Thursday, May 30, 2013

Your old boyfriend

If given the chance would you like to get a look at an old boyfriend?  Let's say you haven't seen him in 40 or so years - would ya?  Would you want him to see you?

If it has, indeed, been 40 or so years he's definitely not going to look the same.  Then again - neither are you. hmmmm

So what if you knew where he worked (that is if he's not already retired and sitting on his patio drinking diet iced tea) and you went in to check him out.  Would you do it from behind a pillar or walk right up to his desk and see if he recognizes you?  Wow, that's a risky one.

If you decided to chance it would you tell him right away who you are (that is if he didn't scream out your name in recognition and run towards you) or put him through the embarrassment of trying to guess?  That could be really awkward.

I've decided I would do the deed "incognito."  Because . . . what's there to say after, "Hi, remember me?"

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Music, dance - The Note

My neighbor, Sally, wrote recently about her favorite music and other memories of days gone by in her blog.

I got lost in his arms

That got me thinking of my memories of dancing in my days gone by.

There was a place on Gun Lake (about 30 min. away) called The Note.  Kids from everywhere came to dance and dance we did.  There was a fair amount of stomping involved and when one wears penny loafers and stomps for hours, one has tender heels at the end of the evening.  Ah, the fun - ah, the pain.

You were supposed to be 16 to get into The Note.  I believe I was 14 when I started begging rides.  Yes, the search for a ride usually started on Wednesday for a ride on Saturday.  

I loved every second I spent at The Note except for that one time when a girl did her best to beat me up.  Don't ask.  

Fights.  There were epic fights.  Mine was the only girl fight I remember but those boys - sometimes it seemed like the whole floor was taken up by male fists a-flyin'.

I don't remember when The Note closed down but it sat idle for quite a while and then someone turned it into a church.  That was weird.  Finally someone else turned it back into a dance place but for country dancing.  We (Petey and I) happened to be interested at that time and got a few other friends to check it out.  I think we started out with 20 or so people (lessons were involved) and after a few weeks they dropped off rather quickly.  We hung in there, though, and enjoyed the hell out of it.

That phase also passed and The Note is again empty.

I don't think places like The Note exist for kids anymore.  Too bad.  I think it was my "golden era."  Tons o' fun.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Komen "Race for the Cure"

Because of my family history, I have been involved in fund raising for breast cancer for many years.  After my own diagnosis 6 years ago I started walking the 5K for the Komen foundation.

It's a very emotional experience on so many levels.  Sunday was a sweaty one too.  Boy, howdy, it was hot.

The venue is Arcadia Creek in downtown Kalamazoo.

This was a popular spot.  Not only because there were cool things for sale but because there was shade.  It was hot.

Somehow I missed this booth the first couple of years I walked but this year my back sign was "in celebration" of a young friend of mine recently diagnosed.

Since I was alone, one of the nice women at this booth helped pin me up.
Panera Bread not only had this booth with bite-sized goodies but it also provides a wonderful lunch in the Survivors' Cafe.

Many booths lined the area with freebies and good information regarding breast health care.
I always stop at this memorial wall to salute the ladies that led the fight.
Before the race begins, all the survivors are called up to the stage.  A few short speeches and a very emotional song.  I cry every year.  I am never alone.  We're all in the dark pin shirts.  Check out the crowd facing us.
We're lining up.  Runners first and then walkers.  I was in the back with the walkers.  We were cheered along the way by volunteers, police officers, supporters and a darling little boy with a hose.
Ah, the finish line.  I could have been used as a salt lick.  I mentioned it was hot, right?  OMG!
My sweat-soaked body and crusty hair in the comfort of my air conditioned kitchen.
 Another good year. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Another successful dinner club

Boy, howdy, do we eat well.  I was trying to think back (not an easy exercise) on all the meals we've had and can't remember ever having a "stinker."  Well, except when I was tasked with making plantains.  I didn't even know what the hell they were.  It was not pretty.

We don't always have a theme but back in March I was totally geeked to do a Route 66 thing.  My trouble began when BBQ ribs was the only entree I could come up with and ribs for 12 just wasn't going to happen.  So, I substituted ham and kept the other foods "along the route."  

My search for a really good ham lead me (total credit for the leading part goes to my pal, Sue Ross) to Montello's in Holland, MI.  It's a real butcher shop, y'all.  The meat they carry and process is as local as you can get.  Nice people, too.

First off, let me just say that as the hostess I got way too busy to properly photograph this event.  You'll notice I never got a shot of the table.  

Also, a big, fat "thank you" to Petey.  He prettied up the yard and did a lot of running for me.  He went way beyond the call of duty; I lost count after 5 on how many trips he made to various stores.

We decided to do appetizers on the back porch.  When I say "we" I mean me.  It was genius!

Olives from Montage downtown.

Trail mix from the grocery store.

Hard to tell but that "white square" is coconut curry cheese spread.  Cream cheese/curry on the bottom followed by mango chutney, chopped nuts, cilantro, green onions and coconut.  OMG!

And now (drum roll, please), may I present to you the best, best ham IN THE WORLDNot your average "salt lick" as Tony at Montello's said.  Worth every penny.  Stop over for a sammie; we have plenty left. 
Remember the part about me not taking enough pictures?  Well I totally forgot about the salad Paula brought; avocado/citrus.  It was killer.  You can see I remembered later on to snap the side dishes.  This is the cheesy corn casserole provided by Becky.

Wow, almost missed the asparagus that Melissa brought.
We finished off the evening with this totally decadent tres leche cake that my buddy, Joy, made.  Kill me now!
 As we were spooning (shoveling) in the delicious cake, Tom, leaned over to me and said, "Oh, my, it's only 10 o'clock."  Yes, folks, we do not carry on into the wee hours like we used to.  Is that just good, common sense or advancing age? 


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Preparing for dinner club.

I've written about our dinner club before - with pictures as well.  We've been together for a good many years.  They're an easy group to hang with and the up side is great chow.

Our turn to host is Saturday night.  I was all geeked up to do a theme but I peaked in March with the "geek" and it has fizzled since then.  Now I'm going with a faded facsimile of said theme.  It's so faded that it's not worth mentioning.  Let's just say "middle America" with a touch of California and a bit from Mexico.  More details will follow with pictures so make sure you check daily.  You wouldn't want to miss anything, eh? 

The only thing missing on Saturday will be Rosie and Tom.  They have a commitment.  Our loose dinner club rule is if one couple is unable to attend, we go forward (and talk about them the whole evening long).  

I think I may have mentioned this before but it bears repeating.  If the 6 women in this group were rated on their ability/desire in the cooking department - guess what my rating would be?  No question - at the bottom.

I can cook.  Shoot anyone can follow a recipe, right?  Well, most of the time anyway.  I'm just not fond of the whole process.

The fact that we were asked to join this group all those years ago still baffles me.  Must be my winning personality or, more likely, Petey's. hehe

Having disclosed how much of a fan of kitchen duty I am not, it speaks volumes of how much I enjoy my time with this crew.

Looking forward to laughs and food.  Stay tuned.    

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

I am a very lucky 64 year old to still have my mom.  Not many people my age can say that.  I'm even luckier in that my mother is healthy and happy and still enjoying the hell out of life at 90.

Mom was in her 70s when this photo was taken; it epitomizes her to a T.  "Hey, Nan, would you like to go for a ride?"  "Oh, my, YES!"

Mom taught by example, not by dictation.  She was a volunteer extraordinaire and is still at it.  A voracious reader; still going strong.  She has up-to-date opinions and isn't afraid to share them.  Yeah, I know, this apple didn't fall far from that tree.

I could go on and on, the list is long but I'll close with probably the most important lesson I learned from my mother - if you're interested in something, want to learn how to do something, want to know more about something - go out and find someone, a book or now, the internet and learn.  Never stop learning.  Look up "life long learner" and you'll definitely see a picture of my mom.  Probably not the one I showed you today, though. hehe

Thanks, mom.  You're the best.    

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Um, er, you might want to check, um, your nose

Do you know what a "booger check" is?  You can do one yourself (something I highly recommend before you go into an interpreting job.  Don't ask.) or if you have a best friend - someone you trust with your life - you can ask them to perform the deed.

Other than my husband and sisters, this is the only other person I'd trust.  Sue invented the "booger check" and had no qualms asking for help.  It was much easier to ask for inspection than to find out later there was an issue - after waiting on several customers.

So, what if you're chatting up a casual friend or someone you just met or the person interviewing you for a job and their nose has an "uninvited guest" in it?  Now what?  How can you concentrate?  Doesn't it make you want to touch your own nose?  You begin to wonder if you might be suffering from the same malady.  OMG!  What to do, what to do?

I can't help you out with this one because I was faced with the same problem just the other day and I didn't say a word.  I can only imagine what the poor sucker thought when he/she (notice the vague pronoun?) glanced into the rear view on the way home.  I'll bet there was some shrieking/swearing (still avoiding gender identification) at the first red light.

Some years ago I told my friend, Cathy Monroe, that she had a poppy seed stuck between her two front teeth.  She was working the counter at the license bureau.  It was about 1:30 in the afternoon so it had been there since lunch.  She immediately smacked her co-worker for not telling her about that black morsel.

How about the zipper thing.  Do you tell a guy you don't know well?  What if he's conducting a meeting - standing in front of everyone?  On that occasion I did raise my hand.  I mean, the poor guy.  He took it well, turned his back on us and took care of business.

How about bad breath?  No how, no way I'm telling someone their breath stinks.  Same thing with body odor.  

So, what do you do?    

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Comparing tiredness

The open house whipped my backside this year.  The fatigue afterward took me by surprise.  I knew I would have difficulty keeping my eyes open Saturday evening.  I made it through dinner without going face down at the table but I was still dragging on Monday.  What's up with that?

Petey did the Borgess half marathon on Sunday.  If you're not into the lingo - that's 13.1 miles.  I don't think I could ride a bike that far let along do it in sneakers.  

We're both still dragging a bit and it's Tues.  I can understand him still feeling pooped but I could sleep on a bed of nails right now.

You don't supposed it has anything to do with our age, do ya?  Nah.  I'm blaming it on the flowing trees.  I think they're giving off some kind of sleep-inducing fragrance.  Yup, that's it.  

Sunday, May 5, 2013


My friend, Alexa's, pottery.  Darling piggy bank.

A garden gnome.

Yarn bowl.

T-shirt bags made by another friend, Marj.

She also made duct tape lunch bags.

Marj's brother, Jason, made cutting boards out of bowling alley wood.  Outstanding!

Another cute bag.

Marj's friend, Marta, made these darling hats.

My pal, Paula, made fabu note cards.

Paula collects stones in the shape of hearts and then incorporated them into a series of cards.  Very cool.

I didn't get the story on this one but I'm guessing it's Michigan before it took its final shape after the glaciers ripped us a new one.

Fran's soaps are luxurious. 

And how cute are these boxes?

Chep brought hand made crafts from Kenya.

Everything is made by Kenyan women.

I love the colors.

These bags were made with recycled material.

I made my famous chocolate "bark."  Apparently it tasted good and looks great on the face, eh?
Another good open house.  It's always fun.  So nice to see so many smiling faces.
I just realized I didn't take any pictures of my things and I also forgot the cute packs of lotions that Shirley brought.  It's amazing that's all  I forgot.  Ah well, such is life.

Friday, May 3, 2013

A word about bicycles

My fellow blogger, Julie, wrote about bicyclists  riding in the road in the dark without proper gear.  It's a hazard and a huge safety issue.  Check her out.


I have a great deal of respect for bikers.  My husband rides and so do many of my friends.  I don't mind sharing the road with them.  My blog today isn't addressed to the people that know what they're doing on a bike.  It's to the people who ride on the sidewalk without any regard for those of us who are walking on the sidewalk.

Yesterday I was out with, Augie, and a guy came up behind us on his bike.  I never heard him coming.  Augie, being a bit of a crazy little dude, will often dart from side to side - never wanting to let a blade of grass go un-sniffedHad he chosen the exact moment the gentleman was passing us on the right to check out the fire hydrant on our right, there would have been a lot of howling and swearing.  I would be doing the swearing - I leave the howling to Augie.

A simple "on your right" would have been nice.  That should be ingrained into anyone's mind that decides to ride a bike.

Apparently not.

Worse yet, he was hooked into his ipod so he missed my snarky comment.