Sunday, June 22, 2008

Of Grandchildren and Birthdays, Books and plants

What a lovely 24 hours! Jamie and Mel, Maddie and Edie arrived about 8 Friday night, and since Edie had said she wanted to cook with Juju, we whisked right into the kitchen and put slices of French bread in milk and eggs to soak overnight for French toast. The rest of the evening was filled with girls' chatter and occasional adult conversations. I swear those girls went to bed three times, playing musical beds each time. I can never tell when I get up who will be sleeping where.
Next morning Edie and I fed everyone our French toast--which was crispy on the outside and nice and soggy inside--and then Maddie and I made a bean dip for Jacob's b'day party--I popped it in the oven when the toast came out. Mel and I each had errands to fund, so we all went together--with the girls. The vet, the drugstore, Barnes & Noble, Origins for make-up. And on the way home I suddenly remembered the bean dip which was still baking away. It had big crusts around the edge, so I let it cool and cut the crust away. It tasted like those crusty bits of cheese that drip out of a sandwich onto the skillet and harden. I was sort of reluctant to throw those crusts away. Later in the day, I stirred the dip, heated it in Jordan's microwave and put it out--people kept asking how I made that delicious dish. Of course with my big mouth I had to tell the whole story.
Jacob's birthday parties--yes, two--were delightful. There was a pool party at a nearby public pool--the seating area is roofed and had a wonderful breeze. The kids and most of the adults had a great time in the pool but Jacob refused to do more than dangle his feet in the water, in spite of the urgings of Maddie, the favorite cousin whom he calls, as we all do in affection, "Moo." (That's an earlier picture of them playing.) Then it was back to Jacob's house for chips and dip, barbecue and potato salad, and presents. Jacob thoroughly enjoyed every minute and didn't seem to get over-stimulated. He was very methodical about opening presents, pulling every piece of tissue out of each bag, while Maddie kept a list so Jacob and Jordan can do thank-yous. Christian put on a funny tape of Jacob's first introduction to baby food and we all had a good laugh--since all 25-30 people gathered were either famly or close friends, no one yawned and said, 'Oh, home movies. How wonderful (?)"
Jamie and his family headed back to Dallas, and I came home tired but happy. I did manage a little reading over the weekend. Finished In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming and was so taken with it I jumped right into her second book, A Fountain of Blood. Problem is I find myself thinking in the world of the novel I'm reading instead of the one I'm writing--not good. Am I going to have to give up reading to write? That sure goes contrary to traditional advice.
I am starting a planter tray of seeds of spiral marigold plants--they grow into bushes, instead of the usual marigolds but right now they're the tiniest green shoots. It's fun to watch them change visibly day by day.
Life doesn't get much better than grandchildren, books, and plants. Today I'm catching up--straightening the house, cleaning up, writing, reading, and planning ahead for the week.

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