Happy Thanksgiving! We arranged for Dad to visit for several days leading up to Thanksgiving 2013, and we had a long list of things to do with him.
Sister Kathryn picked Dad up from his home in Simi Valley and drove down to a shopping center near the halfway point to San Diego. I met them about 1:30pm, and collected Dad and his travel kit, including tennis racket. We had a nice drive down, observing the trees, housing developments, and particularly the cloud formations. Luckily, the rain had passed, so clear sailing. We watched the UCLA football game that afternoon; unfortunately they lost. Bummer. I made a lemon pie that night to chill overnight.
Sunday 11/24. We sort of settled into a routine in the morning. Dad woke up and showered. Then we had a nice breakfast spread – healthy cereal topped with fruit, raisins, flaxseed meal, walnuts, and pumpin seeds with non-dairy milk. Also, coffee, water, and Dad’s medications. We didn’t exercise at that point, because Dad’s legs are a bit wobbly after a lot of inactivity. But we did a lot of walking during the visit, starting with a tour of the yard after breakfast. A lot has changed since his last visit. Even though his memory is inconsistent, he really appreciated the new pond system, yard signs, seating areas, steps, etc. We also walked around the neighborhood and collected dirt samples for brewing compost tea. About 11am, we settled in to watch the Chargers game and have lunch. The game was trilling, with the Chargers pulling it out at the last minute. Donna was at her minister’s meeting and potluck, so it was some good guy time. After the game, Dad helped me whip up some vegan meringue and apply it to the lemon pie. It was all sugar free, so fine for Dad’s diabetes. Yummy. See pictures in the slide show below. About 4:30pm, we met Donna and three of her girlfriends down at Vivantech in Mission Valley for an art tour. I had recently added more art to the 7th floor offices, and the ladies wanted a tour. Then it was home for dinner. I started the compost tea brewing that night, so that it would be ready to apply the next afternoon.
Monday 11/25. Donna had arranged for us to do a tour of Petco Park about 10am. We got a personalized tour and discussed various ticket packages. Decided not to buy at that time, but will definitely consider it next year. Dad got a lot of exercise as we tried out different seats all over the ballpark. The stadium is beautiful, and the light was great. See pictures. Then we took Dad to our favorite restaurant, Plumeria, on Park Boulevard. It is Thai style vegan fare, and it is excellent. Dad enjoyed it, of course. Donna took off for an appointment. Dad and I shopped a bit on the way home, then got busy with the yard. We spray the nutrient-dense compost tea all over the garden – on the leaves and the soil. Grow, plants, grow! Donna joined us for dinner. We had too many choices – spaghetti squash and “meatballs,” vegetable soup, steamed greens from the garden, potato salad, lettuce salad, and of course, lemon pie for dessert. Watched Dancing with the Stars that night; it’s something that Dad and Rachel watch regularly. Dad called Rachel to chat. He missed her, but she needs a break from taking care of him. So the visit was good for all.
Tuesday 11/26. Donna joined us for a vegan cooking class with a Thanksgiving theme. Our friends Drew and Therese were there as well, so it was nice to share with them. Dad, Donna, and I concentrated on making a vegetable appetizer display the looked like a turkey along with a roasted pepper hummus dip. It was loads of fun, and we all got to eat samples of all the dishes that were prepared, including pumpkin bread, seitan loaf, mashed potatoes, biscuits with vegan butter, etc. Donna took off again, and Dad and I returned home. Dad took a nap while I prepare a new terraced area in the yard for planting. Dad came out and helped me prepare the soil, plant some new ground cover (dymondia and corsican mint), and water. We had a full dinner again. Brother Steve made a surprise visit. He was down in the area on business, so stopped by. We looked through his new photo book on season at a fruit tree nursery. Great photography, and the change from season to season is spectacular. Steve was also thrilled with the yard signs I had made, and he intends to use sister Lora’s printing services to make signs for his High School horticulture program. We watched the finals of Dancing with the Stars.
Wednesday 11/27. Another busy day. After breakfast, we went shopping for food for holiday fare. Donna joined us at first, but took off again. She had several treatments this week on her hip including acupuncture, massage, and chiropractor. It’s really slowing down her step, so need to take care of it. Dad and I ended up going to three stores to complete the shopping list. Came home and put the food away. Then a brief nap for both of us. We sat outside, enjoying the afternoon sun. I helped him with a little nail clipping, which is hard for him to do at this point in his life. Then we decided to hit the tennis court. We both love playing, but Dad hasn’t been able to play for some time and his leg’s have gotten weak. But we gave it a try, and it was great. We had quite a few good rallies. Dad reported that he was wobbly, but he still managed to move around the court pretty well. We didn’t play too long, but it we both felt great about getting out on the court. Then it was back home to prep for a Thanksgiving style dinner with guests Lynette, Dennis, and Paul Sable, and son Chris. Didn’t eat until after 7:30, so that gave us time to prepare. Had Gardein stuffed turk’y rolls, homemade stuffed acorn squash, soup, dinner rolls, and another turkey style vegetable appetizer plate with a few dips. Dennis played the guitar and the crowd sang. We celebrated Paul’s birthday with a special vegan chocolate cake and pumpkin pie. Dad really enjoyed the company and singing.
Thursday 11/28. Thanksgiving day! We packed up and drove Dad up to LA. Donna and I will spend a couple of days with family.