Saturday, April 19, 2003

Gone to Carolina Archive: Charleston

Twins 9-7 Braves 9-8
We went to Charleston Thursday night and came home Friday night. What a great place! I could spend a week there, quite easily.
I would not stay at the Best Western there again, though. Our rooms were $90 per night and the rooms are in bad need of overhauling. They were very clean, though, so that was good.
We started out the day with breakfast at the hotel. They have these waffle irons that stay hot all through the breakfast period. The attendant fills cups with just the right amount of batter and you simply pour the batter into the iron you want and cook your waffle. I don't really eat waffles too much myself, but the guys enjoyed cooking these massive waffles and eating them. While we ate, we figured out where to go.
Tony had said if you have only one day to spend in Charleston, go to the Market. Mary R. had suggested the Exchange. So we drove to the Battery and looked at all the memorials for submariners and soldiers from the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. They also had memorials for Hurricane Hugo.
A word about the Civil War: In Charleston, the sites we saw that day all called it "The War Between The States". This pleased me. I'd been hearing it called "The War of Northern Aggression".
After walking around the Battery, we went to the Exchange. This is part of the original fortress that was built around the city to protect it from Indians, Pirates, Spanish and wild animals. They also had a room where the South Carolinians got together to ratify the Declaration of Independence. And this was where the British held prisoners during the Revolutionary War, after they had taken the city.
We had lunch at Diana's Restaurant. I had read about it in which is a website dedicated to finding the the most memorable eateries along the highways and backroads of America. I heard about this website on The Splendid Table, which regularly features reviews by Jane and Michael Stern.
At Diana's, Mom and I shared a cup of crab and corn soup, a huge plate of shrimp etoufee with fried green tomatoes and grits, and a giant piece of coconut cake. Who cares what all the guys ate?
After lunch we went to the Old Market and walked around. This is a series of old buildings, said to be where slaves were sold, that have been preserved and now house lots of little shops and booths.
It's only about a 3 hour drive to Charleston, if you don't drive over the supper hour and have to stop and eat and the stop for bathroom breaks, etc.
Today is Easter Saturday and I had a coffee at my house. Tony, Peggy Mc, Miss Rachel, Cassie S and Margaret W all came and we had cinnamon rolls and fruit salad. I had mentioned a Koffee Klatch to Tony. He hadn't heard that phrase before. I explained that it's just a gathering where you drink coffee and chat. I told him I'd do it again and make Kolaches sometime, just so he could say he went to a Koffee and Kolache Klatch!
Mensa Boy and Dad ditched and did not attend the coffee. We sent them grocery shopping for tomorrow's ingredients. They did a great job and had the patience to keep looking for a ham that was NOT spiral sliced. What is it with this? It seems so hard to find an unsliced ham. Is that a Carolina thing, or is it same all over? Dad ended up pay $22 for a ham and could have gotten one the same size, spiral sliced, for about $8. But most of those were honey-baked, and that doesn't make the greatest scalloped potatoes and ham later in the week.
Tomorrow is Mom and Dad's last day with us. As usual, everyone is talking big about going to the Sunrise Service. Usually that ends up not happening, as I am the only one that generally is up in time. But, with the weather here so mild, there might be more motivation. After that, there is breakfast at the church and then Sunday School and the regular service.
We hope to eat the ham early in the afternoon so there will still be enough Sunday left to have ham sandwiches later. One has to plan these things...
Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Gone to Carolina Archive: Comment Crabbiness

Twins 8-6 Braves 7-8
I'm deciding what to about the comments section of my blog. Apparently there is no way to delete comments that people put on there. As most of you know, a person "flamed" me pretty well the first week and I left it there.
But this morning I find someone has put characters in a comment that seem suggestive.
I can either leave the comment option open and we can ignore them, or I can turn the comments off altogether.
Most of you are not writing comments anyway. All of you know my email address, so you can send me notes using that.
So, if you have a feeling about it, let me know. I'd hate to take the comments off, because my initial feeling was that people might sort of use it like a "Round Robin" sort of thing and we could all communicate with each other using that feature.
But, I don't want scum using it to get cheap thrills either. Let me know.
I'm too crabby to write anything entertaining this morning, so I'm signing off.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Gone to Carolina Archive: Bread and Beer Diet

My personal baseball reporting: Fair, Balanced, Unafraid
Twins 7-6 Braves 6-8
My neighbor, Mary R, is on a Bread-and-Beer diet. Not really, but it sounds funny, doesn't it? She and I run errands together occasionally and she is hooked on Harris Teeter's artisan breads. She also like Corona Light. I tease her about what the neighbors will think when they see her two empty Corona cases put out for Dean the Garbage Guy. (It's not EVERY week)
Whatever she is doing, it's working. She's dropped something like 20 pounds since moving here in September.
Last night Mensa Boy announced that we only had one sandwich bag left. This is a bad thing, since we make lunches for the kids to take to school every day. I told him I'd just gotten back from Target earlier in the day, so we'd have to start a new Target list. He came up with a brilliant, Mensa-boy idea:
"If we went to Maggie Moo's, we could get sandwich bags at Harris Teeter at the same time." So, we all piled in and went to Maggie Moo's. We love that place. You choose an ice cream and then a mix-in like chocolate chips. They put both ingredients on a frozen slab and smash everything around while you watch. Cool.
Didn't buy the sandwich bags. I love Harris Teeter, but I'd rather buy my plastic and paper products at Target. With the money I save I can buy another scoop of Cocoo Amooreto with chocolate chips.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Gone to Carolina Archive: Plant the Trees Straight

My personal baseball reporting: Fair, Balanced, Unafraid
Twins 6-6 Braves 5-8
Yesterday I went shopping with the 2 Marys. My Mom and my neighbor Mary R. Mary R and I are interested in herb gardening, and my Mom has some experience in that area. Although my Mom says she really doesn't know much..."I just plunk stuff in the ground and see if it grows"...she is generally knowledgeable, I find.
First we went to a pottery place and bought pots. I am not ready to commit to a garden plot and so I'm doing some herbs in a strawberry pot. Mary R is an avid gardener...both in pots and in the ground. She knew just the place to go.
After that we had lunch at Trio, which my friend Nannette had introduced me to a couple of weeks ago.
Then we went to Lowe's. My Mom has always tried to steer me away from home centers for plants, but Mary R is a big fan and it is true that Lowe's has some great stuff.
Later in the evening, Mom planted the herbs in the strawberry pot and also did a pot of basil and another pot of Rosemary. Why didn't I help with that? Well, Mary R had been nagging me to get this pine tree I had bought in December into the ground. So yesterday was the day.
The tree is about 3 feet tall. Mensa Boy dug the hole for me. After the herniated disk incident, I've decided to lay off shovels for 3 months. Then Taylor and I planted the tree.
This is where Taylor and I learned a very important lesson in tree planting. Be sure the tree is straight in the hole before you fill it in and water it. Fortunately, Mensa Boy straightened the little tree with a well placed shovel blade in the exact right spot next to the tree. Taylor and I then hurried to pack more dirt around it to keep it straight.
Today my Mom, Dad and I went looking for a couple of golf courses for Dad to hit balls. Then we went to Best Buy and watched Mom drool over $300 keyboards and $5000 flat-screen tvs. My Mom is on the brink of retirement. She could retire any day from her job at the Farmington Elementary School kitchen. She tells people she doesn't think she can retire because Best Buy isn't doing too well and she feels a personal responsibility to do what she can to keep it afloat!
We went to The Bombay Grille for lunch. My parents had not eaten Indian food before. I had read a review in the Charlotte Observer about them several months ago. They are on Pineville Matthews Road (hwy 51) and they have a wonderful buffet at noon with about a dozen items. Everything was very fresh and good. Our old friends from Minneapolis, Irshad and Rehanna A, had always told us good Indian food is not so spicy that you can't taste it. And it shouldn't upset the American stomach. This stuff did not. It was superb, just as the review in the Observer had promised. I would give you the link to the review, but the stupid cheapo paper doesn't keep stuff on it's website. They have the review posted in the restaurant.
And we helped the Easter Bunny stock up on goodies.

Monday, April 14, 2003

Gone to Carolina Archive: I Have Need of Ye

My personal baseball reporting: Fair, Balanced, Unafraid
Twins 6-6 Braves 5-8 KC broke their winning streak
My parents arrived yesterday for a visit. They will be here all week. They brought their dog Mickey with them. Mickey and Soya get along pretty well. No snarling or snapping, although at times Mickey deserves it. He tends to follow Soya around adoringly and likes to get in her face with his nose periodically. It's fun just to look at them both, since they look so much alike, although Soya outweighs Mick by about 45 pounds. Mickey is a Boston Terrier, Soya is a Boxer.
Saturday afternoon Mensa Boy and I went to a friend's house and we planned a 15 minute praise & worship service for the last Sunday of April at church. Every Sunday there is "Prayer Around The Altar" for 15 minutes before Sunday School. But we are trying to do a singing time for the last Sunday. Mensa Boy took his guitar and our friend Martin plays piano and guitar. We are in the process of rounding up more singers. Right now we have Mensa Boy and me, Rick H singing baritone and Lane W on Soprano. Lane, Rick and I trade parts back and forth. We don't use music, just lyrics, so it's pretty loose.
Sunday was, or course, Palm Sunday. Tony's sermon title was "I Have Need of Ya". Not "I Have Need of Thee", not "I Have Need of You"...."I Have Need of Ya". It's always my favorite Sunday...commemorating Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. At Minnehaha church the kids all gathered in the back and then came down the aisles, ended in the front and usually sang a song. Here, the sanctuary is quite small, but there are a lot of little kids, so they came down the two aisles, crossed in the front and went back up the aisles and around and around. It was way cool.
That's it. Going to be around 80 here today. Hoo Hoo!