11 July 2009

Saturday: Day -7

Different routine at the apartment this morning. Last night I slept better than any night here yet. Maybe because we were all up pretty late. This apartment must be locked with the key from outside. Abbey and Donnie decided they would get up and leave when Sally and I were going over to the clinic.

Because I had guests, I got up early to make the coffee and bake some cinnamon rolls. I admit it. They were Pillsbury. One was the plain cinnamon rolls and one was the orange Danish. Sally and I bought the orange Danish for old time's sake. Often on Sunday morning when we were growing up, my Mom would bake a pan of each of these for us to have for breakfast before going to Sunday school. I hadn't had any of the orange Danish in many years. Don't even recall seeing them in the stores at home. Well, I have to say we did not think they were very tasty at all. We all agreed that if we were at my Mom's and she baked them, we would eat one, but none of us would want to buy them again. I don't even know if my Mom buys them anymore. Funny how things work out like that.

So we all left the apartment around 7:40. There was absolutely zero traffic this morning and only one other car in Vandy's Central Garage handicapped parking. Wow! I've never seen it like that before. The medical part of the day started out pretty much the same as usual. Go to OTU clinic, get vitals, have blood drawn, etc. My potassium was fine today, so my fluid intake could go back to normal. Got the Zofran (anti-nausea), Decadron (the steroid) and Fludarabine (the chemo) and fluids, but still not as much as the first day. Also had my daily visit with CRNP (another new one as Donna was off today) and Dr. Kassim. Tonight I will need to continue to take Levaquin (antibiotic) and start Nexium (to prevent acid reflux) in the morning. Labs took longer since it was the weekend and it was 11:30ish when we left the clinic.

Sally and I came home and had some more coffee, planning to go to lunch around 1:00 and then go check out an antique mall. Well, I fell asleep and Sally woke me up around 2:00. It took me a bit to get in gear so we actually left around 2:45. We drove over to the Tennessee Antique Mall on Wedgewood. It's pretty much a straight shot east and we were there in about 10 minutes. I like going antiquing with my sister. We kind of amble along, looking at whatever takes our fancy.

There was one booth today that was full of vintage kitchen stuff. Everything in there was marked 60% off. We probably picked up more than we should, but I got a great bargain there! Back in the 1990s one of the liscensed Fiesta go-alongs were some cookie presses. This booth had one of the periwinkle Dancing Ladies with the plate imprint for the press. These have gone for upwards of $100 on eBay. The one today was marked $8.00. With 60% off, that came to a measly $3.20. How could I pass that by???? Also found several cookbooks that featured Fiesta, Harlequin and Riviera in the photographs and a couple of vintage food ads that had Fiesta and Wells Art Glaze dishes. I also bought myself a vintage pin cushion and some pins. Didn't think to bring anything like that with me and those are something I find myself using pretty regularly. Sally found some fun things, too.

When we were checking out, there was a 20something girl in line behind us buying different vintage teacups. Her name is Anna. She had promised her aunt she would have a tea party for her sometime this year and the aunt had been asking. Anna had no teacups and had come to find some pretty mis-matched ones and really scored. The four sets she chose were lovely. We had a nice conversation about teas, what to serve, how to make the tea, etc. Turns out Anna works in the psych department at Vandy and says she's going to come visit me when I'm able to have visitors at the clinic or in hospital. I think she wants to talk more about tea and recipes. My sister gave her the impression I am knowledgeable about such things. LOL. I am going to print out my scone recipe for her. She's also planning to make homemade crumpets, and I get to vicariously enjoy the tea party. I love meeting people like that. So many young people do not seem to be interested in such things now (my DDs being exceptions, of course), so it was a joy to chat with her. And I loved that she had gone to live in France for a year where she learned everything doesn't have to be matchy-matchy. Hence the mismatched cups for tea.

The last thing I bought for myself was a great vintage red and white summer straw hat with a red veil. It was to wear in honour of the Hat Ladies. This weekend is the Annual HLCCA Conference and tonight is the banquet. For the Saturday night banquet people dress up in vintage clothing. There is even an award for Best Costume. This started some seven or eight years ago when Matt, the president of the organization, asked me if I would dress up and encourage others to do so. That year I wore my grandmother's black silk 1940s cocktail dress trimmed with rhinestones and a coordinating vintage hat, and won the award. At that same conference, a group of ladies decided that although they couldn't get costumes together in time for the event, they would wear vintage hats. They all sat at the same table for dinner and collectively were called The Hat Ladies. The Hat Ladies are a fixture every year. I am sort of a step-hat lady as I was not one of the originals. We got some very sad news last week. One of the original hat ladies (about my age or so, I would guess) crossed over. She had the most beautiful smile and was always fun to be with. Cinda, I will miss you.

As we were nearing the end of the antique store visit I got a call from DD#2. She and Mike had made it to the hotel in Durham and Mike's Explorer was broken. As she didn't sound too terribly distraught, I did not think any crash or something equally disastrous had taken place. And I was right. Apparently the AC had stopped working about 1/3 of the way through the trip. Then about 20 miles outside Durham, the vehicle started making a loud noise. Mike seems to think it has something to do with belts and the AC.

He had come up with several options. The first involved staying in Durham and seeing if the Ford place there could fix it. He wasn't really keen on that as he might not get back here before I have to go in the hospital on Wednesday. Second option was to drive to Nashville and take the Explorer to a Ford place here on Monday. We would be carless until his is repaired. That may or may not work, depending on how well I keep doing. Third option was to drive back home tomorrow after getting DD settled at Duke if Sally could stay an extra night with me. Luckily Sally had already blocked off the time to do this. (But she would have changed her plans anyway. I truly have the best sister in the world.) Then Mike could take his Explorer to the Ford place at home and drive my car up to Nashville. The only drawback to this is that if the belt system is damaged and breaks, Mike might get stuck in Podunk, NC, TN or AL with no transportation.

I told him I was OK with whichever option he chose, so of course he is going for #3. If he does get stuck in Podunk, he has his cell, can call AAA and hopefully Abbey can go rescue him. Let's all keep our fingers crossed for a successful Sunday trip!

On the way home Sally and I decided to go down 8th and see if all the antique stores were still there. This used to be a mecca for them. Oh my goodness. I was so disappointed. The Art Deco Shoppe had changed to a mostly midcentury shop several years ago and I still loved shopping there. It is totally gone! There were a couple of the shops still there, but most are history. We're going to see if we can find out if they have just moved or what. And may still go check out the ones that are still there tomorrow afternoon.

Just a little further down 8th is the Jaguar, Porsche, Audi dealer. In my Dallas days, whenever my 100LS needed repair, I used to go test drive the Porsches. I haven't done that in years. Sally and I figured since we were driving Mom's Jag they wouldn't think we were deadbeats and would let us do some test driving. We were right. Even though they were closing up shop, one of the salesmen came out and talked with us and offered to let us drive anything we wanted. It was late though, so we decided to try to go back Monday afternoon, if I am up to it. And there was a very cute little mint green S Series Jag (2006 model) at an extremely inexpensive price that caught Sally's eye. Less than the used Grand Cherokees that I have been looking at online for DD#2. I told Sally maybe I should see about getting DD the little green Jag, but how would I ever be able to explain that to Mike????? Plus, there is something just WRONG with the idea of getting a Jag for a 16 year old. Still, it is an awfully good price. The downturn of the economy is hitting everywhere I guess. Even in luxury used cars.

After all that, we needed Starbucks! On the way we passed by a brown road sign that said Belmont Mansion and decided to check it out. The mansion is on the site of Belmont University and it is Italianate in style. We made a few photos and decided this is a place we can come for me to do some of my walking. There are lots of photo ops. Finally made it to Starbucks where a venti coffee with a shot of espresso and a blueberry scone worked a great pick me up. And I really needed it. I was very tired when we got home and just flopped into the lounge chair with my blanket my friend Annie knitted for me. Stayed in the same spot until it was time to go to late dinner.

Tonight's restaurant of choice was Tayst. We are attempting to patronise the locally owned places whenever possible. Tayst is Nashville's only certified Green Restaurant and is just a few blocks down 21st Avenue from us. When I called to check times, they told me they left the doors open for arrivals until 11:00 and that the kitchen stayed open to serve all diners. This sounded very good as we had read they have the best crème brûlée in town. I also asked if there was a dress code because several websites said it was dressy. I told her all we had to wear were casual clothes and she said there was no dress code. Come in jeans if we want. So we did. But we wore stylish jeans. With appropriately cute tops and jewelry, of course.

I love this restaurant. The menu changes regulary depending on which farms supply what. There is a blackboard with a listing of all the local farms providing the food for the day. And there is an extensive wine list (not local). The chefs have wines paired with all foods, but of course you are free to choose any you like. I had to stick with tea, but Sally enjoyed her wine of choice. The menu is set up as First Tayst (appetizers), Second Tayst (salads), and Third Tayst (entrées). Sally made sure the kitchen would not close before she could order the crème brûlée.

Our waiter was superb. I had to explain that I have these diet restrictions and he made wonderful suggestions and was very accommodating. For our First Tayst we ordered the Artisanal Cheese Board. We omitted the bleu and the soft, and made sure the other cheeses were from pasturised milk. The board was a green marble tile. Our cheeses were a semi soft French cheese, that I have forgotten the name of and Manchego. To go with those was an olive tapenade, an onion balsamic jam, homemade melba toasts and mixed nuts (slivered almonds, Marcona almonds, pistachios and candied walnuts) in a pomegranate sauce. Quite good! I really like cheese courses.

For Second Taste we chose the Grilled Tomato Salad. This was slices of heirloom tomatoes (Green Zebra, Black Krim, and a yellow I'm not sure about) that were grilled and topped with a basil gelee. They were quite delicious! Have I ever mentioned I love fresh summer tomatoes? Particularly heirlooms?

Third Tayst we each ordered our own entrée. Sally picked grilled pork tenderloin served with potato gnocchi and topped with a cucumber/bell pepper coulis. I chose trout with mimolette stoneground grits and marinated ramps. My trout came topped with flash fried carrot tops which made a lovely presentation. Both of these were absolutely divine. I would love to learn how they made their gnocchi. Those dumplings were some of the best I ever tasted.

Last, but not least: crème brûlée with coffee. The restaurant makes their own half and half daily. But they had run out of whole milk. Instead they brought us little pitchers of half and half and foamed heavy cream. I'm telling you, these people know how to treat you! By this point Sally and I decided we should share dessert and it was a good idea. Not sure I would say it was the best crème brûlée I ever had, but it was VERY GOOD. We will definitely go back to Tayst again while I am in Nashville. I'm sure Mike will like it, too!

My niece and Sally's daughter, Kiki, is coming up tomorrow. She's bringing me my Reiki voodoo doll that she got for me in New Orleans. Somehow it had gotten left at my house and as it is especially intentioned for my healing, it needs to be here with me. Not sure what time she is coming, but maybe in time to go to late lunch with us. We will call her and find out sometime in the morning.
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Cora @ Cora Cooks said...

Becky, I'm enjoying your eating and shopping experiences and picking up lots of tips for my next trip to Nashville. If you're up to it when I come, maybe we can meet for our own tasting adventure! Stay strong and focused. Love ~ Cora

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your families loss I will miss the deco ladies random thoughts