August 31, 2008

Stepping Out (of my comfort zone)

This week was a good week, but a tiring one with work stretching well in to the evening.  So, on Friday evening I wasn't particularly looking forward to our friend's birthday party at Opa, the Greek Taverna.  I felt every bit of my 31 years and a few of someone else's.  A restaurant infamous for dancing on the tables and napkins used as confetti wasn't exactly what I would have planned for my evening.  But, it was her birthday and so I put on my sundress and a smile.  
And when we got there I sat back to enjoy the show with a plate of amazing food .  One of the belly dancers was on the table next to us, swallowing fire.  Others danced through the room, pulling patrons out of their seats.  Not that much encouragement was necessary, since many of the patrons were eager to have their plates cleared away so they could dance on their table.  I won't deny alcohol was consumed in great volume, but it was really mostly good, clean fun.  People were dancing, laughing and enjoying one another.  Besides, you couldn't be too drunk since you were dancing on the table.

I watched the table across from me and smiled over the top of my glass of wine thinking "it really takes alot of self-confidence to be able to climb up there."  Then they cleared our table, and with only the birthday girl and I sitting there at the moment the belly dancer started to dance.  When she reached her hand down to us, I simply couldn't refuse her.  I mean, she is dancing on the table in the middle of the restaurant.  The least she can expect is for everyone else to play along.  

And that is how I ended up dancing on the tabletop with a belly dancer as perfect strangers took our picture.  

My foray in to table dancing would have been short-lived, but when I held my hand out for an assist down the belly dancer literally whispered "no, don't go!" in a panicked voice.  So, I stayed and the braver of our friends and my extroverted husband joined us on the table as they came back in from the patio.  It turns out that once you've spent ten minutes dancing on the table it is much easier to climb back up there again.  

While its not the first time we've danced the night away, it is certainly the first time we've done so on top of a table.  It is also, as far as I know, the first time we've taken a starring role in the photos of several dozen tourists.

August 25, 2008

Especially for Brit

Before someone sends out the cavalry, I thought I better hop by to tell you we're drying out down here. The weather is back to normal, the husband has caulked the leaky window, and you can hardly tell anything happened. Well, if you studiously ignore the plant and tree debris all over the yard, you can hardly tell anything happened...

August 22, 2008

Wind blown and Wet

After merely side-swiping us earlier in the week, Tropical Storm Fay has come back for a second try and she managed to cause us more trouble this time. She took her time about it, too, sitting on top of us with days of heavy rain and swirling wind. Even the frogs asked to come in out of the storm.

Moments from a Tropical Storm
  • Driving across the lake on my commute home, the wind blows the spray in to the road and for a several moments my windshield is entirely gray.
  • With the power out, realizing how very quiet and dark the house is. And just how much noise and light is created by our appliances most nights.
  • Mopping buckets of water and laying out towels where the wind is pushing rain past the sliding glass doors and in the dining room window.
  • A city employee sheds his rain coat before returning to his efforts to pull a limb out of the street, not because its stopped raining but because he's already so wet it no longer matters.
  • Absorbing the feel of my husband's skin and gentle breathing while the rain pounds on the roof.
  • Standing at the back door fascinated by the dance of the trees in the whirling wind.
  • Knitting, or attempting to, by the light of a flashlight.
  • Deciding to take the compost and garbage out in the rain, because, really, how long can I wait?
  • Venturing out in the rain and finding a full rain barrel and a very wind-blown yard.

August 16, 2008

How Gwen Spent Her Summer Vacation

Sleeping While I Sew
Sleeping While I Knit
Sleeping On Her Aunt (She entertained her cousin while we were out dress shopping.)Sleeping While I Clean

Yup, she pretty much followed me around the house and found a comfy spot to sleep while I did whatever it was I was doing. She's still doing alot of that this week, actually. Apparently having me home for a week shifted her recent Daddy's Girl personality back in to a bit of a Momma's Girl.

August 14, 2008

How I Spent My Summer Vacation, The End

I had a wonderful end to my vacation.
Mom and I participated in my first ever Quilt Shop Hop. We only went one day yet still managed to see four out of the five stores. It was a lovely way to spend a Friday, though not nearly to the scale of the other Shop Hops I've read about. We established that the DeLand Quilt Shop is our clear favorite, but I'd also go back to the one in Clermont.

And the next morning I had breakfast with a delicious 2 1/2 year old. His Mommy follows the internet safety rules about no photos of your children, but, let me assure you, he was quite scrumptious and I had a great breakfast.

That wonderful start to my day was followed in the evening by an engagement party for my beautiful sister. Yes, they're engaged! It's going to be a fun year.

This week it has been back to work and yet staying up way too late to watch the Olympics. But, the summer vacation glow is still with me. Here it is already Thursday and I'm well on my way to a weekend!

August 07, 2008

How I Spent My Summer Vacation, part II

This morning, I reached my limit with the "stuff" stored all over my sewing room until we deal with the home projects that you never seem to want to do. So, I decided I'd deal with the cleaning out and taping up this slowly disintegrating closet section. My hands still smell like bleach, but by 10:00 I was able to put away the Christmas boxes.

As these things tend to go, getting one space cleared out led me to realize how cluttered another was. A drawer opened to put something away resulted in cleaning out most of the desk drawers. We all know how it goes, and before I knew it had I spent most of the day cleaning.

And then I remembered this was supposed to be my vacation. Besides, my sewing room looks really inviting all cleaned up. So, I stopped and starting working on this.

JoAnn's has the holiday fabrics out again, so I was finally able to buy a border fabric for Boo-tiful. Realizing that they carried a flannel of the same print sealed the deal. A quick 2 1/2" border and then an envelope construction with the flannel backing, no batting, and I have a great lightweight quilt for Gwen and I to use in October. I haven't decided what quilting or tying I'll be doing on it yet, but I won't spend much time on it. The white fabric I used for the ghosts pretty much guarantees this quilt won't be around for long. But, we'll enjoy it while its around.

August 06, 2008

How I Spent My Summer Vacation, part I

I'm on vacation this week. Sweet, sweet vacation. Thanks to a gimpy leg, its not the vacation I had planned, driving all over central Florida to see people and places I never seem to have time to go, but it is the vacation I needed. (Funny how that works, isn't it?)

Monday I lingered over my second cup of coffee, while changing the hem on my second pair of Lounge Pants. (Whipped up in just over two hours late last week - and that includes finishing the seams. I love this pattern.)

And when my leg insisted I lay down, I took this bit of yummy knitting to bed with me and watched hours of History channel. And now I have quite a bit of this silk knit in to a beautiful pattern. Its a very special gift, and I'm pleased to have such a good start on it.

Alex even came home for lunch, and I had a lovely tuna salad with pecans and apples ready. We were able to eat leisurely, at home, and still get him back to work on time. He commented that evening on how much more relaxed he was in the afternoon. (And after I made a pork chop dinner and washed up the dishes, he decided there was some merit to having a wife that stayed home.)

The next morning I decided to forgo lingering over my coffee in favor of a chance to garden before it was too hot. Two tomato plants and a jalapeno plant in the ground, a new little herb garden to replace the basil I killed this summer and try my hand at mint, and just a little clean up - and back inside by 9:30. Florida in August demands an early start for anything you need to do outdoors.
But inside, thanks to the joy of air conditioning, I could bake a loaf of bread while making another Barcelona Skirt. The bread is delicious and I've eaten a piece with every meal since. (The skirt is lovely, from Joel Dewberry's Aviary fabric. I'll take a photo to show you soon.)

And then there was the field trip with my dear friend out to the ginormous Whole Foods on the south side of town where I filled our fridge and counter top with yummy food. And found the makings for a Sashimi Tuna salad (for Alex) and Key West Shrimp salad (for me)that felt fancy enough I was inspired to light the candles on the dinner table.
We even found overstocked flowers at such a great price I brought home enough for a large bouquet on the table and another for the kitchen. I love flowers in the kitchen.

Today I have a few more plans, an outing with my mom and sister and helping a friend at a political event tonight. But, tomorrow we'll be back to lazing about. I'm really loving this stay-at-home vacation.

August 04, 2008

Photo Monday

Birthday Surprise

This weekend was my mother-in-law's birthday. Her cat, Thomas, decided he was the only birthday gift she needed.
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