Client cancellations come few and far between. When they do happen, I almost don't care about the money I am missing out on because, these days, time to myself is a rare and precious thing.

I decided to make the most of my day by running a bunch of errands that I have been putting off for weeks now. On the top of the list was:

1. Run the postcards from the Galapagos over to the moneyed side of town for hand delivery.

So, twelve years ago, I went on a trip to Peru with a bunch of other community college folks, and that's where I met my friend Barbara, who I lovingly call Babs. Babs and I have been in communication for the last twelve years now. Babs has visited every single continent on this planet, minus the Arctic. Some of them several times. She is an amazing woman and a true friend. She's also a HUGE advocate of the US Postal system. She worked as a mail carrier for a few years and I'm pretty sure Babs is single-handedly keeping them in business. Every few months or so, I receive packages with random assortments of stuff in them... things like letter openers made entirely of corn plastic. Just something to keep those mail delivery folks happy and employed. Anywho, the last time Babs was in the Galapagos, she visited Floreana, an island with a neat little tradition. Dating back to the time of whalers, mail has been left in post "barrels" for sailors (and now tourists) to pick and carry back to their homes in Europe and beyond for hand delivery. So, Babs, being the devoted ex-postal worker, scooped up a few addressed to Seattle and she mailed them off to me. I hand delivered them today. I have to admit, it was sort of neat to watch the reactions of the mail recipients. Also, I'm now guaranteed a place in heaven. Move over, Mother Theresa.

Next on the list:

2. Pick up hardware at packed-to-the-rafters-with-stuff, my-kinda-place hardware store. Hardwicks, you are the hardware store my father always dreamed about. Thank you for your bulk bins of six-cent screws and eighteen-cent anchors. I can finally hang that shelf in the bathroom.

And then:

3. Grocery shop at now-infamous home of the lady who banged a stale cookie on the deli counter. Mostly uneventful except cashier almost didn't swipe my coupon and I almost overpaid by $6.00. These are tough times. Pay attention to my coupons, ya damned hippies.

4. Came home and hand dyed napkins. Okay, okay, this one needs some explaining. Bleach, laundry, and colorfastness in my house are all mortal enemies. CLH and I have done more than our share of white loads that have come out pink because of a rogue red sock we didn't ferret out of the wash. I have destroyed a number of towels with my sloppy bleach handling. And our bath mat is only now starting to fade back to its original checkered pattern after CLH washed it with a indigo colored something or other that turned everything in the load blue.

Now, for ecological reasons, we don't use paper napkins in our house. Instead, for the past ten years, we have been using the same six cloth napkins. As you can imagine, they are a little worse for the wear. They're still in great shape structurally. It's just that they're stained with so much wine and discolored with so much bleach, it looks like we've been using them to clean up after autopsies rather than mushroom risotto. So, I decided to pull out the box of dye I've been hoarding all these years and my canning pot from the basement and try my hand at stovetop dyeing. It was incredibly simple, really. I probably didn't agitate the napkins as much as I should have. But they came out well enough. And now I have a set of clean, uniform looking napkins!


I'll post the AFTER shot tomorrow, right after I finish painting the fence and milking the cows.