Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Delicious Dinner (Dedicated to Diane)

Way back in January, the week after my surgery, Tom’s former girlfriend Diane came to visit us for a day.  We ate Salmon (cooked by Chef Tom), chatted up a storm and had an all-around wonderful visit. Diane and I got along famously and my only regret was that I couldn’t be a more active hostess.

A few weeks after Diane’s visit, we received this in the mail:


She’s sent us not only a generous gift certificate to Seattle’s premier seafood restaurant, McCormick & Schmick’s, but also an accompanying cookbook so we could make some of the restaurant's delicious fare at home.


Because of my injury and then subsequent insanity at work, we haven’t been able to use the gift certificate until now.  So even though we celebrated our 26th anniversary last week with a delicious brunch at the Malty Cafe, we decided that we’d head over to the McCormick & Schmick’s restaurant on Lake Union to celebrate our anniversary yet again – this time compliments of Diane. 

(Is that weird?  I don’t think it’s weird!  Do you think it’s weird?)

When we arrived at the restaurant, we were graciously greeted and handed these menus.

Anniv menu

What a way to start the evening!

Since we had a table right over the water, we were treated to some uniquely Seattle sights – such as seaplanes…

Sea plane

…and more seaplanes…

Two sea planes

…and Argosy cruise boats.


We ordered Northwest Dungeness crab, bay shrimp and artichoke dip for an appetizer.


It was phenomenally fabulous!  Want the recipe?  Well OK, since it’s right here in our cookbook.


After the appetizer course the entertainment began.  I guess you could call it entertainment, anyway.


A bunch of teenage girls were posing and giggling and goofing off, for… a photographer!  I couldn’t get both in the picture, so you’ll just have to imagine a guy on a boat snapping away.  This was an impromptu “show” – both for us and, obviously, for the photographer!

Then the girls jumped into the water!  Brrrrr!


After the “show,” our meals came. 

Warning: the following photos will probably make you salivate!

(No descriptive words necessary.)





You want the recipes, you say?  Well, OK… thanks to Diane!  Thank her, not me.



By the time we finished our dinners we were completely stuffed and oh, so content.  And then the waitress brought this


…and wished us a happy anniversary! 

After dinner, we were not only too full too move, we were too drunk to drive, so walked around a bit and I took a few drunken photos.





Oh, and speaking of drunk…


So drunken Tom and I (no, I didn’t allow him to grab the camera!) would like to thank Diane for a MOST delightful evening!  Thanks Diane!

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Matrimony, Maltby Cafe Style

Unlike the very elaborate celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary last year, we celebrated our 26th anniversary today quietly, relatively frugally and without the great gift-giving sessions of our Silver wedding anniversary

Today we simply ate great food – and a lot of it.

The Maltby Cafe, which is just a short drive down a forested and beautiful (and very windy and curvy) road from our house is pretty well-known around Seattle. The food is out-of-this-world delicious, the service is great, and the atmosphere is homey, to say the least.  The cafe is located in the basement of an gymnasium, built in 1937 as an addition to the schoolhouse next door, which was built in 1907.

This is the schoolhouse…


… and this is the gymnasium.  But the entry to the cafe is on the side. See that little brown door there on the left?


Yeah, that one.


Other than the phenomenal food and service, what I like best about the Malty Cafe are the walls.  No really.  The walls of the former basement of the former gymnasium are made out of dried straw and mud!  See?


Oh, but the food!

The breakfasts at the Maltby Cafe are famous.  Just look at this menu and I promise, your mouth will start watering – more if you’ve been there already because you know how incredibly tasty everything is!

This morning I got the vegetarian omelette with fresh spinach instead of olives:


Tom got the California omelette:


And here’s one of the Maltby Cafe’s famous cinnamon rolls – which we didn’t eat… this time!

Cinnamon roll

Yes, it really is that huge.

Fabulous!  And we’re not the only ones who think so:


That’s just one wall; the other walls are filled with menus signed by famous people who have eaten at this out-in-the-boonies, hole-in-the-wall of a restaurant.

Did I mention that the servings at the Maltby Cafe are huge? It’s now 9 PM and there’s no way I can eat dinner tonight or anything else until at least morning!

But by October, we MUST go back – because look what I just discovered!!  Ach du LIEBER – just look at Tuesday!

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

25 Years!

Happy birthday, Elisabeth!

I clearly remember when this picture was taken.  You had recently begun really connecting and interacting (and you haven’t stopped since), and I remember thinking “Magic – this is absolute magic!”


As  cliché as it sounds, it seems like just yesterday and I’m amazed (and a bit dismayed!) at how quickly the years have passed.  You’re still ever-curious, still in love with life, and still engaging people around you with your friendly, happy-go-lucky demeanor.

I love you!

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lazy morning. Lazy afternoon.

Lazy morning: Buttermilk pancakes made from scratch with fresh raspberries and whipping cream.

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Lazy afternoon: Today’s beautiful sunny and warm Seattle weather called for a physical therapy session in our backyard forest with Kat and Shasta. Scary, because it’s the first time I’ve stepped ankle foot back there since my injury and the first time since then that my foot’s been on really unstable and uneven terrain.

IMG_3099 IMG_3031








After the Winter we had, this weather is much appreciated. I have a feeling 90% of Seattle-ites found their way outside today… and I keep thinking it’s a good thing I got hurt during our dismal, gloomy weather and not during this glorious weather. Which is actually a ridiculous thought, considering I got hurt on the ICE!

On another note, someone please send me a meme or something to spark my creative juices, cuz I done all dried up. I swear, I’ve got something worse than a simple case of writer’s block; I think I’m afflicted with a bad case of work-and-worry syndrome… which has pretty much zapped me dry of all else.

And on another-nother note, this was the post I tried to publish all evening on Saturday. Looks like Google now has my money for additional storage and has finally opened the gates, allowing me once again to publish photos! (That does not, however, solve my severe writer’s block dilemma!)

And on another-nother-nother note, the wireless network adapter on my laptop apparently just up and disappeared as I slept last night. No kidding – this morning there was no indication whatsoever of any wireless network adapter on my machine. Even Microsoft HelpDesk (a very useful perk of working at Microsoft) is baffled, and my only option at this point seems to be going in to work for on-site help – which I simply refuse to do on a very much-needed three day weekend. So I’m limping along (and that’s being generous) on my archaic and incredibly slow 4-year-old Dell laptop.

I’m through with technology (for today at least) and I’m gonna go watch me a few mindless chick flicks on Comcast On-Demand.

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Help! I can’t publish photos!

Windows Live Writer has been a great tool – until today.  When I attempted to publish my regular photo-laden post today, I got this:

“The remote server returned an error: (403) Forbidden.”

No matter what I do (re-configure WLW, shut down, re-name my Picasa WLW web album, etc.), I get the same damn message: “The remote server returned an error: (403) Forbidden.”

Can you imagine my blog without photos? 

Odd that the last sentence in the post I can’t seem to publish is a request for a creativity-inducing meme, because writers block is putting it mildly and I’ve considered taking a break from blogging since my life is so work-and-worry-filled lately that all my creativity and ability to write seems to have been shot to hell.

Maybe “The remote server returned an error: (403) Forbidden” really means “Take a blogging break, Carol!”



(News Flash: So it turns out that I had used my full 1 GB of free storage on my Google Picasa account and they simply needed some money from me before allowing me to post more photos.  Now why couldn’t the error message have just said something like, “Hey – you’ve run out of free storage.  Please purchase additional storage in order to post additional photos to your blog” instead of  “The remote server returned an error: (403) Forbidden.” Geeze!  Oh, and apparently memory is slow to kick in, so it might be 24 hours before I can post Saturday’s intended post.) 

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hey Regence: you suck!

Remember this awkward-looking ankle brace that I came home with a few months ago?


Like my cool purple cast and my Storm Trooper boot, it was provided to me by the doctors and nurses at Harborview’s Foot and Ankle Clinic. Apparently it would stabilize my ankle as I weaned off the Storm Trooper boot. Did I stop my health care team as they handed the brace to me, indicating its necessity, and ask to call my insurance company to make sure it was covered?

No, I did not.

As the nurse at Harborview Medical Center explained to me how to lace up my new brace, did I excuse myself to investigate whether the brace would be considered an “over-the-counter item or service,” which Regence healthcare plan expressly does not cover?

No, I did not.

See, I assume that when I’m in the hospital, being cared for by the medical team that has seen me through my entire ordeal, from the surgery to the rehabilitation, I don’t need to worry about my insurance company dictating what my doctors and nurses can and can’t provide for me as they aid in my recovery.

Hell, Regence covered my knee walker, my crutches, my Storm Trooper boot… and even the silly shampoo cap in the hospital, so why did they decide not to cover this brace?



I appealed their decision, giving all these arguments for why I believe that my brace (which, by the way, I wore maybe twice) should have been covered. Today I received a letter from Regence stating that the original claim processing will stand because the brace is considered an over-the-counter item -- even though it was provided to me by medical doctors and nurses -- and (get this!) “no calls were received prior to services being rendered to verify benefits.”

Really? I’m supposed to interrupt my doctors at every turn, every time they provide me with an item or service to aid in my recovery, to go call Regence and verify coverage? I should have called my insurance company when the cast was removed and I was given the boot? I should have called Regence when I needed crutches to walk?



I will appeal this decision too, and escalate my appeal to a corporate review board, because this is ridiculous!

Poopy on you, Regence! Just poopy on you. Today I think you SUCK.

KatFeb14and152008 117crop

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