Morning all:

You must have at some time stared at one of those pictures designed to allow one person to see one thing and another something totally different. This week we had a smallish birthday dinner at a local Lebanese specialty restaurant. I loved the Kibbeh and viewed it as a Middle Eastern version of the Swedish meatball. Marcia only saw a little bleating lamb. I found the lemony flavoring of the Shish Tawook as a treat bursting on my taste buds. Marcia stated that it reminded her of chicken bits left to dry on a hot tin roof. And so it went. Until at last we made it to the Turkish coffee finale. Here we both agreed on something; that something being that the thick black steaming mud inside a well-used ibrik was extremely potent. Difference being, I loved the stuff. Marcia just kept adding sugar.

Fast forward to the next morning; Marcia, bleary eyed was barely able to get up, and grunted on about the caffeine slapping her around for half the night. At about grunt three little beads of sweat started to form and she raced of to what the Europeans politely refer to as the “WC”. Exactly who thought up the phrase “slow as mud”?

We had a lovely dinner.

This week it was a full moon and lots of clear skies. About nine in the evening I was walking Shang. Returning and as we were approaching the house I heard a soft “whoo whoo”. Closer in I was able to zero in on the sound and there, in the very top of the neighbor’s tree, sat a pair of Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus for you birders), both beautifully visible in the moonlight, ear tufts and all. I called Marcia outside and from where we stood they looked to be adult and anywhere from 18” to 24” tall. It’s amazing the wildlife we have, living only 3 miles from the heart of a large city.

Last week I purposefully did not mention the following event. Just a slight bit of embarrassment mind you. I had been traveling with a group of five Australians. For one of the dinners we decided on Park City, Utah, home to many of the ski events of the 2002 Winter Olympics. Park City is quaint and looks almost Bavarian. We finally found a parking spot on the old picturesque Main St. Paid the parking machine and we wandered down the hill looking for a likely looking restaurant. A few blocks away, across the street, we found just what we were looking for. Two hours later we started back up the hill towards the car and doing some window shopping.
Dirk (learning to emulate the very plain spoken language of the Australians):”Look at what some idiot forgot with that minivan”, pointing at the big sliding door on the street side standing wide open and snow blowing in.
Guest #1: “spot on mate.”
Guest #2: “hoy Dirk, isn’t that our van?”
Guests #3, 4, &5: uproarious laughter.
At this point I was madly pushing the various door open and close buttons on the remote managing to close the street side slider and open the other and the tailgate. I have discovered that overseas visitors love our car gadgetry.

The car rental agency was kind enough to supply me with one of those ice scrapers with a brush on it—thanks Avis, it did come in handy.

Now off for another adventure in walking with Shang, to be followed by a Birthday breakfast with Cathy, Jason, and Marin. It just doesn’t stop.

Thanks for all the cards this week. My adult side was touched, my childlike side was delighted!
Have a great week,

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