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?!]

How To Make Me Smile

Show me a recipe with a bit of small town snark buried inside of it from an 1894 church cookbook.  Delightful.

AMBROSIA FOR ONE

Fill a saucer with fresh peaches, finely sliced, or strawberries, carefully picked and  selected; over this, place a measure of ice-cream, vanilla flavor.  Cover all with powdered sugar to the depth of one-fourth inch.  Eat with spoon (if your income is over twenty thousand dollars, you can use a strawberry fork). [emphasis added]  Serve with angels food, or almond macaroons.

~ ~ Recipes Tried and True by the Ladies’ Aid Society of the First Presbyterian Church of Marion, Ohio