Inspired Quote

“There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people shoud see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred.”

– Theodore Roosevelt, Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter 1905.

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Believe it, I’ve found a Picasso in downtown Renton

Owner and auctioneer Lawrence Mroczek, right, of Mroczek Brothers Auctioneers & Associates, and his son Grant Zahajko, also an auctioneer ,pose with two Pablo Picasso pieces that will be going up for auction on May 12 at their auction house on South Third Street in downtown Renton. / CHARLES CORTES/RENTON REPORTER


“That’s worth about $20 at auction,” Larry Mroczek said matter of factly.

As if he’d seen everything before, including me and my picture. The one I’d just lugged down Third Street with a frame the size of a small canoe.  Mroczek Brothers Auctioneers have been in business for more than 45 years. Larry is the patriarch of the family.

As we stood, Larry and I, considering the subject of my painting, the image of a woman peering deeply into a peach-sized glowing fireball held aloft in her fingertips.

“According to my husband,” I begin feeling a little like I’ve just pulled my Dorian Gray out of the attic, “I have unwittingly amassed art with a similar theme.” I smiled at Larry. The watercolor scroll was called “A Woman Searches the Unknown by Following her Heart.”

Larry was a bit intimidating. He was cool as a cucumber. His demeanor reminded me of a thousand-year-old vampire in the presence of an only slightly amusing human. I don’t mean to compare him to the undead — he was sophisticated in a worldly, no nonsense, Donald Trump sort of way.

And here I was wearing a Transformer T-shirt, black muddy leather boots and jeans with mud caked at the knees.

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This poster isn’t an order: Take Time to Read, really

Signs, signs, everywhere there’re signs.

“Hey, don’t yell at me!” I say to another flashing sign around Renton. Something I seem to do more frequently than I’d like to admit.

Especially, the sign on Duvall Street. When it flashes angrily at me, it feels personal.

“Jeez-Louise, I’m slowing down,” I chide at the flashing-metallic-digitized-solar-panel-control-freak that thinks it can tell me what to do.

OK, so I admit I have some issues with authority.

Given my distrust of signs/authority, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw my first full-color gigantic book cover poster on the outside wall of the Service Linen building.

To a writer and lover of books, it was like seeing something sacred on a grill cheese sandwich. I spied two more book covers pedaling down Third Street.

I was happy.

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Amelia’s Scroll of Life

Amelia was drawing on her art table when she asked me how to spell, scroll.  I thought it was a bit odd but answered her without question…even though she’s only seven, she’s an amazing artist with a deep soul.

Fifteen minutes later I was brushing my teeth when she handed over a white, rolled “papyrus” style scroll.  I unravelled it and discovered some sage advice.

Allways in Life be The best you can be!

In life tell the truth!  except if your a spy!

In life take care of your self!

Exceot if someone else is in danger!

In life be peaceful!

If you follow this you will be super!

The end.

By Amelia

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In search of the perfect tomatillo salsa with Chef Tom

Famed Chef Tom Douglas, at left, poses with Carolyn Ossorio and her daughters Amelia and Sophie.— Image Credit: Carolyn Ossorio
Famed Chef Tom Douglas, at left, poses with Carolyn Ossorio and her daughters Amelia and Sophie.— Image Credit: Carolyn Ossorio


“Good job,” I say, helping to chop the last bits of cilantro.

I stand beside my daughter Sophie in our Mad Men-era kitchen. The double oven is yellow, the countertops are a rusty orange Formica.

This afternoon I’m Sophie and Amelia’s sous chef.  I lean into the mini island and watch as Sophie slips my cilantro into the beginnings of our Roasted Tomatillo Salsa with Chicken Skewers.

The kitchen island overlooks our open living room where my mom is watching over Baby Ty cruising the furniture.

“The smell is amazing,” Mom says referring to the potent, freshly chopped onion and garlic we picked up at the Renton Farmer’s Market last Tuesday.

There is definitely a difference between mass produced and local produce –like wild from tame.  The cilantro was jalapeno green, wet and damply alive like flora in a rainforest.

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