Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Travel Tuesday: Pompidou Center in Malaga Spain

Continuing the Tuesday Theme of Lots of Photos and Very Few Words, This Art Center Speaks for Itself


Monday, January 30, 2023

Moody Monday: Strange Families

My parent's generation, and my generation are small.  

My mother was an only child, and her parents - well really her mother - put the dis in dysfunctional when it came to family relationships. For most of her adult life she refused to talk with most of her family and most of her husband's family and shunned anyone who did.  Old grudges and slights that lasted a lifetime.  (Forgive and move on, it is something you do for you, not for others.) 

My father had one sibling, a sister.  So I only had one Aunt and Uncle.  And they had one child, my one and only first cousin.  I have three siblings, only one has children, I have two nephews.  Kind of the short end of the family tree.  

Three of my four grandparents were from very large families, 10-20 siblings each. My father's mother had two brothers and a sister. My mother's family was complicated and I seldom met and never really got to know any of them (I am connected on FB with one member of my mother's extended family the daughter of a cousin on her mother's side, from one of the few siblings my grandmother would allow anyone to talk with.) My father's family moved 115 years ago, and scattered, as far as Idaho and Florida.  There were four uncles who moved to the Detroit area, only one of them had children. I am in sporadic contact with the family of one of my fathers cousins.  

My one and only first cousin is in the photo above.   The shirt, his wife bought for him.  Self awareness, truth in advertising.  They have no children.  

Sunday, January 29, 2023

The Sunday Five: Where Are You From?

A couple of weeks ago I rambled on about where I am from and where I am, and that inspires today's Sunday Five. 

1: How far from where you were born, do you live today? 

2: Would you move back to your "hometown?" 

3: Did you choose to live where you live, or did love or opportunity land you there? 

4: Are you where you would like to spend the next decade? 

5: Are there places you have lived, that you would never return to? 

My answers: 

1: How far from where you were born, do you live today? About 600 miles 

2: Would you move back to your "hometown?" No. 

3: Did you choose to live where you live, or did love or opportunity land you there? I choose this one, I decide where I wanted to be, then found the job to make that possible. 

4: Are you where you would like to spend the next decade? Yes. 

5: Are there places you have lived, that you would never return to? A couple of them. 

Please share your answers in the comments. 

Saturday, January 28, 2023

The Saturday Morning Post: NSO

One of the perks of living in a real city, is having access to world class cultural entertainment.  The Kennedy Center for the Performing arts is about a 20 minute ride from home.  It is home to the National Symphony Orchestra.  We started going in 2018 or 2019, buying tickets for 6 to 10 performances per year.  

Our favorite seats are on the side, overlooking the stage, all the way at the front of the theater if we can, I love that end seat looking down on the musicians. 

The Kennedy Center has several theaters, symphony hall is our regular haunt.  We have seen shows in a couple of other venues, they are all nice, fun.  The style is very much mid-century - last century.  Parts of it are in need of an update.  But it is our venue. 

I have a favorite performer, an oboist, with strawberry blond hair, that for a long time was tied up in a top-knot.  He had his hair cut.  Disappointing, but he can still play well

Parking is plentiful, if a little expensive.  Unfortunately the nearest subway station is a complicated walk, and uphill in both directions. So we always drive. I even drive at night.   

For one of the shows later this spring, we have seats in one of the boxes overlooking the stage.  I think of them as the Lincoln Boxes, when you visit Ford's Theater you will see that was the location of the box the Lincoln's were in that fateful night. Good thing no one if out to get me. 


Friday, January 27, 2023

Foodie Friday: Yorkshire Puddings

Yorkshire pudding, the food item not the Blogger, are pretty easy to make.  Milk, flour, eggs, a little salt, hot fat or oil, in a very hot oven.  Alchemy of simple ingredients that make something amazing.  There are great online recipes.  

I first made them a couple of years ago, using muffin pans.  The recipe adapted for American cooks specified them.  And they work.  But, there is something better.  I read something in a blog about a Yorkshire Pudding pan or mould. I looked online and sure enough I can buy such a thing. Rather expensive here in a country where they are a rare imported kitchen item (like $16 USD for one.) The openings are much larger, and much shallower, and the result is amazing. The flatter wider pan allows the rising batter to bloom, to open up, yielding a much larger custardy center.  Really a surprising difference.  The other tip I picked up was to mix the batter ahead of time, an hour or two, and let it set so the flour fully hydrates.  Above you can see some in each pan style, made from the same batter in the same oven at the same time.  The difference is a proper Yorkshire Pudding Pan. I need to buy another one. 

Have you had them? 

Do you make them?  

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Thursday Ramble - Going to the Dogs Again

Dogs alway believe that they look great, they can be fresh from a roll in the muck in a pig pen, and they will smile, wag and expect a nice snuggle or ear scratch.  Dogs don't care if they are groomed or not, bathed or not.  Some might not mind, though many do, we humans imposing our idea of beauty and freshness on them. 

In many ways I find dogs easier to photograph than people.  They never worry about their hair, or their teeth, or what they are wearing, well maybe the  wiener dog forced into the yellow raincoat would prefer to not be wearing the rain coat.  After all the underside is getter wet just the same, especially when the underside is so close to the ground.  

I was a latecomer to liking dogs.  Growing up my father and grandfather had "hunting dogs" though my fathers was never much for hunting, but always up to chasing the nearest car, truck or school bus.  He caught a school bus one time, that is how he lost his tail, snagged it on the bumper and needed an emergency trip to the vet to stop the bleeding.  

One summer we dog sat for friends with an Irish-setter who was a proper house dog.  That was fun, she was well behaved and a delight to have around.  The owners were having a new house built, and all too soon, the house was finished and they wanted their dog back.  

For some reason after that I developed a distrust of dogs.  I don't know why.  It took decades to get over, my sister's dog restored my faith in canine kind.  He is missed, I wonder how long until another dog enters her life.  

Sometimes I am tempted to carry dog treats in my pocket when I walk, but I worry that the dog might be sensitive, or allergic,  or something and I wouldn't want to hurt one. Not even the little noise box down the hall.  

I can't imagine either of us following a dog around with a plastic bag on our hand, so I doubt we will ever live with one.  There are plenty around to enjoy.     

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

The Wednesday Ws: Week 4 of 52 for 2023

Who have I seen?  Doc Spo, and Sharon from Phoenix Daily Photo, and a room full of estate and probate attorneys. It was great fun to see Spo again. This was the first time I had met Sharon, if you read her blog she is just what you would expect.  Bright, creative, a little reserved.  She seldom appears on her blog, so I didn't post a photo of her here. I also had breakfast with one of our past board chairs, and dinner with a lawyer friend of mine who served on another board with me a few years ago - she is about to become President of that board.  

Where have I been? Tucson and Phoenix Arizona, the 115 miles of desert in between the two.  Spo and I went to a very southwestern restaurant, Sharon and I met at Desert Botanical Gardens for a wonderful hour plus stroll exploring the flora of the high desert and a few birds.  All of the photos from that are on the real camera and will start to appear in a few days.  This post needed to be created before I have time to download those images. 

How was the trip? Non-stop going out, delayed three hours in Chicago coming home. 

What did I do that was special? I went to the Barrett Jackson Auction on Monday for 2.5 hours. This was kind of a bucket list item.   

What have I seen? Cactus, hummingbirds, bees, desert birds, an airplane graveyard and storage facility, and my favorite mountain including the house my parents should have bought in 1965. Cars, more cars, and more cars. 

What have I been reading?  A book on dementia and criminal defense and started a book about buying a vineyard in Italy.  

What have I been eating?  Breakfast out, my favorite meal when I am traveling.  And good southwestern food. 

What have I been listening to?  Radio in the rental car. My car has a CD player, loaded with a selection of discs that play until I know every note by heart, then changed out for half a dozen new ones.  In the rental I discovered I have no music stored on my phone. My music, was on the oldies stations - must be something weird in Arizona.  It is the first time I have listened to the radio in 4 or 5 years.  

What am I thinking about? Work, I am in the middle of a couple of exciting projects and I have a couple of admin duties I need to get done soon. 

What is new in travel plans? Iceland is all mapped out and all of the hotels are booked.  I am going to New Orleans in early February for work. We are going to Cleveland for a family function in later February.  

What is next after that? Probably Hawaii for work, I swear it is work, in paradise no one seems to care how much you work.  

What has the weather been like?  When I woke up Saturday morning in Tucson Arizona it was 29 degrees with ice on the car windshield.  I traded text message with my sister in northern Indiana, it was 31 degrees there.  So cool, but warming up in the 50's-60's in the afternoon, and mostly sunny.  I can see why people like living in Arizona in the winter.  I am not sure I would survive a summer here.  

What shocked me?  I was early on way to meet Sharon on Sunday, so I stopped to take some photos, drove past an "Open House" for a house for sale, and stopped in.  Lovely adobe style two story, about twice the size of the condo, and about twice the money.  The Realtor was bragging that the owners have spent $350,000 on renovations, as I am standing in a pretty kitchen with Bosch appliances, and cheap IKEA cabinets.  Don't they think people are going to notice the plastic drawers in the cabinets in an $800,000 house.  

Who deserves a slap? Be kind, no slapping this week, they are making mistakes to the best of their ability. 

Who deserves an atta-girl?  The hotel front desk clerk who was so kind and helpful and found a room for me early on Saturday.

What's next? Another whirlwind week, then back on the road to adventure.