Thursday, February 24, 2005

Langley, WA

On the east side of Whidbey Island is a great little village named Langley. Lots of wonderful shops, views of Saratoga Passage, and the mountains on the mainland. We're going to the 21st Langley Mystery Weekend. It is a murder mystery with characters played by local folks. Clues are collected and characters questioned. Who dun it? Kind of like a live game of Clue. Did I mention good food and the weather is supposed to be perfect?? We're staying at a small beachfront cabin with hot tub, fire place, etc. My idea of perfection. Rock on!

Friday, February 18, 2005

Off to Bellingham

Heading across the deserts and mountains of Washington today to go diagonal from our south east part of the state to the extreme north west corner (not too far from Canada). There we will visit the Bellinghamsters and see what's new in there lives. Hope for sunny weather. Plan to look at areas for possible retirement, as Jack takes the big step in April.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

You go, Sir Paul!

When the Beatles first came to the US in Winter 1964, they were held up by many adults as an example of the decline of western civilization's youth. (What were they thinking with that "long" hair? How decadant!) When they admittd smoking pot before their audience with the Queen and got into eastern religion with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, well for sure we were all doomed. Was that Shea Stadium concert in 1968? I asked my Dad if I could go. Definate NO followed, with no room for discussion. Further decline followed when John married Yoko and held the "bed in" in NYC, and what about that naked album cover??

It is with a humorous chuckle then, and a gentle smile, that I watched and sung along with Sir Paul during the Super Bowl half time show. You go, Sir Paul! Now you're the epitome of gentility and civility! Not a dysfunctional Jackson family member in sight (that is, unless you turn to CNN). Peace!

Best Kitsch Ever!

A plug for James Lileks, author of the book "Interior desecrations: Hideous Homes from the Horrible 170s". Who can resist a title like that? Especially when the book cover is orange and avacado green with a hint of harvest gold! Certainly not those of us old enough to actually have lived through this time period. Heck, my first apartment (1973) had orange shag carpeting, orange counter tops in the kitchen and orange drapes!!! It was brand new and the latest thing! The book contains 176 fun-filled pages of "eye-jangling photos in full color that actually appeared in well-regarded design magazines of the era" with comments by the author. He's a humorist at the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

While you are checking that out at, be sure to look at his first book, "The Gallery of Regrettable Food" (inspired by 1950's cookbooks). My favorite is the erect wieners standing proudly in a pot of beans. How'd they do that? (Okay, maybe I don't really want to know.)

Of course, James has a site ( with a zillion different cultural oddities: funny dog pictures, ads from the entire 20th century (including a diet consisting of Mazola corn oil and little else) and lots more. Enjoy!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Marvelous Minestrone

Saute in oil in a large pot:
1 cup chopped onion
2 minced garlic cloves

Add these spices: 1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil

Add 1 cup each: diced carrots, sliced celery, sliced zucchini, chopped tomato

Add 2 cans of chicken broth
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can tomato paste
3/4 cup uncooked elbow macaroni OR shells

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Great with some grated cheese on top and crusty french bread (but then, so is anything!)