Friday, May 27, 2011

Three Beautiful Things: 05/27/11: Grooming Snug, Hiring, New Tires

1.  Snug behaved well at the groomer today.  He looks handsome.  I'm relieved that everything worked out so well.  I was disappointed when I learned St. Roni Naccarato no longer works at the PetSmart grooming shop, but Charlene and Snug hit it off and she'd love to have him come back.

2.  I worked on many hiring committees in the 90s in our department and division at LCC.  Then I decided to pull back and it's been many years since I've helped out with hiring a new faculty member into the English Department.  I'm on a committee now, we met today, and I left our first meeting kind of pumped to be doing this work again.

3.  New tires for the Honda.  It's got nearly 200,000 miles on it.  I talked to the mechanic yesterday about how long the Honda might run and he was very optimistic about the engine.  So I'm going to keep oiling it, getting belts changed, aligning it, and, today, it was new tires.  Orofino or bust!

Three Beautiful Things: 05/26/11: Poetry Picture Books, Fickle Kidneys, Dickie Jo's >5 Guys

1.  In World Lit, I once again pushed the idea that poems are picture books and that poems invite us to go back to being kids again when we loved picture books and I read aloud "Problems with Hurricanes" and three of Neruda's Odes and encouraged my students to picture the poems, let the pictures work on them, feel the impact of the pictures, and stop trying to figure out what the poem means.  Experience it.

2.  I'm beginning to understand the mutable nature of blood work.  A couple months ago, the creatinine levels in my blood were higher than they had been, and I was alarmed.  Today I found out (or was reminded) that my creatinine had been higher when I was hospitalized with pneumonia and c-diff, when I had been dehydrated.  The results from last week's blood work showed the levels had gone down, indicating that my kidneys, at least last week, were functioning at about the same level of diseasedness they have been since I first found out I have chronic kidney disease.   So, it seems, my kidneys are a bit fickle.  So, I am going to never take a single blood test seriously again, but will pay more attention to the big picture, the pattern.  I'll chill.

3.  To celebrate my new mindset regarding my fickle kidneys, I made my first visit to 5 Guys Burgers.  The burger was good, but I like Dickie Jo's a lot more.  The fries were mushy.  I like fries crisp.  I'll never sit down to eat in a 5 Guys Burger again.  The noise made the place intolerable.  All the burgers are fried out in the open with about twenty-five young employees yelling stuff, dancing to 70s music.  They were all amped.  It's why I don't go to Dutch Bros. anymore.  It's hyper.  I get treated like I'm 19.  I'm not 19.  I'm 57.  Shhhhh.  When 5 Guys comes into our neighborhood, I might get to go orders, but if the one being built nearby is as loud, casual, hyperactive, and garishly RED as the one in Springfield, I'll never sit down to eat there.  And I'll probably pass on the fries.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Three Beautiful Things: 05/25/11: Fry on Language, Fry on Language, Fry the Barber

1.  I was minding my own business, reading student essays, when suddenly Kate upended my concentration and sent me off on an obsessive Fry and Laurie binge when she emailed me this brilliant vid:

2.  I then had to listen to this piece and was delighted that something I hadn't heard was on this vid, too:

3.  And then I laughed and laughed at this:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Three Beautiful Things: 05/24/11: Middle East Poetry, Tumblr, Flickr

1.  We studied Palestinian, Israeli, and Iraqi poetry in World Lit today, which means seeing this part of the world through metaphor, feeling, music, personal pain, personal longing, and personal experience.  It makes these people we often lump together as fitting some collective description deeply human.  The movies from this part of the world do the same thing.

2.  I had some fun exploring and adding pictures to my new photo blog.

3.  I finished another set of papers and am one set of papers away from being caught up.  After reading those papers, I rested from schoolwork and added pictures to my flickr account

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Three Beautiful Things: 05/23/11: Getting There, Deke the Chef, Tumblr Plunge

1.  I am caught up in WR 121 for the first time this quarter.  Now I can get caught up in ENG 109.  I'll do that tomorrow.

2.  The Deke made a delicious and very attractive dinner of fettuccine, fresh tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and basil.  There must have also been garlic.  The food was delicious and that was great, but my pleasure was expanded by how beautifully the colors of the food sat in the dinner bowl.  It felt classy.  I felt so much classier than the food I throw together out of the frying pan!

3.  I took small plunge today.  I decided to start a photo blog on tumblr.  It's here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Six Weekend Pictures


Counter at Brails

Chairs at Glory Days Antiques

23rd and A Machine in Springfield

Springfield House of Worship

Ready to Bloom in Springfield

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Three Beautiful Things 05/22/11: Father Ted, Nap, Electric Frying Pan Special

1.  It was good to hear Father Ted preach again and good to see how trim he is getting.

2.  I'm not sure what all caught up to me this afternoon, but I took a nap and I slept hard.

3.  I got out the electric frying pan today and made a dish of ground beef, onion, potatoes, mushrooms, corn, green beans, and spinach, seasoned with Greek seasoning and garlic powder and topped with some lemon juice.  So simple.  So tasty.

Titles of Books that I've Been Told About

I need to make a record of book titles I've heard about that sound good to me.  Hope to be back adding to it.

My Stroke of Insight
Emporer of Maladies
Pillars of the Earth

Three Beautiful Things 05/21/11: Brails, Springfield Photos, Sparky and Joe Masala

1.  Brails was hopping this morning.  I spotted the last stool at the end of the counter and had a great time taking pictures while I waited for my food.  I took a few with the nostalgia setting, but most in black and white.  Here is an example:

2.  Russell and I went to Springfield to shoot pictures this afternoon, concentrating on the Paramount Shopping Center and a small area a block north of it.  I took this picture with my sisters and mother in mind, thinking how much they would surely enjoy some of the shops in this shopping center:

3.  Sparky Roberts and Joe Cronin hosted a dinner party this evening and invited me.  The dinner featured Joe's spicy Indian chicken masala.  It was superb.  The only person I really knew at the dinner table was Sparky, although I'm becoming acquainted with Joe Cronin as I do occasional theater projects.  Other guests:  Art Maddox, Denise Fearn and her husband, Riley Grannan, Marc Siegel, and Katrina Bolster.

The dinner put me to the test in one important way:  I've been trying over the last few years to keep my mouth shut if I don't know what I'm talking about.  I may have mentioned this in my blog before.  Well, I'm finding more and more that I think I know less and less -- and (what I'm about to say doesn't apply to last night) I'm more and more aware of how often I hear and read things where I just can't figure out how the radio guy or the New Yorker writer or the person at Starbucks or whoever thinks h/she knows what s/he is talking about.

At this dinner party, the I was in the company of people who knew what they were talking about as they talked about subjects as far-ranging as Pee Wee Herman, strokes in adults, autism, Beyond the Fringe, Terry Gross, psychopaths, creativity, the evolution of the world's religions, the folly of proselytizing, restoring the Eugene Masonic Cemetery, Eugene restaurants, and other things.

I listened.

I didn't have much to say because I don't know anything about most of what the conversations focused on.   My experience with being an Episcopalian and why I worship seemed too personal for the more abstract nature of the discussion of religion.  So I listened, took in everyone's thoughts and observations, and was fairly quiet.

My head and my tummy were full as I drove home and when I retired for the night.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Three Beautiful Things 05/20/11: Cinnamon Twist, Office Hour, New Torch Editor(-in-Chief)

1.  I hadn't indulged in eating one of those monster cinnamon twists at Market of Choice for many months.  I wanted cinnamon this morning.  So I bought a coffee at Starbucks and bought a twist at Market of Choice.  It was a risk, though.  Sometimes the Market of Choice raised dough cinnamon twist is undercooked, doughy inside.  I hit the cinnamon twist jackpot today.  The monster cinnamon twist was perfect and put me in an unusually good mood for a day of grading.

2.  My student, AM-G is a young single mother with a difficult background who is doing all in her power to turn her life around.  She's assertive, curious, straightforward, and sometimes confused about what I'm assigning in WR 121.  She came by for help today.  We had a great talk and, I hope, she understands the writing she has left to do better.

3.  I'm on LCC's Media Commission and we selected a new editor (in-chief) for The Torch, the college's newspaper, today.  I was very impressed with the comprehensive knowledge and vision of the student we chose to run the operation next year. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Three Beautiful Things 05/19/11: Whale Rider, Coherence, Dinner with the Deke

1.  In my World Literature course, I've spent this week trying to help my students experience the struggle some traditional cultures experience as the developments of the modern world assert themselves.  Today we watched "Whale Rider", after seeing "The Story of the Weeping Camel" on Tuesday.  "Whale Rider", like "...the Weeping Camel" really gets to me, moves me, makes tears run down my face.  I always forget how powerfully "Whale Rider" affects me and today was no exception, especially the beached whales.

2.  I think the chief challenge in teaching an essay writing course is bringing students to an understanding that essays work best when they are coherent, and we worked hard on that today.  It's a concept that's so basic, yet so difficult for many beginning writers to put into practice.  I'll keep trying to be of help.

3.  The Deke and I didn't know that our friends were not meeting at Billy Mac's, so when we showed up we were on our own and we took a booth and had a dinner out together.  When did that last happen?  Pre-9/11?  I'm not sure.  (Just kidding -- I'm pretty sure we got together once at 19th Street in the last 12-18 months ....)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Three Beautiful Things 05/18/11: Get Caught Up?, Porketta Leftover Dinner, Anna's Plans

1.  I graded a ton of ENG 109 papers and am moving closer and closer to getting caught up.  Could I get caught up on Friday?  It's a goal.

2.  That shredded pork from when I slow cooked the porketta roast?  Well, I got some oil hot, dropped cold cooked pork in the oil, then some corn, then some cooked rice, fried it all together, put it in a bowl and topped it with Frank's Hot Sauce and it was a very good dinner.

3.  I learned more about Anna's plans to become a naturopathic doctor and enjoyed our conversation a lot.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Three Beautiful Things 05/17/11: Weeping Camel, Last of the Steaks, "Are You Done Now?"

1.  Maybe my favorite class meeting in ENG 109 is our screening of "The Story of the Weeping Camel".  It's a remarkably slow, attentive story about a family of Mongolians faced with a problem when a mother camel has rejected her new-born calf.  It's a gorgeous and deeply affecting movie.

2.  A several weeks ago I cut about seven dollars worth of London broil steaks into about fourteen small, not very thick steaks and tonight the Deke and I ate the last of them.  Two were left and we had baked potatoes and grilled sweet onions and mushrooms and a baguette.  It was very satisfying.

3.  I got on a 70's roll on YouTube, trying to make the Deke laugh, and played every song I could find that I knew she'd recognize, remember how cheesy it was, and tell me to stop.  Debbie Boone, Leo Sayers, the Carpenters, Mac Davis, David Soul, and Kenny Rodgers, among others,  all came through and inspired the Deke to remember the 70's, laugh a little, but mostly ask me, "Are you done now?" and say, "Okay, this isn't funny anymore."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Three Beautiful Things 05/16/11: Silver Screen Video, Pandora-Steely Dan, Shocking Blue- "Venus"

1.  I can't put things away because I can't remember where I put them and can't find them.  I can't find anything because of the clutter created by the fact that I can't put things away.  I couldn't find my DVD of "The Story of the Weeping Camel" today, but Silver Screen Video had a copy and the LCC student who works there and I had a fun conversation about Arab and Palestinian and Israeli movies, a book from India, and how she changed her major from English to physics.

2. Somehow all the artists that played on Pandora's Steely Dan station were just right:  Leon Russell, Van Morrison, the Allman Brothers, Santana, the Turtles -- and Steely Dan themselves.  I was in the right the right mood for "Deacon Blues".

3.  Somehow listening to Pandora's Steely Dan station led me to a YouTube video of a promo video of Shocking Blue peforming "Venus" in front of a cage with at least one monkey in it, swinging in the background.  I love this song and I'm trying to remember if that time when Rick Wainright and I were listening all time great openings to songs (like "Smoke on the Water", "Sweet Child of Mine", etc) if we mentioned Shocking Blue's "Venus".  I love how it opens and I love "She's got it/Yeah baby she's got it".  (By the way, listening to Shocking Blue led me to the Bananarama cover of Venus and then to a whimsical Bananarama video, "Love in the First Degree".)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Five Weekend Pictures

Hendricks Park Irises

Hendricks Park Rhodies

St. Mary's Communion Rail

Stained Glass and Skylight at St. Mary's

Wedding Flowers at the Altar

Three Beautiful Things 05/15/11: Silent Worship, Sisyphus Grading, Sharon Rodgers = Superb

1.  Within the structure of worship in the Episcopal Church, I always feel at liberty to totally join in or, if so moved, remain quiet for parts of the service or the whole thing.  This morning I sat silently.  I didn't sing hymns.  I didn't recite prayers or the creed.  I didn't respond out loud to anything in the service.  I participated silently and inwardly.  I don't know why.  It's what I was moved to do.

2.  I graded more papers all afternoon.  I'm still behind, but each session of work like this one draws me closer to getting caught up.

3. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Sharon Rodgers present her insight and instruction about the history and details of our liturgy tonight at our Episcopalian 101 class tonight.  Her presentation was scintillating. It took me back to days when I was on the verge of mental collapse, but hadn't quite gotten there yet, and Sharon and Nick and I teamed up to teach a similar series, acquainting all interested in the history and the traditions of the Episcopal Church.  Sharon's presentations are crisp, learned, fascinating, and full of her vitality.  I'm glad I'm past that collapse (I hope for a long time) and have the energy to teach, like I did last week, and attend Adult Ed. classes, like I did tonight.  Great work, Sharon.

Russell Shoots Eighteen Seconds at Yi-Shen Using My High Def Canon S95

Three Beautiful Things 05/14/11: Refreshing Morning, Refreshing Photo Walk, Refreshing Food

1.  My morning of organizing and posting photographs, including an updating of my Flickr account, refreshed me.

2.  Speaking of refreshment, Russell and I went on a photographing walk through Eugene's Hendricks Park.  The day was cool and overcast, the light a bit flat, and the park was full of the splendor of blooming rhododendrons and a variety of other flowers.

3.  More refreshment:  Russell and I enjoyed a late afternoon lunch at Yi-Shen.  I ate a favorite dish:  lemongrass curry fried rice with pork and a variety of vegetables.  Here's a picture of the proprietor of Yi-Shen delivering food to another customer's table:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Three Beautiful Things 05/9-13/11: Conferences, Exhaustion, I'm Not Christopher Sly

1.  The whole school week has been dominated by my favorite way to teach: individual conferences with each of my WR 121 students.  It's exhausting.  I learn more than I would ever otherwise know about my students.  I'm staggered by what I learn, by the difficulties so many of my students face and have faced.  In some cases, I'm talking about unimaginable difficulties.  Yet, here they are, in WR 121, doing all they can to persevere and learn and possibly change their lives.  I wish the school quarter wasn't so short.

2.  Because of the sweet exhaustion brought about by these conferences and because of my not very successful attempts to get caught up in my World Lit course, I was in bed very early every night this week, sometimes before darkness fell.  The old idea of early to bed and early to rise -- well, I can't say it made me wise, but it's a way of sleeping and waking that works for me.

3.  One last post about Christopher Sly:  two people who knew the show really well saw me today on campus and were not sure it was me.  My hair is short again, I'm not wearing a beard, and I am wearing my glasses.  I enjoyed the fact that the person who strolls the grounds of Lane Community College and teaches English courses does not seem like the same "person" who resided in "The Taming of the Shrew" as a jolly and irascible drunk.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Three Beautiful Things 05/08/11: Rev. Betsy Tesi's Sermon, Ren. and Ref. Studies Again, Back in a Saddle I Haven't Been in for a While

1.  This morning the Rev. Betsy Tesi's sermon beautifully explored the life span of sorrow and its enduring power, not separate from but intermingled with the promise of new life in the resurrection.  She's a great thinker, storyteller, and teacher.  I'm very happy that she's been hired to work with Bingham Powell as the clergy leading our parish.

2.  It had been years since I'd had the opportunity to prepare to give a presentation at church.  I volunteered to step in when Austin Kaiser was too busy to help out tonight and I really enjoyed getting back into Reformation and Renaissance history and back into reading documents from the first days of the Church of England and thinking about it all in relation to Shakespeare, Marlowe, Michelangelo, and Milton.  Preparing, reading, writing about literature and theology from the 16th and 17th centuries last night and again this afternoon gave me back a pleasure I hadn't felt for many years.  I'm just glad it wasn't for school which allowed me to enjoy being an amateur.

3.  I enjoyed making my presentation and the discussion and conversations that followed.  Yes, I felt a little rusty.  I haven't given a public presentation at the church in several years.  My struggles with fatigue and depression all those years meant I was often away from church, was no longer asked to preach, and didn't have the energy to volunteer to teach in the Adult Education program.  I'm hoping I can be licensed again as a Lay Preacher and I'd enjoy more opportunities to help out with Adult Education.

Three Beautiful Things 05/07/11: Brails, Tears, Susan and Ted

1.  Saturday morning breakfast at Brails with my camera turned out to be delicious in several ways.  You can see some of my pictures, here.

2.  The Deke's playing and singing at John Haislip's memorial service moved me to tears.

3.  It was especially good to see Susan Swan and Ted Berg at the reception following the service. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Saturday at Brails

Welcome to Brails

Breakfast at the counter


Joy checks i.d.

Joy pours coffee


Three Beautiful Things (and a Bonus) 05/05-06/11: Generous Russell, Taxi Driver's Travails, Rei Learns on Me, and Bonus: Relief

Warning:  Some readers might find that there is Too Much Information in what I've written here.  If you are TMI sensitive, you might want to skip this one.

May 5 and 6 turned out to be like one long day for me.  I was up very early in the morning on May 5th to consume the last of my laxative before arriving at the Cascade Endoscopy Center for a colonoscopy.  Upon arriving and talking with the nurse and doctor, the three of us figured out that I wasn't ready to be scoped.  I'd need to spend another day in preparation, another day without solid food.  I hardly slept as May 5th became May 6th and I continued to drink more laxative solution and prepare.  By the time I arrived at the McKenzie/Willamette hospital at 6:30 a.m. on May 6th, my colon was cleaned out and the procedure could continue.  Here are the Three Beautiful Things that occurred over these two days that I experienced as one really long day:

1.  I know Russell is not typically a morning person, but when I asked him if he could take me to the Cascade Endoscopy Center at 7:30 a.m., he agreed to without hesitation and agreed to wait for me to be finished.  It turned out to be be a much shorter visit than we expected, but I am grateful for Russell's generosity in providing me transportation.

2.  On Friday morning, I took a 6:15 a.m. cab to McKenzie/Willamette hospital and the driver suddenly, after telling me where the best truck stops in Idaho are, began to tell me about her son and his meth habit and how he went to prison once and when he got out lived with her and was clean for about a year but he started tweaking again and stole from her and how she had him sent to prison and disclaimed him to her son's defense attorney in court and made her son sob and then our ride was over and all I could do was pay my fare and tip her and tell her that I hoped things would work out for her and to take care.

3.  Marla generously agreed to come to the hospital and take me home after my colonoscopy and Marla told me that Rei goes to St. Mary's and I didn't know this when the nurse asked me if I minded if a student nurse put in my I.V. and I said I didn't and so I got to watch and listen as Rei, the student nurse, learned how to do it and as she intently and carefully did her job and thanked me for letting me learn how to put in an IV, to put it in my wrist.   I wished I'd known she was a fellow church member, but she and her family worship at 9:30 and I worship at 11 so our paths don't cross, but I was really happy she was learning on the job at McKenzie/Willamette.  My experience there has been superb in the past and on this day I had a moment when I was under a couple of blankets and a hose was gently blowing warm air under those blankets and I didn't think I'd ever been more comfortable and the nurses were joking with me and I was joking back and I was being totally taken care and I thought that it wouldn't be so bad if they never released me and I just stayed there forever.

Bonus:  I had air in my gut after the colonoscopy and it bloated me and they weren't going to let me go home until I farted out this air and I was there, and Marla was there, for over an hour and finally they released me and I came home and I lay down and fell asleep, my stomach bloated with air, and then I woke up over an hour later and the odorless air farts started to occur and my stomach was relieved and finally I could eat some bacon and toast and go back to sleep and be free of colon air pain.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Blue Door Theater: February and March Rehearsals

Michael Before Dress Rehearsal for the Shakespeare Showcase

My Showcase Script

Megan Looks Over Her Script

Chris Gets Tech Details Straight

Scene from Cymbeline

Sarah, Joe, Carson, and Our Director, Sparky, During a "Shrew" Rehearsal

Megan in Sepia

Three Beautiful Things 05/04/11: Happiness Inventory, Liquid Diet, Mavs

1.  My eight o'clock WR 121 class was well-attended and I thought the sense focus was good as students wrote responses to the happiness inventory I handed out.  It's a way of seeing happiness in terms of the reading we've been doing and a way of helping the students begin to work with their own ideas and experiences.

2.  I sort of enjoyed the novelty of liquid shopping at the store:  gatorade, jello, beef broth, chicken broth, Popscicles, and then laxative products to prepare for my colonoscopy tomorrow.

3. The Mavs are surprising me.  Maybe I shouldn't be surprised.  Maybe the Lakers championship time is up.  But I was surprised tonight when the Mavs won their second straight at Staples to go up 2-0.  It was fun to listen to a lot of it on XM radio.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Three Beautiful Things 05/03/11: Good Spirit, Light, Lighter

1.  A good spirit pervaded my 10 o'clock WR 121 class.  They seemed to understand what lies before them as they work on another one of the three major essays in the course.  I told them I was getting excited about their learning and what we were working on and to slow me down if I got going too fast because of my love for my work speeding me up.

2.  I noted today, maybe a few days late, that it's finally reaching that time of the spring when daylight is breaking when I get up at six in the morning and is still with us in the early evening and I can sense and almost imperceptible lift, a boost of energy, a willingness to work longer into the evening.  The dark often stifles me.  The daylight gets me a little more revved up.

3.  I finished another set of essays.  I have another one to go tomorrow and more after that, but I'm really making steady progress and the more I progress, the more my psyche lightens up.

Three Beautiful Things 05/02/11: Chicken, Grading, Snug Photos

1.  I hadn't had the electric skillet out for a while and I unearthed it and fried the Deke and me up some tasty fried chicken.

2.  It's still an uphill effort, but I got closer and closer to being caught up in paper grading.  I'll never be really caught up, but I got closer to a clear conscience today.

3.  I hadn't photographed Snug for a while.  I did so this evening.  Here are two I like:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Photos I Took at Alton Baker Park on 04/30/11

Three Beautiful Things 05/01/11: Extra Sleep, Inward Vault of Prayers, Grading Papers

1.  I woke up this morning and I didn't have to get up.  My room was full of fresh air from the window having been open.  I'd just changed my sheets last night.  Snug was calm and sleeping.  I went back to sleep and didn't get up to feed Snug and fix a cup of coffee until 8:30.  (Then I took a nap in the afternoon.)

2.  Because of the demands on my time and energy of "The Taming of the Shrew", I hadn't been to church for a couple of weeks.  After the service, I went to the candle altar and lit a couple of candles, hoping that all the concerns I've had for friends, students, family members, and people I know about online whom I've never met, concerns I've kept stored in my inward prayer vault, got released.  I trust that though I couldn't recite every concern on the spot shortly after noon this afternoon, that all these concerns I'd stored were heard. 

3.  I was grading papers and checking Facebook periodically when I read the news that Osama bin Laden is dead.  I was playing basketball on the Sunnyside Elementary school playground when I heard from Dave Rowley that JFK had been shot.  I was getting ready to go to drivers ed. when I awoke to the news of RFK being killed.  I was picking up my mail in the U of O English department office when I heard that the Challenger blew up.  I had espn radio on my headphones when Mike Greenberg interrupted "Mike and Mike" with the news of the World Trade Centers being attacked. 

Three Beautiful Things 04/30/11: Alton Baker Park, Russell Returns the Cap, Beef Stew Revisited

1.  I enjoyed getting out with a camera again and taking some photographs with Russell.  We wandered around Alton Baker Park.  I'm not sure which of the photos are worthy of posting, yet, but it was fun to be out, see people in the park, and take pictures again.

2.  Here's one moment I enjoyed.  You can see what you think of the picture's quality.  A guy rode past Russell and me on his bike and his cap flew off and Russell retrieved it.  I snapped a picture of Russell returning the cap.  Russell's hand of goodwill made the shot.  Had I been able to compose this shot better, it might have been a better shot with both of their faces in the frame....

Russell Returns the Cap

3.   I can't quite explain it, but I love cooking beef stew.  I love the recipe from America's Test Kitchen  (I've probably written this before) -- I enjoy trimming the chuck roast and cutting it into inch and a half pieces, rather than buying stew meat.  I enjoy the browning, the way I've added rutabagas, turnips. parsley, and brown mushrooms to the recipe. I enjoy how this stew sits in the oven at 300 degrees for two hours.  For Sunday dinner, the Deke and I plan to make egg noodles and serve the stew over the noodles.  It's really fun.