Friday, I spent much of the day writing. I had my review to finish, the dining guide to proof, and such. The boys spent the day ecstatically enjoying the last bit of summer vacation to its fullest...Pie didn't even get dressed, in fact! That child would be nude all the time, I am certain, if he were allowed. In the evening, they begged not to leave the house. So, we ordered pizza & watched cartoons with them for a nice family night in.
We took the boys to the mall looking for back-to-school clothes. After dropping an appalling $120 on two jerseys for Boot (thank God he doesn't desire Abercrombie jeans, as well) & getting him a locker magnet, it was time for Garnet's 1st birthday party. We got to Evvi's mom's just in time to avoid a blustery thunderstorm. Garnet, darling in a bitty yellow party dress, was playing with her stacking cups while 2 young party guests admired her. All the children there were delightful & lovely. Of course, I am biased toward Miss G, but the whole collection of children was great. Our boys hung out watching car races in the den with the menfolk. The party was a nice low-key one, with socializing, a wonderful video of Garnet's first year, and terrific tea party foods: little sandwiches (curried chicken salad...Evvi's doctoring of bought chicken salad rendering it superb, plain chicken salad, pimiento cheese, cucumber), scones with clotted cream and jam, and some fried chicken, as well. J kept going back for more cucumber sandwiches. I find it interesting how much she has come to love those, she who claims she doesn't like cukes. Garnet opened gifts, much more interested in the tissue paper than in anything else, as one-year-olds are wont to be. I hope she likes the unicorn we gave her. I love stuff like that & since she isn't old enough for a good tiara or boa yet, I figured a unicorn was a good gift. Keith's comment, when I said our gift was the bag with the fairy on it, was "Could have guessed that one!" LOL!
We wanted to stay longer, but Laura was preaching at the UCC & we didn't want to miss that. Nor did we want to miss Brendan's Sunday sermon at our church. So, Saturday evening service it was. I was really glad we went, as was J. The kids, not so much. It was a small service, with beautiful music. Laura's sermon was a good one, too, on vulnerability. I like her preaching style. I also got to meet the "other Laura", who will be my OT prof this fall.
After church, we had dinner at Meadowlark, much to the children's displeasure. They ordered burgers, eschewing the other food as "too fancy". However, the burgers are prepared with a burgundy infusion & they were too odd for the kids. Honestly, I tried a bite & wasn't too keen on it, either...too sweet for me. We ran into Laura & Brendan, having dinner with Kat & David. I love having a pastor who dines with a parishioner & her Buddhist husband, and with the lesbians. The boys ended up having spaghetti with butter & parmesan (Pie) & a hot dog, much disdained for being all-beef (Boot). Neither was at all interested in dessert. J had their fabulous steak, rubbed with salt, pepper, & rosemary, then grilled & served with herb butter & fried shallots (the way James Beard liked it), along with mashed potatoes & veggies. I wanted to try something new & nearly ordered the spaghetti carbonara, but had to have the garlic chicken again, after all. Baby limas are cooked with spinach, capers, & stock, then ladled over jasmine rice. The chicken is laid atop that, then treated to a dollop of soft goat cheese. It's fabulous! For dessert, I tried the caramel black-bottom pudding & spent all of dessert wishing I'd gotten J's dessert instead. The pudding was fine, but had no chance of topping the exquisite banana fritters with handmade ice cream. Their banana fritters are tops!
After dinner, we took the boys to Target & made Pie get one outfit. He was thoroughly resistant, but ended up approving the red collared shirt & soft navy slacks I chose for him. We allowed them to each choose one inexpensive toy or to go in together on a more pricey one. They chose to get these magnetic building toys that look kind of like jacks. Very neat! Pie was so excited over those. Boot got some more clothes, as well, jeans & shirts. Once home, we put the bitties to bed & finished watching the Eddie Izzard DVD that Brendan & Laura had loaned us. He is so smart & so funny.
In the morning, we went to Sunday School (we just finished a book by Richard Peck called A Long Way From Chicago) & church. I was glad we hadn't missed Brendan's sermon & the last hymn was great, lyric-wise...a peace song. The children's sermon was funny, too, because it was about Joseph's brothers selling him into slavery & about his forgiveness of them later. Our boys were up there, along with Jason & Mark, so the brother theme was not at all lost on the kids. When they got back to our pew, Pie said, "And what about the older brother getting sold into slavery???" We visited at coffee hour for awhile (while the boys played with their friends, who they ended up spending the afternoon with), then headed out to have lunch with Brendan & Laura.
Earlier in the summer, they had tried a new Thai place & loved it. So, we met them there for lunch. The people there were very friendly & the food was magnificent. Brendan & Laura highly recommended the coconut soup, so J got a bowl of that while I tried the spring roll...and spent the rest of the appetizer-eating wishing I had joined the 3 of them in the exquisite soup. I will definitely have it next time! They ordered a dish that has been taken off the menu, basil chicken. I tried Brendan's & it was great. I had fabulous pad Thai while J had a wonderful rendition of Massaman curry. Wow! B&L eat there just about every Sunday & I can see why. We had wonderful conversation, too, about food & books & the upcoming seminary year & theology & homosexuality in the church. It was great soul nourishment.
After lunch, we went poking around Y.S., spending an inordinate amount of time in Epic. I had an iced Milky Way from Dino's & then we split a hummus sandwich from Current, sitting out front to eat our snack & watch the world go by. We ran into Alix & Nick & their kids, who joined us for a bit. Alix wondered if we'd seen Victoria recently. It turns out she has left town, having given up custody of Oak to Kevin. I can't believe she would just leave him behind. I know she never seems to finish any project she starts, but to just give up her son? I am so sad that she can't seem to get it together. She's smart & funny & creative, but has some inner demon that makes her procrastinate on everything & refuse to follow through on anything. She has had good men (Kevin being one of them)...and good women, for that matter...head over heels with her & has turned away. She has been given opportunity after opportunity, only to screw them up. Anne gave her the money to pay off her tickets & get insurance & a license. She never got the license or insurance. J was going to get her a good job at the plant & she never bothered to show up. Alix says she even had a deal set up to go to broadcasting school, a free ride, and just never followed through. I just don't get it & I find it so frustrating & sad. As J said, all those golden opportunities will dry up & then, where will she be? She could have done anything her heart desired...she is smart enough & talented enough. Is it fear of failure or simply inertia? Or fear of success???
After our snack, we went to the family night at church, a showing of Jonah. I never would have thought I'd like Veggie Tales, but I do. It was fun. Afterward, we picked the bitties up from their friends'. Beth & Matt had a fire blazing in their firepit. Beth's sister was visiting & her sons were off at McDonald's with Jennifer. Boot & Mark were playing video games inside while Pie & MacKenzie caught butterflies & moths. Jason was busy building his own "stove" outside. We sat by the fire & talked, had a great time. It was a perfect evening for sitting on the lawn talking with friends. But, it was growing later & we had to head home. The boys had eaten dinner with Beth's family. J & I had sherried mushroom soup, roast beef sandwiches, & salad for our dinner.