Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Fried, not baked

Got a little fried at Pea Island, NC, but what a pretty, secluded beach we had practically to ourselves. I had lots of fun in the waves and surf, until some annoying lady kept yelling, "Jellyfish!" I didn't want to know that. I persevered and got my fill of salt water. It was a spectacular day.

I like scallops and long walks on the beach.

We got this great selfie at a little farm stand called "Morris'" where I had a corn dog and fries. Yum!

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By the way, here is how Eli spent part of his summer:

How's that cool musician in France?

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Baked, not fried

It's awfully difficult to not be disappointed when there is a lot of hype around something new. Such was the case with Galesburg's new-ish restaurant, Baked. Occupying the old Chez Willy fine dining bistro on Seminary Street, I thought surely this was going  to be the culinary epitome of chic pizza. After all, Siri told us it was Galesburg's best restaurant.

I forgot to tell Pat this was "just a pizza joint," as he put it. I had hoped there was a little more to the menu than pizza, but alas there was not. That, and our irritably peckish mood, did not set a good stage. We entered the screen door (yes 91 degrees, and they had an old fashioned screen door) and were directed to the menu on the wall in chalk. Did I mention I hate reading a wall menu when I'm starving and now sticky hot? Either the A/C was broke, or they don't have air conditioning, and you order and pay at the front counter. Not exactly chic. We were handed cold water glasses and a recycled wine bottle of tap water, barely cool, to carry to our table. The good news: two 10 inch pizzas came to just under $20.

We entered the warm and humid dining room to the left to look for a table and the front was packed and blaring loud music, so I chose a table near the back, one of two tables for six. The other table for six furthest back had dirty dishes on it the entire time we were there. A couple of ceiling fans blowing warm air around toward the front, taupe walls with anchors and holes everywhere, water damage on the ceiling, and a paint by number (?) picture of a pizza box composed the decor. A musty curtain was open behind us and some certainly leaded peeling paint doors were used to hide pizza boxes and some other unsightly clutter. The tables and chairs were mismatched and included metal folding chairs, which could be considered Kitsch but had more the effect of Krap. I couldn't shake the idea this couldn't possibly have been Chez Willy's.

To be fair, there were 3 sandwiches on the menu: ham, Italian and turkey (I think). We saw some some other customers with a large salad bowl, but I didn't have time to read the whole menu before Pat blew a gasket. I ordered the Goat Cheese and Herbs Pizza and Pat had a make your own sausage and mushroom.

If Pat complains about the cleanliness of a bathroom, you know it's the pits. As we waited for our pizza to arrive, stripped off our top layers, and drank our warm water, a family of six entered and forced themselves into a table for four and gave us the stink eye. It was hard to make conversation when the table next to us was hard of hearing and their speech accordingly loud.

The pizzas arrived in reasonable time, and we dove in hungrily. For me, the crust was tough and unremarkable. If my crust is thin, I like it crispy, not chewy. I know this is nit-picking but I only saw 1 herb, Basil, not herbs plural. Pat was okay with his pizza, but I tasted the sausage and it's the one kind I don't like. It also contained green olives which I'm pretty sure he didn't order. Either way, he didn't care, he was so hungry.

I had a great ending sentence for this while I was riding my bike this morning, but it's gone. I am left with two choices to end warned, Baked, the restaurant refers not to yummy pizza and elegant dining, but rather to the feeling you get waiting for your pizza or when Siri tells you Wendy's is the number 3 restaurant in town, don't expect much from #1. 

Monday, July 01, 2019

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It looks like the long, hot summer is here. However, it never seems long enough after the long winters we've been having. I was just thinking back to last July when Betsy and I traveled to Denver to watch Eli perform at a music festival. That was pretty amazing. We had fun things planned everyday including concerts, hikes, drives, ice cream, shopping, and visiting our old haunts. Not to mention running into Betsy's favorite professor. We were like those little girls in "The World of Henry Orient." 

In 2017 we toured Malta as a guest of the US Ambassador (aka Betsy's college friend). Who gets to do that?? The Mediterranean was as beautiful as any water I've ever laid eyes on. No beaches, just rock diving and sunning- not that I did that....

Time goes faster everyday, it seems. I wish I could find a way to slow it down. 

Saturday, June 29, 2019


I've had a heavy heart for a few days now. Anything from a Clima cool shoe to seeing a few of his old friends to staring at a bottle of Aveeno lotion in Walgreens to yet another trip to Springfield, this time for the AFSP, an organization I wouldn't even be aware of three and a half years ago. I want him here. Why can't he be here? Too many family events missing his wry ironic self.

I listened to Cal's music video tributes and hope that the things we do will help one person. Everyone has value even when they can't see or feel it. Redemption is possible. From One human to another, hang in there. This too shall pass. Keep trying. ☮ out.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Father's Day

I've been warding off feelings, that sinking, sick feeling of remembering and facing how long it's been since we've seen Adam. I don't know if this day is why, this month of his birthday, the family reunions without him here again. The things that have happened since his death, even advances in technology he would have jumped on. It seems like everyone has moved on when they say unintentionally heartless things. I think it's time to let myself feel and have a good cry. There are worse things.

Saturday, May 25, 2019


A week ago when I attended Marissa's graduation, I wasn't expecting the emotions to be so strong. Of course, she graduated from the same school, and in the same venue as Adam did 13 years ago. I remember Adam's graduation strongly (not Eli's and Cal's so much)- where we sat, the Val and Sal speeches, Justin dancing across the stage, finding Adam in the throng afterwards to get pictures, having the Tuttle and Vick grandparents there, Adam attending the after grad river boat cruise and excitedly telling us about the hypnotist who made his friend believe a one dollar bill was a hundred dollar bill the entire night.

So, as I sat by myself I was both in the moment, and back in the moment of watching my first graduate high school. It was okay, it really was. I did tear up, well flagrantly cry, when the choir sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic, which I did in 2006, 2011 and 2012 as well.

Friday, May 03, 2019


I have been lucky, not once, but twice in the Mother-in-law department. My first mother-in-law was Colleen (pronounced Coal-een, the Midwestern way). I was engaged then married to her oldest of four boys. I don't remember not feeling welcome and loved by Colleen, so it must have been at first sight. She may have made everyone feel this way, but I thought at the time I was special. And she certainly reinforced this over the years.

When the divorce happened, she never let that get in the way our relationship, or her relationship with her first grandson, Adam. In fact, she went out of her way to keep us all connected. We spent several weekends with the Tuttles after I built another family. Everyone was included in the Husker celebrations, and the door always open for travelers and guests whatever the occasion.

My memories of Colleen are that of a cyclone whipping through life, from early morning till late at night. Even her favored wine didn't really slow her down. She could accomplish more in a day than I could in a week or even a month. Cooking, cleaning up, shopping, driving, visiting; the schedule Colleen kept was dizzying. I found this lifestyle, along with not being afraid to drop a dollar or fifty, intoxicating. I grew up slow, frugal, rather lazy, so this Tuttle style was new to me. *one odd little foible I picked up from her was wiping down the counters with a dishtowel, and throwing it haphazardly in the wash. My own mother was very particular about only wiping one's hands on the dishtowel, and making them last for weeks without washing. Her use of a dishtowel seemed downright reckless.

Colleen pursued her passions viciously. Going back to college, being a foster parent, starting a business (Trypps), starting another business (tanning spa), helping Gary with his business, selling balls that replaced dryer sheets, Hy-vee tester, and finally the Red Cross. I'm sure I missed a dozen other ventures in there. Every new undertaking was the "best" "most incredible, important" work. It was hard not to believe in it, too.

Colleen took me on girly outings she couldn't do with her boys. I felt like she was showing me off, in fact, to her friends and everyone in the town of Norfolk. After the divorce, she continued to send gifts and remember my birthday. I have so many memories of Colleen, but most of all the way she made feel like the most special girl in her life.