Last Week’s Good Things

goodWhen you can’t sleep, what better thing to do then just get out of bed and write about last week’s good things? 

pierogie

Making and sharing pierogies for Easter – Although it seems like a gazillion years ago, Easter was officially during last week. On Easter Sunday, we had family and friends over – 13 in total. Late in the afternoon, Dan’s sister came over and the three of us became a pierogie making machine. Pierogies, if you are not familiar, are a Polish dish – very much like a ravioli. The family version that Dan and his sister enjoy is filled with cottage cheese, sour cream and lots of pepper. Our finely tuned system included Dan making and rolling out the dough, me filling, cutting and crimping, and Laura boiling, buttering, and baking. The result was delicious, and because it was such a beautiful day, everyone took their plate out to the patio. We sat around talking of pierogies of old, the welcoming of spring, and whatnot. That was a fine example of a holiday celebration.

ausino

Austin KleonAustin Kleon is an artist and author. He has done a TED talk and a keynote at SXSW about creativity and being out there with your creativity – show your work. As part of Kansas City’s Middle of the Map forum, I got a ticket to go hear Austin speak on Tuesday night. Work has been more than hectic these days, so leaving work at a reasonable hour seemed decadent. Add to that, going to a cool space in the Crossroads arts district – where they welcomed me with a free copy of one of Austin’s books and a cold Boulevard Pale Ale – heavenly! Austin’s talk was all about fostering creativity followed by a charming Q & A session. He also has one of the most fun book signatures I have encountered.

sym

Happy Hour Symphony – I guess I can’t whine about work hours too much since last Monday, Dan came to pick me up at work so we could go to the Kansas City Symphony’s Happy Hour. I had no idea that these existed, but we got an invite to come along with friends. This is a free series offered by the symphony and it includes time prior to the concert where you can hang around the beautiful lobby in the Kauffman Center and have a drink and chat. The concert itself only lasts an hour, so many people were there with their kids. We heard three pieces played by various ensembles. I had not been in Helzberg Hall before, but it is fantastically gorgeous with not a bad seat and incredible sound.

Mary Roach – It was a eventful week! Thursday night, I met friends at another beautiful Kansas City space – the Kansas City Central Library. It always makes me think of a New York Public library at a smaller, but just as lovely, scale. Thursday’s menu was a talk by author, Mary Roach. Mary’s most recent book is Gulp, which is a guidebook of your alimentary canal. The talk was a dialogue with a library staff member, followed by questions and answers. Mary has had a pretty fascinating writing life – writing books about sex, cadavers, life in space, and the afterlife. A author who spins science well is a friend of mine.

bday

Happy birthday to Dan – Saturday we got to celebrate Dan’s birthday. Because he had to go into work in the morning, I spent some time doing some shopping and preparing for the requested birthday meal. The main dish was T-bone steaks which I got from McGonigles. I made twice baked potatoes with cheddar, sour cream, bacon and added a good amount of heat. Heirloom cherry tomatoes with avacados made the meal healthy. Dessert was Shatto vanilla ice cream with a choice of toppings. Friends were over to share in the bounty. We welcomed Dan into his new year delightfully well.

It is Wednesday already so I need to start enumerating what has been going on this week. I hope that your good things are piling up!

Day Break

photo (1)I am an early riser, and I appreciate that I carry my early rising through weekends. My modus operandi is that I sleep hard the first part of the night, but the last hours of my sleep are generally dozy. I am usually ready to get out of bed before 5, but weekends I will will myself to doze a little later.

I love the pace of the first part of the day. It is still dark out. There are not expectations of getting things done right then. It is quiet – so as not to bother those who may not be early risers.

My morning routine starts out with coffee and the newspaper. Every day except Sunday it is The Kansas City Star that is thrown in the yard. Sunday brings The New York Times. Going outside to pick it up is my first entry into what today is going to be. I am happy that I can now move my snow boots away from the front door. These days I can just wear my slippers out, or in case of rain, my Birks.

I have my morning chair. My weekend chair is different from my weekday chair. My weekend chair is in the corner next to a window. I can see activity in front of the house – people out walking, lots of dogs out for their morning stroll, birds flittering about; the day breaking. If I pay close attention, week to week I can see seasonal changes. This week I can see trees beginning to flower and the bird population has picked up dramatically.

Once the paper is read, I open my computer. Sometimes I will find photos or messages from people in my life. Occasionally, a conversation will be started.

From the computer, I usually switch to paper things. I may read my current book or something that I have set aside as a “to read.” I used to consistently keep a journal, but I haven’t for awhile.  One of my “rulins” for this year was that I am going to do better at that. I have started trying to keep what I think of as a log book. I got the idea from the artist, Austin Kleon. His log book is linear, while mine is kind of a weekly hodgepodge. I like it, and I like having it by me in the morning to jot something down – a quotation, a good thing, an idea, a “to do.” photo (1)

My weekend morning chair becomes surrounded by stuff that I am in the midst of – books I am reading, books that I want to copy something out of, carry over parts of the Times, magazines, pens of many colors, scissors, tape. It brings in the day well.