V. Day

We celebrated Valentine’s in pretty typical fashion at least for around here.

This year we didn’t buy cards. I made one that was basically a fancy PowerPoint slide and the better-half’s card to me was a dozen oysters and some champagne.

Then we made a clam and fennel dish:

And we watched Lucy in a box (she fired her lasers):

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Beautiful Wreck

We went to see Shawn Mullins the other night. The opener dude was good too.

On the way home, the better-half said something about Shawn being a plumber. I had no idea what he meant and so he explained. Very talented and yet he looks like a plumber. I didn’t realize there was a type. Then the conversation moved on to the idea that some people look their age. And some look older.

Shawn, like he’s my friend and we are on a first name basis, is one month older than I am. He looks older than I do and there’s nothing specific about why that is. I don’t know if he was tired. I don’t know if it’s from all my clean living (I just cracked a rib from laughing so hard). But, I don’t look like that. Yes, my hair has pretty much kissed brown good-bye forever, but I don’t think I look as worn down.

The better-half agreed that neither of us has that beaten down look and he’s turning 50 this year so he knows from getting older. Actually, I had a terrible realization at work the other day that he was turning 50 because I am turning 49. Holy cats. The woman I was talking to was all “wha?”. She is in her forties and just assumed we were closer in age. Nope, sister, I’m on the slippery slope.

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I wore this to work today and we ate Cheetos

This happened today.

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As If

I just deleted a spam comment advertising a writing service. You know, we’ll write your paper for you on any topic. Um. Oh hell no. Kids, do your own work. I can also tell you that the folks who work in book stores will be judging you when you buy Cliff’s Notes or any of those other “study guides”. How about you just read the book and think your own thoughts. Especially affluent teens who have all summer to get through the book list. Don’t wait until August to hustle in and buy up the guides and then never crack the spine on the actual reading assignment. I’m pretty sure the teachers are onto you and the book store employees have your number too.

We took down our Christmas wreath today. We were basically waiting for the batteries to die in the light sets. One died a few days ago and the other was but a mere shade of itself. I took the lights off and was going to take apart the wreath to recycle the metal frame and let the wildlife have the greens. Whoever made that wreath wasn’t the fooling around type. There were so many wires holding that thing together that I dumped it in the super can.

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Snowy Saturday

It snowed some inches yesterday.

We were shoveling and cleaning off our cars when our next door neighbor stopped, she was walking her dog, to invite us over for drinks and snacks. She said their plans for the evening were ruined due to all the snow so they were having friends and neighbors over.

About an hour later, I was talking to her and her husband pours me a Prosecco like he just guessed my drink. She and I are befuddled and I think that I need to pull the shade down more often if dude knows enough about me to pour me a very acceptable drink. Turns out the better-half had requested the drink moments before but neighbor lady and I had been talking and didn’t notice.

We hung out for a bit and admired their kitchen remodel and then raced out of there to pick up a friend for dinner. The restaurant was open, we had reservations, so why not.

I swear to you I do not know very many people but some days it seems like Richmond is a small town. As we were enjoying dinner, someone our friend and I worked with ages ago walks in. We exchanged pleasantries and he and his friend headed back to the bar area and we went on with our dinner.

A pretty good snow day.

Now about this morning’s temperature (the bottom number is the outside temp):

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Happy New Year

We planted a new crop of garlic in one of our garden troughs and moved a hearty parsley plant. Here’s hoping we’ll have a good harvest of each later this year.

Yesterday we bought our airline tickets to Iceland. The rest of the trip needs to be planned but at least we know when we’ll be flying in and out.

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Rounding Up

Like a lot of people, I think 2016 was a dumpster fire.

via GIPHY

Actually, it was worse than a dumpster fire because fire is cool and it’s not everyday you get to see a dumpster burn. So, whatever is worse than a dumpster fire is the way I think of 2016.

Things that were good about 2016:

  • We saw 28 shows this year. The Sting and Peter Gabriel concert was my favorite show.
  • We visited St. John, USVI and Portland, ME. I went to Las Vegas and that’s pretty well out of my system. I’d only go there again if there were a trip to the Grand Canyon and then a side trip into Vegas for dinner and a show.
  • I read a lot of books this year (35 of them) and only a few were awful. Actually, there were two I did not enjoy and they were back-to-back. One of those felt like an eternity so I skipped about 200 pages to find out what happened at the end.
  • We bought a new stove for Christmas. Which is a thing that makes me happy. We both hated the old one that came with the house. My advice is to avoid GE Cafe gas stoves. Ours had a service call to figure out why it turned itself off and the tech was unable to figure it out so we never cooked anything over 450 without worrying. That seriously cramped our pizza making this year.

So, there you have it. Even the yearly wrap up was a bit of a bummer. 2016, don’t let the doorknob hit you on the way out.

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A Wedding

It has been a long time since we went to a wedding that wasn’t for a family member. Yesterday afternoon we drove down to the Tidewater area of Virginia with another friend to attend a wedding. The friend, the woman getting married, and I worked together and still get together to kvetch over Mexican food on a fairly regular basis. They see each other more than they see me because they have a training gig together. So, part of our trip down south was a catch-all catch-up.

The wedding was small (maybe 30 guests?). It was one of the smallest weddings I’ve been to and so it was really moving that we were invited into what basically seemed like a family and long-time friends celebration. The two women getting married have been together 20 years and have a child. They did a nice job of including their daughter in the ceremony. The ceremony was sentimental and low-key so I think my friend got exactly what she wanted. Even though I’ve never seen her shed a tear before (and there were plenty of times at work that could have happened), I wasn’t surprised one bit that she shed some tears as she said her vows.

They held the wedding and the reception at the church they are actively involved in and it was clear that everyone involved was thrilled to be there. It was a pretty great way to kick off the holiday celebration season.

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Knock that Sad Post Off Top Spot

We think Lucy actually noticed that Simon was gone. She was uninterested in food for a couple of days which either means she was in a coma or she missed her friend. Anyway, hoovering status is back to code green.

Today we drove over to Kinko’s/Fed Ex/Whatever to get our passport photos. Our passports will self-destruct in early January. Monday, the better-half will schlep them to the PO and we will be country-bound until the new passports arrive. The point of this is not that we had our passport photos taken, but the entire experience at Kinko’s/Fed Ex/Whatever was pleasant. We were greeted as we entered the store. The person taking our photo was personable. The wait was relatively minimal and they were busy. Kudos to the Kinko’s/Fed Ex/Whatever off of Libbie and Broad.

We’re going to Iceland in April with some friends. Planning and ticket purchasing to begin as soon as the holidays are over. We are excited. People we tell are excited for us. We will see the aurora borealis and sit in a geothermal pool at a spa (which is so not like me but I am LOOKING FORWARD TO IT LIKE CRAZY). There will be other things to do that week in Iceland, but volcanic pools of water are pretty high on the list. It will be weird to pack. I need a new winter coat that needs to collapse down to next to nothing and I have to pack a bathing suit. Such strange demands.

We went to four holiday concerts this month and it would have been five if not for a massive 2-day headache. We saw these folks a couple of days ago and I’m going with the word charming:

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Goodbye Mr. Cat

We said goodbye to Simon yesterday. We found out about a month ago that he had a huge tumor in his belly. Being sane people and following the advice of our vet, we chose not to do anything about it. Instead we took the spoil him (even more) and make him comfortable route.

We knew something wasn’t quite right about him starting in August. He was having a hard time moving around and leaping, but he’s 16 years old and had some sort of old injury from his before us time. We thought his age and his old injury had caught up with him so we didn’t think much about it except that we worried and helped him to get up to his favorite high places. He also developed a tremendous case of the hair mats earlier in the year. He was NOT a fan of anyone touching his belly so combing them out was not really an option.

We decided to keep an eye on him and comb him more often to prevent other mats from appearing. Then the inability to leap got worse and he started losing weight. We always knew he wasn’t going to break any old age records. When he came to us, he weighed five pounds and had damaged his kidneys during his time of being on the lam. We went back and forth a few years ago about trying to get him to eat expensive, high-protein, special food. But he was NOT having it. The vet let us off the hook and we all agreed we knew the risks. Simon knew he hated that food.

It never occurred to us that something other than kidney failure would take him out. Let me tell you, making the decision to put a pet down never gets easier. Even when you know it is the only option.

Simon just wanted to hang out with the better-half. Lucy wanted Simon to play:

Simon went through a significant period of trying to either steal my chair or share it with me:

Now for his glamour shot:

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