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May 4, 1999
a year ago

Doing Things

The very first thing we had to do this morning, was pick up Fezzik. The Cottonwood kennels ran the place a little bit like a B&B, with a checkout time of 10 a.m.. So, the first thing we had to do was late enough that we were able to sleep in fairly well. When he came out from the back, Fezzik was pretty happy. In fact, the groomer had done a fantastic job on him, cutting out all his mats, stripping out a lot of his undercoat, and trimming all his claws. I always hate trimming his claws, mostly because he hates it as well, and squirms and whines at me when I try to do it.

He looked really happy, really clean, and was very, very quiet when we got him home. Though we didn't see too much of him before we ran off again.

There is a tiny little cafe in Erie, with the names of three women who run it. They were only open from six in the morning to two in the afternoon every weekday and Saturday, so they seem to specialize in breakfast and lunch. So, we decided to go there for breakfast. We were both really glad we did. It is fairly rare for me to find a place that does eggs over medium, and have the eggs actually turnout medium. That's the point where the whites are completely cooked, and the yolk is starting to firm around the edges but is still soft and somewhat runny in the center. I usually measure the capability of the breakfast place by how well they actually make medium eggs. This place did it very well, the bacon was crisp and plentiful, none of this three strip maximum. The hash browns and home fries were plentiful and hot, and the coffee was thick and strong. I think we going to eat breakfast there more often.

The next stop was at Long's Peak Equipment, one exit north of us on I-25. It was the local John Deere dealership that was closest to our house. We went in, passed all of full-sized tractors and true farm equipment, and walked over to the lawn tractors and mowers. A salesman greeted us, and then had the good sense to talk to both of us at the same time. He went through a number of questions as to what we really wanted to do, and then started to show us the machines that we probably really needed, including a few machines that were probably smaller than our lawn really needed, but were more economical. I was very impressed. I think that one of those people that a low-pitch sale will almost always make a sale to, for some reason I will almost always buy something that isn't pushed at me. He was obviously proud of the John Deere name and quality of all the products that he sold.

The main reason John and I had decided that we wanted to John Deere was because of the reputation. Well after the salesman had already made the sale, he commented that one of the positive parts of his job was talking with his customers because they almost always went to him because they wanted quality. We ended up with the LT155, which is just a lawn tractor, not one of the small but full-powered garden tractors that could actually power extra equipment. This one could drag things around, mow the lawn, and give me a fun ride. That was about it, but it could handle a lot of lawn, had an automatic drive system that made it easy to go forwards and backwards in increments that made it easy to control. And, in the end, he gave me a coupon for free John Deere hat. I picked one out right there, the common green hat with the logo on the front. He was very amused by the fact that I was probably going to be using it the most, and even more amused by the rather simple joy I had in getting this neat, new toy. He promised to deliver it to us as soon as he could, and the bagging unit couldn't be put together that day, but it was easy enough to construct, so we had him deliver that to us anyway.

The next stop was to pick up the Range Rover from DIA, as we had left the truck at the airport when we flew to Seattle. I had to write down the link of freeways and highways that went from here to there, as we took mostly back roads. It turns out that Erie is closer, significantly, to DIA than Boulder is; but it's through a maze of surface highways. We both drove towards home, and John stopped to get diesel while I went to a grocery store to get stuff for dinner tomorrow. We were going to have about a dozen people for dinner, and I wanted to get as much prepared the day before as possible.

Just across the freeway there is a little town of Dacono, which has a little, independent grocery store that carries most everything I'd want on a daily basis. They also had a pretty excellent selection of Mexican food stuffs, at least compared to grocery stores in Seattle, and so I decided that enchilada casserole was the way to go, so I bought a corn tortillas, red enchilada sauce, sour cream, and then added avocados, tomatoes, and lettuce for a salad. Then, at the checkout counter, the checkout lady realized that I was new, and introduced me to their version of Green Stamps. Where, you got a number of stamps for the amount of groceries that you bought, and if you collected 40 of those stamps, you could buy stuff the next week at a discount. As she explained everything to me, the line behind me grew, but everyone was interested in the newcomer and there wasn't any grumbling from them. I was fairly intrigued by the whole process that I think could only happen in a small town.

When we were home, we got called by the sales guy, who said that all the ramps at work were already gone to other jobs, so he couldn't deliver the tractor this evening. Since we had people over tomorrow, John scheduled it for the next day.

Once home again I puttered about, measuring windows for shades, watering the plants, sorting the mail from the week we were gone, looking up phone numbers for Big Sisters, picked up all things that were loose in the house so that the cleaning lady could actually clean, washed the car, did bills and paperwork, got a Mother's Day card off to Mom, and a birthday card off to Dad. During all that I also did laundry, swapping loads whenever I could hear that it was through with the previous one. We had leftover roasted chicken from the week before, just nuked it and ate, which was fast and simple; and then we turned on the news while we uncrated my handmade British spinning wheel.

That's when we learned about the Oklahoma tornadoes. The devastation was heartbreaking in detail. I think seeing the scale of destruction really put into perspective the Columbine thing that the media had blown way out of proportion. John and I talked about it, and set aside a good portion of money for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. We watched as we slowly worked through every single wooden piece of the Timberline spinning wheel, first cleaning every piece and then rubbing a beeswax compound into each piece before we assembled the entire thing to let it dry put together.

Then I tackled all the preparation for dinner tomorrow. I chopped onions, and then cooked them. I browned two pounds of ground beef after defrosting them. John grated cheese, nearly a pound of it, using my little food processor. Afterwards, John cleaned up the kitchen, while I sat down, drank some hot milk, and opened a packet of Hob Nobs with plain chocolate. That was a marvelous way to end the evening

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