My morning rounds includes checking the various growing things, and I finally got a decent photo of my daughter’s tulips emerging!
The leaf mulch has made it hard to see them in photos, but at this angle, you can see quite a few! There are more, out of frame. We’re so happy they survived their first winter! 🙂
This morning, I headed out to be part of a surprise for my mother. My older brother was able to acquire a nice scooter, and he wanted to bring it over for her to see and try driving. While getting her to test drive it, he was going to get her to a nearby park, where we siblings were planning to surprise her with a picnic lunch together.
The problem was, we weren’t sure where the picnic tables were, so we weren’t quite sure exactly where to meet. We also weren’t sure the park was officially open for the season, yet. People could walk in any time, of course, but the entry gates get closed to traffic in the off season. So I left early to check it out.
I think we timed it just right. Not only were the gates open, but there was a crew of people doing all sorts of maintenance and clean up started. I was so focused on looking at where the picnic benches were, I didn’t realize I drove right past my brother! He’d had the same idea I had, and come early to scope the area.
There were quite a few clusters of picnic tables, including a whole bunch under a shelter. There was one that was closest to the entry that we considered moving closer to some buildings, because of the wind. As we walked around, though, we realized there would be no point. The wind was swirling in all directions. There was no shelter from it, anywhere! It was a warm enough day, but we knew the wind would be an issue, so my brother was going to make sure my mother dressed warmly.
My mother loves her fried chicken, so my contribution for the day was picking some up. We were so early, though, I had time to play some Pokemon Go, first! 😀 I didn’t want to get it too early, even though I had an insulated bag to keep it hot. I still ended up back at the park early. Which worked out okay, because I soon saw my brother and mother making their way down the road. It was fun to sneak around the building and wait for the opportune moment to step out and surprise her! 😀
My mother, being my mother, was determined to be miserable. She makes a big deal about not liking surprises (except for those times when she tells us how much she likes surprises…), so she was already giving my brother a hard time. She refused to get a warmer coat or a hat, and wouldn’t even put on shoes; she was wearing house slippers! Then she saw me, and that was another surprise she didn’t like. 😀 But then we got to the picnic table and I started setting food out. It turned out she hadn’t had lunch yet, and … well … there as fried chicken and wedges to be had! 😀 My sister had the day off, so she was able to join us, so that was one more surprise for my mother. By then she was eating, so she skipped being miserable. 😉 Among the things my sister brought was a big thermos of hot tea, and today was certainly a day for it! I’m glad I had my picnic backpack; not only did we have real plates and cutlery, but I had room for actual cups. If we’d gone the disposable route, everything would have blown away!
We managed to have an excellent picnic outside, even with the wind. Plus, we brought enough food that my mother would have enough for another meal or two. 🙂
As for the scooter, because my mother has been waffling back and forth between wanting one, because her knees are hurting so much, and not wanting one, because apparently, someone has told her it would be too much for her to take care of (apparently, plugging in the charger would be more than she can handle?) and too much responsibility. So my brother made sure to tell her that it was his, he was not leaving it for her, but he wanted her to try it out and think about it. If she does decide she wants one, it would mean getting rid of her couch (which she doesn’t use, anyhow), and probably at least one shelf. Her apartment is very tiny, and she would need to be able to turn around with it in her living room. I know quite a lot of people who use motorized wheelchairs or scooters, and they tend to have very little furniture, so they had room to maneuver – and they had much larger apartments than my mother’s! She wouldn’t miss the couch, but she does love her little tchotchke!! And not-so-little ones. I forget. She’s even got a garden statue of an angel in her living room, and that thing’s pretty darn big!
But now that she’s had a chance to drive this one around a little, she can think about it, and decide what is more important to her; maintaining independence as her knees get worse, or her bulky furniture and bric-a-brac.
I do think she’ll eventually agree to taking it. Especially as we assure her that she just needs to plug it in to charge the battery; any other maintenance is stuff my siblings and I can take care of, for her. It’s not something to load up like her walker (I have ramps and can load it into my van, but it’s very hard for her to get in and out of it), but it’ll let her make runs to the shops in town as needed.
We shall see.
I’m glad we were able to get together today. Our province has decided to lock down even harder again, starting tonight at midnight. I’m not entirely sure why, but we were already listed as “critical” (even as our Schrodinger’s Virus numbers, which were never all that high to begin with, continue to go down as the season progresses). Not sure what word they’ve come up with to be scarier than “critical”. Anyhow, it was already illegal for more than one person visiting at a time – and even then, only because my mother lives alone, so she has an exemption. That was why we met at a park, though my mother’s apartment is so small, we couldn’t have all fit comfortably in there, anyhow. More than a few people have noticed that these intensified lock downs and restrictions happen right before every special date or holiday, regardless of what the actual data is, or that the lock downs themselves have been completely ineffective. I’m quite content to be a hermit, but for people like my mother, who thrives on social interaction, it’s making life more … well, like no life at all. Today’s visit will, I hope, provide a bit of relief from the malaise I’ve been seeing in her lately. She tried to be critical and miserable about the surprise, but I could see that she was really enjoying herself – even with the wind!
When I got home, it was early enough that I considered getting some more gardening in, but not only was it still quite windy, the girls convinced me to back off a bit. It’s a good thing I’ve got them watching out for me, because I have a terrible habit of overdoing things, then ending up out of commission for several days. 😀
So I made mocha chocolate truffles, instead. Not the best I’ve ever made, but good enough to satisfy a craving! I did accidentally make a double recipe, though. The recipe I was found called for 1/2 pound of one type of chocolate, and 1/2 pound of another. I didn’t have fancy chocolate, but I did have lots of chocolate chips that were suitable, so I broke out the scale. It’s in metric, and 1 pound total of chocolate is 2.2 kg, so I started weighing it out. It was an awful lot of chocolate, so I decided to do a half recipe. It wasn’t until I’d poured the hot cream into the chocolate to melt it that I realized I had it backwards. 1 kg is 2.2 pounds, not the other way around! I’d weighed out 1.1 kg.
Thankfully, part of the reason I was making it was to use up the cream before it expired, so I just doubled the rest of the ingredients.
It worked. 😀