From the city, Good morning all:

Wisdom Of The Week:

“I don’t expect to actually read the legislative language because reading the legislative language is among the more confusing things I’ve ever read in my life,” — Sen. Thomas Carper (D.-Del.) on the Healthcare Bill

When it comes to politicians, people mention that my more cynical side pops front and center. By and large that is true. Therefore, I found it amazingly refreshing to read Senator Carper’s quote. Thanks for the honesty Senator; I raise my mug of steaming morning coffee in salute.

Sister-in-law Marlene and hubby Donn are still at their cabin in Canada. I suppose they are going for some sort of record. As the autumn winds and cold settle in quickly in those parts, I believe it is now at a point where they hustle off to town every other day to buy one more additional space heater. This in an effort to stay ahead of the game. I am envisioning their cabin filled with Kerosene cans and them tripping over an array of extension cords. Anyway, that is not what I am writing about. I am writing about the fact that I felt sorry for them being totally isolated in the North Woods and felt that they needed something to liven up their day(s). Give them a purpose, give them something to do.

Last spring Marlene and Donn watched as Maple sap was collected and then boiled into that loveliest of Canadian products—Maple Syrup. We received descriptions, photos, and even a video clip of the process. As a result, Marcia wanted to immediately head north to start tapping maple trees (she did not). Anyway, I thought of a fine April 1st prank for next year. Had they only closed up the cabin by September’s end it would still have been an April Fools joke. Since I troubled over their loneliness, I decided this was a better time. I asked them to look for, by Marcia’s request, a ‘new’ specialty Coca-Cola flavor. Look at the photo closely and you’ll see why they struggled to find any local merchant carrying this ‘sought after’ product.

Are you guys still speaking to me?

Last evening, at the last minute, we invited 1-year old Vaioleti over for dinner—parents were welcome. Marcia and I are so thankful she accepted. We were expecting another guest for dinner so Marcia spent the afternoon doing it right and creating a seven course meal from scratch. It all came together as both Julia Child and Martha Stewart would envision. The table was set. Both the Malbec and Merlot were breathing, the wine-cask candle holder came to life, and the wait began. At some point the realization that the only things happening was that the drying and cooling of the foods was accelerating—our guest didn’t show. That is when the new invitation was extended—HELP!

One great, and you’ll love it as a Thanksgiving meal addition, were Marcia’s Caribbean Sweet Potatoes; a blend of sweet potatoes and bananas. That is what we had for Vaioleti and that is what she couldn’t get enough of. Adrianne loved it and everything else including the roasted carrots and parsnips with cardamom, the seared pork roast with barbeque rub, and the homemade applesauce with cinnamon hot-shot candies. We had a wonderful feast and Vai ate her, second, dinner with gusto. Had she been able to talk I am certain she would have acknowledged that the meal sure beat chewing on dry Cheerio’s.

Talking about meals. This afternoon we’re off across the way for the neighbor’s annual fish fry. Our neighbor, a retired provost from the University, is an avid fisherman. All of his season’s catch is frozen and then prepared for this occasion. Since this is not solely a neighborhood affair it is a great place to meet and greet new faces. I love it.

Last Sunday our gang made it to the Bengal’s ‘overflow’ area, our downtown Fountain Square. The reason being that the Bengals game was broadcast on a billboard-sized screen. It was a nail biter of a game with positive outcome against the Steelers. I believe that Sunday will be a repeat as discussions about a time to head out have started.

It is great to watch the grandkids mature. Marin is now enjoying soccer, sportsmanship, teamwork, and screaming parents who are not allowed to chase you down on the field. In Florida Derek is starting Cub Scouts. I am certain he’ll love it and then ditto on the sportsmanship, camaraderie, and teamwork. This sure is a fun time.

Make it a great week, and if entertaining, it might not be a bad idea to remind your guests one last time.



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