Weekend Fun

The fun followed a pretty solid and satisfying work week. I love when that happens. After the writing and the working out, Logan comes up (after school) for homework and conversation. Kayla is on the cross-country team, and training after school so I don’t get to see as much of my girl. But Logan makes up for it.

On Monday, he sat down to dizzying math, and tells me he currently has a 98% in that (for me) terrifying subject. Then rattles off a series of As across the board. Nana says: Who are you, and what have to done with my Logan? And makes him laugh. Then I ask what inspired him to do so well this year? He says: Last year.

Excellent answer, I tell him. It shows he learns from his mistakes as his grades last year took a dip toward the end.

Then he makes me laugh as he says: I want to be the first of my bloodline to get straight As.

But more than school and math and grades he can be quite the conversationalist, and entertains and impresses me as he brings up subjects from NASA and the space program (He’s taking Aerospace as an elective. Aerospace!) to politics to 9/11 to the Kennedy assassination. The boy’s growing up in front of me, and really fast.

I do get to see Kayla on Friday night when the gang comes up for dinner. Spaghetti’s requested as Kayla’s carb-loading for her first meet on Saturday. That’s fine with all. Young Colt can be a picky eater, but pasta works for him. (As does the chocolate bar when he cleans his plate.)

Our running girl’s nervous about this first meet, afraid she’ll come in last. To which Logan says, in that classic brother tone: Nice positive attitude. When they leave and I hug Kayla goodbye, I tell her to do her best, and just as important, to have fun.

I know she runs at ten Saturday morning, and I’m already in the gym sweating it out. I note the time, send her some good (positive!) vibes. When I come in, panting a little, sweating a lot, BW calls out from his office for me to come see.

Kayla’s mom’s already posted a couple pictures of Kayla at the meet. I send out more vibes, head upstairs. I need caffeine! Minutes later, BW hurries up into the kitchen. Race is done, and Kayla came in 7th out of 80 girls! She places in the top ten in her first meet, gets a ribbon, and oh boy, a big confidence booster.

I’m so happy for her I do a dance–despite the 90-minute workout–as I bring up Facebook on my iPad. And there she is! Running on the last leg–the track–with really good form. And those long, long legs.kayla-running-2 kayla-running

I hit the shower, start my Saturday task of bread baking–we’re out after spaghetti night. As the dough’s rising and I’m fiddling around with little chores, Kayla comes in. Lots of congrats for the very happy girl. And more spaghetti as she’s a hungry girl, too. She hangs awhile, gives me some details of the race. When she’s about to go, I tell her I’m having some of the girls over on Sunday for a clothes swap–and ask if she wants to come. She knows the girls, and does.img_1706

I finish my bread–mmm, smells so good! Go back to fiddling around with basic weekend chores.

My favorite girl over 14 comes up early evening. Kat’s going to be BW’s date at a gala for Doey’s House, a hospice being built in our area, and an organization the foundation supports. Kat runs up to put on her dress. I’m annoyed with myself now for not thinking of taking a picture as BW and Kat look just fabulous–BW in his dark suit and smart shoes (he’ll be a guest bartender) and Kat in her gorgeous, elegantly sexy midnight blue gown.

And I settle down to watch the first disk of the recently arrived full season of The Walking Dead. I don’t watch through the season, but binge on the full with the set of DVDs. Wow! It’s intense and bloody and marvelously written and realized.

It’s an early evening, so there’s time to hang out with Kat when the gala attendees return.

And in the morning, Kat and I hit the gym–and I introduce her to some new (really old) Shaun T workout DVDs. So we sweat and laugh through about an hour–and Kayla shows up, obviously excited to have a girl day. But she leaves us sweating to go up and have breakfast with Grandda.

Later, I think less in a daze from the race and her placement in it, Kayla gives me more details, more feelings. I love how she tells me at the first mile (they ran 3.1) one of her coaches did a kind of double take when he saw her–apparently she doesn’t push too hard in training. And shouted out her time, where she was–15th at that point. And to go, go, go, Kayla. How that pumped her up. How nice everybody was, even if they were with the other teams, offering encouragement on the route. How she felt when she hit that last leg and the track. Tired, she tells me, really tired, and some of the girls took a break to walk. But she said she told herself to keep going, her coaches called out her pace–and one told her only five minutes more.

She said she told herself she could do five minutes more, and added her kick when the coach told her. And with it nearly caught the 6th place girl. She surprised everyone–her coaches, her teammates and herself.

That’s the lesson, I think. You can always do five minutes more if you keep your eyes on the finish line.

Now I have two willing and creative helpers to get set up for the get-together. BW brings up his rolling rack from his studio, and my girls haul down the bags of clothes, then start organizing them while I get my shower. When I come up they’ve already got the bulk done–and I should have known the two of them would come up with a solid system. By the time I help them finish up, the living room looks like a little department store. Kat even stuffs tissue paper in the handbags I’m passing on, arranges her shoes–with Kayla’s suggestions–in a separate area from mine (different sizes).

I’m providing the champagne and wine, the others are bringing food.

Kat, being Kat, decides some of the tops especially need ironing as they’re wrinkled from being shoved in bags. And it’s a good way to teach Kayla how to iron. So we hunt up the iron and board, and I leave them to it. Kat and Kayla have always had such a sweet connection–earlier they’d discussed knitting as Kat was knitting a pair of socks. I think one day Kayla will look back and remember the afternoon Kat taught her to iron.

In they come–all the spa girls but Jeanette whose youngest had a her first (I think first) softball game of the season. Girls bring clothes, too, so they’re sorted out–and I break my vow to take nothing when I see Nicole’s adorable black and white rain jacket. It fits me, and it’s cute. So I allow myself this one little thing.

Here’s the fun, a bunch of girl friends trying on clothes, giving each other the nod–looks great on you–or the thumb’s down–too tight in the shoulders–catching up as some haven’t seen each other since spring. Making piles to take away, heading into the bedroom to strip down–or just doing so in the living room (BW absented himself for the afternoon) and checking out the look in the mirror. Half naked ladies chatting and drinking champagne (except for Kayla!–though she does have a small pile of her own).

The rack’s thinning, as are the displays of shoes and boots and bags. Sarah is rocking my dark blue Weitzman knee boots Kat culled out for her during set-up (as she’d called dibs on them years ago), JoAnne wandering into the kitchen to ask if the bright green pullover looks okay on her. Looks great! Eating pate and KFC and homemade caprese salad. Seeing how Kayla blends right in–and finishes up the spaghetti.

One of our group’s getting married next month, and as traditional, I offer to have her pick her something borrowed out of what’s been termed Nora’s Treasure Box. We have a picture of her dress, so we all have opinions on which earrings and bracelet. I believe, as a group, we chose well.

Nicole has to leave to catch her oldest’s football game, and Kayla takes off to go have dinner with her other grandparents.  Laura will lug whatever’s leftover home for Nicole, bless her, to donate to a local woman’s group. By the time the remaining handful of us gather at the kitchen counter for more wine, the rack’s empty, the artful piles of casual tops, pjs, whatever, gone. No shoes line the hearth or mantle.img_1711

More catching up, more wine–with Laura and Pat mugging with the bottle. Some of Laura’s no-churn homemade ice cream to cap it off. [Note from Laura:  Kayla, my best friend in the under-20 division, made fudgy brownies that went perfectly with the ice cream.]


img_1708A fun end to an eventful weekend and an excellent work week.

I capped it off yet again with another couple of Walking Dead episodes.

Now I’ve got a new week to start, and the book to tackle. I’m going to think of Kayla when I feel myself getting tired–with the writing, with my afternoon workout.

I can do five more minutes.  



24 thoughts on “Weekend Fun”

  1. Sounds like so much fun! Nothing like a close group of women to connect with. Congrats to Kayla, that is just awsome with how she did in her race! Looking forward to seeing both Nora and Laura this next weekend at the signing. I am bringing my BFF Barbi to the Inn and Sharpsburg for a few days of girl time. Thanks so sharing so much of yourself with us.

  2. Sounds like you had a really fun day. Kayla seems to be a great girl who is beginning n to know who she is. Logan also seems to know who he is. Lovely family.

  3. Sounds so fun I really miss not having my children closer!! (Awesome Kayla!! Keep up the good work, it could pay for college!!!)

  4. A great day all around and all those clothes swapped, food and champagne, to boot. Much fun! Congrats to Kayla for doing so well in the race, and Logan, he sounds like he has a great sense of humor!
    I have a question about Nora’s homemade tomato sauce, and since I’ve never made it from scratch, I thought I would give it a go. I’m wondering if you peel & seed the tomatoes first? I googled it, but there as many different opinions as there are sauce recipes. Thanks.

    1. First you should start with Roma or plum tomatoes, the more oval shaped type, as they have less seeds and more flesh. I don’t make sauce but I have done crushed tomatoes and find the texture MUCH better if you blanch and peal the tomatoes first. The seeds are far less objectionable then the skins. if you are using a food mill you will never know the seeds are there. If you are just using a grinder like Nora mentioned you may have more texture from the seeds. If you haven’t done this before maybe start with a smaller batch and see what you and your family Like better.

  5. Thank you for sharing. Love hearing about your week and about those grands. Logan sounds like a wizard, and I like hearing about Kayla and her exploits. They sound like wonderful kids. Have a great week!

  6. Be honest Laura, that’s you after reading our Stupid Questions and Comments on Apprentice. :D. JK.

    Congratulations to Kayla. Does she get her long legs from Mom or Dad? I’m so happy for her!

    And your gals night in sounded great. Enjoyed the recap.

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. How wonderful to have happy, healthy grandchildren! I’ll pass along to my brother-in-law that you are enjoying Walking Dead. He works as Key Grip on the show in Atlanta.

  8. Nora,
    Have you visited Senoia, Ga? It’s a small town just south of Atlanta and this is where they film The Walking Dead. It is a very cute, quaint town much like Boonsboro. And the Irish pub is wonderful. I love going there when I visit my Aunt. You would love it.
    I love your work…I greatly appreciate and anticipate each offering. Thank you for all you do.
    Melissa R Kaiser
    Baton Rouge Louisiana

  9. Go Kayla! That’s amazing! Long legs may be a plus, but without the ambition to run, they won’t always take you to a good finishing. Thanks for telling us about your great weekend Nora!

  10. This just made me cry, ” I love how she tells me at the first mile (they ran 3.1) one of her coaches did a kind of double take when he saw her–apparently she doesn’t push too hard in training. ”

  11. Congratulations are in order for Kayla for her excellent performance. Our Maryland weather has been extremely warm. To place 7th, especially in that heat, is incredible. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Here I am in Fremantle W.A seeing what you lucky girls are up too . I have never in my life followed fan club you might say but I love every one of your books and its just wonderful to see what an amazing family you have . Well done Kayla you have inspired me to go that extra 5 min . And to Logan May you be top of your class . Having aSuper Grann must be fun for sure . Thank you for sharing ?

  13. Oh my gosh Nora what a wonderful day for all of you and Congrats Kayla… GO GO GO!!! Yes I think that we can all do just 5 more minutes.
    Week has been a drag for me. Packing and Purging have gone well, but I have a nasty cold rearing up it’s ugly head and sleep is elusive as I started reading a new book. I couldn’t take the suspense anymore and was determined to finish it and see if I was right or wrong about the killers. To my surprise I was wrong not just one time but 3… Well that is a first for me. I can accept being wrong the first time but 3 times? Anyway the book now goes into my donation box for the library. Or actually maybe this particular box will go to the Emergency Room at my favorite hospital.
    I was there last week with my daughter who had to have emergency surgery and they were really in supply of anything to read. I grabbed a copy of a 2013 year old Rachel Rae (Ray) not a big fan there but it beat Fishing and Auto Mechanic, so I am thinking the library has enough books.
    So happy that all is well with you. Have a wonderful week! Beth

  14. Busy,busy week for you there. But nothing you couldn’t handle. The bread sounded really good. I tried bread a few years ago. It didn’t end well, but maybe I need to revisit. I’ve been making tomato soup this week,portions for1 (he’s no fan of soup) in the freezer to see me through Autumn. Thankful for the glut. The clothes swap sounded like so much fun. Up cycling at its best.

  15. I learn some great lesson from Kayla today : I can do 5 more minutes .
    Congrats to Kayla .
    Thanks Nora for these short news , I love it .

  16. Wow, what a weekend you had . . . .look at all the empty hangers, you ladies really did some trading/shopping; sounds very enjoyable.
    We all must strive to keep the “just 5 minutes more” into our lives”, which sometimes is very difficult.
    Our town is having a city wide cleanup next week, so this weekend we will be purging our garage & garden shed of items that are no longer useful nor working. Yayyy


  17. FB is being snarky…and I had to go to your site to read this…normally it appears in my feed. Just thought you would like to know.

    Great weekend!

  18. Love your foundation of family and traditions. If you are into the scary, you should take a look at the Netflix series, “Stranger Things”.

  19. what a busy weekend! Glad you are having such fun. I didn’t get into the Walking Dead series but can’t wait for American Horror Story.

  20. Truly, Lovely and Inspiring Days.
    Thank you for sharing,

    PS – I’ve been curious, though none of my business ;), but is Kayla Kat’s daughter?
    I don’t know Nora’s family besides the en passant “handsome husband, my-son-better-bring-home-some-Kat-for-me and wow is-that-Nora’s-son-???”

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