Nothing new is blooming these days. I thought I'd spare you the daily Stella d'Oro lily
in favor of shots of random flowers in the yard. First off is this echinacea or Purple Coneflower with really short petals and a bee on top.
The perennial aster is starting to bloom. It's a big, fuzzy looking plant with tiny white flowers. Here's one of the first ones to open.
The zinnias are still making flowers. I don't know where the thing gets the energy, most of the leaves are dry and crunchy but I guess enough of them are green to support the flowers.
Being the slowest knitter on the planet means that I only managed to add a few rounds to the cowl all afternoon. I don't know why I'm so slow at it but it's a good thing I'm stubborn too so I don't give up easy. Except on that rib lace scarf that I didn't like the way the colors were laying down and it was too boring.
31 August--Barbara Malcolm, Better Than Mom's.
Officer Bates scrubbed a hand over his face and looked at Brady framed in the doorway. “Probably later today. I need to spend some time sifting through that mess out there looking for clues, if there are any to find, but that should not take too long.”
Brady nodded and went back to his chopping. Naomi had kept working while he was talking to the policeman, figuring she would be next to talk to Officer Bates, and wondering if she would have a job the next day. She hoped she would; she liked her job. She liked standing at the counter, knife in hand, mounds of chopped vegetables heaped before her gleaming like polished gems ready to be turned into delicious things to eat. Most of the recipes she and Brady made were good, old fashioned home cooking like meatloaf and mashed potatoes, chicken and dumplings, hot beef and gravy, or ham with sweet potatoes.
She had convinced him to let her make her personal recipe for fried chicken one weekend about a month ago and it had been a big hit with the customers. She had made her Grandmama’s fresh butterbeans and Great Aunt Gigi’s coleslaw to go with it. Oh, and of course she made biscuits for on the side. By the time they were done serving, there was not so much as a whiff of it left and Brady was considering making Naomi’s fried chicken a regular menu item. That made her proud. She could not stop telling everyone she met about how if they wanted to eat real fried chicken, instead of that fast food kind that came in a bucket, they should come on down to Better Than Mom’s on a Saturday and discover what was really meant by their motto.
And what was Better Than Mom’s motto? Why, it was painted right there on the sign under the name in little bitty letters. It said: Where You Don’t Have to be Told to Clean Your Plate. It was printed on the menus too, and she was sure Brady was trying to figure out a way to afford to have it embroidered on the back of the knit polo shirts he had made up for his employees. A couple of the people she had told about how good her chicken was had actually come in and tried it. They had even called her out of the kitchen to tell her how delicious it was. She had washed her hands and wiped the sweat off her face before she went out to their table to collect her compliments. Her eyes widened when she recognized two of the hookers from the end building with their pimp boyfriends hunkered down in a booth just like regular people, sopping up the last of the gravy with the end of a biscuit. It occurred to her that maybe, just maybe, that foursome was not exactly the kind of clientele Brady hoped to get in his diner, but when she mentioned it to him he brushed the idea aside.
“I figure everybody has to eat, solid citizens, hookers and pimps, and everyone in between. I would be just as glad if they all came in here. As long as they behave.” He winked at her, a very un-Brady-like gesture. “Their money is just as good as the preacher’s is,” nodding his head at the Lutheran minister and his wife sitting primly in the table just across from the hookers and their pimps, trying very hard not to stare at the women’s short skirts, plunging necklines, and the men’s flashy jewelry.
Little by little more of the residents of Fay and Naomi’s apartment complex started coming to Better Than Mom’s for a cup of coffee or a sandwich. They were on their best behavior, not calling attention to themselves, but quietly enjoying the atmosphere and the reasonably priced food alongside the regulars.
“Money is money, that is my new motto,” said Brady, chortling as he totaled up his deposit one Friday afternoon. He noticed that his daily deposits were gradually getting larger since he had hired Naomi. When he walked out into the kitchen past Naomi, he stopped and leaned on his hand next to her at the counter. “You are good for business, did you know that?”
She smiled at him, a small shy smile that peeked out at him, ready to dart back into hiding at the first sign of trouble. “What do you mean?”
He rolled off his hand and rested his back on the counter’s edge, arms folded across his chest. “Well, since I hired Fay the morning business has picked up. Everyone knows you need a sassy waitress working in the morning to perk people up for the day. But since I hired you, our all-around business has nearly doubled. I can not decide if it is because of your biscuits, your fried chicken, your peanut butter chocolate cake, or the after church singing you do when you are fixing brunch.” He reached out and patted her on the shoulder. “What ever it is, just keep doing it, please. Oh, and I am giving you a fifty cent an hour raise.”
Naomi’s hands stopped working and she stared after him. A raise? “Thank you, Brady,” she squeaked out.That had been last week, and now this.
Today's toss was two different sets of ice pop molds. I was never very good at getting them out of the molds, the stick would come out leaving the pop in the molds. Maybe I just wasn't patient enough to let them freeze solid or maybe I put too much fruit into them. Whatever I did, they wouldn't hold together and that made me crazy. Perhaps someone else will have better luck.
Today is the last day of August already. Can you believe it? Time sure is flying by despite the drag-i-ness of the days. Or maybe it's just me that's draggy.