Without telling J, I made reservations at the Floraville Inn for Friday night. I arranged to have flowers, chocolates, and champagne in the room. Once the kids left, we packed an overnight bag "just in case" we decided to stay. We drove down to Lebanon, admiring the gorgeous leaf colors. In town, I drove to the street where the B&B properties are located. They have 4 houses on one block. We passed the first of them, all lit up & gorgeous. J said, "What a beautiful house! I love it!" I stopped at the next house, the main one. She realized it was a B&B & assumed I was just checking to see if they had rooms. But, when we went in, the owner said our room was all ready for us & led us over to the house she loved. It was a wonderful surprise. The room was lovely. We actually had a two-room suite, with private bath. No one else was staying in the house that night, so we had the whole place to ourselves. It was an 1880 Italianate & the bed had a little stool to get up on it with. The flowers were utterly lovely, all pinks and lavenders in a low arrangement. We had two little boxes of chocolates & a small bottle of chilled champagne. In addition, they greet each guest with a tiny personal cake. Ours welcomed us by name & featured a Halloween theme. Inside, it was chocolate with raspberry cream filling. Mmm. We also had a gift certificate for The Golden Lamb and reservations for a few minutes hence. We considered walking down there, but J thought it might be too cold walking back to the B&B.
As we walked around the front of The Golden Lamb, we saw a carriage, with a beautiful grey percheron in front. We stopped to visit with him. He was so soft. Unfortunately, they left for the night before we got done with dinner. I think a carriage ride around Lebanon in the evening would have been utterly romantic. Luckily, the rest of the evening was just lovely. We had a corner table by the window & a delicious dinner. I had prime rib, while J got their great fried chicken. After dinner, we poked around upstairs, looking at the open rooms. I got myself a little spooked on the 4th floor & wouldn't look into any dark rooms anymore, afraid that something might look back. We were looking out a window at the town clock when the door of a cupboard right behind us opened by itself. I was ready to go!
We smooched a little in the gazebo, then headed back to the Floraville. J had a shower while I lounged in the clawfoot tub with Wayne Muller's Sabbath. Then, we retired to the luxuriously comfortable bed. I have never been in such a lush bed in my life, and ours at home is pretty great, with a feather topper.
In the morning, we went over to the main house for breakfast. There was one other couple there, an air traffic controller & his teacher wife. We had fruit with a light glaze, French toast (Lord, deliver me from B&B owners who think sweet breakfasts are the way to go!), and sausage. Then, we climbed back in bed for awhile before check-out. It's the first time we've visited a B&B in quite awhile, a real treat. We left thoroughly relaxed.
We were able to maintain that relaxed feel for the whole weekend. We drove home on back roads, with a couple of stops. We went to Dorothy Lane Market for a ham bone (& picked up some cheeses and other things, too), then drove to Foy's. J wanted to get something for a costume, either Wolverine, a vampire, or a beat poet. We grabbed lunch at the grill, sitting at the counter to enjoy our cheeseburger & tuna melt. Then, J decided to be a beat poet & got a beret.
Once home, we commenced cooking for the book group. J made 2 pots of bean soup, one vegetarian & one with ham. She made corn muffins, as well. I made a Braeburn & cheddar pie, my first attempt at making my own crust. Luckily, it came out great. Lilith came along a little after 7 bearing a dish of collard greens, which were delicious. I never have liked them before, but Lilith's were great. They were part of the great bounty she got at the Farmer's Market. When Beth arrived dressed as her daughter in a Good Charlotte t-shirt & jacket, with a white tie & black crocheted fingerless gloves, I thought she looked great! She brought powdered doughnuts & cider. J looked adorable & perfect in her beat poet outfit, with her stack of Ginsberg & Bukowski & Corso books. I wore my black taffeta ball skirt, crimson beaded velvet bustier, & a big witch hat. Lilith just came as herself. We didn't talk much about the book, Storming Heaven by Denise Giardina. Beth hadn't finished it & Lilith & J both thought it was horribly depressing. I think so, too, but I think it's great. For next month, we're reading The Second Coming of Curly Red by Jody Seay. It was Hyacinth's recommendation. I need to get the invites out today so that people will have time to find & read the book. I think it's going to be hard to find.
Yesterday, we went to church & Sunday school at our regular church. J says she feels more connected at the UCC. But, Brendan gave a great sermon for Reformation Sunday. He talked about Martin Luther, the grumpy, beer-drinking German monk, and about his 95 theses. He told us that he'd supply the masking tape if we wanted some to tape our own theses to the front door, giving me an idea I plan to execute this week. He also talked about Rosa Parks & how she just got tired of it all & sat down. It made me think of simply going up when they get ready to serve communion next time & grabbing a tray & commencing service. Where are the sit-ins of the gay Presbyterians, where are the ordination boycotts, where gays walk out of church en masse during an ordination, where are the wedding marches?
We visited with my grands for quite awhile at coffee hour, then J took me to Yellow Springs Pottery to replace my favorite mug, which I broke the handle off of Saturday night. I found one not as favorite, but very nice. Then, we grabbed some Starbucks & had gyros before hitting Evvi's bead show. Her stuff was the nicest there. There were some other nice things, but the bulk of our money (too much of it! LOL!) was spent at her booth. J has great plans for a couple of necklaces for my mom for Christmas, while I am making some prayer beads for El Dia de los Muertos. We also got to see pictures of Garnet in her Rosie the Riveter Halloween costume. She is simply the most darling baby ever. She has the most winning smile. It was a real pleasure to see Evvi, even if only for a little while. We made plans to have them to dinner later in the week, too.
When the show started shutting down, we headed out in search of a copy of the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. We hit three bookstores with no luck, although we did find a Christmas gift for Graham and a book for each boy. Boot got a copy of the new Lemony Snicket book & Pie got a Terry Pratchett for kids. I hope he'll like it.
After books, we went to a dinner party at the UCC pastor's home. Nick & his partner, Dave, live in a really pretty house in Centerville. They're raising Dave's niece & nephew. Jessie, 14, answered the door & took our coats. Gareth, almost 3, entertained us with a gourd show. There were probably about 30 people there. We had sandwiches, Ramen salad, and lemony pasta salad. Oh, and fresh fruit. With hot cider to drink. Dessert was a choice of fluffy lemon cheesecake, apple cranberry lattice-top pie, or pumpkin pie. We sat at a table with one of the worship directors, Lucy, a lesbian couple we'd not met before, and the Tiptons, whose son I worked with years ago & who are very involved in P-FLAG. We talked about kids & church & transgender issues & book group selections. We were joined by Jenny, my lesbian librarian friend. The party was a great deal of fun.
When we arrived home, we had a nice visit with my grands before we sent them home with a pot of soup. The boys were good for them. Boot retreated to his room while Pie hung out with them, building Bionicles. Once my grands were gone, we got the boys settled into bed before heading that direction ourselves. We ate some of the chocolates from the B&B in bed, then snugged in together. I read some of my Old Testament text to her as she fell asleep.