Believing Eyes

Do I have a drinking problem if I drink a glass of wine four nights a week and it goes down quite fast and I sure do want another one and if I do have two, usually only on Saturday nights or special occasions, that one goes down fast too?

Also, when I’ve had a drink and I see something out of the corner of my eye, I never believe it. I tell myself it was just the drink. But if I’m having a glass four nights a week, that means I can’t believe my own eyes half the time. That’s not good, is it.

I make it sound like there are all manner of strange goings-on here. There aren’t, really. There were spooky things that happened when I first moved into the café, but they were spooky-nice … in other words, just nice, not spooky. My guitar would fall over for no obvious reason but the neck would never break. There would always always always be more money in the cashbox than there should have been, and this when we run on the honour system, to boot. And remember when we used to get those handwritten notes with recipes on them? Those were cool and I never did find out who left them. We get good stuff in the tip jar now too. Here’s what was in it last night:

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

I still think it’s Beatrice but she swears not and the handwriting doesn’t really look like hers and anyway surely by now she’d’ve fessed up. It’s not like it wouldn’t come out when she’s here every week if not every day. Remember when she moved here and she wouldn’t leave her place? She still doesn’t, except to come here. But that’s something we can be glad about.

I was happy here then and I’m happy here now. Just getting used to a little less of Beau in my life. It’s not as easy as I thought it would be. I never did write a proper entry about it, and maybe I never will. Suffice it to say, I’ve spent my weekends alone for some time now and it’s been an adjustment. I miss him. And also: I don’t.

What can I say. That’s life. What a jumble of contradictions, each as true as the next. We are on good terms but not good enough. Whatever. I don’t want to talk about it, I just end up pissed off. I am thankful for the company of my dog in the evenings and for the people who come in and out of here during the day. It’s all good. Life is beautiful.

umberto

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GhostlyTown

I haven’t seen a ghost, and I’m not sure I want to. Even if it’s someone I know and love. Unless, I suppose, they approach from some distance instead of sneaking up behind me or only appearing in the dark when you’re alone like ghosts always do in movies. That’s just bullshit and any ghost who wants to hang with me had better not do it.

What should they do instead? Are they going to park their ass on a table in the front and wait silently till I go over with the coffee pot? I don’t know. I just know that the weeks leading up to Halloween are always iffy ones for me. I see things. I hear things. I feel things. I know things.

A man died in this building. It was once a grain elevator, remember? Long before it was a café. Well, one look at it and anyone who knows the difference between a barn and a granary sees it’s an elevator. Anyway, it was a gruesome death; he was a grain buyer buried by collapsing grain when he fell into one of the full storage chambers. I get the heebie-jeebies imagining it. But long before I found out about its history, Stubblejumpers Café was a place of warmth and refuge for me and that never changed no matter what I discovered. So bring it on, Ghost, if there is one. I expect you to be friendly and well behaved.

People still mention the sighting I had out at Sandy Lake. They’re kind about it mostly, at least to my face. If they know me, they know I’m sane and don’t imagine things. But they also kind of chuckle as if I’m a bit of a character who is always good for a surprise, even if it’s only something that comes out of my mouth. It’s goodnatured, is what I’m saying. One of the oldtimers did point me to the local history book, which claims that the village was named after a murdered girl a way back when, in its earliest pioneer days, and that she was killed down by the lake. Apparently no one ever reads the history book. No one alive would remember. So what I saw isn’t exactly surprising — if you believe in that sort of coincidence.

My little dog saw it too. Or smelled it. Or heard it. I don’t know, but she barked like the dickens at something. And I suppose the kafuffle did put Stubblejumpers Café on the map, what with the police divers and the lookyloos overrunning the place for those few days. And then all the never-befores who stopped in on their passing-bys because they’d heard there’d been a commotion here once, and now they always stop in when they’re going past. Those were busy days all right, and they turned us from a sleepy hole in the wall to a bustling diner. As far as free advertising goes, it’s as good as a sighting of the Loch Ness monster. People notice.

I do wonder why I saw her body floating there, face down in the shallow water. Why I saw her long dark hair streaming out from her head and no one else saw anything, even after searching for days. I still walk past the spot every morning when I make my loop past the lakeshore, and I wonder about that girl who died —who she was and who hurt her— and for just a moment I send a wish for safety and comfort back to her through time, to when she was still alive and before anything bad happened to her.

OLIVE BRANCH CAFE

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Fancy Edibles

I just loved this and have to show you.

fancyediblesdotcom

Click on the image to go to fancyedibles.com, where you may find more of these cute ideas. This was my favourite. What do you think the little black nose and eyes are made of?

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Barely Keeping Up

Oh my, talk about busy.

We’ve had rain and serious cold, and it has put a stop to everything in the fields, so that has meant that farmers are running here and there for parts to keep their machinery in tiptop shape because they won’t have time to do it when they get back out there, and they are stopping in for a quick hello and a bite to eat, and we have been on the run too, just trying to keep enough food ready to serve.

To make matters worse, Dawn has been down with a flu and unable to do her usual baking, so guess who has had to step in and try to carry that show? Yeah.

I’m beat, and glad the week is over.

open day and night

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Coffee Row

And we’re off and running into a new week!

I still get excited about Monday mornings, every time.

Maybe it’s because customers coming in today will almost always have something interesting to say about the weekend; either something they did themselves, or something someone else did. You just never know, but it’s always worth a listen. On Mondays, I tend to keep one ear on the front so I can hear the conversations, even while I’m in the back making the week’s supply of cookie dough.

It can get quite loud and raucous out there on Monday mornings, too. It’s as if all those men who come for “coffee row” each day actually missed each other over the weekend. They’d never admit it, but that’s how it seems to me. They sound like a bunch of worked-up little boys on their first day of school, looking for some hijinx to get into and just glad to see the “team” again.

I have yet to see one woman join these men at coffee row. That seems a bit strange; surely there must be times when a wife comes to town with her husband in the morning? But I guess they only come when they have something else to do in town. They don’t “waste” their time gossiping in the local coffee shop. They’re off somewhere, running an errand or completing a task.

Women’s conversations tend to be more intimate and of a more personal nature, and quietly spoken (i.e. harder to overhear). Their voices don’t carry as well and maybe they’re less concerned about making themselves heard, too; men seem to speak particularly loudly when they are talking to other men. Just a little something I’ve observed.

Well, I had best get down to business. Can’t dawdle here at the laptop all day now, can I?

http://www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-foods/restaurants-directory/

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Feast for Sore Eyes

It’s hard enough being a woman my age without men walking in here — married men — being all gorgeous and friendly. Honest to god in a heartbeat, there may not be many of them but the ones there are do give me a bit of a jumpstart. I guess that’s not anything to complain about. It just sets me dreaming and longing as I try to get my blood back down to a gentle simmer from the violent boil it’s been on all morning. How’s a girl to get any work done!

Because I’m sworn off men. Not just married men, of course, but all of them. They’re more trouble than they’re worth, and I do not need the aggravation. That’s not to say I don’t adore them; it’s to say that in the long term I’ve always ended up tired and disappointed and yes, even lonely, and I don’t want to go there anymore.

The single life is good. I keep my place just the way I like it. No one leaves their socks on the floor or their empty beer cans on the counter. I take out my own garbage and am never pissed off that someone else hasn’t done his share of the housework. I have friends and family for company and support, and I have no one but this café business to answer to.

I may be single, but I am not dead. I still notice and appreciate a handsome piece of male pulchritude, particularly when it comes with personality. The difference between me now and me 20 years ago is that just feasting my eyes is more than enough. I no longer rush in where angels fear to tread. We do live and learn!

san luis obispo

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Sit Damn Down

Julie had a good idea there: Sit Damn Down. So that’s what I’m doing. It’s what I used to do every morning, back in the days before Stubblejumpers got too busy for it. I used to sit here in the dark with my laptop on the counter and drink my coffee and smell the bread a-baking, and it set the tone for my whole day. I could gather myself together before customers started coming in, and by the time I unlocked the front door at 10, I was ready for all of it.

Then we got busy, and there was simply too much to do to keep up. So I got away from it, more’s the pity.
I’m going to go back to it though, as it made all the difference to how much pleasure I took from my work.
Thanks for the reminder, J. Seriously. Why is it that sometimes we just need to hear it from someone else?

This is going to be a potato week at the café. They’re in season and we have a shitload of them to use up. How can I include them in the daily special without making everyone sick of them? Potato bread, scallopped potatoes, french fried potatoes, potato soup … that’s four. I do have a recipe for potato salsa here somewhere. Been meaning to try that for years. No time like the present.

And with that, my friends, the morning sit-down comes to an end. I’ve got the day off, the sun’s shining, the wind’s blowing leaves off trees, and there are whitecaps on the lake. I’m off out. See you back here bright and early tomorrow.

Look-Mum-No-Hands

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