Retro Blogging: Adding Whimsy To Your Week

::  I crack myself up.  I got this idea from The Bloggess.  Zen-Den thinks that I have a future career as a banana engraver.

::  Anyone else remember back to when bloggers did silly things like this all the time?  I miss those times.

::  Do You Make Other People Happy?  I try, kids.  I try.

Our Weekend

Fun.  Lots of newness.  Much happy.

√  Set up our new computer, an iMac.  My first new desktop computer in 8 years.  Rather spiffy.

√  Got together on Saturday with some out-of-town friends who were here for the day.  Lots of laughs and our first visit to the oldest farmers market in the area.  Rather amazing.

√  “Created” a new cocktail.  Sweet tea + bourbon + a spring of mint.  Rather refreshing.

√  Put finishing touches on the paint job in the un-bedroom.  Means that after 3 years we are officially finished with repainting the entire inside of this house– and can reclaim our weekends.  Rather wonderful.

√  Changed my blog template to this more up-to-date one that you’re now seeing.  Rather dashing.

√  Started reading two amazing memoirs.  One with an artistic/scientific bent, the other with a celebrity/humanitarian bent.  Can’t decide which one to finish first so I keep switching back and forth between them.  Rather compelling. 

√  Decided to tidy up my twitter feed by deleting most of my tweets.  Have adopted a “less is more” approach regarding my future tweeting.  Rather liberating.

So how was your weekend?  Care to share?

Visiting The Oldsters

Over Father’s Day weekend we went to visit my in-laws, aka the Oldsters.  They live a good four-hour drive from us and are 80 years old, more [FIL] or less [MIL].  This weekend reminded me of many things that I’d long forgotten about.

•  We drove in Z-D’s SUV which is eleven years old.  It has no place for an iPod, with a broken CD player, and a radio that works when we’re near signals, but not in the empty spaces we were driving through this weekend.  We turned off our cell phones and sat together in silence only broken by our conversation.  It was wonderful to be totally detached from noise.

  I didn’t feel like reading– roads too bumpy, sunshine too intermittent thanks to lots of trees blocking it.  So I looked out the window to see what I could see.  It’s been a very long time since I just watched the world go by– cows, barns, farms, and exits with fast food establishments and gas stations.  It was relaxing to be out of the city and just existing as we drove along. 

•  The Oldsters were happy to see us.  We had lunch at their house [chicken salad sammies, natch] then went shopping for a wedding present that we were buying together.  BB&B fascinated them with all its stuff– and the price tag of said stuff.  It was fun to watch them be amazed by the beautiful things that the world has to offer now.

•  We left the house at 3:30 pm so that we might get to dinner at 4:00 pm!  This was to ensure that we’d be back home and safely within the house before 6:00 pm when FIL’s fav tv shows are on.  The small restaurant we went to had delicious, old-fashioned style food– ham loaf, smothered chicken, basic cole slaw.  It also had the smallest wine & beer list I’ve seen in years, so Z-D and I had a glass of the only Cabernet Sauvignon on the menu– which was delicious.  It was fascinating to be somewhere with so few choices and such good quality.

•  We got back to the house in time to watch Sanford & Son and All In The Family.  I hadn’t seen either of those shows in– well, decades.  And while the former is very dated and tedious, most of the humor in the latter has held the test of time.  It was entertaining [and a bit sad] to see FIL laugh with Archie about the way things should be. 

•  We left mid-morning on Sunday.  The Oldsters had turned on the Weather Channel at 7:00 am to check what might be in store for us on the drive home.  Once they saw that there were thunderstorms on the way, they became agitated about us getting on the road ahead of the rain.  In their world, driving in the rain is very bad and risky.  Z-D pointed out that we have a SUV with 4 wheel drive, but they were having none of that nonsense!  So we packed up and hit the road.  It was interesting for us who live entirely apart from any family to experience a bit of “parenting.”

•  Driving home in silence, just watching the road go by, I saw a sign for a small town called “Belleville.”  I know nothing about this particular town, but in a snap my empty mind filled with the images of and the theme song from a delightful movie called: “The Triplets of Belleville.”  It was a pleasant, but unexpected, ending to a visit that went quite well– and brought back to me memories of times gone by.  

[for your entertainment…]

Hello Summer

::  We had a fun holiday weekend with three days of sunshine in a row.  This is something that hasn’t happened around here in six months.  ‘Twas wonderful.

::  We went to a high school graduation party that was held at a cabin on a family farm.  To get to the party we drove out-of-town into the countryside to a small road lined on both sides with cow pastures.  From there our directions told us to look for the balloons and turn right.  We did as instructed, driving on a rough path down the middle of a cow pasture, over a small hill, and arriving at a lovely party totally hidden from view when on the road.  It was nice to be outside in a relaxed atmosphere– watching kids play games, talking to other guests, drinking beer, having fun.

::  We decided to go to the cemetery to see the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall.  It was interesting and well-planned.  The scale of the wall is smaller than the original, but it still manages to re-create some of the original’s ambiance. If nothing else, this exhibit gives an inkling of how amazing the real wall is– and perhaps encourages those who have never visited Washington, D. C., to do so.

::  While at the cemetery we walked around for a while.  Wandering through the grassy areas we saw all sorts of unique tombstones and family markers.  One said, “integer vitae.”  Neither one of us knew what that meant so when we got home, I researched it.  This is a phrase from a stanza from an ode written by Horace.  “Integer vitae” is telling you to live a life of integrity so that you’ll be safe no matter where you go.  Good idea, huh?

::  To decorate for Memorial Day I put red-white-blue stars-&-stripey pinwheels in the flower pots by our front door.  And then I put two smallish flags in a flower-pot along the front walk.  EZPZ, but stylish and inviting.  However, except for one other family on our street who put out one big flag, no one else decorated for the holiday.  Don’t know what to make of that.  This neighborhood usually goes overboard for any and all holidays.

::  We finally had a cookout– our first of the season.  Burgers and veggies cooked on the grill.  Fresh berries on ice cream for dessert.  Served with delightfully cold white wine spritzers.  Simple and delicious.  Just the way summer is meant to be.

Dining With The Beans

I stopped at the grocery late yesterday afternoon to pick up a fast dinner for Zen-Den and me.  I knew that we had the makings for a tossed salad at home, as well as some fresh blackberries, so I only had four items in my basket.

  • a rotisserie chicken, bbq
  • a loaf of bread, California sourdough
  • a bottle of white wine, Argentinian Torrontes
  • a package of Klondike bars, original

It wasn’t busy in the store so I went through the regular checkout line.  The guy that was running the cash register was indifferent to what he was ringing up, but the girl who was bagging my groceries was paying close attention to what I was buying.  And even went so far as to offer her opinion:  “Wow!  This is– like– the best.  dinner.  ever.”

And you know what?  She was right.

Our dinner.  Ally selected.  Bagger approved.  😉

Making Myself Useful

People think of me at the strangest times.

I received an email from a former boss of mine who I haven’t heard from in five years– haven’t worked for in about two decades.  Not to be cynical, but I figured there was a reason that she thought of me all of a sudden and sent me this email. And I was right.

The first part of her message told me what she and her husband had done. Retired now.  Moved to another state.  Built a house on 10+ acres.  Raising farm animals.

Then she explained that she had written to ask me about events that happened in a bar near where we worked– twenty years ago— when Bailey’s Irish Cream was a new and exotic drink to us. Specifically, she wanted to know if I remembered the names of any of the drinks with Bailey’s Irish Cream in them that we used to enjoy.

I could only think of two drinks, a Nutty Irishman [Bailey’s and Frangelico] and a B-52 [Bailey’s, Grand Marnier, and Kahlua], but I emailed to her what I could remember.  I figured she was hosting some shindig and wanted to have some special drinks.

But I could not have been farther from the truth, as I learned when former boss emailed back and finally told me what she was really up to.

One of her alpacas, named Bailey, had just given birth. And former boss thought that it’d be fun to name her newest little girl alpaca, the daughter of Bailey, after one of those drinks we enjoyed years ago. But former boss couldn’t think of the names of any of them, so naturally she thought of me.

Well, of course. Makes perfect sense.

At first I was a bit miffed about why former boss had contacted me.  But as I got thinking about it I decided that I liked my newfound title of She Who Names Alpacas.  It had a certain ring to it.

So I sent former boss an email suggesting that “Bea,” a shortened form of B-52, would be a good name for an alpaca.  I liked it because I figured that if I was an alpaca I’d want a respectable name– not something silly like Nutty.  Me, a suburbanite, being so knowledgeable about alpacas and all….

Former boss emailed back, said that she liked the name, and promised to send photos of Bea, just as soon as she got around to taking them. Which in my estimation will be about the time Bea becomes a mother herself and former boss, needing yet another “Bailey” name, thinks of me again.

I Have A Crush

I was at the supermarket checking out at one of the four U-Scan areas.  I swiped a six-pack of beer across the scanner and it registered the price.  The scanner screen then stopped, waiting for the employee watching over the U-Scans to bypass the need for me to show ID.

But the employee, a kid around 20, didn’t hit the bypass button.

He shouted over to me to show him some proof that I was old enough to buy beer.  At first, I thought that he was talking to someone else behind me who was checking out.

But he wasn’t.

Then I figured that he was joking around with me.  After all, I’m closer to Medicare than the magical age of 21.

But he wasn’t goofing with me.  He was serious.

In fact, by then he’d walked over to me and was standing right in front of me, demanding ID.  So I yanked my wallet from my purse– which caused my lipstick to go flying onto the bagging area of the U-Scan– and started to show my driver’s license to the guy.

But something about the amazed look on my face + the close-up of my wrinkled skin/graying blonde hair must have startled this guy because his demand for my ID suddenly turned into a quiet little question: “Ma’am, are you old enough to buy alcohol?” 

To which I answered a simple little:  “yes.”

And with that, the employee guy picked up my lipstick and handed it to me.  Then he walked back to his U-Scan post where he hit the button that allowed me to buy beer.

I finished scanning my items without incident and put them in my bags.  Then I left the supermarket with a big smile on my face– and a crush on this kid who takes his job very seriously.

God bless him and his bad eyesight.

[WordPress automatically generates suggested tags for each post.  The three it suggested for this post are:  Beer – Medicare – God.  A glimpse into my future, perhaps?!]