Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cool front, an anxious dog, and a good day

In Texas, there is almost nothing as breath-taking as the first day a cool front breaks a record heat wave. Yesterday or the day before we had 107. Rain came through yesterday afternoon and again during the night, and today's high is predicted to be 89. When I went out to run errands, it felt cool and wonderful. I wore a long-sleeved top I'd been avoiding, opened all the windows on the car, and charged ahead (too much chance of rain to take the top down!). It honestly changes your attitude dramatically. Good thing is it's supposed to go only to the mid-90s all week. No, I don't know how much rain--probaby not as much as we need, but it was a blessing.
It must have been the rain, however, that upset Scooby about three a.m. Usually these days he sleeps through storms, comfy and safe in his bed. When I got him from the Humane Society sevven-and-a-half years ago, he absolutely panicked at rain, thunder and lightning. He'd even claw at my legs as though he wanted to get in my lap. These days, he's so much calmer, and I tell myself it's because he feels secure. But he sure didn't last night--began to paw at the edge of the bed and pant in my face, so I reluctantly decided he need to go out, watched out the back door while he peed and then went around the corner to the side of the house whre he often poops. Brought him back him, loved him, and went back to bed. No good. He now began putting both front paws on the bed, which left him looming over me like some kind of monster in the night. I loved, reassured, commanded, ignored--nothing worked. So feeling guilty, I put him back out and turned away from his pitying look--after all, he has a perfectly fine dog house. Of course by then I was wide awake and lay awake a long time.  Today he seems calmer--I bet he too likes the cool air.
You know those days when you cross a bunch of things off your to-do list? I had one today, and it is such a good feeling. Got going early--went to VW, where they replaced a brake light and washed the car for no charge. I was in and out in 20 minutes. Then I went exploring to Vickery and the South Freeway (not a cool part of town) to pick up a printed history of the O. B. Macaroni Company (I've skimmed about half of it this afternoon and taken notes); ended my morning errands at Origins where I swear I spend more money than at Central Market--I just don't go as often. Came home, did my yoga, showered, dealt with the morning's voluminous e-mail, ate lunch, and got to work. Feeling sort of smug, if I do say so.
Betty and I finished off the day by having dinner at Brownstone, a new restaurant in the complex that's grown up off West Seventh in Fort Worth. Brownstone features down-home cooking and offers such things as succotash, chard, and crispy chicken livers--we were both really tempted by the latter, but since I'd eaten chopped chicken liver on Monday, I just couldn't do that. I had a Pick of the Greens salad with creamy buttermilk dressing, and Betty had a Texas salad of black-eyed peas and corn. Mine was good, and hers also looked tempting. She ordered a chicken pot pie (really like a fried pie). I had a bite and it was good, but not something I'd order again. I'd been warned against this restaurant, but we both really liked it and will go back. Who knows? We may split those chicken livers sometime.
Came home and finished taking notes on the history of O. B. Macaroni--I'll return the book tomorrow, since it's the company's only copy of this privately printed book. The O.B. story is interesting particularly because of what it reflects about Italian immigrants in the 20th century and about family owned businesses--four generations. Only last year was it sold to "new folk," but they appreciate the history a lot. I'm really having fun with the food book I'm writing.

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