Sweet Pea Specials

Since switching to a vegan diet I’ve become a frequent diner at Sweet Pea Cafe in Tallahassee. I have favorite dishes—the Caesar Wrap is one, and Rancheros is another, but I give a thumbs up to everything on their menu. It’s all vegan, all the time.

The specials board never fails to make me smile even if I’m not enticed to try what’s listed. I’m a messy person and sometimes the special isn’t suited to dining in one’s car.

Today’s specials were particularly inventive.

The BBQ Streisand was tempting, but I could well imagine the resulting bbq splotches on my tee shirt.

If you live anywhere near Tallahassee pay this little unassuming cafe on Tharpe Street a visit. Tell them Leslie sent you.

Peace, people!

Estate Sale Art

In Tallahassee estate sales are often nothing more than glorified yard sales. I never get my hopes up that I’ll find something that will make my heart smile. But occasionally I come away with a perfect purchase.

Saturday morning I followed my GPS directions to a home in an older part of Tallahassee. Parking was interesting. The street adjacent to the house was narrow and curvy and the home sat atop a hill with a driveway right out of the Alps. One had to walk up the hill to access the home, and I felt like yodeling when I crested the rise. The reward for that climb was a nondescript home surrounded by overgrown shrubbery.

I considered just walking back down the steep incline and going to brunch, but my heart was still thumping from the walk up to the house, so I decided to go inside and just meander around until I could catch my breath.

So glad I did. If ever there was a truth behind “don’t judge a book by its cover” this was it. My only problem was not having enough money to buy every piece of art in the home.

Two professionally framed prints by artist Ted DeGrazia came home with me.

“Roadrunner”
“Free as the Wind”

They look beautiful in my Texas-themed bedroom, replacing a goofy painting of a sunflower that I did years ago. I’m a lousy artist, so the sunflower will likely go to Goodwill or into a dumpster. I’m not sure Goodwill will accept it.

Peace, people!

Not a Rhetorical Question

How did I get here? In search of an estate sale in north Tallahassee, I missed a turn and ended up on a narrow dirt road in my effort to find the way back. My gps has a weird sense of humor sometimes.

It was a pretty shortcut; although, the track grew a bit too narrow in places for my liking.

Where I’m Going
Where I’d Been

And my little Chrysler really isn’t an off-road vehicle. A couple of times I wondered about turning around and going back the way I’d come, but there wasn’t an opportunity to do so.

After all my travails in the wilderness, the estate sale was disappointing. It’s as if I’d been lost on the Oregon Trail and there was no gold when I reached California. At least no one died of dysentery.

Peace, people!

For the Love of Dog

I don’t have a dog, but I absolutely love them. Maybe when Studly Doright retires we’ll adopt an older dog, but for right now we just like to admire the dogs of others.

This morning I attended VeggieFest at Tom Brown Park in Tallahassee. There were all sorts of food vendors there selling vegetarian and vegan fare, along with folks hawking books on healthy lifestyle choices and others advertising yoga classes—I won a free class session. But best of all, there were dogs.

This is Pippa

And Pippa’s best friend, Bear.
Not a dog, but pretty cute.

The weather was cool, but sunny. I ate way too much. Hopefully dog petting burns up lots of calories.

Peace and love, people!

Potato, Potahto

Back in the spring of 2019 I began eating a mostly vegan diet for health reasons. Occasionally I’ll have shrimp in a salad, or an egg white for breakfast, and I still put honey in my tea, but 99% of the time I follow a plant-based diet that excludes dairy.

Since I’m not a great cook I eat a lot of baked potatoes, fresh fruits, and salads at home, but my favorite place to eat is Sweet Pea Cafe in Tallahassee where everything is vegan, including the yummiest baked goods ever.

In the beginning when I ordered a meal at Sweet Pea I was full of questions like, “Who’s seitan?” and “Isn’t Tempeh a town in Arizona?” To their credit the Sweet Pea staff answered these questions and more, and finally I found myself fairly knowledgeable about vegan foods. Well, I know what I’m getting when I order, anyway. I’ve become fairly fluent in Veganese.

A couple of days ago I was in line to order at Sweet Pea behind a young couple who were obviously vegan novices. I patiently waited while they asked all of the questions I had asked and more.

“What’s tempeh made of?”

“How about seitan? What’s in it?

“What’s in a falafel?”

“What kind of cheese do you use?

Seriously, this young couple was thorough in their quest to find out what everything on the menu was made from or of.

There was one question that I never asked, though that the male did: “And what are the potatoes made from?”

I looked up from my phone to find the person taking the order suppressing a smile.

“Potatoes. We generally make them from potatoes.”

He went on to tell him what kind of oil they’d be cooked in and that they were locally grown.

I just had to grin. Finally someone asked a question I could’ve answered even in my virgin vegan days. Potatoes are made from potatoes!

Peace, people.

Signs of the Apocalypse?

Studly kept me busy Friday afternoon taking apart a 1976 Honda GL 1000. I’m not sure I was much help, but I had a lot of fun.

After we removed the Corbin seat, the pipes and a few other choice bits, we loaded the frame, along with a variety of other pieces and parts onto Studly Doright’s motorcycle trailer and drove over to a salvage yard in Tallahasse.

Now, Studly has a fondness for places that deal in salvage. His grandad, Benjamin Bernard Noyes (aka Papaw), owned a salvage yard in Hereford, Texas, and Studly spent hour upon hour there from the time he was a small child on into his teens. Papaw put him to work getting the copper, brass, and aluminum out of the pumps and motors that came into the yard. For his efforts Studly was paid enough to keep him in spending money. That yard was his world.

When we drove through the gates of Leon Iron & Metal and saw the towering piles of scrap iron, I could feel his excitement. I have to admit, it got me pumped up, too. I cannot explain the beauty of the place, so I took photos.

The little scooter in the bottom right was something we added to the pile.

Mr. Claw was ready!

The little splash of yellow and the tire are what’s left of our old GL 1000.

The two photos above made me think APOCALYPSE!

We had to remove any batteries from the scrap, so they could be weighed and disposed of safely:

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign…

https://youtu.be/oeT5otk2R1g

As we left the salvage yard, savoring the hefty pile of cash we’d earned from our afternoon of hard labor (okay, it was $30), I had just one question for Studly:

“What else can we take apart?”

He just laughed, but I swear I noticed a little gleam in his eye.

Peace, and junk, people!

A Festive State Mind

Hallelujah, I’m finally in a festive mood. The humbugs have been banished, and the grinch is gone. What, you might ask, has prompted my change in spirit? It wasn’t just one big thing that did the trick, but a series of small events.

1. My daughter called me several days ago with more than a hint of excitement in her voice. She lives in Illinois, and the long, cold winters there take a toll on her. So to hear her bubbling over with happiness made me happy.

2. All of my Christmas shopping is done and gifts are either en route or already under their respective recipients’ trees.

3. Studly Doright and I attended a company Christmas party at a Humphrey Bogart themed restaurant in DeFuniak Springs, FL. Since I’d just mentioned the film Casablanca in a recent post, I thought that dinner at a place called “Bogey’s” was more than a coincidence. Before we arrived at the restaurant Studly and I both thought it was golf themed. Boy, was he disappointed.

4. Our daughter sent photos and video of our youngest granddaughter performing in her school’s holiday concert. Isn’t she adorable? (The answer is “yes,” by the way.) Note the cute little guy next to her with his puffed out cheeks.

5. Our daughter, who played trombone all through middle and high school, is playing again–now in her kids’ high school pep band. Her family lives in a small town, and the pep band is correspondingly small, so when she realized a parent was playing in the pep band she asked the director if he could use another trombonist. He could, and that’s why she was so excited (refer to #1). She played her first gig on Monday night at a basketball game.

6. We’ve gone three days without finding cat pee where it shouldn’t be. Knock on wood.

7. This morning I’m meeting a friend for a holiday art show at LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts in Tallahassee and lunch at somewhere still to be determined.

8. Tonight Studly and I will attend the last of his company’s Christmas parties at Giorgio’s in Tallahassee. No ugly sweaters this time–I’m not sure whether that makes me sort of sad or extraordinarily excited. Leaning towards the excited; although, that means I probably need to put some thought into my appearance. At least with an ugly sweater I could just wear jeans.

8. Finally, I found this on Facebook. https://youtu.be/tEjLS0OHWnQ

Peace, people

A Walk in the Park

Studly Doright played in his golf club’s annual members’ tournament this weekend, so I had great heaps of time all to myself on Saturday and Sunday. There weren’t any estate sales within easy driving distance, but I found ways to spend money anyway.

By far the best activity I engaged in this weekend was a walk through Dorothy B. Oven Park in midtown Tallahassee. I’ve likely driven past this park hundreds of times, but never really paid it much attention. This weekend, though, there was an arts and crafts show taking place there, so I thought I’d give it a go.

After strolling through the booths I took off down a path and discovered just how lovely this little park is.

The weather was perfect for a walk in the park, so I lingered awhile. Afterwards I walked back to the craft booths where I bought one little picture.

It looks sweet in my “Beach Bedroom.”

Peace, people.

Fantastic Ant Fact #3

I’m enjoying the Olli class I’m taking at Florida State University more than I could’ve imagined. The class, The Parallel Universe of Ants, taught by Walter R. Tschinkel the author of The Fire Ants, is everything I’d hoped it would be, and more.

For one thing, Dr. Tschinkel has a great sense of humor, and he employs it with endless patience as we laypeople ask basic questions, often the same questions multiple times in one class period. He’s a veritable encyclopedia of ant info. I like the class so much I purchased his book.

It’s at least an inch thick, so it’ll keep me occupied for some time to come.

I know this is what you’re waiting for–FABULOUS ANT FACT #3:

After mating, female fire ants literally break off their wings after returning from the mating flight. That sounds harsh, but at least they don’t perish after mating as their male counterparts do.

Here’s a bonus tidbit that might come in handy at trivia some day. The study of ants is called Myrmecology, and those who study ants are myrmecologists.

I found this video of Dr. Tschinkel’s appearance on CBS Sunday Morning. The segment was filmed at the place he calls Ant Heaven. With any luck I’ll get to visit there in a couple of weeks when our class goes on a field trip!

https://youtu.be/tetDPeC4s2s

I’m no myrmecologist, but I know an ant when I see one.