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As a busy mom to four kids ranging in age from 2 to 12 we always make the Seattle rounds: King Tut’s exhibit at the Pacific Science Center, Folk Life Festival, Bumbershoot, Woodland Park Zoo, beachcombing on Alki. And when we do, a trip to Molly Moon’s Ice Cream shop is always on the dangling carrot on our itinerary, the covenant entered into between parent and child: ice cream treat at the end of whatever adventure were on – if you’re good.
The garage door whooshed open and my kids and I were greeted on the other side by Lori Church-Pursley and her adorable “half-golden-lab-half-polar-bear” Jake. Lori’s daughter, 3-year-old Rose, walked up to me and sheepishly handed me a stuffed dog toy. “Thank you, Rose.” I said.
It was mid January when we found out that our house was going to be remodeled for A&E’s long-running hit series, “Sell This House: Extreme.” If you’ve never watched the show, host Tanya Memme and construction expert Charlie Frattini with new designer Daniel Kucan help desperate homeowners prepare their difficult-to-sell spaces for today’s tough real estate market.
“Mommy, why are you smiling?” Patrick asked, sitting patiently in the grocery cart. “Well, I was just thinking about a memory,” I said, jiggling the glass jar like a snow globe, watching the aromatics float and skid about the jar. Different packaging than I remembered . . . but the same slivered garlic cloves, the same cool beans.
I adjusted our Camp Ossorio sign with fingers that trembled and a stomach in knots. I have a secret. A secret I’ve been dying to share with you for the last five months. You'll have to wait until June.
This past Tuesday night in downtown Renton was what I call a 2fer . . . a date with my amazing husband Paul and a fabulous writing assignment: The SIFF-Renton Preview FilmWalk where locals had the opportunity to preview a selection of films the Seattle International Film Festival is screening in Renton May 18-24.
The blade came into view like a version of Excalibur - forged by an Avalonian elf and blessed with dragon’s breath - as the Chef’s knife easily sliced through the flesh of the slippery rainbow trout skin. The Palace Kitchen was our Camelot. And Chef Tom Douglas was our culinary king.
Our family style feast at the Whistle Stop in downtown Renton almost always begins with a mound of cheese nachos and the requisite accompaniments: hearty corn salsa, guacamole and sour cream.
As a parent who has shopped at IKEA for years, they just seemed like the logical choice to sponsor an event like Caspar Babypants. And IKEA is a pretty good place to demonstrate some cooking over Spring Break
“Look, Mom, water!” The girls scuttle the cooking supplies they’d been carrying onto a nearby end table. I bring up the rear, sporting my new “I Love Renton” tee, as my girl’s hustle-walk toward a decorative water fountain filled with coin-sized dreams and filled with the kind of luscious clear water a kid just has to stick a hand into.
“Mommy! Look at the big airplane!” Patrick, my 4-year-old says, lifting himself in his backseat booster in unison with the airplane taking flight beside us. “Ug, ug!” Ty grunts excitedly as he points his toddler-sized finger at the train tooting down the track. “I want to fly!” Patrick exclaims.
Act: I Happy Family Beautiful powder, schools are closed, intermittent sun breaks and we’re loving every minute of family fun sledding, snowball fights and, of course, the requisite snowman in the front yard ... A Washingtonian’s dream come true.
If you ever want to cut through a dense crowd I highly recommend following a news camera man—as I did the other day at the Renton Boeing Plant. My media badge was swinging around my neck like a monkey as the local camera man cut through a sea of Boeing employees like an ice breaker in the Bering Sea.
If money were no object, what’s one thing you would do to fix Renton?” That’s exactly what I asked a few locals this month after reading a similar question posed in the Seattle Magazine. I knew Rentonites with our passion could at the very least generate some thought-provoking ideas.
It was Friday night and I toyed with the idea of ordering a Black and Tan: a blend of Guinness and Harp that layered perfectly in a pint glass like a two-tiered petit four. Just the kind of beer to enjoy at an establishment like A Terrible Beauty: a 7,000-square-foot Irish pub operating in downtown Renton since 2010.
My very favorite holiday tradition is making homemade soap with my kids for simple holiday gifts for family and friends. After Thanksgiving I resurrect the kettle from the garage and dust off my well-worn soap making recipe book. I open up my special box that contains a trove of herbs and resins such as dried calendula, lavender petals, French green clay—these ingredients add texture, color or have healing properties for the skin like oatmeal. I open my apothecary case filled with little blue bottles of essential oils: peppermint, lavender, jasmine, fir needle and rosemary.
Like my shopping I like to keep my stories local — they’re fresher that way. So I was bummed when I discovered I had an interview with Chris Ballew — member of the alternative rock group The Presidents of the United States of America who also happens to make extremely popular kids music under the pseudonym Caspar Babypants — but no show in good ole Renton.
On Nov. 8 the kids and I will be filming a cooking show demo with celebrity chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and community activist Tom Douglas … umm no pressure. There’s an old Loretta Lynn song I sing when I need a little courage infusion.
"We're here to meet Paul Faulds for a tour of the new salmon hatchery,” I yelled into the faceless intercom. Rain drizzled onto my sleeve. Somehow we had followed a winding gravel road that led us into a cell phone dead zone, without people, nothing but trees and wilderness. It felt like we were marooned in an episode of “Lost.”
It’s official, fall is in the air. Frosty nights means a toasty fireplace and hot chocolate steaming in mismatched mugs amid Patrick’s cries for more “whoopcream.”