Tuesday, April 18, 2006


My daughter did not have to be at school early this morning because the younger kids are taking the WASL test. The plan was we would sleep in until 7:30 AM instead of our usual 5:30. Hubby leaves at 6:30 and he is really good at not waking me up. But at 6:45 I was awakened by the whirr of helicopters and for a few minutes I wondered if I was on an episode of M.A.S.H. News helicopters were hovering right overhead.

I pulled on my sweats and grabbed the binoculars. As I have written before, I have a pair of binocs in nearly every room. KIRO 7, KING 5 were splashed on the sides of brightly colored aircraft that are able to stay in one spot. I grabbed the newspaper but the President of China, President Hu, was not scheduled to arrive at Boeing's Paine field (five minutes from my house) until 11 AM.

Oh yes, the President of China is making two stops in the United States: Seattle and Washington D.C. He is going to have dinner with Bill Gates tonight at his house with our Governor and our former Governor who is Chinese American. Probably the UW President will be there. The guest list numbers 100. I was giving my hubby grief for not being invited. But, hubby met with the B-list people yesterday and had a lovely dinner in downtown Seattle at the Dahlia Lounge.

My husband arrived at the restaurant, not in a limo, but my son's broken down 1987 Jeep with "Impeach Bush" bumper stickers. Geez! I wonder what lists we will be on now--or NOT. I love the Asian cultural gift giving. We have so many cool things in our house from Dave's former students from China--jade and silk. Anyway, Dave was presented with some beautiful Chinese artisitic objects that will stay at the University. It seems like all we do in these situations is give dignitaries a bottle of Washington wine, a sack of Walla Walla onions, and a sack of apples. And then they get confiscated at the airport because of apple maggots or some such thing.

Sure enough--here is the menu for tonight's dinner at the little Gates abode:

Dinner menu

First course
Smoked guinea fowl salad with hazelnuts, spring radishes and Granny Smith apples

Three choices:
• Fillet of beef with Walla Walla onions, local asparagus, celeriac purée and chervil glacé
• Alaskan halibut and spot prawns with spring vegetables, fingerling potatoes and a smoked-tomato-infused olive oil
• A vegetarian option

2002 Leonetti Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon or 2003 Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay, Canoe Ridge Estate

Rhubarb brown butter almond cake
Source: Lou Gellos, corporate communications at Microsoft

Nope--can't leave out the Walla Walla onions or Washington wine or fresh caught fish.

So, if Hu isn't arriving until 11 AM, what is going on? I turned on the TV and the bluffs of Mukilteo sloughed again early this morning blocking the railroad tracks. From everything I have learned about landslides, this is highly unusual in April. But, our Easter weekend was a deluge causing slopes to become a little too wet again.

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Mukilteo mudslide this morning. KIRO 7 photo.

Update: The video the helicopters were taking on my street this morning at 6:45 AM can be seen here.

It is never boring around here--oh and I hear helicopters but this time I think it is who?? Yea, Hu.