Coffee heat rising

Good Saturday!

G’day, indeed… Here’s a Saturday that’s been an unusually good day. Weirdly so, one could say.

Come noon, Ruby and I are trotting along…Ruby is practically glowing with joy. Her whole little body radiates a single message: oboy, this is a PERFECT dog day! And yea verily: the weather does make for a corgi-perfect perfect dog day: cool, even crisp, under Welsh-gray sky.

The natives were outside frolicking in force. We came across two kid parties and one big yard sale, all with folks hopping around like popcorn. It’s such a nice neighborhood, with legions of great neighbors!

Today I decided to change up my “system” for keeping the rambunctious Ruby under control. Because (like many corgis) she’s given to dramatic episodes of reverse-sneezing, often set off by pressure on the windpipe, I’d been lashing her up in a harness so that she didn’t give herself a choking fit whilst dragging me down the street. This, when she was a pup, had its drawbacks: without the control of a collar, she could and would pull me along like a little tugboat, so I used a tandem (two-dog) leash, clipping one lead to her collar and one to the harness. This provided some extra traction to keep her at heel but little control to communicate my (usually ignored) desires to her doggy brain.

Cassie could not keep up with Ruby charging down the road at full throttle. So I would have one dog dragging me forward and another dragging me backward…not a very happy arrangement. The double-leash lash-up helped ameliorate that, but it was a major PITA. Now that Ruby  and I can move along without an anchor, it’s a great deal more fun to go for a doggy-walk. And this afternoon I finally registered that, now Ruby is no longer a wacksh!t puppy and now that she’s a lot less susceptible to reverse-sneezing frenzies, maybe a single lead attached to the harness would do. Her collar, of course, bears her name and my phone number, so she can’t go without it. But possibly she doesn’t need to be connected to it.

And yea verily! That proved to be the case. She still drags during the first half-mile, but after awhile she was trotting right along like a normal dog. On a perfect dog day.

Sights in Payson…

Yesterday’s comedy of errors — in which I got the date wrong for a long-planned day trip to Payson — having resolved itself, today was freed up for me to go to the special rehearsal for tomorrow’s evensong concert. Hot diggety! Our choir director has lured a gifted guest conductor into town to lead us in this endeavor, and when I heard about this (belatedly arranged) coaching session, I really wanted to go to it.

So that was wonderful. As usual I learned a lot of things and enjoyed every minute of it. It should be a pretty impressive service:

  • William McKie, “We Wait for Thy Loving Kindness” — which was written for the marriage of the then Princess Eizabeth and Lt. Philip Mountbatten in 1947
  • Preces and responses by William Byrd
  • Stanford’s Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in G Major
  • Sir Edward Elgar, “Give Unto the Lord”
  • Salve Regina (a Marian antiphon

The Elgar piece is pretty challenging, at least for the likes of moi. But it’s all truly gorgeous music. So it’s quite a joy to be able to participate in that.

Back at the Funny Farm, I managed to get the paperwork tasks under control, more or less, whilst treating the pained back with an ice pack. I’ve learned the cold seems to work better on this particular spavin than does heat. Indeed, the heating pad sometimes seems to make it even worse, whereas a cold pack numbs the damn thing so no pain (well…little pain) can be felt.

In the paperwork department, I was pleased to find a water bill of “only” $118. This is well below the recent “normal” figures of late. And I’m pretty sure it’s because the pool job must have sealed off a leak. Normally, in wintertime the pool would need to be topped up a couple of times a week — presumably because that much evaporates in the dry air. But nay…since we resurfaced the thing last November, I’ve only added water two or three times. Total! And that, not very much.

Admittedly, we’ve gotten a little rain over the past few weeks. But in fact, “a little” is the operative term: in years past, it would have been nowhere near enough to keep up with the “evaporation.”

Starved after the doggy-dragwalk, I enjoyed a pasta orgy in the afternoon: gorgeous sea scallops sautéed in garlic & olive oil along with some chard and cut-up spring asparagus, then doused in marvelous Pomí tomatoes flavored with a splash of wine. Not too bad at-tall. This, celebrating a return to the desired weight target (to my surprise…).

Oddly enough, pasta that is made in Italy of wheat grown in Italy does NOT elicit the usual effect of bloating me up by two to five pounds. Literally: one serving of ordinary American pasta instantly puts on a chunk of weight, which then takes two or three days to dissipate. But for some reason, a comparable amount of this expensive imported Italian stuff does no such thing. Since pasta is my comfort food, IMHO it’s worth the price. But y’know…. If the Italians can make pasta that doesn’t f**k up your system, I fail to see why we can’t do so, too. At any rate, I never buy American pasta anymore. Try it: you might find the same.

Image: Payson art gallery. By Alan Levine from Strawberry, United States – Down The Street Art Gallery. Uploaded by PD Tillman.