Shopping Trip

I had a big weekend.

On Saturday, I planned a trip to the post office to mail my ballot.  I thought Dave would enjoy a trip out too so I suggested he come with me and we could stop for coffee.  As we sat outside, (across the street from the pick up window of the coffee shop), Dave said he had heard Barnes Noble was open.  Did I want to see if it was empty enough to feel okay to go in and browse? I dithered.

but…

there would be people…

I don’t know if..but then…

okay.

We went.  Masked of course.  

The parking lot was almost empty.  We looked in.  The store had been reorganized and the layout was far more inviting…more spacious in feel, while at the same time, more intimate.  It was very nearly empty.

I spent the next giddy hour ducking and weaving among fellow patrons whilst selecting/rejecting/clutching books.  Books that had not been preread by strangers nor purchased online, but fresh new books.  Just for me!

After stalking the mystery section a time or two – along with a brief foray into fiction, (election season in a pandemic has quenched any thirst I might have had for both horror and nonfiction), I realized I was carrying the equivalent of my bimonthly grocery budget.  Several deep cleansing breaths later, I narrowed my final selection to a far more reasonable number and almost – but not quite – skipped to the car.   To round out the day, we had pizza for supper.  Yay!

(a brief aside….Massey’s Pizza is the best!  Being gluten free takes a lot of yum out of pizza for me – but Massey’s has a cauliflower crust that is great!)

And Sunday.  Well nothing much done…. but watching NOVA and reading.  But still pretty darn great.

As always, thank you for reading and stay safe.

Haircare(s) part II – the resolution

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I did it.

Yesterday, I went to my hair stylist.  

Gone is the unknown color invasion.  The dry, unruly, and a bit scratchy pandemic hair.  My should-have-been-natural color has been restored.  My curls are soft and nonfrazzled.  What’s more, I feel thoroughly pampered.  I feel a bit less frazzled.

Interesting isn’t it?  What was once merely something to be scheduled and maintained has evolved into an indulgent luxury.  So what if I wore a mask the whole time?  It didn’t deter at all from the moment.

(As a quick aside, I actually don’t mind wearing masks.  At first it was a bit odd, but now it is just – well – what you do.).

Anyway,  clearly I learned a little lesson about appreciation and self care – and one I will need to remember in the future.  In the meantime, I’m already looking forward to next month’s appointment. 

As always, thank you  for reading and stay safe.

 

Earworm

My ear-worm is back. Well, I think I inadvertently invited it back.

Sometime last month, I watched The Fisher King. Made in 1991, the incredible cast stars Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges, Mercedes Ruehl, and Amanda Plummer, (not to mention Michael Jeter and an uncredited Tom Waits…whoops…I actually did just mention them…). Directed by Terry Gilliam, this movie has an enthralling surreal feeling.

Very briefly:
A talk radio DJ (Jack/Jeff Bridges) rants about Yuppies which inspires one of his listeners to open fire in a crowded New York bar. Robin Williams portrays Perry, a former professor who becomes first unhinged and then homeless after losing his wife in the atrocity.

We meet Perry as the homeless soul he has become and learn he is obsessed with questing for what he believes is The Holy Grail. Throughout, he is haunted and stalked by his delusions. Terry Gilliam creates memorable delusion scenes – especially with his magnificently horrible Red Knight.

The Fisher King was actually based on the Arthurian legend of the Fisher King, also called the Maimed King or Wounded King. According to the legend, the king was the last in the blood line of knights charged with keeping the Grail safe. He was wounded in the thigh, (although many think this was actually a groin wound), and cannot stand. He spends his time in his boat, fishing, and waiting for a nobleman to come to heal the wound. Eventually, he is healed by Percival.

An aside about Percival and the Red Knight:
Percival was one of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table. The Red Knight, according to legend, stole the Holy Grail from King Arthur. Percival pursues and slays the Red Knight. Percival then dons the slayed Knight’s armour and comes to be known as the Red Knight.

Now, there are a gazillion different versions of the Fisher King/Percival/Red Knight story(s) but this should be sufficient.

Back to topic. Click on the link and watch and listen to my ear-worm (this is the movie version, not Sinatra’s). It got in there after watching the movie and set up house keeping. This morning I thought,’Hey! I haven’t heard that song…..oh. crud.’. So. Maybe by writing all of this, I will somehow release it back into, well, wherever.

Thanks for reading! stay safe!

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=how+about+you+fisher+king&&view=detail&mid=3191FC31E8B2FB87C7A93191FC31E8B2FB87C7A9&&FORM=VRDGAR&ru=%2Fvideos%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Dhow%2Babout%2Byou%2Bfisher%2Bking%26FORM%3DVDRESM

How About You
Burton Lane/ Ralph Freed

I like New York in June, how about you
I like a Gershwin tune, how about you
I love a fireside when a storm is due
I like potato chips, moonlight
Motor trips, how about you
I’m mad about good books, can’t get my fill
And James Durantes looks give me a thrill
Holding hands in the movie show
When all the lights are low may not be new
But I like it, how about you
I like New York in June, how about you
I like a Gershwin tune, how about you
I love a fireside when a storm is due, how about you
I’m mad about good books, can’t get my fill
And James Durantes looks they give me a thrill
Holding hands in the movie show
When all the lights are low may not be new
But I like it, and I like it, I like it, how about you

My Virtual Revisit

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From October 9, 1996 to September 28, 1999, the BBC ran a wonderful cooking show called Two Fat Ladies.

I love cooking shows. I remember Mom watching The French Chef – not the reruns mind you – but as a brand spanking new weekly series. Mom marveled that the teeny tiny kitchen that produced those French gastronomic beauties was indeed Julia Child’s actual kitchen. It wasn’t until I was much older that I came to appreciate the show: recipes, petite kitchen, not to mention Julia Child herself. After Julia came a succession of cooking shows I enjoyed and watch(ed) loyally. Among the many titles and chefs, there is one series/chefs that has a special place in my heart: Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson aka the
Two Fat Ladies.

The premise of the show is simple: Clarissa and Jennifer travel throughout the U.K. cooking for large groups of people. Each show has a food theme such as cakes or one episode is simply titled Meat. These two completely unscripted women are bold, intelligent, outrageous, funny, and incredible cooks. (They were also throughly unique individuals. Their lives make a fascinating read.). What’s more, this dynamic duo do their traveling via Jennifer’s vintage motorcycle with a sidecar for Clarissa – which leads me to my virtual vacation: Last Sunday, I dusted off my Two Fat Ladies dvd set and settled down for a nice little trip.

I rode with the ladies along the waterfront of Mevagissey, Cornwall sniffing the the catch of the day, moved on to Hallaton, Leicestershire and marveled as they creamed butter and sugar with just a spoon. The drive to Lennoxlove House in East Lothian, Scotland took my breath away – as did Lennoxlove House. I had just sworn (for the umpteen time) that I would make those chicken breasts with walnut l’aillade, (surely my cooking skills are up to that recipe?), when my DVD player hiccuped. Unfortunately, like all hiccups bouts, the pops and burps continued sporadically until I admitted defeat. Or rather an extended pause – I ordered a new dvd that afternoon.

I hope to continue my lovely journeys with Clarissa and Jennifer very soon. I say give them a try!
Thank you for reading and stay safe!

Breathing easier

Monday night, Ginger started sliding downhill.
She didn’t want to stand much less, walk.
She even ignored her favorite pastime – snacking.

Dave packed her off to our emergency center. Once there, the doctors decided on a course of treatment and a couple of days under their care. We brought her home yesterday evening.

Her improvement is astonishing. She is walking and eating and her breathing is nearly normal. She has two weeks of antibiotics and then a follow up. Her treating doctor, (I’m planning on shamelessly begging him to accept Ginger as one of his regular patients. Or at the very least recommending someone affiliated with the treatment center.), can’t be sure if this is pneumonia, bronchitis, or another lung disease until the follow up tests.

So. It is looking up here. Thank you for reading and stay safe.

Do over please…

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Ah… the long gone days of childhood. Playing outside and getting the frisbee stuck in the tree – or the ball in the gutter – and shouting ‘do over!’. Everything stopped, the ball/frisbee retrieved, everybody back to their assigned places and the game is restarted. But, come to think of it… there usually was one kid – the one who yelled ‘No, not fair! I’m winning!’ – even though all had agreed to their earlier do over. Hmmmm…. food for thought … for another time.

Anyway, my wish for a do over today is about our dog, Ginger. She has fallen extremely ill and is struggling to recover. When she came back from the vet on Saturday, she seemed to be improving. Yesterday, she was eating and drinking. Today. Well, not the improvement we had been hoping for but not necessarily worsening. I think this illness is unnerving both of us. She’s almost 13 and that is a big age for any breed. Well. I don’t know when or where this came from, so on a rethink, ‘do over’ is incorrect. I want an undo.

I almost forgot – my opening photo: I took a quick shot of some of my newly created polymer clay pieces. These will be part of my new jewelry collection.

Need to check on my girl. Thanks for stopping and reading. Stay healthy and safe.

My big day out

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Since this all begin – about three months ago (three? Really? Is that all?), I haven’t left the house. Well, yes, early in March I had periodontal surgery. Then the stitches removed a couple of weeks later. Oh – we had our taxes done. And let’s see… a couple of grocery trips before the stay at home order and then… nothing until the end of May. (Dave had volunteered to do our grocery trips, (for my Mom as well), and is still doing all errands.) Most of the time I putted around the house – occasionally napping with our sweet dog. At the end of May we went for a cup of coffee at our favorite local shop. And that was it – until today.

My big day out started with a periodontal cleaning. Okay, not the trip to make anyone’s top 20, (or more. Adjust as needed), however, it was necessary. And I decided it was also necessary to treat myself afterwards. After a good report from the hygienist, I drove off to our historic downtown area. A mocha under the trees on a park bench and then a stroll along the shopping area. A couple of stores were closed but I found a nice card and stuff shop. A wad of cards and steamed up glasses from my mask later I headed for home. (After stopping for a second mocha for Dave.). All in all a very pleasant outing. Just what I needed.

Haircare(s)

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Lately, I find myself spending more time staring into the mirror. To be more precise, staring at the top of my head. You know…at the part with new growth. As odd as this may sound, I am – and there is no better word for it – baffled.

About ten years ago, my naturally curly hair friendly stylist, Nikki, wondered, aloud, if I would like to add some highlights to my hair. I had never colored my hair. My hair tends to be dry so I didn’t want to do damage plus I liked the color; a nice warm brown that suited my skin tone. On the other hand, I have a great stylist and there’s nothing wrong with a little change. (Or a lot of it for that matter!) Over time we decided on a lovely auburn shade with highlights here and there. Love it.

On March 19, the governor closed all beauty salons.

On April 23, I am baffled.

In March, I had to postpone my hair appointment. Today, I am looking at about two months of new hair growth. A couple of things here: First, it is just not fair to be this much grayer… But second….what is that other color growing out?? Did recessive black hair genes just kick in? Did this happen at some point in the last couple of years and I just never realized? I’ve heard of stress causing biochemical changes, but hair color? Not gray mind you, but the actual shade?

I’ve been pondering what to do. Obviously, I won’t be able to go to my dear Nikki for.. don’t know.. a month? Two? Three or more? In the meantime, this really isn’t the time to dither in the Kroger hair care aisle to select a color to experiment with at home. (It takes me an hour just to pick out mascara.) So I guess I just answered my own question. Nothing to do. On the bright side, I am a bit curious to see what color eventually appears. In the meantime, at least I found my products on Amazon. And there is plenty of time for me to plan a welcome back to work gift, party, parade, (you get the idea), for Nikki.

As always, thanks for reading and stay safe. We’re in this together!

Book orders

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I got off to a slow start today.

I stayed up late last night to finish a book, A Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths. I happened to buy this book in January – or was it February – before the pandemic had been declared. I realized, at the time, this was the fifth in Ms. Griffith’s Ruth Galloway series but decided to buy it anyway. I was actually rather proud of myself: me? start reading a series out of order? Unheard of! I congratulated myself for such rebellious behavior and plopped the book on my ever expanding ‘to be read pile’.

A couple of weeks later Dave and I went to the library. I happened to see The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths – the first in the Ruth Galloway series. What the heck…I checked it out. Read it. Loved it. A dandy mystery with a wonderful lead character. Dr. Ruth Galloway, an archeologist, is a stand out in the genre. A great character and a very interesting story line. Being a mystery lover, I am always delighted to ‘discover’ an intelligent and engaging series. (I know this one has been out for quite awhile – I’ve come to the party a tad late.)

By then, our governor had closed all non essential businesses. No more trips to the library or bookstore for my entertainment – I would have to make due with the umpteen books sitting/piled around my house. What to read? Revisit a comforting old favorite? That would be perfect to sooth the nerves. Or… As I stood in front of my overcrowded bookshelves, my eyes landed on book number five in the Dr. Ruth Galloway series.

Damn.

I ordered books two thru four from thriftbooks.com. Devoured them. Loved them too. So much so that today I have ordered the next three books. (And a couple from James Doss. His were easy to rationalize, I can’t find them in my library branch.) I’ve learned my lesson. No more random starts or stops – begin at the beginning and stay the course. A lesson for our times.

Exercise and wine.

I’ve gone back to basics.

A few years ago, I admitted to myself it was time to start exercising regularly. It wasn’t that I never exercised, I just never found an exercise I liked well enough to do on a daily/weekly basis. My unofficial hobby became searching for a likable activity.

I tried gyms. Hmmm. I approached my first gym membership with enthusiasm: stationary bike, tread mill, mixed with weights, right? Great… but there were a few things… like the time it took to get the place and back home was almost as long as a workout! And working out in a gym, for me, was okay but I disliked waiting for machines, wiping away someone else’s sweat, and having other people impatient for me to clear off. Next I tried various exercise classes. The dance workouts. I drew the line at the paramilitary stuff. Nothing struck a chord.

So.

What did I like? Walking briskly. I love riding my bicycle although I can’t stand a stationary bike. And yoga. Perfect. Cheap and easy, I can walk or ride my bicycle daily – weather permitting. As for yoga, I adore YogawithAdriene.com. My new goal(s): keep sane, healthy, and finally lose that pesky last ten pounds, through daily basic exercise.

And a bit of wine always helps.

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