Monday, October 31, 2005

The day before the night of the end of the 2nd date

Hope that is complicated enough for all of you....we're at yet another St. Paul coffeehouse, Nina's. There is a tiny balcony with room for just one table, and we've commandeered it for the past hour or so. We've also been to Rudy's (scene of our first IM session) and the Bean Factory (one of Chris' fave haunts). This is our last full day together; i get on the airplane back to Tucson tomorrow at 7:30 p.m....wah!

Our midnight visit with Minnesota Magz was so fun. She's a kick! Lots of spirit and piss and vinegar as well! She's a bit protective of her sweet friend Chris, which was cool to see. She wants him to have a wonderful woman and so far i think i'm just the gal for the job. We had cocoa, toasted pumpkin seeds, sliced apples with caramel dip, and some great conversation out on the bridge. What a cool job these folks have!

We spent yesterday with Chris' older son Nate. We picked him up and then went to the Mill ruins along the Mississippi in the St. Anthony district of Minneapolis. This is where Pillsbury and Gold Medal flours had their start. It was a misty day, cool to chilly, with water vapor just hanging in the air. This made walking along the Stone Arch bridge really fun....the bridge was built by railroad magnate James J. Hill and is simply extraordinary. The old mill ruins are being excavated (they were simply buried and built over) and renovated....being able to see the architecture and building materials and just the immensity of the project is quite thrilling! Walking back to the parked car we stopped at the Aster Cafe' for a late lunch--a great casual meal in a nice ambience.

Nate is 15, so he is often monosyllabic, but he is good natured and loves walking and exploring just like his dad. I think he liked me all right....i was not trying to be his 'new best friend' or anything. I had a stepmother, and i can remember a bit about what i disliked, a big part of which was her insincerity. (Sorry Patsy but it was true, not?)

Following that adventure we went to a branch of the library where both Chris and Nate are familiar faces. Seeing Chris' world has been so great. I can sure see being here in the spring and summer! My clients in Tucson aren't going to like hearing this, but the truth is I'm a bit worn out with the "slow bake" summers that last 6-7 months of the year. I don't know why i ever disdained snowbirds--they have the right idea! Now i would like to become one!

It's about time to walk the few blocks to the local awesome bakery for slices of whatever they're baking just about guarantees a sale! Then on to the co-op for some groceries specific to our planned meal later on--a German recipe for onion pie that we are going to collaborate on.

Our togetherness feels effortless, in every direction.

Yippee-iy-oh-kiy-ay, oh joy, oh gee, oh my!!!! I expect the downstairs neighbor in Chris' apartment building might have a word or two with him after i've gone. (Insert shit-eating grin here!)

Friday, October 28, 2005

FINALLY he let me out of the bedroom.....

HA HA HA HA just kidding. We have actually been out a couple of times....and it's absolutely GORGEOUS here--not too cold yet, with a lot of color still on the trees! Blazing golds! Stunning crimsons! Flaming oranges! (wait, isn't that a fancy dessert? lol)
Yesterday we took a long walk along the banks of the Mississippi, Magz, it's incredible! There is actual WATER in the riverbed! I resisted the temptation to stick my toes in (i was wearing shoes and socks, for one thing--it's not exactly Teva weather here), but it was wonderful to see.
Today we visited one of the bridges that Chris works on and i finally met his friend Elvis--the guy who used to hassle Chris about "getting chicks" and guess what, he's a real sweetie. I asked him what was the most important thing to know about Chris and he said, "Well, the guy's got a heart of gold, but you already know that." Now that's a friend!
We have yet to meet Chris' other best friend, Magz (Minnesota Magz that is). She works the midnight-8:00 shift, so we'll take a nap one afternoon and go visit her with some good eats and have a midnight snack picnic. (It's completely against all railroad rules for me to be up there, so don't tell anybody!!!)
Chris lives in a mid-town neighborhood within walking distance of a video store, coffeehouse, several restaurants, a natural foods co-op, wonderful flower shop, and so forth. So it's nice to be outside, walking briskly in the cool air. These temperatures motivate me to be more active--there are lots of cyclists and joggers everywhere, and plenty of parks and riverbanks to encourage outdoor activity.
I'm liking everything just fine. Whoo-eee, i'm in Minnesota, and i'm in love!!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The night before the 2nd date

It's 11:00 p.m. and i've done at least 6 loads of laundry today! Little of it had to do with clean clothes for my trip; i just had to have everything in order before leaving and i've had a lot of private clients lately--lots of sheets to wash!

There will be 2 young ladies house- and dog-sitting for me, so the house needed cleaning too. Much harder to leave town when you can't just water the house plants extra and lock the door....but it's gonna be worth it! I will miss my doggies a lot, but they will be well attended in my absence.

Here's how i pack for a trip: i stand in front of the closet and say, "Who wants to go to ______________?" Then i just step back and watch the clothes jump into the suitcase. Ha, i wish! But i really do say that, and then go through the hangers one by one. Some things want to come and others don't--doesn't mean i'll wear them, just that they wanted to come along! Like that trip to Harbin--i took a whole suitcase full of clothes and wore about 3 items out of it. Oh well, you can't blame me for not trying!

My next post will be from Chris' the cool Minnesota autumn....stay tuned!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

What was I thinking?

That last post was just over the top. Sorry Chris! You're probably still blushing! I don't know what came over me!

I'm just getting giddy i guess. Many preparations to make: train the house- and dog-sitters, clean the house, pack, etc. Plus i have to finish grading exams and turn in the final grades by Tuesday....and being the procrastinator i am, i haven't done much in any of those categories.

Well soon it will be time to board my plane and if it's not done, it doesn't need to be!

Happy Sunday to all y'all!

Saturday, October 22, 2005


Does anyone remember the use of that Carly Simon song to advertise Heinz catsup? That was great--and the real reason i even remember the song!

And, it's a wonderful allegory of my current situation. Entertain me while i explore this a bit....

So here i am, the catsup (ketchup works too)--red, juicy, viscous, sweet and tart at the same time--travelling slowly down the neck of the bottle, which represents my current life--a solid container with a bottleneck, and a tantalizing, narrow opening towards the unknown.

At the end of my travels, i then make contact with....get to Meet....the Meat....and the Buns!....HAHAHAHAHAHA....

(And then, of course, this salubrious combination is going to get gorgeously masticated by the DIVINE MOUTH of the great CHEF IN THE SKY who arranged all the parts so conveniently!!!)

Hope it was good for you! :)

Monday, October 17, 2005

hi, just hi

I'm finally back, making the rounds of blogs i read regularly, adding a few comments here and there. Where have i been? I don't even have a good answer. I haven't been turning on the computer hardly at all these days.

Lots of baking, cookies and cobblers and so forth, most given away. I made a huge chicken enchilada casserole that i realized (after the fact) was intended for the potluck following Bob's funeral--read Chris' blog for details. I just felt so connected to that event that i wanted to participate somehow.

It's weird being so connected to someone so far away. If i had a social life in this part of the country, it'd be suffering!

Longer walks in the mornings, except on school days when i can no longer make it to the river and back before i have to get ready for class. They are taking their finals on Wednesday. They are such an awesome group! I'm already planning which ones i want to receive from when they start Student Clinic next session.

I'm starting to feel the shortness of daylight. It's dark here by 6:30 p.m. now, and light in the morning at 6:30ish too. Arizona gets lots of daylight and it's habit-forming! I get a bit claustrophobic near winter solstice (soul-stice?) when it's dark by 5:00 p.m. and not light until after 7:00 a.m. I'd be a bad candidate for life in the land of the midnight sun, unless i only lived there in the summertime. Seasonal Affective Disorder (conveniently abbreviated as SAD) would probably do me in within the first 6 months of all-twilight days!

Getting ready for Chris' and my 2nd 'date'....finally it's within shouting distance and i'm getting quivery about it. What else can i say about that, not much. We are tentatively planning a 3rd 'date' in late December. Talk about a long time between dances, sigh! We continue to deepen our relationship through inventive means....we rented the same movie once and watched it more or less at the same time....we take the same book out of the library and read it more or less together....etc. It works.

It just started POURING here, what a sweet surprise!

I love my dogs, i love my work, and i love my sweet Minnesota lover. I'm blessed by life and health and great good fortune. All is well, and i send the multiplied blessings of my life to all of you, in equal measure.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

As The Desert Cools....

Suddenly it's too cold to leave the bedroom window open all night....actually, i only closed it this morning after 2 dogs couldn't warm me up sufficiently. Nice to be chilled! (Of course I will say this approximately three more times before beginning to bitch about the cold weather.)

I'll get out the light-duty comforter and then be able to keep leaving the window open....sure do enjoy the night air, and the warmth of being under covers.

I wore a sweatshirt to walk in this morning and even have on Pull-Up Socks (as opposed to the ankle-rimmers)! Now that is a winter wardrobe for us desert types! And I'm breaking out the flannel massage sheets as of today. Wooo-hooo!

Just a quick note before heading out. Have a beautiful day, bloggers!


Saturday, October 08, 2005


How'd a week get by so quick?

I can't say i've been incredibly busy, or extremely productive, or imaginatively engaged with anything in particular this week. Guess i just took a blog vaycayshun....

....and i don't have anything too read-worthy to say today either! I'm fine, it's cooler, school's going well, the dogs are happy and healthy and (Angus at least) newly nutless--Ouch! You'd never guess it though, he's as bouncy and optimistic as ever. Such a joyful big soul poured into that little wiry body, i'm lucky to be his human!

I'm northeastward-bound in a couple weeks and a few days. I don't think i've ever been to Minnesota! That will be an adventure for all the senses. Chris fit in so well here in the desert--i hope i will feel as comfortable in the (to me anyway) chilly north! Hey Cooter, why not come up to the Twin Cities for a dinner date with 2 of your blogger pals? LOL....i'm sort of serious, but it's a bit more than a "dinner with friends" drive, isn't it?

Speaking of blogger friends, I was so impressed with the Magster, snagging BeFrank off the Interstate a week or so ago! The proof is in the pictures, so check out either of their blogs for photographic evidence. BeFrank is linked offa Magz', and she's linked offa me, so it'll be like a scavenger hunt for y'all this morning. Yippee!

ciao for now!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Fart, Fart

The Buddhists say there are eight winds. They are gain and loss, praise and ridicule, credit and blame, and suffering and joy. If you aren't aware of them, they will blow you away like dry leaves in an autumn breeze. For example, when someone praises you, and that tastes sweet, like candy in your mouth, you are being blown away by the wind of praise.

One day in ancient China a young man thought he had become enlightened. He wrote a poem to his master about how he was not blown by the eight winds. Then he sent it to his master who lived three hundred miles up the Yangtze River.

When his master read the poem, he wrote "Fart, Fart" on the bottom and sent it back.

The more the young man read those words, the more upset he got. At last he decided to visit his master. In those days, a three-hundred-mile trip up the Yangtze River was a very difficult journey.

As soon as he arrived, he went straight to his master's temple. "Why did you write this?" he asked, bowing. "Doesn't this poem show that I am no longer blown about by the eight winds?"

"You say that you are no longer blown by the eight winds," replied the master, "but two little farts blew you all the way up here."

What winds are blowing you?

-----from "Soul Stories" by Gary Zukav

I'm enjoying this book. Had to share this story with my readers, a little funny and thought-provoking contemplation for the second weekend of Autumn.

At last it is cooler here; by gosh, here it is 8:00 a.m. and only 64 degrees! I actually slept with a blanket on the bed for the whole night last night, and without the cooler or a fan to stir the air.

Our morning walk was cool and crisp and I even wore a shirt with long sleeves and enjoyed it.

My lover is feeling better and that's brought my spirits up as well. I missed our talks, our virtual snuggles, our secret whispers in the night. I'm headed his way later on THIS MONTH (oh yay, it's October!!!) for our second meeting; we will be spending part of that visit in a friend's cabin by the river near Red Wing (yes, that's where the boots come from). Ooh that sounds so wonderful! Waiting will be hard, but not quite as angst-y as anticipating that first "meet".

I have no cold weather clothing--i've been in Arizona for almost 20 years, and moved here from Pensacola, FL--and moved there from Atlanta, GA! To me, "cold weather gear" means long-sleeved t-shirts, sweatshirts with a hood, and thick socks to wear with my Birkenstocks. Oh, and long pants. Ha.

Another wonderful aspect of cooler weather is the return of Taza the Cook. I love to cook and bake, but when it is 82 degrees in the house, turning on the oven--or even the burners--seems counter-intuitive, to say the least. Yesterday I had company over and used the occasion as an excuse to make a big ol' peach and blackberry cobbler (I used frozen fruit). I've been trying to entice Chris to come over for some warm cobbler with vanilla ice cream, but so far he hasn't booked a flight. What's up with that? :)

Have a good weekend--relax, recharge, renew--and enjoy the beauty of the season change. Some say living well is the best revenge. I say if you are thinking about revenge, you aren't living well!

"May George Bush become enlightened in this very lifetime."

ciao for now~