Wednesday, June 3 2020

drinking coffee, ants on a log, and french food

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! I hope this bright Wednesday morning finds you well, and that you and your loved ones weathered through all the storms last night - both literal storms and metaphorical ones. This morning I read an update from the Madison Police Department that yesterday was the first complete day of protests without any violent incidents, so that's good news. I have to think that some of that was due to the rain, but I guess we'll have to wait and see how tonight goes.

It's a beautiful day today. The grass is damp, glistening from last night's rain. Perhaps if I hustle on my morning chores, I can get out there with Rodney and enjoy some of the cool air before the bugs come out. Rodney and I hung out on the front porch for a bit yesterday morning. He took his bike out of the shed and just sort of pushed it around the driveway while I drank coffee. Every few minutes, he'd scoot his bike ride up against me and beg me to play with him.

"Dada," he said with a long, sad face. "You sit on my bike with me?" Rodney gave the small metal lip of his tricycle an inviting pat.

"No dude, sorry," I said. "This is coffee time now." Rodney hates coffee time, and I'm sure the both of us are counting down the days where Miles will come of age, and Rodney will no longer have to deal with a such a dull morning playmate like me. I'm sure if Rodney was a little more jaded and quicker on his feet, he'd say something like All you ever want to do is drink coffee!

Sip. "Dude, I can't wait to you and Miles can play tag, baseball, or even just beat the crap out of each other," I laughed.

Rodney and I stayed outside just long enough to see our garbage can get emptied off the side of the curb. I called Rodney over as the truck barelled down the street. The truck's menacing, jerky claw hoisted our can into the air as the garbage man gave Rodney a lazy wave and a thumbs up from the driver side window. Rodney stood there, mouth agape with wonder like we was staring into Niagra falls.

Marissa joined us on the back porch for some lunch. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and some leftover poached trout in rice.

"You ever notice how the longer we stay home together, the more my routine kind of matches yours?" I asked. "I wake up a little later now, we drink almost the exact same amount of coffee, and we even both take a little nap in the afternoon."

Marissa shrugged. "It's a good life - I like it," she said. "My favorite part of the day is when you bring me up the first cup of coffee in the morning."

"I like when you tell me after lunch, OK, you can go take a nap now," I laughed.

And shortly after finishing lunch, I took a nap. I was so excited for it, I ran up the stairs, like I was making a getaway from a crime scene. As I was winding down, Marissa sent me a picture of Rodney, who tempted her into spraying him with the hose while she was watering the grass.

sprayed with the hose

Don't stare at this photo for too long, or his bright, pale body might drain the battery on your device.

"What a wingus," I sent her back before drifting off to sleep.

Rodney and I woke up together a few hours before dinner. By then, Marissa had already changed him into a crisp set of dry clothes.

"Dada," Rodney said sitting up in bed. "Momma sprayed me with the hose!"

"I saw dude," I laughed. "That looked awesome - I bet you were so tired for your excellent nap. Do you want to make a snack?"

Rodney joined me in the kitchen, and remembering we still had stash of raisins in our pantry (very rare for our house), I suggested we make ants on a log. With as much showmanship as possible, I showed Rodney how to spread the peanut butter on stalks of celery and decorate it with a line of raisins down the middle.

"See dude," I said holding it up to him for a bit. "It looks like ants on a log!"

I quarantined Rodney outside away from the dogs so he could finish his snack. Being a fervent fan of real life ants, Rodney enjoyed the ants on a log analogy, but he didn't actually eat any of it.

"Dada," he said, flagging me down to his outdoor table like a waiter. "I have more berries?"

"Sure dude - um, they're raisins," I said.

ants on a log

Rodney with his untouched snack, waiting for more 'berries' a la carte

Rodney handed me his bowl and his plate. The bowl of raisins was empty, and all three ants on a log were still in tact. I rolled my eyes, then stuck his plate in the fridge after helping myself to a few bites.

For dinner, I cooked some pork chops with a creamy pan sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, and a side of cold green bean salad - or as I summed it up for Marissa, "just a bunch of French stuff tonight."

"I'm starting to appreciate how modular French food is," I said to Marissa as we wolfed down our dinner at the table. "It took some time to learn enough sides and entrees to mix and match, but the food comes together quickly, and it works with literally whatever we have in the fridge or pantry."

"The green beens are so good," said Marissa with a mouthful of food.

"Yeah! That's a homemade French dressing," I said proudly. "Do you know how easy it is? Just one spoonful of whatever vinegar you want, three spoonfuls of whatever oil you want, and of course it's garnished with whatever you want. I don't think we'll ever need to buy dressing again - I didn't know it was that easy."

We packed up the leftovers in the fridge, and I put Rodney to bed before joining Marissa in the kitchen.

"I don't feel like doing anything productive tonight," she said. I nodded in agreement.

"Me neither," I sighed. "I just started a load of dishes, that's good enough for tonight. Let's go hang."

Marissa and I drank beer on the couch and finished The Shawshank Redemption.

Thanks for stopping by this morning, everyone. Have a great Wednesday.