How time flies when you're doing Christmas activities! Things have been busy around here, what with shopping and wrapping packages and other holiday-related events. The blog has suffered, and my sewing machine is languishing from the lack of attention. Ah, well. It's that time of year, and other fun things are going on.
This past weekend found Caroline and me in Sacramento, to attend the annual cookie-making party of my best friend, Beth. (Roger usually attends, but this year he was tired and overworked and craving a day at home to veg...a feeling I understand and accomodate.) Beth and I have been friends since college, where we roomed together, saw each other through disastrous dating choices, strange jobs, law school applications...Then we went off to different law schools during the same 3-year period, and started our law careers at the same time, albeit on different routes. She is the funnest person I know, and I never, ever tire of being with her. We pay each other the highest of compliments: being together is as easy and as enjoyable as being alone! We both love to do "nothing" together.
Anyway. This cookie-making fest has actually been honed in recent years to a very nice routine: various regular attendees have the task of rolling out the cookie dough, and then the kids -- mainly Caroline and another young girl, Kendall, cut out shapes. The baking proceeds until there are enough cooled cookies to decorate, at which point Caroline and Kendall usually produce the ugliest, gloppiest cookies imaginable. (This has the advantage of making them not at all tempting to eat.) However, the girls have a good time and are happily occupied while the adults can drink wine and eat snacks and have much fun.
My part (aside from providing Caroline to achieve her share of decorated cookies and to consume my share of wine) is in the apricot-pastry assembly line. Kevin rolls and cuts the dough into squares. Cindy, Kendall's mom, plops neat circles of jam into the dough, and I fold them into neat little triangle packages for baking. And we all consume more wine to keep the production line going.
When it's all over, we clean up and then lie around, exhausted and tipsy and content while Caroline and Kendall act out elaborate shows for us, which usually involve a kung-fu type fight scene, cartwheels, and much hilarity as two big dogs always get into the act at unplanned moments.
We stayed over night (I got to sleep on the couch in front of the fireplace...heavenly!) and because it was storming so severely on Sunday (with lightening! and thunder! and downpours!) we decided to avoid the undoubtedly heinous drive home and stay another night. So, Caroline and I had a leisurely day on Sunday visiting with Beth and sitting in front of the fire and talking incessantly.
Caroline loved the cookie making, and playing with Kendall, and hanging out with Auntie Beth. But most of all, she loved the thrill of having Krystal sleep on the bed with her all night long! Don't they look happy?!
It was a lovely bit of time away...both festive and relaxing. And I am reminded, once again, that there is nothing as wonderful as quality time with a dear friend.