a sock. I have been working on this bad boy for more than a month. One word in my defense, I didn't have a pattern to follow, I had my neighbor Pat one night a week. Pat has been my sock mentor, and it's all her fault. She was wonderful enough to give me a pair of her handknit socks for Christmas. In January I found this wonderful Blue Moon sock yarn at Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat. So with Pat's encouragement (and everyone else who had ever told me that they love to knit socks) I thought I would try again.

As you can see, I have started on Sock #2, so there is hope that my one sock may evolve into a pair. So Katie there is hope that I may even knit a pair of socks for you too (of course they will be wool and I will finish them in July or August). Naomi, don't worry, I have not abandoned my shrug. I am planning some serious shrug time next week during spring break. But for now, I am just very proud of my one sock.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Happy Birthday to Tom

This is how you throw a birthday party Monday night style. First, everyone help's lighting the candles.

Then everybody sings to the birthday boy. See him sitting there in the big yellow chair? No????

Then everybody helps blowing out the candles. Then we all eat, yum! But where is the birthday boy???

Here's the birthday boy!!! Happy Birthday Tom!!! Opps, sorry only half your cake is left. We tried to wait for you, really!!!

So if you ever feel forgotten that we didn't celebrate your birthday at Monday night. Take heart, we actually did celebrate your last birthday, your cake was delicious, we just celebrated when you weren't there. It's tradition.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Family, friends and socks

Meet Anchorage Margaret and Bonney Lake Wendy. It's Wendy's Birthday. Margaret and Wendy are best friends from the tender age of 8. Margaret made plans a few months ago to fly down and surprise Wendy. Wendy was very surprised, and now for the rest of the story. More than 15 years ago, when Cousin Dave found himself in Alaska without a place to stay, he called his old friend Wendy. Wendy introduced Dave to her roommate Margaret. And Margaret and Dave are still living happily ever after. And Margaret and Wendy are still best friends.

Brothers Paul and David. So do you think they look alike? Have a family resemblance??? Well it is the stuff for dinner debates.

If you aren't sure, Dave will flash the family forehead. And you just can't argue with the family forehead.

We were lucky enough to have Dave and Margaret stay with us for the weekend. We are planning on paying them back this summer when we show up on their Anchorage doorstep. If they'll still have us.

BTW, did I mention that Margaret is a knitter? Well she is and she's quick! These are socks that she's working on for her nephew's Alistar and Kiran (twins) 5th Birthday. She had just started on one when she arrived and now two are done before they headed out for the plane. You don't have to even ask how the sock is going that I have been working on since February.

The Katie and Dave Tango!

First you pick your partner. Katie from Portland, meet Dave from Anchorage.

Then you hold on tight.

A few quick moves that Dave learned from a Polar Bear.

And you have a North Pole Noogie!!! Cousins, gotta love 'em.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Surprise, surprise!!!

Big News from the Midwest!!! Rob and Ann got married on Friday, March 30th. They snuck off to some resort in Savannah, Georgia. Ann had a training for work, and they had some free time, so what the heck, they took the deep plunge. Some would say, "My this was sudden!" when others would say, "'Bout Time!!!". We say "Congratulations" to you both.