Sunday, September 13 2020

naps, pizza parties, and football

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Dear Journal,

Just take a look at this mess.

2020 09 13 roller coaster

The mighty K'nex roller coaster lying on the carpet in a crumpled heap. Twisted, broken tracks. Chaotic spooling orange cable. How did this happen?

"It was like slow motion," recounts Marissa. "Rodney and I were playing beach with a balloon, and he lost his balance.

"Was he hurt?" I asked, concerned.

"No not hurt," she replied. "He didn't really fall, as much as he just lost balance and caught himself with the roller coaster. He was more sad than hurt."

"Awww, poor guy," I sighed.

Marissa stood beside me inspecting the mess. "I told him we could fix it. And I would actually be down for that - let's open a bottle of wine this weekend after he goes to bed and figure it out."

This morning, the roller coaster remains in shambles. Last night, we only got to the "bottle of wine" component of our plan. We always have tonight.

Sip. Good morning, everyone. It's good to be here on this overcast, drizzly Sunday. How has your weekend been? We've been laying low around the house, biding our time with some relaxed indoor activities between naps and meals.

The cold, rainy weather has pretty much thwarted all of our plans, beginning with Friday's weekly trip to the biergarten.

"Radar is not looking good," wrote Cassie over a hangouts message.

"I guess we'll just have to all take naps instead," replied Marissa. "See you guys next week."

Not to make napping in the rain sound like a big letdown, either. A rainy day nap is a formidable backup plan, if you ask me. Especially because we still haven't turned our heat on, and the temperature in our house continues to drift downward into the critical cozy zone. Double blankets. Hoodies and sweaters. I've even busted out the first pair of socks I've worn since quarantine began.

It seems like Rodney doesn't share our appreciation for naps. He was still pretty bummed that the our biergarten date was called off. So Marissa had an idea to set up our own biergarten style picnic in the living room. We laid out some blankets and pillows on the ground, got a round of drinks, and ordered pizza.

2020 09 13 pizza party

Indoor living room pizza party.

"Dada, we watch dudes?" asked Rodney. Dudes, of course, being his name for the movie Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

"No dude," I replied. "It's Momma's pick today."

"And we're watching Despicable Me," Marissa added. "I think he's finally old enough to appreciate it," she whispered to me.

Rodney did not enjoy it. Amazingly, he remained completely unaffected even by the scenes with the minions. I would have thought that their silly sounds, props, and antics would have had him rolling in laughter.

"I think this movie is done, can we be done now?" pleaded Rodney. We were in the climax of Despicable Me, and the heart warming ending even had me misty eyed.

We had a great Saturday too. Marissa and I found a better way to divvy the time up between writing and watching the kids. Instead of jumping right into writing in the morning, I first hung around the house with Rodney and cooked a big brunch for us.

"I liked making food before writing," I shared later that day. "It felt like I earned the writing time first, instead of just borrowing it from you."

"It worked out well for me too," said Marissa. "I like waking up to a big breakfast."

If I'm being honest, most of my writing time on Saturday is spent just looking at old pictures. While scrolling through our endless photo stream in search of a topic, I too easily get pulled into just looking at old pictures and videos for nostalgia sake.

I find it interesting that Rodney has a hard time recognizing Marissa and I even from a few years ago. "Whose that?" I questioned him pointing at and old picture of us on vacation in the Ozarks on the screen.

"I dunno," smiled Rodney.

"Dude - that's us. That's momma and dadda," I laughed.

Rodney can't even recognize himself sometimes. He misidentified his own baby pictures as his brother Miles. But maybe that's forgivable. If we're talking just baby pictures, they're practically photocopies of each other.

For dinner last night, I whipped together one of our fast favorites, bistro style chicken. The most shocking thing about the recipe is how many onions go into making the sauce.

"This was three onions," I snickered, as we dug into dinner. "That's literally an onion per person."

The onions are pre cooked in butter, then finished cooking under some chicken thighs and deglazed with some vinegar. "The recipe works with chicken, pork cutlets, and even frog legs if you want," Stephane explains in the recipe video.

2020 09 13 chicken

French Bistro style chicken

This morning, I've got football on my mind. Today at noon, the Chicago Bears play the Detroit Lions for their season opener. Usually on Sundays, we sleep in and watch church with lunch. Today church has been scheduled until later this afternoon.

To celebrate, I started a batch of Chef John's RAM wings, leaving them to marinate in the fridge overnight. But lacking fresh rosemary and good chili powder, I decided to take the recipe rogue.

"I switched gears and went the curry and tumeric route," I told Marissa, stirring the bowl. "Some chopped up garlic also snuck in there."

Marissa leaned into the bowl for a whiff. "I'm a fan," she said. "I love curry."

"So who are you most excited to see play?" I asked.

"Honestly, Mitch," she said. "I'd like to see him redeem himself this season."

"Me too," I replied. "I'm going to be a positive fan this season and root for Mitch too. But we also have our defense, and they're fun to watch no matter what."

Thanks for stopping by today, everyone. Hope you use the rest of the weekend to relax, eat good food, and maybe even watch some football. Thanks for stopping by today, and go bears.