Actually on the patio

It is seventy-five degrees outside, and as Siri puts it, “Hot!”

It is pretty much hard to believe. It has been in the fifties for the past few days. It has been downright cold and the rains have been incessant. When we drove into the city on Monday, I was worried as it seemed as if we were hydroplaning. The back yard has been awful and the landscapers were in to add to the stones around the pond and to put mulch down as well as mow the lawn. They were just barely able to do their work yesterday.

To see us with the landscapers is a hoot. I have consistently offered our guys coffee or coke, depending on the weather. That is what they prefer. Yesterday, they asked for coffee but also politely asked if we had any cookies or maybe bread and jam. I ended up making them brioche toast, scrambled eggs, and coffee. It was freezing outside, that is, if you were not moving.

It is only recently that I have gotten them to the point of sitting down on our patio. I found them eating in their truck one day and told them that there was no reason to do that when they are in our neighborhood. It was hard for them to accept sitting at our patio table, but they finally did. We even ended up making a frozen pizza for them as yesterday, they were doing way more for us than they normally do. One of the benefits of doing this for the guys is that they really appreciate us and go out of their way to please us. It is thus a win/win for everyone.

The malbor actually talked to me today, calling me first by name. I swear it has been more than ten years since we have actually spoken. He asked me if we are putting up a fence. Although MK had already answered that, I guess he felt that the lack of movement in this area might mean we had a change of heart. I responded that we are waiting for the plat of survey and that then we would move forward.

I am feeling like a nap. It is early afternoon, I did some pond work in the morning, a small amount of work for our new bookshelves in the family room, and then went to the gym.

Outdoor nap, it is!

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Banana Bread and Mistos

It is very early in the morning, way too early for a supposedly retired person, but hey, what can you do?

We were at the kids’ home minutes after 6:30 AM, in time for them to leave and for us to sit quietly with the Black Lab as we wait for the grandkids to awaken.

We checked the fridge and there was no milk. I would have made coffee, but we needed milk. I went to Starbuck’s to pick up two Mistos, what I find to be Starbuck’s best coffee and bargain. I am not a fan of what I deem to be coffee made from beans that are on the edge of being burned. The steamed milk of a Misto makes it better and the cost is better as well. My favorite Misto fact is that it is never listed on the menu but every Starbuck’s knows what it is.

When I walked into the local Starbuck’s, I was visually affected by the bright yellow jerseys of a pack of cyclists, mainly around my age, which was a surprise, and only one guy looking as if he were in his forties. The line was non-existent, but strangely, it took a good amount of time before I had my order.

The banana bread is pretty much ‘de rigueur’ as we shall use it to keep the littlest one happy while his sister probably snoozes. For whatever reason, the banana bread makes them very happy and is a great ‘carrot’ to get them moving.

The Black Lab is curled up by my side. The view outside is that of a après-monsoon variety, as it is just about fifty degrees; there is a fog and it is very humid.

It is quiet.

The calm before the kids wake up and we pack them up and go to our house.

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E-mail etiquette

Q & A after the film showing: Zlatomir Moldovanski (Tybalt) and Jamie Mac (Benvolio), actors in Romeo and Juliette.

Am I the only one who has noticed that often when we take the time to contact people that they don’t respond, that the only way that you might know that they have received the message is if you have the ability to check and see if they have electronically received it?

Recently, for the Chicago Associates of the Stratford Festival, I sent out an e-mail to friends, acquaintances, and colleagues telling of an authorized showing by the Stratford Festival of Romeo and Juliette, a play that was produced in 2017. Stratford only films several of their Shakespeare plays each season and this was one of them. There are few opportunities to see films of this nature.

I understand that sometimes we are all overwhelmed by life and all of our demands.

I work for a local community college and thought that this free showing of a great play would be a tremendous opportunity for fellow faculty and students. I contacted the people involved with the Performing Arts and gave them the information.

I did hear back from the College President and from one of the faculty members. My initial e-mail was from my gmail account and not hearing back from my peers, I sent a second one from my campus e-mail account. I did receive an apology from one of my colleagues for being late in response.

I just don’t get it.

I get it if not everybody answered but a majority of no-answers seems excessive.

I guess I am just surprised.

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Cold Morning

Food memories from Topolobampo.

Despite the fact that it was almost too warm in the house at night, I went outside with Stewart and wore a t-shirt and shorts. It was okay for the fifteen minute walk, but when I came home I realized that my choices were not prudent. I continued wearing the same thing but added a jacket.

It is funny how sometimes the very early morning is pretty much no indication of how things are going to be for the rest of the day.

It is cold.

Low fifties.

Today I have to put up a temporary fence and it will be interesting how that goes with the malbor. I say malbor because despite the fact that two people live in the house to our south, we only see one (for the most part) and deal with one. The second occupant only shows when she has to mow the lawn or when she is in the car going somewhere. Two huge, white SUVs grace their perfectly organized garage and they go in an out all the time.

I have two rolls of that wonderful, temporary fencing that goes up with easily planted stakes that have extra grabbing power at the bottom. I am hoping that I have enough to do the area between our gate and the garage without having to resort to pieces of fencing, as I am not sure how long the rolled up pieces are. I shall find out. I have a whole bunch of stakes, at least five, so happily I don’t think I will have to buy anything for this annoying set up, one that could have been avoided by my malbor (AKA not nice neighbor) leaving the old fence up until we get the new one.

As it now stands, we are still waiting on the plat of survey, which we have to have before we can get the permit and the Fence Company is still too busy and concerned about the wetness of the land.

I hope we make lots of joyous noise today in our back yard.

Posted in Cuisine and Food, Life in general, Malbors, Neighbors, Neighbors from Hell, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment

Let’s vacuum the street, NOT!

Malbor’s signage for self.

I am not responsible for words not spelled correctly.

The other day, we spoke to the new neighbors across the street, a delightful, young couple with a toddler and another on the way. MK had received a text message about the signage decorating the DMZ between the yards, wondering what was going on. We saw her out front with her toddler and we went over, with Stewie, since I was walking him a bit. Soon her husband arrived, and we explained the situation.

We are not out for blood, we are out for peace and assuredly our discussion was as objective as it could be, outlining history and pointing out perhaps why things are as they are. We have a thirty-one year history of living in this home.

There has been tragedy in their lives. Now there is illness.

At the same point in time, there are things that perhaps produced tragedy. We are all born flawed and flawed we shall return to the earth. It is up to us to do our best and some of us are just not equipped to do that.

We talked about it and the things we have done to make things better or at least produce peace.

While talking, it was pointed out that our new neighbors across the street had noted something that I thought was singularly odd one day, when our malbor went into the street with his shop vac and was vacuuming the area adjacent to his curb, in the street. I thought it was odd and apparently our new neighbors across the street did as well, as they mentioned it. It was on that day that the first warning went up. The warning did not tell what the malbor was going to do, although one might assume that the police would be called. Mind you, the day they were called, Stewart was even less noisy than ever.

It is reassuring that the new neighbors are nice, kind, and normal. They are also supportive.

Meanwhile, times are good here as the malbor and his wife are out of town. I wish Stewie could enjoy it more but it is too wet, having rained last night. It is also too cool. The winter has not totally given up its hold on us. It is damp, wet outside, and humid.

It is not going to be an easy time as we wait for the new fence to be put up.

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