Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mom came to visit!

My Mom came to visit this week from Valdez, Alaska! We had such a nice time visiting and exploring central Iowa. When Mom visits she has a hard time sitting still. She loves to stay busy and if she isn't kept busy she does things like clean out the refrigerator or does laundry. Brian was working during most of her visit, but Mom and I managed to find enough to keep busy- besides cleaning the refrigerator.

We started her visit by spending a day shopping in Des Moines. We hit one of the bigger malls, had lunch at Olive Garden, and picked up bagels from Panera Bread and cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory on the way home. Yum!

We also spend a lot of time in my garden. I thought that gardening would be pretty straight forward, but really you need to have someone around to teach you things. So, I have this huge garden, but didn't own many tools. Mom took me down to the local hardware store and we picked out a hoe (embarrassingly enough, I didn't own one) and other necessary gardening tools. My favorite (recommended by Uncle Larry, king of all gardeners) is the stirrup hoe. This tool is going to save me a lot of time! In two days we weeded the strawberries, clean-up the asparagus and rhubarb, and planted tomatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatillos, sweet potatoes, watermelons, cantaloupes, and squash. We already have beets, lettuce, garlic, onions, beans and snap peas that are all looking really good. Here's the lettuce. So, the entire garden is planted! Thanks, Mom- I couldn't have finished this without you!
On Monday we attended a Memorial Day parade in Humboldt, IA. When I was growing up my family was very involved in the Pomfret, CT Memorial Day parade. All of us who can't be in Connecticut on Memorial Day really miss it, so Mom and I decided we should really find a parade. Memorial Day doesn't seem to be as big a deal here in the midwest. The closest parade was in Humboldt, IA- about a 30-minute drive. Here's Mom waiting for the parade to start. And the parade begins! Here's the police cruiser leading the parade. Followed by the color guard....A limo (which we originally thought was empty, but we decided that it was carrying the guest speaker- a state senator)...And the high school marching band and color guard.
And that was the end of the parade. Still having plenty of time on our hands we followed the crowd to a lovely nearby park for a few speeches, including the reading of the Gettysburg Address and the playing of taps.All in all, a very fun (45 minute) project!
As I mentioned, Brian worked a lot of the time, but he was our designated griller once he got home from work. Here's Brian cooking up some wonderful Amana ribeye stakes.
The last day Mom was here Brian had the day off, so we spent the entire day antiquing in Des Moines. I managed to find some additional bowls for my collection and Mom found some silhouettes just like her grandmother had. While at one antique shop Mom pointed out his canister collection. Check out the canister for "GREASE" on the right hand side. How the times have changed!
Thanks for coming, Mom! We had such a great time!

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