Things have been absolutely frantic lately. J has accepted a job in the Cleveland area, so we have been madly sorting things for a yard sale and for moving purposes. Since we are moving from a 3200 square foot house to an apartment that is approximately 1200 square feet (but with heated pool & hot tub, so it will feel like living at Disney), we will have to put a bunch of things in storage. We finally got through most of the things that we thought we might like to sell and held an enormous yard sale Thursday, Friday, & Saturday. It went quite well and we got to chat with some interesting people. Our Christmas tree is going to be a shelter from the sun for baby chickens, J's "What Would Xena Do?" bumper sticker promptly went on the back of a sweet little guy's station wagon, and my sombrero got to go to a Cinco de Mayo party.
We celebrated Cinco de Mayo in a different way. Well, we did get lunch from our favorite Mexican place, where a bunch of teachers were sitting around drinking margaritas. I bet they need them this time of year! But, we also had our last hurrah dinner at The Winds. Of course, we'll be back, but it was the last time to eat there before J headed up to Cleveland. We first went shopping for some work clothes for her, hitting Kohl's and the mall. Then, we had a late dinner. We had one of our favorite waitresses, Mercedes. For our appetizer, we had the cheese service and some fabulous fried baby artichokes with remoulade. I wish I could remember which cheeses were on the plate...I know they had an Ibores. We shared Beef River Grill, a gorgeous cut rubbed with thyme, cracked pepper, & sea salt before grilling. It was served with garlic gnocchi and arugula drenched in a tangy lemon dressing. Dessert was also shared, vanilla crème brûlée. I like it better in a shallow dish with a higher crust to custard ratio, but this was pretty damn good.
We arose reluctantly Saturday morning to continue the sale. Why, oh why did we start it at 8 on a Saturday morning? No one was up yet! After about an hour, though, people started to trickle in. We'd had visits from our pastor & a couple book group friends earlier in the week. Saturday, Hyacinth came by with roasted edamame for us to snack on & lots of help with moving things once the sale was over. She has such good energy! I talked more with her about my idea to have the book group visit Cleveland quarterly for a getaway weekend. I think it would be really fun! I'd love for us all to rent a beach cottage or mountain cabin (with hot tub) once a year, too. Our next meeting is May 19 & we're reading Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman, which will require margaritas. Rosemary came by with the baby, too. He is darling & wanted to come to me. Of course, J stole him from me just after I got hold of him, but he did want to come to me. I hate leaving all of our friends here. I feel like crying when I think of missing Garnet's & Robert's growing up. What fabulous babies my friends have! Of course, it makes sense considering their parents.
After the sale was over & we had arranged the leftovers attractively for Freecyclers, we hit the road for Cleveland. We stopped on the way for dinner at Applebee's & arrived at Jazzbo & Anne's about 8:30, to be greeted by two very happy golden retrievers. Leo & Star were a wonderful greeting committee, all wagging tails and cheerful panting. Their other niece, Katya, was staying overnight & hung out listening to us talk. She is darling, about to be 9. I wonder what my relationship is to her. She is the daughter of Anne's sister & Anne married my uncle when I was 13. Probably no relation, but they are Uncle Jazzbo & Aunt Anne to her, too. Funny. After a great deal of ball-throwing (Leo catches 2 in his mouth at once) and tug of warring (Star's favorite game), we all went to bed. Their guest room is so welcoming and I slept very well. J is nervous about her new job, so she was awake more. I know she'll do wonderfully, though.
This morning, we had Jazzbo's fruit salad with our cereal & coffee. Then, we ventured out to find the way to J's new plant. There were geese & fuzzy yellow goslings crossing the street in her business park. We also went to Target for shampoo and socks and the like. J found me a new coupon organizer, which seems like a silly thing to be thrilled about, but I am. We had a snack (cheeseburger con queso...seems like a redundant name to me...with chips) & drinks (Bud Light for J, chocolate malt for me) at Red Robin, then hit Kohl's, where I found some cute summer clothes & J got khakis for work.
Once back at Jazzbo & Anne's, we played with the dogs & talked to Anne, then played with the dogs & watched Queen Latifah on Food Network with Jazzbo. Anne made an early dinner (chicken casserole and a delightful salad brimming with all kinds of veggies like cauliflower and carrots) since I had to get home to the kids. After we ate, I hit the road. Being apart from J until we move up there is going to be hard. I am finding myself staying up ridiculously late to avoid going to bed without her. I will have to drag the cat to bed with me. He won't mind a bit, I imagine. I am so glad we will at least see each other on weekends between now & the end of the month. But, we can't be moved in with her soon enough to suit me. Thank God for telephones! I am sincerely dreading being down here midweek all through the school year. Why can't there be a UCC seminary in Cleveland??? The national headquarters are there!