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Monday, April 30, 2012

Why Litter? or Were You Raised in a Barn?

  Matthew and I walked to the post office on Saturday, and as always, picked up litter along the way and dumped it in garbage cans as we walked.  The county has even put up some garbage depositories in some of the center divides, which means someone has to come around and clean them out periodically, yet people still litter.
  What I don't get is why people dump cans, bottles, candy wrappers, and other crap as they're walking or out their car window without even thinking about it.  Do they think it's all right to make a mess and let others clean it up?  
 This was today's pick-up:
No, he doesn't bring it home as a rule, but I asked him to today so I could photograph what was out there in one day for the blog.
  I never actually see anyone litter, but if I did, I would say something and tell them to pick it up and dispose of it properly.   That's probably the teacher in me--just naturally bossy, ya know.  But hell, why can't people do the right thing?  And this isn't open to discussion about whether it's right or wrong--IT'S WRONG TO LITTER.  I know I'm not the only one who feels this way.  Would you say something?
  I could also write about dog-walkers who don't carry plastic bags to clean up after their animals, but that's just so obvious.
  I hope everyone who sees someone dropping papers and bottles on the ground will say something.  We need an awareness campaign that starts with parents teaching their kids to use garbage cans (instead of expecting Mom to pick up after them).   And each of us has to clean up after ourselves as well.
  I'm impressed with Matthew for working to keeping El Granada clean.  It's just too bad he has to...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Family Dinner, Mrs. Great Shoes and The Worst Waitress Ever

  Must back up a few days to dinner with the family on Sat. evening.  Well, really it was more like a late lunch since we met at 4:30, though we got there late due to traffic.  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.  Matthew and I could not eat that early--we'd just had lunch a few hours earlier, so we just ordered bruscetta  to share.  Mom eats early, plus Brock wanted to head back to the mountains, so that explains the early hour.  We met at Pasta Primavera, which has very fair food at the best, and our appetizer was pretty awful.  We really only went to see the family since Jeff now lives in New York and Brock is living in the mountains..and Garret had just returned from 6 weeks in New Orleans.  Everyone has scattered, so it's nice to get together to catch up.  I took one shot of each of them and no one was posed....check out how they were sitting:  Garret and Jeff look like bookends.  

Now I know why they all spend time in the gym....great arms!     All handsome men.  
Mom looks like she's praying before eating, but anyone who knows her--or me, for that matter--knows that's an illusion.
  Many years ago, my friend Ingrid went on a dinner cruise where couples were announced as they entered the dining room.  Just as they asked her name, she looked down at someone's shoes and said, "Great shoes," so she and her date were presented as Mr. and Mrs. Greatshoes.   I still think of that whenever I say that phrase, and I know she'd agree that Emily's qualify:

   Matthew and I headed to Clear Lake (I know, these are random thoughts and scattered musings, but try to keep up) for a few days at a resort.  We drove up yesterday after a stalled leaving time due to an appointment he had that took longer than predicted, plus no time for him to get fishing gear sorted over the weekend, then two stops for work.  We arrived around 6pm, so the day was shot.  Worldmark has a place on the water, and we're in a nice 1-bedroom condo.  We asked about dinner places close by since we hadn't eaten much during the day and were both starving.  We decided to try the Boathouse for barbecue.   I tried to photograph the layout since it's a flashback in time, but I didn't want to be too obvious, so it's a hurried picture off my phone.

  The young blonde waitress came over and we asked her if the ribs are good.  She replied she'd never tried them, so Matthew asked if this was her first day...and she said no.  Matthew asked what beer was on draft, so she had to go ask, but then he ordered a pinot noir instead, so she had to check to see if they had it, even though she admitted not being able to pronounce it when she returned.  After tasting it, he wasn't quite sure what he'd gotten.  Whatever it was, it was a very small glass for $6.  I was safe with water.  We each ordered 1/2 racks of baby back ribs with sides--I opted for mac and cheese since I rarely get it and cole slaw, but then about 15 minutes later, we heard the other waitress tell a table she's doubling as the cook tonight and they'd run out of mac and cheese.  Our waitress didn't return to tell me that until a few minutes before dinner was ready.   
 We waited for dinner for over 30 minutes, then she came over and admitted she'd been 'running around' with our ticket and had forgotten to put it in the kitchen (I'd been watching her stand in the entrance to the kitchen adding up checks for long periods of time, so she wasn't exactly on the run much).  I think the math threw her when she ran out of fingers and toes.   The meal was fine, though Matthew wanted sauce for his ribs, but we didn't dare ask since she'd now disappeared and we would have been finished by the time she asked if she could bring it out separately, then actually went to get it.  I don't think she's found her calling yet.
  Today we had coffee in the condo, then walked over to the restaurant a little ways down the highway.  It's raining, so we bundled up--it's not often we walk to breakfast, so didn't want to be deterred by a little wet.  The food at the Marina Grill was good--really fresh eggs.  I had something called the Docker, which had potatoes (or as they wrote it potato's) with cheese and bacon and scrambled eggs on the side. 

 Matthew decided to go for broke, and he ordered chicken-fried steak and eggs...and potatoes...and toast, which he got dry so he saved oh so many calories. It looks ghastly, but was actually really good.  I could never have eaten all that...mine was enough, and I left about 1/4 of the potatoes.  

  I think we're done for the day with food.  Till dinner.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Why I'll Never Be Svelte #2

Last night's dinner with company (on our Italian plates from Deruta):
Homemade focaccia with tomato salsa for appetizers, 
recipes from Mario Batali's book:  roasted lamb with olives, prunes, shallots, in a reduced wine sauce
Roman artichokes,
Pot-roasted celery root, 
More focaccia
and dessert: clementines and blood oranges in balsamic and pepper with fresh made coconut biscotti.