Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Week 23 - My California Cousins

Having spent the first two days of the long weekend on clothes and playing in Omaha, alas, Monday was chore day. But I really didn’t mind. I put together my new shop vac and sucked up the last of the water in the basement then spent the day cooking, neatizing and finishing laundry, all interspersed with bouts of knitting. All good and I was all set for the week with a fridge full of food and the house in decent shape.

It was the last week without water aerobics and since the weather was cooperating with low humidity and relatively cool temps, my goal for the week was to get outside after work each night and do something in the garden. I started Tuesday after work weeding the parking – Nebraska speak for the strip between the sidewalk and the street. Mine is planted with perennials and so doesn’t get many weeds but there was some errant grass going to seed. After pulling that, I headed to the berry patch, where I was happy to find my first ripe strawberries. When the bugs drove me in, I made leek carbonara and poured some wine before starting season 3 of Peaky Blinders. Yay!

On Wednesday I did the bare minimum of weeding, blaming the bugs for not doing more, then headed in to finish my Peaky Blinders binge. I hadn’t intended to watch all 6 hours in 2 days but got sucked right in. Chores could wait. To make up for it, I prepped and mailed a big package of clothes to Carolyn on Thursday morning. I got inspired and so had fun Thursday night dyeing yarn. And when I was done with the dying, did I get productive with chores? Not a chance. Again, chores could wait. Are you surprised? Probably not.

I was not happy when I found my lawn unmown when I drove up Friday. I’d paid Denny 2 weeks ahead when he’d shown up last weekend begging for money. I’d told him at that point that if he asked me for money ahead of time one more time, I’d fire him. Well, now he hadn’t shown up. With hopes that I’d see him Saturday, I went in to neatize a bit but didn’t go crazy. Debbie and Kelley, cousins from California, were arriving late Friday (not staying with me) but would be going to the circus Saturday afternoon so I wasn’t on deck until dinner time, which gave me Saturday to catch up. And catch up I did.

My contribution to the post-circus cookout was potato salad and I’d offered to make a pan of lasagna for Sunday so got busy cooking. I also changed sheets and did laundry, in hopes that the sheets would be dry before Denny showed up to mow. See that confidence? STUPID. When I was done cleaning up from the lasagna (it does dirty every pan in the kitchen), I called Liberty House and they said that Denny was no longer a resident there. I wasn’t so worried about the $20 but now I’d have to find someone to mow when I’m in Scotland. Add that to the list. Anyway, I loaded up the glass for recycling (despite having curbside recycling, I’ll still have to take glass to Lincoln) and headed to Brenda and Michael’s. It was great to see Deb and Kelley and we hung out late and caught up after dinner. There was much laughter and I left late to drive back home and grab some sleep before doing it all again on Sunday. Not that there were any firm plans yet. Going with the flow.

Helen picked me up Sunday morning and we were in Lincoln at the horse show arena before noon. After checking out horses and meeting Helen’s horse friends, we went to Parker’s Smokehouse for a yummy BBQ lunch. Since Carter, Brenda and Michael’s 2 year old, needed a nap, we headed to their house. The afternoon was perfect! After I put a rhubarb upside down cake in the oven, all the cousins sat around the kitchen table chatting for hours, moving out to the front porch for round 2 once Brenda, who is 8 months pregnant, and Carter woke up. When we got hungry, we had lasagna for dinner then the yummy cake then, you guessed it, more chatting. We didn’t leave Lincoln until after 10:00 so I was very late getting to bed and even later falling asleep. I’d be tired on Monday at work but it was worth every bit of fatigue. I love my cousins and just hanging out was a joy. That’s what caffeine is for. Am I right?

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