Ruby (8) and Grace (5) are coming for a play date tomorrow.
I was worried about what to feed them and decided to go to Pinterest for some ideas and to be the "really cool" grown up.
Idea number the one. Grilled cheese roll ups. One slice of bread, flattened, crust removed with a slice of American cheese on top. Roll it and cook it like grilled cheese. I've never tried it but it's bread, cheese, and butter. How bad can it be?
Idea number the two. Vegetable pizza. Tastes good and good for you. Not really a novelty but new to me. I've prepared it but haven't yet tasted it. Again, there are only so many ways to mess that up.
Idea number the three. How cute is this?
Except when it actually turns out like this-
Those are Swedish fish floating on the left and sunk on the bottom on the right. I won't even talk about how it started in a more fish bowl looking container and only filled an inch of the space.
The last time they were here it was summer and we played outside, painted rocks and drew pictures with awesome markers. Tomorrow we will play with markers and cool coloring and activity books, and we will drum. I have several drums here in the house home for vacation. Enough for everyone. I also remembered I had these-
Boxes of buttons. And really, who doesn't love buttons.
Or ways in which five year olds are hilarious.
We are watching The Nutcracker this last day before break. We are five. I add commentary while they are watching to help them make sense of it all. At one point Marie (Clara) leaves her sleeping place and appears in the living room perfectly coiffed. I said, "my hair never looks that good right when I get out of bed." Sylvester says "it's probably because she has a bigger room." (Insert confused puppy look here.)
As they leave, Charlotte says "Merry Christmas Mrs. Terry, bring one of your toys to school when we come back." I said, "I'm not sure if Mr. Terry is going to get me any toys." She said "You never know... Maybe he will get you a puppy."
There is a second class of five year olds coming this afternoon. I can't wait.
I was a recluse when I started blogging. I had one good (not husband) friend and the primary basis of that friendship early on was that canceling plans was allowed if there was excess anxiety on either side.
When I started reading blogs I found internet friends who wrote about knit nights and yarn stores.
I thought, hey maybe I could go to a yarn store.
I did. They had knit night. After much trepidation, I went there too.
I found that I could be a part of that tribe and I made friends.
All that practice being and making friends while knitting helped in the real world. For a while I carried my knitting to combat social anxiety and only rarely did I need to resort to it.
Now I can go out into the world without it and have fun, not even needing medication. Of late I've even initiated a few social gatherings and looked forward to them with anticipation rather than dread.
Anyone who suggests that there is not magic in knitting has never heard my story.
HusbandBob's daughter is an effortless food artist. During the first week of vacation she threw together an amazing chicken tortilla soup with a store roasted chicken some tomatoes and some chicken broth and leftovers from a previous meal. She also made a kale salad that was delicious and seemingly effortless.
That combined with the crazy kitchen dictatorship of week two and the last week of freedom has led to some more forays into healthy delicious cooking.
On Monday I tried a sausage/summer vegetable dish. Peppers, onions, red potatoes, zucchini, rosemary, garlic, and chicken apple sausage. Roast the potatoes and fry it all up in the pan. There were some glitches. It took longer for the potatoes than the recipe indicated, it was a little light on the sausage, but it was edible, interesting, and not spaghetti.
HusbandBob ate it but not without trying to turn it into spaghetti or stir fry. This would be good with red sauce. What if we had more peppers, no potatoes and served it over rice or noodles. What if you used ground beef instead of chicken. Oy.
Today it was Julia Child's eggplant pizza. It had a little higher difficulty level. I have never bought let alone cooked an eggplant. Nor have I ever salted anything to draw out the water. (Daughter did this with the kale so it wasn't completely foreign). This was delicious. I did it! I've got to think that the top shelf (as opposed to Kraft low fat shredded) mozzarella had something to do with it.
So, for at least the second time this summer I have to ask, Who Am I?
They say to wait to do blog posts until after you get home from vacation so your house won't get robbed but really, we have all of our electronic devices with us and our t.v.'s at home are ancient.
The brilliant HusbandBob realized that some hotels allow dogs so instead of leaving at half past dark thirty on Saturday morning, we did a leisurely 7 hours to Cary, NC on Friday and finished up on Saturday morning well before the standard beach traffic hit.
|And we're off!|
Before leaving I declared my intentions to BFFAmber that no matter what worries were surrounding me, I was not going to allow them to infiltrate my being.
The map/direction app on the tablet was of great assistance. HusbandBob likes to have directions heard, repeated and repeated again up until the moment of any driving maneuver. Unless of course he understands them at which point there is a little growly "I know," suggesting that I refrain from stating the obvious. There is always doubt and questioning so much so that we miss many turns because he causes me to doubt myself. I swear sometimes it feels like defiant behavior, annoyed that someone would tell him what to do. But maybe I exaggerate.
He believes Maplady. She can do no wrong. She repeats herself at the same distance away regularly. She never doubts herself even when she is wrong. He listens to her. And then asks me to repeat what she said. Which is fine. It was the smoothest navigating of our ten years together. My absolute favorite bumper sticker from the day's travels was "Jesus is coming. Look busy."
The first wave of visitors here includes brother and sis in law, and HusbandBob's son and three grandkids. We spent some time at the waters edge. Then while I took care of my second major anxiety (we need food in the house and a plan for dinner) at the grocery store and pizza place, he had the older grandgirls divvying up the change for the poker tournaments later in the week. I have full rock star status for knowing to buy apple juice without being asked and thwarting a major meltdown.
|Everyone starts with a bag full of coins.|
This morning he and brotherJerry left in search of bike rentals and boogie boards. The grandgirls had a Frozen dance show. Elsa in her various incarnations. My second level of rock star status came when I had a charger to fit the son's portable speakers. Woot woot. In a very strange sequence of events, as the dance show was ending, the very tune I used to dance to in my living room (Sugar Sugar by the Archie's) popped up as the next song.
|Elsa the Youngest|
|Elsa the Middle|
|Watcher of Elsa the Elder|
(Picture taken from bedroom balcony)
Before I left, BFFAmber wished us a trip of Ease, Joy, and Glory. (I don't really "get" the glory part but it's what she says.). The name of the houses we have rented are Glori East and Glori West. The waffle cones we purchased yesterday had individual wrappers on them that said Joy. One of the kids in the next wave of guests is a trapeze artist (that's a bit of a stretch but it works for now.). Or we could just rename these three girls to make it work.
|Joy, Glory and Ease|
In addition to my clever words, one of the reasons you keep coming back is because every now and then I stumble upon a priceless gem of gems that will keep you giggling through the day.
In related news, today's 10,000 steps were brought to you by the Saturday morning flea market (a generous description) at the local fairgrounds. On my second lap (of six) around, I saw a box of craft books for $5. My reward for making all six laps was the magic box.
In honor of crackmeup Saturdays of days gone by, I give you the highlights from this box. Leave a comment if you want any of the patterns.(bwa ha ha)
The first book is this one-
Which suggests this as a Christmas craft-
|Stupid stemless oranges and lemons.|
And now for your viewing pleasure-
|Where is she now?|
|Happily married to him?|
|Maybe she's sad because he left her for someone who could do a more traditional granny square|
|Or maybe she made him rue the day he left by becoming a granny square designer extraordinaire.|
|Or else she joined a cap wearing cult|
|That designed ties for bike-riding businessmen|
|And necklaces of subdued color to make ends meet.|
|Likely she had doubts as things started to get weirder.|
|The male blanket ritual was more than she could handle.|
|She thought she was doing him a favor when she tried to "Kill Kenny"|
|And was forced to wear the sheepskin of shame.|
|So she found new friends and began again.|
Sometimes the universe just gives you a little flea market present. Other times all you get is a crocheted tennis racket cover.
And sometimes you get both.
We have a new knitnighter. Sadly I am not there as I type because HusbandBob is mansick.
However, knitnightbarry will fit right in after this awesome Facebook exchange between several of our knitnighters. It also proves that the term "balls of yarn" is funny in any language.
P.S. Knitnightbarry has a PhD in French.
At this point, of course I had to look up la roupette. Wouldn't you? It was an invitation to dance.
I will say this for the weekend's meditation retreat. Just as one goes to a therapist to gain clarity of mind, so goes one to a retreat such as this to gain clarity of body and presence.
It was lovely. With some new agey silliness. It's not every morning after breakfast you step outside to someone embracing a tree for 15 minutes. Also the bits of nature one woman brought to be mindful with was cacao. And if you are the lover of the tv show Portlandia as I am, then you know that I " 'bout lost my shit" inappropriately at that point.
There was zero walking for me but the flip side of that ws that all of the food served was vegan, gluten free, and dairy free. To be honest, I have no idea other than greens and beans what it was actually made of but no loss no gain in that department.
This morning's library treat was a few pages of "Constant Comment" ( a review of books known to be done not so anonymously by Dorothy Parker). Hilarious and one I might go back to. Reviewing a book called Lay Sermons by Lady Margaret something she notes that in spite of Lady M's opinions, the Thames was still full and wet. Also that the potential reader might do well to change the last word of the title to Off.
A joke now.
Q: What did the heart say to her misbehaving children in the back of the car?
A: if I have to stop, I'm going to pull over and give you a sound beating?
I didn't make that joke up but am lucky enough to have a friend lead me to it in improvisatory exchange. This also gives you a little taste of the laughing of the weekend.
HusbandBob teaches one class of "you didn't learn enough in high school algebra and now you want to be a nurse" math during the fall and spring semester at the local private college. (They call it a university but I have my doubts.) Today we took a drive past the building where he teaches. We also went to the library.
There is a small but sufficient (even with a little Jesus bias) college library in our town. Within walking distance. (3 miles or so away). It opens at 8:30 am. That's when I like to walk. That's the distance I like to walk. I like books and libraries.
My new job description (begining next week) will be to walk to the library, get a cup of coffee from the coffee bar set up in the basement, read a book about something I know nothing about for a little bit, and walk home.
I was nothing less than gleeful throughout the visit. They gave me a library card. While HusbandBob is an educated man, he isn't the sponge of learning new stuff that I am. He smiled at my joy but couldn't necessarily feel it. But then, that's why I have a blog.
Also, I walked eight miles today in between thunderstorms. And yesterday YouTube taught me the two second shirt folding method and I cleaned out my closet and my dresser. Who Is This Person Living In My Body?