I found out today someone I last worked closely with a number of years ago passed away in his sleep last Sunday night. He was one of those people who made work really fun. He had a great sense of humor and was always upbeat.
In the past 6 years, I would see him every so often when I went to the office downtown. We would stop to chat for a few minutes and he still had the ability to make me laugh.
This is one of my favorite places in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
I'm a science fiction/fantasy fan. However, when I walked into the Western and Romance sections, my mouth dropped and I could NOT close it. Part of it was because I was overhearing a cell phone conversation from someone in the store to a friend in Australia advising him Gardner's had the "BIGGEST SELECTION HE HAD EVER SEEN OF LOUIS L'AMOUR WESTERN NOVELS AND WHAT DID HE NEED TO COMPLETE HIS COLLECTION?" The other part was the sheer number of romance novels, of which I used to be a big fan. I was speechless at the volume of romance novels meticulously shelved in this store.
Sunday is my day to water the house plants and I thought about just how long I have been taking care of them. Two of them I've been responsible for since before The Husband and I married (which is almost 15 years) and two of them came into my life shortly after the marriage.
I looked around at the other plants in the house and realized they are long term members of the family. There's the vine The Husband brought to the marriage and let's not forget the African Violet that used to live with my sister, but came to stay with me a few years ago and has since been divided into two plants that even bloom now.
We have a number of plants we received in the past few years as gestures of sympathy at the passing of both his parents and my father. A good friend sent us a Ficus Tree (really?) when my father passed a number of years ago. It's known as the "Daddy Tree" and has lived with my sister, my mom, me and is now back with my sister.
It's a bit strange to look at these plants and realize how old some of them are. Are there plant years, like dog years?
We just returned from a neighbor's house. They offered up their very COOL kitchen (pots/pans/utensils) to a neighbor to use to prepare food for her sisters baby shower. The neighbors who own the house were not there until much later in the evening, due to a previous engagement. Would you open your home to your (crazy) neighbors when you were not there?
The Husband and I are thankful that we live in a neighborhood where our neighbors trust, if not love us, every day.
The Husband and I spent an amusing hour in a dusty, junky antique mall recently. My treasure was this stack of metal souvenir plates.
The Alaska plate has a label on the back "From Lucy & Stan 1969." The South Carolina plate has this label "Happy Birthday, Dad 1997"
From all of these, I had to remove stickers used to hang them on the wall. Which, I guess, is the original purpose for plates like this. To hang them on the wall and remember a trip. I suppose it is better than the typical fate of souvenir state tablecloths or dish towels. How sad is it when they are lovingly stored in a drawer and never seen or used?
My philosophy is, if you own it, use it! My mother has always, and I mean always, had a stack of these plates that she uses as paper plate holders. I didn't appreciate eating off the state of Missouri when I was growing up, but I think it's great now that I'm older.
Sometime soon, The Husband and I will invite a crowd of folks over and he'll fire up the grill. I'll whip out my large tablecloth with the entire US map on it, along with a couple of smaller, vintage state cloths and this stack of plates.
I'll try to make sure I get the Alaska plate. And, while eating, I'll think of Lucy and Stan and their trip to Alaska 40 years ago!
Metal souvenir plates = 54 cents each
Discussion of travel memories and geography = Priceless
We stayed home on Valentines Night, as opposed to joining the crowd at a local restaurant. The Husband made an excellent dinner (as usual) and I created a cute table setting. The hit of the dinner was the salad - it even beat out the wine!
"A Lover-ly Salad" is described as a "mouth watering salad that whets the appetite for love."
2 closed fistfuls baby spinach
1 fresh pear (or substitute with canned pear)
2 ounces goat cheese
1 tablespoon sour cream
1/2 small shallot, minced
hickory-smoked bacon to taste
carrot, shredded, to taste
Arrange baby spinach leaves on two salad plates (one fistful per plate). Place one half pear on each mound of leaves. With fork, whip goat cheese with sour cream until smooth and creamy. Stir in minced shallot. With teaspoon, shape 1-ounce ball of cheese mixture onto pear. Sprinkle with crumbled hickory bacon and shredded carrot to taste.
3 ounces white grape juice
1 ounce cider vinegar
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 ounces olive oil
Whisk together all ingredients except olive oil. Slowly pour in olive oil while continuing to whisk vigorously. Drizzle over salad.
Many years ago, in a previous work assignment, I occasionally carried a clipboard to keep track of various papers that contained important information. Also, many years ago, The Husband and I were asked to host our oldest niece's wedding at our house. Of course, I had to keep various important papers together for that event. On the day of the wedding, my clipboard caused great amusement to a cousin-in-law. From that event until today, she has never let me forget it. And, to tell you the truth, even though I would be considered an early adopter of new technology, I still firmly believe nothing does the trick better than my good, old, trusty clipboard for some jobs. Check back before Thanksgiving, 2009 and I'll tell you about the annual trip to the grocery store.
So, here's a "shout out" to Cousin Char for helping me (even though she doesn't know it yet) name my blog.