Thursday, December 31, 2009

See you next year

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year !


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad !

c. 1980

I miss you lots. Hope they're throwing a good party for you !

Sunday, December 27, 2009

RIP Vic Chesnutt

from the AP:

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Vic Chesnutt, the folk-rocker whose sometimes dark reflections on life were influenced in part by a car wreck that left him paralyzed, has died. He was 45.

Family friend Christina Stuckey, who answered the phone at Chesnutt's home, confirmed the death to The Associated Press. Chesnutt's record label, Constellation Records, said in a statement on its Web site that Chesnutt died on Christmas Day, Friday.

The brief statement says ''Vic transformed our sense of what true character, grace and determination are all about.''

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009


Christmas preparations have taken up a lot of my time this past week - sorry for slacking on my posts. Here's a favorite scene from one of the best holiday movies, in my humble opinion....

Friday, December 4, 2009

who else was born today ??

Wassily Kandinsky (1866)
Jeff Bridges (1949)
Marisa Tomei (1964)
Jay-Z (1970)
Tyra Banks (1973)

and me (the best year ever - 1968)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

and Nooksack Falls

After our snowshoeing adventure, we stopped at Nooksack Falls for a quick peek. The water, which flows from the slopes of Mt Shuksan, was moving with a lot of power.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

snowshoeing at Mt Baker

The Mt Baker backcountry (barely past the ski area - no avalanche danger) is a fantastic place for snowshoeing. The snow was powder fresh and glistened in the morning sun. The ski area we hiked, called Heather Meadows, already has a 68" base. The blue skies provided a great backdrop for photos.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Franklin Falls

For the Veteran's Day holiday yesterday, we ventured east on I-90 to Snoqualmie Pass to check out the snow levels. The ski resorts are almost ready to open - the chair lifts were in motion and the concession stands were being stocked with goods. After breakfast at a pancake house near the summit, we went back one exit west to the Denny Creek exit and ended up at Franklin Falls. A one-mile hike in, with little vertical gain, brought us to some amazing falls with spectacular views and photos ops the whole way. Since we had left the house early, there were no other hikers out at that time and we had the trail to ourselves. It was a great day. And good for our souls. I love where I live.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy 120th Birthday Washington !

Washington's official statehood - as the 42nd state - started 120 years ago today, at 5:27 pm. The image above is a telegram that announces the state's transition (courtesy WA Sec of State).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

King County animals in need

The King County Council adopted legislation on Monday directing to end animal sheltering services by January 31st and to end animal control services to the cities by June 30th. Revenues from pet licenses and other fees have fallen short of the cost of providing animal care and control services in the amount of approximately $2 million per year.

If you ever pondered getting a new dog or cat from the King County shelter, please do it now. Normal fees are being waved to encourage adoptions. Shelters are located :

King Co Animal Care and Control
21615 64th Ave S
Kent, WA 98032


King Co Animal Care and Control - Eastside Adoption Center
821 164th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98008

Friday, November 6, 2009


I'm a fan of an occasional Haribo treat, but this is disgusting - the world's largest gummy bear. All yours for $29.95. Here are the specs:

• Dimensions: 9" x 5.5" x 3.5"
• Equivalent of 1400 regular-size gummy bears
• Weighs approximately 5 pounds
• 12,600 calories (good god)
• Hand-made in the USA with domestic ingredients
• Gluten-free (well thank god for that !)

A smaller version comes on a stick: the equivalent of 88 regular-size bears. And yes, it's also gluten free.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

a Clark W. Griswold moment...

On a nice sunny day last week, Dan and I took a trip over to the Olympic Peninsula to do a short hike on Hurricane Ridge. When we reached the park, the road we take to access the top ridge was closed. What ?! How could it be closed ? It was a beautiful day. A small sign on the Ranger hut indicated high levels of snow were expected for that afternoon and the area would be closed for the day. D'oh.

We decided to venture a bit further west and go to Lake Crescent. We grabbed some sandwiches and had lunch along the lake. It is stunning. Due to a lack of nitrogen in the water, algae growth is stunted. What results is a magnificent blue color and water that is crystal clear.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Today is our niece's 5th birthday. I wish we were out east to celebrate with her. Happy Birthday Madeline Marie !

Today is also my mother-in-law's birthday. Happy Birthday Yong Cha !

Today would have been my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. Miss you, Dad.

And Happy United Nations Day too !

Thursday, October 22, 2009

6 years ago today...

... I attended my all-time favorite concert. Pearl Jam played beautiful Benaroya Hall in Seattle - a half acoustic, half electric night. Dan and I sat 6th row. One of many particular highlights for us that evening was their cover of Johnny Cash's "25 Minutes to Go":

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

One of our Japanese Maples is particularly vibrant this year. The leaves have been more yellow in the past falls, but they turned red-orange this season. Maybe it was the awesome, sunny summer weather we had. It hasn't been very sunny lately and I took the pic with my phone, so it doesn't really do the colors justice. But I wanted to get a shot before the leaves all fell off or blew away.

later addition - real photos

Sunday, October 18, 2009

time for soup...

I have never made a cream-based soup before. Mainly because (1) Dan loves to make soup and (2) he makes DELICIOUS soup and (3) the combo of 1 and 2 are enough to keep me from trying. But feeling very fall-ish today, I decided to make a butternut squash soup. I started with this recipe and revised it a bit to my liking. It turned out really tasty and was velvet smooth. Here's my version:


2 tbsp butter
4 cups of butternut squash, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup apples, peeled and diced finely
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup apple cider
Salt and pepper to taste
pinch of nutmeg
3/4 - 1 cup heavy cream


Melt butter in large saucepan. Add squash, onion and carrots. Cook until onions are translucent - about 7 minutes.

Add apples and stir. Pour chicken stock and apple cider over and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook the mixture for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Let stand - covered - for about 40 minutes.

Pour into blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Strain through a china cap or chinoise back into a saucepan. Add heavy cream until desired consistency and add a pinch of nutmeg. Mix again with buerre mixer until cream is incorporated.

Heat through and serve with sliced almonds on top.

Monday, October 12, 2009

all good things must come to an end...

Rainy season is almost upon us and the temps are really dipping overnight, so the tomato plants met their demise today. I picked what ripe tomatoes remained and picked some green ones for I-don't-know-what. Into to compost bin the plants went - only to come back next summer as fertilizer for the new crop.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

i love fall...

Today was a beautiful day here in Seattle - sunny, with that distinct fall crispness. The smell of falling leaves permeated the air. My friend Erin and I went to the Ballard farmer's market this morning to gather some local goodies. I feel lucky to be able to enjoy these types of markets year-round and to have great, healthy and organic choices at our disposal.

Friday, October 9, 2009

'tis the season...

Dan and I went to Carpinito Brothers pumpkin patch and corn maze this afternoon, just a bit south of us. The amount of pumpkins in the fields was amazing. According to our local fruit/vegetable stand guy, the warm summer weather we experienced in this part of the country allowed for an early and bountiful pumpkin season. I can't wait to carve !

Friday, October 2, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

what a week

Last week was a big one for me. Three Pearl Jam shows and two Dark Star Orchestra shows in six days. Whew. All were fantastic and I had so much fun. My friend Maureen accompanied me to the PJ show on Saturday, just north of Portland. A personal highlight of that show was a duet Ed did with Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney fame - a song called "Golden State" written by John Doe. I love when they sing together.

We had a blast. And I thought I was getting too old for this stuff....

Saturday, September 12, 2009

day trippers...

Dan and I went to the small town of Roslyn today for a quick day trip. It's the town where many scenes from the TV show "Northern Exposure" were filmed - located about 100 miles east of Seattle.

The barista at the coffee shop told us about an old cemetery that was grouped by different ethnic groups. There were 24 separate, but adjacent cemeteries on 15 acres.

(Croatian plots)

We also visited Cooper Lake north of Roslyn. What a tranquil place - no motorized boats allowed. It was a beautiful day.