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IN MY OPINION
"Beauty and the Beast"

Books Read in 2007

Updated 6/27:
"A Place Called the Bla-Bla Cafe"
"Cause of Death"
"Judge and Jury"
"Bloodstream"

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Niagara Falls
Upstate New York
50th Anniversary
J-E-L-L-O
DILO June 2007


That's My Answer

Have you answered
the Question of the Day?

EVERYBODY LOVES BARBEQUE

2 July 2007

The day of the barbeque dawned bright and clear. When we arrived here at our friends' house the night before, I laughed because Gerry is so organized that there were plastic bags full of scrapbooks piled inside the front door with a note attached saying "in case of fire, save these." So like her to plan for everything, including fire, I laughed.

But when we left the house to go to dinner, there was a HUGE mass of smoke on the adjoining ridge and we heard that there was a big wildfire burning. Maybe not as silly as I thought, letting people know what to save. Fortunately, the fire was easily controlled.

So the day of the barbeque dawned bright and clear, without a cloud (or a whisp of black smoke) in the sky. After our coffee, we headed off for Denny's for breakfast (because we are the last of the big-time spenders!) and then to Tom's house to use his wireless connection to post the July 1 entry.

Next we had to find a birthday cake. We tried Von's, which everyone has told me is THE place to go for a store-bought cake. But they didn't have half sheet cakes and I began to wonder if we would be able to find one, or if we would have to buy two quarter sheets.

I considered going to Costco, since I was pretty sure I'd seen half sheets there, but the thought of going to Costco on a lovely Sunday morning was less appealing than having my fingernails pulled out while having root canal without anesthetic, so we went to Albertson's instead and were, indeed, able to get a nice cake.

Sharon is the new girlfriend of Tom's friend Lance and her birthday is July 3 (Tom's is the 5th), so we had her added to the cake. Tom tells me she was touched, even tho she never got any because they had to leave the picnic early.


Tom, Lance, Shannon

We stopped back at the house to drop off the computer and then headed to the beach, where Tom was already getting things set up. We anticipated that this was going to be a "small" year because of all the people who couldn't come, but apparently Tom and Joe are incapable of throwing a small barbeque because Walt counted 50 people when time came to start serving all that food from the barbeque.

One family who came was a mother, father and 2 kids. They had just moved here from Wisconsin and had rented Walt's sister's condo. Since they knew nobody in town, Alice invited them to the picnic. Delightful people. She moved out here to be the assistant director of a Montessori school and she was very surprised to discover that this large group of people were just friends, not relatives.

Tom and Joe seem to outdo each other each year. The offerings this year included several tri-tip roasts, lamb, shrimp, ribs, grilled vegetables and chicken and nearly everything was eaten when it was all over.

Walt's mother was able to come. It's more cumbersome now that she is on oxygen all the time and you have to push not only her wheelchair, but the big tank of oxygen, but she was more perky than she had been last year and stayed longer. She really seemed to enjoy herself.

This year, I walked down to the water with Joe's mom and with Alice and it was fun to see a seal swimming just off shore. His head would pop up occasionally and he seemed to scare the bejeezus out of a couple of girls swimming nearby.

I got a kick out of watching Tom's friends. When they started throwing this BBQ 10 years ago, the guys would all stand around guzzling beer, playing football, and just being guys. Now they are all a bit more paunchy, a bit grey, and instead of chasing footballs, some of them are chasing toddlers or carrying babies around.


(He didn't really get any beer!)

When it came time to play ball, someone brought out a set of bocci balls. Walt groaned to think that his son was playing bocci ball, that traditional game of old Italian men. But it was funny watching this big group of people tossing balls and then walking, en mass to the other side of the "field" to toss them in the other direction. I told Tom they looked like an ad for The Sopranos.

The weather was beautiful. The last two years I have gotten quite cold by the end of the day and so this year I came prepared with a jacket and never had to use it.

We stayed until 7 or so and then, instead of going back to Alice's house to continue chatting, we all went to our respective homes. I sat out on the patio starting this entry because it was so much cooler there, but I think I was asleep by 9:30. All that sun and fresh air zaps your strength.

Today is our last day here and tomorrow we will be driving home, to avoid the 4th of July traffic.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

Tom, the Chef

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