With Thanksgiving past, Winter is now upon us. Let these coming, colder days and nights bring us closer in the gloom. May we find solace in each other, and thanks for the company and bounty we share.
Jen and I traveled up to visit her parents for the holiday, along with Aunt Joyce. Everyone else had to bow out due to one or more members of the family being sick, so it was a small affair this year. Due to the downscaled events, the meal of the day was actually Meatloaf; a choice I certainly support. It’s too bad I’m gluten free to avoid feeling like I’ve been repeatedly stabbed in the stomach, but there was plenty of other food to go around. Heck, they even made a bowl of ground beef for me, which is great for someone on Keto; just add butter and enjoy!
After we got home, I kept getting annoyed at how many leaves were still on the ground in our yard, but knew it would take hours upon hours to rake them up manually. That left me with a choice: do I buy a leaf blower with a vacuum mulch ability, or finally break down and buy a lawnmower? The latter would allow me to “fire” the landscaping company that’s been mowing my lawn thus far and pay for itself in a year. The only reason I even stopped mowing myself was because gas mowers vibrate too much and aggravate my borderline Carpel Tunnel from decades of typing.
After watching some YouTube videos on the subject, I finally decided to buy a fully battery-powered mower. Not only does that solve the vibration issue, but also encourages me to investigate the yard more regularly to keep the landscaping weeded. The model I chose was the EGO LM2102SP. EGO mowers got the best scores in all the reviews I encountered, and the battery apparently lasts 45 minutes to an hour, which should be enough for my smaller yard.
Our local ACE Hardware didn’t have any in stock, so we had to drive to Lowe’s in Galesburg instead. Being that it was Black Friday, they had the EGO listed for $100 off, which is hard to argue with. The guy in charge of that section in Lowes was apparently on a lunch break and the one employee we managed to find didn’t know where the mowers were, so we promised to return after having lunch ourselves. It was on the way out of town anyway and we still needed to visit the pet store for our bi-weekly purchase of cat litter.
That put us in Galesburg around noon and in desperate need of lunch. Jen and I met while she lived in Galesburg, and we often visited a local restaurant called the Landmark Cafe known for its bisques, quiches, and crepes. Since our anniversary also falls around this time, we decided to have an early Anniversary Dinner while we were in town, rather than wait until Tuesday. Even though there was a 40-minute wait by the time we arrived, it was the appropriate choice for the occasion.
It’s been a while since I’ve eaten there, so I had to ask some questions about the menu. Not only do they have gluten free crepe batter, but they have gluten free bread options for their sandwiches, and also cook everything in butter rather than using cheap cooking oils. I may not eat carbs often, but when I do, I want them to be as “clean” as possible! I ended up ordering the Beef Burgundy crepe, while Jen stuck with what looked like their BLT Salad. We both ordered their excellent Spinach Bisque, and ended the meal by sharing a Strawberry Crepe. Sadly, we forgot to order the half-sized crepe, so I was personally a bit stuffed by the time we left.
Afterwards we headed back to Lowe’s to buy the lawnmower. We made a bee-line for the section of the store where we saw all of the heavy lawn equipment, and what would you know? The mower we sought was literally down an aisle in that section. The box weighed 95 pounds, so all that remained was to locate a hand-truck and abscond with our bulky booty. Thankfully by then there were plenty of employees milling about, so everything went as planned and we finally left for home.
It was getting too late by the time we got home to actually mow the leaves, but we were able to wrestle the mower out of the box and test it for basic functionality. That verified, I slapped the battery on the charger so it would be ready the next day. There was rain in the forecast, but it wasn’t a sure thing, so I crossed my fingers and called it a night.
It did, in fact, rain this morning. It’s extremely late in the season, and the city only picks up yard waste bags without a sticker until tomorrow. I guess that’ll be my recurring lesson not to procrastinate. All in all it was a nice end to November; a little time with family, a great meal away from home, and a bit of shopping. If only I had some sugar-free hot cocoa handy, and it would have been perfect!