Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

bark at an askance glance

Late Friday afternoon, my wife and I were on the phone together, looking forward to coming home from work and have a nice dinner of fresh seafood. When I arrived home at 6:30 p.m., everything had changed. She was on the phone with the husband of her college roommate and long-standing friend. They live in the Virginia DC suburbs. Her friend's husband let my wife know her friend was in the hospital. She's been having worrying bouts of ill health lately. We shifted gears from "quiet evening at home" to "lightning last minute travel planning". We found a flight, a hotel room, and a rental car for my wife to go be a support to her friend and her friend's family.
Our fresh seafood dinner turned into a quick sandwich at Subway [quite tasty, actually]. We got to bed late, and then my wife was up at 4 a.m. to catch her 6:15 flight.

I picked up my young friend at 8. We started our day at the Heard Natural Science Center. As we stood outside, a woman commented how everything was "green with no color. Typical Texas". I believe she must live in the suburbs.

The sky was overcast, with a hint of potential rain. The wildflowers, spurred, perhaps, by recent rains, were out in abundance. We hiked the Wood Duck Trail, and enjoyed it.

Wildflowers by the trail

stand of coneflowers

Engelmann Daisy

purple coneflower

red-bellied woodpecker

We drove to Denton to once more visit Mad World Records. We spoke with the owner about ideaas for new metal bands for my friend to sample. Surprisingly, the owner told us that local metal bands had been slow to add CD's to the store's substantial local band selection. My friend bought a metal CD of a band he'd bought before. I bought a shoegaze album by Hotel Hotel which has not caught my attention, and a jazz album by the Alison Brown Quartet which I am enjoying. The banjo makes a fine jazz instrument.

We dined at Raphael's, a Tex/Mex restaurant 10 miles east of Denton. I always enjoy this restaurant. I had butterflied shrimp served with garlic, while my friend had a huge chimichanga. Granted, I exceeded my 12 tortilla chip limit for chips by a factor of 2 or so, but it worked out fine.

We then had a frozen yogurt at a nearby shop, and drove back to Collin County.

I dropped by EyeMasters about my glasses. "What is the problem?". "They are cattywumpus". "Oh, I see.". They were adjusted and cleaned in short order. On a lovely Spring day, the shopping areas were jammed.

I stopped by the Kroger and bought the following things to cook up for dinner:

A. baking potatoes;
B. loose carrots;
C. zucchini squash;
D. crookneck squash;
E. an ear of corn; and
F. low-fat flour tortillas.

I loaded A through E in my crockpot, to cook on low for four hours.

At 6:00 p.m. I headed to Foxboro Park in Richardson. My Weight Watchers group was participating in a 5K walk.
A 5K walk is not a particularly epic journey for me, as I walk more than 5K most weekends.
But it was great seeing dozens of people out determinedly walking, especially to the extent that it shattered
stereotypes about sedentary overweight people. I was pleased to see the Foxboro Park had large, old trees,
and that the neighboring Spring Creek preserve had lots of blanket flowers.

trees at foxboro park

Blanket flower, Spring Creek Nature preserve

I came home and took my dogs for a short walk. They enjoyed that immensely. Our walks these days are quite a sight, with Teddy moving so slowly and Beatrice straining to go forward. When a woman jogging across the street gave us a slightly, even inoffensively, askance glance, Ted let out a huge bark, and seemed delighted with herself for doing so.

At 8:30 p.m., I ate my vegetable dinner. I believe in the saying that it is impossible to
err when cooking with the crockpot on low. The corn, which I had wrapped in aluminum foil.
came out extraorindinarily sweet and succulent. The squash and zucchini was soft and tasty. The baked potato
was a bit less moist than I prefer, but nonetheless quite good. Next time I'll use
new potatoes.

I spoke with my wife by phone about the news from Virginia. We hope for the best. Her friend is a thoroughly good egg holding on with a few difficult health cards. I'll pray for her. I tried to watch the movie about how to train a dragon, but it did not catch my interest. I watched the Dallas Mavericks basketball team defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team. I will end my evening soon, with a murder mystery, some shortwave radio, and a good night's sleep.

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