Neon fish in the aquarium at Joey's

Neon fish in the aquarium at Joey’s

Last night we dined at Joey’s Seafood Restaurant in Houghton.  As we ordered our fish tacos & jambalaya & tilapia a fella offered us a sealed envelope.  Upon paying, we must present the envelope to our waitress and see what we won.  10% off?  20%?  50%  Oh-my-goodness, how about 100%?

Jeanette, our Scottish-born waitress, says she’s missed us since our last visit at Joey’s.  Where have we been?  We asked her what days she worked.  We divined how we might have missed one another.  Tomorrow was her birthday, she confessed, and told us how she’d spend the day.  I shouldn’t tell you–but it involved casinos.

I wanted to say–Jeannette, you give us a winner and I’ll pray for a winner for you.

But I didn’t.

Later, she reverentially opened the envelope to determine our winnings.



We–oh, dear reader, are you ready for this?–won 100% off our meal!

Barry regretted that he hadn’t ordered a more expensive dish.

We tipped Jeanette an amount which would seed her casino fund on her birthday.

I hope she’s winning today.

Today I’m making barley chili for our dinner. What, you non-vegetarians inquire, is barley chili?  It’s chili with barley, rather than cow,  simmered patiently on the stove until fiery flavors mingle to appropriate delights.   It’s a winner–I think.  Haven’t created barley chili since, oh who knows, maybe 2010.

The day a fish ate another fish at Joey's back in 2010.

The day a fish ate another fish at Joey’s back in 2010.

Of course, we’ll add a tossed salad with grape tomatoes (on sale this week at our local IGA) and maybe cucumbers and maybe peperoncinis or feta cheese; heck, how about olives?

The temperature warms to 20 (-6.6 C) degrees today.  I announce to Barry that winter’s over.  He thinks this terribly untrue, as it’s only February 1st.



Tomorrow my friend, my buddy, Susan Dee and I shall meet for a) breakfast or b) lunch whilst Barry ice fishes with our friend, Nancy.  I eagerly await to discover which Susan chooses.

I so miss her!  Too many ice-covered, snow-decked roads have separated my friend and me for the past couple months.

We shall chat and chat and chat about this and that and that.  She and I understand the territory from which each of us comes; we accept one another for whom we are.  We’ll probably travel in deep waters and, in the next moment, we’ll surface at shallow shores.

How I love a friend like this!  One who appreciates depth and here/now.

I wish you all a friend like Susan Dee.  I already know that you’re a winner, no matter whether a piece of paper hath declared you so.  What’s been happening in your winter world?

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in February 2014 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

57 Responses to Winner!

  1. Congratulations! Lovely story, and I enjoyed the almost surreal photo of the fish preparing to swallow another…which it appears is willing swimming into the others mouth! Hope your lovely waitress has a birthday blessed winning streak:-) Enjoy your barley chilli – I’ll have to give that a try…love and hugs, Harula xxx

    • Kathy says:

      Harula, isn’t that picture crazy? We couldn’t believe when we witnessed that fish-eating-fish scene a few years back. I’m now wondering if our waitress once lived somewhere in Scotland near where you live now. Have a wonderful Sunday, my friend.

  2. Kathy – CONGRATULATIONS! But then again, I’ve always known you’re a WINNER! Clearly, you’re going to have a wonderful time catching up with your friend, Susan, tomorrow!

    As to what I’m up to? Yesterday I made chili (with ground turkey), and since Len is working until 9pm this evening, dinner will be a much lighter fare. It’s plenty nippy down here today as we’re expecting the already falling snow to accumulate somewhere between 2-4 inches. Nothing compared to the depths of your brutal temperatures, but plenty cold nonetheless.

    Make it a shiny penny kind of weekend!

    • Kathy says:

      Laurie, Susan and I have decided to meet for lunch instead of breakfast. Can’t wait to see her! Like I said, it’s easy to be too house-bound at this time of year and not get together with friends.

      Your chili sounds like it was delicious, too. You know, from what I’ve heard of Chicago’s weather this winter, it feels like you’ve been experiencing pretty polar times. So has lower Michigan. Brrrr….we’re hoping it doesn’t snow too much more. Our plowed snowdrifts are getting way too high.

  3. Brenda Hardie says:

    Congratulations Kathy! Sounds like your day was filled with many blessings–winning a free meal, reconnecting with your waitress friend and discovering she would be celebrating her birthday and then adding to her celebration by generously tipping her, making a delightful supper of barley chili (yumm) and a summery salad (again, yumm) and to top it off, meeting with your friend, Susan and Barry going ice fishing with his friend, Nancy. Such abundant blessings all around!! ♥

    • Kathy says:

      It was a blessing sort of day, Brenda. (And Susan and I shall meet for lunch, hurray!) Barry’s off fishing already and I am doing some laundry and catching up in the blogosphere. Hope you have a great blessed day, as well!

  4. Karma says:

    What a very nice end to a meal out! Wow! Winter today is relenting just a bit . We were treated to temperatures above 40 degrees F, which feel downright balmy compared to what January was.

    • Kathy says:

      Karma, you know what I enjoyed so much? Seeing the expression on our waitress’ face when we won. That was so precious! She was so happy. You know, 40 degrees would be absolutely heavenly. K said it would be 48 in NYC today. We should reach 8 F. Sigh.

  5. Elisa says:

    I am glad that you are out and about. I was worried a bit. I got a call from Grand Rapids, that I missed and I hoped everything was all right with you.

    • Kathy says:

      Why were you worried, Elisa? Did you think I was calling from Grand Rapids? (That’s about 400-500 miles south of us.) It is touching that you thought of me and worried. It’s been the usual ups and downs of life, but I have been feeling very peaceful and content lately. Blessings to you…

      • Elisa says:

        Yes, I did. Thought maybe something not ok with parents and you were trying to get me from there. Probably silly.

        • Kathy says:

          Not silly–very caring and sweet. My parents actually live on the opposite side of the state (the eastern side, not the western where Grand Rapids is). They, however, are in Florida now and both of them are doing well. Thank you, Elisa.

  6. Congrats on winning the whole thing!

  7. Bonnie says:

    Congratulation on the 100%. Is that fish eating another fish real? Scary. Enjoy your day with your friend. All the best. Hope your weather holds.

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you, Bonnie. Yes, that fish-eating-fish is real. We happened on it several years ago in Joey’s and couldn’t believe it was happening. Off to meet my friend in a few hours for lunch. And it’s not snowing, hip hip hooray!

  8. Susan D says:

    So, there I am, reading and smiling about your Joey’s win and picturing you and Barry at dinner in a congenial place of sweet people, good food, and marvelous live fish — when I scroll down and see “me” .. “What?” I ask myself. Then I read your beautiful heartfelt words, and know — once again — that there is no treasure greater than our kind of friendship. I can’t wait to see you tomorrow! Safe travels over here, my friend 🙂

  9. Kathy, you always ask such deep questions which I feel requires a profound answer. Yes ,deep and profound I think have virtually the same meaning.. Anyhoo, what’s been going on? I had to think about this with much profundity. Hold onto your hat. My answer. It’s been SSDD!

    PS: It’s lovely to have a friend such as Susan. You are blessed.

    • Kathy says:

      I LOVE asking deep profound questions, Yvette. (However, never feel obligated to answer…sometimes I just like the sound of the questions, lol). P.S. had to look up SSDD again. Maybe I’ll remember it one of these days. And am getting together with Susan in a couple of hours. Thank you!

      • Tee-hee. I figured you had forgotten. Kathy you still do not know when I am joking. The question was a good one but it didn’t require any profound thinking for me to come up with SSDD. 🙂

        ~yvonne (but Yvette is ok also. 🙂 ) Those French names can be confusing. 🙂

        • Kathy says:

          Oh my, I’m surely losing it, Yvonne! You see, I have been dealing on the phone with a local person named Yvette this winter. So now you two are mixed up in this head due to the French sounding names. This memory has never been stellar. I fear what will happen in old age!

          • If it make you feel any better I will tell you something abou memory if I can remember what it is that I want to covey. 🙂

            There are days when memory is sharp. And days when I can barely remember to eat. For me it seems that sugar, worry and anxietry affect my recall. So keep that in mind and eat as healthy as you possibly can.

            I mix up names all the time. One blogger that I follow often calls me Susan. Have no idea why she does. I’ve never asked her. I can’t keep one of my son’s helpers’ name correct. It is Robert but he seems like a Ronald to me. 🙂

  10. I love your escription of a good deep friendship. Yes, profound conversations, dotted with domestic juicy sentences of the here and now, make a friendship so valued and special. In fact, you write your posts as if you’re talking to good friends which, come to think of it, you are!

    • Kathy says:

      Pam, people have said they like my writing because they feel like I’m talking directly to them. How interesting. I do feel like I’m just talking honestly, sharing from the heart. Isn’t it wonderful to know that our circle of friendship can become so much larger through the ‘net?

  11. Wow. a free meal! That’s a nice win 🙂 And….I’m pretty sure we ate at Joey’s, too, when we were on Houghton.
    Have fun with your friend today!

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, I’m happy to hear you probably ate at Joey’s, Michaela! Wonder if Jeanette waited on you? There is also another sweetheart of a waitress that graduated in our son’s class who works there. Her name is Jasmine. Oh, and there are some guy waiters, too. We usually take turns going to about maybe five different restaurants in Houghton. So, when are you headed back up this way? 🙂

      • I’m pretty sure it was Joey’s…. I remember the fish tanks 🙂 Can’t remember our waiter or waitress at all though.
        Not sure when we’ll be heading up that way again. We’re hoping to make it to Washington and Oregon next, although this year doesn’t look good with a far-away vacation, with Mel starting college.

  12. dorannrule says:

    Sounds like you are “on a roll!” Maybe you should hit the casino too. And how I envy you the time with your good friend. My winter? Sometimes cold but so far, never boring and your blog helps too. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Dor, I’m far too much of a compulsive person to set foot inside the casino–I wouldn’t want to leave! Wishing you some time with a good friend, as well. And hoping to get over to visit your blog this afternoon after lunch with Susan.

  13. sybil says:

    Think it’s funny that people think a fish eating a fish is “scary”. lol. We eat fish. Is THAT scary ? 100% off couldn’t happen to a nicer person. Have a lovely visit with Susan. It’s really mild here today. Maybe 6 C (around 42 F ?) Went for a lovely big walk in my woods. Am feelin’ that good kind of tired.

    Hugs hon.

    • Kathy says:

      Sybil, it’s probably terrible to admit this, but we kinda thought the fish-eating-fish was funny. There, I’ve said it. OK, it was awful, too. Susan and I did have a most lovely time together, thank you. But am so envious of your temperatures I can hardly stand it. So glad YOU had a nice time. Hugs back atcha…

  14. Oh we have a Joey’s seafood too and I love it–the calamari tacos are my favorite. Alas on the other side of town, so need to find excuses to get over there. I am still trying to clean the CSA food out of the fridge–that will make a person boring over winter if anything will!

    • Kathy says:

      Inger, I did not know where there was another Joey’s Seafood restaurant. How fun to know one exists down your way! Have never tired the calamari tacos. That sounds like something my husband would like. Hope you are staying warm!

      • They are, or actually were, a Canadian chain. I don’t know if the chain part disbanded everywhere or just in the US. Ours stayed pretty much the same when that happened. We ate at one while traveling in Canada years ago.

  15. Heather says:

    Kathy, friends like that make the world go ’round. I’m convinced. They must be, because they are who most of my friends are!
    How nice of you to start your waitress’ casino funds 🙂 Casinos aren’t my kind of place, but I’m sure she had fun!
    And your chili sounds yummy! Do you ever eat peanut butter sandwiches with chili? We did growing up, and as an adult I sometimes crave chili with a PB sandwich. And while I’m at it: have you tried using quinoa instead of barley? I make quinoa chili with some frequency and it’s tasty. Stay warm, my friend!

    • Kathy says:

      Hi, Heather. Is it sunny down your way today? It is here. And 20 degrees. A walk is coming on, perhaps… I have (a) never eaten peanut butter sandwiches with chili, although have eaten pbj sandwiches a LOT because they’re awesome and (b) maybe made quinoa chili. I make quinoa stuff a lot. However, this time had a fierce desire to use up our barley and thought, what the heck, in the chili pot you go! (Due to unforeseen circumstances we haven’t eaten our chili yet. Tonight we shall. I swear.)

  16. penpusherpen says:

    Wow Kathy, a great win, makes the meal all that special when it’s on the house. and ’tis good to connect with someone who completes you, almost more so than your ‘other half’ I always feel cheered by your blogs , many thanks for sharing. xPenx

  17. Congratulations, lucky winners!

    We did something new, went out to a Groundhog Day parade on Sunday – lots of fun. It snowed yesterday and is supposed to snow again tonight – loving the winter wonderland. Your post has reminded me to make some plans with my good friend – it has been well over a month…

    • Kathy says:

      I do hope you’re able to make plans to be with your friend–it’s always worth it when we make the time, isn’t it? Glad you enjoyed your Groundhog Day parade. I’ve never heard of one before.

  18. Robin says:

    Congratulations! I haven’t made a barley chili in forever. Now that you’ve mentioned it, I’ll have to make one soon. After a weekend of warm temperatures, we’re back to the 30’s and 40’s. Chili is just the thing on a cold day (although our cold isn’t nearly as cold as your cold has been).

    • Kathy says:

      Robin, oh how I’d like to see 30’s and 40’s! We’re back to a high of 9 today, sigh. I notice I don’t go outside in single digits, but am much more willing in double. Enjoy your chili, Robin.

  19. Dana says:

    Yay for 100% off meals! We received a free pizza (with vegan cheese!) on it a few years ago, and I probably told the story 100 times, I was so excited about it. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Isn’t it fun how something as simple as winning something cheesy (ha ha ha) can be story-telling material for ages? Glad to hear another person gets excited like I do.

  20. Stacy says:

    I too have a Susan Dee. Only I call her Heidi Sue. ❤

    • Kathy says:

      Oh I’m so glad you have one, Stacy! It’s good to have a friend like that. Is she the one you gave your gift to?

      • Stacy says:

        No, I gave that to the person I barely know who did something very kind for me. Heidi Sue, though, is the one who taught me to knit so that I could do kind things for others. ❤

  21. Fish eating fish – what a moment to capture in photo!

    We haven’t tried barley chili. El-D made a shiitaki mushroom chili last week that was fabulous drenched in cheese and Fritos.

    • Kathy says:

      Gosh, Lunar, I loved that we were able to capture that fish-eating-fish picture. Wish it had been with the “good” camera, but oh well. Now I am drooling over the thought of shiitaki mushroom chili. How yum. Was it totally vegetarian? I am going to imagine it was, but you can correct me if I’m wrong.

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