Category Archives: Friends

Quick Hit; Saying Goodbye

Almost seven years ago, a couple opened a little creperie in our hometown.

The shop, which used to be a local breakfast joint, is teeny-tiny. Seriously; you can barely fit 6 tables in the place. Chris and Theresa moved in after the breakfast place closed (much to my dismay, I have to admit; Jake’s had the best home fries ever) and, I have to say, did the spot proud. Theresa takes orders and tends the register and tables while Chris makes the crepes and banters with the customers; they strike a really nice balance of professional and personal.

They managed an impressively extensive menu of crepe fillings, too; everything from ham and eggs and spinach and Gouda to apple pie and – my favorite – Nutella, AND they had a rotating selection of seasonal specials. While a meal there was not cheap – we couldn’t get out for less than about $30 bucks – as an occasional treat, it was well worth it.

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I found out, via Chris’s facebook page, that they’re moving south and closing up shop. We went in this morning to have one last feast and to wish them well on their journeys. I’m going to miss them.

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Filed under admiration, celebration, compassion and connection, cooking, discoveries, Friends, fun, funniness, Home and Family, my oh-so-exciting life, remembering, this is NOT a drill

Quick Hit: Dinner

I headed down to my old hometown tonight to have dinner with Eddie and his lovely bride.  He’s in Boston* to run the Marathon (and yes, that is a proper noun) on Monday, and we managed to coordinate our schedules sufficiently to meet for a few hours over a fantastic dinner at an Italian restaurant situated in the shadow of the ice rink where I learned to skate as a little girl.

I desperately wish that Eddie and I lived closer; I really enjoy his company and I LOVE the conversations we have when we’re together.  I think, perhaps, we need to set up a monthly Skype date; I like how I feel after I’ve spent some time with him.

 

* Two things – one; Mr. Chili was also at this dinner; he’s in Boston for instrument testing (he’s shooting protons at a toy they’re going to launch into space) and was able to connect with Eddie so they could carpool together.  I feel better for having seen him today.

Two; watch this space; I’ll be posting updates of Eddie’s Marathon run all day on Monday.

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Filed under admiration, celebration, critical thinking, Friends, Home and Family, love notes, My husband rocks!, road trip!

March Madness #27: Three Online Friends

One of my favorite “meeting in real life” stories is about Michael (who, sadly, doesn’t keep a blog anymore, but whom I still get to ‘see’ on facebook).  We had been blog buddies for about a year and a half when we discovered that we grew up in the same neighborhood.  One day several years ago, Michael mentioned that he was heading ‘home’ from Alabama to visit his family.  I asked him where ‘home’ was, and it turned out that it was exactly where I grew up (which is an easy car ride from where I live now).  Anyway, we made plans to meet while he was there, and after about five minutes over our salads at Bertucci’s, he looked at me and said “I know this sounds weird, since we only just met, but I feel like we’ve been friends for years.”  That’s because we HAD been friends for years, and we ended up spending the rest of the afternoon together when he invited me to come with him to meet his grandparents.  It was lovely, and pretty much representative of the other online friends I’ve met in real life.

Topping the list of online friends I’d like to meet in person is CVRick.  I interact with him practically every day on facebook (he doesn’t keep a blog that I’m aware of, though he keeps saying he’s going to start writing), and he came up in the class I’m taking as my primary argument when someone made the comment that one can’t be ‘real’ friends with someone whom one has never met in person.  Everything I’ve experienced about Rick as an online friend tells me he’s smart, funny, insightful, and genuine, and I bet, much like Michael and I, we could be instantly comfortable with one another.

Another online friend I’m hoping to meet someday is Kwizgiver.  Though she only lives in the next state over, it’s a big state, and there really is considerable geographical distance between us.  At some point, though, I’m certain we will discover that circumstances will bring us to within reasonable proximity.  When that happens (and it WILL happen), I’m looking forward to meeting this energetic, thoughtful, passionate teacher (who, I’m betting, is riotously funny).

I’m not sure this one actually counts, as we HAVE met in real life, but I would really, really love to be able to spend more time in J’s presence.  We met a couple of years ago at a week-long writing workshop, and as soon as she walked into the room, J’s energy resonated with me.  I heartily enjoyed her company that week and found myself seeking her feedback and perspective.  I’m consistently struck by how often her writing leaves me stunned; it seems that we are sensitive to many of the same things at the same time.  I know that I could find solace and sorority in her kitchen, and I often find myself wishing that we weren’t separated by almost half the country.

(and I know the prompt only asked for three, but one of my dearest wishes is that the last time I saw Gerry won’t be the last time I see Gerry.)

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Ten Things Tuesday

I am 44 today.  I’m not a suspicious person by nature; I don’t believe in astrology or numerology or anything like that, but I am gearing up some hopeful anticipation that this year is going to be a good one (Lord knows I deserve it; ’11 and ’12 were much harder than I ever expected).

Here, then, are 10 things that I am looking forward to in my 44th year.

1.  I make no secret about the fact that my marriage is the most important part of my life.  I’m very much looking forward to another happy year with Mr. Chili.

2.  Being the mother of two (three, if you count Sweet Pea, and I do) teenage girls can be a challenge sometimes, but that doesn’t keep me from loving them to the center of my being.  I’m looking forward to my girls and our continually evolving relationships.

3.  I’m really hoping to nail the perfect job.  I don’t want to settle for whatever I can get, and I don’t want to find a position where I have to bend and twist my ethics or my enthusiasm to accommodate others’ fear or laziness.  I know that job’s out there, I just have to find it.

4.  I’m really digging having Bowyer back in our lives, and I’m looking forward to more family time with him and the boys.

5.  I’m also really loving having Sweet Pea’s family as part of our tribe, and I’m eager for another year of our easy, funny, harmonious companionship.

6.  I’m hoping to go places this year, though I’m not sure what our travel schedule will look like (given my current unemployment and the girls’ hectic schedules).  Punk’s going to England with the school band and Bean’s eighth grade class is going to DC in the spring; I’m hoping that, along with our annual haj to the lake, we can squeeze in a family trip to either DC or Florida sometime this coming year.

7.  I’ve been doing well with my increased focus on my yoga practice, and I’ve managed to get some other kinds of exercise in during these last few weeks, as well.  I’m going to keep at it so that my 44th year will be marked both by easier movement (I’m still battling the constant drag of arthritis) and my presenting slightly less force on the Earth.

8.  I’ve also been doing pretty well keeping in touch with people I love.  I get to see O’Mama fairly regularly, I reconnected with Ellen (formerly known as the Goddess of the Front Desk), and have managed to keep up with farther-away friends a little better, too.  I’m going to keep that up; I’m happier when I get to spend time with people I love.

9.  I’m loving being a student again, and am sucking up all the opportunities I can find to take classes, attend lectures, and participate in workshops.  I fully expect to complete my CAGS by the summer, and I’m going to have all of my professional development hours in the bag, as well.

10.  I fully intend to continue being actively engaged in politics and social issues.  Despite the fact that I get “all worked up” (as so many of my friends like to point out), I love the energy and purpose that I feel when I’m thinking, working, and educating.  These things matter, and I plan to stay in for as long as I can stand it.  If I can make even a little difference that makes the world better, it will be worth it.

Here’s to another trip around the sun!

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Filed under celebration, compassion and connection, critical thinking, family matters, Friends, fun, GLBTQ/Ally issues, Home and Family, Little Bits of Nothingness, My husband rocks!, my oh-so-exciting life, Parenting, politics, road trip!, teaching, this is NOT a drill, yoga - theory and practice

Birthday Love

Today is Kizz’s birthday.  Please go over to her place and wish her happy.

My friend has been very, very busy lately.  She’s produced and is performing a one-woman show, she’s raising an adorably rambunctious little dog, she’s been taking pictures all over the place and she’s holding down a job.  Seriously.

One of the things I treasure about my friendship with Kizz is that we’re so incredibly different.  We like different movies, we like different music, we have different perspectives on a lot of issues, and we live almost completely different lives.  I love that she’s there to offer a point of view that I never would have come to on my own; I know for sure that if I go to her with a question (and I go to her often), she’s going to give me something to think about that’s going to help me see farther than I would have otherwise.

Kizz is funny in a way that I think too few people appreciate.  She’s got an eye for the absurd and is able to point it out in a way that makes me laugh and think at the same time.

Kizz is passionate, and I think, if I’m going to be honest, that’s the thing I respect most in her.  She loves New York and the people in it, and she’s active in community organizations that help to keep her city strong.  She stands up against those who seek to diminish the status of women in the world; she doesn’t take any shit about that, and her writings on the subject have helped me to solidify my own thinking about women’s rights.  She’s all in about animal welfare (and always has been).  She’s dedicated to getting information to the public about important things happening in her neighborhoods and beyond; she is still my go-to source for updates on Sandy relief.  There’s a no-nonsense feel about her when she’s working with something she cares about, and I admire that about her.

I am very glad that Kizz calls me friend, and I’m happy to be celebrating another year with her in it.  Happy birthday to you, Kizz.  I hope that this year is your best yet.

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Ten Things Tues… er… Monday!

Since tomorrow is Christmas, and I’m likely not going to want to take time to post a TTT, I’m going to do it today.  You get Chili Holiday Randomness!

1.  The prime rib I ordered is nearly 11 pounds and BARELY fits into the pan in which I intend to cook it.  I’m going to have to put the sucker in the oven (at 200°) at 7 am if I want it done by 1:30.

2.  We’ll be 11 at dinner tomorrow; we four Chilis, Bruder, Mother and Father, Bowyer and the boys, and Martin, his wife Nancy, and her daughter.  I’m so looking forward to sharing my home with these people!

3.  In addition to the prime rib, there’ll be a turkey breast (Dad would prefer turkey, I think; he’s got a fussy tummy) and pasta in a roasted garlic parmesan cream sauce (for Bruder, who is a veggie-saurus).  These choices will be accompanied by brown sugar carrots, smashed red potatoes with garlic, green beans, and creamed onions.  I’m also planning on putting together a batch of pull-apart rolls, but we’ll see how tonight goes.

Edited to include; I put them together, and they are glorious.

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4. Desserts will be Mother’s plum pudding (requested by Martin, who remembers such things fondly from his childhood), Oreo truffles, shortbread, and an absolutely gorgeous dark chocolate cheesecake.

5.  Auntie and The Girl are coming in the morning.  The girls have to get their Nerf guns ready for the annual Christmas Morning skirmish.

6.  Our table looks GORGEOUS.  Punk did a wonderful job putting it all together.
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7.  As I write this (9:00 at night), Mr. Chili is wrapping presents in the family room.  How this last minute stuff doesn’t stress him right out is beyond me.

8.  I haven’t yet determined whether the girls are still writing Santa letters.  I hope they are.

9.  According to my iTunes info, I have 17.7 hours of holiday music (and that doesn’t include all the nuns and monks I’ve got stashed in there).  That ought to do nicely.

10.  I offer you my deepest, most heartfelt wishes for a safe, joyful, and contented holiday.  I hope it’s even better than you wish for.

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Happy Solstice

Sweet Pea and her family are joining the Chili family (plus Bruder) for our first annual Solstice celebration.

There are comfort foods on the menu; pot roast with mashed potatoes and carrots for the carnivores and bow ties in roasted garlic parmesan cream sauce for the veggie-sauruses, and fresh-baked bread for everyone.  The table is beautifully set thanks to Punkin Pie.  Candles are lit, presents are wrapped, and Solstice gifts of salt and nuts and other sustaining things are in the basket.

I’m very excited to start this new tradition.  Solstice has always felt like my holiday, like Christmas and New Year’s all in one day.  I’m delighted to find another family that feels this way, and I’m excited to begin this new tradition.

Happy Solstice.  May the coming year be marked by peace and compassion.

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