Rare, Collectible, & Otherwise

Author: admin (Page 3 of 220)

My, my, my… My Corona.

Probably time for an update… A little over a month since we served a meal, but – remarkably – I’ve sold a few books since we hung up the Closed sign. One of our reader-regulars called and asked me to pick out a few books for him, and gave me an ample budget.

Made me feel good. We have had others who have offered to buy gift certificates (thanks, Mr S., for your generous purchase!) and have had some books donated that I have since placed on the shelf. Plenty of time for keeping up with the inventory, just now.

There are always projects to keep me busy. Many of you know that I have collected hand tools most of my life, and love to putter around using them on my various “to-do” items. I’ve become particularly fond of the telescoping magnet that lets me pick up objects from the floor without having to bend down. As I have gotten older, I discovered that things that fall to the floor tend to roll or bounce to the spot most difficult to reach.

Many times they disappear completely – ‘cause I ain’t getting down low enough to look under the bed.

Used those hand tools to replace the brake calipers on the old van, which were in such a sad state that I was afraid to back it out of its parking spot. Driving is good. Stopping better.

The lettering on the front door now reflects more closely the wording of the awning above the windows. Washed the windows even though there aren’t as many folks walking by and looking in. Plenty of people out walking, but many are being dragged by a dog on a leash and are unable to slow down, much less – stop.

Lots of dusting and organizing going on. Those are the projects that keep getting pushed down the priority list that are finally getting some attention.

Like everyone else, we are trying to anticipate what it will be like, once the isolation orders are lifted. We’ve had emails and voice messages from folks who are wishing us well and urging us to “hang on” – promising to come in as soon as possible. I hope people will, although I wonder if it will take some time to feel comfortable in public after such a time in quarantine. Fingers crossed.

Coming to the shop, I glanced down at the odometer and realized that the numerals were rolling up on a number that would happen only once in the entire life of the car. (That presumes the vehicle won’t make it to the two-hundred-thousand miles mark.) I looked ahead and spotted a church parking lot to turn into, and did so just as the tenth of a mile rolled to the one – which completed the across-the-dial synchronicity.

I looked at it a couple of seconds, took a picture, and then thought “so what?” Got back on the road and the mileage kept on rolling. Here’s where I was going to have a complete philosophical rant about our lives keep relentlessly on, traveling the course of…

Aaah. You get the idea. No need to complete the analogy which would have been quickly tossed on the scrapheap of pandemic musings anyway.

Time for me to disinfect these fingers and get back under the mask.

Hope to see you soon…

Growing Pains.

The paper sign on the door was wrinkled from condensation, so I printed another one. After the bold-lettered CLOSED, I didn’t include an explanation. Just wrote, “I think you know why.” Needless to say, Dustin and I are finding other things to occupy our time, since we have locked the doors until further notice.

Carrot Top from one of the last stew batches. Enough to feed one cartoon rabbit. UPDATE: It died.

When the New Year rolled around, I was thinking about projects, and what sort of activity I might take on that is unrelated to the business. No pressing car issues for the time being (or at least until the weather warms up a little…), and I was hoping to come up with something as a distraction rather than a burden. No house painting. Nothing requiring a climb into the attic. Maybe something that could be done in stages, say. – on my Sunday afternoons off from work. Turns out, I have more than just Sundays just now.

I wound up buying some garden seeds, starter cups, and soil, which have been sitting in the office now for months. Some of you have been gardeners for years, and will have to forgive my elevating this project beyond the trivial thing it would be for you. But the only thing I’ve grown lately is mold on bread. (And I don’t mention that with any sense of pride…)

Celery end rescued from the kitchen and set in water. Will never make a meal.

So, here I am in the bookstore-turned-greenhouse, with my food service gloves on, packing little cartons with dirt and sprinklings of seeds. I intended to read the directions but quickly discovered that you expert gardeners recommend differing soil temperatures and germinating times and lighting quantities.

After chucking all that to the side, I just laid down some dirt, dabbed in some seeds, tamped, and watered. About midway to the finish, I realized that – even with a fantastic harvest – it would have been cheaper to buy these things at the store.

Then again, I never did pick up a golf club hoping to make the PGA Tour. Some things can be ‘just for the fun of it.’

Then again, depending on our Covid status, maybe I’ll be surviving just fine on my jalapeno and chives bounty.

Shelter from the Storm

“Come in,” Bob Dylan sang, “I’ll give ya shelter from the storm.” It is less poetic, maybe, but the virus is the storm and many are taking shelter.

One of our most popular lunchtime staples is potato soup. One of the ingredients, not surprisingly, is potatoes. Wednesday, Dustin and I drove to various stores searching for a place that still offered some on the produce rack.

Hope springs eternal even in the coldest climes.

There were some big russet bakers – the kind you’d be proud to put on a plate next to a medium rare filet – for ninety-nine cents a pound. There weren’t any bagged or boxes of spuds at all. I bought a small quantity; enough to make soup for Thursday’s run of business.

Dustin offered quesadillas as the special, because the regular Thursday sandwich is served on a slider roll – of which none were to be found anywhere.

Thursday also marked the implementation of a city proclamation limiting restaurants and other Broken Arrow businesses that hosted gatherings of people – places like our local museums, gyms, bowling alleys, and so on. We had already closed our dining area earlier in the week, and sold some carry-out lunches in the following days, in diminishing numbers.

Perhaps folks are heeding the call to limit public activities, maybe in light of the decisions on the coasts to ‘shelter in place.’ We had far fewer meals to prepare on Thursday than the day before.

The hard decision is to take a break until the virus wave runs its course locally. Each day, Dustin tries to predict how much soup and stew to prepare, and he does a pretty good job of it. It is currently unpredictable, and it just isn’t prudent to prepare food, only to throw it out.

It won’t be too long – hopefully – before some semblance of normalcy will return. For the time being though, in the spirit of frugality and health, we are taking a break until the victory flag is waved.

“Come in,” she said. “I’ll give ya shelter from the storm.”

Be safe out there.

« Older posts Newer posts »