Monday, November 23, 2009

Issues of, or With, My Womb


Reichter, MK, Cree Summer 2007

My one kid has a few jealousy issued with MK. Namely, he's jealous of the time I spend with her. We've thwarted him, successfully, to an extent, by including him on our weekends together. Thankfully he was bored because let's face it, we're middle-aged women who are either making wine, shopping for wine, or drinking wine. It's what we do. I haven't lived an interesting life since 1998. Don't ask me what made that year interesting because I sold that journal on ebay and have signed a gag order on those stories. Suffice it to say that I drooled for three months, but then my saliva glands adjusted.

OBX



A few years ago I took the kids and my mom to the Outer Banks in North Carolina for vacation. Here they are standing on one of the dunes in Kitty Hawk, very near where the Wright brothers first went aloft.
Everyone in this picture has experienced a height change since this was taken. Two have gotten taller and one has shrunk. Still, this is the pic that I have on the front of my personal recipe book. I don't know why, exactly, it's not like I cooked the whole time were gone. It just makes me feel good, I suppose.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

On Break

I'm going to have to take a break from blogging because my Dad's cancer is pretty bad right now and I have to be available for both him and Mom.
I probably won't be totally absent, but more sporadic.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Best Food City


Montreal #1

My favorite Canadian city is easily Montreal. It's like a wee bit of Europe wed itself to the New World and didn't somehow totally fuck it up. Also, the best food I've eaten anywhere in the world (I'm looking at you Paris and New York) was in Montreal. Just amazing. Amazing! At one restuarant, some side walk bistro, I ordered the ravioli stuffed with rabbit and drizzled with a feta cheese sauce, and I about died when the taste registered. Probably the best single dish I've ever had in my life. The accompanying house wine was atrocious, but I tipped it back anyway.
MK and I have got to go to Montreal one of these days. I haven't been there for a decade and I'd like to refresh the experience in my mind and on my palate again.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rock City



Rock City, Olean, NY

This tourist trap is one of my favorite places. Located between Jamestown, NY and nowhere, it's a massive sandstone formation rising starkly from the farm fields and meadows that surround it. Loverly!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Family Affair And Vodka

This morning Junior called bright and early to make sure that she got in on the ground floor of my services. Namely, helping her with her grandchildren. The conversation went like this:
Junior: What are you doing today? I mean, hello.
Me: I have a bunch of shit I have ship out and I have to call Debbie (MK's sister, the one I don't hate).
Junior: Good, then you can come down here and run interference for me with Tristan (her two year old grandson who tries to climb in bed with the baby when she's sleeping).
Me: OK
Junior: Don't come too early, though. The liquor store doesn't open until 11.
Me: Am I sensing that you want me to pick something up for you?
Junior: Vodka, please.
Me: Ah yes, the opiate of the housewife.
Junior: Hey! I work full-time and these kids aren't mine.
Me: Regardless, my observation stands.

So, I called Debbie, went to the liquor store, the post office, and the Valero station to get cigarettes, then I drove down 588 to Junior's house. It sounds more interesting than it was, but anyway, Debbie had given me a juicy earful of what is going on in her neck of the woods, and I was anxious to discuss all of the revelations with Junior. An endeavor, as it turns out, that was a complete systems failure because, apparently, if a topic is not directly related to Junior, then she has almost no interest in it. I would say that I got a bit peeved, but she makes really good coffee and she was baking double chocolate cookies and whipping up that delicious cream icing that she puts on top of them. AND making meatballs! All with a baby on her hip! I got to have a meatball hoagie for lunch and some cookies for dessert, so I was completely unthwarted on one level while thwarted on another, seemingly lesser level.
After awhile I came home. And that brings us to a proper closure.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Inclined To Say



Despite living around Pittsburgh nearly my whole life, I've never taken the incline. This weekend MK and I rode up the Duquesne Incline and looked down upon the city. It was a beautiful day, well beyond Indian Summer. But I must say, that if are freaked out by heights, keep your eyes closed.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Coffee On The Outside



Really cool mural on the side of the Bee Hive, the only decent coffee house on the south side of Pittsburgh. Right across the street from Starbucks. I used to go to the Bee Hive pretty much every Saturday and Sunday morning. MK would be working on lesson plans or trotting off to church, and I'd hole up with the newspaper and a big cup o' joe at the Bee Hive. But then, in a fit of fiscal responsibility, I gave up coffee on the outside. Now I drink instant, at home.

Smoking



This is my mother smoking her last cigarette, spring 1989. She never was much of a smoker, having one every morning with her coffee and that was it. I could never be that kind of smoker. I'd smoke in my sleep if I wouldn't burn the house down. Sleep smoking, I'm half surprised it's not one of the side effects of taking Ambien, not that I take Ambien. But still surprised.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Such Is Life



Some headstones are just creepier than others. Visually, I mean. Of course they can also have a creep factor by what's written on them. My mother one time came home from a visit to Aunt Clyta in Clarksburg, West Virginia with a rant that she'd copied down from a headstone in a cemetery there. I've long since lost the rant, but if memory serves it started off with a laundry list of ills done to this woman by her family, her church, and the community as a whole. The level of bile and bitterness was nothing short of astounding. She didn't want to let go of it, even in death. Such is life, I guess.

Pitt Football



I've said it before and I'll say it again: The only thing better than cheap is free! MK just called and said that a co-worker offered her four free tickets to the Pitt-Syracuse game this Saturday, and should she take them? I was like, hell yeah! Junior's boyfriend, D-Man, graduated from Pitt (something of a miracle in itself), so we can give the extra two tickets to them. I can see it now; kick-off is at noon so that means the tailgating will commence at 9am. I think I'll skip that part of the festivities though because it'll just make focusing the camera that much harder. A woman has got to know her limitations.
The weather forecast for Saturday so far looks sunny and 53F, perfect football weather. This should be great! I wonder how it will all go terribly wrong...

Urgent Update!
It didn't take long to find out what could go terribly wrong. While MK took the time to call and ask me if I wanted to go to the game, someone else scarfed up the tickets, which, btw, apparently were not free, just cheap. The cheap part took the shine off the free part and now I'm back to being ambivalent toward Pitt football.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Death and the Engineer



MK and I took the dog and walked through Union Dale Cemetery on Sunday. It was a gorgeous fall day. The sky an infinite blue and the air as crisp as a freshly laundered sheet. The cemetery sits atop a hill overlooking the northwestern part of the city and is spread out on both sides of Brighton Road on 96 acres. Not long after we arrived, as we aimlessly wandered around, we kicked up two deer, which led to Bela bawling like the good beagle that she is. She cast a look back at us that said, 'Shoot it! Shoot it!' But neither of us could get our cameras up in time. I really hate to disappoint the dog, but if not me, then who will teach her the harsh lesson that people often fail you.
Anyway, there's a natural poignancy to a cemetery. Whether it's the graves of young children, or like poor Hugh here, those working dangerous jobs and killed by same. He left behind a wife, who survived him by decades and never remarried. We came across quite a few of those sorts of graves; the men dying young the women outlasting them even into the next century and not remarrying. I wonder why, though I suspect that the reasons are different in every instance.