I'm told rats need to gnaw on a regular basis or their teeth will keep growing to the point they can no longer eat. Routine gnawing keeps them healthy. As rats, we are teeth freaks. Floss, brush, water-pik, twice a day, at least. We don't have to worry about gnawing, but cleaning is vital. A few days this week,
we missed our morning toothfest, only to realize it after getting absorbed in one project or another. Vitamins? If it weren't for the daily dispenser, we wouldn't remember to take them - not to mention know what day it is.
Rats need routines...even retired rats.
With one week out of the rat race, we have already found it quite easy to get lost on the backroads of life. Literally and figuratively.
It seems we need a morning routine to help set the tone for the day. Even though we are no longer in the rat race, the daily habits that prepared us for the day's on-ramp are still useful for the backroads. Get up, brush teeth, run or other exercise, breakfast, surf, shower...for us, each day must start this way. Moving right away before we can procrastinate our way out of it, is vital to a more productive day. Not that every day requires productivity, but it does require purpose.
One routine we are happy to toss is grocery shopping. Never again on a weekend! A friend of ours refers to a local discount grocer as "The Rotten Food Store." The deals are great, but you have to watch the expiration dates. King Rat and I figured we would take advantage of the sunshine (all 40 minutes of it) this week by walking in another town and shopping their Rotten Food Store. We headed to Stayton, but got lost in Sublimity at high noon. The church bells were chiming the hour, so we parked and walked.
St. Boniface Catholic Church was the source of the bells. They have a gorgeous cemetery with remarkable monuments. We ventured up and down the side streets and marveled at the snow-capped mountains and foothills. It was a lovely detour. We then headed to Stayton.
Stayton has an Even-More-Rotten Food Store! Oh the bargains! It took a bit of sleuthing, but we found some terrific items to stash in our rats' nest. Rats love to stash. So this was all well and good, but the best part was the CAKE! Inside this grocery store is a little corner bakery - The Lovin' Oven.
Legend has it that The Lovin' Oven bakes all the cakes for Salem's most popular cake restaurant with a German name. We have searched for this mythical bakery for years. It does exist! They have "Oops" slices for $1.99 and traditional slices for $4.99. - Cheaper than the German-named cake restaurant and dare I say - bigger!
A sunny respite from the gloom, cake for lunch, and a new grocery store option all add up to a fun rat adventure.
We look forward to maintaining some routines and completely throwing out others. It's good to be Retired Rats.