Heady Week of Cleaning and Visiting

Alison arrived from Toronto last Monday so I had spent the weekend cleaning and getting ready.  I bought an adorable pink rose covered quilt with matching pillow shams at Homesense for the guest room in preparation for her arrival.  Her jars of apricot jam stood waiting in anticipation of their imminent flight east.

I snuck in a fitness class in the morning, then Louie and I hopped into the car and picked her up at the airport at noon.  The weather was nice so we spent the afternoon sitting outside on my deck, enjoying the sun.  As I prepared dinner I noticed she was reading the same book I was reading, a memoir called Wild.

Because she was in BC in August I had to go all-Okanagan for dinner.  Beside a chardonnay from Gehringer wineries, I had a wild salmon filet which I cooked with brown sugar and butter.  We had local green beans and my tomatoes for accompaniment, and for dessert we had an apricot crisp.  I’d managed to make a handful of apricots hang on long enough for her arrival.  A miracle!

The next day we took Louie on a long walk, then headed for Osoyoos.  We didn’t get far before Louie had a mortifying bout of sudden diarhea and then vomiting in the car.  We had to go home and clean everything up and then we started again.  It turns out the almonds I’d given him the day before didn’t agree with him.  This time our departure was very successful and we arrived at a government picnic ground just outside Penticton around 1:00 PM.

I’d packed a picnic basket with a bottle of gewurtztraminer, two sandwiches, one cucumber and the other chicken salad, and a sliced ripe cantaloupe.  As we sat by the lake eating and drinking, the dog hung out sniffing things, and we felt very serene and joyful.  There’s nothing like the soothing sound of a large lake’s lapping waves.

We arrived at mom’s mid afternoon and at 6:00 she had a dinner party for a few really nice guests.  Jerralynn made her famous filet mignon topped with asparagus, large prawns and Hollandaise sauce.  A good conversation and time was had by all.

The next day I returned home with my pup and Alison headed off to be with her family.  She and JT returned to my place Sunday afternoon, so that engendered another huge cleaning spree as I spent seven hours working on this shack.   I made a lovely dinner of lentil soup with spiced oil, scallops in wine sauce and a peach upside down cake for dessert.  Then yesterday they flew back to Toronto.

Since then I’ve been distracted by Louie and his delicate stomach.  You’ll recall as a baby he was often sick from tummy troubles.  Yesterday he vomited a few times, and finally I saw one of my Styrofoam ear plugs in the mucous.  I wonder if the other one is still in his system.

And so it’s with a sinking heart that I turn the page on the calendar as September is always the beginning of fruitcake season for me.  I need to order some boxes, and then I’ll start to purchase the inventory I need for the cakes themselves.  Then, gulp, I’ll have to start baking.

But as the summer comes to an end and baking season looms I have to say I’m very tired of watering the garden and will be happy when it’s all over for another year.

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