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December 17, 2000
a year ago

Christmas Exercises

John made me pecan and banana pancakes for breakfast. That was very nice. Even cracked and toasted the pecans himself rather than taking them from the pecan's I'd managed to shell and freeze. My hands weren't doing the shelling very well, but I felt like I was doing something, most of last week, as I did it. There's a cookie recipe called Puckle Warts that uses a huge amount of pecans, and I wanted to make them sometime because they sounded so interesting. So I was slowly and gradually accumulating pecans.

After breakfast, John had one more person to shop for, the only problem was that he didn't know what he wanted to get for them. Some of the shopping we did yesterday included looking for things for that person, but it's hard when one has no idea. He figured the Pearl Street Mall would have something, so he wanted to go there. He also wanted to go to Target to get batteries for some gifts and Whole Foods for some fun Boulder-style stocking stuffers. So we loaded ourselves into the Passat and headed to Boulder.

We started on the east side of the mall, as that's where we finally found parking and gradually headed west. All the clothing shops were skipped, the richer art shops as well. The Boulder Art Coop was pretty cool, lots of little spaces with all kinds of different things. Small culture shops were interesting as well. We gradually worked through things, accumulating small gifts as we went, extras on top of the big gifts that people had asked for, and it was pretty fun finding things that would fit folks. The day was sunny and gradually, as we shopped, the clouds that had been hovering over the mountains started to move in and cast shadows over us.

We got all the way to the Peppercorn, which is a really nice, mildly expensive and truly extensive kitchenware and food shop. It's about halfway down the mall, and it's where we finally got all the things we really wanted to get and pretty much finished off our list of people. It's a lovely, little, crowded shop filled with goodies, everything from really good lemon curd, scones, and real Devonshire cream to a thousand cookie cutters, Japanese crackle glazed dinnerware, and a dozen bookshelves of cookbooks. It's really fun to just get lost in there and look and look and look and pick up just a few things that one just can't do without. I was really good and the only thing I picked up for myself was a can of Dean and Delucia's Mexican Oregano as I've been without oregano for a month or so, now and it was time to get some.

On the way back was a Ben and Jerry's and since we hadn't done our Fezzik cones, yet, we stopped there for two reasons. The first was my poor pregnant lady's bladder. The second was to get our cones. I picked a single scoop of the vanilla English Toffee on a sugar cone and John couldn't resist getting a single scoop of Chubby Hubby. They were very good cones and we laughed a bit, cried a little, and toasted Fezzik and his memory with our cones and ate them while a few people stared at us for having ice cream in the cold and the stirring wind.

The wind picked up as we headed back towards the car. It was blowing hard enough at my back that it was blowing all my hair into the cone. Hard to tell when it's my hair getting into my ice cream or ice cream getting into my hair at that point. I finally had to sit down on a bench facing into the wind to finish off the last of my cone. John was willing to sit with me and commented that for all that I was enjoying it properly, I wasn't eating it nearly fast enough to emulate Fezzik. That got me giggling and made it even harder to eat! As we sat there, though, I felt small flecks of cold blowing against my face. It was snow. Singleton flakes falling against my skin. Nothing to get concerned about, but the sky was turning grey.

Once we got to Target, I sighed and said, "I want a corn dog." as soon as we walked in. There's the little, cheap American Grill inside a lot of Targets, that has all-American food. The ice cream, while it had been good, was mostly sugar and fat, so I needed something to counterbalance it as I was feeling mildly queasy on just the cone. I know, a corn dog is not the most nutritious thing in the universe, but it was what I wanted. It was greasy, but warm and the hot dog itself was protein enough to settle things nicely. John had a pretzel and we shared a pop as I found that I really did need some liquids as well. Then we got the battery and headed over to Whole Foods.

John wanted clearly from-Boulder items to send back home for stocking stuffers. It was fun just wandering through looking for organic snacks and all the small, non-perishable food items that were made here. I also bought myself some pasteurized organic apple juice. I was tempted by a great many other things, but John was very single-minded about getting his stocking stuffers so I mostly stuck to his goals. Once we had a nice bag of them, we headed towards home.

On the way home was the Lafayette All-Pets. So we went in there to pick up Fezzik's ashes. The receptionist was a little busy on our way in, and we exchanged smiles as she liked us. She hadn't been there on Monday and when we stated why we were there, her face fell, obviously rocked a bit by the news as she hadn't heard. She said that she was very sorry and hoped we were doing okay and that she hadn't heard the news and would miss Fezzik herself. That made me cry. It's the face-to-face thing of meeting someone that really cared about him. She then went to their shelves and pulled out a cardboard box topped with a certificate and neatly sealed with clear tape. The certificate said that the box contained the ashes of one Fezzik Rostykus, identified by All-Pets Lafayette to the crematorium. That made me cry a little, too.

I carefully placed the box in the rear seat of the Passat. Probably the first time Fezzik's been comfortably and neatly carried in the Passat. That was fun to talk to about with John. It was actually pretty good to know that we were bringing his body home, and not leaving that part of him on their shelves. Once home, I put him up on the speaker where we keep Emily and Yuri's pictures and the candles we sometimes burn for them. Amusingly enough, we've piled all our presents under that same speaker. Kind of our Christmas table. Then we got on with dealing with what we had to do for Christmas.

I'm glad a number of my friends have Amazon wish lists. It just makes things infinitely easier. I can get exactly what they want at my convenience and it's just fun to look through a list of things they really want and pick something that fits what I want to give. It was nice to just shop there in the kitchen and know that most of it would arrive on time.

I was pretty tired when we got home. While I probably should have taken a nap. Instead, I just sat around in the livingroom and diningroom and moped mildly. I think I'm mildly depressed, but it could just be tiredness. I knew I probably should be dictating journal entries, helping John with the gifts, maybe thinking up dinner, taking a nap, or even reading or writing something. But I did nothing at all. John wrapped presents, wrapping everything for both his family and mine, and then packed things into shipping boxes. It was a good deal of work, but he was cheerful and clearly in the mood for it. So that was good.

John had called Bob and coordinated dinner with them. We ended up at Deli Ciosos at 6 and it was cool. Bob and Andrew got what I got, which was a whole set of three carnitas tacos, Mexican style, with rice and beans. Mei didn't want beans, so she just got two tacos. I couldn't eat all three of mine, so I gave her one of the carnitas ones as well, which she enjoyed. Bob couldn't finish his three, either, so Andrew, the growing boy, ate his third. John had the hot New Mexican style stacked enchiladas and was sweating by the time he was done, so everyone was very happily fed and full by the end of the meal. John also got three sopapillas to finish everything off and everyone tore into the hot fry breads happily. They made a nice, sweet, light dessert for all.

It had been a pretty busy day. My hands felt somewhat better after a day that was mostly without doing anything with them. Yesterday I'd been writing notes from the class, enough that my right hand wasn't feeling so good by the end of the day. The walking and shopping and stuff had helped both days. A new fitness regime! Go shopping every day for at last half an hour! I can just imagine.

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