Sweets, Beans, and Whiskey / Dulces, Frijoles, y Whisky

I’VE FINALLY COME to the end, I think, of my photos from our trip in August and September to Northern Norway. But if I want to fill myself with love, gratitude, and smiles, all I have to do is look again at the photos. So I do. A magnificent country. Delectable food. And a loving, kind, interesting, generous, and joyful family — with all the best qualities of San Geraldo.

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FINALMENTE HE LLEGADO al final, creo, de mis fotos de nuestro viaje en agosto y septiembre al norte de Noruega. Pero si quiero llenarme de amor, gratitud y sonrisas, todo lo que tengo que hacer es mirar nuevamente las fotos. Así que hago. Un pais magnífico. Comida deliciosa. Y una familia amable, interesante, generosa, y alegre — con las mejores cualidades de San Geraldo.

At the farm (seen at top around 1990) in the rain.
En la granja (visto en la parte superior alrededor de 1990) bajo la lluvia.
Three second-cousins sharing old family photos — and trying to figure out who’s who.
Tres primos segundos compartiendo viejas fotos familiares, y tratando de descubrir quién es quién.
Cousins Elin and Terje (previous photo, middle and right) tried to corrupt me with my first Jameson.
Los primos Elin y Terje (foto anterior, media y derecha) intentaron corromperme con mi primer Jameson.
Cousin Timmi tried to sweeten me up with licorice and other goodies. It worked.
El primo Timmi trató de endulzarme con regaliz y otras golosinas. Funcionó.
It’s called Smash. Corn chip cones dipped in Norwegian chocolate. Dangerously delicious.
Se llama Smash. Conos de chips de maíz bañados en chocolate noruego. Peligrosamente delicioso
Licorice smothered in cocoa.
Regaliz cubierto de cacao.
Hot pepper licorice.
Regaliz pimiento picante.
Harvesting marshmallows on the family farm.
Cosecha de malvaviscos en la granja familiar.
Another marshmallow farm near Sortland (bales of hay or barley).
Otra granja de malvaviscos cerca de Sortland (fardos de heno o cebada).
Three generations of love. Second cousins, second cousins once removed, and second cousins twice removed.
Tres generaciones de amor. Primos segundos, primos segundos una vez eliminados, y primos segundos eliminados dos veces.
San Geraldo in heaven in Bodø. (The vision of that daily plateful made me feel like I was in hell.)
San Geraldo en el cielo en Bodø. (La visión de ese plato diario me hizo sentir como si estuviera en el infierno).
After that daily traditional English breakfast, San Geraldo had waffles WITH HIS MAPLE SYRUP. When the waffles were gone, he sopped up the remaining syrup with bread.
Después de ese desayuno inglés tradicional diario, San Geraldo tenía gofres CON SU JARABE DE ARCE. Cuando se acabaron los gofres, absorbió el jarabe restante con pan.

Peacock, My Ass

When I was first out of university and looking for a job (with my degree in Art with minors in Psychology and English), my mother’s friend, Leah Meis (name changed to protect the unkind) insisted I meet her son-in-law to see if he had a job for me. He interviewed me in Leah’s bedroom (and, no, I didn’t put out) and offered me a job in the mailroom of his factory-of-some-sort in New Jersey. I didn’t like him much (nor did I like the offer); I thanked him and turned him down.

The next day, Leah arrived at my parents’ apartment and demanded I take the mailroom job. I told her I was looking for something a bit more challenging and interesting.

Leah said, “Get the feathers out of your ass, Mitchell! You’re not a peacock!”

Once I was gainfully employed, I walked into Saks Fifth Avenue and bought myself a very expensive, hand-painted, silk necktie. One spectacular peacock feather on a scarlet background.

(After another 15 years, Leah Meis retired to New Jersey and my mother, having finally decided she’d endured enough nastiness, refused to visit her.)



Dudo’s Peacock Feather
On the subject of peacocks, when our niece Lindy’s parents were visiting last month, her mother, Debbie, brought a bag of toys for the cats — two of each item. Included were a pair of peacock feathers from their own farm peacocks. Dudo and Moose were (and are) ecstatic.

My Ass
In preparation for our move to Spain more than 5 years ago, I finally retired that very old peacock feather necktie. I’ve at times considered having a peacock fan tattooed across my entire back (emerging from the crack of my ass).

(Click the images for a closer look… at Dudo, not my ass.)

DUDO AND HIS PEACOCK FEATHER.
SOMETHING FLEW BY.
WAS THAT AN ENTIRE PEACOCK???

The Best Little Cat House In South Dakota

If you think Matt and Lindy are soft touches when it comes to cats in need (yesterday’s post), you should meet Lindy’s parents! They have a farm outside Pierre and have both farm and house cats. I can’t remember how many exactly — perhaps 15 inside the cool and stylish house and that many (or maybe 50, I get those numbers confused) on the farm. And, yes, they all have names.

If we lived closer, we probably would have begged to take a couple home with us!

(Click the images for a closer look. Go on. I know you can’t resist.)

WE HAD FARM GUIDES.
THE BOUDOIR. IT IS A CATHOUSE AFTERALL!
INSTANT AFFECTION. HE MADE OUR HEARTS MELT.

THIS ONE STUCK A FLOWER IN HER HAIR TO SEE US OFF.
“ARE YOU OFF, THEN? SO, WHAT DID I MISS?”