“Water, water everywhere . . . . .

and not a drop to drink.” Said by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It’s from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. It refers to a ship being stranded in the middle of the ocean and the crew is dying of thirst. Sometimes the past carries on into the future – our future. Water has been the cause of wars between countries and states forever. It also was the source of expansion in America – explorers followed the rivers to map the West. They were able to traverse the rivers and it provided food for their exploring parties. Ships were built and communities sprang up to be near the waterways for access to transportation and sustenance. Industry built factories near water to transport their products. Nowadays we use waterways for recreation and relaxation. Right here in central Indiana we have access to the White River. The city of Indianapolis actually uses it as the centerpiece of a recently built state park. If we don’t continue keeping our water sources safe and conserve, we’ll be wondering where our next drop to drink will come from. Learn more and find out how you can help at the White River Festival. Click here to explore the events happening:
http://whiteriverfestival.org/about-the-festival/

We have a new DOWNTOWN Indy!

Well, at least a new name. What used to be IDI – Indy Downtown, Inc. has become Downtown Indy. Due to all the new residential and commercial building going on, they needed an update too. The new brand has a refreshed logo, tone and new colors. I try to keep up on what’s happening since I work downtown. My building overlooks the Circle and there’s always something going on and my co-workers are sure to ask me – “so, what’s the crowd on the Circle doing?”. I usually go to the Indydt website to check out the day’s activities. I pick up current editions of Nuvo and UP Downtown too. Just keeping up with the ever changing restaurant scene is almost a full-time job. We tried the new Labor District Café recently and was very pleased: good food & service at a reasonable price. We’re headed to the Bangkok Thai Restaurant on Friday to check it out. Reminder: Devour Downtown is happening through Aug. 31. It’s an easy on your budget way to try something new or re-visit an old favorite. I like to know what conventions are in town so I’ll know who’s parking in “my” garage; go to the Indiana Convention Center site for all the details. Who knew there was Tibetan Cultural Event or National Association of Broadcasters meeting?
Here’s some links to get you started on your adventure in Downtown Indy:
http://www.indydt.com/downtownindy.cfm
https://www.icclos.com/upcoming-events.aspx
http://www.devourdowntown.org/

They Found It!

I have a couple of nieces that go to lots of auctions, flea markets and garage sales. When I was looking for a Tupperware ice breaker and lettuce keeper (the old model) I told them to keep an eye out. Sure enough, within a few months they had found both items!

With nice weather right around the corner (you hear that Old Man Winter?) there will be lots of places to find treasures and things you didn’t know you needed.

One  of my favorite places to ”shop”:

June 7 & 8 Best of all: Woodruff Place Flea Market http://www.woodruffplace.org/

And you’ll find anything, I mean anything here:  Croy Creek Traders Fair.  It is located in Reelsville, IN which is about 30 minutes west of Indianapolis, opens April 19 and runs thru Nov.

For a complete list, check out this site:

http://www.fairsandfestivals.net/states/IN/

Don’t forget the craft fairs either. There’s lots of creative people out there that can take old dishes or a 2-liter bottle and make a bird feeder. Although at the recent Indiana Artisan Fair, DIL2 and I only came back with edible items: noodles, wine, popcorn, jam, wine, hand dipped chocolate, wine, cheese spread, wine . . . . you get the picture!

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The Lord Ashley Ladies

What a lovely way to start a weekend: good weather good friends, good food, excellent entertainment!

Niece JP and friend Ann joined me for dinner at Lord Ashley’s Pub on Pendleton Pike. I hadn’t been there for years and since it was on the way to the Oaklandon Civic Theatre, it was the perfect place to have dinner. The service and food were excellent; Ann’s tenderloin was bigger than her plate! I’m becoming a connoisseur of ‘house made potato chips’ and theirs got an A+. We had lively dinner conversation and must have talked a bit too loud (more on that later). Topics ranged from Southern Baptist ladies to pet dental care. The calendar said it was Ladies Nite after 10:00 p.m. but we didn’t think we’d be able to make it after the play; we’ll save that for the next time.

The Theatre was just down the street at the Oaklandon Unitarian Universalist Church. We found a good parking spot and moseyed to the door. Being ladies of a certain age, we needed to make a ‘pit-stop’ before the play began. Since this was a church, the ladies’ room was well appointed (flowers, pictures, air freshener). JP did discover that the men’s room was directly behind it and the construction of the wall left a gap that permitted sounds to disturb the occupants.

We made our way upstairs to pay for our tickets and find a seat. As we got settled, a woman approached us and said, “You’re the Lord Ashley ladies aren’t you? We sat at the table behind you and heard you discussing the garden show in Danville this weekend.” Well, yes, we were and we did – that was on our Saturday agenda. We chatted a few minutes then the play director approached us and said we’d have better seats on the opposite side since there would be a ‘parade’ in Act II that we didn’t want to miss. We gathered our things and made our way to stage right; or is it left? I can never remember which.

The production was Corn and Sausage in Harmony, a play based on books by Phillip Gulley. If you have stress in your life, read or listen to his books – very soothing and humorous.

This was a totally volunteer group of folks but they did a remarkable job enveloping us in their world of board meetings, gossip, marital and career strife, traditions and new ideas. Check their web page for future productions.

A wonderful way to spend a Friday evening – even if I did hit every pothole on Mass. Ave. – sorry Ann!

How Hard Is It . . . . . . ?

to use turn signals – ALL the time?

to put the grocery cart back in the corral instead of leaving it in a parking space?

to hold the elevator door for someone approaching?

to stop using ‘LIKE’ as every other word?

to turn on your headlights all the time (proven safety action)?

to let pedestrians cross when making a turn?

to leave a bit of TP hanging down for the next person?

to talk in a normal tone when on your cell (the person 2 blocks aways doesn’t need to hear your conversation)?

to really STOP on a red light (instead of speeding through)?

to stay for the whole game instead of leaving even if your team is losing?

to take your garbage can back to the garage (instead of leaving it at the curb for 3 days)?

to be on time?

to call your mother once a week? (OK, this one is very personal, sorry!)

to only take what you’ll eat at a buffet (make another trip)?

to spay/neuter your pets (PLEASE)?

to return library items on time?

to not spit on the sidewalk (nasty)?

to change a diaper in the RR (or bedroom) not on the living room floor or couch?

to clean off your table at a fast-food place?

to change into flats instead of walking like a dork on the sidewalk (does make for fun watching on Monument Circle tho)?

to control your kids in public places?

to tell your family you love them  (often)?

K at C

No, not K of C (Knights of Columbus) or KFC (KY Fried Chicken)  – this is Kids at Casino.

Took a trip to the ‘boat’ in Southern Indiana this week to celebrate a friend’s birthday. He enjoys it and a group of us have been doing it for several years.  This year it sounded even better since they have an indoor pool & hot tub. Warmth!  Steam! Wear flip-flops and not snow boots!

We got to the pool area around 8:35 p.m.  We were going to hang out and play some cards and soak up the warmth. I put my things at our spot and walked over to the hot tub. There were people sitting in the hot tub holding babies. And they were little babies – maybe a month old.  Head shake #1.

There were a couple of kids, 10-12 years old in the pool splashing around, throwing a ball. They were playing and not making much noise.  Mini-head shake #2.

Around 9:00 two guys came in with 5 little kids, ages 3-8.  The kids all jumped in the pool, screaming and splashing each other. Note: neither of the guys had on swim suits so don’t know what they’d have done if they had to grab one of the kids out of the pool.  Head shake #3.

Well, the screaming was echoing off the walls so we packed it in and headed back to our rooms. After changing into dry clothes, we headed back over to the boat. An employee was on the elevator and said, “Did you hear they had to close the pool? Some kid pooped in it!” Big head shake #4

WHY would you take kids to a casino?  What do you do with them while you’re gambling?

I used to shake my head at all the “old” people on the boat – walkers, wheel chairs, oxygen tanks – wondering if they had so much pension they could afford to gamble. Maybe.

I forgot they still allow smoking (I spent my time on the non-smoking deck which was OK) and wondered if they’d ever had someone ignite an oxygen take when they lit up! Maybe.

I can understand a taking a day out on the boat to meet friends, enjoy a concert, share a meal. But, if you can call the employees by name, maybe it’s time to get some help!

I guess I’m too frugal – I spend my allotted $40 and take a book to read!  Watching the scenery that shows up is a good time waster too!

WHAT?!? It’s February already?

It’s true: the older you get the faster time goes by.  Wasn’t it just yesterday I put up the Christmas tree? Oh, no – I just took it DOWN yesterday; JK – that’s my New Year’s Day task. 

We’ve had two holidays in January.  I think it’s the only month with two that business and schools are actually closed for.  Someday the powers that be will realize they need to make the day after the Super Bowl a national holiday also. There are “special days” created that you could celebrate for each day of the month:

Check it out: http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/january.htm

I’m so sorry I missed Houseplant Appreciation Day on the 10th. or National Penguin Awareness Day on the 20th.  I’m really sad I missed National Pie Day on the 23rd.   Where were all those FB posts and event notices to inform me?

Then there’s the whole MONTH of ‘something’.  For January, it was

  • National Bath Safety Month
  • National Blood Donor Month
  • National Braille Literacy Month
  • National Hobby Month
  • Hot Tea Month
  • National Oatmeal Month
  • National Soup Month

Look at February on the link and you’ll surely find something to celebrate besides Groundhog Day and Valentine’s Day.

LIKE: the New 4-Letter Word

Yes, it’s a verb AND a preposition but does it have to also be used as an adjective and adverb and a filler?  I thought ‘uuummmm’ and ‘you know’ were irritating but “like” has moved to the top of the list.

On a recent elevator ride in my building I heard it 10 times from the 2nd. floor to the 12th. floor in two young ladies’ conversation. Yes, I was counting.

Even news reporters use it and anyone they interview throws it out several times.  Politicians and political pundits are hard enough to listen to let alone when they start inserting “like” as often as they change their stance.

I find myself slowing down when speaking to someone trying to make sure I don’t put a “like” in front of every other word.  It’s causing folks to think I have an early on-set of dementia; believe me, there’s lots of other signs that may be happening!

At a family wedding in the fall, I was prepared for the vows to be spoken as: “for like, richer and poorer, and like healthy and like forever” since the proposal posted on FB included “will you, like, marry me ‘cause we like, love each other so much.”

It’s become a habit and we know how hard those are to break. But give it a try and “like” things a little less – especially when you’re talking to me.

New Year, New Snowfall, Same Old Idiots!

I’m talking about the drivers not turning on their headlights at 5:30 p.m. –there’s not enough daylight then to see your dark colored car/van/suv/truck.  And the ones who don’t know what that lever on the left-hand side of the steering column is for.  I can’t read your mind, I just have to slam on the brakes when you decide to change lanes or turn at the next street. Given the terrible condition of the roads, that’s not easy.

Then there are the usual suspects that come out when the snow falls:

The ‘Look at ME – I have 4-wheel drive’ idiot that goes flying by.

The ‘Oh gosh, there’s snow on the ground’ idiot that goes 10 miles an hour on a clear road.

The ‘Let me keep turning the wheel AND braking’ idiot trying to figure out which end of the vehicle will actually be headed in the right direction.

The ‘I can’t see any lines marking lanes so I’ll just drive wherever I want” idiot that makes a left turn from the far right lane.

I know we add new drivers every winter so remember to pass on some of your knowledge to those around you:

–           Carry a blanket, scraper, shovel, kitty litter and working flashlight in your vehicle

–           Start slowing before you try to stop, don’t slam on your brakes

–           Take your foot off the gas & brake when fish-tailing

–           If you’re stuck in snow, rock the car back & forth to get some traction

–           If no one’s coming at a 4-way stop, coast on through

–           Don’t pour hot water on a frozen lock or windshield, heat up the key then insert into lock and use rubbing alcohol to loosen ice

–           Show some leniency toward your fellow man/woman

Yes, it’s winter in Indiana and that means snow and slush and icy conditions. I’m sure you have an ‘app’ that tells you the weather or a co-worker that keeps IM’ing you with updates.  It won’t be any better till after the IHSAA Basketball Champion games so get over it!

Weir Cook Airport – going, going . . . . .

I took a detour up High School Road the other day and was shocked to see the demolition has started on the old Indianapolis International Airport – previously known as Weir Cook Airport.  I got to thinking about all the trips I’d made to that old airport – pick ups, drop offs, catching a plane myself. . . . lots of memories.

The original airport opened in 1931   It was named after Col. Harvey Weir-Cook of Wilkinson, Indiana, who was a US Army Air Forces pilot in World War I and World War II, where he was killed flying a P-39 over New Caledonia. He became a flying ace during WWI. It was renamed Indianapolis International in 1976.  It had several additions over the years and was a fun place to just visit and watch the planes standing on the top floor of the parking garage. Or sitting in your car at the ‘overlook’ off of I-70 back in the day watching them land over the houses and cornfields that were ‘in the country’.

Do you remember when the plane crashed into the Ramada Inn located nearby?  That was in 1987 and 10 people died. They never rebuilt a hotel in that spot.

I remembered taking my youngest son there to catch his plane to San Diego when he went to basic training in the Navy. I have a picture of him sitting in those hard orange chairs smoking before he got on the plane!  And when he came home on leave we met him right at the gate with balloons and cake.

When I visited another son in Phoenix, I stopped at the White Castle on Washington St. to pick him up some sliders – those other passengers had to smell them all the way! 

That same son was welcomed home with tears when he returned from his tour with the USMC in the Middle East.

There were happy times and sad times spent there.

When they had the big auction after the new airport opened we went to check it out. What a blast! They sold everything: security monitors, chairs, ashtrays, pictures, lost & found items never claimed.

The new airport has won accolades and been voted the best in overall satisfaction by JD Power; it’s a beautiful building – the grandkids love the moving sidewalks and running around the open spaces.  But, I’ll remember the Weir Cook (who?) and the Airport Expressway (wow!) forever.