Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I was in a fashion show tonight (Kristi and Liz were not, but they should have been). Yep, that's what I look like all fancied up. It was a blast.
All of my worlds collided in a very good-way at the Night of Fortune…Fun, Fashion and Finds for the Home.
It was hosted by Marigold (work there), The Rivera Club (enthusiastic member) and Style Salon (new fan). And – the icing on the cake (ohh, I’m also a big fan of cake - the band and the pastry) – and benefitted Second Helpings (work there too).
I was sure I’d trip or step on the edge of my skirt or something but it turned out okay. The women from Style made me hair all smooth and flat and did something not Nora-like with my makeup.
I got to pick out two Marigold outfits to wear. For the third trip down the runway we all were sporting G.Thrapp Jewelers goodies. Carol Golden (what a great name for a jewelry store person!) put the necklace, earrings and bracelet on me and I ran up to the stage with out seeing what I was wearing. When I heard the description of the necklace and earrings I stopped in my tracks and looked down. I was wearing more diamonds than I ever have. Wheeee!
The evening drew a standing room only crowd – over 225 people, collected 400 pounds of rice and a healthy monetary donation to Second Helpings. Several Broad Ripple merchants showed off their lovely goods and there was a wine tasting. Thanks to all of my friends that were there to support me (I even got a hoot and a holler or two) and special thanks to Marigold, Rivi, and Style for making me feel so glamorous.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I was thrilled to be invited to a 'meet the Republican candidates' tea in my neighborhood. I was armed with my V3 "How are you going to partner with nonprofits?" questions and my new coat - it's really cute and I was dying to show it off to a group of women.
I'm already a fan of Teresa Lubbers and plan on voting for her. I'll admit that I didn't know much about the county treasurer or coroner. Luckily I have not had the occasion to meet either one of them.
I was thrilled to hear John Pless speak, candidate for coroner speak. He's compassionate, smart as can be and has a plan for cleaning up the current mess in that office.
I'm a ticket splitter from way back- so for it's looking about half and half between parties on my ballot.
Monday, October 27, 2008
The column has morphed (and hopefully matured) in the last three years. I've had good advice along the way. One thing that I took to heart was a comment that I was writing too much about how I was older than everyone else and attending the shows alone. I've toned that down, an occasional "I'm old enough be their mother" comment slips out and I do want people to know that it is okay to go to event by themselves. But I've dropped the whole woe-is-me thing. I save that for this blog :).
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Besides my dear sweet mother and several aunts and my grandmothers there are only two women that I've said "I want to be her when I grow up." One is Doris, the other is Joan.
I met Joan at the coffeehouse. She came almost every afternoon with her own mug and stuff to read. She was one of the main reasons we brewed a pot of decaffeinated flavored coffee each day. She is very stylish- and not in the way that most 80-something women are. She wears cool glasses and I love her silver jewelry.
I always invite her to my annual Saint Valentine's Day party and we've talked about getting together for brunch for years. Joan finally rounded up Novella, Marcella and I for brunch today.
Her home is beautiful- on the property of a former Catholic all-girls high school that I attended my freshman year (the school closed, nothing to do with me- swear). Her house is full of wonderful art work, books, photographs and memorabilia.
Joan is up on current events and has a real-life experience and history to back up her opinions.
She and her husband ran a Kentucky Fried Chicken for years - she's familiar with hard work and long hours. Even though she and her husband have been separated for decades she visits him everyday in the assisted living facility for Alzheimer's patients. Their only child, a son was killed in a car accident years ago.
She prepared an amazing brunch- sausage frittada, spinach and stuffed tomatoes. And two desserts- pumpkin pie and cranberry puddingy something - both with freshly whipped cream. I could have stayed there talking all day. And Novella and Marcella stayed until the afternoon.
You guessed it- Cinderella Nora had to go to work at Marigold.
I know that people don't have amazing brunches with wonderful people in beautiful settings every Sunday, and I hated to race out of this one.
I've been feeling super bogged down lately. My poor house is a mess, all I seem to do is race in for a few minutes, drop a bunch of junk on the floor, and race out. Or like last night (or rather this morning)- get home from work at 3:00, shower, dry my hair and sleep for four and a half hours and do it all over again.
I'm declaring 2009 the Year of Nora Slowing Down on Volunteer Stuff. I know that sounds a little selfish, but its someone else's turn.
The hard part will be saying no.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
That said, working most Saturdays I've missed my fair share of stuff. This Saturday I felt extra Cinderella-like. I've had the last two weeks off - I really needed to work tonight and I've exhausted my options for getting my shift covered.
Today is the Broad Ripple Music Fest. And I am the music columnist for the Broad Ripple Gazette - hummmm, maybe I should be there. The festival matches venues with nonprofits and two places picked Second Helpings adding another layer of guilt.
I raced around the village seeing as much music as possible before 5:00 and stopping in to the two venues to talk about Second Helpings and to thank the volunteers running those stages. The night turned in to one of those excruciating ones that happen every year or so. Not only did the cool kids and lots of musicians come in, which I typically love, but every yea-hoo in town darkened our door.
The Red Key is a family owned bar - wonderful. I'm not a member of the family - not that I wouldn't be honored to be related to Russel, but I'm not his daughter. A customer tonight argued that point for quite a while tonight. Ugggh, seriously - would I choose Spitznogle as an alias?
I am the waitress and the cook and a lot of times I'm making the drinks too. I've worked at the Key for five years and I've got a bit of a routine. Except no one else was playing with my rules tonight. Gette posted this nice little insight in to the world of waitressing. In my crabbiness tonight I thought I'd expound on her list a little bit.
1. We have a business relationship. I am the employee and you are the customer. I can't give you free drinks or food, it is not mine to give away.
2. Just because I'm waiting on you does not mean that I'm stupid. Waitressing is hard work -not only is it physical but it stretches your brain. I've got all of the drink and food prices stored in there, the location of thirty beers and hundreds of liquor bottles and the recipes of thousands of drink combinations and what glass they are served in, I can do math in my head (two beers + a cheeseburger deluxe+ chips + cashews = $12.25), I remember who is sitting where and most likely I remember what you drank that last time you came in and whether or not you like onions.
3. I'm happy to tell you my name and usually throw it in when I'm delivering your first round of drinks. If you're going to ask me my name it is good manners to offer yours at the same time. Tonight a guy made a huge deal of asking my name and then proceed to call my Lora the whole whole evening, even after his friends corrected him. That same guy whipped a bottle cozy out and wrapped his beer in it. I couldn't tell whether his beer was low without picking it up. I asked him every single time I passed by if he needed another drink. He waited until I'd walked away from his table to shout LORA I NEED ANOTHER BEER as I was waiting on other tables. I never did learn his name, but he was wearing the moniker Asshat while he was there.
4. I'm not standing over your cubicle telling you how to do your job. I'm just saying.
5. If you don't see me for a few minutes chances are I'm cooking your food or taking out the trash. I'm not smoking by the dumpster or eating the last order of potato salad, swear.
I'm out of steam and ready for bed- you're spared any more ranting.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I've always had faith in our youth, seriously. I think there are a lot of good, smart, caring kids running around. It does make my heart swell to see them packaged all clean and shiny and wrapped in blue corduroy jackets. There are over 500,000 youth in FFA nationally and something crazy like 55,000 people attend the convention. It's wild to see the sea of blue jackets walking through the city.
Monday, October 20, 2008
The new phone books were on my porch when I got home tonight. I haven't used a phone book for its intended purpose for years. It's too easy to Google for a number and information is free on the cell phone.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Today feels like the lost day.
Target to buy a cozy robe for Tammy.
Hospital to deliver robe and pat the babies.
Work a water station for Crop Walk - BY MYSELF -20 gallons of water in 1000 little cups. [did I mention the BY MYSELF part?]
Back to the hospital to hang out with the twins.
That's all she wrote.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
My sister Beth and I revived the full moon hayride tradition after several years hiatus. I was so disoriented when I woke up this morning I thought - wooo hooo, nothing to do all day until I work at the Red Key. A second later the - holy crap, we're having a hayride at the farm for 100 people! thought burst in to my brain.
Beth did most of the work and all of the cooking. All I did was pick up drinks and ice. Thanks Bethie!
This year featured a record number of kids -I counted over 50 at one point. It was a great evening at the farm. Good food, friends and family, lots of children running around like nuts, a bonfire and s'mores.
I think there were at least four sedate wagon trips stuffed with kids. Then a friend asked for an 'adult' ride. Whoa Nellie! J.R. whipped us around the pasture doing figure eights and doughnuts. All I kept thinking was 'tuck and roll' - as I was laughing my fool head off.
Life doesn't get much better than that.
For more photos (including one of Jerry on the wild ride) click here.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Twins. I'm freaked out and they're not even mine.
I texted updates to Tammy's friends. After the 1:00 am "They're here!" message, two of Tammy's friends replied that they were in the lobby. I ran to fetch Andrea and Lizzie - at this point I had super power all-access bracelets (one for each baby) and a code number to open the doors. We had excited chatter about the birth and I got to show off the photographs I took of the slightly gooey babies.
Tammy hadn't really gotten to see the babies yet, they'd held them up to her face in the OR, but they were bundled up. They moved Tammy to another room, taking a detour along the way to let Tammy touch them. I'm not exaggerating when I say that Tammy was beaming.
When we got to the new room I was starting to crash, I'd been up for 22 hours at that point. I tried to stay awake but I tucked in to the cool pull out in to a bed chair for a nap. I got up at 7:00 to run down to NICU and to give a report to Tammy.
Tammy finally fell asleep after that and I took another nap. I think I want one of those chairs for my house! Tammy's sister and Cara arrived and we took another field trip to see the twins.
I went home and slept like rock star, only waking up long enough to get my ass kicked in Scrabble.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I had a Tonic Ball meeting (November 21, mark your calender) at the Northside Newsstand. I moved up to the counter to enjoy some delicious tomato and artichoke soup and conversation with one of those bad boys, the kind your friends tell you to stay away from. You know the type; long beard, leather jacket, no discernible source of income, hoop earrings, keeps a protective eye on you in the bars late at night and has a motorcycle parked out front....
Anyway, I snapped out of it, finished the conversation about early 1980s punk rock bands and headed home. When I fished my keys out of my purse I checked my iPhone.
Three missed calls and a text message from Tammy.
The Tammy who is pregnant with twins. The Tammy who asked me to be with her for the birth. The Tammy who is counting on my to get her to the hospital. The Tammy who is due in the beginning of December, seven weeks away. The Tammy who told me that twins usually come early, probably around Thanksgiving (I was convinced that it would be Tonic Ball day).
The Tammy who's water had just broken. The Tammy who was driving herself to the hospital because she couldn't reach me. That Tammy.
I raced home and did my best bumbling sitcom father routine. I tripped flying in to the house, shucking off my dress as I went. I pulled on jeans and a top. I fed the cat, grabbed my tooth brush, a book, a big cozy scarf, my camera and my computer and raced out the door. I saw that I'd missed another call from Tammy - could I please print out the phone list she'd mailed everyone last week? I raced back in to the house walked in circles, raced back out to get the computer and back in to print the list. As I was locking the door I looked down to see that I'd put my top on inside out. I whipped my top off walking down the driveway and juggling my computer and turned it right side out. I stopped at the Red Key to cash a check- I don't know what I thought I'd need money for, but you never know.
By the time I got to the hospital they'd given Tammy a shot of steroids to help mature the babies lungs. The doctor on-call came to check her. As it turned out she lived right down the street from Tammy and just a few blocks from me. We joked that we could have all stayed in the neighborhood. They moved her to a room and started an I.V. designed to stop labor.
Within an hour Tammy's contractions were two minutes apart. Apparently there was a queue for the Delivery OR. In the meantime the neonatal pediatrician came in a told Tammy all kinds of scary things about premature babies. Tammy did a great job, but I wanted to scream "Dude! The train has left the station. Can't we just cross that bridge when we come to it?"
I finally asked Tammy if she'd decided what to name the babies. Our group of friends have been calling them Corn Dog and Tatar Tot, but I assumed that was not her final decision.
They whisked Tammy to the OR and gave me a bundle of paper-ish clothes to put on while they got Tammy ready. I used the time wisely, zipped on the white jumpsuit, put on the cap and mask and took selftimed photos of me trying to do my best Elvis sneer. By the time I was allowed in the room the drape was already up and I was given instructions not to look and to let the anesthesiologist know if I started feeling woozy. Ummm, okay.
The room was full. A team of doctors for each baby and the team doing whatever they were doing to Tammy (I didn't peek, not at first anyway). She was a champ! I'm good in crisis situations, but I'm not so good at the comforting stuff. I was saying helpful things like, "hey the anesthesiologist is wearing a Purdue cap, you know he's got to be smart" and "wow, who thought the day would end like this?" and "if you hurry, we can make last call at the Red Key." I think it was soon apparent to the doctors and nurses that the twins did not have two mommies.
Baby Boy (5.4) was born at 11:46 and Baby Girl (5.3) at 11:47. I decided that the best sound in the world must be hearing a baby cry for the first time. They let me step around the curtain and peek at the babies and snap a few photos.
Evan and Katherine are beautiful, just beautiful. And I was honored to be there for the first minutes of thier lives.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I don't have a horrible drive to work. It generally takes me about twenty minutes, unless I leave twenty minutes before I'm supposed to be there (8:00)- then it takes twenty-five.
In my working career I've had commutes ranging from an hour and a half to three blocks. I have a love/hate relationship with my vehicle. I'd be happy never to drive again, yet I'd hate not to have a car available. I've never cared about having a new fancy car, just that it ran well. One look at my current ride- 2002 Chevy S-10 truck would convince you of that.
They were working on the closest intersection to Second Helpings and the street in front of the building was closed for two months. It really wasn't that bad, the detour was only around the block, occasionally you'd get stopped by a train on the way to work, but nothing to fuss about really.
But fuss, some of our neighbors did.
I loved the whole road construction project. The moved an intersection --in only two months! That is amazing to me. I was happy to share our driveway for access and to let them park machines in our parking lot at night. In turn they fixed holes in our parking lot and patched a place in the sidewalk...oh, and we got a brand new street! A good deal, I think.
I had people telling me that I "shouldn't be so nice," that it was not our problem.
The point of this whole messy rambling post is: we need to be partners in the improvements we want in our city, or any where. Not that my contribution to the project was big, but by being a good neighbor the business next to us had access, the whole street could be repaired at once and they didn't have to drive the equiptment too far (wasting time and gas) to store it.
Phew, and I call myself a bleeding heart liberal.
Side story (and I always have a side story) - I called our HVAC folks to schedule our quarterly maintenance last month. When they went up there to change fliters, check belts and grease what ever needs greased they discovered that some one had been on the roof messing around. Most of the screws holding the covers on the units had been loosened (we have eight heating units and almost as many A/C units up there, plus motors for the hoods over the ovens). It looked like someone had done prep work for stealing the units, or at least the valuable copper. I was sure it was because the street was closed and they could work all night with no one driving by.
I had the HVAC guys tighten everything back up - with as much power as their electric tools had. I stayed late several nights the next couple of weeks. I was determined to catch the person on the roof. I even had a plan. I'd knock their ladder down and then call the police.
One night I felt the whole building shake and lots of noise. The time had come! I ran outside with my phone - 9 and 1 already punched in, waiting to push the other 1, a flashlight and my keys. I decided that I should probably drive down the block after I knocked the ladder over. I shakily walked around the whole building, no ladder. I walked to the front of the building only to discover they were steamrolling the fresh asphalt, causing the building to shake.
I felt like a big asphalt. I was just glad I had no witnesses.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Hi, my name is Nora and I'm addicted to Facebook.
Seriously. I love it. I've reconnected with old friends, cousins and neighbors. I spend an extraordinary amount of time there looking at photographs of friends' families, seeing who's friends with who and seeing if old boyfriends on Facebook. As you can see, Facebook really speaks to my Gladys Kravitz nature.
You can post a quick one line "status update," tonight's says Nora is full of grilled cheese, tomato soup and happy thoughts.
And I am. I've decided that if anyone wants have a meeting with me it has to be at the Northside News Cafe. I have meetings the next three nights - all of them there. Everything is better with soup!
Monday, October 13, 2008
I was tired (I know, what's new Spitznogle?) after work tonight. I was looking forward to catching up with my friend Kristi, but I was wishing that we were sitting on my sofa for our girl-talk session. I've had meetings after work almost every night for weeks.
As always, hanging out in the neighborhood was a blast. We met at the jazz club a few blocks from my house and across the street from the coffeehouse that I used to manage. I got there first and ran in to Joe, who owns a kick-ass Cajun restaurant just a few doors down. Joe and I got caught up on neighborhood and family news. As it turned out I knew most of the staff and customers in the club - including a man what was hosting Russian judges who were here to study our judicial system.
I had a delicious dinner, a fine Jameson and water and was reminded of why I live where I do.
My neighborhood is like Cheers - everyone knows your name.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
The wedding Mass was wonderful. You had no doubt that they were in love and had the blessing of their friends and family. I was honored to serve as Eucharistic Minister at the Mass. They got married at the beautiful Holy Family church in Jasper, Indiana.
The reception was a blast and was held in the hotel where most of us were staying. This photograph was taken around 11:00 pm, six hours after the reception started. Aunt Lucille is one of Dad's sisters, her birthday is next month and I think she'll be 82. She's dancing with three of her many grandchildren.
I really had a wonderful time, I got to have great, meaningful conversations with several of my cousins. A friend from Evansville joined me for a while, braving the overwhelming group of cousins.
It was very liberating having the party in the hotel. You didn't have to worry about how you were going to get home and there is comfort in partying with people that you know have your best interest at heart. Let's just say that I blew my Weight Watchers points for the day on beer and wedding cake. If I'm dancing, its a pretty sure bet that I might have a bit of a hangover in the morning.
Congratulations to Jennifer and Aaron, I'm thrilled for them.
For more photographs click here. Heavily edited, of course.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Second Helpings' largest fundraiser of year is Harvest. It is an amazing evening showcasing the generosity of our community. A dozen restaurants participated and there were over 250 different wines to sample (also donated). Sixty-three volunteers decorated (Dad was on the decorating committee!), worked the event and helped clean-up.
It was one of these evenings that makes my heart swell. Everywhere I turned, there was family and friends - providing the music and flowers, volunteering, donating food and providing financial support.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
I swear that I've had a headache since I was in Austin. I keep blaming allergies and general busyness.
I did some yard work after work-work. When I say 'yard work,' I mean that I dumped the dirt from the pots of mums that I let die in to the hole in my front yard and stepped on it to tamp it down. No matter how much dirt, plant parts and twigs I've packed in there over the years the hole keeps getting bigger and I keep tripping over it.
I wandered in the house and tried to make myself do house work, but decided to take a little break and read. Under the covers. Watching That 70s Show. And closing my eyes for just a minute....
I woke up six hours later, disoriented and in a panic. About everything. Work, the economy, my truck, my mortgage payment, insurance, my social life, my age, family, my cat, Everything.
It's going to be a long weekend.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Friday, October 03, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
When I took this photograph of the lovely table that Mom created for a fundraiser, I wrote a totally different post in my head. Twenty-six woman decorated tables and invited friends and family for high tea. My post was going to be about how proud I am to be my mother's daughter, about how creative and generous she is, about how happy I was to be doing something fancy with Ann Herr Mitchell (and how fabulous we're looking, if I do say so myself) and how much fun my sister Beth is to hang out with.
I always wore my seatbelt, even before it was a law. I always have jumper cables, a coat and an emergency $20 in the truck. I always use my turn signals, even in my own driveway.
I had renters insurance in college, no matter how poor I was at the time. I have an extra umbrella policy now that covers anything my regular insurance might not.
You can find safety pins, double sided tape and BandAids in my wallet. I can fix almost any wardrobe malfunction or minor injury.
I have a coaster bike, can't go too fast or get tangled up in gears on old Blue.
Stick close to me if there is a fire or other disaster. I've already scoped out the exits and fire extinguishers and I'm not afraid to throw you over my shoulder.
Heart attack? Stand next to me, baby. I know CPR and I'm not afraid to use it - and have. Bleeding, ditto - I'll have you laughing as I'm holding your arm above your heart, applying pressure and wrapping that severed finger in plastic wrap and putting it on ice before you know it.