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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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beer

Bob’s Rt 66 Beer List

My husband is a beer man. When we set out on our Rt. 66 trip he decided to support the local breweries when possible. Sometimes when he would ask the bartender or server for a local beer, he would have to explain what he meant. It was obvious some of the people we encountered had not done much traveling.

We picked up Rt. 66 in Joliet, IL and headed south. The first couple of nights Bob drank his normal Miller Lite so the first true local beer he had was at the Cheeky Monkey Bar in Branson, MO. Yes the place was as fun as the name. We were met at the door with a shot of their signature drink by a friendly gal who asked us our names. What he drank is pictured below.

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The next evening we were in Tulsa, OK, and there isn’t a picture for that night. Now that it is a few weeks later, we don’t remember why. The following evening we were in Elk City, OK, and he had OK Pils.

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On into Texas we went. The Big Texan restaurant brew its own beer and they don’t sell it anyplace but there. People were buying “growlers” of their favorites. Bob drank the Texas Red Amber Ale and got to compliment the brew-master on its quality. Sometimes he took a picture of the menu too so he could remember what the names were later on. If you have a touch screen and can enlarge the menu, some of the names are a hoot. For instance: Whoop Your Donkey IPA. He isn’t an IPA guy, but the name is fun.

Don’t let the next glass fool you. It held Pepe Loco and he drank it in Albuquerque, NM. That evening we had the pleasure of chatting with and sharing the dance floor with some fun-loving Irish folk that were doing the Rt 66 trip on a huge bus.

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The following evening we were in Holbrook, AZ, where we found the Corral Bar and Kilt Lifter Amber Ale. The band was four guys who looked almost as old as we are, and played our kind of music. We do an old-fashioned swing and their beat got our toes moving. It was the night we will remember as the most fun because of the people we talked to: Lou from England and Alvin, a full blood Navajo.

One of the  most famous spots on Rt. 66 is “standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona. The corner name is insignificant, getting there is supreme. We had lunch, after the obligatory pictures were taken, at the Relic Road eatery where Bob had a Grand Canyon American Pilsner. Again, the menu is so we could remember the name. He also drank this beer at the Grand Canyon Pizza Pub.

The next afternoon found us on a train riding from Williams, AZ to the Grand Canyon south rim. The young lady that served the beer shown below attended the same high school I did in Wayland, NY, and graduated from a high school which was Bob’s high school football team arch rival. And at the beginning of the conversation she didn’t think we would recognize the name of the town she called home. It is indeed a small world when you get out there and explore it.

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The night we spent on the South Rim we enjoyed the best prepared meal of the trip. We shared our table with a couple from California that we had been talking to throughout the day as the El Tovar Hotel frowned on just two people at a table that could seat four. Bob had a single malt scotch instead of beer as we helped Gail and Gene celebrate their anniversary and it was a couple of days before Bob’s birthday.

Back in Williams, AZ, via train, we had a light dinner in the hotel lounge while I wrote that day’s blog and Bob enjoyed the Railhead Amber Ale. Don’t think I let him drink alone. My drink of choice is Jack and Coke for those of you who want to know.

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Our next stop was Las Vegas, Nevada, Sin City as it is casually called. In one of the restaurants of the Mirage Hotel we were disappointed with the quality of our meal, the service and the lack of any other local beer other than Sierra Nevada pictured below in the ultra thin, tall glass. We made up for it in the “free” drinks I drank while at the Craps table. Overall in my total craps play I am still $35.00 to the good, though I did leave $100.00 in Vegas. It might be good that I lost, I won’t want to play again so soon.

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From Vegas we drove on to Barstow, CA., our least favorite city overall because of the number of street people. We would go back to have dinner at the Idle Spurs where we met Suzanne and Wayne. It was Bob’s birthday and Rachel, the bartender, brought him an ice cream sundae with a candle in it. Bob drank Red Trolley Ale while we ate our dinner at the bar.

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In Palm Springs, having dinner at Shanghai Reds and then dancing to the blues band, Bob found his favorite beer on the whole trip. The 805 had the right taste and temperature to be refreshing as it was still 88 degrees when we walked back to our hotel room.

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Staying another night in Palm Springs, we drove north to Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneer Town Palace, way up in the mountains, on recommendation from Jack and Bonnie Garner back in Rochester, NY. We were seated at a table with another couple, Mike and Jennifer, from Atlanta, GA. They pointed out the Budweiser they were served had a notation on the label that it had been totally produced by wind energy so I had to have one to promote the cause. Bob drank the Saint Archer. It was another 100 degree day in the Palm Springs area, so the ice cold beer was good no matter the name.img_0585.jpg

The next night found us in San Diego. We jay-walked across the street from our hotel to Mitch’s, a fresh seafood place. Bob said his swordfish was great, I was not satisfied with my poke (fresh raw tuna) because it came by itself in a small cup, and we both left unsatisfied. He said the Chronic Amber wasn’t bad.

 

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We walked further west on the boardwalk and found Eppig Brewing where Rob, on the left, and Mike, on the right, poured Bob a Festbier and me a Prekend Kolsch. Now that was some good beer. Too bad Eppig doesn’t sell nationally. One could buy six-packs of their flavors from their cooler but alas we were about to leave the beautiful bay on an airplane. We expect to see Rob back in Rochester as he was raised in our fair city and will be here for a wedding in a couple of weeks.

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Above, Festbier on the left and Kolsch on the right. They explained the different glass use, but we wouldn’t have minded if it had been in a Red Solo Cup. (Thanks Toby Keith)

Below is the final beer of the trip. Bob enjoyed it at the Fish Market restaurant on San Diego Bay where Jeff and J.V., the bartenders, made sure we had full drinks and liked our dinner. 

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We arrived home on Thursday evening, the 26th. On the 27th we went to one of our favorite live music haunts just a few miles from home. Bob had a Rohrbach Highland Lager, brewed in Rochester, to celebrate a safe, fun, educational trip.

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This is not an advertisement for any of the beers listed. It is just what was available and wasn’t an IPA. We hope if you are a beer person, you have the opportunity to try some locally made beverages when you travel. Enjoy.

Is There Beer in Heaven Part III

     The inevitable has happened. We buried my brother-in-law last Friday. It wasn’t even a week ago and it seems like so much more time has passed. Maybe it’s because Christmas happened and I didn’t think about it for a couple of days. I’m not sure, but it has me thinking a lot about time.

   You know how it always takes longer to get someplace by car than it does to get back home. I don’t know if it’s the anticipation that it makes it feel like it takes longer, or your desire has been satisfied for making the trip, so getting home is just something you have to do. This happens to me even when I know the route I am taking, like to my sisters, a different one, three hours away or when my girlfriends and I are going on a quilt shop trip. Continue reading “Is There Beer in Heaven Part III”

Is There Beer in Heaven?

       What is your impression of heaven? Do you believe heaven has streets paved of gold; that there will be tranquility for all and maybe a few angels still in need of their wings as depicted in books and movies.

      I remember when I was young my parents discussing their different desires if heaven were indeed a place they would find “heavenly.” My father wanted unlimited fishing holes, well inhabited hunting grounds and an ongoing poker game. My mother wanted all her children with her, but no meals to prepare or laundry to do, and she pictured a forest nearby where they could play and learn together. She also wanted an unlimited source of craft supplies so she could continue to be creative and busy. Continue reading “Is There Beer in Heaven?”

Becoming a Pet – 297 word flash

I’m a washed up show dog; a Papillon by breed and until recently I was a male, now I’m an it. They said taking away my manhood will make me a better house pet. I’m not yet sure what that is. I have lived in crates and have been hauled from one place to another to be made a spectacle of in front of a lot of people. I’ve been washed and combed so many times I lost count and now my owner says I need a forever home because even though the judges liked me I never won a big show. My owner has put me in the visiting room in our kennel barn a few times with strangers but they left and I stayed. I heard my owner say the chemistry wasn’t right. Today the stranger was different. He’s a tall skinny man and he picked me up the right way, supporting my legs against his chest. I licked his chin hello. He tasted a little funny but when I heard the pfsst of a can being opened on the long drive home I found out why. The liquid had a strong bitter smell instead of a sweet syrupy one. After a few of those he got silly. I was glad we were in the back seat. When we arrived at the place he called my new home there were two other Papillons for me to play with. They were allowed to bark so I did too. It had rained so we ran through the puddles and didn’t get scolded. I guess this is what being a pet is all about. I ran over to the man, stood up against his leg and barked my thanks for bringing me home and turning me into pet.

Written in response to Charli Mills prompt – long ride home

Share A Cold One

In my life, there are a lot of beer drinkers.  A greeting when we visit someone, or they visit our house, is, “Ya wann’ beer?”  Our second fridge in the garage has a few kinds of beer in it.  Some of the new exotic stuff for my daughter and good old-fashioned Budweiser for my husband.  My son has just switched to Miller, and to do away with gluten I have switched to hard cider.  There’s nothing better on a hot steamy day, than a cold refreshing long neck. (For you non beer drinkers, that term refers to the neck on the bottle.)

When my husband and I first started dating, he and his co-workers went our for Friday happy hour without fail.  Sometimes there were just six of us, other times there would be close to twenty.  I would start watching the clock at my job, waiting for the phone call to tell me where everyone was meeting.  That was fifteen years ago and I can still tell you some of the exact conversations that took place and what we laughed about.  The crowd dwindled when one of the young ladies got pregnant, a couple guys decided to loose weight, and others changed jobs. We miss those days, and the closeness of that group.  We have a reunion twice a year just to stay in touch.

We have some very close friends and relatives that have had the opportunity to travel Europe and parts of Asia.  The young men involved rate the countries according to how well they like the beer.  I haven’t heard much about food except the meals in Germany.

My grade school chum and I get together for lunch about every three weeks.  We don’t sit in a chain restaurant with a cup of coffee, we sit in a bar, eat chicken wings or burgers and drink beer.  Yes, there is now gluten-free beer.  We have a lot of laughs, we tell each other our secrets, new and old (which no one else can hear over the music) and we forget our responsibilities for awhile.  We talk about current events and the family members we have buried.  We’ve known each other a long time, she’s my best friend.

And don’t forget it’s football season.  Who in their right mind would watch a football game without a cold beer to go along with the snacks.  I know, a lot of people would, but generally not in my realm.  Go Bills!  (We never lose hope!)

Recycle That Can!

I’m guessing just about every household in the U.S. has some aluminum cans in it, probably filled with beer, tea, soda, or pop (depending on your locale).  I can’t speak for other countries, because I don’t know for sure.
The following facts I took from the National Day of Calendar.  I share because they are particularly informative.  This is talking about just aluminum, but I encourage you to recycle all your cans.
Interesting Facts:
  • If you laid all the aluminum cans recycled in 2010 end to end, they could circle the earth 169 times.
  • In America, 105,800 cans are recycled every minute.
  • Recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy it would have taken to process the same amount from a virgin source.
  • Your television can run for 3 hours from the energy saved by recycling one can.
  • Aluminum cans are worth about a penny each.
  • The industry pays more than $1 billion annually for recycled cans.

In  New York state, we pay a five cent deposit on aluminum cans, then get it back when we turn the cans in.  Some recycle centers will pay six cents a can on certain days.  It’s worth it to save them up if you have the space and are a pre-planner to take them back on the right day.  At some large supermarkets there are machines you insert the can into and it is immediately shredded, the crux, it can’t already be crushed.  When you are finished you get a receipt for how much money you have coming back to use toward your groceries.

So next time you have a nice cold beverage out of an aluminum can; recycle that can to add to the above statistics.

 

 

It’s Never Too Late to Start

September 7th has five National Days attached to it so we’ll have a little fun, then learn that it’s never too late to start.

It’s Neither Snow, Nor Rain Day referring to having our mail delivered in all sorts of weather. Be appreciative!  After a long cold, rainy day your mail carrier might go to his/her local bar to warm up with some hot Acorn Squash (Day) soup, order a Salami (Day) sandwich, then cool the tongue with a Beer (Lover’s Day).  I know, silly, but you have to admit, it works!  Sort of!  And I know Facebook will probably only recognize the Beer part; maybe the mail carrier.

So let’s look at Grandma Moses;

Anna Mary Robertson Moses (September 7, 1860 – December 13, 1961) is an example to us all of an individual who successfully began a career in the arts at an advanced age. A renowned American folk artist, Grandma Moses first started painting in her 70s after arthritis made it difficult to embroider, her original medium.

Grandma Moses’ exhibitions were so popular during the 1950s that they broke attendance records all over the world.

“A cultural icon, the spry, productive nonagenarian was continually cited as an inspiration for housewives, widows, and retirees. Her images of America’s rural past were transferred to curtains, dresses, cookie jars, and dinnerware, and used to pitch cigarettes, cameras, lipstick and instant coffee.”

  • 1950 – Cited as one of the five most newsworthy women.
  • 1951 – Honored as Woman of the Year by the National Association of House Dress Manufacturers.
  • Age 88 – Mademoiselle Magazine named her “Young Woman of the Year.”
  • Awarded the first honorary doctorate from Philadelphia’s Moore College of Art.
  • 1969 – A United States commemorative stamp was issued in her honor.
  • 2006 – Her work Sugaring Off (1943) became her highest selling work at US $1.2 million.  Sugaring Off was a prime example of the simple rural scenes for which she was well-known.
  • Grandma Moses’ painting, Fourth of July, was given, by Otto Kallir, to the White House where it still hangs today.

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Did you catch that?  She started painting at age 70, and was “Young Woman of the Year” at age 88.  We should be so lucky!

I admire the bloggers I have contact with, some of them are under 30.  I didn’t have enough life experience to write at that age.  Like I said above, it’s never too late to start.

 

 

Dedicated to Dack S.

I’m looking forward to football season, or should I say the start of the games that get the teams into the playoffs.  I don’t pay much attention to the pre-season games because I’ve heard they don’t make any difference and I’m not quite ready to admit summer is almost over.  I’m a watch from home person; I can’t get into spending twelve hours in a day to watch a four hour game. (That includes drive-time, tailgate time, the game, getting out of the parking lot and then driving home.)

My step-son went to the University of Kentucky.  While visiting him one fall over ten years ago, I went to my first tailgating party.  I expected hamburgers, hots and potato chips.  Silly me.  UK is a HUGE football college.  There was a big surprise  for me when we got to the parking lot.  It was full of RV’s with room size rugs laid in front of them, canopy tents, lawn chairs, full size gas grills, and coolers, larger than I had ever seen, full of beer, wine and food.  We ate different types of salads, grilled pork loin, vegetables and dip, and no chips.  WOW!  I don’t remember anything about the game.  Like I said we were visiting, so I only went once.

I have some very close friends that are Buffalo Bill’s season ticket holders.  I’ve asked on more than one occasion how they can party in the parking lot, then sit through four hours of game in 30 degree weather.  The answer is, “We dress for it!”  Okay, that makes sense.  Then I ask, “Doesn’t it get old when your team is in a slump?”  You should see the looks I get.  The wife says to me, “Who cares if the team wins or looses.  We go to tailgate.  We’ve been parking in the same lot for years and have made all sorts of friends from all over the place.  It’s the only time we see them.”  Now that makes sense to me.  The wife posts very interesting recipes on Facebook that she will try for the next tailgate.  Then she posts pictures of the ‘gang’ having fun.  They wear lots of Bills gear and everyone is laughing or smiling.  When there is an away game, the ones that are from here gather in the same local bar to watch together.  I guess I’m a little jealous I don’t have a group of friends like that.

Unfortunately the husband passed away two years ago on September 11.  His tailgating friends didn’t even know he had gotten sick just after season’s end the year before so it was a sorrowful shock to them.  This is how they paid tribute to their friend that weekend.  This is the hill behind the parking lot.

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The good part is the wife and adult daughter have been able to keep their season tickets.  I’ve already started seeing new recipes for this season and the daughter has a steady boyfriend to enjoy the fun with.

I know it’s been two years since the Patriot Guard escorted my friend to his final resting place, but it feels like yesterday.   GO BILLS!

I sewed every one of those patches on Dack’s vest.  I knew his trip schedule as well as his wife.

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