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January 10, 1999
a year ago

Dinner and Spinning Again

We have a rotational dinner, where one couple does the hosting and does the main dish. The other couples rotate the responsibility of doing drinks, salad, and dessert. So everyone gets to bring something and everyone gets to partake in everyone else's stuff, and it's usually really good. The main topic of the dinner was our moving. Everyone thought we'd stay for six months and find another job in the area before actually moving.

Before getting ready for dinner, we had most of Saturday to just enjoy each other and laze around. That was very nice. I slept in way late, as I was still recovering from my cold, still hacking and coughing some and it wasn't fun. But John got up fairly early, took Fezzik for a walk and did stuff outside before I was even up. After my breakfast and his lunch, we then did the adventure I'd wanted yesterday, which was going to Kirkland for chocolates and I wanted to stop by Victor's for coffee.

A long time ago, Victor promised to show us how to make really great coffee in a push pot, but when we got there, he had just left for the day. Jane and he work Saturday mornings, and by 4 p.m. they've had their eight hour shift and are getting tired enough that I could see why they'd want to get home when they opened the shop around 6 a.m. Oof. We had coffee there and then went on to get the chocolates.

They were open, and the guy was pretty pleased when I asked for two of every dark chocolate thing they had, as there were a whole lot of different things that they had that were dark. Nearly a pound's worth just having two of each. Wow. There were all sorts of things that I hadn't gotten in the normal assortment boxes before, so it was really keen to see all that, and the fact that I'd get to try them out. Yum. That was cool. I asked for an extra bag and when I got home, I carefully separated the chocolates into two bags, one for John and one for me and we'd each have all the chocolates. Yay!

Sunday was fairly low key as well. Mostly just watching NFL football, sitting around the house, and I gradually filled in the Levenger address book from our old one and from my address book at work. It was slow work, meticulous and detailed, lots of numbers and words that I couldn't read without John's help as he'd filled in most of the original.

I have wool socks. Most people do, and I had this one pair that had a big hole in the ball of the foot and the heel, and since they were wool socks and I didn't have many of them, I decided to darn the sock rather than tossing it and its partner into the rag bin. Found the old light bulb I use for a darning egg and then did the usual weaving thing to get a patch in the sock, in bright purple, as the sock itself was fuschia, robin's egg blue and speckled rainbow grey.

By the time I was through, though I wanted more socks. It's been nearly two years since I've knit anything, mostly because of my hands and the problems I've been having with repetitive stress on my hands. But my hands and wrists have been getting better. So I started knitting a sock. Then I came to the heel in much less time than I'd thought I would, and my brain was reminding me that I had something like ten to fifteen pounds of tussah silk in the closet that would be perfect, strong and soft and yummy to feel and in the body of the sock, it wouldn't have to hold the thing up on my leg the way the wool cuff would have to do. Since I didn't have any of the silk made up as yarn, I went and got it down and got down my spinning wheel from the closet it was languishing in and I spun it.

Spun a full bobbin of a fairly narrow ply and then plied it back on itself twice and ended up with a really nicely solid three ply silk yarn. Took a while, though, and while I was doing that Jon Singer showed up with dinner.

He'd cooked a whole leg of New Zealand lamb, and done marvelous things with it. He brought a bag of French string beans and three different desserts, including a fruit cake with marzipan, tart cherries, and other dried fruits in it and it was soaking in enough rum and rose water to get through even *my* nose when he had me sniff his fruit cake jar. That was really, really intense, rich and deeply flavorful fruitcake. The lamb was really intense as well and went well with the rather plain risotto I'd made with just garlic and a touch of olive oil. A nice British style mint sauce, which had chopped, dried mint in vinegar and a bit of sugar really was nice with the lamb.

Another, interesting dessert item was an Asian style yam jelly flavored, in my case, with peach, and in John's case, with grapefruit, and you squeezed it out of it's package and ate it squiggly. Yum. Ripe with the juices and the yam jelly itself didn't get in the way of the taste at all.

Yum.

Singer is quite a local treasure, indeed.

We spent the rest of the evening cleaning up the house. A chunk of one of the days was taken up with going through our closets and taking out all the stuff we didn't want anymore. There's a lot of clothing that I've never worn and never wanted to wear as Mom keeps giving me things that I can't wear, either too small or too... well... different from what I'd usually wear or want to wear. A few of the things went into the bags with tags still on them. Which is kinda sad.

But that whole pile of stuff is now waiting to go out and we won't have to move it, that's good.

The rest of the house got a thorough picking up because while John's gone the house cleaning folks are going to be around and it's always easier when they're not having to pick up anything in addition to what they have to clean. Besides, then there is a much better chance for me to find things after they are done.

Drat. I'm going to miss him.

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