Sunday, May 31, 2009
This is the gazing globe Regis gave me for Christmas a few years ago. Those are the Georges peeking out from behind. Regis asked again today if I was going to plant something in the Georges. Nope. I like them empty. It's a statement.
Pictures from the patio. This is one of the perennial grasses we planted. And the turtle hose guide. I love the name...hose guide. Like a spiritual thing.
It's been a good year for pansies. I swear I've never gotten anything to grow in this pot before.
There are tiny things that live in the little house at the base of the geranium. Maybe an ant colony or a swarm of gnats.
Can you see the moon? Regis was disappointed in this shot but what is he after all, the Hubble Telescope?
Happy Sunday Psychosis.
Here's my plan for the day:
- Ride my bike before it rains. Done
- Water the flowers and the garden. Done.
- Do the dishes from last night. Done.
- Sit in a lawn chair. Done many times.
- Get ready for Monday. Sort of done.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Big Disclaimer: This is not us in front of the Paramount Theater! It's a picture from the internet!
Regis and I motored to Austin (MN) last night to see Richie Havens at the Paramount Theater.
The last time we went to the Paramount, Austin's downtown was mostly strip clubs into which we would not venture. We know this because we printed a list of the restaurants downtown and they had normal names like Parrot Bay or some such, but eeeuww, I wasn't stepping foot into them and I'm not famous for high standards when it comes to bars or eating establishments. We ended up in a Mexican restaurant that served delicious food so that was our destination last night.
Alas, when we came down Main Street, we saw a burned out shell of a building where the restaurant used to be. But there seemed to be a few other places to choose from and none of them featured pole dancers. We ate at El Mariachi and it was very good. Rolando was friendly and helpful and said he remembered Richie Havens even though Rolando was only 21 and not even born when Woodstock happened. If you're ever in downtown Austin, we recommend El Mariachi.
Here's what their website says about the Paramount:
The Historic Paramount Theatre, originally constructed in 1929, is a unique atmospheric theatre with a Spanish motif. It is one of four atmospheric theatres left in Minnesota and the only one outside Minneapolis still used as a theatre. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located at 125 4th Avenue NE, downtown Austin.
That's not us in the picture. It was the best I could find on google. It's really a gorgeous place and a great venue for music. Richie Havens gave a wonderful performance that was almost spiritual. He has a low, slow voice and he started with All Along the Watchtower, one of my favorites, and ended with Freedom. He sang Here Comes the Sun and I was in tears. It was really something to experience. Of course, the place was full of old hippies like us...some who still looked like old hippies and some who shined up pretty good and looked like the might be doctors or lawyers. The youtube video at the bottom is Handsome Johnny, also one of my favorites and maybe one of the best anti-war songs ever. This is the opening act at Woodstock, which I did not attend but might have enjoyed.
Richie Havens played with a guy named Walter Parks who also plays in a group called Swamp Cabbage. No end to the mysteries in life. Walter looked more like George Custer or a Shakespearean scholar than this:
Swamp Cabbage is North Florida, fatback, boogaloo blues stirred into a gumbo of Louisiana ragtime. Walter Parks' fingerpicked electric guitar honks like a razorback hog. Jagoda's drums like he's leadin' a New Orleans funeral parade, and Lindey's bass barks like a tuba through a fuzz box.
I woke Regis up early this morning and we went to our local HyVee to buy some big, disgusting steaks of the beef variety and some of the tuna variety. One of my best current recipes is for pan seared ahi tuna but I've discovered it's great on the grill, too. Tom and Betty came to while away the summer afternoon with us. We sat on the new patio, gabbed with passers-by, and told stories. Tom brought barbecued ribs and I made stuffed portobello mushrooms for appetizers. Dinner was great. Here's the tuna recipe:
Seared Ahi Tuna Recipe
- 2 (6-8 ounce) ahi tuna steaks (3/4 of an inch thick)
- 2 Tbsp dark sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce (or 2 teaspoons of wheat-free tamari for gluten-free option)
- 1 Tbsp of grated fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 green onion (scallion) thinly sliced (a few slices reserved for garnish)
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
1 Mix the marinade ingredients together and coat the tuna steaks with the marinade, cover tightly, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
2 Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high to high heat. When the pan is hot, remove the tuna steaks from the marinade and sear them for a minute to a minute and a half on each side ( even a little longer if you want the tuna less rare than pictured.) Or cook over direct heat on a grill for the same amount of time.
3 Remove from pan and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices. Sprinkle with a few green onion slices.
My bike is back and I rode it downtown twice today. I went to The Pulse (not to be confused with Impulse Tattoo) to inquire about membership and classes. This is a place of exercise and is quite outside my realm of experience. The woman in charge was very nice and encouraging. Betty and I might start with a class called Zumba! on Monday night. We'll see how my adventure into the world of exercise goes. We've been swimming since December but that's more like old lady dog paddling. At The Pulse, we're going to have a personal trainer who tells us what to do. Rachel believes fitness is for everyone so I'm sure she won't kill us with jumping jacks.
Tomorrow will be our day of rest.
Hey, Bob and Marilyn: Thanks for the very nice note about my blog.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
My bike had to go into the shop to get its wheel fixed. Of course, now that it's gone, I really want to ride it. Isn't that the way?
My gnat bites look like measles. Those little bastards are relentless. You don't feel them bite but later you have this ugly outbreak.
Regis is watching some natural disaster epidemic catastrophe movie. I don't get the attraction myself, preferring to ignore bad news and imminent threats. I don't watch the news, remember? What good does it do to know about things bearing down on you when you can't do anything about them? Or to commiserate about evil things that happen in places you never plan to go? I know, I stick my head in the sand. I prefer to live in fiction.
We went to a little gathering of special ed folks at one of the local watering holes today after work. Of course, the conversation got around to sleeping problems, which it always does when middle-aged people gather. We all agreed it would be less of a problem if a guy didn't have to work.
Well, on that happy note, I'm going to put clean sheets on the bed. I can't watch anymore of this disaster crap.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
How can it be so cloudy and not produce a drop of rain? We have baby grass sprouting and it's a pain in the butt to keep it wet. Not so much today but in the warm wind of the weekend. I think I'll need another blanket on the bed tonight.
My friend, Jill, landed in the hospital again this past weekend. She likes that phrase "landed in the hospital" and has a great mental image to go along with it. Get over that dang rashy stuff, Jill! Stop landing in the hospital.
I forgot to call the pharmacy today about my ambien and the bottle says no more refills. Ugh. How could I let that happen? The pharmacy is faxing the doctor who will twitter me that I need to come in for an appointment to make sure I'm not an ambien addict. Ha! Just kidding about the twitter part. Yeah, I'm addicted to a night's sleep. No medical advice folks. We'll leave that to the real M.D.'s.
I wanted to ride my bike to work today but when Regis took the lawn chairs into the garage last night, he saw it had a flat tire. A flat tire! What? So I called the Nicollet Bike Shop to got my first tune-up and they're coming tomorrow. They'll fix it right here, if possible. How's that for service?
My car mechanic once said that I had broken a city-wide record for flat tires on my car. It was after the tornado and I bet I had one a week. Arvin said I must be spreading nails out on the driveway and trying to run over them. Arvin is taking up temporary residence at Shorty's, by the way. He is being displaced by the new Kwik-Trip but will eventually buy the fixing business himself and move to a new spot. Arvin is our car hero.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Tom was right. Bob Dylan's birthday was yesterday. I have it on my calendar for tomorrow because KMSU is celebrating it tomorrow. Dang. Here are some ideas for celebrating, from eHow:
- Write a birthday card addressed to Robert Zimmerman, Bob Dylan's original birth name.
- Play a little harmonica in tribute to the man who made a name with this unique instrument.
- Break out your CD collection and play Bob's first hit original album from beginning to end. "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" was released in 1963 and was his first step on the path to international fame.
- Bust out your dusty tambourine and make some noise in celebration of one of Mr. Dylan's most famous ditties, "Mr. Tambourine Man."
- Rent the films, "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid", "Don't Look Back" and "The Last Waltz".
- Buy a cake with the inscription Happy Birthday Bob Dylan. Amaze your friends.
I had my coffee on the patio this morning and got the happy notion to spread the remaining 25 bags of mulch. Once that was done, I decided to plant the two dozen impatiens under the apple tree.
Here's another slide show of my garden. You can see that I have an affinity for yard art. I think the George Bush flower pots (empty for a reason) have been published here before. The gnats have been atrocious this weekend. They leave big bloody spots on your scalp where they bite and die. It's gross.
This afternoon we went on a road trip with Tom and Betty. We intended to go to Lexington, where we've enjoyed a dinner the last few Memorial Days. Today there was a sign on the door that the kitchen was closed. They said the cook got sick of the whole mess and abandoned the ship. So, down the road we went.
We passed a joint in Heidelberg but it looked more bar than restaurant so we went on to New Prague to eat at the Fishtale Grill. What a nice menu. We had some deep fried green beans with a chipotle pepper sauce. Tom had brats and Betty and Regis had pork and kraut. The service was great and we had a good time.
On the way home, we stopped at Union Hill which is definitely more bar than restaurant but there were lots of people we recognized in there. How do they end up in a place like that on a holiday afternoon? As far as we could see, there was a bar and a cemetery in the town. That's it. We had the waitress take our picture but it's on Tom's camera so I have to wait until he emails it.
Tom and Betty came to see the patio and to have a piece of rhubarb custard pie before I took them home. We bought Powerball tickets at Union Hill. Oh yes. Feeling lucky. I have the details etched in mind in case we win so we can tell the story.
I'm taking a break from swimming for a while so I can be awake during the hours of daylight more. When I get up at 4:30 and go swimming at 5, I get tired early in the evening and miss the best part of the night. I think I'm going to start riding my bike to work...if Regis will give me a lift to the top of the hill.
So, there you have it. A wonderful weekend.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
It was raining when we woke up so that means we can get some inside jobs done. Regis has the smoker going and the pork butt and beef brisket ready to go. This is an all day job so he's hoping the rain ends. I have a puny piece of tilapia that will take about 2 minutes to grill.
I have 35 bags of mulch piled up under the tree. When Glen looked at it, he said we're going to need more. Peter worked last night but I told him when he gets up, he can help me spread it out. It's hard on the back...a job that needs youth.
We've been busy all day. Here is the evidence...
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I had to buy some impatiens for under the apple tree and some ajuga for along the steps. Going to garden centers this time of year is like visiting a crack house.
I finished moving my office from one area of the building to another today, thanks to a couple of hard-working students. Later, a different student came to the door of the new office, leaned against the door and said he loved what I had done with the decor, that it had nice feng shui. Hard to keep a straight face.
Not much new here, I guess.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I'll go back in July for bloodwork to check for everything under the sun and a visit to all of the players again.
I wish we had taken the camera as the tulips around the Doctors Mayo in the plaza were stunning. When we go back this summer, I want Regis to take a picture of me sitting by the good doctors.
Anybody have a good gnat repellant? Mom says to try Listerine or a dryer sheet in your pocket, I used to use vanilla when I lived in Iowa, and Regis is ready to try toxic chemicals. They've been terrible.
It's very hot and windy today. The furnace was on in the house this morning and by the time we got home, it was time for the AC. Miles, be sure to use a good sunscreen. I'm a believer in the highest SPF you can find on the shelf. Tender Scandinavian skin does not need any sun. Not unless you want to look like an old saddlebag when you're 40. I hope you're passing my weather tips on to your cousins. I saw something called Sunblock at the Mayo Clinic store today. Let me know if I should pick some up for you.
It's been a full day and I'm going to relax with the rest of it.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Regis and I went for a bike ride after dinner. I was pedaling along, enjoying a leisurely ride (what do you expect from a person with a wicker basket on the front with a red and white tea towel draped artistically over the edge...this is not a speed racer) but Regis nagged me about going faster and getting a cardiac workout. My legs hurt so bad from all the gardening yesterday that I can hardly waddle. I was not interested in a cardiac workout. I just wanted to make it home.
Tom came to get the Engelman ivy that I had growing along the chain link fence until my neighbor whacked it off because it was messy. Tom will give it a good home. I think I saw some along the road on Old Minnesota Avenue but it might have been poison ivy. I don't think I would mess with it.
We're enjoying the patio but the gnats have been a little pesty. Regis bought a pork butt at the store today and it's going to be the first grill project this weekend. I have asparagus and brussel sprouts that might taste good on the grill.
We watched Antiques Roadshow tonight. Regis always says about some hundred thousand dollar trinket, "I had one of those but I sold it on a garage sale". One day I'll chase him out of the house with a broom when he says it.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Regis and I took Ella and motored to Shakopee to meet Tiffany, Eric, and Elliot for a mid-afternoon lunch. We went to Ruby Tuesday, close to the horse track, and the food was very good, the service was good, there were no televisions (hurray), and a pleasant time was had by all. Ella was delighted to see Tiffany and her baby. The rest of the pictures are in the slide show.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Went to a plant sale after stopping for a beer. 320 plants sold in 15 minutes so we didn't get any since we arrived about 5:18. I'm glad I missed that circus. Larry gave us a tour of his garden and it's gorgeous. Tulips that look like a Monet painting.
We're watching I'm Not There but I can hardly keep my eyes open. I woke up before my alarm went off this morning. That would be about 4 a.m.
Ella is going with us to Ruby Tuesdays in Shakopee tomorrow. When she came to play Tuesday she told me she wanted to see Tiffany and her baby. So sweet.
I'm anxious to get in my garden. It needs to dry out a little before the weeds get hold. The couple years, I tore a lot of stuff out so there are lots of empty places. I think I wrote about that before.
Happy birthday, Jane!
Feel better soon, Jill!
Welcome home Ethan and Owen!
Once when the lawn was a golden green
and the marbled moonlit trees rose like fresh memorials
in the scented air, and the whole countryside pulsed
with the chirr and murmur of insects, I lay in the grass,
feeling the great distances open above me, and wondered
what I would become and where I would find myself,
and though I barely existed, I felt for an instant
that the vast star-clustered sky was mine, and I heard
my name as if for the first time, heard it the way
one hears the wind or the rain, but faint and far off
as though it belonged not to me but to the silence
from which it had come and to which it would go.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I went to see Patrick, my favorite hair-do guy. He's a hoot and usually massages my head which almost puts me to sleep. Patrick is a true hair artist and I appreciate that.
May 26th is Bob Dylan's birthday but I don't know which one. Which birthday that is...I know which Bob Dylan it is. KMSU is celebrating by having Bob Dylan's music all day. We're expecting the Netflix movies I'm Not There and No Direction Home in the next week. Maybe I'll get a cake for Bob's birthday.
We're meeting Tiffany and Eric and Baby Elliot in Shakopee on Saturday. I can't wait to see him...it's been a month and Tiffany says he has changed a lot. It's hard to keep up with those babies when they grow so fast. We saw Alex and Ella on Tuesday night. Alex was smilier than we've seen him before. Too bad no camera when you need one!
I'm back in the four day a week swimming pattern. The last couple weeks, I've had one day with an early meeting so I skipped that day both weeks. If you're wondering about the surgery thing, I've progressed to real solid food...fish, soft vegetables, and crackers. I can go to a restaurant and usually find something to eat. I had a piece of baked cod and some broccoli at Grizzly's tonight. It makes about five meals, but that's ok. I have a pile of tiny meals in the freezer. So far, no nasty side effects and pretty smooth sailing. I go back to see the surgeon and the dietitian on Tuesday. I'm afraid they'll yell at me for not drinking milk. Nah, they probably won't.
At Grizzly's there was a dude in the next booth who got up to leave and gave me a big old shot of his hinder thanks to his droopy pants. Man. All you want when you are about to eat. There should be a law.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
This is the little table and chair I bought in Mankato yesterday. I couldn't resist it...I thought it would be perfect on the new patio and it is.
Here she is chasing around the tree with Uncle. I think they were playing hide and seek and her dad snuck back into the house for some peace and quiet. We didn't get any pictures of Alex this time but he was a good baby and was content to eat and sleep.
Even though it was too cold to sit on the patio, Regis hauled the grill out for the first barbecue of the season. We just made hot dogs and burgers. He bought himself a little smoker attachment for it and wants to try that this week. I made an enchilada casserole with chicken and tofu for myself...and now have left-overs for 45 meals. Nobody else was interested. Guess it's the tofu thing.
It was a three-nap weekend and all the naps were great sleep. This afternoon, I slept for about an hour with a complex dream. As I woke up, I was trying to park the VW in my dream and I was so sleepy I couldn't stay awake to finish parking...then I woke up. It's like traveling between states of consciousness. I love naps and have only started taking them again since my surgery. I imagine the need will pass eventually but they are so pleasant...crawling into bed in the dark and cool of an afternoon to read for a while and drift off to sleep. What could be better than that?
Regis and I went grocery shopping this morning and it was so cold I wished I had mittens on. We went to the tent sale at HyVee and honestly, the poor girl running the till did (have mittens on). Every time I think it's safe to put my winter clothes away, we get a day like this. It's great weather for spring flowers though...like they're refrigerated every night.
Well, that's it for the weekend. On to Monday. I see on accuweather there are high wind warnings for several days this week. Lovely.
The Lanyard - Billy Collins
The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.
No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.
I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.
She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light
and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.
Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth
that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.
And here are Tiffany and Peter, who made me a Mama. We're at the Field of Dreams in Iowa.
And here's the whole gang...kids, grandkids, adopted aunts and uncles. Even Peter made it for this one!
Saturday, May 09, 2009
I woke up at my usual 4:30 a.m. this morning. I tried to go back to sleep but the light was coming through my eyelids and I couldn't make it happen. The curtains were closed so that probably isn't possible but I had to get up. I had a half a piece of toast and a soft boiled egg. It was quite a feast.
I tried to remember the morning of my surgery. This has been like giving birth...I feel connected to the people who cared for me when I was so vulnerable and parts of it have disappeared in some kind of haze. This is what was interesting: I registered after waiting in a long line, I waited, I was escorted to a room where the essentials were taken care of, I walked to the pre-surgery area, I was wheeled into a large bright and cold room with a lot of very young looking people. I woke up five hours later. There's a big gap in the middle.
It was raining very hard when we went to bed last night but we woke to a bright clear morning. It's windy and cold, though, for mid-May. Regis says 40 degrees. Betty and I are going to take a walk at the Arboretum today. She suggested Seven Mile Creek but that's hilly and Gustavus is flat. There you go.
I have to clean this morning so I'm sitting here until 8:00, then I'm going to devote 2 hours to cleaning. I set the timer. There are so many other things I would prefer to be doing.
We had a nice evening last night. We went to the two stores I dislike the most: Menards and Home Depot although Regis wasn't interested in looking at nuts and bolts or electrical things. We looked at barbecue stuff, bought a little smoking attachment for our grill, and a pan for searing vegetables. We came back to SP and had dinner at Whiskey River. We have weird ordering habits now that I can eat so little.
When we came home, we watched Mama Mia. I didn't think I would like it at first because sometimes the music gets in the way of the story for me and frankly some of Abba's songs are a little sappy. But I loved it. Everytime I thought I thought oh no another song, they would do something silly and make me laugh. It was the right combination of funny and touching. I recommend it.
Have to make a grocery list in the next fifteen minutes.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Here's the new patio completed. Regis broke out a few lawn chairs today and we had the maiden voyage of patio sitting. The weather is perfect for the patio, only a few bugs, a nice breeze, and warm sun. Jill stopped for a few minutes to trade presents: tapas plates in the shape of vegetables, a book about grandmas, diapers, and a bathtub. Guess who got what. We love presents.
Regis is in mourning over the rumors of a merger between Yuengling and Miller/Coors. He loves Yuengling, tolerates Miller, but disdains Coors as bunny pee beer. Coors was cool when I was in college because you couldn't buy it here. People who went to college skiing brought it back in the trunks of their cars and it was a hot item. Not so much anymore. It makes Regis sad to see his beloved Yuengling, the oldest brewery in America, go the way of corporate nasty ass beer.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
The patio should be done my tomorrow. It's really beautiful and Karl can consider himself an artist. He's coming tomorrow to fill in with dirt around the edges and to sweep in the last of the sand. If the weather is nice this weekend, we should be able to break it out in style. Regis can smoke the Sadam Hussein cigar and I'll have a bottle of Perrier to toast the Howard Fritsch Memorial Patio.
The crab apple tree is starting to bloom and so is the fern leaf peony. Regis will take pictures tomorrow, I'm sure. He keeps asking me when I'm going to get in the garden and take care of the weeds and moving perennials. Any day now, I say.
Peter is finishing his semester at school and he's relieved to be done for a while. He's done well and we're proud of him but we did give him some crap tonight while we were watching Seinfeld. George is 30 and lives at home. You can see where this is going.
A grackle picked up one of the strings that Karl used to keep the walk straight. It was wrapped around a piece of cardboard but the bird managed to get it into the tree, wrap it around a limb twice, and weave it into the nest. Grackles make a real mess of a nest but this bird got a little pissy when they took the string back and it left. I'm not too sorry because they poop like crazy when they have small birds. That's today's nature lesson.
Saturday, May 02, 2009
Regis bought an electric leaf blowing/sucking implement. He tried it out today but I can't say I was too impressed. You have to rake the leaves out of the plants or shrubs before you suck them up. It does mulch them into a bag so they're not so bulky. Now he and the neighbor can have a blow off.
Our neighbor has mowed his lawn three times already this spring. I don't think our grass is even vertical yet. Like us, it wakes up slowly in the spring.
I watched the Kentucky Derby. I must say that it's a sport I enjoy. Most of the event is before and after the race human interest kinds of things and the actual race only lasts 2 minutes.
I made myself a pan-seared tuna steak for dinner with roasted asparagus. One little tuna steak made six meals but that's ok. It will make nice lunches. It's good to be done with pureed food (of which I have too much in the cupboards...) and be on to real food.
Regis told me he would take pictures of the patio-in-progress but he forgot in the excitement over the leaf sucker. We'll do it tomorrow. We're excited to have it done so we can get the grill out.
I'm reading a book that's like living part of the day in another world. It's full of wonderful eccentric characters and great language. And a good story.
That's all for today. I'm watching a baseball game with the men.