Let’s talk about something other than cancer, shall we? Maybe even a few photos perhaps? They definitely show we’ve been sticking close to home but right now that feels ok.

1. We went out to dinner at Fries and Peanuts the other night with Leo. I thought about seeing if Owen and Trinity were free but then I decided to make it just a Leo-and-us night. Although he is living at home we don’t always hang out together that much. He does his own thing for food generally so we chat when he comes home for lunch and when he gets home from work but that’s a different thing.

We were surprised at how crowded it was when we got there before realizing there was an Illinois game that night. Our favorite booth wasn’t available but since Ernie and I got there a little early we managed to score our second favorite spot of the corner table by the front window. We had such a good time that I didn’t even take any pictures! It felt good to be out and we used the last of a gift certificate sent by beloved friends. We ate and chatted and laughed. Ernie and I manage to tell some of the same stories we always do and we talked about the upcoming visit of his friend from England. Lately I’ve been missing my little boys so much but I love the adult ones more than I can say. It was a lovely evening and when we got home and curled up I had the automatic thought of ‘what are we having for dinner?’ before realizing that we’d already eaten dinner. No WONDER people go out to dinner!

Next up: we’re really due for a meal with the tater tots as we sometimes call them.

2. I’d had the salmon salad at dinner and it tasted so good that I was craving salmon the next day. So last night we slowcooked/poached some salmon in olive oil and clementine slices. I overcooked it a bit but it was still wonderful. It’s really luscious cooked that way. I had some rice and green beans and just warmed them in a bit of the oil left when the fish was done. Just gave the loveliest flavor to it. The only downside to that method is that there is no crispy skin so when it was done I pulled the skin off in one piece and crisped it up in a pan. Like a big salmon potato chip. Ernie doesn’t understand the pleasures of that so it was all mine!

3. Today I am NOT working. I have to work tomorrow as I’m taking Wednesday off to go to St. Louis but I decided one long day instead of two days this weekend. Because of all the travel, etc. I’ve been working a lot over the weekends and I realized yesterday that I needed one good solid day off. So here I am and it feels delightful. I even closed all my millions of open tabs so I wouldn’t see work calling to me.

4. I slept a little late today. Ernie got up at 5:30 because his alarm (meaning Bob) was going off. I woke up and read a bit before dozing off again and it felt delightful. I just had a late breakfast of some of the leftover rice and green beans from last night with some bits of leftover roast chicken and it was sublime. I know that sounds over the top but it really was! The rice and green beans had just a hint of the clementines and the chicken was perfectly succulent and tender (trying to think of words other than moist).

5. We did one of our standard roast chickens the other night….whole bird upside down on top of whatever vegetables we have. It was parsnips and carrots the other night (I’m on a parsnip kick) and Ernie put some smoked paprika on the chicken. 500 degrees for 50 minutes. Yesterday we put the carcass of the chicken in the slow cooker so we can have gruel tonight. No peas in the gruel as Ernie’s on a low residue diet for a few days.

6. This Pyrex fridgie looks like a little jewelry box with those leftover vegetables. Ok, that IS over the top but for some reason this picture just pleases me.

7. We were on a boil order yesterday. I went to our account on the Illinois American Water website to double-check and noticed we have a credit on our bill. I pay these automatically so hadn’t noticed. Evidently, our water usage has gone down. Ernie and Leo and I are calling this the Owen-and-Trinity-moved-out-no-more-long-showers effect. It amused us all a good bit.

8. We finally pulled the rocker bench out of the media room where it had been banished when the Christmas tree went up. In doing so furniture was moved a bit and this happened.

Ernie then confessed he’d never really liked that lamp (why he told me he did when we bought it I don’t know). And good god, look at the dust on the lamp shade. I guess it was all meant to be. New lamp on order as we are lighting challenged in this living room.

9. Very worried about this girl. And Bob as well. We’ve become the home of the aged. Glad Leo brings the median age down a bit. As scrawny and tiny and scruffy as she is…look at that beautiful face.

10. Oh, and if anyone has actually read this long (I feel chatty today)….we got the notice from the water company yesterday about the boil order. When I looked at the website it was listed under alerts and there various notices about it being lifted at various addresses. Today I go on the site and it doesn’t show any alerts and although it shows the original alert it doesn’t show any of the lifted comments. Does this mean we don’t have a boil order anymore? Side note: both Ernie and I almost put salt in the pot when we went to boil water for drinking. We are trained to cook I guess.

11. Ernie generally does not allow photos of him sleeping but damn, I just thought he and Bob looked so beautiful here. We were watching tv and I looked over and saw this. I just muted the tv and started reading. They were too peaceful to disturb.

Onward.

Top photo is of course by the inimitable Leo Blackwelder at the end of a long day of train photography in Michigan City, Indiana with friends. From his Flickr account: “Our last train of the day, the 6:30 train, made its appearance shortly after dark. So, with few other options available, I grabbed my tripod and dropped down to the ground to get one final shot of streetrunning. While there were a few remaining trains late into the evening and early the next morning, this was our ending to streetrunning on the South Shore. What an ending it was.”

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