Party Suggestions Needed

Carter’s senior year is speeding by. This morning we had the first meeting of the senior mother’s to plan the graduation party. It was an excellent turn out and many who could not make it made sure to email a response of support for the party. One friend got to my house and teared up a little saying, “I still remember the first coffee I came to for this class, how can it be over.” Well, it ain’t over yet. We have a party to plan.  
Of course there will be food, a Dj, dancing, a photo booth, a slide show but we want this to be such a fun party they won’t want it to end. So I am reaching out to all you blog readers for ideas for the most fun activities you know of for parties. It might be something that you encountered at a fabulous Bar Mitzvah, or a great wedding shower where you played a game. Give me your ideas, we can adapt them to this age and time.  
This will after all be the last time these kids will all be together. As ready as they all are for graduation it starts to hit you that you will not be together as a group ever again. Yes, kids will stay in touch with their very good friends and some will even go to college together, but they won’t be sitting in the same class with a person they have known since they were four, or one who played on the lacrosse team for four years. They will not have that short hand of being able to just look at a friend when someone says something that makes them mad. That takes some time to develop in the new friends they make.
Sometimes at these endings people become friends with someone they hardly knew all through school and they say, “Why weren’t we better friends earlier? Now the time is gone.” We want this party to be the one that they will look back at and say, “it was the perfect ending.”
So what makes a party memorable if you are eighteen? Throw out ideas. Tell me what you think has failed at other parties. Those things are just as important to know. Thanks in advance for any ideas.  
I have to send a communication out to the parent body to let them know how the first meeting went. I would love to give them a few ideas in that letter that will make them excited about working on it. So suggest away. No idea is too crazy, well that’s not true, no sky diving, bungee jumping or luge runs. We are limited to an indoor party.


Driving Lessons

Due to a heavy foot in a rural community I am getting to spend five hours tonight in a driving class to avoid a penalty. You know I would do almost anything not to pay a penalty, but this class at night is scary. I am writing this during one of my ten minute breaks because I don’t want to stay up a minute more than I have to when I get home, because fatigue is something that should be avoided at all costs if you plan on operating a motor vehicle in the next day.
From what I have learned already, most of which I knew, you should not text, phone, put a Cd in, change the radio, adjust the temperature, take off a sweater, look at your self in the mirror, eat or drink anything, talk to a person in the car, out on chap stick, think about who the president is, listen to the news which might make you mad, think about the slow driver in front of you, think about the fast driver behind you, drink alcohol, take cold medicine, swallow cold medicine with a swig of bourbon, smoke a joint, snort cocaine, try and find your dealer while the car is moving, wave at your friend, beep your horn, flash you lights, take your clothes off and flash something else, raise your finger or any other body part in anger and we are only two hours into the class.
Basically driving is dangerous. It takes every brain cell you have to be hyper focused on driving. Watch all the other crazy drivers. They are probably at the very least mad about something the government is doing and that alone makes they a hazardous driver. I must stop now and pay attention in class or I might not pass and then I will really be a hazard on the road on the way home.


Shay as Restaurant Hostess


 
Days that I cook food for my friends are Shay Shay’s favorite days of all time. Not because she gets to eat any of the food I cook. She is not interested in red wine vinegar chicken, well maybe just the chicken. No, she likes the coming and going of friends at our house.
 
She sits at the front door, or on her bed in the kitchen looking out the glass door awaiting the arrival of a new friend. The doorbell rings and she bounds up on the storm door opening it slightly, greeting each visitor with the air of, “Where have you been all day.” Shay thinks anyone coming to our house is doing it just to see her and she loves it.
 
She leads each person to the kitchen, the place she is sure they want to go. She knows that is where she would want to go if she were a visitor. Shay likes it best when they stay and visit a while so she can get some snuggles. 
 
Shay would make the perfect restaurant hostess. She would greet each guest with the happiest smile and nods of her head indicating you are the most important human on earth. She is happy to lead you to a table where she knows you will be well fed. Shay would come back by your table throughout the meal to ensure you were happy. After you were done she would give you a kiss and say, “Please come back soon.”
 
Dogs as hostesses would make a place very popular with most of my friends based on how sweet they are to Shay. If only dogs were allowed to even go to restaurants, let alone get jobs. Until that time she will have to remain the greeter at our house. Come on over, she is waiting to see you.


Mah Jongg Class Offering

Last week I picked up teaching a new group who wanted to improve their Mah Jongg. Then after they had started I got a call that some other friends want to learn. So I am going to be offering a class for beginners. The class is three-three hour sessions. It will be held at my house during the day, but which day is yet to be determined. It is $50 for the class and you will walk away knowing the basics of the game and probably some new friends. You may also become obsessed, but the good news is that once you learn it is not expensive and it is calorie free. If you are interested please email me at dana@onelangegroup.com, or PM me on Facebook or call me or stop me in the grocery store.  
Mah Jongg is much easier to learn than bridge. You can play with three or four, or five no have one person sitting out each round. It is excellent for your brain and with each passing day I find the more things I do to exercise my brain the better off I am. And Mah Jongg is so much more fun than doing long division in my head. I am not sure they even call it long division anymore.

This is the perfect Mah Jongg weather too.  So take advantage of this indoor time of year.  It is always a good ide to ask your friends if they want to learn with you so you can play together, but you can certainly come alone.  I will do everythin gpossible to help you facilitate a game.

There is nothing political about Mah Jongg so you can play with people you might otherwise disagree with and you will never argue, because you will be too busy trying to win. I feel like in the world we are in right now the more things we can do that are fun and not confrontational the better off we will be. Rather than putting your head in the sand, put it in your new Mah Jongg card and learn to play something you can do for the rest of your life.  


Global Warming – Hard to Ignore

It’s the end of January and two months early the daffodils are about to bloom in my front yard. If I lived in Miami I might not be surprised, but here in the triangle of North Carolina those bulbs should not sprout so soon. It made me consider why the current President does not believe in global warming, which to my eyes is evident in my front yard. The man has always lived in New York City or in Miami. What could he possibly know about gardening? Well, he also has a house in New Jersey, the garden state, but I seriously doubt he has ever done any actual gardening.
When you live in a climate-controlled high rise of course it would be easy to scoff at “global warming” especially if any action to do anything about it might hurt you economically. But hurt us it all will. Daffodils coming up in January, perhaps to only be killed by fluctuating winter temps that are sure to come, are not a huge knock on the economy, unless you are a bulb importer. I am not sure it is worth my time or money to plant any more bulbs, which may or may not make it in a year. But most of our food comes from farmers who grow it and these wide swinging temperatures hurt the growing season.
Imagine you are a peach grower. If we have a long warm spell in January it causes your peach trees to bud. Then a cold snap comes, as it should in February and all the buds on your trees are killed. There is not enough time for that tree to recover and produce a full trees amount of buds, the necessary flowers to make fruit.
It might pay us to require all Presidents to do a stint as a farmer for one whole year so they can understand the connection between weather and livelihood. Being a farmer can be heart breaking because there are so many variables you cannot control. But having global warming deniers in power is a slap in the face.
Perhaps the President’s New York view of agriculture are the tulip beds on Park Ave. that are carefully replanted each fall with new and big tulip bulbs, carefully watered, fertilized and tended to ensure perfection and paid for by The Fund For Park Ave. Sorry Mr. President, that million dollars spent every year on 32 blocks of park strip is not the way most of America grows things. Most of us are dependent on the real weather, that means temperature and rain. Maybe if the sea levels rise up high enough to engulf Mar-a-lago you will believe that we should listen to actual scientists.


Thanks to Good Neighbors 

There is nothing better living in a small community where people know you and help you at the very moment you need them. Without giving the particulars I want to give a big shout out to Debbie Rand who was a calming voice at the right time. Rayner England who helped and showed up at my house with a treat and a balloon. My ministers Betty and Chris who showed up out of no where. Liz Yancy, Marjorie Pearson and Marla Wald who stopped to see if they could help.
Neighbors are wonderful things. But being neighborly is sometimes hard. I feel blessed to have such great neighbors who truly understand what being neighborly means. Everything is fine now thanks to the kindness of these people. I hope that I can be that kind of neighbor if the situation calls for it. 


Not Mary Tyler Moore!!!!

Mary Tyler Moore was my role model women when I was young. I never missed an episode of the Mary Tyler Moore show on Saturday nights, although I sometimes was relegated to watch it on the secondary tv because my sisters would want to watch Emergency.  
As a girl growing up during the women’s revolution of the late sixties and early seventies Mary was a great role model. She was a successful working woman. She had her own cool apartment and her life did not revolve around trying to get a man. Yes, she dated on the show, but it always seemed to be on her terms. She had strong female friends, Rhoda and Phylis. And she was even friends with men who she was not sleeping with, Murray and Ted.  
“Mare” was everything I wanted to be. She drove a cool mustang and spoke truth to power in her relationship with Mr. Grant, yet still had respect. She was beautiful and as a girl with brown hair it was great to have a brunette star in the days of Jeannie, Bewitched and Carol Brady.  
Betty White as Sue Ann Nivens, the nymph at the TV Station was the perfect frienemy to Mary. I can only imagine how Betty is feeling with losing a much younger co-star. I hope that Valerie Harper and Betty White stay well. I know Valerie has had cancer, but I can’t bear the thought of losing all these women.  
I know that it is crazy to miss a TV star, but it is the end of an era I loved. I’m going out in my front yard and throw a hat up in the air in tribute to Mary.