Thursday, December 31, 2015


Happy Birthday, Mom

Mom and me. Sometime in 1986 or '87. Today is the 84th anniversary of her birth. She always did enjoy how the whole world celebrated her birthday. Where ever you are now, Mom, I hope there's Jack Daniels black label. And high heels. And a pool table. And some men to flirt with. She was such a great beauty and a force to be reckoned with. There just aren't dames like her anymore.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

They Make Shoes Out of Rubies, Right?

It seems that they have run through the list of metals to classify credit cards. Silver, gold, platinum, titanium. Just not impressive enough anymore.  Yes, they have moved on to precious stones.Today I received an offer for a Sapphire Visa card. I have been preapproved for a ridiculously high credit limit. But they want an annual fee. And my firstborn child. And it turns out that the card itself isn't actually made of sapphire. Nor does it have some tiny cute gemstones embedded in the plastic. Thanks, Visa people, I'll pass on this one. Do let me know when you are offering sapphires suitable for mounting in, say, a silver, gold, platinum, or titanium setting. I might take you up on that.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

When Life Gives You Lemons

I have just made lemon curd. For the very first time. It's delicious. I know because I licked all the utensils. If only I had a lemon to include in the photo so it would look much more art-directed. But I used them all. Making the lemon curd. Tomorrow it will be served with the also pictured pound cake. And raspberries. Maybe whipped cream, too. I can't remember ever feeling this damn fancy.

The Three Guys Who Never Call

1. The cute guy who has your number.

2. Your lawyer.

3. Your contractor.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Good News, Bad News

Happy Solstice! The bad news is, Winter has officially begun. The good news is, there is a tiny bit more light every day from now until just after mid-June. A little more than two minutes to be imprecise. The axial tilt, children, it's the reason for the season.

A Long Time Ago...

L to R, my big brother Scott holding little brother Cullen, me, cousin Cory in Santa's (in actuality, Uncle Carl. Clay, Cory, and Sara's dad) lap, Aunt Mamie with Clay, and in the foreground, three-month-old Sara.

...on a Christmas Eve far, far away. 1964. Williston, North Dakota. Celebrating with Santa and the Skurdal cousins. I have no idea what I am holding so carefully in my little hands. And little sis Martine is nowhere to be seen. At that age she had a major fear-of-SatanSanta thing going. And due to my sloppy typing form, I just wrote Satan instead of Santa. Making Martine's fear much more rational seeming. Suddenly this has become creepier than the Luke, I'm your father moment. 

Going to See This Tonight!!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

What Every Girl Needs

A handsome, smiling man who knew her before this time. Before she was a wife, before she was a mother, before the merciless and relentless indications of aging began to set in. A man who hugs her and calls her by her maiden name. Miss Broome. Because that's how he remembers her. Pulling her back to a time of hope and promise and all things possible. For just a moment, she is that girl. And despite the years, she is reminded that this girl still dwells within her and can be called forth with two magical, manifesting words. Miss Broome. It is, indeed, the season of miracles.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Beer(s) of Seattle

Michael and Liz know I love Octoberfest style beer. So in addition to stocking up on Sam Adams' version, they also picked up a local brew made by Pyramid. It was delicious. I had a couple of other local beers, one at the top of the Space Needle and another in a bar near the Public Market. They were both terrific. But as I am prone to do, I neglect to properly document the experience because I'm so caught up in enjoying the moment. So I didn't snap a photo of the bottle or menu. I apologize, Seattle, you are a city of many tasty opportunities and that certainly includes beer. All I have to say is, if you love beer, go to Seattle and drink their local brews. You won't be disappointed.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Google, Kirkland Campus

Yes, I know it's the old logo. They've been busy with other stuff. Like world domination and treating their employees well. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

History Lesson

After seeing this photo on Facebook I just could not shut up. Let's be inclusive about this holiday season. I think Jesus would be totally cool about it.

I shared the photo with this added comment:

I must point out that German Christians brought decorated evergreen trees into their homes to celebrate Christmas in the 16th century. However, this practice has its roots in the Pagan custom of bringing evergreen trees and branches into their homes to celebrate the Winter Solstice and the promise of Spring yet to come. They had been doing this for many hundreds of years before the Germans. It's no surprise that so many cultures and religions celebrate this time of year. All of these celebrations are about peace and togetherness and feasting and love and hope and all are equally valid. It's not a competition! The Solstice belongs to us all.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


I can't believe that I have neglected to gush about Holiday Jam! This is way overdue considering that Holiday Jam 7, Brookings edition, is less than 24 hours from commencing! I command you to attend this truly terrific holiday music concert! That is all. Return to your nap or cookie baking activities.

How to Tell...

...if the guy slipping down your chimney is Santa. Yes, I've run this before. But only because I am so enamored of the Venn Diagram. A seasonal one is even better. You're welcome.  

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Dinner Conversation

Whilst enjoying steamed broccoli and penne pasta dressed with a sauce of white wine and olive oil and carmelized onion, chicken, bacon, carrot, and garlic, there was holiday music playing.

Reid: What's the music?

Me: Mannheim Steamroller.

Reid: Sounds like a wrestling move.

Me: Extraordinaire.

Reid: Yeah, if you pin the guy.

While Returning a Sweater at Eddie Bauer

Sam: Be with you in a moment.

Me: Smiles.

Sam: All right, what can I help you with?

Me: I have a return. Pulls sweater out of shopping bag.

Sam: Any problem with it?

Me: It was much more flattering in the store than it was at home.

Sam: Oh, yeah. It's that magic sparkly stuff we put on the mirrors.

Me: I've always suspected that.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Bob's Burgers! (& Brew)

There really is a Bob's Burgers.

It's a local chain in Oregon and Washington.

The burgers were delicious. We did not try the squirrel sandwich. Judging by how much Newton enjoys watching the squirrels frolic in the back yard through the patio door, if he had been along I'm guessing he would have ordered it.

At the Corner of Starbucks and Elliot Bay

I'm pretty sure tourists in the city of Seattle are required by law to snap a photo in this location. Reid is taking this obligation very seriously. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Down at the Kirkland Arts Center

Located in the historic Peter Kirk Building.

The turret room from the inside.

An architecturally significant, well-preserved example of Victorian era commercial architecture with Romanesque Revival elements.*

My Darling DiLly, Liz, is on staff at the center.

And my goofy sons are in a stairwell at the center beneath a cloud-like installation composed of paper cylinders.

* The description is straight off their website.

Thermostat Wars

The house was particularly chilly when I woke up this morning. After donning fat socks and a fuzzy robe I ventured out to the hallway to turn up the thermostat. And observed that it was turned all the way down! This reminded me that my son had showered last evening. And when he showers he turns the thermostat all the way down. I didn't notice because I was busy cooking dinner and putting up even more holiday decorations until I went to bed. I turned it up to a reasonable 70 and shuffled to the kitchen to make coffee. I have always been mystified as to why he does this turning off the heat thing. I don't know about you, but when I'm wet and naked I want the room toasty warm. I have surmised that he offsets this frugality by overuse of a space heater in his man cave downstairs. When he could put on slippers and more clothing instead. Pardon my logic, but this makes no sense at all. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I Dreamed I Was Jane Jetson

Eat here!

We Earthlings recommend the pizza.

Fun With Food

Reid contemplates the mysterious chicken nugget shaped like a jalapeno pepper. 

What does it all mean?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Friday, December 4, 2015


The family that consumes chocolate-covered raisins together, well, is very, very happy together. Announcing a new Thanksgiving tradition! Eating chocolate-covered raisins with your adult children and watching Sharknado. Perhaps the worst movie since Plan 9 From Outer Space. But somehow rendered watchable and hilarious by the consumption of chocolate-covered raisins. Enhanced even further by a smart phone app that syncs the on-screen action with the lights in the room. Cosmic, man.

Holy Macaroni, Batman

For the romantic. Who loves mac & cheese. And puns. You can buy one, or one very similar to this. Seriously.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Snooze News

I snore. This has been verified by two people. Get your brains out of the toilet, I have recently been on road trips with Andrea and the younger son and shared hotel rooms. It only happens when I sleep on my back and have a pillow tucked under my neck just so, allowing for jaw-dropped slumber thunder. This is it, I expect, for any romance in my life. Unless I can always manage to sleep on my side. Pardon me while I go sew tennis balls to the backs of all my jammies.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Live From Rock Springs, Wyoming*

Hello, December, so happy to see you. I have added three states to my official States I've Visited list. Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. Leaving ten states I have thus far not set foot in. Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Then there's those pesky Alaska and Hawaii outliers. So, okay, twelve. It seems that four separate trips need to be embarked upon to hit them all. But first I would like to get home, hug my Newton tigercat, and stay put for a few weeks. Goodnight.

*Which my brain keeps wanting to call Rock Ridge. That exceedingly happy place where Sheriff Bart rules. Not the same thing at all.