Saturday, September 25, 2010

In Praise of the Common Nap

Nothing special planned for Tuesday, we set out across to, and then up Remigio Crespo to check the spice store and get some pecans.  Our plan was to also wander down the street to the Comisariato and check it out for products we couldn't find in SuperMaxi.  We picked up pecans, candied cherries & (glory be) chocolate chips at the spice store.  Shelley's been using the chips from the chocolate fondu packages as a substitute lately.  They're larger and flatter and have more oil in them, but are just about the only thing in town.  Finding actual real chips was a red letter day thing.  As we we were close, we also stopped at the Fybeca on Remigio Crespo and Shelley bought some slippers she'd been eyeing there.  Can you believe it!  The first pair she tried on were too big!  Next, we wandered down the street to the Comisariato and Shelley went in while Brian & Fredi took a walk around the block.  She bought some whole wheat flour, more candied fruit, Argentina Chorizo sausage (we'll see how it is) and something called Dristan caliente for the next time we have cold (reminiscent of NeoCitron which we liked in Canada).   Next, Shelley & Fredi sat under a shade tree on the boulevard while Brian went in to check the store.  He came out empty handed.  "I almost bought a bottle of wine that looked good and that they don't have at SuperMaxi" he told Shelley "...but I didn't".  We caught a cab home, and Brian just managed to catch his friend Jan (back in Holland on a holiday) on Skype.  Shelley cleaned and re-arranged cupboards and suggested to Brian they needed to get made a small side board for extras.  Brian wants a small freezer (which we haven't seen yet) and Shelley wanted to know why not get both?  It became a tentative plan.  And the day whirled and spun as it will. 

It seems we're on a minor quest to maybe get a sideboard and a small freezer.  We walked on Wednesday to a store, sort of in our neighbourhood, to look at side boards.  Shelley found something she absolutely loved for $1,195.  It was antique and was hand painted with delicate flowers.  We didn't get it.  That evening we all went out to enjoy a supper at a friend's place.  We had a regional U.S. (North Carolina) specialty; hotdogs with mustard, chili & cold slaw and a side of baked beans.  The food was great and the company was enjoyable!

It was a chore day on Thursday and we went downtown to check the Post Office for mail, fill up our phone for a month ($10) and price freezers & sideboards.  All of the freezers we saw were too large for our needs.  Prices were between $500 - $700 for the smallest ones, which was OK but even the smallest were too big.  We saw a sideboard in a store that Shelley liked but it was too big as well.  To get one  custom made in the same style but slightly smaller would be about $400.  We went home to chew on that information. 

Shelley made a cracker/chocolate confection on Friday for Brian to take to a large house warming that he was going to on Saturday.  Later on we took a walk down Doce de Abril and dropped into a stationery store to price oil paints & a canvas.  To buy all the supplies, including paint, canvas, brushes, cleaners, etc. it worked out to be about $50.  We then headed past the University and visited the Vega shop semi looking for a sideboard.  We found a cabinet, in our fish motif no less, for about $200.  We didn't pick it up as Shelley wanted to "eye" the apartment with this unusually shaped piece of furniture in mind first.  Then we walked down to Tamariz street, stopped at a nursery there and picked up a new mini-tree for our balcony garden to replace a vine that had tried valiantly but just didn't succeed.  The mini-tree cost $4.50 and we caught a cab home rather than carry it the many blocks back to our apartment.  After eyeing the space next to our dining table, we decided we'd go back to the Vega shop next week and pick up the the unit.  Shelley's going to think awhile about a project before investing any money in paint supplies. 

Those of you who read the blog on a regular basis understand that an afternoon nap is something fairly important to Brian.  We cut social obligations short, plan our days around it, have trained Fredi to nap at the same time and also be a watch dog for the nap, alerting Brian with droopy ears & eyelids that the time has come.  Although Shelley doesn't nap, she uses nap time creatively working on the computer, trying out new recipes, reading, doing art projects, all those things that require alone time, sometimes hard to get.  Brian's nap time has been a lifelong characteristic, getting a stronger hold when he worked the morning shift on radio for several years and had to get up at 3 a.m.  Napping took on a whole new dimension when he worked 12 hour shifts, 4 days on 4 days off, rotating between the day & night shift.  During this period in our lives we also developed a strong tie to a calendar, having no idea what day of the week it was without one.  It also provides fodder for conversation in that Brian often remembers his dreams from nap time.  Into retirement now, nap time has become a reward only reluctantly traded for a few very special obligations.   We have to go now...because you guessed it, it's nap time. 

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