Monday, July 7, 2014

ANNUAL FAMILY REUNION.

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I've been accused of hosting this family reunion  just to get my yard in shape. Doug came up and painted the deck and rebuilt the horseshoe pit and the new chicken coop. The coop came about because daughter Virginia is moving to Australia with her family for a semester. I inherited the chickens from her.
Ken removed trash, went to the dump, did some weed eating, moved heavy tables and umbrellas off the deck and into the yard.  His boys, helped out by bagging excess leaves, and myriad other routine but neglected maintenance. It was a massive effort because---I blame Jim--- I travel so much I have little time for yard work. I had trees overhanging the house, foot deep leaves, little repairs, my orchard unfertilized and mostly unwatered. Aarrgh!
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The first to arrive for our big soiree was my recently widowed cousin, Gary, from Southern Cal. He came on Wed. July 2nd, so I told him I'm not cooking. He took me to an Italian restaurant and since Italy was on the wall, he said we could pretend we went to Italy. We were very close as kids.  On Thursday, I put him to work painting benches.
Hey, Mom? I don't have paws.

Friday Afternoon, Kristanne and Austin arrived, hamming it up. She has a newer car and a new license plate reflecting her dog rescue volunteer project.  The license plate holder reads, "All my children have paws."   Austin looks a bit skeptical about that. (You can double click any photo to enlarge it.)
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Bev and Ted arrived later, and set up their tent as usual.
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Tyler, their youngest, got the job of stomping all the plastic bottles to make room in the recycle containers for the stuff to come.
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Cedric & Virginia were the last to arrive on Friday. We have a measure grid on the wall, and Owen was proud to tell me he is taller than his dad. They were jet-lagged, having just returned at 3:00 a.m. from New York where some of Cedric's family lives. We spent the evening playing a new dice game, called Left, Right, Center. Great for all ages. When it got dark, everyone moved inside and we played one of the kids favorite games, Black Magic. Since we celebrate on Saturday, the only celebration of the official Independence Day was the hanging of the flag.
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Saturday morning, Virginia and Kristanne took their traditional morning walk at 5:00, and did 8 miles. By mid-morning, jet-lag caught up with Virginia and she slept for two hours in a chair.
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Daniel and Owen had dish duty Friday night. In the morning, it was Theo and Austin's turn. Because of the water shortage, no dishwasher was used. The dishwasher is used as a drain board.
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Laurie and I worked on some salads to go with the barbecue.
Helping Doug cut veggies for the shish ke bab

Kristanne helped Doug cut veggies for the skewers while they discussed favorite tunes.
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Alec works and attends college in So. Cal. He flew into Sacramento, and Cathy picked him up and drove him to Murphys. The boys inflated all the tubes for the flume.
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Abbie loved feeding snacks to the chickens. DSC07057 (Copy)

Niece, Rena came directly from FLorida to the reunion, her first time. Her boyfriend Chris, suffered some jet-lag too and took a long snooze, too.  Before the big feast, we headed for the flume. We waited for people who said they were coming to show up-and didn't. But, it is late in the day, I'll finish this blog tomorrow. I was having too much fun to take thorough pictures, so, there are big gaps in our event.

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