It’s been six months now since I started having a regular Saturday night ‘date’ with Lucinda. And you know what? I’m really enjoying it. I know it sounds sappy and all, but we have a lot of fun together. We bake cakes, watch movies, eat tremendous bowls of popcorn, play pinball, and all sorts of things. And it’s really fun. So I guess this is the ’sweet spot’ of parenting. I know that in a few more years she will be out doing her own thing on Saturday night, so I’m going to enjoy this while I can. It’s nice.
I’m still nesting.
Today I made buttermilk pancakes from scratch for the first time. They were good. And surprisingly easy to make. I’ll never buy a box of pancake mix again.
Since it was raining today, I couldn’t go bike riding. So here’s what else I do as a way to keep occupied and relieve stress. I build shit. I’ve been thinking for some years of setting up a little herb garden outside. So today, I went and got some wood, and I built this planter. I divided it in half, because it’s pretty big, and I haven’t decided yet what all the things are that I’m going to grow. So I filled half of it and transplanted my little rosemary bush and also the thyme plant. I also got seeds for oregano, dill, and cilantro that I started in pots on the windowsill. I’ll transplant them outside when they come up. Maybe by then it will be warm enough and I’ll put basil in the other side so I can make pesto this summer.
Now I’m off to the kitchen again to start on dinner. Broiled rib steak with fennel, ginger and cloves, and onions broiled with the same spices. Also, braised fennel, mashed potatoes, and asparagus. And finally, I’m making another pan of brownies for dessert.
Lucinda and I were playing pinball again last night. She’s getting quite good now. She gets the extra ball at 240,000 points pretty regularly. And she beat me a few times last night.
One funny thing that happened while we were playing was that the ball got stuck in a completely new way. I’ve owned this machine since 1984, and I’ve never seen the ball get stuck there before. So I had to take a picture to commemorate the occasion before we jostled the machine to get the ball moving again. Of course it promptly fell down the outlane, but still, it was amusing.
Today’s ride was the “Glendale Vistas” route. We do a variation on this ride on Sundays some times. The most recent time was at the end of December, when I broke my cassette going up one of the hills. I’ve been sick this week, so that, along with various other unpleasantness at home meant that I was not feeling particularly strong today. So I didn’t break my bike this time.
We are having a quick break between storms today, so it was actually a perfect day for riding. A bit chilly at first, but it warmed up nicely. Mt Wilson had a dusting of snow on top, which doesn’t happen all that often.
We rode up into La Cañada and then over Chevy Chase and down into Glendale. This is normally a fun descent, but the road was still wet from the rain last night. So we all went pretty slow.
On the ride across Glendale, I saw the Eat Well Coffee Shop. I thought that this was a nice, straightforward name for a restaurant. Sort of like Hammered Liquor.
Continuing on, we turned and started up the hills north of downtown Glendale. There were some nice views along the way before we came out at the top. That was where they had a sign at the end of the street warning us about mountain lions.
After all the hills, we rode down into Montrose and stopped at Berolina bakery. From there, we just headed home by the usual route over Hospital Hill and back to Pasadena.
It was a fun little ride, even though we didn’t really go anywhere or see anything.
I’ve had co-authorship on papers before, but this is the first time a whole paper has been published about something that I invented. Yay.
Cooking is still one of my favorite ways of dealing with stress. That and bike riding. And drinking beer. And I’ve been doing a lot of all three lately.
Now, what to make for dessert…
There was an egret perched by one of the little ponds at Disneyland. Everything there is artificial, so it’s kind of a shock to see an actual wild animal there. But I guess there’s good eatin’ in the pond.
So this is my latest Canon commercial.
Today we were supposed to go to the snow with Shannon, Mars, and Rose. I made a pan of brownies and a batch of blueberry muffins to take along. Then Shannon called and said that she didn’t think we should go because it was going to rain. So Cathy suggested Disneyland, and I agreed to take Lucinda and her friend.
Normally, if I had a choice between a day at Disneyland and a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, I’ll take the stick. But today my choice was between a day at Disneyland and a day at home. So I chose Disneyland.
And it turned out to be all right. We had a nice time. We rode a total of eight rides, which I think is pretty good. And we got to go on Star Tours. That ride is pretty old now, but it’s still good.
At the end, we walked over to Downtown Disney and had dinner before going home. Overall, it was a good day, although I think I looked a bit haunted in the picture on the Dumbo ride.
Tonight, I made The Swallow’s Pork and Tomatillo Stew. That’s what’s in the picture. I also made Shredded Pork Enchiladas. And two loaves of Olive Bread. Cooking is a nice relaxing activity for me. So it’s just the thing in these Trying Times.