Thursday, May 31, 2007

freezer burn

I sometimes go weeks at a time with out opening my freezer door, and only then for the rare times that I need an ice cube.

I opened the up the freezer on Monday to find that something bad had happened.
The little tube that drains the water from condensation had fallen out.
All of the water drained in to the freezer, creating some bizarre atmospheric event. It reminded me of a sleet storm covered by a thick layer of snow. I started chipping a crazy assortment of stuff out of there.

I always joke that I've got the perfect wardrobe for my fantasy life.
Dress for a moonlight cruise? Check
Linen suit for a weekend at the shore? Check
Boots for a trip to New York? Check
Sweater for sitting by the fire apres ski? Check
Outfit for waitressing on a Saturday night? Not so much

My freezer was operating on that the same theory with a good dash of nostalgia thrown in.
I pitched some steaks that I'd purchased with the idea that I'd be ready for an impromptu cookout.
Cookies and muffins from CATH.
Hail from the big storm last year.
Sweet corn from the farm.
Chili from a batch that AVS made for me.
Chocolates from Saint Valentine's Day.
Bags of marshmallows that I throw in the freezer each Thanksgiving after making Grandma's cranberry salad.
No Grandma!

I did run across something that gave me pause --a little plastic container labeled "lime juice 8-1-97"
I'm sure it was the left over lime juice from baking for the State Fair that year.
I had to keep it. It has lasted longer than any of my boyfriends.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

indy 415

I celebrated the long weekend the only way I know how -- work, followed by more work.

I did have fun Friday night.
I met my friend Tammy, who shall now be known as Bad Influence Girl, after work. We enjoyed a rainy night in Broad Ripple.

Saturday morning brought the first Farmer's Market of the season.
I was there bright and early...okay...bright might be a bit of an was raining.
I book the music for the farmer's market. I wanted to make sure the musician was there and and not being electrocuted.

On the way home I stopped at the Newsstand.
I may have mentioned before that I gave them the coffee equipment and they hired the two full-time CATH employees.
I still feel very responsible for the espresso machine and the baristas.
Lisa was sick, so Matt gave her a ride home and I "watched" the counter for a few minutes.
I wound up waiting on several customers. Making cappuccino is a bit like riding a bike -- it all comes back to you. I had a blast.

I worked Saturday night at the Red Key and got my ass kicked.

Lots of folks were in town for the race. The Red Key is a place that people feel ownership of. Which is great, but there can only be one person in charge -- and that is me baby!
I wound up getting snappy with some people.
Which is almost expected at the Key.

I got home from work at 3:00 in the morning and had to be scrubbed, good smelling and lookin' pretty to work at Marigold at 11:00.
I sent this very obnoxious reply to a friends e-mail inquiring to my well being that morning: "I just got to see McDreamy and McSteamy on the television. Just knowing that they are in the same county made getting up to go to work today all worth it."
Actually, I do love the month of May in Indianapolis. The town is shiny and happy. And there is plenty of fun stuff to do.

I worked a long day at the clothing store (my feet still ache) and immediately went to sleep when I got home. I'm such a wuss.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

the nuge

I have attended two committee meetings already this morning, starting at 7:30.
The second meeting was with the governance committee. They look at board leadership and present the slate of new board members.

I'm confident in my skills as director of operations, but working with a board and advisory committees is all new to me. And I'm feeling a little anxious about it.

Someone asked me for the date of the next board meeting and I flipped my calendar open to the week of June 18th. The committee looking at my calender saw:

June 18: Work Red Key
June 19: Ted Nugent at the Vogue
June 20: Robert Earl Keen at the Music Mill
June 22: Goat at Radio Radio

I think the time has come for a separate work calendar.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

tuesday night all stars

Back in the day, I worked three nights a week at the Red Key, every Monday, Tuesday and Saturday.

Tuesdays were my favorite for several reasons, the biggest being the Tuesday Night All Stars.
The TNAS are a group of guys who play basketball September-May.
They were always fun to wait on and very generous to me.
They are genuinely nice men.
More often than not their conversation centers around their wives, children and work.
They talk about weddings and impending births.
Of course, they'd be mad if they knew that I was spilling their manly secrets.

This year they made me a "woman's auxiliary member" and invited me to the year end banquet (FOUR kinds of pizza, paper plates and napkins!).
I brought a cake that looked like a basketball and had the TNAS logo.
They gave me an official tee shirt.
I admit to having a crush on them as a group, a very appropriate-I-know-most-of-them-are-married-and-I-don't-want-to-date-them-but-like-hanging-out-with-them-kind-of-way.
Maybe that is why I was blushing so furously when I ran in to two of them and their wives at church on Sunday.

Monday, May 21, 2007

bliggity blog

I'm getting ready to update my blog list, but I wanted to formally introduce my current blog roll.

I have known Jerry as long as I have known anyone. We met in 1967. I was in first grade and he was in second. We shared a classroom and a teacher at St. Joseph's school in Lebanon, Indiana.

Jerry writes about his life back on the farm and his family. He is very funny and his family gives him plenty of blogging fodder. In April Jerry took me to visit Cliff and Marilyn. I look forward to his Friday Sock Hops. He's giving me a great music education.

I credit/blame Jerry with getting me to blog.

I had the honor of meeting Cliff recently. He is absolutely as friendly and funny in person as he is on paper. He is adored (rightly so) by his family and community. He writes of family, farming and being on the county board. I have learned not to have a mouthful of coffee when I start to read his posts.

I don't remember how I first stumbled across Crabby Dad, but I know that I spent a good chunk of that day reading his posts. He knows how to turn a phrase and his language is not for the faint of heart. He routinely writes stuff that makes me laugh so hard that I cannot breathe and makes wish I could describe things as creatively he does.

He writes about his job telecommuting, his family and his quest for good tea and a wood pecker-less house.

Crabby Dad protects his anonymity. We did figure out that I probably served him a cup of coffee when he was in Indianapolis recording an album at the studio next to my coffeehouse. I think I know his real name (but if I tell you, I have to...). Jonee Quest, the sound engineer for the record told met that Crabby Dad's name was part of a song they recorded. Rumor has it he's also an excellent drummer.

[update: I wrote this post a few days ago - the Crabby household has achieved woodpecker free status. The problem has, resolved]

Jerry introduced me to this blog. SL's farm is full of stray animals and great stories. We have figured out that our uncles are friends. It's a small world!

I met Ralph though Cliff. Ralph and Cliff are married to former college roommates. Ralph is an honorary member of the Morrow family. Ralph is also very funny. I never will look at a Christmas Tree the same way again. DOR (daughter of Ralph) is getting married soon. I'm sure that will make for some fun stories. I look forward to meeting Ralph.

I discovered RF on Crabby Dad's blog. RF is an excellent writer. He's the guy I wish I could write like (with that last sentence I should not be allowed near a keyboard ever again). His posts do not stay up long and they seem to follow a theme. He's on a music kick right now. I know that he is a playwright and teaches. I look forward to reading anything he writes.

[update: in the last few days RF has taken down his posts -- I have faith that he will be back.]

I met the very talented Scott though Jerry. Scott is an award winning food writer (among other things). He wrote a great piece about one of our fundraisers and teaches at Second Helpings every 10 weeks to our culinary job training class. He is doing more and more writing, and I'm always proud to flip open a magazine and see his byline.

Rachel does an excellent job of telling us about her surroundings and does a great job posting photos--and jokes. I never leave Rachel's place without a smile.

I don't know how I first ran across Tee's blog, but I do know that I posted on her blog long before I did on anyone else's. She writes of family (the good, bad and ugly) and the world. I try to respond thoughtfully to what she writes about, and in turn that makes me think. She motivates me in ways that she will never know. I turned a closet in to a office because of one of her posts.

I wish we lived closer so I could babysit -- let her and her husband have a date night.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

lovely weekend

It was a great weekend. Not only did I go to a wedding, celebrate my birthday and attend a reception honoring my mom and her retirement from St. Pius X Catholic Church -- but I did not work Saturday or Sunday. And for the first time ever I turned in the article I have due for Monday early.
It was a no pressure weekend.
I sure could get used to this.

And now, the icing on the cake -- the season finale of Desperate Housewives!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

46 things about me

I see that some bloggers write "100 things about me" when they start blogging or publish their 100th post.
Since I have the attention span of a doughnut, I thought I'd write 46, in honor of my 46th birthday today.

1. I am the oldest of 4 children (girl, girl, boy, girl) and was born exactly 9 months after my parents wedding day. Not that I counted.

2. I am named for by paternal grandmother. Eleanor Bauer Spitznogle was always called Nora. She died in 1951, when my dad was 15 years old. I adore my first name and cannot imagine being called anything else.

3. I changed my middle name to Leona about 10 years ago. Leona Sarah Donohue Gremelspacher was my maternal grandmother and she died in 1984 when I was 23. I was her first grandchild and I adored her. When anyone speaks of her, the word "saint" is always included. I'm proud to be named after both of those great women.

4. My youngest sister Ann was born the summer I turned 6. My parents built a new house a mile down the road the next year. I stayed home with Annie by myself several times that summer. Can you imagine a 7 year-old baby-sitting a baby? No one thought anything about it at the time -- and I felt very grown up.

5. After Ann was born I told my mom that she should stop having children, I thought 4 in 6 years was a little overwhelming. Sheesh, not only did Mom have 4 young children but a 6 year-old was telling her what to do.

6. I went to kindergarten in Zionsville and could walk the two blocks all by myself. I attended grades 1-3 at a Catholic grade school in Lebanon. After that school closed I went to a public grade school. In the 1960s they experimented with 'open concept', working at your on rate in a school with no walls. Imagine going from the nuns to wandering at will? I sat in the corner and read. I still don't know my multiplication tables.

7. I have 6 godchildren. A six-pack. My pall bearers.
My mom doesn't like it when I say either thing.

8. A boy in Jr. High School asked me if I was a boy or a girl. I was small and physically undeveloped with a page boy hair cut.
I still cringe when I think about it.

9. My time in Jr. High and High School was uneventful -- I don't remember much about those years.
I was so nerdy that the marching band kids would have nothing to do with me.

10. I was a cheerleader in 6th grade. I was the only girl to try-out by herself.
The other kids felt bad for me and voted for me. I cannot do a cartwheel or the splits and I have no rhythm.
It was a long year for everyone.

11. I have a big ball of twine that my Great-Uncle Herman (Grandma Nora's BIL) collected over the years on a pedestal on my mantel.

12. My first job was in a nursing home when I turned 16. I worked in nursing homes and hospitals all through college.

13. I left Purdue after three semesters. I had horrible study habits and was still pretty socially immature. Nothing to do with hanging out with a punk-rock band, I'm sure.

14. I was 19 before I went on a date or kissed anyone.

15. I went back to college to live closer a boy. Greg farmed in the Lafayette area. I should have married him, but I wanted to see the world. Greg was my first serious boyfriend and I thought all relationships would be that terrific.

16. I am a compulsive reader.
I cannot pour cereal with out reading the box as I'm doing it.

17. I've been proposed to 3 times.
Once in a Cracker Jack box prize.

18. I've never said yes.

19. I wish I would have said yes to one person.

20. 19 is my favorite number.

21. I can tell you where every piece of furniture in my house came from.
Most of it is family furniture or I refinished it for 4-H.

22. I've had a Saint Valentine's Day party year since 1984.

23. I write about music but cannot sing a note. It makes me feel a bit like a fraud.

24. Pedal steel guitar makes me swoon.

25. I can only remember one joke.
Q: Why can't Helen Keller drive?
A: Because she's a woman

26. I collect PEZ dispensers.
I have over 400 on display in my hallway.

27. I'm quite prudish.
Raunchy jokes make me blush.

28. Yet, I can cuss like a sailor. A sailor who's worked in a downtown Philadelphia restaurant, no less.

29. I have season tickets to the Golden Gloves boxing matches.

30. I lived in the greater Philadelphia area for five years. I loved every minute of it. I was such an Indiana farm girl "I live on the Delaware River, I'm walking by the Liberty Bell, Ben Franklin walked on these steps" was the soundtrack in my head.

31. AVS taught me how to drink whiskey.

32. I have my first-ever-all-my-own-office-and-chair. In the restaurant business your office space is a desk shoved up against the kitchen wall.
I've been known to sit on said chair and twirl and giggle because I love my job so much.

33. Silver, not gold

34. I've read every Nancy Drew book at least twice.

35. I never wanted to have children.
I always thought I'd be the perfect step-mother.

36. Joey Ramone and I share a birthday (he was 10 years older).

37. My house (truck, desk) is either spotless or incredibly messy -- no in between.

38. I gave someone CPR last year and she lived.

39. I like going places by myself.

40. My friends are teaching me how to flirt.

41. I did not know that I could love anyone as much as I love my niece and nephew.
I would throw myself in front of a bus for them.

42. I drink way too much diet Pepsi.

43. I have the Spitznogle nose and the Gremelspacher chin.
It is a bit tragic.

44. I like Hershey bars better than Godiva chocolate.

45. I am obsessed with Harry Truman.

46. I'm as happy with my life as I've ever been.

Friday, May 18, 2007

tan lines

I did something last night I thought I'd never do, let alone admit to.

I got a spray tan.

I know the owner of the spray tan joint socially.
I ran in to her at an event last week, where my blindingly pale legs and arms announced my arrival.
My heritage is German and Irish, neither one known for dark coloring.
I have the classic "black Irish" look -- dark hair, blue eyes and light skin.

I am also conscience of skin care and cancer prevention.
My mom had a precancerous place removed from her skin.

Have you even taken one of those skin cancer screening quizzes?
One of the red-flag questions is: Have you ever had a bad sunburn?
Answer: Yep, at least three times a summer between 1967 and 1989.
Pulling weeds in the soy bean fields caused the most memorable ones.
My siblings and I would compare burns, they became a badge of honor.
I did the typical sitting in the sun during my high school and college years.

Now I'm the queen of sunscreen.
I automatically put on 30 SPF lotion as part of my morning routine.

All of this led to me getting "sprayed" last night.

The process reminds me of the airbrush tee-shirt booth at the State Fair.
Except you are mostly naked.

You are put in a little room that has a big shower stall looking room in it.
You are given a hair net, paper sandals and paper panties.
I chose to keep on my own underwear.
You then put on a robe and flip a switch to let the the woman know that you are ready.
The spray tan artist (I'm not sure what she was called, I was too busy being mortified to pay attention to titles) takes you in to the tile room, you take off your robe and she starts spraying.

You think this is all bizarre enough?
In order to give you an even tan, you have to do things like stick your arms out in different poses, turn sideways and, um...bend over.
Did I mention that I know her?
And she's 22 and I'll be 46 tomorrow.
And I'm mostly naked?
Except for my Target undies, hair net and paper sandals?
She's lovely and is an Americorp/VISTA volunteer and this is her part-time job.
I'll never cringe about my waiting on someone that I know professionally at the Red Key again.
(I just realized that I take working in the non-profit field and having a part-time job for granted)

I don't follow instructions very well, like the "don't touch anything when you're getting dressed."
I have a hand print on my belly.
My almost 46 year old belly.
That was sprayed by a youngster with no belly.

At least I have a glowing tan to hide my red cheeks.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

alive and lazy

I'm sitting on my screened-in front porch.
The weather is nice and cool. Perfect.
I like where I live, but I love it the most this time of year.
I have a fabulous porch and amazing back yard. With a dozen mature trees it is shady and private.
It is so shady that I have to plant the tomatoes and pumpkins in the front yard.
Once a farm girl always a farm girl.

I survived today's board meeting (or is it Board Meeting?).
I had a beer with my brother after work and dinner with a friend.
Both very enjoyable activities that did not help get the laundry done or the floor swept.

If this were an anonymous blog (just try flying under-the-radar with a name like "nora" or "spitznogle") I would share work and family stories.
And they are doozies...the stories - and my work and family.

Off to bed -- tomorrow is another day, thank goodness.

alive and exhausted

Hello lovelies,

Yesterday was another marathon work day.
Second Helpings from 7:00-5:00, the Red Key from 5:30-1:30.

I took a shower when I got home from the Red Key to wash off the cheeseburger and smoke smells and went to bed with wet hair.
Tragic results.
It took a series of wenches and pulleys to fix it.

I'm in the swing of the new job.
The new director of volunteers started last week! She's doing really well, which is great -- 'cause we only got to spend three days together.
The current executive director is leaving May 25 (instead of July 25) so I'm trying to cram 9 years of her institutional knowledge in to my pea brain.
Yesterday the finance committee looked at the budget for next year (starting July 1).
Board meeting this afternoon.

I'll be the terrified looking one with the lopsided hair.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

alive and well

I've been incredibly busy -- even by my crazy standards.
And my wireless at home does not seem to be working.
I've discovered that if I sit in just the right spot on my front porch I can pirate one of my neighbor's connections. Its very tenuous, so I'll keep it short.
Plus the hydrangea bush is creeping me out, the wind is blowing and I keep thinking it is a person.

I worked at the Red Key tonight, I'm going to take a quick shower and sleep a few hours before I meet Mom for mass.

I promise to catch up soon.
I'll leave you with a tidbit. I went to see the movie that I'm-not-a-lesbian-but-played-one-on-film with a "maybe date" and my mother.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you mamas in the crowd.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

note to self

Don't wear your Chuck Taylor sneakers to work after waitressing for 9 hours the night before...and walking a 5K before that...drinking a bourbon out of a paper cup in band practice boy's art studio before that...and hosting music at an art gallery before that...and working 15 days in a row before that...and being 45 years-old...

My pink Chuck T's are my comfort shoes, but they are not very comfortable.

I've had them for at least dozen years and black high tops for even longer.

I was tired and not wanting to work at my clothing store job this morning.

I though I'd be a little rebellious and wear tennis shoes to work (not the typical footwear seen at Marigold).

I actually got tears in my eyes after standing in them for 7 hours.

They are still my favorite shoes -- they cannot break my heart that easily.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

mini marathon...

I walked the 5K race instead.

The Indianapolis 500 mini marathon is one of the largest half-marathons in the US.
I walked my first one in 1987, ten years after it began. I think I've only missed about five in the last 20 years. I would plan trips home from Philly around the race.
In 1986 there were only about 5000 participants. The race was held on a Friday, starting downtown and ending at the 500 Race track. I loved those early-for-me years. Downtown workers cheering from office buildings and school kids lining the streets for high-fives in neighborhoods. Ending at the track was a blast -- friends waiting at the end with coolers of beer.
The half marathon got so big (35,000 participants this year)they moved it to Saturday and changed the race course so you end close to where you start. Now you take a full 2.5 mile lap around the track in the middle of the course. The novelty of being on the track wears off pretty quickly. That is always the longest part of the walk.

Three years ago was the first time I walked the 5K (3 point something miles)instead of the 13.1 mile half marathon.
2005 was the year of the twice broken foot and I didn't want to push it.
I walked with some Red Key folks and loved it.
We were a motley crew.
Mike W. walked the course with 2 unlit cigarettes in one hand (in case of a nicotine emergency) and a screwdriver (and not the Philips or straight head kind) in the other.
My hero, Mike C. walked in work boots, jeans and a turtle neck -- and kicked all of our asses.
Last year my brother ran the 5K and I walked.
It was nice to ride downtown with him. I rarely get to hang with just JR.

This year I had every intention of doing the mini.
Except that I did not train at all (not that I ever have).
And I'm 10 pounds heavier than I was last year.
Anyway, I planned on trying it. What's the worst that can happen?


I woke up in a total panic at 6:55. The race starts at 7:00.
I ran around like nut for a few minutes looking for matching socks (matching as in, both the same color), my race number, the timing chip and my keys -- all the while chanting "crap, crap, crap, crap"
Once I calmed down and realized the 5K started at 8:30 I was okay.

And from the way my knees are feeling, the 5K was a better choice.
I averaged 15 minute miles, which I'm happy with.

Off for two aspirin and a quick nap before work.

Oh, and I've already signed up for next year.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

ho hum...


It's been a busy week of nothing terribly exciting.

I made a very adult purchase on Tuesday.
I bought my first brand-spanking-new lawnmower.
I have a very big yard.

I figure mowing the lawn on Tuesday cost me about $325.
Mower: $259 + tax + oil + gas + super heavy duty bike lock.

My last crappy mower was stolen sometime between October 2005 and April 2006.
I spent last summer borrowing mowers.
My friend Maureen made a bet with her husband and the pay-off was mowing my yard. That's my kind of bet.

Okay, enough procrastinating, there is laundry to be done.
And dishes. And cleaning. And...
What the hell, I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


I helped my mom with an event at her church.
Matthew Kelly spoke to a full house, um church.
He spoke about being the best person you can be.
Some of his be-the-best-person-you-can-be ideas included no junk food, no television or coffee.

And you should exercise and stuff.

All good ideas, of course.

On the way home stopped by the movie theatre and bought a ticket to the only thing showing at 10:30.
Blades of Glory.
Medium popcorn,a soda and Will Ferrell for dinner.
So much for we are what we eat and expose ourselves to.

Maybe tomorrow.