Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's All In The Name

I knew better. I knew better than to go into Joann's Fabrics that close to Halloween. But there I was, number 12 and they were calling 87. All I could do was hope that the numbers turned over at 100, not 1000. But one quick look around made me wonder if the number might not be higher than that, the sea of faces looked more like the amount you would see in a line at Disneyland. Except this was not the happiest place on earth.

I got bored and wandered a bit, looking at rows of ribbons and aisles of buttons, but I did not stray far as I had noticed that the clerks counted to three and a half after calling someone’s number , and if the poor soul whose number they called did not show up, too bad, the next number was called, no mercy. I finally became so insecure that I just parked my cart close enough to see the menacing "Now Serving..." sign and rudely called my daughter on my cell phone. I really did try to keep my voice quiet, but I still got some looks. Twenty minutes later when they called my number, I squeaked out, "gotta go, love ya" and didn't even wait for the reply before hanging up on the poor thing. But she frequents the Joann's near her, so I knew she understood.

The clerk who waited on me was surprisingly cheerful, considering the generally growl-ly nature of the crowd. I commented on the Halloween crowd being it's usual density for this time of the year, and asked her if she thought it would be worse by Christmas. Her eyes got big, and I sensed great fear as she nodded affirmatively. I told her I usually tried to get my Christmas shopping done by Halloween, as I didn't handle Christmas rush lines with any dignity whatsoever. She expressed some admiration that I could be so organized. I told her I was motivated more by desperation after years of some calamity that seemed to hit faithfully in early December (like the three years they called me the week before the church Christmas Party and asked me to organize the entertainment). I laughingly told her that this year I had even scheduled my Winter Cold early. She jokingly said, "Wow, with that kind of efficiency, you could be the next Stephen Covey."
"Na," I said looking down at my fingernails, "that would more likely make me the next Stephen King".

Sunday, October 17, 2010

All There In Black and White

We had the most fun party on Friday night! I got the idea from my little brother, to have a black and white themed night. So I sent out invitations as follows…

"The night will be all black and chill,
So come to the house upon the hill.
Dress in black and/or dress in white.
Do let your imaginations all take flight!
Don’t be shy, but do be wary...
Dessert in your arms you must carry.
It too must be just white and/or black;
Of course it’s best if…
it threatens to attack!
Please, oh please RSVP in time,
To miss this, indeed, would be a crime!"

We decorated the table all in black and white, served Sprite in a black punch bowl with a fozen face floating in it (that was the hardest part, getting a mask filled up with water and frozen took two days), and served a soup that had black and white beans in it. Here is the recipe:


1 T oil
1 c chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 c chopped red bell pepper
1/2 c matchstick cut carrots
4 c chicken broth
2 T cilantro, chopped
2 t ground cumin
1/2 t dried oregano
2 T lime juice
1/4 t red pepper sauce
1/4 salt
1 1/2 c frozen corn
2 can (15oz) black beans
2 can (15oz) white beans
2 c chopped cooked chicken breast

Sauté onions and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in remaining ingredients except chicken. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 20 minutes. Stir in chicken; simmer until hot. Serve with fresh chopped tomatoes and tortilla chips.

And everyone came in black and white costumes! My husband came as a highway, with a white strip down the front of black clothes and road signs taped all over, I came as Animaniacs Dot, Potential was a Gothic Raggedy Ann, Tradition came as a Baker, and Wonder came as Eve from Wall-E. We then played Black and White Jeopardy, with the categories being: Movies, On The menu, All Hallow’s Eve, Jack Black,...And Red All Over. We crammed about 20 people into our little front room and we had a blast. Our guests brought black and white desserts, brownies and homemade oreos and Nutterbutters dipped in white chocolate to look like ghosts. Good people, good food, good times! I am already planning my costume for next Halloween!