Thursday, May 31, 2012

this week in wine

On Tuesday, Regis and I ventured out to Chankaska Creek Winery. We had a lovely experience...good wine, nice menu, friendly people, and a gorgeous setting. I could live there but it probably would not be good for my health.

They have a beautiful room with a cozy fireplace but it was too warm for even my chilly bones. We sipped a sauvignon blanc and moved into the other room to peruse the merchandise of which there is plenty. Somehow a $55 polo shirt does not interest me. I was wearing, you might be able to tell, a $5 Reverend Raven tank top under my sweater. That's more my price range.

Regis even enjoyed the wine and he is not usually one to partake of the grape. We were easy customers...we liked everything, we liked to chat, and we joined the wine club. Yeah, that was painful.

This is Ingrid. She took care of us by serving us wine, convincing us of the benefits of the wine club, and making the day fun. Of course, I always get to gabbing about River Rock and pretty soon the GM is sending me out the door with a bottle of red wine to use in truffles. Yeah, Katie could do that.

Here is is. My favorite. Those are Riedel wine glasses, by the way. I used to have a couple but they have disappeared I'm pretty sure at the hands of the dish washer which would not be me.

Regis went  to the doctor today for his annual check-up to learn that he is completely out of cartilage in his knees. He has a referral to a doctor who specializes in replacing knees, whatever that is called. Orthopedic surgeon? Beats me.

As soon as he got home, we had to take Gus to the vet because it looks like someone snatched a small round bald spot on his back. It didn't look like an emergency but I don't like unattractive pets and worried that the mange would take over. It isn't mange and her best guess is some allergy thing. She mentioned allergy testing and I inwardly rolled my eyes.

I went along to the appointment because I was afraid Regis would schedule cosmetic surgery and Gus would quickly reach his out-of-pocket maximum. That didn't happen but we got close. I'm keeping this in a file. And yes, the total is $107.20. Good grief.

Monday, May 28, 2012

sunday and monday

There's something about a hot and windy day that makes me want to stay inside with the curtains closed and the lights off. I have been lounging in bed with the ceiling fan running while I read. Nice way to spend the morning.

Our friend, Emily, came for dinner last night. She brought everything and I didn't cook one thing, lazy me! She made pulled pork and polenta, a very pretty jello salad, and a vegetable plate. Regis worked on her computer and Emily read A Gravestone Made of Wheat aloud to me before we watched the movie Sweet Land.

Now, here it is Monday and I haven't made much progress...on anything.

These are the young people I work with at River Rock. Me, Jessica, Josh, Helena, and Phoebe. Helena and Phoebe graduated from GAC yesterday and they had a joint family gathering in the back room. I got to be the hostess! Exactly the kind of work I love.

By the time I got home, the ribs were almost done so we sat outside and relaxed. This is the sweet pepper salad that we love. Sliced peppers, black and green olives, and a balsamic dressing.

These are the ribs. Regis makes a white wine reduction to pour over them. Oh, my. Delicious.

As you can see....we love them.

I'm working on social media this morning. I wrote three blog posts for River Rock and have them on my calendar to post today, Wednesday, and Friday. Might even do one on Saturday. 

Regis took Gus to the dog park in Mankato. They go almost every day for a while. Gus loves it and I think it's the equivalent of the morning coffee group for Regis. Usually Gus needs a bath when he comes home, but even if he doesn't, he gets in the dry tub. It's just his habit. Funny dog. It's his first birthday on the 31st.

Off to do something more active. I've been sitting at the computer for a long time.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

week in pictures randomly


Ella came over Friday to spend the night. She orchestrated a photo shoot in the morning with all the major players and the major shoes, of which she is enamored. Ella has a great sense of theater. She loves my shoes and asked if she could have them when they don't fit me anymore. I explained that I rarely "grow out of" shoes at this point in my life, but when I don't want to wear them anymore, I would surely pass them on to her.


Ella and I with Gus in a photo. Gus is a camera hog and if pictures are being taken, he wants to be in them. We all slept in the king-size in the middle, Ella on one side and Regis on the other, Gus on the end. We were like puzzle pieces.


Regis at Pappageorge in Mankato where he assisted me with the social media marketing plan presentation and we enjoyed a nice meal and some wine. 


I'm not a professional. I'm purely amateur but I've learned some things and I get a kick out of it. Layla said she like the fact that I'm not a slick salesman and that I know them and the kind of food they like to serve.


Ella and I walked down to the Key City Kennel Club's dog show this morning. These are the Great Danes which are gigantic and beautiful. I think this must have been the field for best of breed. The weather was strange so we headed for home shortly after this.


Most of the concessions at the dog show were dog-related but we did find a food stand that sold giant pretzels and we enjoyed this one.


We had lunch at Patrick's (a very unsatisfying burger) before taking Ella home. This is the poster for our birthday bash on June 8. I think we had a new server who was not familiar with the concept of serving efficiently. It took a long time and many trips. Ah, we have been through this before and it will get better.


Patrick's was a weird mix of families with small children and very hung-over and on-the-edge-of-drunk-again college students as their graduation is tomorrow. It was more stimulation than I needed, believe me. One member of the second jumped out of the booth and did a few push-ups on his way to the bathroom. Gads.

Regis discovered that Neil Young's Americana CD is being released one song at a time on YouTube over the weeks before the CD release, June 5th. We love them and listen to them almost every night. Ella knows some of the songs from school, so we thought she might like them and she did. She sang Oh Susanna over and over this morning until I finally played the video again. In case you don't want to read the whole review, here's a quote:
You've never heard "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain" quite like this. For their first album together in nine years, Neil Young and Crazy Horse have taken classic American folk music and reinvigorated these songs with muscle, radiance and a whole lot of electric guitar.

 If you have been following Cousin Deb's hummingbirds, this is the last one to leave the nest. I've shown this photo to lots of people who have never seen a hummingbird nest. I wonder if they don't nest in Minnesota...maybe they choose warmer climes. That would be smart.

Last week, about an hour before I was due to leave for Luverne, I decided to try out these really cheap fake nails that I bought at the dollar store. The girls at the bank told me they were easy to apply. Well, after I had super-glued about three of them to the wrong places, Regis stepped in and assisted. I sort of liked the way they looked except for the crooked one. Today, I wrenched the last of them off as they were starting to look a little green underneath. I don't think I'll do that again. There is a reason that there are professionals to do that sort of thing.

There has been a change to the birthday party plans. We have to provide a meal for the band and we thought we would cook for them here as we would love to do it and maybe they get tired of food in restaurants. Turns out, that's what they want to do. I suppose they thought we would want to socialize which we wouldn't. Ah, well. One less thing to stew about, right?

That's enough for today.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

a semi-major coup in the life of a retired school teacher who becomes a promoter

My job has been in a state of flux since I started at River Rock. First I was an office manager, a job I was very bad at because it involved a lot of details and a lot of math. And some art. None of these are my strengths.

Over the year that I have been there, it has evolved to be more promotion and marketing although, marketing to me, sounds more like what McDonald's does.

Over the past month, I have worked at getting River Rock connected with Minnesota Cooks, a project of the Minnesota Farmer's Bureau, an organization that promotes family farms.

Today, we met with Bruce Miller, the director of the Minnesota Cooks calendar project, and accepted his proposal that River Rock be part of their calendar in the coming year.

This is gigantic in my novice promotional world. Not only is it a print publication that is doled out at the State Fair where people love free stuff but it involves being on stage at the Carousel Park, being interviewed by Mary Lahammer of Almanac, and being a part of a day at the fair with some of the really, really big guns in the local food scene in Minnesota.

I think I spent the last years of my career in education floundering in the depths of despair and that probably has leant an exaggerated air of unreality to this endeavor. I am so excited by all of this that it's hard to explain.

So, even though I have loathed the State Fair in the past (too loud, too crowded, too hot), I will be there on August 26th to hobnob with the chefs of Minnesota, to pass out promotional material about River Rock, and to bask in my tiny bit of glory.

Champagne all around!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

technology divide

I've been thinking about this post for a long time. I've written a lot of things in my head that will not make it to the page because I've forgotten them.

I saw on Facebook that someone liked this album cover. I thought, isn't that interesting that they still call them albums when clearly are something different. Then I looked. It's Crosby Stills Nash and Young. It is an album. Or it was one anyway. I suppose now it's a CD.

We watched some old music videos last night...Neil Young and Fleetwood Mac. I love that.

My friend, Jill, sent me an email the other because she wanted to tweet me. She wanted my twitter address. I have a twitter account but rarely look at it. I don't get enough words to do twitter posts.

It took us all day to get the tweet right. It took email alerts to say that we sent a tweet! This may not be our medium.

One of the young women at work the other day was teasing Tamika about calling it The Twitter. The language about all of this stuff is changing so fast and it's so different. I still can't get the hang of using text as a verb. He texted me. I texted you. What???

I went to a social media seminar and the instructor said technology/social media is not a tool, it's a new way of thinking.

It's a new way of behaving, too. Regis thinks I am an old crank but I get really annoyed when people sit around in social situations and look at their phones. Substitute iPod, iPad, laptop...whatever. Really annoyed...I can't tell you how annoyed I get. It's bad for my blood pressure. I am starting to think we may as well all stay home and just text each other. There was a time when I would put a sign on the door on holidays: Laptop Free Zone. Yeah, here we go. I need a sign like this.

Found this online:
  • As mobile etiquette guidelines continue to evolve, Post offers these tips to those who use a variety of mobile devices on a daily basis:
  • Practice what you preach: If you don't like others' bad behavior, don't engage in it.
  • Be present: Give your full attention to those you are with, such as when in a meeting or on a date. No matter how well you think you multi-task, you'll make a better impression.
  • The small moments matter. Before making a call, texting or emailing in public, consider if your actions will impact others. If they will, reconsider, wait or move away first.
  • Talk with your family, friends and colleagues about ground rules for mobile device usage during personal time.
  • Some places should stay private: Don't use a mobile device while using a restroom.

Our phone contract is up this summer and I thought about going back to a dumb phone just out of irritation at how much it costs for service. I don't think I can give up all the technology, though. I like the pictures, I like to send a text once in a while, I love Instagram. You get hooked.

Better get going. Happy Saturday.

gratitude and hummingbirds

My cousin Deb took these photos of a hummingbird nest with baby hummingbirds in Arizona. They're so tiny, you have to look quite hard to see them. See the ruler at the bottom of the top picture? Note: I think if you click on the picture, it will open in a new window and be bigger.

In the bottom picture, they are bigger but still tiny. Miraculous little things.

Our mama robin is still sitting on her nest. The babies must be growing because she looks uncomfortable. Kind of squatting over it rather than sitting on it.

My friend Joanne sent me this poem the other day, from Your Daily Poem. She said it reminded her of my philosophy of life. I was touched. I love the poem and read it aloud to Regis last night. I have another one of Barbara Crooker's poems on the right side bar. I like the way she thinks.


Barbara Crooker

This week, the news of the world is bleak, another war

grinding on, and all these friends down with cancer,

or worse, a little something long term that they won’t die of

for twenty or thirty miserable years—

And here I live in a house of weathered brick, where a man

with silver hair still thinks I’m beautiful. How many times

have I forgotten to give thanks? The late day sun shines

through the pink wisteria with its green and white leaves

as if it were stained glass, there’s an old cherry tree

that one lucky Sunday bloomed with a rainbow:

cardinals, orioles, goldfinches, blue jays, indigo buntings,

and my garden has tiny lettuces just coming up,

so perfect they could make you cry: Green Towers,

Red Sails, Oak Leaf. For this is May, and the whole world

sings, gleams, as if it were basted in butter, and the air’s

sweet enough to send a diabetic into shock—

And at least today, all the parts of my body are working,

the sky’s clear as a china bowl, leaves murmur their leafy chatter,

finches percolate along. I’m doodling around this page,

know sorrow’s somewhere beyond the horizon, but still, I’m riffing

on the warm air, the wingbeats of my lungs that can take this all in,

flush the heart’s red peony, then send it back without effort or thought.

And the trees breathe in what we exhale, clap their green hands

in gratitude, bend to the sky.

From Line Dance (Word Press, 2008).
I hope she doesn't mind that I share them this way. I would encourage you, if you like her work, to buy her book. I should read that poem every morning, like a prayer. It's so easy to get irritated by small neighbor running his lawn mower when we want to sit on the patio, loud music at the Pulse, rude comments, people who don't act like I think they should (yes, I know...). So much better to be grateful for the wingbeats of my lungs and the china bowl sky.

I start to get het up about our party in a few weeks and worry about details. I asked Regis to email Reverend Raven to ask if it would be ok if we cooked a meal instead of sending them to a restaurant and it they had any dietary restrictions. I don't want to make ribs for vegans. So, they responded by asking if this was a public event and could they put it on their website. There is only one cuss word that fits this situation.

We're having it at Patrick's (no problem, they said) and it's the night before the Bluesfest. No problem. Now, all of a sudden, it's a problem. Repeat cuss word.

We got few responses to the invitation which either means nobody is coming or they're socially backward and don't know what RSVP means. Hahahaha!!! I've decided it doesn't matter. No more cuss words. We'll order up some food, have a few drinks, and shake our boogies. That's what the Reverend Raven calls it. I have my dancing skirt ready.

I made Regis a big jug of cold brew coffee overnight. You use 9 cups of water and a half pound of ground coffee, let it sit at room temperature for 12-16 hours, then filter it. It's great to use in iced coffee drinks in the summer because it's concentrated and you get more coffee flavor.

I've always loved cups and have quite a collection. Well, not "quite a collection" as in hundreds...but maybe a dozen that I really like. Here's a blog post from the past with pictures and stories.

So, I was talking to a lady in River Rock the other day and she said she collects demitasse cups. I had heard the word and thought I knew what they were, but the more we talked, the more interested I got. She buys hers mostly in antique stores but I have found some online. Demitasse is a French word for "half cup". I like that. I like my coffee in small cups. I love tiny dishes. I have a new obsession.

Aren't these cute?

I don't need a set, however, because I can't see Regis drinking coffee out of something like this. He likes a man-size mug with a lumberjack's handle.

I learned how to use the google television last night. It's like having the internet on your tv but the controls are more like a computer. What??? My next blog post is going to be called "technology divide". I've been working on it for a while but it's like trying to lasso the wind. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

dinner at pappageorge

Mom sent us some money for Easter this year, so we took Gus to daycare yesterday and went for an early dinner to Pappageorge. Flip was in the kitchen cutting steaks so Layla said we could order from the dinner menu even though it was only 3 o'clock.

I had the filet mignon with a spinach salad, Regis had a rib-eye steak with grilled mushrooms and onions. I had this lovely glass of pinot noir.

We had so much fun and we had such good food. With the tip, we spent the whole wad. Thanks, Mom!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

matriarch's day

In honor of Matriarch's Day, a slide show of our baby robin in the front yard. Regis scaled a ladder into the tree to get a good shot of them. From the ground, you can only see them when they stick their little heads up to eat. They are a hungry lot!

It's been a busy weekend. We had some friends over for wine and wings on Friday night. What a grand time! Amber, the youngest at about 22, Rene, older by a ways than me, Emily, two years younger than me...and Regis. We talked about books and movies and cooking, and politics, and religion. I left the room for the last two. Ha! We ate good food, we drank nice wine, we had a headache yesterday. Must have been the wings.

The kids, the whole bunch, are coming over today for dinner. I rejected the idea of making a big meal but said I would make hot beef sandwiches and they could bring the rest. I went to the store and bought paper plates and cups and plastic forks, all things I loathe. I bought a package of cod, thinking I might make myself some cod cakes because I'm not a fan of roast beef and shouldn't I get to eat something today that I like? Harrumph. Ha again!

I worked in the garden off and on all day yesterday. Ella went with me to the flower stores in the morning where I thought I had a reasonable plan for modest spending but which I promptly abandoned once I got in the door. I buy what appeals to my senses at the moment. Yesterday, it was mostly herbs, and at my mom's suggestion, coleus. We have so little sun in the front and blooming annuals always look ratty. I'll have Regis take a few photos today.

I bought two big rosemary plants, one for Howard's planter. Ella likes to go up and down the rows and smell the herbs.

We had a funny conversation about the rain the night before. She thought she had heard it even though it was after her bedtime. She said usually sleeping shuts off her ears. I wish it shut off mine. I tried to doze on the couch for a few minutes on Friday and my damn neighbor fired up his giant lawn tractor right outside the window. It nearly ruined my normally sunny disposition.

Our friend, Ben and his dog Thumper, stopped by in the late afternoon. They were out for a brisk walk and we interrupted their momentum for some visiting and a cold beer. Gus and Thumper could be twins except for the 55 pound difference in their weights. They like to chase each other around the yard.

My friend Jill and I traded email yesterday about twitter. Each of us has a twitter account but we rarely use it because we don't know what to write. So, she put me on notice that she was sending out a tweet and I should read it. This took most of the day because I had given her the wrong @. I laughed later and said it takes two old women all day to send one tweet. So much for instant communication!

Regis took Gus to the dog park in Mankato. I'm there will be a bath to be had when he comes home. We're moving Blue Earth county north, one trip to the dog park at a time.

Happy Matriarch's Day to all females out there! Here's my mom, Shirley, as a young girl in Twin Valley.

Friday, May 11, 2012

mix tape

This post is going to be a jumble. I realized this morning, I haven't posted anything all week, I have random pictures piling up in the camera, and nothing is in order including my head. I was going to entitle this post like this: I better write this stuff down before it drifts out of my head. I thought that might be creepy so switched it to mix tape. Remember making those with audio tapes? Old school, eh?

The first picture is one day this week when we had thunder showers, very brief ones, all day. It is actually pouring rain in this picture and there is a double rainbow in the sky behind our neighbor's trees where we can't see it. The rain was beautiful. 

Gus got slicked up at Kind's this week. Isn't he cute? He is such a funny dog. He knows that when he comes home from the dog park in Mankato, he needs a bath. We don't even have to tell him anymore...he comes in the house and trots down the hall and jumps in the tub. My baths have become a little like swimming in a creek. Hard to get all that sand out of the tub.

This is latte art. I never knew what it was until I started working at River Rock. Now I love it. I watch the baristas make it and I'm fascinated. It's all done by pouring milk into espresso.

I went with my friend Richie to the Books in Bloom exhibit at Gustavus last weekend. This was an 185 steamer trunk planted with flowers representing the prairie and the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. It was my favorite, I think.

I also like to take pictures of food. When I was in Rochester last week, I had walleye cakes at Chester's. They were so good and I thought I could make something like it. I couldn't find walleye but I used cod and they were still wonderful. That's mango salsa on the side.

With my social media responsibilities at work, I have been learning about photography and video. (I know why there are professionals to do both.) I took a video with my tiny camera yesterday but the format is wrong for uploading to youtube. Now I'm lost.

Our first stuffed peppers of the season. Funny how you start with a recipe and gradually change it over time. Sometimes it gets simpler, as this one did. I started chopping all kinds of stuff and sauteeing it together, then stuff the peppers standing up. It was very complicated and labor-intensive. Now, I cut peppers in half, lay a piece of Prairie Pride sausage on each piece, and then a piece of provolone. Much easier and still delicious!

This was my lunch at River Rock yesterday. It's a Tulip Quiche made with local spring onions and Gouda. The soup is Tomato with Israeli Couscous seasoned with mint and cilantro. My friend Bev came in as I was taking the picture and she laughed and asked if I always take pictures of my food before I eat it. I said she has no idea. I also took a video of this meal because the steam coming off the soup was so pretty.

I worked in my garden yesterday and scratched the hell out of my arms. Those dried stems of cone flowers are deadly! I got the big stuff done...four giant bags of garden waste for the compost. I'd like to stop at Fred's today to get a few things and do some more planting this weekend.

Tonight, we have friends coming over for wine and wings. A good start to the weekend!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

cinco de kentucky derby

We had a wonderful day and it isn't even over yet.

We went to Mankato late morning, dropped Gus at the PAW pet resort and I got a quick stop at my favorite thrift store, MVAC, in Mankato. I found a great long denim skirt for three dollars and a gorgeous crimson (never worn) raincoat for eight dollars. I won the lottery!

I tried to find a picture of the red coat on the interwebs but the only one I found was ugly. Regis is sleeping or I would ask him to take a photo. Maybe later.

A customer who comes into the coffee shop regularly says he has never seen me in the same clothes twice. He said this yesterday when I was dressed to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. I said he often sees the same clothes, just combined in different ways. I told him my idea for a dumb waiter clothes closet but he thinks I have a Harry Potter virtual closet. I haven't read Harry Potter so I don't know.

We stopped at the pet store to get Gus some treats. This is the place where strange people take their dogs for brief meet-ups. It's almost creepy. The dogs don't play together, they just meet in the aisle and sniff each other and leave. Can you imagine people doing that?

We met some folks at Famous Dave's who Regis is going to marry in September, Peter joined us, we ate ribs, we gabbed and had a great time. Of course, the tv was blaring severe storm warnings enough to make you want to get up off your bar stool and head into the walk-in cooler but turns out it was rain. Do they have to over-react to rain? If a tornado is headed down the street, I want to know by siren....but not heavy rain. This the fourth day of this BS and I say enough.

I have the same feelings about the news. If a masked killer is coming down my street; I want to know. Murder and mayhem in far flung Do not want to know. Have compassion for the victims but it does not help for me to know.

Sometimes these wedding things are fun and sometimes they are a buzz kill. This couple seems very nice. He is a fire fighter so his dress uniform and the fire trucks are going to be a part of the festivities. I'm sure I will cry as I always cry at weddings, parades, and poignant commercials.

There is no comma on my Kindle. What does this mean? When I send an email, I cannot find the comma. Is the comma obsolete? Regis says it's there and I just can't find it. Same thing as being not there, right? I wonder if quotation marks are there...which are what should be obsolete. I hate those damn things.

technology and cranium explosion

I'm doing the social media marketing for the coffee shop so that means I have to learn more about social media than I ever thought possible for my old head to learn. I feel like my cranium is going to explode some days.

I like to write and have always loved having a blog (well, since 2006) and I enjoy Facebook. I've used Twitter for work and recently learned about Foursquare. That was about it. Two weeks ago, I went to a social media seminar and now here is a list of things I've been exploring:

  • Instagram will allow you to take pictures with your Android device and load them directly to Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr. Like Twitter, if you have an Instagram account, you can follow people and see all the photos they post.
  • Hootsuite is a way to integrate all of your social media: Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Wordpress, if you happen to have a Wordpress blog. You can schedule your posts, pictures, and videos to go out months ahead of now. It's kind of creepy. Where is it until then and who tells it to go when it's time?
  • Tumblr, near as I can tell...well, I couldn't tell so I looked at their about and it said:  Tumblr lets you effortlessly share anything. Post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos, from your browser, phone, desktop, email, or wherever you happen to be. You can customize everything, from colors, to your theme's HTML.  There you go. 
  • And I have a little Bloggie camera that looks like this and will take amazing pictures and videos and it's smaller than my phone. It has a USP thing so you can load photos and videos right into your computer and upload them to anything. Really?

It's amazing and creepy at the same time.

Just saw a photo on Facebook of a scantily clad young woman with a QR code pinned to her behind. Some dude was scanning it with his phone. I guess that's the point, right? 

Well, up and away into the day. Gus is looking for some attention and I have things to do.

Friday, May 04, 2012

road trip

Regis took some spectacular pictures of the clouds the other night.

Here's a slideshow of Gus and a patch of mushrooms in our back yard. Unlikely combination, I know. But Gus is a handsome dog and our back yard looks like the forest.

The past three days have been full. My head is full. Here is the brief summary:

  • Had a meeting at work where I presented my social media marketing plan.
  • Went to the district retirement event on Wednesday afternoon.
  • Left for Rochester to stay with Cousin Steve and Wife Sherry.
  • At Mayo by 7 a.m. Got lost on the way.
  • Went to Trader Joe' and wine.
  • Back to Mayo to see dietitian. Good report.
  • Out for lunch with Sherry. Walleye cakes at Chester's.
  • Back to Mayo to see doctor. Good report. I'm a rock star.
  • Back home to St. Peter at 6:30.
One thing that struck me as I waited for these appointments is that it is incredible the personal and intimate details of their medical issues people will reveal in loud cell phone conversations in the middle of a crowded room. I really don't want to know about your testerone level and your need to fill the cialis prescription, pal.

I dragged my sorry butt out of bed this morning and went to the Pulse. It was a half-hearted effort and I'm sorry about that. Next week will be better.

I wrote all kinds of good stuff in my head while I was driving. I can't recreate it now.

There are so many nice people out and about and they all like to visit. I met the manager of the Trader Joe's. She's from Portland. I met the retired guy who works in the Trader Joe's liquor store. He's going up north fishing today. I met a woman who plans to quilt when she retires. I met a man whose daughter has a brain tumor. (That will give you some fast perspective on your minor complaints.) I talked to an old dude in a parking lot who looked like he had been in the Canadian Mounted Police. Like Dudley Dooright.

Seriously, except for being way older, he looked just like this only all in black. He wanted to talk about the weather.

Better get on with Friday.