Tag Archives: Friends

Pork… it makes me smile

Yesterday was our local farmer’s market.

I love the farmer’s market. I love that people are so in love with the food they bring. I love that there has been labour involved, labour from their hands.   Some of it comes from the dirt and some is created in the kitchen with sifting, stirring and boiling pots. All of it is presented with such generosity.

Rose Bianca Eggplant. It’s an italian heirloom eggplant. I’ve never had one but I think it’s purdy. I’m gonna have to try one next weekend. Or buy some just to put on the table so my eyes can feast open all that gorgeous color.

Our take home: apples, Kale, butternut squash, yellow zucchini, muscadine grapes and shiitake mushrooms. I am dreaming of something with pasta, zucchini, muscadines and shiitake.

And the extra special good part……The fine folks at Jonbayla BBQ come every weekend towing a trailer with ginormous grills full of meat. You can smell them coming. In a good way. And today they did not disappoint. Today they unveiled the pinnacle of palate pleasing pork perfection. Today, they unveiled the Pork Parfait. That’s right. PORK. PARFAIT.

Yogurt parfait is for wusses. You can’t handle the pork!

(I still have DMV fingernails. I must remember to buy nail polish remover)

A layer of baked beans for a good foundation. Dry rubbed barbecue so tender its just held together with little meat hugs. Tangy, spicy barbecue sauce. Sharp cheddar. And the cherry on top, BBQ style, baaaaacon.

I got one. I ate it.  I tried to stick my face in the cup to lick it clean. And then I took a pork induced nap.

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City Picnic

A Beee-you-ti-ful day in the neighborhood.  Mr. Smith, my built in entertainment at work, and I rode the bus for a downtown picnica (as my Nana used to call it).

A stroll on city streets. Lunch from Phillips Deli. Some southern chicken salad, perfect potato salad and a big fat pickle. I could eat a meal of pickles. Would that be wrong?  I think the fact that I ordered 2 things with the word salad cancels out all the mayo and renders this a healthy picnic. At least that’s what I’m telling myself

Outdoor sitting in the city. We met an old friend. We reminisced. We laughed. Mr. Smith has mad skills so he whisked himself away into the DoubleTree hotel and scored us some warm welcome cookies. Did you know they give away free cookies to their guests?  Mr. Smith has begged and pleaded for free cookies many a time. I’m sure they are not fooled. I’m sure they are just really nice people and prolly want the crazy man out of their lobby.

Please ignore the alien finger and DMV fingernail shot. They really are warm. And nothing says welcome better than oatmeal cookies. All good picnics must come to an and picnic goers must return to work.

Here is the fabulous Mr. Smith. He was talking most animatedly about sheep shearing I believe. . Because nothing brings the picnic mood to a close faster than a good sheep shearing discussion.  Apparently Mr. Smith had been to the State fair and I”m worried that he’s gonna quit his job and go shear sheep full-time. Not a bad way to spend lunch time.

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T-Dub

My nephew, the T-dub. Puts the babe in baby. He’s a human marshmallow. Squishy, sweet and sticks to you with sugary goodness.

There’s only a small window of time that most of us can take photos like this and look remotely cute.

He’s bringing bald back.

He sits quietly with my Pops… cause he knows that’s about the best medicine my Dad can have.

Eat the spatula?  You talkin’ to me? Ahhh… fuggidaboutit…you just jealous. You couldn’ eat a spatula and look this good.

Yo! Mama Diller… your Prince Chuck ain’t got nuttin’ on me.

Look at those cheeks! I just want to go all Aunt Susie on him and pincha, pincha, pincha. I hope you have an Aunt Susie. I do. She is one of the “little Aunts”. She’s italian. She can cook. See why you need an Aunt Susie?

xo

Franny

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A Piratess ( I made that word up) Looks at 40

In about 28 days I turn 40. Me… 40? To quote my favorite philosopher Jimmy Buffett:  “I passed out and I rallied and I spring a few leaks” but the ship is still sailing.

I remember being 15 and 20 was floating on the horizon bragging with hip and cool adult independence – Nobody can tell ME what to do when I’m 20. I remember being 20 and 30 seemed so slightly wise and mature. (I’m still waiting for the maturity to show up).  I remember hitting 30, with a tiny Girl Wonder in tow, and thinking 40 was old and grizzled and halfway to a rest home that smelled like pee and Clorox. And now it’s here. And my youth is flying out the window to land somewhere back in the 80’s with my purple leg warmers and jelly shoes but I’m tattooed, pierced and can still shake my groove thing.

I would totally still wear leg warmers. And a polo shirt with the collar flipped up.

So I’m celebrating 40 with my not so skinny hips and my wrinkly eyes and a little bit of inspiration from Joy the Baker. (If you’ve never visited her… stop now and go. She cooks with sugar. And likes frosted things).

I’m making a list of 40 things to do in my 40th year. And giving myself a year to make it happen.. cause while I have not matured I have mastered the art of procrastination.

Eat 1 big, fat slice of chocolate cake all by myself without sharing or counting calories

Make 2 new kinds of bread

Give away  3 cool things on Franny Bolsa

Visit 4 new states with the Girl Wonder

Deliver dinner to 5 local friends (I would totally be wiling to travel cross-country but am not sure if I could put a pan of lasagna in my carry on)

Give away 6 apple pies (Michael…. I’m saving one for your Mom)

buy 7 strangers coffee, tea, macchiatos, lattes, cherry limeades……

create luck for 8 people

Give away 9 hand made things

Have 10 friends over for dinner

try 11 new recipes from around the world

give away 12 of my favourite books,

take 13 long naps

write thank you notes to 14 people who have made a difference in my life

Read 15 new books… non fiction style

stop and enjoy 16 sunsets

leave a $17 tip

invite  18 friends to a “Regret Bonfire”… let all those regrets go up in smoke

take 19 hikes,

visit 20 local businesses,

Sit and dream with Girl Wonder about what her life will be like at 21

draw 22 pictures (that only need to be recognizable to me a la Le Petit Prince style)

listen to 23 new musicians

Take 24 photos of people I love

Send 25 boxes of cookies to people I like

purge 26 things from the house that I don’t use and give them a new home

volunteer 27 hours

try 28 new flavours of ice cream

make 29 things from my Nana’s recipe box (share said things or with all the other food related items on my list I will double my weight by 41)

paint 30 fingernails something fun and crazy

tell 31 strangers something I appreciate or admire about them

Donate 32 books to the local library

Send 33 postcards to friends old and new

make  at least 34 sumptuous cupcakes

do 35 push ups

learn 36 sentences in Spanish

tell Girl Wonder 37 unexpected reasons its fun to be a smart, sassy, single, independent woman

write down at least 38 blessings I have in my life

Pick up 37 pieces of litter to make the world a better place

run 40 miles in 40 days

You can count. You get the picture? Ideas, thoughts, witty suggestions? I’m open. Whatchu got? Help a sistah out…..

Thank you for all the ideas and suggestions!  Lots of creative suggestions… some … ummmm very creative suggestions – which I’ve added to my list of things to do should I ever want to get arrested, fired or make my mother blush list.

The fun begins on August 9th…. Want cookies, a letter, a handmade thing, a book, got a new band I should check out…. ??? Send me an email at frannybolsa@gmail.com (put ” 40 for 40″ in the subject line)

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Local Yokels

I like bikes. I like bikes with baskets. I like bikes with baskets on the beach. Alas, this bike cannot be found on the beach. This bike is part of Nashville’s new bike share program.

A most glorious combination: bikes and sharing.  Our local health department has rolled out a bike share program that will soon be coming to a greenway near you!  You can be hip. You can be cool. You can wear clam diggers and Keds and fill your basket with picnic food. Right now you can find this canary coloured bundle of two wheeled fun at the Riverfront and at Shelby Bottoms. And its FREE for Davidson County residents!  Go here for more info:  Nashville Bike Share

At Earth Day last weekend amidst a army of dogs big and tall and rat-like tiny, and dread headed folks and vegan love and smell good goat soap and solar panels and organic farmers… there was a stage.

A stage with music from countries close and across the ocean. Music with drums and guitars and a harmonica. And with music comes dancing (at least in my house). And this music came with kids of pee wee dimensions to kids of teen-aged proportions. Dancing amazing they were. But the best were these:

They were starched and pressed. Beflowered. Besparkled. Cowboy booted. And my favourite… wearing swirly twirly dervish dresses with ribbons and ruffles.  The dancers were from the Global Education Center on Whitebridge Road. Maybe if you ask really really nice they will let you take a class and wear something that spins and flies while your feet and hips swivel to a salsa rhythm.  They have classes with music and dancing from everywhere… ahem… hence the term Global. I informed the Girl Wonder we were signing up for Salsa lessons and for West African Dancing. She rolled her eyes but we’ll just ignore that.

And my most favourite thing at Earth Day was a group called Green Loop.  I think they are located near the Farmers Market downtown. It is a collective of green business entrepreneurs. They have hydroponics happiness and a group called Hope Garden.  This is a Hope Garden. It only looks like a raised bed with plants.  If you have supersonic x-ray vision you will see: a gift of food; a gift of home; a gift of loveliness and of course a gift of hope.  Go forth and buy yourself a Hope Garden. They bring it to you and set it up and fill it with plants you’ve chosen cause you think they purty. Then, Then, [insert a pregnant pause for dramatic effect and tension building] then they donate a Hope Garden to a local family. And that local family gets a garden filled with prettiness or a garden with veggies. Right now Hope Garden is working with a local Refugee agency and helping families feel at home with a garden of their own. It’s a Buy One Get One deal. It’s a Buy One Give Hope deal.  Green Loop doesn’t have a website yet but we’ll be visiting them soon and will share more.

We were actually at Earth Day not because we wanted to refill our patchouli stash or nosh on soy dogs but so the Girl wonder could help man her school’s information booth.

Can I confess that I really do not seem to understand the use of commas, or semi-colons. I hope Ms. Wine of AP English never reads this. I use the tiny grammatical scratches purely for artistic effect. I know that’s wrong. I apologize to any comma sensitive readers and advise you to toughen up.

But I digress.  I love this expression. Doesn’t it sound like a manuever most elegant. As in “look at that lovely lady in silken finery as she digresses to and fro”.

Alas I digress again.

So… the Girl Wonder was supposed to be informing the public of her school’s environmental excellence and activities. This is what I saw the most though:

This doesn’t look like manning or informing. It looks like Checkers. Her shoulders got all sunny. And she had fun. And I had big fat Gyro from the Fattoush Cafe table. I know not what to do with commas. I do however know exactly what to do with a Gyro. I eat it. And then I lie back on the grass on Centennial Park, close my eyes and take a sun bath.

Are you a local yokell? Whatchu like to do around town? Do share. If you’re not a local yokel.. tell us what the locals in your yokel like to do. Maybe we’ll come visit.

xo

FB

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It’s 3 a.m. & I’m Moving To Coeur D’Alene

I’ve had the same dream for several weeks now.  It’s making me feel restless. Or maybe my restlessness is causing the dream

I’m standing in front of a big old porcelain sink piled with dishes looking out  a huge window. There’s a big hole in the knee of my jeans and my feet are bare. I know that if I looked at the bottom of my feet they’d be black from walking around in the yard without shoes. My eyes are closed. I’m standing there with the sun on my face making my cheeks all toasty.  It’s morning sun cause its not too hot. Just a warm breath.

The floor is dusty. Wide wooden boards.   Dirt carried in on happy feet. Probably from the boots tipped over by the back door. Big boots. Caked on mud. Old brown leather. Man boots. Cowboy man boots.

I can see the screened in porch with grey wooden steps that go out to the yard and know if I stand out there I can smell the compost in the garden and if inhale deeply enough I can smell the water in the wind.  I know there’s a garden with big fat tomatoes on wooden stakes. I know there’s a barn with horses waking up waiting to be fed. I know there’s a green canoe resting upside down on the side of barn, it’s bottom faded from the sun.I know there’s a black and white mutt sleeping on the steps who’ll only crack his eyes when the food hits his dish. I know there are chickens waking in a little blue hen-house eager for a day of scratching in the dirt.

My self that’s tucked in bed watching my dream wants my dream self to move around so can I can see more. See where I am. Take the grand tour of this strange house.  I want to peek behind the  blue flowered curtain that hides the cupboard underneath the sink. I want to snoop. But my dream self won’t budge. She knows she is home. She knows she has all day to get things done. Right now she just wants to sit quietly in the morning air.  She knows that soon she will have dishes to wash, mouths to feed, critters to tend. She doesn’t mind. She is content.

And somehow my sleeping self knows that we’re in Idaho, somewhere near Coeur D’Alene. And I wake up feeling like I need to rent a u-haul right away and drive  the Girl Wonder and I straight to Coeur D’Alene.

While my mind is filled with gypsy travel wanderlust for the great northwest, here in Nashvegas:

Ms. Awesome found this lovely cake carrier and was kind enough to let it come home with me. It sits in the kitchen patiently awaiting a cake.

I made shortbread. I took a picture of it. Then we ate it. I love shortbread. Just set it in your mouth and it melts. Warm butter puddling on your tongue. A thin layer of chocolate so your teeth don’t fee left out.  Shortbread makes the house smell like home.  A lingering scent of vanilla baked goodness.  If love had a signature scent I think it would smell like shortbread.  Should you want to a treat make yourself some shortbread.  I’ve no idea where I got this recipe. It’s quick and easy though. Click on the link for a printable recipe (that is if I did the dang thing right).  Shortbread Lovin’

Spring is everywhere in the yard. Bird feeders getting fixed and ready for its summer guests

Flowers are parading around decked out in colour.

The garden is in and looking good.

There’s lettuce, cabbage (red and green), broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, onions, carrots and beets.

With the garden growing, Coeur D’Alene shall have to wait at least until the summer’s over.

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Roller Skates & Rock n Roll

Wild and crazy girls were we this weekend.  A roller skate party for the Girl Wonder today.

Ten 12 year old girls on wheels. Hmm…. perhaps this is where the term hell on wheels comes from.  They skated, they sucked down pizza and guzzled sugar. My job was done.  A co-worker’s daughter made the Girl Wonder the most awesome cupcake cake. Behold…

Would you like to try a wheel. You can. Cause  if you sneak up on the skate quietly, the wheel starts to look like this.

This was way better than a cake. You know at Halloween you buy bag and bags of bite sized fun. That’s what this cake was all about.. bite sized fun.

And just like those fun sized Mr. Goodbars, you really can’t eat just one. This cake won’t let you.  You might have to have two. And maybe wait for the Girl Wonder to go to bed so you can have a bonus one for being such a stellar mother.

As if roller skating were not enough fun for one day. We jetted  downtown to join our friends Mr. and Mrs. Awesome  to see Web Wilder and enjoy a little rock n roll action.  Girl Wonder was delighted to consume bar appetizers. Although, sitting next to her on the couch now, I think we’ll pick something other than Nachos Supreme next time.  Ms. Awesome presented the Girl with her very own Junk Ball and Bat.  Junk Ball is apparently Whiffle Ball for the hard core crowd. Girl Wonder has developed a love for Whiffle ball (also thanks to the Awesomes) and was super excited to have graduated to the big league. The Junk Ball bat has an excellent heft. A Junk Ball aficionado might envision using such a bat to hit a home run worthy of the Junk Ball Hall of Fame. I, as a mother, think it will be most useful to encourage rapid unloading of the dishwasher.

The band fired up and soon there were wailing guitars and the thumping of drums filling the room. Girl Wonder kicked back and exuded cool and hip vibes whilst I danced around in my chair and caused her much embarrassment.  Despite her need to roll her eyes at my inability to listen to music and sit still, the Girl Wonder had a fantabulous night (who are we kidding, she’s celebrated her birthday 3 times in the last 8 days. She’s having a fantablous week). She was memorized by the herd of guitars on stage and has informed me that she wants to play the acoustic guitar because it won’t be as loud as an electric guitar. Hurray.

From sun up to sun down, it’s been a good day.

xo

Franny B

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