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August 13, 2002
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Grilled Ham and Cheese, Chicken Enchiladas, and Marshmallows

8:35 pm: A busy day. My morning, at work, was filled with meetings. I actually had three meetings in the three hours I was there, and they were all useful in some capacity. I was glad of that. I like having meetings that are actually useful and have something to do with what I'm doing and figuring out what it is that my group has to do.

I also got to go through everything on a manifest with the technical writer for all the things I'm specing. We went through every item and I got to point out the details of what has to go in. I'll be reviewing the content soon enough, so it's best to give him as good a start as possible.

I got home a bit before one, and Jet was asleep. John had already eaten lunch, so I did an Alton Brown style grilled ham and cheese sandwich. I know, his only had cheese in it, but I wanted some ham. We'd bought Black Forest ham last Sunday and it was tender and wonderful. I grated aged sharp cheddar with some medium yellow cheddar and spread yellow mustard on the whole wheat bread. Then I sprayed both sides with canola oil and then squashed it between my cast iron griddle and my cast iron skillet. They were both heated red hot, but were off the heat when I put the sandwich on the griddle and then set the skillet gently on top.

Sizzle.

When there was cheese running out the sides, I loosened the sandwich from the irons and it was a perfect brown. The sides were crisp and golden, the center oozy and gooey, and the whole was richly flavored. Yum. I sat down to eat it with some plain pretzels when I heard Jet wake up.

He'd only had an hour and a half nap. So he was kind of cranky getting up. Right now, he's still mildly cranky and he tried to go to sleep at seven; but given what happens when he goes to sleep early, I woke him up and kept him up.

Luckily, by the time I had to do that I'd already gotten chicken enchiladas into the oven. Jet had stood on the barstool to watch me cook, and had helped grate the cheese. On every downstroke, he leaned into it and put all his weight into pushing the cheese against the grater. He also helped hold the can opener while I opened the cans for the enchilada sauce. I try to let him do as much as he is capable of doing. Sometimes I think I underestimate him, still. I can't tell, though, unless I try.

While the enchiladas were baking, Teresa, a cleaning lady that does the house next to ours came to assess the house. She looked it over and declared that it would be their minimum charge, including the basement! Wow. So for about a third less, she'll be coming to clean the house on Wednesday mornings. It's perfect for us, as we won't be home. No interruptions. It'll also be nice to be able to have someone coming at the same time every other week.

She has about 22 other homes and families that she and her husband clean for, and it's nice to know that they have a steady client list. She says that there are people on her waiting list, too, but they don't live in places that she likes to work. For some reason they really like doing houses in airparks. They do five of the houses here and a dozen at the other airpark at the south end of Erie.

So that was very cool.

After dinner, Jet was pretty cranky, so we went out on walk and found the three kids that live on the quiet street out on the street running around, happily. They also had a marshmallow blowgun. They'd shoot mini-marshmallows around. They had a whole bag of them and offered some to Jet. He was too shy to take them at first, but then he got one into his mouth. When he realized what they were, he kept going back for them. Of course, when the kids ran the whole way down the street, he had to follow, too.

Jet runs well now. He doesn't fall or anything, but he is a bit slower than kids two or three times as big as he is. Still, he doesn't give up. I'm glad of that. He enjoyed chasing the other kids eventhough he had no chance of catching them. He also loved getting the mini marshmallows whenever he could. He enjoyed them greatly when John led him along parts of the walk with them in front of him.

That was fun.

He came to me to get picked up when he got really tired, and we got home pretty easily.

The yard looks entirely different. They're only partially done. The front area has all the plants in, the fabric's down, and the river rock is holding the edges down. There's bark everywhere and some of the butter rock at the house side of things, to keep weeds and plants away from the house. The whole thing has the drip irrigation under the cloth, so it should do really well at keeping the water where the plants can use it.

It looks so different.

I don't think we could have done this with Fezzik. He would have been too intrigued by the holes, the new plants, and the new textures of things to just leave it alone. Jet's of a size where we can mostly keep him out of it.

Jet's new word of the day is "Gok!" He says it for most things that he notices. I'm not sure why. I think he's also having problems with a tooth. When he was frustrated before dinner, he did a whole ten minutes of just 'UP!' and 'Owie!' I am going to be very glad when he gets more words in his vocabulary. I am glad that I'm listening to him pretty hard, though, to at least try to figure out what he's trying to express. He seems to really appreciate it when I get it right. Like when I made him a corn dog for his lunch and he wanted to grab it but it was too hot, finally, I wrapped it up with a paper towel, blew on the bits where he might bite, and he got to eat it. He grinned at that a lot.

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