Martha's baby shower



Seems like only last year we were having a wedding shower for Martha. Oh, hey, wait, it was only last year! Boy, they sure didn't wait long, did they? Today, Katie hosted a baby shower for Martha. This shower, however, we let the boys come, too, for a brunch baby shower. We had crepes and scones and cinnamon rolls and cupcakes and fruit and, oh boy, lots of other food.

For the record, if you ever want to make crepes, you need to beg, borrow or steal Katie's family recipe for crepe batter. The one I brought from the Joy of Cooking totally PALES in comparison to her family recipe. Wow. Pales. Not even eggs from Andy's chickens could overcome that recipe deficit, and those eggs are AMAZING.


I have to say, once again, I find myself incredibly luckly to have the amazing friends I have. Martha, for one, was incredibly good natured about both the "Mother to Be" sash we insisted she wear and the readings of the how-crude-can-you-be mad-libs we filled in. Well, some of us filled in. Pickett "filled in" five sheets, while five of us socialized (to be read as "five people filled in the mad-libs and added Pickett's name to the top of the page). Katie announced the game was to be as crude as possible, so we all had the challenge of out-smutting Keith. We failed, mostly because Keith managed to merge smut with crude with appropriate humour. It's the humour that gets you every time.


Shirley and Doyle also revealed to us that they are house hunting. I threw my suggestion they buy the house down the street from us that's for sale. It's the same exact layout as our house, facing east instead of west. It's relatively inexpensive (not really, but within their price range). It's horribly far away from work for Doyle, but really close for Shirley. Best of all, built in neighborhood friends!

And that suggestion opened up all sorts of opportunities for fun. Why don't we move up to Redwood City instead (find two houses on one block and we'd consider it, I countered, and poof, Doyle did, countering my counter)? Why don't I just go knocking from door to door, trying to meet my current neighbors (because most of them are older than 65 and none of them play ultimate?)?

We also talked about why you shouldn't buy a house for the mature apple tree in the backyard - because you can change anything about your house except for the location, mature apple trees can be planted in your yard for about $500, but you can't change the location.

Mark's advice there is sound, which is why my bribing Doyle and Shirley with apples and pomegranates and lemons and walnuts and pumpkins and future year avocados to move into the house down the street totally failed.

Right. That's the only reason, too.


Martha's wedding shower


Katie and Megan organized a wedding shower for Martha for today. Katie has been hosting the most pleasant of events like this, starting with Megan's baby shower earlier this year. There's something to be said for the calm, pleasant, enjoyable showers like this, compared to the awkward, uncomfortable, riotous bachelorette parties that include a stripper.

A stripper? Yeah, we talked about that. I mentioned how one I went to had a stripper and how awkward and uncomfortable it was for pretty much everyone when he came. The party was during the day, the stripper was icky (read: drunk and oiled up), and all of us were uncomfortable, including the guest of honor who was invited to touch - she declined).

Martha was relieved we didn't invite a stripper.

About as relieved as i was.

Megan brought some tasty, tasty desserts. Mmmmmmmmm.... I could get fat on those desserts....

Oh, wait.

At one point, before we had all settled outside at the gorgeous table Katie had set for us, Megan stepped away to get her camera. She took three steps, then turned around and walked back outside. "What do I need my camera for?" she asked. "Kitt's here."

I wonder if I should take fewer pictures.


I wonder if I should subtitle that one More Fist Pumping!.

I did, however, take so many of the flowers at the table that Megan was forced to ask, "You are going to take pictures of the people, too, right?"

I did.

No, really.

I even managed one of the lone interloper:

But, yeah, the flowers were so pretty I couldn't really resist.

Well, and the babies. The babies were cute, too.

Grandma's stuff


Beth hosted today's multi-family garage/estate sale at her grandmother's house today. Martha, Chookie, Brynne, Megan, Mark, Steffi and I all contributed stuff (gah, I so want to write "crap") to the furniture, knick-knacks, memories and crap piles of Beth's grandmother. I arrived at 8:30 in the morning to find Beth coordinating the sale with a half dozen early buyers rushing in to get the best selection on the garage sale deals. Little did they know that all the good stuff was buried in the bottom of the boxes scattered around the house, garage and driveway, to be pulled out at various times during the day to refill the stashes. We're sneaky like that.

Steffi had by far the best crap. She managed to sell 80% of her stuff by noon, including still-fashionable clothes and many useful household times. Martha had the best sell today with the sale of a bridesmaid dress with matching shoes. Mark and Megan freed themselves from various pieces of garage-sale-bought furniture, some of the items selling for as much as they bought them for. Brynne and her mother brought stuff over for the sale, but didn't stay to watch the items disappear.

When I arrived in the morning, there was a woman who had started piling items to buy. For the next hour, she would walk to the back of driveway, pick through a pile or two, walk back to her pile near the front, and repeat the process, her pile growing by the minute. After buying all of her piled stuff, she left, only to return a half hour later to begin the piling process again. She wouldn't move more than about 10 feet without finding something else to buy.

One woman I tried to help in the morning had just bought a partial set of dishes. They were cute dishes, 4 plates, 4 saucers and a couple cups, but nothing spectacular. I brought her newsprint to wrap her new dishes in, handing her a sheet before pulling another out of the pile and reaching for a plate to wrap.

You would have thought I was stealing the woman's child. She grabbed the dishes and made to slap my hand away, as she snatched the paper from my hand to wrap the dishes herself. Uh, okay, I thought, backing away slowly. I hadn't realized you were so attached to your new $5 set of dishes. Uh, enjoy!

Other people were also of note in an odd sort of way: the guy who sat staring at a box of 100 manilla folders, debating if they were were worth the 50¢ asking price; the old lady who sat in the back corner for hours looking through four giant sewing boxes for that one particular button; the man with his eight year old son buying a pile of items hand selected by the child; the young girl letting me know the items on the table marked "GOOD OLD STUFF: MAKE OFFER" were not for sale; the guy who refused to buy the trash can I had for sale because I said it was $3 instead of $1 (because $3 was sure to break the bank, you know).

I did find a number of interesting maps that might make fun buttons. I'll try them out and see.

Part of the excitement of the day was the indoor cat which had escaped the confines of its house, only to spend the next six hours stuck between the exhaust manifold and the engine compartment firewall. Neither car owner, nor the cat owner, nor animal control could extract the cat from the hole he had wedged itself into. After hearing the cat howl for hours, Mark went to save the day, pushing the cat forward through the engine compartment instead of pulling it backwards from its wedged spot.

Shame no one told him to CATCH the cat once it was released. Cheers went up after Mark extracted the cat, and disappointment followed when the cat ran off. Again.

I spent much of the day with Mirabelle. We opened and closed doors. We opened and closed water sprinklers. We opened and closed more doors. We went up stairs, and down stairs. We went inside and outside. Mirabelle went up and down, depending on her placement relative to my head. We had a good time.

In the end, I made about $5. Mark and Megan made a couple hundred dollars. Beth maybe three times that. More importantly, all of us have less crap than we did before.

And that's a good thing.

Chookie and Martha are back!


Chookie and Martha are back from their six month tour around the world. Chookie's car has been parked in front of our house for the duration of their trip, except when Doyle was using it, much to Kris' chagrin. My thought was, heck, we have four cars, what's one more? Ah, so difficult to take the Midwest hick out of the Midwest girl.

At least none of the vehicles is up on blocks.


Keith and Katie hosted a welcome home dinner for them, so communal dinner is reignited with homemade WhiteCastle burgers of varying meats, cheeses, and breads. Tasty burgers, and more desserts than you can eat in one night. I may have overdosed on sugar tonight.

At least the sugar crash will put me to sleep tonight.

Seeing Chookie and Martha was absolutely wonderful tonight. It's funny how good friends can be gone for six months and, when they return, can slip right back into life, into conversations, as if they were always here. I guess in some way they always were, just more difficult to have the spontaneous conversation with them is all.