• Elle's World
  • Living Gardening

    *cross posted at Sprouting Off

    A few months ago a woman approached the boys (the nursery boys, not my boys…although they are my boys too) about the possibility of running a Living Social deal.  I had been harping on them about running a Groupon deal until I read an article about the pitfalls for small businesses of Groupon.  When the lady came in to talk to us about Living Social I was able to ask a few key questions and the answers eased my fears about running such a deal.  I don’t own the nursery I work for, but I do work for two very business savvy young men and I don’t want anything bad to happen to this little jewel of a nursery I work for.

    After the nice lady left (I should probably mention she is a sales person) we hemmed and hawed over the deal, but eventually they came around to saying yes.  The plan was to run the deal during Earth Week.  Of course we weren’t sure which week was going to be Earth Week (this week or last) so basically we’ve been sitting around waiting for the deal to come up.  I’m pretty sure Travis knew when the deal was going to happen, but our communication is sometimes notes written on a newspaper.

    In any event, today is the day.  GardenSphere is the Living Social deal of the day.  Spend $20 to get $40 of what you want.  If you’ve ever wanted an excuse to stop by this is a good one.

    Spring is here and it’s a fantastic time to plant.


  • Elle's World
  • Funny thing happened when I checked my email

    Yesterday afternoon I was checking my email minding my own business… as I’m apt to do when I noticed an email with the subject line Pecha Kucha – Invitation to speak. ?If I weren’t an art geek I would totally think this was some other random spam mail offering to help me enlarge my penis. ?However, I am an art geek and I know what Pecha Kucha is.

    Around these parts it is something that happens every 2-3 months.

    Pecha Kucha is a group of people that get together to give presentations (often about a specific topic) in a “20×20” format. ?This means each presenter is allowed 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide to speak about it. ?6 minutes 40 seconds in all. ?It is a growing worldwide phenomenon with nearly 300 cities participating. ?It started in Tokyo 7 years ago and the first Tacoma PKN started last June. ?Check out their website to learn more about it.

    I’ve never been to a PKN, but I know about it. ?I’ve always wanted to go since it is an intriguing concept to me. ?Well on April 20th I’ll not only be able to watch, but participate (bites nails down to a nub). ?I was contacted by one of the organizers asking if I would like to be a presenter. ?They are holding the next PKN on Earth Day and the them is “eARTh.” ?Andy, the organizer, had read Sprouting Off and thought that I might be interested.

    I milled over the idea for most of the afternoon wondering what the heck I would talk for 6 minutes and 40 seconds about and then I agreed to do it. ?Now I have 3 days to come with a title for my presentation, 2ish weeks to compile 20 slides (my photographs) and a 6 minute and 40 second presentation on said slides. ?Holy hell.

    So I need some help interwebpeoplz. ?Like I said, the theme is “eARTh.” ?They contacted me because of Sprouting Off. ?So I’m thinking something along the lines of the changing food system in America, why I am covering over 1/2 of my lawn with vegetable garden, organic, good food, blah, blah and more blah. ?To be honest I don’t know. ?I have no direction here.

    Help me out… what should the title of the presentation be? ?They would like the word Earth to be in the title some how. ?Give me some ideas.

  • Elle's World
  • Flajerol


    We have a new game to play. ?The boy sometimes gets words a little wrong and came up with this one this afternoon. ?Actually it was Frajerol, but I wasn’t paying attention when I did my little graphic so it’s Flajerol. ?Anyway, when he said it the trusty husband and I started laughing and thought is sounded like the name of some product or medicine. ?Then we spent the afternoon coming up with good taglines for it.

    We thought we’d make it a game with the internets. ?Come up with a good tagline for Flajerol and post it in the comments. ?If you can come up with one better than the trusty husband’s you may receive a valuable prize… or not. ?Our prize patrol is pretty half-assed around here.

    The trusty husband’s tagline is:

    “You know… for your cooch.”

  • Elle's World
  • Help me do more good

    I have a once in a lifetime (ok, more doesn’t come around very often) opportunity this summer. ?The youth director and I are taking 3 teenage girls to China for 16 days. ?It is a mission trip with chinaconnect. ?We are partnering with two other Lutheran churches for one large youth event. ?I’m not sure if it is 30 people total or 30 youth going on this trip. ?I think it is 30 total. ?anyway, the goal of the trip is for our American youth to 1)experience different levels of Chinese culture (large city, Beijing, medium city, Xian and rural community, destination unknown) and 2)work alongside Chinese youth doing a servant project. ?The trip is quite involved, includes tons of travel, yet is quite reasonable in cost. ?However, the cost is still more than any one of us could shell out in one chunk. ?Therefore, we are doing a few fundraisers.

    So I know this lady who makes great chocolate truffles and caramels so we asked her if she would be willing to organize a fundraiser for this China trip. ?Actually, she brought it up. ?She’s crazy like that.

    Yes, I am nuts and I’m firing up my chocolate factory for one more go at candy. ?This time the money raised will help the 5 of us get to China. ?The total to get all 5 of us to China (including airfare) is $12,500. ?By the end of the month we will have paid our deposits leaving us with $10,000 to come up with. ?Now we know it is unlikely that we can fundraise $10,000, but we are going to do our damndest to get as close as possible.

    I’m sending out a plea to those of you who love Sweet Hope truffles and caramels. ?I’m doing a limited selection of truffle flavors and have a few new box sizes this time. ?I encourage you to check it out and think of your sweetheart. ?I’m taking orders until January 29. ?All non-local orders will ship February 9 and local orders will be available for delivery or pick-up on the 11th. ?Hmmm, that’s just in time for Valentine’s Day. ?Imagine that.

    You aren’t just helping me get to China, but 3 amazing youth too.

  • I say it then you do it
  • Go buy this book

    Normally I’m not your paranormal romance type. ?I haven’t seen the movie Twilight. ?I haven’t ready any of the books. ?It’s just not my bag. ?I’m more of the historical fiction, horror or biography kinda gal. ?I also like a good documentary type book. ?Earlier this year I was contacted by one of my readers and budding author to create a website. ?It helped that she’d purchased Sweet Hope chocolates from me (I’m a sucker for anyone who buys my chocolate). ?She was starting her writing career and needed a website. ?Her genre… paranormal romance. ?Wow. ?Really long story short I created the website (with the help of a local artist) and Rebecca’s writing career took off. ?Since the launch of her website Rebecca has sold (I think) 3 books and 1 short story.

    Yesterday I was very privileged to put a special button on her website. ?A buy now button. ?Yesterday, Rebecca Royce’s first book was officially released. ?I haven’t read the book so I can’t tell you my opinion of it. ?However, from getting to know her I am only guessing it is a winner. ?So I’m encouraging everyone go buy “Her Wolf.”

  • Adoption Awareness
  • You need to do this*

    I’m not usually one to post hoards of things requesting you help such and such a family in an adoption. I’ve been through a rough adoption. I know how hard it is. And everyone seems to have their troubles with some form of government or another. From what I see the majority of those asking for help have issues with the foreign end of things. Russia changed a rule. Guatemala changed some authorities. These are things we cannot help with. As Senator Adam Smith put it in an email to my MIL once, “we cannot tell a foreign government how to run their country.” It just doesn’t work that way.

    What gets me though is when my own country hangs a family out to dry. Now that I can do something about. Watch this video. Go to this blog. Then pick up a phone, type up an email or do something to help them. Because I say it and you do it.

    One thing you can do is write the congress people and senators for your own state and the state the couple is from (New York in this case).? I’m not familiar with NY officials, but do know that Hillary is one of the senators.? The other thing is to inform the media.? It is amazing what gets done when a story like this is broadcast all over the national news.? You can also write the USCIS and the US Embassy in Riga, Latvia.? I would give you all of the link information, but don’t have time at this second to look it all up.? Do like I would do.? Google.? If you have a blog post the info there.? Post the video and the link to their site.


    Thanks Soper for letting us know.

  • I say it then you do it
  • Children and restaurants

    During our corporate friends recent visit we took them to Etta’s.? This is one of Tom Douglas’s many restaurants in Seattle.? (For those unfamiliar, Tom Douglas is a well known Seattle chef with a slew of fantastic restaurants and he is best known for his Crab Cakes.? I now know why.)? Etta’s is a casual fish house 1/2 a block north of Pike Place Market.? The food is fantastic, the views outstanding and the atmosphere warm.? We had no reservations about taking a 3 year old to such a restaurant.? We browsed their online menu and found they served simple fish dishes and that either the trusty husband or I could share our meal with the boy if need be.? In the end there was no need because when seated they handed us a delightful children’s menu with tons of choices.? The boy picked chicken and fries (shocking*) and only ate the fries (also shocking*).? We had a wonderful dinner.? The child played with the fork and butter knife, per his usual dining out routine and colored for quite a bit.? We only had to tell him to sit up once and only moderately prodded to actually eat his dinner.

    The next night we were at the Harmon Hub (sans child) when Jen (one of the corporate people) asked me if the previous night’s experience with a well behaved child in a nice restaurant was unusual for us.? Our reply was an emphatic “no.”? You see, we’ve only had three major outbursts in restaurants with the boy.? One he flung a plate of mac n’ cheese across the room during the great I won’t eat for three days episode of 2006.? The other two were at our favorite Thai restaurant and one of those was because he hadn’t napped that day.? The other I had to physically remove him from the restaurant and do holding time on a bench outside to get him to calm down.? Besides those episodes the child is extremely well behaved in restaurants.

    Now I don’t mean to go on and brag about how good my kid is.? You hate me enough as it is for having a child that isn’t a picky eater.? But I have to say there is a reason my child is well behaved in restaurants.? He was taught sternly that we practice good table manners and well behaved in restaurants.? Not only am I the food Nazi, I’m the public outing Nazi.

    I take offense at people who say that children don’t belong in fine dining establishments.? Or that families with children should only be seen in restaurants earlier than 5:30 p.m.? Why sequester those of us with kids away?

    I have taken my child to some of the best restaurants in town and get repeated compliments from wait staff about his behavior.? We’ve eaten at Pomodoro, Il Fiasco, The Cliffhouse, Benihana (actually the one in Anchorage) and Stanley & Seaforts.? There are other nice places we’ve taken the boy or places that other local parents suggest are for the 12+ set.? We aren’t afraid.? Sure, there are a few places that are truly adult dining establishments that we love such as Marco’s Supperclub, Oceanaire and El Gaucho (although we’ve only been there for drinks) that we wouldn’t even dream of taking our 3 year old to.

    I encourage parents to get out with your child.? Use dining out as an opportunity to practice good manners with your child.? Dining out can be a great experience and trust me you don’t have to pack a whole arsenal of things to entertain your child.? The boy is perfectly happy to play with a fork and butter knife.? I may throw one hot wheel in my hand bag.? Better yet, you never know what restaurants will have children’s menu and provide you with paper and colors.? There is no reason to sit around home and eat frozen fish sticks when you could be dining on world famous crab cakes.


    *said in only the most sarcastic tone I can muster.

  • Elle's World
  • Go Local

    I’m not sure if this is a Tacoma thing or if other cities in the country have the Go Local bug.? From my own personal observation it seems to be that my city is very local-centric.? I love that about my city.? Of course Tacoma has a long an torrid past.? It used to be an industrial wasteland of factories and homeless people.? People would speed through on I-5 to avoid being shot at by local gangs.? Basically our city was the armpit of Washington.

    Recently the citizens of this fair city have taken it back from the gangs, the vagrants and the scum.? Tacoma is becoming one of the best places to live in Washington.

    Part of that take back the city mentality is buying local.? We support as many local business as possible.? We recently had our Cucina Cucina close and in it’s place is a locally owned restaurant.? It is now the closest locally owned restaurant to the mall.? An awesome victory for the eatery industry.

    The trusty husband and I did the majority of our Christmas shopping at local businesses.? Dwell being our favorite.? We avoid the chain restaurants and shop the local farmers market (when it’s open).? We buy our vegetables and meat (in the off season) at locally owned Tacoma Boys and H&L.? Basically, there is no real need to shop a chain store in this city.? I was lucky enough to work on the Tacoma Gardens posters (that still need to be finished) and my work caught the eye of some people and I was asked to work on stuff for Grow Local.? I am extremely excited about this project.

    But I still need some help.? Tell me about your city.? Do you feel your city has a good local-centric mentality or could it be doing better?? If so, what are they doing right or wrong?? Help me out.

    In the vein of Go Local there is a group of people organizing a Grow Local group.? Now this is something I can really get behind.? In fact, come next week I’ll be one of the collaborators on this project.

  • Depression
  • Long term effects unknown

    I get lots of comments and emails from people saying that I might want to seek help from my mental health professional and possibly have her prescribe a bit of the joy in pill form. If you’ve been around awhile you’ll notice that I’m a little afraid of the doctor. This includes my mental health professional. She’s nice and all, but man… there’s way to much to go into since the last time I saw her. Just too big of a hassle. I’ll come up with any excuse in the book.

    In lieu of seeking assistance from the major pharmaceutical companies I thought I would search the tubes of the internets for a natural alternative outside of get more exercise and spend more time outside. I try those things, but I still am in a funk.

    Dr. Internet is the handiest little guy. Depression is essentially a seratonin deficiency in the body. So if you do a Google search for seratonin deficiency you will find this little article. It actually is on a Tinnitus website, but it brings up valuable information about seratonin.

    The best way to treat seratonin deficiency is with tryptophan. You know, that stuff in turkey that makes you sleepy. It used to be available in a low cost over the counter supplement. That is until a bad batch was made in Japan and it made a bunch of people in New Mexico sick. FDA banned the supplement. Some research was done and it was discovered that it was human error and not the tryptophan itself. FDA allowed it to be manufactured again, but you have to get a script from…yep… your mental health professional. You could also eat a diet rich in natural tryptophan, but turkey isn’t my favorite.

    Now in this whole convoluted story is the major pharmaceutical companies. Those makers of Pr0zac. Damn them. During the time that all of this tryptophan hoo-haa is going on they come up with the magic depression pill. Depressed people are happy. Drug makers are really happy because they can charge through the nose for it. Magical rainbows fill the sky and candy rains down. All is right with the world. Depressed people say what a miracle drug all of these SSRIs are. They recommend them to their friends. Half the world is on anti-depressants. Hell, I spent some time on them myself.

    But… and here’s the big BUT.

    Do you know how they work? If you didn’t read that article in the above mentioned link, I’ll give it to you again. HERE it is. What you need to glean from this is how Pr0zac works in the brain. Remember I said depression is a seratonin deficiency. The drug (any SSRI) collects the existing seratonin in your brain and puts it in the correct synapses. It does not help the brain produce any new seratonin. Basically it takes the middle man out. The part of your brain that produces the seratonin doesn’t need to produce it anymore because the Pr0zac has moved it on and makes it think that it has enough. Thus the part of your brain that produced the seratonin to begin with gets lazy. It doesn’t produce the seratonin anymore. Thus you get hooked on the stuff. If you take it for an extended period of time you have a more difficult time getting off the junk. All a big fat pharmaceutical plot to suck you dry of your hard earned money.

    Granted this is the short version of all of this. But it might explain why I think Western medicine is a bunch of horse shit. Why I’m afraid of doctors and why taking random drugs for the sake of god only knows what scares the hell out of me. There isn’t much in my life that I’m a true activist on. I wouldn’t say that this is even one of them. What I am saying is that this is something I’m passionate about.

    Do you truly know what you put into you body? Some days I do and some I don’t. But major drugs are not part of my plan.