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June 14, 1999
a year ago

Discovering

I slept in today. It was the one day that I'd get to and it was nice and overcast enough that my instinct to Get Up When It's Sunny didn't kick in. Very nice. What was even better was hearing the doorbell go off and having John hightail it out of there. The contractors for the cable company were finally in the area and they were going to hook up our cable! Hoorah! Hoorah! Given that we put our original request for cable to TCI in MARCH, this wasn't an impressively quick install; but at least they were finally doing it. John took care of things and I knew, subconsciously, so long as there was banging around and John talking with them, I had absolutely no reason to get up as we weren't going anywhere.

I didn't wake up until around 10 a.m. and when I did get up, Kathy went back to sleep. John was playing Spyro constantly and making us both dizzy when we watched him. That was a pretty funny dynamic.

I ate a few scones with some of John's pot of coffee and showered. Eventually, we were all mostly awake. I fed Kathy some of the rosemary chicken leftovers to get her to feel better after her nap; and we all piled into the Passat and went up and out to Greeley. Just because it was there and because John had taken the day off and we really wanted to explore some. It turns out that it's actually the seat of Weld County, but we didn't know that until we got there.

Kathy was definitely sick. So we had her in the backseat with a pillow, blankets and bottles of Gatorade, and she slept most of the way up there and when John and I found the country courthouse and law-enforcement complex, we let her sleep in the car while we went walking around most of the complex.

We've actually been on a quest. For the last few months, we knew that Boulder County was requiring that folks register their dogs, that it was time for the license renewal. Thing is that we live outside Boulder County. Just. So we were pretty interested in figuring out what the Weld County dog licensing was about; and so we thought we were in the perfect place to find out.

From the county clerk's office, we were routed to the DA's office and then routed to the police. They didn't know the answer, but called someone that did and we found out our magic answer. There is no dog licensing required by the county. Certain cities do the extra dog tax; but not the county. So long as we have an ID tag and an address and a place for him to come home to, then we're fine especially if he's a backyard dog. So there wasn't any problems, at all. Low maintenance to have a dog. How very cool.

Across from the county complex was a little open-air mall that had a bagel shop. John and I wandered through it while munching on toasted bagels and drinking espresso drinks. Not a lot there, but it looked like it was trying.

From Greeley we headed west to I-25, and just as we were getting on the freeway we saw an Outlet Mall. So we just did all the other leaves of the cloverleaf and came back to the Outlet Mall in Loveland. It had a Bose outlet. It had a BOSE outlet, something that I've never seen before and John knew me too well, and knew that if I were allowed into the store that I'd likely impulse buy a CD player and radio. It's not like I need another music system, we already have three in the house, one at work, and more audio equipment than I even remember owning. And it's not like I listen to much. But it's a Bose system!

Anyway...

It turned out that Kathy needed more to drink, and I needed a bathroom so we stopped off at the food court for a chance at both. There was also a Harry and Davids outlet in the mall and I had to go see that. They didn't have any fresh fruit there, but they did have a lot of dried fruits, candies, baked goods, mixes for instant meals, and best of all a whole freezer rack of cheesecakes. I bought a little, original cheesecake, and they wrapped it up and we put it in the back.

Leaving the outlet area we saw a sign for an antique mall, so we hightailed it in that direction. The mall had a few really cool things. There were some pens in good condition that Kathy had fun id'ing. There was also a crystal inkwell set that just reminded me of the Levenger snail ink wells, where the crystal wells can be tipped to be covered rather than having to be unscrewed or unstoppered. Just a simple tip and rest. How very cool. The ones in the antique store had cut crystal wells and an iron cover that came down over them and a small rack for the pen itself. I really thought that was cool, given just how much I use dip pens, it looked like something that I'd really enjoy using.

So it was kinda a random walk back home, stopping at Steel's again, on the way back to get some vegetables and bread so that I could make meatloaf with appropriate side dishes. Had fun with the meatloaf, using the little Oscar chopper to make bread crumbs, chop onion, chop sun-dried tomatoes, and chop a bit of fresh parsley. Added some milk, some parmesian, and a pound of lean ground beef, and decided not to use the Lipton onion soup mix or the various sauces I sometimes put in like A1 or Worstershire as I didn't know what was in those. There's a few food allergies that had to be watched for so it was good to just put ingrediants in instead of something I didn't know what was in it. The bread was borderline, but it seemed to work.

All that went into the oven and then I boiled potatoes and then mashed 'em with butter, milk and chives from my herb box. It is *SO* good to have fresh herbs when I want them, it's just amazing the taste difference it makes. So the mashed taters had a bit of taste without having to resort to sour cream or gravies. Nuked broccoli and that was dinner. The nice thing was that the meatloaf smelled just marvelous before I pulled it out, nice and crust on the outside, juicy and tender inside. Kathy, for all that she was sick, ate very happily and it really looked like it got her to feel better, too.

While I was really fascinated with the fact that I could fianlly get The Food Channel, the evening's entertainment was American Graffiti. Now I know what started all the Happy Days, Lavern and Shirley, and all the other 50's programs. We also ate a lot of the the lychee nut jellies that Kathy brought, which is a piece of lychee fruit suspended in a lychee flavored jelly in a tiny cup. They're really, really good cold.

Sleep was easy.

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