Having finished my baby knitting in the nick of time, I headed out to the shower at the Fairy Tea Cottage (not actually depicted here). I've seen it many times, but had never gone in; they serve an English style tea. At the shower we had pots of tea with scones with cream and jam. I would definitely like to go back and try some of their tea sandwiches. The baby blanket and sweater were big hits, and I think the mom and dad to be really appreciate the gifts. I hope Baby Ellie will use them in good health for many years.
My brother and I headed out yesterday to our mother's for a BBQ. I picked up 3 filet mignon steaks at the butcher's . . . the cost? $37.17. I admit they were really good steaks, but damn! The day went fairly smoothly. Mom went ballistic when I suggested that she open her gift from me while she had the tea pot on to boil, snapping that she wouldn't be told what to do, and would open it when she was ready to. She did have the good grace to look sheepish when she later realized that I had made the suggestion because I had bought her some goodies for brewing loose leaf tea.
Trips out to mom's are always a bit awkward - we all have very little to say to each other, so we sit in the back yard drinking soda and eating chips. I brought some knitting with me, so I just sat there and knitted. Neither my brother or I are willing to share much about our lives with mom, because it can only be used against you. As an example, I would never mention to my mother that I went with a friend to see David Sedaris in Riverside a couple of weeks ago, because this is how the conversation would go:
Me - Hey, my friend Chris and I headed to Riverside to see one of my favorite authors do readings from his books.
Mom - why didn't you stop by? You could have come by to see me.
Me - Well, you live 40 miles in the other direction, and there really wasn't time to go see you before the show.
Mom - well, you could have left work early, and come by here - we could have gotten a bite to eat.
Me - well, that isn't really feasible, and Chris can't get off early.
Mom - well, you could have driven seperately and met her there.
There would be no discussion about the show, how it was, why I enjoy his writings, just me defending why I didn't make the trip all about her. So my brother and I have just learned to say nothing - ever. My niece, however, hasn't yet learned that lesson. So if the above dialogue seems unlikely, consider this conversation between my mother and niece from last October.
Niece - I know some guys who come dirt bike riding out this way sometimes (note - she doesn't come with them, she just vaguely knows guys that have on at least one occasion driven out near my mother's for recreation)
Mom - you know boys who drive out here and you don't take advantage of that to come see your Grandma? You could ride out with them, they could drop you off at my house, and then come pick you up later.
Niece - well, um, I . . . .
Niece hasn't yet learned that you NEVER mention to my mother being within 50 miles of her home, or knowing anybody within 50 miles of her home, or she'll immediately jump on this as the basis for a complaint that no one comes to see her.
So when mother asks what we have been up to lately, the answer is always the same - not much. It doesn't make for scintillating conversation, but it is the safer approach.