Thursday, May 28, 2015

Two Bumps on A Log Gonna Hit the Town

I've been dealing with a mild bout of vertigo all day long, since I woke up at 4:00 a.m. It was worse in the morning and started to tip over into an anxiety attack, but I after I had breakfast and Dave had left for work, I went back to bed put on an episode of Inside Amy Schumer to take my mind off of it. I ended up falling asleep for ninety minutes or so and when I got up the anxiety had subsided and the vertigo was a skosh better.

Despite the vertigo, I had a long list of things I wanted to get done today, everything from running errands to scrubbing the shower. I did get most of it done, so wa-hoo.

I went to the co-op for a few things for dinner and a bit of chocolate, too. While I was there, I realized I had forgotten my reusable bag, so I bought one (I think they're around $1.00). When you bring a bag, you get a ten-cent credit which you can either apply to your purchase or donate to a charity that changes every month. Of course, we just donate our dime, but I've seen people refuse to donate and ask for their dime credit. The first time I saw it happen, I was standing in line behind this old couple and when the cashier asked the man if he wanted to donate the bag credit, he looked at the sign for the charity that was posted at the register and he said no. I was, like, wha--? Maybe he disagreed with the charity's mission.

When I got up to the register, I saw that the charity of the month was an animal shelter and I was, like, who refuses to donate a dime to an animal shelter? But the cashier told me that it happens a lot, people would rather keep their dime than donate it to a charity. And it's not like they pick controversial charities. This month's donations go to a group that assists mothers with newborns. In the past, the money has gone to a children's science museum or to the rape crisis center. So I guess I don't understand people who would rather keep their dime than give it to charity.

But I mean, let me say this: When I'm shopping in some big business and I'm asked to donate, I usually say no. Whole Foods and PetSmart always ask for donations and I always say no. Why? Because the business bundles that money and uses the donation as a tax write-off. Since I don't think big businesses pay enough taxes as it is, I refuse to donate through them. However, I do donate my dimes to the co-op charities (since I'm a member/owner of the co-op) and I did recently donate to a charity through Costco, because I appreciate Costco's business model and the fact that they pay their employees a living wage (an average of over $20/hr, which is almost two and a half times the minimum wage). So I donated through them. And of course we do donate to other causes, too, on our own. I just don't do it through big businesses.

So that was a big rant, wasn't it? Sorry.

Anyway, so I got my co-op shopping done. And I went by the vet to pick up some cans of a special, prescription diet that we're trying on Gray Kitty to help with his urinary tract issues. Then I did a bunch of little chores around the house.

While I worked I watched a couple of episodes of Grace and Frankie, the new Netflix series starring Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. Man, there is some serious plastic surgery going on with those two, but the show is amusing. I didn't like it so much at first, but I stuck with it since I've loved Lily Tomlin since I was a kid. By the third episode it had grown on me. Now I'm six episodes in, and there's another seven or so left after this. It makes for some good background noise.

Oh, and one of the other things I did today was decide that Dave and I need to start going out from time to time instead of spending all our evenings sitting at home like two bumps on a log. I looked up some events on the local indie newspaper website (they list all kinds of concerts, performances, art gallery openings, and so on). I found a couple of options and texted them to Dave for his input. We decided to go see a local theater production of Spamalot, the Monty Python-created musical comedy. (It was that or a ninety-minute walking tour of haunted downtown spots. But maybe we'll go to that next week. Or maybe we'll go to Friday Fractals next week. We haven't done that in awhile and I love it, so maybe that instead and the ghost tour the week after.)

Anyway, it's time to get started on dinner. I'm wavering between bean burritos with homemade salsa and vegetarian meatball sandwiches. Oh, I have to use up some avocados, so I'll go with burritos and make salsa and guacamole. Okay, that's decided!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday That Was

It's just after 12:30 in the afternoon. This little one is having a bit of a lie down.
I feel like a nap, too. I've just finished a cup of coffee--my second today--and I guess I bought the soporific blend, because it has not helped at all.

Today I used our new steam mop on the floors. We've been running La Roomba every other day, but we might have to increase it to every day because the last time it did its rounds, it came back with a full bin. Whoa. Where is all this stuff coming from? (Some of it comes in on our shoes, of course,  and from the swamp cooler. Also, I suspect the cats are carrying in a lot of dirt and stuff from outside. But how much dirt can a cat hold?)

Anyway, the floors are all clean and I have to let the mop cool down and then empty the water tank and take off the mop pad and wash it. La Roomba also has to be emptied and wiped down after each use. Now instead of cleaning the things, we clean the things that clean the things.

What else is going on today?

A week or so ago I finished reading the last book I ordered (the hilarious Love, Nina: A Nanny Writes Home--link to a great review in the NY Times--by Nina Stebbe) and today started in on a book that came yesterday, Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh. I'm only a couple of chapters in, but it is wrenching in places. (There is one part where he describes visiting a patient, a young mother, who he has paralyzed by making a mistake during surgery. He tries to assure her that she might regain some of the use of her left side over time and she asks him, "Why should I trust what you say now?")

This morning I ordered a couple more books that have been stagnating in the Amazon cart for awhile. One is Harpo Speaks, an autobiography by Harpo Marx. I love the Marx Brothers and have read everything by Groucho Marx as well as one of the four biographies about Groucho Marx written by his son Arthur Marx. (That turned out to mostly be about what a spoiled shit Arthur Marx was.)

The other book is Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott.

Here's a quote from an article Anne Lamott wrote for
8. Families: hard, hard, hard, no matter how cherished and astonishing they may also be. (See #1 again.) At family gatherings where you suddenly feel homicidal or suicidal, remember that in half of all cases, it’s a miracle that this annoying person even lived. Earth is Forgiveness School. You might as well start at the dinner table. That way, you can do this work in comfortable pants. When Blake said that we are here to learn to endure the beams of love, he knew that your family would be an intimate part of this, even as you want to run screaming for your cute little life. But that you are up to it. You can do it, Cinderellie. You will be amazed.
Pretty good, no?

Oh, and earlier today I also emailed the new therapist for another appointment. I'm thinking every other week should hold me for awhile. I'm feeling okay at the moment, but I want to continue to feel that way. I'm not up to digging every week or multiple times a week, but every other week is manageable.

Food Stuff:

Dinner tonight is going to be a cauliflower and broccoli stir fry with tofu. I'm marinating the tofu in a bit of soy, grated ginger, and mirin. I'll fry that up, add the veggies, and steam some red quinoa.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Random Pictures with Words

It's just after noon on Tuesday. I've been a busy bee this morning, getting some cleaning done and so on. This little nerd settled down for a nap on the bed I had just finished making and has been asleep for hours.
Seems about right.

One of the things I did this morning was go out to the grocery store. Two grocery stores, actually. I've gotten better over the years about having a list and mostly sticking to it.
The first grocery store, the co-op, had almost everything I needed, but they didn't have garlic of all things. So I went to another nearby local grocery store, John Brooks, where I bought some garlic, tomatoes, avocados on sale for $.69, apricots that looked ripe until I got home and bit into one to find out it was a sour, apricot-colored rock, and an 8-pack of 7.5 oz cans of diet Pepsi. Neither grocery store had the no-salt ketchup I've been using, so I'll have to go to Target for that.

(Posting my list today was inspired by a tumblr I saw that posts found grocery lists. It's oddly touching to see people's grocery lists. It's a small, strange peek into the lives of people I'll never know and the kinds of people I'll never be.)

And as long as we're on the subject of food, I've been snapping cell phone photos of my breakfast from time to time, for example, this was my breakfast about a week ago:
It's kind of a dark photo because I eat breakfast long before the sun comes up and our kitchen light is not very bright, but that is one scrambled egg with two egg whites (topped with ketchup and tobasco after I took the picture), half a tomato, and a bowl of blueberries, strawberries, and some Greek yogurt hidden away under the berries.

(That morning, I was trying out a higher protein, lower carb breakast. I skipped my sprouted-grain toast and scrambled egg whites in favor of an extra whole egg, but turns out I need those carbs, man! I was super hungry about ninety minutes after I ate this, and ended up having something else. For some reason, some carbs stick with me longer than others. If I eat oatmeal, it's like not eating anything at all; I'm hungry before I even finish the bowl. But a slice of whole grain toast holds me for about three hours. Weird.)

Anyway here is another cell phone photo, taken as I was turning my phone off before the movie this past weekend:
The bottle of water in the foreground and the small bag of popcorn that Dave is holding set us back a cool $10.55. Can you believe it? The water was about $6 and the popcorn about $4. Ridiculous. Next time I'm just sneaking snacks in. Also: The popcorn was so small that we finished it during the previews.

I'm going back this Friday to see Mad Max again with Judi and my mom. After we see the movie, we'll meet my aunt for lunch, possibly at Tucanoes, the all-you-can-eat-meat restaurant near the theater. Yum, MEATY!


We just got back from a Costco run. We met my brother there, which we often do. First we had to return some drawer dividers that we bought that were too big for our kitchen drawers. Then we picked up some more berries and yogurt and a few more fruits and vegetables. Man, we are loaded up for the week now. I've got to think of ways to fit in about six servings of vegetables with each meal! Ay yi yi.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Seven Year Earworm

Roseanne Cash's song "Seven Year Ache" has been stuck in my head all day.

Good song, isn't it? Hard to believe it's over 30 years old.

Today we had lunch out, at Olympia Cafe. I had a Greek combo plate with souvlaki, gyros, potatoes, pita, and salad. Dave had a vegetarian combo with pastichio, dolmathes, tiropita, pita, and spanikopita. We shared an order of hummus, too. We've been going to Olympia Cafe since it was actually a Greek-owned and operated cafe and the food was amazing and the woman taking your order would speak English to you and Greek to everyone behind the counter. Now? It's run by people who don't speak any Greek and who seem to think that all Greek food contains a shit load of oregano. So maybe it should have been no surprise that we were the only table in the restaurant at lunchtime. (Though to be fair, it was dead on Central because of Memorial Day closing down UNM.)

Lunch was pretty salty. I'll be paying the price for that for the next day or so.

After lunch, we walked across the street to Satellite to get a couple of decaf lattes to take to the studio.

On the way from the restaurant to the studio, we passed one of the Breaking Bad tour RV's, similar to the one used on the show. They were stopped in front of the Denny's on Central (since shut down) where parts of the show were filmed. (Man, that Denny's sucked! I ate there once in the middle of the night and it was legit terrible.) The RV had a sign on the back advertising their Better Call Saul tours, too.

At the studio, Paul and Judi came out to chat and brought Crunch with them. He got lots of pets before settling down behind my chair. I waited until Judi and Paul went back into the house and then Dave and I fed Crunch a bunch of Milkbones. He loves those things, but Judi controls his diet as strictly as she does her own, poor dog, so he gets the bare minimum.

After filling Crunch with treats, I worked on my two-headed sculpture. I carved the skull's teeth and added hair to the non-skull head. That took awhile. Hair is one of my hang-ups clay-wise. It's hard to do hair well in clay, no matter how you do it. Even making cartoonish hair takes a lot of effort. But I did get it done. I also made up five roses and several leaves and added them to the skull as a kind of floral diadem. (I like making flowers sometimes, especially roses, but they are hellishly time consuming.)

Dave worked on the kiln and then glazed for awhile before deciding to make a coffee run. While he was out, it started raining. It was nice to sit with the studio door open and watch the rain while I worked.

We came home a little after 4:00, just ahead of more rain. We brought the clothes that Dave hung out to dry in and folded them, then I did a few chores. For dinner, I decided to make some vegetable soup (onions, garlic, carrots, red pepper, potatoes, cabbage, dino kale, zucchini, turnips, some jarred marinara sauce since I was out of canned tomatoes, and lots of seasoning). Dave had his with kidney beans mixed in, a drizzle of olive oil, and Parmesan grated on top. I had some chicken that I had poached earlier, so I added that to mine.

Now it's about 7:30 and I, having been up since about 2:30, am ready for bed!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Sunday in May

I was up very early Sunday morning, so early it was still the middle of the night. I took my meds, waited an hour, then had breakfast (some of the leftover tempeh curry-ish thing over toast and some yogurt with strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Lately I've been mixing in some pumpkin puree with the yogurt and adding a bit of cinnamon to the mix. It's very tasty.)

I spent some time online, took a shower, got dressed, and did a few other things, all before Dave got up. When he got up, he was hungry (I was, too, as it was about time for my lunch), so he went to Blake's Lotaburger and got a breakfast burrito for himself and an Itsa-burger combo for me. We sat outside on the patio and had our lunch, then did a bit of patio work. While Dave watered the garden and patio, I started a new tray for our worm composter and added a layer of newspaper to our worm annex. (I don't know if the annex is doing so great. First it seemed to wet so I mixed in some newspaper. Then a few days later it seemed too dry, so I wet it down a bit and added some more food scraps. We'll keep trying new things to make it work.)

After we finished up, Dave jumped in the shower. My mother texted and asked if I wanted to go out to visit my aunt. I did, but we had already made plans for the afternoon.

We went to see Mad Max: Fury Road in 3D. I had read bits of articles about it, how it's got a feminist theme that was making some non-feminist men call for a boycott. That was amusing enough to make me want to see it. (I'm not enough of a fan of action movies to just want to see it otherwise.) Of course I was just a kid when the original Mad Max came out, but we rented it (and the sequels) on VHS. I'll say that this movie (it's not a remake, but an entirely new story) is better in a lot of ways than the old movie(s), but it sadly lacks the black/sarcastic humor of the original. The new film is really amazing though, a kind of relentless, inventive action film. It held my interest from the first second until the last. Sadly, Mel Gibson was a better Mad Max than Tom Hardy is, but it doesn't really matter because Charlize Theron steals the show.

After the movie, we came home and I vegged while Dave practiced his clarinet. After awhile, he made some dinner built around the leftover curry (yes, it's so much curry!), some kohlrabi that came in our CSA box yesterday, and roasted potatoes. I promised to do the dishes, then went straight to bed and fell asleep. (A sink full of dirty dishes is still waiting for me, don't worry.)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Saturday's Doings

Saturday Morning

It's a bit before 11:00 a.m. I just got out of the shower and am still in my big red robe, the one that Saba loves to knead. (She's napping now, so the robe is safe.) I'm sitting in the front room with the door open. It's a beautiful day. The hummingbirds are coming to visit the feeder from time to time. The cats don't even talk to the little hummers anymore, they're so used to our little guests.

I just looked online at hummingbird species by state. New Mexico has 17 hummingbird species associated with it, ten of which are considered rare (not endangered I don't think, but rare to spot since they're migratory). I've seen rufous hummingbirds at our feeder and I think what are male black-chinned hummingbirds. They nest in the neighbor's trees, the same trees that torture me with pollen every spring when they bloom.

Saturday Evening

We went out for vegan sushi for lunch and then, walking back to the car, passed a newly opened (?) record shop. (Who opens a record shop in 2015?) We went into the closet-sized shop and browsed through their small selection of vinyl and CDs. (I ignored their cassette tape selection because, really? But I'm surprised they didn't have 8-tracks.) The CDs were priced at around $2-4. We bought three--Dashboard Confessional 2003 debut album, Lyle Lovett and His Large Band (1989), and Miles Davis Kind of Blue (1959)--and listened to a few songs from them on the way home. (The new car has a CD player--and an SD card slot and a decent radio. It also has XM Radio capabilities, which we never enabled, so we still get letter after letter begging for us to please, please, please subscribe to XM Radio, here's a special deal, here's an even more special deal, this is your last chance to subscribe, we said it was your last chance but we didn't really mean it, please please answer us, why don't you ever call?

After our little trip down memory lane (when was the last time we were in a record shop?), we came home and I crashed. I crashed hard. The white rice (plus allergies?) put me to bed for about four hours.

Dave went to pilates without me as I couldn't muster enough energy to do more than mumble when he tried to rouse me.

He came home hungry though, so we quickly put together a dinner of an improvised tempeh curry (tempeh, tomato sauce, onion, garlic, carrots, kale, red pepper, soy sauce, vegan Worcestershire sauce, Better than Bouillon, garam masala, oregano, red pepper flakes, red chile powder, garlic powder, black pepper and a bit of salt) to serve over roasted potatoes with sliced cucumber and Greek yogurt. The casita is going to smell like curry for the next week, I'm afraid.

After dinner, I did the dishes and Dave put the little Roomba to work. That thing still amuses both of us quite a bit. I'm still amazed how how ridiculously effective it is.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Not for Anything

Here's the broken record part of the story of my life: I could not sleep for anything last night.

I got up around 2:30 and then could not go back to sleep. I took my meds and had breakfast after a bit, then I finished Dave's lunch. I made a bit of coleslaw to go with his grilled cheese sandwich. I put together a bag of baby carrots, sliced cucumber, and snap peas.  Then I made up a container of Greek yogurt with strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. I also made my own lunch at the same time (but ended up having lunch at my mom's).

I had planned to go over to my mom's around 10:00 to help a bit with getting some things ready for my aunt's yard sale the first weekend of next month. We worked for a bit--I'm surprised by how much my mother is getting rid of, but then there's nothing like living with clutter to make you realize that you don't want to live with clutter--then we had to go out in a fruitless search for more boxes to pack things in. When we came back, we had lunch (really delicious pork chops and some frozen mixed vegetables in a Parmesan sauce). Then I was ready to collapse, I was so tired.

I came home (via a very circuitous route as there was a car accident on the road I usually take), changed into my pajamas, and got back into bed. The cats came to join me and, after a bit of tension between them, they settled down. I had hoped that after four years of living together they might become friends, but they still only grudgingly accept each other. It's true that Saba is completely dominant and poorly socialized to other cats (she was a stray that survived on her own for a long time before moving into a home) and she probably should be in a one-cat home, but under the circumstances, Gray Kitty is the best of all possible companions to her. He's well socialized to other cats (I suspect that though he was a stray, he existed with a colony of other strays) and he's non-dominant so he's amazingly laid back and mellow and, even though he's much bigger than her and could kick her butt every single time if he wanted to, he puts up with a lot before striking back. (Although lately he's taken to threatening her sometimes before she can strike out at him. It's almost understandable given how she does things like attack him in his sleep or when he's completely relaxed and getting pets from us.)
She's adorable but very, very sneaky!

 Anyway, my point was not to go on about how the cats interact (how boring!), but to say that they did come over and share a bit of space with me and each other while I napped.

I slept until Dave got home from work about an hour later. (He was really early today!) We decided to order a pizza for an early dinner (so much for dieting today between pork chops and pizza!), so I put in an online order and Dave went to pick it up. We shared a 12-inch, thin-crust pizza (green chile and red onion on the whole thing, ground beef on my half). I ate four slices, drank half a diet Pepsi, and then went immediately back to bed. I was still exhausted.

Of course that meant that I got up around 9:00 p.m. and now it's 11:30 and I'm sure I won't get back to sleep any time soon. I got up and did the dishes and wiped down the stove and counters. Then I brushed my teeth and got back into bed! (Dave is sleeping; he's got a clarinet lesson tomorrow in the morning and we have pilates tomorrow evening. In between then, I may go with my mother to pick up some plastic bins from my aunt's house.)

It's Memorial Day weekend, so Dave is off on Monday. We may go to see a movie and I want to finally fire that kiln that misfired weekend before last.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Review of Our New Toy, Etc.

We started out the morning with a laugh, courtesy of the new Roomba. I don't know why it's so funny to watch it go about it's job, bumping into things and backing away, all the while spinning its little brushes. But it is. Funny, I mean.

It was also ridiculously effective. We swept, Swiffered, vacuumed and mopped this floor, all within the last day or three, so you'd think it wouldn't have done so much, Roomba-ing on top of that. But the Roomba almost completely filled its little tank with dust, dirt, cat hair, rocks, bits of broken pottery, and one surprised little spider who survived the ordeal of getting sucked up into the tank and made a break for it as soon as Dave carried it outside. Impressive.

It ran for about twenty minutes (long enough to prove to Saba that she and it may be mortal enemies; Gray Kitty was outside for his morning constitutional), then docked itself under the foot of the bed.

Of course, I wouldn't have bought it if the casita had steps or different levels to it, since it can't climb up or down steps. And it isn't super effective in a handful of places where the grout between the tiles is very deep. (We have square-foot Saltillo tiles with about an inch to an inch-and-a-half of grout applied in some spots, let's say, very rustically between the tiles.) So there's that.

The Roomba might have been the high point of the day so far. I mean it's threatening rain, so that may change very quickly here, but so far, Roomba for the win.

Dave just texted to say that he's on the way home. I am so uninspired cooking-wise that we're going to have grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. That thrills him of course, because grilled cheese sandwiches are pizza's kissing cousin, but to me? I can take them or leave them. (I left them, as it turns out, and had an egg on toast with sliced tomato, and some baby carrots, grape tomatoes, and sliced cucumber left over from lunch.)

It started raining while we were having dinner. It's supposed to continue all night and into very early tomorrow morning. I love this weather. I love less going out in this weather, but we've got a pilates class tonight.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New Toys


This little nerd!Doesn't he look so handsome and serious? He loves his new perch next to the kitchen window.

Since completing our bout of spring cleaning, we've gotten a couple of new toys.

One is a steam mop. I've been wanting one for awhile, so I looked on Amazon and found the one with the best ratings and ordered it along with a couple of extra cleaning pads for it. It arrived yesterday and we tested it out on our already clean floors. We use vinegar to mop the floors, but I like that this works with just water. Makes me feel better about not having the cats walking around on some awful residue from a disinfectant. (Yes, these are the same cats that roll around in the dirt outside. I know, I know.)

The other toy is a Roomba! We talked about it, then picked one up at Costco tonight. A woman saw me putting it in the basket and said, "Lucky you!" And I replied, "I've done my time!" (I wonder if she got the joke. I meant that I had done my time vacuuming. Now it's time to let the robot vacuum handle it.) I told Dave as I was walking away, "I've vacuumed the casita, like, twice in ten years. That's enough!" It was only kind of a joke. (We have all tile floors. They get swept more than vacuumed. Plus we didn't even own a vacuum cleaner until a couple of years ago.) We haven't tested out the Roomba yet; it's charging right now on its little dock under the bed and we'll try it out tomorrow. It's got a remote control though, which cracks me up for some reason.

So those are our exciting new acquisitions.

What else has been going on? I saw the new therapist. I like her. I need to make another appointment.

Dinners? Tonight it was tempeh tacos with lots of avocado and blue corn taco shells. Last night...I don't remember what we had for dinner last night. Oh, right: I had an Itsa burger from Blake's Lotaburger. Dave had a cheese sandwich. We shared an order of seasoned fries and one of onion rings. It was not a good day for the diet, clearly.

I was so exhausted that I skipped pilates; Dave went.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Black Okay?

Just before 4:30 in the afternoon, thunder came and knocked on the door.

This morning I read this, written by a man from India: Greet visitors with a smile and follow the basic value "Atithi Devo Bhava," meaning every guest is equal to God.

Do I welcome in the thunder and offer a cup of coffee? I don't have any milk though. I hope thunder likes black coffee.

We finished up our bout of spring cleaning today. What a pain! I can't imagine if we lived in a bigger place. We have about 500 square feet (46 square meters) and even spring cleaning that amount of space is a pain in the butt. Maybe we need to downsize. I have always been enamored with those tiny houses that are 200 square feet (18 square meters) or smaller. I think I could do it. In Japan, my apartment was six tatami, 106 square feet. It was enough; Tokyo added another 845 square miles to the size of my existence.

I spent part of the afternoon making vegetable soup out of what we had in the fridge (onions, garlic, carrots, baby turnips, cabbage, potatoes, sweet potato, red pepper, and zucchini).  We had that for dinner, along with vegetarian sausages (for Dave), and vegetable sushi for me. We also shared some edamame, microwaved and served without salt. It was a tasty, light dinner. So I didn't feel too guilty when we stopped later at Sonic and I had a vanilla ice cream cone.

I ended up canceling my morning doctor's appointment, purely because I didn't want to go through the discomfort of the type of exam I was going to have to go through. I'll reschedule in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Spring Cleaning!

I was up around 2:45 in the morning, took my meds, and then read and looked around on the internet until it was time for breakfast around 4:00. Dave's alarm went off around 8:00 a.m. and I got up and made us both some coffee.

We were planning on doing more spring cleaning today, so we got to work. We sorted and tossed things (a lot of things! Five garbage bags full of things!) then vacuumed and rearranged things and dusted. We even moved everything and hoovered up all the dust bunnies. (Some of the dust bunnies were more wombat sized than bunny sized. I told Dave that we are getting a roomba after this. It will fit under things well enough to wrangle the dust before it gets out of hand.) The poor cats were traumatized by it all. First of all, they are hardly acquainted with the vacuum cleaner, so that caused them a bunch of anxiety. Then we were moving things around, so poor Gray Kitty couldn't hide under the bed like he usually does. (Saba is braver, but even she was driven outside.)

We took a break around noon to get ready to go to lunch. Dave and I met my mother and brother for lunch at a new (to us) Japanese restaurant called Wasabi. It's a bit fast-food-ish (plastic plates, plastic cutlery) but the food was really good. We shared appetizers (vegetable tempura, tofu spring rolls, and chicken yakitori), then we ordered a bunch of food. My mother had a really tasty pork belly donburi with mixed vegetables. My brother had a chicken teriyaki bento that also included a small California roll, gyoza, salad and rice. Dave and I shared a vegetable donburi and mixed vegetable yaki-udon, and I also ordered an avocado and cucumber onigiri. The meals came with miso soup (which I don't like, actually, so I didn't eat it) and drinks.

It was a fun lunch. It was nice to sit and visit with everyone. If the restaurant were closer we'd probably go fairly often, but it's on the other side of town. It was good to try it out, though.

After lunch, I needed a nap. (I had taken half a benadryl at lunch because I was having an allergic reaction to something. I think it might be the perfume in the laundry detergent, because it seems like every time I put on a clean shirt, my face starts to turn red and hot.) While I slept, Dave worked outside, clearing out some junk on the patio.

I even dreamed of spring cleaning!

When I woke up we continued for awhile, and then made a quick run to Target. I got a new bed coverlet in this strangely appealing shade of yellow ochre and two dusky cerulean blue canvas-covered storage boxes, one for my makeup, one to house the array of necessary, inevitable clutter--power cords, battery rechargers, USB cables, and such--of the digital age. I also picked up some unscented laundry soap. We also had run out of dusting cloths, so I bought a pack of those, and toilet bowl cleaner and more garbage bags. And what else? I don't know. We spent quite a bit of money; I wonder what on.

At home, I made dinner--a veggie cheeseburger--for Dave. He was hungry enough that he ate it standing over the sink. (I still wasn't hungry, but then I slept while he worked outside).

We worked for a little while longer and then decided to call it a day. Dave got out his clarinet and I changed into my pajamas and snuggled up with my computer.

Our spring cleaning rampage is almost at an end. We have to sort out the closet, mop the front room floor, and wash the windows, but otherwise, we're done.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Too Many Opinions

We had more rain today, and it was fairly cold early on. While Dave went to his clarinet lesson, I crawled under the blankets and watched the season finale of The Blacklist. (It was not a bad episode, actually. I don't understand why a block of wood was cast as the central character, Elizabeth Keen, but I do love to watch James Spader chew his way through all the scenery and I super-duper, extra love the character of Mr. Kaplan and the actress who plays her, Susan Blommaert.)

I was up in time to get my pilates clothes on before Dave came home; we had an early class today. Dave brought me a half-caf soy milk latte and I had that and some cheese toast for a pre-pilates lunch.

Class was fairly sedate. Our instructor was telling us about an end-of-the-school-year banquet she went to for one of her kids. She doesn't like the kid's tennis coach; she's mentioned in the past that she's very suspicious that the 30-something coach regularly texts her 15-year-old son, and today she was mad because at the banquet the coach denigrated a kid who was dropped from tennis for having failing grades. I don't blame her for being upset: The failing kid is from Mexico and English is his second language and my instructor (who is from Argentina and speaks English as a second language) said, "I'd like to see that coach go to Mexico and take classes all in Spanish. We'll see how well he would do."

I got a little tired toward the end of class, but before that it was fine. I made it through. Judi didn't show up so it was just Dave and me. I called Judi after class and she said she hadn't gotten anyone's texts about the class time. I let her know about our next couple of classes.

We came home to the gate blown open and piles of hail in the garden and against the front door. The cats, who usually rush the door to go outside when we get home, greeted us from their warm perches on the bed, but didn't get up.

We decided to continue with the sorting and cleaning bug, so we started going through the pottery in the kitchen. We have a lot of it! We ended up tossing some things and consolidating a lot into a nearly empty cabinet. (It's full now!)

After awhile, we took a break and had salads for lunch. (It was quick and easy and not the cheeseburger I wanted, but oh well.)

We did a little bit of spring cleaning in the kitchen, then went out to get giant, icy, caffeinated drinks and to the hardware store to get a stirrup hoe, tension rod, ring clips, and a few other things. They had one of the things we wanted, the ring clips. I was getting a little hungry by the time we had gone around the store a few time to find that they didn't have anything we needed. Dave was hungry, too, so we decided to go to Thai Vegan for dinner.

We shared an order of "Freshy" rolls (salad rolls), green curry, and pad woon sen (a tofu and mung bean noodle dish). (TMI: I steered clear of the broccoli in the pad woon sen because my broccoli overload at the Chinese restaurant yesterday had left me a little uncomfortable.)

As we were waiting for our food, a group of women trickled in, one by one over about ten minutes. I've never really broken my habit of paying too much attention in restaurants, not to eavesdrop (because who cares what other people are talking about) but because I waited tables for so long and got used to keeping track of everything going on around me. I watch other tables and the cashiers and waitresses. I look for where there are problems occurring and how people--customers and service people--are handling things. But I especially watch how customers act. This table of women, for example, all ordered water, which is free, but they all ordered it in these ridiculously exact ways and they were so emphatic about it. ("I just want a little ice. Just a little. Not too much ice in my water." "I want a water with extra, extra ice and slices of lemon." "I want a water with no ice and no lemon.") I used to be so annoyed by people like that when I waited tables. I'm sure it's obvious why.

Anyway, I think I was a little hangry (hungry + angry) because I was so annoyed by that table. But then our food came and I forgot about them and focused on stuffing my face.

The wind blew away the clouds in the afternoon and the sun came out for awhile, at least over us. We noticed on the way to dinner that it was snowing over the Sandia mountains! But if you looked 180 degrees in the other direction, you could see sunny, blue skies. We are having some weird weather these days.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Bug

After sorting through the bins of pottery yesterday, I kind of got bit by the cleaning and sorting bug. So today I went through all the junk under the bathroom sink and got rid of nearly a full trash bag of things, soaps with scents that I hated, cleaning supplies that caused me to gasp and choke the first time I used them, bits of pottery that I thought I would someday use as soap dishes (we use liquid soap), and on and on.  Then, on a roll, I scrubbed the sink and toilet and the small bin that we keep bathroom reading in. (I also went through that and tossed about a million magazines into the recycling bin.)

When Dave came home, I showed him my handiwork and said that I only had the shower to scrub and he said he would do it. I didn't argue, of course. He did a great job on the shower and even wiped down the tiled bathroom walls. I replaced our shower curtain liner with a new shower curtain liner, and now everything looks all bright and shiny and new.

But I'm getting a slight bit ahead of myself!

We had dinner before the shower scrubbing. I've been craving Chinese food recently, specifically the amazing, garlicky, vinegary, spicy broccoli from China Express, the ridiculously good, cheap Chinese place that my brother discovered in a dead strip mall near Costco.  Dave and I shared an order of the broccoli and one of tofu chow mein, both with steamed rice. It was so tasty that we ate everything, enough for four people probably. I know I'll pay the price salt- and diet-wise, but it's a once-in-awhile splurge. I love that spicy broccoli.

But before even that: I was taking out the recycling bin filled with magazines in the afternoon and Kelly came out to show me her new computer. She just got a new Mac and it's a beaut, one of those stripped down jobbies that is practically lighter than a credit card and only slightly larger. She has recently joined Dave in his quest to get me to buy a new computer.

I've had two MacBooks. My first one bit it when I tripped on the power cord and it came smashing down onto the tile floor from the bedside table. It was a total loss. (Luckily Dave had backed up everything on it, since I never back up anything either.) That one lasted two-and-half, almost three years.

My current MacBook is about eight years old, which is around 8,000 in Apple years, so it would be nice to have a bright shiny new toy. But! My old computer is just fine! Sure everything is seriously out of date (I never update anything if I can at all avoid it), it overheats and shuts down a couple of times a month (usually when I fall asleep and leave it running some Netflix series for a couple of hours), and the CD/DVD player stopped working a couple of years ago (but the newest, lightest Macs don't even have CD drives, so), but it's my buddy!

I don't know. I do want a shiny new toy, but I don't need a shiny new toy. It's not like my hobby is gaming or something, where I need the latest computer to keep up. And if it were up to me, I'd still have my first Mac--and I'd probably still be carrying around a walkman and flip phone.

So--wait, how do I keep getting off track? I was talking about dinner before, wasn't I?

It started raining around the time Dave got home and it hasn't really let up for very long since. We ran around town in the rain.

After dinner, we went to Target. I wanted to pick up some more bleach, since we used ours up bleaching the pottery that came out of the bin that had molded newspaper in it. (Don't worry, it was all vases and things that people won't be eating off of.) I also picked up a couple of bags of freeze dried fruit, which is a tasty, low-sodium, low-calorie snack, perfect for when I want something sweet.

It was actually quite a restrained Target trip for us.

Mostly we were just killing time, letting the crowd at Costco thin out so we could go there and shop. We're not getting a CSA box this week, so we bought a bunch of fruits and veg to get us through the week. I asked Dave jokingly as we were passing the display of pillows on the way to the register, "Do you need anything else? New pillows?" He said, "Oh, yeah! I do need a new pillow." So we picked out some new pillows.

We loaded everything into the car in the rain and unloaded everything in the rain.

Then there was the shower scrubbing that I mentioned earlier. (I did the dishes while Dave did that.) And then it was pajamas o'clock and bedtime for me and clarinet practice time for Dave.  I have the season finale of The Blacklist to watch now. Yippee!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Never Ending Project

Kind of a strange morning. The doctor's office called and left a message, so I called back and left them a message, and they called me back to ask me to come in again. Sigh. I made an appointment for Monday, but we'll see if I keep it or not.

While that was all going on (in the space of about fifteen minutes), my face felt flushed and when I went to look in the mirror, it was bright red and slightly swollen. I have no idea what was causing it (I hadn't washed my face or done anything but have some yogurt and berries for breakfast), so I took a benadryl. The benadryl knocked me out, of course. (I hadn't slept all night, either, which nudged things along.)

I went back to bed and slept for a few hours.

When I got up, I had some lunch (a banana, cup of coffee, and  some of last night's quinoa and vegetable leftovers), went out to check the mail, made a few phone calls, you know. Stuff.

The bill for one of the urgent care visits came. I'm not sure why we even bother to pay our insurance premiums as the insurance only covered about 30% of the visit. This is for one of their approved providers, for fuck's sake. On top of that, I can't see my new primary care physician until June at the earliest (Dave has to wait until July), so all the recent doctor's visits have been to my old doctor and I'm paying for them out of pocket. I will have to file for reimbursement from the insurance company myself. Frustrating.

I spent some time online and then suddenly it was late enough in the day that I went ahead and started prepping dinner.

Tonight we had tacos made with tempeh (tempeh, diced tomatoes, jalapeno, onions, garlic, red chile powder, black pepper, roasted garlic powder, oregano, cumin, Better than Bouillon, soy sauce, and vegan Worcestershire sauce), salsa (onions, garlic, jalapeno, lemon, tomatoes, and, when I found we only had one tomato, part of a can of diced tomatoes, salt and black pepper), and cheddar cheese. Dave had his as traditional tacos in blue corn taco shells, but I had a taco salad.

After dinner, we went out to feed the worms and ended up staying outside for a few hours, watering the plants on the patio and sorting through bins of pottery, our seemingly never ending project.

Tonight we went through five bins, sorted out two bins that will go into the sale, tossed two full bins, and kept one bin (Dave's ocarinas, take two). Two of the bins were icky. One had water in it and so all the newspaper wrappings were soaked. Gross. The other bin was disgusting. The rain had leaked in and caused a reed mat that I used to use in a sales display to mold. The mold had started to grow over all the newspaper we had wrapped the pottery in. I unwrapped everything and we soaked the pottery in a bleach solution, then I tossed the bin out completely. Of course we both wore nitrile gloves while handling everything.

Anyway, in addition to the five bins of finished pottery, I also sorted through two smaller bins of bisqued ware from the old studio. When we left the old studio it was a rush job, so at some point I was just basically tossing things into bins willy-nilly. Some of the bisque was broken, so I tossed it. Some were things that I had sitting around for a long time before we left, so I tossed it. Some of it was nice stuff that was never going to get finished, so I tossed it. I'm trying to be a little more ruthless about what I toss.

There are still about seven or eight more bins to go through. We're taking it one bin at a time. Sigh.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

In Bits, In Pieces

I got up last night just after midnight and couldn't get back to sleep. I had an early doctor's appointment, so I just decided to stay up. It rained all night, not a hard rain, but a steady one.

A little before five, I took a shower and got dressed. I made some cheese toast for breakfast and had a cup of coffee. I put together Dave's lunch and made a snack for myself for later.

I had to be at the doctor's at 7:45 but I wanted to take the long way, out along Rio Grande, so that I could look at all the green things made greener by the rain.

The doctor's appointment went fine. I have no answers to any of my concerns, but we'll see what's next. I went out with a round of new tests, a new prescription, and a referral to see a specialist. Maybe one of those will work.

After I left the doctor's office, I went to Target and got a soy latte at Starbucks (my post-doctor treat) then wandered around awhile. I got the few things on my list and a few things not on my list. I actually left Target without a new red lipstick, which is my version of discipline and/or willpower.

I was feeling pretty exhausted by then, so I came home, texted Dave to let him know I was home, changed back into my pajamas and went back to bed. I slept for several hours.

I've been having strange, edgy dreams recently. There's a lot of anger and fear in them, but they vanish almost instantly when I wake up. None of that's good, I don't think; Which reminds me that I need to call the new therapist for another round of phone tag.

I decided to go off menu tonight for dinner and recreate a dish that Dave likes from the menu at Flying Star. I think they call it Power Hash or something ridiculous like that. It's a mix of red quinoa and a bunch of vegetables topped with an egg. I decided to use onions, carrots, potato, sweet potato, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, and kale, all of which we had in the fridge. I washed and peeled and chopped and cooked vegetables while the quinoa quietly steamed away on the stove. Everything was seasoned very, very simply, just garlic, soy sauce, black pepper and a tiny bit of salt.

When the quinoa was done, I mixed it into the vegetables. To go on the side, I made a simple salad with tomato, avocado, and lemon juice. When Dave came home, I dished out the quinoa-vegetable mix and topped each serving with a fried egg. It was very tasty and almost pathologically healthy. (Which is why I never order it at Flying Star. I figure if I'm going out to eat, I want to splurge on a huge cheeseburger and fries, not a plate of quinoa and vegetables!)

We had a late-ish pilates class tonight and I still had to go pick up my prescription, so after dinner, we decided to leave early and stop at the pharmacy on the way to class. Of course if we had been in a hurry it would have taken half an hour, but since we had plenty of time it took us all of about three minutes. We had so much time before class that we stopped for huge, icy, diet sodas and then drove around Dave's old neighborhood, past the house where he lived as a child and the first elementary school he went to.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Late Afternoon, Early Evening

Late Afternoon

The clouds started rolling in as I was prepping dinner. The wind kicked up and the light from the kitchen window went away. I turned on the overhead light.

The change in pressure when storms roll in always makes me feel weird. If I don't get a headache, I start to feel very spaced out. That happened.

I was listening to music as I cooked, something that I almost never do. I was listening to a mix of music that ended with an Ozomatli song (Time to Go) from their last album that I bought and never really listened to. Dave has recently bought the new Alabama Shakes and the new Bjork. I've listened to them at the studio, but haven't added them to my collection yet.

I couldn't decide on what to make for dinner, but finally just went with tempeh sloppy joes again. I used the new food processor to chop up onions, garlic, celery, red bell pepper, and carrots, and then I sauteed them in a little grapeseed oil. I added ketchup, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and red chile powder. Finally I put in a can of no-salt diced tomatoes, vegan Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, a spoonful of pickle relish,  and a few spices---roasted garlic powder, oregano, tumeric, ground black pepper. Then I added a package of ground up tempeh and let it simmer for a long time.

While it was simmering away, I did a few dishes and wiped the counter. I took out all the scraps from the last couple of days and fed the worms in the composter and in the annex. Saba came out to keep me company.

My brother had asked if we could come over and help him carry in a new mattress, so when Dave called to tell me that he was on the way home, I called my brother to let him know. I dropped Dave off at his place on my way to the vet to pick up some special food for poor Gray Kitty. (The vet wants us to try a special diet that supposed to soothe a stressed urinary tract.) When I got back to my brother's, they were already finished with their task.

I had realized on the way to the vet that my blood sugar was dropping. I hadn't eaten much lunch and it was about to catch up to me. We had pilates in an hour and I couldn't go without eating for that long. So we kept our visit short and came home and had a quick dinner (sloppy joes, sliced tomatoes, and Snap Pea Crisps).

Ah, Early Evening

Just back from pilates and a small side trip to Sonic to buy a diet Sprite. (I've been craving carbonated drinks lately, but I didn't want anything caffeinated so late in the evening.)  We had some rain on the way home and it was clear when we got home that it had been raining here, too. It smells like rain, which is nice, and the temperature has dropped ten degrees from the high--and will drop another ten-plus overnight. The rain should continue all night and into tomorrow.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Watermelon Time!

I got a few things done today, which was nice, but I'm not feeling well, which sucks. One of the things I got done was to call and make a doctor's appointment for Wednesday morning. So I hope that goes well.

Saba went outside in the late morning and after about two minutes, I heard her causing a ruckus outside. I ran to the door in time to see her chase another cat, much bigger than her, out of the patio. The other cat was really freaked out, but Saba was cool as a cucumber after she ran it off. She didn't even really particularly want to come inside after, so I let her stay out.

The big excitement was having to take poor Gray Kitty to the vet again. I'm sure I've written about it, but he's got some chronic urinary tract issues. (In fact, we had to have his penis surgically removed because he produces crystals that were repeatedly blocking his urethra, something which can quickly kill a cat and removing the penis to shorten the urethra alleviates the problem of blockage). Because we noticed what we thought might be blood in his urine on Saturday evening, we took him to the vet today. She used a needle to withdraw a urine sample and that's being sent off to the lab to make sure he doesn't have an infection. We should know more tomorrow. Poor thing. He's a well-behaved cat, but going to the vet stresses him out like crazy.

After we brought him home from his late afternoon appointment, we went ahead and made an early dinner. Tonight we had omelets with spinach filling and a side of pinto beans with stewed tomatoes mixed in. Dave had cheese and toast with his, but I abstained since my lunch was basically cheese and toast. As we ate, we planned out a menu for the rest of the week and made a shopping list.

After dinner, we ran off to Whole Foods to do our shopping. We mainly stuck to the list, but we couldn't resist bringing home a watermelon. Yum! In fact, it might be calling my name.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Worm Annex

It was a bit of a rocky morning. I was up all night, yet again, and then Dave tried to wake me up about ninety minutes after I got to sleep. I was not happy and said so in so many words. Then I went back to bed. I was afraid I might not be able to fall asleep again, but I was so tired that I went out like a light.

I woke up around noon. It was just me and the cats; Dave went off to visit his mother for Mother's Day. I texted and asked him if, on his way home, he could stop and get me a huge diet Pepsi and an Itsa burger with cheese from Blake's Lotaburger. Then I jumped into the shower.  We had pilates at 2:15 and I wanted to have lunch first and Dave wanted to stop by the studio to check on the kiln that we started the night before.

When we arrived at the studio around 1:45, the kiln was at 1010 degrees. I thought it was a good omen, but of course I turned out to be wrong.

We went to pilates and then stopped at the coffee shop (Humble Coffee) next door for a latte after. (Well, I had a latte and an iced tea, Dave and Judi had iced teas.)  We sat and chatted for a bit before returning to the studio.

When we got there, the kiln controller was flashing an error message which meant that the kiln had misfired. We talked about what it might be and how to fix it. I don't think it was a particularly disastrous thing to have happen in this case since it was just a cone 06 bisque firing, but we'll have to wait until next weekend to refire it.

Judi and Paul came out to chat and Judi brought Crunch out for a visit. Crunch has had some recent procedures related to the arthritis in his shoulders and he's been feeling pretty crappy. He came out for a visit and got some belly pets and seemed happier and perkier after.

While we were chatting, I took out my new toy, a cake decorating set complete with tips and bags. I had mixed up some thick slip yesterday using dried out clay scraps. I put together the piping bag and filled it with the slip and piped out some designs. It works exactly like a soft cake frosting. I think piped designs will make awesome additions to some of the calavera dresses I've been making lately.  I piped out some things onto a bit of newspaper and left it to dry, just to see how it handles.

Since we didn't have to wait for the kiln, we came home early and had dinner. We made an impromptu stir fry using tofu, onions, kale, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. We had it with some brown rice and a green salad on the side.

After dinner, we sorted through another box of pottery, some of ours, some of it pottery that I've bought or traded my own work for. All of that stuff will go into the yard sale.

My new criteria for deciding whether or not to keep something (not just pottery, but anything) is: If I were moving, would I pack this into my suitcase and carry it around the world with me? Most things, no. But some things, a very few things, yes.

After sorting our box of pottery, we shredded some newspaper and fed the worms. We have so many vegetable scraps and peels and such that we started a worm annex in addition to our worm composter. The worm annex is simply a big plastic tote that had some potting soil in the bottom. I added a bunch of scraps and let it sit for a week or so. Today we added some shredded newspaper and stirred it up, then added a couple of scoops of worms from the composter. (There are so many worms in that thing!) I put a three-inch layer of shredded newspaper on top of that (to allow for air flow but discourage flies from getting in there). And that's our worm annex!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

If There Were Two of Me, Then We Wouldn't Have to Share

Yesterday the swamp coolers were hooked up, so of course it was freezing today. It was cold and windy early in the morning, though it warmed up later in the afternoon. Still, I almost wished I had taken a sweater when we went out for lunch.

Dave and I had Mother's Day lunch (a day early) with my mom, aunt, and brother. We went to Mimi's Cafe, which is a French-ish chain restaurant. We ordered appetizers for everyone to share (baked brie, fried artichoke hearts with lemon-garlic aioli, and guacamole--not so French?) and then Dave and I split two sandwiches (a grilled cheese and an avocado-and-tomato sandwich on a whole grain croissant that would have probably shocked a Frenchman into an early grave). I liked my sandwiches, but I almost wish (since I was cheating on my diet) that I had just gone ahead and had a huge hamburger and fries!

Anyway, it was fun to get together and chat over lunch.

After lunch, we came home to change clothes. Then we headed to the studio.

I got a bit of work done on my sculpture. This was just a chest and two necks when I arrived:20150509_190510.jpg
Now it's got two heads, as you can see. The head on the left (the fleshy one) went on first. It still needs some work in terms of detail. The head on the right (the bony one) only has its teeth roughly carved in, so they'll need some more work next time, too.

Here's a close up.
I tried to make it look like they were sharing a joke, with matching expressions.

The head on the left will get hair, of course, which will make the proportions of the face a little more realistic. (I want them to be a bit cartoony, but not so squished, if that makes any sense.) The one on the right will get a crown of flowers.

I almost wish I had gone with different clothes, but when I'm coil-building from the bottom up, sometimes it's hard to decide ahead of time what the heads are going to want to wear.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Vegan Sushi, Gray Smoker, Walnut Grove

I couldn't sleep at all last night, so I stayed up and read and watched Netflix and made the bits of Dave's lunch that he hadn't made himself. I finally fell asleep just after 5:00 a.m. and slept until 10:30, when I got up to take my meds and then couldn't go back to sleep.

It was a quiet day, mostly. I texted back and forth with LuAnn, ran to the co-op, and then waited around with the kitties for the guy to come to hook up the swamp cooler. (I'm sitting now with the air blowing on me and it is nice and chilly!)

Dave came home a little early and we went out to dinner even though it was quite early for dinner, something like 4:30. We went to Loving Vegan and had vegetable tempura and vegan sushi (ume maki, avocado maki, and two crazy rolls made out of all kinds of things like green chile tempura, and some kind of unidentifiable matter that was probably some form of konnyaku since it tasted vaguely fishy but of course had to be vegan). It was very tasty and full of white rice goodness, which is the best kind of junky carb-based high.

After, we went to a gallery, Stranger Factory, next to the restaurant and I bought a small oil painting by Joe Scarano.
"Gray Smoker"
Isn't it strangely adorable? I couldn't resist that little face.

The place is filled with all kinds of interesting things, lots of art, but also toys and t-shirts and strange little things for sale. I like it.

After we left the gallery, we walked down the street a ways to a couple of nearby shops. It was nice out and we had to move a bit after our big dinner.

In fact, I need to get a move on and get some more aerobic exercise. We're planning a trip next month to Minnesota (where Dave goes from time to time for business, but where I've never been) and I want to do a lot more walking to gear up for that. I'll be tacking a trip on to the end of one of Dave's business trips and we're planning on looking around the Twin Cities and then taking a day trip to Walnut Grove, which you may know from Laura Ingalls Wilder's book, On The Banks of Plum Creek. We'll probably see the museum there and then maybe visit the dugout house site where she and her family lived. (The town was recreated in California for the TV show, but we won't talk about that!) I'm a big Laura Ingalls Wilder fan, so I'm really looking forward to it.

We're home again now. Dave is out watering the garden and I'm inside where it's nice and cool.

Tomorrow we're meeting my mother, aunt, and brother for lunch. Then the rest of the week, it's back to my diet. I did my weigh-in this morning and had zero change after a week of dieting. So it goes some weeks!