Saturday Evening

T’s aunt retired Friday from her teaching job at Ivy Tech, and there had been a planned family dinner to celebrate with her on Saturday. T’s mom decided to take it a step further and indeed up arranging a party of almost 25 friends and family members at Chao’s in South Bend. Everyone got there early (and we even made almost on time and before the guest of honor!) and waited for Debbie and Paul to arrive. Needless to say she was quite surprised. She kept trying not to cry; it was very sweet.

The way the evening was arranged was that our group was in the bar/lounge area and they set up a table of hors d’oeuvres so that everyone could nibble while they chatted. Since it was in the bar area and since I was in a ton of pain, I decided to be adventurous and try a new drink. Chocolate martinis are AWESOME! Also, Chao’s stuffed mushrooms are also amazing. Yum.

Once everyone was seated for the salad course, the conversation was light and cheerful and it was just an overall aura of good feelings. When the dinner course was announced, Mary Chris surprised everyone with the fact that they would be able to try a little bit of each of the entrees that had been chosen. The options were chicken Parmesan, lasagna, and prime rib. On the side were tasty veggies including zucchini which I love.  Adele, who is the main chef at the restaurant and who owns part of it and two others, was actually at our beef cutting station herself. The family at this point has had several larger engagements there and she knows us well. She is genuinely sweet and her food is amazing. She was having fun serving folks and being a part of Debbie’s surprise as well.

Rin and I were sitting beside Debbie and between the conversation with her and Bonnie across the table, we had a lot of fun. As the evening wore on and the dessert round neared, Rin and I decided to have another chocolate martini and I was practically bouncing in my seat because dessert time meant tiramisu. I did not like tiramisu before I had it at Chao’s the last time we went and I fell in love. Hilariously so did several other folks at the table and we once again cleaned out their stock of the mini-tiramisu’s. You can order a large size as well and it is incredible but it doesn’t have quite the same balance that the mini ones do. I suspect that part of it is that the mini ones are served in chocolate “bowls” and the actual bowls of tiramisu do not have that extra layer of hardened chocolate on the bottom. (As a heads up they do back a bit of a kick with the liqueur in them but oh, they are delicious as a rare treat!)

As the evening wound down I realized that I had relaxed quite a bit more than I had expected to simply enjoying the company, the atmosphere, and the background music at the restaurant. The shooting had left me upset and drained in more ways than one and the ongoing trip packing as well as prepping for Girl Scouts had left me very tired. As we were leaving I realized that the evening was pretty much exactly what I needed to help return some of my holiday spirits and simply good feelings.

Post-Dinner

Earlier in the week we had been invited to a friend’s birthday party that was also Saturday evening. We told him that it would be unlikely that we would get there before nine if we could make it at all. We didn’t leave downtown South Bend until almost ten, but Kelly had assured us that the party was going to go until Saturday morning and that we should come out anyway. We realized we didn’t have his or Jess’s cell numbers to double check this but as they live in Osceola and we had to go to Meijer anyway, we decided to “pop in for a little bit.”

Anybody who knows us well will read that parenthetical and laugh hysterically. We got there between 10:30 and 11 and we left around 4:30. o_O I actually hadn’t realized how late it had gotten until everyone at the party was starting to fade. We had a lot of fun and I’m actually really glad that we went over to hang out. It’s…been a bit since we were able to hang out at someone’s house and just chill with a group of people. Kelly and his family are members of Brothers of the Wind, so there were fun talks of camp stories and things like that. They have a son who is a little older than K and the two of them were pretty much go-go-go until right before we left. I was kind of amazed actually.

It was nice to be able to just go relax and shoot the breeze and tell bad jokes and have fun. Alas we could not just go home and go to bed as we STILL had to go to Meijer to pick up a couple of last supplies for GS. K was a bit upset by that point as she’d realized what time it was and was worried she wouldn’t be able to sleep before GS (because I obviously have taken stupid flakes lately and would totally keep her awake that long before taking her to do jewelery work, right?!). We actually managed to keep the trip to the store brief.

When we got home, I got the girls to bed and set to finishing up getting things sorted out. I knew better than to try the “I’ll take a nap and then get up and finish things” because that tactic has failed ABYSMALLY this week. Instead I ended up not sleeping because I got anal retentive about sorting out beads for the girls and making sure that I had everything I needed.

Cue the *dun-dun-dun* music here.

I realized around 10:30 this morning that the cord we had bought the night before wouldn’t fit through the beads. Needless to say I cursed like a sailor and then tried to figure out what to do. Rin was still sleeping and finally I was like “eff it” and got dressed and headed out to find what I needed. By that point I’d put too much cumulative work into these projects to fail at that stage. Sadly Target did not have what I needed so I had to hit Michael’s over on Grape Rd. Of course traffic over there was insane and it was raining and gray outside so of course no one remembered how to drive and 3/4 of the drivers didn’t have their bloody head lights on. (Seriously?! Rain. Gray skies. Low visibility. TURN ON YOUR HEAD LIGHTS!) Ahem. Anyway.

I actually did manage to find what I needed at Michael’s fairly quickly and then got to wait in line for almost half an hour. Argh. I did enjoy chatting with the couple in front of me, though I suspect they thought I was a bit of a spaz, but to be honest, at that point, I really was a spaz. From Michael’s, I made a run through the Krispy Kreme drive through and grabbed a dozen doughnuts for breakfast (that I then forgot to eat which seems like a crime somehow). I ran home and made sure the girls were up, realized Rin hadn’t immediately found my note and thus that she had been a bit puzzled, finished putting things together and then ran to get Rin and I coffee because she was being pitiful at me.

Thankfully Starbucks was blissfully quick this afternoon as we were edging close on time. I was hoping that they would be ready when I got back to the house but I did have to go find out what was going on once before we actually made it on the road toward scouts.

At the Meeting

The girls were working on their jewelry badge. Each badge has 5 parts to it and some of them are more challenging than others. In a couple of them, Rin and I worked together to combine them so that they were completing both activities but in a more efficient manner. I’m not actually sure who put the Jewelry badge together, but a) they could have been more creative, b) they could have put in more ideas for things the girls would actually use, and c) they could have used a few more details in a couple of the steps. That said, Rin and I came up with several interesting projects although the girls only really got to two of them today.

Rin was teaching them how to wire wrap stones. At our last meeting, she let them each pick a stone from the ones that she had gotten at the local farmer’s market. Each girl got two: one hematite (because grounding and centering for those girls, yes please!) and then they got to choose the second from items such as sea glass and blue sunstone. They had a lot of fun with the selection process and they actually had a lot of fun with learning how to wire wrap though I suspect that some of them found it more challenging than they were expecting.

The second project that we got to was for them to make a simple pair of earrings because one of the steps of the badge was to make a gift for someone else. I used the basic hook finding with o rings and some lovely shell beads I have. They are in interesting shapes similar to a rectangle but wider at the top than the bottom. There were a variety of colors and the girls fell in love with them. I had enough earring findings for each of them to make two pair so some of them made a pair for someone else and a pair for themselves.

One of our co-troop leaders is also a Daisy troop leader because she has two daughters. The Daisy comes to the Juniors’ meetings and sometimes she gets bored. The poor girl was very tired tonight and kept trying to find things to do, so once I got the girls started on their earrings, I started helping the wee Daisy with hers. She’s only 5 (maybe 6) and after watching me, she actually almost closed one of her own jump rings with the pliers. If I had remembered that Rin had the smaller pliers I bet that the wee one could have finished it herself. She was quite pleased with herself and I was pretty impressed given that some of the bigger girls who had more hand and finger strength were having some trouble with them.

Unfortunately we ran out of time so the other two projects that I spent four hours color sorting mixed packs of beads for didn’t come to fruition. I’ll just tell the OCD part of me that they are already color separated if I want to make something. *headdesk*

Adorably, because Rin is bad at keeping holiday presents a secret from me, last night she handed me a wrapped package as I was sitting down to work on sorting beads and making sure we had everything we needed. She had bought me a new tool set in a zip up case months ago apparently and decided that it might be a present worth having early given the activities of the following day.

All in all it was a pretty good meeting. The girls actually focused and worked as opposed to what has been happening recently so that was certainly a relief. Several of them really took to the projects so you never know what they might come up with later.

There was a bit of tension through the evening but it was resolved and it was spent recovering from hectic GS things and trying to figure out how on earth we’re going to get all the things done since we really need to be on the road by Wednesday of this week. O_O Rin and I watched a couple of episodes of Covert Affairs after K went to bed and I (obviously, if you read my last post) spent awhile writing. She started dozing off in the recliner so I kept trying to send her to bed and she kept falling asleep again. *facepalm* I finally got her off to bed and I was supposed to be following shortly afterwards but even after writing a “post of doom” as Rin called it, I apparently still had a lot of words in my head. Go figure. So now it’s 5:51am and I’m still awake. You’d think I’d have fallen on my face by now, particularly since I really haven’t had any caffeine or anything like that since the half coffee I managed to drink early this afternoon. It’s actually slightly irritating because I’m hella tired and yet…awake.

Hopefully now that I’ve finished putting more positive things into the air I’ll be able to settle out and head to bed. I hope you all have a lovely day. I’m sure mine will be insane…as will most of the next couple of weeks. I bet I’ll make this face a lot: o_O. 🙂

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