This is the hottest part of the summer. You’d think in late August things would start cooling down a little, but no, we hit a record high last week and we haven’t had a good rain for weeks.
September is worse. When I think September, I think back to school, sweaters and wool skirts. Even in Seattle, it is too warm in September for sweaters and wool skirts; the afternoons can get really warm in September. In Pensacola, it’s just mostly a continuation of an endless August, a waiting for October. The only hint of winter is a slight cooling of night time temperatures.
I dream of Alaska, of Montana, and North Dakota, I dream of cool nights sleeping with an open window, I dream of featherbeds and brisk walks on chilly mornings . . .
Some of our friends have no idea what life is like in places like Qatar and Kuwait, it’s like they think we lived in tents in the desert. They don’t know about all the sky scraping apartment blocks, the spacious villas – and they don’t know about the ubiquity of take-out food and good restaurants. We could find almost everything we wanted, and reveled in the variety, the only thing we could not get was genuine Mexican food. You could go to Chili’s or Taco Bell, but for the real deal? No where.
So in Pensacola, we are blessed to have several very good Mexican restaurants, the Cal-Mex and the Tex-Mex kind, where sour cream and lettuce and guacamole bless every plate, but every now and then, we look for where the Mexicans are eating – and we found a new one, well, new to us, and not too far away.
Taqueria Olgy is in a small strip mall just south of Beverly on “W” street. It’s the first mall on your left as you drive south and you had better keep your eyes wide open or you will miss it; the signage is not that significant.
Inside, it is very spacious, maybe two strip mall sections that have merged, lots of booths, and lots of loyal customers. The menus are in English, and there are photos everywhere to help you choose. We were there at lunch and had the lunch specials. I haven’t had a chile relleno for a long time, so I choose the #1 special, a chili relleno and a taco (you could choose the kind of meat) Al Pastore. Oh YUMMMMM.
AdventureMan had the taco plate and said his was also really good. He liked it so much that while I was with the group last week, he went back and had the soup of the day and the #1 chile relleno with taco that I had.
We are still huge Taco Rock fans, but hey, it’s August, the temperatures are in the soaring and searing mode, and Taqueria Olgys is also well air conditioned. We feel so blessed to have such great authentic places to choose from.
Now, if only a good Ethiopian restaurant would come to Pensacola . . . 😉
“What do you wear when it gets this hot?” they asked me, “like around the home?”
I laughed. I learned a thing or two in Tunis, in Amman, in Tabuk and Riyadh, in Kuwait and in Doha. At home, I dress like local women, in long loose dresses.
Or worse. I dress like their maids. In the souks you could find wonderful, 100% cotton dresss that were loose and flowing, and that is good in hot weather so the air can circulate. Some of the dresses were nicer, but the dresses I liked a lot for just being around the house doing what people do, like making sure the dishes are done and a meal prepped, doing a little quilting or reading . . . you could buy these great little dresses for about $3.00 in the souks. Not only were they practical – especially when you live in a house with a cat, and always put on “real” clothes just as you are about to run out the door so you don’t have any cat hair on you – but they came in great colors and prints, designs that made me happy to put them on.
Now, one of my all time favorite dresses, in purple and black, has bit the dust. I liked it because it had some geometrics, and the geometrics changed, and – it was purple. I have worn it for about six years now, and I have worn it out. I mended it several times when the underarm seams ripped:
I like this dress so much I am saving it and cutting it up so it will have another new life as a quilt 🙂
And I am thinking it is time to plan a trip back to Doha and Kuwait to replenish my hot weather dresses 🙂
I had a really super group of diplomats in town this week, really smart people dealing with serious topics – arms control, human rights, freedom of the press, immigration – and the appointments were fabulous. They were greeted at Baskervile-Donovan by a German speaker, coffee and cakes, and the presentation was a clear outline on corporate fund raisers, goals, and candidate selection.
We had a few extra minutes before our next appointment, and as we were just next door to Joe Patti’s, I took them there for a peek into life for “real” Pensacolians. Of course, they loved Joe Patti’s.
While I was there, my phone rang and it was a stranger, telling me she had a package for me from a friend in Kuwait. When could she bring it by?
You know how sometimes it’s hard to think? My mind was full with my delegation, but I set a time – and I was at Joe Pattis, so I quickly bought some cookies to serve and headed out for our next appointment.
When I said goodbye to the delegation for the last time and headed home, I put the coffee on and prepared for my Kuwait guests. They arrived and we had a wonderful visit, a friend in common and lots to talk about. And oh my, the packet my friend sent, full of fabrics from the Kuwait souks, a care package for my quilting addiction:
Even better – and it feels so wonderful to have a friend who understands me so well – look at the bag she sent them in! It is SO adorable! It is something I would have bought in a heartbeat, so unique, so special! My heart is dancing with ideas for a new quilt!
Thank you, Hayfa 🙂 for a real treat, both the fabrics and the friend you sent to carry the package 🙂
This guy is a disaster. So sad, nuts with guns, and who suffers? He claims his dog jumped out of the truck, causing the accident (dog died) and then his truck rolls over and all these legal and illegal weapons fall out, and fifteen chickens??? IED’s???
From today’s AOL News
Officers responding to a single-SUV crash Friday in West Virginia found bombs, drugs, guns and more than a dozen chickens inside the vehicle – and may have thwarted a domestic terror attack.
Seth Grim, 21, somehow managed to roll the SUV off a highway about 40 miles northeast of Charleston. Police found four improvised explosive devices, two AK-47s, a rifle and about 15 chickens inside the vehicle, police said. They also uncovered a large amount of marijuana.
Authorities also found about 10 loaded magazines and body armor, they could possibly have halted a major tragedy. Two of the bombs were six inches long, two were four inches long, police said.
Grim’s Ford Explorer rolled off Interstate 79 at around 3:30 a.m., police told the West Virginia Gazette.
Grim apparently blamed the wreck on his rottweiler, which he told police jumped out the window while he was speeding down the highway, Office of Emergency Services Director Melissa Gilbert told AOL.
The dog was found dead several yards away, Roane County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Mike King told AOL.
West Virginia State Police arrived on the scene shortly after and found the chickens inside a cage, said Gilbert.
A number of the chickens were dead on the road and a few others escaped, said King. They were not recovered. Also scattered on the road were a few of the loaded magazines.
Cops also found multiple improvised explosive devices, assault rifles and several loaded clips stashed inside with the chickens, according to Gilbert.
King shot down reports Grim was on the run from police in Pennsylvania. Police are not clear where he was heading or what his intentions were. Several agencies are waiting to speak with him, according to the officer.
Grim suffered minor upper body injuries but was immediately arrested. The potentially dangerous man also declared himself a “sovereign citizen” upon his incarceration, according to Gilbert.
A bomb squad took the bombs to a secure location to be detonated out of harm’s way, Gilbert said.
Sovereign citizens often refuse to pay taxes as a form of protest against the federal government. They are seen by the FBI as domestic terrorists.
Terry Nichols, who helped plan the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, is the most infamous sovereign citizen.
A call to local police seeking further information about the charges filed against Grim and to find out why he was running from police in Pennsylvania was not immediately returned.
Only the marijuana and IEDs are illegal in West Virginia, according to King. Grim faces four felony counts for possessing them.
He remains in a West Virginia jail.
I’m almost embarrassed to post this !Alert from the WeatherUnderground people about the Heat wave hitting the Gulf, only because I see the temperatures in Kuwait have been hitting in the 113 – 115°F range and a part of me feels like I missed a speeding bullet.
On the other hand, these three days I have a group of delightful women in town and I am shepherding them from place to place, and they are all air-conditioned to the freezing ice-box stage, which being an Alaska girl I actually kinda like, but . . . then you open the door into summer and it just about knocks me over.
Although, I will admit, there was one place, along Palafox, where when I sat on a bench around 2:00 pm, there was a breeze and it wasn’t at all bad.
But as hot as it is, the real hot is coming, or so the alert tells us:
High pressure over the region will allow for progressively hotter temperatures through Friday with no relief expected over the weekend. High temperatures on Thursday will range from around 97 over inland areas to 92 near the immediate coast. Hotter temperatures are expected on Friday with highs ranging from around 99 inland to around 95 at the immediate coast. Highs on Saturday and Sunday will be similar and range from around 98 inland to 94 at the coast.
With plenty of Gulf moisture still over the region…heat index values will be at least 102 to 107 each afternoon…and areas closer to the coast will have locations around 108…possibly around 110 on Friday when the hottest temperatures are expected.
Children…the elderly…and people with chronic ailments are usually the first to suffer from the heat. Heat exhaustion…cramps or in extreme cases heat stroke can result from prolonged exposure to these conditions.
Persons working or playing sports outdoors from late morning through this afternoon are urged to drink plenty of water and sport drinks…taking frequent breaks to prevent overheating. Refrain from the Intake of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. Remember to check on relatives and neighbors…especially the elderly to make sure they have adequate air conditioning.
Also…do not Forget about your pets. Pets should be brought indoors…especially during the heat of the day. If pets must be kept outdoors…provide shade and plenty of fresh water. Livestock are also vulnerable.
We miss the Qatari Cat. AdventureMan takes it harder than I do; I’ve had two dreams in which he is happy, and FREE. I heard him thinking that life with us was good, but he was born to be a cat and now he is FREE. He was the sweetest little cat, and I live in horror that the operation we chose to have so that his quality of life would be better killed him and that his last week was horrible for him. I track the alternatives. None of them were good. I just hate that it ended in a hospital situation instead of in the quiet haven of our home. We still grieve, we miss his presence.
As AdventureMan and I were trying a new place for lunch yesterday, the booth next to us filled with a group of roofers (roofers have a lot of good business in a place like Pensacola which gets both heavy winds and heavy rains). While they were not talking overly loud, one had a voice that carried and he shared with his friends – and us – a rule of life his Grandfather had told him.
“You can be right, or you can be happy.”
We laughed. When AdventureMan wants to annoy me, he tells other people that the reason we’ve been married so long is that whenever we disagree, he apologizes.
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Every now and then, after all these years, I can still crack my husband up by saying something unexpected.
Retirement carries some unexpected adjustments. There was a time, when he was managing a major contract in Germany, where over dinner, I once told AdventureMan I needed him to look at me and to listen. He looked at me in horror; he told me later he thought I was leaving him. No. No. I just looked at him and told him that I am very independent, but that at least once, every single day of our lives together, I need five minutes of his undivided attention.
“Five minutes isn’t much,” he said to me.
“Five minutes is more than I am getting now,” I responded. I knew he was busy, and under a lot of stress, but relationships require nurturing, and I knew I could get by on five minutes, as long as I could count on that five minutes to stay connected.
Now, years later, the shoe is on the other foot. AdventureMan LOVES retirement, and he comes into my office all the time to tell me about a new Tiger Swallowtail in his garden, or to update me on our financial worth, or to use me as a sounding board for a political item that has come up in his garden club.
There are times I need focus. All the years we were married, I had that time, and more, I had all this time to myself, and I learned how to fill and manage my time. I rarely had to coordinate anything with AdventureMan, he just trusted me to manage the house and finances and making sure everything was in its place.
Once he had time, I had to learn how to share my time. I also had to let go of a lot of control. The first time he organized and cleaned out the garage, I almost had a heart attack. He was so proud! And I was so horrified! I am very logical, and more than a little compulsive, and I knew where everything was, in its logical place, and now . . . things were, very literally, out of control. A part of me wanted to kill him, and another part of me said “hey, cool, now you don’t have to clean out the garage, he he he” but making that gain meant giving up control over where things were!
AdventureMan started cooking, and suddenly pots and pans and measuring spoons were not where they were “supposed” to be. AdventureMan took over the garden, and I danced for joy at not having to go out and water in the heat, but I lost control over what was planted out there.
It’s hard. We are both managers, and both very good at it. We’ve had to draw some lines. I’ve had to share territory I always thought of as mine, and he has had to consult with me, when he would much rather carry out his plans directly.
We’ve both had to draw some lines. We don’t touch stuff in one another’s offices. We consult. When I clean out the pantry, the first thing I do is show him the logic, even put little signs so he will know where to find things when he is cooking. I put up with things ending up in the wrong place, except for the spice drawers, where all the normal cooking herbs and in spices are in the left drawer and all the chilis and peppers and exotic herbs are in the right drawer, with all the teas. It can be irrational, but sometimes it is the smallest things that matter.
From time to time, I need a pocket of silence.
I welcome my sweet husband into my office; he is always welcome. From time to time, however, if I am working on paying bills or a blog post or designing a quilt, or trying to get my readings done for my bible study, I tell him I can listen for five minutes, and then I need a pocket of silence.
The first time I said it, he looked at me in horrified disbelief, what I was saying was so astonishing to him that he couldn’t even take it in. Once he comprehended, he started laughing, and now he tells his friends he has a wife who needs her “pockets of silence” – and I do. As he has become more relaxed and stress free, he has become chattier. As I live a life of commitments and connections in retirement, I need some times with no talking.
I need silence in my life the way some people need to be around other people hanging out. Silence refreshes me. Silence helps me focus, helps me think things through and develop a strategy. I am never bored with silence; for me silence is a resource I use with great respect and gratitude. I love my family and my friends, and then – I need a pocket of silence.