Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Damn Kids

I didn't want to drive this week with the heat wave. I figured there'd be people on edge with the heat and pounding sun. I didn't want to deal with heated tempers and such. I've returned to the buses (I so love the buses). But, my son moved in this week and has taken advantage of the available vehicle. Oops.

He's fine so I'm allowed to say it, Damn kids.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Road Hazards

I am no longer the road hazard. A couple weeks ago I did a walk around my truck. I don't know what posessed me to take a look at everything. Oh lordy, I've never let my tires get this bad before. I've been driving white knuckled and in the right lane in case of a blow-out ever since I saw this.
This is the most uneven wear I've seen in forever. And the outside edge is down to NO tread. Every time I got onto the freeway I felt the liability of it all.

Today, today finally, I had two new tires put on the truck. Idle arm (the reason for the crazy wear on this tread) replacement is next week. One thing at a time...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tennis Night!

I WON, I WON, I WON!!! First time EVER....heeheee. 4 to 2 and my friend said she would take all the "pity points" I would give her. Heeheee. These are good days.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Great restaurants of Seattle

Twice in one year. I am so enjoying this year. Twice in one year I get to enjoy fantastic food at great restaurants here in Seattle. In April I had the pleasure of heading over to Capitol Hill and dining at Poppy's restaurant. Already last night I was able to go to Tilth in the Wallingford neighborhood. I promise I am not spoilt yet. It certainly has been an exceptional year.
Tilth is owned by chef, Maria Hines. Maria was named this year's James Beard's Chef of the year for the Northwest. She has been running Tilth since 2006 and last year made NYTimes top 10 best new restaurants in the nation. She's got a great crew too. As we were standing looking into the kitchen at the end of our meal all the sudden the whole crew stopped their activity and smiled and waved at us all at once. There's a show stopper for you!

Let's go back to the beginning of the meal and our waitress, Sherri. She's got it going on because she let us know we can have "half orders" and that way we can try more things on the menu. Excellent plan of attack. My dining partner - yep, my son - has an inside scoop on this particular restaurant. He's been eyeing some dishes waiting for the opportunity to try them out. We each ordered two "half-orders" from the menu and ate off each other's plates as if we were related (oh that's right, never mind). We were still proper diners. We used our forks in the proper order and kept our napkins in our laps. What more do you want?
Beautiful Plate of Tuna, baby carrots and chive spaetzle
please note: napkin on lap
We enjoyed the Tuna (oh, the tuna...and the chive speatzle under it was light a refreshing and perfect to look at as well as to eat). We had Sweetbread - something I've never had before (wow, almost a light liver, as in pate, but not - I'll stop now). We had Balsamic glazed chicken - succulent and the corn puree accompaniment was the sweetest corn I ever remember eating. Is it because these things are organic? There was a lightness, nothing muddled about the flavors.

But, the thing I wonder I will always remember from this visit to Tilth is that I ate mussels and not only liked them...I want to go back for more. Mussles with dill and cilantro - what a vibrant flavor combination! I can taste it just thinking about it. It was good, damn good.

This Mussels thing is an amazing wonder in that I have never liked anything that vaguely resembles an oyster. Anything bivalvular had me looking at the other side of a menu. This aversion, I'm sure, started at Christmas Eve, the dreaded Christmas Eve Oyster Stew. Before I even started school I remember watching either my mom or my aunt or my grandma making oyster stew on Christmas Eve. Each of them would be going on and on about how good it is and our Swedish heritage and this will get passed down for generations (oops, sorry). I would be standing on a chair at the counter watching the oysters and the milk and the butter, salt & pepper going into the pot. I still want to gag at the smell of that. I can't help but wonder if a bad batch of oysters showed up one year and that was the "formative" year for me and oysters.

We can't say that my taste buds have finally grown up. I had the opportunity to try Cockles this year and, nope, they are as icky as oysters. Just smaller. These mussels at Tilth were good because they were cooked well. I wouldn't have thought to put dill and cilantro together. This is a spectacular burst of flavors. I suppose that's why I'm not the chef.

My son knows how to pick 'em. He makes a great dinner partner too. Espresso! Finish your night out with espresso, and the deserts (strawberry sconey thingy and a chocolate decadent scrumptious thick cake with creme and...the best....)!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Touristy Times

Hanging out at Edmonds Beach in northern King County this last Friday I watched the ferry going in and out of the area. The dock was out of site from where I was. Today I drove back over, made a concerted effort to see the dock. This is the ferry returning from Kingston on the other side of Puget Sound. Far more interesting in person, I assure you.
Edmonds is a bike ride away from where I live. It's the next suburb over. I've been driving around lately checking out my neighborhood and then going a little further each time. I've driven through downtown Edmonds now three times in the last several weeks. It was time to get out of the car and check it out. Today I played tourist. (I still have nine months of my "Year of the Tourist" left) Basically, Edmonds is in bloom. I just wish it photographed as beautiful as it looked.
Now that I think on it Lavender Festivals are going on all over the area. Between the rosemary shrubs and the lavender baking in the sun all day, this place smells great.

As I walked through a kitchen gadgets shop (always worth going into) I found myself laughing out loud. I may have a terrible sarcastic streak in me, because I am still laughing. The kitchen towel had the cutest circa 1960's Woman's Day woman on it and it read, "Why do I have to get married? I didn't do anything wrong."
I still think it's funny.

Add in...

It's time to get a photo of how bad my tennis serve looks and post it here. Just so all this great sports commentary has the appropriate action photo to accompany it. I have such a great time playing tennis and I have yet to learn what winning feels like. It's just raw fun.

This week I learned an interesting tidbit, "add in" and "add out" - both scoring terms that tell me we are close to the end of the game and that I've not done too bad - actually stand for "advantage in" and "advantage out". These are not matters of ADD. Although I have wondered about ADHD. It's a heck of a lot easier to keep track of end of game scores when I consider who has the advantage. Just so I'm clear on this...the server has the advantage. If she gets it over the net, I have a running chance, literally, of getting the ball back to her. Our games are getting longer as we spend more time yelling "Deuce" at each other. That may be the name for my next dog.

The "good" match this last week was 2-4, her favor.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tentative thoughts

My imagination may be running away with me these last couple days. I suppose I need to get myself back in line. Sometimes my imagination can take over. I've been known to project my thoughts and anticipations onto the object of my imagination. I'm feeling tentative this evening about saying anything...but my brain won't let me be.

There is a charming gentleman flying up to see me in a couple weeks and I'm pleased and looking forward to meeting him. I admit when we first started talking I wondered at myself for bothering this man. Yet, I kept calling, and on occassion he even called me. In June when I went to Wisconsin to see my daughter graduate I was harmlessly flirting with an old friend when this friend turned to me and said, "I can't flirt with you anymore. You're geographically undesirable." Well, there you go. A good honest flirt dropped to the pavement and the three second rule just doesn't apply there.

I can't say that I've been outright flirting with the charming gentleman. It felt more like a friendship. An exchange of ideas. A checking in, a somebody to talk to. 'Cept lately...I can honestly say I'm flirting. This evening I find myself wondering what the hell I'm up to. I'm still geographically undesirable (except in a different direction) - so what am I doing?

My friend here in the northwest tells me to knock off the mental bull coagulating in my brain and go have fun. Which, quite frankly, I intend to do. I'm looking forward to the visit. I have no idea what I'm getting into. Honestly, neither can this charming gentelmen. Oh, woe is he that wants to meet me.

Anticipation is a living, breathing thing this evening. Now there's an interesting thought.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Full and complete stop

Full and complete stop here...
to get to the full and complete stop here.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Battle of Queen Anne and Rainier

These are Queene Anne Cherries and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

When I was growing up....

Queen Anne cherries were the premier cherries for anybody who knew their cherries. Queen Anne cherries have a lighter bodied flavor (to use terms from fine wine descriptions, as it should be). They are gourmet cherries, yet can be enjoyed fully by anyone that cares to indulge in a fine cherry. I know all these fine and wonderful things because we had a Queen Anne cherry tree in our backyard. Not just any old Bing cherry or other sweet cherry, no we had gourmet cherries in our backyard.

One summer day in my early teenage years my mother sent me climbing the cherry tree, yes the Queen Anne cherry tree, to pick some fruit. She gave me a big plastic bowl. Up I went. I think I may have been up there half the morning. There were a lot of cherries. When she called me back down out of the tree I only had maybe half to two-thirds of the bowl full of cherries. Mom asked me, "I thought there were more cherries?" I suppose said something like, "Uh, nope. That's all I got." I remember Mom being a little miffed. The next day I came down with hives. Hives all over. Of course, Mom tagged it right away when she saw all the welts on my legs and arms. "How many cherries did you eat yesterday?" I'm sure I answered again with extreme non-commitment, "I dunno, not that many." No fooling my mom. The treeful of cherries I'd eaten had given me hives. I was unable to eat cherries for over ten years after that. And I get nervous even now.

Back to the Battle of Queen Anne and Rainier...

Wasn't it "Queen" Anne and "King" Rainier? I thought Grace Kelly was involved here somewhere? I get so confused. I think the story goes that if Queen Anne looked back as she was leaving the land of Rainier she would be turned into a Marashino or something? Or was King Rainier stranded on a volcano as Queen Anne stole his boat in some distant land and the volcanoe spewed and in the tefra (my new word for the week) spewed seeds and cherries all to pieces over the northwest. Yeah, that's it. Big battle and Annie stole the king's boat, so he cursed her to be a candy and she had him blown to smithereens. Here's the toned down version:

'Queen Anne' is often used to make marachino cherries because they bleach easily. There is a widespread belief that as fresh cherries, 'Rainier' outranks 'Queen Anne,' though I can go from one tree to the other sampling the fruit, & not confirm which is the 'Rainier' on any basis of one being better than the other. Indeed, distributors of grocery produce commonly place Queen Anne cherries in the grocery stores as Rainiers because the latter are more famous, & no one seems to notice the difference.

There was a time when 'Bing' & 'Rainier' did not yet exist, & it was the Queen Anne cherry that ruled. It is by far the older variety & was earlier known as 'Napoleon,' or 'Napoleon Bigarreau.'

It had its name changed to 'Royal Anne,' eventually ammended to 'Queen Anne,' by nurseryman Henderson Lewelling when he established his pioneering orchard in Salem, Oregon, in 1847. It is from Lewelling's renamed 'Royal Anne' that even the Bing & Lambert are derived, & scores of other varieties.
(see for more info, or to put this all back in context)

By the way "all cherries contain Cyanogenic glycoside, a very toxic chemical found in the leaves, limbs, roots, & cherry pits, but the ripened fruit as we all know is completely nontoxic."

Unless you eat a tree-load of them.

Locks of love and more questions

Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata (, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers." from

Saturday and Sunday as I was walking for cancer it was brought up that no one knew where Locks of Love hairpieces were going, if anywhere. It doesn't take much poking around to find out children benefit from Locks of Love. Or course, what were we thinking? Now I wonder how many hair pieces are given away each year. I wonder who makes the bulk of these hairpieces. Does one state have a higher incidence of alopecia areata than others? "No known cause or cure." - yet it appears hair growth can recur; that the hairloss is not necessarily total, nor permanent. Are there other illnesses that accompany alopecia areata? Please tell me no, not usually.

Just when I think I have found answers, I come up with more questions.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Oh What a Night

I've just returned home from a night of walking in circles to help cure cancers. Giving money is one wonderful thing. Giving my time, well, I feel vested. To my personal survivor - of course you are a survivor. How could you not be? I, to be sure you hear it again, appreciate your efforts, determination, will, grit and active participation in making sure you are with us now. To my personal survivor, I love you.
Walking around the track umpteen times, especially after the luminaries were lit, is a constant source of reminders (each and every candle) of what we are trying to achieve. For those who are no longer with us, you are not forgotten. Cancer isn't what it used to be. We are now inoculating young women against cervical cancer. Early detection for so many cancers out there now means less invasive cures and a much higher survival rate - possibly dying of old age for god's sake.

To be sure every lap was fun and the conversations were crazy and great laughs. Did you know, for instance, that when the fog rolls in at night I was told it will creep up on one my size and suck one in, never to be seen again? I let my informer know I'd eaten an extra slice of pizza to make sure I was not that size that gets sucked in. That seemed to take care of the problem.

The hole in the fence where The Fog will creep in to suck one in, never to be seen again. Mt Si in the background - probably full of people wondering where The Fog has dropped them.

Here's a question for Oprah. What happens to all those "Locks of Love"? I mean really, there are warehouses of hair that one rarely hears of that supposedly go toward making wigs for those that are in sickness and would like to hold some semblance of normalcy. Talking to survivors last night no one knows who is getting these wigs. My friend had her own hair cut and made into a wig for her days after chemotherapy. She never heard a peep of the "Locks of Love" being available to her. What's the scoop? Who gets these locks?

The volunteers that pulled this event together did a great job in my opinion. The food was plentiful. Events went off without a hitch. The Luminaria ceremony was moving and well done. The music and entertainment was excellent and non-stop. The puppeteer was truly gifted. And the last singer of the night, one man and a guitar was just to my liking (Jason Mraz and John Mayer covers - very nice ending with "Say What You Need To Say").

For someone that signed up on a Wednesday for a Saturday event I raised $115. Not bad for no effort on my part. A big, monsterous thank you to those who sent me over there with checks. The weather was perfect as it could be in July in the northwest mountains. Warm and sunny on Saturday afternoon. A little cooler (and dark) all night long. And just as I got on the freeway this morning to come home it started to rain. Timing is everything.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Clean windows, clear vision?

Windows were cleaned at work today

Clean windows, clear vision? I wish. Though I can appreciate the analogy, it's not doing it for me. I've been pretty quiet lately (my friend told me so). I'm thinking too hard to say much I suppose.

Things going on in my head...
I had a vision, - moving, job, new home, yadda yadda. Each item has been checked off my list. So, what's the new vision? I've been bantering about some ideas. Nothing is solidifiying as a plan of action. I hate that I'm just lollygagging in the water here. I want to pull in the jib, make sure the rudder is set and head for a fresh target. At the same time nothing really needs to be done. There's no timeline to hold to. I should pull out a good book and just decompress. I should relax and enjoy the view for a little longer...Easier said than done.

I'm considering going back to school for one thing. I'm considering keeping my head above water financially for another. Maybe a second job for a little bit. If I just lay low for a bit the second job shouldn't be necesary. Just the thoughts that are running through my head.

I'm getting a little miffed at technology lately. Over the weekend my cell phone decided to quick responding. I went a day without phone service, just to be reminded that sometimes all these things need is to be turned off and turned back on again. Re-boot is still a viable option. I have a friend I Skype with often enough. I'm starting to lose my patience there. The whole Skype transmission gets pixelated, and seems to collect information in slow motion and then sends it over the airwaves (literally) all at once but just mashing in the bits that don't fit any more. I miss stuff. It always feels like key phrases. Or I get it, but my patience with this technology stuff is running thin.

Are we coming on a full moon?

Thanks for letting me type this out. I see as I read through this that I could probably make a concerted effort to sit back and relax for a minute. It'd do me good to slow down and quit with the agenda for a bit. I'm not finding an agenda I want to follow right now anyway. My best nights are spent sitting on the deck watching the sunset. I don't even talk to myself during those times.

I'm enjoying playing tennis with my buddy. We found another set of tennis courts this evening that no one uses around 6 pm. Note to self: stretch first, young lady! This weekend I'm taking part in a Relay for Life - Cancer fundraiser. My job is to show up with cookies, lots of cookies, and to walk all night, or a good part of it. This should cure cancer. Hey, let me know if you'd like to donate. I am definitely taking donations for walking around and around a field. I've already got a little start, and every bit matters. We'll throw those starfish back into the ocean one starfish at a time if we have to (remember that story?). A day at a time. Remind me of that tomorrow when I get all carried away again.

A day at a time -

Friday, July 3, 2009

A clean house is the sign of...

a boring woman. My mother taught me that. I've always held to this belief.

God, I'm boring.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pass-alongs I love

Sent to me by a friend....

While in line at the bank one afternoon, my toddler decided to release some pent-up energy and ran amok. I was
finally able to grab hold of her after receiving looks of disgust and annoyance from other patrons. I told her that if she did not start behaving 'right now' she would be punished.

To my horror, she looked me in the eye and said in a voice just as threatening, If you don't let me go right now, I will tell Grandma that I saw you kissing Daddy's pee-pee last night!'

The silence was deafening after this enlightening exchange. Even the tellers stopped what they were doing.

I mustered up the last of my dignity and walked out of the bank with my daughter in tow.

The last thing I heard when the door closed behind me, were screams of laughter.

Life for me

October 26, 2007 Without A Net Living Life With Trust

As we create the life of our dreams, we often reach a crossroads where the choices seem to involve the risk of facing the unknown versus the safety and comfort of all that we have come to trust. We may feel like a tightrope walker, carefully teetering along the narrow path to our goals, sometimes feeling that we are doing so without a net. Knowing we have some backup may help us work up the courage to take those first steps, until we are secure in knowing that we have the skills to work without one. But when we live our lives from a place of balance and trust in the universe, we may not see our source of support, but we can know that it is there. If we refuse to act only if we can see the safety net, we may be allowing the net to become a trap as it creates a barrier between us and the freedom to pursue our goals. Change is inherent in life, so even what we have learned to trust can surprise us at any moment. Remove fear from the equation and then, without even wondering what is going on below, we can devote our full attention to the dream that awaits us. We attract support into our lives when we are willing to make those first tentative steps, trusting that the universe will provide exactly what we need. In that process we can decide that whatever comes from our actions is only for our highest and best experience of growth. It may come in the form of a soft landing, an unexpected rescue or an eye-opening experience gleaned only from the process of falling. So rather than allowing our lives to be dictated by fear of the unknown, or trying to avoid falling, we can appreciate that sometimes we experience life fully when we are willing to trust and fall. And in doing so, we may just find that we have the wings to fly. When we believe that there is a reason for everything, we are stepping out with the safety net of the universe, and we know we will make the best from whatever comes our way.

Cause or Effect

"If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he next comes to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination."

-Thomas de Quincey

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Moth is gone

The Moth and I have been living together for the last couple of days. He sneaked in on Saturday night (was it Sunday morning?) when I came home after the dinner party. The entry way was full of flying creatures enjoying the night evening and the light next to my door. I'm sure I smelled of the wood fire smoke I'd been sitting near on my friends patio. I might have smelled of the couple of drinks I'd had the pleasure of too. I didn't ask the Moth what I smelled like. I swatted him away from my door and told him to go home.

When the door looked clear enough of creatures for just me to go through I unlocked it, slid in and shut it rather quick. Damn bugs. It was while I was seated on the throne unrolling tissues to finish my paperwork that the Moth decided to ascend from my hair and flit around my bathroom. I recognized him from that group hanging around waiting for me to get home. That night was the first time I've ever shut the bathroom door since I moved in. Moth decided he liked my shower wall. I let him stay the night. I really didn't want to spend my time chasing him out. As far as guests go, he was pretty quiet.

We stayed in separate corners. In fact I didn't see him much all week. I was a little concerned at what he may be eating while I'm at work. Everything in the refrigerator is still there. He didn't seem to move anything on the counter tops. I dunno. I'll check for holes in my clothes later.

This evening I was watching Dr Zhivago with Omar Sharif (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is next-I'm on a classics kick right now) when this "knocking" of sorts is happening on my screen door to the deck. Moth finally decided he's had enough. He kept whacking himself into the screen. I didn't want a roomate right now anyway, even if he was quiet. I put a brandy snifter over him and slid the screen over until the glass and the outside met. In the front door, out the back door. I came in smelling of booze, he can leave smelling of booze. I'm glad he's finally gone. I didn't want this place to become some moth flophouse. I do have my standards.

Such excitement in my life...