Friday, May 30, 2014

Worth their Weight in Gold!

An excursion to the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (Museum) near the International District of Seattle was one of the fun things we did recently, when our family from the Midwest was here for a quick visit. The museum is small and housed in an old hotel; most Seattle tourists don't know anything about it. Yet it's a real gold mine of information on the influential role Seattle played in the Alaskan gold rush.

In the first snapshot you'll see the monetary value today of our granddaughters, eleven and almost thirteen, if they were gold (instead of people)--$3,380,902.40! In 1897 their value would have been $41,924.57.

But the real value of these dear young girls is portrayed in the note we found written on the white board in Hubby's office, as we were putting away the air mattresses and folding bedding after they left. Grandpa had lent the girls his office for the weekend.

Try $100,000,000.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

GiddyUp, Bike!

At Mae's school it was Ride Your Bike to School week and Wear a Costume to School Day--both! Here is what she, a second grader, dreamed up for a get-up that covered all bases. You may need to watch this short video more than once to grasp the nuance of the costume. Enjoy!
If you cannot see the video, here
is a still shot that will give you
a good idea of the combo-costume.
P.S. I just learned that Mae won FIRST PRIZE for her costume!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Singing the praises of scissors

At the risk of sounding foolish, I want to gloat over my newest time saving kitchen device—a pair of scissors that lifts apart for easy, thorough cleaning. I’ve wished for scissors like this all my cooking-life, but had no idea they could be purchased for about twelve dollars at a local kitchen store! I’ve always resisted using regular scissors for preparing food that isn’t going to be cooked, worrying that the scissors might have residual germs caught between the pivot point. No such concern with these!

I’ve just finished making Tabbouli (and now I will boast about this best-ever-tasting version of it)—the easiest preparation in memory and all because of the scissors in place of a knife. Before these dandy new scissors, I’d always chopped the fresh parsley, the fresh mint, the green onions. Today I snipped. 

Here’s my recipe—it beats just about any Tabbouli available at the deli.

Tabbouli Salad

2 cups uncooked bulgur wheat
½ c. olive oil
½ c. fresh lemon juice
1 t. salt
½ c. chopped fresh parsley
3 T. chopped fresh mint
1 bunch chopped green onions (and tops)
3-4 tomatoes, diced

Pour over the bulgur wheat whatever amount of boiling water suggested on the brand you buy. (One kind I’ve used calls for 2 cups water per 2 cups wheat; another says twice that amount of water.) Drain after 1 hour, if necessary. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. Chill at least 2 hours.

Friday, May 9, 2014

People on the Pipeline

Frequently I’m blown away by the talent and creative capabilities of family members—so much so that I occasionally have to boast. 

Today I’m providing a link to a Web page where you’ll find Denise, my Canadian daughter-in-law, acting the part of “Janice Colder, Executive of  ‘name withheld’ Corporation” in a short video she directed. Once on the site, be sure to page down to the two-minute film that succinctly and satirically demonstrates an ugly truth we’ve all experienced, regardless of what country we live in. 
Below is Denise’s comment on the link when she sent it to me: 
Here's a link to a spoof video we produced to launch a contest we're hosting to increase public discussion regarding the Northern Gateway pipeline.  The website shows the video and information regarding the contest.     

I would not call it a spoof—I’d call it a profound commentary on one way that large, well-funded entities get what they want.  I would also call this video exceptionally well done. Click here (and page down to the video) to see the film: 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Urban Splendor

As I came out of my bank the other day, I couldn’t help gasping at the stunning display of wisteria. Planted along a fence delineating the boundary of a strip mall, these bushes that I’d never noticed before were in full bloom. Thank you, whoever you are—or were—for taking the time to nurture these plants that would provide so much unexpected delight to a bank customer on the lookout only for cars traversing this alley-like driveway.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Seattle hosts Salon

Like Paris in centuries past, Seattle is hosting an art salon for international painters this weekend. Before today I didn't even know there was such a thing as an organization of decorative painters.
Hubby and I made a trip downtown this afternoon to look over the shoulders of artists after reading this story in the Seattle Times. Watching painters create faux marble, wood-inlay patterns, tiles, trompe l'oeil and other imaginative creations was a real education. Usually, when I watch an artist in the act of creating in a museum gallery or Plein Air, I have to sneak a peak (pretending to be interested in the work of art being copied or the landscape) because being watched renders many painters unable to continue. These seventy artists from many countries were encouraging their watchers to ask questions. We saw some amazing work up close and personal, watching the application of paint with fat brushes, rags, and skinny little brushes.

To make the afternoon even more fun for us, the event took place in the recently restored Union Station, a huge, light, and usually empty hundred-year-old former train station in what's now known as the stadium district. It's a beautiful space and one we haven't seen since its makeover.

In case you want your old card table to look like it's made of rarest mahogany, it's a sure thing that one of these talented people could make it happen. The salon continues through Sunday.