Monday, August 27, 2007

Garden parties and fireworks

Last weekend, we were invited to a housewarming party at my friend Shailia and her husband Heiko's place. They have a beautiful garden (yard) where they had set up tents. My favorite feature was the little creek that runs behind the house, perfect for keeping the beer cold.

Then this weekend I had to work so Daniel got to see 30 wild boars in Hausen (where his mother lives) without me. Boo hoo.

I did take a little break to meet Tracy for brunch at NYC on Sunday. I had only planned to stay an hour - but NYC had other plans. It took us half an hour to get our menus, which is a little longer than typical, but didn't have us worried. Then at the hour point, Tracy and Daniel got their drinks finally, but I didn't get mine. It showed up at about 1 hr 20 min, right about when Marshall joined us, figuring we'd be done. At this point, Daniel is REALLY hungry and not too keen on waiting any longer (I knew we'd have some wait, so ate a snack before coming). But the (rude) waitress assures us our food will come soon. Meanwhile people who arrived after us are getting their pancakes, eating their pankcakes and leaving part of their pancakes on their plates when they leave. We even discussed eating those leftover pancakes. Finally, nearing the 2 hr point with no food in sight, we asked to speak to the manager. We were told the manager would be there in a while so I said we'd just go eat at the festival going on at the river (just down the street) and we'd be back. We were asked if we were going to pay for our drinks. And I said "I think that is something I will discuss with the manager". Anyway, we got food at the festival and came back. Daniel wanted to practice his confrontational skills, so we let him do the talking. Suffice to say, we did not pay for our drinks nor will be back at NYC anytime least not until my cravings for a good hamburger overrule my better judgement.

We came back later that evening to go with Tracy and Marshall to the fireworks display at the river that marks the end of the Museumsufer Festival. I hadn't been that close in years (usually we watch from our balcony), so I enjoyed it.

I haven't been reading as many books as I usually do lately, but I have read some. Here's a list:

Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier (a housewarming gift from Jay - and a spooky one at that! It's a classic and well worth the read.)

Little Earthquakes - Jennifer Weimer (So many of my friends have little kids, so thought it might be interesting. Was pretty good.)

Glasshouse - Charles Stross (A sci-fi about a future culture recreating our time period - very interesting!)

Still Life with husband - Lauren Fox (A depressing "chick-lit" book about cheating - did not like, but did finish)

Everyone worth knowing - Lauren Weisberger (The follow-up to Devil Wears Prada. Like a train wreck you can't look away from.)

What the Dead Know - Laura Lippman (Mystery novel about a woman who claims to be one of the sisters kidnapped 30 years before. Excellent!)

and I just finished...

The Other Boleyn Girl - Philippa Gregory (Historical fiction about Anne's sister Mary and their relationship with Henry the 8th. Very interesting!!)

Got a lot of books that I want to get to soon... and just so bsuy with work right now...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Kelly and Steve's Wedding

The heatwave continued in Alabama. I arrived in Birmingham for the wedding on Thursday in time for the rehearsal. Kelly and Steve had asked me to be their scripture reader and I wasn't sure at first if I should do it. On the one hand, I do like reading, don't mind public speaking and enjoy the bible. On the other hand, Song of Solomon is a difficult read (with all the leaping across mountains and bounding over hills) and I'm always rejected for voice-over jobs because my voice is too nasal. I decided to go for it though, since it seemed to be important to them.

So I gave the wedding party and relatives a little sneak peek at the rehearsal. After the rehearsal, we had a yummy barbeque dinner at Kelly's aunt's and then the bridemaids and I threw Kelly a "bachlorette/shower" at the country club cottage we got to stay in. All the girls are a lot of fun so I really had a good time and most importantly, Kelly did too.

Friday morning, we were at the salon to get Kel's hair done (and my eyebrows plucked - finally!) and at the make-up counters at the mall for make-up (Kelly got hers done at the Bobbi Brown counter, while Susan and I hit Lancome and Laura and Ashley went to MAC). Then we went for lunch together and went back to the cottage to get ready. I felt really blessed to be able to spend so much time with Kel on her wedding day in such a relaxed fashion!

The wedding was lovely of course, and my reading was apparently magnificent (everyone came up to me and said so at least - in fact, someone told me I should become a professional). The reception was next door with delicious food (shrimp and grits could get me to move permanently to the south!) and a live band. After Steve and Kel drove happily off into the sunset, a few of Steve's Penn friends and the bridesmaids crew went out for an "after party" where some of us played pool, and some of us (me)watched.

Bridesmaids crew after the wedding: Laura, Tommy (Laura's husband of two weeks), Ashley, Lenore and Susan (photo credit Jorge)

The next day, I went to the brunch at Kelly's grandparents house but left after only 45 min so I'd be on time for my flight out of Atlanta. And now I am back in Frankfurt!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Beating the heat in South Carolina

I arrived in SC to visit my college roommate Margaret and her family the same day a heatwave did! So we spent a lot of time in the freezing depths of her church, went to her parents' house at the lake to cool off, and drank cold drinks at the Books-a-Million in Columbia (open until 11 pm -unlike the sad Barnes & Noble which closes at 9 pm).

Here's a pic I love of Margaret's kids with their shades:

Melissa came up to the lake too, so we had a mini OBU reunion. It was so fun to chat about old times. Here's a pic of us (after swimming) with Melissa's daughter:

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Blue shoe mystery solved!

After dropping Daniel off at the SFO airport on Monday July 16th, I drove back to Eric's and we all drove to Angel's Camp, CA, home of the jumping frog of Mark Twain fame. After spending a day and a half there with them, I left to catch my flight to Wichita out of SFO at 1:30 am on Wednesday July18th. Of course when I arrived at 5:45 am for my 8 am flight, I found out it was delayed til noon. But Delta put me on the next flight and I ended up getting to Wichita only a bit later than planned.

I spent a couple of nights with Rachelle and her family and then spent the next week attending family functions and trying to whittle down my stuff in storage. And lo and behold, I finally found the blue platform shoes my mother wore at her wedding that I had wanted to wear at mine but could never find despite all of Margie and Dean's help last year.

Nick and I also went up to Topeka to visit Grandma Dugan whose Alzheimer's has gotten so bad, my uncle Kent was afraid she wouldn't recognize us. I was hopeful that she would, since she had at Christmas, but she didn't which was truly heartbreaking. She thought that Nick and I were a couple and kept asking if his beard tickles me when we kiss... which we don't so no it doesn't.

Grandma Billie seems to be doing better after a scare a month ago. She'll do better now that she is in assisted living and has more of a social life. Got to visit with her a couple of times. Also had some nice meals with Dad and Sandy and lunch with Linda. Here's a picture of Linda, Nick and me in Linda's office at the Wichita Eagle newspaper: