Rocking my world

I worked last night at the Rock Cafe. The new kitchen is awesome, but I’m not sure the kitchen at the Big Texan would be big enough to keep up with the kind of crowds we were dealing with from about 5:30 p.m. on. It was nuts. We knew it would be, but I think it exceeded everybody’s expectations.

I was off today, but I sent Dawn a text a little while ago to ask if she needed me to come in tomorrow after church. She said there was no point, because the crowds were so enormous today that she’s running out of everything, so she’s going to close at 3 p.m. tomorrow.

I like working in the kitchen — it’s fun to learn how to make stuff like jaegerschnitzel and bread pudding and chicken-fried steak, and flipping burgers definitely makes me feel like a kid again — but I’m kind of glad to be off tomorrow. I have a bunch of stuff I need to do, and I just didn’t have the energy to do any of it today. I slept in this morning, went out to lunch with Ron, picked up a new pair of Crocs, took a nap, and then went out for a snow cone around dinner time. Other than brushing the dogs, I accomplished nothing today. If it weren’t so hot out, I’d bake some new potatoes and onions, but I can’t bring myself to heat up the kitchen that much.

Hope your day was more productive than mine.


Rock on

Just got back from the Rock Cafe. We had a meeting at 7:30, and then we started cooking to test out the kitchen. I had my first plate of spaetzle with cheese in over a year. Wow.

I’ll post more details later. I’m exhausted at the moment and absolutely have to have a nap before I do another thing.



I really need to find something productive to do with my time. This evening’s project: another Kate Pierson-inspired dye job.

Please try to overlook the fact that my snout appears to be taking over the picture. When you look like a human Afghan hound (all snout and legs and hair), any attempt at a self-portrait is not going to end well.

That said, I’d forgotten how much I liked being a redhead:


Hopefully it will be less creepy this time around. Last time I wore my hair long and red, random strangers kept coming up and touching it without permission. It was mostly well-meaning old ladies who were just trying to compliment me, but it still unnerved me to have strangers all up in my business like that, y’know?



The 2009-2010 Oklahoma Route 66 Association Trip Guide is finally out. Marilyn sent me a text this afternoon to let me know she was in Sapulpa, delivering copies to our Creek County rep.

The color on the cover is a little screwy (holy cyan, Batman!) but the rest of it looks pretty good at first glance. I’m sure the PDF version will go on the Association’s Web site sooner or later. In the meantime, our county reps are busy distributing copies to business members, so if you happen to be on 66 in Oklahoma later this week, you should be able to find a copy.

The Trip Guide is a worthwhile project, but I never sleep right until I’ve got the final printed version in my hands. I kind of miss having it printed in Norman, where I could stand and watch the copies come off the press and hassle the guys about the color if I wasn’t 100 percent happy with it.

Ah, well. At least it’s done, and I don’t have to start thinking about it again until December.



What a great day. Highlights:

1. Shot the bull with Linda from Hilltop Honey at the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market.
2. Bought a garden rake and three Million Bells plants at a feed store in Cleveland.
3. Had lunch at the Dari-Diner.
4. Bought two rolls of 126 film at my neighbor’s garage sale. (The film expired in 1989, but I’m hoping that just means the colors will be extra trippy.)
4. Helped Dawn move booths around at the Rock Cafe.
5. Saw a rainbow on the way home.
6. Drove Gretchen to the hardware store for fencing and pavers.
7. Built a new flowerbed in the front yard.
8. Made pasta with zucchini and green onions for dinner.

Here’s the new flowerbed:


It doesn’t look terribly impressive now, but it should be gorgeous later this summer, as I am planting morning glories and sweet peas in there tomorrow. The chickens are already impressed, as I fed them about a dozen grubworms I found in the soil while I was spading up the bed….

I’m looking forward to another good day tomorrow: We’re going to Norman to see the B-52’s (CAUTION: NOISY LINK) in concert. I’ve been dying to see them since high school, so I’m really excited about this. We’re going to Van’s Pig Stand for dinner before the show. Should be a great day.

Hope you’re having an awesome weekend, wherever you are.


Life could be a dream


Today was amazing. Five of my classes wrote research papers about Route 66 this quarter, and the kids had been pestering me for weeks to let them watch Cars in class, so I decided to reward their hard work by showing the movie after they finished their finals.

There is a scene in the film in which all the broken neon signs in town are restored, and all the cars go cruising along Route 66 to the tune of the Chords’ “Sh-Boom” while the signs glow and flash above them. On this — the last day of the semester — I watched that scene five times.

Tonight, after the sun went down, I headed down to 11th and Peoria to see the live version of that scene. Organizers threw the switch tonight to relight the historic Meadow Gold sign, which has been the focus of a five-year restoration project. By the time I got across town to see it, more than a dozen people were milling around, looking at the sign and photographing it from every imaginable angle.

Words really can’t do it justice, so I’ll just let the pictures tell the story:










It’s been a pretty spectacular day on the old road. This morning, the Rock Cafe reopened for the first time since it burned last May. You can’t get a chicken-fried steak there just yet, but Dawn and her crew were serving beignets, hot dogs, and tea to anyone interested in signing the bathroom wall and taking a look at the new interior layout.

What a way to kick off my summer.


Lovely evening

Our school’s graduation was this evening. It was very nice, and much less stressful than I’d imagined it might be. Several teachers and administrators went out for dinner afterward, which was fun; I got to spend some time talking to colleagues I seldom see.

On a totally unrelated note, an extremely weird thing has happened in the past week: For no apparent reason, I have lost my taste for salt. Anyone who has known me for longer than five minutes can appreciate the magnitude of this development. I’ve been salting my food ever since I was big enough to hold a salt shaker. At any given moment, I will have at least three salt shakers on hand, not counting the one I keep in the car. But at some point Saturday, I lost my taste for salt. At 10:30 that morning, I was gleefully porking down a heavily salted order of fries from White Castle; at 8:30 that evening, I sank my teeth into a pork chop sandwich from a grocery store deli and thought, “This would be SO good if it didn’t have so much salt on it!”

I haven’t felt the need to salt anything since then.

I don’t get it, either. Now, if I’d just lose my taste for fat, sugar, and four-letter words, I could be thin and gracious with no effort at all….


Road trip

Sorry I’ve been silent for a few days. We were out of town all weekend, visiting family in Illinois. Our nephew, Brace, was graduating from high school. Here are a few highlights from the trip:


Brace shakes hands with the superintendent after picking up his diploma.


Riggy’s new friend Buster, farm dog extraordinaire, finds a comfortable bed. I imagine he needed the rest after dashing madly around the farm with Rig, who obviously adored him.


This looks like something I would put in my yard if I thought I could get away with it.



Riggy had his first taste of Ted Drewes’ Frozen Custard. That second picture reminds me of someone I used to know….


On the way back, we stopped at Sullivan Pottery, where I bought five — count ’em, FIVE — lawn gnomes in various poses. After serious consideration, I have decided to paint one to look like a refugee from Woodstock. The other four will be painted to resemble the Kiss Army. (Don’t even try to tell me you wouldn’t want lawn gnomes in your garden if they were wearing Ace Frehley’s makeup. You know you love it.)

In unrelated news, we went out to Living Kitchen this evening to check a couple of hives. While we were inspecting the Italians — which, incidentally, look much more vigorous than the colony we’ve got here at the house — we saw a young worker bee emerging from her cell. I’ve seen honeybee larvae, and I’ve seen adults, but the only time I’ve seen the transition was on a video about bees. This was the first time I’d witnessed it in real life. The youngster had chewed through the cap on the cell, so you could see her little face peeking out, but after she worked a leg free, she got tired and had to rest until a nurse bee came and fed her some honey to give her an energy boost. She sat there quietly for a minute or so and then pulled herself free. It was really cute. I didn’t have my camera handy, so I didn’t get any pictures, but it was fun to watch, anyhow.