Tuesday, May 31, 2011

my last last week of the school year

Ever since I was in school myself, the last week of the school year has been crazy. No matter what your age or role, the week was busy with finals, locker cleaning, grading papers, doing grades, progress reports and the list goes on. I described it this way: You are in the movie Deep Impact and the big wave is right at your heels. That's how this week is.

So, in my whole career in education, this is my last last week of the school year. My last. I am moving on.

And even though I am not in a classroom, and have not been in a classroom for years, I feel the wave at my heels.

I spent the day making jump drives of all my accumulated knowledge for the ten people who will be doing parts of my job on top of the full-time jobs they already do. When you parcel your job out to ten people, each little part looks sort of pitiful and you feel like you have to apologize which I did.

I spent a couple hours this afternoon with some friends from school, eating, drinking, and saying good-bye and see you at the Bluesfest. It was nice. We speculated on which of us would be the first to take up making a reproduction of the Last Supper out of dryer lint. Tom insists that this is art. I am not so sure about that but quite sure it will not be me.

Two more days.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Regis and I had an interesting weekend.

He says it's like a baseball game. A baseball game of choppy little grounders.

We headed out to Faribault intent on visiting the Cheese Cave and the Java Live. We pulled up in front of the Cheese Cave...closed.

We went across the street to Java Live. Now the Coffee Shop. Bad coffee. Really bad coffee.

We found another place called El Tequilla. Uff da. ( Bad parking lot, bad signage, wierd look.) We decided to head back to Mankato to eat at a known entity...Mazatlan.

This is the mural in the women's bathroom. I love it.

This is Regis with his whatever.

This is our food and drink.

This is me with my wine. Not good wine, but wine.

We came home to sit on the patio for a while. The weather is turbulent and we're nervous.

We were on our way home on 14 and Regis starts laughing. He makes a big U-turn and goes back to this driveway. What a hoot.

Apparently it was Connie's 50th birthday and her loved ones hung all her lingerie on this line with a sign to honk. Which we did.

So, there you go. A holiday weekend coming to an end.

long weekend

Regis and I had dinner at Number 4 in Mankato last night. We meant to go to Olives and stopped by Pappageorge on the way and it was closed so we changed our plan. How adventurous of us. Both of us had looked at the menu so were pretty sure we would like it. We had a lovely booth that was quiet and private and the menu was interesting.

Regis had the Sunday night prime rib special and I had ahi tuna on asparagus spears. The food was good but the popover was burned which is an inattention to detail that means a lot. Bread is my standard. I don't eat much of it and I like it to be good. Even if it's mediocre bread, it should not come to your table burned.

I'm worried about storms today. It's supposed to get up to 86 degrees and that always feels like tornado weather especially with all the humidity. There's my weather paranoia in all its glory.

We've had a tradition of a Memorial Day road trip for a few years. We usually go out to the pioneer cemetery and walk around although today the weather may prevent that leg of the journey. We pick a direction and take off for a day of site seeing and dining. Today, we're going to Faribault and some possible destinations are the Cheese Cave, Java Live, and Me Grind, Inc. I'll take pictures of our trip and will post them here later.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

a great truth

Making a ritual of pausing frequently to appreciate and be thankful...Notice that you become a connoisseur of gratitude, the less you are the victim of resentment, depression, and despair. Gratitude will act as an elixir that will gradually dissolve the hard shell of your ego- your need to possess and control- transforming you into a generous being. The sense of gratitude produces true spiritual alchemy, makes us magnanimous- large souled.
                                 Sam Keen, "Hymns to an Unknown God"

elliot, crustless pizza, and a lovely morning

We met Tiffany at Sam's Club yesterday and took Elliot for the day so she could work. We stopped at the pet store and he was fascinated by the birds, bunnies, gerbils, guinea pigs, and snakes.

We came home to have lunch and a nap. We went for a walk in the afternoon. He held my hand and was friendly to everyone we encountered. He would shout out, "Run!" and we would run. He would shout out, "Jump!" and we would jump about ten times. He is good exercise.

I made a real pizza and a crustless pizza, both of which involved a lot of cooking and dishes. Regis said the crustless pizza was ok but would not make his top ten list. He said it needed a crust...and it did.

We've had a wonderful morning doing just what I like to do...a little breakfast, some coffee, the radio, reading and writing, and some etsy shopping for aprons. I found some great holiday aprons on sale and I have my eye on a Day of the Dead apron. It's expensive so I have found the fabric and might try to find someone to make it for me. What a hoot, eh?

This is one of my coffee cup aprons. I am establishing quite a collection of aprons.

And this is the Day of the Dead apron after which I am currently lusting. Click on the picture and it should open in another window so you can see the skeletons.

It sure looks like rain. Every time I get a notion to go to the patio to read or pull some weeds, it gets dark and threatening again. Harrumph.

I'm going to spend the afternoon studying for my new job. I did some yesterday while Elliot was asleep and wrote about it on the other blog. I get a little mixed up about what I wrote where so if you find duplicates, it's not that I'm losing my mind. Really.

This will be my last week of school, well, except for summer school. But this feels like the end. I have a lot of projects to wrap up in June, meetings to attend so I can pass on this and that, lists to make of what to do when, and so on. I also have a busy training schedule for my new career at River Rock. So, if you see a streak past your window...white hair and a colorful apron...it's me.

Happy and safe holiday weekend to all my family and friends.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

atypical start to the weekend

We decided to change up our weekend and stop for a cup of coffee instead of a glass of wine last night so we were sitting in River Rock at 4 o'clock instead of Patrick's. I'm not sure what strong coffee does for a person's head is all that much better than wine to tell the truth. I felt like sparks were coming off my hair by the time we left.

Regis felt that it just wasn't right and we should go back to our routine. Kind of like trying to hold a fork with your left hand, I think.

We have a three-day weekend stretching out in front of us. I'm trying to maintain that delicate balance of doing things and doing nothing. Today could be a busy day....Elliot is coming for the day and Tiffany will come for dinner after work. We're making pizza.

I need to buy some groceries and since our list is greatly simplified, I might try getting them all at the new coop. I'll have Regis come along to scope out the prices. We like to buy earth-friendly, fair trade, and all of that but we don't want to spend a hundred dollars for toilet paper either.

Peter came for dinner the other night and we made the best fajitas. We always use a flank steak and a spice blend we buy from Penzey's. Regis is a wonderful cook.

I packed some left-overs in my bento box for lunch yesterday. So pretty and so tasty.

I have a lot of grilled things on the menu this week but that will be derailed if we continue to get this wet and chilly weather. It's no fun to stand on the patio in a driving rain for two hamburgers. Stuffed peppers, grilled portobellos, steak, tuna. I bought some beautiful little multi-colored peppers at the coop the other day and they will be great stuffed with cheese and Andouille sausage.

I wonder if I can get a walk in this morning without getting doused. The radar looks good so I think I'll give it a try.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


We're listening to the radio and they're playing some old blues record that must have been on the Titanic...and under water all these years since it sunk. Holy crap. Doesn't that scratchy business get on anybody else's nerves?

We have these beautiful blue ray videos of a salt water/coral reef fish tank on the television. It even bubbles like a real fish tank. And no nasty cleaning! This is my kind of pet.

I'm finding it hard to keep up with holidays and celebrations. I was ill-prepared for Syttende Mai last week and now it's Bob's birthday tomorrow and I got nothin'. I am a disappointment to myself.

I have a limited number of days left in my teaching career. I called the TRA folks today to make sure they had everything they needed and they do. I should get my first check in July as opposed to October as it described as a possibility on the website. Seriously. I apply in March and it could take 6 months to get a check? Do they send it by turtle? Have they heard of direct deposit?

We watched Nowhere Boy last night. It's a biopic (new word?) about John Lennon. We enjoyed it. Mostly focused on the relationships he had with his Mum and his Aunt who raised him.

I love this poem.

The Perfect Day
by Alice Persons

You wake with
no aches
in the arms
of your beloved
to the smell of fresh coffee
you eat a giant breakfast
with no thought
of carbs
there is time to read
with a purring cat on your lap
later you walk by the ocean
with your dog
on this cut crystal day
your favorite music and the sun
fill the house
a short delicious nap
under a fleece throw
comes later
and the phone doesn’t ring
at dusk you roast a chicken,
bake bread, make an exquisite
chocolate cake
for some friends
you’ve been missing
someone brings you an 
unexpected present
and the wine is just right with the food
after a wonderful party
you sink into sleep
in a clean nightgown
in fresh sheets
your sweetheart doesn’t snore
and in your dreams 
an old piece of sadness
lifts away

From Never Say Never (Moon Pie Press).

Especially the part about the old piece of sadness that lifts away. I've learned, as I've gotten older, that 
life is like that. Every day is new joy or new sadness. They fall out of the sky and they lift back up and 
you just keep going even though some days are hard. You just have to know that some days will be hard
and the next day could be a perfect one like this.

Happy birthday to Bob Dylan today.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

sunday in pictures

 Tuesday is Bob Dylan's birthday. He'll be 70 years old.

I think I'll make it Bob Dylan Week and listen to his music all the time.

I got up at 5, and wrote on my other blog, then went back to bed at 6 for another hour.

Regis got up and made coffee. We bought this at Trader Joe's and we like it...strong and rich.

Bev and Linda gave me this beautiful verbena for a retirement gift. It's gorgeous and not too hard to keep alive, I hope.

These are all my herbs and flowers on the patio. They're all clumped together because I didn't decide yet where to put them. The ones in the back right corner are a beautiful orange color and Fred says they will bloom until October.

This is the fern-leaf peony Mom gave me about ten years ago. I know why they're so expensive...it takes forever for them to grow to any size. This one was the same for years. It came up and sat there all summer but never bloomed. The year Ella was two (3 years ago) it had one flower, last year one more, and now it has three.

Elliot was here yesterday. He's very good but like all small boys, you have to keep an eye on him all the time because he finds the tallest thing in the room and tries to climb it. The getting-up is not the dangerous part, it's the getting-down.

We were going to buy groceries this morning but after constructing my menu for the week, turns out we don't need to do that. Maybe a few things at the coop but no big list. Whew.

My plan for the day includes going through the paper piled in my office and getting a load ready for the thrift store folks who are coming on Thursday. It looks like it will be wet outside so I won't be tempted to lounge on the patio.

This is my new bento box. I bought it with a Mother's Day gift card, along with a cookbook called The Just Bento Cookbook. It's 5.5 X 5.5 X 3 so it isn't very big. I like the idea of tiny foods full of flavor packed in there. I wrote more about it on the coffee blog because I have an idea percolating.

Moving on into the day.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday and the Rapture

I just looked at my weekly spam digest. Here’s what I have:

  • An offer for Louis Vuitton replica purses and watches
  • Several offers for Viagra and other prescription medications
  • Some offer for a product to help me grow two inches in two weeks…

I’m not sure I want to be 5’9”.

Really, folks. Where do these things come from anyway? The only thing weirder than the email is the idea that someone, a real person presumably, is sitting in front of a computer writing it. Writing it with their human hands just as I am writing this. The world is an interesting place which leads to my philosophy that when you buy a
ticket to the circus you should not be surprised by the clowns.

I started the day at the Pulse. All the heavy hitters are on their way to Fargo for the marathon so it was very quiet. I can only say that I am very glad I am not on my way to Fargo to run 13 miles. I’m not a fan of long car rides, I don’t like to run in the rain, and I don’t like to run 13 miles. All good reasons to pass on this event, wouldn’t you say?

My next stop was River Rock Coffee, a place with wood floors, soft lamp lighting, and great coffee. Joanne and I sat at a window table and watched the day begin. I had a nice dark roast Brazilian coffee and we split a scone.

Here’s a good one for you. http://eternal-earthbound-pets.com/ Apparently, after the Rapture, they (a group of nice Atheists) will go to your house, get your pet, and care for it...as long as the Rapture or your dog last, I guess. This little service is provided to the tune of 120 dollars for the first pet and 20 for each additional pet. The price has gone up with the news of the impending Rapture, for which we would throw a party if the weather were not so inclement.

Regis and I figure after the Rapture, we’ll just move into our neighbor’s house. They have a hot tub, a gazebo, and two nice cars. We can keep our house for a guest home.

We had an interesting Friday night. Ran into lots of fun folks we hadn't seen for years. Had a good meal. Slept all night. Good way to move on into the weekend.

Friday, May 20, 2011

coffee cups

I have a coffee cup wardrobe. Regis says it's a coffee cup collection but since I choose the cup I want to drink from depending on mood, time of day, and beverage...I think wardrobe fits.

This is one of Grandma Elsie's fancy teacups. I have it at work for the times I want something delicate for my coffee. I am not a tea drinker. I like the idea of tea but I am not, or maybe I have not, been fond of tea.

This aubergine cup is big and heavy and just right for a meeting-size cup of coffee. I use this one sometimes when I have protein mixed into my coffee. Or is I need to warm my hands.

This is a little Dansk coffee cup that I got on sale at Swedish Kontur. I love the dishes there but they are a little expensive for me so I watch for them on the sale table. This set cost five dollars. I love the size of it and it's my most-often used cup at work.

This is a little coffee cupboard I found at Pier One years ago. I love it and it's where my coffee cups rest at work. This is a Halloween coffee cup as I am also fond of holiday coffee cups. I have quite a few for Halloween and get them out about the first of October and use them all month.

This is my travel mug. I talked about it once to Regis...the old-fashioned travel mug with the no-spill top and the sticky bottom so it would sit on the dash. From the days before cars had multiple cup holders and there were all those nasty plastic and metal travel mugs. He found this for me on eBay. I don't usually travel with coffee in a mug, but if I need to, this is what I use.

This is another tiny Dansk cup. I bet it holds a half cup of coffee. It's for after lunch when I just want a small cup as a dessert. You don't chug coffee from this thing. You are mindful of your coffee in a cup this size.

Regis gave me this set one year for Christmas. It came from Swedish Kontur, too, although I bet he didn't wait for it to go on sale! It came with a beautiful cereal bowl. I love the colors...deep blue, turquoise, and red. I didn't get a very good picture of the owls on it so here's a link if you want to see more.

This was one of my favorites over the winter. It's handmade and I bought it at Charme la Vie here in town. It's only about three inches across the top but it's deep. It's a great hand warmer! I would drop it into my lunch bag or purse and take it to work or to meetings with me.

Joanne gave me this one. I like the attached spoon and use this when I add things to my coffee like dark chocolate or cream. It's a nice size cup for weekend mornings.

So, there's the coffee cup wardrobe. Or at least some of it.

At our last party, I told a friend of mine to pick out the wine glass she wanted. She responded with this: It doesn't matter. Oh, yes it does, I said. And so she picked one.

It's 4:20 on Friday morning. It's been a long week for many reasons. 

We left Tuesday after school for Rochester as I had my annual check-up with the nutrition specialist on Wednesday. We had a quiet dinner at Michael's and went to bed early. We aren't much for late nights usually.

Thursday, I had to get up early (not a problem) and go to have my blood drawn. Regis and I went to Caribou where we had trouble finding the coffee menu. Does that tell you something?

I love the Mayo area...always so busy and interesting. After the blood thing, I got a little breakfast to go at the clinic cafeteria when I was done. 12 hours of fasting is not for me.

We visited our new favorite grocery store, Trader Joe's, and TJ Maxx. Had lunch at Zzest. Were on the drive home by 2:00. It was a good day.

So, here we go into the weekend. No plans. Nice.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

sunday in pictures

Regis took this picture of a rose-breasted grosbeak in our apple tree yesterday. Isn't he beautiful?

This is Fred. He spent the winter in the garage and is glad to be out in the sunshine again.

 The goldfinches have been crazy lately. Sometimes there are as many as 15 on the feeders and the ground. Are the males the ones to feed the babies? We see way more males than females.

The woodpeckers love the peanut balls!

Another goldfinch on the redbud tree. The flowers come out before the leaves.

I bought three flats of flowers and herbs today. I am very random about flower planting as I never have a plan and even if I think of what I might buy, I'm too vulnerable to the splash of color or the scent of lavender to remain firm. I came home with lots of herbs and lots of coleus. I love the dark, rich colors. Fred says that's more fun and he's probably right.

Regis and I cleaned up the patio and yard today. I picked up sticks for a long time and looked the garden over. the pots are ready to plant but Karl said wait a few more days. Tonight might be 35 and that's hard on new plants.

We're cooking steaks on the grill for dinner. The rub smells wonderful. Also made a big salad with baby spinach, greens, red onions, and blue cheese.

It's going to be a busy week. I have to attend a Board meeting tomorrow night (after a meeting-packed day), Tuesday we leave for Rochester, and Wednesday I have my annual appointment. They do blood work at the crack of dawn and then I wait until late afternoon to see the doctor. In between, we'll hit TJ Maxx and Trader Joe's. Fun day.

I got the whole shebang of the party mess cleaned up so unlike me. I usually let that stuff sit around for days and sometimes for weeks. I am a waddlesome sloth at heart.

We're having an enjoyable end to the weekend. Steak and salmon on the grill, Buddy and Julie Miller on the CD player, bright sun coming in the west windows, and a glass of wine. And a bouquet of these beautiful gerbera daisies on the table.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Regis graduates

The pictures are in the wrong order...but you get the idea. Some of you are probably sick of getting the idea because this is the third time you've seen these! I have an album on Picassa, I posted them here on the blog, and they're on Facebook. Ha! It was a great event and so nice that all the kids made the effort to attend and recognize Regis.

Friday, May 13, 2011

what a week

It’s been quite a week. I wasn’t going to write about some of it but it seems I’m stuck. My life is an open book and you can’t skip chapters.

On Wednesday, my district held its annual Staff Recognition event. I usually go because as I’ve gotten older, I appreciate the importance of marking milestones, my own and everyone else’s milestones. I get weepy quite often so I was concerned that I would collapse in a pile of tears when it was my turn to give the retirement speech.

I started working on it in January because that’s how I roll. I write, I revise, I ponder, I revise. It had to feel right. The speech went through many transformations over the months. Even Wednesday as I practiced it in my office, I made changes. I wanted the tone to be just right.

Here it is.

I have to tell you I’m not very good at ad libbing so even the parts of this that seem spontaneous, are not. Like this one.

Thank you, Joanne for saying all those nice things about me.

See, I have it written down right here!

I read once that the aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball.

In the last year, I did a lot of things that I hadn’t ever done before…or at least for a long time. I made snow angels, I danced to a reggae band, I ran in a half-marathon, I bought a long curly red wig and wore it out for dinner one night. Not in St. Peter.

One bitterly cold morning this spring, I ran in a 5K race. I came in first in my age group which is quite a feat.

Being the only person in my age group, 50-59, did not diminish the significance of my accomplishment as I am a person who spent most of her life as what Bill Bryson calls a waddlesome sloth.

I think this proves a couple of things…one, that you are never too old to learn something new and two…that you do not have to become faster; you only have to become older.

In December, I bought a book called How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, described as a book of retirement wisdom you won’t get from a financial advisor.

Regis and I have never been very good at financial planning but that won’t keep us from having a good time as we grow older. We are really good at fun and it’s our philosophy that fun should receive more consideration by all of us than it typically gets when we’re making career and life decisions.

I had a paragraph in here about all my jobs over the years but I deleted it at the last minute. It made my speech sound like a bad obituary.

Let me just say that all of these positions have been full of challenges and rewards. I have much in my career, as in my life, for which to be thankful.

So, there you go. As my dad said, it’s been a good run but now I’m off to do other things. Thank you and good-bye.

You can watch it here. Love that technology.

And of course, I cried.

What you don’t see in this clip is Alex, our two-year old grandson who had happy feet. He danced like a madman right in front of the podium during the first part of my speech. It was a hoot. I wish I had pointed at him and said, “I feel like doing that!”

Toward the end, Dr. Olson gave the first ever Distinguished Service Award. I was on the committee that came up with this idea and at every meeting he would ask Nancy if there had been any nominations. She always responded, “We can’t talk about that here.” I just assumed I didn’t have the right security clearance to know. Ha!

As he started talking about the person who would get this award, I heard coordinator. Well, that’s me, I thought. I have had the title of coordinator for lots of different things. So, I got that lovely award. When I went up to accept it, people stood up and clapped. I got a standing ovation! I was overcome and only said I was touched and honored.

We gathered up a few friends and went to the bar to celebrate. There was much laughter. My friend, Gayle, told someone I had received the Extinguished Service Award. I love that!

When we got home, we sat on the patio and enjoyed the lovely evening. This is Regis with my award. He said he would walk in front of me shouting, “All rise!” Nice, I said, but not necessary. Ha! He knows I like attention.

Yesterday, I went to Ella’s graduation from Discovery Days pre-school. The caps are made from paper bowls, construction paper, and have a yarn tassel. So cute!

Today, we are attending Regis’ graduation from South Central College. He was an honor student and I am so proud of him. He was worried that, being an old coot, that he wouldn’t have the brain power to do college. I guess he was wrong.

Some of our off-spring are attending the ceremony and, the part Regis doesn’t know, a celebratory dinner after graduation. We have much for which to be thankful.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

accumulating junk

It seems to be a constant battle to keep the piles of junk cleared away in my life. It's the same in my office as it is at home so I really can't blame anyone else. I am too inclined to bring stuff in and set it down. Right now, where I am sitting, there are three piles within arm's reach: a pile of River Rock stuff, a pile of Mother's Day cards and TRA stuff, a pile of coupons and graduation stuff. None of it can be thrown away and I guess most of it could be stowed somewhere else but I'm not sure where. I know, or hope, that this is a universal problem.

I see in the weather forecast that it's to be in the high 70s today and the high, get this, 80s tomorrow. So, we shut the furnace off today and turn the AC on tomorrow. What the hell. Of course, with this rapidly rising temps comes the threat of severe weather which I loathe. It's not so bad if I'm at home and the basement is easily accessible but I hate being out and about with black clouds looming.

We saw a brown thrasher in the back yard yesterday. All the years we have lived here, we haven't seen one even though they frequent dense shrubs and that's what our neighbor has on our back fence.

Regis took the picture through the screen so it's a little distorted. He's about the size of a robin. It's been great bird watching weather at the wildlife reserve here on our street.

Tomorrow is the staff recognition event at school. It's a lovely thing and so touching every year to see people I have worked with retire. Tomorrow it will be me. I weep all the time at these things and I am afraid that I will be a blubbering mess when I have to get up to receive my bell. I'm hoping to practice enough that I won't but there are no guarantees. It could happen. I am a frequent weeper and this could be trouble.

Regis graduates from South Central on Friday. Yesterday, he brought home his gown, his honor's medal, and his cap with the tassel. I was reading the directions for where to march and where to stand and how to move the tassel and, you guessed it, I started to cry. This could be a tough week.

I'm really not too interested in working today and would much rather sit here clicking away on the keyboard and drinking coffee. Really.

I just learned that the new/used/donated shelves of books at River Rock will be my domain. I can decide if we lend books (probably not), give away used books, sell used books, or sell new books. Or some combination of all of those. This just gets better and better. Books and coffee and good food. They will pay me to hang around this place and I can hardly believe it.

Several years ago, I read an article in the Tribune about a woman who started a book and coffee shop after retirement. It talked about the plants, the cat sleeping in the window, the friendly customers, and the smell of books and coffee. I was so moved, I sent her an email and told her how much I envied her job. And look, here I am about to enter into this amazing venture.

Monday, May 09, 2011

moron day on the highway

So, I'm driving down Jefferson Avenue after school and some dude in a ratty-ass car pulls out in front of me without even slowing down at the stop sign. When he gets to the next intersection, he sees somebody he apparently knows because he hangs out the window waving and then makes a big old U-turn right in the middle of the street. I am driving down Washington Avenue veeerrry carefully because it is clearly Moron Day on the Highway when here comes this old guy driving in the parking lane like it's four-lane highway. He goes for about 8 blocks like this...through the Washington Grace intersection and right on down to Broadway.This is a city street, dude! I felt lucky to get home without incident.

I spent a brief period of time in productivity after I got home of which I am quite proud since my first inclination was a nap. I swept the kitchen floor, picked up all the coffee cups, hung up my clothes, and put away the random stuff that gets strewn about by the folks who come into our house when we're not here. Damn them.

I write a lot of good stuff in my head during the day but it never gets to cyber-paper because, well, frankly, I forget. I guess if I just sat in front of my computer waiting for the Muse, I would never have any of these interesting experiences...as you read about in the first two paragraphs.

Our yard needs to be mowed and the sticks need to picked up AGAIN. It's as bad as dirty dishes and laundry. Maybe I'll call that kid who raked for us. He could use the work.

I woke up at 3 a.m. this morning and I'm getting a little light-headed because of it. I might be back later.

thunder and lightning

I was at the Pulse this morning when the downpour started, then the hail started. All of this with spectacular lightning. It was a glorious morning.

I had a wonderful Mother's Day. I heard from, or saw, all the children and grandchildren. I received some beautiful cards with very sweet messages. Regis took me out for dinner and I had prawns and salmon and a caprese salad. We came home to sit on the patio in the sun.

It was a good bird weekend, too. These are the birds I saw: Baltimore oriole, cardinal, rose-breasted grosbeak, gold finches and house fiches by the score, downy woodpeckers, and of course, robins.

I listened to The Moth podcasts while I walked this weekend. Some of them are so powerful, I weep. I heard one the other day, It was the Best of Times, from an episode called When Worlds Collide. It's an amazing story.

There are a lot of superlatives in this post. I must have had a good weekend.

As they say on The Moth, make it a story-worthy week.

Sunday, May 08, 2011


Regis and I went on a small adventure yesterday. We went to the Cedar's Grille about 5 and had a cheese plate and a glass of wine on our way to the Bothy. On a whim, we stopped at Pappageorge to see the Kentucky Derby crowd. Oh, my, it was raucous in there. There were a couple of ladies at the bar in great hats.

Dean McGraw performed at the Bothy last night and he is one of our favorites. He talked a lot about his recent cancer and the treatment and how his friends from all over the country cared for him. He's a sweet man. His music is amazing and moving. He had us singing in the end, I'm a Believer and Like a Rolling Stone, which always leaves me feeling like my soul has been washed and hung out to dry in the warm sun. It was a wonderful evening.

I'm not sure I have told this story here before (if I did, it was years ago and I've forgotten) but do you see that tan suitcase under the speaker? My Grandma Elsie gave that to me for a high school graduation present. I had it for 30 years, then donated it to the regional treatment center thrift shop. One night at the Bothy, I looked at it and knew it was mine. I asked Bill where he got it and he said...you know the rest. I checked out the tags and I was certain. How weird is that?

I have a loose plan for the day. If it were warmer, I would be in the garden but it's not so I won't. I don't believe in torturing myself by going out too early in the cold and wet. Gardening should be enjoyable so I'll wait. Yesterday was beautiful but I felt like just sitting which is what I did. You are probably starting to see my dilemma.

Regis is taking me out for dinner later this afternoon. In one of the books I was reading on the patio yesterday, the author asked why people feel it's necessary to go other places when there is so much to discover and do right here. It's how we feel. We meet interesting people and enjoy wonderful food and music. Why go anywhere else?

In the meantime, I'll gather up the laundry, do the dishes, make an omelet, and putter around in my stuff. We're having a party to celebrate the graduation of the Patriarch next Saturday. Come on over for some nibbles and noshing on the patio.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

announcing: a new blog!

I'm not abandoning this blog, I have decided to start a new blog to document and archive all my learning for the coffee and bistro business. The name of it is Seed of the Coffee Tree and you can find it here.

I have two posts there already so check it out. I'm planning to have lots of links and lists so it will be a way to access that information from anywhere.

I had a lovely day. I spent the afternoon on the patio under a big sun hat in my coffee apron. Here I am.

And here is my pile of books.

I have been on the patio a lot this weekend. Here I am last night. Too bad I'm not working instead of sitting. The neighbors are working like little ants and here I sit.

Regis made me a steak and cheese omelet for breakfast. It was beautiful and delicious. I love the little square plates with the turned up corners.

Alex came over for a short visit today. He is usually reluctant to be here alone but today, we promised a juice box and fruit snacks. He was happy to sit and watch the birds until his daddy came back.

Making a new blog is interesting. So many things I have forgotten how to do and so many things have been added to the gadgets. It's fun.