Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Weekend With Donnie Yen

I had a great weekend.  I traveled up into the mountains to visit with family I haven't seen for months.  I did a very small amount of exercise, but mostly spent the days lounging and laughing with family...and eating way too much.

I can not drive anymore because of vision issues.  Apparently the DMV actually does keep an eye on drivers abilities to be safe on the road and doesn't just give anyone a license.  In any case I had to rely on my brother to pick me up after work on Friday and take me up the mountain.

On the way up we caught up on what we've both been up to since the last time we saw each other which I think was about five months ago.  It was a nice drive up the hill and out of the city.  The weather was hot and the AC wasn't working but that didn't bother us, we both thrive in the heat.  I've never felt that this particular brother of mine shared much in common with me, but over this past year with so much pain happening to both of us, we have grown closer and I have seen our many similarities.  Out of the ashes of pain grows many sweet flowers.

Once at the home of the family matriarch and patriarch, the lounging began.  We had a slice of the banana bread I had baked and brought with me.  This evening was quiet and consisted of visiting and movie watching.  I am a huge Donnie Yen fan and took with me on this trip several of his movies.  It was easy to convince my mom and brother to watch one each evening.  My mom got hooked after the first one, my brother after the second. This night we watched Special ID.  I prefer to watch the movies in the native Mandarin with subtitles.  My Mom and brother don't like to have to read their movies, so we watched with English dubbing.  I think it cheapens the movie a bit, but Donnie Yen is awesome with subs or dubs.

The next day I started out by taking the dog for a walk.  We walked down the long driveway and then down the street to the neighborhood mailboxes and then turned around and came back.  The walk down is literally downhill, so an easy walk, a warm-up.  The walk back is mostly uphill and for me and the old arthritic dog, it was a real workout.  The walk all-in-all was maybe a quarter of a mile and half of that is uphill, so not much work for a healthy person, but for me the uphill part was a real eye-opener to my need to shape up.

After the walk I went into town with mom and we did some grocery shopping.  I had offered to cook dinner and so we picked up the ingredients I would need.  At one point we got separated in the store and I just could not find her.  I had to laugh and joke with her once we met up again.

"I lost you!  I almost went up to an employee and told them I lost my mommy and started crying."

Back at the house we put away the groceries and then took a break on the couch.  After a bit we went into the reading room and dug through the closet and pulled out a couple boxes filled with old family photos.  I found so many pictures I thought were lost.  I asked to take them home so I could scan them and restore them.  Mom agreed and I was so very excited!

I made Salmon Kyoto, steamed zucchini, and baby reds for dinner.  Dad, who is a picky eater, really loved the salmon.  Mom and brother agreed the meal was yummy. After the meal we remained at the table for a bit and listened to dad tell a story about a pet dog.

Later in the evening, mom, brother, and I watched another Donnie Yen movie.  Ip Man I think would be their favorite movie of the weekend.
The next day I again began the day by taking the dog for a walk.  This time I didn't have any trouble until the very end of the uphill trek.  I was happy to see such quick improvement.  The dog even seemed to have an easier time of it.

This day was special, we were going to have more family over.  My eldest brother, sister-in-law, cousins, and their two kids.  We waited excitedly for everyone to show up and then had a BBQ with fresh fruit, snacks, and I made a Caesar salad.

I spent some time talking with my eldest brother about my writing, our likes in books and authors, and our health issues.  Eldest brother has been working hard at being healthy and has lost many pounds and looks great.  His health is improving tremendously and we are all so very proud of him.

I was happy to be able to visit with all of my family that were there this day.  It was especially nice to watch my two second cousins running around and playing and being precious little toddlers.  They both resemble their parents so much.  Cutie pies for sure.

This evening we sat down and watched IP Man 2.  Eldest brother joined us this time and I explained to him before the movie that there is not much need to have seen the first one before the second because the second movie stands well on it's own.  Everyone enjoyed it.
This evening I also made Chai Tea Lattes for myself and mom.  Eldest brother tried the Chai Tea on it's own for the first time.  He made me laugh with his little tongue twist up:

"So, are you going to make the ch...teh..te..tai chi?"

"Chai Tea?"

"LOL, yeah, that...geez, 'tai chi'."

"Sure, do you want it hot, cold, regular, or latte?"

"I don't know, I've never had tai chi before."

The next day I took the dog for a walk again.  This time I had very little trouble, but the dog got exhausted.   After the walk the day became a very lazy one.  We spent most of the day eating and watching T.V..  Eldest brother and sister-in-law left for home in the late afternoon.  Cousin and second cousins came by again for more visiting and stayed for a few hours.  I made another salad, and quesadillas for dinner.

Before bed we watched one last Donnie Yen movie.  It was just mom and I this time because brother had to be in bed early.  We watched Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen.  She loved all the Donnie Yen movies so much that she ordered some.
Finally the day came where I would have to return to my normal daily routine.  Mom drove me down to the city and we did some shopping with my cousin and aunt before I was dropped off with my husband and went home.  It was a wonderful weekend, but now I'm in the comfort of my own home once more.  Happy as  a clam.

I think I'll watch a Donnie Yen movie today. Which one?  They're all so good!

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