04 November 2009

ENTERTAINING: Both the verb and adjective

KF was here just a split second ago...

I can dress myself...

LG's picture taking...

WHEW! What a great and fun-filled day. I am on the couch, in front of the t.v., and exhausted.

The day started with a rescheduled physical. I am up early finishing up preparing for guests, and then on my way to an 8:30am doctor's appointment. I take a carefully chosen--to avoid road construction, which is everywhere--route. Just over half-way there, traffic is at a standstill and by 8:31am I am on the phone with the doctor's office cancelling and rescheduling the appointment.

After a 12-hour fast, I need breakfast before I can head to Joseph's, our local European-style market. In downtown Crystal Lake there is a lovely breakfast/lunch restuarant, Benedict's, where I will be comfortable sitting alone. I order a non-skillet veggie breakfast of oven-browned potatoes, scrambled eggs, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and feta. They serve Intelligentsia coffee! I have a small table with a window/sidewalk view. Perfect. There is enough food for 3, so I wisely package up the leftovers for later.

I have a very detailed list of what I need for today's Monster Taco meal, and enjoy every moment of my time at Joseph's. It's still early so I don't have to do the cart dance too many times and the lines are non-existent or short at the butchers counter, deli, etc. The New York strip steaks will be perfect for grilling and slicing for our tacos. I also get some freshly made tomato salsa and some green tomatillo, too. I cut one more corner by choosing a bag of "angel hair" sliced green cabbage. I grab a bottle of commercially prepared mayonese sauce (which I later regret and throw out). A few more necessities, and I am out of there and on my way home...

Can't resist a trip through TJ Maxx. I haven't shopped in any of my favorite haunts for weeks and weeks and weeks. I find a black butterfly costume for LG, so now she has her very own wings... I also buy a darling long-sleeved onesie (white with a tiny candy corn print), orange pants, and a Halloween bib for the soon-to-arrive little girl. The butterfly costume is $5.00 and the baby outfit is $2.50!

The good news is that CA and I worked so hard last night preparing the house that I have time for a nap before the troops arrive. CA wakes me up at noon and the PARTEE begins.

DM+MK have given the K family a tour of Crystal Lake, including a trip to Joseph's. DM is intent on making gaucamole (the Two Hot Tamales' recipe). Lunch is planned for around 1:30pm, so LG starts giving a tour of "her" house, and I take BK and GK on a tour, too.

CA grills the 3 steaks and 6 chicken breasts while the rest of us prep the meal. GK fries the white corn tortillas while MK and I chop peppers and onions for the refried beans. BK watches the rice, and DM participates in a conference call with colleagues in Slovakia. The 4 little ones are busy running and playing and shouting and doing all the stuff 6-1/2, 4-1/2, 3-1/2, and almost 2 year-olds need to do.

We feed the little ones and then settle down for a wonderful meal. I can't get past the steak tacos--why waste yourself on chicken when steak is available. Yum, yum, yum. I neglected dessert--actually planned on buying something authentic Mexican or Italian at Joseph's, but lacked inspiration and figured no dessert was required for lunch. BK has a sweet tooth, so while DM makes some French press coffee, I toss the trick-or-treat bag into the middle of the table...

CA and I volunteer to watch the 4 kids while the adults visit the square in Woodstock. Yep! The little ones are busy and noisy, but there is also a good bit of time spent watching Kipper and rubbing backs and sitting on laps. LG gets inspired by the digital camera and things go a bit crazy for awhile, but everyone is having fun. CA and I know that everyone will leave soon and the house will be oh-so quiet.

What a great afternoon! This is what it would be like if our grandkids lived close all the time.

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