Monday, September 13, 2010

Out-of-Town Relatives

Many people have extended family that live near them. My nearest kin, my brother and his family, are a long day's trip away in Alabama. This past weekend that brother and sister-in-law came for a visit. This meant that they took Friday and Monday off from work just to be here! This was a spur-of-the moment decision for them and such a heart-warming gesture in view of the news of the past week.  Their Alabama daughter and her family of four were also on a work-related trip in Orlando, an hour away from here, and we were also able to connect with them on Sunday.  So I saw six of my family! My husband thoroughly enjoyed the time also and said he wished they could have stayed longer. He really doesn't like to travel much anymore--I know it will be hard to take trips now.

Friday night we served them dinner and then the four of us went to a Plant City winery for some of their famous strawberry wine.

Saturday morning I served a breakfast of waffles with trimmings that included strawberries, blueberries, walnuts and light Cool Whip. This season our Plant City fields in the neighborhood are getting ready to plant strawberries, but the strawberries I served were from California! We joked about that because Plant City is noted for its strawberries. A full day was planned for the rest of Saturday.

First we went to Tampa's Ikea, a Swedish store with so many good products for the home at reasonable prices. We also had lunch there where I had Swedish lingonberry punch with my salad. We found a bunk bed that would be carted back to Alabama on Sunday. For ten dollars I purchased a standing clothes rack (called mulig, in Swedish) for my home organizing project. I have too many clothes that will go in the yard sale and having that rack helps now for sorting and later for the yard sale. Shopping with my sister-in-law is always a joy, and our husbands spent time sitting and chatting while we were in this store.

Next we went across the bay to St. Petersburg's Haslam's Bookstore, a favorite of my brother. The three of us ended sitting while he shopped. I did ask about selling them books there and will call for an appointment to do that. What I can't sell to them can go in my yard sale.

Back to Tampa to the elegant, up-scale Hyde Park area for the  four PM showing of  "Get Low" at Cinebistro. This is such an up-scale theatre that two tickets for my husband and myself were $29. The four of us were escorted to our purchased seats and a waiter came by to take our orders. My husband had a beer and I had a capachinno. Popcorn just didn't seem appropriate in this fancy movie theater. At the end of the movie we were warmly greeted by staff in the hall.

We walked down the street and settled on a place for dinner, treated by my family. My husband ordered the same thing as lunch--a chicken Caesar salad. He often has me order for him and probably forgot that he had that same order at Ikea.

We next headed home for an Alabama-Pennsylvania football game that our husbands enjoyed. It has been a while since DH has watched sports and he appeared to enjoy it.

A covered pool table is a great place for organizing clutter. In the den my sister-in-law saw video cassettes piled on top of the pool table. She said she would type up a list.  We got busy organizing my husband's video tapes and then went on to the DVD collection. There were several duplicates and he had wanted to order DVDs that he already had. One I mailed back last week hoping to get a refund. (I have wanted to take the debit card and credit card away from him so this doesn't happen. He doesn't understand how limited our income is now with all of his medicine and recent unexpected expenses.)

Sunday morning breakfast consisted of healthy oatmeal--company's choice. I took my husband's dish and put coconut oil in it. We talk freely about how that coconut oil has helped him and as usual he quips that it makes him slide across the bed at night.

I drove us to church for the first time (he is not to drive now and had usually driven us in his car on Sundays) and my brother also took their van. Our close-knit small church makes a whole day of the Sabbath. After the worship service we always eat together. By lunch time my niece and her husband, three-year old boy and infant daughter had come from Orlando and connected with us. The guys went in my brother's car to Subway to order sandwiches . My husband had a list and managed to buy our sandwiches with his debit card while we gals socialized at church.

About two we have an afternoon class and the Alabama family in their two cars left for Ikea to buy that bunk bed that my brother and sister-in-law would transport back to Alabama.

Ah, such a lovely weekend after a hard week. I substitute this afternoon and DH is watching a DVD this morning. On to re-organizing the home. Think I will work on my too-many clothes now.


  1. I am so glad you had a nice weekend . And sorry for such a hard week before. All my Brothers and sis live close. The rest of the family is in differant states. But my dad's side have a family reunion every year. I have not been able to make it the last few yrs. Maybe next time. And mom's side comes here alot to see her which is nice.
    I do not have your address anymore sorry. I will keep it this time. I am going to post tips now and than from the book. I can't wait to read your post on all the books you have. Good luck.

  2. Hmmmm, I wrote a comment, but it disappeared, so I'll try again.

    It's so good to hear that everyone had a fun and enjoyable visit. You really needed that after last week.

    Reading about your delicious meals made me hungry.

    It's great that your husband interacted and enjoyed the time with your family!

    Take care and I hope you're having a good day.

  3. Being from Alabama (we now live in Va. near family) I was particularly interested in your family's visit. It seems that you all had a delightful weekend and a very full one. And, yes, of course, Roll Tide. (grin)