We’re getting ready for the Black Sheep Squared Retreat – that’s people who hang out at my favorite local yarn shop, Black Sheep, staying at our house while attending the Black Sheep Gathering fiber festival in Eugene. (The shop owner didn’t even know about this festival two hours away when she named her store.) As usual, people are being squirrelly. One person initially said she wanted to come, then never responded to later posts – this was good because I don’t know her, and others who do informed me that she has a service dog who has been detrained to the level of very annoying pet dog. (She does function as a service dog, but also goes around getting in people’s faces, grabbing their yarn, asking for treats, and so on.) So I’m glad she’s not coming. Of the others who are coming, one person just bailed out because she sat outside the other night and realized her allergies are really too bad to be spending any time out of doors (ETA: she just IM’d that it seems to be a cold, so I’m glad she isn’t sharing it), another will leave early because she has to work Sunday, and the third asked if she can bring her husband and then told me that she’s not sure if he can come but she is bringing her adult son, who’s visiting. At least they all gave me some advance notice!

I wouldn’t mind the husband and son if they were coming to the fiber festival too, but at least the former just wants to hang out on the deck and read. This is fine, as long as he’s self-entertaining; I don’t think it’s fair for Ted to have to entertain my friends’ self-invited spouses while I’m gone – he’s not much of a people person.

We’ll pick up some pizza on Friday night and do a potluck Saturday, with me providing main courses (two spatchcocked chickens, plus some roasted tomatoes and onions because one person is a vegetarian). I was kind of worried how things would work out last year and we all had a great time; probably this year will work out the same way. The good thing about all this is that this really is the way we want to use this house: as a gathering place. Ted’s been wanting to have a group from work over, but hasn’t been able to get them to settle on a date.

On other fronts, work’s been reasonably busy. I haven’t been very good about working out – I’m still on the erg 5 days a week but am doing far too many 5km steady state pieces instead of longer/harder rows. I probably won’t do more than that today, because I’m going grocery shopping for the weekend, and then I might not be able to row on Saturday before we head out to Black Sheep. Maybe I’ll have time to kayak afterward. Maybe someone will want to come out with me!

We don’t really have any interesting travel planned this year, just spome family visits. Mom’s planning to visit here in August, but she seems to be more interested in seeing Portland than the lake house. (She’s been there once before, and just isn’t much of an outdoors person.) She’s only staying for a week, because she plans her schedule by her grandson’s social schedule; she cares for him three days a week. I don’t really understand the way this works. My brother has a business trip so my SIL has decided she can’t handle the four-year-old alone, so is having him stay with a friend for the week, thus Mom is free to travel. I don’t quite get it, but SIL does have some chronic pain issues that may explain it. Mom doesn’t really have the energy or stamina to just bring him with her, which would solve everything.

I believe Mom and Dad last visited us in approximately 2011. Dad’s illnesses provide some reasons for that, but my mother has visited about five times in 25 years – and two of those were because she used us in the Netherlands as a strongboard to visit London. Dad stayed home for those, so he only ever visited me three times. My brother has visited exactly once. I’d be ok with all of that, except they expect me to want to visit them in Philadelphia. At this point, I have no real wish to go there again – except that I have to, if I want my little nephew to remember me. Anyway, we’ll be there next month for a family reunion.