Happy Saturday morning. I just poured my second mug of coffee and have written nothing (tells you just how much excitement filled my week – doesn’t it?).

Yesterday I actually found myself studying the most recent invitation from The Deupree House. We get a few of these a year as they continue their search for new members to their Independent Living Residence club.

Each of these invitations start with an offer for Valet parking, a Luncheon or Happy Hour and then an invitation to go somewhere in one of their perfectly sparkling little black busses with gold script lettering on the side. I remember one offering a trip to a nearby Bourbon distillery (came close to going on that one). This one is a behind-the-scenes tour of our newly refurbished ($143-million) Music Hall (I’ll skip).

”Our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.” ~ William Shakespeare

Salamanders – This year it was a winter, which although cold, was not overly severe and had fairly little snow — it just didn’t end. At some point it morphed into spring. Once we had our initial warm snap things got cold again and for weeks on end, once or twice a week, temps would bump up and revert right back to requiring hats and gloves just to go outside.

This week I knew for a fact that we had escaped from winter’s grasp for good. My sign? Salamanders. These lovely little creatures are now everywhere. On my walks they’re seen as little shadows which disappear under a stone or a clump even before your eyes can focus. Stand still long enough near some stone wall and you can begin to see them dart about. In these parts they are the perfect harbinger of spring.

7 Wall Lizard, Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., OH July 19, 2011 (38)

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Alabama Fishbar is one of those unique places; a one-off. It’s located in a part of town where no parking can be found unless you’re willing to walk a block. Then, it’s best to bring someone to stay with the car.

Alabama has no seating and can accommodate at most seven customers at a time. Even then it feels like everyone is packed into a small elevator with the door shut.

Go anytime and as you arrive you just know that you’re customer number eight. But the place is magic. The ladies process the orders and yell when each is completed all in complete harmony. Did I mention that everything is absolutely fresh and made to order?

Get their dinner (Cod is our favorite) with fries, in a paper tray lined with a couple of slices of white bread, and a tightly sealed packed of onions, peppers, and Jalapeño.

As were beginning to empty out the cupboard in preparation for a summer at Northern Comfort we were sitting in the kitchen yesterday afternoon, looked at each other, and exclaimed; “Alabama!”

Our dinner was heavenly!

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Growing Up – Our grandkids are growing up, especially seen in our eldest two; Derek and Marin.

Derek has started getting ready for his second season in his school’s Marching Band. Living in Texas his High school’s band is large and good enough to be equal to that of many a college.

A brand new program has been worked on over the winter and Kirstin went to the big ‘reveal’ a week ago. Apparently by rule(?) a performance is in three sections/songs with a ballad in the middle. This year it starts with a piece from the Angels and Demons soundtrack by Hans Zimmer. The Ballad is Bridge over Troubled Waters, and the finale is Waving Through a Window from the Broadway play Dear Evan Hansen. Can’t wait to hear and see it as it comes all together.

It’s an amazing amount of very hard work for these kids – think of practicing every weekday morning in the Texas sun and every afternoon in the gym for the better part of the summer.

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Marin, on the other hand, is thrilled that he’s been hired by a local company called ArtWorks as an apprentice painter. Yes, they don’t just paint walls; they are the de facto lead producing some of the most amazing murals seen anywhere. The apprentice painter program makes them one of the largest employers of creatives in the region.

State law has it so that he can’t be up in a bucket till age 16 so he’s working lower to the ground. However, look at some of their existing work and it’s easily seen that wherever he’s working, these are amazing pieces of art. Nice going Marin!

Downtown-ACT-08-1000x6511   ruthvenmural  Amstrong

Finis – Happy upcoming Birthday Marlene.

We’re off to Aldi’s, this means that our guest bedroom will fill up even more as we get ready to head north (tentatively set for around Mother’s Day). BTW, I just read that Aldi’s has approvals to build its 12th store in the county – hometown Krogers best throw it in gear if they want to stay competitive.

Make it a great week.

Cheers.
Dirk

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