Wow, I can't believe I haven't posted since last Wednesday, and here it is Monday. I've been busy.
You see, all my guys went to a church Men's Retreat for the weekend. They were asked to be musicians on the worship team, and even MB3 went, to run the sound. They all left Thursday afternoon, so my Wednesday and Thursday were hectic: making sure the guys all had clean laundry, helping them pack, and getting them fed and out the door.
After they were gone, on Friday, LovelyDaughter and I and a friend took off for our own girls' getaway. We drove to BigCity and spent the day shopping at thrift stores, which was fun. (I got myself a nice, name brand, leather coat for ten bucks!)
The most fun was eating out. We went to a tiny hole-in-the-wall vegetarian cafe where you can get a big bowl of soup and your choice of a homemade scone or a hunk of french bread for under five dollars. That's all they sell: three or four kinds of "soup of the day", scones, french bread, three kinds of cookies, and brownies. That's it. All homemade. All organic, fresh, etc, etc, with the ingredient lists posted. And the decor and furnishings are an odd, eclectic, unmatched, mishmash of chinese, buddhist, new age, vintage, hippie, and garage sale. It was a great experience.
I had the Sweet Potato Corn Chowder (good). LovelyDaughter had the Tibetan Noodle (spicy). Our friend had Moroccan Tomato (strange: think "tomato soup", "hot pepper", and "peanut butter.") We all had scones, and then our friend got an oatmeal raisin cookie, which was the size of a dessert plate, and she insisted it was the best oatmeal cookie she'd ever had. I thought myself that it tasted just like homemade.
In the evening we drove to a state park that has a lodge open year round, and we rented a nice room with a view of the river. In the morning we ate an enormous buffet breakfast at the lodge restaurant, and then we hiked it all off on the trails.
Later we went back to BigCity and did a little fact-finding mission. LovelyDaughter is planning a trip to Ireland and Scotland this summer and she is shopping for a backpack in which to carry all her luggage, so we looked at packs and other trip necessities.
Then we found another hole-in-the-wall eatery. It was called something like "Holyland Cuisine" and had a fenced area on the sidewalk in front with tables and chairs. It was such a beautiful day that of course we elected to eat outside, even though we were only a few feet from the non-stop traffic of the busy road. Not what these country girls would want on a regular basis, but incredibly fun for an Adventure.
The menu there was all homemade, organic, Arab food; most of which I can't pronounce. I had eggplant soup (very fresh; tasted like I could have made it myself from the garden) that came with warm flat bread (yum) and Iraqi tea (strong.) LovelyDaughter had something made of bread dough with meat and onion inside it (good). Our friend had a huge plateful of something made of rice and wild rice and peas and carrots and who knows what else, and it was seasoned with, among other things, cinnamon. She let us both taste it, and it was surprisingly good.
Eventually it was time to say the adventure was over. We got home about an hour after the guys got home from their trip and we compared notes over a quick pancake supper.
I won't bore you with an account of the guys weekend, except for two little things. One: The speaker for the weekend was a preacher from downtown LA, and his preaching and interacting styles were very foreign to us midwesterners. He insisted that everyone clap, and shout "Amen", and be very vocal at every turn in the message. At one point he said, "What? Are you all Germans out here?" And every one of our guys had been tempted to jump up or raise their hand and say "YUP!" (Because, of course, Hubby's family is German Mennonite...)
The guy had a tendency to call out people in the audience and scold them, as in, "Brother, look up here!" or "Pay attention!" or "Don't be reading ahead in your bible; you should be all read up before you get here!" --(which to me is one of the most ridiculous things I've heard). Well, MB3 was not happy with that, and he was the sound guy, so he started muting the mic whenever the preacher started to single someone out to berate them. Hubby wasn't sure whether to commend MB3 or rebuke him-- but it was funny.
The other thing is this: I've been using the Book of Common Prayer for about a week, and Friday night, in the middle of the night, I had trouble sleeping, so I got out the prayer book. The prayer I read that night was this:
Almighty God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
I prayed that prayer specifically for each of the guys on their retreat, and God answered. He protected them from the things that could have hurt their souls and their spirits through that insensitive preacher, and they are all none the worse for the wear. Woohoo!