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Eldest brother dropped Mom off in Madison Wednesday night.  We had a nice dinner at Biaggi's, then bundled brother back in his car for his drive home.  Had to scrape ice off his car first; yech.  Then Mom and I popped in at the doomed Borders on University.  I got a pretty-good anthology (Stories:  All-New Tales, edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio), and finally got Mom the replacement dictionary I've been owing her.  

Thursday we hit a couple of fabric shops.  Mom quilts:  piecework, and she's very good at it, with an excellent eye for color.  Loose Threads, in Milton, was a good match for Mom; she liked the selection.  Good flannel too, for a kid's jacket pattern she's trying out.  And yarn.  Life's a Stitch, in Janesvile, was not as good a match for her, but I've directed Z. to it, because of their extensive selection of 1800's reproduction fabrics.  I stopped at Patty's Plants on the way home (organic garden supply).  The first time I've actually stopped in, and it was the last day of moving to their new location.  So, not much on hand, but I did get 20% off on a bag of an excellent mix for seed-starting.  Hmm...I'm on vacation today and they're in their new location, which includes a coffee shop...ah, they're Tuesday's "by appointment", but they are open weekends.  They even have a refrigerator full of beneficial insects.  Somewhere in there we hit some clothing stores, too, but Mom didn't find much.

Friday we visited Z.  Her reef aquarium is riveting:  every time you start to look away, some creature does something new.  Her birds are pretty fun too.  Love the little button quail that scurries around the bottom of the finch cage, and the rock pebbler (peblar?) is just gorgeous.  Her birds seem very happy.  Z. and Mom communed over Z's many sewing machines. 

Lunch was at The Grove, one of the best meals I've had in some time.  I had the walleye cakes, which were nothing like I expected, but were very good.  Despite their use of words like "aioli" (it's mayo, people), the restaurant did not seem overly pretentious.  Next door was a clothing store where Mom was finally able to find a couple of things.  She also found a basket-hilt sword pin that Z. and I are now sharing.,

Saturday we sort of took the day off.  We did head up to Farm&Fleet, where I introduced Mom to their bulk fruit&nut aisle.  Mom got what she wanted and made custom trail mix.  After a weirdly unsuccessful attempt to find a good pizza place for lunch, we went home and I made French toast (well, "fried bread", with Russian sausage seasoning and allspice, and a side of grassfed beef breakfast sausages).  

We spent the afternoon tackling a puzzle:  photomosaics version of Van Gogh's "Starry Night".  It was a very slow start, but we finally got the edge finished, as well as bit of the brighter-colored sections.

Sunday we did finally find our good pizza (at Old Chicago in Rockford), then met up with the youngest brother, who took Mom home.  Which was convenient for me, as there was less driving.  I swung by Z's again on the way home, and was able to see her new, bizarre, entertaining cowfish - another session of staring at the fishtank.

We got in a few good conversations as well.

Because I only logged in to work once during vacation...well, and for other reasons too...I ended up pulling a 10-hour day yesterday.  I decided to keep my vacation day today, even though I no longer needed it to transport Mom home.  I haven't even placed my seed orders yet, and it's stunningly late for that.  Nor have I finished my taxes - even though I'm owed money.  And I should line up a catsitter for Dory, and do laundry, and so forth.  Yay vacation day.


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