After the fellows left I had several days with nothing pressing to do. I had kept that time free because I knew I would have lots of catching up to do. I got all my shopping done (OK, mostly on the internet!), wrapping (when it arrived) and took care of my Christmas cards the easy way.
Friday Carol invited me and several friends to a lunch at the country club to visit with her friend Judi who came to town. That started my busy time before Christmas. In the evening we met Barry and Gerre for dinner and then attended a performance of "White Christmas." It was done with all the song and dance production numbers and was very entertaining.
Saturday at church was the first opportunity we had to tell Fr. Tom about our visit with Richard in Rome. He was happy to hear we met up with him. Later I emailed Fr. Tom a photo of Ted and Richard together at dinner.
I invited Terry, Carol and Judi for dinner on Sunday. Ted had to shoot but came home in time to grill a whole pork filet. Normally he would do tenderloins but he bought this by mistake. He did an excellent job! Wild rice, baked apples, vegetables, yeast rolls and pumpkin pie rounded out the meal I made.
Monday I dropped off sandwiches at church for a funeral, picked up Judy and went to Jeanne's for lunch to celebrate Peg's birthday. The area Jeanne lives in is gorgeous. It is out a bit and I never even knew it was there.
That evening Ted and I attended a "mission" at church. This is done by a visiting priest, most of whom are great speakers. Missions last for three nights but his message just never came together for us and we didn't attend the next two nights.
I spent Tuesday doing laundry and getting ready to host my own neighborhood luncheon. My menu was Chicken Florentine Casserole, Jarlsburg Winter Salad, croissants and Banana Split Cake. We had a nice time, exchanged our gifts and everyone said they enjoyed the lunch, gifts and decorations. It's nice to have that behind me.
Thursday I did my favorite Junior Forum job - hosting a Christmas party at Regent Care Nursing Home. We decorate the tables for whatever the season is, put name tags on the residents, honor their birthdays, provide some entertainment and have cookies and lemonade for them. We have to be very careful about their dietary choices so each one wears a tag saying what they can have. Our lemonade is Crystal Light and we also bring sugar free cookies in addition to the regular ones so most can partake. There are a few who can't have either and the home provides something for them. It is a hard existence to say the least and to bring just a couple hours of joy to them is heartwarming.
Then it was time for some fun at the Junior Forum Christmas party. Suzy, Kathi, Margaret, Peg and I went together in my car. I needed to drive because I was bringing home the toys to be taken to Northwest Assistance Ministries on Friday. The meal was very good and we were entertained by a female barbershop quartet. It was great to see everyone dressed up instead of in their JF uniforms!
The Social Committee Chair was out of town so we had to decide how to divide the gifts up between me and the gal taking half to another location. Taking the bull by the horns I told the ladies who rode with me to separate them all by boy, girl, baby, stuffed animals, games and books. In no time we had them sorted, divided, loaded in the car and were on our way home.
There was a dog that moved, barked , growled and whined. Every time I hit a bump he carried on. We laughed all the way home. The next morning I met up with Kathi and we delivered the toys. The dog entertained us all the way there. We filled a huge bin and a rack with the toys and wrapping paper. The ladies were delighted to receive the items.
When I arrived back home I took off my JF shirt and put on my church logo shirt and headed to Chik Fil A to buy a tray of chicken strips for another funeral. I certainly hadn't had time to make anything. I stayed to help serve, clean up and brought eight tablecloths home to launder.
Today is a day honoring Mary in our church so last night we went back to church for Mass. A new young girl was the cantor and sang Ave Maria so beautifully it gave me chills. It was 9 o'clock before we got home. Ted helped me fold the huge round tablecloths and get them on big wooden hangers. They will go back to church tonight with us.
We have nothing planned for this weekend so I will start getting things ready for the children's arrival the day after Christmas. Just wrapping my mind around meals and grocery shopping will take some doing.
The next two weeks are more of the same but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Enjoy the journey, enjoy every moment, and quit worrying about winning and losing.