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May 10, 2003
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Eight Inches of Snow and a Busy Day

9:58 pm: Today was good. We went out and had some fun after a simple breakfast of bagels and smoked salmon.

This in spite of the fact that we had eight inches of snow on the ground around the place when Jet and I got up at 7:20. John had stayed up with Jet or an hour last night, and I'd been up with him once and then just slept up there from 4-7. So it was kind of a rough night for all of us. The snow made a lot of the trees bend and break. There are some top branches off our favorite trees that went because they had all their leaves already out after all the spring-like weather of the past month.

I was very, very glad that I hadn't planted the tomato plants outside, yet. They're quite happy indoors and on the top shelf of my plant rack. I had been planning on planting them today.

With the snow, though, we put all yard work on hold and went out and had fun, instead. There was one Mexican grocery store that a co-worker had pointed us at that we needed to check out. We looked up the address in the Quest Dex, and got the numbers right. We'd been thinking that it was in Denver, but it turns out to be far more north.

We didn't start out until nearly 11. Which was a good thing in two ways. The first was that Jet went to sleep fairly quickly The second was that there were a total of 18 crashed cars on the various sides of the freeway. There was a fresh crash right at the point we got on I-25. It was pretty terrible. I think that with all the water, the fog from the water starting to evaporate from the sun heated roads, and people just plain going too fast, there were way too many accidents.

By the time we were on the road, though, most of those accidents had slowed traffic down enough to be far safer, and we didn't have any problems other than the occasional delay for getting around crashed cars or letting emergency vehicles by. That was okay.

We made our way towards the known address, and as we got nearer and nearer we suddenly realized that it was near the pho place and the King Asian grocery. It turned out to be right next door to the King Asian grocery store. Since Jet was still asleep, I went in to find my chocolate.

It was a stupendous Mexican grocery store, with more stuff than I'd seen anywhere else. I didn't look too much, but there were walls of dried chilies, walls of canned chilies, a huge carniceria at the back, and a very busy, lunch-time taqueria in the middle of the store with all the table filled with families eating delicious smelling food.

The cocoa, chocolate, and coffee aisle had half a dozen types of canned chocolate milk and cocoa mixes. They also had Abuleta, but no Ibarra, and next to the Abuleta were slabs of La Popular sweet chocolate. It was the chocolate that Rick Bayless had said was available infrequently in the U.S., but was more robust and less sweet than Ibarra and Abuleta. So I bought two big bars of the stuff for about $2.50 each. This was a third the price of the mail-order stuff I'd seen on the web. That was very satisfying.

I got out quickly, though, and when I got to the car I asked John if he wanted to look, too. He did! Which was very cool. He got to see it more in detail. He got to see the shelves of implements that included a huge gas burner with a depression for a wok in a box covered in Chinese. He saw the tortilla machine churning out fresh, hot tortillas, and the walls of fresh tortillas of all types next to the taqueria.

Hee.

When he came back to the car, Jet woke up, so we went to the pho place and Jet ate a huge amount of pho, noodles and soup. He was quite cheerful about changing his 'dirty shirt' (he said that himself), and sucked on a sucker while I finished my lunch. We then headed back home along 287 instead of I-25 and only saw one other car in distress. I was glad of that.

We hit Safeway and stocked up. Jet hauled around a one gallon bucket for most of the shopping and happily ferried goods from one person to the other person with the cart. So long as we kept him busy with that, he was quite focussed. By the end of it, though, he was pretty tired. He got a peanut butter cookie and instead of eating it all, after one bite he handed it to me and indicated that I should eat it. I did and that made him pretty happy.

After putting all the food into the car, we headed into Blockbuster, with the intent to rent Jet something to watch. He really only has the Bob the Builder video and a Goofy video that the Goodells bought him. He does have a Monsters Inc DVD as well as all the Toy Story DVD's, but he doesn't seem to ask for them. He does, however, ask for the Schoolhouse Rock DVD frequently. So it's no just the DVD difference.

After we found a Dora video, we wandered by the used DVD and video rows and found a copy of "Lilo and Stitch" for ten dollars. So, instead of renting anything, we bought that. It was quite the hit with Jet. It helped, a lot, that we'd seen it before due to the auspices of Kathy. Since we'd seen it, it was an easy buy.

Jet loved it. We watched it for most of the afternoon. He got milk and then I made a quick steak and mac and cheese dinner with broccoli on the side. It was simple, quick, and I probably won't do it again. The steaks were pre-packed in brine with a bacon wrap and the combination had permeated the meat with bacon flavor to the point where it tasted a little bit like eating a huge chunk of lean, tender bacon. Weirdest thing I've ever had in my life.

I think I'll get steaks plain from now on, if I get them. We seem to only be doing them once every few months, subsisting, on the most part, on chicken, a bit of hamburger, and flank steak for stir-fries. I'm leaning towards more vegetarian fare, with proper protein balance, and eating out for other meats.

As I was working on dinner and afterwards, John and Jet built the computer desk. Jet tried helping for a while, but there wasn't that much he could safely do. So he tackled a pile of styrofoam and started breaking up all the styrofoam into smaller pieces. He was good about doing it mostly on a big chunk of cardboard. He was also really great, afterwards with loading all the pieces into a plastic bag and he took the bag out to the garage after John sealed the top of it. So he really helped big with cleaning it all up.

He even pushed the huge vacuum around to get all the "boogers", i.e. tiny pills of styrofoam, that were everywhere. He did that until it got too heavy for him, and then he asked me to do it with a "Please." so I happily did it. He pointed out patches, and squatted to see them cleaned up properly and even hunted some of them down with the dust buster.

That was cool.

Then he helped move all his books from the old shelf to the new desk's lower shelves. He worked really hard going back and forth and piling all the books in. He got a little frustrated as the books started sliding out after he'd piled them very high.

By that time it was time for him to go to sleep, John gave him milk and brushed his teeth. He started playing with cars, and I asked him if I could hold him and he said, "Okay." and came over and curled up in my arms. I just held him and sang to him a little, instead of nursing him, and he fell fast asleep. Tired guy. He'd only had less than an hour nap, but he'd been pretty cheerful all evening.

I got to write after Jet went to sleep, John did stuff upstairs, and then served me some Ben and Jerry's ice cream. We'd bought the chocolate brownie and the oatmeal cookie dough. The cookie dough is really good, cinnamony, chewy, and creamy. Yum. I love the chewy chunks of brownie in the chocolate brownie, one, too. Mmm... a good way opt relax after a long day.

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