…and a scotch for the gentleman

I love surprises, and for my 47th birthday yesterday, Karen planned an overnight in Omaha, and it was just what the doctor ordered.

We ended the day at one of my favorite places in the world for live music. Mr. Toad’s is a small, corner bar in the Old Market with a small jazz combo that performs every Sunday night, and has done so for years. A few cats abide here (and I use that term respectfully, as that is how they refer to themselves) that are as faithful as a church lady, and … more »

A drink out of the hose

3:52pm

Feeling good about tonight’s dinner service. The pork roast is falling apart as it should. The brisket will enjoy the extra time in the low heat. Black raspberry Ice Cream is starting to set. The bartender will be here in a few minutes to go over the new cocktail, The Chinese Bloody Mary, that I’ve been waiting to unveil. It’s a tad spicy, but with the number of people who still order soup on a 95 degree day, this one should go over just fine.

I’m glad to see basil back in season. The aroma is so prevalent in … more »

How would you describe your food?

My wife and I make a good balance as we think very differently about how to approach day to day operations. She is much more practical and action oriented, which I appreciate very much. In her mind, most everything could and should have been done yesterday. I, too, like results, but for some reason, deep in my DNA, appears to be etched a need to answer the “why” questions first. I want to be clear on why I am doing a particular activity before I throw myself into it fully.

As we come up … more »

How am I supposed to feel?

Watching my wife go through cancer treatment is a little like finding yourself in a movie theater showing a film that you already know you don’t like. You can’t walk out in the middle of it, nor do you know how it’s going to end. You are left to watch scenes that don’t make sense and leave you wondering how this fits into the entire plot.

8am Monday morning found us in the treatment room of the Oncology Center, a spacious area with east facing windows overlooking a small wood with a swift creek from all the overnight rain. The … more »

Look before you leap; back with a knack

My nephew got married last weekend in Springfield, MO, which gave me a chance to be with my mom and sister and her family for a couple of days. We had the usual good time together, sharing stories and laughing. In the midst of it all, I began to take note of how many times we mentioned, “like dad would say…” or “I remember dad always told me…” He had a million little sayings, many of which I use reflexively to this day.

Dad was an amazingly patient man with us … more »

Ready For The Fight

We had our consultation with the cancer specialist at the Omaha Med Center yesterday to get his prognosis of the situation. After an hour and a half of facts, data, and analysis, we have a game plan and are prepared to begin the fight against this disease.

What makes this difficult is how both Karen and I have faced our own illnesses in the past. Lie down, take an aspirin, gut it out, let it pass, and move on. That works with the flu, strained muscle, or a stomach bug or the occasional allergic reaction, but not in this case. … more »

My Favorite Fruit

I love strawberries, and everything you can do with them, pavlova being one of the many applications with this June fruit. We get ours from Princeton Produce, a farm about 20 mi south of town. The advantage of their close proximity is ripeness. Cut one of these berries in two and you will reveal a solid red core. Compare it to your fat, shiny grocery store variety that has a hollow, pale white center. Sure the season is longer, but the quality is far inferior, so why bother? Live with the limitation that the growing season imposes. You will enjoy more »

The Luck of the Irish

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Finally taking a few hours to slow down in the haven that is my back patio. When the pace of life gets so frenetic, like this week has been, I will come out here, sit and do nothing but listen, not just to music, but to the sounds of a noisy suburban wildlife. The night sounds in a Nebraska summer are full of steady noises of happy critters singing their songs until the wee hours of the morning, when they appear to have sung their hearts out and the dawn reminds them to retire for another session.

I believe … more »