Jul 16 2011

Clues.

Some things just stick.

In my early twenties I read an editorial column in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. I had always thought one could learn a lot watching another hunt and gather (AKA shop).  I dropped most of my money back then in establishments offering books, wine and music.   How a nest is feathered can also be most telling but, as the columnist directed, skip the art, the books. I would add: the wine cellar, the closet, the medicine cabinet.  Find an excuse to peek in the box, the icebox!

What is inside that GE, dacor, KitchenAid…Subzero will speak volumes!

Under the glare of bright lights, my fridge was quite chatty this morning.

“She’s drawn to farmers’ markets. Totes a camera and on rare occasion, a shopping bag.”

“Heaven forbid there not be a jar of oh-so-versatile fig jam in the place.”

“Might be getting older but isn’t dairy intolerant -yet.”

“There was more food in here before breakfast today.”

“Will be dining on Peppered Pork Loin, Trader Joe lentils and streamed carrots sometime soon – and leftovers for days.”

“Prioritizes. Freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano is a must but life is to short to cook and peel beets when they can be bought that way.”

“Picks bananas not by the bunch. Safeway is out the back door, afterall.”

“Too green and too cheap to buy bottled water.”

“Should probably be thinking of buying more Washington wine during the 30% off sale because a girlfriend recently pointed out it costs more to cool an empty icebox than one partially stocked. Adding, “Wine counts, shoes don’t”.”

“Will graciously accept a dinner invitation!”

And that is just the CONTENTS talking!  What does your icebox have to say?

Always be exploring and listening but don’t let anyone catch you talking to the orange juice.

Trix


Jan 23 2011

The guy next door.

January 23, 2011

“You are the closest man,” I said, I think.

It was a brief encounter with a neighbor.  The lighting was low.  He had eyes to triumph “old blue eyes,” and everything that went with it – including a wife I know and rather like.

From my freshman year at the University of Tulsa I have been described as “single-minded.”  I am.  Ditto when it comes to my two roommates, both Whippets. Try keeping up with a sight hound capable of 40 mph when attractive prey is spotted nearby. Some dogs cannot learn new tricks.  I am resigned to being one of them.

I was in the moment – focused on what I needed and prepared to knock on more doors because I was cooking with gas. Why must it be difficult when you just want to cheat a little, tiny bit?

Hours earlier I had done my time working on upper body strength doing sun salutations in yoga class.  There I was, nonetheless, on a neighbor’s doorstep with a jar of Arrabbiata sauce I couldn’t open by myself.  I don’t even know what Arrabbiata sauce is but it sounded spicy and I like spicy.

I entertain on a budget (with greatly diminshed cooking skills). I was making a huge pot of red sauce .  As I sautéed garlic, capers, scallions, wine, artichokes, I thought, “What is a jar of store-bought Arrabbiata sauce between girlfriends?”  Wasn’t the dinner more about talking, sharing – all that good bonding stuff even us A-types do?!

Say what you will about shortcuts.  I am 52. Simmering tomato sauce is but one thing I want to accomplish on a Sunday afternoon.

Your girlfriends will appreciate the big part: you organized the gathering of busy friends.

Always, Trix


Nov 28 2010

Take a bite out of life.

November 28, 2010

Yesterday I was jamming and juicing on a foggy Saturday in Portland.  Breakfast and music and dancing!

As I tilted my head back for a big sip of plum-colored smoothie (banana, mango, cherry, blueberry, orange, pear and pomegranate seeds) I spied a patch of blue sky outside my window, just past the 13th floor balcony. Had my attitude made it materialize? Does just a gaze in a different direction change the landscape?

The benefactor of my weekend Reggae soundtrack was a man from Africa I met on an American Airlines flight.  He traveled with a heavy, bulging piece of luggage filled with music CDs.   He had to have his music with him at all times, just as I have to have dancing room.  Late one night earlier in the week I had swayed to the music of Omara Portuondo, a popular Cuban vocalist.  When I started I was just shy of the 10,000 steps a day the Japanese (and American Heart Association) suggest for good health.  A rumba here, a bolero there and I was at 10,452 before midnight.

When was the last time you danced?    Why not try it today?  Hope someone IS watching, that you start something delightful.  If you like Buddy Holly (“Maybe Baby”) slip into a hula hoop and call it exercise.   If the weather or your day has zapped you, be still and simply listen to the music.  Try Cleo Laine singing love ballads while you unwind late at night in a softly lit living room, put your laptop near your nightstand and drift off to sleep listening to a new artist on Pandora radio or get dressed up and go downtown for the symphony. No one will notice if you close your eyes in the concert hall to really hear every note of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 10 in F-sharp minor.  I promise you will be energized for a later dance.

Life can be challenging.  Don’t short yourself on fuel. Take it one song at a time.  Try a little finger food before noon or perhaps  a “Grand Slam”… eggs, bacon, baguette (fig jam), coffee, juice … The choices are yours.

Take a BIG bite out of life and chew slowly, thoughtfully until full – then dance!

Always, Trix


Nov 13 2010

Marketing solo.

November 13th, 2010

I wanted a hamburger.   I didn’t want to walk next door to Bridgeport Brewery, pay a premium for a burger and sit alone.  As I recall it was a Friday.  Happy hour was underway.  I was more hungry than happy.   I made my way instead to Safeway.  In a brightly lit, refrigerated section of the store, I stood staring at a 2 1/2 # package of 85% lean ground beef.  I wanted a hamburger  – not 7 or 8  hamburgers.  I pushed my cart up to the meat counter.

Steve, the meat cutter, greeted me.  “How can I help you?”  he asked.  I explained that I was hoping to find single hamburger patties in the case.  There were none.

“I’ll make you one!” he said.

“You will?  Really?!”  I beamed.  A ready-to-cook patty without getting my hands cold and greasy!

Ever watch the movie Must Love Dogs? There is a scene involving a friendly butcher.  When asked by a customer for a chicken breast he opts to unrelentingly pitch the better value of buying a whole bird. His fate?  Sliced to ribbons.  Pushed to her limit, the shopper informs him,  “I am a divorced woman.   I live alone.  I eat most of my meals standing at the kitchen sink. Give me the chicken breast!”

I’ve done that – eaten standing in the kitchen, sometimes pacing.

Steve asked me, “How many ounces?  Tall or more flat?” (Sized to fit on an English Muffin, I decided, not wanting to buy 8 buns.)  “My wife likes her hamburger thick and juicy, so I make them tall.” I told Steve his wife was a lucky woman.

As I skipped off with my $.87 hamburger, I smiled.  Content with my purchase and amused by the line of singles forming at Steve’s counter.  Next time maybe I’ll buy the value pack and invite people over.

In Tulsa my son, Clay has had his own experiences shopping as a single chap.  I hope you’ll read his account at

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_156530951054013&id=156802497693525#!/home.php?sk=group_156530951054013&view=doc&id=156802494360192 (11.15 update: Not on facebook or trouble with link?  Essay included below)

Happy shopping, Trix

By Clay Norvell – Marketing

Beep…beep…beep…“Please place the item in the bagging area.”

I let out a labored sigh. Every damn time I’m at the “self checkout,” I’m told what to do by an automated female voice. It makes me wonder why it’s called “self” checkout if I am constantly demanded to “Please wait for assistance,” – really meaning the assistance of another human. It would almost seem that I cannot be trusted to bag my own groceries.

Beep…beep…

While I assume most people wander the store aimlessly, thinking of mundane issues, I find myself thinking about my future. Will I be buying frozen dinners for one at age thirty? Will I ever have the occasion to use two place settings every night, or am I destined to single servings for the rest of my days?

Reflections, aisle two…Reflections, aisle two.”

The grocery store is a strange place to have the thoughts about prospects (or lack thereof) of matrimony; if one day you may sire offspring, or if your boss may be offended if you asked for the day off “because it’s Ted Bundy’s birthday.”

Oops! Don’t forget the White Castle burgers!

I push my industrial sized shopping cart along slowly; seeing as how I always get the one that has that one wayward wheel that buzzes like a ripped windsock every five seconds. Add more embarrassment to my cart.

Still I have to stop and laugh about some of the products I see…

“Hey, I never thought about buying a metric ton of Chunky Monkey! What a bargain!”

Or:

“Oh look, there’s a kiosk of cold sore medicine…must be close to Valentine’s Day. That reminds me a lot of that commercial where the people looked really happy learning how to kayak…”

Once I navigate my way to the checkout line, the reality of everything sinks in – I’m just embarrassed of my lack of culinary knowledge! I think everything in my basket screams out, “He’s been single since 2006! He’s getting lazier! He eats peanut butter two times a day!” I veer over to the self check-out to avoid this paranoia-based judgment by the cashiers. I can just imagine what they’re thinking.

Beep… ”Yeah, this guy lives alone.”

Beep… “There’s someone who definitely has commitment issues.”

Beep… “He wants to be an author? Yeah, and I read Playboy for the joke page.”

Beep… “He looks like Boris Karloff’s lovechild.”

Perhaps I’m just delusional.

They may be thinking of kayaking lessons after all.

©. N.


Nov 10 2010

My guy Tad.

“Tad, as in Tad the Cad on All My Children?” I asked.

“Yeah.”

About the name – pretty sure he’s been asked before by those of us familiar with the soap opera role played by actor Michale Knight. My Portland Tad is a homeless fellow I met him through the Whippets in the Fields.

My friends who know of Tad worry about me and our connection.  They needn’t.

The Fields is a rare undeveloped plot in Portland’s Pearl District that functions as a semi-official off-leash area.  In one particular spot it hosts a treasure chest of smells and discarded items. Most dogs and owners miss it, preferring the grassy fields for games of fetch. Whippets don’t play fetch. Leo gets the ball and then deposits it as far away from the person who flung it out there as possible. During Leo’s first days of living with us he and I indulged in games of Donut Dash in the long hallways of our Tulsa home. Leo would retrieve the greenish, tennis ball material, donut-shaped toy. He’d then quickly zip back towards me but always try to skate past me on the bamboo floors with his catch. I caught him, threw the toy back down the hall. The game continued.

The day I met Tad was a sunny, but slightly cool day. He was wrapped mummy-style in a green blanket on the pavement next to his heavily laden cart. The Whippets couldn’t resist exploring. They sniffed and poked around Tad during each of our first two walks of the day despite my effort to distract and chorale them. By mid-afternoon and our third walk, we found Tad standing, neatly folding his linens. I apologized for my nosey Whippets.

“I’ve found a huge bag of dog food. Would your dogs like some?” Tad asked.

Tad has eaten dog food, cat food, too. He definitely prefers dog food.

“Is it the oiliness of the cat food?” I asked Again, “Yeah.”

I worry often about financial security, especially starting over in my 50′s when many friends are retiring and embarking on fabulous trips I don’t see in my future. Tad didn’t once complain about his situation. He was, indeed, concerned about the disorder of his cart when I took his photo. Now when the weather here turns cold and wet, I text Tad. “Are you somewhere dry, warm?” He sends me a photo of an enclosed parking garage – his cart off to the side.


Oct 16 2010

Add it up.

October 16, 2010

(Reading this is greatly enhanced listening to music links @ bottom of page – if you can multi-task!)

On days when it seems the good outnumbers the bad – DON’T STOP TO COUNT!

I was diagnosed this week with skin cancer (1), then arthritis (2) and wore my heart on my sleeve, when it might have been better closer to the vest (3). If less-than-wonderful things happen in three’s, would it be okay to ask for wonderful things in groups of 7 or 9, one of my other favorite numbers??  Three is becoming a wee bit of a crowd.

Speaking of numbers.  I took myself out for Chinese in Tulsa.  My fortune cookie read, “Your ability to find the silly in the serious will take you far. Lucky numbers 9, 13, 18, 24, 33, 46.  I went back to snag another cookie.  “Do not mistake temptation for opportunity.  Lucky numbers 18, 23, 32, 34, 39, 41.”  Woo Hoo!  Goal was to find one listing 52 (got a birthday ahead) but the 18th is right around the corner.  I am getting up early 10.18th to enjoy my double dose of luck!

The bad stuff, I figure, is the dues I gotta pay for the good.  Does that add up? My sister years ago, during one of the many times she tried to soothe my heartache or disappointment, insisted being happy all the time would be boring.  No it wouldn’t.  Bored is just not in my vocabulary and a charmed life would not invite it into my emotional 36 expressions. I think it’s a bit like the idea of heaven.  Great spin to put on dying.  Little wonder I gave up mass for Lent decades ago.

On a perfect 10.10.10 day (last Sunday) in a so-so warrior pose (and crescent pose) I was reaching for the stars to bring a bit more heaven to the beach. Stars, the way we envision them, are bright, pointy like things. One I snagged poked a bit of a hole in my tender heart but years earlier in another fun, unexpected, moment – dressed in flats and pants,  stacked up next to some hot babes (dressed differently) and facing an all-male judge panel (cruise ship experience – if you must know) I won the lip syncing contest prancing around to I Will Survive (my son Clay has since recovered from that experience of mom on the dance floor.)

The Trix is still here, dancing and singing and come the 18th, it won’t be just any Monday.  I got a loverly slice of heaven at a great price the last time I stretched.  I am reaching for the moon next time (and warming up at Sunday 9:45 yoga class in the Pearl)!

Look up to the sky tonight.  If you don’t see enough starlight, go where it is darker.  You will find there are more stars up there than you can stay awake to count. That is some kinda wonderful.

Postscript:  Two super people recently sent this info to me – This October has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays, all in one month.  It happens once in 823 years. Add it up!  And then November 1st is my birthday.

xo, Trix

Follow these 5 (!) leads to good things:

Loverly ~My Fair Lady: http://youtu.be/T-2CnRuk6Nk

36 Expressions ~ Funny Girl: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRbIjcKB_CY

Yoga ~ http://www.yelp.com/biz/beach-yoga-with-brad-santa-monica

Some kinda wonderful  ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RijxCw2NZH0

Add it up ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am8qrrZAtP4


Aug 15 2010

Dog Days of Summer.

August 14, 2010

It’s hot.  The dog days of summer when Sirius joins the sun in the sky have arrived, creating sultry temps and casting an eerie quiet over the neighborhood during the time of day you can almost hear the sidewalk sizzle.   The dogs uncharacteristically pant and on each shortened walk, pull me toward every neighborhood water bowl to be found.  In a dog friendly town, there are many; Leo insisted we stop outside the Pilates’ studio, then the bank, the bakery, the clothing boutique.

The heat has me thinking again of garden hoses, or more accurately the absence of one.  For only the second summer in my adult life I don’t own a hose.   This time last summer I had a 10-foot Ace Hardware hose hooked up on the balcony.  On sunny, hot days I’d dress in a swimsuit and happily set about watering the trees, bushes, flowers, pavement and myself before happily collapsing, refreshed and relaxed for a cocktail or meal prepared by Joel.  I gave that hose to the couple who now occupies the flat because my newer flat doesn’t have an outdoor spicket. My current patio plants must be maintained with a watering can.   It’s green and made of rubber, a gift from The Plant Lady, Gay Hendricks.

Watering plants each day now seems more a chore than a summer ritual.  I know, it’s all about attitude. I’ve debated filling the watering can and dousing myself with its contents, saving just a bit to sip from the spout but it seems a wanting substitute for a real garden hose on a hot summer day.

I don’t have to think hard to remember dragging a hose across the lawn or the courtyard, using my thumb to shape and direct a rainbow-producing cascade of water over thirsty plants in a sun-baked yard or spraying an unsuspecting poolside sun worshiper. And no Alpine spring water in a plastic bottle I have ever had compares with the cool, refreshing nectar of water from a garden hose on a dog day summer afternoon.

As long as there are summer days there will always be such simple pleasures.  I try to make  the most of them during this time of transition when losses can still overshadow days.  Each moment of pure joy cancels out a moment of sadness and at least an hour or two of indifference.

Hoses may be gone from my life but there is still Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Money Ice Cream in a waffle cone.  Catch ya later, grator!

Stay cool. Trix


Aug 14 2010

Closer than you think.

Think about the drive to work today, or the drive home.  With or without a mobile phone in use, how often were your thoughts somewhere else?

We often cruise familiar turf preoccupied with thoughts outside the present moment and space.   Could it be we are similarly programmed to look elsewhere for things that perhaps are right under our nose?

Take hiking and coffee. The airplanes are full this time of year with travelers headed to Oregon to enjoy the state’s trails and java shops.  Since moving to Portland I’ve even taken up hiking. It bares a strong resemblance to what I once called walking, but the scenery is different and I do it regularly with friends – something I never did in Tulsa.  “In Tulsa,” I have explained, “the harsh weather keeps us inside socializing over food and wine.” In Portland I feel like a kid again, playing outside with chums.

I Goggled hiking Tulsa and got 322,000 results.  I Goggled coffee houses Tulsa and got 45,800 (substituting Portland for Tulsa yields 2,140,000 and 290,000 results respectively.)

Clearly I could have hiked in Tulsa everyday of the over 30 years I lived there. And despite 107 degree weather this month, I did – twice! Not with the same companion both times but that’s beside the point.  Come October, I am confident both will consider joining me again.  Both my August outings acquainted me with Turkey Mountain on the west side of the Arkansas River.  I’d only been there once before though I still own a house just three miles west on 71st Street.  With a heat index of 115 degrees, you may wish clothing was optional but the tree canopies protect you from the sun; bottled water combats the heat.  And (thanks Julie!) I learned a simple way to navigate this unfamiliar urban wilderness: consistently climbing up hill not only provides a better workout but makes later finding the parking lot and your car as simple as walking (excuse me, hiking) downhill. In Portland’s Washington Park, my strategy is simply to follow whoever is ahead of me and keep tabs on my off-leash Whippets.

When it comes to coffee, my approach is equally simple.  I usually get my daily dose brewed at home in one of those noisy “by the cup” machines that will wake the dead in the morning but yet go relatively unnoticed by chatty dinner guests many hours later in the day. Though I live in Portland, where Starbucks coffee beans are roasted, I buy Topeca Coffee in Tulsa and cart it home in my suitcase.  (Each and every time I open my suitcase to find an airport security inspection notice. I can only figure I am suspected of using coffee beans to throw off the hounds sniffing for other substances.)

I buy Topeca coffee as much for the story, as the taste.  Topeka was founded by John Gaberino and his wife Maria, a woman from El Salvador whose family has owned and operated a coffee plantation for six generations.  I remember years ago when John used to serve up samples of the coffee for Petty’s shoppers.  When the coffee market hit one of its lowest points, the Gaberinos and Maria’s relatives had determined the best way to continue the business for another six generations was to take the product from the field to the consumer, a process they dubbed “seed to cup.” This last trip to Tulsa I finally met Maria. It’s an easy task to find her in their relatively new cafe downtown.

When the Mayo Hotel in downtown Tulsa reopened after 30 years -sporting a $50 million plus renovation, Topeca Coffee opened a cafe on the ground floor.  It’s an inviting spot with glass table tops resting on trays of coffee beans, comfy leather sofas and over-sized photo portraits of plantation employees, like Miguel, who works on the patios. As the portrait label reads, “Topeca uses a traditional method of sun-drying fresh beans on large patios.  Beans must be raked and turned often to ensure all moisture is gone.” In Tulsa, beans from El Salvador are roasted on site daily and freshly brewed coffee is served with an assortment of pastries and sandwiches. I’ve read the Starbucks story; I don’t get the same feeling from it as I do talking to Maria or John.

The next time you are yearning to explore or wishing for a change of scenery, try looking at home with fresh eyes.

Always, Trix

My finds:

http://www.topecacoffee.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey_Mountain_(Oklahoma)

www.washingtonparkpdx.org/map.htm


Jul 20 2010

Sangria.

Thursday he would have been 88 years old.

“I’ll return to Tulsa early enough in July so we can celebrate mums’ 89th and your 88th together (as we often did).  And I tell you what, I’ll figure out how to make homemade Sangria for you,” I said to my dad during our last time together.

“I’d like that,” he said.  His voice was soft but his eyes clear and focused, as anticipation  gently swept over his gaunt face.  My dad and I:  We like our wine, perhaps a bit too much.  We like a party.

Why had I waited 10 years to make the offer?  During a visit to Sydney in late 2000 my cousin Michael’s charming wife Dora surprised my father with homemade Sangria on Christmas day.  The feast was at the home of my Uncle Ron and Auntie Dawn’s.  After stuffing ourselves we posed for photos by the pool wearing shorts, Christmas cracker paper holiday crowns topping our heads.  The trip was a gift from my parents to my sister and me and our families. I hadn’t been to Australia since 1985. The gift was more than generous, it was life changing.

Tonight in Portland I arrived at R. damore, a new art gallery in the Pearl owned by photographer & portrait artist Robin Damore.  Author Wendy Burden was talking about her book, Dead End Gene Pool.  Serving refreshments was a beautiful, engaging, Latin woman, just the type woman my Pop would have flirted with – shamelessly!  She put ice in a stemmed glass and poured a Sangria Roja for me.   When he drank red wine, much to the horror of all around him, Bob (JR, Pops…my dad) always asked for ice, unless he could help himself to some.  “About 3 cubes,” he’d tell me.  Around the table eyes would roll.  Winos can be such snobs!   Hosts, proud of their wine selections, sometimes seemed insulted.  Bob’s pleasure was never diminished by their attitudes.   He asked for and got what he wanted; there is a lesson in that, I think.

The sangria I enjoyed will soon appear in Portland gourmet grocery stories such as Zupan and City Market.  It’s maker, Maria Corbinos  is a woman who came to Portland to earn an MBA.  In no time her friends quickly encouraged her to bottle the sangria she made to share at gatherings. Her personality and business accumen earned her an Angel Award and is bringing her product to launch shortly. (Visit http://www.mividasangria.com/index.htm) As I listened to her story, I shared mine.

At the end of the evening I walked home with a bottle of Mi Vida Sangria Roja – a gift from Maria.  I also had three new business cards in my pocket belonging to new friends I planned to call later this month, after returning from Tulsa.  As I walked home, my father’s spirit filled my heart and lightened my step.  True, we won’t dine at Andina’s, the Peruvian restaurant I told Poppy was a must when he came to see my new home. The trip is one he didn’t make.  But my dad is here, he’s wherever there is goodness and a sense of adventure…  An absence of expectations but a hope for something special. That is his legacy. That is what I will play forward.

Always, Jabberwalkie (my dad’s nickname for me)

Medaris, Jesse Robert (Bob) of Tulsa passed away June 14th, 2010.  He was born July 22nd, 1922 in Denver, Colorado to Jesse Roy and Loretta Mae (Wolfe) Medaris.  He attended Hawthorne Grade School in Englewood, Colorado and graduated from Englewood High School in 1940.  In September 1941 he enrolled in Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado.  World War II interrupted his engineering undergraduate work.  He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps for three years, reaching the rank of First Lieutenant as a navigator with the 13th Air Force in the South Pacific.  He was proud to have seen many of the islands in that theatre: New Caledonia, Guadalcanal, New Britain, New Guinea, the Halmahera and most of the Philippines.  After the war he completed his studies at Mines, graduating as a petroleum engineer in 1949. While at Mines, he was a member of Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Gamma Epsilon and Blue Key.

In May 1947 he married Dorothy Patricia (Pat) Shelley, whom he met in February 1945 on Bondi Beach while on military leave in Sydney, Australia. Marriage followed a nine-day, whirlwind romance and two years of long-distance correspondence by mail. The couple had two daughters, Shelley Anne Ricks and Tracey Elizabeth Norvell. Three grandchildren survive Mr. Medaris: Michael Andrew Ricks, Corrine Elizabeth Mueller and Clay Alexander Norvell. Also, great-grandson Andrew Paul Mueller and brother Francis Medaris.  His brother Charles Medaris and sister Ruth Medaris predeceased him.

Immediately following graduation from Mines, Phillips Petroleum Company in Eureka, Kansas and then Venezuela employed Mr. Medaris.  In 1954 he began a 15-year career with affiliates of Standard Oil of New Jersey (Exxon) in Venezuela, Libya and Indonesia. Outside professional assignments, the Medaris family also lived in Palo Alto, CA, Sydney, Australia and Houston, TX.  Mr. Medaris’ second career as Manager of the Studies Department for Crest Engineering led the family to Tulsa, OK.  His work with Crest took him to Nigeria, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Siberia, China, Pakistan, Indonesia, the North Sea, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Canada and other oil and gas-producing areas. When Crest Engineering relocated to Houston in 1985, Mr. Medaris remained in Tulsa, serving as Vice President of Crown Tech, Inc.  In 1987 he joined Fluor Daniels Williams Brothers as a consultant until his retirement in late 1993.

Mr. Medaris learned many languages during his travels. He was a quiet man with a quick, contagious laugh.  Somewhat a rebel and never a follower, he was well respected and tremendously admired by colleagues.  His gentle spirit made him an instant favorite with children and pets, and his love of life and travel gave him countless friends worldwide. He enjoyed golf, ice skating and worked tirelessly in the garden. During the past seven years he kept the residents at Inverness Village well supplied with the jokes and stories he collected from magazines and newspapers. His blue eyes always sparkled with life and mischief. His favorite song was “ Begin the Beguine,” but the ones his children and grandchildren will most remember are those he sang at bedtime: “You Are My Sunshine,” “Oh! Suzanna,” and “Red River Valley.”  While some might mourn the loss of this most lovely, gentle, caring, kind soul, who was also extremely bright, funny and handsome, his response would be this poem he especially liked:

I AM NOT THERE

Do not stand at my grave and weep.

I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush,

I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft star that shines at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry.

I am not there; I did not die.

Author Unknown


Jul 19 2010

Before we dress.

Before we move on to dressing and countless other things, let’s linger just a moment longer on some bare facts relating to art and food, both shared in response to Insatiable (July 2010).

Two readers sent items to post. Steve offered up his recipe for Naked Pasta and Bud visited The Pearl Gallery (Tulsa, OK) installation of Nudity & Whimsy.

Bud sent along Floral Chakras by Allie Jensen. (below)** as well as writing, “…(describing owner Doug Edwards’ work hanging on the wall behind Flower Child by Clayton Keyes -see photo left) as I recall, his work reflects the ropes that bind women, relative to what the ‘perfect body’ is supposed to be among other issues.  Fascinating!” **

As for food… Beef may be “what’s for dinner” but it and the other white meat pale next to Naked Pasta!

Steve writes, “I got my inspiration for this dish from my favorite chef, Jamie Oliver. It’s been tweaked for my own personal taste and is easily modified to work for anybody. I start with my favorites; mushrooms, fresh garlic and green olives. Then it’s simply a cruise through the produce section of your local grocery store, where I normally pick up squash and/or zucchini and maybe some peppers and fresh parsley.”

Cook your pasta (I prefer angel hair) as you normally would and set aside.
Add a tablespoon of butter and a bit of olive oil to a pan and turn on the heat.
Chop/slice your veggies as thick or thin as you like. Thicker seems to work better so that after you sauté the veggies for awhile, they don’t turn to mush.
Add veggies to your pan and cook until your preferred degree of “doneness.”
Be sure to add the garlic. I like to use a garlic press for most of the garlic, but last night adding some sliced garlic seemed to work well too. I’d use 4-5 cloves

This dish seems to be best with a bit of spice to it, so I like adding red pepper flakes, but a fresh hot pepper would be best.

Once your veggies are finished cooking, add your pasta to the pan and give the mixture a good toss. If it seems a bit dry, add more olive oil.  Serve immediately and top with fresh chopped parsley and fresh Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Now let’s mix it up a wee bit more (mixology and the Teardrop lounge) and then get dressed.

As always, Trix