Restaurants

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Sometimes I question my choice of middle name for that pooch of ours. Beulah is meaningful, but JOY, now that would really nail it! Our girl such a joy-filled creature! Saying good morning: wiggle, wiggle, wiggles of joy. Coming home from the store: wiggle, wiggle, wiggles of joy. Walking? Oh my heavens the JOY of walking! The JOY of eating, and cuddling, and licking, and running, and playing, too. She brings it out in us, too.

I bought her a new collar (the other got sprayed by a skunk – not fun!!). Neon pink with reflective bones, eek! Also, new socks for winter weather, and damn if they don’t look like she’s wearing high heels! The silliness. And how cute she looks in her little coat, too!

A beautiful day in the neighborhood…

Our nephew came down to see us this past weekend, but I didn’t get a picture – rats! We had a grand time of hiking and eating and talking and eating some more. Ms. Juni B. enjoyed her first meal inside at a restaurant – Pub Dog, if you don’t know it. It is the first in the country to allow pets at the table indoors. Though the food was quite tasty, it was a bit of sensory overload – dog sniffs and food sniffs and so many people, too!

A trip down the Rabbit Hole after seeing the highly anticipated (at least for us) Blade Runner 2049, both of which we rather liked. Get the Chicken and Biscuit and the Tweedle Bee. Yessirrreee!

Oh, and almost mandatory photo of Pikes’ Peak. Lovely from every angle, that one…

Woke up to that sliver of moon this morning, peering just above the trees.

Some little one is a sad, sad camper this morning, having left a rather sporty jacket and these two dolls at the park.

And finally, what kind of a duck are YOU?

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Welcome to Cincinnati, “the best city in the world” according to an old friend (Mike, are you there?). I can’t really speak to it being the best, as our visit was only a few hours, but this, the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, was pretty snazzy. As our dumb luck would have it, as we were neither looking for cool or interesting, just eager for lunch, we found one special place, and quite important historically, with the majority of the buildings of Italianate Architecture, magnificently intact, and easy on the eyes.

Not the best idea I’ve ever had, but I couldn’t resist the temptation of the Holtman’s doughnut sign. BEFORE lunch. They were still warm!

The hubster going big at Pontiac (no website, sadly). Most excellent barbeque and a super friendly server, always a great combination. In keeping with my healthful doughnut before lunch choice, I noshed on pimento cheese. It was awesome. I do not regret it!

This neighborhood is chockablock with fabulous murals. Wowie!

He thought I was shopping…

Narrow. Very narrow.

Thanks for a terrific afternoon, Cincinnati!

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Wednesday, I…

awoke with the sun, to cuddles and the purring of cats.

ate every strawberry I picked.

set my abs and butt on fire with Cassey Ho. Silly and fun, she kills me every time!

mowed and fertilized, and plunged my hands into earthy compost.

heard the first steady hum of bees on blossoming lavender.

got bouquets, cards, and well wishes from friends and loved ones.

walked with the hubster, love of my life.

ate dinner to the Bee Gees, Hall & Oates, and Fleetwood Mac, and sang my heart out!

realized, in a weepy moment of gratitude, that the greatest gift I’ve recently received is that I am finally surrounded by MY people. I’ve shed the drama queens and gossips, the self-absorbed, the unkind, the ones who lack the common courtesy to call or email. My people are kind, caring, fascinating, fun, and super duper smart. We get each other. We love each other. We share all we have and all that we are.

A pretty terrific way to celebrate forty-three orbits around the sun!

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One week ago today, gallivanting on Mississippi. Sunny and warm, the town ebullient and smiling and happy for a gentle breeze. Our bellies led us to Radar and were very, very pleased. It’s a delightful galley of a place, long and lean and filled with tip top service and lovely details, like cool decor (a painting of a ship!), eco-friendly towels in the loo, and flowers matching one of the owners names, Lily (super kind and lovely!), and wafting deliciously about. The food was mighty fine, too. Roasted radishes in brown butter (gasp!), deviled eggs done three ways, deep fried and glorious chick peas a whisper on the tongue, and knock out Manila clams. Wowie, not a complaint to be heard.

Best dining companion, ever. Who am I kidding? Best companion, ever!

Oh, and the drink is spectacular as well. That’s a Gin Botanical hard cider by Seattle Cider, with a scent so clean and apple-y that I had a hard time deciding whether I liked it or the flavor better, a very close call. My drink, the European Union, was a quite perfect one, if I do say so.

Hello kitty!

A plethora of cool architecture and one stellar mural, Mississippi is good and great and awesome.

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Happy Cinco de Mayo! Which celebrates the Mexicans winning a war against the French, I think. But, like any other holiday, the celebrating comes down to food and drink. So some favorite Mexican food it is! This is at Taqueria Nueve, which I sorely missed during its five year absence, even though Tapalaya, also one of my favorite places, lives in its old location.  In particular, the Coctel del Pulpo, a sweet and spicy bit of ambrosia, haunted me. I literally had dreams about it and sought a replacement hither and yon, to no avail. I am most grateful I can get it once more, along with a mighty fine chile relleno and vegetarian tacos. Arriba!

On to La Taq (no website, but next door to Podnah’s and from the same owner), which is really Tex-Mex, but, to me, Mexican food is all in the family. They have super green chile, fantastic tacos, and a pretty spectacular queso, too. Unfortunately my food photos are blurry, probably because I was too hungry and excited to sit still. The kindly bartender is shaking my margarita, my favorite in town, I might add, with the perfect balance of sour and sweet. It’s pretty snazzy!

And back to Mi Casa. The hubster and I had a serious New Mexican food craving yesterday, so we walked to the market for provisions and whipped up a feast. There was green chile, of course, brown rice, smoky garlicky beans, guacamole, and home made tortillas, rolled into gut busting burritos. All turned out muy, muy delicioso, though my Dad would probably be disappointed to learn that I didn’t have any meat in mine. The older I get, the more vegetarian my leanings. Life is full of surprises!

P.S. I almost forgot! Have you tried Xochitl chips? Oh my goodness, they are the best. Thin and crispy, just like the package says and seriously good! A chip gone to heaven and back, maybe. The only problem? I feel like I’m cheating on the glistening chips made in Hood River with these Texas Wranglers. Sorry!

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