Oxtail kolache

23 May, 2021 Oxtail kolache

Kroger sunset Tuesday 5/11/2021, two minutes before sunset: 

That’s not related to an oxtail kolache, but I took it nearby. I snapped that picture (with my phone) from the parking lot of the Kroger at 1510 Eastridge Road close to my house. I bought the oxtail kolache about four hundred yards away as the crow (or any other bird) flies. Evelyn just calls them “Kroger sunsets” because it’s a great place for pictures. I digress, obviously. 

This is related to an oxtail kolache: 

The first time I ever heard (or read) the word “kolache”

Oxtail kolaches and many other delicious creations plus delicious coffee – and fresh squeezed orange juice – and pastries – come from Surrounding Counties about five minutes brisk walk from our house. 8801 Three Chopt Road. 

Today Evelyn and I went there – after Mackey and Turner and I got home from the river. Today I got a cornbread doughnut with oxtail chili (not making that up) and sour cream and chives and it was the perfect meal for a sunny Sunday afternoon in Spring. 

We’ve had Flickers (and many other birds) in our backyard (and in our front yard) this week. More like this season

Northern Flicker in our back garden:

I got started too late again! A couple of pictures then a quick story then maybe I’ll be more organized next week. Quick sprint to the “finish.” I saw a local Red-tail on a tower last week. Red-tails like to soar and use their sharp eyes to see what’s on the ground. But any pilot can look at that sky and tell you it’s a “low ceiling.” Probably at around four thousand feet (or lower) you’d be in a cloud and not be able to see the ground. So this male set up on the tower for a while: 

Red-tailed hawk with his head almost in the clouds:

Plus what’s likely to be a Red-tail snack if it doesn’t dive underground quick. Which it reliably does. This chipmunk (probably there’s more than one) is helping us clean up the spilled bird seed: 

If it’s ever easy to be a chipmunk, that’s what it looks like:

I almost titled this blog post “I should get out more.” I’ve thought about this story but never “wrote” it. I’ll jot it down briefly. 

All best, 


Wait – one more picture – this deer was not in their “normal” spot and I would have walked right past her this morning at Pony Pasture. But Turner practically dragged me into the woods. There was a little herd back there but this was the best I could do:

Deer peer

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I should get out more

I read the paper a lot – I always have. The most attention grabbing (usually the most unpleasant) headlines are front and center. I’m a naturally positive person and I don’t get the sense of being worn down. It wears on me though. My work slowed down a lot at the beginning of the pandemic. For me, that was mid-March of last year. I stopped working with a person I’ve been working with for ten years. We spend three mornings each week together. Pre-pandemic, we’d go to Whole Foods for coffee one of those days. My first day back with him was May 10 of this year. The following day we returned to Whole Foods. We knew they were selling coffee but not  allowing indoor seating. So we went in to get our coffee and they remembered us from last year! I had the distinct impression they’d missed us as much as we’d missed them. That is a very, very warm feeling. You can’t have that happen and feel jaded at the same time – those sensations are mutually incompatible. 

He uses a wheelchair so we’re a little bit more noticeable than we’d otherwise be. We took our coffees and went outside and sat at a table with an umbrella over it. We enjoyed the day and our coffee and each other’s company. And every person – several while we sat there – stopped to greet us and chat for a moment or two. The person I was there with is named David. While we were having our coffee, one of my across the street neighbors parked to get groceries. Her name is Betsy and I’ve known her (and her son David) for fifteen years. She came over and I introduced her to David – she has a son named David too – and they had a nice chat. 

After we finished our coffee we had some time on our hands so we walked around West Broad Village. There was construction tape blocking the sidewalk at one point. A construction worker came out and lifted the tape up for us so we could go past. 

So we were out for a little over an hour. We interacted with probably ten or twelve different people. Except for Betsy and the folks at the coffee counter at Whole Foods, we’d met zero of them before. And they were all nice. Not perfunctory-obligatory nice but “go out of your way” nice or “do a little extra” nice. I’m struggling to capture this more precisely, but I’m sure you understand what I mean. Everybody knows what it feels like to be kind. It’s its own reward. The person you’re kind to feels good, and you feel good because you were kind. It’s the definition of “win-win.” 

I called this “I should get out more” because when I don’t get out, I don’t have those experiences. I had to get out to have an experience like that. I should get out  more!   

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About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Birds, Flowers, Fun, James River, love, newfaze, Northern flicker, People, raptors, Red-tailed hawks, Rivers, simplify, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!), sunsets, whitetail deer and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Oxtail kolache

  1. Pingback: The pictures were piling up | NEWFAZE

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