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Jane and I met at Crave, as we have been lately, where I got a MOST delicious veg sandwich.sammich

A fabulous sammich. A fab sam. As I told Jane, time was I would have said, “Cold, raw vegetables? I don’t think so!” But now I love a good cold, fresh veg sandwich. This one had lettuce, avocado, red bell pepper, cucumbers and Benedictine (cucumbers and cream cheese). Also had onion, but I pulled that off. Bleh. I should have had whole wheat bread, but I had sourdough. As Snoopy says, life is just too short not to live it up a little.

artAlso at Crave, I saw this gentleman worker with super art. He very kindly posed for me, but I forgot to get his name. HEY, GUY–IF YOU READ THIS, ADD YOUR NAME IN THE COMMENTS SECTION.

Across the street at the Java Brewing Company, where we retired for afters, we saw another gentleman (I did not photograph his art, alas) who was also fabulously bedecked. Among other artwork, one arm was inscribed with a poem in Turkish, which had been written by his Turkish wife. He was kind enough to answer my questions about how his tattooing was done (an electric needle machine that pierces the skin very quickly and repetitively and injects the ink into the epidermis). He said the range of colors of ink is, theoretically, infinite. He said that sometimes it hurts (the one he had done on his rib hurt a lot), sometimes it bleeds. He said it scabs over and, once the scabs heal and fall off, there’s your tattoo.

Jane got coffee, as usual, but I thought something cold sounded good, so I got vanilla cream soda. Guess what? It has CREAM in it! Java’s cream soda is cream, soda water, and flavoring. Oh my dear lord IT WAS GOOOOOD! If you’ve never tried this, I do most highly recommend it. Same thing as an egg cream, which is cream or milk and soda water. I have a new favorite drink at Java–AND they still punch your frequent buyer card, even though it isn’t coffee. Can’t beat

Jane has had to buy a new (used) car, a KIA, of which she is understandably proud. It’s a gorgeous little chariot, good as new. Here is the proud owner.

After the deluge of yesterday, today was beautiful. Perfect temperature, not too muggy, and the sun even came out. We had no damage, ourselves, and there was no damage in the area where Jane lives or in the area of Frankfort Avenue where we met.

Oh–the coolest thing–Charlie and I met some friends for breakfast, and a cousin of Charlie’s was at the next table with her husband and a couple of friends. We got to talking to one of the friends. He was a big, hefty Bubba of a man, with a sport cap and dirty jeans, who started by telling us he was working on Bill’s driveway. As we talked, we found out he is also a Professor of Developmental Psychology at Vincennes University. I do so love it when people defy, outrage and otherwise stoogify stereotypes.


writing prompt: Talk to someone you think you have pigeonholed. Talk long enough to tell if he/she does or does not fit the pigeonhole you had picked out and furnished. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. Write a character who doesn’t fit his/her apparant stereotype.

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.


So we had a perfectly lovely day.


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

First, I went to Louisville yesterday to have lunch with Jane. We at at Shiraz Mediterranean Grill, a wonderful place on Frankfort Avenue, where we got shish kebabs that melt in your mouth and crispy rice stuff off the bottom of the pan and baklava to die for. The rice stuff used to be really good–they would bring it out to you fresh and hot, but now they collect it and bring it out cold. Next time, I’m going to ask if they can heat mine up. It’s delicious and full of oil–can’t be good for you. I like that in a food.

Then we went to Sister Dragonfly, the greatest stuff store I’ve been in for a long time. No web site, so you’ll have to take my word for it. The first place we head for in there is the half-price basket. The basket isn’t for sale, but the jewelry inside is. Last time, I got a gorgeous ceramic and glass bracelet. This time, I got some nifty wood bead earrings. Not in the sale basket, I found the perfect watch. Jane goes pricier than I do, and she got a ring of some semi-precious stone. I can’t remember what it is, but it was blue and translucent with all kinds of glow and fire in it. Not an opal. Anyway, it was most satisfactory.

I almost ran into a guy, when I was pulling into the parking lot I use when we go to Shiraz. Not a guy, actually, but the guy’s car with the guy in it. He wanted to chew me out for it, but I was in the wrong, turning too sharp and looking for traffic the other way, so I couldn’t argue with him. I think he was vaguely dissatisfied, but I’m not a nice enough person to disagree when I have to admit I’m wrong.

The pictures here were taken in the parking lot. I love these trees, and I love stuff growing on and over fences. I don’t know what this ivy stuff is–probably poison something–but I didn’t touch it, I just appreciated the color.

After we spent most of our money, we went to Java Brewing and got great cups of coffee.

Now–getting ready. I’ve finished my Chronicles for next week and I’ve started the ones for the week after. My goal is to do all of them for November and the first week of December so I can concentrate on writing for National Novel Writing Month. It would be good if I could also collect characters and do a rough outline, but that may not happen.

Wish me luck!


writing prompt: Your main character makes a driving mistake and is clearly in the wrong. Is the other person same gender, other gender–main character’s gender preference or not? Is the other person mad, scared, weepy, pompous, funny? How does your main character react?

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!
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.


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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