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16 August 2010

The weekend

The visit with my ILs was fine, tho i was exhausted when they left.  We went in separate cars to church (i'll post about church at the other blog) and then breakfast.  They left for home directly after breakfast because of another obligation they had.  

I spent the rest of the day resting.

They arrived before 1 on Friday and N was still there.  The house was cleaned and the meals planned.  Duane and Tom, his step-dad, left to go golfing.  Jeanet, his mom, chatted with us in the kitchen while we finished cookies and made apple crisp.  When N left, Jeanet said, "So she comes over here and hangs out on her day off?"  I simply said, not knowing what else to say, "Well, i pay her some."  Hours later i realized i could have just said, "Well, it works that we help each other out."  Thinking on my feet is not a strength of mine.  

That day had its ups and downs.  I realized that i didn't really know what to do with Jeanet while the guys were off golfing.  She doesn't knit or quilt, or do any other crafts as far as i know, so going to one of those stores was out.  When we are at her house, she will be on the computer playing card games, or reading the paper, or watching TV.  She also is quite active in her yard and some with gardening.  With her family she will play card games when they come.  But none of those things translate well for just the two of us together. 

We ran into town to get a couple of items i needed from the grocery, but when i asked if she'd like to stop somewhere her response was, "No, i don't like to shop."  So we just sat and chatted for the afternoon.  

I did make one huge mistake that afternoon.  My front door (sliding glass window) is dirty.  I notice it sometimes, and have meant to have N clean it.  Jeanet noticed and then i simply couldn't sit still once i was very aware of it.  But cleaning that door was not a good choice.  It is much too much work for me to manage.  I kept saying to myself as i did it and Jeanet watched, "Why am i doing this?  I should not be doing this!  I don't have the energy for this."  But i couldn't stop with it half done.  Well i did.  I only did the sliding part of the door, not the immobile part, but even that was far too much.

I made 3 meals while they were there.  Duane helped me Friday night with blackened chicken breasts, pasta, Alfredo, broccoli (mostly for me), bread, and apple crisp with ice cream.  Saturday AM i just cooked some oatmeal that i'd soaked from the night before.  Saturday evening we had chicken breast sandwiches with green beans and some potatoes i'd cut in wedges and put olive oil and (homemade) seasoning salt on them.  I had salad.  

Saturday we went to the car show.  This was the hairy one for me, because i knew that going really was not a good idea, but there was no half-choice i could make.  I couldn't let them go ahead and meet them later because of parking issues.  I didn't want to stay home the whole day.  

We took backstreets the whole way there and missed most of the awful traffic.  We also came at the area from behind and found parking really close.  The whole Village was blocked off with the show cars lining the blocked off streets and the public parking lot.  On our way home we drove around the lake rather than fight the traffic going the way we wanted to go. 

We didn't walk much of the car show, probably only half-mile all total.  I took the option of sitting where i could and waited while they walked it.  It had occurred to me to wonder if we could get a wheel chair for while we were there, but that would certainly raise a lot of questions.  We were there from about 10-2, and stopped for lunch at 12.  I wanted to do this, i like to be out, and we saw some people we don't see often anymore.  I enjoy being out, i do, but by the time we left i was exhausted almost to the point of tears. 

When we came back, i simply went and laid down and rested for most of the rest of that afternoon.  They were watching golf on TV (which i personally think is one of the most boring things in the world) and i think they fell asleep in front of the TV.

At the car show we did go into a couple of the Village shops.  "Shopping" with Tom is an experience.  He doesn't get the idea of "simple life" whatsoever, and if we tried to explain it he wouldn't begin to comprehend it.  His idea of living is to spend the most money you can on items and show them off to whoever comes to see you.  (Often mentioning the price of the item, too.)  He made lots of "suggestions" for improving our house.  He does this somewhat facetiously, knowing that we can't afford to spend money that way and probably wouldn't anyway.  The couches he suggested were thousands of dollars.  I took one look and said, "If i had them money for them, i'd put that money into remodeling our kitchen and bath."  

I don't think he was running us down by doing this, and i don't think he was seriously suggesting that we should buy them.  It is just his way of a diversion i think.  But seeing the things he admires and the prices of what he admires is interesting.  Our values are so very, very different from his.  

When Jeanet and i went to the grocery on Friday, i asked Jeanet what kind of bread they like.  I needed to get buns for the chicken sandwiches.  Her response was, "The cheapest."  I think she was a bit put out with me that i didn't buy the cheapest bread on the shelf.  I chose a whole grain instead.  I did not read the labels on any of them, because frankly i know that any commercially made bread (whole grain or not) is going to be filled with all kinds of things i think are horrible.  I do not believe that "whole grain" makes it healthy.  I believe the whole grain is maybe .02% better than the other stuff.  But Duane prefers it.  I also balk at my MIL's view on "cheap" food.  

They don't need to buy cheap food.  I don't believe my FIL's ostentatious way of living is simply off credit cards.  They have money.  Sometimes i think Jeanet goes for the cheap food as an off-set to Tom's over-the-top way of doing things.  Or it is habit from when she didn't have money.  Or it is the only way she feels like she's much control in their relationship.  Or a combination of all of those things.  I do feel she is short-changing herself.  Buying the cheapest chicken or beef on the market is buying animal flesh that is the result of factory farming and the poorest, sickest animals available.  They are loaded with antibiotics, hormones, and toxins and are not good for anyone in the long term.  

That is the problem, however, with our food system.  Long term.  Most people only look at short term and if it doesn't make you sick or kill you quickly then it is okay.  The fact that the "food" is loaded with carcinogens and other things that will create a problem in 5, 10, 20 or more years isn't given consideration. 

We bought the movie Food, Inc. not long ago and my ILs watched it.  But it isn't going to make a difference to the choices they make.  

My MIL kept trying to give me chicken over the weekend.  I kept saying "I don't eat chicken."  (The stuff i bought was good quality, organic chicken.  I try to buy the best to feed to Duane.)  

Jeanet said, "But when you were first married you used to eat chicken.  Why don't you eat it now?"  

I responded, "Did you see the way those animals are raised? (In Food, Inc.)  I'm not going to consume that.  It isn't healthy."  (I did not go into the issues of organic vs. commercially raised.  What i provided here is healthy, but what she serves is not.  If i ate the healthy stuff here at home she wouldn't understand why i won't eat the stuff she serves at her house.)

She said, "But that movie wasn't out when you quit eating meat."

"No, but i already knew most of that information before the movie came out.  There was very little in that movie i didn't already know."  

I'm not sure that she understands that the factory farming has been going on for years and years.  She talked as if it just started when the movie came out.  Part of the problem, too, is that she was raised on a farm in Wisconsin, in the 40s and 50s.  I don't think that she realizes how much production has changed.  She doesn't see it when she goes back for a visit.  I think she believes that most of the farms are like where she grew up and that the factory farming is just a small part of the production.  I doubt she believed much of that movie.

I'm not going to change her mind.  I'm not going to try, except on the rare occasion where the opportunity comes up.  There is no use in beating someone up with concepts if they are not open to hearing/changing.  But i really wish she wouldn't work at trying to change me, either.  

It wasn't a bad weekend.  But it wasn't a comfortable weekend, either.  It wasn't a bad weekend, but it just wasn't very comfortableIf they come for a visit like this again, we are going to have to tell them about my limitations because i can't do another one like this.  I have tried to be someone that i'm not in their presence & this can't continue.

We got lots of good pics from the car show.  I don't have them loaded in my computer yet, tho.  I took a lot at first, and then when i stopped looking at them and was resting, Duane took a lot.  

Anyway, that was the weekend.  I am going to the knitting group this week (i missed last week with a migraine) and so i need to leave.  I'll spend most of today resting, too, so that we can go to OC tomorrow.



Lorie said...

I'm glad things can get back to normal for you now. It sounds like your weekend was exhausting!

Have a blessed week.

lisa said...

Never ever clean your house to please someone else, if they came to see your house tell them to make an appointment! As far as food, you are aloud to eat the things you want and how and if they don't like it eat out! I will alter things a little for guest, like my hubbies parents are older and they don't like to eat to much with the msg's or salt so I really try to cook without it but because I want too! Not because they tell me to or say so! (which they would never do) Now you can take a deep breath and relax it is over!

Kathryn said...

Lorie & Lisa, yes, i'm so glad that it is over. For a month or two anyway.

Lisa, i don't clean to please others. It pleases me to have it clean. But i would be very uncomfortable to have my MIL here & the house not be clean. I've come to accept that i won't ever have my house "perfect" & even if i did i doubt folks would notice. But i also don't want it to look junky!

I guess we just have different values in a lot of ways. I accept that my MIL doesn't value what i consider quality food, but i don't want to eat at her house too often!

Amrita said...

Glad to hear everything went well. Sorry about cleaning tha t door. You must be tired after that.

Rosemary said...

Hope you are feeling stronger when you read this - would love to hear about your knitting club - share share share!

I don't get people sometimes for being nosy. I am sitting here as I read this and I was just shaking my head. Oh boy. Rest and pray, I have been saying prayers for you to have some peace and better health.