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What A Long Strange Trip It's Been
Monday, 28 December 2009
Cocktail Party Success
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: Being Happy
Yesterday, my husband and I hosted a Welcome Home cocktail party for 19 people (10 adults and 9 children - although we had six no shows) for a friend who had been working in Seatle the last eight weeks. It was a huge success!

I worked my butt off yesterday. First thing in the morning, I went massive grocery shopping for all the fresh goods I needed including the flowers for the table and whatnot. Then I totted all of the groceries from the back of my car up the steps and into the house, put those away, and then cooked for no less than three hours straight. On my feet, running around like a chicken with her head cut off. I laid out a spread with a vast variety of food since I needed to cover ages 5 to 45! So kid friendly things abounded as well as decidedly adult yummies. Now, I admit, I purchased a great deal of things premade since I didn't not have the time or the help to make everything from scratch like I normally do, so Sam's Club was a tremendous boon for me. I'll post the pictures, but here was the cocktail party menu:

BBQ meatballs
Chipolte Little Smokies
Tequilla Lime chicken wings
Pigs in a Blanket
Mini CornDogs
Mini Quiche Florentine
Mini Quiche Lorraine
Three varieties of deli spirals / pinwheels
Bacon wrapped shrimp
Cheddar & bacon mini potato skins
Baked brie en croute
Bacon wrapped scallops
Mini chicken taquittos
Turkey pastrami wrapped around baby dill pickles with colby jack cheese
Hard salami wrapped around baby dill pickles with provolone cheese
A cheese board with a selection of four hard cheeses and a soft goat cheese
Fresh mozzarella balls marinated in olive oil with sundried tomatoes and basil
A vegetable tray with a bread bowl filled with sour cream ranch dip
Fresh strawberries and green & red grapes with creme fresh fruit dip
Roast garlic and various crackers
Roast garlic hummus and french bread
Hot buttered fresh popped - PopCorn
Cheddar goldfish crackers
Tang-pineapple punch (7up, Tang, Pineapple juice, lemon juice, and sugar)

Dessert table:
Triple chocolate carmel cake
Peach pie
Cherry pie
Pecan pie
Peanut butter cream pie
Rum cake
Cream puffs
Mini chocolate eclairs

The great thing about all of this was that I knew how many calories everything was since I was preparing it. So, when the time came to eat, I knew what I could eat based upon how much I worked my butt off earlier in the day. A minimum of three hours of cooking (my husband thinks four), breaking a good sweat, and all the walking I did paid off.

When I got up this morning, there was only a few ounces difference in my weight from yesterday morning pre-party weigh in! I did my best to not over indulge but I did eat a goodly amount of yummies - just not the ones I knew weren't worth eating for me that would slow my metabolism down. I drank at least six glasses of water over the course of food preparation and the party itself - that's low balling it - so all the sodium would flush out of me easily, and I didn't have one drop of the punch or alcohol.

I tracked everything I ate on My Daily Plate and MAN did I ever blow my calorie intake, fat intake - well of it except for carbs. YET, since I had such a work out with all the non-stop activity - I didn't include cleaning the house, setting up the table, dishes, etc - the Net Calories wasn't too bad.

So - what I am saying is I am proud of me! Still 65 pounds lost and none gained back! Life is good.

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 11:49 AM CST
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Monday, 10 August 2009
50 Theatrical Productions
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Being Happy

OK, here are the rules. Test your memory and your love of live theatrical productions by listing 50 musicals, ballets, plays, or operas that you have seen live and in person.

List the first 50 that come into your head.


I had to think about all the people I saw at Center Arts in Humboldt County, in London, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. I was very lucky to be enrolled in a Shakespearean drama course when I was studying in Guildford, England and went to see many plays both in Stratford-Upon-Avon and in London with the awesome Royal Shakespearean Theater. The experiences I had at the Barbican Centre are unforgettable.


(In no particular order at all)


  1. Les Miserables (musical)
  2. Phantom of the Opera (musical)
  3. Blood Brothers (musical)
  4. Annie Get Your Gun (musical)
  5. Hansel und Gretel (opera)
  6. Swan Lake (ballet)
  7. The Nutcracker (ballet)
  8. Angry Housewives (musical) (best song ever - Eat Your F*cking Cornflakes, do what Mommy Tells You)
  9. Look Back In Anger (play)
  10. The Cherry Orchard (play)
  11. Three Sisters (play)
  12. A Dolls House (play)
  13. King Lear (play)
  14. A Midsummer Night's Dream (play)
  15. Pericles, Prince of Tyre (play)
  16. Breathless (play)
  17. The Rocky Horror Show (musical)
  18. Grease (musical)
  19. Die Fledermaus (opera)
  20. The Beggar's Opera (opera)
  21. Into The Woods (musical)
  22. Something Funny Happened On The Way to the Forum (musical)
  23. Secret Garden (musical)
  24. Little Shop of Horrors (musical)
  25. La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West) (opera)
  26. The Medium (opera)
  27. The Merry Wives of Windsor (opera)
  28. Susanna (opera)
  29. The Merry Widow (opera)
  30. H.M.S Pinafore (opera)
  31. The Pirates of Penzance (opera)
  32. Hair (musical)
  33. Jesus Christ Superstar (musical)
  34. Elektra (opera)
  35. Ruddigore (opera)
  36. Faust (opera)
  37. The Mousetrap (play)
  38. The Iceman Cometh (play)
  39. The Importance of Being Earnest (play)
  40. Death of a Salesman (play)
  41. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (play)
  42. WildCard by Michael Fields of Del' Arte School of Physical Theatre (musical)
  43. Love's Labours Lost (play)
  44. Hamlet (play)
  45. Macbeth (play)
  46. Romeo and Juliet (play)
  47. Fiddler on the Roof (musical)
  48. Pilobolus (dance)
  49. Die Zauberflöte (opera)
  50. Suor Angelica (opera)

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 7:05 PM CDT
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Saturday, 18 July 2009
We are movie crazy this year...
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: "Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love" by Van Halen
Topic: Being Happy

We took the children to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince today at the Warren.

So far this year, we've gone to X-Men Origins: Wolverine (May), Star Trek (May), Transformers 2 (June), and now Harry Potter (July). We are planning on taking the children to see GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra (August) as well. I took the children to see Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian in May the Friday after school got out after we catered Janell's baby shower.

This has been the best summer of movies I can remember in a long time. There were so many that I wanted to see but didn't have the time or money to see them.


The Hangover

IceAge 3

Land of the Lost

Terminator Salvation

I also would like to see the documentary called "The Cove" about the brutal dolphine drive/hunt in Japan. And the movie "Julie & Julia" about Julia Childs starring Meryl Streep, but that's something I can wait for the DVD on without loosing something.

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 12:01 AM CDT
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Wednesday, 3 June 2009
Tie Dye at College Hill Elementary
Mood:  celebratory
Now Playing: (I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight by Cutting Crew
Topic: Being Happy

Today I took vacation and volunteered my time at College Hill Elementary's Latchkey Program where I taught 50 kids how to tie dye in the great tradition of all the Grateful Dead Heads that I have ever known.

We used about 12 different colors and pre-printed College Hill Latchkey shirts with their Cougar Paw logo on the shirt in black. The kids will wear these shirts all summer when they go on field trips and such with the program.

I did this for the first time last year and it went really well. They were excited to have me back. I wore my super tie dye black outfit for them to see all the patterns that are available using the various folding methods. 

Photos of the children's efforts are posted on my Facebook photo album. It is much easier to upload photos to Facebook and share them than to my own website which is super slow.

I am planning on doing some tie dye with Matt's parents and the kids when they are here around 4th of July. Can't wait to see how those come out.


Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 12:01 AM CDT
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Monday, 16 February 2009
Murder Mystery Party Time - The Watersdown Affair
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: "Snow (Hey Oh)" by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Topic: Being Happy

Finally, after three years of originally planning on hosting this party, Matt and I are going to have a Murder Mystery Dinner using The Watersdown Affair. "How To Host A Murder" is a dinner party game for eight. I have hosted them in the past playing "Roman Ruins", "The Good, The Bad, & The Guilty", and "Powar & Greede" for fundraiser dinners as well as bachelorette parties.

This time, it is just for fun and I hope that those I have invited will actually show up. Three years ago when I planned on doing this party one of my guests cancelled two hours before the party, and well, that screwed us all. You have to have eight people at this party or it doesn't work. You have more, and for the fundraiser dinners, I actually created extra parts for the non-players like servants and detectives and such. This time, it is just going to be the eight of us. Here is my guest list:

Character Names  / Played By:

Dr. Malcom K.T. Praktiss aka "Mal" - Matt Robbins

Miranda T. Shetes aka "Randy" - CJ Parson

Roger S. B. Astird aka "Rog" - TJ Thompson

Dame Allison Bigh aka "Ali" - C'est moi! - Alison Robbins

Prosper Alvin Bates, Esquire aka "Pro" - Joshua Parson

Donald J. Brooks aka "Donny" - Floyd Lynes

Florence Wing Brooks aka "Flo" - Robin Lynes

Eiaguielle R. Aminmund aka "E.R.A" - Vikki Thompson

Thankfully, my latest copy of "Food & Wine" magazine arrived in the mail just this last week, so I have been inspired to come up with a suitably snooty menu for the setting of a 1936 British Mansion. I am not going completely authentic, because I don't eat beef and the menu with the game calls for Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding. I do make Yorkshire Pudding on occasion, but as it isn't my husband's favorite thing the in the world, I have opted to create my own menu. The game also suggests asparagus soup as an authentic 1936 British dish, but there again, my husband's dislike for asparagus has won the day. SO, all things being equal, I have tried my best to create a menu (and wine list) that will work appropriately. Here goes:

Hors d'œuvre

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Feta Cheese

Bacon & Cream Cheese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Cucumber Slices & Chèvre Cheese with Golden Caviar

Black Sesame Seed Salmon Wasabi Balls

Roasted Garlic, Hummus & Bread

Stuffed Olives & Pickled Ginger




Baby Spinach & Spring Greens

with Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing


Main Course

Rosemary Garlic Crown Pork Roast

Sautéed Whole Green Beans

Sweet Potato Gratin




Creamy Caramel Pudding with Nut Brittle

For libations for the evening we are serving special drinks with each course of the meal.

During the Hors d'œuvre service we will be serving Vodka Martinis (shaken not stirred of course), and two choices of wine suggested by F&W 2007 Chateau Grande Cassagne Rose and 2005 Taz Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir.

With Salad we will sample a 2007 Franciscan Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc.

With our Main Course we serve two very different drinks. The first is a 2007 Napa Cellars Chardonnay, and the second is Lindeman's Framboise Lambic. The pork dish and accompanying sides should be set off well with the fruity flavors of the fine Belgian Ale, as well as the Chardonnay.

Finally, with Dessert we will have Sandeman's Tawny Port - the 20 year old selection.

So, we will be wine tasting. I am not that big on wine, and I don't think many of my guests have ever experienced a true wine tasting, but with eight of us, we'll each get a nice nip of each bottle, enough to get a taste of the complex wine mingled with the flavors of the dishes. Hopefully, everything will complement each other. Now, I just have to locate the bottles somewhere in Wichita, or have my mother find it for me in Los Angeles. I could always place an order at Global Liquors and see if they can get the vintages I want. We'll just have to wait and see. If worse comes to worst, I'll have to select from the various Chardonnay, Rose, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc available to me. Cross your fingers folks, it isn't like Wichita is the wine capital of the world. LOL!

To complete the ambiance of the evening, I have put together a four hour selection of songs from the 1930's and have printed a fake "The Times" newspaper for that Friday. I did research on the events of the day and the newspaper's leanings at that time. I have the correct editor's name, and top stories:

King Edward VII was in ill health and our dinner party weekend takes place just nine days before he dies. At this time King Edward and Queen Mary had initially received their son's girlfriend Mrs. Wallace Simpson at Buckingham palace, but after that first meeting, they had refused to receive her again. Prince Edward and Mrs. Simpson were making headlines, and within the year of our story, he abdicates the throne to marry her.

Also, at this time construction of the Hoover Dam had been completed and finishing installations of power lines and generators were in process. The dam would begin pumping out power in ten months time.

German troops were threatening to occupy the Rhineland and France has asked for British military support, to which the British had been indecisive at best. Prime Minister Baldwin was not as popular even though he had beat Neville Chamberland in the 1935 general election. War in Europe was on the horizon, but it hadn't become WWII just yet.

The Popular Front was gaining support in Spain as a response to the growing Fascist régimes  in Italy and Germany. General Franco was plotting his revolution which would take place just six months after our storyline.

Also, I have include the relevant sporting info - 1936 British Home Championship was underway with three of the six matches between England, Wales, Scottland, and Ireland completed. The fourth match was scheduled for February 5th, so a great topic of conversation was speculation on the coming match between England and Wales, and if Fred Tilson of England would repeat his 2 goal performance in game 4 against Wales as he had in game 2 against Ireland.

In between all those stories, I placed a story about one of our characters in the murder mystery Miss Miranda T. Shetes including a picture.

Invitations go out tomorrow to my guests, although I have cleared the date with them in advance. They each get an invitation with bios of each of the characters and suggested costumes for the party. They get a copy of the menu and 'The Times' newspaper I have created to help set the mood.

I'm excited as I get to buy a new dress for the occasion and buy Matt a doctor's coat and stethoscope for his costume!

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 11:50 AM CST
Updated: Monday, 16 February 2009 12:02 PM CST
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Saturday, 31 January 2009
Busy as a bee
Mood:  energetic
Now Playing: Shhh, nothing, the family is asleep!
Topic: Being Happy

It is Saturday morning and I have a whole day of activities ahead of me. I have already steam cleaned the tile floor in the bathroom and am soaking the toilet. All I need to do is put away our weekly/daily stuff we use and voila, the bathroom with be ‘guest’ presentable. Then, it is the kitchen that needs a thorough once over, and then dining, game room, and living room. The children and Matt should be up by then and I am putting them on emptying trash cans, dusting, and general straightening.


Robin, Floyd and their children are coming over around 4 pm and will be joining us for dinner. Their children are ages 7 and 9. Yes, both younger than ours, but I think Kyle and Michelle can handle that for a night. They just got a Wii for Christmas and are excited to play some of the new games we have on our Wii, like Lego Indiana Jones, and Mario Party, etc. I hope all goes well between the children.


Robin is a woman I work with downtown at the administration building of USD 259; she’s a purchasing agent. I’ve known her a little more than six years now, and have been to her home on at least four separate occasions, although, she has never been to mine. Floyd also works for USD 259 as a Food Service Driver Supervisor. He drives the food service trucks and organizes his staff. Matt worked with Floyd in 2003-04 when he was laid off at Cessna during the last economic downturn that really hit the aircraft industry. We’ve been out to dinner with Robin and Floyd once before for sushi at Sumo so, this shouldn’t be too awkward of an evening. We have the pool table and an awesome trash talking dartboard to play on with them while the kids immerse themselves with the Wii.


For dinner I am making at least three varieties of pizza:


1)      A super meat pizza (with turkey pepperoni, turkey bacon, and hamburger) with thin crust – Robin’s favorite – meat pie!

2)      A pepperoni pizza for the children should they not want the  super meat pie – also thin crust

3)      A onion, tomato, feta, olive, mushroom, chicken pizza with SUPER thick crust (for me!)


I need to send the kids or Matt down the street to the local grocery to pick up 2 two liter bottles of 7up and a navel orange so I can make Tang Punch. It’s a little sugary but doesn’t have caffeine, so hopefully the children won’t be bouncing off the walls TOO much. At least I can control the amount of sugar I use when making the Tang. It also makes one heck of a mixer for coconut rum or vodka! Luckily, I bought cups, plates, napkins, and maraschino cherries for today. What’s a punch or cocktail without citrus fruit or a cherry?


Right now, I am trying to decide what kind of nibble food I need to set up so when they get here at 4 pm they don’t starve until I serve dinner at 6 pm. Since we are having a lot of cheese with the pizza, I’d like to shy away from cheese and crackers, and since they aren’t vegetable people…hmmm, what I can serve? Chips and salsa would be good, but it can be messy, and the thought of a 7 year old trying to not get salsa all over my tan ultra suede chairs and couch just doesn’t sit well with me. I could make mini-quiche or tarts. I’ve got the philo dough, pastry, berries, and eggs. Bacon quiche, berry tarts, - OH, I have peanut butter and celery. Perhaps the children will like that? Colors – quiche is yellow, berry tarts are reddish purple, celery is green, peanut butter brown…OH, the punch is orange. I need a few more colors in there…maybe I will make spicy tuna melts. I need to use the remaining mushrooms today, so, I’ll make those – at least I know Matt likes them. Okay – I think I have the snackie pooh menu for eight down:

  • Mini-quiche – bacon & eggs (a dozen)
  • Mini-tarts – mixed berries (a dozen)
  • Celery filled with peanut butter (and a few cream cheese ones)
  • A dozen spicy tuna melts
  • A dozen stuffed mushrooms

That should be colorful enough and provide a good variety. I wonder, do I have any red grapes left? A quick roll through some blue cheese…hmmm…well, off I go.

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 10:31 AM CST
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Sunday, 10 August 2008
The Olympics Have Arrived~!
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: "Show Me The Way" by Peter Frampton
Topic: Being Happy

Today couldn't be more awesome and relaxing for me right now. I am hanging out with Matt at the computer, surfing YouTube and listening to Peter Frampton. This morning I watched the Basketball game between the USA and China on TV and some other Olympic Games things. Overall, I have done nothing productive and it feels great!

~ I want yoooooooouuuuuuuu to show me the way ~ Man, this song rocks and I love it so much. Frampton - Come ALIVE!

Happiness - what will I do? Soak it up! Laughing

In about three hours we will be heading off to play D&D at "The Chrises" house. Yes, a guy named Chris married a lady named Christine who goes by the name Chris. So, they are "The Chrises". Chris Hood is Joey's father and he is the DM for this game. He called here yesterday and our phone showed his name as CHOOD. The phone speaks the name of the called on the second ring and it said, "Chewed" -  now do you think Matt and I burst out laughing at that? Wink

Yep. There is nothing for me to think about or do but to relax and smile, and feel the happiness. Yeah, me. It's about time right? How long has it been since I have been this relaxed. Well, world, give Matt a huge thank you for that! He's made me feel so relaxed this weekend. Ahhhh, it has been a well deserved

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 2:57 PM CDT
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Tuesday, 10 June 2008
Update on the Jewelry Sales
Mood:  cool
Now Playing: "River Deep Mountain High" by Ike & Tina Turner
Topic: Being Happy

Well, I did it again. I sold another 14 necklaces today. I also sold two large chunkly silver, and garnet CZ rings. I had bought them for myself but they weren't the right size. Two ladies at work bought them off me, and now I can buy one of the proper size. I'm stoked.

I also got my black pearl ring I ordered from China this morning. It was at the post office so I had to go pick it up. It is SO amazingly pretty. It matches the necklace and earrings that Matt bought me for Christmas. I just think it is awesome (and so is my Baby! Yeah Matt!).

SO now, this brings my necklace sales up around 190 or so of the 350 I bought. Of course of that 350 I kept like 48 or something like that. I have a spreadsheet at work I keep track of all this stuff on. Right now as it stands I got 48 necklaces for myself for $90. If I sell another 36 necklaces from my original batch, my necklaces are basically free.

I have been giving an amazing discount to people since I am not out to make money. $2.50 each or 12 for $20.

With the fundraising campaign starting for Wildman though, I am going to stop giving out the discount. A lady from fifth floor wants to take a look through my box of necklaces on Thursday.

Tomorrow I am teaching tie dye at College Hill Elementary School to the Latchkey Program children. We are going to dye their program shirts so when they go on field trips they will all be noticable and yet look like a group. Karla, the director of the latchkey program for that school, is downloading some Grateful Dead tunes to her iPod so we can play them tomorrow while the children learn how to dye. I picked out some upbeat fun tunes the kids can jump around to and we should have a great time tomorrow. I am going to try and remember to take pictures. Ohhh, boy is this great! (a la Animal House's Flounder).

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 9:56 PM CDT
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Saturday, 24 May 2008
Memorial Day Weekend
Mood:  spacey
Now Playing: Uncle John's Band - The Grateful Dead
Topic: Being Happy

It’s the start of the Memorial Day weekend holiday and everything is going well for now. Yesterday, I took Kyle and Michelle to the movies to see the new Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian movie. It was two and a half hours long, but engaging. Did it steer away from the book’s storyline? Yes. Just like there were no Elves at Helm’s Deep in The Two Towers, there were many things that did not happen in the books that found their way to the screen via some movie screenwriters urge to make his mark on C.S. Lewis’ novels.


After the movie we went to Sonic Burger for a quick late lunch. We were all starving as I had made us a small breakfast of eggs and hash browns (the little half size tater tot kind) and juice before we headed off to the movies. Finally, we went to Dillons and went mega shopping for the kids meals during this next week and for the family style get together we are having today.


Today, Crystal, Tony, Alexis, Allera (aka Monkey), April, Dan, Mackenzie, Vikki, and TJ are coming over for food and games. Here’s the menu:




Main Course:

  • BBQ Chicken (thighs, legs, and boneless skinless breasts)
  • Ali’s home-style chunky potato salad
  • Corn on the Cob


  • Fresh strawberries
  • Fresh red grapes
  • White chocolate macadamia nut cookies
  • Red raspberry swirl cheesecake
  • Cherry and watermelon snow cones


  • Pineapple Tang Punch (non-alcoholic)
  • Margaritas
  • Daiquiris

We have several games that we might play. Card games including: Bang!; Munchkin; Wench; and Grass are on the list. The new Zobmondo Sick and Twisted game is definitely on the list. Of course we can play Farkell, and other games too. I am pretty sure the guys are either going to shoot pool or throw darts while the ladies and I fix the food.


The children are going to get the hose and sprinkler ready and they are going to take Mackenzie, Lexy, and Monkey through the water after lunch/supper. They are also going to play the Wii and other games with the children. I’ve braced Michelle, who is the oldest, for the rambunctiousness of Monkey and the “prissy – princess” shyness of Lexy. Mackenzie is a whole other ball of wax. Fiercely independent and very tall for her age, she is a take charge, smart as whip little girl – spitting image of April. We’ve also got movies for them to watch should it just get too much on the video game thing.


I made the potato salad and the ceviche last night. Now I need to go prep the tuna, the bacon wrapped stuff, and the cookies. Off I go to the kitchen. Wish me luck.


Here are the results of my toil:

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 12:16 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, 25 May 2008 7:53 AM CDT
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Monday, 31 March 2008
Bravo - Life Is Sweet
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: Fortune plango vulnera Coro - from Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Topic: Being Happy

I have neglected my blog recently, but for good reason.


My father and step-mother came for a week long visit from March 14 through March 21 during the Spring Break holiday. It was fabulous and I had a wonderful time. The children got to meet them and get to know them. We got to spend many hours together playing games and just having family fun time. I also was able to cook for them all my favorite home style meals that the children enjoy.


Here’s a recap:


Friday, March 14 – I picked them up at the airport around 2:15pm – their flight was early. BUT since they gave me their flight information I was able to track it online and new it would be 20 minutes early and was able to meet them at security. We drove home to Wellington and the family met each other. Pat was very excited about the jewelry and bought 12 necklaces. I made onion and cheese pizza for dinner with extra thick fluffy crust. We were all very tired and went to bed early.


Saturday, March 15 – Matt had the day off of work. Pat and Dad took the kids for a bike ride around Wellington. We played cards most of the day – Cribbage, War, Bang!, and then introduced my Dad and Pat to Farkle, a game they never had played before. That day was a lot of fun. The Wii received a bit of use – more than it has since Matt’s parents were visiting. This night I made honey baked ham, stuffing, steamed veggies and buttermilk biscuits for dinner.


Sunday, March 16 –Pat and Dad took the kids out for a walk around Wellington again. When they got back, we hung around the house playing the Nintendo Wii – a gift from Matt’s parents to the children for Christmas. My Dad and Matt really enjoyed “golfing” together. Bowling also seemed to be a real favorite, as was baseball. Matt eventually went out and bought two more Wii remotes so my Dad and Pat could play doubles tennis with Kyle and Michelle. It was great fun watching them swing wildly around the living room. This day we went into Wichita for dinner. We went to Two Brothers BBQ on the west side of town on Central. Everyone got the buffet except for me, I got a small salad and French fries. They all ate until they practically exploded and enjoyed themselves thoroughly.


Monday, March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day – It rained and was very cold and windy. We stayed in played cards, dice, and the Wii. I made Cornish game hens, mashed potatoes, gravy, buttermilk biscuits, and Pat helped make a glorious salad.


Tuesday, March 18 – It was blustery and cold. We stayed in again, although Pat and the children went for a very quick and chilly walk. We mostly just hung out and did nothing but play games and relax. Tuesday night, Ronda (my friend and boss) came to dinner and hung out for about two hours – so she got to meet Dad and Pat and they her. We had chicken burritos, rice, and beans for dinner this night, along with chips, salsa, and my homemade queso dip. Ronda also bought 12 necklaces off my pool table for her sisters. So, 24 necklaces down, and like 276 more to go.


Wednesday, March 19 – It was sunny, so I took everyone to Wichita in my Pathfinder. We packed a picnic lunch and went to OJ Watson Park where Pat, Dad, Kyle and Michelle fed the ducks and geese, Dad and Kyle played a round of miniature golf, and Pat and Michelle went for a long walk around the two lakes at the park picking up interesting items they deemed “treasure”. Then, we drove up McLean to the Keeper of the Plains, walked across the bridge there and took some pictures of the river and downtown. I drove around to Old Town and showed them all the brick buildings which is a novelty to people from California where there aren’t brick buildings due to earthquakes. I pointed out all the various statuary on Douglas Ave and they got to see a real good cross section of downtown and where I work. We also drove out to the zoo so they could see that side of town, wrapping around to the highway and then back onto Kellogg and 235 to the HWY 81 home. We stopped by Sonic during drink Happy Hour and Pat had one of their new Mochacino Shake things and just instantly got addicted to them. So, they didn’t see the East side, but didn’t really want to see big homes and such – they’ve got Beverly Hills for that, so why see it here I guess? Dad had me stop off at A&W where he bought Kyle a root beer float and himself a half a gallon of root beer. Then we stopped at Braum’s and he bought vanilla ice cream. That night we had turkey sausage lasagna and garlic bread. My Dad said it was really good and would have been as good as his grandma’s except that I purchased my noodles instead of making them from scratch like grandma would have made, but other than that he loved it and had two huge pieces. Even after eating that big meal, everyone had room for my Dad’s root beer floats he passed around.


Thursday, March 20 – Pat and Dad gave me the day off. They walked to Sonic and took the children with them for lunch. Pat got another one of those Mochacino shakes (her first of two that day) because later she and Michelle walked back to Sonic and got another one. In the afternoon while Dad and Kyle played on the Wii, Pat and I made homemade blackberry, blueberry, raspberry mini-pies and apple mini-pies. Pat wanted to learn how to make them since my Dad loves blackberry and boysenberry pies. So, I taught her how. She sent me an email earlier this week telling me she made nearly four dozen of the little pies and was having a good time doing it. They are really so simple to make and are just the perfect size to eat in about three or four bites. They don’t require silverware really, and are perfect to pack in a lunch. They also store well in Gladlock containers in the refrigerator unlike large pies in tins or glass pans. It was leftover night so a good deal of the leftovers from the previous days were eaten, along with the fresh little ‘magic pies’ as they have now been dubbed.


Friday, March 21 - I took Dad and Pat to the airport very early the next morning, children in tow, Kyle nearly asleep the whole way there and back. After dropping them off, we headed back to Wellington and then to Dillons to pick up some necessities for the high tea I was going to host on Saturday.


Saturday, March 22 – I had invited Vikki, Crystal, April and CJ over for a semi-formal “high tea” from 3 – 5pm on Saturday. I made two kinds of quiche – broccoli ricotta, and cheddar bacon – in the mini size like the “magic pies”. I also made more pies, and ham toasties. I served all that as well as specialty pastries I bought at Dillons and red grapes and strawberries. We had Earl Grey, Chamomile, and Darjeeling as our tea selection. Earl Grey was the hands down favorite, we ended up with two pots of that. So – four pots of tea between the three of us. It was pretty cool, and I think we are going to do it again. I used my recent teapot and coffee pot purchases on ebay (beautiful silver) as well as the silver serving tray ($5). I also polished my mother’s sugar and creamer service and used that as well as my Lenox china (Kelly pattern). The items I purchased from Pampered Chef got a nice work out. I used them when we had Steve and Vickie over for dinner, the afternoon Tony, Crystal, the kids, and Joey hung out, during the week when Pat and Dad were visiting, and for high tea. They have certainly been put to good use and I love them!


Since then, Matt and I have been trying to recuperate from the Spring Break and a cold that both hit us. I felt terrible most of last week and ended up taking Wednesday off to rest at home. Luckily, we were both feeling better for our big Saturday night out.


Saturday, March 29, we went to see the Wichita Grand Opera production of Faust, starring Samuel Ramey as Mephistopheles. It was Matt’s first time ever to attend an opera, and mine first here in Wichita. I thought we were going to have third row seats because our tickets said row C. As it turns out, they took out rows A & B to facilitate the orchestra pit and thus, we had front row seats! YES – I was less than 10 feet from Samuel Ramey while he was singing some of the greatest opera ever! I am still floored over it. His acting was superb and his evil laugh during Vous qui faites l'endormie was awesome, spooking and thrilling all at the same time. It was such a treat and I so wanted to hear him sing in person. I am thankful and grateful I have had a chance to be in the presence of such brilliance, even when he was surrounded by a modest production (sets, costumes, etc). Bravo Samuel Ramey!

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 12:48 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, 16 May 2008 8:35 PM CDT
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