Wednesday, August 30, 2006

like deer

We get a lot of runners by our house. Every morning, I've seen at least a couple people run by. Usually, they appear to be neighborhood folks, running up the hill toward the dead end. Most of them do not return, so they must go around the "dead end" and continue on the main road, M-37/Center Road. This morning, as I sat down to the computer, about 20 high school girls ran by the other direction. It was so surprising that I laughed out loud. They were almost like a flight of deer, the main body in a bunch of front, running easily, then a few stragglers, and finally a pair bringing up the rear, pacing themselves.

I will never be a runner like that, but I am going to get my exercise bicycle set up, and begin riding it on Friday again.

I wonder if anyone will jog by on winter mornings. I hope so. It is good to be reminded that I am part of a community, and to see people challenging themselves to be healthy.

Friday, August 25, 2006

crickets and blinking lights

I lay in bed last night, listening to crickets chirp. It is a wonderful sound, one I did not hear in Hyde Park. And as we arrived--after midnight, last Tuesday night (well, Wednesday morning)--the traffic lights were blinking. I haven't seen that in quite a while. Culture shock, just a bit, but I am loving Traverse City so far.

We had too much stuff to fit on the 26' truck we rented. So we had to wait another day, rent another, smaller truck, and a tow dolly on which to tow our car. And then, while trying to back up the 26' truck with our car behind it, the tow dolly jackknifed (sp?). I damaged the back of the truck, popped the right headlight out of our car (destroying the right front quarter panel and denting each front door slightly), and broke the tow dolly. Not an auspicious beginning.

While unloading the truck in TC, I tried to push the ramp back up into the snagged, somehow, and smashed my Palm Pilot, which was (stupidly!) in my pants pocket.

Oddly enough, I haven't gotten very angry about all of these things. I've just taken them in stride, and worked to fix the situations. Maybe I'm maturing.

And I really am glad to be in TC. I would like another week, just to get settled in, etc., but I will gladly begin work next Friday. I am excited.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

NOLA top ten

In no particular order, ten favorite things from New Orleans:

1) Ellis Marsalis at Snug Harbor. Not only was the music astonishing, it was great fun to watch the communication among the trio members.

2) The Green House Inn may be one of NOLA's best B&Bs, with a "European style" (=clothing optional) pool.

3) We had a massage virtually every day, at Spa Isbell, across the street from the inn. Fabulous.

4) Ride one of five working steamboats in the U.S., the Natchez, with a 25-foot paddle wheel. When they blow that whistle, something joyful blooms inside me.

5) We spent over two hours, talking, knitting and needlepointing with the owner and staff of the Quarterstitch (yes, in the French Quarter, hence the punny name). Lovely people and lovely needle artworks.

6) Just about a block away, are the fabric artists at Louisiana Loom Works. We spent almost two hours with them, too. They make incredibly beautiful things with their looms, and they play host to five cats in the shop, too.

7) The World War II Museum was inspiring and sobering and a very good example of how 21st-century museums can be interactive, informative and entertaining all at once. It is a bit intense, of course, but well worth the trip. Less intense, but even more interactive (especially for younger ones) is Odyssey's Shipwreck & Treasure Adventure.

8) The food! Beignets at Cafe du Monde; Bananas Foster at the restaurant where it was invented, Brennan's; and our favorite, the Red Fish Grill--be sure to get their Double Chocolate Bread Pudding. It's worth traveling to the Crescent City just for that (and their alligator gumbo, and the Herb-Crusted Yellowfin Tuna, and...).

9) Voodoo. There were lots of voodoo shops and trinkets, but a couple actually seemed to take it seriously.

10) Finally, we ate dinner, had a beer, and did our laundry all at Igor's, a 24-hour pub with pool tables, video poker, and several coin-operated washers and dryers. Igor's BBQ is next door, but the burgers cooked up behind the bar were very good. Igor's is at 2133 St. Charles Avenue.

11) Bonus: the spirit of the city. As Jimmy Buffett said, "she's bent, but she ain't broken." Everywhere were signs of hope and determination. Second only to the shirts making fun of politicians and FEMA were shirts like this:


traveling mercies

Assuming that all goes well, we'll be finishing packing tonight (okay, tomorrow morning), loading, cleaning and driving tomorrow, and unloading Tuesday in Traverse City. So far, this is the best move that Becky and I have experienced--we are better prepared, and less stressed, than the previous three times. Which is not to say that we aren't freaked out--moving is a huge stressor--but we are less freaked than before. If we get through loading and unloading with no ambulances (as in move #2), we will consider ourselves blessed.

Well, we already consider ourselves blessed. We'll be *more* blessed.

Y'all come visit in TC!

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Meatcake. Meat cake.
Basically, meatloaves with mashed potato "icing" and a ketchup glaze. See the whole amazing story here. We live in an amazing world.

NOLA promissory note

We had an amazing time on vacation. I'll write more about it, but let me just say: go to New Orleans! The people are wonderful, the city is still vital and fun, and the business people all need the income. If you have any chance at all, visit the Crescent City. You'll be glad you did.

Much more later.