Saturday, October 31, 2009

good food, good friends, good times, and then...

One of the fun things about holidays is the opportunity to entertain with a certain amount of flair. Halloween isn't generally a holiday that tempts me to entertain, but Clare's visit has inspired some thinking outside of my usual box. Saturday morning we hosted a Silpada jewelry party brunch, and I had great fun searching out recipes to underscore the occasion. Among them were the deviled eggs, already appropriately named, decorated with black olive spiders. Then there were the cheddar witches fingers, and the pumpkin cheese ball (click on photo to enlarge for a better look).

Rounding out the spread was baked curried fruit, pumpkin french toast with maple syrup (OMG, soooo good!), honey ham and some necessary chocolate. For libations: coffee, orange juice with or without enhancement by either vodka or champagne, and a special cocktail of a fruit juice blend, vodka and grenadine. The abundance of marigolds came from our garden, thriving in their boxes after all the rain. We had a lovely group of women who had an equally nice time perusing jewelry for purchase, and vittels for the soul. It was a great morning.

Alas, there isn't a picture of the adventure that started the morning: the lock to the bathroom got set accidentally, and since we close the bathroom door when not in use to get a certain puppy from grabbing hold of the toilet paper roll and rendering it useless, we were thus locked out! Not a pretty situation when the women in the house were in need of and desiring morning "refreshing." Ken tried a variety of lock-picking techniques to get us out of the jam, and just shy of busting the door down so that we could get in he decided to try to get the window open from the outside. He succeeded at that, but then there was the matter of someone climbing through the window to get to the door. Alas, yours truly was the candidate, and that was an interesting task (it is not a large window). I did, however, persevere, and we were able to breathe sighs of relief and generally proceed with the day.

In the afternoon we gathered up in costume to head to MJ and Cheryl's for the Florida-Georgia football game. In order to expose Clare to some regional feasting Ken prepared a low-country boil, and in keeping with that effort he adorned himself accordingly. I think he gets the award for originality. Look closely to note the "Skewered Cajun Chef." When I noted that he was sporting a vegetarian kebab he was quick to point out that a meatball was in the middle of the vegetables. Witty man.

We were all quite happy that the Gators won handily (though Ken and I felt some sympathy for Trisha, who is loyal to Georgia), and once we returned home Clare headed to facebook and joined the "Go Gators" group.

Before sharing the next bit of news let me just say how blessed I am to have such wonderful people in my life as those with whom I spent this day. Ken, Clare, the women who came for "juice and jewels," as one person alluded, and the Gator Gang. It was a joy-filled day that was soul-satisfying and nurturing, and reminds me of who I am.

Alas, once home we suffered a mortal blow to the heart when we opened an email from Ken's daughter announcing the birth of their second child (another boy)--ten days earlier. Our names were the last in the list of those to whom the email was addressed. There are no words to describe the pain of this gesture on her part, which is at the least intentional and cruel.

The timing of my getaway to Florida Sunday afternoon could not be better, though I am not happy that Ken will be alone to process and react to the latest action in this family's drama. He'll be okay, but it would be better for us to have the opportunity to share our thoughts and feelings together as we experience them. I guess I can take down the sign over the kitchen door that reads, "Nana's kitchen: where memories are made and grandkids are spoiled. Open 24 hours." Prayers for wisdom and tenderness, and eventually for healing would be appreciated. I feel too torn within to pray myself.

It had been such a lovely day, and the good news is that those memories will stay with me and affirm what is so good in our life. I just wish that life didn't suck so much as to clobber them so unnecessarily.

Channeling Julian: all will be well...


Kip said...

Your food looked fabulous Anne! I know you're having a great time with Clare too. I'm so sorry about Ken's daughter and there's no words to ease your pain I'm sure. All I can think is it's her and her family's loss- BIG loss.

KimQuiltz said...

There isn't anything to say to make it better. Keep your focus...

Maria said...

I'm sorry you are going through this. Nothing hurts worse than when family disappoints. Big hugs and prayers. And it sounds like Clare's visit and your trip to Florida were planned perfectly by something bigger than all of us. Keep looking at those blessings, as there are many.

Jayne said...

It's so hard NOT to take it personally I'm sure. But, it's not about you all really, and more about her inability to grow and learn to let go of the need to wound. I really can't imagine it makes her feel better to do this, which just further underscores her own immaturity. I am so sorry the wonderful day was capped off with this. It's just a continual slap in the face that you don't deserve. XOXOXO

Pam in Moncton said...

I was going to say much the same - it is her loss the most as she is depriving her children of what could and should be a wonderful relationship with their father and you. I know it hurts though and you don;t need or deserve that. So glad the rest of the day was so delightful and I just know you are going to have a marvelous time with Clare and the rest in Florida.

karen said...

Oh, Anne...I can feel your pain. I'm so sorry you are having to go through this.
It really is her loss, although I so know what you are going through, as Anna Buzun has not spoken to me since the day I married her wonderful son 12 years ago. It doesn't make it hurt any less.

A shame that your wonderful day had to end on such a sour note.
On the up side, you have many awesome adventures ahead this week with wonderful and caring friends.
There is plenty of bail money available from all fronts this week!!!!
Lots of Love and {{{Hugs}}}

The Bug said...

Your day sounds like great fun. I'm sorry it ended on a sour note. That's the great thing about good friends - they are there for you even when family isn't.

Nann said...

Just a quick note--found you via RevGal--you listed "Celia Garth" as one of your favorite books. I must have read that book a hundred times and still remember large parts of it ("Sassyface," and his great Bible names--"Bill" for Bildad the Shuhite).


angela said...

What wonderful pictures and stories of your day--really made me hungry and I almost skipped the last few paragraphs as I'm a hurry before bed reader.

It's amazing to me that any rift keeps a mother from sharing the child with all the grandparents--if not for our own personal love, then for the benefit of the child. In some places there have been grandparents who sued for visitation rights. Not that you will need that option--but everyone should be thinking of the children in the situation, no matter the personal stuff.


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