This last weekend I spent the most fabulous time at the home of mauigirl with some of my good friends from Allrecipes.com,
and I found that I still keep learning things. This recent venture taught me
That if you don’t take photos you don’t have to write a blog WITH them.
(It takes me so long to figure out how to do that!)
Others will do that part for me!
That you should only split aces and eights.
NEVER split sevens. Well, I learned this after I returned home and tried to take some reminder lessons from my hubby.
Patty Cakes and Carlos played blackjack, and it’s been so long since I have that I had to refresh myself on numbers.
NEVER split sevens. OK. But there could be exceptions to this.
(I give up. I’m an English major---math was never easy for me.)
I only lost $2.00 on penny slots, but if I ever play blackjack again, I’ll have a fighting chance.
That someone gets a tattoo every year.
This year it was Patty Cakes (last year it was mis7up).
She has flowers on her ankle now! Her lunch lady friends will have a heyday with that!
Of course, she will first ply them with gifts from Vegas!
If you want to see a grown woman cry the very best tears of all, you need Patty in your group!
You say one nice thing to her, and her eyes become a faucet!
Love that girl!
That one should never underestimate Cathy Myers’ hugs.
Never. Even if she doesn’t know you, she will treat you like a long-lost friend.
Just ask Howard. You also need to know that Cathy loves Motown and will probably always be indebted to mauigirl for suggesting that we go to see Smoky Robinson Presents Human Nature, Australia’s answer to Motown (a wonderful show).
The party never really starts until Cathy comes into the room.
Oh, man, do we all love her!
That mauigirl’s neighbors are important in her life.
We were lucky enough to meet Howard, who lives up the hill.
You wouldn’t know that you had only just met him! He’s like your favorite friend from high school that you haven’t seen in years.
You don’t want him to leave the party! And we had the pleasure to meet next-door-neighbor Jenny again this year.
She gets all dolled up and comes in to say hi, but then the only time we get to share her is when she calls her greetings to us over the fence!
I wondered how she likes our midnight conversations in the backyard!
That GPS’s don’t always lead you in the same route to one destination.
Ask Magnolia Blossom. We found at least four different ways to get to mauigirl’s home only ten minutes away!
You may expect to do many U-turns. Even with an intrepid adventurer like MB!
How did she learn to even use a GPS when she lives in a town with only 250 people (including dogs and some people who may have passed on)?
(She is also a very PERFECT person to share a room with!
That a mother’s love knows no bounds.
Why else would bd.weld leave Huntington Beach to move to Victorville?
OK. Bd.weld is a guy (with cute legs, by the way, even if he doesn’t shave them), but he told his wife they were going to move to follow grandchildren no matter what, and she did willingly.
You’d have to look at the locations of the two cities to understand what I mean.
He also reminded us that men are great cooks and that they can marry really great (and classy) women who depend on that cooking!
They are a pair made in heaven!
That Texans have hearts bigger than their state would lead you to believe.
Take Bibi as a case test. She is working on her bucket list, and she completed several tasks this weekend.
She took a helicopter ride over Vegas, Hoover Dam, and the Grand Canyon.
Oh, does that mean heart or guts? She’s got both aplenty!
There is a quiet gentleness to her, too, that assures you that she can be depended on.
(Did I mention that she has beautiful clothes and matching jewelry, too?
A real fashion plate!)
That moving to the United States as a non-English speaking Vietnamese woman at least thirty years ago is not an easy thing
to do. Especially when you move when you are newly pregnant.
Mai (Tobasco Mom) did that. She captivated us late one night with her story of courage and strength.
Let me tell you that it was humbling. You would love to hear her tell her tale with that beautiful accent that cannot really be duplicated—that with a very slight inclusion of a Texan drawl).
That every gathering of people should include people of all ages.
Especially the young. Look at Del Mar Girl!
For the older of us in the crowd, she made us reminisce about the vitality and expectancy of the young—the exuberance that helps you experience fun vicariously.
There is that lilt and cadence to the voice that just makes one want to start dancing.
I wish I could replicate that vitality (I’d make so darned much money!)!
We are so lucky that she joined us this year!
That a woman’s strength cannot be measured in weight.
Take Baking Nana. Looking at her (did you see bd.weld’s photo of her on the motorcycle?), one would never suspect what she is capable of accomplishing, whether it be baking or putting intelligence and grace into relationships.
This says nothing about her ability to put together the behind-the-scenes workload that she produces all the time.
I have come to depend on her for her wise counsel and gentle humor!
That experience teaches a very beautiful woman many things that she then passes on to her friends.
Xraybarb is one whose life experiences (only sometimes work-related) lead her to make us look to her for strength (ask Cathy).
But that sometimes you have to wait for that! (Just teasing.
She’s not always on time.) Talk about a heart of gold!
She would drive miles just to help a friend. She does that all the time.
She is a planner of great events and keeps us going with the next great outing to look forward to!
That sisterhood is celebrated in the likes of Noemi and Gabriela!
Those two sisters quietly move into your table, and I can’t even explain how all of a sudden you seem to know them when they don’t even say very much!
I guess it has something to do with the fact that when you don’t say very much that the words you do say are so meaningful that they invade your soul.
And the smiles say so much! (Of course, I can’t even separate Noemi from her delicious ziti recipe!
Oh, man!) Hearts of gold, those two.
That sometimes beautiful young women come to Las Vegas and work!
Well, after treating the likes of us to a most wonderful evening!
Allrecipes Elizabeth actually left us one evening to go back to the hotel to finish up work for Allrecipes.com.
I’m not kidding. Dedicated, beautiful, graceful, patient (!), generous.
Those words all go to describe Elizabeth. We depend on her, and she treats us like kings and queens.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Elizabeth! (I still think she looks like Gwyneth Paltrow!)
That being a hostess means that you plan for months, even when personal obstacles stack against you.
You just don’t cowtail to setbacks. You forge ahead and plan miracles.
That’s what mauigirl has done! Jetting back and forth to Cedars Sinai Hospital in LA (her son’s valiant battle against cancer—and winning!!!), she had everything all set for us!
We weren’t even sure she would be able to make it back for her own party!
Generous to a fault, her home remains open all the time to family and friends, though I do think we may be family now by default.
Her husband backs her up in all of this, which is a miracle all in itself!
What a wonderful friend and hostess she is.
That there is NOTHING like the embrace of your loving husband when he picks you up from the airport!
I had a memorable weekend with my Allrecipes friends, and I won’t forget any of it!
But to be back in my husband’s presence is the BEST.
I am the most blessed person I know.