Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato -- and a fillet? OMIGOD!

I was so blown away by the Steelhead BLT at Woody's on the Water that I forgot to snap a picture, of anything. It was my first time trekking down the Foss waterfront venue, and I'll definitely be back.

Woody's on the Water is located in the space where the Blue Olive once lived, beneath Thea's Landing apartments and overlooking the Foss Waterway marina and the Museum of Glass's lovely esplanade. Lunch Buddy, my driver for the afternoon, and I were excited to discover a parking area within the garage there designated for Woody's clientelle -- for no charge. As we meandered our way to the restaurant, we enjoyed the many boats congregated throughout the waterway. (Again, cursing myself for not getting photos. The view was gorgeous.)

I'd been ogling the menu online in preparation for lunch, and I gotta say: lunch was great, but I can't wait to go back for breakfast, dinner ... and happy hour. (BTW: I think I saw that Mondays are 1/2 off martinis, and Wednesdays are 1/2 off bottles of wine.)

Lunch Buddy was funny. She ordered the "Captain Jack" -- turkey, ham, jack cheese and avocado on grilled sour dough -- and declared that there was no way she would be able to finish it. She cleaned her plate, especially commenting on the fabulous "Crisp Waffle Fries." A true sign of a scrumptious sandwich. (And her hubby will likely enjoy the sorbet she got to go -- I believe a freshly made raspberry-mango flavor.)

I finally narrowed my choices down to the BLT or the Tuna Melt, but when the server informed me that this was no ordinary BLT ... but in fact a BLT that also included a healthy slab of Steelhead fishy-goodness, the deal was sealed. And I enjoyed it thoroughly.

But I'm still drooling over the breakfast menu. I love breakfast. Must make time for breakfast ... at Woody's.

Looking for gluten free? Woody's does have a special gluten free menu. Just ask your server!
Local food in the future: The folks at Woody's are moving toward offering more local food menu options in the future. I can't wait!


The Eldest is apparently growing up. Over the last couple years, The Eldest has generally been super-shy when it comes to doing anything in front of an audience.

She's refused to get on stage.

She has stood frozen on the verge of tears.

And during one performance (at church), she chose to hide by pulling her dress skirt over her head, thus flashing the entire audience her Hello Kitty underwear for the entire performance.

Meanwhile, Baby Girl has fought and clawed her way to get ON stage. (Last Christmas was not fun ... trying to get Eldest on stage while Baby Girl escapes to try to place herself center stage, and upon discovering herself chased, tries to hide behind the giant church Christmas tree. These kids are a workout.)

However, back to the Eldest, WE HAVE BREAKTHROUGH!

It started several months back when her church choir director gave her a "special job" to do during a performance. (She turned a light on, on cue.) The Diva Daughter nature of The Eldest took over, and she was fine on stage. Finally. She had an important job. She still talks about it.

Tonight, it was the elementary school spring program.

And The Eldest ... check that, The Diva Daughter, was one of four first-graders with LINES.

She stood proudly in the front of the group, singing her songs full-blast. And when it came time for the narration, she and her three pals all performed beautifully, and confidently.

So let me present: The Diva Daughter ....

If Diva Daughter manages to stay around until next month's ballet recital, it will be momentous.

I will be one proud mom.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This Intermission from Putting the Kids to Bed Inspired by Mr. (RR) Anderson

I have nothing to say except I wish the kids put themselves to bed. So, while I let them eat the last of the ice cream in the house ...

And just to switch it up a bit, my little new favorite non-Scrub-related video:

Blame RR.

Monday, May 26, 2008

May 29: Literature, Politics & Pierce County

Now here's an interesting mix: Tacoma author and Deputy Prosecutor Mark Lindquist will read from his newly paper-backed novel "The King of Methlehem" at King's Books this Thursday as part of a fundraiser for the Pierce County Democratic Party. Say all THAT in one breath!

Here's the invite:

Fun place. Fun people. Interesting mix of literature, politics and local theme ...

See you there?

7 p.m. Thursday, May 29, 2008
King's Books, 218 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma
Refreshments provided; $15 donation suggested

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Chambers Creek: Home to family friendly walking/biking!

Water fountains, bathrooms and a view -- oh my! Today our family discovered that Chambers Creek is so more than home to a top-notch golf course.

The Eldest has been ACHING to ride her bike beyond the alley and beyond the block. But as a newbie biking family, we don't know many good, safe routes. Neighborhood riding is a lot of stop and starts and watching out for driveways and alleyways and intersections. A little much when the girl is still on training wheels, and mom and dad's bikes still needs to head to the shop for tune-ups and tires before they can join, and while there's still two other smaller ones to worry about.

And so we decided to try out the new trails at Pierce County's Chambers Creek. While venturing blindly down random trails, we almost took the Soundview Trail. That's the one that winds through parts of the new Chambers Bay golf course. I took one look at that more than 10% hill and quickly vetoed that path. Not only did I not want to be walking up or down that hill, I definitely didn't want to deal tugging two kids in a wagon up and down that sucker, or a cranky kid who was about to have to walk her bike up and down a giant hill as the majority of her "bike ride."

I figured there HAD to be a better way. And there was.

The Grandview Trail. A picture of perfection for a family consisting of a newbie bike rider, parents pulling a wagon of children, a family looking for a decently aerobic trail, a family who might need drinking fountains and restrooms.

Any trail where the Baby Girl can pull her brother in the wagon for half a mile is pretty darn fabulous if you ask me ...

I'm still rather shocked about the staggered water fountains, available at human AND dog heights. The trash receptacles magically appeared right when I finished my coffee, and then right when my husband finished his. And the restrooms were dreamy. (You heard me.) That's what the shelter is in the below photo.

And did I mention the view?

Plus, it was fun to finally get a peek at the Chambers Bay golf course ... which will be the home course for the 2010 U.S. Amateur & 2015 U.S. Open Championships -- so cool! And I don't even play golf. The Pierce County course is walking only, and so I see how golf could be good exercise ... that course is gorgeous, but it's quite a hike.

So all in all, a fabulous morning. The Eldest got to ride her bike more than 2 miles. Daddy got a bit of a run in. And Baby Girl and I worked up at least a bit of a sweat walking and dragging the wagon behind. The Boy? Well, he pretty much laid in the wagon the whole time. I guess we all need an occasional lazy day. But I'm guessing next time he'll be out there with his big sis on a bike, because I have a feeling ...

We'll be back.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Neighborhood Chalk-off Fun ... and Alice Cooper

Our neighborhood kids are practicing their mad chalkin' skilz in preparation of summer opportunities to join in the Frost Park Friday fun. Here's a sampling from this morning ...

Abstract by Neighbor Girl, 3

Unicorn, by The Boy, 5

A Queen, a Princess and a Unicorn, by The Eldest, 7

I'm sure there will be more entries later today, perhaps by the above contestants, perhaps by the Baby Girl. We shall see ... and can't wait until school's out for summer! :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

VIDEO: I'm addicted to 'Pork and Beans' (but missing Frost Park today)

Been home sick, and while catching up on my YouTube, I came across the video for Weezer's new tune, Pork and Beans (just released today!). This baby's made of awesome on so many levels ...

p.s. For those of you not home sick, the last couple days of rain should have cleared the sidewalks at Frost Park nicely ... go check out today's Frost Park chalk-off! I'll be voting for the first time purely by photo. So I want to hear which ones look better in person, and who might have had performance FLARE!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

TONIGHT: I'm goin' out ... to People's Park!

Apparently tonight's the night to get out and show some love to the Hilltop. Barring a torrential rain storm, I'm snagging the kids and heading out for the bocce bonanza at Peoples Park and perhaps the chance to win a gift certificate to the Tempest Lounge and other fabulous prizes. (I'm drooling just thinking about the Tempest though ... their spinach dip, the freshbaked goodness, the citrus drink specials and all the other homey yummies they brilliant Lounge-creators have helped to concoct.)

Wondering how you can get in on the lovin'? Show up to People's Park (900 South K St. / 9th St. at Martin Luther King Jr. Way) between 4 and 7 p.m. and bring your "UTBA bucks," which can be earned by shopping at participating Hilltop businesses throughout the day. You can then get in on the game, or run around and cheer (that's what I'll probably be doing, since the three kids will be in tow). But I hear there might be prizes for the player who is named "Best Boccee Player in the Universe." Which makes it tempting. Especially with cool prizes and the super-cool Upper Tacoma Business Association playing along for this, the first of many Showcase events presented as a partnership between and the Cross District Association of Tacoma.

Super-scrumptious bonus: I hear Johnson Candy Co. is staying open late. And silly me has not been there yet. Oh, the kids will be ecstatic. Not only have they been begging for me to take them to the park, they might just get candy, too?!?!?!? They might never sleep again.

For more deets on this fantabulous Go Local opportunity, check out

See you there!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Murphy's Law moment

I was up and at 'em at 5:30 a.m. this morning, all ready to start a new "habit." Little did I know I'd soon be foiled by Murphy and his damnable law.

About 5 minutes after arriving at the YMCA, I heard an announcement over the speakers about my car. I didn't quite hear it all, but I thought my lights were on. *smack head* So I ran out to turn them off, and apparently it was actually that my tire was spitting into the wet asphalt of the parking lot ... it was slowly going flat. *smack head harder* Do I go back in? Or do I drive home while I still can. I drove home. Because I had also chosen to leave my cellphone at home, thinking, "Oh, I won't need this." So perhaps it was a double Murphy's Law day. Let it stop there. Please.

Sigh. I guess I'll be taking the bus today.

And I'll try again tomorrow.

Because in the immortal words of my dear brother. $#%& Murphy.

Don't know what I'm talking about? Check out Adam's Murphy's Law moment from earlier this month when he participated in The Grand's 72-hour film festival ...

Monday, May 19, 2008

My other blog, where I attempt to eat local(ish) ...

It wasn't Morpheus, and no, it wasn't Derek, but this past year I was offered a choice. And I chose truth. (I think I can blame Kristen or Sarah.)

If you're a Matrix fan, you may recall Neo's choice of the red or the blue pill. The blue pill? It offers him, upon glimpsing a strange, difficult world, the option to return to life before he knew more. To carry on as before. The red pill? The truth. It was the option to take the safe route, or leap into a world of the unknown.

A little scary, but what's life without taking a few chances.

And this chance just happened to be good for me: Eating local.

At least partly.

For me, I'm sharing my efforts to eat, buy and grow local. I'm making a more conscious choice to seek as local of ingredients as I can. I won't be going Total Local, like some folks, but I'll be looking at labels, avoiding China, trying to stick to the closest option possible. I'll be making another effort at growing more of my own food. I'll be signing up for a CSA. And I'll be feeding my brain with books and conversations and practice-makes-perfect.

If you'd like to follow along, "down the rabbit hole" as some might say. Check out Especially this blog.

Grocery trips are no longer what they once were. There is no going back, there is only going forward ... even if it's one baby step at a time.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Possibly my favorite Mother's Day/Weekend ever

Wow -- I think I'm still blissed out out from the past weekend that pretty much turned into a Mother's Day extended weekend. And so many T-town reasons became a part of the celebration.

We started out with Frost Park Friday, fabulous as always, and I'd designed a special T-shirt for Little Brother whose entry into The Grand's 72-h0ur Film Festival ended up cursed. But you can still see his video (below) and we will be having a special Director's Cut (longer, funnier, more plot lines) screening of "Destiny of the Gnome," starring the TacomaGnome and many others, someday soon. Little Brother later met Wil Wheaton at the Emerald City ComiCon later in the weekend. Vicarious touch of fame? ;) I'm such a geek ...

Destiny of a Gnome:

Oh, what, you wanted to know about the T-shirt? Well, if you watch the video to the end, you might figure out what I might have put on a T-shirt for Little Brother ... it's pretty obvious. And it's not suitable for younger audiences.

Later Friday night, Hubby & I took PDX Brother and his fabulous fiancee to The Tempest Lounge, where we enjoyed scrumptious treats and fab conversation. Then they headed off to his Seattle show (sadly, his later-in-the-weekend T-Town performance ended up cancelled), and the Hubby and I continued Date Night with the last half of the 72-hour Film Festival, which I hear was the better half. We loved it. Then met up with some peeps at Maxwell's. I'd heard good things about Maxwell's Speakeasy & Lounge ... good food, good ambiance, medium prices, etc. But even the good talk-up didn't do this place justice. Really nice ... best crab cakes I've ever had, awesome service, etc. I'll be back. :)

Oh, wait ... we aren't even TO Mother's Day, are we.

So ... Saturday, The Eldest, Baby Girl and I wound up at The Harvester. Yum. Yum. Yum. Not only did we get to hang out with many fun peeps, but my girls got their favorite: split the strawberry pancakes and strawberry milkshake ... while I enjoyed my Wrecked Eggs. (So very much my favorite Harvester treat.)

Then, it was off to the Proctor Farmers Market, where we found asparagus (never thought I'd be celebrating that, but I'm a new fan), apples, pears and CHEESE CURDS! I heart cheese curds. I heard someone today mention cheese curds in the street and I almost tackled them. I had cheese curds on the brain, and normally folks say, "Huh?!?!? What are cheese curds?" And someone else had them on the brain too! Is it the season? Seriously. It was weird.

Are you wondering when I'm gonna get to Mother's Day? Okay, okay ... here you go. On Sunday, not only did Hubby & The Kids wake me up with many hugs and kisses and happiness and yummy breakfast ... but add to the treasure pot: the The Boy made it spectacularly through his spring musical performance at church, then we stole my brother and his lovely dove and took them to see Never Never Land at Point Defiance Park. Wow. I can't believe I hadn't been there before. Great, old kinda-creepy stuff with a fairly new and fabulous playground for the kiddies. The munchkins had a blast between the playground and the trails.

Strangely, what inspired us to go here? Another 72-Hour Film Festival entry ...

Blogland Murders from Kevin Freitas on Vimeo.

All had fun at Point Defiance ... and Brother Dear and I didn't even battle once. No baiting; no debating. It was weird. And quite nice. It was a great weekend. And after we parted ways, leaving Brother Dear & Fiancee in the midst of Point Defiance Park joys, we headed over to Hubby's brother's house to spend the remainder of a never-ending fabulous Mother's Day. A Mother's Day where I did not have to play host. Where I got to see folks I cared about. Where yummy food was served, good conversation was had, people smiled, there was a kid in the house that wasn't mine, dreams were pondered and ... well ... let's just say, it was good.

I'm still dumbfounded, though obviously not speechless.

I guess we all have to trip across a few good days in a row here and there ... I send good thoughts to my pals who need a few of the same.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

My kids have definite political opinions ...

Conversation in the car last night:

The Eldest: I want Hillary to be president!

The Boy: I want Barack!

Baby Girl: Bawack-illry! (Sounded a bit like "broccoli") ... I keep saying she's a good mix of her brother and sister's influence.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

When did Baby Girl start drawing something other than scribbles?

Holy cow ... I thought this was The Boy's piece at first. And he said no. It's Baby Girl's. Baby Girl just turned 3. About two weeks ago. And until now, I'll I've seen her do is scribble. Below is a picture of her, me and daddy. Whoah. Dude ... was it turning 3? Was it the two days of preschool? Was it the fact that she's finally potty-trained? Was it the babysitter?

Whoah. And apparently we're her favorite subject. She's drawing it again ...

VIDEO: It's fantabulous when you get your kids hooked on the things you loved as a munchkin

And I did it! My kids are currently watching "The Last Unicorn" over and over and over and over again. Baby girl even woke up insisting on it.

Now the funny T-town part of this, I snagged the 25th Anniversary edition DVD at the 21st & Pearl Rite Aid for like 7 bucks. (There was only one -- I love random cool impulse purchase opportunities. And this one I could NOT resist.) When I brought it to the counter, the check-out chickie was relieved. She had been tempted by it for days. I offered to put it back, but she insisted.

And now I think my kids believe in unicorns. Cool.

Of course, the below YouTube series probably only egged that on. They're watching it and singing along as I write this. (All three of them ... they're pretty good ... it's like they've watched the movie over and over and over and ...)

UPDATE: I figured this was an appropriate post for the Saturday Morning Cartoon hours ... perhaps I should be on the lookout for some Smurfs or Gummy Bears DVDs. Old-school Alvin and the Chipmunks anyone?

Friday, May 02, 2008

VIDEO: Harold and the Purple Crayon

Dude! It's Frost Park Friday -- I couldn't help myself!

I think this is along the style I might attempt again. If only I could get a 3-year-old to stick with it as a collaborator for more than 5 minutes. Hmmm .... perhaps I should practice. Train the in-house 3-year-old.

Frost Park Fridays: A true pot o' gold at the rainbow's end

Plenty of others have given you photos of the chalk ... I was drawn to this colorful menagerie.

Oh, and Mr. Tacoma Gnome ... watch out: Devil Duck was spotted to day. Wasn't sure you noticed. I know you escaped the Ana-nabster, but what out for the Devil Duck.

Now to go figure out who to vote for today, &*##$$%!!

For some chalktastic photos, go to:

Tacoma Gnome
Life of Elle
Tacoma Urbanist

Oh, and on the theme of Irish ... Elle was wearing some shirt with something about how everyone loves an Irish gal or something like that. So maybe I SHOULD vote for her ... ack.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Did I just agree with Peter Callaghan?

Sometimes I agree with the TNT's Peter Callaghan and cheer at the breakfast table; sometimes I want to scream, "Oh no you didn't! You just don't get it!" But I suppose that's what makes him a good newspaper columnist.

Today, I rallied with him as I listened to him defend the culture of Tacoma neighborhoods. Did I optimistically interpret? Perhaps. That's what I tend do. But I like to think that I agree with Peter more than half of the time vs. less.

Why do I love Tacoma? Its neighborhoods.

I love mine. I'm a bit far from Proctor, though stick the kids on their bikes or in the red wagon and it's walkable. But I love that I know my neighbors. I have a coffee shop to walk to. I can walk the kids to school ... we can walk to the park. We can watch the Freedom Fair 4th of July fireworks from mere blocks away. I CAN trek to Proctor and the farmers market in mere minutes by car or several by foot. I can get groceries on my way home. Plants on my way home. Take-out on my way home. I grew up on a farm, and while I miss some bits and pieces: I thrive on my neighborhood's convenience.

While I do wish downtown was more "revived" and mourn for my grandmother's memories and her history of once upon a time working for Woolsworth's and other downtown locations, that doesn't mean downtown is all that for me. (Though it's definitely something ... and a something I love and a place I spend money in.) But I love that each Tacoma neighborhood has a special characteristic. A special attitude. Tacoma is not too big, not too small. It's the same reason when I studied abroad in Ireland I went to the city of Cork, not Dublin. It's a city I can grasp, that I can make a difference in, not one that swallows me whole.

Looking for life after 5? Sixth Ave. has it. Some in the Proctor District, too. My PDX musician brother is doing a show on South Tacoma Way at Club Vertigo on May 11. Stadium has nightlife. St. Helens has nightlife. Then there's East Side action, the Lincoln District (where I got my wedding cake ... though the location is now closed), the Dome District action and so much more. And yes, Tacoma's downtown has much to offer, and will continue to grow ... but it's not like Tacoma dies after 5. You just need to know where to go. Seriously need to know and can't find? Just ask.

Go listen
as KUOW pays a bit of attention to Tacoma. Steve and Derek Young and Peter Callaghan chat about T-Town in general. Then Roxanne Murphy, Steph Farber and others join in during the second hour. It's good stuff ... though definitely shows some KUOW naivete as to all Tacoma has to offer.

In the meanwhile, currently T-Town film-addict brother pursues the Grand Cinema's 72-hour film festival.

There's lots to do in T-town.

And thank you Tacoma. I was driving through downtown Seattle just last weekend ... and I noted that it was different. The people, the faces, the places: It was not Tacoma. And for that fact, I cheered ... and drove home.

Hey! Beautiful Angle! Have you been peekin' in my head?

Went shopping locally today. The hubby says this one particular Beautiful Angle poster was calling my name. Bought something else. But perhaps someday. Someday soon. Unless ya'all beat me to the punch.

Why? (You might ask. Or you might not.)

Perhaps because of this rather "heated" Ode to Dandelions I wrote two years ago (April 13, 2006). It was my 7th blog item ever. On MySpace. My younger brothers ... then still freshly shocked that their sister was on MySpace .. didn't (and don't) understand my annoyance with dandelions. They think they're pretty. But we grew up on a farm, and I'm the only homeowner among us. They don't have to contend with grumpy neighbors. And while I don't mind walking on moss or clover or buttercups ... and while I'm all for shrinking my lawn-size in favor of more native or food-related plantings ... I just don't enjoy walking on dandelions. And while in small numbers I find them quaint, in large I find them vile. And I could go on and on ... and two years ago, I did.

Ode to Dandelions

My children love your fluffy tufts
They blow and wish for too much stuff

But that yellow hat that turns to white

Is not beautiful to me, just nasty blight

Oh woe is me, my aching back

Four days, many hours of dandelion attack

But, oh, so satisfying -- "I win, I win"

I say to the dandelions that fill my yard waste bin

Give up hope, give up now

If I have to, I'll rent a plow

One, two, three ... four dozen, a ton

I will keep at it until I've won

Buttercups, welcome -- daisies, you too

Clover, moss keep growing, please do

But oh, you dandelions, me feet don't like

Please, oh, please, just take a hike

My brother mocks me, calls you flowers

Says relax, enjoy those hours

Give in, give in, let Mother Nature in

I say, grow in my yard -- you go to the bin

You see, I know you're a weed
Transported from abroad with infectious seed
And while I refuse to poison plants

I will not let you run more rampant than ants

Please understand, while I sing my die-die song

You have your place, but in my yard -- you don't belong

You're great in chains and summer-made crowns

But I promise, take root in my yard and you're going down

-- AML (4/13/06 -- the day before the baby girl's first birthday)

P.S. And yes, I realize they did their poster first. But I can promise you, that was back when I had major "mama-brain" and was only about to learn of their existence.