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October 21, 2000
two years ago

Longer Saturday

I have no idea why I woke up early this morning, but I woke up when John got up around 6:30. I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. I knew that with the things that we had planned for today, that I was likely not to be able to make croissants the way I wanted to ever since I'd read an article on the things. Still. I was awake and the main thought that was going through my head was that if I woke up early I'd have more Saturday.

So I finally bent to the reality and got up, showered, put myself together, and got dressed. I went out into the livingroom where both Fezzik and John looked at me in surprise. "You're alive." said John, in some bewilderment.

"Uhm. Yeah." said I, not really lending all that much credence to his observation.

It was just a bit past 7 and the sky was bright with promise. It was going to be a really nice day, weather wise, and I told John that I wanted to eat at The Egg and I, so he called them up and they were open already. So when he finished an email missive, we actually got into the car and took off towards Longmont. It was a good thing, too, all in all, as by the time we got there and got seated it was nearly eight and at eight, a bunch of people started drifting in and people were actually starting to wait for a table!!!

At 8. I'm not usually up until after nine, but here was a restaurant with people actually waiting in line for a table at eight in the morning on a Saturday. I was very impressed. John got a breakfast tostada, and I got their apple crisp French toast. They had a local apple juice on the menu, so I got a small glass of it to start. It was cold and tart and deep with apple taste. I enjoyed it so much that I asked for a large glass of it to go with my breakfast. It was really good and not too sweet and had enough tartness and bite to cut the sweetness of the apple pie filling that was used on the French toast. There were oats and brown sugar and a streusel topping as well and I told the waitress I had absolutely no need for syrup. The French toast itself was really good, just that right amount of chew that indicated really good bread, not too long a soak in the egg wash, and enough taste to know that it really had met a good egg batter. It stood up well to the rather strong apples.

I enjoyed it greatly.

It wasn't even nine by the time we got out and we were lucky that Target opened that early. We bopped into the nearly empty store. We needed baby detergent for all the baby clothing. I wanted some Renu for my contacts. And we'd been looking for a whole nother set of queen sized sheets for the extra guest beds we now had were very easy to find. I wanted the t-shirt cloth sheets as they seemed very comfortable. There were no lines anywhere at checkout. Easy as pie.

Home again, home again. Fezzik got thoroughly petted and we dumped everything off, got all our lists and the whole list of baby things we wanted to at least look at before we settled on anything.

Baby things. Mom sent me a very substantial check for Things We Need Before The Baby Comes, and we had to figure out a good battle plan for spending it and at least figuring out what it is that we actually needed new and what we could use that was used. Blankets, clothing, baby bath tub, bassinet, changing table, crib, safety gear, toys, and stuff could probably all be found used and well-used even. I was getting the feeling that a car seat should be as new as possible. Safety equipment only seems to be getting better every year, and the most up to date stuff would be the best. Then there were all the things that go into baby's mouth, and what is useful used and what is useful new and where to go for that was another question.

There were two places on John's list of Places to Discover. The first turned out to be the back corner of a Burlington Coat Warehouse, amusingly enough they had the entire back section filled with baby things. We wandered through just looking and looking and contemplating stuff. We bought nothing, which is just the way John wanted to do it and, I guess, it's one of the ways we do things. Research first, then figure out what's worth the money and then buy it if the prices look good. There was so much stuff.

Changing tables were an interesting study. Many of them are made to look like real furniture, but they're pretty obviously just changing tables with rails, the shelves underneath and some of them are mobile and some not. The pretty wood finishes were very alluring, but they really aren't all that convertible to 'something else'. So what do you do with a changing table when the kid's out of diapers? What happens to it? I thought it would be cool to get a new one, but with more looking and thinking, it was pretty obvious that it wasn't going to be something that would last. It would likely be better to get a used one that was mobile and functional and ugly so I would have no problems getting rid of it when we were through with it.

There look to be about two hundred different car seats. There is absolutely no way to tell, visually, which ones are good or bad. It made it that much more imperative for us to do some real research and I put it on my checklist to actually look through some Consumer Reports on the things before we even tried the next step of seeing what it was we were going to buy. There is such a bewildering array, and so many manufacturers it's really hard to get a handle on what to look for and what to avoid. So we'll just have to go to outside opinions and statistics, which should be more useful in the long run, anyway.

After that we went to Babies R Us, which is a subsidiary of Toys R Us. Turns out that they actually had their very own building, and we took one wrong turn that got us into a strip mall that was just across the street. The mistaken mall, however, had a Wild Oats and a PetSmart. We needed to get some stain remover from PetSmart as Fezzik's medication has made him not quite have the infinite capacity he used to and he'd stained a patch in the basement and one of the throw rugs we put in front of the door. Better that then other things. So we had to just get some stuff to get that all cleaned up. I found a bag of soft cheeseburger style treats by Alpo, where the first ingredient was beef, so I bought those as well. Can't give Fezzik too many treats anymore.

Right next door was an electronics store with a hot dog stand out in front. The hot dogs smelled really good and I saw the guy advertising various Johnsonville brats, including their cheddar brat, which I adore; but John said that we had hot dogs at home and only had three more things to do. He wanted to go in and play with a Handspring Visor because I'd been talking about buying one for a while. It's very, very, very tempting, but the new ones are now out, a platinum one that's faster and a Prism, which has a color screen. Neither of which are features I need; but they're fun to think about and might help make the prices of the black and whites just a bit lower. I really want the 8 Meg Deluxe, I think, because I want to read books on it as well as do all my planner stuff on it, rather than my Franklin Planner. Only problem was that I couldn't figure out how to attach a to-do list to a particular date. While I was in the store I figured out how to attach a journal entry to a particular date/appointment, but not to just the day itself. So the organization will definitely be different.

I was really thirsty and starting to get hungry again, when we got over to the Wild Oats. The pregnant belly salve was supposed to be stocked there, and I also wanted something to drink that I'd really like. So we picked up some juices, a pack of real ginger beer, and a bottle of kefir, on the way to the herbal remedies department. There both John and I wandered about aimlessly, trying to find the salve. Finally I found it under women's things, and we went to the checkout where the checkout lady thought the salve was the best thing ever. They seem to sell a whole lot of the stuff.

Out and over to Babies R Us. It was an entire building of baby stuff. Expensive baby stuff. More stuff than we'd ever thought to buy or even thought we might need or even want. It was pretty astonishing just going through rows and rows of things, an entire row just dedicated to pacifiers of various types, another just for bottles and matching nipples, three rows of car carriers, and two of bath items. The entire center of the building was filled with baby furniture of various types. It was very, very eye opening. One really cool thing is that they had a number of baby carriers out, backpacks, front packs, and even the sling from Dr. Sears book. I really had wanted to try one on to see how it would work or feel before committing to buying one. The medium one was a bit too small for John, so we'll likely have to get a large one and not in the neutral blue that all of the ones in the stores seem to be made of. It felt really cool to wear, too, and I could see why it would provide some measure of privacy for breast feeding as well as how it could keep a baby close and protected. I liked it much better than the packs and pouches that mostly keep the baby in exactly one position and they seem more like an additional lump on a person rather than something more integral.

It was cool to be able to try it out, though, again, we bought nothing. Research is very cheap to do, just takes time and effort.

On on!

We went to Biggs to get groceries mostly because we hadn't been there for a while. We got pork chops as I wanted to make them for dinner someday, and we got two pounds of unsalted butter. I only needed three sticks of it for the croissants, but it seemed amusing to get a little more and freeze it if I needed it. We also got other things that caught our eyes, like cereal and fruit and various things. Hungry.

I don't think I did *too* much damage.

We then went straight home and put all the refrigerator stuff away. John then cooked us hot dogs while I fuzzled Fezzik happily. Fezzik is doing really well today. He's making it up and down stairs steadily, and seems to be having a good time watching the two of us run around doing things. He is also enjoying the sunshine outside, today, and is outside a lot as well. He came inside for the hot dogs, though. We each had two Wranglers on buns and I really enjoyed mine a lot. One thing about this pregnancy appetite it makes it very easy to enjoy anything I'm eating.

Afterwards I tried to find the recipe for croissants I wanted to make. I knew that it had to be either in my Saviuer or my Gourmet magazine as I remembered that the article was separate from a bunch of pictures of the woman actually making them in the magazine's kitchen with a lot more details as to how and what she was doing. I remembered that it was in a magazine that had some complaints about how truffles were doing and that the quality of cooking in France has gone down the tubes with modern conveniences (then again, I don't think every family really *ought* to smoke their own hams). I remembered odd details like making a tent over the pastries with a garbage bag and bashing the butter until it was pliable with a rolling pin, thing I couldn't have made up myself. But when I went through every magazine in my bookcase, it wasn't there.

Every cooking magazine I could find, eventhough I knew that it was a relatively recent article and issue; but all the more recent ones that were available didn't have the article in it at all. Bah. So I searched the whole house.

When I just couldn't find them, I went upstairs and dictated yesterday, and really enjoyed the ease of that. When I was done with that I went into the basement to play a bit more Final Fantasy VII. John came down to tell me when we had to leave for Boris' birthday party and since I'd done something really stupid, I just turned the game off with the plan of starting it up from my last saved point.

Fezzik was quite anticipatory as we loaded him into Borax. We drove on over and Matt was out and went into the house with us. Fezzik, on getting out of the truck started off in all other directions, sniffing, exploring and seeing things, rather than sticking with us. Energetic pup. Happy pup.

It was definitely more a dog birthday party for dogs than Fezzik's had been. Everyone that was there either had dogs or were related to Debbie and Matt. Debbie's Mom and Dad had worked on the house all day with them, and so were tired but happy to sit and watch all the dogs play. There were two English sheepdog, a Husky, the two Samoyeds, and Fezzik, and they all rampaged happily in all directions across the huge back yard. All their owners were either sitting down or shepherding dogs and throwing toys. Boris kept teasing everyone with toys so that they'd chase him, and he had a grand time leading the whole pack. Fezzik had a blast trying to keep up and was actually, for quite a while, running after them, sometimes just keeping both hind legs together and hopping with them together while trying to keep up. When he got so excited and tired that he was dragging his hind end, we got things to calm down a little and let him rest. But he was actually feeling good enough to run, which was really, really cool.

At one hilarious point all the dogs had Scoobie Do party hats put on them and everyone got their dogs to lie down in one pool of party dog. For just a very few moments, everyone was still enough to get a picture, and then the younger pups were up again and bouncing or trying to paw the hats off their heads. Fezzik got up and ran around for a while with his hat looking like a unicorn horn, right in the middle of his forehead, and then he brushed it with one paw right over his right eye. All the other dogs were doing similar things and all the humans were just laughing so hard they couldn't breath.

They all got various types of treats. A local bakery makes human edible dog goodies in their bakery. Lots of things that dogs love including liver loafs, various types of cookies, and even full-out cakes. Debbie got bags of goodies for all the party guests and she doled out some of the smaller items and gave the bigger ones to their humans to take home. Having a bunch of dogs all fighting over big chewies would have been really bad.

Eventually the human-dinner pizza came. Sadly it was pretty much dark outside, so we moved everyone into the partially finished house. They'd done most of the painting but the floors were still a mess and the windows all covered. The dogs stayed outside while we had food, which was altogether wise. Pizza bones, i.e. the crusts, went outside on a regular basis and were distributed evenly. Then Debbie unveiled the pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting. Yum. It was dense and moist and spicy and really, really good. People got theirs first, and then Matt went outside with portions for all the dogs. When that was all cleaned up and most all the food was out of dog reach, the dogs were allowed inside.

Fezzik took one round around the lower floor and then came back and lay in the middle of everything, happily. He really liked the party and really, really enjoyed all the play and food and stuff. He just seems to be a party animal when he can get it, and this was something he loved. We all just sat around and talked for a while, and it turned out that Debbie's mom had a neighbor who had one Newfoundland that died a year or two ago, and now has two Newfies, one's a puppy still, the other just two years old. But the one that died had walked the way Fezzik is walking now, and he'd had a neurological disorder that they hadn't been able to do anything about. So it looks like Fezzik's having something very similar to that on top of his lymphoma.

I guess Debbie was right, in some sense. Her grandmother had lived to a very vigorous 97, and had then died of cancer, and as far as Debbie was concerned it really wasn't the cancer so much as an overall failure of systems. That when creatures get that old, they simply don't have all the things they need to defend themselves against illnesses. Fezzik is simply very old for a Newfie, and he's just failing in a number of ways, which one actually gets him in the end is mildly moot. It just seems to be his time.

When it comes.

As it was, he was a very, very happy dog when we finally loaded him back into the back of Borax. Very tired, too, as he just lay down and was very quiet on the long, dark drive home.

Amusingly enough, it was only about 8 when we got home. We did a pile of laundry while watching the World Series. I also washed all of John's baby clothes from his mom, as she'd kept them with moth balls, which is one of my allergens. So I just washed everything in the baby soap, by hand, and hung the little baby things by the fire to dry. It was really, really funny hanging little, tiny, red baby booties next to John's Birkenstocks, which he'd washed as well. Amazing to think that both of them had fit the same feet at different times.

Fezzik came in and flopped in the livingroom and watched us as we worked. He was really tired, but it was also really obvious that he was really happy. I fed him half his dinner, and he nosed it a bit and ate the bulk of it, but with all the other treats I wasn't that surprised. Happy dog.

Around 10 I finally crashed, even before the baseball game was finished. While I was puttering around in the bedroom before getting ready for bed I found the magazine issue that had the croissants in it! Hoorah! For those of you that don't necessarily want to look it up on paper it can also be found at epicurious.com. But it's missing all the cool pictures. And I liked the weight of the magazine in my hand.

Sleep was very good after the very long day

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