Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving In Florida

This year my wife and I went to Gainesville, Florida for Thanksgiving.  My in-laws were wanting to have a holiday family gathering at their home.  Gainesville is not the most exciting travel destination, but the opportunity to see our little nephew and have a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, made for an irresistible combination.  As I had previously posted about being thankful for the people in my life, I had a whole week to live in that thankfulness.  My traveling companions were Natalie and my mom, always delightful companions.

Last week my days were filled with much love, much food, and much knitting.  My brother-in-law, Gene,  put together an amazing menu for his family and ours.  We all kept asking what we could do to help, but he and his wife, Dora, were a well oiled machine of efficiency.  They had spent the last year searching the web and practicing recipes to present to us a perfect feast.  They were a great team in the kitchen, with his first turkey turning out to be one of the best I have eaten in a very long time.  The group of appreciative eaters around the table concurred, dinner was par excellent.

We supplemented the Florida in-laws visit with a night in Jacksonville to see our godson, Jase and his mother, diane (the little d is intentional).  Again I say irresistible!  We had another wonderful meal while catching up and laughing until our sides hurt.  Parting was so hard as we hugged each other in the kitchen, then in the garage, and finally at our cars.  Sometimes, though geography separates you, good memories and love do not. 

Last week my cup ran over with people who I wished I saw more often, and with this visit I am even more grateful for all the wonderful people in my life.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Thankful Tempesttea

Several of my friends have been posting on facebook something they are thankful for every day this month.  I have enjoyed seeing those posts and learning more about the depths of my friends' personalities.  3 years ago I spent the month of November doing the same thing on my blog.  Faithfully, I searched my soul for something that made my life worth living.  At the end of the month I discovered, Fiestaware dishes aside, I was most grateful for the people in my life.  (http://tempestinapot.blogspot.com/2009/11/day-thirty-gratitude.html). 

3 years hence on the cusp of Thanksgiving I have to say this truth is even more important to me now.  The people in my life have been my comfort, my support, and my source of much joy. I would be lost without these connections, so vital to my existence.
I am only making one post on thankfulness this year and I want to make it a worthy one.  I am again so thankful for you my friends and family.  Those of you who get me, or try to get me, those of you who are the ones who remind me daily how lucky I am to know you.  We may not always agree on everything or have voted the same way in the last election, but I would be less without you. I thank you for everything you do to make my life a richer more brilliant tapestry.   I can only hope that I am a friend equally as deserving of your care. 
Much, much love.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Special Day with My Wife

The Birthday Girl

Today is my wife's, Natalie's, birthday.  I took the day off to try and give her a special day.  Now let me start with she and I are as different as night and day.  Our differences are so significant that if I am picking something out for her I think about what I would want and pick the exact opposite thing.  We do struggle with these differences. 

Our refrigerator is a case in point to our schism of likes and dislikes.  We have wheat & white bread, almond & whole milk, large & small curd cottage cheese.  We can't even agree on Cheetos.  I like the puffs, she likes the crunchy.  Years of compromise and working together has made it okay to have two types of bread, but our dance of differences did not come easily.

Birthday celebrations are another case in point.  I want the ticker tape parade and national holiday to accompany my special day.  Natalie, not so much, she wants a day that is as stress free as possible.  She never wants the wait staff at a restaurant to know it is her birthday because she doesn't want anyone to make a fuss over her.  I thought long and hard on how to make today the kind of day she would love.  Nothing to over much for her.

My plan was to start the day early (for me) by giving her her presents (book, DVDs, robe, sweat pants, and yarn) and taking her to breakfast.  My wife loves breakfast.  After our meal I took her to her favorite type of shops (book, pet, and music stores).  Then home for time with her dogs, the Taters.  We ended our day with dinner out than home for DVDs and knitting.  I know, not exciting, but exactly the kind of day she wanted.  And you know that is what I tried to do give her a perfect day.  Now in March ( my birthday month) bring on the confetti and marching bands, cause I do like a fuss.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Today was one of those days where nothing was going to be a hole in my rainbow colored bucket.  I saw states rejecting discrimination and reaching out to their alternative lifestyle neighbors and saying we are all equal.  Ware going somewhere over the rainbow folks and I am overcome with joy.

As you may know about a year and a half ago my wife and I made the trek to Iowa to be married (http://tempestinapot.blogspot.com/2011/03/lucky-in-iowa-or-how-i-got-married.html).  I can't lie to you it was one of the happiest days of my life.  My joy could only be dampened by going home to a state that not only does not recognize my marriage certificate, but has codified this discrimination in the state constitution.  I am not equal under the law and it hurts.


I keep a map which I have colored pink all the states that I am married in.  This morning with my highlighter in hand I updated my map.  I did every thing, but burst into a chorus of "Over the Rainbow."  My co-workers were happy for me as I held up the new and improved map flapping it around in victory. Thank you all my friends and family for the support, I can see the changes coming like a rainbow tide and one day my map will be all pink.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Jessica, Madonna, and a Bottle of Raspberry Wine

In 2006 my mom, Natalie, and I went to Hawaii to celebrate my mom's 65th birthday.  We had a really good time as you would expect travelers to Hawaii to do.  One of the last things I purchased in Maui was a bottle of raspberry wine (http://www.mauiwine.com/specialty/).  My thought was I would save it for a special occasion and share it with my friends.

Last week the bottle still resided in the bottom of my refrigerator, mocking me. Translated the last six years have not really been full of moments conducive to drinking raspberry wine.  My wedding day might have been a good day, but my dearest Natalie does not drink alcohol.  I got to a point that I no longer even saw the bottle and gave up on the hope of an occasion to drink the wine.

Forgotten the bottle became one of those things (like that stray tube of wasabi) taking up real estate in my frig.  Until Thursday night when the stars finally aligned and a corkscrew was found to open this symbol of  lost hope.  My sister and I dragged ourselves home in the wee hours of the morning from the Madonna concert thirsty and feeling an occasion coming on.

Yes, I said Madonna. Many months back my spouse bought two tickets to the Madonna concert for my sister and I to go, cause Natalie is awesome that way.  She knew after over twenty plus years of loving Madonna and never having the opportunity to see her in concert I would want to go.  Jessica, my sister, picked up my love of Madonna somewhere in the days when she was strapped into a car seat forced to hear me sing along to all the songs on "Like a Prayer."  My poor vocal abilities aside Jessica learned to love the Queen of pop too. 

Tempest & Jessica pre-concert
The concert was everything I could have imagined.  Lots of costumes, scantily clad dancers, interesting staging, and of course Madonna at her usual outrageous best.  The woman did it all and worked hard to give us a two hour show full of her own spin on entertainment.  Jessica and I danced and sang along basking in the glow of Madonna's starpower. Both us left the venue happy to have shared such a good time together.

Madonna Center Stage
Once home we got ready for bed, but were still a little to hyped up on adrenaline to sleep.  We decided on a snack before bed.  As I opened the refrigerator there it was the unopened bottle of wine.  I thought at last the perfect occasion has arrived.  We drank the whole bottle enjoying the sweet raspberry flavor and each others company.  I must admit we both got a little buzz from the wine.  I fell asleep happy, happy to have shared so much of a fun time with one of my favorite people. Sometimes you hold on to a special thing for just the right occasion, and when the moment happens you know life can be good, very good.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Returning from Vacation Soon

Yes, Tempest is still virtually in her pot of tea.  Will be back very soon, getting my thoughts together on a true return back to the blogosphere.  In the mean time know I am thinking about you all and getting ready to return with increased blogging vigor.