It began at about 6:30 a.m. in a way most of our combined family gatherings do: Jeff and I both companionably working on our computers. Usually he goes out for coffee, but yesterday he let me make him some. (I think he was diluting it with the water, though.)
Then Julia got up and did whatever she does and settled in the comfy chair with a magazine. Here she is putting in her dessert order for the day.
So, after a bit of just hanging around the house in the morning, Julia and I and my niece Jessica set out to run some errands. Jess needed a swimsuit. Target seemed like the place to go.
This is where the visit took the first dark turn. I was wandering down the aisle in Target, when I heard my sister say my name. I turned around and she had grabbed the sleeve of an unsuspecting healthcare worker (scrubs), and was saying, "THIS is the color on the walls at Mount Vernon!" Now...she says she prefaced that by saying to the woman, "this is a nice color on you but..."
I was fairly mortified. I said the poor woman, "I'm so sorry! Don't worry, she'll be going home in a few days and then Target will be safe again." And then I said to Julia, "Please do not grab the sleeves of strangers!" The stranger was chuckling and I think enjoying it.
Then 5 minutes later Julia knocked half a shelf of hair care products onto the floor with her
big *ss purse!
Needless to say, I was ready to get out of Dodge.
After several attempts (in the heat, I might add)to locate a complete swimsuit for Jess (did you know they sell the tops and bottoms separately? So now you can find a top that you want, but there is no matching bottom?), I finally called my bosom buddy Rena. She is shopper extraordinaire. In fact, she was out shopping during her lunch hour when we called. After chuckling at the thought that I, of all people, would be shopping with a teenaged girl, her advice was "Go to the mall. Buy a cup of coffee, sit down with it and your mp3 player and just let the girl go." She always knows exactly the right advice to give, tailored for my particular sensitivities (to noise, commotion, girls, shopping...you name it).
And so we did. But I never did get the cup of coffee. We walked into JC Penney's and found what she needed. Whew!
So after several stops on the way home to gather provisions for supper, we finally arrived, with me about $200 poorer. Isn't that just the way it works? The driver, who sets out not needing anything, ends up spending the most.
I commenced with supper prep during what I affectionately call "The Arsenic Hour." During this period of the day, which is usually about 2 hours long, not really 1, everyone is arriving home, hungry, full of questions, full of activity, I'm cooking supper and cleaning up dishes that have accumulated for the day, all the phones are ringing, etc. The arsenic hour has always been rough for me, but when you add a second family into the mix...a family who, just like ours, likes to parse each sentence, each phrase, ask lots of follow-up questions...it tends to make me very very jumpy. At one point I sent this text message to Rena:
eat eat eat
whine whine whine...
All I can say really is that it's nice that I have good drugs. Otherwise this could have ended up with the sound of a gunshot.
After supper was over, I got a call telling me that the hot air balloonist was about the arrive at one of the local vacation Bible schools. So I grabbed my camera and headed out, with the cheesecake I was making for Jeff barely started, and the supper dishes not done.
I was gone for 2 hours, standing around in the heat outside, but I did get to visit a tiny bit with my friend Jenny. And shot a couple of photos of her adorable little girl, Katherine:
And then, I came home, baked a cheesecake, watched a rerun of "House," and caught up on my email.
I never did get any wine.
Today? Who knows?