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6/26/11

Confession Time and Stuff

I did NOT go to Mom's on Thursday. Hold up now - let me tell you why.

We started volunteering at the Durham Rescue Mission on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays - or that's what I thought. Turns out it's Tuesdays and Thursdays only. So I shifted - Mom is one of those days and the DRM is the other.

Went to The Cave of Forgotten Dreams Saturday. Nice, but really no need for big screen viewing IMHO.

Friday, as my supervisor and I drove back from somewhere I can't tell you because it might be violating some confidential thing or other, an ambulance passed us going in the direction of my mother's place. (it was not for her this time). It made me wonder aloud if the DNR had been placed in her chart. My supervisor looked aghast that I would not want my demented mother resuscitated.
Frankly I cannot see the point.

Unless resuscitation has some unbeknownst side effect no-one has ever heard of, like you get your mind back.

Not to mention, the mother and I discussed this at length before she lost said mind and she did not want to be resuscitated.

Let me tell you a little story about "Jed" and "Jeanie", [younger] friends of my parents.
Jed came home one day feeling a bit tired and he laid down on the couch to rest while Jeanie took a shower.
When Jeanie came out of the shower, Jed was dead (heart attack). No-one knows how long he'd been dead. The paramedics revived him.
He has the mental capacity of a five year old and Jeanie looks about one hundred.
It ain't always a good thing to come back from the dead y'all.

You need the plug pulled - I'm your gal.

6/22/11

More Troubles

Belfast is riots and rubber bullets again.

The UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force (a Protestant/Unionist organization) seems to have started things. And we haven't even come to the big days of the marching season yet. 
 



My heritage is Ulster Scot (a.k.a. Scots-Irish) - Protestant, unionist (meaning they want the six counties of Ulster to remain part of Great Britain). 


I had experiences with some Apprentice Boys while in Northern Ireland and let's just say that my people did not exactly endear themselves to me. They were rude, ignorant, bigoted, and their narrow spin on the world was frighteningly reminiscent of the KKK. 
 


Seems like that attitude might promote the Republican view better than anything Sinn Fein could ever say. 

I don't understand half of what this three hundred year plus conflict is about, but I do know 
that violence and retaliation has never solved anything. Ever. 

And it just hurts my heart to hear of it.

*************************************************
Be Kind to Belfast
...

The bricks they may bleed and the rain it may weep
And the damp Lagan fog lulls the city to sleep.
It's to Hell with the future, we'll live in the past
May the Lord in his mercy be kind to Belfast

Maurice James Craig


6/21/11

Hey Ho

I can't get this song that CP sent to me out of my head. (And now...you can't. And...you're welcome.)

Speaking of CP - if you're reading this, please post something new and fabulous. I happen to know you have some free time this week. :)

Is That All There Is?

Because I am the laziest person on the planet, I made an appointment on my calendar so I would go see my darling mother. Yeah, exactly.
Tuesdays and Thursdays after work are visit Mom days. (we'll just see how long this lasts)

She was in the "Family Living Room" with several others listening to a man with a great voice sing songs; she was right up front. I found a chair in the foyer and let her enjoy the show.

As I sat writing a text message to myself with all the juicy tidbits for this blog post, several residents stopped by to say howdy.

First there was a woman we'll call Dixie, who has never spoken to me before. She is very busy, always walking the halls and trying to get into rooms. She has the same I-must-carry-fabric-at-all-times thing my mother has and had either an apron or a tablecloth wadded up in her arms. (Mom prefers the smaller and more versatile table napkin.)
Dixie also likes to move things - furniture type things - and wrestled a small side table from next to the finch cage into the living room (a different one than the family living room). She speaks very softly and I did not understand her when she spoke to me, but she appeared to be satisfied with my response (such as it was) and proceeded with her table wrestling.

While all this was going on, somewhere down the hall a man kept repeating, "Where do I go now? I'm waiting for someone to show me where to go. I don't know where to go."

Mr. Singer had moved on from "America The Beautiful" to "Hello Dolly". Mom was enthusiastic about that one, "Alright! Yes!"

My next visitor was a tall thin man wearing a woven cowboy hat. We'll call him Duane. Duane said, "Hello darling. Look to the records to see what it's like." Alrighty. About a minute later (time enough to walk to the end of the hall and back), Duane popped back around the corner and asked if I "knew what I was kerning." When I replied that I did not, he said "Well I hope you don't!"

Indeed.

Mr. Singer's selections were nothing if not varied. "Amazing Grace" on the piano, followed by "Your Cheating Heart". HA! Who needs a stinkin' segue?! Not these folks.

Mom introduced me to Mr. Singer as "Mommy" - SNAFU. Yeah.
We toddled off to her room, talked about her new shoes she was wearing ("I don't know where they came from.").
We agreed that she was goofy ("I always have been, you know that."); admired a pillow that wasn't hers and then went down to the dining room for dinner. Dixie had left a wet paper towel tucked in the wreath on Mom's door.

Thursday's only a day away - let's break out the booze and have a ball.

6/19/11

Freeze Frame

I have a photographic memory. Not in the conventional sense in that I remember everything I see, but rather that I remember in snapshots, a frame of memory. I wonder if other people see films rather than slide shows.

Friday as I drove home, a young man was running. My memory camera clicked a shot just as one of his muscled legs pushed him up off the pavement onto the sidewalk. In that single movement/moment, my poet's eye saw springboks and panthers and all things well oiled. Graceful and intended and purposeful. So easy.

I was behind a pickup truck in California at a stop sign when the man swung his arm out the window to place his hand on the roof. A typical man-driving-a-pick-up-truck move.
In that one frame - I saw the sun glinting off his wristwatch, the graceful arc of his forearm, the tan of his skin, and I about died from the sheer sexiness of it. (shut-up. we have established my weirdness many times in this blog, okay?)

Another snapshot from Florida - an older African American man in a blue [yet another] pickup, his arm hanging down the outside of the door. His wedding ring glowing like a miniature halo on his dark skin. The movie theater behind him.

Driving through Georgia on some unremembered back road - a woman sitting on her trailer porch amid a whole lot of stuff. No other trailers or houses nearby. Just trailer, porch, woman, "stuff".
I waved. She waved back.
For some reason, this one makes me sad.

A feather in the grass on St. Simons Island. The giant orange platter of a full moon rising over the Rogue River in Oregon (the smell of blackberries will recall this shot). Flying fish on the way to Hawaii. Click. Click. Click.

Here's something Allison saw after dinner last Sunday night (Spotted Dog - best burger I've had in a long time!):

Yum Yum Supper Club IV

Yesterday = busy. Walk at 7:30 AM, followed by CSA pick-up, (eggs, cabbage, fingerling potatoes, yellow squash and cucumbers), dash over to Foster's to connect with those who braved the heat to walk at 8:30, home for a quick second, off again to watch the "X-Men" movie, then it was time for Yum Yum!

I'd heard about YYSC; I know (in a loose convoluted way) some of the people involved (they are relations of the people I worked for for many years), but this was my first YY experience and I was really excited.
It did not disappoint.

I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked as the camera ran out of battery juice, alas no dessert picture; it was a lovely flaky lemony pastry cup filled with blueberries and topped with chamomile cream. The weather got windy with a bit of rain right at the end, but it brought a welcome cool down.

My favorite beer, (as discussed in Fullsteam Ahead), was served with the appetizers - Cream Ale Shandy mixed with lemonade, deliciously refreshing in the heat. I resisted the urge to chug-a-lug about twenty, since I was driving. Good call on my part I think.

All the food for YYSC was grown, cured, smoked, and otherwise prepared by Boxcarr Farms (and friends) of Cedar Grove, NC. They do the always incredible small plates at 3Cups' First Fridays.

I'm looking forward to the next one!



Bull City art
Outside Motorco

First Course

Clean plate club!

Second Course

It was hot out there (photo by DF)

Talk about HOT - here's where all the cooking was done. (photo by DF)

Fellow Yummers (photo by DF)


Third Course (that's a big slab o' smoked ham)

One of five beers served - this went with the ham

6/12/11

Kale Chips, Yo

I made 'em.
I realize that my AWESOME food photography skills makes them look almost 'xactly like the chard I made last week, but it is, in fact, a different vegetable all together.

So there.
Kale is done for the season and I'm ready to be sick of the next vegetable - bring on the zucchini!

Hard Day's Night

Yesterday was busy. And hot.
Walk at 8:30, followed by a delicious breakfast at Foster's, then out to Hillsborough to drop off some real estate flyers and pick up the CSA treasure of the week (broccoli, red cabbage, cukes and honey.)
Home for the second shower of the day and there was barely time for a brief rest before volunteering at Drag Bingo aGaga.
It was packed last night, they raised over $11,000! We cooked [well, Dewey cooked - we wrapped] every hot dog in the place and my hamstrings are paining me from all the bending over to fill cups with ice.

Allison had a good time - she won one of the door prizes, the last bingo game, AND had her picture taken with Mary K Mart, AND Claire in her sparkly disco Lady Gaga inspired outfit. (That picture is hopefully NOT blurry since it was taken on a REAL camera and Allison will send me a copy.)
I mean really, does it get any better than that?!
I think not.
The fabulous Claire

The also fabulous Mary K Mart and Allison

This morning we had breakfast at Guglhupf, then she went off to her conference and I went home to rest.

And now I am making kale chips dammit! Because it's 100 degrees out there and I need to turn on the oven. It's just how I am.

6/11/11

Fullsteam Ahead

Finally!
Allison is visiting from DC and as she is a fellow beer liker, last night we made the pilgrimage to Fullsteam Brewery in Durham. They use local ingredients to brew up some tasty beer - like sweet potato lager or hogwash smoked porter, (good but strong smoky flavor; not sure I could do a full pint of that.)
We had half pints so we could share more beer. :)
We also tried the sparkling pear (9% alcohol!), the cream ale - which was my favorite, and summer basil farmhouse ale (had the taster size of this one).
Outside, The Sausage Wagon was waiting for us with a bratwurst with caramelized onions and homemade stone ground mustard that cleared my sinuses! Oh so good.

The Pie Pushers truck was across the street at Motorco. Several people had some of their wares inside Fullsteam and they looked delicious. Motorco is where Yum Yum Supper Club, (provided by the fine folks at Boxcarr Farms - they of the First Fridays deliciousness at 3Cups), will be next week!

Dogs and children welcome

Pick your local brewed beer!

When we left, several people were looking up at the sky. So of course, we did too. This is what we saw:


Tonight - Drag Bingo!
Durham - I love you.

6/5/11

CSA Produce

Yesterday - CSA Saturday. Broccoli, chard, kale (I am starting to feel about kale like people do about zucchini), and eggs. There was talk of honey the week before, but Chris was out tending to her sick mother and the new intern didn't mention it. And I forgot about it until later in the day.

Anyway, as we speak (so to speak), last week's kale is in the sink with ice cubes; hoping it will rehydrate because I'm making kale chips dammit.

I sauteed the chard with garlic in a little olive oil and finished it with a couple drops (that stuff is potent) of toasted sesame oil and a splash of rice vinegar.
FYI...food photography is an art form not meant for camera phones. It tasted a LOT better than it looks in this picture. It looks like it has spores growing on it, but I think it's the sheen of the olive oil.

Lillie, the noisy girl cat, loves her some greens and goes crazy for me to feed her romaine lettuce, kale or chard.


Lunch tomorrow: cucumbers and broccoli.
Making up for the Five Guys burger (oh, okay. true confessions: and fries) that was yesterday's supper. And the strawberry tart at book club today.

6/4/11

It's Time For Lupus Awareness

My nine year old niece, Samie, has Lupus; she was diagnosed just before her seventh birthday.
Because I'm her aunt, her pen pal (how adorable is that?!), and it's my blog and I can do what I want, I'm letting you all know about the Lupus Walk (in Wisconsin).

http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/samantha-patton/10thannualstridesforlupuswalk-wisconsin?fge=ask

6/3/11

A Few Things


I took two videos of Mom today on my phone, she was being hilarious and cracking herself (and me) up, but they are too big to email to my email. Should have done it on the camera. Plus you can't hear her. Shoot.




The view heading into Chapel Hill Wednesday night for dinner at Butternut Squash with a good friend...
(they have the BEST sweet potato fries in the world)


Flowers next to Only Burger and the vines growing on the roof of the walkway - same place.


First Fridays at 3Cups tonight - that means Boxcarr Farms. They outdid themselves again:
Cucumber and potato vichyssoise with yogurt cream, fresh pasta with broccoli rabe and spring onions, tamarind-glazed pork belly over braised green tomatoes with green garlic broth. 
oh my god - so good.
They are doing the Yum Yum Supper Club's next dinner (week after next), it is going to be amazing.