Two weeks ago my dad went in to surgery to remove his spleen because of a blood clot. when they got in there they saw that he had pancreatic cancer that had spread throughout his abdomen. they just closed him back up without even taking the spleen. they told us he has 3 months to live. Since then they've told us he could have as much as two years. two years never sounded so good. I dont know how to deal with this.
CoffeeJitters has moved to coffeejitters.net/blog
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Friday, September 29, 2006
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Sunday, September 10, 2006
This afternoon when I was visiting Grandma, I told her Aaron and I were planning to go to the Dahlia Lounge for the first time. She said, “have the pie.” When Grandma tells you to try someone else’s pie, take notice. She knows pie.
So we’re not rich and I’m trying to lose weight – yet our favorite thing in the whole wide world is to eat really good food at nice restaurants. We’ve found that the best way to protect my waistline and his wallet is to share a starter and entree rather than each of us getting our own. This doesn’t always work well for us when it comes to service. Sometimes the server will just bring us a spare plate. Sometimes this results in distainful looks from the wait staff. But at Dahlia Lounge we were treated like rockstars.
Our Tuscan grilled bread salad with pesto, olives, mozzarella and spicy coppacola was artfully presented on two separate, smaller plates – with a smile. This salad was amazing. Very earthy with warm smoky tones – I feel like I’m describing a wine – yet the salad was good enough to warrant such pithiness.
Also artfully presented on two smaller platters was our shared entree. The five spice Peking duck was delicious: perfect herby crust, juicy inside, served with a super hot teriyaki and plum jam. Yummy.
And by the way, Grandma was right. The coconut cream pie was heavenly, topped off with a towering mound of toasted coconut and white chocolate shavings.
The meal was not cheap, even sharing the dishes. One soda, one scotch, one salad, one entree and one desert came out well over sixty dollars. But definitely worth it.
Come if you can, save up if you need to.
Save room for pie.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Friday, July 28, 2006
Thursday, July 13, 2006
The coolest cheese days pix were taken by these guys...
Danny B http://danbennett.blogspot.com/
Dan H: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dan10things/
Mike B: http://www.seattlest.com/archives/2006/07/11/you_missed_cheese_days_again.php
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
I love a small town parade. There is a certain innocence, or maybe it's a lack of cynicism...
This was the annual Toledo Washington Cheese Days Parade. It felt like the whole town was in the parade and we were there because somebody had to be in the audience.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Monday, July 10, 2006
Monday, July 03, 2006
he has figured out that sometimes, rather than trying to solve the problem, its better to just wrap his arms around me and tell me that everything is going to be ok
See more progress on: identify 100 reasons why I love my partner
Saturday, July 01, 2006
a strawberry italian cream soda.
yummy, fizzy, foofy, pink, sugar high - I'm all giggles. My husband just walked down to the local latte stand and brought me back this little pink whipped cream topped concoction. I love the thought of him carring this back the 3 blocks to our appartment. He's so cute.
Monday, June 26, 2006
So it's 8pm and still 89 degrees (F) in a part of the country where this is not every day fare . . .
air-conditioning? not in this town
I'm just nursing my bruised ego from an all out - tears included - argument about, of all things, ice cream flavors, and it occurred to me that I heard somewhere that people tend to fight more when the tempurature goes up. Anyone else notice this phenomenon in their own lives?
Do you find it's easier to get into some silly, non-sensical argument with your significant other/ family/friends when the tempuratures soar?
come on, work with me here - tell me I'm not alone
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Today Sarah brought fixins for Office S'mores into the office...
Every office should have a Sarah
I love Office S'mores
After work I met up with Mr. H,
Then to Johnny Rockets for Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Then we went to the movie theater and saw Over the Hedge
freaking awesome day!
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
I was sitting in the doctors office when I finally came to terms with the fact that I am, in fact, extremely allergic to my dog. I had suspected it for some time, maybe even knew it. This wasn't the first time it came up. In fact, we'd been discussing my allergies and my dog for years when I finally *knew* what I'd known all along.
Years of trying one med after another and in different combinations, air cleaners, humidifiers, de-humidifiers, and every other suggestion from doctors and alternatives we could find - and yet my sinuses raged, one infection after another.
We talked about it for a few months and finally decided that we needed to find him another home.
We put adds in the paper, talked to friends, talked to friends of friends, and their cousins too. We talked to the Humane Society, but that didn't go anywhere - he's much too anxious in a cage do ever be adopted in that environment. We met people at dog parks, tried a few trial runs, but could not find the right people.
'He's too big' was a common response, and at 85 pounds, that's understandable. 'He drools too much' ... I got a kick out of that one. And don't get me started on the people that wanted him, but we rejected. One guy said he had several big dogs, he wanted to come over and pick him up but had no interest whatsoever in letting the dogs meet each other in a neutral place or even telling us where he lived. Thank you very much, but we'll keep looking.
Well over a year later we met, through a friend of a friend, a couple in portland. They have an older dog, a fenced in yard, and they're totally dog people. When we talked on the phone we instantly connected. They're in their 50s, no kids, just dogs. Love to have parties. A little over a month ago they invited us down to Portland for the dogs to meet. We met up at a dog park and the pups seemed to get along fine and I was totally impressed with them. "Oh look, he's a drooler too." That comment made points with me. So we took him over to their house.
They have the cutest cottage, very homey and dog friendly, awesome back yard, great references (I totally trust my friend that referred them)
we left him there
That was the hardest thing I have ever done. But I feel really good that I did the right thing. He has a back yard and a playmate - he had neither of those here with us. I know he's getting lots of love and I know he's well cared for. They just sent us pictures... (Rufus is the younger one with the tongue hanging out)
As for me... it took a couple weeks for me to notice a difference in my health, but now I can tell I'm doing a lot better. It's still so strange to come home and not be greeted at the door.
Monday, June 12, 2006
While looking at my pictures of my zucchini plants, mom mentioned that all the flowers were male.
Me: How do you know if they're male or female?
Mom: Look for fruit or just a stalk right under the bud.
Me: So does the male have fruit or just a stalk?
Mom: Female has the fruit, do we have to talk about the birds and the bees again?
Me: So should I pinch off all the male flowers so the nutrients go to the females?
Mom: You can pinch off most of them, but you need at least one male for pollination. You really weren't listening during that birds and bees talk, were you?
Sheds a new light on our infertility issues...
Saturday, June 10, 2006
My husband received a letter from UW today stating that he's been accepted as a transfer student into the Near Eastern Studies program (I should specify that I mean the University of Washington rather than the University of Wisconsin / Waterloo / Wurzburg / Wyoming / Wales / Warwick / Westminster / Wollongong) I'm so proud of him I could just pop. I think we should celebrate with chocolate.
Hmmmm..., we have a chocolate problem (specifically a lack thereof)
I told him this...
Me: I need chocolate
Him: (something completely unrelated to chocolate so I wasn't listening)
Me: that's nice, but what are we going to do about our chocolate problem?
Him: What do you mean we? I don't have a chocolate problem
Me: What's mine is yours and I have a chocolate problem
Him: (laughs and returns to playing Grand Theft Auto - Why did I ever buy him that game?)
How is it possible that we have no chocolate in the house?
I'm off to go find chocolate.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Monday, June 05, 2006
Sunday, June 04, 2006
This afternoon we hopped in the truck and tootled our way over to the Ballard Library for a reading and book signing with Marjane Satrapi. Marjane Satrapi is best known for her books Persepolis, Persepolis 2 and Embroideries.
I was shocked at the turnout. We spent the first part of the talk standing in the doorway between a tall woman who was kind enough to occasionally turn around and summarize what was just said, and the old woman who kept pressing her cane into my toes - I'm sorry I'm as far over as I can get, I'm not standing in your way just cuz I don't like old people, I literally can't move.
I spent the first few minutes of the talk wondering why I was actually still standing there. Aside from the fact that my husband really wanted to be there, I couldn't see a damn thing, I was being jostled around by people with absolutely no manners, packed in like sardines with lots of people and let me make this very clear - I hate people. I had my eye's closed straining to hear Ms. Satrapi over the chatter of the people behind me talking about how they couldn't hear, when I was shoved again, this time from the front as people were trying to make their way out. I let the lady with the cane in ahead of me and after a few more people left we were able to inch our way inside the room and so was able to hear most of the second half of her talk - which was the question and answer section. I didn't hear most of the questions, but her answers were illuminating anyways.
She has another book coming out in the fall that will be called Chicken with Plums and Persepolis will be made into an animated feature film, it will be black and white and the role of her mother will be voiced by Catherine Deneuve.
She made it clear that she didn't have answers to questions about Iranian foreign policy or nuclear weapons "If I say I support Iran's right to have nuclear weapons, then I am siding with the Islamic Regime; if I say Iran should not have nuclear weapons, I'm saying 'Please Mr. Bush, invade my country.'"
When asked about the American war against Iraq she mentioned that 80% of the world's population live under evil dictatorships, but few of the other countries have resources of interest to the United States. As far as the Islamic fundamentalists are concerned, she said that fundamentalists of any persuasion, whether it is Islamic, or Jewish, or Christian, or Secular (yes there are secular fundamentaists too) ARE the problem, the fundamentalist point of view precludes thought and reason and especially learning.
Ms. Satrapi grew up in revolutionary Iran. The revolution occured when she was 10 years old, and Iraq attacked a year later. The Shaw was an oppressive dictator. The Iranian Revolution, like the French Revolution centuries earlier, overthrew and evil government that oppressed the people and had to go. Unfortunately, in both cases, the government that rose up to fill the void was just a different kind of evil. On the topic of democracy she said "Democracy is a cultural shift more than a political one. It will take time. You cant force democracy."
The world is full of idiots and that wont stop. Often the idiots are more alike than different. George W. Bush and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have more in common than just a messiah complex. On the topic of dictators, she was careful to specify that it was not a comment against men. "Dictators are raised by their mothers. Their mothers teach them how to be."
Ms. Satrapi currently lives in France with her Swedish husband. She speaks 6 languages and is a huge supporter of education. Continuous learning for everyone is the most important thing. She also believes that the more you travel the better a person you become because you can shed the brainwashing by experiencing the truth. The more points of view you can understand the better a person you become. She finds that often, in France, she is the defender of Americans to the French, because she has been to America and experienced American people despite the brainwashing against americans she experienced as a child in Iran and in France.
She talked for quite a while, and there was a lot that she said that I missed, but I would stand in a croweded room to hear her speak again in a heartbeat, and you can bet I'll be getting Chicken with Plumbs as soon as it hits the stores.
So lately we've been buying a lot of books and they're starting to stack up. This afternoon Mr. H and I looked at each other and around the book pit we call our home and decided that we can't bring another book into this house until we take at least two boxes of books out.
I started with the computer books and that was easy. Why on earth do I still have a copy of WordPerfect for Windows 97 when I don't even have WordPerfect installed on any of my current computers? Then there's several variations on C++ the easy way which I never actually got around to learning. And Windows 2000 Professional Server for a computer named HAL that spontaneously combusted several years ago. Ah the memories. Chucked them and most of the other computer books in a box and made a nice little space for more computer toys.
Now on to the rest of my book collection, because that only took care of one box. Which of my childred to cast aside... There are the textbooks - although most of them are outdated and most used book stores wont take them, but we'll give it a shot at least for the books from classes where I hated the professor. Well that topic was fascinating though so I'll keep that one. And I wrote all over in this one, and well we'll see if they'll buy these four.
Then I hunted around and found another 10 books that I thought I might be able to part with to complete filling the second box. Don't get me wrong. There are quite a few books in here that you could remove from my house and I wouldn't even know they were gone. There are books that are completely uninspired that I started reading and will probably never, ever finish. There are books that I will probably never actually start reading (in addition to the textbooks). But this was a big emotional event for me and I think 2 boxes of books is enough gut wrenching for one day. So we packed up our books and took them down to half price books.
They said it would take 20 minutes to come up with a quote, so while we were waiting we did some browsing. Mr. H found a copy of the Holy Bible printed in Persian in the Arabic section (can't expect these guys to be able to distinguish Arabic from Farsi). That's a pretty rare, and a pretty cool find. Is it wierd that it turns me on that my husband can read to me from the bible in farsi? It's like the scene in A Fish Called Wanda where she keeps telling him to talk to her in russian...I wandered around and found a book by Dave Eggers I hadn't read yet "how we are hungry" well I can't not get that. I love, LOVE Dave Eggers. I would have married him but then I met my husband and dave eggers still doesnt know I exist. And dave eggers probably couldnt read to me from the bible in farsi anyways.
I looked a little further and found a book called "No Touch Monkey! and other travel lessons I learned too late" by Ayun Halliday. I had never heard of the author or the book before but I opened it to a random page and laughed out loud - turned to another page and laughed out loud again. I'm really looking forward to reading this one.
The total for the two boxes of books came to $13.75 and our purchases cost $17.30, which means it only cost us $3.55 to unload those books and now we have space to bring home even more books.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
The most recent addition to the new Kent Station , Zephyr Grill & Bar is easily the nicest restaurant in Kent. Taupe walls, dark wood booths topped with sculpted glass, elegant lighting, and white fabric napkins (yes, in Kent that's a step up) all add up to a nice ambiance, with a skilled wait-staff and the food was excellent too. Why, however, do they not put some kind of padding or buffering in the ceiling - or is it just that deafening restaurants are currently en vouge? Just a touch of buffering makes a world of difference in allowing you to hear what your partner is saying, and in drowning out the laugh of the obnoxious blonde on the other side of the room.
When we were seated in the dark-stained wood booth by the window, our server immediately brought out the bread basket: a selection of olive loaf and sourdough breads with sweat cream, pesto, and red pepper butters. The menu was a bit pricey, the entrees ran from the high teens to the low thirties; mostly around $25 a plate. We decided on a starter each and then we would share an entree and a side dish. Mr. H had the yellow pepper soup, which came out in a huge bowl. I'm not so much a fan of the yellow pepper so I didn't taste the soup, but he reports that it was excellent. My caesar salad was delivered in a huge wooden bowl, large enough to be a meal itself.
Mr. H ordered a glass of the MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir which arrived in a glass much more empty than full. As we pondered the two fingers of wine and the air that filled the remainder of the glass we discussed the glass half empty/half full pessimist/optimist distinction and whether it was relevant when the glass was 1/5 full. I stuck my nose in the glass and inhaled, then took a sip. Not bad, not noteworthy, just a decent red wine. As I whined about the quantity of wine our server arrived with another glass, this one filled to a more appropriate depth. Apparently, the bartender had not completed filling the glass before the server ran off with it so they sent another glass of wine over with their compliments. Giving me free wine will always make points.
Our entree arrived on a huge platter: two filets of salmon on two puddles of sauce, one was a cabernet marionberry sauce and the other was lemon butter. The center of the plate contained a mound of rice pilaf, topped off with broccoli florettes. We also ordered a side of asparagus. The asparagus was amazing. The chefs treatise on asparagus is apparently "Don't so much cook it, as threaten it." The theory paid off with perfectly grilled asparagus topped with a light butter sauce. Would that he had held the same theory for broccoli as it was woefully overdone and floppy. The pilaf was hearty if a little bland. The sauces were good but the real treasure of the meal was the salmon. It was perfectly prepared with just the right herby crust. I found I preferred the salmon on it's own, without the sauces.
All in all it was an exceptional meal at a very nice location. I'd go back again in a heartbeat.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Thursday, May 25, 2006
First of all a note about the weather: This is Seattle people, it rains here. There is no reason whatsover to be driving 20 MPH on I-5 just because it rains. It rains all the time. That's what we're famous for. Get over it or get off the road.
Once I arrived at my appointment, 20 minutes late and completely frazzled, I was more than ready for a massage. Meme & Co is a tiny little salon in a new strip mall in Federal Way. The web site needs help and the salon is a bit too small for it's own good as well. There were three (taken) chairs in the waiting area so after checking in I ended up stading by the door while waiting for the massage therapist to come out. When she arrived she presented me with a couple diagrams of the human body and asked me to draw on there where my pain was. I was standing in the middle of the room and after looking around a minute, I walked over to the reception desk, pushed some things around to make space and used the counter as a surface for illustrating my tension. After a few quick scribbles she walked me back through the salon to the room where the massage would take place.
The salon area reminded me of backstage just before a performance. There was a palpable energy in the air, a rabbit warren of twists and turns marking off stations where people were attending to each other, running around with their hair in curlers and others sunk back in corners with their eyes closed in meditation. The only difference was the melon colored walls and huge windows.
Once we made it back to the room where the massage was to take place, I felt much more calm. The room was sage green with nice lighting and a big easy chair in the corner. She shut the door and turned the music up, a little loud for my taste, and asked me a couple more questions. Most notably she asked if I was allergic to any of the scents, herbs, and essences that they use. This is huge. Past experience at spa's I had to make a point of stating clearly that I am allergic to grasses and echanacia.
Previous exchanges went like this:
"I'm allergic to echanacia"
"That's nice. Here, have a cup of tea."
"Does it have echanacia in it?"
"Yes, this tea will boost your immunity."
"But I'm allergic to echanacia."
"Oh, don't worry, it's organic and all natural."
Spa people never want to admit that just because something is natural doesn't mean it's good for everbody. People with allergies are allergic to natural things. Duh!
Ok, moving on. Suffice to say, she made points by acknowledging that not all scents, herbs and essences are good for everybody.
As it turns out, she had turned the music up loud in an attempt to drown out the noise from the salon. The music was not to Yanni so it was ok, and almost loud enough to do the trick. The massage was very good. She's she had great pressure control and by the time she was done, I was complete jelly. And to top it all off, it was only $65 for a 1 hour massage, which around here is an excellent price.
Good the massage, but find somewhere else if you're looking for the overall spa experience. Much to chaotic for that.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Bebe got on the phone with me this afternoon and the first thing she said was "I was being good." Perhaps it's my suspicious nature, or perhaps it's the fact that I've known her father for 32 years, but I suspect I'm not getting the whole story.
Friday, May 19, 2006
Some time ago I stumbled across the following list - and it was profound enough that I copied and pasted it into a notepad on my desk top. That notepad has been sitting there on my desk top for I don't know how long, just because I felt like I should do something with it, but I didn't know what. So now I'm posting it here. I didn't write it, it doesn't belong to me - But it meant enough for me to want to remember it.
The 7 Principles of Life
1. Fresh Air & Sunshine
3. Whole Foods
5. Loving Relationships
7. A Good Night’s Sleep
Sunday, May 14, 2006
My dad finally emailed me these pictures from Grandma's 95th birthday party, She turned 95 January 11, 2006. I thought they were fitting pictures to post on mothers day.
She's amazing. The day after these pictures were taken she set off on a road trip across the states.
I hope I look that good at 95. I hope I have that much energy.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
After the waterfall we had to decide what to do for dinner. I would have loved to try the Salish Lodge; we stopped and checked out the menu, but frankly I was not inspired. When plates start at $23, the description on the menu should make my mouth water. We decided to head towards Issaquah instead.
Gillman village is a cute little shopping center in Issaquah comprised of a grouping of cottages on a boardwalk. The shops are cutesy and charming, ranging from toy stores, to yarn shops to kitchen gadgets - there is also an Amish furniture store that made me want to refurnish the whole house.
Gillman village also has an assortment a restaurants, but the only one we have ever tried is Bamiyan Afghani Restaurant, because how could you pass that up?
Bamiyan was originally just an Afghan restaurant, but we noticed that they've added more traditional Persian dishes as well (Persian food and Afghan food are very similar). We started with the Ausht, which was an amazing creamy and savory soup - very rich. Then Mr. H had the koobideh which is one of our all time favorite dishes. Koobideh is a savory ground beef kebab, the kind of savory where it's difficult to stop eating even when you're completely stuffed. I had the fesenjan. Fesenjan is one of those dishes that lives on a continuum, in this case between sweet and tart. The placement on that continuum depends largely on family recipe and geographic origin of that recipe. I asked the server how tart the fesenjan was and she claimed it was not too tart. Fesenjan is a dish of stewed chicken in a walnut and pomegranate gravy. The tartness of the dish depends on the amount of pomegranate juice used. It turned out a little more tart than I expected, but I like it really quite sweet. Nonetheless it was very good.
For desert, Mr. H had the Firni (custard with cardamom and pistachios). I went with the Bastani which is ice cream made with rosewater and pistachios (we served this at our wedding with the cake). To top it all off I got to watch Mr. H rap with the staff in Farsi which always turns me on.
Yummy, yummy, yummy, I love this place.
We had a bad case of cabin fever and just had to get out of the house so we hopped in the truck and drove around till we came across highway 20 - we got on highway 20 and kept going till we got to I-90 and then decided to go to North Bend.
North Bend is a really cute little town that reminds me a lot of the town I grew up in with Mount Si looming in the background the way Pioneer Peak loomed at the homestead. After puttering around North Bend for a while we headed up to Snoqualmie to check out the falls.
Snoqualmie Falls is definitely worth checking out. I've been there a dozen times and each time it takes my breath away.
I read The Da Vinci Code when it first came out. I bought the book and sat down and read it cover to cover in a day while I was on vacation. Then I read it again. The second time I read the book I was near a computer so I took the time to look up the art and some of the concepts referenced in the book. (There's a newer version out now, with pictures of the referenced art work - I recommend the newer version if you can get your hands on it.)
It's a good book. I read it cover to cover in a day and I need a riveting plot to get that done. But the plot is the best part of this book. It's the plot that made it a best seller; the prose is ham-handed and he could have really used some help with line editing. But a good plot makes up for that - and should make for a good movie as you can breeze past the excessive use of adverbs and adjectives and just show what happened.
Controversy? Of course there's controversy. And that helps with selling books. I read Satanic Verses because of the fatwa imposed on Salman Rushdie (excellent book, by the way). I read banned books. Controversy is the best way to get read.
Here's what I think:
- The book is a work of fiction. do not use this book for spiritual guidance, that's not its purpose, it is made for entertainment.
- The controversy is not new - it's as old as the nicene creed.
- The church will survive the exposure.
- This book gets people thinking and talking (and unfortunately, some people talking without thinking).
- If this book makes you think and even question your faith, that's good. Unthinking and unquestioned faith is one of the sources of our current problems in the world (and yes, I mean Christians too).
- Use your brain. Try to avoid knee-jerk reactions.
Friday, May 12, 2006
I mentioned in an earlier post that I had come up with (what I think is) a brilliant idea for Bebe's birthday - a book celebrating Bebe and the number four.
So I've been calling around to get people to submit photos for this project. My dad apparently had a great deal of fun coming up with somthing to submit for the book - he submitted the following:
For this picture, the caption will say:
"Grandpa has four hands."
His next submission for the project was this:
I still haven't figured out what the caption will be...
How scary is that orange wall?
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