Cinnamon Rolls, The Yard, and Haircuts
10:40 pm: The morning started at 7 am, when Jet got up. I let John sleep in a little, and got up to nurse Jet. We started the oven, pulled out the rolls and then settled in for a good nursing before we tucked the rolls into the oven and then played in the sunshine in the kitchen and the back porch for a while as we let the rolls cook.
John did get up at 8, just as the rolls were finishing their bake. I put myself together and when I was done, the rolls were done as well. For our fruit we ate one of the cherimoyas/custard apples. They'd gotten good and ripe out on the counter, and they were as soft as a really ripe mango. I cut it in half and we ate the custardy white innards and spit out seeds. The flesh was winey in complexity, rich and musky and sweet and about the consistency of custard with a bit of skin around each of the numerous almond-sized seeds. It's very different from anything I've ever eaten, though I imagine it might be mildly related to durian. It's got a milder version of the muskiness.
When we were done with our fruit, I got some powdered sugar and poured a drab of buttermilk into it and made a tangy, light, icing for the rolls and we ate them. Jet loved them, too. They weren't too sweet, the texture, chew of the bread and crunch of the crust, was perfect. It felt like a *real* cinnamon roll, and was really fragrant with the fresh-ground cinnamon that went into them. The only thing I didn't like was that in rising overnight, the sugar pulled some water out of the dough and the 'sweat' actually created a puddle of sugary water in the bottom of the pan that made the bottoms of the rolls somewhat soggy. It wasn't too awful, but it did detract. So next time I might let them rise with just a covering of parchment paper or something to prevent them from drying out too badly.
Other than that, they were really good.
When we were done the phone rang and the landscaping contractor said that he was running five to ten minutes late. He arrived soon after, and Jet and John and I went out into the yard with him and surveyed the possibilities.
Our yard has been neglected. Between working, Fezzik, and Jet, we just haven't done much with it and the stuff that the previous owner planted really needed maintenance. Lots of it and lots of water to boot. I was mildly shocked to hear the contractor say that the pines that were growing on our yard really did much better if they were watered *every*other*day*. Agh.
So we're looking to change patches of it into something with either less maintenance or easier maintenance. The prairie grass that was planted over the whole lawn really has to be cut frequently to keep it from looking like... well... prairie, but if it's cut frequently, it really needs more water as well. And we're not about to drag hoses out to water every week. So we're going to replace one section with a grass that doesn't grow as fast, and put a sprinkler system in that we can put on a timer. Some parts of it will go to gravel, others will get covered under bark around the trees that really do need some space around them.
Another patch we're going to plant local ground cover that, after it's established, shouldn't require any watering at all. THAT will be great, and if the local ground cover can take over, we won't have to worry about all the tumbleweeds taking over. That should be nice.
Jet really enjoyed playing in the dirt, the rocks, and the grass while we were talking. He picked up rocks as fast as he could get them into his mouth. At one point, I demanded that he spit the rock out and not only did he spit the one I asked for out, but three more besides.
Jet's definitely getting to really love being outside. It's really neat, but it's also a little scary in that he's really getting into stuff, and he wants to follow us out and do stuff in areas that are not nearly as safe as the house is, now. I am glad that he's getting more independent, it just means we have to be even more watchful and thoughtful about the possibilities of what he's doing, though. I think that I don't worry about him eating rocks or dirt too much as most of it, out here at least, is pretty non-reactive. We'll see, in the long run, if that's as true as I think it is.
When we were done with going over what we wanted done, we also brainstormed with him, some other things we could do with the rest of the yard. There's still lots of stuff that could be cleaned up and neatened and made generally better. With Jet wanting to be outside, I could see doing more work outside, myself, to keep an eye on him and let him have the time he wants outside.
I started up another remote job while I was able, and then we went out to check up on some of the contractor's references, check out some garage sales Joan had talked about, and see what we could see of a decorative rock quarry close by to see what kinds of rocks were available. We'd thought about going with Joan, but we never got a call from her as to when she was going out, so we went ourselves. From the vague recollections of the conversation we stopped by the Fredrick Rec. Center and looked around and found a notice about a community garage sale. John got directions to the community from the guy at the desk and when we arrived we found that an entire development was out having garage sales. Folks just set up their own shop and were out in their garages doing a sale. That was pretty interesting.
One lady had a little boy that had just grown out of a bunch of shorts and things, and from today's weather we knew that Jet needed a lot of shorts and short sleeved shirts for the summer. She had three or four pairs of shorts! Yay! So we bought them all for Jet, and changed him into a pair of them as soon as we got back to the car. He kicked his legs and laughed. Yay! Cool!
The contractor's yard had a huge waterfall in it. Woo. It's very lush, very fancy and not too neat. It's clearly growing and happy, though, so that's definitely something for it. I'm mildly for getting it doe quickly, but mildly unhappy with taking an off-the-cuff estimate as a "this is how much it'll cost". I don't know, though, if I'm just being too paranoid.
We got to go look at rocks, next. There's a rockery just north of our exit from I-25, so we went up there and looked around and found the dirt road to the rockery. They had a little rock garden setup to show off all their rock types and as we pulled up I saw this gorgeous yellowish rock and said, "That's what I really want, 'Indian Sunset'." After fifteen minutes of looking around and persuading Jet that, no, rocks aren't all that good to eat and are hard on the teeth besides, John shook his head and said, "You were right. I like that the best." There were bits of red rock in it and chunks of pink quartz but the main hue was the same tawny gold that a lot of the local river rock is made of. It would be great against the yellow of our house. I'd wanted to avoid the gray-blues of granite and all the pinks and overall reds. This had enough variety to be really interesting.
Of course, John goes in to get the price sheet and comes out shaking his head. Nearly all the other rocks are something like $15 a yard. 'Indian Sunset' is $205 a yard!! They also said that they had gold ore for an undisclosed price, and I bet that if they'd had a sample of that, THAT would have been the one I picked. Yeesh. Expensive tastes, even on first sight.
Home again home again... and I had to check on the remote runs I was doing and in the middle of it I hear Jet start to really, truly cry. Wild crying like he's really hurt, and I get downstairs and find John looking really stricken with Jet at the sink running cold water over Jet's hands. All of this morning and yesterday evening we had let Jet go in and out to the back patio as he liked, with the screen door shut, Jet can open it as he likes and go in and out, now.
John had opened the door and left the screen door open as well, and Jet had gone down on all fours and went to crawl outside. The threshold is, sadly, black metal. And it had been in the sun all morning while we were away. Jet put both hands down on the scorching hot metal and burned both palms with second degree burns. He had nasty blisters and he was crying inconsolably. Poor baby, and poor John. He was blaming himself.
And it didn't really matter because it couldn't be undone. We could do something about it, and John thought up the excellent idea of putting white contact paper on it. I think, also, that Jet will be much more careful, from now on, about touching that threshold. Still, at that moment, Jet was crying really hard, and I cuddled him, held him, and tried to nurse him for a while. On his right side he cried still, when I finally shifted him to his left side, he settled in and hiccuped a bit before finally nursing thoroughly and going to sleep.
We had our lunch while he slept. I got to code a bit more, and then we hauled all the recycling into the Baby Buggy, tucked the sleeping Jet in his sleep into the buggy as well and then made off for Longmont. We dropped off all the recycling, and then hit the styling salon with Linda and got hair cuts. John got buzzed with a 1! It's what I think of as a Bruce Willis hair cut, i.e. it just all comes off. I just got a trim and a lot more shaping. I like it better now, with less bulk.
Jet spent the whole time playing. He walked up and down the salon, checking everyone and everything out. He really wanted to get into all the nail polishes, and he pulled out a brush and wouldn't let go of it and refused to take any other brush or comb instead. He stomped about and smiled at everyone that smiled at him and stopped to study John's head after the haircut. He even brushed the nap of it with his hands afterward and giggled. That was fun. He was much happier.
We hit the Albertson's right there afterwards and recycled all our extra plastic bags. I'm very glad of their recycling efforts with that. Then we got a few things. They had the Gerber's simple recipe foods and included the broccoli and chicken that Jet really likes. They also had baby back ribs on sale, $3.99 a pound instead of $5.99 and they only came in a five pound double rack as they were frozen together. I also got a pound of frozen, large shrimp for more pad thai, and they had whole roasting chickens for ninety nine cents a pound. So I had to get one of those as well. Meat...
Home again home again and I prepped the ribs while Jet slept. I decided to give them a good dry rub, let them set for an hour and then braise them with tomatoes. I had leftover dry rub from the last time I did ribs, and I just added a bunch of brown sugar, a little more salt as last time it was too salty. I also added jerk pork seasoning, ginger, garlic, paprika, cumin, and lemon pepper. All things that go pretty well with pork and don't clash too badly. I also added a bit more chipotle powder and when I tasted the rub it bit back. Woo. I'd forgotten how hot the jerk seasoning is. But it was good. So I covered the ribs with the rub, tucked them into the fridge and took a nap.
John took care of Jet when Jet woke up and just fed him a bottle and then put him back to sleep again. So when I woke up I had plenty of time to whirl a can of tomatoes and throw them on the ribs (the salty sweet and acid braising liquid Alton Brown used was too salty for my tastes, so I just skipped the salt and threw on acid and mildly sweet. And then I coded for the hour and a half the ribs cooked. I did get Jet when he woke up and nursed him, but John was great and took over afterwards. There were some bugs that needed looking at.
I also managed to update my journal in record time with my script, but I stopped at the end of March because I had to fold everything away at the end of the month. It isn't that much work, but with everything else I'd been doing, it was good to stop a bit and let people catch up with what had been updated.
Dinner was great. Ribs, a can of BBQ beans, and a spinach salad. The ribs were surprisingly tender and really zingy. Jet got two bones, one with some meat on it still, and he loved them. He gnawed away at them very happily and enjoyed playing with them as well. John really enjoyed the ribs he had, and I really liked mine. We only ate one of the racks. The other is in the fridge and I have dreams of using the chipotle BBQ sauce from Casa de Mina on them while reheating them on the grill. We'll see if that comes to fruition