Tuesday, January 18 2022

a weekend in pictures

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everybody. Happy Tuesday. Over the long holiday weekend, I grew too accustomed to lounging around on my own time. Waking up at the crack of 6:30, stumbling downstairs to brew coffee on a school drop-off time crunch, the whole thing felt kind of oppressive. A day off is a treat. But two days off almost feels like an overindulgence. Though tired, groggy, and sore from exercise, I suppose the only choice I have is to keep this weary train on the tracks. Nothing like a few days of regular work life to even things out.

Are you feeling ready to get back to regularly scheduled life? Ready or not, it's time to rock. The train is leaving the station.

Sip. What a long, fulfilling weekend. Combing through our photo library, it feels like we have so much to recap that I'll need to employ the "weekend in pictures" format to get through everything.

Rodney and I made a king sized "choni". We doubled every ingredient in the pizza, hoping to make enough pizza to sustain us through an extended weekend of playoff football and hockey. The dough ball barely fit in our mixer, and when I removed the foil two hours later the dough ball had grown so stupidly large, Rodney stared at it like with his mouth agape like it was a mythical creature. The final baked pizza spanned my entire cutting board.


King sized choni (minnie for scale)

What better way to cut a giant pizza than with a giant knife?


While Rodney was in school, Marissa, Miles, and I hit the town on an errand running spree. Nothing against Rodney, but shopping with one kid is exponentially easier than shopping with two. While Marissa conducted business, all I had to do was follow Miles around and make sure he didn't drool on anything too valuable.


Do you remember the great bouncy ball incident? The one that shattered our dining room window? Here is one last look at the damage.


One of our errands took us to a glass cutting shop in Atwood. Marissa had to buy an old reclaimed window and ask them to cut it down to size. Watching the whole transaction take place, I felt like I was transported into another century - a simpler time where when you needed something, you gave money to real life people in exchange for their labor. We paid the man, he disappeared with the sheet of glass into the back room, and ten minutes later he handed us two neatly wrapped rectangles, perfectly cut to the dimensions of our dining room window. Here's the "after" picture.


And here's the "between" picture. What would be your first reaction if you saw this on the other side of your window?


We picked Rodney up from school, then took a drive to our local reptile store. In the last haul of Christmas presents, I got a miniature glass enclosure for my desk, and I only made up my mind far enough to add fresh dirt, a living plant, and a colony of isopods. But what to put in it? What animal would take up the throne in this lush miniature jungle?


I settled on a type of dwarf tarantula - the Guatemalan Tiger Rump to be exact. This colorful species of tarantula loves a humid and moist habitat. It also stops growing at around four inches. This made it the perfect candidate for the new enclosure, and the local reptile shop happened to have one in stock. To amuse Rodney while I perused, I handed him my phone with my camera open.


The woman at the counter had trouble finding the Davus pentaloris I set aside. She delicately sifted through the library of labeled deli cups in the glass case. Fifty bucks later, and we were heading home with spider number 8 in a brown paper bag.

"What are we going to name him" I asked the group. We looked expectantly at Rodney, hoping he still had the magic touch with naming pets.

"Hmmmm," wondered Rodney aloud. "I think... how about Tio. That's a nice name." Rodney's good taste in pet names strikes again.


Once we got home, we coaxed Tio out of his deli cup. He hesitantly explored the perimeter of his new lush paradise. The next morning, I found him sealed in his cave behind a fresh wall of dirt, which - believe it or not - is one of the signs that a spider is adjusting fine.

Yesterday, Rodney and Marissa drove to visit a friend who was hosting a new litter of puppies. Would you sit in the car of a few hours just to play with some puppies? Of course - the answer is always yes.


We spent the rest of the weekend hanging around the house, watching football. Rodney and I took a trip to Hy-Vee. Rodney brought along his gun, his gloves, his water bottle, and his plastic saw - all part of his "dinosaur hunting gear". We stood at the entrance to Hy-Vee for ten minutes. I patiently waited for Rodney to holster everything in his sweatpants pockets. He may not pack light, but I appreciated getting to shop with a tough looking body guard.

"Take a picture," instructed Rodney, striking a pose by the yogurt wall.


"Nice, you look awesome dude," I commented.

"Let's take another one," said Rodney.


"Even better, I love the variety," I said.

That's what I got today. Thanks for stopping by, and have a great Tuesday.