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Rainy days and Saturdays

March 3, 2012

Today was planned for me a couple of weeks back. Opening day of city league softball for Sparkette.  Afternoon work shift for me.

But then it rained.  And rained.  And rained.

Opening day ceremony time first got pushed back a couple hours, and then cancelled.  Understandably, because it was pouring buckets of water from the sky, with intermittent flashes and booms.  I was glad that I no longer had to figure out how to get my hair to survive the opening day ceremonies well enough that it would still be suitable for work.  But then as I was finishing getting ready and preparing to leave for work, I received a phone call from the sales lead at the store. Heavy rain usually means a slow day, and that was exactly what was panning out.  I checked the weather radar, and it looked like it was going to continue to rain the whole day.  We decided that the store was adequately staffed without me, and suddenly, I had the afternoon off.

If I don’t work on a day, I usually wear less makeup, do less with my hair, and I don’t drink coffee because I love me a good afternoon nap. But here I was, jacked on caffeine with out-and-about makeup and hair.  I cast my little eye about and it fell on Mr. Sparky.

Mr. Sparky had a grand plan to use the afternoon to do finance stuff on the computer.  It didn’t take too much talking to convince him that maybe we should hang out instead.  We don’t get to hang out much, and it just seemed like a good idea in spite of the rain.  We had a heck of a time coming up with a plan, though.  Isn’t it weird that you can think of stuff to do until you actually have a bit of time to go do it, and then you can’t think of a blasted thing?

Our time was limited because we had to drop the Sparkette off at a friend’s house to work on a school project and then pick her up at a reasonable time.  That ruled out lunch and a movie.  I suggested a trip to Seaside because Mr. Sparky has never been to the Justin Gaffrey art gallery out there, which totally rocks, but we needed to grab a bite and we we were afraid we wouldn’t have time for that, either. And for that matter, we couldn’t decide what we wanted to eat.

In the end we decided that since we wanted a light lunch, we’d go somewhere and order a couple of appetizers.  “Somewhere” ended up being Cantina Laredo.  We ordered the guacamole and the shrimp and scallop ceviche.  Plenty of food, and a chance to try things we normally don’t order because ordering an appetizer AND an entree is usually far too much food, unless we’re talking Bang Bang Shrimp from Bonefish and then who cares how much food it is.  Our appetizers were very good and very unlike anything we’d normally have, so that made it fun.  Then I got to pop into two of my most favorite stores in the area:  Fusion Art Glass, and The Zoo Gallery.  I was so sorry when The Zoo Gallery left the Commons.  It was my main reason for going to the Commons, at least until I started going to church there and working there.  A whole store of artsy weird and fantastically quirky beauty.  It just doesn’t get much better than that for me.

We stopped by Fresh Market on our way back to pick up the Sparkette.  I’ve been searching for unsweetened coconut for some time now and haven’t been able to locate it at the local grocery stores.  We circled the store once, focusing especially on the freezer area because I suspected I’d find it frozen.  I didn’t find it frozen.  I found something much, much better:

The Best Stuff EVER.


Graeter’s Ice Cream comes from Cincinnati, Ohio.  When we make our trips back to Ohio to visit family, our routes are determined by the locations of the nearest Skyline Chili restaurants and Graeter’s Ice Cream shops.

And no, I’m not joking.  We take our Buckeye Food very seriously.

Of all the flavors of Graeter’s, Black Raspberry Chip is the very best.  Graeter’s originally made hand-dipped chocolates.  The “chips” in their chip ice cream is that same dipping chocolate, and it never gets hard or waxy like regular chocolate chips do.  It is also dropped in the ice cream in a way that it freezes into random chewy chunks, some the size of small candy bars.

I’m not joking about that, either.  I don’t kid around about ice cream.  Serious stuff, I tell ya.

Needless to say, I had sugar at dinner tonight.  But not until I’d first had this scrumptious Chef Mr. Sparky creation:

What is that, you ask?  Sauteed chicken breasts with Sherry Cream Sauce with Mushrooms.  Looks good, huh?  Tastes 427 times better than it looks.  Trust me.

Now it’s pajama time, which is a very good time of the day.  If you don’t believe me, come see me at work and buy a pair of pajamas and see if you ever want to take them off.  Well, unless you’re a dude, at which point you should probably at least pretend that you’re buying them for your wife, girlfriend, sister, mother, or lunch lady.  I try to be progressive in my thinking, but you know…they say it takes all kinds, but it really doesn’t.  There simply are all kinds.

Rainy days can be really nice days.  Even if you don’t get a nap.  And by “you”, I mean me.


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