Saturday, July 25 2020
This morning as I made Saturday morning coffee, I also fried up the chanterelle's I'd gathered a couple nights before. I fried them with onions and Soy Boy brand faux bacon (not my favorite, that would still be LightLife). Initially Powerful had been as dubious as Gretchen about the chanterelles, but when he saw them in the frying pan, he had to have some. As for me, I used them as the main component of a BLTesque bagel and then combined them with faux sour cream in little soft corn tortilla tacos.
None of us could figure out what the New York Times Spelling Bee panagram was, but the letters were "yitriuma," with a in the middle. I say "yitriuma" becaue "yittrium" was the only element I could make with that combination of letters. [I figured it out the next day: "maturity."]
I spent much of the day cutting up pieces of Durock and Hardibacker (both waterproof substrates designed for tile beds) and attaching it in place in the space where the new tub will go. I also briefly shut off the water to make an adjustment to the plumbing system I'd created yesterday. I wanted it all as orthogonal as possible so that components that end up outside the wall will be easy to attach and not look like shit.
As I worked, some gun nut was doing a lot of shooting down at the bus turnaround, so Gretchen called the sheriff to lodge a sound ordinance complaint. One of the deputies showed up at our house a little earlier than expected, and he was intimidated enough by Neville to reach for one of the weapons on his belt. But we managed to calm Neville down and by the end he was being less threatening (but still suspicious).
Gretchen and Powerful took the Prius to Tivoli, thinking the battery on the Leaf was too depleted for that drive. There, they returned a wooden bowl and dropped off some cupcakes at Alex & Celia's house, though both were still on their way home from Maine at the time.
Meanwhile I drove out to Lowes to get a thick 5-ply 3/4 inch sheet of plywood for making the new tub decking. I also got some two-by-fours for building support structures, silicone caulk, two half-inch steel plumbing plugs (there apparently no such things made of copper), and a number of plumbing bits for hooking up the new tub's drain and building a makeshift tub filler.
Meanwhile there'd been some drama with the 43 acre parcel we looked at a couple weeks ago. It seems the realtor showed it to another potential buyer who put in a bid on it at about the same time Gretchen did yesterday or the day before. The realtor then came back telling us the situation and saying that we should now make our best offer. Gretchen's earlier offer had been for $111,000, so after consulting with me, she made a $135,000 offer. Shortly thereafter, our offer was accepted, partly (the realtor insinuated) because our financial paperwork was in better order for the sale (which would be cash-only). Gretchen is more excited about the parcel than I am, though this has more to do with it being such a huge undertaking. Lacking any buildings, one would have to be built. But already Gretchen is researching how to outsource that completely so that I wouldn't actually have to do anything. I'm concerned about all the expenses, of course, but Gretchen has that all figured out too somehow.
This evening, the family drove (with the dogs) to Woodstock for dinner at the Garden Café. This was the first time I'd ever ridden with Powerful driving (something he can do under the terms of his learner's permit). This might have been the first time since driver's ed class in tenth grade that I have ridden as a passenger while an experienced driver drove. It's a little unnerving to experience someone constantly over-and-under-steering and then having to compensate, but it's a stage we all must go through, since this is the raw process of training "muscle memory." Firtunately, Powerful tended to drive slowly and keep fairly well in-lane. He took us all the way to the charge port near the Woodstock Yum Yum, where we began charging next to a Tesla.
The Garden Café was full when we arrived, so we had to get on a list. While waiting, we strolled down Tinker Street some distance, sat for a time on some steps, and then walked back and waited on a bench near the entrance to the Garden's outdoor seating place (the only part of it that is presently open). You would think during a pandemic, when seating is tighter for restaurants, people would understand this and not linger casually through a leisurely dessert. But people are assholes, even the kind willing to be vegan for the evening. Gretchen saw multiple people taking their sweet time while we were clearly waiting for a table. One of the waitresses allowed us to order drinks from the bench, which was nice, but then Ramona charged belligerantly after another dog and I spilled part of my Abbey Ale on my shirt and shorts.
Tonight I might've had my best dinner yet at the Garden, starting with a bowl of the red bean soup (which was from near the bottom of the pot nearly as thick as chili). I also had the quesadilla special, which was an unexpected delight. I will definitely be getting that again.
Meanwhile our dogs had wandered to the ends of their leashes to lie at the feet of a couple of nice young women in sundresses at a nearby table, one of whom was heavily tattooed. They were delighted by the dogs, particularly how "chonky" Neville was.
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