In Novela's Backyard
I was invited to a foodcentric book club this evening. Lucky me, it was nearby enough to walk home. During ‘half-time’, Flora & Flying showed off her backyard. It’s wonderful! And green!

We discussed Blood, Bones, and Butter. I finished it in under a week, and would’ve even faster if left to my own devices.

Perennial (?) Summer Project

I’d sworn off gardening this year, due to last year’s pitiful results. But tonight, I found myself passing this display and was unable to stop without deciding to give basil another go.

drawn to this display and then I remembered I have yoga pants.

I did pass up the pajama jeans, though.

Week 4: Our Instructor + Our Boat
Our instructor, Ross, and our little ship

Today was our fourth and final week of Sailing. I felt least newbie of all the weeks, and even did okay on our final exam. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that knots are easy with practice, the wind is a whole world of its own to learn about, and I’m surprisingly tired the day afterward. Two hours non-stop on the water running a small boat takes more out of you than you think. We’ll go back for race night Fridays soon, though. And maybe bigger boats down the line.

Next on our agenda: Whidbey Island. I was recruited to help a dear friend move her stuff from a former home back to a place closer to Seattle. This friend happens to be on the other side of a great big ocean, so there was a bit of choreography as I was the one present to be the Stage Manager. We went up to Langley tonight to be ready for the morning move schedule.


Our ferry.

The Sound to Whidbey Island

Our passage.

Langley, Whidbey Island

Our sunset after a fine dinner at Prima Bistro, in “downtown” Langley.

Prima’s a fine stop on a main lane through Langley. As we scanned the bistro’s menu out front, a couple told us that they were returning for a second night in a row — they strongly encouraged us to join, too. Mr. T was hooked by the French-inspired menu and we spent a fair amount of time on our ordering strategy. The bar service was tops — I loved the Salt and Pepper cocktail. If you’re lucky to sit on the roof deck, they’ll even bring you blankets when the sun starts going down.

Prima Bistro on Urbanspoon

Helios Picnic
Happy Summer! We kicked off the 2011 season with the Helios Picnic at Myrtle Edwards Park. Exactly where I needed to be.

Senor, En Repose
Today was also week 3 of sailing class. The weather was a bit miserable, so the less said about that the better. There will be better weeks.

My friend gfrancie is a genius with an ice cream maker. Today, she hosted one of her legendary Ice Cream Socials where we all spoiled our dinner, once again. It’s been an ongoing requirement for years.

Her son greeted us, coming and going, in his cape. He seemed practically grown up this time, I couldn’t help but think of times past.

Near Our New Digs
Our office space is moving! After 6 months of crossing multiple bridges in each direction to get to the Official Office, I have one big Ship Canal to cross. Well, in ten more days. Time to pack.


As mentioned here before, I belong to LUPEC Seattle — the local branch of Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails. Our monthly outings are masterfully organized by Wendy Miller.

For June, in lieu of our traditional LUPEC gathering, she assigned homework: visit any of the bars LUPEC visited in the last year.

Sambar stood out from her list, but led me to question whether it was really a year ago that I visited last. Turns out, yes, it had been too long. So, when Courtney suggested a few of us gather for a study session, I jumped at the offer.

We convened soon after our workdays, as the sun was still pretty high. I took notes:
– My warm up — Noir Satiné. Rye Whiskey, Strega, Cocchi Vermouth, Black Tea, Lemon Bitters. This worked. I liked the hint of black tea and lemon. The complex combination defeated lingering negative side effects of a challenging workday. Our merry little group was rolling right along.
– When it was time to order again, my eyes drifted to the food menu, despite original intentions to the contrary. I’d coveted Valentina’s Croque-Monsieur across the table, and ham and grilled cheese turned out to be a delicious accompaniment for the next cocktail.
Clémence. Genever, Pineau-des-Charentes, Apricot, Créme de Pêche, Lemon, Pastis. The Genever and Pastis bookends in the listing jumped out, and when the drink arrived, it was a refreshing hit with the whole table.
– There was opportunity for more, but responsibility was calling my name.
– Then, right after the tab was settled, I noticed several no-octane options that I would have chosen had I noticed. Ah, next time.

And there will be a next time, especially with Courtney, Tracy, Valentina, Cameo, and Heather. Thank you, ladies, for the great evening!

Croque Monsieur and a Clémence
Croque Monsieur and a Clémence

Kim's Mint
Tonight, we had another Canning planning meeting at Kim‘s place, since the season is ramping up.

Kim's babies

I discovered a set of king cake babies hanging out in Kim’s salt dish. I was compelled to arrange them more comfortably.

Later, we shared war stories over this year’s miserable gardening experiments (excepting this mint above) over a lovely sunset.

Alki Sunset

Rooftop at Bell Harbor
This week is SMX Advanced, in Seattle. Tonight, I picked up my registration packet and stopped in at the welcome reception on the rooftop of the Bell Harbor Conference Center. Then, we had a final dinner with our friends visiting from Afghanistan.

I challenged a diplomat to air hockey and lost. 🙂

An old pal, Captain Amy, organized a photo scavenger hunt for a group of friends. She kicked it off with a list of 24 words or themes to photograph yesterday, at 3 PM. We gathered this afternoon for the voting with our printed images. Everyone chipped in $10 for a grand prize.

Mr. T and I were a team – we won! My favorite picture is shown above, and it demonstrates the word Little. It’s my little piglet from Cochon Butcher — the “baby” in the king cake I carried across the country in February.

Sailing, week 1
Today was our first day of sailing class. Here’s the view from where we had lunch.

In the evening, we had a big gathering (co-hosted at a friend’s place), for our friends in town on shore leave from Afghanistan.

Evans Pool
Tomorrow, we start sailing classes. Tonight, Mr. T & I went to Evans Pool at Greenlake for our mandatory Float Test — 10 minutes treading water, fully dressed in long pants and long sleeves.

We celebrated our passing score over ice cream, with Celine and Ms. N.

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