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Sunday, November 20, 2016


There is something psychologically off putting about having a three day week that includes a Friday rather than a Monday.  It seems to make the following week much longer than the average.  

We arrived at the office reasonably early on Monday morning. Edward had driven Samantha and Frank to my house as he was taking her car to be 'fixed'.  While in San Antonio, overnight, for a friend's 'baby shower', last weekend, some one (or few) had decided that the contents of my daughter's vehicle should change ownership!  Samantha and her friend, Hannah, had been woken up to a knock on their bedroom door, and greeting with the "Good morning" news that the window on the passenger side of her car was no longer in place, or for that matter in one piece!  After the necessary formalities were completed they left and headed towards Austin.  The people at he hotel were rather obliging, and had sent someone to the DIY store to collect plastic wrap and tape so that the enforced ventilation system could be disarmed.  However, the person they sent to do the shopping either had a very warped sense of humour, or was not a driver, as he returned with opaque wrapping!

The girls did make it home, safely, and picked up the dog on the way back to their town.  Edward offered to take the day off work on Monday, and take care of his wife's predicament.  What more could a mother ask of a son-in-law!  

Another busy day at the office saw us packing up shop at around seven, and as I had not prepared dinner, we headed for the Greek cafe situated a short distance from our home.  I had driven myself, and taken the 'overnight' package to be dropped into the 'dropbox', located at the back of the cafe.  However, the 'pick up' man presumably (perhaps) had a date of his own, as he had completed his job at least five minutes before the designated time, as the red flag showed that the contents of the box had already been emptied. I was rather thankful that our package was not urgent, as I had visions of Dana hurtling across town to get to another drop box, and suggesting we eat at a different location.  I had wrapped my taste buds around 'Greek', and as I can be a little fickle about my choice of cuisine, (can't make up my mind what I want to eat if the opportunity to not cook arises at short notice,) this would have been a little out of my comfort zone for this particularly Monday evening.  The cafe was was rather busy when we entered, but the early diners headed home before we had put in our order, and we were soon to be the sole patrons.  It was a very pleasant meal, and it took us a couple of minutes, or less, to get home.  

The temperature on Tuesday soared above the norm for this time of year, and when we went for our walk, we wondered if it would have been more appropriate to brave the pool, as the sun scorched onto our backs, and left us feeling quite breathless when we returned.  Dana was going to be a little late home, again, as the 'slow down' has been a little tardy this year, and his desk was piled high with papers that had to be sent, as he says, 'all over creation'.  I had my car, again, as the event that should have taken place yesterday, e.g., the replacement of the side window in Samantha's car, did not.  After promising to take care of the entire procedure, the member of hotel staff that had made the oath was told that it was not within his jurisdiction to do so, and they would have to have a meeting to decide the appropriate course of action.  Edward offered his own 'course of action', which included the words, 'legal', 'prosecution', and 'attorney', not necessarily in that order.  It was probably also not in the staffer's jurisdiction to mention that the place where Samantha had parked did not have adequate security cameras, and they had been 'meaning to' install them to comply with insurance regulations, hence Edward's boldness! Samantha took her car to be repaired, finally, on Tuesday morning, before work.  

However, I digress. The week continued, and the temperatures continued to soar.  It was supposed to be a little cooler and wet on Wednesday, but although there was a breeze during the morning, it did little to thwart the strength of the sun.  The 'super moon' made another appearance on Wednesday night.  When told that it happens every seventy five years, I commented that I would be a very old lady when it happens again!

Once again, on Wednesday, I attempted to make a Charlotte Russe, but once again, it was placed in the 'three strikes and out' section of my recipe book.  Although it tasted rather good, (and the disappearance in very few bites confirmed that it was pleasant on the palate,) the effort that is taken to make the dessert seems to be a little too much for what it is!  As I said, one more round.....!

On the face of it, everything appeared to be routine on Thursday. Samantha arrived at my house at her usual time.  I stopped at a reasonable stopping place on my appointed project for the morning, and we were ready to head into work shortly before eight.  I jumped into the passenger seat (her car is a little high, so jumping is necessary) and waited for the engine to whirl into action.  I inspected the new window, which lacked the scratches, made by the over-zealous puppy, that had been on the original, and waited to be chauffeured into work.  Horror hit my ear drums, as the audible waves emitted from the radio.  "Step into Christmas", was not what I wanted to hear a week before Thanksgiving.  We were still in November!  What happened to waiting until December before playing constant Yuletide music? After all, a month of the same tunes, over and over and over again is surely enough!  It is pleasant to start with, but like everything else, by the time it's over, it is enough!  Too much and it takes away the joy!  It is not as if we are going to forget the date.  It has been the same for the last two thousand years! (Even if you get 'technical with the dates, it has been a long time!)

Neighbour's night on Thursday did benefit from the Char faux pas, the previous evening, as egg whites whisked perfectly into meringues, and pavlovas were created.  I was not particularly happy with my creation, as is (I am told) an artist's prerogative, as the small, dainty baskets somewhat spread in the oven, and became full blown handbags, but with a little bit of whipped cream piped into the casing, and a few raspberries, thrown nonchalantly across the top, they looked good enough to eat!  We sat outside, on my neighbour's rather deluxe patio, and enjoyed good food and good conversation, and pleasant temperatures.  We purposely avoided anything political, and when one of my older neighbour's asked, "Am I allowed to ask who people voted for?", his wife, very sternly, replied, "NO!"  We all found it rather amusing, considering that we know (from previous conversations) each other's leanings and opinions, and we have all remained firm friends!  

The walk on Friday was very pleasant.  The temperature had finally dropped, earlier that morning, and was continuing to drop as the day came to an end.  I drove around to the post office later in the afternoon, and was asked by one of the clerks, "Where is your coat?"  I replied that I was English, and that mid 60's was really very acceptable, despite the fact that I had acclimatised rather quickly to the warm weather since moving here!  The head post person popped her head around the corner and asked if I wanted any stamps, as her order had arrived, and she had made a special request for a stamp, the amount of which was not commonly requested.  The line that had built up behind me turned, in unison, to face front.  Yes, the Englishwoman needs the special stamps, as she has special post to send.  "Thanks, Liz", I shouted behind her, and smiled, enjoying the personal service, and personable relationships that had been cultivated.  I paid for my stamps, and wished the ladies behind the counter a pleasant weekend, as if we were all friends, and would gather together same time, next week, for a 'catch up'!  (Perhaps I should bring dessert!)

I had to wear socks on Saturday!  There was rather more than a strong breeze outside, and when I left the house in a pair of jeans and shirt, I wondered why I had not put on a jumper.  The wind whipped through my cotton shirt and although the sun was bright, it was rather on the chilly side.  My daughter and I left the dog, (who was now 'stitch free' after his slight operation last week,) and headed to the Sam's Warehouse, where we bought some 'stock up' essentials, and then to Costco.  "Santa baby" was being crooned across the radio during the short distance between warehouses, and by the time we hit the second one, the wind had died down slightly, and the sun had started to heat the air, albeit as passionately, but not with as much heat, as during the first part of the week.  

Samantha was in very 'rare form' when we entered Costco.  One of the demonstrators had asked a child, "Are your parents' here?" before allowing her to sample a chocolate.  My daughter had quipped, "Yes, my mum is there!"  The lady found this highly amusing and told her that she could sample as many chocolates as she wished!  Later, when we had become separated, and reunited, my daughter scolded me for leaving her side, and said, "That is what happens when you walk away from me!"  We had not had a mother-daughter Saturday for two weeks, and despite the interlude last Friday, we had missed the fun!  

"Crackling Rose" blared through the public address system in Walmart, and mother and daughter stood dancing together in the aisle, 'hands, touching hands, reaching out.....'.  However, it was Walmart, and no one paid any attention!  Oh how I love Austin! (And Walmart everywhere!)  

I had to wear a coat, gloves and a scarf on Sunday morning.  It was freezing.  Quite literally!  The 'attention dinger' in the car told us that it was cold, as if we could not work it out for ourselves.  The roads were rather empty, as was IHOP, where we chose to go for breakfast.  No one wanted to venture out.  We were unsure as to whether it was the cold weather, or the tumultuous way in which the Longhorn football team were defeated in their penultimate game the previous evening.  Once again, our glorious home team failed to achieve a 'winning' season, and the locals were less than satisfied with the new and improved coaching staff that were put into place three seasons previously!  All armchair critics, we consider ourselves equipped to take the reigns!

I am looking forward to a slight increase in the temperature tomorrow.  I am also looking forward to a short week at work. Thursday is Thanksgiving, and the courthouse is closed on Friday, so once again, I have a long weekend.  Psychologically that makes the following week mighty long!   I have made all the preparation for a fabulous feast, of course not knowing how many will attend, but at least there will be two!  (Unless Dana gets a better offer, although my neighbours think he lives in culinary heaven!  I have explained that I do not create something superb every night, and they only get to see the dishes that are a success!)  

Once again, I send seasonal greetings to all that are celebrating Thanksgiving, (I shall defer the other until much nearer the time,) and give thanks myself for being able to take part in this historic celebration.  I am thankful for so much, not least being able to project the day to day amusements (or otherwise) of my life, into ...... another story!

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