Weather Alerts saddened me yesterday by taking hoped-for rain out of the immediate forecast (as if they control the weather instead of merely reporting it), and made me laugh this morning by posting an alert, because a cold front is moving in and on Thursday the temperature will “struggle to reach the low fifties” and we might have wind chills into the 20s.

I realize that our lows are highs for other people, but it’s almost December, so cold weather is beyond due, and the only negative aspect of it is that wind makes my eyes tear, and Zorro doesn’t like going for walkies when it’s below 50. We need some serious indoor fitness equipment around here to make up for that. I’m actually already researching treadmills and ellipticals because I like the idea of being able to catch up on the latest episode of ER while getting in a brisk walk, and not having to wear a jacket. I don’t like coats.

It’s 5:30 and we still haven’t made it to a grocery store. And we need dog food. And I’m irritated with Fuzzy for not being able to lecture one of his employees LATER instead of now.


I love flowers. One of my favorite adventures with my mother, when we lived in San Jose, was to go downtown to the warehouse of one of her friends who sold wholesale flowers, and just look at all the different combinations of green leaves and brightly-colored petals. I wanted to take home all of them.

I come by this love honestly. My earliest memories include my mother making sure there were flowers on the table, and my grandfather coming home with stalks of gladiolas stuck in a champagne cooler or plain metal watering can full of water, to keep them fresh.

He sent my grandmother roses for every birthday and anniversary.

She, too, loved flowers, and grew brilliant houseplants that were petted and cooed and fussed over. My grandmother was the living proof that talking to your plants really does help them. Her favorites were African violets, and she always called them her babies. It was sweet.

Fuzzy didn’t grow up with flowers as a big thing in his family, but he’s learning to appreciate them, and he’s also learned to make me smile by coming home with something pretty and festive whenever I send him to grocery shop without me. He’s also learned my rule for flower purchases: if you don’t know what someone likes, get something seasonal, or a little bit whimsical.

That’s Not What They Mean by ‘Conditioning Lotion’

My parents very generously gifted us with tickets to visit them in Mexico for Christmas. We’d been scrimping and saving but wouldn’t have been able to make reservations til the last second, and while that would have allowed us to fly from DFW to San Jose del Cabo (SJD) in relative ease, even so, SJD is a good 90-minute drive from their town, La Paz, which is on the gulf side of the Baja peninsula. It’s also the capital of Baja California Sur.

But they wanted to be able to plan, and they wanted us to fly into La Paz, and so instead of a nonstop flight from DFW, we’re leaving at the crack of dawn on 12/19, flying to LAX, and then from LAX to La Paz (LAP) all on Delta-coded partner flights. It doubles the flight time, but at least it’s not requiring us to do the ‘tour of Mexico’ version of the trip, which makes you stop in Hermosillo and Guadalajara.

I mention this because, Christmas or not, whenever we (or anyone) visits them, they ask for things they can’t get in La Paz. My step-father asked for lotion. “Lotion?” I asked. “Yes,” he said. “Lotion.”

I lost the email with the name of it, and called my mother last night, asking her to just go read the bottle. I was expecting it to be one of those uber-fancy skinceuticals that (I’ll admit) I have in cute bottles and jars in my own bathroom. But no. It turns out that what he’s been using as skin lotion is BioSilk hair conditioner.

The translation of hair conditioner into French or Spanish on the bottle is “conditioning lotion.”

But, I assured my mother, “tell him it’s okay. I use Aveda’s rosemary mint conditioner to shave my legs. It’s better than any shave cream.”

And so, as well as Christmas shopping, I need to track down BioSilk conditioner so my step-father can pat it on his face.