Saturday, November 24, 2007

Let's get some plates.

So Pat says that she wants to go shopping for plates for her birthday. That calls for a short road trip to Newell WV (that's West Virginia and it's 2 hours away). It's the home of The Homer Laughlin China Co. maker of Fiestaware. Now this place is the Mecca for people who like plates. I'm telling you, there must have been a zillion plates at this place. That and guys standing around with 3 day old beards, baseball caps and cigarrettes hanging from the lips. Allright, I'm only kidding about the cigarettes, because there are no smoking signs all over. At first, I thought that maybe these guys worked at the place. Nah, I was wrong. These guys were just husbands without a sense of humor or adventure. Boy, I dug right in with Pat. We went to the seconds room first. There were piles and piles of plates and stuff. There were big plates, not so big plates, medium plates, and small plates. There were round plates, oval plates, triangle plates, and square plates. There were really big bowls, big bowls, you get the gist of it. And there were a ton of people all thinking the same thing: the plate I want is at the bottom of the pile.
You can hardly tell the difference from first grade and seconds. The people there are very friendly and they have places where you can stash your stuff and go back for more.

Pat did mention that we had to cross the world's scariest bridge to get to WV. Now, all bridges scare me. Some more than others, so I'm thinking, how scary can this bridge be. Well my first hint was that you have to use side streets (or what passes for side streets around here) to get to the bridge. For crying out load, this bridge crosses the Ohio River and I gotta use Otis to get to it. My second clue was the wood hut that is the toll booth. Well, I paid my toll, looked at the bridge wondering if I could ride the Aztec to the bottom, just in case, and drove , eyes focused in front of me, to the WV side. The only thing Pat said was, I told you it's the scariest bridge you've seen. Judge for yourself from the pictures.

The turkey and the Weber

Well, it's Thanksgiving and once again it's time to see if Jim can grill a turkey in the Weber. This year everything went right. Or was it was blind ass luck? You be the judge. Either way works for me. The turkey was 13 lbs. and cooked in 2 hours. Oh ya, it snowed today.

The last holdout

This is probably the last of the flowers from our yard till spring. Winter is on it's way and I'm not King Canute. I took these pictures on November 17. We still had a stella d'oro day lily and a geranium thinking that it was summer. The burning bush is in it's magnificent glory. The back yard still looks pretty cool. That bright do in the middle of the last picture is what passes as the sun in NE Ohio from November through April.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

But look how green the grass is.

Pat , the boys and I were taking our daily constitutional. we started in twilight knowing that it would be dark before we got back home. Maybe it's because I'm an ex-pat flatlander and still, even after five years, have not become whatever people from Ohio are called, but what is the deal about leaf blowing in the dark? All the way back home, in the dark, there were people leaf blowing. I don't think the homeowners association will bang on our door if we leave leaves on the grass? I should check with the yard police.
There is a beauty at this time of year right before the temperature turns cold. The yard has a golden glow to it. There are still a few flowers still holding out and look how green the grass still is.

Monday, November 12, 2007

So I was driving on the shoreway looking at the grey expanse of Lake Erie reaching out to the greyer expanse of the sky, humming a Tom Waits tune about St Christopher, and thinking that winter is going to be interesting. I have to drive by the Lake twice a day and the Plain Dealer just had a story about how lake effect snow can drop 5 feet in a day. Makes you want to sing Oh Canada.
It's raining today. It rained yesterday, and it's going to rain tomorrow. Autumn in Cleveland is drab and dreary. Overcast and rain followed with overcast and snow. Top this off with the Browns losing to the Steelers again (and again) and the Illini beating Ohio State and you might think that the Apocalypse is upon us. You don't have to fear, the Cubs didn't make the World Series, so the Apocalypse is nowhere near. Besides, all the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the OSU fans is pretty funny.
But wait, there are still flowers in the Grobles' back yard. I don't know if it's the tons of sweet peat we put on the flowers, the scary face guarding the house or just luck. It doesn't matter, the flowers are still here.
Pat did a fantastic job of diagraming the back yard. We're going to use it for planning. Katie and Sean want to get married in our back yard this summer. Is that cool or what! Actually, it is very very very cool and awfully humbling. Well we can use this map to figure out how much gravel it'll take to get rid of all the grass. Or we can use it to figure out seating.