Friday, December 18, 2009

tree update

...still not decorated.
But I truly am enjoying writing and reading and staring into space by the glow of the lights.
At the Second Helpings Christmas party - which I still need to write about, we received a Target gift certificate. I treated myself to a record player. It's perfect - built in speakers and portable.   I've spent the evening listening to the few records I have. All and all a great way to spend a Friday evening.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

clean desk club

I try and I try and I try. I spent the whole day trying.
My work desk typically has several piles of paper and other miscellany.

Part of the problem is that I'm often interrupted and have to leave whatever I'm doing. The piles of paper seem to work for me. I know where to put my hands on them and don't have to open a drawer or dig too deep to find them. I'm also very good at recycling and filing once I'm done with the paper, so if it's on my desk it still needs some sort of attention.

The other part of the problem is not me. I can't tell you all of the crap that winds up on my desk. As the director of operations I do a lot of operation-y stuff. Right now the desk is sporting a broken toilet paper roll holder and a thermostat cover. The stuff that drives me crazy is all of the e-mails that get printed out. And some in color! And with pages of blank stuff. I've been know to fling that junk across the room while yelling, Was it necessary to spend thirty cents to print off something that I sent in the first place? That is almost the cost of one meal!!! There are starving children in our own back yard. 

That's what I scream in my mind anyway. In real life I just take the staple out and toss it in the recycle can while the furrow in my brow gets a little deeper.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

nuvo memorial piece for tim

Here is the NUVO piece I wrote about Tim : Click here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


....still not decorated.

Monday, December 14, 2009


I cannot keep up on blogging when I have writing assignments due.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I'm working at the Red Key tonight.
Fingers crossed for a busy night. Baby needs a hair cut and color.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

trees and soup

Thinking about my Christmas tree - that is still not decorated - but probably the prettiest tree I've ever had so I'm just enjoying it as is, and farms and boys reminded me of this: Vote for the Dull family farm barn to be restored as an FFA/Campbell's Soup project. Click here for details.  You don't need to register or anything, just click on the vote tab. And you can vote once a day. I've actually taken the time to read about all ten of the nominees - there is some good stuff in our agricultural community.

Here is a little bit about them: We are a family-owned corporation that row crops 2000 acres of corn and soybeans. We also run and maintain a tree farm that we use as part of a Christmas tree business.

Our barn is the centerpiece of our farm. It is the first building that customers see as they come around the bend in the road and up the driveway, so it needs to look good for that first impression. We are very involved in our community, and our farm is a recommended place to visit by the Boone County Convention and Visitors Bureau. During school tours, part of the barn is used for a petting zoo where the students and teachers feed and interact with our animals. We feel this on-farm connection goes a long way in educating our future consumers about where food really comes from.

This project would provide a unique service learning opportunity for all involved. It would provide an avenue where two local FFA chapters from different districts, FFA Alumni, national FFA staff and the Dulls can all work together to revive a tired barn into a centerpiece that's used to educate both the young and the not-so-young about food and agriculture.

When I was a young 4-H'r all of the girls would swoon over the Dull boys. Just like we'd get all starry-eyed and giggly around the Wiley boys in church. I'm blushing just thinking about it!

Friday, December 11, 2009

day off

My friend Kim, of the awesome organizational blog, New Leaf (if I was more organized I would have told you about it months ago) sent me this quote today:  There’s nothing to match curling up with a good book when there’s a repair job to be done around the house.
―Joe Ryan

I decided to paraphrase it at bit and and spent this evening catching up on 'my shows' and making toffee and putting lights on the tree and sitting on the sofa when ever I felt like it.

 It looks so pretty with just the lights, it's tempting to leave the decorations off.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Hello folks. When I decided to do the December Challenge I thought it would be a breeze. Then stuff happened. And I had to write some tough posts and still can't manage to finish the one about Ken. I keep telling myself it's because I need to look for pictures, but the truth is, it's hard to look back over a relationship - the good, the bad and the ugly.

Today was Tim's funeral - I didn't realize how wiped out I was, I went to work for a little bit and my CEO took one look at me and sent me home. I slept for three hours straight - still in my coat and boots!

I did wake up long enough to have a lovely dinner with friends.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

holiday parties numbers four, five and six

holiday party number four - tuesday, december 8

I don't know if the Colts Corporate Luncheon Series counts as an official holiday party but I wanted to talk about it, so there! I was lucky enough to be invited (thanks Deborah!) to the last of a luncheon series at the Colts practice field. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard at lunch. Two of the players, offensive guard, Kyle DeVan  and punter, place holder, kicker Pat McAfee had a question and answer session and they are hilarious! They had several behind the scenes stories and what they're life was like before the NFL. Kyle was living with his parents and substitute teaching a year ago. And Pat has stepped into some pretty big shoes, replacing the beloved Hunter Smith. Good stuff!

holiday party number five - tuesday, december 8

This might not count as a holiday party either, but there was champagne so it was a party. Second Helpings is the recipient of the Best of the Best Indiana Achievement Award. How awesome was is that? We celebrated with some of our staff and board members and the other winner - Mother Hubbard's Cupboard.

holiday party number six - tuesday, december 8 

The SEND (SouthEast Neighborhood Development) party is always fun. Second Helpings is within the boundaries of  SEND and one of J.R.'s businesses are in the neighborhood. Here is a recap of last year's party.

Santa was there - he delivers meals for Second Helpings on this time off. My friend, Kipp is a great host.

The party also made me realize that I want a record player - Santa?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


I made an impulse buy on Sunday - I purchased a Christmas tree, my first in ten years. My first Christmas tree that is - unfortunately not my first impulse buy.

There is a family owned garden store on the corner where I do all of my garden-y business. The Habigs are not getting rich in my two tomato plants and a flat of flowers summer purchases or my typical December buy of a bundle of greenery cut from the bottom of the trees they sell.

I popped in with the intention of buying some greenery and a sprig of holly or two. Next thing I knew I was having Steve Habig make a fresh cut on a seven foot tree for me.

Once I got the tree home, I remembered why I hadn't had a tree for a decade. I don't have room for one! The dining room table is going to have to hang out on the porch for the rest of the month.

Now I just need to find the time to make it all happen.....

Monday, December 07, 2009

holiday parties numbers one, two and three

holiday party number one - friday, december 4
Second Helpings volunteers, Howard and Phyllis hosted an awesome party in their incredible home for the Wednesday volunteers and staff. I had to make an appearance an art show that was collecting pasta for Second Helpings, so I was late getting there.

It was fun to open the door to singing and Christmas decorations and volunteers in 'real clothes.' The volunteers usually wear jeans, tee shirts and baseball caps when they're in the kitchen - it's fun to see everyone all shiny and hat-less.

Dad was wearing his holiday socks of course. I think I gave them to him at least twenty years ago. If you look real close you can see the safety pin in the top of the sock. Dad pins his socks together before he throws them in the washer so they don't separate. I do the same thing, only I don't keep the pin on the socks when I'm wearing them.

holiday party number two - sunday, december 6

Mom hosted a beautiful brunch for her neighbors on Sunday. The house looks great and it was decorated perfectly. Mom is the consummate hostess. Beth and I were thrilled to help out by serving mimosas and champagne so Mom could enjoy her guests.

Mom gave all of her guests a Saint Nicholas Day gift - the ornaments were all wrapped and festive.

It was just as fun to hang out with Mom and Beth after the party. We finished off the champagne - we hate to waste, you know. I worked on editing photos, Beth cleaned and got the house ready for a showing that evening (Mom's house is on the market - click here to see the listing) and Mom showed us pictures she just got developed. It was a lovely day.

holiday party number three - monday, december 7

I have friends that are a big part of this morning radio show (I'm not spelling it out, 'cause I don't want the thousands of people a day who Google B & T to land here --I think they'd be sorely disappointed and I want to protect what little privacy KL has).

You would actually be surprised how low-key the party was. There was a coffee bar (and a bar-bar of course), great food from the Jazz Kitchen and a comedy set. The comedian, Tommy Johnagin was hilarious. The very funny Ryan Dalton  was the recipient of any after-party shots that were handed to me. I have not done a shot since 1993 and intend to keep it that way.

Anyone want to venture a guess of how many holiday parties I'll attend this month? I attended 29 in 2007. I slacked off in 2008 - and only attended 15.

Sunday, December 06, 2009


My friend Tim Considine died in a fire earlier this week.
Click here for the obituary

Tim made me a better writer and helped me find my voice.

I’m not sure when or even how I met Tim, but it was probably though two of his brothers. Matt and Steve were every-morning CATH customers. Tim lived right across the street from coffeehouse and I’d often see him in the neighborhood.

Soon we got in to a routine -- Tim and I spent years of Sunday mornings together. I would arrive at the coffeehouse around 7:00 to start making coffee around the same time he would finish his morning run. We’d discuss music, relationships and solve most of the world’s problems in the half an hour it took me to get the shop ready to open. I’d send him on the way with a day old muffin and a, “see you next week.”

Tim was a musician and wrote clever and quirky songs. We sold his records at the coffeehouse and Tim was delighted about the number of Derelicks CDs we sold.

Through our weekly talks we discovered that he had worked for my brother-in-law Ron’s dad at a funeral home. He told great stories about Mr. Trojanowski and watching Chicago Cubs games in the family room of the funeral home. After Mr. Trojanowski died, Tim wrote a great note to Ron’s family.

We also shared our great love of our nieces and nephews. There aren’t too many of us in our age range that have never married or had children, so we could relate to the heart-bursting love we had for those kids and what an honor it was to be part of their lives.

After the coffeehouse closed Tim would occasionally pop in to the Red Key to check in. I don’t remember telling him my birth date, but he walked in with a birthday pie one year - it was such a sweet thing to do that I didn't have enough nerve to tell him I was allergic to apples! Tim would always make sure to invite me to parties and keep me up on the news of his family and would leave long messages full of music updates good cheer.

After I started writing the column in the Broad Ripple Gazette, Tim would write me note or call with feedback. My first columns were full of apology and uncertainty. I would write about how I felt too old to be out hearing music or how I wasn’t a music critic or my lack of musical knowledge. Tim encouraged me to dump that stuff and focus on what I am good at – writing about the musicians and music scene and the community. I started writing my column with the thought that I was writing to Tim and suddenly it all clicked. I have one of the notes Tim wrote me hanging on the inside of a cupboard door that I open several times a day.

I especially loved the columns where I got to write about Tim’s band or quote him.

Tim became a fan of Second Helpings and volunteered for my favorite event  - the Tonic Ball. I loved having him there. I knew that I could pull him from job to job and he'd be okay. Last year I took him from helping manage a stage to standing in the cold and working the door and he was happy to do it. 

Tim started reading this blog a few years ago. He’d read it at the library and e-mail me comments. He encouraged me to comment on his band Web site and also sent me many links to his nephew, Austin’s writing. Over the years I’ve gotten meet all of Tim’s siblings – they are all great, fun and supportive of each other and a blast to be around.

I last hung out with Tim in May at the Willie Nelson concert at the Vogue. He and Novella and I had fun hanging out in the alley after the show watching the folks hoping for an audience with Willie. It was a beautiful night - Tim walked Novella and I back to her house and we spend an hour in her living room laughing and catching up.

Tim moved to Northern Indiana this summer and I hadn’t had the chance to chat with him for months. But I continued to write my columns as he was reading them. And I imagine I always will.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

broken dishes

I’m not a crier. With the exception of a memorable weeping jag over a breakup I generally don’t shed many tears. It feels weird at times, everyone else will be sniffly and red-eyed and I’m standing around feeling guilty for not crying. I used to think I had a cold heart for not being quick to tears, but decided that cold-hearted folks would not worry if they weren't crying.

I’ve had tears in the back of my eyes since Wednesday morning when I learned from his parents, that an old boyfriend, Ken Fisher had been killed in a motorcycle accident near his Philadelphia home. But couldn’t manage to actually cry. Yesterday another friend and neighbor was found dead in his house from a fire. It was a busy day of work – I seemed to be doing everyone’s job but my own, gave a speech at a media company and had several after-work obligations so didn't really have time to process the news.

I got done with all of the things I had to do about 11:30 last night. I stopped at my favorite music venue on the way home and heard an excellent band that played traditional country music – lots of George Straight and Hank Williams . I figured that if I wasn’t crying after three whiskeys and a pedal steel solo it wasn’t gonna happen.

I got home at 1:30, fed Pacifist Kitty, looked at the mail, started a load of laundry and washed some dishes as I made popcorn. I made a pyramid of bowls on my drying rack. One slipped and crashed in to the sink, breaking it and the dishes still in the sink.

Finally. Tears.
I sat on my kitchen floor and had a good old-fashioned messy cry.

Friday, December 04, 2009


I love data, but I'm not a data entry sort of person. Mostly because I get numbers easily mixed up. If I'm writing down a phone number 75 percent of the time I get it wrong, or is that 57 percent? That is why I tend to spell out numbers --seventy-five makes much more sense to me that 75. When I get a text that substitutes '2' for 'to' or '4' for 'for' it takes me longer to figure out. I'm a whiz at doing math in my head, but putting it on paper is trouble.

I've finally tapped into the genius of Excel spreadsheets. My head nearly explodes setting them up, but once you get the formulas right it magically does all of the math and sorting.

Now I just need to have twenty or thirty uninterrupted minutes to finish.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

it's a squirrel!

The mystery critter was a squirrel. And a pretty damn big one -- was too big to fit in the first trap. I was hoping for a bunny or badger or mongoose.

I didn't get home until after 9:00 last night and was thrilled to see the pissed-off looking squirrel in the basement. Of course Pacifist Kitty was marching around like he'd done the work. I tried to get a photo of the two of them together, but I was more interested in getting it out of the basement without the trap flying open and the squirrel running up my dress.

As much as I'd like a new vehicle, I was pretty damn happy last night that I drive a truck. We took a little ride to a nice cemetery by the White River full of trees and places to run - and most importantly, in another zip code. Last night was cold and rainy and it was pretty dark by the time I got there at 10:30. I marched towards the back of the cemetery to the river and  and then realized that I was standing in the dark and rain in a cemetery BY MYSELF!

I reached in to release the trap door and the crazy thing would not leave! I tipped the case up. No dice. The thing hung on for dear life. Luckily I had on a pair of sturdy work gloves (they didn't match and I had two left gloves, but they were thick). I had to stick my hand in the trap and pull on the squirrels butt. It finally ran out, around some grave stones and up a tree.

I was so wound-up that I went home, made myself a little whiskey and called an old boyfriend. That will always cure an adrenaline high.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


There is a critter in my basement. I'm guessing it has been there about a month. In my defense, I thought it was gone. Twice. And I was gone for eight days and didn't want to risk trapping it and having something rotting down there. 

The saga started the day that I got a new garage roof and my neighbor got a new roof on his house. You can imagine the pounding and noise and general disruption of the area. I unlocked my front door after work to find a mouse munching on chocolate that I'd brought back from Germany and my cat watching the mouse nibble on the candy bar. We all stared at each other for a few seconds and the mouse ran and the cat had a "who, me?" look on his face.

I set some traps and never saw the mouse again. But I did come home several days later to find a banana eaten THROUGH THE PEEL and and a box of strawberry PEZ flavored popcorn (purchased at a dollar store ten years ago - I can't imagine that it was even edible) shredded and open in the hallway. The war was on! Don't screw with the PEZ collection!

I should mention the cat was home the whole time. I've changed his name from Felix to Pacifist Kitty.

I set a live trap in the basement with a spoonful of peanut butter. Nothing. One evening while I was home I left the back door (that leads straight to the basement) open in hopes of the critter running to its freedom. Several days when by with no action or droppings or footprints to be found. I assumed it was gone.

Wrong. Apparently it was still full from eating the mouse and the cat food and the PEZ and the banana.

All Hell broke loose while I was gone. The critter knocked over the cat food container, flipped the cat food bowl, chewed through several PEZ packages, opened cabinets, chewed through the clothes line in the basement, knocked over crates and pushed plastic storage containers off of shelves to get to the packages of PEZ.

I set the trap again. While I was a work yesterday the critter got in to my purse on the sofa. And helped himself to a pack of chewing gum! 

I got a bigger live trap. Again, I don't want something dying in the crawl space. And I'm afraid of bullet ricochet.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

december challenge

Since I totally blew it October and posted only once instead of my annual daily challenge, I'm going to try to post every day in December. I need to get my creative juices flowing.

One thing I love about my job at Second Helpings is that I get to go speak in the community on behalf of United Way of Central Indiana. I really enjoy it, it has given me great confidence as a speaker and satisfies my Mrs. Kravitz longings of wanting to poke around other businesses.  Here is an essay I wrote for United Way about why I'm a torchbearer: Nora Spitznogle LIVES UNITED.

See you tomorrow!