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Jane and I met at the Irish Rover. She had lamb-stuffed cabbage roles (ick! but she loved them) and I had fish and chips (yum!). We each ordered aIrishRover different beer, gave each other tastes, decided we liked our own better and, when the checks came, discovered we had been served each other’s beer by mistake. Shows what we know. The Rover had its outdoor tables set up, but we KNEW if we went out there would be glaring sunlight or rain or buzz-bomb bugs or something so, out of consideration for our fellow diners, we ate inside.

JaneThen, as usual, we went to the Java Brewing Company for coffee. We did sit outside there, under the canopy in front of the fireplace (which wasn’t lit, of course). This fireplace is so cool–it’s a double-sided one, warming the inside and a little bit of the outside, when it’s lit. We snagged the rocking chairs in front of the fireplace and got wonderful breezes. This is Jane. If you look closely, you can see my reflection in the fireplace screen, snapping the picture. If you look closely at Jane’s wrist, you can see one of the fantastic woven bracelets she designs and makes.

And here is a picture of Cody, a barristo supremo at Java. I mean, here’s how good he is:Cody

ME: I’d like a small Mocha Java, please. For here, in a real cup.

CODY: Would you like me to leave room for cream?

ME: No, thank you. Oh–would you leave room for some cold water?

CODY: Sure!

The boy didn’t blink, didn’t hesitate, didn’t roll his eyes. Didn’t say, “You old fool–What’s the difference between leaving room for cream and leaving room for water?!?” No, instead, he told me very sweetly that his Grandma also put cold water in… her…. His Grandma…. Hmm…. Maybe I don’t like Cody quite as much as I thought I did….

Anyway, here is a snappy of a very weird, crazy-go-nuts vine that’s growing all the bejeezus over the place, turning a framework next to the awning into a living awning. I know it isn’t a grapevine, and suspect it may be wisteria.

Javaplant

So we had a perfectly lovely day.

MA

writing prompt: Write something about this plant, or a scene with this plant in it. Coffee is optional.

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Jane and I met for lunch yesterday in Louisville at The Irish Rover, because we’d both been hurtin’ for good beer. On the way in, I got up close and personal with a dogwood tree. Our dogwoodsdogwood haven’t even budded out yet, and these were in full bloom. I always remember when our youngest was little and joked that all the various trees at the head of the drive were dogwoods because the dogs ran around in there.

The preacher had a Children’s Moment about the legend of the dogwood which I won’t even quote here. It sounded highly unlikely to me, although I do know the dogwood is the symbol of the Lutheran church, possibly because of that legend. Oh, well, there’s nothing you can do about symbolism, and I guess it hurts nothing and makes some people all ooohy and happy.  But it’s really tempting to make that crap up yourself and see who’d swallow it. (heeeee!)

beerSo anyway, we went to the Rover. I got there first. When I walked in, this GORGEOUS man asked me if I was a Red Hat Lady. I was like, “ExcUUUUUse me?” Then I saw there were a bunch of them at a table, and he was just checking to see if I were one of the party. Still…!! I was like, Am I wearing purple? Am I wearing a red hat? Do I look like an old woman? Well, yes to the last one, but I would have slapped him if he hadn’t been so good looking. I said, “No, I’m meeting a friend. She’ll be here about 11:30.” He said, “That’s fine, because it just so happens that’s when we open for business.” Good looking. No slap. Indulgent chuckle.

Jane came in and damn if she wasn’t wearing purple and a pink jacket. heeee! We ordered our beer. Jane had Flying Dog Imperial Porter and I had Irish Rover Red. I didn’t taste Jane’s, but she said it was delicious. Mine certainly was. If something can be smooth and bitter at the same time, this was. Light but not boring.

I usually get bangers and mash, but last time Jane gave me a taste of her fish and it was so good I got it myself this time. And it was a goodfishnchips421 choice. It was scrumptious. I didn’t have room for it all, so I ate all the fish and some of the chips. Even the tartar sauce was good, and I usually don’t like tartar sauce.

Our waiter, Nick, was just right–attentive but not pesty. He answered our questions about the beers and helped us choose good ones. He called us “ladies” but not “young ladies”, which is what all too many young men call women of A Certain Age, and is tantamount to saying, “You’re so old it’ll flatter you for me to call you young, even though we both know it’s been a long time since you were my age–assuming you ever were.” Nick didn’t make us feel like our own grandmas. Thanks, Nick!

nicksideHere is a picture of Nick being a very good employee and filling the spare moments by doing his side-work. Side-work, in case you’ve never worked in table service (or, like me, had family who did), is the things you do other than wait tables: in this case, roll flatware up in napkins. Nick told me he’s a writer, so I look forward to seeing his name in print and/or electronics.

After we left the Rover, we went to the Java for coffee. Then we went to the car and traded swag. I’m STILL cleaning out my office and had some books and magazines Jane accepted and she loaned me the rest of Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden books. Wheeeee! BTW, Jim Butcher is going to be interviewed on Bitten by Books at the end of this month (April). I have links to Bitten by Books and to Jim Butcher’s sites on my blogroll here. I encourage you to check them out. He rocks.

MA

Writing prompt: Talk to somebody about the ins and outs of his or her job. Take note of the jargon and the activities involved that you never thought about.

Because, like a big dummy, I wrote yesterday’s post and then didn’t hit the PUBLISH button, that’s why.

Yesterday was my day for being a big dummy, I guess. I was almost late for lunch with Jane, and couldn’t take any pictures because my batteries ran out. I fully intended to go with charged batteries, but….

We had lunch at The Irish Rover, where I got…wait for it…bangers and mash. Long-time readers (both of you) already knew that, I’ll bet. We each ordered a pint of beer (“It comes in PINTS??”); Jane had Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter and I had Bells Winter White Ale. Hers was dark and mine looked like liquid butterscotch (or, if you’re a Harry Potter fan, like butterbeer). Hers was good but mine was better. I could only drink half of mine, because it was making me loopy, and I don’t get loopy if I’m driving. We went a couple of doors down to the Java Brewing Company and got some coffee and talked for a couple of hours.

Our server at the Rover was Chris Hale, a professional guitarist who does restaurant stuff for a day job. Everybody at the Rover is friendly and efficient, but Chris went beyond the job. He’s the kind of staff who makes a restaurant a place you’d want to go even if you didn’t much like the restaurant.

For supper, we had leftover hash brown casserole, Waldorf Salad and grilled chicken with herbed butter.

I have one of those lean grilling machines tilted toward a drain to siphon off any goodness…I mean grease. I love it, because I can put a frozen boneless chicken breast in it and have it done in 10 minutes, tops. SO THEN I put the herbed butter on it, and MAN the flavor popped!

HERBED BUTTER

  • butter, softened but not melted
  • pepper
  • sage, fresh chopped or dried and crumbled

Mix together. Put just a dab on top of hot meat (chicken or beef) and serve, so diners can see the butter melting.

WALDORF SALAD

  • celery
  • apple
  • mayonnaise
  • chopped walnuts

Mix, serve and eat.

MA

Writing prompt: What are the five top photos your character missed but wishes he/she had taken or kept?

I’ve been over here all day, and I’ll be here all day tomorrow. I met my friend for lunch, as I do every month. We’ve been friends since the summer after high school–roomed together some in college, dropped out of touch and got back in touch. I couldn’t go through a month without seeing Jane or, if the weather is too bad, talking to her on the phone. Even email will do, if it has to.

We ate at one of my favorite places, The Irish Rover Pub on Frankfort Avenue.Irish Rover Pub They feature–what else? Irish pub food, and very good it is, too. They have beer, lager, ale and stout; draft and bottled, local and imported. I had a small bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale. It was smooth and mellow, with just a little bite (although I must say I’m easily bitten). Jane and I shared a Scotch Egg, which is a hard-boiled egg encased in sausage, dipped in a thin batter and deep-fried. Probably not good for you, but we don’t get them often. Here is a picture of my half.

It doesn’t look very nice, but it IS very nice. If we had been smart, we would have stopped there. But we weren’t smart. Or, rather, we WERE smart, because we had some excellent food after this. This was just an appetizer. Jane had fish and chips and I had what I always have here: bangers and mash. Bangers are the most delicious, creamy, perfectly spiced sausages you ever put in your mouth.

Mash is mashed potatoes and onions. I always ask for a small portion. They say, “All right,” and bring me a portion as big as my head. This is their idea of a small portion. There must be ten pounds of potatoes in there. Bear in mind that this is not a plate–it’s a BOWL! I did NOT eat all of it. I ate all the bangers, though. You can see Jane’s fish and chips in the background. It looked lovely. While we were there, Jane’s brother came over. He and some co-workers just happened to be having lunch there, too. For a big city, Louisville is a very small town. After we finished, they asked us if we were ready for dessert. We weren’t.

We eat at different places, but we almost always then to to the Java Brewing Company, a coffee house. There are several locations in Louisville, but the one we go to is just down the street from The Irish Rover.
Isn’t that a great sign? Here’s a picture of the front patio:
So we ordered coffee and I wanted a biscotti (yeah, I know I told the Irish Rover lady I didn’t want dessert, but biscotti is more like a condiment, right?). Anyway, they don’t carry biscotti any more. I guess I’ll have to bring my own next time. They do have free high-speed wireless, so I cranked up my ancient laptop and Jane showed me some jewelry she found online that she loves.
We both love jewelry. The difference is, she knows all about precious and semi-precious stones and I know nothing except what she tells me that doesn’t leak out my other ear.
Well, that’s enough for today. My daughter is about to get home from work, and we’re going to drink coffee and watch FARGO.
Oh–I almost forgot: Here’s a picture of the entrance of The Irish Rover. The entrance is on the side. The window on the near wall and the bicycle are painted on. I love this place!
MA
Writing exercise: You go out to lunch with a friend and meet a friend of that friend. It changes the course of your life. This friend of a friend can turn out to be someone you also know or can be a stranger.

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Here is where I ramble on about whatever happens to fall through my mind. I also have a professional site, where I post about my books, stories, news and appearances. Every month, I post a “Hot Flash” there–a story or prose poem of about 50 words. I hope you enjoy your visit. –Marian Allen

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