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Ready, ready, ready (or nearly so) to …

1. Welcome my brother for a visit next week.

My little brother [17 months younger than I] hasn't ever visited me. He lives in Florida, so I've seen him several times in the past few years as I traveled there to be with my dad. He's only been north of the Mason-Dixon line a handful of times since he moved to Florida 40 years ago.
My father's widow is [finally] interring Dad's ashes, and my brother is driving up with her, staying with me for a few days and then flying back. She will be staying in Ohio with her children for a few weeks.
There wasn't much to do to get ready for his visit – we just needed to dig out the guest room, which ends up being a repository for all the stuff we don't know what to do with. Which really means we have too much stuff.
At any rate, I'm ready to see him and the house is ready for him to see. Heh.

2. Co-host an ice cream social honoring a state legislator.

I've never done anything like this before. I've hosted plenty of parties, here at home and, when I worked in an office, I hosted a couple going-away receptions. I helped my dad's wife plan his 75th surprise birthday party.
The delegate who has represented my voting district for more than a decade is not running for re-election. She has done so much for her constituents, and it just feels right to honor and thank her. The county Democratic executive committee, along with my group, the Democratic women's club, are organizing the event, but really it's the women's group who is doing all the work. [Go figure.]
It happens next Saturday. I've made name tags, the guest book, sent reminders, purchased the fun and colorful tableware, and designed and distributed posters and invitations. The only thing left to do is create some kind of donation receptacle to coordinate with the very colorful tableware and I'll be as close to ready as I'll ever be. 

3. Ward off vampires.

The softnecks came out of the ground yesterday, and not a moment too soon. A couple of them are bursting through their outer covering, just as Anna's were. Most of them are fine. I'll put the more mature ones in the garlic keeper for immediate use, and braid the rest. 
The rest of the hardnecks will be harvested Sunday, because we're leaving today to help

4. Turn West Virginia BLUE!

West Virginia's state Democratic convention begins today, in Charleston, and I'm a delegate. I'm also a candidate to be a delegate to the national convention in Charlotte in September. Am I excited?!?!? In the words of the former part-time governor of Alaska, "You betcha!"
West Virginia doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of turning blue this election cycle, even though registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by a 2-to-1 margin. President Obama would have a better chance of carrying West Virginia if he were blue. [There. I said it. Some WV voters are racists. As evidenced by the fact that 41 percent of them voted for an incarcerated felon rather than the incumbent President in the May primary.]  
But going to the state convention will be interesting and entertaining, at the least, and I'm sure it will be a good networking opportunity. And I don't have to organize anything or make anything to get there. I did have to clean the car for the trip, because we're carpooling with another couple. But it needed to be cleaned anyway.
So there you have it. Now you know why that to-do list has been such a focus for me this week. It's good to have deadlines, maybe just not so many at once. After the reception next Saturday, life should calm down and I should be able to get back to Walking and Gardening in the Middle of Nowhere. [Sounds like a good title for the blog, doesn't it?] Hope your weekend ROCKS! Hope mine does, too.


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Update on the water: the circuit breaker tripped, either due to a power surge when the electricity came back on last night OR when lightning struck in the area. My neighbor's electric fence control box got hit in the same area. He was able to reset the circuit breaker for us and we have WATER! I think I'll go do a load of laundry. Heh.

It's all about the food

The dieting portion of this blog is temporarily suspended. Continue reading at your own risk.

If you’re going to throw a party, be sure to have good food and plenty of it. That’s my daughter’s philosophy, and I think it’s pretty good advice.

The members of the group who will be here Thursday night are middle-aged and older, so I think mostly traditional appetizers are in order. We’ll have Swedish meatballs and those little sausages cooked in a sweet-and-sour sauce, along with artichoke dip, hummus with vegetables and crackers, a bowl of cinnamon-spiced nuts and a fruit pizza.

Cupcakes are on the menu. Cupcakes sure seem to be popular these days – Google Blogsearch came up with 1,181,447 hits and is selling a boatload of cupcake cookbooks.

Mine are plain old chocolate, and will be decorated with the words “Yes We Can” on top. I think some will be iced in blue and some in white, with red lettering.

I’m also making pig candy. I first had this at one of my daughter’s Oscar parties s…

And the winner is …

Kitten with a Whiplash, who left two comments and it was the second (which had nothing to do with the contest) which won the prize. Congratulations, and since the Kitten was the only commenter who expressed any interest in actually winning it, I'm so glad the Universe took care of it. Heh.

What a weekend! But first, how was yours? I hope you did some fun stuff and got some necessary stuff done, as well. It's all about balance.

Saturday was our fun day (but we had to drive, drive, drive to get there and then drive, drive, drive home again, all in one day, boy was I tired). We went to my husband's granddaughter's first birthday party. In addition to a sweet little doll, suitable for ages 0+ (meaning it has no parts that will come loose, and do you know how difficult it is to find dolls for babies when you live in the Middle of Nowhere?), I made her this:

I haven't sewn anything in a month of Sundays, so was a little apprehensive about finishing it on time, but this p…