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Yesterday was Z's big birthday party at Harnischfeger park.  The park is over 100 acres, not quite near anything, empty of people and full of amenities:  boat rental and launch into the Rock river, volleyball/basketball/softball courts, disc golf, mini golf, horseshoes, playgrounds, hiking trails, boardwalk into the wetlands, and campsites.  Z. rented the air-conditioned clubhouse, complete with full kitchen, screened porches, and abundant seating.

Turnout was lower than hoped:  the heat took its toll on ambition.  But weather at the park turned earlier than down here, and the weather was non-deadly all day, and downright pleasant by evening.  We ate, chatted, played board games (Lost Cities TBG, Quirkle), chatted some more, and then had dinner.  Z. went kayaking; a bunch of us walked the trails and then I sat on the dock blowing bubbles until Z returned.  The river was very, very low, and not even passable by kayak in some areas.  Everyone pitched in to clean the clubhouse at the end of the day, so Z could get her deposit back.  We left it cleaner than we found it, as intended.

I brought a bunch of food, mostly easy stuff:  raspberry-chipotle baked beans, vinegar-sugar 'slaw, Mom's apple-pineapple-grape salad, extra-veg tabbouleh, turkey-basil pasta salad, hummus, basil hummus, salami&cheese&rolls.  And two cakes:  cranberry-ginger-almond, and M&Ms with butter toffee almonds.  Others brought a very nice cucumber salad and an excellent pot of calico beans.  Z brought "beanschweiger".  Basically, we were well-beaned.  Many leftovers were parceled out and taken home.  No more cooking until Tuesday's CSA box, except to beef up the leftover baked beans - they could stand to cook&concentrate a bit more.

The heat has broken here, but still no rain.  But, it's cool enough to tackle installing the rest of the drip irrigation.

This is the end of my 5-day holiday/vacation/weekend.  Many work-related traumas await me, but I will ignore them until tomorrow.

A Flicker woodpecker flew into my front window (despite the window clings that are supposed to deter birds).  I don't know if this is the same one that flew into a window a few winters back and landed head-first and stunned in a snowbank, where he would have suffocated.  That time, I'd taken the bird into the sunroom until he was un-stunned, then opened the door and he flew away.  This time I waited a while, hoping he'd get up on his own.  After about 10 minutes, I went out and picked him up; he was alert enough to settle on a branch and after a while he flew away, no apparent harm done.
Friending welcome, but lurking is fine too.

Constructive criticism is also welcome - whatever it is, trust me, I've heard worse.



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