SoCS — Saving for a Rainy Day

The good news is that over the last two weeks of December into the first week of January, Northern California, where I live, had a lot of rain. The state received more precipitation in the final few months of 2021 than in the previous 12 months, according to National Weather Service. We desperately needed it, as we’ve been in a severe drought for the past few years.

In fact, 2021 was one of the driest years in recent memory, but the state got off to a notably wet start in 2022. At the driest point of this drought in late October, almost 50% of California was at the Exceptional drought level.

That said, we haven’t had any measurable rain over the past week and there’s little to no rain in the forecast through the rest of this month. So even though we received significant amounts of rain, and the central Sierra Nevada mountains got record levels of snow, Northern California’s drought is far from over. And there is less than three months left of the “rainy” season.

In a clear sign that the drought persists, California recently adopted new emergency regulations aimed at stopping residents from wasting the state’s precious water.

We are without a rainy day in sight and now there are residential water restrictions in place with violation fines of up to $500 a day. Well damn, so much for my newly landscaped, beautifully idyllic backyard.

Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, where we are asked to write about the first thing that comes to mind when we think of the phrase “a rainy day.”

SoCS — Hairball

I woke up this morning to find that my cat had coughed up a large hairball on our area rug in the family room. It’s not his fault. He’s a cat, and that’s what cats do.

So I went to the cabinet in the laundry room, pulled out my spray bottle of Resolve and, after removing the “solid” part of the hairball with a paper towel, I sprayed the dark stain remaining on the light gray rug. I waited three minutes for Resolve to do its magic and then took a sponge and blotted the spot. Viola! Stain gone. Problem resolved.

Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, where we are to use the word “resolve.” Done and done!

SoCS — Yum!

For this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, Linda G. Hill has given us the word “yum” and asked us to use it any way we’d like.

The first thing I thought about was “Yummy Yummy Yummy,” a dreadful bit of bubblegum music from 1968 recorded by a group called Ohio Express.

I’m sorry that you had to listen to that. With that unpleasantness out of the way, let’s move on.

The formal definition of the word “yum” is that it’s an utterance “used to express pleasure at eating, or at the prospect of eating, a particular food.” And that made me think about Ben & Jerry’s Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream ice cream, my favorite flavor of ice cream.

Unfortunately, the sad truth is that, since I had ear surgery to remove a growth in my middle ear back at the end of 2019, I have lost my sense of taste. So these days, with literally no sense of taste, I’m not deriving much pleasure from eating food. Because without a sense of taste, everything I eat — and eat I must in order to stay alive — is fairly tasteless. Hence, I don’t often say — or feel — “yum” anymore.

SoCS — Opposites

When Linda G. Hill asked us to use the word “opposites” or write about things that are opposites for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, I immediately thought about when we brought home two dogs who were litter mates years ago in the late Eighties.

These were both Labrador retriever puppies, about eight weeks old, when we brought them home. They weren’t pure bred Labs, but seemed to be mostly Lab. Little did we know how opposite to one another they would turn out to be.

One, the female, was a chocolate Lab. The male was a yellow Lab. He was sweet, affectionate, and mellow. She was high strung, ditsy, and nervous. He was a homebody who rarely seemed to want to leave the house or wander away from the yard. She was an escape artist and a runner. Any time anyone would open a door she would try to run out of the house and would literally run until she dropped.

He was motivated by food and treats and would respond whenever we shook the biscuit box. She seemed to be relatively uninterested in treats. He always wanted to be around us, close to us, and would either snuggle next to us when my wife and I were on the couch watching TV or would drape his 80 pound body across the two of us. She rarely sat near us and more often than not, would pace back and forth or go lie down in the corner when we watched TV.

Our dogs lived to the ripe old ages (for large breed dogs) of 14 (the male) and 15 (the female). They were opposites, but we loved them both and still miss them terribly.