Monday, May 22, 2006

Book Group and Baby Shower

Friday, I spent the day, as all my days lately, packing. I attended a funeral in the morning, though, with my grandmom. Brendan did the service & turns out to be very good at funerals (although he explained that Presbyterians don't have funerals, but celebrations of the resurrection). I stopped in the late afternoon to run a couple of errands (including picking up our youngest cat from the vet, where he'd gotten shots, neutering, & all that pleasantness) and to give Pixie a test ride in the car to see if he will need tranquilizers. He will pant, but I think he'll be mostly fine. I chatted with the boys & tidied the kitchen. After they left with their father, I began book group preparations in earnest. I made little sundried tomato toasts with fresh mozzarella & tomato slices, basil leaves, and a drizzle of good olive oil. I made strawberry sandwiches brûlée, too. I set out hummus and mini pitas, sundried tomato dip & crackers, Baci & Lindor truffles. I brought up a bottle of Cuervo & one of margarita mix in case someone wanted to re-enact Midnight Margaritas (from Practical Magic).

Lilith arrived first, with a closely-cropped summer hair-do that looked marvelous and a copy of The High Rise Glorious Skittle Skat Roarious Sky Pie Angel Food Cake to read aloud to us. Hyacinth came next, bearing a pot of luscious mashed squash and ginger sauce to ladle over it. She also brought aloe to put on the rosacea that is plaguing me (I am trying burdock internally, as well). Such wonderful friends! I hate to be moving away. I know we will stay in touch, but it's not the same. I hope they will come to visit. I hope Evvi comes & Rosemary & all my dear girlfriends, but I know it's hard to make time & money for trips like that.

We had a fun book group & the best part of all was when J arrived from Cleveland for the weekend. She was in plenty of time to visit & eat & get the angel food cake book read to her, too. It's a great book, a children's picture book about a little girl who wants to make a special birthday cake for her mom & ends up with some pretty amazing visitors in the kitchen! It's by Nancy Willard & I must get my own copy!

In the morning, we quick got up & went to shop for a gift for my cousin's bambino, who is due near my birthday. We found a cute little outfit with bugs on it, a soft, soft blanket with satin edges & an elephant rattle attached, and a copy of Where The Wild Things Are (one of my very favorite children's books ever, ever, ever) to go along with the Leap Pad contraption we bought from the registry just so the baby could have early & frequent exposure to Maurice Sendak.

We met my grandmom at the house & piled into my car to go to Nola's shower. Her friend Ann, who gave the shower, has such a neat house. Her family room has a beach theme & she glued starfish to the swag holders, then draped a length of buttery yellow cheesecloth over them as a swag. Really nice & I may copy it in the new apartment, if I can talk J into it. The shower was a great time, lots of visiting & no shower games. Good food & good company, the best things! Ann made a wonderful organic 7-layer dip with lots of avocado. That was my favorite thing to eat. Nola's mom (who is really cool) made some great iced tea, too. After the shower & the visit with Ann's 3 boxers, we caravaned over to see John & Nola's new house. They bought a concrete block 1-story & John (and his crew) totally redid the inside & added a second story. It is almost finished & is going to be gorgeous! Their island in the kitchen is less an island than a continent. They have a porch/room running the length of the house downstairs & a gallery living space above it with walls of windows looking out over the woods & stream (there was a green frog down by the spring house). And their master bath! I am envious! It's huge, probably the size of our bedroom in the new apartment. And it has a corner tub with jacuzzi jets! Drool! I am thrilled for them. Nola deserves to have her dream house, after all the moving around she's had to do in the last several years!

We picked up my granddad & all four went to dinner at Applebee's. We had a good visit over dinner, then they picked up their car from our house & we fell into bed! In the morning, we lazed in bed for quite awhile. Then, we had an amazing brunch at The Winds. We shared a rhubarb pecan scone, then I had a Nueske's bacon, white cheddar & chive omelet. J had buckwheat crêpes with Gruyère and some kind of fabulous lemony sauce, served with bright green asparagus and sunshine yellow scrambled eggs. After brunch, we poked around town for a few minutes, checking out the stained glass & visiting with a one-eyed tomcat.

Then, we met our realtor to go over a few things. She brought us cookies she had just baked. J adored them. Our realtor said she was nervous bringing cookies to a food critic. Isn't that silly? We got the paperwork all signed, then went home & got back in bed. Finally, we decided she'd better get going sooner rather than later. We loaded her car & met at Dino's for a farewell coffee. Well, she had an iced vanilla latté and I tried Dino's special iced tea blend, which was spicy & sweet. We sat on a bench by Ohio Silver enjoying our drinks, the sun, and one another. However, the road to Cleveland called and we had to part. I spent the rest of the day and evening packing, stopping only for a frozen Boston Market chicken pot pie. The boys had already eaten & I didn't feel I had time to drive all the way to Ajanta for my dinner, so that was that.

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