I like parties. They seem to result in beautiful women dancing in my living room, people making music, singing, talking. Carey (whose name I have almost certainly just misspelled) and I went out and attacked some of the local cypresses with loppers and hung it up around the house. We tried for some ivy, but the stuff taking over the front corner is of a kind that bruises easily and goes all slimy and wilty when you pull it up. We found some *fantastic* flowers in the back — some kind of leucadenron. Robin graciously shared her birthday (and food for an army) with us. Sharon came even though she had a ton of work to do — she parked in the conservatory with her laptop and the whale mug full of Turkish apple tea. Oskar — a Rhode Island ex-pat — brought the makings of the new Darton arbalest. Steve and Oskar and Richard (and Stephen, of course) actually went out to fight, while the rest of us mostly did crafty-things (sewing, cardweaving) or decorated. Alan made me an origami dragon out of the pretty blue iris rice-paper that I’ve been saving bits of ever since Holly gave me something wrapped in it way way back at Bryn Mawr ! Sylvia came wearing garlands of jasmine — how bad can Winter be, really, if the jasmine is blooming ? — and Liz found narcissus *somewhere* and it smells divine. Speaking of jasmine — Melanie identified the bit of vine we clipped off one of the cabbage trees out front as native jasmine — how cool is that !
The bonfire, as Stephen describes, did not burninate. Two days straight of soaking rain made it doubtful to start with. It started raining lightly just as we were heading out at dusk, but most folks gamely trooped out through the pasture to give it a go anyway — even Julian made it up and over the muddy tracks on crutches ! Now that’s keen. Stephen and Carey did their best, but it really started hosing down & we all trooped back, completely soaked. We set up the drying rack over the stove & did people’s jackets & sweaters in turn.
The fire in the stove was raging cheerily, though. Beverley came dressed in fire colors, and bringing fire and light (in the form of a warm red patchouly pillar candle). And there was mulled wine to warm us (between the wine and the tea and the hot chocolate, I think I washed every mug in the house at least three times…). Helene wore a nifty gown I think she made herself & I got to show off the old impala skin and the new goat skin we got at Greta Point on the trip with my Mom. Carey and Susan showed me how to play knucklebones with the ones Keri got me way back. It’s sort of like jacks. I need to find another one, ’cause you’re supposed to have five (my set has four, for fortune telling). Liz played violin, and Joy and Ross played dumbek & they made Sybille shimmy for, like, three minutes straight. Hee. And Jennifer and Carey and Melanie and Sybille and Hillary and I sang Christmas/Solstice carols out of the Revels songbook — Sybille sang a few in German, some of which we knew English versions of. Various mobs joined in singing various ones they knew. Susan made these *neat* cookies with colored candy windows in them ! And holes to hang them by, except that we ate them all, and didn’t leave any to hang. Speaking of colored hanging things, Sybille does these things that are sort of like gigantic un-shrunk Shrinky-Dinks(tm) & we got a classic peg-legged, parrot-bedecked pirate — ARRR !! He’s hanging from the antlers. Hee. And there was a lot of talking. It was only after most everyone had gone that I remembered that we own a dryer, so Richard and Geoff got toasty dry jackets to wear home.
I know I’m forgetting stuff, but if I don’t spew it all out, I’ll forget more.