God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Next Top Chef

Check this out Sausage Lemon Penne. Once again Casey has came through with an original recipe. I was tired the other night and really didn't want to think about what to have for dinner so Casey volunteered to make a new pasta. Not wanting to dampen his enthusiasm and creativity, it seemed like a good idea to let him to it--after all, there is always cereal to eat if dinner just doesn't work.

Personally, I thought it was going to be too dry once he threw out the idea of canned tomatoes or broth of any kind but, it turned out really quite tasty. As you will note, he's a natural cook in that there are no such things as measures or quantities--just what seems right to the chef. Unfortunately, we didn't think to take pictures.

If you try it, be sure to leave a comment on his blog letting him know what you thought.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Am Queen

or so says grandson Casey who has dubbed me Queen of Klutz--of course, it is said with great affection and love--accompanied with laughter.

I must admit that he is on to something as I do have a proclivity for falling, stumbling, tripping and making a spectacle of myself. Some of us will do anything for our share of the limelight.

Ken says it's because I don't pick up my feet but only old people (older than I) shuffle when they walk. Besides...this tendency to not stay upright started years ago in the 6th grade when I fell in front of an oncoming car, scaring my mother horrendously.

  • In Whistler, Canada I sprawled on the sidewalk--one cracked rib, one wasted Starbucks.
  • Tripped on a cobblestone pothole in Montalcino Italy--fell flat on the downward incline--resulting in torn clothes and blood. This being market day, I had quite an audience.
  • Fell up the stairs (landed flat across several steps) leading to St. Peter's in Rome--scared both son Jeff and the security guard who came running--probably afraid of a lawsuit--the Vatican has lots of money.
  • Again fell flat on the sidewalk--this time in Paris on Rue de Rivoli. Ken just kept walking, oblivious to my plight. Casey and a very nice Parisian gentleman gently lifted me up, retrieved my purse and brushed me off. Ken never knew what happened.
  • Tripped getting off the bus and up on the curb in Athens--one large, rather ugly, red swollen lump on my chin--very lucky not to have cracked my jaw.
  • Gracefully tripped over a bench (looking the other direction) during lunch supervision at middle school--I was the vice-principal. Knocked myself out. When I came to I was again sprawled on the ground but this time with 500 very quiet kids surrouding me. A great cheer erupted when I stood up--kind of like being an injured football player on the field. Thirty some stitches through my eyebrow into the forehead--inside and outside. Ken took me out to dinner that night and decided I would need to heal before we went out again. He was sure that as people stared at me they were looking at him with great scepticism.
  • Slid and bumped my way down a narrow circular staircase in our Italian apartment. Black and blue on all sides of the body, front and back. Sore and stiff for days.
  • The staircase ride was so much fun, I did it again. This time spraining two fingers requiring taping them together with splints--making cooking difficult for a while.
  • While sleeping, fell out of a very high bed onto a very hard tile floor, on the way down bounced my head on top of the marble nightstand. Did this twice a couple nights apart. Stayed awake checking for a concussion.
  • Over the years I have perfected falling up stairs, doing so more times than I wish to innumerate here.
  • Last week in the dark (and the impetus for this entry)--I walked into a door jamb that had not been there when I went to bed. Still have a painful knot on my eyebrow (not the same one mentioned above.) For awhile it was obvious and colorful. I am beginning to think I did something to the bone.
The amazing thing with all of this is never having been seriously hurt or impaired--no lasting penalties for clumsiness. The most painful being the cracked rib--that did hurt--a bit.