Friday, October 31, 2008

Old Picture ...Day

Over at Mary's Place yesterday, I saw something that looked like fun. It's called "Old Picture Thursday."

Yeah, I know. Today is Friday. But I want to play anyway. It must be Thursday somewhere (Mars, maybe?)

I'm not sure if there are rules about how old these pictures have to be. This one is pretty old...though not an antique. Yet.

m & l honeymoon

Hubs and I in Keshena, Wisconsin.

Though we look like we're lined up in front of a brick wall ready for a firing squad, we are actually crouched on the ground in the driveway of Matt's folks' summer home in the great northwoods.

Needless to say, it isn't June. And it isn't Hawaii. But we are on our honeymoon. And the camera is on top of the wall across from us, set to give us thirty seconds to run into the frame, pose and smile. And yes, we are freezing our butts off.

Thirty-two years ago, give or take a couple of days. October 17(?), 1976.

Who are those children?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Life? Okay... Cafe? Good!

I realized today it’s been awhile since I’ve taken the opportunity to elucidate upon the happenings at the café.

My writing muse is most typically roused by angst. If I’m miserable or I am knee-deep in shit, I want to run and write down everything I’m thinking or feeling. It’s always been my way of working through the rough spots in my life.

So I’ve not been writing about the café lately, simply because it has not been driving me absolutely crazy. I don’t feel like I’m never going to get a handle on it all. I don’t feel like I’m on the verge of having to run the place all by myself. I don’t feel like the economy has me down so low it looks like up to me…

A couple of surprisingly successful hiring decisions have me feeling like a genius…at least for the time being.

I’m not able to pay myself (yet) but at least I am able to step out of the trenches and perform the duties of an owner (for now…and how I know that can change at any moment!!!)

And, in spite of the plummeting Dow Jones and economic forecasts as bleak and confusing as a pool party interrupted by a white-out blizzard…

Old Town Café will be enjoying a 25% sales increase over last year for the month of October.

A far cry from the tune I was singing a year ago.

I don’t want to say that I feel like I finally have this figured out…because I know the minute I DO say that, someone will throw a gigantic load of excrement at the oscillator, and I’ll be wading in it and trying to scrape it off the walls in no time.

But right now, at least as far as the café is concerned…

Life is good!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October 28th


Today would have been your 86th birthday.

Yes…it’s written in stone.

But I see you so clearly in my mind’s eye. Surely you are not gone. And it has not been almost ten years since Dad left us.

It’s not so difficult to think you still at home. At the kitchen table. Watching “Barney Miller,” working a crossword puzzle with Little Buddy curled in the crook of your arm.

Dad is in his room, a book in his lap and the television flickering…keeping track of both through his eyelids.

I love you. I miss you.

Happy Birthday, wherever you are.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Pelicans at Road's End beach (they should call it "Pelican Beach...")


I took a walk on the beach early Friday morning. The beach was not particularly remarkable, as Oregon beaches go, but there is a colony(?) of pelicans that roosts on a giant rock just off shore.

Pelicans can usually be seen flying in orderly lines of six to a couple dozen birds, just above the crest of the incoming waves. Fishing, I assume.

Line after line of pelicans came winging down the waves along this beach. Always flying north. I have to assume that they looped south again in order to make more north-bound fishing runs, but I never saw one pelican flying south. I felt like I was inside one of those lamp shades that has a scene painted on it and goes around and around.

Anyway, the new camera got a few good shots...

(And I see size "Big" Flickr pictures are just a teensy bit too big for this space... Gotta stick with "medium" or portrait-oriented shots, I guess.)

Trying to Get it Right

I am taking a stab at posting bigger pictures here in my little space...

punkin test

This is "Punkie..."

And...lookie lookie! I figured out how to make my blog fill the whole screen!

Between messing with html and figuring out my ipod, I'm starting to think that maybe I have finally been dragged (kicking and screaming) into the 21st century...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Up and Running

It’s after midnight and I have to open the restaurant in the morning. So what am I doing sitting here with my computer in my lap?

If you could see me, you would notice that there is a delicate white cord attaching me to a cobalt blue matchbook-sized package perched on the arm of my recliner.

And Jim Brickman, George Winston et al are tinkling their ivories directly into my ears…

Victory is mine, you itty-bitty electronic demon! :-P

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Gift of Music...or Not

I got a cute little, itty bitty ipod “shuffle” as an anniversary gift from the hubs.

It came in an itty bitty box with an itty bitty (useless) instruction book.

I have absolutely no idea how to get music on to this thing. And it’s starting to drive me a little bit crazy.


Sunday, October 19, 2008


Did you miss me?

I’ve been away—both from home and from the internet. We were with family in Lincoln City in a beautiful little house high up on a hillside overlooking the ocean. The weather was gorgeous, the shopping was decent, and…well, there were a few familial bumps in the road, but we had a good time overall. (Let’s just say next time each family of the family will have its own space… ;) )

Isn’t it great that I am in the place where I could confidently leave my restaurant in the hands of my crew for FIVE DAYS with only a minimum amount of trepidation…

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ready to Get Back to It


Now I can get back to writing again.

The thing that has so vexed me about this AOL expulsion has been the lost writing time. For ten days, I spent every spare minute glued to my computer, feverishly dealing with the deadline, frantically yet painstakingly copying and pasting post after post, comments and all, from one blog to the other. But I wasn't doing the thing the blogs were created to do. I wasn't writing.

As I re-posted all my political rants leading up to, and following, the 2004 election, I was impressed anew with the clarity and passion of those posts. And I realized that I had things to say, soapboxes to mount, about the 2008 election and its cast of notorious characters…but there was no time. I had a job to do. Copy, paste, edit, post. Copy, paste, edit, post.

As I weighed the merits of every meme and "assignment" and pimp, I balanced the deadline against the preservation of the continuity of the community relationships. I wondered about the state of those relationships once we had all moved to new digs, who would follow and who would disappear; and I wanted to write about my fears and my hopes. But there was no time. Copy, paste, edit, post. Copy, paste, edit, post.

As I watched the names of each of my now long-standing journal 'friends" appear in the ranks of my commentors, I wanted to write stories about each of them and how I came to know them. But there was no time. Copy, paste, edit, post. Copy, paste, edit, post.

As I copied and pasted the entries alluding to my first disappointing interaction with the business I now own, I longed to write about the challenges and satisfactions of the hour, the day, the week… But there was no time. Copy, paste, edit, post. Copy, paste, edit, post.

I had labored my way through over 360 of 774 total posts when the word came down that AOL had figured out how to lower the lifeboats. I'm pretty sure I was one of the first over the side…

Perhaps the time was not wasted, as it was a fantastic journey back into the early days of j-land. And an encouraging review of my re-birth as a writer. But the worry and the stress and the fear of losing it all proved, in the end, to be entirely unnecessary. I feel as if I shaved minutes, if not days or weeks, off the end of my life for no reason whatsoever.

But, for now, I can get back to what this has been all about from the very first. Writing. Putting one word next to another and then another, and following them wherever they go.

I'm so ready for this…

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

How I feel about having “Coming to Terms” safely transferred to blogger:"

One of my favorite little Christmas cartoons is “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol.” It first aired when I was…eight? Nine?

There is a scene (and I swear to god, if I could find a “you-tube” of it, I would embed it here) that is exactly me, here, now.

Scrooge (Magoo) has awakened on Christmas morning, having endured the visits of the three ghosts, and realizes he has been given a second chance in life; he is a changed man. Bouncing off the walls of his boudoir (to the tune of those signature sixties cartoon sound effects) he effuses:

“I don’t know what to do! I am as light as a feather. I am as happy as an angel. I am as merry as a school boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man!”

(Yes…I know the dialog was written by Charles Dickens.) But I’m feeling cartoonish. Defying the laws of physics. Floating in mid-air. Hanging from the windowsill by my toenails.

Coming to Terms is alive. In the safe embrace of its new home.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Day 26--Driven



With all the things I have to do, all the responsibilities I’ve accumulated in the past few years, with the café, and my husband, and my family…I’m driven to save this journal.


Of late, I have barely had two hours a week to invest in the writing I so love, and have so missed. Now, I spend four or five hours a day, copying, pasting, saving. 


As soon as the danger became known, there was never any question.


Never any thought that I wouldn’t find the time.  Never an ounce of consideration given to just letting it go because I would not find the time, in my real life, to deal with this.


Because this, this journal, has been such a huge part of my life for the last five years.


In many ways, and on many occasions, it has BEEN my life.


Or saved my life.


So, yes, I have AO-hell to thank that my world has been turned upside down.  And that an additional dire deadline is hanging above my head.


And I have them to thank that I will spend the next 26 days more stressed, more sleep-deprived, more desperate that I would have otherwise been.   Something I definitely did not need.


But  I will not let my words disappear at the whim of…well, who knows whom.


Thanks AOL.  Thanks for treating us like negligible, expendable crap.


It’s the American Way, is it not?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Countdown: Day 27

Funny how no one has been posting much. AOL tells us they’re going to be closing their doors in 30 days, and we all just…abandon ship. Actually, if everyone else is spending the hours and hours it is taking ME to painstakingly transfer my entries and comments to blogger, I know exactly why everyone has been so incommunicado.

I have spent, oh, about ten hours so far on the "copy, paste, redate, publish" thing… It reminds me of the hellish months I spent trying to re-invent myself as a data entry clerk. Very much why I ran screaming back to the foodservice business. B-O-R-I-N-G!!!!!

And, yet, the entire time I’m doing this, I feel this sense of doom hanging over my head. As if there is no way I’m going to get this all finished before the deadline. Auugh!!!

I have gotten all the way through March of 2004. Which means I have only 4 ½ more years to go.

And I haven’t noticed any helpful e-mails from AO-Hell telling us they’ve figured out how to move our journals to…somewhere else. I’m thinking it will be a cold day in hell when that happens. And I’m also thinking there is no way I would entrust THEM with this precious compilation of the last five years of my life. Sure as s**t they would lose it all into cyberspace, never to be seen again. There is no way I would take that risk.

So, soldier on, everyone. We shall meet again on "the other side!" :-]