Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Back when I lived on "the farm," the blocks were miles around and you had to drive said miles between trick or treat houses, meaning my brothers and I sometimes got to hit as many as five houses, and we once had a trick or treater come to our door. When I moved to "the city," I expected to be inundated by costumed candy seekers, but until tonight ... that dream had gone unfulfilled.

Tonight, with two of the three kids in tow, we trekked around the block, meandering a bit beyond here and there, picked up a couple of my eldest's school pals on the way, and hit house after house after house where the lights were on, plenty of folks were home, and we even found a house or two that hands out "the BIG candy bars." (I thought this was the stuff of legends.) A couple houses had great grave yards and haunted yards and actually made the kids jump when the door was opened (enough for a jump and laughter, not tears thank heavens).

Back at home, a steady stream of trick or treaters wandered by the house to get a handful of our eclectic bowl of treats. Some we knew, some we didn't know. But plenty to make it worth the fact that we bought more than one bag of goodies!

It has not always been like this. Five years ago when we first got here, we also didn't have to wander far ... but the streets were darker. We got the OCCASIONAL trick or treater. And I think everyone stuck to Proctor treats and then went straight home.

The weather was on our side tonight, but it seemed to be more than that. There are a TON more kids on our block this year, too (more than 10 vs. less than 5), but it seems more than that. I'm really not sure all the magical elements that came together, but it's been a magical night.

I think there's just something in the air. And it is good.

p.s. Great party last weekend, Ms. Zesty! It's been awhile since I've stayed up to grownup hours ...

p.p.s. Super kudos to the ketchup bottle and twister game that stopped by! I'm so consulting you on costume-making next year.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Best chain letter ever!

Be it known, I'm not a big fan of chain letters and e-mails. But today, a little bag of Halloween goodies landed on our doorstep with a ghost drawn on one piece of paper and the following note attached ...

You've been boo'd!

This friendly ghost has come to our neighborhood to leave you these goodies that you have now found. If you do not wish this curse to befall (curse? someone must've removed that by the time it got to our house, this is just fun!), continue this greeting and look around. Find two homes without the Boo Ghost and spread the fun by following the directions below.

Buy or make two treat bags of ghoulish fun. Then copy this ghost and Halloween note. Look around your neighborhood and find two neighbors who may have been missed. Leave your treats and these papers where the Boo ghost has not hit. Deliver at dark where there is no light. Ring the doorbell, run, and stay out of sight.

You have only two days to act, so be quick. Don't forget to tape your ghost on your window or door, so a sneaky ghost won't hit you once more. Last but not least, come join the season. It's great to give treats and there is good reason. Have lots of fun and remember not to be seen. Share in the spirit that is Halloween. Boo!

Thank you to our mystery ghost for the goodies ... now it's our turn. Muah hahahahahaha. :)

Happy Halloween everyone!

Tacoma rocks.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tacoma: 200,000 blogaholics can't be wrong ...

Ok, some of you newbies (or oldies) might not get the reference. Out there somewhere there are T-shirts from Tacoma's grittier days when to be proud of Tacoma was looked at as an over-optimist's ever-quest for the silver lining, there were these T-shirts ... And they read: "Tacoma: 185,000 alcoholics can't be wrong." My husband jokes that it's how he remembers the approximate population of Tacoma. (Though now even the census records put us close to 200,000, and recent numbers say we've at last pushed through that ceiling.)

Anyhow, back to my point ...

There seem to be a lot of bloggers in Tacoma. Especially a lot of Tacoma-centric bloggers, with a lot of them being proud (longtime and newcomer alike) Tacomans.

Some of my regular blog rounds include:

Exit133, FeedTacoma, the News Tribune blogs, the Tacoma Gnome, TacomaMama, Erik Emery, Zesty Enterprise, the list goes on and on ... seriously, on and on and on and on and on and on ... you get the point.

Which got me wondering, are other cities this blog-happy about themselves? Seriously. It seems like a lot. is a religious ministries organization. is some guy's personal website and is some random website service. There is, in fact, a But it's, well, quite different than ours. And is definitely more of a business enterprise than our own local version's feet-on-the-street efforts. There is a ... but I didn't detect another city with it's own gnome blogger.

Now, other cities do have blogs. There's OlyBlog, OlyPoster, EugeneBlog, DowntownEugene, the SeattleBlog, MetBloggingSeattle (Which appears to be a chain blog? That's new to me ...), various neighborhood Seattle blogs, of course, Portland Neighborhood's Blog, Boise Blog (run by a real estate broker), MetroBlogging Minneapolis (another one of that chain! hmm ... they haven't hit Tacoma ... yet.) Anyhow, etc. etc.

So, are we just a sign of the times? Or is Tacoma blogger happy ... and are all those alcoholics now blogging? I won't say what I'm drinking while writing this ...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

X Marks the Spot

Thanks to Mentor Man, I discovered the mystery that lies in the circle at the top of the UW Tacoma steps. Check it out for yourself sometime ... Trek to the top of the campus steps, or head over to the Swiss for a pint or two (though you might want to try this trick before the pints so that you know you weren't dreaming), and stand in the circle, looking down the steps, through the arches and down to the port. The view is marvelous, but it's not the view that caused me to gasp.

  • Step 1 (as told by Mentor Man): Stand near the center of the circle, but not at the X.
  • Step 2: Face downhill, and enjoy the view. Then say, (normal voice, shout, whatever) "I love Tacoma!"
  • Step 3: Move over to the very center of the circle, where the X marks the spot.
  • Step 4: Again, face downhill, enjoy the view, and again say, "I love Tacoma." If you finish the sentence without saying "Wow", "Whoah" or some other form of astonishment ... I'll be impressed. I couldn't do it.

You gotta try it. And once you do that, maybe check out the bricks in red square at PLU. Throw a rock across and you'll see what I mean. It's music to the hears. Does UPS have any subtle mysteries?

All I can say is that I fell in love with Tacoma all over again ...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Gardens grow, and so does this conversation ...

Too ... tired ... to .... write ... much. So instead, I point you in the direction of a little event I'm helping coordinate, the Growing Conversation II. This began as a conversation last spring among those interested in community gardens, and it continues along the same vein though incorporating the bigger picture. You don't have to be a community gardener, or any kind of gardener, to get something out of participating. Got questions? Just ask.

WHAT: Growing Conversation II

WHEN: 1-5 p.m. October 20, 2007

WHERE: University of Washington Tacoma, Carwein Auditorium

DETAILS: Hear from local scholars, community gardeners and organizers as we discover how community gardens fit into the bigger picture of sustainability, urban green spaces and local food.

Explore how community gardens play a role in so many conversations, including:

  • the health and safety of our community's food supply
  • the way we treat our environment
  • making sure resources are shared and everyone has enough to eat
  • creating spaces for neighborhoods to come together as communities
  • making sure children have access to healthy nutritious food
  • vibrant urban spaces that thrive economically and socially
  • where your food comes from and who grows it
Snacks and beverages to be provided!

Questions? Plan to come?

This growing conversation is a collaboration of the Pierce Conservation District, the City of Tacoma, TAGRO, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and Exit133. For more information, e-mail

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Stormy day delight: How Margaret made my day

I love stormy days; I love walking along, lost in thought and being caught off guard and yanked into a lovely bit of reality by drool-inducing whiffs of wonderful things. So today was a good day.

Some folks think I'm crazy for loving autumn's windy, rainy, stormy days, but I do. And today was a lovely day in my book. Crisp, but not cold. Windy and rainy enough for a bit of a gamble and an adventure and a need for a raincoat if you ventured out. Everyone on my bus this morning agreed that hot buttered rum was in order. Hot buttered rum, a good book, and not having to be at work.

Since I had to be at work, I was pleased as anything to be wandering down St. Helens street in search of coffee when I was suddenly snagged by an indescribably hypnotizing smell as I walked by Margaret's Cafe. I felt like I was in a cartoon and that I must have been walking on air as I wandered by her large glass windows, the smell of loveliness pulling at me. Taunting me. Calling to me.

I walked by.

And then I walked back. I had to know. WHAT WAS SMELLING SO GOOD!!?!?!?

So I poked my head in and sheepishly queried Margaret as to what she'd been up to in the kitchen that was tempting me so ... and apparently it was many things. At that moment, I think it was the brownies. But she'd also been making apple pie ... and bacon (Tuesday is Cobb salad day ... mmmmmm.) I knew I had to be back. I might not be able to have a hot buttered rum at work, but I CAN have a warm and gooey brownie. I was back about 2-3 hours later, and I got the first cut out of the still warm and gooey brownies (with walnuts!!!!).

The icing on the proverbial (cup?)cake.

Thanks Margaret!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Hey city mouse! It's time to visit your country cousins ...

Once upon a time, harvest season for me meant partaking in one heck of a party with hay rides, a luau, bushels of hay to climb on; dancing on a simple wooden stage in the middle of the expansive sea of grass guarded by giant firs; checking out the baby pigs and all the other farm animals; having to pee in a small outhouse with only a crescent moon cut-out for light; running around with a litter of other kids (our parents comfortable that we were safe); inhaling the smells of fresh hay; roaming through corn fields; and simply having a good time with friends and family gathered to celebrate that wonderful orange harvest moon time of year.

I've long left my country mouse beginnings, but harvest season remains my favorite.

So this Saturday, I'll be celebrating that lovely nip in the air that comes this time of year and we'll be heading out with my bevy of friends and their families for Terry's Berries to take part in this weekend's HarvestFest 2007, the Pierce County Farm Tour. There are plenty of Pierce County farms to choose from, and much to do. You can find lavender, chocolate milk, CSA opportunities, and fresh eggs, fresh veggies, fresh everything. And activities for all.

For details, check out what TacomaMama has to say or head to the HarvestFest homepage to download a brochure.

And for a double-header, Sunday is Steilacoom Museum Association's Apple Squeeze!

So all you city mice out there ... this weekend is a perfect time to head for the country!