Tea with the Queen

My nieces, India (5 & a 1/2)…(who is standing right next to me & told me to add the half) and Taylor (3) came over for their first sleepover with Auntie Catie. Tay had rented a book from the library called Tea with the Queen. I liked the sound of that so I sent them invitations in the mail.

We had a tea party with fancy cups.

We ate delicious treats (notably, they are almost gone by the time I thought to take a pic),

played dress up,

made forts,

did our nails,

and ate lots of sugar cubes!

I love these beauties!!

(being an auntie is so fun:)

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

The Ultimate Guys vs Girls Prank War

Two posts ago, I mentioned a high school prank war. Here is the story:
The year was 2000; I was a senior at Wheaton North High School. The new millennia ushered in my first and only minute of musical theatre glory: “Crazy for You: a Gershwin Musical”.

I was a chorus girl with one line (which I missed in one of the performances because I was stuck in my panty hose during a costume change).

There I am: Blue hat – pleated skirt – finger to chin, naturally.

As is the case in many-a high school musical, the boys and girls had

a rivalry brewing early in the rehearsal season; small pranks, measly threats, nothing extraordinary.

That is, until a group of he-man woman haters decided to wage war at a girl’s sleepover two weeks before the show.

They waited until late & showed up with typical prank essentials (lame but effective): toilet paper, eggs, ketchup. They tapped on the windows to scare us (boring). Of course we ran outside. Of course we caused a heap of commotion. Of course we chased them. Of course it ended in a car chase and traipsing through thorn bushes, naturally.
Eventually, we all made it back to the house, thinking that we had valiantly fought off our foes. We spent the rest of the night exchanging war stories, laughing hysterically & talking about boys – a regular girl’s sleepover.
Little did we know, the chase was a decoy.

Ricky Staub and Jon Milonas had snuck into the house during all the chaos and hid, for several hours, in a stairwell listening to every juicy detail!
Eventually, they emerged from their hiding spot, sufficiently scaring us to pieces by making eerie scratching noises until one of us bravely opened the door to the stairwell. They jumped out, terrified us, and bolted out the door.
You can image our reaction – shrieking, confusion, fits of rage, and eventually, we landed at the only viable option: Revenge.
BUT not their kind of revenge. OUR kind. Brains over brawn. Beauty over boyish ridiculousness. Oh man, did we get them back. A plan was hatched in the wee hours of the morning, a plan that will go down in infamy, & ended in ultimate and total surrender.
Victory was on the horizon…

To be continued….

The Lanyard by Billy Collins

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light
and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.

Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.
Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.

And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth
that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

Included the book, The Trouble with Poetry.