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Family visit

My folks were down for a visit this past weekend which was AWESOME. It’s been quite a while since they were able to get away and since the weather co-operated with them. They’d been planning to come a couple of weeks ago and got snowed in the day they meant to leave. April blizzards are just plain unnecessary.

Just days before my folks’ visit, Joel had come into the possession of a really nice Gary Fisher mountain bike that was just my dad’s size. Some associate of his was cleaning out the garage and decided that bike was superfluous to his requirements. It is about a 10 year old Fisher Aquila that looked like it couldn’t have been ridden more than a half-dozen times. Joel tuned it up, put a fresh pair of street slicks on it, and told Dad that the bike was his if he wanted it. To say that Dad was stoked would be to understate grievously. He took it for an initial cruise up and down the alley, then around the block and came back grinning ear to ear. He said he’d been thinking about getting a bike since he test-rode my Bianchi – he’d even been halfway considering resurrecting that horrible old Schwinn Continental they’ve got in the back of the woodshed. He’s now set up with a helmet, multitool, spare tubes, tire lever, pump – all the essentials. The timing worked out so that this is something like an early birthday present.

Mom and I got to do some of our traditional mother-and-daughter gardening. Mom’s been roto-tilling and planning at her place, but they’ve got to wait a few more weeks until danger of frost will be past. It’s safely into planting season down here in KCMO, however, and so we spent a companionable few hours digging, weed-picking and planting. Joel busted a bunch of sod and Mom and I followed behind with a couple of garden forks and rattled most of the dirt out of the grass/weed roots. Gardening goes very quickly when three sets of hands are laying into it. We planted some bell peppers, tomatoes, my exotic sunflowers (the red, orange, and bronze ones) marigolds, and zinnias. I’ve got to prep the cucumber and melon patch, and I couldn’t find my packets of carrot, lettuce, and radish seeds. Must intensify search later tonight.

On Sunday night, we had Joel’s mom over, so she got to meet my folks and vice versa. Joel made his famous dolma and I made a great big salad. Earlier in the day I’d made a bunch of the chocolate-orange-spice cookies, but because I was kind of gronked out on cold medicine, I forgot to put in the baking powder. They were still edible and tasted okay, but they didn’t spread. They remained as little spheres and “little brown balls” was employed as a phrase of minor wit. I’d made a double batch, too, because I wanted to take some over to a friend’s house to add to the celebratory feast they were holding for their daughter’s first birthday. None of the kids minded that the cookies looked a little weird, though, so I guess my bungle was pretty minor in the scheme of things.

Oh yeah–the cold medicine. With my usual sort of glorious timing, I caught a late-season cold just at the head of the weekend, and was heartily sick on Tuesday. I’m feeling just fine now, but I have thoroughly lost my voice and sound like Marge Simpson when I’m lucky. I felt chipper enough while my folks were visiting, but I think I put all of my energy into being up and sociable, ’cause after they headed out for my sister’s house, I pretty much just passed the heck out and ended up staying home sick from work yesterday. I’m feeling pretty good now – it was a fairly short lived cold except for the voice thing.

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