Small happenings make life interesting


Today I’d like to share some recent small happenings, starting with the fate of Kelley, the black cat I took in with hopes of finding her a home. Thanks to a gracious Toledo couple, the story has a happy ending.

We had planned to meet in Blissfield for the transfer, but when the weather turned bad I decided against the drive. Kelley’s new owners generously drove to the lake for her. In the meantime they had made an appointment for her shots and surgery and even bought catnip mice. The vet determined Kelley was about 2 years old, older than I thought.

She was smart to jump into my car that cold January day while I was visiting a friend in the country and I am glad I let her come home with me.

It does require more effort to find a good home for a stray cat or dog than to just ignore them or drop them off at a shelter, but to know their destiny is very satisfying. I know Kelley is in good, caring hands, possibly for the first time in her life.

Notes taken on the January Florida trip at a restaurant in Ormond Beach, near Daytona Beach, record customers chomping on plates of pickles before their entrees were served. In any other place, the self-serve setup with 10 containers would be a salad bar, but at D.B. Pickles each one is filled with a different kind of pickle. As I filled a plate with pickles, from dills to sweets, I thought, what’s missing? That’s when I decided to mail a jar of Tony Packo sweet hots to Pete Polzella, the owner.

A former New York City policeman, Mr. Polzella began cooking when he was 13 years old, after his father died and his mother had to work outside the home. He reasons that pickles are a must at a deli. I agree. Remember Brauer’s deli in the Toledo Colony, where bowls of green tomato pickles marked each table?

The chopped liver on rye, called the Nosh b’ Gosh, was typical of the colossal sandwiches served at D.B.’s and bacon and cheese in the potato pancake appetizer offered a flavorful twist in deli traditions.

If you go add extra time, money, and calories for outstanding pastries at the in-house bakery and don’t stop with just one éclair. The address is 400 S. Nova Rd., Ormond Beach.

I am far from being an auto mechanic, but I have had enough experiences in the car department to pass along some advice: Always get a second opinion.

I have to wonder if my dealings at a well-known Toledo automotive shop were because I am a woman, because of the ages of both my car and myself, or just because I went to the wrong place at the right time to learn a lesson.

When Henry, my 2003 Mercury, began to act up to a point that I was afraid it would stop dead in traffic I drove to the shop that happened to be open on Saturday afternoon. I was treated graciously and was asked to have a seat and coffee in the waiting room, while they examined Henry.

The diagnosis was leakage from the head gasket. The recommendation was to install a new engine at a cost of $4,500.

The good news was that if I didn’t want to decide then, the trouble could be relieved with a dose of coolant they could apply. It was suggested I buy a bottle of the stuff, which I did for $9.99. I have yet to need it, but it’s in the trunk, just in case.

The good news continues.

Thanks to a quick fix in another shop, Henry has been working smoothly for several weeks.

At the second garage, the mechanic added a sealant containing aluminum and I have followed his request to take the car back every two weeks to be checked. So far, so good.

I hate to think anyone would have taken the advice to buy a $4,500 engine for a 2003 car with 190,000 miles, but you never know.

Meanwhile, my faithful car Gladys is waiting in the wings anxious to show the world that age is only a number, which in her case is 220,000 miles.

Mary Alice Powell is a retired Blade food editor.

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