November Day

I slept long this morning, but the sun awoke me blinking through the window shades with persistence from the east. It’s funny: When I yawn and stretch, my cat Calvin does exactly the same. Not that I make it a requirement for him to do so — he must assume that we should arise at the same time. Either that or he knows that feeding time is not too far off now. He did miss this little “stereo” routine once, but that was when he was hiding from the “blue monster” (the garbage truck). Who can blame him?

In just a matter of two weeks and with the cold nights that now about, the leaves of the two maples sitting in their pots on the stairway have turned from green to golden-yellow and carmine just like that. They have decided that it is indeed fall, a concept that many California trees fail to grasp.

A two-for-one coupon encourages me to make a trip to Jamba Juice. And no: my cat does not drink Jamba Juice. As I enter the store, I see Christmas decorations. Sigh — tis the season of merchandising again. As I point this out to the manager, he shrugs his shoulders: “corporate”, “but I wont’ put on the Christmas music until after Thanksgiving”, he adds. I give him a high-five as I leave with my juice.

On my computer calendar I notice that it is only 10 days until the 1. Advent. The year seems to have gone by fast, at least part of it for me. I almost miss the beautiful sunset as I’m typing, as God tells me to pay attention and I look toward the west out of my office window to catch the last dance of color in the sky. 

Avocados and Donuts

I overslept a bit this morning, so I quickly gobble down a 1/2 bowl of cereal before driving to Church. I see the beautiful hedge of oleanders that I normally drive by has been butchered: a good three or four feet of it  lopped off at the top, destroying most of the flowers. Not only that, but now one can see the trailers sitting behind this normally tall natural fence. I hope whoever is guilty of this act of barbarism, does not refer to themselves as a gardener. Poor oleanders.

After service at the farmer’s market I buy an avocado. I always let the girl that sells them choose one or sometimes a few for me, and she always chooses well. I pick up a giant of a peach too, after tasting a sample of it, and as all good things come in three: a bag of almonds. I love the farmer’s market.

There is a fluffy white dog that goes by the name of Molly, that I occasionally (which now seems to be regularly) feed at the nearby coffee shop. She knows me very well. Ducking into the donut shop after completing my purchases at the market, I buy “our” favorite donut: an old-fashioned powdered. It is amusing to see how she sits up on her back feet to gently take the small pieces I break off from the donut. Sometimes she jumps up too, a good three to four feet when I hold a piece higher — a remarkable feat for a dog that is about a half a foot tall. I would guess she usually gets the better half of our shared donut.

Have a blessed Sunday


14 Cookies ?

Oozing out of bed like a banana slug this morning, I get ready for church, toasting some bread which is topped with mayo and smoked turkey. Two pit stops: the first is at Peet’s coffee, where I intend to purchase my favorite Sunday drink: a small café au lait with plenty of milk and whipped cream on top (lots). Since the cup would be lonely by itself, I order a Florentine cookie from the barista to keep it company. The barista leans forward and says: “What?  14 cookies?” Er, no – a Florentine not 14. I am soft-spoken but that was quite a stretch – 14. It appears a bit greedy too – I’m glad matters are settled quickly.

Stop No. 2: the bakery. A long line snakes out the door and to the side along the sidewalk. The line advances footstep by footstep. I see a little girl sitting behind the window and I softly tap on the window: tap tap tap. As I do, I quickly put my arm to the side and turn my hand to look straight ahead. Out of the corner of my eye, I see her turn and look outside, most likely wondering where the errant woodpecker might be. The third time she catches me, confirming the oversize woodpecker and laughs. I wave at her.

I arrive in front of church and settle back in the car, sipping my coffee amidst alternating bites of the Florentine cookie before going in. I’m still a bit sleepy, but then I have to laugh, as I see a potted plant sitting directly in front of me on the hood of a car. The car has most definitely seen better days, but I don’t think it is abandoned. This will remain a mystery as the car is gone when I come back from a quiet Labor Day service.

Have a blessed Sunday

Late Summer Chili

Although chili con carne tends to disagree with me, we do on occasion come to a mutual meeting of the minds, or the stomach, as the case may be.  I pull up to the Wendy’s Drive Thru to once again argue with my stomach. Normally one is first greeted and then prodded to try the latest menu offerings, but surprisingly, I am only asked what I would like to order. “A large bowl of chili please,” I say to the voice behind the speaker “With onions, cheese, and sour cream”? “Yes please — that’s the best way to eat chili, I respond. “$2.99 at the window please”, says the voice behind the speaker. “Oh, and some ice water too”, I add. I loosen my seat belt and dig through my left pocket, which is kind enough to dispense three crisp dollar bills. I pull up to the window and the girl with the headset gives me a cup of ice water and a straw. With patient anticipation, I wait for the second part of the order. After a few minutes, she hands me a bag with what I presume is the chili inside and says: “aquí está”. Her supervisor who is standing behind her smiles at me and asks: “speak Spanish”? The girl is a little befuddled, as she realizes she has spoken in Spanish to me. I just laugh and the supervisor’s smile grows bigger. “Poquito”, I exaggerate, as the chili and I happily head home together.