Friday, August 31, 2012

Adventures in Dining

At the beginning of August I googled Saskatoon looking for some different restaurants to take Hubby for his birthday.  I found an excellent blog called Wonderlust and Words.  I found the name of two places to visit.  The Mardi Gras Grill and The Hollows.  Well that weekend of my Hubby's birthday was a long weekend and our timing was poor and it turned out that neither establishment was open.


We've driven by Mardi Gras Grill several times since then.  We've been checking to see if the parking lot is full.  But we somehow never found the time to stop.

Hubby took the day off work today.  He went out and about and attended to yard work while I did some chores inside.  Then around 3:30 pm I went outside and posed the question:  What do you want for supper OR would you like to go out for supper?  Out it was and off to Mardi Gras Grill we went.

It's located downtown on a busy street but the paid parking is ample.  It is housed in a building that was formerly a sports bar.  The outside has been painted and I'm sure the inside was renovated as well.  There are three photo paintings adorning the walls.  I over heard the waitress telling another patron that her aunt took the photo's in New Orleans but didn't like how they turned out so she painted pictures over them.  Genius!  They are the prefect decor.

There are both booths and tables with chairs as well as an outside patio.  There weren't many people there even though it was soon the supper rush.  We were brought a complimentary plate of corn bread.  I've had corn bread many times before and even made it myself but it never turned out like this!  It appeared and tasted like it was baked, then squared, then toasted or grilled.  It was tasty!

For an appetizer we ordered Fried Green Tomatoes.  Ever since the movie, it's something I've wanted to try.  "For Towanda!!!!!"  They were served with 4 giant shrimp, 6 slices of tomato and salad greens with a sauce.  Hubby ate the shrimp as they aren't my favourite.  I did love the tomatoes.  I would order that appetizer for a lunch as well.  It was great.

Hubby's meal was called Taste of New Orleans and consisted of Gumbo, Jambalaya and Etouffee.  He was given instructions on how to eat the craw fish.  This meal was enough to feed two people!  Hubby tried hard but couldn't quite finish everything.  Not totally being a seafood fan, I ordered the Pulled Pork Po' Boy with fries.  It was the most extraordinary sandwich I've ever had!  I ate the sandwich but couldn't finish the fries which were undoubtedly home made since they didn't resemble anything out of my freezer.

We were stuffed.  The waitress, who I found out is the wife of the chef asked if we wanted beignets.  I asked if we could get them to go.  She said yes.  So they were given to us hot but we were advised to keep the package open or they'd shrivel up.  The donut type dessert had powdered sugar and a dollop of blueberry preserve.  It's our midnight snack tonight.

It was delicious cajun creole cuisine just as promised and just what Saskatoon has been missing.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chapter Eight [It's a Novel Idea]

Wouldn't you know it? The day I want to be up early I end up sleeping in. I jumped out of bed running for the shower. I didn't know what time or when Reese would arrive, but I certainly didn't want to be in my pyjamas when he did.

I hit the shower turning the hot water up until it warmed my morning skin. I used my raspberry body wash knowing that it would make me smell good. When I was thoroughly squeaky clean I shut the water off and grabbed a towel to dry off then I twisted my hair up into a turban. I slipped into my bath robe just as I heard the ring of my phone.

It couldn't be Reese because I hadn't given him my phone number. It was easy to find if he really wanted to, I justified, as it was in the phone book. But I doubted that if he wanted to arrive as a surprise that he'd phone first. It had rang about 4 times by the time I got to the phone. I clicked the talk button saying, “Hello.” But there was nothing but dial tone. I flipped back and sighed.....unknown name. It had probably been Will. I was mulling that over when there was a knock at the door.

Great. Not much I can do now, I realized with dread. I went to the door, opening it cautiously as Reese stood before me. He held a bag in one hand and was tucking his cell phone into his pocket with the other. Interesting. Today he was wearing a dark blue shirt but had on the same leather jacket and jeans. My heart pitter-pattered.

It wasn't until he broke out in laughter that I came back to the present realizing my current state of fashion. I blushed and stammered. “Um.....I kinda slept in.”

Reese moved past me and set the bag on the kitchen counter. He opened it up to set down two cups of Tim Horton's coffee down. “I couldn't get near Starbuck's today so I popped into Tim Horton's instead.” He then removed a small box containing Tim Bits. “I didn't know what your favourite is so I got them all.”

“Wow! Timmies and donuts.” I moved closer to examine the display. My mouth watered for several reasons. “You are a man after my own heart.” I looked up at him and his gorgeous blue eyes were dancing. Sigh. I took the coffee and removed the lid. I inhaled sharply and then took a sip. “It's wonderful, thank you, and just what I needed.”

“Okay, well you have to get yourself ready.” Reese told me reaching up to push back a strand of hair that had managed to pop out from behind my turban. My knees went weak and it was nearly impossible to walk away, but I did.

In my bedroom, I threw on my favourite pair of jeans and chose a blue tank top to go under my white blouse. Blue brought out the colour of my own eyes. Next I dried my hair and arranged and rearranged it until I thought it was not that unruly. I added some simple makeup and a little lip gloss. I emerged from the bedroom looking like a changed woman. Reese smiled at me when I entered the kitchen going for the coffee and donuts again. It was infectious and I felt myself smiling too.

He let me gobble in silence for a few minutes. “I just want to warn you.” He frowned a little. “We might run into trouble. It could be a little hard to get around today.”

“That's okay.....I attract trouble.” I thought. “I feel safe with you.”

“I'm just warning you that things might get a little strange.”

“I attract strange too.” I mused, but then quickly added. “You don't fit into that category though.”

“We'll see about that.” He paused. “There's a car waiting for us down there.” Reese pointed through the window to the street.

“Wow. We're travelling in style.”

“Its a necessity really.....I don't drive.”

“What? How could you not drive?”

“I just never learned.” Reese shrugged.

I studied his expression. There was so much I had to learn about Reese. He was growing more mysterious each time I saw him. I brushed some powdered sugar from my mouth savouring the last bit of blueberry jam from the TimBit. “I could teach you.” I suggested.

“You would put your life in my hands?” Reese mused. “It could be dangerous.”

“I laugh in the face of danger.” I guffawed. “You really should learn, though, you can't depend on someone else forever.”

“I can drive a mean go cart.” He paused stepping towards me. The butterflies started again. Reese reached over and took the last was a honey cruller. “Its just regular cars I'm not so good with.”

“Let's go drive go carts then.” I stroked a little piece of crumb from his cheek. “Unless you have other ideas.....I'll go willingly to wherever you want.”

“No. Go carts it is.”

I tossed the empty donut box in the garbage can and drained the last of my coffee. Reese was already finished with his and he threw his in the trash as well. I gathered my purse and jacket and when I reached for the door Reese opened it and held it open for me then gently pressed on the small of my back as I walked through. I watched as he locked and closed the door.

We walked down the hallway, down the stairs and out the security doors. On the street, parked and waiting was a black shiny limo. I gasped. “A limo?” I questioned.

Reese grinned. “Its a perk of my profession.”

The driver got out, walked around the car and opened the back door for us. My look was still shock. I seated myself inside as Reese sat across from me. I can't sit backwards, it makes me sick. Reese clicked a little switch and spoke to the driver. “We are going to race go carts.” The driver nodded and soon we were pulling away from the curb.

“This is something else.”

Reese's eyes twinkled.

“So Reese what is it exactly that you do?” I questioned finally coming to my senses.

He pressed his lips into a thin line. “I don't really want to talk about it. Its safer if I don't include you in that part of my life.”

What could it be? CIA? FBI? Bond, James Bond?

“You'll have to tell me sooner or later.”

Reese looked out the tinted window. “Not until I have to.”

This was too tense. I didn't like it. I didn't want to get off on such a bad start. “I am so going to beat you.” I challenged.

“Oh really?” Reese looked back. “You care to make a wager on that?”

“The loser buys lunch?”

“That's too easy.” He grinned mischievously. “We have to come up with something much more original than that!”

I laughed and then sat back to enjoy the ride. I hadn't ridden in a limo before. I watched the houses and business go by the window. The car had just turned to the street where the Kart Trak was located. Reese's expression changed again. “Oh no.” He groaned.

I turned to look out the back window to see whatever it was that Reese had seen. All I saw was purple convertible.

Reese clicked on the intercom. “It looks like we've got company.” The driver looked checked out his mirrors. Reese looked at me, “I think we're going to have to take a little detour.”

“Why? What's going on?”

“One of those strange things I told you about.” Reese explained. “Sometimes its hard to go unnoticed.”

“A limo is a little noticeable.”

“I guess I didn't think that part through.”

The limo had turned a few corners but the purple convertible was staying close. There was lots of traffic and it wasn't easy for a large car to get lost in it. Then an idea occurred to me. “You want to lose the purple dude?” Reese nodded his head. I thought out loud. “Well, lots of times limo's are used for funerals around here. We are really close to a few funeral homes. Maybe we could stop at one and he would just think he had the wrong car or something.”

Reese mulled it over. Then he started to smile. “I like it. It might work” Then he was on the intercom again explaining our plan to the driver. When he was done, he spoke again to me, “We'll get out and pretend to go into the funeral home. Do you think you can do that? We'll walk quickly and try not to look back.....make it look like that's where we were going all along.” I nodded.

When the limo pulled up at the doors of the funeral home Reese grabbed the door handle and pushed the door open. I got out and looked to the ground.....trying to look sad. Reese slammed the door behind me. He put his arm around my waist and we proceeded to the double door of the funeral home. When we were at the door, I couldn't help but steal a look. The purple convertible guy was parked behind the limo and had a pretty impressive looking camera. Snap! Reese urged me through the doors.

We paused in the entrance. There was quiet music playing and the lights were dimmed. Thank goodness there weren't any services going on at the moment. We waited for our eyes to adjust. A tall thin man an a pin striped suit was making his way to us. “I'll do the talking.” Reese whispered.

“What can I do for you?”

“Do you have a back door?” Reese asked.

“Yes of course, but why.....”

Reese cut him off. “Can you show us the way?” He took out a bill and I was unsure of the denomination, but it must have been impressive because the man motioned for us to follow him. We walked through an empty chapel, behind the pulpit and out a side door. There was a narrow hallway and we followed the man to a door at the end. He opened it letting in sunlight. “Thank you.” Reese commented as we stepped through to find ourselves in a back alley. A slushy and mucky back alley.

This was the end of my plan. “Now what?” I said and we stared at each other for a few seconds before breaking into hysterical laughter. Here we were in the middle of no where without any transportation but the foot-mobile.

Reese took my hand. “I guess we walk.” We walked to the end of the alley and thankfully there were no purple cars in sight. There was a bus stop not far away.

“We can go for a bus ride again.” I motioned to the bus stop marker.

“I have a better idea. Are you okay to walk for a little while?” Reese asked. “We're not that far from where I'm staying. We could hide out in my hotel for the afternoon. If you trust me after that.”

“Oh, I trust you.” I answered. Reese took my hand again and we began to walk. It was more of a leisurely stroll but every so often Reese would look up and around to check out his surroundings.

“That must have been kind of weird for you.” Reese said.

“Well, I did tell you that I attract weird.” I stated. “But.....yeah.....that rates right up there.”

“I find that hard to believe.”

“No, its true.” I began. “This one time I was waiting for my Dad to pick me up.....he was always late....and this strange woman kept saying how we'd be friends and go for coffee.”

“Well I met you at a coffee shop.” Reese grinned his lop sided grin.

“Yeah....but it was different. This was at 5 in the morning!” I stopped. “Then there was the time a little old lady hugged me in the grocery store.”

“Okay.....okay, I get the picture.” Reese put his hands up to show that I could stop with my weird stories. “So now, I'm thinking it was fate. I'm weird and you attract me.”

“I wouldn't really say it that way!” I pleaded.

Reese laughed. “I was only teasing.” He smiled again.

Soon the Parktown Hotel came into view. “You're staying at the Parktown?”

“Yes.” Reese looked at me quizzically.

“There's nothing wrong with that.....I just thought, what with the limo and all you'd be staying somewhere like the Bessborough.”

“That would be a great hotel, but as it turns out its difficult to get rooms in this city.” He added. “Especially since I'm going to be here a few weeks.”

We entered the hotel which overlooked part of the river and one of Saskatoon's many bridges. We rode the elevator in silence up to the sixth floor. Reese led me past some security people who nodded hello as he walked by and let me into his hotel room.

It had once been clean I assumed. But now it was littered with clothing, Starbucks coffee cups and Verns pizza boxes. “um, ya, I didn't think I'd be having company.” Reese tried to explain as he gathered things and threw them into the closet.

It was a regular hotel room but it had a couch and table and chairs. There was a small fridge beside the desk and a large TV. On the desk was a laptop computer. It was displaying a screen saver of an aquarium and making a gurgling noise. I set my purse down on the desk beside it.

“Can I get you something?” Reese asked moving a guitar out of the way to open the mini fridge. “I've got.....juice boxes.....cheese sticks.....pudding cups.....”

“Oooh.....I'll have a pudding cup.” Reese pulled out two which were Rocky Road flavor. He found plastic spoons beside the coffee maker. We sat at the table by the window to enjoy our feast. “I have to admit, I've never been on a date like this!”

Reese grimaced. “This is not how I wanted things to turn out.”

“Its perfect.” I stated. “I don't care as long as I get to be with you.”

“You're delusional.” Reese threw his empty pudding into the trash can. “How could you want to be around all this.” He said waving his hands around.

“Well, you could stand to have a maid.”

“That's not what i meant.”

“Reese.....I don't have much excitement in my life.” I tried to explain. “I get up in the morning and go to work and then I go home. Sometimes things happen and more often they don't. So when someone comes along and shines some sunshine into my boring life I can't help but be thrilled.”

Reese moved his chair so he was seated directly across from me. He took my hand into his and studied it momentarily. “Most people who get close to me just want a piece of it all. Its very hard to have relationships.” Why did this sound familiar? “What is it that you want?”

I was enraged. “Wha.....What? I don't want anything!” I shouted. Reese looked pained. “How could you even ask that? I just want to get to know you. I thought we were kind of know?” I got up from my chair and in a moment had my bag thrown over my shoulder and was striding for the door. If that's how he wanted to be......

“Wait.” Reese pleaded. He reached for me spinning me around and cupped his hands around my face. “Don't.....that's what I want too.”

And then he leaned close to me slowly and softly pressing his lips to mine so sweetly that my knees almost buckled and the room spun around making nothing else in the entire world matter.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

10 Thought Tuesday ~ Last Tuesday of Summer ~

Today in 1833, an act abolishing slavery throughout the British Colonies received royal assent and came into force on Aug. 1, 1834. Also today in 1963, Martin Luther King delivered his famous "I have a dream" speech to almost 250,000 demonstrators in Washington and in 1904, the first jail sentence for speeding was handed down in Newport, R.I. -- five days -- for driving 32 km/h.
 Today is also the day the plumber is here to fix Renter Person's toilet.  Hurray!
 And the last Tuesday of my summer vacation.
*insert the longest saddest face imaginable*
It's okay.  I'll get over it eventually. next July. 
1.  For those who don't know Renter Person, or RP as I so affectionately call him, is our renter in the basement suite of our bungalow.  He's probably the best renter we've ever had, but also the worst.  He tends to break things....not always his fault....and he stinks up the house with his cooking.  Oh yeah.....and then there's the couple times we've seen him nekkid.  Renting is certainly an adventure.
2.  Tonight I have a staff meeting regarding the new school year.  In case you have just found my little corner of the world here, I am a piano teacher.  I love my job, but like most kids I do dread the return of the fall routine.  "Mom!  I don't wanna go to school!"
3.  I am very relieved that my dental appointment went well yesterday.  It had been well over a year since I'd been to have a cleaning or a check up.  The hygienist said that my teeth were remarkably clean for it being that long.  She also mentioned I'm brushing my fangs too hard and she suggested a fluoride mouth wash.  Back when I was 20 my dentist told me to use a mouth wash like that but no one since thought it was necessary.  I thought that was interesting.  Anyhow, I left with my new purple toothbrush and a box of floss.
4.  Brandy~puppy the Super Dog has been doing well.  She likes her new Royal Canin Cocker Spaniel food.  I haven't noticed a change in her stinky ol' ears yet.  There isn't a cleaner around that takes care of them right and trust me, I've tried them all.  So now, I'm using my Kirkland make-up remover wipes.  I've used them on my ears and it makes them dry out so I thought maybe they'd have the same effect on Brandy.
5.  People ask me what I've done this summer and I feel weird saying nothing.  I mean, we've done stuff, but we haven't gone anywhere.  We did the whole FolkFest thing which was lot's of fun.  We've taken walks and just enjoyed Toon Town.  I wish we could have gone camping though, I miss the campfire.  Actually, I might just miss the smores associated with the campfire.
6.  I have a thing for office supplies.  Well, maybe not all office supplies but specifically pens.  I am a pen collector.  I have pens that light up and blink and write in funky colours.  It might be an obsession.  I have pens from New York and I have pens from Dollarama.  My only requirement is that they write well.  I'm very protective of my pens.  I don't lend them out unless they are a generic variety.  It really bothers me when they go missing from my classroom as well.
7.  In my walk in pantry is a smores maker.  The smores maker is a little jar of canned fire and you put your marshmellow on a metal stick and toast away.  Then there's little bowls for crackers and chocolate and other yummy things.  It was a birthday present from my In Laws a number of years ago.  It still isn't like a campfire though.
8.  I also own a bread maker, sandwich maker, popcorn popper, and quesadilla maker.  I sound like a university student.  Those makers are hardly ever used anymore.  Hubby says we should form a club and rent out our appliances so people don't have to buy them and then they take up space in thei pantry or house.  He might be onto something there.....
9.  My plan for this afternoon is to get my floors vacuumed, swept, and mopped.  It is the most detestable of all the household chores in my opinion.  
10.  I have two  new back to work outfits and one new pair of shoes.  The shoes are red.  I love coloured shoes.  I wish I could get green shoes.  Green is the colour.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Piano Lesson #8 ~ Graduation Day ~

Your 8th and final lesson has finally arrived.  I shouldn't say it's your final lesson because if you were an actual piano student I'd do my very best to convince you to continue and become a full time piano student. 

I have a really good record for keeping piano students beyond the 8th week.

During  this lesson you'd be asked to perform your two prepared songs.  Your audience will clap.  What do you do when an audience applauds?  

You bow.

It might feel silly, but you really need to thank your audience for listening to you.  You want to smile a big smile no matter how good or bad you thought you did.  Then you simply bend at the waist to bow.  As a reminder to smile while you bow say in your head... "Hello shoes!"

But don't say it out loud.  Everyone will think you are crazy.


Oh!  You want to know the answers from the test from  last week?!  Here is the answer key:

1.  Treble Clef
2.  E E F G G F E D
3.  False
4.  4 2 1
5.  A B C D E F G A or C D E F G A B C
6.  C E G
7.  B F G
8.  Blue

Thanks for being a great student!  Good luck in your musical future!