It’s Murder at the University Bookstore

Mary Daheim, Seattle native & local author, will visit the University Bookstore in Mill Creek this Thursday evening, the 31st. As part of their Reading Allowed program, she will read from and sign copies her latest book, The Alpine Vengeance. This is volume #22 in her Alpine series of mystery novels featuring Emma Lord, editor and publisher of the Alpine Advocate. Alpine, a fictional small town nestled in the foothills of the non-fictional Cascade Mountains, provides a charming setting for all the mayhem. Do tell.

Thursday March 31st at 7PM.



Everett Silvertips Keep it Exciting

The Everett Silvertips will try to keep their round-one playoff hopes alive when they take on the Portland WinterHawks tonight – Mar 30th. It is game 3 as they bring the series back to home ice at Comcast Arena in Everett. Portland leads the best of 7 series 2-0, but there is still a lot of hockey left. So come out & cheer the Tips to victory both tonight and tomorrow night – the Mar 31st –  for game 4!  The puck drops both nights @ 7:05PM. Do tell.

For tickets and more info go to:

Home Away From Home For a Silvertip

Tyler Giebel of Balgonie, Saskatchewan is calling the Mill Creek area home. AtSilvertip Puck least for the WHL [Western Hockey League] Hockey season. This is Tyler’s first season in the “Dub” playing for the Everett Silvertips. He is listed on the roster as a center, but he told me he’s been playing on the wing as of late. Players are here from mid-August until April into May depending on how far the team goes in the playoffs. Because they are 16 to 20 years of age, they live with host families known as “billets.” Tyler lives with his billet family, the Steigerwalds in the Silver Lake neighborhood. The Steigerwald family consists of parents Deb & Lee, daughter Noelle, Noelle’s dachshund – Oskar and the family lab – K.C. Another daughter, Lindsay, is out of the house on her own.

I asked Tyler if there were any big surprises coming to Everett from Saskatchewan and he said probably the biggest thing is that the “Weather is a lot different. Not having to go out and scrape the [ice off the] car in the morning is different. And all the rain. Not used to all the rain.”

Any billet mates? “For the most part I’m the only player staying with the Steigerwalds. During the season there have been a few call-ups and since there’s an extra room, players have stayed there temporarily at times during the season.”

Knowing what it is like to billet, I asked if he had any humorous stories he’d be willing to share. Without hesitation, he said, “Well yes. One of the Streigerwald’s daughters has a little wiener dog that has a tendency to be a bit yappy. And especially when I come home, even though I’ve been in the house for about 6½ months. Every time I come home the dog goes a little berserk and I kinda have to wait for someone to get the dog calmed down for me to come in. So that’s pretty funny.”

So what’s the typical daily routine for a Silvertip? “I get up & shower, help myself to breakfast and go to school. [Tyler is a senior at Everett High School.] Since I’m Canadian and the classes don’t match between the systems and schedules, I only take one class.  So about 9:00 I leave Everett High and go to the rink. Practice is usually over at about 3:00 and I go home for dinner. If I’m not going directly home or not going to be home for dinner, I call to let my billet know. After dinner I hang out in my room or maybe chat with the Steigerwalds. Curfew [time to be at the house] is 9:00pm for the guys in school.”

“On game days if it’s a home game, pretty much the same schedule, after school go to the rink for a short skate or meeting then it is home for a sleep, then Deb prepares pregame meal which is usually pasta and chicken.”

Next I had a chance to ask Deb for her perspective. How long have you been a billet? “This is our 6th year. ” If someone reading this is considering billeting what would you tell him or her? “Every kid is different we only had girls, so it is a whole different ballgame. Teen boys are a lot different from teen girls.”

Why did you decide to billet? “We were excited to have hockey here. We moved here in 1996 from an NHL city. There were the T-Birds but it was a little too far for us to go to many games. We were excited to have hockey in Everett and we got season tickets as soon as we could. They were asking people to billet, but Noelle was still at home so we said no. But then we had the opportunity to go to Australia with the Everett High band and we stayed with families as billets and saw what it was like.”

Any rewards of billeting? “We get the kids still in school so we get a chance to know them. We are still friends with [Zach] Hamill’s family. We’ve met great kids and people over the years that we still keep in touch with. We like making a contribution, making it possible for the players to come here and play for Everett.”

How do you try to make Tyler part of the family? Activities, mealtimes, chores? “We try to have sit down dinner together whenever possible without hats. Sometimes after a home game we’ll go out to a restaurant. They are always so hungry after a game. Tyler’s birthday was at the end of February so we had a celebration and had him invite a few of the other guys over.”

Any humorous stories you would like to share? “One of the boys, a couple of years ago (not Tyler) was raised by a single dad, I guess. We had dinner with mashed potatoes. He looked up very surprised and said, ‘Oh my God, did you make these from scratch?’ ‘You mean the potatoes?’ ‘Yeah, they are the best.’  Another time there were a few players over and someone saw a spider. No one wanted to deal with. Lee got it down with a broom and showed it to the guys; they kind of screamed and he chased after them then it fell off; no one knew where it went?!? But, it was kind of funny because these guys are the tough hockey players, you know.” Do tell.

Thanks to Jon Rosen, Director of Broadcasting & Public Relations – Everett Silvertips for setting this up, and thanks to Deb Steigerwald & #7 Tyler Giebel for taking the time to talk to me. Good luck in the playoffs!

Everett Silvertips begin Round 1, best 4 out 0f 7 against Western Conference top-seed Portland Winterhawks in Portland this Sat Mar 26 7pm & Sun Mar 27 5pm                           Games 3 & 4 will be played in Everett @Comcast Center Mar 30 & Mar 31 both 7:05pm Game 5 back in Portland Apr 2 7pm*  Game 6 in Everett Apr 4 7:05pm*  Game 7 in Portland 7pm*                * if necessary

Tapas at Tablas Woodstone Taverna

One of the newest restaurants in Mill Creek is Tablas Woodstone Taverna. Located at 15522 Main Street in Mill Creek, it is a Spanish Mediterranean tapas restaurant which is a welcome addition to the Town Center.

Tablas Woodstone Taverna from Main Street

My sister and I recently went for lunch. I love appetizers and small plates so I was really looking forward to this. This was the third visit for me and the first for her. We started out with a glass of the Carra Prosecco. It was a sip of crisp tart apple with a dry finish and just the right amount of bubbles — the perfect apéritif for lunch.

Tablas has several pages of tapas & small plates to layer and/or share. Decisions, decisions. We started with the Tomato, Basil and Mozarella flatbread drizzled with balsamic vinegar, a variation on the classic Margherita pizza. It arrived hot and the crust was perfectly crisp — a nice foil to the melted cheese and hot juicy tomato. We also ordered the Salmon & Dungeness Crab terrine, light and airy served with a garnish of greens and brandy aioli. We both thought it could have been served with crackers or crostini on the side.

After finishing those, we agreed that we wanted a little something more, a meat perhaps and decided on the Chicken Mignon. Described as “tenders” it arrived as four “rolls” of chicken wrapped in bacon with a demi-glace. They were okay, but we expected something a bit lighter, a thinner cut perhaps. They seemed heavy and a bit dry. Feeling satisfied, not stuffed we passed on our server’s offer of dessert.

On a previous visit with a friend, I ordered the Mediterranean Garlic, Parmesano, Oregano Flatbread and Spicy Garlic Shrimp to share. Both were delicious, and my only comment: it’s an order of 3 shrimp and was awkward for 2 to share. On all visits, service has been attentive and orders come out in a timely fashion, but I’ve never felt rushed. It’s been relaxed sipping, conversation and “grazing” as one would expect with tapas.

I love the ambience of Tablas Woodstone Taverna. It’s a big improvement over other attempts at locating a restaurant in this spot. Previously the space felt cavernous and empty. They were “franchise, order at the counter and take a number to the table” style. The owners of Tablas [also the owners of long-time local favorite, Kafé Neo, btw] opted to divide the space making a separate bar area including the ubiquitous flat screens. Mental note: come back for “Happy Hour”.  Tables line the window and raised booths cozy up to the inner wall. Down the center, there is a long table for groups. Hmmm, another mental note. A free-standing gas fireplace near the center of the space adds warmth, literally and visually. Candles dot the walls. I know I will return again and again for a variety of occasions and to sample more from the extensive menu. Do tell.

Phone: 425-948-7654

Petcare Hospital & Wellness Center

Happy 17th Birthday to our little cat Jasmine! According to online sources, that is about 84-85 in human years. I swear, she doesn’t look a day over 8. Beside all of her human family and friends, I would say the most important person in her life is her veterinarian, Dr. Douglas Fraser, VMD — founding veterinarian of Petcare Hospital and Wellness Center located just off Seattle Hill Road in Mill Creek. He has seen her since she was just a kitten, giving her her first check-up and shots when she was about 8 weeks old.

Petcare SignSo, on this momentous occasion I decided to talk to Dr. Fraser about how he and his practice have grown and evolved right along with Jasmine. After practicing at another local veterinary office, he opened his own practice Petcare Hospital in the Gateway Shopping Center near Murphy’s Corner. We took Jaz in for her kitten check up at about eight weeks old, and I remember Dr. Fraser said he loved Tabbys and that she was the most beautiful little tabby he had ever seen. Well, of course I was the beaming “parent”. I admitted to myself, that he probably said that to all the tabbys (lol), but it spoke volumes to me about Dr. Fraser and his character. This is a vet who takes a very special interest in his patients. He took the time to make Jasmine and me, of course, feel special and know that he was really interested in her and “her family.”

Front of facility

When Dr. Fraser started Petcare he said that he planned to stay small to be able to keep a close personal contact with his patients, but it’s been a mixed blessing. On one hand to to hear that clients liked what he was doing for their animals and the word of mouth spread growing the business tremendously. On the other, to balance that with his passion to spend as much quality time with the owners as with their pets it became more difficult to manage, to keep that connection, to keep that ability to interact on a personal level. From a business standpoint it was a nice problem to have, but to Dr. Fraser, it is not all about business. It is about caring for the animals. So he built the current facility which was designed by wife Tammy. This allowed much more room for more veterinarians, support staff, the latest in equipment, exam rooms and luxe boarding suites for dogs and cats. Currently, the other doctor on staff is Dr. Meghan Yurenka.

Petcare Hospital and Wellness Center is a Veterinary General Practice, however they do bring in specialists for radiology, internal medicine, complex surgical procedures and oncology. Plus —> boarding, grooming, special diet pet foods and love.

Staff at Petcare
The staff at Petcare. Dr. Fraser on far Right.

Located: 4210-148th St SE  Mill Creek 98012  Phone: 425-337-5300                             Hours are:  MTWF  8-6  Thur 8-8  Sat 9-1 & Closed Sun

Additional thoughts from Dr. Fraser: “You’re planning, but it kind of took on a life of its own. The word of mouth, people are happy with what we do. We take care,  and what we do is for the right reasons. We love the animals. The staff here, I am blessed to be surrounded by all of them — the care they give the animals. I sort of live vicariously through the lives of the animals, they are like people’s kids. And now I am seeing parents’ kids coming in with their animals. And I’ve not gotten burned out. I just love the interaction with the animals and their families.”

Jaz has caught her share of birds and mice; she has survived a broken leg/hip, several kidney/bladder infections, a few cat fights, she has renal failure, and her thyroid is acting up, but she is still for the most part, a very happy, active, slightly spoiled cat. She enjoys sleeping in the sunny spots or on the heat register every chance she gets, loves her treats, and is a much loved member of our family. I thank Dr. Fraser and his staff for helping me keep her healthy and happy. I told him my memory of her first visit when he said she was the most beautiful tabby. His reply: “I’m obsessed with Tabbys.” Do tell.


Friends in Mill Creek Jewelers

Mill Creek JewelersIf  I’m ever in the market for a unique piece of jewelry, need an appraisal on a treasured piece or the battery dies in my watch, it’s nice to know I have local friends in the jewelry business.  Jerry and Donita Price have owned and operated the Mill Creek Jewelers in Mill Creek Plaza since 1991.  And it is since then that “. . . they have cherished their friendships with the community and enjoyed people stopping in as they are out running errands.” — From their website I think I can speak for the community when I say the feeling is mutual.

Jerry and Donita specialize in fine jewelry sales, jewelry repair, watch repair and custom design all with an emphasis on excellence in personalized customer service.

Some of the lines they carry are: Bulova, Hot Diamonds, Leo Ingwer, Lorenzo, and Jewelry Innovations. Through these prestigious vendors they offer fine jewelry such as diamonds, wedding bands, gold & silver bracelets/necklaces, watches, semi-precious colored gemstones, hand-blown glass and beautiful clocks.

They can accomplish all types of jewelry repair from changing out a watch battery & resetting stones. I’ve had them repair the clasp on my beloved  silver charm bracelet and add some new charms. On the subject of charms, they offer a vast selection and can handle special orders, too. Once, an even more beloved charm bracelet that belonged to my mother needed a good cleaning and soe minor repair to make it wearable. This piece, which is so special to me, was just like new again, thanks to Mill Creek Jewelers!

As for custom jewelry design and restyling, if you can imagine it they will work closely with you to make it a reality. I recently had them reset a diamond out of a ring into a beautiful pendant. Now it will spend less time in the safe deposit box. Do tell.

Mill Creek Jewelers is located in Mill Creek Plaza at 16306 Bothell-Everett Highway Mill Creek, WA 98012    Phone Number is: 425-745-5122                                                 Hours are: Mon-Fri 10-6 Sat 10-5  Closed on Sundays


Creek Chic via Opal Boutique

Opal is the women’s fashion boutique on Main Street in The Mill Creek Town Center. Mill Creek is the third store for Opal in the greater Seattle area, owned and operated by Shannen Wyman. Other locations are the original store in Redmond and one in South Lake Union, Seattle. The Mill Creek store opened in April 2008.

Opal Boutique on Main Street

There is an emphasis on designer jeans including 7’s, Citizens of Humanity, William Rast, AG Jeans, Hudson Jeans, True Religion, Rock & Republic, Genetic, Pur and the list goes on. The angst induced by shopping for jeans is right up there with shopping for a swimsuit for many women, but with this great selection, there is certain to be something for everybody, and I mean every body.

Tops to go with these bottoms are also in great supply. I found many variations on the basic T including assorted styles from Michael Stars. Moving past the jeans & T’s, I found sweaters from Michael Stars, velour from Juicy Couture, dresses & jackets from Bailey 44, tops from Miss Me and casual knits from Fluxus. Other brands represented are: James Perse, Fifteen-Twenty, Alternative Apparel and Left on Houston.

Fluxus is a relatively new brand carried by Opal. The company is located in Los Angeles and headed up by its founder (since 2007) Martin Paquette and lead designer Jeffrey Sebelia winner of Project Runway-Season 3. Sebelia joined Fluxus in the summer of 2008.  All the clothing is made in the Los Angeles area. Pacquette chooses not to outsource. In the line you will easy fitting tops, bottoms, tunics, dresses. All great layering pieces in soft, neutral shades.

In addition to clothing, Opal carries an assortment of Voluspa candles, Lolita glassware — you know those cute hand-painted martini glasses, and La Licious body care/spa products. Another specialty item is Ms. Wyman’s own line of hand-made jewelry, Kazia Digo. Her collection includes earring and necklaces featuring Swarovski crystals and precious metals.

Opal has a VIP Club membership. Pay $25 dollars to join and you will receive 15% off all your purchases for one year and invites to special events. So be sure to ask a sales associate for all the details on that. Do tell.

Boutique Hours are:   M-F 10-7     Sat 10-6     Sun 11-5

Opal is located at 15117 Main St. Suite B102 in Mill Creek Washington.

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Mill Creek Square Looking Green and Good

Mill Creek Square Sign

Just in case you haven’t noticed, Mill Creek Square has a pretty new face. For the past several months construction crews have been busy and are now applying the final touches to Phase One of the shopping complex project.


Mill Creek Square front QFC/Starbuck's

The plants on the roof overhang were what really caught my eye. This kind of roof  is known as a Green Roof. The plants, from the Sedum family, are indigenous, highly drought resistant plants that “reduce the heat island effect and slow water run off.” Cisterns at both ends of the complex, will collect some of the water run off and will be used to “enliven sculptural elements at each end of the complex.” Water will also be directed to existing sumps in planting areas, to a rain garden or existing swale.  And you thought it was all just for show.

I had the opportunity to chat with John Cannon, AIA a Partner with Lewis Architecture + Interior Design, designers of the project. See He told me that the owners of the Mill Creek Square, who reside in Southern California, are very much art oriented in all aspects of their lives. The complex was originally built in the early 1980’s; they had acquired it some years ago, and felt it was time for a much needed makeover. They wanted to move away from the previous waterwheel and peeler pole look, and go with a clean, big lodge look, with a timeless quality. They wanted to move in a creative,  innovative, forward thinking direction. Inspirations were the house in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest and Frank LLoyd Wright’s Taliesin.

Mill Creek Square looking to East

A striking feature used to achieve this “Big Timber Look” is the large beams canted out. Rather than being cut from single large logs, they are Glulam Beams created using a high pressure lamination process. Beautiful stonework adds texture to the overall organic aesthetic.

common area with fireplace



Another nice feature of the Mill Creek Square project is the common space or gathering area between QFC and Starbuck’s. It is open to the air, yet covered from the rain. It is spacious with plenty of seating and tables. There are ample overhead heat lamps, and the space is centered by a gas fireplace. I found it to be rather cozy. Even in this rainy, damp season.

The floor itself, is a work of art. It contains hundreds of pieces of broken glass in a myriad of colors. As stated before, the owners are artists and they were hands on, first sitting down with the architects to design it, then with the contractor to personally place the floor out by hand.  Abbott Construction, general contractor on the project, is adept at this type of flooring, and took special care to make sure the floor would not be slippery. It was honed to a smooth texture, and then given a matte finish.

One thing you might notice is that QFC is still looking the same. Phase Two which will include the updated facelift of QFC is planned to begin this Summer of 2011. Do tell.