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Another month, another 31 days. I finally began packing yesterday and today have managed to pull one of those notorious acts of mine: skip the drudgery of organization and fly off to tulsa for lunch with a friend. I was so glad to see that the Cheesecake Factory in Tulsa has the same menu as the one in California I went to last November. (Funny thing about those chain restaurants; they don't step out of the box very often.) We each enjoyed what is called Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes and these just can't be beat. A party for the mouth.
Today was Tuesday Club and I had plenty to do before 1:30. The last minute packing drives me nuts; it's all the heavy stuff like the toiletries that can't be packed until the last minute and heaven forbid I should forget a lotion or potion, my shampoo or conditioner, hairspray or moisturizer--and SHOES! Oh, Lord, how I wish I were one of those travelers who could travel with just one pair of shoes, a pair of jeans, a few tops and a dressier pair of slacks. No such luck. I'm between the "minimalist packer" and the "takes everything."
Yesterday's two legged flight to Seattle went off without a hitch. It was a pleasure to fly first class because of being able to upgrade on my husband's frequent flyer miles ticket. (There's a difference, believe me, but it's not worth the cost if it's coming out of your bank account.) Sure, who doesn't like extra leg room and warm towels to wipe your hands on? Who can refuse cashews and almonds served hot in French White ramekins, endless wine or champaign (if you want it) and warm chocolate chip cookies after a really decent meal? Seattle, here we come.
It's wonderful to be in the northwest again. I LOVE Seattle. I don't mind the mist, the gray skies, the FRESH AIR. (Oklahoma has fresh air, too.) We spent the day with my husband's cousins and our daughter and her friend. We went to Vashon Island to see the latest project another one of my husband's cousins is working on--an old Victorian house which had gone to rack and ruin but he is restoring to its original glory. We ate at a great Turkish restaurant; the lamb was food fit for God Himself. (I hope God isn't a vegetarian.)
After yesterday's fabulous lunch at Palomino, we waited until my hubby returned to his cousins' place after working and getting off early. We picked up our daughter and found another wonderful restaurant for dinner called Poppy. It was East Indian sans curry and was served on trays called a tally. The meals were an assortment of different flavors that were wonderful; like tapas or dim sum all served in small bowls and on small plates. Today we had lunch at a pub and our daughter made us espresso. We checked out Elliott Bay Bookstore in Pioneer Square in downtown Seattle.
If it's Saturday, it must be Whidbey Island!!! We got up and had our coffee, eggs, toast with "mahvelous" marmalade from Columbia and hit the road. Took the ferry to Whidbey after world famous clam chowder before we boarded. Had fun snooping around the town and looking in shops and art galleries. Went to our cousins' house on the island and one planted bulbs, one fixed a loose eve. We took a walk to visit a neighbor of theirs and chatted, then took a walk on the beach at sunset; collected driftwood and seashells. Had dinner at Gerry's (good restaurant.)
More typical weather today in Seattle--clouds and then rain. It began so beautifully with lots of sun and by the time we left to pick up our daughter and her b.f., the clouds had come in. It didn't start raining until around 4:30-5:00 or so. We had a great little sushi lunch at at hotel restaurant downtown, enjoyed walking Pike Street Market and toured the new Hyatt at Olive and 8th. Then we went wine tasting in Woodinville and I must say, when it comes to wine, I'm a little bit of a light weight.
A smoky charcoal gray sky threatened more rain this morning. A half moon was above us. The security line was a log jamb bottleneck while my husband returned the rental car. A woman, speaking loudly, reminded her obnoxious son to speak in his “inside voice.” I wanted to ask her to speak in her inside voice. I said to a man on line, “Can we spell tranquilizers??” He wholeheartedly agreed. I was thankful to be in seat 3-C because everyone in the waiting area knew she and her spawn were going to be sitting in 19-E and F.
My dear friend, who was 94, passed away peacefully yesterday morning. I haven't processed this yet. There will be an emptiness in my heart for a long, long time. There was a place only she could fill and she filled it with smiles and hospitality and humor. We enjoyed each other's company so much. It's funny but, I do not recall the first time we met. She was one of those friends who has always been in my recent life and didn't enter with a blast that announced her presence. An artist and an activist, she will be so missed.
My hubby, mom, sister and I drove down the California coast yesterday to revisit old stompin' grounds: stopped at the Balboa Pavilion and drove through Newport Beach, Corona del Mar, Laguna Beach and Dana Point. The snow-covered San Bernardino Mountains were and are again today, spectacular. Enjoyed cocktail hour in the hotel lobby with complimentary wine and cheese; afterwards we ate dinner at Felix Cafe, a Cuban restaurant on the Circle in Orange. My husband returns to Oklahoma today and I will go back next Wednesday. Earlier today, I finally processed the fact that my dear friend is gone.
Is there any sound lonelier than the cry and whistle of a train at night? I'm staying at my favorite B & B while visiting my mom and sister in Orange, California and it has become my home away from home. The proprietor has three friendly Golden Retrievers (is there any other kind of Golden Retriever?? Now I ask you!) and I look forward to hearing the trains that go by several blocks away each evening. Shortly after my dad died, I caught a "glimpse" of him waving to me from the platform of a train. He was smiling; looked young.
Another beautiful day in the 'hood, my home away from home, sunny Orange, California. The birds are chirping, the palm trees are swaying in the breeze and the botanicals are blooming and green. Train whistles seemed to be going all night, which I didn't mind. They lull me back to sleep. I must have had a lot of R.E.M. last night because I awoke refreshed at six a.m.; that's never the case (and i rarely use the word never.) Also out of the ordinary, I awoke hungry. That happens, on the average, about two times per year.
Unseasonably warm again today; it will be getting even warmer yet--into the low 80's--next week. While my mom had her hair permed, I bought a pair of black Traveler's slacks at Chico's and began reading The Shack. My mom and I had a lovely, albeit very late, lunch at Paris in a Cup, a charming tea room on the Circle. We then found a jogging suit for her at Good Will, perfume (Burberry) for her birthday at TJ Max and filled the car with gas. Checked the movies for showtimes of "Crazy Heart" on Sunday when we'll go.
My son e-mailed me that my dear friend's memorial service yesterday was practically Standing Room Only in the large First Presbyterian Church in downtown Bartlesville, OK. I'm sure it was a lovely sendoff. Our high school luncheon reunion in Whittler was great fun yesterday. Seven of us attended. Today is a beautiful day in Orange, CA; nary a cloud in the sky. I'm at Panera Bread having just had a latte while catching up with my e-mail and Facebook. Looking forward to taking my mom to see "Crazy Heart" late matinee and enjoying traditional Bob's Big Boy dinner.
Ides of March. The trains nearby seem to be running more frequently. I've been lulled to sleep and awoken by the sound of their low, whistling moans. Sometime I hear them in the middle of the night. Saw "Crazy Heart" yesterday with my mom; made me cry. Not just an ordinary statement; it takes a LOT to make me cry in a movie. The sun is shining again. I awoke at 7:30. The birds are chirping, my stomach is growling, the heater is humming on the floor by the bed; quite the cacophony. My head is full of sleep.
WOW, it was hot today. Couldn't sleep last night; bummer. Packed my gigantic red suitcase this morning before going to my sister's place. She had taken our beloved mom to get checked for hearing aids--finally! Hooray!!!! Movin' forward, yes we are. Mom and I had a lovely lunch a Tutto Fresco in Orange and took a ride heading east on Chapman and south on Jamboree into Irvine. Showed her e-mail and Facebook on my laptop while we enjoyed iced lattes at Panera Bread; shared a bear claw. All three of us had supper at Benjies. I was tired.
Oy vey! I'm an Irish chick who's staying home tonight--on Saint Patrick's Day. Actually I returned home today from my two week sojourn. The flights were uneventful and my friend who picked me up at the Tulsa airport took me to a pub here in B'ville for a Stella beer and lunch. She couldn't see an Irish gal not celebrate. Didn't sleep well last night. Had to get up at 4:05 this morning and left for the John Wayne airport in Orange County at 5:10; no traffic! Seamless flights. Good to be home. Hope to sleep tonight.
First day back from a two week sojourn and I was out of bed before 6:30 and on the road for a latte and bagel with cream cheese before my little desk job that starts each Thursday at 8:30 a.m.. Had an unexpected, serendipitous lunch at Tumbleweeds with my friend, the daughter of my 94-year old friend who passed away. As soon as I was home, our son wanted me to go with him to test drive a snazzy jazzy 2008 Honda Civic s i with only 16,000 mile on it. He loved it, naturally!
The sun, like yesterday, is GORGEOUS. Hard to believe we are expecting 2-8" of snow tomorrow. Exercised, did one ton of laundry that was waiting for me upon my return from California :-( and vacuumed before going out for Sushi Friday with male child; he wants his dad to go look at the Honda today; dad is smartly still not home from work yet and it's after 3:00 in the afternoon. The asking price begins at $19,900; haha and good grief!!! Today feels like a Saturday to me. I still have a stack of mail to go through.
First day of Spring--helloooooooo! It's been snowing since sometime in the middle of the night and before it's all over tomorrow evening, it's estimated we will have gotten 10-12 inches. It's the wet and sloppy kind, not the hard, crunchy kind. It looks beautiful when falling from the sky--like big fluffy cotton balls. Then the wind blows and great swaths of snow fly from trees and roof tops like big white sheets. Spent the day helping serve lunch after a friend's dad's memorial service. Had lunch with my hubby and then we grocery shopped. Tomorrow is free.
Second day of Spring. It's still snowing and blowing out there. I'm content to stay home, watching the beauty of Mother Nature from inside a cozy house. I spent 10 looooooooong Winters in Anchorage, living a full life raising three children, running the roads driving carpools and going hither and yon. Winter, mind you, can begin with snow in August and not end until the last flakes finish falling in early May. When a year's weather patterns like that happen, my friends, it's known as "10 months of Winter and two months of company." Such is life in the Arctic.
Snow continued to fall yesterday until mid-morning when the sun began to shine and icicles started melting--even as it was still snowing. Rejoiced last night when the crazy process passed the health care reform bill. Like Marie Rainwater said: "I would rather use my strong back to reach down and pull a poor man up than take my foot to push a poor man down." I begin this normal Monday morning with business calls to make and a few rooms to de-clutter. Tomorrow evening is the premier of "The Death of Kevin Frye." Woo hoo! What fun.
It's the end of a long day. Ran a lot of errands downtown today and all around; this all took over two hours. There were phone calls and whatnot. Tonight was the premier and it was fun to see the whole cast gathered together and they spoke about the movie in a q & a afterwards. Had a terrible thing happen: saw someone i've known for years there and couldn't remember her name. Kept trying and trying to think; did the alphabet thing beginning with A then B then C et cetera, et cetera. That's sad when that happens, isn't it?
'tis Wednesday. There it sits, each week, nestled smack dab in the middle of the seven, safely sheltered between sometimes tedious Tuesday and always tumultuous Thursday. It's a great day to have a White Square OR, a great day to get dressed and get out to something that feeds my soul. During Lent, the First Presbyterian Church in Bartlesville has community Lenten services at noon on Wednesdays for seven weeks. As one who has not been following any traditional observance of Lent this year, I welcomed the chance to attend this day's service. Last Wednesday I was on a plane.
Okay, not tumultuous Thursday; let's just leave it at tiring or tiresome Thursday. All was very quiet at my desk job this morning. Instead of a discussion around and about what the sermon may touch on Sunday, our Thursday lunch group at church heard all about our pastor's trip to Disney World with his family. Truly does sound like a gigantuous my own word) place. I grew up going to Disneyland; it's a lot smaller. Visited someone in the hospital and grocery shopped. I was worn out by then. By 6:10 I left; attended Women's Network program with friends.
After a great lunch, (seared ahi tuna salad and iced tea) I went aboard the errands train. First, I filled the car with gas. Then, I had one of the printer's cartridges refilled for $8.00 at Walgreen's. (They tried to refill the color cartridge, too, but made a bloody mess of it.) I took the color cartridge to Staples to recycle and bought a new one. Bought a new mattress cover and two new pillow protectors at Penny's. Paid for the AP English exam my son will take in early May. Watched "17 Again." Will finish reading The Shack.
Rain, thunderous stormy rain, was predicted for today. Did they mean "it will arrive eventually Saturday?" I awoke to glorious sun. The morning has clouded up a bit; I'm crossing my fingers for rain. Our son fertilized the grass last night so we need rain to help it soak in. Last week's prediction of snow was as if the meteorologists had a crystal ball; they were to the letter, on time and accurate with when it would commence, how many inches we would be getting and when it would all come to a screeching halt. Trees have new spring leaves.
Palm Sunday. The beginning of Holy Week. The service this morning began with special music and a celebratory tone. It ended on a somber note, an appropriate way to usher in the week which includes the betrayals, the Last Supper (Seder,) the trial, conviction, execution and burial of Jesus. It is a time when believers symbolically walk in darkness from Good Friday until Easter morning. God is symbolically hidden from our sight. He no longer walks among us. Twenty two more words to complete today's 100 and yet, everything I wanted to write today was completely written in seventy eight.
Another board meeting looms large on my calendar today, cluttering up what would be a glorious white square where I could blissfully get some things done. The full, bright orb in the sky did not keep me awake last night, thank goodness. I slept really well and woke up ready to face the day before 7:30 a.m.. Hubby is on his way to Anchorage and Fairbanks for a short trip this week. Spring is here in full bloom. The grass needs mowing for the first time this season. I want to plant more forsythia in the backyard. Lovely!
Have I mentioned I gave up all sweets, desserts and candy as a pact with my sister this month while I was in California? I have not been tempted. We are to do this until I return to California in November. Sugary delights will all seem too sweet by then and less enjoyable. I just have to stop thinking of BEAR CLAWS. Oh! And then it was just yesterday Nancy Pelosi who mentioned on NPR that she got through the whole health care debate with "chocolate, very, very dark chocolate." That's nice, Nancy! Thank you. Thank you very, very much.
Well, I don't know if this will work or not. There's no March 31 on this month's calendar but I'm writing anyway! I just stuck the numbers 31 in the Date Selected box and am typing away in the space provided for an entry. (Mmmmm . . . is it still called "typing" if one is using a computer? Is it then called word processing instead?) I reported this little "bug" to the powers that be at 100words.com this morning and I not only haven't heard back from them but, 10 hours later, there's still a blank gray square for March 31.
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