Friday morning was quiet, as far as I can remember. This is why I should write this up every day. I’m trying desperately to remember what we did, but all I can think of is that we laughed and talked. That’s really all I hope for on sistercation.

We knew there were things on the agenda for the day. First, we knew that Steve’s identical twin brother Mark was coming to visit. He was on his way to his yearly work with a church group where they head to New Orleans to help rebuild after Katrina. He is a photographer and takes pictures for those who lost all their pictures, along with everything else, in the hurricane.

We also had the DunKeySon cheerleading camp finale and demonstration in the evening. We needed to have lasagna baked and eaten for us, baked and waiting for the brothers, and us at the high school for the cheering, pretty much all at the same time. We needed to work backwards for that. What we decided was that we had a couple hours for shopping in the afternoon.

Being able to search the internet for everything under the sun, we looked for yarn stores in the area and found three likely candidates. We narrowed it down to one place that was close enough to fit our time window and Cheri got the map feature on her phone pulled up and the address entered. We got in the car and the bluetooth thing works for that, too, and so her car started talking to us.

We found the little, snooty, expensive yarn store that is only open for about four hours three times a week, some of the hours actually when we were hoping to shop, and found the place closed. We weren’t all that happy. But Cheri knew of a little strip mall thing up a block or two from where we were and we tried that.

We went to a book store and played there for a while and then we still had time to kill and so we went up to a little crafting store. Pam was NOT going to start a new craft. She was adamant. She was actually stridently adamant. But we were going to look.

A finished sample, Pam's proposed color scheme, Pam and the little craft shop montage

A finished sample, Pam’s proposed color scheme, Pam and the little craft shop montage

Pam found something absolutely stunning in there and we spoke with the owner. We are going to be there again at 9.30 AM on Monday so Pam can get the supplies for her new craft. She was so excited to find this treat, Cheri was crying in the store because Pam was so thrilled with this find. I love my sisters.

We got home, got the lasagna baked and eaten, and took off for the DunKeySon cheer demonstration. The high school cheerleaders had put on a weeklong class with a few girls taking all the students from each grade level. Unbeknownst to us, Emma was the best jumper in her grade. Not only that, but she is bumped up a grade for some reason and was working with girls a year older.

Bunch of cheering girls

Bunch of cheering girls

After the event, we took Marge, the other grandmother, and all four girls and their parents and Heather and her girls came and met us. We were at Orange Leaf, a frozen yogurt store. A few other cheer kids showed up in the matching outfits, too. We were the largest (and loudest) group there. What fun. The girls spent a lot of time playing with Pam’s long hair.

We got home to the twins and it is so strange to sit in the kitchen and listen to Steve talking to himself. If you listen really hard, Mark’s speech pattern is slightly different and you can tell one voice from the other, but it is very odd. We finally all went to bed and had to set alarms for the next day’s fun.

Because I’m always up with the chickens, I was up before the alarms. But not by a whole lot. We got ready and off we went to my every-three-years Weight Watchers meeting. We got to meet a couple new people and then Mary and Morgan showed up and we had the whole crew. Mary had reached her first goal weight. She looked marvelous. She had just come from the gym and was in workout clothes and was looking amazing! The two new people I met (and can’t remember their names) have been friends with Mary since they were in school together. And this isn’t odd for twenty year olds, but we are all mothers of older teens and young adults.

It was Morgan who asked what my gnome’s name was and got us all naming the guys. And it was Morgan who came up with the word sistercation. Love that kid – who is getting married next spring.

I had Gned perched atop a coffee carafe while Morgan was holding a menu behind – so I could get a picture of where we were. Laurie (I think) was going to be helpful and get the coffeepot out of my way so I could get a better picture of the menu. She grabbed the pot and moved it away and Gned fell to the table. Alas, all was not well. The tip of his shovel was over there and the rest of Gned was over here. But he is nothing if not brave and consented to finishing the photo op.

Wounded Gned and his repentant assailant

Wounded Gned and his repentant assailant

We had a wonderful breakfast and then it was time to get back to Cheri’s house. When she went back to college here in Cincinnati, she changed her name to her given name and all her friends here call her Cheryl. It is difficult for my brain to make the translation when all these people who also love my baby sister are calling her the “wrong” name. She has said she doesn’t mind us calling her the “baby” name she had, but she prefers the real deal. But my brain does have to translate it.

Steve had some epoxy and helped mend Gned, who was quite perky again once he was out of surgery.

Gned post-op

Gned post-op

We had a quiet afternoon. Pam wanted to go to Mass and so we had to be around here for that to happen. Cheri and I opted to be true to our heathen selves and not go to church. We would let Pam pray for us.

But in order to not be late for church, we decided instead to sit around and craft and laugh all afternoon, telling stories we might have missed while engaging in our hours long telephone calls interspersed throughout the year.

I brought yarn, knitting needles, and a pattern to start working on a scarf for my Morgan for a cold, Ohio Christmas. It is pretty yarn, variegated in pinks, whites, and grays. What I didn’t know was that it was also variegated in fluffiness or tightness of the way the strands were rolled together. I’m not a good enough knitter to deal with that and I learned within just a few rows that the pattern was not going to work with the yarn for a beginning knitter. So I went online and found a really cute pattern to crochet. I’m not “expert” at that, but good enough to deal with the yarn I had.

Cheri liked the Chinese wave pattern I had brought and started working with it to make a washcloth, something I’ve done with the pattern and with the cotton yarn. I knew that could be done easily. Pam had her beads and made several rosaries for the missions until she got tired of that and pulled out a counted cross-stitch project and worked on that.

It was time for Steve to take Mark to the meeting place where the bus would pick him up and take the entire crew to New Orleans. He came back and smirked, “One down, two to go.” Love my funny brother-in-law.

Then it was time for church. Pam didn’t want to drive Cheri’s brand new car (second tank of gas now included) and so Cheri would take her and pick her up. The church is close by.

While Pam was praying for us, I need to burn some energy or I would crawl out of my skin. A month at Planet Fitness costs $10, but a single visit to Planet Fitness costs $15. And it would still be Planet Fitness. Cheri has a Total Gym and we would work with that. Caveat was I got to do a warm-up for us before we started on the contraption.

Apparently, I was misinterpreting Cheri’s statements that she runs. I know she has said she ran a mile. I know she has done a couple 5k races. I know she calls her runs “jogs” just like I do. I figured that meant her jog was like mine. It is not. I nearly killed her with a slow 300 meter ish run. We ran down to the dog kennel driveway and back which according to my heart rate monitor was probably around 300 meters or a little less. I had a heart rate of 142 when we finished. My sister accused me of trying to kill her.

We came back in the house and she recovered and then we did some squats, good mornings, lunges in place, and some shoulder mobility stuff since she wanted to do upper body and abs on the Total Gym. We got warm and then we went to work on the contraption.

She did something for ten reps, and then I did. The machine was set at level 3 and it was really easy. So I said she could finished her other sets of ten and then I would move the thing to level 4 (a greater incline) and do mine. Well, I wasn’t allowed to have that! She would do the higher level, too, because … sisters. Or at least, us.

We did a bunch of other things with one of them really hard on the biceps and triceps (either the up or the down) and managed to not kill ourselves. We were on the last exercise before it would be time to get Pam picked up when Steve came to the door, laden with chocolate chip cookies and brownies, and asked if we would like a snack. Smart ass.

We finished our reps without the aid of chocolate and then went to get Pam. We got home, heated up leftover lasagna, got leftover salad perked up, and sliced the leftover bakery bread and had dinner. We had the exact same dinner which hadn’t bothered me the night before and I had heartburn all evening long and kept trying to soothe my stomach by eating. (Nothing, not cantaloupe, not pumpkin/sweet potato chocolate, not tortilla chips – nothing would help.)

Then Cheri wanted to try some other stuff on the Total Gym. We did something akin to GHD sit-ups, but without having to go back as far or upside down. It was way easier for me even though the incline was still set at level 4. Cheri had never done it at that level, but the whole sisters thing kicked in and so she did, amazing herself. Then we tried some freaky sort of pull-up movements and she could do them at a greater incline, too. After all these years, she is still trying to keep up with her big sister!

Neither sister had enough steps for the FitBits to be happy and so we went for walk through the neighborhood. Then we got home and laughed and talked and crafted and told stories until we were too tired to keep our eyes open. I love sistercation.

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