Friday, November 13, 2009

Rabbit Hash and Back

I needed a break so bad that I was exhausted, one glass of wine made me feel tipsy! We are in Burlington Kentucky for a three-day weekend. I wanted to come to the Cincinnati area because I wanted to hit up Jungle Jims Grocery. So I did my usual research and narrowed it down to the Burlington-Willis B & B and another one in Covington Kentucky, which I did not choose. The north side of Cinci seemed to be more focused on the Kings Island crowd, rather than those that have some esthetic sensibilities.

I made a great choice too! The room is actually a bedroom, bathroom and a parlor type area. Decorated in what I think is early American, but probably more civil war-ish. It is comfortable, warm ad inviting. The inn has been remodeled so that there is the feel of the old, with the comfort and convenience of the new. This morning I had a steam shower. I usually despise showers, but did not want to fill the HUGE bath tub for me alone, so I took a shower, it was heavenly, plenty of hot water, the steamer made it very comfortable and I got hot enough so that I did not freeze to death once my shower was done.

Breakfast was a mix of fruit with granola sprinkled over it, “how odd” I thought; after a couple of bites, “ how wonderful” I thought! I also had juice, coffee and a breakfast pie composed of hash browns, sausage, eggs, and cheese. It was a very satisfying experience. New taste treats are always welcome and in that bowl of fruit was a mulberry, which was my first, and I liked it!

Eventually we ventured out into the world, and we headed for the river, for Rabbit Hash, a little general store from about 1830, which still stands. As we arrived I pulled in between a car and a Harley. Just up the one lane road was a school bus as evidenced by the teenagers sitting on the front porch of the Rabbit Hash General Store. The store was unlike any other I have seen since I was in the old general store in Birdseye Indiana 25 years ago! The kids were loving it, and I chatted briefly with one of the students who turned out to be the teacher! It was an American history class. We did not go on field trips like this back in the dark ages! And what a great piece of Americana it was. There was a group of men playing some sort of horseshoe-boules game with rocks, the kids hanging out, and the mayor or Rabbit Hash, Lucy Lou. Lucy Lou came tearing down the old ferry site towards Jodi, scaring the heck out of her. Lucy Lou just wanted to play; she finally resorted to a plaintive bark not dissimilar to my own Lucy, when she too, wants attention. To Jodi’s surprise I gave in and threw the stick Lucy Lou would bring and drop at my feet. She loved it and was not happy when we had to go. She told us we were welcome to return any time to her fair city! We tried to find the Old Bone Park, but became pleasantly lost and returned to the B&B.

Dinner tonight was at the Tousey House Tavern. Jodi had a house salad of mixed greens accompanied by a cheddar and broccoli soup. I had Chinese slaw, filet and mashed potatoes, with a rather lackluster mushroom red wine sauce to the tune of $2.50. Don’t get me wrong; the rest of the meal was good. My slaw was perfectly sweet/tangy, the rolls was sinful dipped in the plentiful dressing. The filet was tender and cooked to perfection; the sauce was just nothing to write home about. For dessert I had a pumpkin bar accompanied by whipped cream and an apple cider sauce that was a bit tart, but the bar and cream was a great ending. I had a nice glass of Red Rock (07) merlot, good nose, good legs and fabulous on the tongue. I had a glass last night too! It went well with the meat. Our waitress was interesting; she was also a Hoosier, who grumbled in front of us that her room was filling too fast. Poor thing, there were four two tops and an eight to ten top which was empty, so she really had four whole tables. I tried to reassure her that we were on break and not in a hurry, but it did not seem to comfort her. All in all, though it was a satisfying experience and were we to return here we would most likely dine there again.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Just Breathe

This week has stunk so bad that I have a full-blown fever blister! Today is my only day off and (I know poor me) I decided to treat myself, under the premise of “If I don’t take care of myself who will?” Because of experiences both pleasant and not, I have decided to name this the week of just breathing!

The week started out with an e-mail from a wonderful person, from whom I had elicited help, instructing me that all would be well and I should just breathe! I had to smile because my mantra in life is that of Julian of Norwich:

“And all shall be well,

And all shall be well,

And all manner of things shall be well?”

And so I breathed.

The fennel I mentioned in an earlier post that I had found in my garden, had to come into the house this week. It has begun to freeze every night so out I went and trimmed back my roses, brought in a couple of buds and harvested that fennel! Later in the week I went to the window where the rose buds had been placed and they were in bloom with a heavenly fragrance, one I had to just breathe in!

Thursday at a quarterly educational event at work we had a whole hour session on breathing and stress. I think I may have finally found the answer to my unwelcome tears, four breaths in and then four breaths out. It seems to curb the sob rising in my throat. I may owe the instructor, whom I consider a friend, more than he will ever know. Tears have plagued me for years, which come at totally inconvenient times. Maybe now, I am in control, when I mindfully breathe!

When I was in Paris I purchased 2 tins of Fois Gras; Duck and Goose. Today seemed like the day to make the Fois Gras, Fennel and Orange salad we made in our cooking classes in Paris. Homegrown Fennel, Oranges handy and those tins of Fois Gras, I heard that salad calling to me. And it was good, the salad, a warm baguette and a small glass of a nice Cahors (also purchased in Paris), yes, it was good. AND as I was cutting that fennel for the salad, I had to breathe in the fragrance of the fresh fennel, green and anise at once. And it made me think, as I draw in the essence of my creator whether in fear, fragrance, or tears, it seems that we all need to really do is breathe in and out and we can experience joy and peace!