My nephew bowed his head forward as he watched intently while my mother showed him how to sew a button on his shirt. Their hands young and old, gently touched as they worked together. It was a moment filled with beauty and hope and peace, when all the differences between these two generations were temporarily erased.
I had to channel Martha Stewart in order to properly host a bridesmaid brunch for one of my most favourite people in the world – my sister (aka Lil Sistore). Despite a significant age difference she is one of my best friends and I was incredibly touched when she asked me to be her MOH (Maid of Honour). Lil Sistore is a fun, funny, sensitive person and often the comedian of family get togethers. She is fiercely independent but ready to step in to help anyone in her circle who needs something. However, the thought of asking someone to do something for her gives her heart palpitations. So as MOH I hosted a brunch for the bridesmaids and the mothers in order to talk dresses, hair, makeup, decor and a trip to Vegas. Fortunately for Lil Sistore, I love to entertain. Unfortunately for Lil Sistore, I struggle with DIY projects (Lil Sistore got the craft genes) but I was determined to host a yummy brunch with pretty, decorative touches.
After hours perusing Martha Stewart Weddings for decor inspiration and the LCBO for food and drink inspiration. I filled dollar store vases with arrangements of white roses, lilies, hydrangeas and evergreen branches and tied each vase with a ribbon and a tag for either a bridesmaid, mother of the bride or mother of the groom. Lil Sistore gave each guest a flower arrangement upon leaving.
The buffet menu included:
Fennel, orange and pomegranate salad
Roasted asparagus drizzled with a dill and yogurt sauce
Stacked mini pancakes
Cookies and squares
I think we managed to have a lovely day and plans were made, but in the end, what mattered most was the company of good friends and the laughter that we all enjoyed.
Returning to work after our fabulous vacation in Italy left me a bit blue so a visit this weekend to the Pumpkin Patch with My One and Only’s great-niece was a reminder of the splendour of the autumn colours in Canada and the joy and excitement found in a child’s smile.
This year, My One and Only has decided to plant a vegetable garden. Except for planting some herbs (usually two kinds of basil, parsley, and maybe some mint) she has never really shown any interest in gardening in the last 15 years or so preferring to support me from the deck, sitting reading a book, cold drink at hand, while I planted, weeded and generally managed our flower garden. She was always encouraging and willing to offer advice but really couldn’t tell a weed from an annual from a vegetable. Each year she excitedly picked out herbs at the beginning of each season and then somehow forgot about them once they were planted in their pots. Sometimes she even forgot what kind of herbs she had picked out. So this year, when she told me she wanted to plant a small vegetable garden, I was a wee bit skeptical but after much discussion around who would be responsible for this garden (her), we agreed. She had to strategically pick her vegetables given the limited space and finally decided on three tomato plants (two heirloom and one cherry), a yellow pepper plant, a cucumber plant and a watermelon plant (planted in a planter on the front porch). She has lovingly tended her plants and even bought velcro garden ties to gently stake her plants. And mostly she has remembered to water her plants daily. I have to say, I think she has a natural green thumb. Her plants are doing beautifully and starting to bear fruit, so fingers crossed, we can soon eat our own freshly grown vegetables.
Every three or four months a group of us (connected through My One and Only’s family) get together for a girls’ get together. We call this our Cousin’s Day for lack of a better name. We started this tradition after the group of us recognized that although we enjoyed each others company we rarely saw each other except for Christmas holidays and maybe a summer barbecue because of distance, family obligations and work. As with everything that is precious and important, you have to make an effort and make time. So we initiated our Cousin’s Day. The rules include getting together for an activity that is new to at least one member of the group.
Some of our activities to date have included: cross border shopping at an outlet mall followed by dinner at a great restaurant; a day at the spa that included brunch, pedicures and lounging by the fire in our robes. We spent a number of days preparing a dance à la “rock the reception” for My One and Only’s niece. Five of us did a choreographed dance to “Don’t Cha” by the Pussycat Dolls. Let me tell you – we look nothing like the Pussycat Dolls (and some of us could be their mothers) but when we performed the song for the groom (in front of about 300 guests) we were definitely entertaining!
During our most recent Cousin’s Day, we enjoyed lunch and then spent the afternoon in the art of divination. We had a tea leaf reader Amy, come to the home and do readings. She was fabulous and although most of us were somewhat skeptical, she identified some very personal and specific information for each of us that she could not have known. The readings were exciting and entertaining for all of us, surprising for some of us, emotional for others and reassuring for others. As part of the afternoon we also pulled out the Tarot cards and did readings on each other. These of course were less accurate than the tea leaf readings but entertaining nonetheless. Finally after supper we pulled out the Ouija board (one of the original boards from the 1970’s). Whether one believes in the power of the Ouija or not, it was both a hilarious experience (bringing us all back to our adolescence) and a freaky experience. Picture a bunch of grown women (ranging in age from late 20’s to early 50’s) kneeling around the Ouija board perched on an ottoman. The Ouija identified four spirits in the house, all relatives of the cousins. No one admitted to moving the pointer but it definitely moved and answered questions.
Can’t wait to see what’s next for Cousin’s Day – maybe pole dancing?