it had been a long time since our last girl's weekend. the last official girl's weekend i believe was in march 2009. at least that is the last one i have documented on this blog. (you can read about it here. i found the comments by madelaine and rhiannon at the end quite amusing) so what i'm saying is, that it was time for a new one, and thank goodness katie and michealah had the bravery to take on the challenge. (mom included me in the credits for putting it on but this is a mistake. all i ever did was a few back room consultations which basically consisted of yeah, and good idea, and mmhmm, yess.) and yes it does take bravery to take on the monumental task of organizing a clarke family gathering. if we look deep into our hearts we know this is true.
this girls weekend began for me, with a ferry pick up. the bonus of living closest to the ferry is getting to be the go to ferry picker upper, which i don't mind at all. sarah was child free. we shoved her things in my trunk which was already quite full thanks to my camping cot and bedding and shoes and whatnot. "what are we eating?" asked sarah cutting right through to the urgent matters. we had to pick up mom,and maria and jane, whom we named marane, we decided to hold off for food until then. i asked sarah to drive because my wrists were sore. i have a case of double carpel tunnel and it irks me.
i messed up on finding jord and tracy's house. it had been a long time and i felt like i would remember when we got close enough but the fact is i got confused because we were coming from nordel way not 72nd. this will cause andrea to say "see you aren't good with directions!" then she'll cackle evilly while clutching a lamb close to her bosom and petting it with a far off look in her eye.
when we asked jordon on fb messenger for the actual address to his house, this is the conversation we had:
me: what's your address
jord: i don't have one
: we need to know
jord: ok but you have to promise to ask maria about "bellingham sue". she is a beehive from the bellingham stake who is beating maria in accomplishing her young women's Pavilion.
:and it infuriates maria
: belingham sue has become a thorn in maria's side.
meanwhile we are driving in circles. we leave a voice message saying
me: we need your address RIGHT NOW
sarah: whatever, we'll ask her about bellingham sue! just TELL US
so finally he sent his address and...
*definition of dyub/doob/dyoob: a doob is a dud, generally is male, prone to idiocy, has buffoon mannerisms, portrays clumsy and lackadaisical attitudes, and it is quite possible a doob will give you a blank stare while drooling when you ask him an urgent question. if you ask a doob for help he might lift an arm weakly and then let it fall heavily to his side, like meh--i tried. a doob is easily distracted by stupid topics introduced by other doobs. this can bring on a 'doob fest'.
so after that we found our way and when we arrived at tracy's we said to each other, maybe tracy will have food! and she did. we had some yummy chicken and potatoes and a good slaw. just before sitting down to the table at the dining room dad was sitting in the kitchen doing his meds and kate was beside him standing on a chair. dad told us that she just kissed him on his ear and then asked him "did you like that?" dad said "yes i did." and she replied "i did too."
here is a picture of dad. all pictures in this post are provided by tracy who documented the weekend with her phone. she said dad wanted to play games with them but then they looked over and he was like this:
after our bellies were filled it was time to hit the road. mom being herself had a lot of stuff and of course marane had their bags and sleeping bags etc. mom who in a previous phone conversation on the topic, when she informed me that i would be picking her and marane up, had said "people would just have to hold things on their laps", was now feeling anxious. but me, being myself, was undaunted. i set forth to pack the people and their things into the car using every available space. jane and maria were literally lodged in the back with all their stuff and mom placed beside them with some of her stuff and my food and contributions and some other things with me in the front. a beturbanned friendly neighbour with a long flowing white beard stopped on his evening walk to enjoy our antics. he seemed very amused.
we arrived at katie's with very little fuss. when we got in all was a bustle. natalie and mary were setting up the stackable camping cots. maria joined them. sarah and i were given the bunkbeds in the corner and we made up our beds. andrea and delanie were sleeping in the stacked camping cots across from us.
i wanted to go to walmart to get carpel tunnel splints for my wrists and some dish soap, and sarah needed tomatoes. katie decided to get bubble wrap and dish soap for delanie and mom called to say she wanted some cheesewhiz. mikaykay drove us. in the store a man had the nerve to ask us to move out of his way as we were standing in front of the aisle with dumb looks on our faces. still. the nerve of him to be annoyed by US.
back at katie's, our food group got ready making our sauces of yum for our shawermas the next day. michealah had already made the most amazing looking chocolate peanutbutter oreo cheesecake. she downplayed its looks but in my eyes it looked pretty glorious. like when you looked at it choirs of angels started singing and a light from heaven shone down on it. that's what kind of creation this was ok? anyways we worked together and made the hummus, and the garlic mayo, and started the tzatziki. i also had to add 7spice to my chicken marinade because i forgot to before, so that was done, and don't be shy about thanking me about adding 7spice. i will receive your thanks with the graciousness of a queen. by the way katie has blown my mind. she makes her own tahini. you just blend up sesame seeds! yeah why haven't i ever thought of doing that? it's so simple, and her sesames were toasted so the hummus had a nice toasted flavour. when we were done with our smug preparations we joined the others in the living room who were chit chatting. we chit chatted also.
i don't now when this picture was taken but this seems like a good time to put it in.
meanwhile andrea, rhiannon and caleb were on a late night journey. the tricky thing was caleb. did we have a boy interloper sleeping on the upstairs couch that night? not a big deal, but that would mean delanie would have to leave and drive home in the morning and so miss stuff. so michealah agreed to drive him home that night. i agreed to go with her.
andrea et al arrived right at 12:30. and not long after that we left. we took my car but michealah drove. i was very tired. i was really impressed how kind michealah was to caleb throughout the journey. they talked about him getting his license and she gave him a lot of tips and empathy and even told him about her driving instructor who is a member and gives lessons for cheaper. caleb told us a sad story about how he dropped his phone in some water...apparently it was not the first time he has done that to his phone. i suggested a water proof phone for the future. i'm helpful that way.
anyways i noticed when we were on the highway that i was very very empty on gas. so we stopped for gas and that's when both michealah and i realized that we didn't bring our wallets, which is worse for her because she was driving, but luckily caleb had his and he put 20.00 in. michealah got out and showed him how to pump gas.
so i feel like we got back to katie's around 2.most people in the great room were asleep except andrea who was on the top bunk of the camping cots with her headlamp on, reading. she and the cousins i shall call 'mid teens' (natalie, maria and mary) were just settling in. andrea, true to her nature talked to me in a loud voice and let her head lamp roam. in this way andrea is a direct replica of douglas arnold. just sayin. 😏
"are you going to turn that thing on?" says andrea in her normal conversational tone, meaning my cpap machine. "yes," i whispered almost inaudibly, (that's how quiet i was) "i have to". i mean sleeping will not happen without it. andrea was worried, a little ironically, as i know see it, about the noise. "it is very quiet" i reassured her, but andrea was all "i'm just used to it being so silent." her voice boomed out over the sleeping room. "well, it's better than my snoring" i whispered.
in the morning, which came too soon, she conceded that she didn't hear my machine. but she said she heard me and natalie snoring. i'm not surprised although i think what snoring i do do, is very tame in comparison to my natural state snorts and roars.
my group was doing breakfast. we got started on our crepes and fruit and whipped cream around 9 and people fed people around 10:30. it was a late morning that led to a late lunch that led to a late dinner paradigm that we couldn't get away from the whole weekend. basically we stayed up way too late every night and that was the fault of everything.
natalie and michealah made the crepes and then i took over for michealah, and thanks to her expert tips on how to tilt the pan when applying batter to it, i did quite well. the crepes were yummy and everyone seemed to enjoy them.
i named my red cup "auntie awesome".
after breakfast andrea started pulling out her magical bags of dyed wool. i helped. besides these, there were two chairs full of wool. one being the turquoise chair and the other being the purple chair. turquoise reigned supreme in the felting weekend.
katie had to go see her ladies about a problem and stopped to buy all of our beauty and the beast tickets. i made myself the distributor of andreas instructions and started facilitating for the people who were making slippers. tracing feet, cutting out the 'form' for the slippers. i took special care of madelaine whom i named madelaine the undead for obvious lack of sleep reasons. she was my special handicapped girl who i nudged into participation by supplying her with her needs at various times until she was un-undead enough to take care of herself again. after the forms it was bubble wrap cutting and sizing and after the bubble wrap it was finding a gauzy fabric for yourself.
when it came to my own project my personal nature caused me to see the huge wide bubble wrap andrea brought for me, and to envision a huge canvas for myself. laura of the giant projects strikes again. we all settled into our different areas and began fluffing our wool and placing it like so on on our various forms. at this point we were all blissfully unaware of the all consuming intensity of felting fever that would consume us.
here's jane who made a bag, with her fluffs of the ubiquitous turquoise.
mom sarah and i nabbed the dining room table. natalie perched on the kitchen counter. she is seen here helping me do some fluffing. the navy woolies are the inside of mom's slippers and sarah is seen here fluffing out the reds of her inside slippers. so fresh...so naive... actually by this time i was starting to have the fever. you can see it in my eye. i wanted none else but to finish my canvas. sarah took her pent up felting agression and gave people severe hair dos.
it wasn't that long after katie got back that we neeeded to leave our projects--and the felting fever made this difficult to do--and go to beauty and the beast. i thought it was going to be crazy busy because it was opening weekend, but i was wrong. i was in chiliwack. i drove sarah and andrea and rhiannon in my car and sarah and andrea offended me by telling me a parking spot when i already knew it. just let that be known. in the theatre people spread out according to their social groups (ie teen groups) and tastes in where to sit in a theatre. i have my favourite spot that i got from lisa, which is to sit on the front row of the back section where you can put your feet up on the bars. katie and andrea and malachi sat with me. so did michealah and natalie until they found/grouped up with their respective age groups. i really liked the movie and was able to really enjoy it even with the loud busy malachi climbing over me back and forth back and forth. my feet were up on the bars and sometimes i would take my feet down for him to go past me. but he would put my feet back on the bars and then climb up over them. haha. eventually andrea took him out and had adventures with him in the lobby. a fun time and i'm glad i didn't let my felting fever ruin it for me.
everyone loved our shawermas and a good feasting ensued. sarah and rhianon sat on the kitchen floor by eatiing theirs. i was perched on a stool at the counter and every once in a while i'd see sarah's hand drift up to grab this item or that from the counter. we decided to have the cheese cake right away so that we wouldn't have to clean up twice.
back to felting fever. the group in the living room watched age of adelaide. katie did art like me. but unlike me she did an appropriate size. andrea didn't do one project she helped everyone do their projects. everyone was always calling her name and she was a consultant to everyone. mom was particularily needy for andrea's approval. any time andrea would say someone else' was good or would help someone else, mom would say "she wouldn't say that to me..." and anytime andrea gave her stamp of approval was a little nugget of blessing for mom.
it was some time late that night after i had sudsed and swirlied my finally finished piece that i found out i had to do a back side. this is when i wanted to cry. i literally had a lump in my throat. also katie did me wrong by taking my already fluffed white wool that i had discarded not knowing a backside was needed. andrea was helping her, and they got to the hot and cold dunking stage and got it all shrunk up. then they turned their attentions on me. everyone else had gone to bed. but i couldn't quit before my backside was done. i had a burning desire to get it done and along with the burning desire a sinking feeling of hopelessness that my task was too big and my burden too heavy. but my sisters took pity on me.
with ease and speed they helped me fluff and finish the back side. then we did the soap and gauzy scrubbing and that's when we realized that that stage went so much faster and was way more fun with 3 people doing it together. then we rolled it up in the bubble wrap and we squeezed and rubbed and unrolled it and rolled it up in another direction and squeezed and rubbed and then we began karate chopping it and punching it. one time i energetically chopped it right near the end of the roll and a big plop of blue suds flew out and landed on the front of katie's jeans. we were laughing and giggling. we were all tired and i bet their eyes were burning like mine, but they really turned my moment of felting despair around. we dunked the hot and the cold in tubs in the bathtub and opened it and looked at it and dunked it some more. actually andrea took over dunking for me when she saw that it was making me aspirate on my own acids. by 3am we were finished. we mopped up all the blue suds and i washed all the bubble wrap and we dropped into our beds. to me this is one of my favourite memories of girl's weekend. sisters help us carry our burdens and they make things light and we make each other laugh. that's one things i love about all my sisters. my sisters always make me feel like i'm not alone in my struggles.
this was the night that delanie heard me 'peeling plastic' for a long time. in reality i was struggling to put on my wrist splints. haha.
i almost forgot the poking rounds. katie and i and sarah were all needle felting. well sarah stopped to give andrea a severe braid. mom was working on her slippers, i think. katie andrea and i began to sing different rounds using only poke and variations of the work poke such as pokity or pokey as the words. mom joined in too. later i started singing this song about shrunken duncan and sarah added hilarity to it. too bad we forget how it goes. these were more of my favourite moments.
jane and her bag...
this day's outing was a short visit to see eryn at a near by craft fair. some people bought some things. sarah, delanie and tracy all got super cute girl's weekend earrings.
i ate a leftover shawerma. everyone made croissant sandwiches. brent took malachi on a date to the pool. after i finished needle felting all my edges, i started felting my jellyfish on. this was the fun part. and i liked it because anyone who wanted to could come by and add a jellyfish tentacle so it became a group project. elizabeth's slippers, which you can also see in this pic. did some weird things. i wish there was a pic of them. once they finally got to the hot cold stage they only shrunk down not in width. so they ended up looking like these long purple submarines. but katie's fabled determination kicked in and she did not give up on those slippers.
thank you tracy for this flattering picture of myself just about to stuff a cheese fondued pepper into my gob.
my feet were hot and swollen so i took a break downstairs before chocolate fundo time. this is where the queen elizabeth found me and i finally made her dreams come true and played stinky pinky with her and jane, which she had been wanting me to do all weekend. this is when i discovered the sweet things her and jane had been up to, also. i was laying on my stomach on my pillow and elizabeth was like "where's your pillow?" and i was like "i'm laying on it..." and then the subtlety ended. she showed me the note they left me on my pillow and then the notes that they had left on everyone's pillows. notes thanking people for different things... and they had left little colourful postit tags with nice messages on people's head boards saying things like "you-are-nice-and-cool-and-neat". the day before elizabeth had been sticking those messages on people's hair and backs and arms. in the middle of the chaos it was easy to ignore the little sunshines that they were being. but i noticed and i appreciated.
delanie went home that night and got a good sleep in her own bed. unfortunately her van broke down before she could leave so doug had to come get her just as she was about to fashia blast my arms.
that night we stayed up late because that's what we do. people were washing their projects and cutting them and stretching them etc. i lay on the couch and andrea massaged my swollen feets, which actually cooled them off. then someone, i don't remember who, suggested we put our bums against the wall and our feet up the wall. this quickly turned into hilarity. it's harder than it looks to get your bum flush to the wall ok. in this super flattering pic i was grabbing andrea's jeans to propel myself down while katie was shoving herself down using the over the head method. andrea and i were very close together and she kept resting her elbow on my ribs. any time i would complain about this she would laugh and cry out "i have arms!" like a strange manefesto. this naturally led to some discussion on length of legs and length of torso. i won the torso height competition.
i had to break the pose first but that didn't stop me from suggesting a synchronized leg dance with everyone adding a move, which everyone readily agreed to starting with sarah and ending with tracy on the far end. sarah believes it was her idea that each person add a move, and who knows? maybe she did! each person's move ended up having different sounds or words to it. at the end we tried to do it to our girl's weekend theme song which was girls have power to the tune of scripture power, but we forgot all the words, so we basically just hummed it. tracy filmed it.
katie is amost completely hidden by my girth. luckily she popped her little head up.
the next morning came too soon and i woke up early to have a shower before church. when i was nekkid i heard a creepy voice through the door. like a ghoulish whisper "laaaaaura!" "yes?" i answered back, a little unsure. "can i come in when you are in the shower?"asked the ghoul. i was nervous but i answered in the affirmative. once i was behind the curtain, in waltzed sarah, the person behind the ghoulish voice. providential because i forgot my towel and she got it for me.
i laid natalie's elastic gently on her pillow by her slumbering cheek.
we had waffles!
later sarah and i were both in the bathroom doing our hair and make ups and tracy came in. she wanted to shower but was waiting for us, and we eventually told her to just get in the shower so she did. but she felt weird about it, not being used to sharing bathrooms with other girls like us. i think she enjoyed it.
i uesed sarah's gold foil eye shadow and her salmon lip stuffs. enjoyable.
sarah and mom came with me in my car to church. we were last because i couldn't get my boots on. too bad for mom who gambled that i would be the first to leave, and lost. once we got there katie's row was full, so we sat in a side pew paralell to theirs.
i was so tired that i did not listen very well to the talks. instead sarah and i looked at pictures on my phone and typed people according to energy types. i'm sure it was not mom's proudest moment. suddenly all i could think of was energy types. in sundsay school sarah and i started 'flash typing' people. our teacher was a one. the basketball hoop had all the types.... yes it became a sickness. in rs i decided katie's counsellor was a one and i took it as a compliment to me. the lesson was good. it was on prayer. there was a cute super chubby baby of round face and full cheeks.
after church we had something weird to eat. what was it. i can't think. all i know is that we also made mom's famous cheesewhiz popcorn and watched queen of katwe which was very good and we agreed it was very appropriate for girl's weekend.
sarah observed some funny interactions between elizabeth and jane in their popcorn eating. elizabeth was let's say the boss of the popcorn and jane was her laid back self. like yeah ok. the best quote of that interaction is "that's going to be your last popcorn in a looooong time." haha.
after the movie mom, tracy and her girls left and that left me and sarah and the schofields. we had one last task. do some promised school photos. sarah was my stylist and she did a good job. we decided to style each child according to their type. sarah believes michealah is a two so she put her in muted pink with a flowy scarf (i don't know she has strong 4 tendencies too so... 4 might just be her strong secondary, i don't know) and a loverly side bun. natalie got her hair curled and fluffed out and she looked like a BABE. she had on her little edgy black plether jacket and she just looked gorgeous. i hope she keeps up her type 3 styles because it works for her. katie and i consulted on elizabeth's attire. i realized this weekend with her buyoant free light ways, and high energy, and not wanting to do things once they didn't seem fun, and her sunshiney uplifting messages to people that elizabeth is very much a one. her bossiness makes sarah wonder about that, but i think it's very clear. anyways katie found a shirt that was brown and pin and gold with a crown on it that said "let them eat cupcakes" and that seemed very queen elizabeth to me. she was wearing purple jeans and had her hair in the side braid. malachi was in his cute little vest with a bow tie. we went to cultus lake and at first i was discouraged because the light was too harsh by the water. but then katie and i took a walk towards the trees and found some good light and ended up using the light glinting off the lake through the trees as a lovely background, which worked so well.
that night i got home went to sleep and woke up with hay fever. the END.
ps. this is tracy with her bag. she's using it only for lady's events. i wish we had more pics of people's finished products. natalie made a super cute hat which at first we worried was super weird--but it just needed some trimming and shaping. she put a cute black bow on it. many a cute slipper and bag...
this is my jelly. it's not done. do you think it's too much??
ps. i'm so glad katie and michealah took on the messy job of hosting us. i know hosting us can be chaotic and things rarely go as planned but it was a special blessing for us to be together and i really felt that. in the end it doesn't matter so much what we do but that we bond together and i really felt that amongst all the generations. you did a good thing. loveies to you.