July 12, 2009
Good morning. This segment will have to be short and sweet. Why, you might ask? Let me answer that in three words: full country breakfast. The time is 9:15 a.m. and breakfast is served at 9:30. Wanda usually does the whole eggs, sausage, grits, biscuits & gravy, fresh fruit, homemade granola (which is absolutely awesome and worth waiting for), etc. As crazy as it sounds after all of that food I consumed yesterday (we had roasted pork loin with raspberry chipotle sauce, purple hull peas [close relative of the black-eyed pea], more of that wonderful sliced tomato with marinated mozzerlla cheese salad, ratatouille & cornbread for dinner, and homemade peach cobbler with ice cream for dessert), I am starving! Well, starving probably isn’t the right word, but maybe extremely ready for more food J. Let me not make food the focus of this entire blog.
I wanted to jot down the names of the ladies I’m scrapping with this weekend. It took me 24 hours to remember scrapping with some of them on previous retreats. My group: me, Mom (Lana Wilborn), Dawn Stewart & Betty Harris (OMM parishioner who has been collecting scrapbook supplies for some time but never really sat down to use them!). Arden’s group: Robin Nolen (who first introduced me to these retreats—that’s a great story I’ll share with you another time), Arden (Robin’s sister-in-law), Delia (Arden’s college roommate from College Station, TX), and Stephanie (Robin’s friend who has three beautiful girls). Sherra’s group: Sherra’ (our coordinator for the retreat), Jennifer (sews and does other crafty stuff like crochet and cross-stitch, but doesn’t scrap much), Kim (friend from Sherra’s church, I think), Ellie (high school band director from Denton with one of each small kids Aidan [18 mos] & Naomi [5 years] who just returned from trip #2 to Pensacola FL & Disney World. Finally, there’s Andrea’s group: Andrea (Sherra’s long time friend & college roommate), Kathy (newcomer to the group, pretty quiet), Brianne (pronounced “Bree –ahn’” also a newcomer and mother of three; homeschools the youngest), Gail (good friend of Andrea and Sherra’). The group was well-balanced and easy going. Not a lot of competition for who did the most pages or whose pages were more elaborate than others, etc. They will scrap again in November, but I don’t know if I’ll make that retreat or not. It’s smack dab in the middle of that Pedi/OB semester and I don’t foresee money being any more readily available either. We will see. *Pause for intermission*
Breakfast was just as wonderful as I anticipated: bacon, biscuits and cream gravy (I generally prefer strawberry jam on my biscuits), scrambled eggs, hash brown potato casserole (I’d almost forgotten about that dish and its cheesy, onion-y, potato goodness!), granola and a fresh fruit bowl. I ate until I couldn’t eat another bite and then headed straight back to the scrap building to get busy. Sundays are a little different on these retreats. It’s almost as if I’m afraid to get too good a groove going because there is a cut off time. People are beginning to pack up and leave (some leave right after breakfast), and I’m constantly watching the clock to allow myself ample time to pack up everything and be out by 4 p.m. The thought of packing everything up is enough to thwart any real creativity. Still I forged on ahead and completed three more pages. I think my total was 28 pages or something to that effect. I didn’t finish a lot of pages, but I was happy with the pages I did finish. Furthermore, I did meet new friends and have a ball with my old ones and eat good food and snacks, etc. I never could get “into” the Harry Potter movies, but was told to read the books for something fun and easy to read. The weekend, in my opinion, was a success. I just have to keep that inspiration flowing to motivate me to get busy with organizing my office and scrapbook stuff so I can take the time to work from home between bi-annual retreats. I mean, really, even with school, kids and everything else I don’t think a couple of hours per week is too much to devote to a hobby, especially when there is an end result as wonderful as a scrapbook which tells someone’s life story and records memorable events for generations to come (Can you hear the Battle Hymn of the Republic playing in the background, too, or is that just me?)
Around 2:45 I began the arduous task of gathering my things together and loading up the van. You’d be surprised at how much stuff three little old ladies can haul to a scrapbook retreat. Betty had to remember to get her barbecue out of the fridge in the barn where we slept. Anyone who knows Betty Harris knows she doesn’t go anywhere without provisions (smile). Jerry even dug up some plants for Betty to take home and replant in her back yard (gardening is her first love before scrapping even). We hit Burger King on the way out of town (Dawn opted for McDonald’s across the highway but joined us in the BK parking lot) and were on I-20 headed back westbound by 4:00 p.m. I was anxious to play my book on CD ( I had J. California Cooper’s Life is Short but Wide between the front seats), but we talked about the plight of overweight Americans and things as they used to be back in the day instead. We dropped Betty and all of her stuff at home, then we proceeded to Mom’s house to unload her stuff.
The original plan after dropping off Mom was to come home, unload my stuff, check on Missy then run back by Mom’s to pick her back up. She would then accompany me to Shannon’s to pick up the kids (by way of Michael’s craft store to find a Xyron sticker-making machine, of course). Time was of the essence because it was already 6 p.m. and Michael’s closed at 7 p.m. on Sundays. Once I arrived at home, however, a combination of events lead me to believe that a nap was definitely in order: the drive home was complete (and hence there was n longer a need for heightened awareness while on the road-monitoring the speed limit, defensive driving, offensive driving, looking out for the po-po, etc.); Mike wasn’t home, so the house was empty and quiet and cool, the coffee I had after breakfast had worn off, the BK Value Menu “spicy” chicken sandwich and onion rings had sunk to the bottom of my stomach and given me a case of the “itis". I quickly checked the mailbox, e-mails and telephone messages, and answered an incoming phone call. I returned a letter to my cousin who lives in Beaumont and is nice enough to write from time to time to update me on family business. Suddenly, I felt like I couldn’t go on without a bit of a nap, and so I called my sister to beg for just another hour or so of childcare. She was cool with that, so I set my alarm for 8 p.m. and laid down across the bed. The time was already 7:30 p.m.
I got up, had apple pie a la mode for dinner and headed across town to retrieve my kiddoes. Even with multiple calls announcing my pending arrival, there is no quick pick up. Aaron & Uncle Deke were just getting started good in some boxing video game. Leyla didn’t want Alisa out of her sight. About the third time I said, “Okay guys, let’s get going,” Alisa decided to warm and eat her pizza leftover from T’Lani’s house. All of this is to say it was late when we finally arrived home for good (thank goodness for that little nap or I never would have made it!). As I was watching an online (hulu) episode of “The Office” that Aaron insisted that I must see right then and there, Mike made his way in from work and retired to the bedroom. I could hear an action movie booming through my office wall.
Around midnight I dragged myself to my bedroom, and Mike asked about my weekend and I asked about his. He asked if I was going to have a dip of ice cream (this is his special language, which when translated means, “would you please fix me a bowl of ice cream, dear wife?”) I confessed that that’s what I had eaten for dinner, but dragged my tired carcass back to the kitchen to fix him an apple pie a la mode, too. I got into “The Legend of Chun Li” and didn’t go to bed until 2 a.m. Good night. Until next time…