Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bagel Chat

Crabby guy in green apron at my bagel shop today. First time that's ever happened. Bagel people are usually happy people. He was just outright rude and ignored me as I stood patiently waiting for his attention...someone's the counter. Kinda annoying but I also remember the 12 hours I worked there and quit. It was a few years back. I needed a job. Yup, 4 hours of training followed by one 8-hour shift and that was enough for me. I cried all the way to the car, my feet and legs hurt so bad, making mental note: places you like to shop and dine won't necessarily be places you'll like to work.

I study at my bagel shop most Sunday's, buying something to nibble on or sip every hour or so. Life unfolds at nearby tables, most of which I completely miss because I'm buried in what I'm doing. But snippets of conversation drift my way......

Young teenager girl and Dad having lunch together:

Teen: Oh you know how it is with mom, Dad. She hasn't changed since you lived with us. I said to her the other day, "You and Dad have very different senses of humor" and mom said, "Yeah, mine's funny."

Girl laughs.
Dad kind of laughs.
She's too young to understand the dig. He's wonderful. Never a negative comment and asks lots of questions requiring open-ended answers about what is going on in the daughter's life. Her new boyfriend: has she met his parents? He listens. Really listens. He's honestly interested in her young life. She's a lucky daughter. I wish I could tap him on the arm when his daughter isn't looking and tell him I think what a great Dad I think he is.

Two sisters and a friend, having coffee and talking about one of the sister's upcoming wedding:

Sister #1: Is Dad giving you away?

Sister #2: No, we think that's stupid. No one is "giving me away". He'll be there but he's a groomsman.

Sister #1: Ohmygod, do NOT make me walk with that man. I'm sorry but that is one thing I refuse to do as a bridesmaid. I will NOT walk with that man.

Sister #2: Don't worry, he's walking with his wife, she's a bridesmaid....

Moms having coffee and bagels, talking about kids that just went off to college:

Lady #1: I just opened up another account in both our names and keep an eye on it. When the balance drops down, I just put another hundred dollars or so in it for him. You know, it's no big deal and just easier that way.

Another lucky kid.

Professor and student:

Professor, comment directed at me as the two of them are getting ready to leave:
You seem to be working wayyyy too hard on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Me, pulling my nose out of the PowerPoint I'm working on and looking at them for the first time: This is my idea of fun. So far they don't have a pill for it.

We chat.
Nice people. They leave.
Time for me to leave, too. Warmed by the friendly conversation I take pity, looking around for the crabby guy in the green apron as I buy a loaf of bread to take home. I think I'll tell him I've had bad days too, I know what it's like and I really do hope he has a better day tomorrow. Can't find him. Next time I see him I'm sure he'll be allllllllll better.

Or maybe not. Wouldn't be surprised if he threw down his apron and walked to his car crying. The bagel business can do that to a person.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Callin' in the Aunties

Me and the cousins had some kinda sweeeeet fun today, playing with ribbons and wire and fall-ish stuff for our nieces wedding next weekend.

We fussed over flowers with a glue gun to make bouquets and stuff for the outdoor ceremony that will be held on their little acreage in Southern Iowa.
It'll be a blue-jeans sort of party, cider and kegs to go with the wedding cake.

Later this week her aunties will bake the wedding cake and we're going to spend all day next Saturday making sure everything is set up pretty and perfect when she walks through the freshly mowed yard on the arm of her Daddy later in the afternoon.

MMmmmmm autumn.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

First Class

First class: the people I'm in class with every Tuesday night for 4 hours.
Second class: My photography on this particular evening when we did a couple of team-building exercises on the parking lot. Sorry...........I was trying to juggle my camera in one hand, not let go of the rope with the other and was laughing so hard, I couldn't hold the camera still.

Anyway.............these are some of my best girls. Ladies and gentlemen may I introduce you to...........

The Ladies of MBLD003

They're smart, they're witty, they're busy employees, wives, daughters, mothers and friends. I learn something from them every single week and just feel so very lucky to have landed in their midst a year ago.

And might I add, they can finesse a rope, fast and pretty.

Meanwhile, way out in the back 40, the boys 911 Dr. Johnson and beg him to come untangle them before it gets dark and scary outside. (Love ya, guys)

Well. You really kinda had to be there. It wouldn't make much more sense if I tried to explain it, but we were having some kinda fun in that parking lot.

This is my little three-peeps study group. We sit together in class.
We hang out together on Sundays.

I can't begin to tell you how much I loves these two.
I'm a lucky Debbie to have them on my side.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dining Alfresco

Our company collaborated with an architectural firm to create a giant sculptural installation. A 30 ton dining table and chairs, fabricated of steel and installed over a walking bridge in Grand Rapids, Michigan is Sticks entry in ArtPrize 2009.

Watching the cranes install the pieces via webcam last week was really cool.
Here are a few shots of the installation coming together:

Mable, Mable..........

Friday, September 18, 2009


Random thoughts as the sun sets and the weekend prepares to unfold:

1. My TAB key is broken and it's very annoying.

2. I grow weary of people who lie.

3. The hummingbirds and robins have all flown South, haven't seen either in at least 2 weeks.

4. All those years spent as a stay-at-home mom: WORTH IT.

5. Bummer. Grilled asparagus really doesn't freeze well.

6. Shopping the Lady Clairol aisle without glasses: bad idea

7. Every now and then a great kiss just fixes everything.

8. It's really hard to walk across a yard that's full of acorns.

9. There is always someone with bigger problems.

10. On a great day like today, it's hard to choose a favorite moment but I did watch a big hedgehog munching grass out in the woods and that was pretty cool.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tennessee Weekend

Nashville is lots shinier than I imagined. And taller.

We took a couple wrong turns. Had to stop and ask for directions. Once we settled in to our hotel, it didn't take much wandering in the humid summer air to find the night side of Nashville. Word to the wise: if you think you're great at karaoke back home in front of the neighbors and a few of your're notsomuch here. Wannabe country music stars grab the mics in bars up and down the streets of Nashville, giving a whole new meaning to the word "amateur". My t-shirt smelled like cigarettes and bar-food by the end of our first evening like you might expect lots of can still smoke in bars down there..........but my ears were filled with music like I've never heard from a karaoke mic anywhere else. I swear I sat and listened to Elvis and Reba and Willie Nelson all evening. Even though, of course, I know this is not possible since I've heard Elvis is working in a Git'n Go in Pulaski, Ohio.

The Country Music Hall of Fame is a great place. The architecture of the building itself is reminiscent of string instruments with windows that line up like the keyboard of a piano. Very cool. While some of us wandered around looking at the displays, one of us engaged a young employee in conversation about the beauties of living in the South. They are many. Escaping Minnesota winters being one of them, he explained, having relocated to Nashville from Minneapolis. While the gift shops are typically full of anything and everything you could possibly want to purchase with Elvis memorialized on it.....from pencil sharpeners to t-shirts to teddy bears and coffee mugs, the halls were filled with memorabilia from country stars past and present.

My daughter would want you to know this is "THE SHIRT that GARTH FREAKIN' BROOKS wore when he did the video for 'The Dance", Ma." Indeed it is. We love Garth.

Visiting Nashville was just a little side benefit of the trip to Tennessee.
The reason three of us traveled to Nashville was to meet up with my daughter, who works in Deer Lodge, Tennessee as a therapeutic counselor at resident youth camping program.

It's an amazingly peaceful, beautiful place.
Sara walks down this path to work from the cabin where she lives when she goes on duty.

We spent part of the weekend at a horse ranch where campers bring their trailers and horses for a weekend of riding and camping.

All around the ranch are campsites with corrals for the visiting horses. At night all the campers sit around the fire and share stories.

Wish you could see this picture better, but I have to include it because it reminds me of the evening around the campfire with a whole bunch of great people, chatting like old friends even though we'd never met before. Sara sang with her guitar with a full moon overhead, shining down on us all through the tall, tall pines.

Great memories.
Great crew.

Great weekend.