Food Truckin’

My experience with food trucks is limited, mostly ice cream trucks and vendors at county fairs. I have not a trace of nostalgia for either.  The new era of food trucks–the fancy ones with the catchy names and the specialty dishes–seems much more appealing.  Here, they’re primarily uptown in the business district which isn’t on my radar, but they satisfy a niche for the 75,000 or more workers up there.

I love hearing the clever names owners select and found this list of the Awesomest/ Worst names online.  I couldn’t tell which was which, so maybe we need to compile a list of our own, real or made-up.  Any suggestions?

Folks who don’t work uptown have an opportunity to try some of the gastronomic offerings when a number of the trucks head for a southend parking lot on Friday afternoons for what becomes an instant fiesta: Food Truck Friday.  Dearly Beloved and I have not tried it, so my food truck knowledge remains scant.  Someday. . . .

Riding around the beach last week, I found myself behind, well. . . what do you think. . . would you call this a food truck?

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The Arthur Report

Whenever hurricanes head for the Outer Banks, I check with my brother to see if he is evacuating or staying there.  It’s an unnecessary step.  He’s always staying put, but I ask anyway.

Friends in other parts of the country see the weather reports and ask about him.  Maybe they’re wondering if BroJoe is one of the nuts waving wildly behind Jim Cantore on The Weather Channel.

I know he’s sensible–to a degree–but he loves aggravating me with false information.

For instance, yesterday he e-mailed that he was shelling on Hatteras Island. Truthfully, I wouldn’t put that past him, but the Weather Channel had mentioned an evacuation order in effect for Hatteras, so he had to be pulling my leg.

Later, he sent me a photo of the supplies he’d laid in:  two bottles of wine.  Red and white, of course.

This morning, the headline in our newspaper said: Arthur makes landfall in N.C.  I e-mailed to ask were those wine bottles floating now.  He sent back two photos and short notes in response.

THE LIVESTOCK REPORT

“Terrified. . . in the eye of the storm.”

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THE CROP REPORT

 “Damage.”

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Check.

Here in Charlotte, the weather is lovely after the much-needed rain yesterday.  Dearly Beloved and I fly our flag proudly, gratefully, on this Independence Day, 2014.
One flag, one land, one heart, one hand, One Nation evermore!

- Oliver Wendell Holmes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Blog Post. . . .

E-mail is perfect for talking gardening with friends.  I never tire of seeing pictures of their gardens.  I haven’t sent any of mine this year.  I should, lest folks think the duct taped cherry tree is the highlight of our yard.

My British friend and I write frequently of gardens, books, and grandchildren.  She is the friend of the Burns Night Supper,  who lives in a village which holds flower festivals in late summer.

Lately we have been talking Delphiniums and roses.  I recently bought a Delphinium plant, which probably won’t make it through the summer in our hot, sticky climate.  (In the South, larkspur is planted as a substitute.)  Her Delphiniums, though, are profuse and beautiful.

Want to see enchantment?

Image Yes, that is a thatched roof on her house.   And look at that lovely rose!

One of her Delphinium flower beds.Image 1She sent this next picture to show how she was coaxing a rose up a contorted willow tree that she doesn’t particularly like. Image 2I didn’t see anything unsightly about the willow tree, unless she was referring to that headless branch, and said so.  She wrote back that she’d talked to her pruner about those branch stumps he kept leaving to no avail, so she tries to hide the stumps under Paul’s Himalayan Musk Rose plantings.   (Like me, she is married to her tree man.)

That should explain why I was searching through her old e-mails.  I looked up Paul’s Himalayan Rose and although the listing doesn’t specifically mention “covers duct tape” in its attributes, I think it is something worth considering.  Bonus:  the instructions say,  “No pruning!”

(I should mention that my Dearly Beloved is  a very good pruner.  With proper supervision, of course.)

Not long ago, I mentioned to my friend that I wanted to make a little fairy garden in one corner of the back yard and she responded that she was working on a fairy den in her own garden.  Here, for instance, are her fairy wind chimes.  Image

As her grandchildren are all girls and mine are all boys, I supposed that we didn’t imagine fairy gardens in the same way.

Then she sent this video. ( No, this isn’t her pruner, nor mine.)  Take a look at this hedge!

 Fairies are invisible and inaudible like angels. But their magic sparkles in nature. ~Lynn Holland

Don’t. Even. Ask.

The Evidence:

1.  Cherry tree.

2.  Chain saw.

3.  Duct tape.

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George Washington?  Chain Saw Massacre?

I told you. . . best not to ask.

“I’m telling you, the gorgeous of the world can actually look pretty intimidating when they scowl. Imagine a snow-white swan with a scary tattoo holding a chain saw. There’s just no way to really prepare for that.”

― Jim Benton, Okay, So Maybe I Do Have Superpowers

A Tool and a Man’s Opportune Parting

Two packages were delivered to our house last week.  Take a guess as to which one is mine:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yes, of course mine is the box which contained sensible sandals.  The big orange BOX clearly belonged to Dearly Beloved.

When he first decided he wanted to take over care of the lawn, DB had to buy a new mower, rotary tiller and a couple of other tools.  Then there was the archeological dig in the garage to unearth some other equipment he’d saved–older than any of our grandsons.  He found two old trimmers and combined parts to come up with one working trimmer.  Who knows how many times they’ve moved with us?!   There’s a special bond between a man, his lawn, and his power tools.

Our lawn, to be honest, looks great. The unofficial committee of the nonexistent Yard of the Month award has told him that he is the unofficial recipient.  He enjoys working on it.

Some of his equipment, however, just wasn’t cutting it.  Literally.  The trimmer kept breaking.  The electric leaf blower that I had talked him into wasn’t strong enough to do its job either..

In fairness to myself, back when he bought that blower, there was no plan for him to be waltzing around on the roof with a duct-taped leaf blower, the cord and extension cord dragging behind him.  It’s a retirement skill.  Our horrified neighbors have protested.  Heck, I’d protest, too, but he waits until I leave the house to climb up there.  I have come home and found small groups of neighbors standing in the front yard, watching.  You’d think he was a Wallenda.

When his other disappointment– that old, cobbled-together string trimmer that he’s repaired again and again with parts from one even older, broke this time, instead of putting them back in the garage, he gave last rites to both and passed them onto Earl, the dump truck driver.  Earl says he’ll rebuild them into something powerful enough to cut down trees.

DB hates going shopping,  a fact so well-known that Little Mary Sunshine is grouchy after a shopping excursion with him. BUT, since he has discovered Amazon Prime, internet shopping has opened new worlds for him.  He began a search for the perfect POWER trimmer.

When we returned from an outing last week,  the BOX was leaning against the side of the house.  Even DB was surprised by its size.  He had to carry it battering-ram style through the front door.

This new trimmer/brush cutter can slice and dice as well as amputate and mutilate. I don’t know how he can even carry it around.  The box alone weighs more than the old trimmers.

Our son-in-law had a similarly dinky model electric weed trimmer for years.  Electric, at our daughter’s insistence.   Son-in-law found it too embarrassing to use it during daylight hours.  He called it his “weed bender,” since it wasn’t powerful enough to cut anything..

DB couldn’t wait to tell him about this new one.

A pair of goggles came in the BOX as part of the equipment.  DB thought that might be overkill until he used it for about five minutes.  He had to come inside and change from shorts and t-shirt into jeans and a long-sleeved sweatshirt because the trimmings were flying with such force that his legs and face were getting cut. Now he believes that a helmet and knee pads would be appropriate as standard equipment, too.

I won’t be touching it.  Even leaned against the garage wall, it looks more menacing than anything in Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Just tell me . . .  does this thing need to be registered as an assault weapon?

 

My mom said the only reason men are alive is for lawn care and vehicle maintenance.
Tim Allen

… mow the lawn perfectly, but neglect to make the bed? It’s pure, unadulterated logic.Everyone can see the yard – nobody can see the bed. The lawn is the canvas uponwhich guys judge each other. It’s the great redeemer. If we aren’t great lawn men, we’re nothing.   - Kevin Kerwin, 47 Husband Mysteries

 

Mother’s Day 2014

After my mother died, my brother and I found several photos of her which had been taken by newspaper photographers.   The pictures had never been framed, simply tucked away in a drawer along with some of her unfulfilled dreams.

When World War II broke out, she went to NC State to learn welding so that she could help in the war effort–a Rosie the Riveter.  She headed for Baltimore to work in the shipyards there.  Instead, she ended up teaching welding there.

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This photo was taken at a parade during one of our town’s big celebrations.  Centennial, perhaps?  She’s the tall one in the capelet dress.  To this day, that’s my favorite plaid.  I used to peek at the dress which had been relegated to the bottom of her cedar chest.  I’m sure she never wore it again.

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My neighbor grows the loveliest roses in town.  She gave my Dearly Beloved these to give to me for Mother’s Day.  She’d cut them just before the rains came.  They smell divine!

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Happy Mother’s Day to my daughters, moms of our five wonderful grandsons.

Happy Mother’s Day to EVERYONE, mothers of the heart.  You, too, Mother Earth!

 And so our mothers and grandmothers have, more often than not anonymously, handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they themselves never hoped to see–or like a sealed letter they could not plainly read . – Alice Walker

Owl on the Prowl

Perhaps it has been Dearly Beloved’s attempts to recreate the dry rub ribs from The Rendezvous that has put us to thinking lately about our years in Memphis.  We loved our house there and our street was a wonderful mix of interesting neighbors.

We have, luckily, friends and relatives in that area with whom we’ve stayed in touch.  Lately, our conversations have centered around the same subject:  OWLS.  Not just owls in general, but the strange attack owls of East Memphis.

After seeing my brother’s owl photos on BroJoe’s World, my friend Sharon sent me pictures of the owls nesting behind her house.

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My cousin lives in that same area, and when I asked her had she seen the birds, she sent a news article which told of some pretty strange happenings around there.

An early-morning jogger had reported that he was attacked from behind–slammed in the head by an owl.  It hit him again–also without warning–a few minutes later.  The bloodied guy reported, “It had the wingspan of a Buick.”  

A couple of weeks later, that same runner was smacked again. His hasn’t been the only report; early morning joggers never know when they’re going to be struck.  One victim said that the owl took his cap and i-Pod.   Even the county district attorney said that she’d been attacked.

A driver reported that an owl hit his BMW.  The man stood nearby, wondering what he should do.  The owl lay dazed for a while, then flew away.

Because the owl is silent and glides into its victims from behind, there is no warning.  No one is certain whether it’s only one owl on the prowl or more.

Pretty darned creepy!

My friend sent one more photo.  Look carefully.

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An owlet!   Could that explain the thuggish behavior going on there?

Whooo knows?!