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  • Off Day. - Which means no exercise. Which means more time for real work. And today was very real.

    Both the wildflower garden and the vegetable gardens were cleared out (except for the perennials, of course), soil turned and treated with limestone. All the collected greenery was placed in lawn bags for composting. The wildflower garden is covered with mulch, the vegetable garden left bare so the snow will eventually lay over and melt down into the already rich topsoil. I'll have some fresh compost by then to add to it, and next year's crop ought to be amazing, God willing.

    All lawns mowed and trimmed, and several chores completed in the backyard and the garage in preparation for the cold weather to come.

    In addition, cooked an exceptional breakfast (if I do say so myself) of hash browns, link sausages, scrambled eggs and toast. You know, when you have two pans and a microwave and a toaster all going at the same time trying to make sure you serve the meal hot, you suddenly develop an admiration for those line cooks who do this for a living. After breakfast, I cleaned the dishes and made a nice coleslaw and a pasta salad. The lime jello with carrots, pineapple, and celery was made the night before to make sure it was hardened by the time everyone showed up.

    Oh, darn it, I buried the lead. Had a family cookout today. Rick, Rabecca, Jennifer and Jeremy showed up around 2:30 and Rick fired up the grill. Rick is working behind the counter at Alwan Brothers here in Peoria, a family owned meat shop and specialty foods store since the 1920's, so he brought the meat and outdid himself on the grill. Butterfly pork chops half an inch thick and a nice piece of steak that came out perfect. Crystal, Torrey, and Brittni showed up a little later with baked spaghetti, and everyone had a great time. Lots of talking, lots of catching up, and Jeremy and I managed to take a little time to play some Frisbee. At six, his control skills are a little lacking, but he is improving, and in a couple of years I'll introduce him to Disc Golf.

    Ms. Olivia was in her glory, all those people to pet and fuss over her. Played a bit of UNO around the dining room table, and made sure everyone left with a smile on their face and leftovers in hand. Today was a definite breach in protocol of calories, so I didn't want that stuff hanging around to tempt us away from our goals. We did keep the jello. I like Jello.

    So it's been 12 hours since I got out of bed and I still have energy after all that. I wonder if being fit has anything to do with that?

    If you haven't spoken to your family this week, not would be a good time to call. When I think of family, I remember that line from the first Iron Man film where Yeltsin looks at Tony Stark and says, “So you are a man who has everything...and nothing.”. Somehow that line hit home. No matter how rich and powerful you are, without family, you have nothing.

    I hope you are having a blessed day.

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