Summer's ending, school is coming. I am very excited about the prospect of starting classes & seminary life. Things may be a little hectic, but I am sure it will also feel nourishing. I have spent much of the time between posts doing housework, writing, & things like that. We finally, $365 later, have a new garage door opener! We are both thrilled. For the first time since Boot played with & destroyed J's remote, we both have them. The garage door is also amazingly quiet & not creaky like the old one. Maybe we'll finally be able to get that picture of Caligula on the living room wall to stay straight, without all the shaking of an aging garage door!
I guess since I am so behind, I'll go by highlights. On the 2nd, J came home from work & said, "We're going to dinner at The Winds." Who am I to object to a directive like that? It was delicious. We had cheese service & corn chowder & beef tenderloin (with a side of cheesy polenta) & raspberry lemon napoleon. Oh, J had a fabulous chicken pasta for her entree. I also tried a Kir Royale for the first time. It was fine, but I would add more cassis if I made it. I've been drinking Pucker & Sprites here at home & those are fun. I'm a cheap drinker...about one mini bottle of Pucker, at $1.29, each week. The blue island stuff is my favorite so far.
The 3rd, I had lunch out at the grands & got to talk to my cousin, Aaron. He's really smart & fun to talk to, just like his half-brother. He didn't talk for years & years, but now that he is grown, he has started. I am having such fun getting to know him. He is planning to become an animator. For dinner, I made a not-so-good curry (I was in the mood for chicken tikka masala instead, but J loved the curry & so did Andrew, J's foodie supervisor). I watched the rest of Spanglish (which I did not like the ending of) while J worked on training material for her leads.
I spent much of last Thursday following Brendan's advice to get myself solidly grounded in exegesis for the tricky passages on (or allegedly on) homosexuality. I read a book called Openly Gay, Openly Christian that had a lot of information in it. I also started on What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality. I wish that I had known about that class in time to take it. Maybe my OT prof will teach it again. I wonder if she covers that at all in the intro to OT. Thursday night, I made a couple of chicken pot pies to take to dinner at my grands' house. My grandmom still isn't feeling well, so I wanted to make something fairly plain, and soothing. It seemed to fit the bill. We also took a honeydew & some salad to go with it.
Friday night, J was so exhausted from all the overtime she's been working that she fell sound asleep on the couch within minutes of coming in the door. So, I ran out for Indian food. The woman who waited on me said, "Thank you for writing that great review. We were all really happy about that." It made my day. I am so happy that I was able to do them a good turn. I think they have a great place. J was able to wake up just long enough to enjoy her chicken tikka masala & bhatura. Then, we went to bed & she slept until 9 the next morning.
I hadn't told her what I had planned for Saturday, but I had scheduled us for facials at a local day spa. I'd given her the gift certificate for Christmas & she still hadn't redeemed it, so I took matters into my own hands. I read Jennifer Louden's The Woman's Retreat Book and sipped Aveda Calming Tea (fabulous...licorice & mint, with a touch of sweetness) while she had her facial. I knew she would love it & I was right! She came into the lobby looking completely blissed out & asked how often we could do that. I loved mine, too. My favorite part is when they put the hot, damp towel on my face to wipe off the products. It feels so nurturing.
After our facials, we had lunch at the bar in The Winds. We had olives & almonds, of course. Then, we shared the Thai beef salad & the insalata caprese. We ordered roasted plums with pistachio & honey sauce for dessert & they were very bitter. But, the rest was great. We spent the rest of the day poking around town & around the mall. J found a brown tweedy suit for work & I got an aqua paisley shirt with solid aqua tank. We got some crystals for Pie's Christmas stocking, too. Dinner was a working dinner at Lincoln Park Grille. We shared a couple appetizers...chopped chicken liver with rye bread & artichoke fritters. Then, she had French onion soup while I tucked into a fabulous blue cheese salad. My entree was lamb chops, with ratatouille and an underdone baked potato. Her ribeye with garlic butter was infinitely better, although the lamb chops were actually really good. The fountains splashed across the street & it was a really nice evening. I always like dinner outside, though.
Sunday, we went to church, then spent a little time in bed before we got going again. We picked up food for book group, then headed off to the company picnic for awhile. I got to see all kinds of darling babies, including David & Kerry's Jake! I got to meet Kerry's sister, too. I need to send Kerry a list of possible dates to do the Cheesecake Factory, the Winds, or dinner at one of our places.
After the picnic, we got home & prepped for the Uppity Book Women. I dug out our spare copies of Lysistrata & made the food. We served fresh figs drizzled with honey, dates, grapes, marinated feta, olives, hummus, tabouleh, pita chips, and mini pita rounds. Hyacinth, coming for the first time, brought a Greek Jewish dish made from spelt & honey...it was good & I wish I had gotten the recipe. Beth also came, despite her family being in the midst of vacation preparations. She is so brave, driving down to Orlando with a teenager, 10 & 12 y.o. boys, & a 7 y.o. They are all really nice kids, but I imagine it gets long! We had a wonderful discussion of books we read over the summer, decided the next 3 books, and read all the way through Lysistrata. Aristophanes had such a delightful way with words. I am amazed that a man could have written such a great feminist play. I am also amazed by the bluntness of it...of course, our translations varied differently, but they were all pretty forthright. I hadn't read it since high school & didn't remember how vulgar a lot of it is. Funny, but vulgar. The wordplay was just downright fun!
J was off Monday & Tuesday. We sent a package to the kids on Monday, with a football jersey for Boot & a Star Wars chess set for Pie. After lunch at the local dive diner (incredible patty melts), we snugged in for an afternoon of movies. We watched Alone in the Dark (not so great), Heathers (which J liked more than she expected to), Underworld (imaginative & fun), and part of Riddick (boring to me, but J liked it). Yes, it was Dark Movie Day. LOL! I had also rented Meet The Parents but somehow doubt she'll sit through that one.
Tuesday, we went down to Jungle Jim's with my auntie Jeanie, cousin Leah, & Leah's best friend, Carey. He is a nice kid & we all had a bunch of fun. After our 3-hour spell in Jungle Jim's, we had lunch at Bahama Breeze. I had a Cuban sandwich with black beans & yellow rice. Mmm. It's so exciting to have a restaurant close by that serves Cubans, even if they aren't as good as the ones in Miami. We had planned to go to the mall, but Jeanie got word that Karen Kline is in town & wanted to visit with her. J suggested that we take the kids to the mall while Jeanie visited. So, we did. What fun! Carey is gay & hasn't come out to his parents yet, so I think it was nice for him to have adult gay folks to be around. He seems quite centered & wants to find a life partner while he's still in high school. Isn't that sweet? I do have friends who are high school sweethearts, so it's not a stretch for him to think it can happen. I hope it does. I sure wish J had been my high school sweetheart. Of course, she would have been in college, but hey, I dated older guys anyway.
Apparently, Leah just adores being around me & J, which makes me happy. She's my only girl cousin &, while I love my boy cousins, it's so much fun to have a girl one. I had to wait 19 years for her, too! Jeanie told me that Leah wants to come stay with me & J next summer. She'd probably be bored to tears, but I'm fine with her coming.
Wednesday after Bible study, I went to lunch at my grands'. Twang & Nyoko came down for the afternoon, bringing Cosmo the Yorkie with them. He is adorable. Of course, Faith Hill didn't think so & barked & barked at him. Rowdy & Frisky were fine with him. Nyoko brought all the puppies dog treats she made. We had a wonderful visit and a great lunch. Jeanie made sandwiches with fresh mozzarella, basil, & tomatoes. Yum! I didn't stay very late because I wanted to get some errands (school supplies! Yippee!) & stuff around the house done. J was again wiped out after work, so we had Russian sandwiches (add avo & red onion) & she finished watching Riddick while I went through some old magazines. I would love to spend an entire day going through & getting rid of the baskets of magazines.
Yesterday, I started reading Don't Know Much About The Bible for a refresher course. I also got a start on cleaning up the basement. It's become a catch-all place & J & I want to make it into a library & crafts area. So, I went through the boys' corner first, bagging up the stuff for their rooms. They have big bedrooms, they can keep their toys in them. Actually, I think most of it is stuff they don't even play with anymore. Fodder for Freecycle. Last night, we made spaghetti & bruschetta with fresh mozzarella, basil, & tomato, drizzled with good olive oil. Oh, and some wonderful asparagus with key lime butter. J wanted a "mindless movie with lots of violence" so we watched Blade: Trinity. You know, I actually ended up liking it. The non-Wesley Snipes male lead was so funny & personable. Jessica Biel played one kick-ass vampire hunter, too. But, I want to watch more romantic comedies! I still haven't seen Love, Actually.
I am waiting for the call from Jeanie to go to lunch. I am taking her & the kids to The Winds, then we're poking around town some. My baby uncle, Jazzbo, is coming down to spend the night tonight. I just adore him...I hope he knows how much. We want to take him to BW3 for trivia & wings tonight. I am also making a chocolate nemesis cake for the summer babies (Leah, me, Jeanie, & Jazzbo). I wish Heather was going to come down, but Star & Leo need her.