Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Here is what Regis said about this mess:  Lake Augustus in the back yard. The damned dog, Gus, for which the lake is named, is to blame for this quagmire. How one dog could destroy that much grass in six short months is a marvel. If Gus would just go to the bathroom on the neighbor's lawn like our old mutts all would be well.

And this is our dinner. Two recipes from Alton Brown....pan seared sea scallops and a spinach salad with warm bacon dressing. Regis took this wonderful photo. I asked him to study up on food photography and I'm sure that's what he's doing right this minute.

I think I got the searing down but it sure fills the house with smokey fumes. Both doors are open and I'm sure the town cats are headed our way.

I'm tempted to just go to bed even though it's only 6:30. The weather is wretchedly depressing and tomorrow might be worse. Why do I dwell on it?

I walked home from work today, thinking that the sidewalks were bare of slush because they were downtown where of course, merchants were shoveling the slush to the curb. Once I got into the residential area, the sidewalks were a mess. I walked in the street for a while until a car went by and sent a plume of snirt (snow + dirt) into my path. I should have sat down on a step and called someone to come and get me.

Monday, February 27, 2012

a year in food pictures

We like to take pictures of the food we cook so Regis suggested that we do a year in food pictures. We figure it will be good motivation to learn something about food photography and good motivation to prepare interesting food because who wants to look at pictures of Campbell's chicken and stars soup every day, right?

Last night, we had flank steak seasoned with Penzey's Northwoods Fire and then broiled. It's much better on the grill but in February, what can you do about that? I love the flavor as you can tell by the finger-licking. We serve it with lots of grilled red peppers and onions, some shredded cheese, and a nice chipotle salsa.

We have these left-overs around for several days but I don't mind. We always run out of the peppers and onions before the meat.

Tonight I made mushrooms stuffed with Prairie Pride chorizo sausage and provolone. I added some minced onion, minced garlic, and the mushroom stems minced to the sausage mix. Cooked them under the broiler. I asked Regis to give them a score on a scale of 1-10 and he said 7. I think if I made them again, I'd put some hot peppers, maybe jalapenos, in there.

I have been strangely attracted to books about Russia this winter. It must be a subliminal message I'm getting through the internet. Regis had an ad on his Facebook page the other day that said this: Click here to see your Russian bride. It's taken me about 600 pages to find out that Catherine does indeed become the empress even though the book is called The Winter Palace: Catherine the Great. The journey has not been all that fascinating as those people in the 1700's lived pretty down and dirty lives. Even in the palace.

Regis went off to do some computer fixing tonight so Gus and I are solo. He did some crate practice and some sit/stay practice. Now, I'm going to read about the Russians and see if this tale of misery will ever end.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

spam...on notice

I get spam comments almost every day now. Usually they are trying to sell me counterfeit cialis or oxycontin. I am asking them to cease and desist or I will surely go on a rant and then they'll be sorry. I don't want to buy drugs from some weird off-shore factory website. I don't want cialis. I don't want oxycontin and I don't want my penis to grow four inches. Who sits in front of a computer and composes this crap? Get a life and a real job.

Regis laughed when I asked him about it. He said computers generate that kind of spam. A pox on the computers that do this. And a pox on the person who invented it. I might just shut off the comments for a while to show them who's boss.

Regis and I are making our favorite dinner: flank steak and grilled peppers and onions. So pretty and so delicious. Steak is seasoned, peppers and onions are sliced and ready.

I must be cranky today. The spam thing irritated me, then I got my hair up over something stupid on Facebook. I try very hard not to be disrespectful of the stupid ideas that people have about religion, sexual orientation, politics, television (FOX), movies, and books but sometimes I can't help myself and I have to unsubscribe. My right, right?

We had a spell of sunshine this morning then clouds and wind. Lovely. My least favorite weather events.

I checked my archives today and I only published 11 blog posts this month, almost an all-time low. I'll have to ponder that and see what the cause is.

Thursday night my vignette writing group is going to meet here for wine and appetizers. Should be fun. They want to see the possibilities for starting a blog.

On to cooking, the red carpet, and Sunday psychosis.

happy birthday happy sunday

We celebrated Elliot's birthday yesterday afternoon in Eagle Lake. His other grandma and grandpa (Brenda and Steve) hosted the party and it was a fun event. Check out the photos in the slideshow. There are a ton of them because Regis was camera happy and I am too lazy to sort them. His grandma and grandma from Rochester (Nancy and Larry) came, too. Lucky boy to have three grandmas and three grandpas at his birthday party!

One of the other grandmas commented that it's too bad he has to have so many. I don't think she meant to say that it's bad all of us are living (boo) but that it's too bad divorce and remarriage leads to lots of relatives. My thought on that is that life is what it is. Better to have a lot of grandmas that none.

I was listening to On Being on my iPod while Gus and I walked this morning. He talked about the Dalai Lama and how he's been living in exile for fifty years and has endured some true hardship, yet he is always laughing. Life is too short not to laugh.

Gus and I got down south of Econofoods and all of a sudden the wind whipped up and I thought that's enough of that and we turned north to head home. Gus doesn't like wind either and gets skittish when leaves blow across our path which they do often in this snowless winter.

I had my list of things to do this week written on a sticky note. I don't like to-do lists anymore but I will compromise and make a sticky note. Not a big sticky note, either. A very small one.

I just ran across this is my downloads file. I love my download file because it's like an archive of weird shit I've posted. I don't remember if I posted this before but I thought it was hilarious.

The point is that I only got about one of those things done. I revised our birthday party invitation and ordered them. We met with Brian at Patrick's last week about where to sit and how many and what kind of food and so forth. It was a bit of a struggle but we're ready now. They'll be going out in the mail as soon as they arrive and I can get them addressed.

Here's another old favorite out of the download file. It has nothing to do with anything but it's funny.

Gus is doing quite well on his IEP. We're up to ten minutes and he lies down on his own and looks relaxed. We don't even have to push him from the rear to get him to go in anymore. He was invited to the party yesterday and behaved quite well except for the time the kids let him in the back door and he landed on Grandpa Larry's lap and up-ended his plate of food all over the floor. Ah, well. The kids loved him, even the baby.

This is my favorite dog picture of the evening. Audie (named after Audie Murphy) is a cairn terrier and he's standing on a cooler on the deck. Gus, half a horse, is just looking in the window. They were banished to the outdoors for a while during the party but you can tell they both yearned to come in and join the fun.

Steve and Brenda told some hilarious stories about things Audie has eaten and destroyed. He chewed his way into a Rubbermaid container full of bird seed and consumed half of it resulting in some interesting poop for a few days. He ate the head off a trophy fish mounting. He ate the head. Imagine that. He was locked in a bedroom at a cabin where they were staying once and he jumped 18 inches off a bed and ate a set of mini-blinds. I laughed out loud. Funny as long as it isn't your dog, I guess.

I thought Audie Murphy wrote Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer but Steve said no, that was Gene Autrey. I never was good with details.

Going to take my Sunday afternoon nap. I'm not much a napper anymore but I keep trying.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

saturday and all of that

I see I haven't written a post since Tuesday. I wonder what I have been doing.

This is a great story. We have a customer, Danny, who owns the Road Haus in Henderson. He's a quiet sort of guy who drinks shots of espresso. I noticed him because people who drink their espresso by the shot instead of at the bottom of a sugary drink are not that common. We finally struck up a conversation and now we visit from time to time when he comes in, which is often.

One afternoon, he came back to my office and asked if I had a minute to meet someone. He had a fellow named Jeff who is the Chamber of Commerce president in Henderson. He laughed when he said that because he said, it's a small job. Henderson is a tiny town.

We had a nice visit about marketing, for which I am responsible but about which I know little.

He told me I should check into a recording studio going into the Carnegie building in St. Peter. Danny said when his wife worked for Nye's in Minneapolis, they did a lot of catering business with recording studios who had clients in making records at all hours of the night.

I tried to find these people on the internet but wasn't successful so last week when it came out in the Free Press, I called and left a message offering to bring samples of some of our baked goods down to their studio.

When I didn't hear back, I sent a post card with the same offer.

Thursday, I'm lounging around the pool (bath tub) drinking coffee when the phone rings. They are having a meeting on Friday morning at 9 a.m... and could I come with some samples?

I get right on the phone to talk to the kitchen staff. They're on it and will have things ready for me at 8:30.

I show up and get the grand tour (beautiful and fascinating), meet about ten people (eclectic crowd), and get a chance to talk about our food and coffee. Success, right?

I spend a couple hours in the morning, trotting around town to visit with people about the possibilities of renting space for meetings where we could cater coffee and food. This is turning out to be a very stimulating day brain-wise.

I go home about 1:00 and the phone rings. One of the folks at the meeting earlier had been showing our menu around and did we deliver to Mankato. Not ordinarily, I say with a laugh, but I'm on my way over there (to look at that fur coat I had been dreaming about...the one that was too small but cheap) so I would be happy to deliver their lunches.

Another call to the kitchen. They get things packaged up and I head to Mankato. I issue a disclaimer that sometimes the food gets a little off temperature when it travels but I hope it's satisfactory and I would like to know what they think.

I stop to have a glass of wine and clear my head on my way home. I visit with a few more people.

I'm walking home down 3rd Street and my phone rings two more times. One to say the food was 5+++ and another to talk about the possibilities of catering when bands are in the studio recording. So much for clearing my head.

It's cold and windy and I just want to go home but I keep talking and walking and thinking about this great circle that's happened because of one chance encounter.

I'm going to Eagle Lake this afternoon to celebrate Elliot's third birthday. Better get busy wrapping presents and making potatoes.

So, that's what I have been doing.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

time for Tom and Betty to come home

I don't think they can celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Texas like we can at Patrick's in St. Peter. You better come home soon. Your seat on Geezer's Row is getting usurped by some young punk with tattoos and a backwards baseball cap, Tom. You might have to fight him for it. I've been wearing a red hat around town and stirring up some trouble so when you get back, we can take care of all of it. I miss you both. The weather here is wretched. It's been like March for months...drippy, marginally cold, gray. That's what bars are for, right?

We put the word out that we were looking for a dog sitter, then we decided to take matters into our own hands. We wrote an IEP for Gus. That's an individualized educational plan. We had a team meeting and Regis contributed what he knows about dog psychology from his dog obedience classes and I contributed what I know of special education. We came up with a good plan. Here is part of it.

Knowing that we are both kind of lazy and forgetful, we wrote a check list so we would remember the practice and the reinforcement. Here is the checklist. You can see that, so far, Gus is doing quite well and so are we.

Part of what I am doing currently for my job at River Rock is gathering stories. Monday, I am meeting with one of our farmer partners and knowing how I am, I will get busy talking, forget to take notes, and come back with no clue. I wanted a recording device. I asked Regis, the king of gadgets. This is what he hauls out of the catacombs. A twenty year old tape recorder. I said I would be risking ridicule to use that in public and couldn't he come up with something a tiny bit more modern?

Of course, when I got home from work, Regis had discovered an app for my phone that would record, save, email, and play an audio recording. Amazing.

We're debating about keeping our cell phone plans at the end of May. We pay a lot of money for stupid smart phones. Smart phones what the hell. Who invented smart phones? Most of our devices do all the stuff the smart phone will do except make calls. Can't I just buy something that will make phone calls? I like to tell my kids that when I was young we had one phone and it was attached to the kitchen wall by a cord that was 24 inches long. My dad would walk through the kitchen every thirty seconds and growl, "Get off the phone!"

I shudder to think what his view would be of iPads, cell phones, text messaging, and watching movies in the car. I think he would say, "Look out the window at the cows, goddammit!"

Regis and I watched two movies yesterday: Rum Diary and The Descendants with George Clooney. The Descendants was a wonderful movie...funny and poignant and an interesting story with great characters. Rum Diary was...Hunter Thompson. Debauchery. Drunkenness. Drugs. You have to find that interesting or you won't like this movie.

We're watching Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin' Altar Boys on youtube. They're coming for our party in June, you know. Gotta go.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


The weekends always come to a screeching halt. Here I am on Saturday coming out of the thrift store in Mankato. I never used to like thrift stores or consignment shops because I thought they smelled funny. Now, I  have gotten over the funky smell and I just like getting cool stuff for not much money.

This photo was taken from the car where Gus and Regis wait for me while I shop. They don't seem to mind.

We celebrated Alex's 3rd birthday this afternoon. It was fun even though I was injured. More about that later. Here is the evidence that a good time was had by all.

Ella lost three teeth in the last week. It hardly seems possible that she is old enough to lose teeth already.

So, my injury. Last night, I tripped on a shoe and went over to the left where I whacked my left hip pretty good & my left hand as I tried to catch myself, but the real damage is that I wrenched my back on the right side in the process and now I'm experiencing muscle spasms as a result. I spent most of the day horizontal with short periods of verticalness. I am feeling better tonight but not too much better. If I move around too much I feel the overwhelming need to be horizontal again.

We're looking for a reliable and responsible sitter for Gus. He is neurotic when we crate him. Today, he chewed up a bag of dog treats, broke the plastic tray in his crate, sprayed dog spit in every direction, and was a general train wreck when we got home. Once in a while we like to leave the house together without worrying that he will create chaos and mayhem. We would pay well and we usually aren't gone more than three hours.

Here comes Monday.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

weekend in pictures and hair

Gus got a hair cut about a week ago. His hair grows fast and gets kind of unmanageable so he goes to the beauty shop once a month, same as I do. He's looking whiter and curlier all the time.

I got a hair cut about a week ago, too. It was supposed to be a hip, asymmetrical look but I didn't know how to style it so I was frustrated for several days, spent the weekend in wigs and hats, and finally asked Regis to cut it. Thank goodness, he refused, but he did offer to set me up with his barber in town. I didn't have the gumption to go back to my stylist, which is what I should have done.

So, I go into this distinctly man-land barber shop. I mean this place is (on purpose) an old school barber shop with the row of red chairs, a striped pole, two old-fashioned chairs, and a barber who looks like the reincarnation of Elvis.

I didn't know the protocol of this kind of shop and ended up with the wrong guy and I got very nervous when he came at me with a clipper going full bore.

My hair is very short but my philosophy about that is that it's just hair and it will grow back. Besides, I have a few wigs and a lot of hats. It's something I can live with, don't get me wrong.

I tell you what, though, that was flat-out the best entertainment I ever got for 16 bucks. Those two were a damn hoot. I was the only one in there for most of the time so they were putting on the whole show for me. What a kick.

They had an animated discussion about a fur coat that Nate bought at a consignment shop in Makato. Don insisted that it was a woman's coat and suggested putting a zipper in it to make it look more manly. Nate said he didn't care, that was not the point, and a zipper would be all wrong. I said I thought Nate, with his rolled up jeans and black pompadour, could pull off that look if anyone could.

So, I went to the consignment shop yesterday to look for a fur coat. I found a gorgeous one for not too much money that I would be the proud owner of today if it had fit me better. It was a little tight across the shoulders and a tiny bit short in the arms. Oh, my. It was gorgeous. I had to leave it there but I will see that coat in my dreams.

I did buy a cool red hat, a black beret, and a long black skirt. I love consignment and thrift store shopping. Get a whole new look and spend twenty bucks.

We're doing a road trip today to buy birthday presents for the little boys who will be three this month. Here they are three years ago:


I've been writing a few vignettes for my class but for the most part, I just want to write and not worry about showing versus telling and other such things. I've enjoyed going back through my old writing folders and recapturing things such as this.

Bertrand Russel Fritsch, AKA Houdini; or Out-Witted by a Jack Russell Terrier

Don't be fooled by that innocent look. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that Bert, in his dotage, has caused us plenty of anguish. He has some health issues; some of his medication gives him a powerful thirst and some of his medication gives him the need to pee at inappropriate times and in inappropriate places. (Remember the Christmas tree skirt story?) We thought we had the problem solved. We went to Pet Expo and bought a portable pet fence that is three feet high and can be stretched to about ten feet long. When we leave the house, we run it between the living room and kitchen and we shut the other doors so he's contained. We bought puppy training pads and he learned to pee on those. On our way back from Mankato today we were saying how nice it is to have found a solution to this problem and it's so good to not be mad at Bert all the time for peeing and how the dogs seem to have adjusted just fine. We pull in the drive-way and.....STOP....there he is looking out the living room window at us. I swear he had a smirk on his face. We are astounded. What in the hell happened? The gate is still in place. We didn't leave anything in the way that he could jump on. The only possibility is that Bert, in his decrepitude, completed a three-foot vertical leap from the slippery kitchen linoleum, levitated forward, and landed on the living room carpet. He's not likely to make this leap back into the kitchen when he feels the need to pee so that means we're back to square one. Regis is going to put a row of razor wire like they have at prisons on the top of the pet fence because I know, if we went back and bought the four-foot fence (another hundred dollars) Bert would have a heart attack and die, leaving us with 150 dollar’s worth of worthless pet fence. Damn that dog.

Not exactly my magnum opus, but funny. Right?

We are moving on into the day. Make it a good weekend. We'll post photos later.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

food and writing

I've been reading lots of food books lately: A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg, Comfort Me with Apples by Ruth Reichl, & The Art of Eating by M.F.K. Fisher. And this lovely piece from the NYT: Sips of Home, Bites of Memory. There is real comfort in reading about food during the dark days of winter.

I've had conversations with friends about my focus on food and whether or not it's healthy to spend so much time thinking about food, reading about food, looking for recipes, cooking. I think it's very healthy and I think it makes food more important, maybe sacred is the right word, than it was for me in the past.

I had a thought as I was lounging around this morning. My job has changed a lot since I started. In the beginning, food and coffee were reduced to numbers on a calendar and bank deposits and payroll. Now that I am focusing on promotion, the joy of food is coming back. I didn't want to think about food much less read about it for a while. Numbers are the scourge of the earth. Or at least of my existence. Ha!

The picture is a tiny filet that I made for us on Valentine's Day. It had a red wine reduction which I had never made before. The recipe called for a zinfandel and I wasn't fond of the sweet taste. I would rather have had a drier wine, I think. It is pretty though, isn't it?

I've highlighted lots of words and recipes in these books on my Kindle but I don't know yet how to retrieve them and do anything with them.

Which leads me to the cross-over in social media topic.

Today I was tempted to write a note on the River Rock Facebook page that went like this: Tweet me if you want to be added to our email list. Good grief.

I get mixed up with all the inputs and outputs. I can't remember if something came to me via email or FB or Twitter much less of which device...Kindle, phone, laptop, desktop...it sends me over the edge some days.

Moving on into the day.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

what the...

I'm sitting in my leopard chair looking bleary-eyed out onto the frozen tundra and feeling glad that I don't have to go out into it. Winter gets long no matter what the conditions, because, as we have discussed before, it's the lack of light.

I had a busy week doing what I am not sure. I think I was grumpy for part of it which takes a bite out of the calendar. Friday night we went to a Winterfest event, a wine tasting at the Ecumen Assisted Living Center. Seems like an odd place to have an event like that but what the hey. It's a lovely building and it was set up nicely for the tasting of all Minnesota wines.

This is a picture of me with John Mayer at the wine event. Regis said we won for Chapeau of the Evening. That means hat in French which Regis knows because the Catholic bishops wore those big hats but you can't call something of that dimension a simple hat so they call them chapeaus.

I am a bit disconcerted by my most recent hair-cut which Patrick tells me is asymmetrical. I feel like it isn't asymmetrical enough for people who look at me to get it. It needs an explanation. Thus, the hat.

Peter has always been one to keep his personal information to himself. When he was in high school, he considered it prying to ask him what he had for lunch. We have never met a girl he dated, barely heard their names. A few weeks ago, he casually told me that he had been spending a lot of time with April. I didn't ask too many questions because that could cause the information door to slam shut.

Then he called this week to ask if I would make the potato dish I made for Christmas dinner because April really liked the left-overs. I said I could do that but why didn't they come for dinner but wondered if they would stay for dinner or was this a take-out request. He said take-out which is what I figured.

So, I prepare the potatoes and have them waiting on the table. Regis and I plan to have ribs for dinner. They are at the mall and it gets later and later...text messages flying...finally, yes, they will stay for dinner.

Much mad scurrying to fill out a meal ensued. She has a baby and I assumed baby was coming. Gathering some toys, bringing in the high chair, finding food a baby can eat (not ribs and salad...ham, corn, apple sauce, cookies) but when Peter and April arrive...no baby. I should have asked.

We had a nice time, good food, and lots of talking. She is a talkative one, which must make Peter nervous. Ha!

I finished The Art of Fielding which I liked very much and then started Some Danger Involved, which is not usually the kind of book I would choose. It's a mystery and one of a series.

Here is the review from Amazon:
An atmospheric debut novel set on the gritty streets of Victorian London, Some Danger Involved introduces detective Cyrus Barker and his apprentice, Thomas Llewelyn, as they work to solve the gruesome murder of a young scholar.
When a student bearing a striking resemblance to artists' renderings of Jesus Christ is found murdered -- by crucifixion -- in London's Jewish ghetto, 19th-century private detective Barker must hire an assistant to help him solve the sinister case. Out of all who answer an ad for a position with "some danger involved," the eccentric and enigmatic Barker chooses downtrodden Llewelyn, a gutsy young man whose murky past includes recent stints at both an Oxford college and an Oxford prison.
As Llewelyn learns the ropes of his position, he is drawn deeper and deeper into Barker's peculiar world of vigilante detective work, as well as the dark heart of London's teeming underworld. Together they pass through chophouses, stables, and clandestine tea rooms, tangling with the early Italian mafia, a mad professor of eugenics, and other shadowy figures, inching ever closer to the shocking truth behind the murder.
Brimming with wit and unforgettable characters, and steeped in authentic period detail, Some Danger Involved is a captivating page-turner that introduces an equally captivating duo while signaling the start of an exciting career for Will Thomas.
I don't have much planned for the day. Too cold to do anything outside. Maybe some reading, a nap, a movie, and a grocery list.

Monday, February 06, 2012

a book

I spent all day at home but working. I'm writing a marketing plan, something about which I know very little. The title of it is "A Marketing Plan as Written by a Poet" which I am really not either but I thought it was an apt analogy. Like brain surgery done by an auto mechanic. No offense to auto mechanics...I couldn't do brain surgery either.

I've learned a lot about marketing and promotion but I have experienced brain overload. I have too much information and no framework for it so it's all floating around in the dusty shelves of my head...little parcels of information floating in space, looking for a place to land. Network hubs, anyone?

I took a break mid-afternoon and read some in my book, The Art of Fielding. It's a great book and I love the writing. I have to say that it is what helped me not only endure but maybe enjoy a teeny tiny bit the Super Bowl last night. The book is fiction but it is about a character who plays shortstop as an art. I won't go into all the details of the plot because you should read it but here is what I have learned.

I learned that there is a sense of camaraderie in sports. I learned that sport coaches can be like life coaches. I learned that playing is about way more than the game. Maybe I just like the book. Like I loved oranges after reading John McPhee's book.

I grew up in a family obsessed with sports but I never understood these aspects that might have made it appealing. I don't think it's the kind of thing you can understand unless you play competitive sports and I grew up in the 60s when only boys played. Girls watched. Maybe some girls can get it by watching (heck, I had friends who were cheerleaders) tennis and we  worked out to some record called Chicken Fat in one piece navy blue short outfits. The whole thing was hideous.

Sometime, I'll publish the poem here that I wrote about cheerleading try-outs. Not soon, but sometime.

And here, thanks to the internet and some goof ball with a sense of humor:

Meredith Wilson of Music Man fame wrote the song, commissioned by JFK. Tom, burn the photos we took in Mason City, Iowa!

I'm not going to become a true believer or a sports fanatic but I could tolerate the Super Bowl and I guess that's something. Actually we watched it on a live stream (I think that means via the internet.) so there were no commercials and no half-time show and those are the entertaining parts, right?

Regis and I are enjoying a quiet evening at home. We had left-overs for dinner and we gave the dog a bath. No easy task when the dog is as big as Gus. The unseasonably warm winter has made for an ugly scene in our back yard.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

sunday in pictures

This is what I do on Sunday morning. I sit in my leopard chair with my faux fur, in front of the faux fireplace, with the Variety section of the paper, a recipe to review for dinner, and my laptop. See the Valentine's Day tree in the background?

When the days and nights are so dark and gloomy, the twinkling red and pink lights cheer me. After Valentine's Day, the tree will be decorated for St. Patrick's Day and then it will retire to the basement for the spring and summer.

This is the Valentine's Day table. I forgot to take a picture of the crow with the red glitter LOVE sign around his neck. Oh, yeah...here it is.

I went to Mary's Flowers yesterday to spend a gift card. I wanted something cheerful for the table. We stopped at River Rock first so I took a couple Hermits to Mary and her colleagues. Mary said she wanted to send something with me so she picked out one of these yellow and red roses at the same time I was picking out two more. Great minds, right, Mary?

These are some tiny pitchers I bought at Cooks & Co. the other day. They're individual coffee creamers but I thought I would use them for sauces. Aren't they cute?

I set up my little coffee cup cupboard today. I wish I knew how to use a camera better than I do. Sorry about the shiny thing going on here.

Regis has some kind of rig-up so we can watch the Super Bowl. Oh, boy. I'm a good sport and I'll sit here but I have a pile of other things to do. I'll look up from time to time and ask who's playing and where and if it's almost over hahahaha.

We skipped the Polar Bear Plunge today. I have no spirit for that kind of thing if I have to slog through mud and watch them run in from the edge of the pond instead of from the ice.

Well, welcome to Sunday psychosis.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

on my walk

I listened to an interview with Bobby McFerrin on my walk this morning. He said many interesting things but there are a couple I am pondering right now...

  • He talked about the healing power of singing and wondered why we don't do it more often in our culture. I thought the same is probably true of writing and reading poems and making snow angels. So, in the future, I will not hesitate to sing along with Alison Krauss.
  • He said he makes a mistake in every show he does and he just doesn't worry about it anymore. What a great way to think. 
Here's a fun way to start your day!

some weeks fly past

This week was a busy one but I'm not sure why. Last weekend was pretty calm except for the gambling bash we went to on Saturday night.

Work has been a little crazy. When I started at River Rock, I was trained to do everything from counting the money for the bank deposit to washing dishes. Gradually those things have been deleted from my job description so I can focus on marketing and promotion. I knew practically nothing about those things, having spent my career in education teaching sex offenders: not a thing for which you search for clients. I have had to learn a lot especially since we're not a big corporation and don't have a huge advertising budget. I have learned to look for opportunities to promote River Rock and its mission.

It takes a lot of time...more time than there is in a day. A few days I got up very early and did some work in the dark and quiet. I have books to read and a marketing plan to write. A marketing plan. Right. I entitled it: A Marketing Plan as Written by a Poet. I'm not really a poet but I'm not really a marketing genius either.

Tiffany and Eric went to a holiday gathering for his work last night so I picked Elliot up at his pre-school. He was so excited to see me. He talked all the way home, pointing out American flags and big trucks and Spiderman that he saw in the window of BuyFun. When I said I made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, he said, "Wow! Delicious!" We had a fun evening.

I'm taking a class on writing vignettes. One of the other students is a woman (maybe 85?) who ran a restaurant for years in Cleveland. She reminds me of my Aunt Vi. We're a little mutual admiration society...she likes my vignettes and I like hers. We're going to have coffee together before class in two weeks.

I have a twenty-five dollar gift certificate to Mary's Flowers and I think I'll take it down there today and buy some yellow tulips. I hate this gray weather. I know the more I talk about it, the worse it gets and I can say in my head that it just is what it is but I hate it. And I'm still not done with Travels in Siberia. The damn book is as long as the country.

Here is my plan of the day:

  • Go to the bank
  • Go to Mary's Flowers
  • Go for a long walk
  • Stop at the coop
  • Pick up the house
  • Set the table
  • Buy some wine for dinner (ribs)
  • Write a couple vignettes
It looks like some of these things that involve moving around town could be done on the walk. There you go.

I have a ton of old vignettes hanging around that I have written over the years but I am resisting the urge to resurrect them. When I mentioned it to Regis, he didn't think it was a bad idea to get out some of the old ones and re-look at them. We read an article last week about geniuses (not that we are one...haha!) but it said that if you are doing something creative, it's a good idea to set it aside from time to time. 

Going to take the dog for a walk.

I want a winter like this!