10 May 2004
Two or three times before they left, my mom hugged me and said that it was everything she could have wanted in a birthday weekend. Now, we tend to be subtle about our cues in my family, don't like to say much of what we're thinking, but I like to think that might mean she had an okay time.
We all did, I think. We lazed and talked and got a grill from Grandma and Grandpa for a housewarming present. We got sundaes at Bridgeman's and walked around Lake of the Isles and petted puppies in their dog park. We drove up the River Road. We went to Kieran's. It seems like half the Minneapolis people I know already know about Kieran's, but let me just take the opportunity to say: damn. That was some good food. I had really deeply awesome walleye, and steamed veggies that were fine, and champ with Guinness gravy thiefed from the extra from my grandma's pot roast sandwich. So very good. So very, very good. Everybody else liked their dinners, too, and we shared around a piece of Bushmill's cream cheesecake. With two sauces we tentatively identified as caramel and Bailey's sauce. (We were certain on the caramel.) Oh my oh my. Definitely worth going back. Wow.
Yesterday my mom and I picked out a new light fixture for the office (and Dad put it in before they left), since the old one had burnt itself out. This one has more personality than the last one, but not a lot more. But on the up side, I don't hate it. I hated a lot of the light fixtures we saw. Mom and I also got the propane for the grill while Dad and Mark put it together, and we also picked up a number of things, most importantly Roo's birthday present. Which I totally want to give to him right now this very minute, so I can sympathize with Stella's impatience in this matter. Anyway, Mark grilled and Mom and I made salads and garlic bread and sautéed mushrooms, and we walked around the yard so Mom could tell us what's weeds and what isn't. Mom said she didn't want a big hoopla with a bunch of strangers for her birthday, she just wanted to relax with us. So that's what we did.
Weeding the back is now on my agenda for the next few days -- for today if it dries out enough from last night's storm so that it's not either still raining or mud up to my nose. Most of what I will be pulling from the backyard is poplar seedlings and oak seedlings. They so desperately want to be a forest back there, and I am mean enough not to let them. I like weeding, actually. It's my favorite yard chore, and it beats a fair number of house chores, too.
The storm was gorgeous. It was the kind where you can watch the cloud fronts rolling in on top of each other, paler clouds lower down rushing across the higher, darker clouds. The rain was half-horizontal at first. It was so lovely. The one down side was that when the power went out, I was on the phone with a friend who'd had a million and one bad things happen lately. I didn't mean to hang up. The timing could have been worse, though: we had gotten almost to the good-byes and seemed to be through the worst of the news. (She said with crossed fingers, hoping that there is no worse news to come.)
I still have half of Scandinavia during the Second World War and half of The Briar King yet to read. The latter, if I finish it before tomorrow evening, can be returned to the Stella, so I think I'll focus on it first. When I'm not focused on the reading for my contract work, which really really has to get done. (I've gotten through most of the library books I got for this purpose; the down side is that many of them were unhelpful. Ah well; journal articles are good or better for research on these topics anyway.)
By the way, I'm feeling better. Still a little weary around the edges, but I'm taking breaks to address that. Not much coughing. Not much phlegmishness. Food tasted normal in plenty of time to enjoy Kieran's and Bridgeman's and the steaks Mark grilled. Etc. And errands and work and chores will all get done, more or less, at some point, and I will continue to take breaks, so those of you who are prone to worrying about me may take your own break from that if you like. I don't have the top of my singing range back yet, but I like being an alto anyway, so it'll all work out.
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