Wednesday, February 27, 2008

For whom the (dinner) bell tolls

These days, a true "everyone's here" kind of family dinner is rare. But when it happens, it's something to behold. Not that I'd actually want anyone to behold. If they saw it, I don't think they'd get it. And by "get it", I mean approve. But that's okay I guess. Each family seems to operate by it's own set of rules. Formal. Casual. Ours. Apparently as long as everyone knows them and mostly plays along, things seem to work out. The rules for dinner at our place go something like this:

If home, Hailey enters dinnertime at a dead run. Does she have the metabolic demeanor of a garden shrew? Is she secretly starring in a play on starvation? Who knows. But by the time you've got your plate together she's usually mulling the prospect of seconds. Saving grace: She's a vegetarian... some of the best stuff is still plentiful.

Evan would stand for dinner if we let him. Because we won't, he typically sits at least 24 inches from the table and at an angle that implies escape . I'm guessing this is his way of remaining unaffiliated with dinner should it turn out to include anything with a texture he once coined as "smeary". We used to insist he try the smeary stuff. Potatoes Au Gratin yakked on the table caused a rethink on the policy.

Eden isn't picky. Or is she? After almost 16 years, we're still not sure. I can't for the life of me remember what she loves or hates until we set it down in front of her. Inevitably she'll tell us, and it's always the opposite of what we thought. She's up to something. Or maybe we just don't listen closely enough. She is the middle child after all.

I dutifully overeat
Tracy laughs and referees.
Someone will spew their beverage or nearly choke.
Everyone will be called "fatty".

It's not pretty, but it works.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Manos: Hands of Fate

Okay, I'm back.

But do I have anything relevant to say yet? Not likely, but I'm fairly sure that doesn't stop anyone else around here.

What happened today? Let's see... Went to church this morning... most of us anyway. I had to give a short talk type thing that seemed to go fairly well. (Thanks Ken) Received a few nice compliments afterward, even one by phone. I probably need to work on my ability to accept praise. I'm guessing the awkwardness I shower on the giver most likely makes them regret the effort. I do like praise, I really do. I just don't want it pointed directly at me. A glancing blow would be fine.

Tracy and I installed a new hanging light in our kitchen today. Ikea apparently calls it Glimt. Second project of its kind in the last 24 hours. We're both quite pleased with ourselves. Anyone who's replaced one light fixture with another knows it's quite remedial. No matter, it's progress for us. We really should learn a new trick soon. When the rescue crews sift through the rubble of our crumbling home, they'll surely remark on the mint condition of our lighting.

Eden's 16th birthday is next Saturday. She and Jane miraculously finalized party plans and the invitations that describe them at the very same moment. Interesting how that works. I hope it goes well for her. Apparently this sort of thing puts a lot of pressure on a girl. I have no recollection of my own 16th, but I vividly remember Tracy's. Can someone say fuchsia jumper? It was the 80's and she was perfect.

We went to Casey and Daysha's for dinner tonight. It felt like thanksgiving (on the 24th of February)... There were about 19 dishes to choose from. It's like she was expecting 7 people or something. (she was) It was fabulous. I overate. Again. Mostly carrots this time though. So maybe I'll be able to visualize starting an exercise program?

After dinner, Casey, Ev, Eden and I watched some Mystery Science Theatre... Manos: Hands of Fate. It was terrible... Almost too terrible to make funny. We still laughed. I will always love hearing my kids laugh.

Anyhoo. That might be it for now.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Way better than before!

This is the second blog I've created in 5 minutes. But don't worry, you're in the right place now. The other one wasn't really all that hot. This is the one you want to watch. Trust me.