Thursday, January 25, 2007

An early start.

1/25/07 Thursday
It’s 4:00 in the morning. I woke up about an hour and a half ago as I often do with a need to empty my bladder. After emptying the pots under the sink I laid in bed listening to Cherie’s breathing, Carman kitty’s exploring, and thinking of…everything. The brain is lucid and in high gear so sleep is not an option. I mentally explored honey production, building design, the concept of an R.V. park here and how to set it up, mapping out the farm layout, and more and more. “OK. That’s enough” I said and got up. Just made me a pot of Bob coffee, put a stick of cinnamon in it for a touch of festivity, (Hey, anytime this brain is working at optimum is a cause for celebration) and came out to the office to take advantage of this time of lucidity. I’m gonna quick check my E mail and the blog then get on the business plan to put these concepts that have been rolling around in my head on paper, or I suppose it would be more accurate to say, on hard drive.

Got an E mail from Lash and Associates (AKA LA Publishing) http://www.lapublishing.com/Survival-Forum.48.0.5.1.htm that is their monthly newsletter. They are a company that specializes in providing resources for brain injury survivors, their caretakers, and professionals who deal with the issue. There is a link to them in my sidebar. My story is featured in their survivors forum along with many others. Just read one in there by Bev Bryant entitled “Let me fail”. WOW! How relevant it is. You ought to go check it out and the many other articles there. Great stuff.

OK. I’m getting sidetracked as I so easily do so time to post this, get some more coffee and get to work.

The sun is up now and there is a heavy frost on the ground. Today will be warmer than yesterday, which is always welcome. I am tired of course, having been up since 2:30 this morning. Took a break at seven to watch the news. Cherie was still asleep but the television woke he up. She fixed blueberry muffins for breakfast. Not exactly health food but yummy none the less. I took my seizure medicine and had some more coffee. That will make it almost a whole pot of coffee I drank this morning. Also not exactly healthy but…Oh well, I like it so that’s tough. I won’t tell the doctor if you don’t. I am running an 8 on the bob scale, just a hair above normal. Still in sweats so I suppose I should get myself dressed.

I think I’ll do some outside work to give this brain a rest from it’s far fetched imagination of what this farm could be. I’ll publish that fantasy when it is a little more put together. First thing I’ll do outside is open up the crawl space so Skittles can explore the nether recesses underneath this house and hopefully get rid of any rodents that may be there.

It’s 1:19 now. Finally got the shop picked up and straightened up. How’s that look? Finally have a place for things and almost everything in it’s place. Once I get used to it I won’t be losing things or time because I can’t remember what I did with it and spend a day looking. I know it will still happen as I get distracted and leave whatever I was doing and five minutes later don’t remember what it was.

I love this old bowling alley floor I had recovered from my old warehouse. It was so heavy those who picked through my property while I was in a coma and over the two years I was gone didn’t bother to steal it. There are two more sections of it left but I probably won’t be allowed to recover them. It’s a shame I had to go to Channel 11 news and use their Call for Action program to use the threat of TV exposure to get what little I could. When we go back to Toledo we will pick up what I recovered. It’ll be good to be done with the storage unit. That’s another fifty bucks a month we’ll free up.

I rewired some of the light fixtures I had recovered out of the school bus so now I have light in the garage. Won’t have to quit every time the sun gets low. Installed one of them overhead. Just remembered I left it on so will go turn it off now. Don’t need to waste the electric. Hard enough to pay the bill as it is.

My back is killing me right now. I came in to lay down and typed this while doing so. We’re going to Midland in a few minutes to look for stove pipe. We’ll hit Stanton first to check our mail. Probably stop by the Habitat for Humanity store to see what they have in.

OGOG – Oh God, Olive Garden. An Evening Dining Discourse by Cherie, Bob’s Wife.

Before I even discuss this evening’s dining extravaganza, I have to backtrack a little to allow his readers some understanding of his wife – me .

Before Bob and I got back together, this whole dining out thing was very new and fresh for me. An exciting experience to say the least. During the years we were apart I never seemed to date anyone with the funds or the willingness to drop more than $15.00 on me on a meal. And I lived in many different places in those years and would have loved an evening out someplace beyond what a 3 star family steak place offered. Anyway, when we were discussing getting back together, he had just gotten his first Social Security Disability check and wanted to take me someplace nice to eat. He decided on The Oliver House, which is one of Toledo’s big stars as far as eateries go and when we went there I saw why – the ambiance, the service, and the food was nothing short of fabulous and I felt like a princess at the dinner before the ball. The check was about $75.00 or $80.00 and Bob took out $100.00, gave it to the waiter who was at our side if we so much as looked his way, and told him to keep the change. In his former successful days this had been commonplace. I was stunned, duly impressed, and worried knowing he had only $400.00 to last him a whole month. It did.

Since we’ve been back together we’ve made up for the years we were apart with visits to some of the finer dining establishments in Toledo and the surrounding area. We discussed eating out many times as I would express my concern, thinking we were spending good money on “just food”. However we almost always had an enjoyable experience and the few times we didn’t, Bob wasted no time in getting a manager to discuss why he (or I) was displeased. The outcome was usually handled to our satisfaction which guaranteed we would (and did) make a repeat visit to said establishment. Needless to say we have easily eaten at least $2000.00 worth of wonderful dinners in the past three years. Perhaps more, I don’t know. I always have a good time when we go out which is evidenced by the fact that at every restaurant I always manage to spill something on my shirt. Right on the front, no exceptions. I have accepted this as the price I apparently must pay for the privilege of eating out.

Anyway, last summer Bob & I spent 2 weeks here before we moved from Ohio. We had to stay at a hotel as this house was not even close to livable. We had a room at The Days Inn in Midland with a kitchenette. Sometimes we cooked in our room and other times we went out to eat. One of those places happened to be The Olive Garden in Midland. We had a waiter who was adorable, just sassy enough that he knew he could get away with it, gave us excellent service, and paid for our dessert. We actually ordered what he advised and had a fabulous time. We rewarded him well, and knew this was a place we would definitely revisit once we had moved here and had some extra $$$.

Days Inn has this trips rewards program where if you stay with their hotel chain they reward you with points that can be exchanged for a multitude of freebies at select retail establishments all over the country. This was my primary objective for staying there – I love a good freebie. Our freebie for the Midland trip was $25.00 and after looking over the selections, I opted for Olive Garden in Midland. I mean hey, it was a no brainer, right? Well, we went there this evening arriving before 5:00, well before the after work dinner rush. The food was delicious – getting it seemed to be a problem. We had a female server at first who took our wine and appetizer order and responded with the wine and some drinking water right away. Then she was replaced with a young man who would be our server for the remainder of the evening. Whoa boy.

At Olive Garden, salad and bread sticks arrive before you even place an order. This guy asked if we wanted salad and I’m thinking, “Huh?” I responded we did and requested to have it served at the same time as the appetizer as the two would compliment each other. (I’ve learned a lot about what foods are good together, this was cheese fondue to go with the salad, yum). He brought out the salad and we ordered our main course. After we had been finished with the salad for awhile he brought out the fondue which only had a few pieces of bread to dip into it and the plate was so hot, we couldn’t get close to it until it cooled off a bit. I had wanted it with the salad but I didn’t say anything.

We hardly tried it when all of a sudden another server came out with the main course and said “Are you ready to eat? Are you ready to eat?” What’s up with this now? I guess we were ready to eat eat. We hadn’t had a chance to try the fondue and he seemed to be in a hurry and these plates were also too hot to touch, so now we had gooey fondue stuff and our meal and we couldn’t touch any of the plates. Bob requested additional bread for the fondue, but apparently the kitchen told our server that we couldn’t have it – so instead, he finally brought us the breadsticks. He didn’t tell us we couldn’t get more fondue bread, instead he brought even more breadsticks and Bob had already asked twice for the other bread, and told him to forget it. By now the fondue was a cold sticky glop. I had to cut it with a knife.

We continued with our meal and sat and talked for a long time before he came back and asked if we wanted dessert. We did and ordered it with coffee. All through the meal Bob kept saying “What’s with this guy?” I kept making excuses for him, because that’s what I usually do. After a while we got dessert, but no coffee. Bob asked him a couple more times for the coffee. How hard can it be to pour two cups of coffee? Bob asked to speak to a manager and when he finally came out – I almost laughed out loud. Remember the old Laurel and Hardy movies – he had a Hardy haircut, it was glued to his head. And he looked like he was 15 years old. And he had on a lavender shirt. There’s nothing wrong with lavender shirts, it just made it difficult to take him seriously. It was all too much for me. I chugged down what was left of my wine and I could feel the giggles creeping up, but with great control, I held back. Sometimes I’m amazed I survived to adulthood. He took the cost of our dessert and appetizer and we finally got coffee. At long last, our server returned and apologized and we found out he’d only been there three days, and he didn’t know where the coffee was. Yeeesh. No wonder. I bet he knew where the break room was. He did get a $5.00 tip for his efforts and a pep talk from Bob. With the discounts and the gift card, our meal only cost us about $14.00 instead of our usual $50.00. When we finally left we just had to laugh because the whole episode was absurd and I really felt sorry for the guy. And for the first time, I didn’t spill anything on my shirt! Go figure.
It could have been worse. It could have been spaghetti from a can.
“Are you ready to eat? Are you ready to eat?”
The End.

That folks is my wife’s contribution to this blog. She’s allot nicer than I. I pretty much just wiped out when we got home. Being up since 2:30 this morning caught up with me. It’s 11:00 now so I better call it a night or I’ll get my clock out of whack.

1 comment:

Eric said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of <3% unemployment. One of the manifestations is new or inexperienced service personnel, in restaurants all over town, as the other folks have left for better paying jobs.