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The Big Question: Rainy Days and Mondays Edition | Manolo for the Big Girl

The Big Question: Rainy Days and Mondays Edition

Happy Monday my precious after-dinner mints, how’s every little thing?

Me, I’m fab. Well okay, not fab per se, but it’s raining outside and while most other suckers are getting their socks wet, I’m here bundled up with my heating pad (central heat has not yet been invented here) tea, blankets and fluffy striped socks that came into my possession in some unknown way and which make me look like my medical profile should feature the words “brain trauma: severe” somewhere therein.

Saturday, Hot Latin Boy and I roadtripped it down south to go to the olive festival and check the potential next Villa Plumcake.

This would’ve been fun except it was not merely raining, it was –in the parlance of my deeply missed Texas– a real frog strangler.

Sadly, none of the houses are destined to be the next Villa Plumcake.

I did find one I positively adored –a fantastic mashup of a lighthouse and a ziggurat perched atop a cliff with 270 degree views of the ocean– but it’s 90 minutes to a store that might actually sell meaningful toilet paper, and so I had to let her go.

The olive festival was cancelled, but HLB insisted on taking me deep into the (surprisingly very good) wine country to visit a Russian museum and restaurant he’d ventured on before.

The Russian museum and restaurant only had three problems: it wasn’t Russian, a museum or a restaurant.

Aside from the name on the wall and a solitary gourd painted to look –if you squinted– like a vaguely Eastern European doll, this place wouldn’t have recognized Russia if Catherine the Great’s pony fell on it.

Being both starved for sustenance and adventure, HLB and I agreed to eat in the *pointed dry cough* restaurant, which was a shack of bare corrugated tin that mostly overlapped, except in places where it didn’t, like, oh I don’t know, the walls and roof.

The floor was, of course, dirt and aside from one rusty Pixar-style desk lamp on the opposite side of the room, benefited from no electricity. We huddled freezing around the cast iron stove –the only heat source– avoiding drips and ate our grim meal (the traditional Muscovite dish of corn smut empanadas) with dampened cheer.

Wow, on second thought, maybe it was more Russian than I originally thought.


(I assure you, it is delicious)

Plus the fat girl at the counter was mean.

I know it’s probably ridiculous, but I expect a degree of solidarity from my corpulent cohort. Sort of the way military veterans treat each other: We were there, man; except there is here. Sister was not having it though. Whatever.

With that adventure in mind, and the scent of almost ready rosemary shortbread making advances on my nostrils, I thought I’d open it up to a Big Question.

Today Miss Plumcake wants to know:

What is your preferred rainy day schedule? Do you enjoy the cats and dogs or, like your pal Plummy, do rainy days and Mondays always bring you down?

I have two versions. When solo, nothing makes me happier than to nestle on the couch with plenty of rich Welsh tea (milk and just the teensiest grain or two of sugar) Bach’s works for organ and an improving book, which I’ll read about two pages of before falling asleep. If I’m feeling ambitious I might make scones or shortbread.

With the fella, the black tea turns to lemongrass with ginger and the Bach stays on the shelf in exchange for film noir, ideally of the Sam Spade oeuvre. Then one of us (hint: not me. Ever.) will brave the rain to get takeout. Snuggling, more tea, more Bogie…romantic, no?

12 Responses to “The Big Question: Rainy Days and Mondays Edition”

  1. Lisa from SoCal March 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    YUM. Corn smut. It’s just another mushroom, and quite delish. My rainy day is staying in and reading, and then having wonton soup delivered. :)

  2. Jenne March 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    Are you in the Guadalupe valley? You should go to the restaurant called Laja. Also there’s this amazing place you can stay called Adobe Guadalupe that’s a winery and horse ranch. Gorgeous.

  3. Ellen W. March 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    It was so smart of them to name it the unappatising “corn smut” and save it from the ravages of the global market and make it too expensive for regular people to eat like as happened with truffles and French grand cru wines.

    For awhile The Big Sleep was my rainy day go-to too! I don’t really have one now as I’m in my own place and haven’t settled into any routines. But I’ll come up with something, never fear.

  4. Andrea March 19, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    Rainy days drive me crazy! I have two high-energy, giant collies that need to walk 3-5 miles every day. I hate walking in the rain, so a rainy day usually involves yelling at the dogs to stop running around the house like their behinds were on fire and barking like mad. I also like to get some sewing time in, because rainy days are the only time when I don’t feel like I’m hiding in a dungeon, since my sewing room has no windows.

  5. Lisa from SoCal March 19, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    My dogs just mutiny on rainy days. They have to be booted outside, and they do not like it.

  6. Rebekka March 20, 2012 at 5:08 am #

    I live in Denmark, so if I stayed inside every time it rained… So the order of the rainy day is get on with it, no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing, etc etc. So it’s on with the rain suit and up on the bike to work.

    That said, you always sleep really well after a night shift if the weather is grey and dull. So I’d say, stop at a bakery on the way home for some gooey things, then home, have breakfast, pjs on and into bed.

  7. Margie March 20, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    Rebekka, your sharing actually made me feel like I was with you and it was actually very nice! Especially if you were to get out of work while it was still dark and early enough that the streets would be empty and all to yourself! Just you and the rain!

    I enjoy a good thunderstorm at night. Calms me down and helps me relax. Sometimes when I struggle with bouts of depression, I crave the rain. So soothing and numbing, but in a much healthier way than other alternatives for me dealing with depression!

  8. Peaches March 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    A rainy day has always been my excuse for a sleep in, soap watching day. It does get old after two days. But all of this has changed since my husband has retired. He used to travel all the time so I was a somewhat single person. Now we are always doing house projects and gardening and my tireless husband does not respect the rainy day ritual. So Id feel lazy just stopping while he works around me. This is the only pitfall of his retiring. Bless his little heart.

  9. Liz March 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    I’m in the same boat as Rebekkah.

    We Irish are notoriously bad at dealing with…well, weather in general. But rainy days are so common that we just kind of suck it up. Not out of any great fortitude and strength, mind you, but because not even we can justify taking 1/3+ of our life off.

    I do, however, like it when I’m tucked up in bed at night with my SO, and it’s all wet and windy. I feel so snug and warm and safe.

  10. Thea March 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    Texas is still in a drought. Rain is something we read about in the myths of old.

  11. teteatete March 21, 2012 at 1:01 am #

    I left the glorious land of MD and DC for SE Arizona about a year-and-a-half ago. Except for the brief Monsoon in the summer, we don’t get much rain. Sunday-Monday, however, we had rain AND snow. I was so excited I planned my rainy day on Saturday when I first saw the forecast. I mustered my cats into prime cuddling position, made Irish cheddar muffins, and a pot of curried lentil and mustard green soup. The evening found me with a bourbon on the rocks and a good book. I love the rain (I’m also half English, so perhaps it’s in my gin stream).

  12. raincoaster March 25, 2012 at 3:05 am #

    Take it from someone who lives in Vancouver and calls herself “raincoaster” rainy days are what scented candles and Victorian ghost stories were invented for. You may substitute lamps on dimmers and a BBC Sherlock marathon if you MUST modernize it.