Dad finishing the puzzle

Dad finishing the puzzle

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The adventure getting back.

Storm coming!
Freezing rain! Ice all over the roads!
Five hours from Mountain Home to Saint Louis in good conditions - how much should we leave ourselves for bad weather? Eight was the best we could do without spending the night there. Two hours minimal check-in time not included of course.
And then the storm got delayed. Five easy hours on the road with coffee stop, Walmart for a last-minute purchase, lunch, another Walmart, check in the folks at their hotel. Easy peasy.
Airport. It takes me an hour to get through a ticketing problem (all my fault. I will have all the right documents in the future), and we have time for a glass before I say farewell and go through security.
Flight on time.
Flight, mmm, can still be on time if we check most of those roller-carryons: No room for all of them on a full flight, and we know how people fight for overhead bin space. C'mon, give them up.
And we might make it out before the storm, which is coming eventually, if we passengers are all organized and disciplined. Board by row and all that. Sure.
Only, the people aren't off our arriving aircraft yet. They're not in any hurry: they have arrived.
Finally they are off, but now the crew wants a slight technical problem checked out.
So they call the maintenance guys, who come out from their shed.
Just a couple of screws missing. Nothing serious, we'll just wait for the maintenance guys to go fetch some from their shed.
They do let us start boarding while they're still working on it, but it's still too late to beat the freezing rain, which has finally started. Great. That means a round of de-icing.
At last all settled and the last roller-case in the overhead bin, we stroll over to the de-icing pad. 45 minutes late. After some time with the lights and ventilation off, a man stumbles to the back of the plane, moaning of stomach pains. Doctors are called for. The man is Nigerian, in pain, half fainting, half vomiting. We cut short the de-icing and head back to the gate for the paramedics to take him off. By the time we get there, he's a bit better, walking up the aisle on his own, but they will not let him stay.
Connections in Atlanta are being missed, and the freezing rain is here, and the sick man was from Nigeria. We are notified that if anyone wants to get off the plane, they're welcome to. You can't have your checked luggage or a refund, but you can give up on Atlanta, and a dozen people do, delaying us further.
I thought it was a rule if you weren't on the plane your luggage couldn't be either. Maybe that's only international flights.
At any rate, they have to let people off. Some of the people seated near the sick man have got it into their heads that he might have Ebola, and they want nothing to do with that. They either get off the plane, or find seats far from the 'contaminated' one. Nonsense. The man had not been out of the US in years (the pilot later came to tell us in person), and did not have symptoms corresponding to ebola. He was no more likely to be infected than any random person off the street.
Happily, the rain has stopped, and we are allowed to complete our de-icing without repeating the whole procedure, just the parts not yet done.
Departure, 1 hour 45 minutes late.
Once airborne at last, those of us with hope still for our connections are allowed to move up the cabin to now-unoccupied seats. Good thing, since I am in the very last row and fighting my way through the crowd would be a lost cause. Hey, a seat is open in the very first economy row. Such luck! Perhaps it is the sick man's seat.
Landing at 10:25, boarding has already started for my flight to Paris.
At some terminal far, far away.
Why is the Planetrain so slow?
There it is, terminal F...
And my gate, with a rapidly diminishing line of people in front of it.

Hop! I am on my way to Paris.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Cats of Arkansas

ssshhhh... do not mention the tail. She's very sensitive about her sad little rat-tail.
No laughing!
Charlie, with his cat-sitter.
Yeeesss, Charlie, your people will be home soon.
This is the barfiest cat in the universe. Beware when walking to the bathroom in the night with the lights off. In the morning be sure to watch for fresh hazards. This comes with sound effects, too.
Snoopy again!
Snoopy is a very fine cat. Foods can be left out on the countertop without any fear of molestation from her. She simply cannot get up there unless they leave the kitchen stool nearby. She's not much better at jumping down, either - I saw her getting down from the card table and nearly miss the chair just a cat-height away. She is pouting now because Dad and I laughed. We will not be forgiven until dinnertime.
Bruno is large and can easily make it onto the countertop so we think we know who was tasting the muffins while we were out searching for lunch yesterday. As you can see, he is too large for the cat-tree and hangs over both sides when he lays down. Bruno likes to go out on the sun porch for a closer look at the birds and squirrels bustling about the birdfeeder. But then he remembers it's cold out there.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Snow day

Got up in the morning, and the yard was all white.
The birds were happy to be fed.

D started in on clearing the driveway, but there's a thick layer of ice at the bottom. Guess he'll be spending another night.
One thing we did need: half&half for all the coffee we were planning on drinking. And some wine for dinner, yeah. So Dad & I schlepped about 4 and a half miles to Walmart & back for these items. The only bad part of the road was where it had been scraped down to the ice so you could slip on it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Day with Darrell

 All days start out with cat petting.
Exceptionally, this day continued with a hike around Hobbs state park.

The lake views were few & far between from our chosen trailhead. Pretty new lake, since it still had lots of tree trunks standing.

Down at a lakeside campsite, we found an abandoned pot next to the firepit. Hand-made. The lid did not fit at all. Some dad is saying - oh, dang, must have lost that out camping. Will you make me another one, please?
Do have the Islander burger with grilled pineapple. Do think again before having The Later Years (Elvis reference) with peanut butter and banana and a couple more items that do not really belong on a burger. Onion rings also a yes. And just go ahead and admit that the battered & deep fried green beans are not really a vegetable but just a scaffolding for sauce.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

George Washington Carver National Monument

Went to Rogers to see my brother, and took a day trip up to Missouri to see the GW Carver National Monument. Not many cars in the lot! But certainly worth a visit.
It was not Monday, so they were not closed.
Classic Missouri farmhouse. This is the Carver house from the mid-19th century.
Yep, taking your picture.
Guess I need to clean the lens again.
Leaving the visitors center they told us of a restaurant we could find by going down the road about 3 miles and turning left: the Undercliff. We missed the turn and just continued on in the direction back to Rogers, thinking we'd just stop wherever on the way. Rounded a turn, and there it was. From the porch there's a great view of the railroad tracks and the endless train hauling coal. It was a long enough train I actually got tired of watching it go by, and went in for a nice chili dog with onion rings & a beer.

Hasenpfeffer was mentioned somehow, and Mom did not believe we could score a rabbit just like that, in the middle of nowhere.
But we did. Darrell knows the right place for bunny, and we walked out with the last one. Assorted parts, that is. Good ones, too.
To accompany our bun, we thought we'd make spaetzle. Only, Mom is gluten-free, so we thought we'd experiment with potato flour. It's the eggs that stick the starch together, right, with a bit of milk to thin the batter out? Just toss it in there instead of wheat flour and then adjust as necessary.
That did take some adjusting.
Then we thought we'd pan-fry the spaetzle bits for a minute, as much to reheat them as to give some kind of form and texture to the stuff. That was also interesting. Tasted like potatos.