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September 2, 1998

Sunny Days

It's been the pair of fairly unremarkable days. It's been sunny, calm, and John's been at work at home on the deck. So things at work have been fairly quiet, and I've been able to get things done.

The few things there have been to remark on include to tea, impromptu dinners, and small surprises.

The new tea pot has proven to be a good incentive for drinking tea. It's not just the ritual, but the simple practical addition of the ability to pour milk into my mug before having to pour the tea has made quite a difference to my morning tea. I prefer black tea in the morning. In the last few months, I've drunk more pu-erh than anything else, but I was getting tired of that. I have a huge stash of Darjeelings, and some Assam and Keemun teas as well, the most common teas in a British breakfast blend. One of the sample packets I bought from The Republic of Teas was an Indian Assam breakfast blend that, to the nose, is very sweet and malty. A perfect tea to drink with milk.

The problem is, at work, when I was brewing my tea in the same mug I would drink it in, I would be in the middle of something when the timer went off. While it was possible to get up and go get milk, I pretty much never did do the extra trip. It was just too much trouble. Now, with the tea pot, when I go to fill the tea pot I can put milk directly in my mug. That eliminates all the extra trips. I also drink more tea, because the experience is a better one. Some of the blacks seem to require a bit the milk to bring out some of the sweeter undertones.

The other new tea adventure involves an herbal blend, the Flowering Fruit Blend of the organic line that The Republic of Teas offers. It's a very tangy blend, with hibiscus, lemon grass, and orange peel, and is most excellent over ice. John really likes it, so I may have to get more of it, especially while this sunny weather lasts. But it's an excellent example of why my Yixing pots aren't enough for all my tea drinking.

I've been having fun making dinner, not a new thing I guess. That I've been trying to clean out the refrigerator and the freezer and just used what we have, rather than buying more. So, I get to be creative. One dish became chicken a la Phyllis, and it was just chicken breasts sliced in half to thin them, sauteed in olive oil with garlic pieces, sprinkled with various herbs, doused with wine, and then allowed to cook until all the liquids were reduced to a rich brown crust on the pan. The chicken was taken out of the pan, the oil was all poured off, and then more wine was added to the reduction in order to make a rich, thick gravy. We had that on a bed of mashed potatoes with a salad on the side.

Last night, we had some left over hamburger buns, so had hamburgers. The unusual thing was the addition of Tommy's chili to the burgers. We had a gallon of the chili in the freezer, and it was about time to use it. I think we'll pull the rest of it out for Fezzik's party. The barbecue should be going by then, and the chili goes with just about everything.

The small surprise happened last night as well. My boss came into my office after hours, as I was still around futzing with a piece of code that wasn't working quite right yet. He waited until I was done, and then handed me a piece of paper. It was another set of stock options. He said that they'd gone back to the board to get more options for some of the development folks. So. That was a very, very pleasant surprise

Lunch brought an unexpected surprise and some fun. Since John liked the Flowering Fruit stuff so much, I decided to drop by Larry's Market for lunch, as I knew that they had both the loose-leaf bulk Republic of Teas teas and the cannisters in their tea corridor. They have an entire display from floor to ceiling of just Republic of Teas teas, including all the new lines. It would save me shipping and handling from mail ordering, and I would simply have it. I could then make a gallon of tea to ice for John for the next day or two.

They also had the Ginger Peach and one of the rarer greens in the bulk area, so I got just a bit of each of those, about a dollar's worth, cheaper than even the samples they sold by mail. I wanted to try them, but didn't want to buy multiple ounces until I'd at least tried them. They had the cannisters in another row, though, so I wandered over there to look for the fruit stuff and debate wheither or not to get some of the Blackberry Sage.

But as I was looking at the cannisters a man said, "Excuse me."

So I blinked and moved to the side of the display so that he could have a look, too. Then he said, "Oh... no... I actually followed you in. You drove in in that Land Rover. How did you get it in the country?"

I blinked at him and gave him John's stock answer, "Very carefully."

"Oh, you're one of those," he said, wearily. Then got his wallet out and started looking for a card, "Do you know a John Rostykus?"

"He's my husband."

Well, that stopped him from pulling his card out. "Oh. I met him a few years ago, a friend of a friend, at one of the British car shows, it was over the two-door Range Rover, though; and he told me what he went through. That's a lot of work." He looked disappointed, "It's a Military rig?"

I nodded, "From a German air base run by the British Air Force, which is why it's left-hand drive. The Range Rover was already in the country, we bought it from a lady in San Francisco that didn't want it any more. I don't think she knew what she had."

He nodded then, perhaps at the implication that I knew exactly what I had, and then said, "Well, I was going to make you an offer on it, but I know John won't sell it. It's exactly what I want, nice and plain."

I just nodded at him, and he nodded back and then wandered away. It amused me that he assumed that John had the last say on wheither or not we'd sell the Stoat. It's my truck, damnit. Plain. It isn't plain. It's individual, unique and mine.

But it did give me some pause to know that someone would follow me into a grocery store simply to make an offer on the beast.

I got to see the deck for a bit last night, and it's just gorgeous, all those wood colors and everything all show up really well.

Also turns out that Fezzik really enjoys watching John and George work, so he sticks around the house just fine. They don't have to chase him and they don't have to follow him and they don't have to keep too much of an eye on him. Seems that the only reason he didn't stick around the house before was because it didn't seem like we cared if he did, I guess. He's doing just fine, now, even when he's not tied to a tree in the yard.

With the new topical application, the hydrocortisone, cleanings, and plenty of rest Fezzik seems to be back to nearly 100%. He's not limping any more, the hot spots have cleared up, the flea bites have all cleared up, and his ear's dry and white again. He's doing well with the extra attention, I think and John and I sat down and talked for a while. Fezzik rarely gets our attention as it is, and if we got another dog, it would just mean that he'd have to split that attention with someone else. Not something he takes well, and even in the few times that we've had another dog around for any amount of time, he's been sad about the fact that what attention we have to give isn't all his.

So it's unlikely we'll get another dog in his lifetime. If he looked like he really wanted a dog companion, it might be different, but he seems to crave us more than anything. So we'll just keep it that way, maybe we'll get two as replacements, so they can bond to each other and keep each other company, but Fezzik really had bonded to us as his pack and to change that seems more harsh, after ten years of it being his habit, than I really want to do.

Brought to you by Dragon System's Point & Speak.

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