Monday, October 29, 2018

Kansas in the Rear View Mirror

Today is hotel day, since my flight back home leaves at 5:55 in the morning and the airport is over an hour away from my daughter's home. But before we left...

When its wings are closed, the underside is a dirty brown and it totally resembles a leaf

The clouds have been an atmospheric ballet
After making as sure as sure can be that I left nothing behind (like I did in the Beast, oops! Luckily the guy who bought it let me know and will mail my stuff to me, kind man) it was time to hit the road. The temperature was a cool 61 degrees, the sky brilliantly blue and the trees putting on their Autumn finery a thing of beauty.

We stopped for some Indian food at Swagat. It's a beautiful restaurant and the food is fantastic. Our server acted as if we'd come in a dozen times before, so much so that I wondered if I'd ever been there before. Maybe some other life, I don't know.

Lamb vindaloo for me,
with maybe the most perfect rice I've ever eaten

Michelle made the most of the buffet. Twice.

Now it's almost time to pretend there will be sleep, in anticipation of my 3 a.m. wake up call. And that's why god invented Netflix. And

With no flights home available (a first in my 17 years of living on and traveling to and from Culebra) and the who-knows-when 7p.m. ferry, hopefully Culebra will be coming into sight very soon. Homeward bound!

Have a move with the moment Monday. Do something motivating.  

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A Glorious Autumn Day for...Something Different

Yesterday we traveled to the very pretty college town of Lawrence. Again. We've gone there for art, we've gone there for meals, we've gone there for walkabouts. One year we went there for my birthday. But yesterday we went to do something I've never done before, to watch a competitive eater named Raina Huang. I could give you a lot of conflicting thoughts about competitive eating but, in truth, it was just fun and funny and we met some really nice people, so I'm just chalking it up to a good experience. And the trees were in amazing color!

The event was held at Burrito King, a small drive up, walk up Mexican place owned by Max and Angelina (as we found out later). We came up to find Max washing off the concrete pad with tables with a high pressure hose, so sat at a table conveniently out of spray range on the grass. He asked if we were there to see Raina and told us she was going to be late. It was happy hour and no alcohol was sold there (what???). We asked if it would be okay to have a drink there and he said no problem. I figured he was either the owner or a guy who worked there who didn't care what we did. Around the corner was a liquor store. We asked if he wanted a beer and after a second of hesitation, he declined. Oh well!

A Bug we saw along the drive 

I forget what this building on campus is, but it was beautiful

Wow mode

More oh my!!
Drinks in hand, we ordered a couple of tacos and a side of guacamole and chips, with three kinds of hot sauce. The green sauce was the best, the tacos were good (yes, of course I was thinking of Zaco's) and no photos because, I have no idea why except that I forgot. 

We talked with Max for awhile; he'd come from Mexico 12 years before and was not going back to Mexico any time soon. Then he told us his wife was in touch with Raina and they were going to be at least another hour. He headed off and came back with beers for all of us waiting. All three of us. The other person was a guy named Chad who was also a Raina fan. He turned out to be a really nice guy who had served in war zones and knew a lot about the current state of legal CBD in Kansas. He showed us a video of his wife, selling jewelry from their basement in her own podcast. Another nice guy, Kansas is full of them. 

Time passed and it got colder. On the verge of leaving, Raina and Mitch (and Nala the dog) showed up. Hooray!!

Michelle and Raina (she's very tiny - how, I have no clue)
Raina and Mitch got themselves set up, after many apologies. They'd been in Colorado the day before and got the time zones confused. It happens! 

Mitch, Max and Raina
Let the games begin!
If you've never been to a competitive eating event (in this case they were only competing for time, 40 minutes - Raina was the first woman who'd ever accepted the challenge). We all made bets on how long it would take her. I foolishly bet 14 minutes. Everyone else bet between 7 and 9 minutes. 

I was going to post the video I took, but it came out badly, with the sound cutting in and out in a very annoying way, so that is how that goes! If you want to see Raina's video's, you can go to her YouTube channel here (not for the food squeamish), or learn more about her here, on her Raina Is Crazy website. All I can say is she had a really unique eating style, very messy and better seen than described. That burrito was gone in four minutes. Mitch took 7 minutes. Insane. 


Before I finished this post, a man from Minnesota who had written asking about the Toyota, or more semi-affectionately called The Beast, said he was very interested in it. From 7 hours away, we sorted things out and this morning he showed up, we swapped cash for vehicle and he headed down the road. Now it's back to planes, trains and who knows what happens next but it was one small step for humankind and a HUGE step closer to home for MJ. 

He said he wondered why, in the ad, I said it was too big for me,
that he considers this model a small to regular vehicle.
Well, therein lies the difference, sometimes size does matter!
I tell the story of a man I knew when I was young who, when my patience was stretched as far as it would go would say 'MJ, wait ten more minutes. Just wait.' Over and over, even when 10 minutes were like football minutes and sometimes takes days and weeks, I re-learn the lesson that things usually will work out and all the fretting was for little but an unnecessary upset stomach. I was resigned to driving to Florida (which would have been fun, in seeing the fall colors and especially seeing Francie and a few others along the way) to sell it. I was ready to pack it up, literally, on Monday. And the Universe delivered Jay instead. 

Bye Bye Beast!
Have a tremendously thrilling Tuesday! Do something transferrable. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Kansas Surprises

With our days usually filled with sorting and packing and donating and selling, events out of the rhythm seem big. In the last few nights, they have really BEEN big. Fireworks and record breaking snow (not in the amount but in the time of year) almost seem surreal the next day, but this time I have some photos to prove they both happened. 

Michelle called me up to the room I've been sleeping in, to look out the window. I'd hear some bangs but figured...I don't really know what I figured, but it wasn't what I saw over the rooftops of the neighboring homes. 

Most of these were taken through the screened window

I'll take this blurry one

There would be a huge display like the one above and I'd be sure it was over, but then they would start again. That happened about three times. It must have gone on for 20 minutes. It was glorious!

Michelle found out it was a fundraiser for a christian school around here. I couldn't imagine how much they could raise if they could afford a thousands of dollars fireworks displays. Maybe the fireworks person is a parent there, who knows? All I know is it was beautiful and we practically had a warm inside front row sky seat. Surprise!

The next night snow was forecast. I didn't believe it. It was cold, really cold but snow isn't something I think is quite real, outside of photos. In trying to remember the last time I saw snow, I think it was in Orlando, after coming out of a movie, maybe 25 or 30 years ago. The kind of snow that melts as soon as it touches the ground, or even before. In Orlando, Florida. It was pretty magical, just something not supposed to happen. So I figured this WAS supposed to happen so it wouldn't. See what island living does?

I woke up in the wee hours and went outside to pollute my lungs and there it was. Snow! About an inch of it. For real. 

On the news they called this a light dusting of snow.

Light dusting my dierierre!

The back deck
It was already melting a little bit at 2:30 a.m. so I figured it would be gone in the morning, which was sunny and blue-skied, but it wasn't. We had some errands to run so, camera in hand, we were off. 

The sun had made the windshield all crunchy icy.
Scraping and brushing it off was something I had to do.
Once was fun, but living this way? I don't think so.
The back deck and yards in the morning light

Snow. On green leaves. 

Oops! I better let it melt a little more before opening the window all the way.
All the homes had their snow covered roofs, some with more, some with less. It was odd to see homes with Halloween decorations decorated with snow.

While Michelle took care of her business, I wandered the area a little bit. There is a little business section, surrounded by homes. The theme seems to be Mexican. I don't know why, but the architecture is really nice. 

But first, we'd passed a fire station that I wanted to see close up.

I guess it would be better to call it a fire house. The details are great.
Snow on Mexican barrel tiles

Right in front of this storefront, which looked like it had some high end chachca for sale, was a fountain. A really different sort of fountain. At first glance, it looked like the typical 'little boy peeing' type, but it was much, much more. 

With his hand around the heron or cranes neck, he wards off a sharp beak.
The giant fish gazes up at him, spouting water, while a turtle climbs up slowly. 

One of four turtles around the edge of the fountain pool wall

I want this sculpture!!
The snow was pretty much melted, the sun was shining. It was back to errands and a bit of shopping and home again home again jiggity jog.

Have an (a)typical Tuesday-in the good way! Do something transporting.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Sunshine and Blue Skies!

After what seemed like forever days of grey skies and rain, today dawned with visible sun and the bluest of blue skies. I've been literally sun-bathing my face, because it's cold out and the rest of me is covered up. 

I've heard this is weird weather for this part of the country, hot, cold, warm, chilly - like a mish mash of spring and fall rather than the steady move into winter with beautiful fall weather. At least that spring remnant is bringing some beauty with it today. 

This reminds me of the blue butterfly I saw in North Carolina for so many days, those blue spots iridescently shining. 

Make a wish!
It's 49 degrees now, mid-day. The heat is on, maybe we should get some wood for the fireplace, since soon I and my daughter will be on our separate journeys, me to where fires are for beach parties, she to where she'll be wanting her fireplace. 

But in the meantime of Be Here Now, I'll look for butterflies and the rare perfect dandelion. 

Have a tuned in Thursday. Do something timely. 

And if you can help out for those in need in the path of Michael, do it. We get it all too well.