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February 07, 2004: Party girl

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Last night while pondering dinner, I had a craving for something with fruit. So on the way home I stopped by the produce stand and bought, among other things, a bag of Anjou pears. I went home and peeled and chopped four of them directly into a casserole dish with a liberal sprinkling of cinnamon and corn starch for thickening, stirred together something vaguely cobblery for the topping, and then threw it all in the oven and called Richard to tell him to pick up some vanilla ice cream on the way home. And that was dinner – pear cobbler and vanilla ice cream. It was warm, sweet, cinnamony goodness and it tasted far more decadent than it actually was to be eating cobbler for dinner.

Perhaps my craving for cobbler last night was just in anticipation of all of today’s wild partying, because I left the house at about 9 this morning and did not get back until after 10pm this evening. In between I drove all over Northern California and in between all the driving I attended parties. Three parties, to be exact.

The first party of the day was for my youngest nephew’s third birthday. We kicked the morning off to a good and healthy start by eating leftover cobbler for breakfast, and then headed up to Napa in separate cars with my back seat full of presents. Nathan was, naturally, excited, but then at three he is always excited. Of all the niece/nephews, he’s the one that has always seemed to just be eternally excited. He jabbered incomprehensibly at Richard and me – although to be fair, now that he is three, we’re starting to be able to pick out a word here and there that almost makes sense.

My older sister made the cutest train cake, and with the little four year old from Nathan’s day care (too bad he’s too young to care that we were teasing him about his ‘older woman’) and my older nephew, there were three little kids doing their best to get wound up because it was a party.

I had time to stay for lunch and for the opening of the presents but had to leave before the cake because I had a two hour drive from Napa to San Jose for party number two – my Almost Twin’s bridal shower. I felt a little awkward about showing up for a bridal shower in jeans, since one doesn’t wear fancy clothes to a toddler’s party, especially when one is expected to get down on the floor to help said toddler put train tracks together, but luckily it wasn’t a formal crowd. It was, however, a crowd – lots of women were there, and the hostesses had outdone themselves with plenty of food and silly party games. I won a pretty glass and pewter vase for being the first one to whip through the word scramble, and probably would have won the game where you couldn’t cross your legs during the party, except that near the end I quickly foisted all my clothespins off on my younger sister-in-law because I didn’t think it would be appropriate for me to win more than once.

Mindful of the fact that I had had pear cobbler for breakfast, and also pizza for lunch (hey, it was a party for little kids), I passed on the cake at the bridal shower. Okay, so the main reason was that it had raspberry filling, but leave me my self-righteous healthy eating delusions. And then it was time to hop back into the car and rack another few hundred miles onto the odometer in order to make it to Vacaville in time for the third and final party of the day. I managed to swing it with just enough time to spare that Richard could meet me in Vacaville for dinner beforehand, and then we continued on to our friend’s house for a rousing evening of games. There were eight of us, which was just the right number to take on two games over the course of the evening, as well as decimate an entire bowl of cheese dip and a large batch of brownies. I think all the kids thought we had all gone just a little bit insane, what with the laughing and the teasing and the noise, but that made it just that much more fun. We all left vowing to do this again, especially the parts with the laughing and the cheese dip. And now I am home, finally, and even though I had a very good day, I am hoping that I do not have to do any more driving, or partying, any time soon.

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