She did not just say that!

WALK THE TALK
Just a little over a year ago, I was issued a certain death sentence.
You have a fast-growing, inoperable, malignant brain tumor with no cure, brain surgeon Dr. Srinivasan told me following my brain biopsy. We’ll try to turn one month into one year. I’m sorry. You just drew the short straw.
Well, my year is up and I’m still here. And so I’m casting out an invitation that I didn’t believe I’d ever be able to send, and that is to ask you to join me in a walk tomorrow in support of brain cancer research at the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk. 
So if you got nuttin’ going on tomorrow morning, I invite you to join Team Deirdre at Seattle Center around 8 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 20) and walk with us in support of brain cancer research. Online signups are closed, but you can sign up on site (just behind EMP). Look for the red balloons to find Team Deirdre. And if you don’t feel up to an early morning but you want to support the cause, just click on the link above and there is a place to donate.
Brain cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children (leukemia is first), it’s the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men 20-39 (second to leukemia), and the fifth-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the same age bracket. It’s kind of a bad-ass cancer to fight. BUT, scientific strides in treating it are also bad-ass and I truly believe this is an effort worth supporting. I’m living proof that science in this realm is making great strides.

OK. I’ll get off my soap box. But I would love to see any and all there marching against the monster!
Pictured above: Last year’s team logo was a projection what I was afraid I’d look like during treatment. Turns out, it wasn’t too far off!

WALK THE TALK

Just a little over a year ago, I was issued a certain death sentence.

You have a fast-growing, inoperable, malignant brain tumor with no cure, brain surgeon Dr. Srinivasan told me following my brain biopsy. We’ll try to turn one month into one year. I’m sorry. You just drew the short straw.

Well, my year is up and I’m still here. And so I’m casting out an invitation that I didn’t believe I’d ever be able to send, and that is to ask you to join me in a walk tomorrow in support of brain cancer research at the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk.

So if you got nuttin’ going on tomorrow morning, I invite you to join Team Deirdre at Seattle Center around 8 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 20) and walk with us in support of brain cancer research. Online signups are closed, but you can sign up on site (just behind EMP). Look for the red balloons to find Team Deirdre. And if you don’t feel up to an early morning but you want to support the cause, just click on the link above and there is a place to donate.

Brain cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children (leukemia is first), it’s the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men 20-39 (second to leukemia), and the fifth-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the same age bracket. It’s kind of a bad-ass cancer to fight. BUT, scientific strides in treating it are also bad-ass and I truly believe this is an effort worth supporting. I’m living proof that science in this realm is making great strides.

OK. I’ll get off my soap box. But I would love to see any and all there marching against the monster!

Pictured above: Last year’s team logo was a projection what I was afraid I’d look like during treatment. Turns out, it wasn’t too far off!

 KATHLEEN KAY ALLEN

May 26, 1936 – August 10, 2014

Kathleen Kay Allen died Sunday August 10 in Seattle, Wash. She was 78.

Born May 26, 1936, in Heber City, Utah, Kathleen (Kathy) was the daughter of Lee Partington Kay and Leah Murdock Kay. In 1948 she graduated Wasatch High School in Heber City and earned her B.S. in nursing at Holy Cross Academy in Wichita, Kansas in the 1950s. Kathy married Donald Fredolin Allen from Valley Falls, Kansas, on Dec 16. 1960.

Throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s, Kathy worked as a nurse in East Alton, Illinois, St. Louis, Missouri, and Wichita, Kansas, where she was head nurse at Wesley Medical Center in the ‘70s. She moved to Seattle in 1977 with her husband Fred, her son Sam, and her daughter Deirdre, where she worked at numerous medical facilities, ultimately retiring as head nurse at the Boeing Plant in Kent, Wash. She was much lauded as a kind, compassionate and strong-willed nurse, caring deeply for her patients.

Kathy loved children and animals.  When she detected arrogance, she would flatly tell people, “I’m fixin’ not to like you.” She fearlessly defended that which she believed to be right and was outspoken when she perceived wrongdoing. As an advocate for those less fortunate, she could be one’s best friend — or one’s fiercest enemy.

When Kathy was in the room, it was guaranteed to be fun. With a good-humored child-like spirit, she defined funny. The world was a happier place with her love of a good joke, her tenacity, her spirited nature, and that fuzzy head of hair she had. 

She will be dearly missed by those who had the wonderful privilege to share their lives with this uniquely special soul.

Preceded in death by her husband, her parents and her siblings Virginia Rawley, Elouise Stireman, Carol Durant and Richard Kay, Kathy is survived by her stepson Donald Fredolin Allen, her son Samuel Kay Allen, her daughter Deirdre Allen Timmons; her nieces and nephews including Lee Ann Rawley, Alan Rawley, Kent Rawley, Scott Rawley, Adabel Allen, Susan Dickson, Jan Tingey, Lee Durant, Edward Durant, Charles Durant, April Hochstrasser, Georgia Kay, Nataunya Kay, Cort Kay, Steven Ruff and David Ruff; her grandchildren Mary Jane Tatoy, Christopher Allen, Kimberly Allen-Baldwin and Rosemary Elizabeth Timmons; her great grand-children River Baldwin and Christy Allen; her grand nieces including Angie Ahlemeyer and Wynne Smith; and her great- grand-nieces including Frances and Rachel Moody.

Private services will be held on Sept. 28 in Seattle, WA. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that remembrances benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.

MEALTIME CHEZ TIMMONS

MEALTIME CHEZ TIMMONS

STAMPEDE

When opening a restaurant – and I know so much about this because I’ve opened, um, no restaurants but my husband just opened one — I’ve noticed a few things. Clichés, mostly.

Give the people what they want: It will serve you and your audience if you keep others in mind. If it’s something you really want, chances are, others will too.

Keep it simple, stupid: When Jack started cooking up his barbecue dream, we ALL had ideas on how to make it something else. But he stuck to his instincts to provide a focused product. At Jack’s BBQ, if it ain’t from Central Texas, it’s just ain’t.

Don’t jump the gun: We anticipated opening daily for lunch and dinner. Boy howdy were we not quite ready to do that. We’ve had to pare back to just lunch service Tuesday through Sunday while we hire and train more staff. (Know any fun, friendly and experienced wait staff? Send them to Jack’s.)

Be prepared for failure … and success: Remember that ad of those people launching their startup, and they watch as 2, 3, 4 people sign up for their service, and then the counter goes out of control as the numbers of clients climbs exponentially? Well, that can happen – or not – either way, ya gotta brace yourself for what the fates throw you.

Don’t sweat the small stuff:Hey, there’s gonna be A LOT of bumps along the way, so work on the small problems but keep your eye on the ball. Afterall, half the fun of chasing a dream is just that … chasing a dream.

Trust yourself: You may have an idea so cockamamie that it’s genius. Remember to believe in yourself, even when others don’t. 

Enjoy the ride: It takes a lot of energy and effort to launch any dream. So if you’re gonna do it, embrace the challenge and learn to love the good with the bad.

If you’re near SODO, drop by for lunch (11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 3924 Airport Way South). I promise a mouthwatering experience. And I’ll let you know when we bring dinner service back after we’ve hired more people and can keep that brisket flowing afternoon and night!

Photos by Marcus Donner. Pictured above: The bar; Tony, pitmaster extraordinaire; Jack; Arrie, always upbeat bartender; Megan way-friendly waitress; Scott and Debbie, mixing up mean cocktails; guests at one of the openings; hot links; brisket, Frito pie and collard greens; three reasons to Uber home.

JACK’S VERY FIRST CUSTOMERS

Jack’s BBQ opened its doors today with a lunch line snaking out the door and hungry ‘cue fans lighting into serious servings of smoky meat and fresh Southern sides. 
Pictured above, our very first customers: Henri Beaudoin, Jace Allison and Garrick Allison, all from custom software company, Gravity Zero. 
WELCOME SEATTLE!

JACK’S VERY FIRST CUSTOMERS

Jack’s BBQ opened its doors today with a lunch line snaking out the door and hungry ‘cue fans lighting into serious servings of smoky meat and fresh Southern sides.
Pictured above, our very first customers: Henri Beaudoin, Jace Allison and Garrick Allison, all from custom software company, Gravity Zero.
WELCOME SEATTLE!

ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO!

It’s official! Jack’s BBQ opens to the public this Monday, Sept. 8.

Chefs, bartenders, fire tenders and waitresses busted out some mean brisket, chicken, sausage, ribs, mac-and-cheese, corn pudding, pralines and so much more as friends and family converged on the new space last night, catching up with each other, enjoying southern-styled cocktails, and ordering off the menu.

As most of you know, this is Jack’s first restaurant (he’s been in high tech most of his life). Knowing that there was a lot he did not know, he wisely cherry-picked an all-star staff to assist in creating a world-class Central Texas menu. Pitmaster Tony White, who learned the art of the fire at Louie Mueller’s in Taylor, Texas, joins us via Tokyo, where he just opened a smoking factory specializing in bacon and sausage.  Jay Midwood, previously a chef at Ethan Stowell restaurants and a competitor in Dinner Lab 360, will oversee the kitchen, crafting recipes from the ground up including homemade pickled okra, house-smoked bacon and Texas barbecue sauce. Wesley Shaw, an amazing cook and native Texan, joins the team from Poppy in Capitol Hill.  Scott Hart, barbecue aficionado, beer expert and recent transplant from the fine dining scene in Palm Beach, will be mixing exciting concoctions such as a smoked orange Old Fashioneds and pickled okra dirty martinis.

While we have a few little adjustments here and there, the night went off without a hitch, and with the first trial run under our belt, we’ll soon be off to the races!

JUMPING FOR JOY

Call it replacement therapy. Call it animal hoarding. Or just call it falling in love.

When I recently dropped by the animal shelter to visit my niece Laura, we took the usual heart-breaking tour of animals abandoned by their human families. And usually, I can resist the temptation to add another furry bundle of need.

But this last time, I cracked. Amid the cacophonous barking of dogs, sitting politely in her concrete cell was a teeny two-pound version of Zack.

“What? Is? That?” I asked Laura.

“She’s not up for adoption,” Laura told me. “She has an owner. We’re just waiting for her to show up.”

“Well, that’s good,” I said. “Jack would never let me have another pet (we already have a labradoodle, a Chihuahua, and a part-time cat we share with the neighbors).

Nevertheless, in passing – just in passing – I mentioned this little jumping bean to Jack.

“She looks just like Zack (our previous dog) only she’s two pounds and has no teeth because she was neglected and undernourished,” I told him. “Can I get her? She’s like the size of a bird.”

I really just asked rhetorically. There’s no way on god’s green earth Jack would sanction an addition to our menagerie.

“Yes,” he said.

“No. Are you kidding? No.” I said, thinking I’d misheard him.

“Why not. We can give her a home,” he replied.

And like that, I was texting Laura that if by some wild chance the dog’s owner didn’t want her, I would like to put in a bid for this teensy creature that looks like a bat crossed with a shaggy black sheep and a dog.

Well, you know how the story ends. The owner never came back to claim her. I picked her up, named her Shirley, and brought her home. 

The first week Shirley was pretty meek and quiet. But now, the Yorkshire Terrier/Poodle mix is … you guessed it … ruling the roost. She tells everyone what to do and — god forbid we pass another dog on our walk — or she’ll tell him where he can put it.

The rest of my furry brood was a little bent out of shape by the new addition, but we’re all settling in just fine and even at mealtime as I dole out everyone’s meal, nobody tries to steal anyone else’s chicken-and-sweet-potatoes and the pack has shifted into a comfortable kind of chaotic peace.

DOWN HAMPSHIRE WAY

This month. Oh, this month. August of 2014.

I lost my two favorite women this month. I lost one to the great beyond. And I lost the other to the future.

Driving along I-90 in Massachusetts, past steeples, past early American farms, past verdant rolling hills, the brash sound of pop music and DJs’ banter poked at my ears till I finally took the hint from myself and turned off the radio in my rental Ford Escape. I needed some silence – not only to focus on roads I didn’t know in a car I didn’t know – but to absorb the seemingly sudden shift in my life.

On the heels of losing my mother, I had just left Rose to start her own life free of my careless cooking and my forgetful planning and my generally useless parenting to be a student at Hampshire College. After two days of shopping trips to Target and antique shops, meals at noodle houses, cheap diners, Tibetan cafes and hotels, exploring small Massachusetts towns, and cuddling in bed reading and watching old flicks, it was time to cut the cord.

“Welcome to Hampshire College.” There it was. The beginning of my end as Rosemary’s go-to gal. And the beginning of Rose’s beginning.

Thirty years ago when I “decorated” my first college dorm at Smith (incidentally, just 10 miles from Hampshire), I felt so lost. Suddenly surrounded by women who were the daughters of royalty, politicos, authors, painters, poets, inventors, celebrities of so many disciplines, I marveled as these women casually threw down fur rugs on their floors and their mothers hung curtains that matched their bedspreads and even painted or wallpapered their rooms. It never occurred to me that parents would come to school and help their kids settle in. Or that anyone would settle in with such luxury! Mind you, it didn’t sadden me. It just surprised me. I brought my yellow polyester comforter from boarding school, a few clothes (I’d been wearing uniforms for four years, I really didn’t know how to dress), and a poster I poached downstairs that was in my dorm’s freebie bin. My room was dark and always either too hot or too cold. The other students in general intimidated me. And I just never felt at home in college.

So it was with relief as I watched my little nesty goddess create a home away from home — with a rug and a throw pillow and a cute lamp and maps on the walls of places she’d traveled and pictures of her friends everywhere. It looked like she’d been staging college dorms all her life as she confidently created a warm and welcoming space – an electric tea pot from Sofie on top of the small fridge; her favorite books on the bookshelf; a small Buddhist altar on the windowsill; her small but quirkily charming wardrobe – mostly curated from consignment and vintage shops – inhabiting the locker-sized closet. After three hours of intense aesthetic focus, I sat on her bed and looked around and felt, well, I just felt so proud. And when I had to miss Parents’ Day because Jack called me home to help him start his restaurant, Rose hugged me and said, “It’s OK Mom. Just go. I love you, but I’ll be fine.”

I knew she’d be OK. Me? Not so much.

Rose walked me to the rental car, holding my hand.

“Will you just sit in the front seat as I program the GPS?” I asked her.

“Of course,” Rose said.

Then she did for me what I had done for her so many times 18 years ago.

She held me as I cried.

Pictured above, Rosemary with one of her best friends, Maddie (the girls met in kindergarten at The Valley School); Maddie with her mother, Anne; Rose in her new room; Rose and moiselle.

Kathleen Kay Allen
May 26, 1936-August 10, 2014

Kathy joined the choir eternal this morning.
Sam was with her as she drew her last breath.
She was truly the strongest, bravest, most opinionated and funny woman I know. 
Thank you to all who shared in her joyous approach to life.

Kathleen Kay Allen
May 26, 1936-August 10, 2014

Kathy joined the choir eternal this morning.
Sam was with her as she drew her last breath.
She was truly the strongest, bravest, most opinionated and funny woman I know.
Thank you to all who shared in her joyous approach to life.