Great Surprise Weekend

During the week, Son 1 let us know he was going to come in late Friday night and stay until after lunch today. Late Friday afternoon, Son 2 called and said his medical transport company was transporting a patient from his area to ours and he was going to drive the run with an employee that would drive the ambulance back if I could pick him up at a nearby hospital in the early morning of Saturday. His wife and 5 of their kids would drive up arriving late afternoon and they would leave very late evening to go back home.

We had arranged with Daughter and her fiancé to go see their new house and the progress they had made in getting it ready to move into soon. It needed some work that they have mostly done themselves to get it ready.

We showed up just after our lunch on Saturday with both sons. She knew Son 1 would be with us, but the Son 2 plans occurred after our call. She was happily surprised to see both brothers with us. It has been a very long time since we had all three of our adults kids in the same room at the same time.

As we were getting ready to leave from their house, Son 1 asked her if they would be at dinner. A moment of mild panic on my part as that would put 14 people at the table, but WOW, all three of our kids, 7 of our grandkids, 1 wife and one fiancĂ© all at one time. We stopped on the way home, bought 16 burgers, 16 buns, 2 bags of frozen steak fries, 1 bag of frozen sweet potato fries, some salad greens and dressing to add to the goodies from the Farmer’s Market we had done earlier, a dozen ice cream cups and we would have dinner for all.

I set a folding table up at the end of the dining table with both leaves. Gathered all the chairs I could find including the piano bench and we set the table with paper plates (I don’t have enough pottery plates for 14), paper napkins so there wasn’t an entire load of cloth napkins.

Then the sons went down to the bee yard with me and broke it down. The hive that had been the weaker one, had a ball of bees right in the middle, they had eaten about half of the sugar block, but there weren’t enough of them and they had frozen to death. The stronger hive must have left the hive before the week of very cold weather, there was an un hatched queen cell and just a few hundred dead bees, but several frames of honey. It was all packed up and most of it later packed in Son 2’s van to go home with them. He had purchased most of the equipment for me two years ago, but my age, eyesight, and strength just aren’t enough to try again for a third year.

DIL and kiddos arrived, Daughter and family arrived after they finished their house work. We were missing 2 grandkids, and a Daughter-in-love and her son, but it was so wonderful to have all of them together. The littles dumped the toy basket, fought over them, cleaned them up repeatedly. Ate burgers, fries, salad, and ice cream, played ping pong, had a “rock band” in the basement, with the drum set and guitars including the two preteen gals, the 4 little ones, and Son 1 (the owner of the instruments). Daughter and her family left, then around 10, Son 2 and his family left for home.

It made my heart happy. Having so much of our family together was wonderful.

This morning, Son 1 helped me with some chores, then I fixed a Mexican fiesta meal for us and he headed home. We are tired, but so happy.

Musings of the Mind

We endured another health set back when DH developed a cough and high fever after his last immunotherapy treatment. The PCR test popped up positive, though they said it can do that for 90 days post Covid, the chest x-ray was cloudy, so he was admitted and treated for Covid and pneumonia of unknown organism. Sunday he was allowed home with three meds and instructions to follow up with the PC Doc and the Urologist. We immediately repeated the home antigen test as we had done one prior to the hospital that was negative and the one upon release also negative. It is likely it was just pneumonia, and probably caused by the immunotherapy treatment. Those appointments are scheduled. To help him regain his strength, we have done slow 1 mile walks the past two days.

Twice in the past, I have written posts about “The Chair.” In brief, he spotted a huge recliner in Sam’s Club about 25 years ago. Daughter and I managed to get it home and hidden for Christmas, a long story. That chair lasted for a number of years, moved to the mountains with him, and the faux leather finally failed to the point that I didn’t want to see it in the house any longer. It was replaced with a second faux leather chair that also failed, and a couple years ago with a slightly smaller real leather chair. Our mastiff used to climb in his lap in the old chair, totally off the floor, but otherwise did not get on furniture. He couldn’t quite fit in the newer chair, but would back up and sit on the edge with his front feet on the floor. (We miss the big guy and his antics.)

At some point, between the second and third purchases, we purchased me an imitation Ekornes chair and ottoman which was faux leather. It lasted a fairly long time, but about a year ago, the pleather began to peel off and now, there is only the ugly fabric base on the seat and arms and mostly gone on the ottoman. Today, we found a real leather recliner in my size on sale at a decent price and ordered it. It will be my anniversary gift from my love and should arrive right around our anniversary on Valentines Day.

Lessons learned about furniture purchases. The living room couch and chair that we bought about 1994 was real leather and has held up remarkable well. The basement couch is a Lazy Boy product that is a combination of leather and faux leather and has not held up as well, but is holding it’s own with the light use it gets down there.

While he was in the hospital, at night I would curl up in his big recliner with my blanket for comfort.

On a humorous note, we have our youngest son’s RV parked on our farm. Because the two auxiliary batteries are under the steps and it is open to the ground below them, I keep a mouse trap on top of the batteries. It is checked every couple of days, always with another caught mouse. The traps that I use are Vector traps and allow the caught mouse to be released without touching it. I generally spring the trap open as I fling it free of the RV out into a field, and reset the trap. Today on our way out for errands and walk, I stopped at the RV to check and as usual, had to deal with the trapped critter. As I flung it out, springing the trap open, the mouse landed on the hood of the car and slid down into the grass. Hubby laughingly asked if I was throwing dead mice at him and threatened to put it on Facebook. Life on the farm can cause amusement at times.

New Year’s Traditions

New Year is here and we still haven’t celebrated Christmas with family, or even each other. In past years, decorations were taken down and packed up on January 1. They would have been up for about a month and the day after or soon following January 1, we would return to school and work. This year, the decorations will stay up for one more week so we can have a post Covid celebration with two of our kids and their families. Christmas dinner will occur then also.

Another tradition adopted by our family from hubby’s youth, is having Huevos Rancheros for New Year’s Day breakfast. Though it was just the two of us, his traditional breakfast was prepared and enjoyed.

My family’s tradition was black eyed peas and collards for dinner. I love both, though hubby is not a fan. The peas were simmered this afternoon, the collards came from a can to keep the quantity low. We purchased a rotisserie chicken when we went to town to walk this afternoon and a boiled potato and spinach salad prepared for his vegetables. Two substantial helpings of peas and collards were enjoyed by me. And at least one more meal of them were put away for another night.

I should have made cornbread, but opted for biscuits instead. I hope the traditions bring us luck in the coming year.

Happy New Year to all of you.