Last Week’s Good Things

Nov 17

This week brings us Thanksgiving. For a few different reasons, this past week was a challenging one to identify my good things. I am glad for Thanksgiving because I think that gives a good opportunity to regroup in thinking about how important it is to be attentive to the good things that are in our lives everyday. I wish all of my readers a happy Thanksgiving, and I hope that each of us finds many good things each day!


Breakfast – Dan was sick this week, which meant that my breakfast service was put on hold. That could have been a disaster, but fortunately for me, we had the delicious Farm to Market/ Roasterie coffee limited run Black Russian Bread and over the top, Shatto butter. Each morning, I put a slice of this dark, rich bread in the toaster, and when it came out, spread it with the creamy tasty butter. The bread itself has coffee overtones combined with the typical richness of a dark bread. It is speckled with juicy raisins, that I am typically not a big fan of, but it works here. The butter is a product of Shatto dairy that has transformed how we think of dairy products in Kansas City. I remember the getting a bottle of cream from Shatto for a dessert that I was making. I can’t recall what the dessert was, but I sure do remember the cream. It was/is heavenly! Our loaf of bread is now gone and it is not expected to reappear again anytime soom. Lucky for me, Dan is better and he should be back on breakfast duty this week.


phillyReading Great non-fiction science – I finished The Philadelphia Chromosome this week. This is a book about the discovery of the genetic malfunction that is unique to people diagnosed with a certain kind of leukemia. Because of this discovery and the research that occurred because of it, a medication was developed that could curtail the chain reaction that created the out of control cancer. Jessica Wapner does an incredible job of explaining a very complicated story. I think for the first time, I understand what a kinase is and what kinase inhibitors do. As I was finishing up this book, I also picked up the latest Esquire and read an article in the latest issue of Esquire. Patient Zero tells the story of Stephanie Lee. Stephanie Lee was profiled in an earlier Esquire issue because of her Hurricane Katrina experience. This story deals with her being diagnosed with late stage liver cancer and being enrolled in a clinical trial in Memorial Sloan Kettering that may build a treatment specifically for her disease. This is amazing stuff, and when it is reported well, it does the reader such a great service.

Haircut, etc. – My hair is problematic. It is fine, kind of thin, and curly. It doesn’t grow fast, so my thought that I will just grow it long and make that my style doesn’t really work. Every six months or so, I go in to get my hair cut. I usually just go to a chain operation. Usually, I can’t see any reason to spend more money on this than the $15 that the shops offer. Saturday was my six month appointment. I told the woman that I wanted a shampoo and a haircut. The shampoo was the best. She spent 15 minutes washing my hair twice, putting in conditioner, and massaging my scalp!!! Oh dear god!



Helping Dan Make Pretzels – For as long as I have known him, one of the things that Dan has enjoyed most in life has been hard pretzels. There was a brand that we ate in college that is the benchmark of all pretzels. No one has met the Gibble standard in all these years. Recently, however, I bought him a cookbook all about making pretzels. It has inspired him. Last week, he made a very nice version. Yesterday, I got to help him make his second attempt. This was the real deal. We had a boiling water bath containing lye. They were twisted. I salted them liberally. When the oven opened, they were brown and crispy. He thinks he is getting close. I think he nailed it!


tremeTreme, Season 3 – If you have not experienced the series Treme, you are missing something. Season 3 recently was released and we watched the first 4 episodes this week. Treme takes place in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Because of that, it makes it an easy program for us to like. We can say “we’ve been there!” “I recognize that”… in every episode. The thing is, there is so much more. Whether you know, and/or love New Orleans, there is much here to bring you in. For one, there is amazing music. This is American music. Think about what that means, and it will lead you to the melodies that you will hear on the streets of New Orleans. I am very much enjoying having the characters of Treme back!

Last Week’s Good Stuff


  1. Treme – Dan and I are a little more than half-way through watching Season 2 of Treme. Last night we watched the Carnival episode, and I was mesmerized. Season 2 seems to be focusing on the intersections of music, art, and history. I feel like I learn so much with each episode. That is good television.
  2. Mr. Asquith’s 84th Birthday – Art Asquith was my grade school gym teacher. Paul Cooley was a high school English teacher of mine. Last week, Mr. Cooley posted on Facebook that Mr. Asquith was turning 84 this week, and it would be great if his former students unexpectedly showered him with birthday greetings. I sent him a card to wish him happy birthday and shared one of my favorite gym class moments. Aside with this nice idea from Mr. Cooley, another gem that I got out of this was finding out that Mr. Asquith was once a contestant on the television game show, What’s My Line, and there is a YouTube clip of it.

asquith3. Sounds like Spring – There have been days this week that it has felt springlike. Crocuses and other green things are popping out of the ground. What I noticed this week, however, is that when I walk out of the house to get the paper in the very early hours, it sounds like spring.

they-might-be-giants-nanobots-idlewild4. They Might Be Giants: Nanobots – I have been a fan of They Might Be Giants from their first album. When he was little, they became a band that Sam also came to love. TMBG recently released a new album called Nanobots, and I spent some time listening to it this week. It has some hooky songs, some of their quirky few second clips, and seems tied closely to their records of old.

5. Trying out a new restaurant with friends – Friday night we had dinner with friends at Rye Restaurant which is the new restaurant created by the Bluestem couple, Colby and Megan Garrelts. Each of us had some delicious bites and sips, but the best element of the evening was having time to spend with a couple we haven’t had that time with in a long time.