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I am glad i took Friday off, although retrospect says taking today off would have been better. I am also glad i abstained from the family gathering at a restaurant on Friday night. It would have been too much!
I picked my niece up just after 8 am for a birthday outing on a glorious day. Breakfast at her choice: she chose pastry, and had a blueberry upside-down cake. We then went to a plant sale at Chatham Mills, an old mill that has been repurposed for a variety of community spaces, services, and retail. The outdoor markets tend to be modest -- perhaps ten vendors on the lawn -- but that is sufficient. Two native plant sellers were there: one was Cure Nursery, where we intended to visit, the other Growing Wild. From Growing Wild we purchased a pitcher plant (on sale) for E and an eastern columbine for me -- because i am impatient about the seeds i've planted. We didn't spend as much time there as we needed in order to be on time for our appointment at Cure, so i thought we'd make a brief stop. As we drove by the Feed and Seed, i decided that would be as interesting for E as the Haw River. I picked out sweet potato vine and impatiens for prosaic front porch hanging baskets and a rosemary to replace the one killed over winter. We went back to look at chicks and more chicks. Her dad was home finishing up on "Chicken Fort Knox."
Maybe someday we'll get chickens, but i'm happy to let my sister deal with them for now.
After a pleasantly windy drive, we ended up at the nursery. The owner walked us around telling us of the plants. There we collected a "B-52" Venus fly trap for E and i impulsively got a pitcher plant. I wasn't supposed to get plants this trip! All for E! Ha. Christine was not surprised to see me return with all the plants. I spent the midday hydrating up coir to add fiber to soil and to make my own potting soil, then installing the plants.
There were some missed phone calls with my brother, and eventually he arrived. Catching up was good, and he was appropriately impressed by the moss glade (despite all the weeds taking over this week).
The clan then gathered at my folk's place to celebrate my neice's and brother's birthdays. I was trying to stand in for my sister in helping my mother in the kitchen, but i misread the cooking times and wasn't much more help than no help at all. Christine was talked over by the men around the grill. I have the social skills of a physicist, so i know how to butt in and say, "Christine is suggesting X." This was immediately dismissed as unworkable, so that they could just continue to complain about never being able to remember passwords. Ho ho ho, it's so hard. I've been pondering whether my family has more instances of male dominated conversation, and i think it does. While Christine's father was quite the raconteur, i get the feeling that women managed much of the discussion around the table. I think her grandmother was quite dominant, and her elder sister is as well. This might be a difference that leads her to more frustration with my family.
The next morning i was off to Meeting to coordinate Meeting for Worship and offer the message. That was followed by a fairly complicated Meeting for Business addressing financial issues. I left in enough time to have a moment at home before we went to a memorial for a friend of Christine who was more importantly the brother of one of her closest friends.
Apparently this person was a fun-loving and family-loving saint. He never complained, always lived life to the fullest, universally adored. I'm not proud of my reflections during the eulogies. Christine was somewhat tense as many of the folks there were folks from before her transition. I finally met F, her DM in high school D&D, and we will probably meet up with them again some time.
We were home before rain hit our house (driving to the memorial we certainly were caught in a squall line.) We sat in the garage with the door up to watch and listen as it poured, with thunder and lightning punctuating the deluge. We had .6 inches of rain in 30 or 40 minutes and then it tapered to normal rain. It kept up until we went to bed, and Carrie would not go out.
I woke at 4 am hearing Carrie whine. The rain had stopped. We ended up with 2.6"
Thanks to tx_cronopio for acting as a cut tag role model today.