Monday, August 30, 2010

well if the damn wind don't quit blowing i don't know what i'm gonna do

We spent the weekend in Canby where the wind blows relentlessly. We came back to St. Peter yesterday, sure that we would be protected in the river valley. No such luck. It was about 95 degrees with a blast furnace wind. All day. Ugly. We were going to make stuffed peppers on the grill but I'm not going out in that crap again. I made quesadillas on the griddle in the nice cool kitchen.

These are wind power generators in Africa. This is what it feels like here today. It makes us yearn for fall and baked potatoes and meat loaf and open windows and sweatshirts.

My friends tease me because I go to bed so early but I wake up at an ungodly hour most mornings. This morning it was just after 3 a.m. It's no wonder that I'm tired by 8 o'clock. I can't seem to change it either. Staying up later just means I get less sleep. I don't mean to give the impression that I am sleepless. I drift off nicely, I sleep deeply most nights, and I wake up early. Just the way it is.

It's a busy week with school starting and Regis wrapping up his internship. We don't have any evening plans until Friday when I run in the banana relay with a five-year old since my other team mates were called out of town for a family emergency. We should have three people for the relay but me and the five-year old will have to do it solo. It's not like I'm very competitive anyway.

That's enough rambling for one night.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

it's about going home

We left Friday for Canby and a reunion weekend for the Class of 1970. I've been to most of my class reunions, I think, but never enjoyed one as much as this one. Regis took hundreds of pictures which I won't share here because unless you're in them, you won't care. It's all well-documented, though...the dining, the dancing, the drinking of wine.

I have the reunion booklet in front of me here on my desk. It's full of updates from classmates that attended and many who didn't. It's nice to read about their lives now and see where they're living. Rolf, the reunion organizer, is famous (or infamous) for his slideshows. One he did last night was a collection of family photos...lots of kids and grandkids and even a few great grandkids. The circle of life. I almost got a little weepy.

Penciled on the front of my booklet are several phone numbers and email addresses for people we'll connect with before the next reunion. Kevin's wife works in St. Peter three days a week so we'll have her over for dinner on the patio. Jerome and Nancy said we should call them next time we're in town and we will. Bruce said to email so we can talk about writing. I might do that.

We ended the evening at a table with a group of people, none of whom were close friends when we went to high school, but we sure had a good time together last night. We danced and laughed and told stories and had a grand time. I've heard that some people won't go to reunions because their classmates are cliquey or snobby or something. I sure haven't found that to be true. The folks at this reunion were so happy to see each other again. People grow up and change and still....that common history.

At one point in the weekend, I was telling Regis a story and I said, "I brought it home". We were sitting in my mom's living room so he asked if I meant THIS home or our St. Peter home. I said I meant this home. He said that I hadn't grown up in the house where my mom lives now and I haven't lived in Canby for forty years. Interesting that I would call it home still. I said where my mom is will always be home. And as I think about this reunion, where my childhood pals are will always be my home.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

happy birthday to my cousin deb!

It's Deb's birthday today so she's catching up to me! She might kill me for posting this trollop photo of us but I like it because it reminds me of the night we went to a fine dining establishment in St. Peter to celebrate New Year's Eve and left black feathers from our boas all over the butter and the dessert table. I think they were getting out the industrial vacuums as we left. We thought this was hilarious, of course, and could hardly navigate out of the restaurant for laughter. Boorish behavior...what can you expect?

Happy Birthday, Deb!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

the dream

Regis had a dream last night that involved me fighting an alien who looked like an egg in a dentist jacket. There were lots of bad guys fighting and lots of bloody violence, of course. In the finale, I did the two-handed grab on the pockets of his dentist jacket and pulled them off, killing the evil alien entity Humpty Dumpty.

In the dream, they made a movie of the events and the premier was held at Patrick's. It was so crowded that Arnold Schwartzenegger and Maria Shriver couldn't get a seat. I wonder if they put their names on Hombre's waiting list.

I've read the account Regis wrote of his dream and my version is not exactly accurate, but he is he, after all, and I am I.

I ran for 45 minutes at the Pulse this morning, then went to yoga, the cumulative effect of which is to turn a person into a wet dishrag. I could hardly make it home. My friend Kris pointed out that the meditatively named "flow series" almost killed her. The flow series includes a bunch of down dogs, up dogs, planks and some such things. I demonstrated it for Regis on the patio and he agreed, yes, that could probably kill a person.

Our neighbors are packing up to drive to a southern state to get another dog. The little barking dog they have is the reason I don't keep a gun in the house. They think another dog might calm the barking dog down but this has the potential to end badly in a way that has nothing to do with me.

We cooked a beer can chicken on the grill tonight and aside from looking like a little mutated person perched over a can of Schell's Deer Brand on the grate in the grill, it was wonderful. We could have eaten it with our fingers right there on the patio but that would be barbaric.

I was going to stay up until 10 o'clock tonight but I think 8:50 is as close as I'm going to get.

summer vegetable gratin

Summer Vegetable Gratin
Summer Vegetable Gratin
Serves 6-8 as a side or 4 as a light main dish
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound zucchini, ends trimmed and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 pound summer squash (yellow), ends trimmed and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 teaspoons table salt
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes (3 to 4 large), sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and sliced thin pole to pole (about 3 cups)
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 large slice white sandwich bread, torn into quarters (Erin’s Note: I used 1 cup of Panko Bread Crumbs)
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
2 medium shallots, minced (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush 13- by 9-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil; set aside.
Toss zucchini and summer squash slices with 1 teaspoon salt in large bowl; transfer to colander set over bowl. Let stand until zucchini and squash release at least 3 tablespoons of liquid, about 45 minutes. Arrange slices on triple layer paper towels; cover with another triple layer paper towels. Firmly press each slice to remove as much liquid as possible.
Place tomato slices in single layer on double layer paper towels and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt; let stand 30 minutes. Place second double layer paper towels on top of tomatoes and press firmly to dry tomatoes.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and dark golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Set onions aside.
Combine garlic, 3 tablespoons oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and thyme in small bowl. In large bowl, toss zucchini and summer squash in half of oil mixture, then arrange in greased baking dish. Arrange caramelized onions in even layer over squash. Slightly overlap tomato slices in single layer on top of onions. Spoon remaining garlic-oil mixture evenly over tomatoes. Bake until vegetables are tender and tomatoes are starting to brown on edges, 40 to 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, process bread in food processor until finely ground, about 10 seconds. (You should have about 1 cup crumbs). Combine bread crumbs, remaining tablespoon oil, Parmesan, and shallots in medium bowl. Remove baking dish from oven and increase heat to 450 degrees. Sprinkle bread-crumb mixture evenly on top of tomatoes. Bake gratin until bubbling and cheese is lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and let sit at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

uff da

Joanne and I were at school yesterday and we heard a cackling noise. Going to investigate, we discovered three of these critters at the back door, tapping on the glass as if they wanted to come to school. I wish I had figured out how to use the camera on my phone because they were so cute craning their necks around to see in the window. That is if you can call something cute that has a pin head, beady eyes, and blue wrinkled skin.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

hey what's happening to the paths????

I'm not very adventurous but as I've expanded my exercise horizons, I've had to venture onto some previously unexplored areas of St. Peter. With my fear of wild animals and mad dogs, I usually stick to city streets but in the last month, I discovered a whole maze of streets and paths along the west side of town. Not much traffic, long distances with no side streets, and asphalt which is better for feet and knees: perfect. So yesterday, I'm running on the paths along Nicollet Avenue and all of a sudden, the path is closed and torn up. What the hell.

Old neighbor Deb, I know you're been riding up there for a while...any idea what's going on?

Now, this is all fairly new...maybe in the last two years. The paths are in great shape, not starting to crumble or deteriorate. So, now it's really unsafe because you never know where one will end and you have to scoot over the grass and down the curb to the street. It looks like maybe they're going to replace them with cement which is way stupid. What the hell.

I rode my bike 11 miles this morning. When you don't leave town, you see a lot of neighborhoods in 11 miles.

We had a wonderful time last night with Cousin Deb and Larry from Arizona. they came about 2:00 and we spent the afternoon and evening on the patio, in spite of the neighbor's barking dogs. They usually have one barking dog (why I don't keep a gun in the house) but now there are four dogs over there. What the hell.

We had stuffed peppers. All summer, Regis and I have been in search of the best method. We settled on using the poultry rack that adjusts and that worked fine for about 4-5 peppers. Yesterday we had 10 which meant we had to come up with something else. Regis snatched a couple bricks back from a neighbor and I threaded the peppers onto skewers. We suspended the peppers between two bricks and ta da! the best pepper cooker yet!

Making oatmeal cottage cheese pancakes this morning and spending the afternoon in Tom and Betty's pool. Happy Sunday!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

it's like a beer helmet except it's not beer and it's not on my head

I bought a Camelbak hydration pack for the long bike rides and runs. I need a way to keep water more accessible and it got old trying to carry a bottle. I'm sure the person who invented it got the idea from this, right?

Here's what I got. A couple months ago, I posted a picture of the other thing I tried. It was a belt with two bottles that came out like six guns. Peter and Regis gave me no end of grief about it and I finally abandoned it. It was not handy anyway to be trying to wrestle those bottles out of their holsters while on the go. This is much better.

Of course, now that I think about it, a guy could put beer in this backpack. It would not be a smart thing to do, but you could do it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

bats, balls, and bicycles

My friend Joanne has had some bat problems in the last few years. It started when she re-sided her house then got much better for a while. Yesterday morning as she was eating breakfast, she heard a scratching noise in the sink. When she went to investigate, a bat was clawing around by the drain. She scooped him up in a Kohl's bag and deposited him in the garbage can outside. A live bat. When I told Regis about it, he said, "She's got some balls, that one". Amazing courage, Joanne.

I ran into Ben at the PO and related the story to him. He told about an encounter with a bat when he was in the company of "a bunch of old ladies". When the bat turned it's little mousey head and hissed at him, he went running up the stairs flapping his arms and screaming like a girl. I almost fell down on the street laughing.

I was going to post a photo of a bat but really, they are too ugly. Mice with wings that wear a human face. I'll settle for a poem.

  The Bat by Theodore Roethke

By day the bat is cousin to the mouse.
He likes the attic of an aging house.

His fingers make a hat about his head.
His pulse beat is so slow we think him dead.

He loops in crazy figures half the night
Among the trees that face the corner light.

But when he brushes up against a screen,
We are afraid of what our eyes have seen:

For something is amiss or out of place
When mice with wings can wear a human face.

I went out for a bike ride this morning. About four blocks away from home, I hear this soft pooshing noise coming from behind me. This is disconcerting, I thought. I turned to see what it was and saw my rear tire rapidly deflating. Thankfully there was not a biological cause for the noise but I had to walk the bike home and call the bike repair folks who are on their way right now to repair it. Great service, Nicollet Bike Shop!

more random stuff

This is a video of a three-year old who memorized and recites the poem Litany by Billy Collins. It's amazing because he seems to understand the poem. He's not just saying words.

What a nice way to start your day!

I woke up at 4 and went back to sleep. I'm either going to work out at 8 or ride my bike to work. I checked weatherundergound, though, and the humidity is 94%. Lovely.

We watched a great documentary the other night called Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037. It was fascinating. I really could not have imagined the art that goes into making a piano. Much of the work is done by feel and by eye...not machine. Such interesting people that do this for their life's work. We've seen such awful movies this summer so this one was a delight.

It reminded me of an article I read a few years ago about a woman who helps customers select their piano. Apparently this is complicated when one is spending more than a hundred thousand dollars. The customer comes in, talks with her for a while, she writes a number on a piece of paper. Eventually this is the piano they choose. My summary probably doesn't make it seem quite as magical as it was in the article but it was magical. It takes a year to build a Steinway piano so they're like babies complete with individual personalities.

Somehow I had forgotten that Regis and Peter go back to school next week. There was a time when college students started school way past the time that public school students started. When did that change? Peter is having a snaggle with the community college he attends. You know the one I mean. He's taking his last two classes to finish his degree and they claim they don't have his high school transcript. He's gone there for two years and he's faxed it twice. What the hell.

Regis went to pick up his books yesterday since they told him they were all in and ready. He got there and one was not there which means another trip but this time in a mob of students. He was not happy. He also got an email saying that parking would be tough and he may have to park on the street. For this he pays a parking fee? Frustration all around.

Regis bought our dog some little doggy dixie cups at the store the other day. It looks like ice cream. He's really an old dog and we indulge him. Some of us more than others. So, I get the dog his little doggy ice cream cup, dump it out in a dish and he proceeds to lick it into submission. When it's almost gone, he turns his head three inches to the right and ralphs up a slimy mess right on my new rug. I had a hissy fit about dogs and rugs and poop and barf and pee. Peter was there to clean it up but my stomach started churning which did not help my disposition at all. I had to get out the Spotbot to do the rest of the job. Ugh.

Well, there you go. Be happy today. Life is short and unpredictable.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

random stuff

I got up at 4:10 this morning. Sort of an inhuman hour. I like early mornings but this is still night.

I took the coffee filter out of the pot and sprinkled coffee all over the clean floor. Then I tried to grind some beans and lifted the lid on the grinder too soon and sprayed coffee all over that part of the kitchen. Damn.

We ordered eight chickens from Mike the Mean Man. I hope we have room for them in the freezer. We may have to have a chicken extravaganza.

Deb and Larry are coming from AZ to visit on Saturday. We'll cook two chickens because you never know if people like light meat or dark meat. I have a recipe for roasted chicken (very simple) that we love. Those chickens will look great on the table. I think I'll go to the Farmer's Market on Saturday to complete the meal.

I woke up with a bit of a stiff neck and the general malaise.

We're having an easy dinner tonight which I'm looking forward to since I'm working today. We're having a big green salad of romaine, tomatoes, green onions, and peppers with a plate of different cheese from the cheese shop in LeSueur that calls itself Friendly Confines. I wonder where they came up with that. I can never remember it and usually call it the cheese shop.

I'm going to run this morning and try to shed the gray fog of malaise. I'll let you know how that goes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

oh my we hate to see summer's end

Regis pointed out this poem on the Writer's Almanac the other day.

Last Meal

by Bill Holm

On death row you celebrate your last night
with your last dinner, your choice, your last craving
to make at least your stomach happy before it stops
craving anything at all. Many choose
simple food: a hamburger, mac and cheese, ice cream.
What might it be for you, my friend?
Duckling Rouenaisse? A roast of unborn lamb?
Washed down with Veuve Cliquot '59 and old Armagnac?
And how do you know, my friend, that you are not
eating your last meal at this very table now?
Chew slowly. Make sure you take in all the body and the blood.

Now he says, "Chew slowly, my friend. It could be your last meal".

The last line is that of my husband and not Bill Holm.

We had a call from our friend and poet Bob Bengtson tonight. We're trying to pull together an autumn showing of poetry and love songs by Bob and his wife, Marilyn. I think we could pull this off at our house but Regis is skeptical. He thinks we need a bigger venue so I'm going to ponder that. If you have ideas, please leave a comment. Our house is on the small side for that kind of bash. Maybe the Donahower House. Youch. I see they charge $500 for events. Well, on to the next idea. It will happen and it will be wonderful.

We roasted a chicken from our new friend, who is labeled in my cell phone as Meat Mike. Mike is a very nice fellow who takes good care of his chickens and cows. He told me his dad had an operation for a hundred cows and now he has 12 cows in the same space so they are well cared for. He invited me out to see the cows and their accommodations. Oh, no, I said. I think I will trust you and believe that the cows have a happy life. The chicken was delicious and we are ordering some more. We like the idea of meat that comes from a real farm and not a Walmart farm, if you get my drift.

I spent the last two days at a meeting where we wrote a plan to help our district make adequate yearly progress toward 100% proficiency on the standardized tests. Oh, for god's sake. I wanted to stab myself in the neck with a fork and twist it. First of all, I can't look at numbers for four hours without having them float up off the page and waft around my head like spirits. I have a hard time even looking like I'm paying attention.

Then we spend the next 12 hours writing a plan about something that is almost totally unattainable. It's hard to get your head around it in a realistic way and I admire people (sort of) who can sit there and do it. I stare at the ceiling, I think about what I'm making for dinner, I take a nap with my eyes open, I look for other people who are equally apathetic and I talk to them about their drinking problems. It's hilarious. All of this is evidence that I might want to consider retirement. They all deserve to have a person with more enthusiasm than I currently possess.

Today I ran 3.5 miles. I think that's what it was anyway. I'm a little too random to keep track of this the way I should. My knees hurt tonight so I know it was a long dang way. How in the hell am I going to make it ten miles?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

the factors that kept us from the county fair

Tiffany and Elliot came over this afternoon, intending to accompany us to the fair. Elliot took a late nap, it rained spontaneously in a mighty cloudburst, we had steaks for the grill, and it all added up to = we didn't make it to the fair. You can see in the next picture that it was a wise decision. Elliot had a baby melt-down after his bath as he had enough excitement for one day. Poor baby. I'm not sure he would have enjoyed the corn dog anyway.

I'm reading Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I love her writing and I like most parts of the story: how they plant fifty tomato plants then have to spend the whole month of August preserving them, the chicken and turkey "harvest", the visit to the Amish friends. She gets a little technical/political sometimes and I try to learn something but sometimes skim those parts. All in all, a very good book with some good recipes!

This is typical of me. I have three training programs for a half marathon. I have them so mixed up in my head that I don't know if I am coming or going. I thought I was supposed to run 8.5 miles yesterday (remember when I say run you should read that as run/walk) but the night before I reviewed the programs and discovered I was not running far enough during the week and too far on the weekend. Oh, hallelujah! So, Kris and I ran 5.6 miles yesterday.

I just can't be rigid about this and it may lead to me making an emergency call to Regis on the day of the race to pick me up at some corner or other. Or maybe it will be fine. I'm not interested in being first and I'm really not interested in hurting myself. After October, I'm going back to normal things. I'm not interested in running in the dark, rain, or fog, or on the ice or snow. Some pioneer I would have made, eh?

I read somewhere that we have a left brain and a right brain. I think I have this in some accurate fashion. The left brain is the side that tells you to do crazy things like run five miles. The right brain is the side that drives you toward comfort and pleasure so the whole time you're out there pounding your shoes on the street, your right brain is saying things like: your toe hurts, you have a headache, this is too hard, you better stop. See how well-developed my right brain is?

We'll sit on the patio this afternoon and watch the folks leave the fairgrounds. There should be a parade of RV's, tractors, horse trailers, pick-up trucks, and pop-up campers. They'll all be thankful for cooler weather today.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

early morning

I just read the Caring Bridge site of Nicki Rikkard, my mom's friend who died of melanoma a week or so ago at age 44. It's hard to write after that. Nicki's sister Sara has written the last few months as Nicki was unable to and she is a wonderful writer. It's a poignant read.

Regis and I have been reflecting on our summer and it was a grand one. We've had a lot of grill and patio time even with the bugs, we've seen some movies, had a nice long weekend visit with Mom, had the kids over for dinner a lot, made some interesting meals for friends, and we've enjoyed each other's company. Who could ask for more?

I spent all day yesterday at the district data retreat, usually the meeting I dread the most because of the tendency for numbers in my presence to float up off the page and drift around my head. This one wasn't bad though and I could almost say it was energizing to make a connection between the data and what we should do about it. That's a scary thought coming from my head.

We had a trip to the county fair (3 blocks down the street so hardly a "trip") planned for Thursday but the heat index was a hundred degrees and I really didn't want to spend any time in a pig barn it that kind of heat. Jane says county fairs are hell with corn dogs. Or is it me that says that? Sometimes it's good to have a bad memory because you can take credit for clever things you didn't make up yourself.

Does anybody else think this is funny or is it just me? A JetBlue flight attendant got fed up this week and after a curse-filled announcement over the plane's PA system, grabbed a beer, engaged the emergency exit slide and slid down to a new career somewhere else. I know, I know...rules and public safety and all of that. It just seems like such a grand hissy fit.

I told Regis about my annoyance with Facebook. I enjoy reading the posts of people who post like I do...what they're making for dinner, movies they saw and liked, brief book reviews, comments on the weather. I don't like Farmville or Mafia Wars or gifts of heart. I don't like public arguments. I also get annoyed when people read it all the time (and how do I know this, you might ask?) and never post anything themselves. It seems like voyeurism. They peep on my life but never allow me to peep on theirs. And extreme self-centeredness on my part...Facebook, a world-wide social network, should function as I want it to function. Ah, well.

Good morning, friends. Get up with the sun and enjoy the day.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


There is a column by Garrison Keillor at this link. It's called A Parent's Prayer. It's a lovely story.

I read in the paper about a young man who was killed when a cement block fell off a landscaping truck and smashed through the window of a van being driven by his best friend in which he was a passenger. The driver of the landscaping truck had been ticketed some years ago for not properly securing his load of cement blocks after one dropped off his truck. Nobody was killed that time. As this story has haunted me, I wonder if there can be redemption for this person. I wonder if he was just careless...twice. I wonder if he was malicious...twice. I wonder if he will have a change of heart from carelessness or malice; now, finally. How do you live the rest of your life in peace knowing you ended the life of a young man with your deliberate behavior?

This is a link to a youtube video of Barak Obama signing the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010. The native woman who introduces him is in full native regalia and she tries to tell her story but is choked by the trauma of 16 years past. For several minutes she is unable to speak. Obama moves up beside her, speaks softly, and it appears he is touching her back gently and encouraging her to go on. They stand that way for quite a while. Eventually she tells her story. It's quite moving and worth watching.

stormy weather

We have some impending bad weather. When I came out of the Pulse at 6:30, the sky looked ominous. I've been checking the radar and it looks the storm is almost upon us so I took the garbage down to the curb. I hate storms and I especially hate them if I have to be away from home. Joanne was picking me up at 8:30 so we could have a breakfast meeting. She is as big a weather wienie as I am so we may postpone.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

later on sunday

Inception. Well, that was one odd as hell movie. I had no idea what was going on so I finally just took a nap. Regis and Joanne said they liked it but they even seemed a little confused about what was a dream and what was real. Like I said, it was like that philosophy class.

Now, Regis wants me to watch The Book of Eli with him. This is what IMDB says about it: A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind. This is almost everything I hate in one movie! Lots of brutal violence, a plot that can't really happen, dark and morbid themes, and scary guys with bad teeth who never bathe. Not much to redeem it, I'd say. After these two movies, I'm going to have to watch Sound of Music or Mary Poppins to counteract this nasty movie juju.

I tried to just work on my grocery list and write a blog post while not paying attention to this movie but there was some awful sounds and Regis made a face so I scooted out of there. Who needs that? Post-apocalypse: not my favorite movie genre.

I made quesadillas for dinner with the left over flank steak . Oh my they were delicious.

I went for a long walk this morning and found the coolest route. Not cool weather-wise because it was hotter than the hubs of hell outside...but cool in terms of the path. I went out by the River's Edge Hospital, then over to County Road 15. Along Nicollet Avenue, there are beautiful wide bike paths on both sides of the road that are asphalt. No traffic problems and no bumpy sidewalks. It was nice to notice the swallowtail butterflies, the small ginko trees along the boulevard, and the corn and beans. Everything looks so healthy with all the rain and heat we've had this summer.

Think I'll get up and do a few things before I go to bed.

august sunday

The last week was a nice one. The bugs have finally taken off so we were on the patio a lot, we had some nice evenings with friends, we did some good cooking, and we got one home improvement project done.

Yesterday, I bought a bunch of frames and spend the afternoon putting family pictures in them. Regis helped me hang them. Since there were so many and they were different sizes, we had to measure carefully and lay them out like they would be on the wall. This involved: a level, a tape measure, a big hammer, and a pen. I only mention the hammer because I used to hang pictures by pounding nails in with a wooden clog. By the end of the project, we were kind of eye-balling things and doing the best we could.

We're not so big on home improvement projects. Only if we can afford to hire someone to do it are we interested. There are too many steps for me. You can't do just one thing without layers of home improvement coming into play. If you replace the curtains, then you have to paint.

And in this project, now there are so many ink marks on the wall from picture placement that the wall needs to be painted. I did pick up some color samples at the hardware store.

We're going to see the movie Inception this afternoon. This is from Roger Ebert's review: Like the hero of that film, the viewer of "Inception" is adrift in time and experience. We can never even be quite sure what the relationship between dream time and real time is. The hero explains that you can never remember the beginning of a dream, and that dreams that seem to cover hours may only last a short time. Yes, but you don't know that when you’re dreaming. And what if you're inside another man's dream? How does your dream time synch with his? What do you really know? It sounds like the first (and only) day I spent in a philosophy class in college. Too weird for me.

I better get off my chair and do something. More later, I am sure.

Friday, August 06, 2010

the blog

One of my favorite blogs is Sweet Juniper. In his current post, he writes about being a navelgazing windbag whose blog is a performance. He writes it much better than I could (without plagiarism, that is) but his point is that writing a blog, while maybe not all that fascinating for the rest of you, is a source of endless interest to him. And to me.

I write posts in my head and some of them make it here and plenty do not. It's changed the way I see my days. I notice things I wouldn't notice if I didn't think about writing them down. Things seem more interesting when I can translate them into words. Sometimes I do things only because it will be fun to write about them.

On the spin bike this morning, I read Outside magazine. These are not the kinds of interesting things I do: climbing mountains, diving in underwater caves, hiking in the Amazon. My life is way more mundane and well, safe. My idea of things to do are more in the realm of making basil pesto or going for a walk in a tank top which I did yesterday and never have done before in my life. Fashion adventure. Ha! I should start a magazine. I could call it Inside.

Having mostly decided that I will retire next summer has started a mini-avalanche of thoughts and plans. Yesterday, I saw a retired teacher riding his bike and thought, "Next summer, that will be me". I won't be worried about going back to school. Will I be worried about NOT going back to school? It's a good thing a guy has a long time to ponder this as I can see it is a complex issue.

Regis is going to put all the related financial information on a spreadsheet so we can study it before making a final decision. We don't have piles of excess money laying around (I know, hard to believe after a career in education.) so we don't want to whack ourselves on the forehead in three months because we didn't think of THAT.

Ella and Alex came to dinner last night. They liked the new picnic table but Ella mostly liked my lap. Her mom says that in a couple years, she will have to grow out of the need for a lap but I hope not. We made plans for a girl's day next week so we can do make-up, read books, cook, and maybe walk to the pool. Alex is a hoot now and so busy exploring. Dinner was later than he is used to so he walked around with a sad face doing the sign for hungry. It was pitiful. Poor baby. Oh, the grown-ups had fun, too.

We're having friends for dinner tonight so I have some cooking to do today. Enjoy having your windows and doors open, folks. Tomorrow this ends!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

elliot visits his nana and popop

Elliot and Tiffany came to visit this afternoon. He tried out the new picnic table, had a popsicle, sat in the swing, ate a ton of blueberries, had a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner, and went home tired. We had a wonderful time. Nice way to end a weekend.

Sunday 8:30 a.m.

We were at the infamous Kato Ballroom last night but couldn't find a person (we didn't try very hard) to take a picture of the whole bunch of us so we were are minus me, the photographer. It was a beautiful wedding and it was nice to introduce myself as the minister's wife. At the rehearsal dinner the night before, nobody seemed to want to sit with us. Regis told the groom he should have told people that he's "not that kind of minister".

The Kato Ballroom is a funky place. The decor is truly just what it was in the 50's. I sat on a vinyl bench that Buddy Holly might have sat on in his second-to-last concert. Think of it.

This morning was my "long run" which has now become my long run/walk. So, when I say I ran 6.5 miles, what I mean is that I ran with walking breaks, the Jeff Galloway technique. It's what I'm going to do. For the most part, it was painless. I figure this is a good way to go for an old person like me. What the hell. I'm not out to break any land-speed records. I just want to be vertical, and alive, at the end of it.

We still have not been able to shake that piney taste. It isn't bad if you are drinking liquids, but the minute you eat food, there it is, like aspirin (or pine needles) has been mixed with the food. It's a nasty taste. I guess it can last for weeks. Lovely.

Happy Sunday, folks! I might post some pictures of our Sunday. I plan to do some cooking and some gardening. Waddle on, to quote John Bingham.