My wife went to Santa Rosa, CA today to visit with life-long friends and family. I was left to my own devices. It turned out to be a really good day.

Pancakes with Dana

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I REALLY like breakfast. It’s my favorite meal. Probably because it’s the first one of the day. This morning, I woke up with a desire for pancakes (my favoritist breakfast food).

I whipped up a breakfast of champions (don’t tell my doctor!): pancakes, ham, and eggs. Whenver I eat this, I’m reminded of Agent Cooper from the show “Twin Peaks” who rhapsodised “Nothing beats the taste sensation when maple syrup [claps his hands] collides with ham.” He is absolutely on-point with this.

Following breakfast, my wife (“long suffering wife” to use her description) left on a road trip to Santa Rosa, California. She was going to drop off some camping gear to our son and his family, then visit with some life-long friends. She loaded the Subaru Crosstrek and off she went. The rest of the day’s adventures were about to begin. So exciting!

Weed-whacker repairs

Next on the day’s agenda was repairing our broken week-whacker. We use a Ryobi 40V string trimmer since that power supply works with our other Ryobi tools. The motor had burned out and needed replacing. I placed one on order and it arrived this week. Time to put it in play!

It took a few minutes to clean things up and assemble the tool. But I got it working.


I replaced the motor on my @RYOBI Tools USA #stringtrimmer (AKA Weed Whacker). It works again! #countrylife #ryobi

♬ original sound – Borracho y Loco
A TikTok detailing my Ryobi string trimmer repair

Following that challenge a nap was called for. I napped.


I needed to get started on some errands. Specifically, I needed to replenish my stock of Tequila and Bourbon.

After my nap, I got in my Miata and went into town (where the sidewalk starts). Top-down, of course. It was a beautifully sunny day in California Gold Country and a “topless” drive into town was called for.

I drove down some country roads where I could enjoy the sun, sights, smells, and sounds of the drive into town. Our area of California is exactly what convertibles are made for. It was glorious!

I bought my stuff, and headed back home to start the afternoon chores.

My red 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata
My 2015 Miata.

Dryer lint

My chores included doing some laundry. The wash portion went without incident. Incidents, however, soon followed.

When I was moving the laundry to the dryer, I noted that the lint trap wasn’t seating properly. I looked into the dryer and was surprised to see that there was A LOT of lint in the dryer. A LOT!

I was reminded of a senior classmate in my US Navy Officer Candidate School. He was a submariner working to become a Commissioned Officer (so was I). He liked to tell us that the “number 1 cause of fires aboard submarines is laundry lint.” To this day, I’ve neither confirmed, nor denied, that this is in fact true. But it’s stuck with me since.

After cleaning out as much lint as I could, I was finally able to start drying clothes. It was now time to start dinner.

Making dinner

We’d eaten pizza for Friday night’s dinner. I didn’t want to eat leftover pizza for dinner. I found some pork chops in the freezer and immediately knew my dinner’s main course: Chile Colorado.

Chile Colorado was a favorite of many at my family’s restaurant. I’m not sure it’s authentically Mexican. I think it’s in the same lines as burritos and egg fu yung: Created in the USA based on traditonal recipes. Nonetheless, it was MY favorite dish at our restaurant. I knew the basic recipe, so my choice was made.

I also decided to make some fresh beans. Frijoles a la olla are just beans boiled in water with a dash of salt. At our house we usually get Rosarita brand canned beans. It’s what my wife likes because they’re easy to add to a meal. “They’re vegetarian” she like to say, completely ignoring the ingredient list in my home made beans (see above).

I made both beans and Chile Colorado. Both were delicious!

On the plate, it looked like this.

My dinner consisting of Chile Colorady, rice, beans, salad and tortillas.

Office Hours on the back porch

After dinner, I moved to the back porch with the dogs for our “Office Hours” session.

Office Hours are normally the time between 5 PM and 6:30 PM where I sit on the porch with our dogs, enjoying a cocktail and tweeting with my internet friends. During lockdown, I lived life online with friends on Twitter (now “X”). Minutes spent with them, joking about all aspects of life allowed me to remain (mostly) sane during the lockdown period, and even now. I’m an extrovert. I get energy by being with people. Being deprived of actual in-person contact during the initial lockdown, and even now, weighed heavily on me. The minutes spent laughing online were a life-saver.

This evening, the weather was perfect (mid 70s F) and the light on the back part of our lot was inspiring. The perfect Office Hours session.

A magical beam of light

While sitting on the back deck with the dogs and my playlist, I decided to enjoy a cigar and a small whiskey.

While enjoying my cigar, I looked up the back slope of our yard. There, there were some beams of light working their way through the trees’ canopies. In one of those light beams, I could see a cloud of gnats reveling over some damp grass. They were flitting back and forth enjoying this moment of their short life. They were living their best life, without question.

I grew up in the woods. My father work at a lumber camp until I was 12 years old. I’d seen these clouds of gnats before, many times. Tonight, however, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I brought a warmth over me that I’d not experience in a very long time. That sight made me happy.

The day is done

That was my day. Nothing special, yet it all hit just right. I hope tomorrow is just as exciting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *