Friday, January 16, 2015

Saturday with the Girls—and Mr. Janney

Since Christmas, my youngest has made one request which was to have a mother/daughter day with me so she could spend her Christmas money and gift cards. Such a small request and yet it was proving difficult to work into the schedule of our busy family of four. As time passed, she kept telling me what she wanted to do: shop at FYE and Bath & Body at the mall, Target, Five Below, and Wal-Mart at the shopping plaza, and then finish up our day at Sweet Frog. This past Saturday, we finally had our mother/daughter day.
We passed on Sweet Frog and decided we wanted something spicy!! Look at that happy face!
Shopping: You aren't doing it right unless you shop
till you drop!!
After dropping her sister off to work at Rockin’ N Stable and Ranch’s Winter Series event, we drove to the mall. Although we weren’t successful finding something in every store she wanted to visit, she managed to hit it big at Bath & Body’s 75% off sale. She was one happy camper! Since she is nowhere near the clothes shopper my oldest is, I was pleasantly surprised when she decided to buy a pair of sensible shoes with her “fun” money. She enjoyed herself immensely and this I know because she kept telling, “This is the best day, Mom. Thank you.” We ended our outing having a late lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings. She was such a smart shopper, she still has money and gift cards left over for another outing!

And then Girls' Night In...

One of my favorite things to do is to have an intimate get together at my house with a small group of friends. It isn’t something I get to do often, but when I do, it involves wine and nibbles. I like nothing more than sitting around my kitchen table with good friends and having wonderful discussions while sharing laughs. These events have taken on different names over the years. My favorite event name was my "Wine Inventory Reduction Party." That was the year I got a case of wine for Christmas from my husband and it seemed like everyone I knew gifted me with a bottle. (Speaks volumes on my reputation!) Simply put, it’s a girls’ night in party. A week ahead of time, I posted a message to my friends that such a night was coming up. Many already had plans, but some faithful showed. For this girls’ night in, I made up a pepperoni and gourmet cheese plate, provided an assortment of crackers, jalapeno pepper jelly and cream cheese spread, Buffalo chicken wing dip, and baked brie with cranberry/pecan/caramel sauce.
My Gal Friday was the first to arrive. She’s still recovering from her second knee replacement surgery, but getting around fine with her cane. My Broads of a Feather cohort made the longest commute for her first girls’ night in appearance—Mr. Janney joined her since she needed a designated driver. It sort of broke the gender code having a dude present, but Mr. Janney is pretty cool so we let it pass. Heike came and along with hugs presented us with assorted brownies. Last to arrive was Colonial Mirb (AKA Miriam) with her famous pudding shots and tote bags with extra previsions of necessities—alcohol.
Girls' Night In captured in photos! L-R: My Gal Friday, Heike, Mr. Janney, Robin, me, and Colonial Mirb!!

Bottles of wine were cracked open, plates passed around, and conversation stirred. Robin had never met the others and declared how comfortable she felt around them. She said it was as if she’d known them forever. Being a fellow introvert, I know how hard it can be to meet new people and the stress it can entail. Finding a group you just seem to fit in with is the greatest feeling. As more wine flowed, the noise level increased with raucous laughter. I may or may not have done my Inge impersonation, complete with German accent, as I told stories about my adventures in Philly with her. And the time she openly mocked me as I stuffed tissues into my pockets because I was certain I’d cry when we went to see Bridges of Madison County together. For the record, she cried before I did and needed one of my tissues! My Gal Friday is the only one in our group who has met Inge. The others want to meet her. I think I’ve turned her into a girls’ night in celebrity. Each of them said they could benefit from having an organized and schedule-oriented person in their life. Lord knows I could! If Inge was around, I would definitely have better writing productivity. “Ve don’t have time for this. This looking at social media stuff. You have a vord count today.” And, by God, I’d listen.
My baked brie just because it needs its own picture!! Delish!!!

As many of you know, alcohol can induce some pretty heavy topics. With Colonial Mirb present (in her day job, she’s a public school teacher), we got onto the subject of standardized testing and Common Core. Needless to say, we were all ready to drive to Secretary Arne Duncan’s office in DC and tell him how to solve our country’s education problems. You know, Liquid Courage and Wisdom? We were on a roll. Talk turned to books and writing, of course. With two authors at the table, would you expect anything else? Colonial Mirb told us a story about an acquaintance nicknamed Night Thruster and I tried to convince Robin she needs to use the nickname to title her next book. I bet the title alone would sell it!  
How was your Saturday? Do you ever partake in Wine Inventory Reduction Parties? Let us know about them on our Broads of a Feather blog!