Another week gone... but at least this week past I got some things accomplished. I did finalize my trip to Austin. I'm going for a quick weekend the week after Thanksgiving. Not enough time to be sure, but I'm sure Scott and Ashley will be sick of me by then. It was very expensive to fly there during Thanksgiving week, and since L decided he wouldn't go this time ( to save money) I didn't want to leave him alone on the holiday and made arrangements to go the following week. It will be interesting as my plane arrives before they're off of work, and I leave on Monday while they're at work again. I may be using all of that money I saved on cabs! I am excited to go - I can't wait to see them, and I'm excited to see a little bit of Texas and (I'm ashamed to say) I'm excited to eat Texas food. So that is one trip that's scheduled.
The next thing I'm trying to figure out is when to go visit my little chicks in New England. I'm so sorry to have missed the gorgeous fall color that I'm determined to save my money to go next year at this time. Katie has been busy making holiday plans for the little girls. They've already got a ride on the Polar Express planned, and it's killing me not to be there. That was one of my kids' favorite stories growing up, and I can only imagine how wonderful a train ride would be where waiters dance up the aisles with cups of hot chocolate for the children singing "Hot, hot - hot chocolate!" And Santa brings each child their own silver bell to test their belief in Santa's magic. Killing me to miss that.
It seems that the holidays have already taken on a life of their own. I find myself perusing catalogs, dog-earing pages of items I think this one or that one would like. Does anyone ever watch the Today Show on Wednesday mornings? They have a segment called "Jills Steals and Deals" that I've become addicted to for the holidays. Every week they feature about 4-5 different things that are at a major discount, and I've scored some smokin' deals for various people in the last couple of weeks. It's kind of a rush, to tell you the truth. I kind of see how people get addicted to the Home Shopping Network or QVC. But I've kept my purchases under control, and it's been fun to get some shopping done early.
And then there's the shopping I've done for ME, my favorite grownup person to shop for (grand kiddies are still the best overall). Up until last year, I had a wardrobe of work clothes. Stuffy corporate things that I find I rarely wear anymore. I had very few fun clothes, so that's what I've been quietly gathering via mail order. I don't know why, but I just hate going to an actual mall. It's akin to bathing suit shopping for me (which I also bought online this year). I hate the parking, the crowds, the confusion and over abundance of Macy's and stores like it. It's all too much, so I've gathered a few little stores where I know my size and I've just been ordering away. This week alone I have a blouse, a sweater, and a coat wending their way to my doorstep. And still I look, but in all fairness I needed some new duds.
Not that I'll be wearing any of those sweaters or coats anytime soon. It's been 90 degrees every day this week. With no A/C. My cousin will be coming tomorrow to start the repair on it, but I'm not sure if he'll be able to finish it the same day or not. He works so hard, and kind of fits us in after his long work day is done, so I appreciate every little thing he can do. I will be very glad to see him tomorrow, and I'll be even more glad to see some fall weather. Maybe next week? Seriously, I think the temps are supposed to dip 20 degrees! Fall in Southern California is just craziness and mayhem if you ask me. While everyone else is wearing boots and jackets, we're still prancing around in summer shorts, and throwing longing looks at the boots in our closet. But we don't have blizzards and hurricanes either, so I guess it all evens out.
Last weekend L and I made a trek down to Corona Del Mar to our favorite little hole in the wall Mexican food place, La Fogata. Only it's really healthy Mexican food: black beans instead of refried, grilled salmon tacos, and nachos with grilled veggies. We hadn't been there in quite awhile and so the food tasted particularly good. It was just too hot to cook in our house. On the way home we took a swing by the beach as the sun was setting. I love how the sun melts into the ocean, hot orange sun mirrored in the darkening water. We watched until it slid completely from sight, and then we made our way home. By then the hot day had cooled off and the house had some cooler air flowing through it.
And so the days flow into each other, each one not much different than the last. Tonight after watching the presidential debate (ROMNEY...) we took our bikes out and rode for an hour in the evening air to think about something other than the state of the union. The temperature outside was much cooler than inside, and it felt good to have the almost cold air chill my skin a bit, and before it could get uncomfortably cold, my body had heated up from the exercise. A few stars were out, the usual cats were out strolling about or laying on the still-warm asphalt of the street. We rode by the dog walker who is out every evening with several dogs at the same time we ride. We have a nodding smiling acquaintance now. He first walks a few smaller dogs, and then some larger ones, and finally a lovely old English Setter, and I wonder if that one is his own dog. I'll have to ask him some evening.
We always start out with me chattering away about everything that happened to me that day, and then I am quiet. It forces L to carry the ball, and he eventually does, although he does not feel the need to talk as much as I do. I tend to talk in paragraphs and chapters. He communicates with a series of short comments and questions. But he is a doer - much more so than I am. But such is our partnership: I am the communicator and he is the doer. I tend to talk about doing something, and I circle projects warily, thinking about them and talking about them before I finally plunge in. L just jumps right in and gets it over with, but if there is a problem that involves a conversation he prefers that I handle it. So we have a good partnership agreement going. It allows us to do what we're good at, and depend on being backed up on the things we're not. Of course I feel that I got the far better end of the deal, but I try to keep up my end of the bargain so he doesn't feel too cheated. And so even though one day is pretty much like another I realize that they are mostly good days, so I can't complain. But L should look out: Halloween is coming, and that is the one day I'm allowed to turn into a witch. A good witch who likes her treats a little too much, but who still knows a few good tricks. He likes that about me.