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January 03, 2004: Ordinary things

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Last night we had my parents over for dinner. I dashed home from work and swung by the produce stand on the way home to pick up a huge bag of green beans, and then tossed two heads of garlic into the oven and got the brown rice started on the stove and stood there and snapped green beans, and somehow managed to get everything mostly set up or ready by the time they arrived. Richard came home later and started the steaks that, despite being in the fridge all day, were still mostly frozen. Regardless of that setback, they turned out fine perfectly cooked, and when slathered with roasted garlic they were delicious. It amuses me that due to our spontaneous order of Omaha Steaks, and the antelope I consumed on New Year's Eve, I have eaten more red meat in the past few weeks then I had the entire year. In fact I think perhaps the last time I had a steak was when we were in Chicago for the training for Benthic Creatures, and that was more than a year ago. I don't deliberately avoid red meat; it's just that I usually prefer fish or chicken, or no meat at all. And yet the steaks for dinner were my idea last night. Go figure.

Today was not nearly as lazy a day as Thursday, but still we managed to finish off the rest of season 1 of Angel. We also cleared out the guest room that, because it is where the wrapping paper lives, had become a sort of mini catastrophe zone by the time Christmas rolled around. Richard gathered up boxes and deflated all those little plastic packing bags (Amazon always stuffs at least half a dozen in each box) while I grabbed my gardening shears and tackled the bushes on the side yard. The bushes for what will eventually be our 'fence' are box hedges and they grow sooo slowly. But they can be shaped perfectly and eventually they will look nice and I keep reminding myself that this is why we chose box hedges every time I compare them to the other bushes the ones on the side yard that grow about half a foot a month (or at least it seems that way sometimes) and refuse to be kept in line. I hacked down probably about three or four feet worth of bush parts off that side yard, and this is not the first time I have had to do that since we planted them. Compare that to the little box hedges, which are finally now tall enough that it's easier to go through the gate instead of just stepping over them. They'll probably take another two years at least before they are anything as definite as a 'fence', and in the meantime I will most likely have hacked down a few fences worth of excess foliage in those other darn bushes. Next time I am going to plan this better. Box hedges all around is sounding better and better every time I have to drag out the clippers.

Today we managed to take care of another chore we've been putting off and putting off, much like trimming those darn bushes. When we moved in we started out with several extra house keys. But eventually they were all dispersed to the various people who needed access to our house (mainly to take care of our cats). When we started the cleaning service a few months ago, Richard gave them his house key, and when we hired the pet sitter for the Christmas trip, the only house key we had left was the one on my key ring. So for about three weeks now we have had no way to get into our house at all except through the garage. And I have been expecting a rather rousing dose of Murphy's Law any day now regarding this distinct lack of keys.

However, somehow Murphy was apparently not paying attention. The pet sitter swung by to drop off our key, so we promptly zipped off to the local hardware store and made an extra three copies. It occurs to me right now that I have no idea where Richard put those extra copies, but we did at least make sure that they work, and at least now we each have the ability to get into our own house if something ever happens to the garage door opener. This may not be very exciting in the grand scheme of things, but I figure if nothing else, the ability to avoid getting locked out of my own house is at least worth noting as a good thing.

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