Thursday, February 25, 2010

A man and his dog

When a door closes, a window opens somewhere. Last year, on the hottest day our community has known, Phil Johnson lost his best buddy - his dog. Me Oh My had been given to him some years before, and was Phil's constant companion. The heat and strife ended up putting Phil in doctor's care as well.

But, as you might remember from this blog posting, the community rallied and got a sweet bundle of white fur to act as a new lifeline and friend for Phil. Lucky Johnson 13 is a breed of dog known as a "Coton Du Tulear". He was a rescue dog and is an example of true happiness and joy. Lucky brings a smile to anyone's face - he is just happy to see you everyday. He brought Phil even closer to a local, downtown community that didn't know him enough, and would have been heartily sad if they hadn't been given the chance.

Phil and Lucky became instant friends, and the bond has just grown. Phil has medical conditions that necessitate he use a motorized wheelchair more often than not, and Lucky loves a good ride. Having a dog brings Phil outside, helps with the exercise that he can do and brings him into the fold of the friends that frequent the area of South Third Street.

Many of you had asked for a follow-up story on Phil and Lucky from this posting last year. Here is your answer - neither of them could have gotten any luckier. Well matched, they are a team that spreads camaraderie and smiles. Together, they make the days worth living. As a team, they have become special friends to many.

These are the kind of stories that you want to hear about.
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Dog Day Afternoon

The Dining Dog Cafe & Bakery in Edmonds offers canine lovers yet another way to party with their best friends - doggy style. This restaurant is completely for the dogs, offering a full course meal served on gold charger plates and special plush, low dog couches with a few regular chairs thrown in for the human species as well. It is a place to have a meeting or gathering for like minded animal lovers, or just a place to take your furry side kick for a taste treat.

Located in Firdale Village, this little cafe has been featured on the animal channel and I hear, soon to be a focus on a food network show. A meeting of small dog owners brought me and my friend, Sue Rider, with her furry crew to this little known destination. Having read about it a couple of times in the local rag, I was curious to see how the other half would be treated ala dining dog.

With a full scale repast comprised of starters (sliced hot dogs with cheese and another course of pate topped biscuits), a cocktail of yogurt and pumpkin, an entree of freshly cooked chicken breast with vegetables and a desert that resembled my other favorite food, cupcakes, I was left wishing that I was dining alongside my companions as well.

Dorothy Moore, owner, loves to cater to her clientele and the whole atmosphere is loving and comfortable. Every patron gets a pet and a bit of lavishing from Dorothy upon arrival.

These taste treats signal the end of the meal and are made on the premises. If you, as the human, want to eat as well, feel free to bring along your own snacks. You will wish that you did - the whole experience makes see how dogs so easily come to begging at the side of the table.

The Dining Dog
Cafe & Bakery
9635 Firdale Ave. Edmonds

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Telling the stories of Renton

Renton is reclaiming it's historical roots and passing the stories onto the children of our community. Today at Hazelwood Elementary, storyteller Roger Fernandes helped the the third, fourth and fifth grade students who are studying a "story path" in school about Native American Indians indigenous to the area, to glimpse the life of the Coast Salish Indians through interactive story and drum.

Roger Fernandes, who is a member of the Klallum tribe, is well versed in the legend and lore of the first people of this land we call Renton. These were not the tribes of totem poles and masks, which are to be found miles north of here, but the peoples of the Duwammish. Roger was part of program sponsored by the Renton History Museum, 4Culture, Sam's Club and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe to help school children understand the local native culture. Fourth grade teacher Lynn Maybee shared that last year when trying to help the children fulfill the CBS (classroom based assessment) curriculum and answer the question of "How did the environment effect the lifestyle, tradition and beliefs of the Native Indians?", there were obvious gaps in the school materials. This year, through the introduction of this new program, a greater depth of understanding and appreciation of the subject had been achieved.

Stories impart not only the feel of a people, but share morals and messages. Roger is a master of the art.

There is always more than one way to teach - and getting your audience on their feet helps engage them at all levels.

If you are a teacher or interested parent, please feel free to call the museum and see if this program could be applicable to your kid's school. The Renton History Museum is a little, local gem that never gets the full attention it deserves, as far as I am concerned. Letting kids get involved with culture leaves its helpful mark on their young psyches for years to come.

Valentine's Day Party for museum volunteers

If you are looking for a great outlet for your volunteer time, the Renton History Museum is a great place to donate. Greeters, docents and other positions are available. It is both a great opportunity to share what you know and to become a part of a huge local learning curve - all at the same time. They really treat you well.

Renton History Museum
235 Mill Ave. South
Renton, WA 98057
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Where to eat with your honey

Valentine's Day Jazz Brunch and a lovely Jazz Valentine's Day Dinner for two at A Terrible Beauty today. What a great way to tell your honey how you care by eating yummy food in a local haunt that has fast become my personal fav. Yum.

You may want to call first - you order off the menu for brunch which just opened at 9:00 am this morning and goes until 3pm. The classic Irish breakfast shown above is served without something called "spotted dick", but I think that you can handle not having that fried fat and blood on your plate in the morning, right?

The dinner tonight is filling up quickly - Couples dinner comes with choice of bottle of wine, champagne, or draft pitcher , soup or salad and an entree choice of prime rib, halibut or eggplant dinner with a decadent dessert for $50/per couple.

This place is open to you and the kidlets (or any of those who are under age) until 9pm when it becomes a hang for the adult crowd. Head on over - whether today with your honey or some other fine weekend. This is a place you don't want to miss!

A Terrible Beauty Irish Pub
201 Williams Ave. S.
in the DTR
(425) 227 - 3396

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Keeping a watch on Wells Street

top photo from here
Wells Street is the place to keep watching. Within a very short time, there will be two or three new businesses opening and the Savings and Loan building is moments away from completion.

First off,workers are diligently transforming what used to be a portion of the previous Antique Mall on Wells Street into an Asian Fusion Restaurant. I have no other clues about menu, owner or other foodie information, but I am excited to see what cozy little nook of a place is going to be opening. Just when you wanted to sigh in despair for our local restaurant scene's recent attrition, you get good news like this. Yeah for our team!

Renton has sorely been in need of an independent bookshop, and the Old Renton Book Exchange at 227 Wells will be opening in March to fill the void. "Offering used books from current to collectibles at the best price and the fairest exchange rate" is what is being advertised in a flyer that is seen about town and last I looked, the carpenter was in the house building bookshelves. What a great addition this will be to our fair DTR.

As luck would have it, I ran into Dawn Finn who is looking to create a Thrift Store in the other remaining half of the old Antique Mall digs on Wells Street in the very near future. After the closure of Value Village, Dawn seeks to give thrifters another reasonable priced outlet for secondhand shopping. This is great news for me - I live for the thrill of the thrift hunt.

So, keep your eyes peeled. Wells Street is just starting to heat up.
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Cupcake Sweetheart Box

Sweeties for the sweetheart - an entire box of them. This week at Common Ground Coffee and Cupcakes get the Sweetheart Box of cupcakes for your special Valentine. Or maybe just treat yourself, in case you just want to make sure that you get your cupcake fix for the week.

Four luscious cupcakes, four different flavors. All enclosed in that nice white pastry box that makes you perk up and say "treats"!

Fortune Cake
(green tea cake with green tea buttercream), Have a Heart (raspberry frosting, brownie heart and chocolate cake), Red Queen (cinnamon cake with cinnamon buttercream) and Strawberry Fondue (strawberry cake with white chocolate frosting)

The "Have a Heart" Cupcake.

The "Fortune Cake" Cupcake.

Valentine's Day and Chinese New Years fall on the same day this year - Sunday, February 14th. For me, that is rather a let down, as I like to celebrate both holidays independently. Based upon the lunar calendar, Chinese New Years falls on the second New Moon after the Winter Solstice. I guess I will console myself with a cupcake. Oops, looks like I already did!

PS - It's the year of the Tiger. " Those born in tiger years are natural leaders and excel as actors, pilots, writers, and managers. They are authoritative, courageous, emotional, and intense."

I say that 2010 sure could use some "tiger" in it's tank.

Common Ground Cupcakes and Coffee
900 South Third St.(425) 235 - 1717

Open on Valentine's Day, folks!
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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

When flowers say it best

Valentine's Day is bigger than any holiday where "saying it with flowers" is concerned. That's why it was essential to go down to Cugini Florist and see what they had for everyone's sweethearts. That place just makes me want to remember where I hid my plastic - again.

The gift selection is always a treat - and there is something for both a little moola and a lot. (I mean, how good is your honey to you these days? How good do you want them to be? Hmmmm)

Aside from all the red and pink and sweet all over, Cugini's has spring in the air - everywhere.

These strawberry mugs and whatnots are on my radar. I'm sorry - I just can't help myself.

Valentine's Day is on a Sunday this year, folks and Cugini's will be open from 9-5 to assist you with your sweetheart pleasing needs. Remember, shopping local is cool and helps our town economy to refuel.

Cugini Florist and Fine Gifts
413 South 3rd Street
Renton, WA 98057
(425) 255-3900

Get directions
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Monday, February 8, 2010

Black History Month at the Renton Public Library

Librarians are beloved creatures. They help us find books we didn't know how to find and remind us of books that we should consider reading. Black History Month is being celebrated at Renton Public Library with a special cart full of goodies for us to peruse.

This cart is found near the front counter and is full of interesting check-out possibilities for the avid reader and library goer. I immediately took one home. I love being challenged to read new books.

Tomorrow marks the last and final day for voting on Prop.1 in our local special election for whether we keep our library local or farm it out to KCLS. I say, Vote No and let the librarians who know us all so well continue serving us and our greater community.

Renton Public Library
100 Mill Avenue South

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When friends get creative

We all have needs. For some of us it comes in the form of a coffee bean. Good friends know just what we need and that it might come in a cup with some milk foam peeking out from the top.

Ruth made this for her friend, Krista the other day who was seen proudly wearing it at Jet City Espresso while the two were sharing stories over cups of good caffeine.

Creativity, coffee and friendship - it is what makes the world go round. At least in my book it does.

Jet City Espresso
Corner of 2nd and Main

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Coffee in Georgetown

Love a good cup of coffee - and I seek out the coolest locales and the best cup of joe in whatever neighborhood that takes my fancy. This recently opened espresso spot in Georgetown has the best decor, and why shouldn't they? Owner Brigh Wright has a great eye and also owns 24 Karat Vintage Interiors on South Bailey. It is such a treat to plop down and take in an eyeful.

Ground Control Espresso serves Lighthouse Coffee (beans hand roasted right in Fremont) and claims they have the best Americanos in Georgetown. They offer pastries. sandwiches and the renowned Top Pot Doughnuts besides the "jet fuel" we all need and want.

The little tables, the decor that is all for sale, just hit the right cord with me. Loved it. Will go back. They had coupons worth a free 12 oz. French Press Drip with purchase of pastry or breakfast item and have Wi-Fi and punch cards for the frequent refueler. Georgetown is a great way to get beyond your neighborhood for a bit of something new, without spending all day getting there. Try it.

Ground Control Espresso
Airport Way and 13th Ave.S.
Open Daily 8-4
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