Lani's household consists of Steve, the long-suffering coding genius and computer security guru; Jim, Lani's tall, red-headed and handsome son, currently finishing his second year of college; Hunter, Jasmine, Himari, Chenault, the miraculous Onyx and the even more miraculous Resk, undisputed feline rulers of the house; and Jesse, the man-hating green-cheeked conure.
Ann's household consists of Don, who is not just a computer genius but a pilot, a builder, and a damn good father; their son Steve, the marathon-running, college-bound, funniest teenager I know; and wonder dog Tater.
Other family members are Laurie, Lani's beautiful daughter who teaches at elementary levels; her handsome son Alex, aka Alexander the Great; Mary and Bo, a/k/a Mom and Dad, and Bud and Ann, Steve's patient and wonderful parents.
25 teenagers, Dish Rags, and no camera (posted by Ann)
Steve leaves for school on Saturday, which on my calendar is less than one week away. I don't think it's really sunk in yet for me or for Steve, but preparations are well underway. There has been a parade of boxes going that direction, many phone calls, and lots of things to do and worry about, but we appear to be on track. He'll be visiting Mom and Dad tomorrow through Wednesday, then home for two days, then we leave on Saturday morning Very Early. Don is in Boston this week, so he'll meet us there for the weekend.
Steve decided he wanted to have an end-of-summer party, sort of a farewelll, so I said sure. Then it turned out that he wanted me to cook for 25 teenagers, and I said (gulp) sure. Then I found out that Don wouldn't be here, and I also found out that Steve had decided the menu, which needless to say wasn't hot dogs. So here's what I made in quantities suitable for the ravening hordes:
Ann's Famous Flank Steak Thai Grilled Chicken Moon Dust Potatoes Salad with Grilled Corn, Avocado, Black Beans, Jicama, Tomato, and Onion, with Lime, Honey and Cumin vinaigrette
And of course - Pie. French Silk Pie; Red, White and Blueberry Pie, and Lemon Icebox Pie.
I prepared all of this in one day, all by myself, and served it to 25 teenagers. Whew.
I have to say that they were really nice, very well behaved, offered to help in the kitchen, cleaned up after themselves, thanked me, complimented the food, and in general made me feel good about the next generation. They also ate everything that wasn't nailed down. Regardless of the good behavior, I kicked them all out of the house at 10:30 since I was totally exhausted and I wasn't sure the good behavior would survive unchaperoned. If you know what I mean.
On to Dish Rags - in the middle of said party prep, I got my box!! Tiffany sent me beautiful pink and red stitch markers, which I will really appreciate. For some reason, (see above) I didn't get around to knitting until today, but it's all done and the box is full, labeled, and ready to be mailed to Kelley in Connecticut.
As for the camera, it appears that my camera is now Don's camera and is with him 24 hours a day. He said he'd buy one for himself, but I was really sweet and said "oh, no, don't worry about it!" If someone in this house is getting a new camera, it's ME!!! I'm now officially shopping - I'd like to get a Digital SLR, but I'm a little bit intimidated, so expect posts with no pictures for a while until I get over my angst. Maybe a week or two. Just kidding, Don, just kidding!
Hummingbirds and Dishrags ... No, Really. (posted by Lani)
Remember that children's song, the one that went "I'm bringing home a baby bumblebee"? I brought home a baby that wasn't much bigger than a bumblebee yesterday, but he was much greener, and had a long beak, and a cute little tail, and also had a complete inability to fly. Yup, for about 24 hours Steve and I were foster parents to a little broadtailed hummingbird. He's safely at a wildlife rescue facility now, but man oh man was he a cutiepie. He was bright-eyed and perky and drank nectar straight from my finger because he had NO clue how to drink from a feeder, but apparently a finger dipped in nectar was an acceptable substitute for mama -- and we fell in love.
When he appeared fluttering and cheeping on our deck yesterday at around noon, we hoped that his mama would show up soon. Unfortunately she never did, so after a while I went out and tried to get the baby to eat -- which was when I discovered that my finger worked just fine as a baby hummingbird feeder (they have LONG tongues, and they tickle, by the way!). After a few hours it was apparent that mama just wasn't going to come, and it was also apparent that no matter how hard he fluttered this little guy wasn't flying anywhere. So, into Jesse's traveling cage he went for the night, and this morning back onto the porch in the vain hope that mama would show back up. No such luck, so around noon baby and I trekked down to Longmont, to the Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. The fabulous folks there have taken our little buddy bird and will try to nurse him to maturity; once he's able to fly and take care of himself he'll be released back in the mountains to make the annual migration with the other hummers.
In other news, when I arrived home at midnight Tuesday night my Dishrag Tag box was waiting for me. I had promised Emily (in return for the right to SLEEP after arriving home at midnight Tuesday night instead of knit) that I wouldn't open the box until mail arrived on Wednesday, and so I didn't ... and let me tell you that was hard. When the mail arrived at 1 o'clock I was ready and then some; I ripped into that baby, pulled out the cutest set of Ikea measuring spoons and a recipe for Brown Sugar Muffins (thanks Emily! Now I know what we're having for breakfast Saturday morning!), and then out came the pattern and the cotton and we were off. Roughly two hours later (I am, as you know, not a fast knitter) I bound off, repacked the box with goodies and a new ball of cotton, tagged our next team member, and I was off to the post office. And now I'm on the sidelines cheering on my team ... how's your race going?
Loved Pie Day, currently hate airports. I'm sitting at O'Hare - got here at 5:30, it's now 7:51, and my 7:30 flight now shows as leaving at 10pm. I'm sitting in the Red Carpet room, where they just announced that we are under a Tornado Warning, with 70 - 80 mph winds and a ground halt for at least the next hour. I don't think I'm going anywhere . . . .
So I'll tell you about Pie Day. Michele, the 13 year old daughter of my good friend, Ann, is learning how to cook. She told me that she couldn't make pie, which of course I took as a challenge, so we came up with Pie Day. She was to come over, we'd make pie, and then everyone could come for dinner (as long as they brought pizza) and we'd eat said pie.
We made six pies last Sunday morning - Coffee Cream Pie; Red, White and Blueberry Pie, Peach Pie, Jumbleberry Pie, Lemon Icebox Pie, and French Silk Pie. We called and invited several families to sample the pies, but no one could come but Michele's parents and brother. So we had six pies and seven people (!). Michele's father, Tim, won the pie eating contest by eating over half a pie. He had a piece of every single one, including ice cream or whipped cream as appropriate. It hurt my stomach just to watch him!
At the end of the evening, we crowned Michele the Pie Princess, and she acknowledges that she can now make pie.
The funniest part was that the next day our neighbors called and said that they were so sorry they couldn't make it. Don told Walter to come over and get some pie, and he did!
Don managed to eat the rest of the Coffee Cream and Peach pies for the rest of the week. He said he ate Peach Pie with ice cream for breakfast since it had fruit, grain and dairy. Very healthy choice, don't you think?
I'll try to get some pictures for you, though I have to get them from Tim. I have lost custody of the camera since Don's really into his airplane build, he is using it constantly. He has completed the oil cooler, which was a very complicated thing to put together because it also heats the airplane. He has finished the canard (the small wing on the front of the airplane) with what I think are called ailerons. They look like flaps to me, but Don keeps telling me that they aren't flaps. He's done foot pedals, landing lights on the canard wing, and various other very complicated pieces. Everything is custom made, and takes forever to finish. It is, of course, being done perfectly since Don is building it. It will be gorgeous when done, and I think he is really enjoying the whole process.
I guess I could post some airplane pictures, though airplanes aren't my favorite subject at the moment. It's still storming, still on a ground halt, and I'm still at O'Hell.