So: nothing but a number

Bruce was still a little under the weather so this morning I struck out on my own to kill our to do list. Among other things I needed to buy bubble wrap with the little bubbles, a giant suitcase, gas for my car, chicken noodle soup/ginger ale/saltines for the patient, and a few other bits and pieces.

One of my stops was at the local grocery store. I threw stuff in the cart and managed to find George’s favorite toys by making a wrong turn down an aisle I usually ignore. And since I had time, I decided to explore the store a bit more (it’s not where I usually go, but I’m thinking it’s a better place). It seems to be good for spices, canned soups, crackers, dog toys, snacks, and wine. I restocked the spices I’ve used up over the past few weeks and got lots of nice supplies for the patient and the ever-so-needy Gs. And I thought I should get myself a little liquid reward since I knew that I was going to be working hard packing boxes and suitcases today.

Well, after the added benefit of an engine full of firefighters doing their shopping, I had another lovely surprise. The checker rang up all of my stuff, got to the Chardonnay (white or clear are my colors of choice with my newly installed Invisalign braces) and asked for ID. I thought she was joking, but hey, I handed it over. She thought I was joking too. The chick in her thrashed gray hoodie, nondescript gray t-shirt, faded jeans, and gray Chucks with a 100% make up free face in makeup-loving Dallas was actually born in 1969. Yes, a 40-something! Probably her mom’s age! Maybe older than her mom! She looked at me and then my Texas Drivers’ License, then repeated the cycle. After shaking her head, she put the wine in the bag and told me the total. I admired her nose piercing and bid her adieu.

I’d like to think that my restful Friday night had everything to do with the carding incident. As one of my sweet, sweet friends pointed out when I recounted the story on Facebook, “Not bad when you’re more than double the drinking age.” It’s just a number, folks. And it doesn’t bug me one bit.

On the good news front: Bruce says he feels “a million percent better” by the way. Tomorrow he should be ready to go, helping me to pull out all the dead pepper and basil plants.

On the bad news front: Yes, we have casualties from the freeze. And something ate all of the spinach seedlings in Stock Tank #1. Godiva kept trying to tell us that was happening but we chose to ignore her sniffing. We have bok choi that may be salvageable, chard that might not be salvageable. It was a little bit of a sad day for the urban farm. We could get snow early this week. Hopefully we get rain tomorrow.

Lots of dog laziness today. Gratuitous dog photo of the day continues yesterday’s theme:


photo by Bruce




So: Friday night

Peaks Above Clouds

It’s finally Friday night! Wooohoooo! Am I getting ready to go out to a club? Maybe meet up with friends at a bar? Go to the theatre? See a movie? Visit a gallery? Attend a fancy dinner party?


While all that would have sounded awesome to 20-something me, 40-something me arrived home from work, picked up Guinness, went to the vet to have Guinness’ injured paw rechecked (all good!), came home, then put on battered plaid flannel pajama pants, a weathered Chefs for Farmers t-shirt, a tattered, but warm hoodie and fuzzy slippers. I’d stay all cozy like this all weekend if I could. Who knows, I just might. I’ve done it before. There’s really nothing better than that Friday night switch into lounge-y clothes to signal that the work week is over.

But in case you think I’ve settled in for an evening of sloth in front of the tv, glass of wine in hand, emptying out the DVR, you’ll need to think again.

You see, Bruce is sick with some kind of bug. He’s been feverish and achy all day long. He is no fun tonight and I’m leaving him and his germy self alone. He’s already announced that he’s going to bed by 9 (it’s 7:30) and suggested that I sleep in the guest room so I don’t get his cooties. Sounds good to me.

So I figure that now that I’m warm and comfy, I’ll take care of some of the “easy” stuff on my to-do list so that I’ll have less to do tomorrow. After all, I’m going to need to survey the urban farm and see what’s survived the deep freeze that’s happening around here. Potentially make a grocery store run. Definitely chase the dog hair tumbleweeds down with the vacuum. When you have 4 freely shedding large-ish beasts living under your roof, there’s always plenty of dog hair to fill up your weekends.

Speaking of my sweet shedders, the lazy Gs are all quite content. They’ve whiled away the day all cozy, snuggling a warm, sick human. They love sick days because they can get in their 20 hours of sleep pretty much uninterrupted by things like people coming and going. Even so they’re very happy to go to bed at 9 too.

Well, what will I do first on my big night in?

Looks like laundry is the clear winner. I’ve already got a load in the washer and one in the dryer. Doing laundry is great since once it’s in the machines, you can do other stuff, like shop. I needed to pick up birthday gifts, snow boots and snow pants. No need to get in the car and head to the mall. No need to be cold in the parking lot and too hot wearing a coat inside. The online stores are open 24-7 online and they gift wrap too. Done and done. Check and check.

Maybe it’s time to flip through a magazine or two while the laundry finishes up. A 9 pm bedtime seems might appealing all of a sudden. I don’t want to overdo it. Must not tax my immune system by doing too much and staying up too late!

The 20-something me (and probably the future 70-something me) laughs at my Friday night of domesticity and puttering. The 40-something me treasures the luxury of my Friday night with no plans and no demands. Isn’t it funny how things change?

But one thing that never gets old is the gratuitous dog photo of the day. Just look at these lazy hounds:


Gidget, Guinness, and George sleep the day away • photo by the flu-ish Bruce to amuse me while I was at work


So: time stands still

So after an action-packed 2 days of entertaining pretty pretty princesses, Uncle Bruce and I hopped the Pacific Surfliner to Irvine.

If you’re ever in Southern California and you don’t want to deal with traffic on those infamous freeways, I recommend Amtrak highly. You’ll sit back and relax. You can read. Listen to music. Enjoy refreshments. Treat yourself to stunning ocean and mountain views as the train chugs along. You’ll arrive at your destination and feel like you’ve had a mini-vacation.

Waiting at our destination was our long time pal Shane. Bruce has known Shane slightly longer, although only maybe a year. He is our perpetual bachelor friend, the one with beautiful bikini-clad girlfriends galore. He has many So Cal dude toys like motorcycles and jet skis. He goes to clubs and underground parties. His life is always story-worthy and after dinner with him your stomach hurts from all the laughing you’ll do.

Shane is the reason why Bruce and I met at all. Through a very loose introduction, our Southern California pal gave a guy in Toronto and a gal in Northern California a reason to chat on the phone, write letters and fall in love. If we would have had a best man and maid of honor at our wedding, Shane would have been it.

Bruce met Shane on a Contiki tour of Europe. Yes, the bus tour infamous dragging hungover 18-34 year olds past all the famous sites in record time. Shane and I met at CES when I was working in a booth. He was quite mean to me, trying to stump me with all sorts of technical questions he thought I wouldn’t know (wrong!). He wouldn’t leave me alone, but later sent an apology package filled with t-shirts and stickers from his company.

For a bit more than 20 years, we’ve all been friends. And while its easy to keep in touch via Facebook with pithy comments, photos and likes, it’s not the same as a conversation over dinner.

At Shane’s favorite Thai restaurant we laughed a lot. We talked about how our jobs were going, we heard about Shane’s love life/upcoming guys dirt biking weekend/crazy ex-girlfriends who still pop up from time to time.

And for a moment time stood still. The moment has repeated itself many times over the years. Sometimes all three of us are there. Sometimes it’s just two. But when dinner’s over and the waitress is eager to get us out of there so she can flip the table, it makes me happy that such a random connection endures after all these years. And while I was sad to say goodbye, I know we’ll all see each other again, perhaps randomly while traveling for work or maybe a more lengthy planned visit. With Shane one never knows.