Recent local blog posts

Northern Closure

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 7:59pm

Northern will be closing its doors at the current Legion Way location and reopening in late January or February as part of the Midnight Sun. Stay tuned for more news! And remember, Northern loves you.


Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Northern Craft and Rummage Sale!

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Sat, 12/06/2014 - 12:00pm

Save the date- more info coming soon!

Categories: Arts & Entertainment


Shredders from the fine city of Austin, TX

NYC artpunx

Olympia’s psychedelic hard rockers – blazing guitars, searing synths, razor-sharp vox and pounding rhythms, straight to youze brains!

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Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Benefit for the Budd Bay Rugby Club Girl’s and Women’s Teams

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Sat, 11/22/2014 - 4:00pm

Sam Densmore @ 8:30
Stiff Other Lip @ 9:30
Gunslinger @ 10:30

This is a benefit for the Budd Bay Rugby Football Club Girls and Women’s Teams.

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Categories: Arts & Entertainment

The Evergreen State College Master of Environmental Studies Information Session

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 6:07pm
Event:  Thu, 03/12/2015 - 5:00pm - 6:00pm

Register for The Evergreen State College's Master of Environmental Studies information session on Thursday March 12, 2015 from 5-6PM at The Evergreen State College, Seminar II Building.  Optional class visit from 6-8PM. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

The Evergreen State College Master of Environmental Studies Information Session

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 6:06pm
Event:  Tue, 02/10/2015 - 5:00pm - 6:00pm

Register for The Evergreen State College's Master of Environmental Studies information session on Tuesday February 10, 2015 from 5-6PM at The Evergreen State College, Seminar II Building.  Optional class visit from 6-8PM. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

The Evergreen State College Master of Environmental Studies Information Session

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 6:04pm
Event:  Tue, 01/13/2015 - 5:00pm - 6:00pm

Register for The Evergreen State College's Master of Environmental Studies information session on Tuesday January 13, 2015 from 5-6PM at The Evergreen State College, Seminar II Building.  Optional class visit from 6-8PM. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

The Evergreen State College Master of Environmental Studies Information Session

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 5:53pm
Event:  Thu, 12/11/2014 - 5:00pm - 6:00pm

Register for The Evergreen State College's Master of Environmental Studies information session on Tuesday December 11, 2014 from 5-6PM at The Evergreen State College, Seminar II Building, Room A2107.  Optional class visit from 6-8PM. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Tips to Waste Less Food this Holiday Season

Thurston Talk - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 5:21pm



Submitted by Thurston County Solid Waste

olympia food composting

The average American family throws out 25% of the food they buy.  About $130 each month.

Thurston County Solid Waste wants to help you waste less food this holiday season. The average American family of four throws out about 25 percent of the food they buy, to the tune of around $130 each month, and that number goes up during the holidays.

Those festive parties and family gatherings drive us to make and serve too much food. This is often fueled by the questionable belief that it’s a bad host who runs out of a certain dish or doesn’t make each person’s favorites. When everyone goes home, there you are with a mountain of prepared foods and limited refrigerator space. Now what? Food gets wasted.

Americans throw out about 204 million pounds of turkey meat after Thanksgiving. According to the National Resources Defense Council, just a single pound of turkey meat gobbles up resources equivalent to driving 11 miles to take a 130 minute shower! And the eating and wasting continues from Turkey Day through to New Year’s Eve, with too much of your food  and your money being thrown out in between.

Besides the environmental and financial impacts, it seems even worse to waste good food over the holidays, knowing that one in six Americans do not have enough to eat. We can do better. Here are just a few easy ways to help you waste less food this holiday season.

  • Be realistic about how much you really need to cook. Estimate the headcount and use an online portions planner. If you’re hosting a party, it’s okay to run out of a dish or two. There are other tasty options, and your guests are there for the company.
  • Carefully plan the entire meal and make a shopping list that includes quantities for each ingredient. Check your cupboards, fridge and freezer before you shop so you’ll know what you already have at home.
  • Consider using smaller plates and smaller serving utensils. This slows down the folks whose eyes are bigger than their stomachs. Guests can take smaller servings of each dish and go back for seconds or thirds.
  • Plan out what to do with the leftovers. If you want to donate to a church or food bank, call ahead for their hours of operation, and get information about critical safe food handling requirements. Send party-goers home with their favorites with a promise to eat them. Make sure you have the needed “to go” supplies.
  • Store your leftover food in clear or well labeled containers. If it’s not going to be eaten right away, use your freezer. Plan what you can make with leftovers. Websites like let you enter multiple ingredients you want to use and then up pop recipes!
  • Have a potluck where family and friends all bring leftovers—it’s an excuse for another party.

Thurston County Solid Waste is helping residents reduce wasted food throughout the entire year. Visit our website and download the Waste Less Food Challenge information packet at It will help you see exactly what you’re wasting and provides tips on how to waste less. While you’re there, check out our radio contest and take our quick food waste survey. You can also invite us to give a fun and free presentation for your school, office, church, or community group—we can make it a potluck!

For more information about the Waste Less Food Challenge and other tips and information on wasting less and saving more, contact Gabby Byrne at or (360) 867-2284 or visit



Prepare Your Home’s Plumbing for Winter Weather

Thurston Talk - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 4:45pm



Submitted by Springer Plumbing 

Springer Plumbing - burst pipe

A split like this can result from a frozen pipe during cold weather.

As you prepare your wardrobe, car and home for the colder months ahead, don’t forget about your water system. When water freezes, it expands. If your pipes reach icy temperatures and the water in them freezes it can rupture the pipe, much like a can of soda left in the freezer for too long. The expense and inconvenience of frozen and damaged pipes is one we hope to help you avoid. Take the following precautions and your plumbing system should work well this winter.

Before the cold hits:

  • Make sure your entire household knows where the main waterline shut-off valve is to the home. In the unfortunate event that you do have a burst pipe, the damage can be kept to a minimum by turning off the water supply to the home quickly.
  • Insulate plumbing in unheated areas such as crawl spaces, garages, well houses and outdoors.
  • Disconnect garden hoses before freezing temperatures arrive. We also recommend placing insulated faucet covers on your hose bibs. If you have dedicated shut-off valves for your outdoor faucets turn them off and drain the remaining water out of the line.
  • Turn off and drain sprinkler systems.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the thermostat set no lower than 55 degrees F.

During freezing weather:

  • Make sure all rooms with plumbing fixtures, especially those with plumbing on outside walls, are heated.

    Springer plumbing faucet

    Be especially cautious with exterior faucets and pipes on exterior walls during cold spells.

  • A bathroom or laundry room located next to a garage can be particularly susceptible to freezing, so keep the garage door closed to hold in heat.
  • If your bathroom or kitchen pipes run along an exterior wall, keep the cabinet doors open to raise the temperature around your pipes as much as possible. Consider using a fan to help circulate the air near your pipes or turn on a small space heater.
  • During extremely cold stints, keep a small trickle of water running at faucets. This eliminates pressure that can build between the faucet and any ice blockage as well as decrease the chance of water freezing in the first place.
  • Do not try to thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame; as this will damage the pipe and could start a fire. You may be able to thaw a pipe with a hair dryer, start slowly at the faucet end of the pipe with the faucet open.

Have a warm winter and remember we are only a phone call or e-mail away if you need help with anything!


Washington State University Thurston County Extension Master Gardener Program Accepting Applications

Thurston Talk - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 3:59pm



Submitted by Washington State University Thurston County Extension

yashiro japanese gardenWashington State University Thurston County Extension is currently accepting applications for its 2015 Master Gardener volunteer training.

Next to digging in the dirt, there’s almost nothing gardeners enjoy more than learning about their favorite plants. One of the easiest ways to increase your gardening knowledge is to enroll in WSU Extension’s Master Gardener course next spring. For forty years, Washington State University Extension has been training Master Gardener volunteers in the science and art of gardening.  Volunteers who attend the comprehensive course will learn the latest information on how to successfully grow their favorite ornamentals, veggies, fruit, and a whole lot more.

There is a perception that to become a WSU Master Gardener you must know everything about gardening.  This is unrealistic and untrue.  To be a WSU Thurston County Master Gardener you must have some gardening experience but more importantly you must commit to sharing accurate gardening information with our community.

Thurston County WSU Master Gardeners are volunteers trained in all aspects of home gardening which they, in turn, share with members of the community who have gardening or insect questions. Some of the training topics include:

  • water-wise gardening
  • how to grow your own food
  • low-impact landscaping
  • diagnosing plant diseases
  •  identifying insects/pests
  • and much more……

We provide a number of different venues, including demonstration gardens, community booths and question/answer clinics through which volunteers deliver these messages.

The WSU Master Gardener training will also teach you how to access the latest researched-based information from Washington State University faculty, staff, and nationwide partners on subjects you may not know too much about.  You will become part of over 200 Thurston County WSU Master Gardeners who have very diverse backgrounds of gardening expertise and interests. As a result of this diversity you will have fun learning from one another while making lifelong friendships.

Classes will be held at a training room in Lacey.

To be considered for one of the limited training spots you must complete an application and attend a pre-orientation session. Pre-orientation sessions are held at the Thurston County Extension Office in West Olympia, directions are included in the application packet. At these sessions you will learn what it takes to be a WSU Master Gardener. This includes program expectations as well as all the benefits you will receive being a WSU Master Gardener. The following sessions will allow you to see if the WSU Master Gardener Program is a right fit for you. No pre-registration needed.

  • December 5th at 10:30am
  • December 11th at 4:30pm
  • December 17th at 4:30pm

Upon acceptance into the program a $275 class fee will be collected.  Since we are a self-sustaining program the training fee covers all class materials and field trips. Scholarships are available for those in need. Payment plans are available for those who are interested.

To learn more or to download an application packet visit our website .

The training class does have a cap and will be filled on a first come, first served basis with those who meet the criteria. If there is still room the very last date to apply is December 31st, 2014.


What the Heck is a Fresh Water Mussel?

Squaxin Natural Resources Blog - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 3:58pm

What the Heck is a Fresh Water Mussel?

Photo Courtesy of Marbet, Erika

Photo Courtesy of Marbet, Erica

The average individual could walk through a creek without even noticing these small gems. In fact most people are completely unaware of their existence. Freshwater bivalves are a kind of freshwater molluscs. They are bivalves which live in freshwater, as opposed to saltwater. The majority of species of bivalve molluscs live in the sea, but a number of different families live in freshwater. Fresh water mussels can thrive in many different habitats small ditches, lakes, canals, rivers and creeks. While walking Mill creek with our summer youth program employees we found hundreds of fresh water mussels. The species we found is the Western Pearlshell (shown in all pictures). The Xerces Society is dedicated to developing a variety of publications that educate people on how to identify and conserve fresh water mussels, as well as manage their habitat. “The Society uses advocacy, education, and applied research to defend invertebrates”. For more information about fresh water mussels of the pacific northwest visit,

photo courtesy of O'Connell, Emmett

photo courtesy of O’Connell, Emmett

photo courtesy of O'Connell, Emmett

photo courtesy of O’Connell, Emmett

photo courtesy of O'Connell, Emmett

photo courtesy of O’Connell, Emmett

Categories: Local Environment

Sounds of the Season draw Nigh at Saint Martin’s University and South Puget Sound Community College

Thurston Talk - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 3:56pm


Submitted by Saint Martin’s University 

holidaySaint Martin’s University, the South Puget Sound Community College and the American Legion Band are once again combining their talents to perform two Christmas concerts in December that feature three choirs singing musical pieces spanning the early 16th century to contemporary works.

A carol sing-along will round out both “Sounds of the Season” concerts. The first event will be held Wednesday, December 3, at 7 p.m. on the Main Stage of the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts, located at South Puget Sound Community College, 2011 Mottman Rd., Olympia. The second concert will take place Friday, December 5, at 7:30 p.m., at Marcus Pavilion, located on the Lacey campus of Saint Martin’s University, 5000 Abbey Way SE.

The concerts will feature the Saint Martin’s University Chorale, both SPSCC Choirs and the American Legion Band. Associate Professor of Music Darrell Born directs the Saint Martin’s chorale. Molly McNamara conducts the SPSCC choirs. Kevin Robertson conducts the American Legion Band, along with Diana Appler, associate conductor.

“It will be so much fun,” says Born, who is also director of the Saint Martin’s Music Program. “The students and members of our community love singing the “White Christmas” tunes and all those famous, early, golden years of Broadway musicals.”

Each concert is composed of three parts. The first part will combine the three choirs, which will sing the early 16th century “Ding Dong Merrily on High,” two early American carols, the “Huron Carol” and “A Virgin Unspotted,” and a beautiful, contemporary piece, “O Magnum Mysterium.”

During the second part, the American Legion Band will perform several traditional, Christmas band pieces, including “T’was the Night Before Christmas” and “Sleigh Ride.” The choirs and the band will conclude both evenings with combined holiday pieces, such as the “White Christmas” medley and “A Christmas on Broadway,” before leading the audience through the sing-along.

The concerts are free and open to the public, and free-will donations are gratefully accepted.

Gather ‘Round – Bagel Brothers offers a Variety of Catering Options

Thurston Talk - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 3:45pm



Submitted by Bagel Brothers

Catering options at Bagel Brothers include an array of their freshly made sandwiches.

Catering options at Bagel Brothers include an array of their freshly made sandwiches.

What’s round, comes in a variety of flavors, and is everyone’s favorite? Bagel Brothers’ bagels, of course. Whether you choose a sandwich or a spread, whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner, these bagels hit the spot.

And did you know Bagel Brothers offers catering? For all your social functions, from holiday parties, to business luncheons and retirement parties, Bagel Brother’s can provide just the right spread for your gathering.

Starting at just $2.95 per person, receive an assortment of bagels, (cheesy, everything, onion and more) and an equally appetizing array of cream cheeses (plain, berry, chive and more).This option is a classic and easy way to feed your guests.

Kick it up a notch and order a lox and cream cheese platter, and your gathering will have a built-in conversation piece as guests gush about the Wild Alaskan Sockeye Lox, sliced tomatoes, onions, and capers. This is available at just $6.95 per person.

For the same price, consider a luncheon platter that includes sandwich favorites like Turkey & Jack, Ham & Swiss, Roast Beef &

A platter including an assortment of bagels and cream cheese is a great way to feed a crowd.

A platter including an assortment of bagels and cream cheese is a great way to feed a crowd.

Cheddar, and Vegetarian. Fruit platters, breakfast burritos, chips, cookies, and coffee, juice and teas services are also available.

“We love to help our customers host stress-free occasions by providing everything they need for a satisfying meal,” says Jeff Rose, owner.

Bagel Brothers catering will deliver with advance notice, but for those last minute arrangements, or for smaller orders, Bagel Brothers will have your tray ready for pick up at their

convenient Westside location.

Check out Bagels Brothers full catering menu here.

Bagel Brothers, 400 Cooper Point Rd. SW #22Olympia, (360) 352.3676.

M-F 7am-5:30pm
Sat 8am-5pm
Sun 8am-5pm

Catch Up With Austin Radio Saturday November 22

Thurston Talk - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 3:23pm



Submitted by Austin Radio

Austin Radio Photo by Monica Medalen

Austin Radio’s Mark Medalen and Angie Ward play a popular blend of warm harmony vocals, driving acoustic guitar, harmonica, and humor. Photo by Monica Medalen

This Saturday night, November 22, local music duo Austin Radio are bringing their popular blend of warm harmony vocals, driving acoustic guitar, harmonica, and humor back to Forrey’s Forza in Lacey. Showtime is 7pm-10pm. You will hear uptempo acoustic versions of popular country and rock songs old and new.

Austin Radio are Angie Ward and Mark Medalen, longtime performers throughout the Northwest, and partners in their lives both on and off the stage. They performed in various bands and as solo artists for many years before forming Austin Radio nearly ten years ago. Ward fronted the funk/rock/R&B Seattle big band known as Get Off The Stage (GOTS) and sang with Olympia’s Fishtrap for several years. In addition to Austin Radio, Medalen also performs with the country band Broken Trail.

These Forrey’s Forza shows are truly hometown shows for the duo. Ward and Medalen grew up in Lacey, are both graduates of Timberline High School, and have many ties to the area. Ward grew up singing with her siblings and picking strawberries on their Ward Farms on Yelm Highway. Two of her relatives now own and operate successful businesses on the same property, with cousin Jeff at Country Green Turf Farms and cousin Erica at Van’s Burgers. Medalen grew up in Lacey with parents who were career educators in the Yelm School District. He followed his passion for music and, after graduating from Central Washington University, brought his guitar back home and settled in Olympia. In addition to writing and playing music, Ward and Medalen are employed with the State of Washington.

Austin Radio’s name is a tribute to the diverse styles of music that can be found in Austin, Texas. Just like their namesake city, their song list covers a variety of artists and spans several decades and musical genres. At their shows, you will hear the music and influence of Trisha Yearwood, Indigo Girls, Tom Petty, Brandi Carlile, John Mellencamp, The Dixie Chicks, Dwight Yoakam, The Civil Wars, Kim Richey, Steve Earle, Tim McGraw, Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, John Mellencamp, and more.

All shows at Forrey’s Forza are open to all ages and there is no cover charge. For additional information about Austin Radio, including upcoming shows, videos, music, photos and more, visit Austin Radio online and find them at “Austin Radio Music” on Facebook. A list of upcoming events at Forrey’s Forza can be found at  here and on their Facebook page.

Forrey’s Forza
130 Marvin Road SE
Lacey, WA 98503


Haub Family Collection of Western American Art

South Sound Arts - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 12:59pm

Published in the Weekly Volcano, Nov. 21, 2014

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887 ‑ 1986) “Piñons with Cedar,” 1956, oil on canvas, 30 × 26 inches, Tacoma Art Museum, Haub Family Collection, Gift of Erivan and Helga Haub, 2014.6.91, © 2014 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Everybody knows not to look a gift horse in the mouth. Tacoma Art Museum certainly does. In this case, the gift horse is a bucking bronco, or lots of them — the 295 works of Western Art from the Haub Family Collection donated to TAM, plus more than $15 to build a new wing to house them. The new wing designed by Olson Kundig Architects and built by Sellen Construction is fabulous, the art collection not so much so. It is valuable and pertinent to the history of the region (probably more so to the Southwest and the Western plains than to the Pacific Northwest, but let’s not look that bucking bronco in the mouth), and there are some famous works of art by famous artists. But it is mostly stereotypical and offers a romanticized look at cowboys and Indians glorifying America’s imperialistic western expansion.Typical of the sculpture that greets visitors as they enter the new Haub Family Wing is Charles M. Russell’s “A Bronc Twister,” a bronze statue of a cowboy riding a bucking bronc — the most iconic of all Western images.Albert Bierstadt’s “Departure of an Indian War Party” is a somber, dark and dignified look at a small group of Indians on horseback depicting “noble savages” in a romanticized and atmospheric landscape.George M. Russell (American, 1864-1926) “A Bronc Twister,” modeled 1911, cast circa 1929-1933, bronze, 18 x 14½ x 9½ inches, Tacoma Art Museum, Haub Family Collection, gift of Drivan and Helga Haub, 2014.6.109.Many of the artists never even traveled to the West. Rosa Bonheur’s Western scenes were based on a Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show seen in Paris and Henry Merwin Shrady’s bronze buffalo comes from studies made at the Bronx Zoo.But let it be known that there are also works by Native American artists and by great modern artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe. One of the nicest paintings in the show is O’Keeffe’s “Piñons With Cedar,” a lovely landscape of a ghost-like dead tree with a young green tree behind it framed by a mountain in the distance.There are also pop art paintings by Bill Schenck, who worked with Andy Warhol and later turned to Western art. His “Snakes in the Grass” lampoons stereotypical Western art. Done in a paint-by-numbers style, it depicts two cowboys on bucking broncos on either side of large cacti.The new wing and the outdoors sculptures by Julie Speidel by the entrance from the parking lot and Marie Watt on the Pacific Avenue side of the building provide for a much more welcoming entrance to the lobby area. But the new construction emphasizes the new wing and relegates the original galleries to a far-away area down a long hallway that felt pretty empty on the day I went there for the opening press tour. I trust that more art will be placed in that hallway or that something — anything — will be done to draw people to the older north galleries, because it is the art in those galleries that always has been and I hope will continue to be what makes Tacoma Art Museum a regional treasure.Art of the American West: The Haub Family Collection, Wednesdays–Sundays 10 am–5 pm, Third Thursdays 10 am–8 pm, adults $10, student/military/senior (65+) $8, family $25 (2 adults and up to 4 children under 18). children 5 and under free, Third Thursdays free from 5-8 pm. Members always free, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.4258.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Traditions and Additions – Local Shopping Tips for Thanksgiving

Thurston Talk - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 10:43am



By Mary Ellen Psaltis

thanksgiving recipes

Red hot cranberries – cooked or raw – there are recipes galore on the internet.

Turkey? Dressing? Cranberry Sauce? Yes, yes, and yes. Traditional favorites become favorites for a reason. They tickle long held memories as your soul is satisfied. Plus, the tastes are delicious. Whether you are shopping for a banquet of family ‘musts,’ or hoping to expand your repertoire, both Ralph’s Thriftway and Bayview Thriftway are ready to supply your wishes. You’ll find aisles stocked with the foundations for your Thanksgiving feast and opportunities to add to your bounty in new ways.

Turkey and Ham

Meat Manager, Adam Beasley, would love to take your order now for holiday needs. They’ll find the size you want and hold it for you. Choose from a fresh Diestel free-range turkey, a fresh, natural turkey from Acme or a frozen Norbest. There are Hempler’s hams, too.


My cubed bread stuffing is dotted with celery, apple and onions and seasoned with sage. Maybe you prefer yours made with cornbread and oysters. Locally owned Thriftway carries scads of local breads, if you want to make your own. Essential Baking Company has its own bag of cubes for you. Do you cook your dressing in the bird or not? In my book, what other use could this cavity have if not for stuffing? Yes. We can agree to disagree.


A few years ago when I decided to pass on high fructose corn syrup, I found out that making my own cranberry sauce was as easy as opening a bag. All it takes is berries, a little water and some sugar. Boil five minutes until the berries pop. Cook longer if you want to make the skins softer. Then pour into a glass bowl and let cool. Presto. Variations might be adding orange pieces or orange juice. There also the nearly famous cranberry relish recipe from NPR’s Susan Stamberg to try.  I just heard one from Seattle’s ‘Food For Thought’ commentator Nancy Leson. Her recipe includes rum, which sounds interesting and you can make a batch ahead of time.


thanksgiving recipes

Get ready to mash red, white or Yukon potatoes.

For fluffy white mashed potatoes, you’ll need to peel your potatoes. Steam uniformly cut potatoes until soft. Hand mash or use a ricer. Heat up heavy cream and butter before mixing with the potatoes. You don’t have to use cream or butter, but my, oh my – they’ll melt in your mouth. I don’t mind potatoes with character. That means it’s OK to leave on the skins.

If potatoes are off your list, you can get on the mashed cauliflower bandwagon. A bit of garlic, buttermilk and butter mixed with your steamed cauliflower produces surprisingly good results. Don’t turn your nose up until you’ve tasted it.

Wine & Beer

Both Thriftway stores have bottles of holiday bargains. Stroll the displays. You can buy one with a label that appeals to your – or ask for help. The early settlers were on to something with hard cider.

Rhonda Nickle, Ralphs’ Bakery Deli Manager, says, “I love the holidays.” She’s noticeably excited about the Devonshire cream. She suggests mixing it with cream cheese for a smooth spread for apples, sandwiches or crackers. The deli is stocked with a vast array of cheeses and meats such as Boar’s Head sweet sliced ham. If you need a few suggestions for your holiday appetizer tray, please ask Nickle. Helping customers with food ideas is a favorite part of her job.

thanksgiving recipes

Joy Graham, one of Ralph’s cake decorators, will be mixing up a family favorite fruit salad.

Cake decorator, Joy Graham, will be preparing a fruit salad that her mom used to make. Now her children like it. Maybe your family calls this salad Ambrosia (food of the gods). Variations feature the addition of whipped cream, pecans and/or shredded coconut. Joy uses imitation sour cream for family members who do not eat dairy foods. This recipe can easily be doubled.

Here is Joy Graham’s Favry Family Favorite Holiday Salad

Holiday Salad

1 pint sour cream

1 bag miniature marshmallows

2 – 16 ounce cans fruit cocktail, drained

1 can pineapple tidbits, drained

1-2 cans mandarin oranges, drained

Mix together and store in refrigerator overnight. Add a sliced banana before serving.

What else do you need to remember?

  • How about carrots and celery for the soup you will make with the turkey carcass?
  • Mayo and lettuce make the list for turkey sandwiches.
  • For your non-dairy family and friends, SO Delicious has three holiday beverages made with coconut milk: Pumpkin Spice, Mint Chocolate and Nog.
  • Essential Baking Company has a rack of gluten-free breads and rolls.
  • Need a hostess gift? Choose from seasonal bouquets, scented candles, tempting chocolates – to name a few.

If you need it, you’ll likely find it at Ralph’s or Bayview. Both locations have barista service, if you need a pick-me-up as you shop. Have fun and happy shopping.

Eat Well – Be Well

Living a Happy Retirement at Panorama

Thurston Talk - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 8:03am



panorama lacey

Panorama resident, Janet Sears, works in her home quilting studio.

Relocating is a big decision at any age. Whether a job transfer to a new city, uprooting after raising a family, or pulling up stakes upon retirement, finding a new place to call home is about defining your future lifestyle. For a handful of retirees, the naturally picturesque Sea Ranch community in Sonoma County, California seemed to be the ideal location to spend their golden years. Yet recently, over twenty Sea Ranch homeowners have “re-relocated” to Panorama in Lacey, Washington. Panorama is a retirement community designed around several distinct neighborhoods with lifestyle amenities, inclusion of home maintenance and a continuum of health care. Residents of Panorama are known as the doers and dreamers of Pacific Northwest senior living.

Sandy Bush moved to Panorama with her husband, George, in May 2013. Bush shares, “Sea Ranch was somewhere we went from the working world to decompress. We considered it our retirement home but it has become more of a rental community and a destination place. As we age, we realized there are not a lot of available services there for dental, medical, vision and such.”

Janet Sears and Beverly Sloane, also former Sea Ranch homeowners and current Panorama residents concur with Bush’s comments. “We moved to Sea Ranch because of the beauty, privacy, and to live lightly on the land,” adds Sears.  “We have discovered that it is also a beautiful place here with such an engaging community of people.”


Sandy Bush, Janet Sears and Beverly Sloane share a laugh together at Panorama. The trio moved to Lacey after living at the Sea Ranch community in Sonoma County, California.

Rachel Dobry, Retirement Advisor at Panorama surmises, “My sense is what collectively drew them to Sea Ranch originally was that it was a community away from everything. But that is the very thing that has them leaving. Reality takes place and as we age it is important to access needed health care in a timely manner. Not only are the health care facilities and providers easily accessible from Panorama but we offer a continuum of health care on site. Doctors are within a few mile radius as well as a variety of cultural options and activities like the library, walking trails, shopping, museums and art. People come to Panorama for the community and lifestyle.”

Lifestyle and activities are as diverse as the people of Panorama. A weekly dinner date regularly brings the former Sea Ranch homeowners together.  While the commonality is their previous place of residence, they represent a fascinating array of interests spanning from theater, woodworking, blogging and fiber arts. “We are not just consumers of our activities,” Sears remarks.  “We also get out to contribute to the community. We volunteer at food banks, schools and are politically active. That is why our community is so rich.”

“Come to Panorama at least by your early 70s or whenever you are in good enough health to get acquainted with community,” Sears encourages. “We arrived when we were still living completely independently.  It is as if you have your own gardeners and handymen to take care of things. Now I don’t have to worry about my home and yard maintenance, which enables me to enjoy the things that I really want to do. Olympia has been so fun to explore. It is the funkiest small town, big capital. Right next door to a tatoo parlor will be a plush restaurant.”


Sandy Bush prepares to head out on a hike from her Lacey retirement home.

In addition to art and culture, the outdoor lifestyle is a huge attraction.  Bush comments, “The hiking outings are amazing. There are places that I would likely not find on my own or make an effort to explore – from excursions to Mount Rainier to the many local parks.”  Sloane adds, “Many of us like to take advantage of the proximity of the Chehalis-Western Trail. It is important to have flat and level walking areas for those with mobility issues and needing the use of a walker.”

What shapes the community of Panomora is the diversity of interests among the residents, spectrum of aging needs, and the easy lifestyle. Dobry explains, “You have to be at least 62 to live here. Generally speaking, people have been coming in their early 70s but this is changing because of the boomers. The boomers love the lifestyle we offer. They have worked hard and in many ways enjoy being taken care of. They understand that quality of life does not necessarily mean owning a home or having lots of stuff. They like to travel and get out to do things. That is all right here for our residents. It is an easy transition to come live here.”

“We were told it is just a change of address to come here.  And really it has been,” Bush concludes. “It is so easy and comfortable living here.”

To learn more about residing at Panorama, click here.


1751 Circle Lane SE

Lacey, Washington 98503

360-456-0111 or 1-800-999-9807


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