Archive for August 2012
Kids drive down for a refresher course this weekend, to refresh this old soul of mine: Connie-doo and Gabi. Danny, too! Whoopee ti i a! And sister Peggy and…and..Joe Frankie; it’s a wonder I could walk the next day! (Oh, you says I couldn’t? Damn!) August 30, 2012
Just in time to rebuild my faltering electronic empire, daughter Connie and granddaughter Gabi drove down from Lansing last weekend to make my electronic gadgets better!
My printer is printing again; thank you, Connie-doo. (This is a week later – printer is NOT working AGAIN) The printer/copier did NOT get back on track sufficiently to get back on line before Connie-doo and Gabi left. Still, if there is enough life left I’m pretty dawned sure it’ll all be okay in a little while.
Connie-doo, aided by CB, returned WIFI control of our computers from the cable company to our own selves and got us back on line.
All the while, Gabi and Connie-doo were going through the throes of back to school blues/agony/excitement. Gabi had waited until the last minute to complete the summer homework for her special advanced classes. Later she emailed that she had finished it all, but that she also discovered it was all unnecessary, that she had mixed a course that required summer work with another (the one she took) which didn’t. She says yes she might pay a tad more attention next year.
Mexican takeout from the Cancun. Danny drove all the way from Detroit to have dinner with us. Steak Fajitas, as usual. Was feeling way out of sorts and so came down fo me brief R&R. By daylight, however, he was back on in the Motor City. Above l-r: Danny, Gabi and Connie-doo. Less than a week after this photo was taken, Danny was admitted to a Detroit hospital for observation. Unfortunately, we have been unable to get a reliable report (as of this writing).
There is an obvious hole there since Jacob has moved to Wyoming. I miss him. Damn, I wish that gal of his had a mom in Kalamazoo, too.
Successfully. Everybody’s back behind a desk chewing on pencil erasers and punching keyboards.
As time goes by, I seem to enjoy their visits ever more et more.
A garden artisan had created the perfect bullfrog out of two wheelbarrows in the hotel’s flower garden. I like it! Thank you, Gabi, for grabbing it (camera) for me.
Friday we all jumped into Tranq and tooled down to Carrollton, Kentucky, to celebrate my sister Peggy’s birthday at the Two Rivers Restaurant. Excellent fried fish and blackberry cobbler. Carrollton’s about halfway between Louisville (where my sister lives) and Cincinnati (where I live).
Good day! It’s good to have family and friends to love and cherish and adore and like, isn’t it?
En route to Peggy’s birthday luncheon, we stopped for a fresh fruit tort from Servatii’s bakery down the street from our apartment. Only thing better, my opinion, is tiramisu which doesn’t travel well, I’m told.
Thing is, the white beans and cornbread pone she brought me from her own kitchen were worth half a dozen fresh fruit torts. Thank you, sister.
t heartily recommend General Butler State Park as a meeting place for lunch or an overnight visit. We’ve been there so many times, I see the beginnings of wheelchair wheel prints on the carpet.
Sunday afternoon found us double-dipping, however. Danny drove his shiny blue car down from Detroit to get away from neighborhood hassles for a while.
“Sometimes it seems the ground rises, the sky falls and the outer walls of Detroit close in on my neighborhood” he said, “feeding my fear that ne’er-do-wells threaten the castle I’ve worked so hard to build and maintain.
“So I get away for a day or two of R&R. After which the visions of total destruction of my neighborhood lightens up a bit and I’m usually fine.”
Despite all the excitement, fear and uncertainty, we were glad to welcome Danny and have him with us for a few hours. Back home, he pronounced all was fine and back on track.
Danny also is one fine Scrabble (copyright til you die) player.
A few minutes, he said.
Alright, I replied as I jumped into slow-mo mode.
And so, for a couple of hours, we reminisced about the days of innocence, or was it our days of menace? hehehe
Good visit with JC Wednesday.
Hope more dreams will come true.
For both of us, my friend.
Air thick enough to choke a cow…and ME; Chinese (is it really?) food good and plenty enough to fatten us all for market! Lunch Bunch.
My first time in weeks to venture more than a few blocks from the house. Success!
Sometimes, no, most times, Lunch Bunch winds up landing in a tiny or medium strip mall somewhere between Northern Kentucky and Northern Dayton. I think that the strip mall must be formatted for easy ingress and egress for restaurant owners and their equipments and their dreams.
The China Buffet in the Eastgate Shopping Center is an exception to the temporary housing rule, however, we’ve been planting our big and small butts there for several years, never tiring yet of the cornucopia of eastern delicacies awaiting us. One of the few places I don’t complain too much about return visits – my preference is to try a new place every week.
I try to get a small bite of everything that looks good and wind up with three plates of samples, half of which are consumed with a smile in my gut and between my mustache and beard.
Hot. Hot. Hot.
I love spicy hot food. I discovered yesterday my lungs can no longer endure hot and muggy weather. I learned the definition of smothering firsthand until Tranq’s a/c kicked in.
Bob brought tomatoes and cucumbers to the party – thank you, my friend. And ribs which he also took back home.
Willie brought snicker doodles she had made – they were excellent, Wee Willie.
CB brought me – good job, CB.
Tuesday because Willie and John (her spousal unit) (remember the soul singer Little Willie John? – mebbe a good label for our couple, eh? Eh, Willie?
Anyhow, Little Willie John left for parts Vermont this morning, take their cats with them and who knows what else as their ferry their household from here to the ancestral home left Willie by her mom a few years back.
What a beautiful setting up there not far from Lake Champlain. CB and I met with Willie up there one October for a special Lunch Bunch where I was introduced to poutine, a mishmash of french fries, gravy and curd cheese.
I’m surely gonna miss her when she arrives at her final farewell. Glad Bob’s, so far, not planning on spending the rest of his retirement in the Okefenokee Swamp wrestling alligators, crocodiles and giant catfish.
I suppose I should mention the consensus grade we four gave the Chinese Buffet was 8.3. Unlike most buffets we’ve tried, they have squid; they have octopus; and stuff; but I never found one of their spareribs.
Lunchbunch is a rally. One of us tries to find a restaurant that is impossible to find and the rest spend the morning looking for it, GPS in hand, or in the case of Bob, handwritten instructions his hand wrote down – Bob doesn’t trust his GPS very much because, he says, I’ve been a very poor example when I got CB and me lost several times using GPS. Never ever ever, though – well, HARDLY ever, do I mention the time Willie and I followed Bob all over the countryside near Clarksville (OH) looking for apples (It’s our secret, Bob – Willie’s and yours and mine!).
When we do finally find each other at the designated meeting place the clash of our rushing words would energize a nuclear power plant if someone ever learned to harness it.
After staying in the house, mostly in bed, for most of the week before, riding in a wheelchair behind CB in Tranq, is without equal, even when the water-laden air refuses to cease its battering of the insides of my lungs.
I think most of us won at least one Scrabble (copyright til you die). Well, no, CB says that’s not true. CB won both of hers. Willie lost both of hers. Bob and I split ours. After more than a decade, we, however, have yet to reach a decision on the deepest meaning of that frustrating word game. Too bad AGGRAVATION isn’t its name.
Brought home some Singapore Mai Fun and, thusly, added a new favorite taste: the curry did it, methinks.
120828 – Lots of food; more cleanup. It’s a wonder they don’t have me on my hands and knees cleaning up my infamous messes caused by spillover from Bob’s and my (and sometimes Willie’s) appetizers.
Willie had to leave after two games to get home ahead of traffic and get her ass packing for today’s departure. (It is my theory (well ONE one of my theories). Bob shot over to Meijer’s to do Joyce’s bidding. I got in Tranq and tried to keep quiet so as not to disturb CB, my chauffeur.
Soul food. How life has changed from the days when soul food, or country food, became the bill of fare for us folks who couldn’t afford better cuts or more expensive vegetables. Now the yuppies are trying to take our food away from us, denying us of yet another part of our identity. I saw in a paper last week where a high class soul food restaurant was opening in the Cincinnati area.
People in the big house over there ate pork tenderloin and hams and tender cuts of ham. From the same pigs, the poor people who helped kill and dress the hogs got what would probably have been thrown away for fed to the dogs any. Hog head for head cheese where you take all the skin and stuff, grind it up and make a poor man’s lunch loaf. Pig ears, one of my favorites, to boil for sandwiches. Pig feet. Pig tails. Brains? Nothing better than pig brains scrambled with eggs.owe
there were the poor white relatives of the hog owners who gratefully accepted the charity of leftover pig ears, feet and ribs, a piece of loin or two to supplement the 5 pounds for a dollar hamburger meat at Schofner and Thompson (half bread and other filling). And we loved our food, rarely realizing we’d been relegated to the bottom of the balrrel of pork bounty, especially our black friends? who lived over yonder in the holler and who dasn’t say “no” to whatever request, or to whatever compensation was offered.
Today my 29 cent a pound pork ribs are, what 3 or 4 dollars?
Fat back, for example, has become an integral part of a gourmet dish. Who can afford fatback now?
And everything else is rising sky high in price.
So whadda we eat now that we can afford.
Used to get a soul food plate for 2 or 3 dollars; today it’s 10-17 dollars.
They’re stealing from us again.
I only hope the same ingenuity from Africa, Scotland, Ireland and a few countries in Europe, will come up with alternative affordable food for our tables which by nature of our lessening incomes must be provisioned with less and less.
Which all leads me to Emma’s soul food Restaurant on Harrision not far down the street.
I don’t like to take the LunchBunch to the west side; it’s too easy to go close to home. Except now with my COPD, I am forced to. And we’ve found some pretty good places that even Bob hasn’t blown up in his imagination before we left. Five Boroughs. The Chinese Restaurant. Ron’s Roost. Giovanni’s and Emma’s.
Strangely, Emma’s had been open on Harrison Avenue, a major thoroughfare, for 8 years, and CB and I had never heard of it. Almost literally a hole in the wall. Clean. Good fresh food, but not what I would call a souldfood restaurant.
A compromise between Europe and Africa. A compromise.
I’ve worn myself down writing this …. I’ll finish tomorrow.
Any of you ever been to a hog killing where nearby Negro laborers, who lived in tiny villages among farms in the county, were called to help and given hog guts (chitterlings), ribs, heads and the like for their hard day’s labor.
And we haven’t even touched on barbecued possum and fried raccoon, rabbit, squirrel, edible birds and the like.
Is the story as simple as someone stealing my Dad’s (on my father’s side) and my Grandmother’s (on my mother’s side) recipes and selling them to the highest bidder once they had sampled their rich (fatty) goodness, increasing demand for the junk food which had heretofore feed us at the bottom of the food chain, which, in turn raised prices to fit big time eateries.
Will we, too, be relegated to dog food dinners?
“With or without cereal bits, ma’am et mister? I do recommend the pseudo wheat germ flavor.”
Meine Damen und Herren,
This is a reminder that we will be holding our monthly “meeting” this Saturday, August 11th, at Mecklenburg Gardens (302 East University Avenue) beginning at 11 A.M. Come share in the excellent German beverages, the Weisswurst / mustard buffet, and the Geműtlichkeit!
Please note that our unique Rubber Boot Kicking Competition has been moved from our August meeting to our October meeting. More details will be provided in future monthly e-mails.
At this month’s meeting we will have a fresh batch of Mustard Club shirts available, This is the fourth regular edition of our T-shirts, and they feature an exciting new design! First come, first served!
Also coming up are Germania’s Oktoberfest the weekend of August 24-26 and Liberty Home’s Oktoberfest on the weekend of August 31 to September 2. More details will be available at this weekend’s Mustard Club.
As always, to see a full calendar of other events at local German-American societies, you can visit the German-American Citizens League website ( www.gacl.org ) and click on “Yearly calendar of events.”
Händlmaier’s Freunde Cincinnati e.V.
Rodney is a Scrabble (copyright til you die) player turned wanderer/investigator. Investigator of places and people and things and concepts.
Rodney is also a friend who drove down to Cincinnati from Plymouth, Michigan, for Lunchbunch and to visit me for a weekend. I do believe he discovered stuff and places during three days that I hadn’t in my 15 or so years in Cincinnati.
He so reminds me of my blues friend Don who also must poke behind every bush on every side road along every which a way wherever that leads him and whatever it might do to his schedule.
Free and easy and curious who more often than not actually finds answers to his questions.
Rodney starts out to a bluegrass concert over the way a piece to meet up with Lunchbuncher Judy and grandchild. Hours later he reports he got close enough to “hear” the music and that he did call Judy but stopped off at a wine and cheese bar and got lost in a two hour conversation with an interesting young lady.
Back home at the ranch here, it was story time; that boy has more stories that Carter used to have little liver pills. A visit to Pennsylvania. His interest and investigation of coffees, including one so esoteric the beans are eaten AND defecated by (specific) monkeys before being roasted, at $150.00 a pound, into the world’s finest coffee.
Friday’s Lunch Bunch saw us haul in enough grub for a church group from Lin’s Thai Restaurant up on the hill near Kroger’s. Including sticky rice and mangoes. Willie, Bob, CB, Jude and I welcomed Rodney to the group, ate a bunch and played Scrabble (copyright til you die) til our fingertips grew calloused from the semi sharp corners of the tiles.
The negative was that I was in bed almost all day, even playing Scrabble (copyright til you die) while lying abed. But it worked out and the day was a success in my lexicon. It was good having so much friendship surrounding me.
The visit was friendly, warm and wonderful. Hated to see Rodney go. Much different when you have every expectation of another visits anon.
Lunch Bunch August 23, 2012. Eating with the seniors at Giovanni’s in the verdant (except for Giovanni’s) western suburbs of Cincinnati.
I actually got out of bed yesterday. What an adventure! There I was lying in that damned ole hospital bed on a Thursday morning when I felt this quirky tug on my gut (sorry, could not differentiate between small and large). “Must be Lunch Bunch pangs,” opined CB. “Willie and Bob must be spelling you to get themselves out of having to come to us and play Scrabble on your hospital bed.
Giovanni’s Italian Family Dining. Where old folks go to shovel down the soft, yet delicious; the bland, yet tasty, proooducts of the Giovanni Emini family. Courtesy of the scoops provided by the pound by Tony Enimi, son of the family. Scoops unlimited! As tony performs his Russian dance Kazachok
This hospice thing has become a pain in the ass: I truly never know when a Lunch Bunch will be my last, either in-house or in an eatery. It’s a tad frightening to know that there is a relatively small finite number of Lunch Bunches in my future.
But that’s whining. Actually, I’m grateful for the time I’ve left to spend with friends and work on real and imaginary projects.
Time to make believe I can still …… (fill in the blank)
Oh, me! Oh, my! What will they ever do without me? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh! Ooooooooooooooooooooh!
Bob, Willie, CB and I comprised Thursday’s Lunchbunch. Bob stopped along the way and brought us all some fresh tomatoes. God, are they good. Thank you, Bob.
Willie got up early for a dentist appointment and, wouldn’t you believe it, I forgot to admire her new work.
She was almost biblical in that she went first to “prepare a place for us” at the usual table served as usual by Bob Enimi, son of Giovanni. Ordered appetizers: sausage in sauce, fried calamari, and bruschetta.
Even though a busload of seniors beat us to their tables, and even though only Tony was there to serve, he served like a mothuh and nobody had to wait… not even us latecomers.
Let’s see, I had spaghetti and sausage (pretty good), Bob had a cheese pizza (delicious), CB had ziti alfredo (okay) and Willie had lobster ravioli (i donated my portion to the hungry children in Appalachia; others froze theirs to be examined at some distant future time).
Ever try to divide one medium to small piece of tiramisu among 4 people all of who who wanted the biggest piece? especially Willie and me? Good stuff and Bob’s Cannoli wudn’t half bad, either.
A testament to the taste of Giovanni’s: Willie took John Lasagna for dinner and I brought sausage (homemade, of course) and tiramisu for CB’s and my dinner. No leftovers were allowed to languish.
Back to CB’s and my apartment for some Scrabble (copyright til you die) and leftover Rodney root beer.
I won a game.
I also lost a game that Bob says I probably could have won.
Twelve years almost every week we’ve played Scrabble (copyright til you die) and have yet to agree on almost anything about Scrabble (copyright til you die) EXCEPT that we all like it, especially Willie who continues to chase it with a will and with every centime she can borrow from Farmer Jack’s.
The downside is the next morning (today), that damned ole elephant showed up again and sat on my chest until mid-afternoon when I finally managed to calm her/him down by practicing my breathing without my C-PAP mask.
All is well and I am already swelling with anticipation for next week at Eastgate, willing to spend some miserable time in bed to combat edema in my legs in order to make the trek on Tuesday.