Thursday, August 19, 2010

Visitors From Wisconsin

We were friends since first grade. Her last name began with M and mine with N so we always stood near each other in any alphabetical line. We had our first communions together, she went to every birthday party and we had sleepovers at the Y together and we were in the same swimming class. For a while we even thought we were mermaids and we took synchronized swimming classes. We got our first 'real' jobs at about the same time in the kitchen of a hospital, serving meals to patients and washing dishes in a monstrous, steamy dishwasher. I should have asked her if she remembered the time one of us threw a ball of mashed potatoes into the fan just to see what would happen, or the the times on hot days when we would take breaks in the walk in refrigerator and sneak bites of the cookie dough. We lived in different neighborhoods, went to different high schools and she went to Madison for college and I stayed in Green Bay. I always liked going to Madison for music and 'party times' with her and our other BF, Sue. When I moved to San Francisco, they visited me. She married and moved to the north woods of Wisconsin. And Chris and I chose the west coast and city life in Seattle to begin our life together. Sometimes the connections between friends becomes thin through distance and the passage of time. Those yearly Christmas cards and emails are that last little hook to keep us connected. But sometimes, if you are very lucky, the stars line up perfectly, and a visit happens. You get to laugh about old escapades, cook together in your kitchen, and share your home and city with with your childhood friend.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

98.6 is Too Hot For Me

It may be normal body temperature but for air temperature, 98.6 is too hot for me. This is day two of 90+ weather in Seattle. It is challenging to be productive in weather like this. I did manage to rinse and freeze the last of the 29 pounds of berries that Chris and I picked on Thursday.

It was foggy on Thursday when we left for berry picking in North Bend. Note the nifty new signs that display the rate of speed in each lane. Not exactly correct though. We were going 15 in a lane that said 40.

New highway signs weren't the only signs of progress. McDonald's is now sorting it's garbage along with the rest of Seattle.

It was sunny and very busy with plenty of pickers. Mt Si was lovely as always. The berries were big and plentiful. It was easy work made twice as easy by having Chris along.

A perfect berry piking day always ends with lunch or at least ice cream from Scott's Dairy Freeze. Their blackberry shakes are my favorite!

Today it was beginning to smell like the inside of a pie when you walked into the kitchen. Speaking of pies, I did refrigerate enough berries and crush enough graham crackers, to put together a pie later tonight when hopefully, the kitchen cools down a bit. I washed a load of sheets and have them hanging on the lines under the deck. I am sure they are bone dry but it is just scorching out there so I will stay here in the cool retreat of the basement. It is cool and it is clean. I have vacuumed and washed the floors and scrubbed away every spider and web from the corners. This is no small feat in late summer when spiders and webs abound. I have no trouble believing that spiders make new webs daily. It is my mission to keep them outside where I consider them my garden friends instead of foes. The frenzy of cleaning is in preparation for a visit from a childhood friend Jeanne, and her husband Dan. It is good to get major cleaning out of the way before school starts and my life as a teacher eats away at most of my time. I am also finishing up the last of my pleasure reading (The Street by Ann Perry) for the summer, and overlapping with some professional reading (Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov.

Time to refill my tea glass and I think I'll get my book...guess which one!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

A Taste of Summer

Now I can say I have had, at the least, a taste of summer. I escaped Seattle's cool gray weather and visited friends and relatives in Wisconsin. In addition to warmer weather I had more than my share of decadent food. Perch WITH BONES if you please, and a slice of onion on rye bread from Maricques. (Read the review. It describes the fried perch experience perfectly.)

And an award winning breakfast of cherry stuffed French Toast at the White Gull Inn in Door County.

Sweet Corn that was tender and so tasty with a slathering of real butter. This corn is at Green Bay's Broadway Farmer's Market, held every Wednesday in summer. It is probably delicious but my mom is insistent that we get our corn from the stand at Sunny Hill which is within 5 miles of home. You can't get much fresher than that.

Sharing a meal, reuniting with cousins; lovely ladies one and all.

More food around campfires up north with relatives:

And picnics at the beach between rounds of swimming and tubing:

Dinner at Legends Brew Pub with my childhood friend, Sue. It had been SO long; more years than I can recall since we last had time to sit at a table share food and talk, talk, talk!

Of course I had to stop at Renards to buy cheese.

And now, you guessed it, this post has left me hungry. I think I will go upstairs and eat just a few of those cheese curds.