This weekend was full of family and food. My mom came to town for the weekend on Friday night. My brother picked her up at the airport, gathered his family and met me at a little Mexican restaurant, La Cochina Mexicana, in Orinda. Knowing I was running the next morning, I didn't have any of the margaritas they had ordered. Because I really wanted some of their sangria! It was ok, but mine is much better. The restaurant had been written up for their wonderful mole sauce (uh, that's mo-lay, not mole sauce. Eww. Thanks for that visual.) so I ordered the chicken in mole. Again, it was ok, not the best that I've had but perfectly edible. The chips and salsa were very good, and hey, carbo load. We all ate our fill and split for home. Mom stays with me; bro doesn't have a guest bedroom with a bed and I do. Yeah, I had to move all the yarn to fit her in!
Saturday morning I met up with the Team at Lake Chabot. I've always said I hate Chabot, but that's wrong. I love it there; I just hate RUNNING Lake Chabot. It's beautiful but very hilly. I'm not sure why I don't like it since I like the hills at Inspiration Point just fine. I should have run 6-7 miles, but my legs weren't holding up their part of the bargain. I'm sure it had NOTHING to do with the great dinner I had the night before and everything to do with all the running I did last week. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! I gave it my best shot but I flaked out and mostly walked up the steeper hills. I also walked up some of the less steep hills. And some of the flats. And this wasn't even the normal power walking I usually do. This was walking. Nay, this was strolling. Meandering. Slowly going forward while I gawked at the beautiful scenery. La la la la la, see me wander along. Unfortunately my coach Mama Lisa saw me and thought I should be making more of an effort. She didn't want to hear any of this taper nonsense (hey, the woman's run about 250 marathons and 100 ultras so she knows what she's talking about). She guilted me into running a hill that I would rather have sauntered up. Several miles later, while I was taking my good sweet time, I heard her cheering on other peeps and ringing her bell. By the time she came around the corner I was running along, smiling as if I had been doing that all along. Once she passed I continued with my "run/walk" and managed a grand total of 5 miles.
This was the day of our Honoree potluck. Most of our honorees (or honored patients, as they've been called in the past) were there. They told us their stories about finding out they had cancer, fighting it, and in some cases getting as far as remission. Very heartbreaking, very inspirational. This is the reason I keep joining the Team. This is the reason most of us were there. I can only hope that the money we raise will someday keep people from having cancer or having to go through some of the horrible treatments that are often as hard on their bodies as the cancer itself.
Since it was such a beautiful day when I got home, I decided to do a little yard work. Just a little. I've needed to remove all the rotte d lemons from my tree. They looked pretty but were as tasty and juicy as the little tree ornaments they resembled. Too many days of hard freezes did a number on the tree and the fruit. I clipped and cut and tossed and shaped and filled the can with branches and lemons. Ouch and damn those thorns! Then I looked at the back yard and realized that there was much more to do than I (a) had time for, or (b) had the inclination for. Again I marvelled that my daffodils (although they're wilted now) and freshly growing columbine plant were as big as my teeny mandarin orange tree. I planted this tree SEVEN YEARS ago! It's had a few fruits, mostly the size (and consistency) of gumballs. The little ones, not the big gobstoppers. Once the columbine blooms the tree won't even be visible.
After I was tired out from (and bored with) gardening I went to my bro's house to meet up with the rest of them. I took along a new knitting project, another Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf. I'm making it with the Noro Silk Garden that I got at Stitches. I'm going to make it wider and longer than the first one. I sat and knit and talked with my sis-in-law while my bro and mom were at Berkeley Bowl getting ingredients for dinner.
Our original plans had been to go out somewhere again for dinner, but mom gave my bro the "you're fat and you're going to drop dead" speech so he decided to cook. She told me the talk went well. WHAAA??? I try very hard to not tell off my mom but I couldn't help it. Hell, bro is in his 50's, is very intelligent, owns mirrors and wears clothing. He knows perfectly well what size he is, and knows very well the effect it has on his health. When he's good goddamned well ready he'll do something about it. Having his mommy tell him he's fat is the last thing he wants in his life. Yeah, I probably took it too personally because she's had that "talk" with me in the past. And is probably just itching to give it to me again. Annnnnyhoo, bro decided to cook a healthy dinner. He's a fabulous chef. Which may be one of the causes of his weight. Ya think?
Dinner would have be en very healthy. Without the vodka. Or the chocolate cake. Or the pizza. While bro chef-ed away, I bartended. We all started with pometinis. Pomegranate vodka ( Pearl Persephone, very tasty), Grand Marnier and Roses lime juice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Too bad, one round finished off the bottle (NO we didn't drink the entire bottle - it was less than half full - sheesh!). Then we went to cosmos. Cranberry vodka, Triple Sec and lime juice. Shake and strain. Yummm. Oh good, dinner is ready.
Bro prepared a very healthy salad with seared ahi. We had homemade sushi rolls on the side. Nephew had fresh cheese pizza made by his mom; she made the dough and grated fresh cheese. If the salad hadn't been so good I'd have been very happy to just eat that pizza. When we finished eating we realized our glasses were empty. Oh no! We can't have that! We decided that we'd better switch from pretty much straight booze to something with juice. The only juice they had was blueberry. No problemo! This lovely drink was made with vanilla vodka, triple sec, lime juice and blueberry juice. Shake, etc. Perfect! And went great with the chocolate cake they brought out for mom's birthday. All in all, too much to eat and too much to drink. But we were all happy. And maybe a little tipsy too.
Sunday was much simpler. Mom and I went out for sushi for lunch (Kane in Danville), and stopped by bro's on the way to the airport. We hung out for a short time, then headed for Oakland airport. What a mess! The persistent construction has funneled all the traffic going to either terminal into 2 lanes. Smart! What genius decided that Sunday afternoon would be a good day to do this? We finally made it to the terminal, I found a porter to wheel her to the gate, and off I went.
I decided to drop by the Sunday afternoon knitting group in Temescal, since I was on that side of the hills. I had gotten the word that they were now starting at 5pm, so I was a little early. I ordered a beer and took out my knitting. And knitted. And knitted. Finally Petra showed, but we were the only ones there. We hung out knitting and departed while it was still light out. I love daylight savings time!
So the score: inches knit, 13; miles run, 5; family members seen, 4; martinis consumed, 3; trees pruned, 1; hours lost (until fall), 1. I need more sleep!