Spraying the garbage cans with ammonia and water seems to have deterred Mr. (or Ms.) Bear, at least so far. Either I am no longer on the regular buffet route, or he or she has started hibernating, if in fact they do hibernate here. I have no idea if they do or what causes it if so, since we don’t get snow* and don’t even get a dramatic enough temperature change to change the leaves in most cases. Maybe it is daylight (or lack of it), though. I have had a few days where it’s been dark when I went to work and dark when I went home. Winter’s here!

I am pleased to report that I managed to avoid being “de-energized”, as our frenemies at PG&E call it. The lights stayed on at work and at home, and the threat of being powerless made me revisit my power outage capabilities at home, making sure I have water and lanterns. I was concerned that I would not be able to use my stove, since it uses electricity to ignite, but a friend told me that I could use a match. He suggested a long one, I will try it out before it becomes a total necessity. At least, that’s my intention. Hopefully the threat of not being able to have coffee or cook will motivate me to actually do it.

It also made me fill up my car sooner than my designated day of Friday, even though the gas tank was close to half full. It was soon overflowing. I usually set the pump to fill and then go and put my wallet away in the car, and this time, when I turned around, gas was spurting out of the side of my car at an alarming rate. I hastily yanked out the spout and replaced it, trying to avoid dousing myself and walking in the spilled gas any more than was strictly necessary.

I went and told the gas station cashier and she put a red “out of order” sleeve on the spout and said she’d clean up the spilled gas. I washed off the side of the car and the bottoms of my shoes with the windshield wiper squeegee thoughtfully provided, but I was sure my car smelled like gas and wondered if I had gotten it on my clothes, too. I’m pretty sure some of the $41 I spent on gas was for spillage, not Wednesday.

After work, I went to pick up many barbecued pork dinners at the high school. It was a fundraiser for the school’s agriculture program, and young men don’t cook dinner for me as often as I’d like. I picked up dinner for myself, my sister, and my boss and her husband, retracing my steps to deliver the dinners to the ER to await my sister’s arrival and to my boss to take home if/when she ever left work that evening. On the way home, I wondered if my car smelled more like barbecue or gasoline.

*What, never? No, never! What, Never? Hardly ever!

A YEAR AGO: Pearls and cocktails. What could be Suzier than that?

FIVE YEARS AGO: Sick and tired.

TEN YEARS AGO: Polished.


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