Yesterday Diane and I went to Hillsboro to visit a very good friend who had just been released from the ICU after a kidney operation to remove a HUGE stone. It was 1/3 the size of her kidney. The doctor removed about 3/4 of it before Jody’s BP dropped so low they had to terminate the operation. It was a scary time for Rick, I know, and for us when we found out what happened. It was good to see Jody and talk with her. I ask that everyone keep Jody in your thoughts and prayers as her doctors devise a way to get rid of that other 1/4 of her stone in a less invasive manner.
This morning I went to coffee with the MELCA group while Diane went to the church to set up for the WELCA’s 31st annual quilt show. Actually, it was only part of the MELCA group as a few were missing. But, seven of us filled up a 4-person table at The Kozy Korner Kafe. I don’t know if it’s “Kafe” or not, but seems like it should be since everything else starts with “K”. MELCA stands for Men of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. It’s not really an official group … Larry made that up thinking that when the WELCA group had their shindigs at the church, the MELCA group could have a tail gate party in the church parking lot. I guess that didn’t fluff a lot feathers in the right direction so we decided to have coffee every Thursday morning instead. We met at the Warren Country Inn until it went bankrupt and closed down. Don’t know how long we’ll last at the Kozy.
The WELCA Annual Quilt Show is a big deal for the ladies and they put a lot of hard work into it. Quilters come out of the woodwork to display their efforts, and to sell their wares. It’s quite an event enjoyed by everyone who takes the time to participate and those who just show up to look. The ladies serve sandwiches and soup … the absolute best homemade clam chowder in the world, bar none. Really. That’s true. Valerie makes it. Not the Connecticut Valerie … the St. Helens Valerie. I can talk about her because I know for a fact she doesn’t have a computer. It’s in my basement shop. Well, it was, until I tore it apart and recycled it because it was broken. Since she doesn’t have a computer she can’t read any of this. I’ve had her computer in the basement for the last 4 years. She didn’t want it back and she didn’t get a new one. She doesn’t like computers.
After a very tiring hour at coffee hour with the MELCA guys, I took a piece of tail pipe to Don to see if he could bend me a new one just a little longer. The piece I had fell off our RV and I couldn’t get it back in the sleeve because it was rusted off a little. Don used to own a muffler shop and he’s a really good guy to know. He’s also Diane’s cousin, which helps. I fiddle with his computers and he’s my official car mechanic and muffler guy. Don also races on the local track that he got built, at the local county fair grounds, many years ago. His shop currently has three race cars in various stages of construction, or rebuilding from the last race. Races start in May. We visited for a while then I had to leave because Diane and I had a date in Oregon City to have a late lunch at Mike & Kathie’s. This Mike & Kathie is not the same Mike & Kathie who live in a secluded area East of Sacramento. They just have the same names, with Kathie spelled the same way. Kind of odd, actually, but I’m comfortable with odd.
Since the church was close to Don’s, I stopped by to see how Diane was doing and found her vacuuming the floor. Being properly trained, I got to her as quickly as I could and took the machine away from her and finished the job. Then we went home to get cleaned up for our date.
Mike & Kathie’s Kafe is in a secluded location not far from the famous Willamette Falls, last seen by this reporter in an episode of Leverage, starring Timothy Hutton, which is a TNT series filmed in Portland. As I recall, Timothy got shot down there, but didn’t die. Of course he wouldn’t die, because there has to be another show next week. Anyway, Mike & Kathie’s is known for their fabulous quizeen … I mean cuisine. It’s exciting because we never know what’s on the menu until it lands on the table in front of you. Mike started me off with a sangria and club soda mixture, which is kinda like Bali High wine and vodka, with a lot less kick. Pretty good stuff. I watched him open the bottle so know it was fresh.
Diane had water.
Then the honey buns were brought to the table and they were excellent. We munched on them while our plates were being filled by the owners. The excitement was building as wonderful odors wafted from the newly remodeled kitchen, with really nice fake granite counter tops. Actually, they aren’t fake at all. And, they aren’t granite. They are quartz, and very very nice.
In a short time Kathie appeared with steaming plates and placed them in front of us. She served me first because, I thought, she liked me best. Turns out I was just the closest to her. This Kathie, in addition to being an excellent cook, is a prodigious quilter, as is Wynette. We’re related to Wynette, and the Mike & Kathie who live near Sacramento.
On the plate was mashed potatoes, corn, and spare ribs. That was good and bad. Good because I had on a dark shirt. Bad because the plate was sitting on a white lace table cloth. Diane gave me that “look”, warning me to be very careful with my food and not get any on the table, or myself. I was a little tense as I took my first bite, but found that the meat pealed off the bones quite nicely. So, I stripped the bones, cut up the meat, and just mixed everything on the plate, like I normally do the TV dinners we have at home. I really like TV dinners that way because it makes it all look more appealing. Doing it at Mike & Kathie’s, I discovered, wasn’t a good choice, so I hit the magic button in my armpit, and spun the clock back 30 seconds to where everything was OK on my plate. Except the meat was still stripped from the bones.
It was most excellent. So good, that I ate twice. And, I only got one, little, teeny, tiny, spot on the table cloth. I pulled my plate a little closer to cover it up, thinking I could get away with it, but Diane saw me and gave me that squinty eye, head turned look which forewarned me of events to come. It was a really little spot.
After eating, we visited for about 3 hours. Normally you can’t do that with Kafe owners, but they are good friends, and it was really in their home. So it was OK. We don’t see them nearly often enough because they live so far away. Or maybe it’s because Diane and I live so far away. It’s one or the other. Many of our friends fall into that category. They seem to all live 40-50 miles away. That shouldn’t been so bad, you’d think, since we’ve been known to drive 2500 miles to attend a wedding. Really, what’s 40-50 miles?
We returned home safely and the dogs were very happy to see us. Like normal. Just before we got home, Jeff sent a text stating that Ziva, our black blue healer/catahoula leopard hound mix, is a descended from Spanish war dogs which were bred in Louisiana to go out and pick fights with feral hogs, and get them to chase them home. I think this is where the term “bringing home the bacon” really came from. That was fitting end to our evening.
Sorry I didn’t take a picture of my plate of food so you would have a visual reference, but I was too engaged to think of taking pictures. I ate and visited instead.