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.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Happiest Place on Earth

Since the Boone/Robinson clan left us for Disneyworld and Epcot, the Happiest Places on Earth, our neighborhood is pretty sad, or at least, darn quiet. Mary, Eve & Eli have been world travelers, already logging 2 weeks this summer in Manchester, Iowa. Now Mitch won't be left out of the big trip to Florida.

MIcky, Minnie, Eve & Eli look like they are ready to take on the park. It's pretty hot in Florida, but these 4 look fresh as daisies and ready to go!

Eve got to spend a little time with Mary Poppins. I wonder if she learned that flying over houses with just your umbrella trick. It could come in really handy if Eve is running late to school on a rainy day.

Here are the 3 princesses.

Wonder if Mary & Eve got the special tour of the rabbit hole with Alice?

Cinderella & Prince Charming??? Hmmmm, Mitch is Mr. Click around Tacoma & a celebrity in his own right. But Prince Charming??? I'm not so sure. I guess only Mary & maybe Cinderella would know for sure.

Beauties and Beasts. As you might have noticed Mitch didn't send me a ton of pictures of Eli, or himself. Those Robinson men can become pretty elusive when the cameras come out. Eve, Eli, getting any ideas for what you to want to be for Halloween??? Thinkin' Beauty and the Beast might be a good look for you.

Looking forward to your return back to Tacoma next week. Have fun!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

CLICK! + SOTA = local entertainment!!!

It's CLICK! Day in Tacoma. CLICK Cable TV, the local choice that we all love & adore.

I am so excited about the unveiling of the CLICK!/SOTA Music Video. Mitch, VP of all that is important at CLICK!, needed a catchy song to commemorate CLICK!'s 10 year anniversary. Enter Paul, mentor of the talented students at the Tacoma School of the Arts. Paul put it out to his kids and boy did the deliver! Sam Anderson, 18, and Harrison Allen, 17, wrote an infectious tune with smart lyrics. With the help of Zach, another gifted SOTA instructor they recorded this song and back to Mitch. Mitch and everyone else loved the song. What happened next was straight out of a "Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland time to put on a Show!!!" movie. Matt, talented director, & Kate, gifted choreographer, joined the party to help produce a fun music video guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

For more info check out the TNT's story.

BIG CONGRATS to all of the very talented people who were involved in making this happen!!!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Houseboat has gone to the dogs!

Sydney & Duncan left their comfy Tacoma digs to embark on a great adventure to Portland where their backyard is a river.

Sydney's 2 questions were: "Where's the grass?" "And how does one chase a goose without getting wet???"

Duncan is modeling the very attractive canine PFD that I bought them & make them wear on the dock. Just wanna make sure that if they venture off the dock unexpectedly that I have a handle to pull them out by. They do look very sporty in their PFDs.

"Look at me! Look at me! Look at me! I'm Lassie the Rescue Dog, just give me someone to save. Or maybe just bark at."

A girl and her dog. Katie gives Sydney some good advice about the geese. Something along the lines of don't try it or you'll make Mom really mad! Good advice!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

No Pictures Today!

Today, Jewel & I took a little bike ride. It was soooooo UGH-LY that pictures would be too much for you to take.

First of all let me point out that today is July, not March, not October, so when we embarked on our ride we didn't expect it to be 54 degrees!!! It was cold!

I picked the route, a fun little ride out to Sumner. Chris and I have done this ride a bunch of times & really enjoyed it. First we had trouble getting out of Tacoma with construction every where we turned. When we finally made it to Levy Road, trucks. Giant semi-trucks whizzing by as Jewel and I struggle to hold our own hugging the 3 inch shoulder. So we adjusted the route and headed toward Puyallup.

Have you ever been driving across railroad tracks at the instant that the warning bells start to sound? Just a bit startling. Let me tell you that the same experience when you are on a bike can be an underwear changing event.

When we finally faced the hills of Tacoma we hit an unbelievable head wind. C'mon, can't we get a break today. Apparently not. I think Jewel thought I was trying to kill her off. Sorry Jewel, better luck next week.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Take Me Out To The Ballgame!

True confessions, it's probably been 3 years since I have been to a baseball game. So when Paul called me last night with an extra ticket to a suite at the Mariners game, it didn't take me long to say yes!

It was one of those beautiful, warm, sunny, blue sky kinda summer days in Seattle. A perfect baseball day. Of course on those days there are a lot of outdoor options for Seattlites. As you can see, the battle of the bottom dwellers of the American League didn't fill up the Stadium.

But those stats didn't keep Eve from her hot dog. Summer, baseball, hot dogs, Eve has her priorities straight. She was also very helpful with explaining the game to me. She knew exactly what the Mariners were supposed to do, unfortunately, the Mariners didn't have that clear of a picture. I kept telling Eve she needed to head down to the field and tell them what to do.

Doesn't matter where the Mariners are in the standings because there is always Ichiro. You can always tell when he is up to bat or a ball heads out to Right Field, there is excitement in the stadium wondering what he might do.

This was Paul's first visit to Safeco Field. Not the big Mariner fan that his younger brother Dave used to be, but Kate is getting him into the spirit. You can't resist the power of the Foam Finger!!!

Ouch! Did the Mariner Moose just land on his head???? He must have looked at the scoreboard. Yikes! Big Ouch! (Final score Indians 6 Mariners 2).

Yeah, it's the SOTA music video team. Ouch, it looks like Kate just saw the scoreboard too. Hey Mary Boone up in the back row, wave at Iowa!!!!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Katie in Tacoma?

Katie has been so busy with school and work that she has only made it to Tacoma a few days this year. But after the arrival of Madison, Katie couldn't stay away any longer.

The girls had a lot to talk about. Mostly how to best handle their mothers. Madison is doing great and handling her new Mom well. Though Jenn still looks a little tired. Get used to it Jenn, Katie's 22 & I'm still tired.

Madison showed us her dream of being a dancer (after she learns how to walk of course).

Madison is also a very good sleeper, which she enjoyed demonstrating to us. Nighty night baby doll!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What's in a name?

I think every living hippie has moved to Oregon to have their children.

Yesterday, I met Katie after her class and we went to lunch at Mother's, our Portland comfort food restaurant. Our waitress's name was "Promise". Next I had to go to Walgreens. I went to the pharmacy and told them what I needed and the helpful person there said it was on aisle 3 and if I needed help to look for "Happiness" in the blue shirt. I found both "Happiness" and the item I was looking for. (If you ever find yourself in need of "Happiness" I can tell you what Walgreens you can find her in). Finally, after Katie got off work we walked to her favorite McMenamins watering hole. the Ram's Head. There we chatted with her good friend and favorite bartender, "Freedom".

At that point I began to wonder what ever possessed me to give "Katie" such a weird name.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sauvie Island Bike Ride

From my deck I look across the water to Sauvie Island. Sauvie Island is part farm land, part wildlife area and part bike ride. During the day (and evening) I watch the bikes ride up and down Sauvie Island Rd. So this morning I strapped the bike to the car and drove over to experience this ride for myself.

Sauvie Island is that big and mostly flat (my kinda ride) I did the 12 mile loop and then road out Sauvie Island Rd until I could see the houseboat from the other side.

Sauvie Island is a very popular bike ride and very bike friendly. The Island doesn't have a gas station, so pedal power is the way to go.

First thing you do is cross the Sauvie Island bridge. Not quite the Tacoma Narrows.

Then you go under the bridge and onto Gillihan Road. Cistus Nursery (Peter's favorite Oregon Nursery) which is about the half way point for the loop.

In the summer about every half mile is a sign for another u pick farm or vegetable/fruit stand. Berries are BIG BIZZ on Sauvie Island. Parking lots fill up by 10 am. Especially on those days that promise to hit 90 degrees.

Not me, as you can guess. No green & I haven't figured out yet to take my own action shot while I am on the bike. As you can see this cyclist is looking across the Channel to one of the Floating home moorages.

Sauvie Island, also known for their clothing optional beaches on the far side of the island (not my view, drat!). Didn't pedal that far today, but you can bet I will make it there before the end of the summer. C'mon down & I'll loan you a towel.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

TALL ships

I am so glad that Mary goes to Iowa everytime the TALL ships are in town. This year for Father's Day she gifted Mitch 2 tickets for a battle tour on the Lynx. The Lynx is a beautiful and fast ship, built for the war of 1812 to get supplies past those pesky Brits and Frogs. Or something like that.

Lets meet the crew. Captain Mike, very dashing. He was fascinating to listen to. This ship does a lot of educational outreach to high schoolers and our captain is the resident expert on naval history. And he has a great sense of humor.

This one's for you Katie. Our first mate. Can't remember his name but does it really matter. You can call him Lance or Rex or Bolt. He is proof that you only move up in the ranks if you have fabulous blond hair that looks sexy in a pony tail.

And then there is Swabby Mitch. Clearly the documentarian on this cruise. I am sure that by tonight you can catch all his footage on the Click! special, "Maritime Mitch sails back into history." Check your local listings but I am guessing it airs sometime between 2:43 am & 3:07 am opposite of the Flobby Haircutting system infomercial.

Up go 2 crew members to the top of the mast to let down the sail.

Yikes. Just a little too high for me.

As we leave Thea Foss and pull into Commencement Bay we have a great view of the "Brown Castle" aka Stadium High School. I rarely see it from this vantage point, but it sure makes a nice looking picture.

TALL ships

Ready to go into battle!!! But first, we get a great view of the big ships that are tied to the dock for the tourists and can't come out into the bay to play.

First we have the Nina II. A replica of one of Christopher Columbus' famous ships. Compared to modern day yachts it looks big, but not big enough to travel the Atlantic in. Proving that those 1492 sailors were very brave, crazy or stupid (probably a little bit of all 3).

Next we passed the Bounty. What a beautiful ship.

The Eagle was the biggest ship in the line up. It is part of the Coast Guard Academy. Originally operated by Nazi Germany to train cadets for the German Navy, the ship was taken by the United States as a war prize after World War II. In 1946, a U.S. Coast Guard crew - aided by the German crew still on board - sailed the tall ship from Bremerhaven to its new homeport in New London, Connecticut.

The chase is on! The Amazing Grace is hot on our tail. You'd think with her home port being Gig Harbor she might be a little more neighborly.

Did she just shoot her cannon at us???

Our Captain springs into action and counters with the dreaded "Attack Soap Bubbles" because nothing scares a sailor more than soap.

And finally a picture perfect view of the Lady Washington

Friday, July 04, 2008

4th of July

The weather was so so, but the river was wonderful, as we enjoyed a relaxing 4th of July. A few of Katie's friends came over from Portland and quickly made themselves at home.

Katie is keeping her eyes opened for a nice girl for Derek. Israel is just 9 months old and ready to take off running. She may look kinda young to you now Derek, but just wait a few years, at least til she gets hair.

A few of the locals stopped by to join our party. They have their own box of whole grain cereal in our pantry. I think today they were hoping for chips since it was a holiday. Too bad kids, if you want junk food you have to go to another dock.

This is Scappoose's version of a TALL ship. Actually this pirate ship is moored at our marina & this was the first time we saw it out on the channel. It is kinda fun to live somewhere that has a pirate ship parked around the block.

This one's for you Mitch. On Tuesday Mitch drove me all over Tacoma trying to find a grill for the houseboat. I just couldn't decide. I found this the next day at the only place we didn't go to. The selling point, no assembly required. I just took it out of the box, stood it up on its legs and viola, grill. I did have to install an adapter and then attach a propane tank. This picture is proof positive, that I did it all without blowing anything up.

After a very cloudy day, the sky cleared up on cue about 9:30 pm. We are right between the big displays put on by Vancouver and St. Helens. We couldn't see either one very well, but I'll take this view down the river on a summer's evening over fireworks anyday.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

TALL ships

Today the TALL ships returned to Tacoma. And thanks to the Rotary 8 Auction, I had a great front row view of the parade. Dig this balcony. It looks as if it goes to infinity and beyond .... and it does. It was condo # 7 at 1 Stadium Way, next to Stadium High School. I didn't realize until we hit the 7th floor that condo # 7 was the entire 7th floor. Yikes!

Don't the kids look good. Zach, Joanne, Megan & Paul I think had a good time hangin with the oldster. I am sure the lovely cocktail menu of specialty martinis helped a lot.

And the food was totally amazing. This is Emily, who prepared our wonderful meal of munchables. Doesn't she look fabulous in green? The menu was stacked with artichokes. As you might guess, Emily has successfully won my admiration as the best chef in town!

Here comes the last TALL ship in the parade, the Coast Guard Eagle. Not sure why I didn't get a lot more TALL ship pictures. Was it the artichokes? The martini's? Or the wonderful company that distracted me. Whatever it was, I know I had a great time when the TALL ships paraded into Tacoma.