This week was a Sasser double birthday week. My oldest daughter Annie turned sixteen on Thursday, and I, her ageless mother, turned…not sixteen. Every year we celebrate Annie (as we do with all birthdays) with a large family dinner. We feasted on Ina’s Spicy Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti, and it was delicious. On Friday night, I enjoyed an adult dinner out with my husband and another couple, followed by homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches (pictured above).
On Saturday night, we wrapped up the festivities by inviting Annie’s friends over for a BYOG party, which of course stands for Bring Your Own Guitar. When your sixteen year old daughter chooses to eat Chicken Enchiladas and sing songs with her friends around a fire pit to celebrate turning sixteen, how can you not gush with pride? It has been a very full, very special week, and I am thankful for another year of life!
Here’s what we talked about this week…
We had our grease trap cleaned out this week at Hurley House. Grease traps are required in all food establishments, and until I owned one, I had no idea what they were, how they worked, or what purpose they served. The health department requires regular emptying of all grease traps in the city, and it is a highly regulated process. Once a quarter, we schedule a visit with our friendly grease trap cleaner-outers, and the process is equal parts fascinating and repulsive. I won’t go into all the details (because it is one of the more disgusting topics of conversation), but this week we all agreed that this should be at the top of the dirty jobs list. Do you remember when Mr. Rogers would do a segment on going to visit the crayon factory, or learning about how the mail gets delivered, and then you had a greater understanding and respect for things you so easily take for granted? That’s how we all feel after watching the grease trap being cleaned out. Thankful for the hard workers who take care of this for us, mystified by the mechanics of how it all works, and never again taking for granted what happens to all that butter that goes down the drain when we do dishes.
We discovered a new Pandora station this week at Hurley House. We try to make sure our music fits the mood of the store. Specifically we look for something quiet and peaceful, but lively and interesting. We tend to rotate through Alison Kraus, The Lumineers, and Adele. After a while we’ve heard all the songs, and we need something new to mix it up a bit. The Kacey Musgraves station was just the thing we needed. I am not a country music fan, yet it was a nice change of pace. Some of the songs veered a bit too close to twangy cheesy can’t-handle-it territory, but most of them were nice. A couple of songs were particularly gut-wrenching and sad, and we discussed how country music is the only genre where the songs tell a story. Other genres tend to reflect on a moment or react to something, but they aren’t telling stories. Do you find this to be true?
Have you ever laughed so hard, you start to laugh-cry and can’t recover? That was me this week as we stumbled upon a new game we are calling Wrong Julia. Ada was making a movie suggestion to Molly (Sleeping With the Enemy), and I said, “Is that the movie starring Julia Child?” What I meant was, “Is that the movie starring Julia Roberts?” The second it happened, I glimpsed the comedic value and started quoting signature Julia Roberts lines in a terrible rendition of Julia Child’s distinctive voice. Steel Magnolias. “Momma, my colors are blush and bashful!” Pretty Woman. “Big mistake. Huge!” Erin Brokovich. “They’re called boobs, Ed!” They just kept coming, and I kept going, and by then end of it, we were wiping away tears, doubled over, stuck with a case of self-induced hilarity, and it was awesome. Try it yourself and tell me you don’t chuckle.
When it comes time to decorate for a party at home, the table is always the centerpiece, even if we aren’t going to be sitting at the table. The table a large piece of furniture that takes up a lot of visual space, and if you can somehow get your theme across on the table, then the rest of the house follows suit. For Annie’s birthday, she wanted everything to be yellow. One of my favorite ways to visually make an impact is to use wrapping paper as a table runner. I found a roll with a yellow and white pattern. I put down a white table cloth (but this trick works fine without one) and then I rolled it out across the dining room table. I repeated this on our breakfast room table and the table on our outside porch. Instant theme. I added few other touches (balloons and swags), but even without those added details, the house looked party ready. For around $5 a roll, wrapping paper is my favorite way to decorate!
Have a lovely weekend!