Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Raven: A Non-Fiction Story

Once upon a time, there was a lady that owned a Toyota RAV4, which she named the Raven, that was getting a little long in the tooth - the car, of course, the lady was in her prime.  So, right after Christmas, she took it to the dealer for some thorough maintenance, and spent a bit of money bringing it up to scratch.  The Raven got new tires, new breaks, and a new water pump.  Fluids were replaced, rather like a shot of cortisone on a pair of aging knees.  The car was purring by the time it left the garage.  The lady was very happy.

Then, in early January, the Raven was rear-ended by a young couple, who sober and insured, make it very difficult for the lady to work up a real mad at the accident.  She was frustrated and inconvenienced, but since the couple's insurance paid for the damage, and the car was repaired quickly, the lady was happy once more.

Alas! This saga quickly turned out to be as long as Odysseus' return to Penelope.  That odious little light on the dashboard went on again a few days later!  Oh, that light!  The lady cannot abide that light!  And the timing!  What, with the event that this lady was in the middle of organizing for work, which was already causing so much added stress!  So, off to the dealer she went again and threw herself (and her wallet) at the mechanic's feet, who took mercy on her and only charged her half an arm (she got to keep both legs).

And the lady was happy . . . for exactly 20 minutes.  That's when she discovered that the button for the rear hatch wasn't working.  The button would unlock the hatch, but wouldn't raise it.

Now here was a conundrum:  To whom should she take the car?  Should she take it to the center that repaired the car after the collision, or should she take it to the dealer that she'd left not twenty minutes earlier?  Why, oh, why was she having to deal with these loathsome car problems, she asked no one in particular?  She took good care of her car!  She also didn't have time for this, especially IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER! (This lady does not function well in the middle of winter).

And this is when her very own epic hero, her husband, Lee, whose mother held him by the toes at birth and dipped him in Lake Michigan, giving him everlasting technical abilities, but causing his feet to grow very long, came to the rescue.  Without any prompting whatsoever, when he saw his lady in distress, did what any modern hero would do:  He consulted the Google Oracle.  It turns out that the car has a button, heretofore unbeknownst to anyone who has not read the Owner's Manual, hidden in the glove compartment that had somehow been pressed, deactivating the hatch feature.  That is one piece of literature that the lady had failed to read.

Fearlessly, disregarding all personal safety, our hero pressed the button wit his own bare finger.  He then sauntered back in from the garage with a John Wayne swagger, wearing his most endearing smile.  The lady had no choice but to succumb to his charms.  She gave him a kiss, and looked at him with eyes that promised Galician White Bean Soup, made from scratch.

As for the Raven, at 87,000 he continues to plod along, rather like Rocinante, Don Quixote's faithful steed.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

St. Patrick's Day 2018

One of my favorite St. Patrick's Day dinners, which took place in 2016, and I never posted the table!

I love this flower combination for St. Patrick's Day:  Bells of Ireland, Daisies, Carnations, and Chrysanthemums.

I found these cabbage rose napkin rings and the brown gingham napkins at Pier 1.  Those napkin rings make me think of vegetable gardens, like Mr. McGregor's, of Peter Rabbit fame, which then, lead me to ponder that they might work beautifully in a Spring or Easter table!  I can already tell I will be enjoying these rings for many years to come, in a variety of settings.

All set for a corned beef and cabbage dinner - a traditional American way to celebrate St. Patrick's!  What do you cook for St. Patrick's Day?

"If you lived on cabbage, you would not be obliged to flatter the powerful."  To which the courtier replied, "If you flattered the powerful, you would not be obliged to live upon cabbage."  
Diogenes, ancient Greek philosopher's advise to a young courtier

(But I do like cabbage!)

The perfect excuse to indulge in some Kerrygold Irish butter.  Everyone gets their own butter dish, to go with the Irish Soda Bread!  I'm so glad that sanity has returned and butter is once again back on our tables!

And here is the happy bunch, a gathering of English, German, Italian, Mexican and Cuban ancestry, to celebrate St. Pat's!  Erin go Bragh!