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May 31, 2005

"No nursery staff should know your wife by first name."

Memorial Day weekend brought something no one expected this year: Spring!

Going into the weekend the local forecasters were all predicting rain every day of the long weekend. Thankfully their track record for the year so far of being wrong almost all of the time held true. It was gorgeous. Warm and sunny with nary a hint of unwanted moisture.

I got off early on Friday but traffic hosed things up so I didn?t get home until most of the afternoon was gone. Fabulous Babe picked up Sir Snicklebritches which took some of the stress off.

Friday night we made our first attempt to watch The Aviator. Fabulous Babe passed out about 20 minutes into the movie so we called it off and Fabulous Babe went to bed. (No sense fighting the tide.) If falling asleep on the couch on a Friday night were an Olympic sport my wife would be covered from head to toe in medals.

I stayed up and spent the next few hours tinkering with the train layout. The end result was that I finished the outer two loops and laid out the track for the third. The worst part was trying to get the two loops on the last incline squared up correctly. Mercifully I bought a drill bit small enough to drive the teeny tiny little screws that keep the track in place or I would have gone mad. Granted the 18 volt Dewalt drill is a bit of overkill but when you?re driving a LOT of teeny tiny little screws it makes things easier.

Saturday saw Fabulous Babe head to spinning class while Jack and I had ?Awful waffles? in the living room. I make Blueberry Eggo?s and then tear them into small pieces and hand them to Jack while calling them ?Awful Waffles? in a funny voice. He eats and laughs and we?re both good. I?m looking at this as setting the groundwork for Father and Son Saturday morning breakfasts later on. (Mom can have Sunday mornings.)

That?s a pretty typical Saturday morning for us. Fabulous Babe leaves at o-dark-30 to get to the gym for her spinning class. (She has to get there early to get a bike because the classes fill up pretty quickly.) She?s usually pretty quiet when she leaves but occasionally Jack wakes up. That then means I stumble downstairs bleary eyed with the boy at around 7:45.

Saturday afternoon was a lot of yard work: mow the lawn, weedwhack the bejeezus out of the front, etc. We?ve still got some dead spots in the grass from the Roundup that we used on the weeds. We?ve also got some spots that look grim from the winter where the sand and salt piled up. Foo!

Saturday night was our big entertaining event of the weekend. The Lost Control?s came over as did Fabulous Babe?s old co-worker Wonder Woman, her husband the Rickmeister and Baby Sofia. Steaks ahoy! T-bones and New York Strips. I ended up eating a huge T-bone and equally gi-normous Strip on Saturday night which should put any vegetarian reading this into apoplexy. (Sorry!) The Lost Controls were great and Jack loved playing with the other kids. Sofia was doing well and is starting to get big.

Sunday morning was some running around before the Indy 500. I never used to watch the event, blame it on my aversion to Jim Neighbors, but somehow we now catch it every year. Saw the amazing performance by first time rookie Danica Patrick. The last 10 minutes were some of the most exciting I?ve ever seen.

On Sunday afternoon we loaded up into the truck and headed over to the huge nursery that services most of Southeastern St. Paul. The place was packed although the staff said things were worse in the morning. Despite filling the back of the truck Fabulous Babe planned to come back Monday with Mrs. Racetrack.

Sunday night was eventful. The oldest kid next door, Brian, occasionally has networked Xbox parties and invites me to give me a good dose of humility. (?You?re dead? Again??) I?m also the adult ?chaperone? that his parents rely on to keep things in line. The game of choice is Halo 2 and Sunday night found me sitting shoulder to shoulder with Brian in front of a 28 inch television as we teamed up against two teams of his friends.

At one point our team was in a jeep, called a ?Warthog?, with Brian driving, Brian?s friend in the passenger seat and me standing in the back manning the turret gun. We were careening around the map, shooting anything that moves and generally being a nuisance of such magnitude that all the other teams decided to put us out of their misery.

Simultaneously our ?Hog? came under attack from a tank, a rocket launcher and a grenade. The result was that our jeep launched up sideways in the air and began spinning. (We flipped three times this way as we arced across the sky.) The entire time Brian?s friend and I are shooting for all it is worth and I managed to score two more kills. The ?Hog? lands on top of someone else and Brian?s friend pegs someone else as the dust settles. All of us were staring at the televisions in amazement. Our team explodes in high fives as the rest begin screaming and raging at our insane amount of luck. Where?s a video capture when you need it?

Monday was the second trip to the nursery which then led to Fabulous Babe planting like a fiend:


Note the Fighting Illini hat. (All the best gardeners wear them.) Fabulous Babe is working on the flower boxes we have on our railing.


Jack hung out on the porch with mom while she was working. (He wound up with about a pound of potting soil all over him.) He was extremely animated but eventually the nap pixies came a calling.


We weren?t the only family out planting things that will just die and have to be replaced the following year. Here?s Mrs. Racetrack and Kate across the street having a heart to heart on why little girls shouldn?t hit their mommies in the head with clay pots.

Posted by Jim at May 31, 2005 12:54 AM


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