Thursday, May 9, 2013

Espresso 'n Eggs

Espresso 'n Eggs

Foodie Heaven on Earth

if it just wasn't on the other end of town
still I will drive to the ends of the earth
for a good espresso at the very least

Brick & Spoon

How I discovered them
Chef first
make that the Exec Chef

having coffee at The Lab Handcrafted Coffee & Comforts
in River Ranch (per usual)

see this guy first off with his sunglasses tucked in the back collar of his t-shirt
then I read the t-shirt
Logo for Brick & Spoon

Hey, I've heard of them
I'd read they were a new restaurant going to open up in Lafayette soon
as we're not only a Festival, Foodie, Tourist mecca it seems here in Lafayette
but also a Startup town too

As I've said & will repeat I love the Creativity here especially
in so many ways I'm losing count

so back to the coffeeshop
I get my macchiato in my espresso size Keep Cup...

link to Keep Cup...
(if you haven't seen them before or me out with my different sizes/different colors, ordering coffee, bugging baristas 'round town)

photo: from Keep Cup series Cosmic Sky--this is Sunrise in an espresso size/8 oz

and turn to face him & point at his t-shirt/logo
I know that name--Brick & Spoon

he tells me his name is Jonathan (Kastner)
I get a business card - read Exec Chef

I remember that E's Kitchen is having an intro to his restaurant
and he's due to intro us/demo us some samples off the menu I thought

link to e's kitchen...
(note: sign up for a newsletter - check out the classes, the gadgets, the calendar for the next Food Truck Roundup at PARC for some who care, he's got his liquor license now so you can cook with it & buy it there too--am guessing he'll have some local distilleries/maybe craft breweries & vinos, which you can cook up some new dishes with new flavors...just saying--I can't cook so don't ask me for details or recipes?!)

It's like Monday & he'd due to do this on Wednesday
I realize I have 'not' signed up yet at E's Kitchen
I have only Liked the comment on Facebook--Opps!
(so when I get home do that Tout Suite!!)

Chat about his name being Jonathan
and I know another Chef Jonathan only he's in NOLA
at HerbSaint, after Cochon's closed here in Lafayette
(it's a small world of Chef Jonathan's mai wee cher?!)

So off to get signed up for Cooking Class on Wednesday
Wednesday evening rolls around & make it with minutes & seats to spare
In front of me the nicest man I think I've ever sat next to
he makes sure I have a copy of the recipe
& passes to me in the very back the sample first of the white choc bacon bread pudding

I cannot hardly believe they gave us all the recipe--what new chef, what new restaurant does that?!
of course he makes it look all easy & I know, in my heart of hearts, mine will 'not' (ever) turn out the lip (aka pout pout)...sigh...but I 'will' try, one day, one day soon (when there's like 25 people in my house because there cannot be any leftovers?!)

Watching Jonathan demo the cooking, at E's Kitchen Demo Kitchen with a mirror up on the ceiling now so you can see it all, I find the one gadget he uses so fascinating I have to buy one...
And another pout comes on when I find out they don't have any more than that one
but they can be ordered
unless...wait...I can buy that one, that very one, Paul washes it off & it's mine...

Cleverest gadget I've seen in long while
it's a flat whisk then with the turn of the handle bottom, it's a full out whole/round whisk
and it's got coated wires so it won't scratch your coated fry pans when you need to whisk eggs or cream or whatever else (say cream with white chocolate chunks in it?!)
Can't wait to give a bunch for gifts, watch out--you may get one in the mail (outta the blue even...)

Twist Whisk by Joseph Joseph (trademark) - on order at E's Kitchen
(says he thinks that's the only color, could care as long as it keeps going from flat to full?! or too funny on one webpage they describe it as going from flat to balloon...)

Well, the whole bunch of owners of Brick & Spoon are in the house too
Two from Lafayette, One from Orange Beach (as in Alabama, not FL or CA)
Of all the names this owner/manager's name is Mr Beach

With that bit of trivia, his last name, I answer the trivia question to win a Brick & Spoon Mug
inside a postcard invite to the soft opening on Saturday at 7:00pm
OK I admit I was a bit excited, we all were, as we would not just raise our hands but all yell out the answer--like to the First Trivia Question, so that the Second one I couldn't help it & did the same...
but Hey I raised my hand, thought he pointed at me & I yelled...uh--called out the answer: "BEACH"
I was happy with the coffee mug & tiny ceramic spoon in the handle, they have them at their restaurant--I was extra happy then to find a postcard invite inside, really the chef had to tell me it was in there as I carried it around checking out the spoon probably or the saying on the back...

      A morning ritual that's
        anything but routine
*_____Lafayette, LA_____*

Brick & Spoon on the front
with their spoon logo

At the Soft Opening with Invite postcard in hand, went at like 7:30pm & place was packed
stood at the bar end, had a mug of coffee from the airpump pot--asking Where's the Espresso Machine? told it was due in that night, they were all going to get trained on it & espresso in the morning...All righty then, I was gonna come back--just for that...

Hearing that their coffee was going to be Cuvee Coffee Roasters out of Austin, TX
that Thomas at The Lab Experience/The Lab Handcrafted Coffee & Comforts in River Ranch
was behind that--he's going to keep up the Barista's & training I think when Mike/Lorenzo with Cuvee can't come to town (that is until someone starts roasting good coffee in Louisiana so's folks can order Local?!)

link to Cuvee Coffee...
(note: have met Lorenzo on a number of visits to Carpe Diem Gelato & Espresso, then when Cafe Cohen was in Great Harvest Bread Co & maybe even at The Lab--now will just miss him when he's in with Mike/#TeamCuvee to setup/train the staff at Brick & Spoon...maybe another trip from Austin to Lafayette, since I think they're getting hooked on Cajun Food--say Gumbo for one thing?!)

link to The Lab Experience/The Lab Handcrafted Coffee & Creams...
(note: owner couple--Thomas & Pam these two foodie crafty coffee folks?!)

Got the chance at the bar to find out who the Artist was that painted the local art in Brick & Spoon...
Carlos Lopez--or he signs "los" & then meet him too, just 2 people down from the end of the bar--nearly under his main painting up above the bar & kitchen window...

Brick & Spoon
local artist Carlos Lopez "los" interpretation

crazy busy in the kitchen at the Soft Opening - Brick & Spoon
Exec Chef Jonathan at work
can't believe they were serving full out samples off the menu
not just tiny appetizers
since full tables & me solo went with coffee knowing I'd be back
poor thing couldn't even wave--in the Zone!

Brick & Spoon during the day before the evenings Soft Opening

sign at the shops that includes Brick & Spoon
space they're in use to be Fatty J's Pizza Joint I'm told
Opening Day - Wednesday
back for Espresso--but Nooo...
machine isn't in until the evening, when everybody will be trained on it
so in the morning there will be Espresso
not to be without they have The Lab/Thomas to the rescue with Cuvee Coffee
in airpump carafe's - so a mug of coffee w/cream then
to go with my breakfast/brunch choice
of Stuffed French Toast Slider with a side of berries
such a perfect size
that's marscapone & whipped cream cheese inside for the stuffing very delish...powered sugar to swirl around in & syrup
(so far it's my fav dish, but I've tried 2--we'll see if it stays on top?!)
Back on Thursday - Day Two
back for Espresso--but Nooo...
the Italian Espresso machine has blown a gasket
worse than an Italian Sportscar--say a Ferrari right?!
But help/the part is on it's way & they say it'll be up & running tomorrow
that will be Friday (I will bring friends--who knows, may have more than just an espresso too?!)
until Espresso (racing) Machine beside the sunflower is operational
will have a French Press in my Brick & Stone mug (love that tiny ceramic demi-spoon)
still it's Cuvee Coffee so it tastes good
decide while I'm there why not order Take Away, treat the spouse to lunch...
so a Cali Burger with rosemary/sea salt chips on the side for him (no photo, he ate it Tout Suite?!)
Benedict PoBoy without the French Bread for me--went with the Classic English Muffin

those are Gotreaux eggs, such a rich golden yellow color when you break them open
(see link below, check out the local family farm--more than just eggs btw)

Back on Friday - Day Three

Noo...another day w/o espresso...but hear the good news, tomorrow the part will be in & the Italian (aka Ferrari) Machine will be up & ready to go Go GO...or so I hope, but to be sure I may wait til Monday--there's still more tweaking/staff training...but never fear Thomas/The Lab will be there to "make it so" - for now there's not just a French Press but the other airpot machine that's working, so have a cup of two of Cuvee Coffee the old school way & wait, patiently til the w/e passes (plus they prob's want a break from seeing me, their new regular customer--maybe I could be the weekday regular & they can have another weekend regular?!)

Brunch/Lunch order with a friend, we sat outside on the patio watching the rain/rain clouds, in the cool wet fresh air, we could pretend we live somewhere's else other than Southern Louisiana - but when the heat comes they'll be prepared with outdoor circulating old fashion looking fans up above
(didn't notice before but there's a TV outdoors to one section & that's in addition to the 2 TV's up above the bar indoors - not that I like/watch TV while I'm eating, but it's there for those that do...)

Deviled Eggs with all Shrimp
there is a choice of one Oyster, but I'm not a fan
aren't these so cute & delish too--who needs a fork/knife
I picked them up with my fingers--to me they are starters
& so finger food I'd say

rosemary sea salt chips
we shared

but forgot to snap a pick of my friends Spinach Salad with Grilled Veggies
tossed in a vinagrette...looked like a great salad, she thought so too
mentioned Lafayette is a hard place to find a good salad
(later she'll meet the chef & they can hardly come up with 2 places in town
where you might get a good salad...Well, now we know where there's a 3rd place?!)

fig cake with ice cream
we shared this too - that way you get to eat more
when you just eat half
there's pecans in there as well
even love the tiny shiny stainless bowl with 2 handles
and didn't notice the super shiny spoon til now--I see me in it?!

more art inside ?? (shhh...the Water Closet--outdoors...)
am wondering if this is painted by "los" too, tho don't see his signature
I see a "u" - will ask another time, as I'll be back (for an espresso)
now am also pondering if the guy's get a guy walking on the other half
in their Water Closet right?! hmm...sending a guy in to tell me, another time...

I am losing track of how many things I think these guys/gals are doing right!!
To be continued on Monday--when I (finally) get my Espresso?!

link to my foodie friend's article in the Acadiana Gazette about our brunch/lunch visit...
(note: my 15 min's of-newspaper foodie article-fame...LoL...I will be watching--no more outings with my friend when she has a camera 'round her neck hah?!)

photo credit: Chere Coen - Acadiana Gazette - grilled veggie salad
(so I'll borrow her photo of her salad at Brick & Spoon...mwah hah hah...)

Chere Coen
(aka my friend who writes a lot & carries a camera--watch out?!)
bio photo from Louisiana Road Trips & at least one of her Blogs
note: because she used my photo am gonna use hers too...
this girl 'always' has a smile on her face, it's catching too!! :oD
link to Louisiana Road Trips...

link to one of her Blogs--Have Books, Will Travel, Let's Eat...

Saturday/Sunday (Mother's Day Brunch) - Skip

Not only No Espresso but Closed due to 'extraneous circumstances' (or so they say on FB)

Maybe there will be Espresso--is anticipation good for you, if so then I'm set even before I get there...

Uh Nooo--again there is no working Espresso Machine, tho the part is in it I'm told...but never fear Thomas (aka the Coffee Knight) from The Lab Handcrafted Comforts & Creams is working his magic over it--so by tomorrow...

Tomorrow, tomorrow, there's always tomorrow...and tomorrow is just a day away...
(isn't that how that Annie song goes...fitting...)

So what to do--have regular airpot Cuvee Coffee with cream instead...and...
Shrimp & Grits--my in 'not' on the menu way with all the 'stuff' mixed in - which of course the FAB Exec Chef Jonathan will do...Yay!

my plain Shrimp & Grits
love me some grits with whole corn kernals in it
buttery, warmy 'n sticky bits...mmm...

Wednesday - skip (really I can't go e-v-e-r-y day...sigh...)

Thursday - the day I get an espresso...
(there should be music--instead there's wind)

See the Espresso Machine is working when I walk in, with the grinder at it's side full of Cuvee Coffee beans...a good sign...

Was suppose to meet a friend there whose daughter got sick in the morning, so she couldn't come...then had reminded my realtor she'd not been yet & she text me she was going out after a Open House so she'd stop by the Brick & Spoon - would be great fun to hear she'd been taking all (OK--many of) her Real Estate clients there for breakfast/brunch/lunch while out House Hunting right?!

Today even though a blustery day, sat out on the patio, with things falling over right & left...
had to order me those Beautiful Beignets & of course coffee with espresso in it--how to put that machine to the test? hmm...Well, went with the Cappuccino--that came out in a glass with a tiny latte art letter character in the middle of it (nice try Mr...) Not your usual way to serve a Cappuccino

link to Wiki--What is a Beignet...

link to a History of & a Recipe for Beignets...What's Cooking America...

photo credit:
the infamous Cafe du Monde Beignets in New Orleans French Quarter
from What's Cooking America webpage
on the History of & a Recipe for Beignets

It was great tasty fun to have Brick & Spoon Beignets with Fig Jam to spread on them, bit harder to dip in the tiny cup on the plate--maybe a ramekin next time (but who am I) fig spreads, especially on goat cheese & crackers...

And of course got an espresso coffee on the side (next time I'll try a straight up tried & true simple espresso--since I know the coffee is good?!)

I was not convinced it was the best coffee to put in a thin glass, so always open to suggestions I said they could use maybe a thicker glass if not a ceramic one-they do listen, which is nice-as they're being different but really are doing things right in so many other ways it's hard to keep count so I can't complain while they're hardly a Week Old...

Bea-u-ti-ful Beignets with fig jam
an early attempt at a capucciono from the new Italian expresso machine
with a touch of latte art lettering to top it off
(I know I'd never try it--these fancy machines scare the...uh hum out of me?!)

I've still got fingers crossed they'll have a full time Barista on staff one day--soon?!
They have an Exec Chef in the kitchen why not a Barista at the coffee bar along with the Bartender at the Bar's all Foodie Art in my book?!

Well the Will-I-Get-An-Espreso Saga is over--I got an espresso, kinda sorta...cappuccino...may go back next week for another try at it, but off for the weekend to Houston, TX where I'll check out Montrose & look for that new location of the next Restaurant Opening for Brick & Spoon after Orange Beach, AL opens (with I don't know when Baton Rouge/New Orleans will open following)--something to look forward to when traveling around LA, TX or AL?!

Off to have other Foodie/Coffee Adventures...

~~~ *** ~~~

link to Brick & Spoon Webpage...(or it's Coming Soon)
(note: right now you can sign up for their e-newsletter, which I did...)

Later I'll find out Adcetera in Houston, TX is their Ad/Design company
Because--not that they're not staying local, it's just they're a Franchise
and they'll be in Houston, TX soon too
(note: have read in the Montrose area, maybe where Brocados use to be...)

link to Adcetera...

"You're in the Creative Jungle
We'll be your machete."

link to their Blog--under Thinking...
(note: don't see mention of Brick & Stone anything yet, but they must be busy)

Right now they are in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, soon to be NOLA/New Orleans
next up will be Orange Beach, AL
followed by Houston, TX
and then ?? who knows
all that in 2013--what a good year for Brunch!!

I love hearing how much they're trying to support Local
Local Farmers like Gotreaux Family Farms for all their eggs
(they must go thru a lot of eggs...
in the White Choc Bacon Bread Pudding I think there were 12 eggs?!)

link to the Gotreaux Family Farms--not just eggs...

link to Brick & Spoon Facebook page...
(note: their Menu is on there...the webpage still "coming soon" aka under construction)

link directly to Brick & Spoon Facebook page - Menu...
(note: so far, have tried the Stuffed French Toast Sliders with Berries, the coffee, the French Press coffee & next up will be an Espresso! Took Takeout to my spouse, a Cali Burger on Pretzel Bun with a side of Rosemary SeaSalt Potato Chips...and for me--a Benedict Poboy without the French Bread, so I guess that makes it a Classic on an English Muffin instead with a side of Pomme Frites...aka French a tiny fruit far so Wonderful, can't wait for more--like every item on the menu, or maybe we'll try every item...or I'll make my friends/family try something we haven't so I can have a taste too right?!)

link to Brick & Spoon LA Twitter...
(note: Brick & Spoon for LA/ guessing there could be a brickandspoon___
fill in with AL & TX soon, then whatever state thereafter...)

link to Brick & Spoon Restaurant Pinterest...

link to Brick & Spoon on Yelp...
"Think of it as an expansion of your culinary comfort zone--daily."

In the restaurant there's a...Bryan, Ryan, Jeff, Jordon (or so far that I've met)
but don't ask me who's an owner/manager/bartender/??
or yet--I'll get to be a regular (on first name basis) yet?!
Plus of course there's the Exec Chef Jonathan
(am hoping he's not just a startup guy in the kitchen...really hope that's not the case & he'll stay forever--or he best train up some Chefs to be 'as good as' if he does go--fingers crossed?!)

link to their 1st Review--by me...(haven't done one in long while, if ever?!)

link to The Ind article--Brick & Spoon Serving a New Take on Brunch by Elizabeth Rose...

 [The owners also designed the menu and they wanted it to be “as creative as possible,” says Trahan. “We want people to like what we do. We don’t want to be something that you can find anywhere. We want it to be unique to us.”]

link to 2nd The Ind article---Brick & Spoon Opens Wednesday...

link to Developing Lafayette - Facebook Page - Comments on Brick & Spoon...
(note: who signed up for the Brick & Spoon Newsletter before I did off their Coming Soon Brick & Spoon webpage...Go to Tues Facebook post where Developing Lafayette shares a link to a Notice on the Brick & Spoon Newsletter--includes mention of Mother's Day Brunch with a band to play & that you can Rent the place out for a Night, that would be so incredibly hoping someone I know does that & soon?!)

link to about Brick & Spoon's Trademark by Eggspressions of North America in Lafayette, LA...
(if you're curious like me & like to know who's behind Behind things...)

I've been back since...

July 25, 2013 There was French Toast
they posted photos on Facebook--I couldn't not look
I couldn't not go & order them
I don't know how they get it that thick 'n fluffy
yes there was butter
and yes there was powdered sugar
plus it's all really just healthy with those fresh fruits
Jonathan was in the kitchen--seriously...


Sunday, May 5, 2013

In search of a black Smith Corona

In search of a black Smith Corona

on a Play's Prop list of course
which leads to days in antique shops & a flea market
along the way other objects of interest reveal themselves
in amongst the blurry old stuff

antique shop one

coffee by light
at the top bowl covered by a cloth a wire that looks from a light bulb


Underwood typewriter in poor sad repair, does not work
has been gathering dust actually since the last/Last time
I went out to hunt & gather props
(this time tho I ask what's the price--Oh they go for $25)
antique shop two
a beaut (as in a beauty)
this Sterling Smith Corona
black & in a case with a ribbon that works
is priced at something I ask about
(are Antique shops as Souks or the Flea Market
is it 'all' negotiable? Well, I'm the worst at this but I do ask...)
telling them it's for the theater
& they are kindly willing to bring it down a bit closer to a lower end
(but is it closer to the No Budget, hmm...)
It's on the List--now it's on My List of the Best One
lovely Sunday Drive kinda Day
onward to antique shop three
(after a totally useless side trip to the Jockey Lot Flea Market)
yes a Smith Corona
but guess what--it's not black & it costs more than the first Sterling one found
so not on my list for possible play props
(btw there are a bunch of typewriters in this antique shop)
also hatchets
weapons, like hatchets, are on the list
these 2 have short handles
1 is just under $20 & the other just over
(until I find out if they need long or short handles
they are not on the list - but I have a photo to text anyways...)
a classic Brunswick record player - different from the Victrolas on the other side of the room
(no not on the list, I just think it so reminds me of Steampunk I can't ignore it?!)
I'd love to buy it, if it were cheap, to take it apart for the front speaker/frame & the needle arm alone
there will be a Steampunk & Maker's Faire coming up this October in Lafayette & would love to make something with these...
link to Facebook - Steampunk Festival...
link to Brunswick Records...
(note: there was a record label, had no idea...after they made phonographs & such before that--records were an afterthought...a well turned out thought I'm guessing considering how well records did & still are--only I guess they get called Vinyl now...)
link to more about Victrola phonographs or Victor Victrola or Victor Talking Machine Company...
(this would of been stiff competition for a Brunswick phonograph, which I had no idea were made - nor that they had a record label too...)
Link to a Brunswick Cortez playing Marvelous/Jazz from the 1920's...
Link to a Brunswick playing in Ten Thousand Years from the 1930's...
Note: there are Brunswick phonograph ads, they are for sale, many of them on e-bay or (one I found was $5.95...hmm...for an old newspaper/magazine advert...maybe I should look harder at the antique shops/garage or estate sales--these could add up, these ads eh?! LoL...)
link to the Brunswick Record Official webpage...
this wee Italian made bunny was among a few fellow bunnies tho they were in cement & not painted
this bunny however is not cute, he is - to me - rather scary looking & I couldn't have him in my garden and for sure not in my house...can you imagine this face looking at you--uh no?! (insert shark Jaws music...or...maybe Monty Python, when that rabbit lunges out the cave & bites their necks?!)
link to Monty Python - Killer Rabbit...from Monty Python & the Holy Grail...
now these giant light bulbs & the barrel w/legs they're in
are way Way more interesting, but I would never pay for them
they're like a science experiment & should be in a science museum
(not used as vintage decorating--I think they were like $40 a bulb)
like the design
wouldn't mind having some of that Best Coffee in Town right about now
then thought, wouldn't this be fun for the shop with the Best Coffee in Town
but then I thought I don't want anybody else to feel bad, so back to like the design/ad aspect
and that blue/white (no, I didn't buy it--I didn't buy anything...I'm just making a list for Prop shopping?!)
back to the typewriters - another one, they're all over
I've really never seen this many antique typewriters--ever
and another Smith Corona, but it cost more than the first one & it's not as good a shape as that first one matter it has an instruction booklet inside the case too...
link to Smith Corona...typewriters...
and now the dolls...
(never in my house, but I can look/take photos/price a few...)
if you need cowgirls you're set
I have trouble imagining that's a boy cowboy
tho the girl cowgirl may be more an indian girl
either way a curious combo in the doll dept
in the huge Barbie section
there is not only Artic Barbie
but there's Norwegian Barbie
(of course side by side as wintery dolls should be)
all the time lived in Norway, in Stavanger
never ever saw a Norwegian Barbie
but here in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana USA I do
my Norwegian friends will get a giggle out of this one
I should ask if my one friend with a boy & girl would like me to send it to her
(more on that when she responds, of course after she stops laughing...)
on e-bay can be from $12 to $50 bucks--didn't even look at the price of this one
link to YouTube...Barbie-Here I Am (Norwegian) case you wondered what Norwegian Barbie would sound like...she's a Prinsessen, of course...
And this concludes my Sunday All Day Flea Market/Antique-ing
I can't look at any more typewriters, dolls or let's just say it--junk with a price tag
Not one legal desk or desk lamp
so far that's maybe 2 things off the long Props list
a typewriter, some hatchet choices
good thing have until July for this play
Anyways in any case--I love a Hunting 'n Gathering Challenge
it gets to me on a gut level...I must find the perfect--whatever it is...
Ah tho if only The Price Were No Object?! (so not the case in Theater)
Happy Hunting on Another Day

Friday, May 3, 2013

Hell Week or would some say Heaven Week

Hell or Heaven Week
(if you believe that sort of thing...
or perhaps Death or Rebirth Week
again if you believe...)

Monday Boston Marathon news came on TV
There was a bomb go off at the Finish line, then there was another bomb went off
as per past disasters, not understanding, watched news/CNN nervously/constantly for days

Local Marathon runners, there were 95 from Louisiana, were reported to be all OK
at least 1 local runner was interviewed on local evening news

Tuesday as still watching the news about the Bombing/the backpack/the suspects/the hospitals
most griping was the chief surgeon at the hospital where many went
as he talked you got the feeling he'd seen these things before--but in war
not say on the streets of Boston during the Marathon
as many also would say it could not have happened at the worst/best place
medical staff were ready, were numerous--this tho was not what they were expecting

the phone rang, at our house, the Father in Law--no not to talk about Boston, no ties there
the Mother in Law or as he says (insert son's name) Mother had passed that morning & he wanted to talk to his son--who was at work, which I will have to call to tell him to call home
so I was surprised, kept it brief, hung up, called the office
then came the packing, the run the dogs to the kennel, the text a friend to watch the house, dropped off the keys, then the late start to the day of driving towards Colorado

her kitchen doorway cloth curtains
downstairs there are beaded curtains over 2 doorways
a memory of her house, her kitchen
we will have to go say Goodbye

She had been in the hospital with pneumonia
they had sent her to the Nursing Home
it was a week later, she had been battling a bacteria
she had a fever that Monday night
was given Tylenol
she did not wake up Tuesday morning

We drove for a day and a half
when we stopped for the night in Denton, TX
we turned on the TV news

West, TX had just hours earlier blown up
due to a Fertilizer Plant
we had maybe driven by on the highway
we didn't stop there
we weren't far away
we'd gone for dinner at the German restaurant in old downtown Denton, TX

we'd walked around the courthouse, later reading it & nearby buildings are haunted by ghosts
now there would be a town full of ghosts, in West, TX (who names a town West--I kept waiting for the rest of the city name when I first heard the news on TV...)

Full Moon while we were in Colorado
It would snow twice, even tho nearly end of April
When we returned home we would watch the Weather Channel
watching it snow again on May 1st, for May Day, for the Day in the past folks would put flower cones on other folks/neighbors doors & dance ribbons around a May pole

out the window, along the highway
from Colorado Springs to Denver, CO
snowing in late April

Along the drive my sister would text me that she was expecting to be layed off the next day
then she'd gotten my text that we were driving to CO, that my mother in law had passed
this too after she'd watched the news, first the Boston Marathon, then the Fertilizer Plant blowing up a town & her blood pressure rising with the expectation of being layed off & to top it off me driving to a funeral in CO, where it would then snow twice

Was it the Full Moon
Were the Stars mis-aligned
or what
all that with a side of Global Warming

Thursday night we arrived
Family gathered
Friday more family flew in
Phone calls/e-mails/text's/Facebook continued
Skype call on Friday afternoon for the Wake
as all her family, my Mother in Law, was in Japan

She was to be cremated & buried the next Thursday
I the Daughter in Law sat with the son, the daughter, the husband
the funeral director & his assistant for hours earlier on Friday before the Wake
going over all the ridiculously costly details

I will have none of that
I didn't want to see any of that
I didn't even do that for my Grandmother or Grandfather or Mother
who have all passed a long, Long time ago

just an example, from Urn Garden webpage
of what an urn for ashes would look like
with the smaller keepsake urn beside it
(not shown is the necklace you can also get - to carry tiny ashes with you as a keepsake
or to go further you can get a necklace made of your loved one's finger or thumb print...
those last 2 are just way/Way too much for me...never in a million years...on another note there are urns that are biodegradable & some look like seashells...why not a real seashell, aren't they I adore the beach I may consider this over scattering to the winds...or we'll see what the future will bring--my Grandmother wished for a phone box to walk into that would vaporize her, she was ahead of her time with that way of thinking...either that or read too much...)

her ashes would be separated
one small mini urn, will be at some point taken to Japan to join with deceased family inside the family crypt...
where her brother is, passing from a heart attack (as many males of the family did, I was told)
where her mother, who was over 90, if not close to 100, passed & is there in the family crypt
she had been for a visit at least the 1st Anniv, if not 2nd or 3rd Anniv, (which is in like year 3 or 7 & not year 2 or 3) to celebrate her mother's life, to honor the family crypt--by a traditional visit, as the Buddhist's do, as she was raised that way in Japan before marrying an American & leaving everything, including her language to come to the USA - can you call her a war bride, I'm not sure...

Now my Mother in Law will have Anniv visits in possibly 2 places
1 in the Nat'l Cemetery in Denver, Co - as her husband is a retired soldier from both the Army & the Navy so his ashes will be buried there also
the other will be in Japan, outside Tokyo, in Yokohama I think, where the family crypt is
she is survived by 3 sisters & their families who will carry on that Buddhist tradition

My Father in law/her husband will be given a certificate of the Anniversary schedule to be followed for a Buddhist tradition from the Buddhist Reverend--at 49 days there is a date, at a month after that I think, then comes the 1 year, the 3 years, the 7 years & so on & on until up to 75 years after the person is cremated/buried

"The 49th day is significant because Japanese believe that the spirit lingers in the body for 49 days before departing. This is in when the soul goes on a 49-day journey through the land of the dead and is judged and assigned where it is going to go in the six realms of Buddhist cosmology. "
from Funerals in Japan...Remembering the Dead...

On Skype at the funeral home for the Viewing there was her oldest sister & another sister who's daughter's daughter was the one to set up the Facebook interaction with the grand daughter in Colorado, who will be the one to Skype her & the family that could gather at the house in Japan to attend the Family Viewing in the US by way of Skype on an Apple laptop

Link to Skype, we use the Free Service...

Many will speak Japanese, only 1 will speak English, trying to translate for both sides
Many will say she's Beautiful, she does afterall look as if she's just sleeping
Her sister will try to touch her face from their laptop in Japan to the laptop in Colorado via Skype
it's a bit blurry if anyone moves too quickly or they move the laptop but at times it's as if they are in the room
There are boxes of tissues everywhere, in this Viewing/Wake Room, peeking out the curtains to the side chapel, there are 2 boxes of tissues on every pew...
the Father in law/the husband still uses a cloth handkerchief, which I don't remember seeing anyone use for real since maybe my Grandfather or on TV on a Victorian show or maybe workers in a field

My Mother in Law looks like a doll in a doll bed, her head on a pillow, a patchwork blanket over her & pulled up to her chin - her daughter will bring her a favorite red scarf of hers for her to wear around her neck while the family views her...they have put 'light' makeup on her face, she is not wearing her dark brown wig (as she use to do before Parkinson's froze her up to the point of not being able to swallow or talk or move...) & there are blue/low light spotlights turned on overhead, the rest of the room has a sofa/chairs/side tables/lamps as if it's a Living room, would they call it a Drawing room in the past (today it's a Viewing Room, a Wake Room)

She is at peace, she is relaxed, she is not struggling, she is not in pain, she doesn't have to try to communicate, she is frozen in sleep, as she was, when you are nearly as peaceful as in death - I cannot be sad for her, her Parkinson's is gone, I can be sad for her family/friends left behind except for the good memories of when she was well, alive, active, involved, traveling, a friend, dancing, a crafter of so many things...

We will remember her oragami, her lace making, her doll making, her cooking, her perfect gifts, her slipping money to you when you left the house from a visit, her being well dressed, her translating for us, her watching Japanese kid cartoons with the grandkids/great grandkids, so many such moments make up a life time, make up our memories, captured in so many photos, to relive those memories, stories to retell, remembering when...

So many things in the house remind us of her, especially while cooking in her kitchen...

a tiny example of remembrance - her old electric fry pan, her using chopsticks to turn the bacon
she could even turn big pieces of chicken while frying them in this pan
(I will at some point in my married life visiting this house start up this habit at home too, I will fry with wooden chopsticks - tho I had to get the long ones, but can in a pinch use the short ones...just like what you get out at a makes me remember the boy's grandmother, my mother in law & it makes me smile...)

I have not been in a funeral home since my Grandfather/-mother passed, the first when I was in Elementary school & the last in my last year of college back in Florida

The family will in the week that follows, start going thru a lot of family photo's, there will be good stories/smiling/laughing (it's a healing thing) & eat a lot of good or bad food & get/make a lot of phone calls/e-mails/social media messages - there will be flowers delivered, a food basket at the house...

Lillies...Oh the scent of these, even before they're fully open
they follow you into the room, here the living room
am not sure why a Lily is the funeral flower/the sympathy flower
then read that the Lily can symbolize the restored soul at death

I did not know you could order from a florist, a gift basket for sympathy (is it comfort food)
like one full of snacks, meat, cheese, mustard, crackers, pretzels, candy, cookies, etc...
Where's the Fruit?!

One night it was Chicken Enchiladas with lots/Lots of cheese sauce
my niece's recipe/her grand daughter (she woulda been proud) and I helped...chop, a lot...

We will watch the TV news about Boston, about Texas, about snow in Colorado
We will read the same news in the local newspaper that Poppa/Grandpa gets delivered every day

already in the local Colorado Springs, CO or was it Fountain, CO newspaper there are political/ editorial cartoons - this one in reference to the Boston Marathon - by Gary Varvel
Link found here...(but I just snapped a cell phone foto of the newspaper page, hope that's OK?!)

Over the weekend the Army son/grandson has been planning on attending the funeral on Thursday
Monday he is finally allowed officially to have leave, then he tells his Mom

We will spend more than 1/2 the day, 2 nieces & his Mom, trying to call 3 airlines (Delta, SW Airlines, KLM) to get him from NC to CO - he was not allowed an Emergency/Bereavement or Funeral rate, he was allowed a Military rate, he cannot use his Mom's huge mileage amount on one airline for another...

And then when it's done, we thought - without much allowance for days/times - he misses the same day evening flight & has to sleep in his vehicle at the airport in order to make it the next morning for standby, the airport being an hour away from his house

We will have to drive an hour away ourselves to the airport in Denver to pick him up, from Colorado Springs
It will have snowed, it will be slushy roads, it will snow more, there will be accidents, the car tires will be slippery, we will run out of window washer fluid & have to stop at a gas station for more & to scrape all the dirty icy slush off the car

Uggs in the deep, by inches, snow...
beside the gas station, waiting for the I'm Here cell phone text or call from an airport terminal

My Niece, the grand daughter, his cousin, will be the one to drive his Auntie, his Mom to the airport to pick him up--he will then walk to the wrong side of the airport & we will have to drive, due to construction, a long way to the other side to finally get him, then back again to the house for the weather to have finally have cleared up a bit

Denver Int'l Airport - the new one, still under construction
I've not seen this architecture, that looks like a Tribe has set up tents
out on the plains from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains
(or if you're old enough & don't think about it too much, there's a fleeting resemblance to the Herculoids - old morning space cartoon, same time Johnny Quest/Space Ghost were on - or the two called Gloop & Gleep...only this would have to be if they went home & the whole village showed up kind of thing...) 

On Monday the son & the husband/father in law/grandfather will have driven to Denver, to downtown, to near Sekura Square, to speak with the Buddhist monk, he's from Japan (that's all my father in law cares about) - but he calls himself a reverend - he has asked him to do the funeral ceremony on Thursday, over the phone but has to still come sit in front of him (he cannot hear well on the phone, he still won't get a hearing aide) - there will only be a 1/2 hour for a service, you get an app't, you can't be late (we are told it's like an airport, you're late, you don't get the time) that's all you get at the Nat'l Ceremony
In the end he will have like 20 min's at the Pavilion for the service & 10 more min's at the gravesite for his shortened Buddhist rituals of chanting/words/incense...

We will hear the ceremony in English & Japanese, there will be chanting in the later, we will be asked to say a few chanting words, there will be incense, we will be asked to light some incense each & say whatever words we want to the wife/mother/mother in law/grandmother/great grandmother, there will be a chime or bell struck, a number of times (maybe before/after the chanting)...

We all say words in our heads as we toss the tiny incense granules onto the tiny square burner on the foldup table with a black/gold cloth over it with the Urn on it & another tiny container on it that looks like an incense holder maybe...

We will all bow & take our seats again...there will be more chanting...we will put our palms together as if in prayer & we will meditate (we will be told none of this has to do with religion, we are honoring the departed, we are only meditating...)

They were told earlier that there must be all white flowers, the daughter will have to call to have this changed last minute on Monday...but we are still allowed to wear all black, someone thinks they will do this in Japan too, wear all black to funerals (we've had to consult Wikipedia as well, not to be disrespectful...)

The grand daughters, one especially, will have to call/visit/get online to help set up the Internet page via the funeral home--mostly for the relatives in Japan, this is where a lot of the found photos have gone to be put on a jump drive, to be taken in for their computer to upload or for photos to be scanned

At the funeral service/by the grave the nieces will use an ipad & Galaxy phone to video the ceremony, the Buddhist reverend - again for the family back in Japan, as the time there is 3 or 4am in the morning during this 1:30pm/afternoon funeral in Denver, CO

We will all wear black, we will try to take a lot of photos of us all together by the lake--afterwards we will realize that the husband/father/father in law will have been talking with the two funeral driver/attendant the whole time & is not in any photo

We followed the hearse over from Fountain, CO to Denver, CO - there would be a white drape over a box insert in the back of the hearse where the Urn of ashes/remains will be set into for the ride to the Nat'l Cemetery...
up behind the front seats there is a place to carry the flowers that will go the length of what will be a headstone...

after 30 - 90 days when it's engraved there will be a military, arched, headstone & will be set into place at the Nat'l Cemetery...(on the front with the military members info & on the back the spouse, the inscription will not be much more than loving wife, mother, grandmother we are told...)

there is a whole section being dug with temporary markers & wood walking on boards over the plots that have been dug up, there are at least 2 of them with dried up/dead flowers over them...Nat'l Cemeteries have a lot of rules for bringing/laying flowers on graves, there is also something called a grave blanket reference on the list of instructions--I have never heard of that before..

Ft Logan Nat'l Cemetery - all the armed forces are buried here
Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard

While taking photos by the admin bldg we will see a Coyote, mistaken for a dog at first, running across the green space on the other side of the lake from the admin bldg...
there is a couple of geese on our side & on the other some ducks on the bank who will flap into the water on the other side when the Coyote will run down to the waters edge...
then on the corkboard by the admin door we will read about the Coyote's
we are to keep our distance
if they approach we are to yell at them
we only saw one, he had no intention of coming near us--he was not small like a fox, he was big like a dog, like say a skinny Germany Shepherd size dog
I've lived here & don't recall seeing them in broad daylight, running around before - we are some distance from the mountains or the foothills even, they must know it's a protected cemetery & folks with guns aren't likely to be roaming around trying to shoot them
tho there are blank guns shooting off 21 gun salutes for the dead soldiers being buried with honors here at the Nat'l Cemetery

Ft Logan - by the Admin bldg, across the lake
there is a Coyote running
then he/she passes the flag
it is still at half mast I'm guessing for honoring the dead in Boston

We will see one van load of guys drive up/park/come up to the admin bldg, with civilian clothes on, carrying their uniforms/bags to change into uniform to attend a funeral service/perhaps as the gun salute unit, we don't talk to them, we don't know for sure - we're told the one with the yellow stripe down his leg is a superior officer

We have among our family unit, 1 Army Soldier who has his Class A uniform on & his black super polished jump boots on - he will carry his Grandmother's ashes in an Urn from the hearse to the pavillion stand for the funeral service & then again back, this time, to the car, to be driven by the family to the grave & then he will carry her to the Buddhist reverend who will say a few words over her ashes, then he will again take her to the grave to be placed in the NASA material container, to be sealed up inside, then covered first with our white roses, then the dirt/the earth, then be covered with a board & finally the white flowers, which we will leave there

Link to see what the New Class A Uniforms will look like...

At the gravesite we are told our family member's ashes are a lesson
she is teaching us, even as ashes in an urn
we are asked if we have something we want to do in say 20 yrs
in 10 yrs, in a year, in a month, in a week, in a day...
Or some such like this, not word for word
by that time there are tissues, there is weeping, there is hugging
we are all standing in muddy grass, as it's snowed & it's been driven on, dug up by now too

We were also told by the funeral director I think that there should not be more than 6 family members at the gravesite
since at the time there can be say a 100 graves open at a time
really there were no other's open, they were covered in boards or earth
again 2 with flowers already dried up/dead & should be removed soon am hoping
nothing sadder than dried up/dead flowers left at graves

We are still waiting to find out if the nieces/cousins/daughters/grand daughters have figured out how to put the 2 videos together for us all to watch online somewheres

It was also found out later back at the house, an hour away, that the husband/the grand father/the father in law didn't hear a word of the service & is hoping to hear it when it's put on the computer...
he won't wear a hearing aide, the man who couldn't hear his wife clap/bell ring/bike honk/cell phone call during her years with Parkinsons in/out of the hospital/nursing home (with many I'm sure telling him gently hearing aides are not what they use to be) - now to top it off he could not even hear his wife's burial ceremony, but still no hearing aide (this is beyond my understanding...)

Driving back an hour in 2 family cars, I am the one on the cell phone texting the nieces, their daughter, my sister in law/the daughter, nobody thought to stop for food in the car I'm driving in, their car stops for the kid to eat & for gas, I want to be in the car with the girls, there is no music, there is very little talking in the car I am in, there is no celebration of life, again I do not want any of this when I pass...

Denial or is it sadness continues all week, no one will do more than wash some old clothes, return the photos to their photo albums, talk about what dishes the grand daughters might use, what handmade dolls nobody wants, except the traditional dressed Japanese ones, as the rest of the dolls are scary (good for horror movie props perhaps, it's the eyes, that following you kind of thing...perhaps we've watched too many scary movies--we will watch more movies this week than maybe a year's worth per normal weeks...)

We have movies from RedBox, we will get more movies, every night we will watch a movie--we will try to laugh & not cry, we will either cook/clean up for a dinner at the house or go out - it becomes family time, we are together, there is a rare mention of Oh Momma would love this, Momma would say this/do that, Grandma would know...we go to her favorite Sushi Restaurant, Tako, then we go to Poppa's/Grandpa's/The Father in Laws suggestion of a Steak House... by the end of the week, one day for dinner I will eat a container of Greek Yogurt (I'm done, cannot consume anymore full out lunch or dinner...the comfort food is no longer a comfort...)

We will go out to her fav Japanese/sushi restaurant in town
Tako we're guessing means kite
the servers will ask who is missing
her daughter will have to tell them, that's why we are here
to celebrate her life, to come to her favorite restaurant
we order too much sushi (but then that always happens)

By fateful accident we will go shopping, we will go thru an outside section of a mall into the inside section--we will pass a shop, almost, when I read the name of it, then I recall it's the name of the shop my dear friend works at now...

I will go inside & ask at the cashier counter--Yes, Becky works here...
She will go in the back & bring my friend that I've known for 30 plus years back out front where we will hug & Hug & take photos & get a tour of the store & the family in the car at this point will come into the shop too & there are more hugs, more photos...

She has not seen the Army boy since High School Prom, when she came to the house for a visit to go see New Orleans (aka in her book--the Mardi Gras Epicenter) at the time & she braided his hair for Prom photos...
It's been a long time, her girl now out of the military as is my oldest son but not this youngest son
We see photos of her girl with her husband who is a Marine
Of all the Malls, of all the Shops--I would pass hers...
I think we all needed more Hugs
It's a Small World, it's a Big World

So again some will call it Hell Week (we did have to drive a day & half home again too, stuck in a truck driving thru Nowhere Texas, eating road food 'til you felt like you could Fast for a Week when you got home...) and some will call it Heaven Week--there were a lot of folks went to Heaven that week...

Hugs to all Y'all...oxOX...

Link to Wiki--Yes, even for funeral info there is Wiki...

Link to some explanation for Parkinson's...'s_disease

Link to the National Parkinson's Foundation...

Link to Zen Center of Denver, CO...
(note: I have been to the Zen Center of Houston,'s where I learned to meditate--not very well, the noise in my head never did stop for very long...but I when he said meditate at the ceremony, I had an idea what to do...)

Link to Ft Logan National Cemetery - Denver, CO...

Link to Available Emblems of Belief (aka Faith/Religion) - some I've never heard of or seen before...
(note: Buddhist are allowed to use The Wheel of Righteousness or the Dharma or The Wheel of Life...)

Thumbnail for version as of 17:38, 22 September 2007
Dharmacakra - per Wiki
that the Armed Forces Chaplain would wear as their insignia

Link to Arapahoe County, Colorado - Animal Control - What to do if you see a Coyote...

Thumbnail for version as of 00:18, 18 September 2005

a Coyote - per Wiki
(note: from a distance, across the lake, the Coyote in the cemetery did not look this good/healthy)


1. NEVER feed or throw food at coyotes.
2. Do NOT turn your back on it, ignore it or run away.
3. NEVER try to pet or touch it.
4. NEVER move towards it, or corner it where it can't run away.
5. YELL and make a lot of noise while slowly moving towards other people.
6. Make eye contact and make your self look bigger-raise your arms high, hold up your jacket or backpack.
7. If a coyote moves towards you, throw sticks or rocks towards it, KEEP YELLING.

If a coyote gets too close to you:1. Keep yelling.
2. Punch it.
3. Hit it with your backpack.

Link to Sekura Square - Denver, CO...

Link to the Tri State Denver Buddhist Temple...


the first photo in the row, on the left, is the Buddhist Reverend in his black robe
he is the Head Minister at the temple

Link to a Sutra that perhaps was read or in part at the funeral service, in Japanese...

Link to Japanese Buddhist Funeral Customs...

Link to the Dali Lama chanting the Heart Sutra...
(note: I don't know what Sutra's the Buddhist Reverend chanted at the funeral service or at the grave site...perhaps the Amitabha Sutra, as I've read both Buddhists in or out of Japan will chant this at funerals...this link however is to a 2 minute Heart Sutra by the current Dali Lama to hear just a sample of what chanting might sound like for those that haven't heard it before...)