Parties and Fun

EEEK! The Holiday parties!!

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Eeek….It’s Those Holiday Parties!

Reba is close to 80 years old. She hosts a magnificent sit down Christmas dinner.

The Menu:

Raw salad with raw Brussels sprouts, raw kale and greens.  Chicken marsala with mushrooms and rice. Pumpkin bread. A frozen pumpkin desert in a vanilla ice cream shell. Home baked Christmas cookies.

“Are these mushrooms from your property” I ask.

I’m thinking of my liver and a possible transplant from wild mushrooms.  I have read too many bad-ending mushroom gathering stories.

I am also thinking that my stomach rarely handles all raw and ice cold foods. My acupuncturist says I have a ‘cold stomach.’

But, this is Christmas. I eat it all.

I am sick all night and the next day from exploding gas and giant pains in my gut.

But, that is tomorrow. The dinner right now is fun. The conversation is riveting.

Reba tells us about her father’s death. (more…)

A Lucky Day In The Mountains

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

This Is My Friend, Susan

When Susan tells her husband that she and I are going off for a day in the mountains, he tells her to pack her pistol.

I don’t think she will need one, do you?

We’re both artists and this is going to be an Art Day.

We ‘re chugging up into the mountains. We’ve left early because we’re going on the local Mountain Art Guild’s Studio Tour. Our plan is to stop in a little town and pick up a map and tickets. Then we will commence  on our own on a winding drive, stopping at various art studios.

I’m telling Susan I have a feeling we should let this day swing as it will; that I think our patience and plan may be tested.

It is.

We stop at a bead shop where we’ve been told we’ll find the map and tickets. There are no maps and no tickets here. There are 3 enormous dogs and a board outside depicting the cast of The Wizard Of Oz.

We’re told if we will wait awhile, maybe they can find the map we need.

We walk into a red barn that’s adjacent and filled with crafts and tables of apples and jelly. The place has a coffee bar. We each get coffee and sit outside on a sunny porch in little rocking chairs. We gaze at the pines and blue jays. We are charmed.

We meet 4 more dogs.

We wait and we wait.

We pee in a shiny, breezy bathroom.

We think maybe we should forget the self tour and just stay here and visit the wine bar.

But, reason holds. Maps are produced. Never mind that the map is not to scale and particularly worthless.

We’re having an Adventure.

We both pee before we leave.

As we’re finally leaving the barn, a woman with yet another dog trots up to us.

“Oh! You must visit my shop!” she burbles. “This is my pug dog, Pierre. He’s 8 months old and I have just opened my store, I have never had a shop before and I am 68 years old!”

She looks it. (more…)

The CupCake Girls

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

 

“We Call Ourselves ‘The Cupcake Girls”

My women friends drive me by the tall hospital in Napa.  The hospital has an enormous gold, florescent Jesus hanging on the south side of the building.

They say, “Take note. Here’s where Emergency is if it comes to it, Venus.”

We’re on our annual trip to Somewhere. This year my grammar school chums and I are in Napa, California, The Wine Country.

We like to call ourselves “The Cupcakes,” for no logical reason except we manage to drink a lot of Cupcake Wine.

Happily, the hospital isn’t needed. There are no disasters like last year’s  incident . I am, however, almost knocked down the steeply sloping driveway of our rented house by a heavy errant suitcase.  I grab Darice’s leg just in time to short the fall.

Here’s who The Cupcakes are:

Brenda has very rare blood. She has never had a cold or a flu in her entire life. Her blood has something in it that kills all viruses. She is also very hot blooded and must have our room, house, or car temperature at 60 degrees or less. Much less is much better.

Because of this need for an icy temperature, on our trips I always wear a fleece jacket and a flannel nightgown. Sometimes worn together and sometimes not. Not 24/7 but close.

Darice fills us full of ice cream candies and bags of chocolates. She cooks a lot of wonderful meals.

Patti does back exercises and doesn’t eat GMO.

Nancee sings.

Lancey always sees the Bright Side and Chips does a good job of looking after me. She knows if she doesn’t, we may be meeting that Golden Jesus.

Here’s what we do: We walk, talk, eat, drink and visit wineries.

We fall in love with tall “Waseem,” our young waiter at the Italian restaurant. He has lots of good straight teeth. He tells us how to cook salmon.

“Take a piece of salmon. Coat the flesh side with olive oil. Put it olive oil side down in a very hot, iron frying plan.

“Watch it. When the oil side is nice and crispy put a lid on the pan and take it off the stove. It’s best to have a glass lid so you can watch the fish cooking from bottom to top.

“Don’t let it overcook. When you see the pink flesh turn whitish, it’s done.”

We laugh a lot on this trip.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what we laugh about because we spill our secrets to each other. If I told you the girl’s secrets you can bet I would be bounced from the friendly group.

However, I can spill my secrets. I tell the Cupcakes the story about the butter knife. (I have this story in the book I wrote called Certain Men)

“Remember, Joe?” I say. “He was my first date. We went to a Valentine’s dance.”

Everyone remembers Joe. He was very popular and we are all still in touch with him in one way or another. (We were a very small school.)

“Well,” I continue, “He got married but was really unhappy.”

The girls give me a collective stare.

“I know that because he was always calling me and would take me out for lunch and car rides for years. We never kissed. I don’t think we ever had a kiss. He just wanted to be with me and tell me his troubles and pretend that he would rather be with me.”

There is now collective shock.

“I kept telling him, ‘If you are so unhappy then why don’t you leave? If you want to date me you will have to leave your wife because I don’t fiddle and fool with married men.'”

Finally, he left his wife and started dating me.

Now, the girls express big shock and great gasps.

“He would take me to lunch and dinner,” I tell them,”but I still wouldn’t kiss him. I told him that I wasn’t going to be the girl he suddenly ran around with and had sex with, that he needed to do that with other women. He needed to get that out of his system” I say. “However,” I add,  “he disagreed.”

“One day at dinner in Charlie’s Cafe he was acting odd and I said, ‘What’s up?” He said, “I need to see other women’.”

“He acted like he had just thought the idea up on his own!

“I said to him, ‘Ok…. that’s what I’ve been telling you.'” But, it still kind of hurt my feelings.

“After dinner, he took me home. I invited him in for tea.

“While the tea water boiled, Joe began chasing me around the center island in my kitchen. He had a hard-on the size of a large banana.

“I was yelling, ‘I mean it, Joe, I’m not the girl who you’re going to practice on.'”

“Around and around that center isle we went.

“Finally, I grabbed a butter knife from a drawer. Whenever Joe got too close, I would whack his banana with that butter knife. He seemed to like it. That butter knife made his wheels spin even faster!”

The Cupcakes are hysterical with laughter. They never dreamed that Joe and I were having this semi-romance all these years and that I would eventually whack his penis with a butter knife.

Joe is happily married now, but I sometimes wonder if he misses me and that butter knife.

I’m having such a good time in the Wine Country. The more crap I eat and drink, the better I feel.

My daughter, meanwhile, is at Glen Ivy  teaching a seminar for 3 days while I’m up in Napa. Late one evening  I text her to ask her if she is “staying overnight at Glen Ivy Hot Springs.”

My text comes through as “Are you home now or staying overbite at ibuprofen?

She texts back, “Huh?”

I remind her that she needs to take breaks from people, that she needs to go to her room and eat and rest. I say, “I am not kidding.”

My text reads “Obama not kidding!.

“Agreed!!!!” Summer answers. ” I know Obama not kidding, too!!”

I lie down and go to sleep. This Napa Vacation is 100 percent better than the trip to Palm Springs or my Enema Adventure!

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