If I was going to post a picture of the past several days (which I am not), it would be of the little park on the corner of the street. Preferably with a lot of dogs in it. Over the past few days, I’ve spent enough time there that I’m starting to actually get to know some of the neighborhood dogs. Not quite by name yet, but maybe soon.

I’m also developing familiarity with the neighborhood Pokemon players. There’s a yellow team that I’m starting to feel a deep envy for — at least four players, who play together. Every morning or so, I take over the park’s gym, turning it blue, and before too long — sometimes within the hour — they’ve taken it back. It’s fun, but Team Blue could use a little more support. Also there are a ton of Pokemon raids available in Seattle and I’m not good enough, as a solo player, to win any except the easiest. But a team of four probably wins them all. I wish my brother and nephew were here or some of my friends from Florida — we’d be collecting legendary Pokemon right and left. But I don’t think I’m going to manage to convince my friend P or any of her housemates to start playing anytime soon. Maybe I should start working on the teenage boy who lives in the front apartment.

So, yeah, I’ve been parked in my friend P’s driveway for the past several days. They have been lovely days. R and I squeezed in a trip to Value Village, our favorite Seattle thrift shop, and a showing of Spiderman on his last day in the city, before I dropped him off at the train station and waved goodbye. I’m always sad to say good-bye to him. I love how independent and mature he is — it’s fantastic to have an almost entirely self-sufficient 21-year-old — but I do miss him. And saying good-bye with no idea of when I’ll see him again is always hard.

But I got over the pain pretty quick. The next day I did useful stuff, lots of it. Email and writing and laundry and cleaning and working on plans for a new screen door. Zelda walked through the old one, breaking the strings that created the tension that kept it up. I miss it already and I’m pretty sure that no substitute I come up with is going to work nearly as well, but it was pretty fragile for life with two dogs. B used to walk right under it. I’m not surprised that it broke, really, just hoping that I can create something that will let me get airflow through that door without being too inconvenient to live with.

Anyway, after my useful stuff, I went kayaking on Lake Washington with P and J. We saw a beaver! It was much smaller than I would have expected it to be, but the tail was unmistakeable. If my phone hadn’t been buried in a dry bag, I would have tried to take a picture, but we didn’t get close enough that it would have been more than a brown and black blur in the water on a phone photo, anyway. It was sort of thrilling, though, to see an animal that I’d never seen before in the midst of such an urban setting.

That evening, there were five of us for dinner. I’ve been cooking a fair amount, but nothing too exciting. We had summer quinoa bowls one night (greens, quinoa, corn, avocado, salmon, cilantro, with a dressing of sour cream, lime, and garlic) and autumn quinoa bowls another (greens, quinoa, roasted broccoli, baked sweet potato chunks with cinnamon and ginger, spicy roasted chick peas, chicken, with a dressing of thinned hummus with extra garlic). That night, though, we had tacos: I made spicy shredded chicken in the instant pot, which basically involved dumping a couple tablespoons of chili garlic sauce and some water on top of two chicken breasts, and pressure-cooking for 15 minutes on high. Yum. On my first couple bites, I thought it was too spicy, but it was great with avocado and mango salsa, and made for excellent leftovers. If there was any left, I’d be putting it in an omelette this morning.

My big accomplishment yesterday was putting curtains up in Serenity to separate the cab from the rest of the van. I’ve been thinking about doing it for months and my one regret — as it always seems to be with things like this! — is that I didn’t do it eons ago. I bought a Maytex Smart Curtains Ultimate Light Blocker Sheridan Window Panelin white at Fred Meyer and hung it sideways, so the 50″ side goes top to bottom. That way the dogs can still easily go under it to get to the seats and their bed under the seats. Also, I can push it to the front of the seats, so my back-of-the-seat storage doesn’t get impeded by the curtain when it’s closed. But wow, sleeping last night was so cozy. I’d sort of been vaguely aware of how much light coming in through the spaces around the front window covering kept me restless, but last night I slept like a rock. I think it’s going to be helpful with the heat, too, but the weather has changed today and it’s currently gray and chilly outside, so I’ll have to wait and see on that aspect of it.

Hmm, I think I meant to write about something else, too, but I am being summoned for breakfast, so maybe next time for whatever that was. May all your Saturdays be pleasing!