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January 20, 2001
a year ago
two years ago
three years ago

Local Adventures

It was supposed to be a quiet day.

I woke up late and happy. John was up before I was, but quietly sitting in the rocking chair being fuzzy headed and sick. So I made apple spice muffins. Just took the basic muffin recipe from How to Cook Everything and added spices and chunks of apple. They came out really nice and we ate them with grapefruit and much juice. By the time we were done it was already 11:30.

John was a little sad with his cold as he knew that I have a mild case of cabin fever and that I'd wanted to see the Stock Show in Denver, but feeling as he did it was a bit too big and adventure for him and his energy levels. I really did need to walk around a bit, so, instead, I proposed a little adventure to the Twin Peaks shopping mall up in Longmont and then grocery shopping at the Safeway on the way home. A bit of a walk and a little shopping and a small change of scenery. They say that shopping is America's number one pastime for entertainment, and I could see why.

I drove. It's good to drive more frequently than I have been. The mall was easy to get to and we got good parking and I happily walked from one end to the other and back again. One of the things I really wanted was a couple of boxes of Thank You notes for the various folks that gave us baby shower gifts. We went nearly to the far end of the mall to find a card shop and I really liked the cards that we found. John basically followed me around blindly. I also went into a teen shop that had all kinds of interesting hair accessories and, for the fun of it bought two pearled blue hair sticks, which had everything from transparent plastic swirled with silver and three or four shades of blue, and a packet of blue to grey elastics as most of my hair colors have been blue-based. They would work for a lot of stuff and would definitely keep my hair out of my way in a way that's more interesting than just a ponytail.

Finally, I had had a mild craving for English Toffee for a while and reasoned that it would be better to buy just one good piece of the stuff than to buy a whole box and get one free at Safeway. So I went to Stephanie's chocolates, a Colorado local chocolate store, and bought one hunk of Colorado Almond Toffee. It was a very nice, big piece, but still better than two entire boxes of the confection. John discovered a box of milk chocolate cigars there, too, and really thought they were cool. I think that they may well be useful for when the baby does come out.

I trundled happily back towards the car, and as we were just about at the entrance we'd parked near, we saw Ray and Joan! They were going to Cast Away and asked us if we wanted to go. I asked John if he would be okay with it and he said he'd be fine with just sitting down, he might go to sleep, but that would be okay. Since we didn't really have much else planned, and we were still full from breakfast, we decided to go ahead, while we still didn't need a babysitter. That was kind of fun. It was lots of fun talking with Joan in the line for snacks and just getting all caught up.

It was an okay movie. Not terrible, not great, just an interesting way to spend some time during the afternoon. The crash itself was pretty intense and very well filmed. The rest was interesting, but not especially riveting for me. There are a number of movies out this coming summer, though, that look really fun. It was funny, after the lights went up, someone a few rows down said, pretty loudly, "It seems to be a trend, now, that movies don't have endings anymore." I had to laugh and agree.

By the time we were out it was 3 and I was hungry, so we stopped at the Taco Bell right there. It's been a while since I've eaten there and I haven't had fast food in a very long while. I'd never had a chalupa or gordita, so I just decided to order a Supreme chalupa to find out what they were like. It wasn't that impressive, just fried, mildly stale, flat bread around taco stuff. Sigh. Also had refried beans which felt good to just eat. Protein. It hit the spot and made it possible to go grocery shopping without overloading our cart.

Everyone else says that pregnant women go around cleaning house just before the birth. Nesting instinct, some folks have even implied that it's inevitable and unavoidable. There are stories about women in early labor trying to steam clean all their carpets, a woman who had been confined to bed rest and only allowed to go to the bathroom for the last month taking the rule as allowing her to scrub the tile in the bathroom for two hours a day, and some women trying to redecorate their entire house in a day. John just laughs when they say that. I snort. I hate cleaning and I hate house stuff. Even just this morning I was singing, "I hate cleaning up, I hate cleaning up..." while doing the dishes. John usually does the dishes because I usually cook; but he was sick and things needed to be put away so that I could cook again, so I was doing a bunch of it. I figure, if I have the kind of energy these women have had, I'll cook and freeze extra portions.

So, at Safeway, I got all the stuff for lasagna, creamed corn and chicken broth for soup, regular granulated sugar as we'd used the previous bag all up, stuff for Alton Brown's Once and Future Beans, and a Ghiradelli brownie mix, as I really still wanted brownies and couldn't wait for Mary's recipe. For once, we didn't buy the 10 lb. bag of grapefruit and John looked at me funny. I think I'm just getting tired of it, finally. Or maybe there's been a few really green ones in the bags and I wanted to pick them by hand.

We brought my haul home and John promptly fell into a deep sleep and snored like a bandsaw on the couch in front of the TV. It was oddly comforting. I baked brownies happily while he slept. Also watched some TV, and read a bit more of Protecting the Gift. There was this one section about worry and its complete ineffectiveness as a method of defense. I'd always kind of felt that it was so, but could never put my finger on why and Gavin de Becker hit it straight on. People worry about the things they can and, get this, want or are accustomed to imagine. They don't worry about 'the unthinkable', even if, statistically, it's far more likely. What's worse is that when someone puts all their energy into worrying, they have far less energy to deal with observable reality. They become engrossed in their imagination and ignore the very real signs all around them of the real dangers when what they're worrying about is actually something that rarely, if ever, happens. Worry handicaps, blinds, and only eats energy better spent on observation and real data gathering.

Wow.

I needed that.

I read some and digested a lot. While I was digesting the thoughts, I pulled out the boxes of Thank You notes I bought, went to my desk and got my favorite writing instrument out. It's really funny. It's a quill, but it's even more stripped down than anything on my page. I basically stripped off *all* of the plume, cut it to half the length, as I didn't need the useless collapsed tubing under the plume, and stuck one of those foam rubber pencil grippers on it, a yellow, foam rubber gripper. It's really funny to look at. It's basically a gently curved stick pen that has to be dipped to write, with a point that has to be sharpened, and a haphazardly 'ergo' grip. I then sat down with a bottle of purple ink and wrote seven rather dense thank you notes before having to sharpen the quill. I'd actually done all the tempering on this tube and it makes such a difference, and the curve on this one is really nice, so that the tip actually takes enough ink to write at least a third of a whole note in one dip.

I'll admit that it's funny that with my hundred plus dollar fountain pens, my antique fountain pen, my curio fountain pens, my ultra-modern aluminum body superlight fountain pens, and my formal fountain pens that my favorite writing instrument is a ten cent, lopped off feather spine with a cheapo pencil foam rubber grip.

The brownies came out beautifully. Exactly what I wanted.

We'd eaten lunch so late that at 7:30 I had absolutely no desire for lasagna, so I just made corn soup and toasted sourdough bread with garlic butter for dinner. It was a very satisfying and not too filling dinner.

Just before going to bed, I thought about it and then poured a pound of Great Northern White beans onto a baking tray, pulled out all the discolored ones, washed them, and then started them soaking in a bowl in more water than I thought they could absorb. There will be baked beans tomorrow! Yay!

It was warmer, tonight, so we tried sleeping together and it worked out just fine. No dueling snores. Yay!

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