Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.

6 Comments:

Oh, what a marvelous wedding! Thank you for sharing this special time with all of us.

By Blogger Carolyn, at 7:21 PM  

How did so many magazine-quality people show up in the wilds of VA in an ice storm?? Your son and daugher-in-law are a GAWgeous couple, and your MOG dress was perfect - not too quiet, not too flashy. It's all just so lovely and warm and real, it's inspiring. Do you have pictures of the reception room? I want to see what you did with the trees and lights. Girlchild wants a very tropical theme, mango and white and green, but I'm already making mental notes. :-)

By Blogger Catherine, at 8:27 PM  

Oh Bess, wasn't that a party?! And you looked mahvellous, dahlink! Truly as befitting the MOG. Lovely, lovely Bride too -- and that Dress!!

But, m'dear, where is Grandmama in her Royal Purple?

By Blogger Margaret, at 12:15 AM  

Beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing! And your dress looked Fabulous!!

xxooJen

By Blogger Jennifer, at 9:40 AM  

Beautiful, Beautiful. What a wonderful day!

(I am curious what the calla lilly on the back of the dress looked like, though :-) )

By Blogger Melissa, at 8:17 PM  

I don't have a good photo of Mama - just a purple shoulder and the back of her head - or else, since we were at a reception - a shot of her eating. Nobody looks that good with a mouth full of food. When the Amy's pictures are up, I bet they'll be a nice photograph.

Ditto with the calla lily - I know there is at least one really good shot of it but I don't have it.

Glad you all enjoy this as much as I do.

By Blogger Bess, at 9:21 PM  

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Monday, January 31, 2005  

The Illustrated Version



Okay, friends, I've added photos to the wedding post. Be patient, eventually it will all load.

posted by Bess | 6:02 PM

5 Comments:

Oh, Bess. You have such a way with words. You've brought tears to my eyes, and a happy, joyous ache to my soul. I am really, all choked up with wedding bliss reading your report.

Love to you, Jen

By Blogger Jennifer, at 10:10 AM  

Got so wrapped up in the story that I almost burned my oatmeal. Oh the pictures! Can hardly wait. Congratulations to the newly weds and to you and Ed for such a splurge.

By Blogger Larry, at 10:40 AM  

Okay, I NEVER get sniffly and misty, but I did reading that story! You have a gift for descriptive phrases that convey emotion without being icky-sticky. I cannot wait for the pictures!

By Blogger Catherine, at 12:00 PM  

Thank you so much for letting me come to your wedding via your blog. It sounds like such a lovely wedding which was enjoyed by all.

Charlotte

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:02 PM  

How loving a gift from Topsy - staying until she was certain that her boy had found someone to love him forever. Wanted to say more, but my eyes are streaming, and I can't see the screen...

Lovelovelove,
LWLY

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:11 PM  

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Saturday, January 29, 2005  

The Wedding



We were due at the church at noon, to dress and do some, possibly all, of the group photos. BD and I had made early morning deliveries of ice, frozen tid-bits from my refrigerator, last minute necessities and the CD player to P up at the church, but headed home at 11 to shower and for BD to dress. By then, a mean wet slush was tumbling from the glowering clouds; not too heavy, but with no sign of letting up any time soon. I spent a few moments at home in quiet thought, searching for that calm demeanor that would keep people happy, not the giddy excitement that would ratchet up into some sort of mad frenzy. I know I can crank up the energy level in a crowd and I didn’t want to add any unnecessary tension to the day, even if it was happy tension. Besides, I’d promised to do Bride’s makeup and I didn’t want to botch that. Calm was what was needed. Calm was what I faked.

We parted at the church, BD resplendent in his new Brooks Brothers suit and Christmas tie. The girls’ dressing room was across the hall from the kitchen, the guys were upstairs. Bride and MOH were already getting dressed and Amy was there too, photographing the excitement and beauty that is pretty young girls in lace, silk, and curls. BH joined us almost immediately, with two fluttering flower maidens. Emma was beside herself with excitement, because her curls are manufactured and don’t come along too often. How well I remember the thrill of having curly hair instead of the usual straight stuff. It was always worth the effort. BH and I helped the little ones into their dresses, being careful of their hair, of course.

All the girls in the wedding had been to the hair dresser and they were simply beautiful in their curls and French rolls and fluttery head dresses. They all had claw clips for their hair. Silver wire had been wrapped around the clips, some strung with crystal beads, others wrapped with tear shaped silk bits that looked like little cala lilies. The clip had then been covered with silk petals to hide the plastic parts. The wires could be bent around their heads, close in like a cap, or curved outwards to make the silk lilies flutter behind them as they walked. That’s how they wore them and it was as if each girl was followed by a swarm of butterflies as she walked.

Some of Bride’s girlfriends came in to watch the dressing ritual and then someone called to me that my mother had arrived. I dashed out just in time to see her walk through the door, slowly, for Mama uses a walker, but royally in her splendid gown. How beautiful she looked, with the deep purple skimming down in a shimmer of rich fabric, with just that hint of sparkle about the neck. She looked stunning. I don’t know when I’ve seen Mama so stately and pretty. What a delight it was to know that she was every bit as fine as any one else at the party. My sister Penny, who had flown in from Oregon, was with her, excited, happy, laughing and hugging and armed with her camera.

They added to the conviviality in the dressing room, which expanded once again when Bride’s mother joined us. She, too was in purple, and the three of us, we Women of the Parental Role, made a suitable winter palette to act as foil to the vanilla and green of the wedding. All the while, Amy was clicking, moving like a cat among the belled skirts and high heels, the make-up bags and jewel boxes, the silk shrugs and ruffled petticoats. The lights were kept off in obedience to artistic demands and a cool winter light glowed in from the windows. A shimmery light, because sleet was really coming down in earnest by this point.

As soon as Bride was dressed, she was shooed out by Amy for some more photos. Poor Amy thought the wedding was at 2 and was anxious to get as much done as possible. I had made up at home and besides, I am Speedy Gonzales when it comes to dressing. I had a good half hour to visit with Mama and Dad, Penny and our friend Linwood. I also peeked into the reception room, to be delighted by the results of all the effort of the past 2 days. The room, an elegant rectangle with both long walls pierced by tall windows, had been transformed into a winter wonderland. Cedar trees, decorated with white ting-ting and baby’s breath and wrapped in twinkling white mini-lights, lined all the walls, punctuated by four tall street lamps. The white table cloths on the serving tables had been looped up with the vanilla pew bows to show the dark green tablecloths below. Shiny silver cups, pierced with star shaped holes, holding votive candles, sat amid clear glass marbles on silver chargers in the center of each round dining table. A punch bowl stood in the middle of the room, a fountain of sparkling cider was along one be-windowed wall, and the buffet ran along the opposite wall. P’s white coated staff were bustling back and forth between kitchen and reception room and family members wandered in and out as well.

In the sanctuary the men were chatting. Fathers were talking with grandfathers, brothers with cousins. Outside the storm worsened, great globs of icy sleet slanted down from a bitter cold sky. There was no way I was going to have my mother walk from the dressing room to the church vestibule via the outdoors and I went to consult with Melanie, the Mistress of Ceremonies. In the end we decided that nobody should try to travel that sloppy distance. Instead, Mama and Dad would sit in the very last pew while the rest of the party waited up in the balcony. When it was time to make our entrances, we could slip down the stairs and disappear into the little entryway. So, 2 o’clock found us all upstairs, listening as BD’s silvery flute soared upwards and Kristi’s fingers danced out Scarlatti.

30 minutes is a long time for 6, or even 8 year old girls to sit quietly and patiently, but our girls were golden that day. Now and then they’d ask how much longer, but they were easily appeased by being invited to peek over the balcony edge to see who was sitting below. The first time we looked it seemed as if about 40 people were down there, but as the clock ticked, the pews filled up. The more people taking seats below, the more my heart swelled with happiness, pride, and deep thankfulness. Tears were never far, but a throat catching joy was right there with it. By the time Bride walked down the isle, somewhere between 110 and 130 people had clawed their way down icy backroads to this little church in rural Virginia.

Suddenly BD joined me and I realized it was time. We filed softly down the stairs, tight pie shaped steps curving around 19th century railings, careful to keep the little girls close to the walls and careful ourselves, with our thin high heels and long skirts. Clustered in the vestibule, we shivered and waited, letting in last minute guests who dodged ice pellets as they ran up the slippery walk, hunched inside their coats and beneath umbrellas. The wait seemed forever, and yet seemed to be but an eye blink. And just as the procession was about to begin, Bride’s father stepped up to her, kissed her on the cheek and whispered in her ear.

The tears really began to flow then. Big ones. Wet, spilling, mascara running tears. I waited just a moment, not to steal the tenderness, and then whispered “The Bride is Friiiiiiied and the Groom is Dooooooomed”. And it was to the laughter that caused that we began TheWeddingMarch.

Handsome, urbane, charming and courtly, 14 year old Watts (a BedfordCousin) offered my mother his arm and down the isle they began. Handsome but much older Ben then offered me his.
Head high now, shoulders straight, tummy tucked in, I followed Mama and Daddy to the front pew and took my seat. BD took his place beside me. Bride’s mother and father followed us and then out stepped Minister, Groom and Best Man, resplendent in dark sober robes and gray cutaway coats. The music changed to Pachelbel's Canon.

Beautiful young women began to walk down the isle; first the MOH, followed by Flower Maidens. They took their place and as Roy gestured for the guests to stand the organ broke into the Overture to Handel’s Water Music.

I wish now that I had watched LD’s face as his bride marched down the isle. Several people told me it was worth seeing. Instead, I had my head turned towards the back of the church.
Bride walked slowly, in time to the wonderful measured notes. In truth I don’t remember all the details of the ceremony - I wish I’d written this sooner, but it’s now Tuesday night and some things have already begun to fade. Still, several things stand out.

The party was very handsome, as a wedding party should be, and the little girls behaved with wonderful solemnity.

TheDarlings vows were fairly traditional, but they added one important promise: To always be truthful to each other.

As the exchange of rings drew near the MOH leaned down and whispered something to Emma, the older of the two Flower Maidens. Emma stepped down and whispered something to Bride’s father. He looked puzzled and shook his head. Emma rejoined the party, but I knew what had happened. MOH had forgotten the groom’s ring. Roy never missed a beat, merely nodded his head to BD who stood and read a precious sonnet about being love’s cockleburs riding on the great bear’s fur till it was time to fall and fructify. Very apt for my country boy. For both of them, come to think of it

And then they were married, Mr. and Mrs., and presented to us in all their joy and blushing happiness. Kristi began the vibrant and energetic hornpipe, the most familiar movement of the Water Music, as they took their first steps as man and wife. Originally the bride and groom had planned to return immediately after their recessional and release their guests from the pews, working their way back up to the front of the church. This way they could dispense with a receiving line, and be back up at the altar for formal group photographs. The wretched weather changed the plan just a little. Instead of guests being ushered out of the building they would be invited precede the Bride & Groom back up the isle, past the groom’s side of the church and out the back door to the reception room via the back halls.

Such a change from routine was a bit of a surprise to the guests, but nobody caviled about it. Instead, all of us got to greet all the guests at least once. Surprised laughter, grateful recognition, hugs, kisses, introductions to my parents, the whole thing took 20 minutes. It was only then that I began to conceive how many people had braved that awful storm to celebrate with us, the birth of this new family. 186 people had sent acceptances before the dreadful weather forecast. More than two thirds of them actually came!

Sometime during the hubbub, my youngest sister Barbara showed up but things were just too full of movement and chatter and energy to do more than nod and smile. We still had to pose for the formal shots, the group and family pictures, and for that we had to clear the front of the church. People who wanted to take their own pictures lingered, but for the most part the guests made their way to the reception. It was another 20 minutes later before I stepped into the hall, crowded with happy guests, delicious food and that party sound.

I confess, by then I was pretty much rushing down the slope of my personal emotional roller coaster. It was easy going the rest of the way, with a breeze in my face. I can’t remember much of the details of the evening, only that it was a splendid fun time. I am usually like this when I’m hostess to a big party; I go from group to group, trying to speak to everyone, my eyes surveying the room pretty much call the time to be sure that nothing is in need of attention, no guest seems lost, no passage seems blocked. In the end, I usually forget to eat the food and never have any meaningful conversations. But I do have a lot of fun.

We had the usual disposable cameras on all the tables and I made sure to stop at each one, snap a shot or two of the guests seated there, then encourage the guests to take lots of pictures. Happily they did. There are lots and lots of amateur photographs, many of the guests, a few of Bride&Groom and even some of me. Alas, they come up pretty grainy on the blog but I will figure out how to make them work and include them in this post.

The combination of fabulous food, pretty settings, and the icy storm just outside the windows, combined with our friends’ love and affection for the couple, to fill the room with joyous energy. Everyone was ready to have fun, to eat well, and to be delighted. My own reaction was one of profound gratitude that so many beloved friends would brave such a storm to drive deep into the backwoods of Essex County, to celebrate with us. I was constantly saying thank you to people, and even now, a week later, I’m still feeling grateful and honored.

And who were these intrepid ice-bunnies? There were Ted and Peggy
- some of our earliest friends. We met Ted while we were still living in the tent! And how well I remember the time Peggy and I were caught in a thunderstorm so blindingly heavy we pulled into McDonalds, grabbed baby LD, and dashed inside, only to find that he was buck naked! There was Ted’s sister Betty Ann, who taught LD 10th grade English, and her husband Mac. There were Roger, who helped BD build the house and his wife Isabelle. There were all the local Reunion Cousins, some extra Haile cousins and all of Grandma’s boys, with spouses. Only one baby was there, BD’s little great niece, Ruby.

Cupper, who lent me her sewing machine so I could make TheWeddingDress, and two of her children, little brothers and sisters to LD ever since he was in high school and began farming with her husband. Robert, who starts heirloom tomato plants for LD each spring, and Kelly, who was one of my first knitting students, along with their daughter, Chloe, also came to wish us joy. Lois and Lucille from the library, dear camera shy Suzanne, my lemony girlfriend, and my WW bud, Beth with her distinguished husband, all received hugs and squeezes and laughing kisses. And of course, my own dear family was there, along with our almost-brother Linwood.

Bride’s mother and father and twin brothers balanced out all that Haile Family weight. It’s amazing the impact twins carry! And there were two sets at this function.

There were also some Bride family friends who had plowed through the storm, coming all the way from Fredericksburg. For some, that was merely the last leg of much longer journeys, for the Stanley’s drove over from the Eastern Shore and Cherrie came all the way from England!

A bevy of beautiful young women, Bride’s friends from high school and college,some alone, some accompanied by husbands or boyfriends, in one case, by her beautiful mother, lifted the level of glamour in the crowd.

P had outdone herself with the fabulous reception food. Every recipe was deluxe, even if it was simple. There were tureens made of heavy cream, smoked chicken, sun dried tomatoes and fresh herbs. No gelatin molds here - these were the real thing; baked then chilled then sliced and surrounded by marinated vegetables and served with thin water crackers. There were little bacon wrapped, almond stuffed dates, hot and juicy with sweet and salty flavors. BD had cooked an enormous Virginia Ham - the dark red salty type - and P had sliced it thin and served it in real biscuits. No sweet mild meat in a roll, these were the real ham biscuits and they were all eaten. Not a single one made it to my house and now I think of it, I never got to eat one! No matter. I’m a personal friend of the HamMan. There was smoked salmon mouse surrounded by flaked smoked salmon, and there was a crab dip, because you can’t have a wedding in Tidewater VA without a crab dip. I believe there is something in the constitution about that. In the center of the buffet, P had made a pyramid of cheese and fresh fruit; pineapples, mangos, and grapes. Family and friends were full of compliments, begging for the caterer’s card, asking where we’d found her. I heard the most gushing about the stuffed dates, but it was the ham biscuits that disappeared completely.

And then there was a sudden hush in the room. P was by the door and she announced to the crowd: Mr. and Mrs. William Haile.

The door flung open and the beautiful couple stood to receive their due - laughing, cheering, happy clapping. My sister Barbara had her violin and she struck up a tune while P lead the couple through the room, winding around the tables, and back up to the double doors. Bride had changed into her white fur bolero and matching fur hat. Long antique gloves slid up her arms and beneath the 3/4 length fur sleeves. She took everyone’s breath away, looking like something out of Dr. Zivago. Doffing her outer finery, she joined the party with Groom never more than a few feet from her side. The two of them were such a striking couple, moving among the guests, sitting now with one group and then with another.

It’s funny about parties. For all that they are a chance to bring different folks together, the tendency is for people to seek out the familiar. It was the same at this gathering. Although people mingled, they still tended to cluster with the known quantity. My family sat together, BD’s did the same. The young friends clustered at some tables while the old friends slid chairs together others. I do the same, actually, when I am a guest. It’s usually quite a treat if I meet someone at a party and strike up a new friendship. Certainly my dad flirted with every young pretty girl who happened to come within speaking distance and a number of my friends were enchanted by my mother. I confess, BD’s family seemed pretty happy to stay in their group and I never thought to introduce them to local friends.

As the weather continued to be wicked, a number of guests left early. Others, who had a long way to travel waited just till the cake was cut. There were a few toasts, one from a deeply moved Best Man, who finished his toast with tears in his eyes. One from the MOB, a rhyming autobiographical tribute to Bride, some quiet words from the FOB, and a sweet loving tribute from the MOH, whose clear voice and sweet face charmed everyone. Her toast was a perfect summation of everyone’s hopes and wishes for the couple.

The party began winding down after the cake cutting. Not, of course, till everyone had enjoyed and exclaimed over the deliciousness of the cake. That was a perfect treat for us all. Of course, we had ordered a cake for 200 people and even with generous slices for everyone, even with the strong urging of guests to “take home another slice”, there was an awful lot of cake left. There was an awful lot of all the food left over, because, of course, until the day actually arrived, we had to prepare for everyone coming. In fact, here it is Friday and we are still eating wedding party food and I have at last grown tired of the taste of smoked chicken!

Just before the bridal couple departed, Emma and Lizzie, the flower maidens, handed out little bottles of wedding bubbles. Folk immediately began playing with them, to the wild delight of great niece Ruby. We bid good-bye to Bride&Groom who slipped out into the dark night - literally - since the ground was covered with an inch of ice. In all the worry over moving in that wintry darkness, the bride never got around to tossing her bouquet, but by then I’m not sure there were any young girls ready to go outside to catch it. No matter. Everything about this wedding was perfect - including any adaptations demanded by the weather.

The last of the guests began making their way to the door now. Not a few took with them gladly offered goodie bags. It was nigh on to 7:30 by the time BD and I left, with a car load of clothes and wedding gifts. Ben and Amanda followed in our truck, with more gifts and other odds and ends. At home we built up the fire in the stove and clustered around to talk about the night’s festivities. BD conked out first, but I stayed up with the young ones and we swapped stories about other weddings, the spiritual meaning of ceremonies, our personal spiritual quests and just any other thing that came up. Around 11:30 P showed up, burnt to the socket, like the rest of us, and we were all abed by midnight.

We woke on Sunday to an ice world; white fields of sleet filmed with clear ice and bare branches glistening with ice-coats. We were bleary eyed, bloated, still hearing our engines running, even though our bodies protested. Cousin Adam called from town and offered to give Ben a lift back to Richmond, Amy and Nathaniel called and offered to give Amanda a ride to BWI. There was hasty packing and swift, brief goodbye hugs. BD took Ben to town while I drove Amanda to Champlain to meet up with her ride.

It was cold as ... well, as all those proverbial cold things - stepmother’s kiss, witches ... well, you know. It was reeeeeealy cold and the wind was blowing a gale from the north. Bright blue skies seemed to mock us. I let all the dogs in after our overnight guests had left and they were watching Dog TV when the phone rang.

“Hi Mom, can we come over and eat wedding food?”

It was TheDarlings, who had had the good sense to go home Saturday night and leave for their honeymoon on Sunday. There certainly was plenty of weddng food left; smoked chicken tureen, crab dip (LD cleaned that up in a jiffy.) some bacon wrapped dates, and cake. Lots of cake. Lots and lots of wedding cake. We sat around talking over TheWedding and nibbling on tidbits. LD sat a long time stroking Topsy - how prophetic - and beaming at his Bride. I, on the other hand, was feeling antsy and anxious to get back to the church where there was still a small mountain of clean-up to do. There was no real hurry, since all church services, all over the county, had been canceled that morning. Still, the size of the job weighed heavily on me and couldn’t rest in comfort till our part was finished. So after about an hour of visiting, P and I headed for the church, driving 20 mph on the ice covered roads, and spent the rest of the afternoon rinsing hundreds of dishes and cups and forks and spoons, packing up serving dishes, removing lights from trees and emptying the refrigerator. BD joined us later and delivered borrowed items to their owners. We couldn’t clean it all up in one afternoon, but we were ready for the truck from the rental place on Monday morning. By the time I left Monday afternoon, there were only the cedar trees to be hauled into the woods. BD took care of that on Tuesday, when I had to go back to the real world and at least pretend to work.

I’ve been writing on this all week, hoping to get it finished before Friday so I could post it with pictures. That hope was forlorn, as it’s now Saturday morning, but at least the story is told. I offer it to you all now, without photos, but you can get the illustrated version on Monday. It was a splendid, perfect, marvelous, happy wedding. It was everything we dreamed of. It was a glorious celebration of life, community, family and love. It is what I would wish for every bride and every groom and every MOG in the whole world.











posted by Bess | 9:15 AM

1 Comments:

Such a happy and sad time, all at once. Topsy was a lucky dog who lived a magical life in doggy terms, and a very long one too. It's good that she saw her boy off on his new married life, and passed peacefully. Maybe his little boy will have a Topsy II someday.

By Blogger Catherine, at 7:02 PM  

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Friday, January 28, 2005  

Thank you all for your loving thoughts. What a week this has been! Well, my horoscope had promised that I would feel all the emotions a person was capable of - from the highs of the mountain top to the depths of the ocean. I guess I am not surprised.

Topsy was anciently old - something like 117 in dog years. And she lived up to the last day, ready to eat and wandering around the yard sniffing out sunny spots to sleep in. She was William's dog and on Saturday she stood on the walk, watching us leave for the wedding, as if she knew it was an important William day. On Sunday he sat by the fire with her, stroking her head for a long long time. A fitting goodbye from that little boy to "the only dog he'd ever loved with all his heart and soul."

She has passed him on to the girl he loves with all his heart and soul. She died in her sleep, in her dog house, still as handsome in death as she had been in life. We burried her in one of her favorite spots, by the clothesline. Daffodils will surround her every spring.

I'm almost finished with the wedding post - If not today, I'll get it up here by Monday.

posted by Bess | 7:11 AM

2 Comments:

Poor sweet Topsy...

I don't think I have to tell you I'm crying with you...

Give LD an extra hug for me, please...

I'm SO sorry... what is it about weddings that tells our little loved ones it's okay to move on????

By Blogger Amie, at 9:35 AM  

Sadness and sweetness all at once! Hugs to you, dear Bess...for your beautiful new daughter, and for the loss of an old friend and faithful companion.

By Blogger Margaret, at 12:42 PM  

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Thursday, January 27, 2005  

Farewell Topsy



May you dig forever in that groundhog hole in heaven, Pokey by your side, the scent of prey tickling your nose. You were special in your own right and as the last of the Tru dynasty, you proved your sturdy stock. We'll see you again someday.




TopsyTurvy Haile

April 1987

January 2005

posted by Bess | 6:58 AM

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Wednesday, January 26, 2005  

This thing is taking way too long to load so I'm deleting some of the photos. I'll work on photo posting as time permits. Sooner or later I'll get it right.

Here is the Bride as she promanades through the reception. Groom is just out of sight so I cropped that part of the photo.

posted by Bess | 5:14 PM

1 Comments:

If you load the pictures to the blog, then go to "Compose" (Not "Edit HTML") on the top of your "Create New Post" screen, you can click on the photo and it will give you little marks at the corners which you can then drag to a smaller size. Try that. Or, see if you can put the disk in your computer, go to the drive and open it. It might give you the option to open the files to edit them, and you should be able to resize them from there.... if you need more help, let me know!

By Blogger Amie, at 10:58 AM  

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I'll leave those photos up a wee bit longer - maybe till lunch time today. Then they have to go for a while. If I can figure out how to make the pictures on the WalMart 1-hour photo disc smaller I'll post them today though, so things can remain colorful and interesting. All suggestions about that are welcome. There are hundreds of those photos, since they were taken with the disposable cameras on the reception tables. A few of them flattering of me, and several show just how dumpy I've become. 10 lbs really do hurt, when you have also not been exercising and when you've sucked down diet Pepsi all day long for 2 weeks. Evidently that is my heroin - and nobody needs a daily dose of that much sodium.

I'm writing up the wedding report - in the usual long winded Bessish fashion - and I'm sure it won't be posted till Thursday or Friday. In the mean time, life goes on. No doubt about it, I'm mighty tired - developing that bone aching exhaustion about 3:30 each day. So far I've been able to zonk out for an early evening nap each day, but today I have that postponed board meeting at the library. I suspect it'll take me the rest of this week to get back into the swing of things - to really remember what it is I am supposed to do between 10 and 6 on a weekday.

I'm jumping back into two other neglected areas of my life: fiber and fitness. I was asked, yesterday, to be the guest speaker at a club meeting on Thursday (yeah! tomorrow!!!)and I said "yes". I told them I'd talk about The Joys of Fiber Arts. I figure I can talk about sewing, knitting, spinning, and such for 30 minutes even when I'm asleep. I'll take along my spindles, some fiber and B agreed to bring her wheel. We can give everyone a turn at that ancient art. Hmm. May even drum up some students for a February class.

As for fitness - whoeee! That is going to be a tough one. We still have a huge smoked chicken tureen, made with whipping cream, in the refrigerator, along with 4 dozen bacon wrapped almond stuffed dates in a baggee and a little wedding cake too. There's also about half a gallon of smoked salmon dip - about 1,987,849,185,387 grams of fat per mouthful. It's that good too. I believe that's all of the mega-calorie stuff. There are lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and enormous pounds of cubed cheese, but those are easy to either consume or ignore. It's that danged wedding cake that's the worst. How it whispers to me each time I walk through the kitchen - heck! I can hear it up in my bedroom. "Come to me. Cooooooom to meeeeeeeeee!" it moans. And I find myself resistless - a victim of sugar beyond belief and a perfectly textured pound cake.

Well. It is back on to WW for me, starting this morning. I got in a little walk at the gym yesterday and I'll begin my former fitness routine on Friday. I think I'll do a little pre-Lenten sacrifice this year, and give up diet Pepsi. It may continue on into the full season, but I have done that for several years and I may want to consider something different on February 9. Whatever I end up doing, for now I finally feel like I've had enough. Enough sodium, enough sugar, and enough sloth.

And so - my dear ones - hugs to you all and thank you for sharing this glorious happy wedding with me.

posted by Bess | 7:05 AM

4 Comments:

Bess, It's fun to see the photos online! Thank you for posting them. I will get a cd in the mail soon so you can feel free to re=post any of them. Enjoy your day/evening. ~Amanda

By Blogger Amanda, at 11:08 AM  

Bess, I have to say the Bride's dress was gorgeous. It fits her so perfectly.

erica
http://erica-lee.org/knit/blog/archive.html

By Blogger erica, at 12:14 PM  

The dress is amazing - and the bride is glowing. You did a great job, Bess!!

By Blogger Melissa, at 2:27 PM  

The bride and the dress are both stunning! You did an amazing job there, lady! Thanks for sharing, I can't wait to see more!

By Blogger Catherine, at 5:53 PM  

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Tuesday, January 25, 2005  

Ooops, sneak peak is gone. watch for new photos on Monday

posted by Bess | 10:18 AM

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Monday, January 24, 2005  

Friday morning dawned cold, clear, sharp as a lemon. I own that I had some serious qualms about both the weather and our state of readiness. A sleety ice storm was promised for Saturday, beginning around noon. But it could go north of us. Or it could start later. Or it could rain. All the guests might arrive or only half or maybe nobody. There was no telling. There was only a going ahead with things as planned. So the first thing I did was to get a manicure.

Sheer happy relaxing bliss. That’s what a manicure can give a girl. Both Susan, who does my nails every other week and Debbie, who owns the shop, were up to the minute on all the wedding plans. They’ve been hearing about it for weeks now. They were scheduled to do the flower girls after us and the Bride and Maid of Honor after that - what’s known as a “wedding party day”. They made me promise to bring wedding photos in to my next appointment. Bride & MOH arrived just as I was leaving, all excited and chattery in the cold. Hugs and hugs and hugs were exchanged out on the sidewalk as we laughed at all the people who had been calling, asking us what we were going to do if it was stormy.

I mean, what did they think? That we’d have a rain date? Bride said she wasn’t going to answer the phone any more and I got MOH’s cell phone number so that if I needed her I could find her.

I had left BD, Ben, and Amanda, all the way from Seattle, at home, with a list of duties. Number 1 on that list was to cut down 10 cedar trees and set them into stands at the church. I had a trunk full of half wrapped baskets for out of town guests. Of course, I’d left the cellophane wrap at home. The library isn’t open to the public on Friday mornings so I dropped in there, to make copies of the directions to the church and finish wrapping and labeling them. My staff, excited to be a part of the festivities, turned in and helped me complete them in about 15 minutes. Delivery to the motel desk took place after a stop at the bank and the gas pump. Last on the list of InTownDuties was to pick up some candles and some lunch for the folks working up at the church.

I drove into the church parking lot just as BD drove off, with someone sitting beside him. In the church kitchen, P was cooking with the determination of a general - a frustrated general, since the tables, linens, dishes and lamps were to have been delivered first thing in the morning. It was closing in on 2 and there had been no trucks yet. There is very little else in the world that can so strike dread into the heart of a MOG as a reception without tables, linens or dishes. I gritted my teeth, determined that there was nothing to do but plow forward, and went about spreading a lunch for the hungry.

That was pretty much limited to Ben and me, since BD and Amanda were gone and P was deep in concentrated cooking thought. Ben had been assembling the tree stands, which were like flat green plastic dishes with a tube in the center. 8 screws held the trees tightly inside the tube. I have to admit, BD had selected perfect trees - between 5 and 7 feet tall, slender but bushy, and deep green. Some cedar trees turn a sort of greeny bronze in winter, but these were rich cedar green. They’re the devil to decorate because they are so prickly. Ben tried wrapping lights around one and was in real pain afterwards. We tried the next tree as a team, each of us wrapping one side and then handing the string of lights to the guy on the other side - much better. My girlfriend Chris showed up about then, with her beautiful silver tea service, some stunning white platters and bowls and a warm offer to do anything that was needed. Instantly she became the tree light partner while I tried my hand at making large pew bows out of wired vanilla satin ribbon. The first bow was a bit drunken looking but the subsequent ones were lovely puffs of color.

Sometime during the afternoon the truck from the rental company showed up and tables were spread with a vengeance - and with tablecloths. Stacks of dishes, flatware, stemware were positioned in strategic locations. BD returned, too, with Amanda, who had been pressed into urgent boat duty in the wake of StormWarnings. He had a rehearsal with the organist at 4 and Ben, Amanda and I went home to get ready for the wedding rehearsal, gather up the wedding wardrobe and any extras we might need; ironing board, iron, needle&thread, scissors. We wanted everything at the church that night. That way we wouldn’t have to expose them to any possible falling weather. It was a good thing, too, since we had lots of weather and it froze as it fell.

The rehearsal dinner was casual, but we still wanted to look festive. I was in black velvet pants, a chocolate brown silk blouse and a rust suede jacket. Not the jeans and ancient yellow sweatshirt of the afternoon. It was still light out as we came into the church, through the front door and across the little vestibule floor. Most of the folk inside were familiar loved ones, though one or two were new to me. A smiling fellow on the right side with curly pony tail drew my attention and then the woman in the center isle came into focus; slender, dressed in unobtrusive black pants and top, with soft red hair. She turned slightly, facing the curly pony tail and a face of almost unbearable sweetness simply melted me. There was an instant of recognition - that “My kind of people” sensation - and then it dawned on me. This was the photographer: Amy Deputy and Nathaniel Corn, her handsome curly pony tailed partner.

Now, I ought not to have been surprised that I would feel this instant bond. First off, I’ve been completely joy filled for the past few days, open and ready for any good thing that might happen to come my way. All it would take would be to come within antenna range of someone special. And then, I adore this woman’s web site. I think her photography is stunning. It’s special, it’s beautiful, it’s open. How could I not respond to the person who does such work. I just hadn’t anticipated how much I was going to love having both Amy and Nathaniel around me for the next day and a half. For the rest of the night she felt like a professional photographer of extraordinary talent, come to make beautiful memories for us. After that she just felt like a soul-sister. And Nathaniel just walked into our joy filled hearts.

Unlike any wedding rehearsal I’ve ever attended, and I have attended hundreds as the hired musician, the minister, Roy, had more than a warm welcome for us. He managed to give us a short, beautiful, verbal image of what a marriage is, what he has come to learn from TheDarlings, what he hopes for them and what he hopes for us. This little moment of solemn spirituality was a prelude to some of the tenderest teasing I have ever witnessed from a minister. Of course, this didn’t surprise me either, since Roy’s enormous generous wisdom and love, his delight in marriage, both his own and other good marriages, were the reasons I encouraged TheDarlings to consider him in the first place. You can tell he loves weddings. He made this one feel like it was the most special wedding in the world.

The wedding party consisted of Bride&Groom [William and Worth], MaidOfHonor [Nelly], 2 Flower Maidens [Emma and Lizzie], a BestMan [Brian] and 2 Ushers [Ben and Watts]. With the exception of MOH and BM, they are all family. BD played his flute before the ceremony with our friend Kristi at the organ, and he read one of his sonnets. I, of course, had only the minor role of SeamstressOfTheWeddingDress. And make-up artist. And KeeperOfExuberantHappiness. Bride’s two brothers would hand out programs but they were unable to be at the rehearsal, though they made it to the dinner, along with her parents and her friend from England, Cherrie.

The dinner was held at our favorite BBQ restaurant, in town and just across the street from the hotel where we’d reserved a block of rooms for out of town guests. Bride’s staunch and loving Uncle Gene and Aunt Myra from Florida were there, along with her immediate family. The entire BedfordCousins family was there too; my annual reunion guests. BH and the flower maidens, my nephew Adam and his wife Heather, WeddngParty spouses and partners, and a number of Bride’s friends from both high school and college filled up the room. It ended up being such a casual dinner we never got around to toasts or roasts. I remember being hungry but too keyed up to eat much, and realizing that Melanie’s husband, Tim, was one of the neatest guys - and then thinking, well, of course he’d have to be really cool. Only someone utterly wonderful would have ended up with her. And then I made an idiot of myself by telling bizarre stories about past life regressions to poor Amy.

Well, weddings are nothing if they don’t bring out the ridiculous in us. We do come as a package deal, and our warts are as precious as our curly hair or aquiline profiles.

After dinner all the young people, along with the adult members of the WeddingParty, went to TheDarlings house for the evening while TheBedfordCousins went back with me to the church to make more bows and shove tables around again. The cake had arrived in P’s D’s car. The room was beginning to look ever so slightly like it would be ready for a party on the morrow. We did all that we could and then headed home beneath a clear starry sky. Who would believe what the next 12 hours would bring?

We visited with Ben and Amanda till I grew so tired I couldn’t hold up my head. All the while Amanda and I were tying little ribbon bows around the necks of bridal bubble bottles. Yes. There really is such a thing - it is supposedly made of a formula that doesn’t spot wedding dresses. The last thing I heard before drifting off was P and D returning from the church. Lawsee, it must have been nigh on to midnight by then. I slept a little that night, perhaps 4 hours, or maybe 5. I was up in the wee dawn, though, sipping coffee, reading all the weather web pages along with my usual morning routine sites. It was all bad news, too, just the thing to match the steely gray sky that was lowering itself down onto Essex County.

The phone rang once and it was my sister B with news that the band wasn’t coming. Well, too bad. The phone rang again, and it was Bride, to whom I said, with genuine cheer, that we were ready for the most beautiful wedding that ever was. Nothing could dampen my spirits that day. Not bad weather, not a lack of guests, not a durn thing. As I said earlier, I had taken stock of all the essentials and found that everything we needed, and more, was at hand. It was time to dance at the wedding.


Tomorrow - TheWedding! And maybe some photos.


posted by Bess | 7:08 PM

4 Comments:

Rest, relax, your husband should bring you coffee in bed for the next few days - and then we want pictures, dammit! Lots and lots of pictures! Congratulations, MOG, you made magic and they'll never forget it!

By Blogger Catherine, at 7:19 PM  

My dear, dear friend, I'm delighted that the wedding was as lovely as you'd hoped. No-one deserves this joy more than you do. And now, you finally have the daughter you always wanted, and have bonded with her in a unique and special way.

love-
LWLY

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:35 PM  

Bess, what she said!

Hugs,

Marg in Calgary

By Blogger Margaret, at 10:33 AM  

There isn't room in cyberspace for the size of the hug I wish I could give you... Love you so much.

Expect a package in a few days!

By Blogger Amie, at 11:38 AM  

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Sunday, January 23, 2005  

What a Wedding!



We had 2 inches of ice on everything, including the roads, but 100+ loving guests still celebrated with us yesterday. I'm beat. Exhausted. Wiped. But I have never been so pleased, so happy, so full of pride and joy and love - there has been nothing, except the birth of our son William, to equal the utter perfection of this experience. Not a single soul involved in any way felt the least twinge of anything negative. It was perfect because it was love.

And I'll come back in a few days with a full report.

posted by Bess | 4:38 PM

6 Comments:

I hope you have a wonderful time! I'm absolutely certain it will be a beautiful day.

By Blogger Melissa, at 11:31 AM  

I'm just all a-quiver, filled with love and excitement for you. Huzzah to January brides & grooms!

By Blogger Amie, at 12:31 PM  

Looks like we dogged the Weather Bullet here in VA! Our snow forecast is now down from 6-9 inches to 2-4 ... and it looks like we only have about 1-1/2 out there now. And it's not snowing right now, either. The kids are bummed, but I sure am glad for you guys!

Shelia's prayers to the Weather Goddess must have worked ~ they're gonna get hammered. Maybe I should ship my kids up to her, or Martha or Clara! hee hee

Hope you all had a day nothing short of wonderful, spectacular and perfect!

Hugs, Jen

By Blogger Jennifer, at 3:26 PM  

By now, LD and Bride are Mr and Mrs H, and all are celebrating royally! Congratulations to you all!

Hugs...

By Blogger Margaret, at 5:24 PM  

Congratulations!!!

So happy for you and the happy couple! Many many years of joy to all!

Jean (Moxie from KR)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:35 PM  

Well, I'm glad I could help with the Weather Goddess! We do have a lot of snow up here, digging out today. I was thinking about you all day yesterday, Bess, I know it must have been wonderful. Best wishes to all (oh, and any and all small children are welcome to play in the snow, looks like it will be around for a while ;D)

Shelia

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:26 AM  

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Saturday, January 22, 2005  

6.5 hours to go



And the reception band has already canceled on us. I had sort of expected it and a friend has offered us a Bose CD player and I have more CD’s than anyone should own. We have a cake. We have a caterer. That incredible photographer got down last night and snapped shots all through the rehearsal dinner. We have a Bride, a Groom, plenty of 4-wheel drives and all the clothes are at the church, even to some capes for the girls to wear when the travel to the front of the church. It’s haste to the wedding.

If you don’t hear from me tomorrow you ought not be surprised but it shan’t be long before there are photographs of all the splendor.

Thank each and every one of you who have posted good wishes and kind thoughts. What ever will I have to write about when we are finished with TheWedding?

Ta.

posted by Bess | 7:44 AM

2 Comments:

Celebrating this momentous day, I raise my virtual glass of champagne to you and to the lovebirds. May it be magical!

By Blogger Clara, at 8:05 PM  

I was a January bride too, in suburban DC - we had sunshine for the wedding and a foot of snow fell during the reception. I hope the weather cooperates enough to create a magical backdrop for the day without interfering in everyone's travel plans. A virtual champagne toast - actually coffee, it's not even 6 a.m. - to the happy couple, all the family and friends, and especially the MOG, who deserves a week at a spa after this!

By Blogger Catherine, at 5:50 AM  

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Friday, January 21, 2005  

1 day to go!!



31 hours to be exact (at the time of this writing, not this posting). The weather forecast is so bad you could weep. There is nothing we can do about it, either. Therefore, we shall carry on. Besides, here is what my favorite horoscope promises:

Why aren't things the way they ought to be? Is there a problem that needs to be fixed? Or does the real difficulty lie in your idea about what ought to be happening. Might you be hanging on to a notion that's based on some dubious assumption. Could there be an element of guilt, or obligation, or unrealistic expectation in that picture you keep forming in your mind's eye? I'm not trying to persuade you that everything is perfect just as it is. Maybe, though, things are actually a lot less imperfect than you fear or imagine. Relax a little this weekend and you may find there's a lot less to sort out than you thought.

Well now. There you have it.

Yesterday I gave TheWeddingDress a splendid pressing. It is a pretty (gorgeous?) dress, but it has always looked like a project to me because it needed that special careful pressing. Lawsee what an iron can do to a dress! And (thank the Goddess of Steam Irons) my iron never spat once. I am inordinately proud of my pressing job. The dress is complete to a T and safely hanging in the spare bedroom. We’ll carry it to the church tonight along with all the other attire. We’ll cheat Old Man Winter yet.

I cut some greenery yesterday to add to the purchased floral material. It will go into the reception hall. Late in the day I picked up a key to the church from the minister so that we can get in early, both today and tomorrow, without having to bother anyone. Then I went to town to sign time sheets! Yikes, how could I have forgotten that on Wednesday? I looped back by the church just as BD drove up, back from Richmond with flowers. P followed and I spent the early evening helping her unload. She got in one round of baking before we took ourselves home, in the dark, through a misty snow shower.

It was nigh on to 8 o’clock by then and dinner was grazing in the kitchen on your own. I was getting pretty tired, I am sure due to repressed tension. I looked relaxed, but I’m sure inside I was getting tense. I started to work on the gift baskets - one of those mindless physical tasks that can help calm you down and before too long I could feel the knot relax, even if I was also very tired. TheDarlings had left to pick up Ben and A from the train station and at 8:15 they called and said that Ben wasn’t on the train! An hour of phone tag between TheDarlings, Ben and BD soon settled things. The guests showed up here by a little after 10 and I was in bed by 10:30 and asleep almost as soon as my head touched the pillow.

There’s no use telling someone to relax when she’s tense - not even if I am the someone. But I have spent a good bit of time examining how I feel about each issue that comes up, or that might come up (those things one obsess about in the wee hours of the morning) and tried hard to see where concern belongs and where worry is merely dysfunctional behavior. The object of those internal studies is to remove as many issues from my list of ThingsThatCouldGoWrong as possible. I really need to not care, in order to not worry and in order to not care I have to know an issue is not worth caring about.

So, what are the bottom line issues? No matter what else happens, no matter the weather nor the number of guests who can make it to this wedding, the essential things are:

Two people that I love passionately are going to join in marriage, a relationship I have deep respect for and faith in.
Many beloved friends and family will be with us when that happens.
We will entertain them with good food.

Everything else is a non-essential. Everything.
Still, here is my list of you know what:

TTDFTW LIST

Additional offerings to WeatherGoddessMake bank transfer, monitor budget & write checks, place in envelopes
Gather greenery
Get manicure
Help with decorating (remember gloves for girls)
Deliver gift baskets
Take wedding clothing for everyone to the church.
Rehearsal Dinner
SLEEP

WeddingDayList

Shower and do hair
Put on makeup
Be at church by noon
Help Bride with makeup (this is so cute)
ENJOY WEDDING




posted by Bess | 7:57 AM

2 Comments:

I'm just back from a business trip and catching up on a week's worth of posts - i's just like a wonderful romantic movie! Everything sounds beautiful - much love and best wishes to you and everyone, Bess, and of course I'll offer to the Weather Goddess that she can send all of the snow up north to me instead of to you.

Shelia

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:15 AM  

Sweets,
You all are in my tho'ts & my heart today - there you shall stay through Saturday's festivities. Biggie hugs to you all.
XOXO,
Marfa

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:00 PM  

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Thursday, January 20, 2005  

2 days to go!



And we got snow. Yesterday, before the story hour kids had even left it began to flurry and by noon it was coming down hard. By 1:30 the board members were all calling, either to tell me they weren’t coming to the meeting or to find out if it was canceled. I couldn’t do that till about 3:30, when I finally got in touch with the board pres., but it was - postponed till next week. So at 4 o’clock I went home.

Bride, her Mistress of Ceremonies, a friend and P spent the morning at my house making more detailed plans. BD told me he loved having all those women in his house and those of you who’ve been here know that’s how he is. Just sort of hovering around the edges of the feminine circle, soaking up the pink. Unless he plops right down in the middle and pesters. But he knew that WeddingBusiness was no place to be a cute puppy guy. That was real work.

Only P was left by the time I got home, stuffing almonds into an enormous pile of dates and wrapping them with bacon. I washed up and joined her and we got through all 500 of them in quick order. Dinner was pancakes. Afterwards we hammered out the details of the next 2 days. It’s interesting meshing different organizational styles. You could call me MsSpreadSheet, because I like gant charts and self-adding columns. I like schematics. I like to knit from charts. I like those little tabs on the different sections of my notebooks, so I can flip to the page I’m looking for. I’m not obsessive about this, (I don't think) but when I’m working on a project, I’m likely to be the one with the color coded files.

Not everyone is like that. Fortunately, P is another list maker and she didn't find my picky detaily stuff annoying. We are pretty well lined up for whatever happens. Even if it's bad weather.

Right now, P is in Richmond picking up all the fresh produce. We were at the church at 8 a.m. with all the cooking tools and other food. She’ll be back in the afternoon and I’ll join her there as dogsbody and gopher. BD took our car to Richmond to pick up his suite from the tailor and will stop by the organist’s house on the way home to practice with her. He’s playing the flute during the 30 minutes before the service and will also read one of his poems during the ceremony. By that time I will have already done my part and will just enjoy sitting next to Mama in the front pew. Nice, hum?

My duties for the rest of this morning are to press TheWeddingDress and make up the gift baskets.

TTDFTW LIST

Additional offerings to WeatherGoddess
Press dress 30 minutes
Monitor budget & write checks, place in envelopes
Tidy house so Magnificent Sheryl can clean
Gather greenery
Make copies of Maps
Get manicure
Trees - cut (Ben & BD)
Help with decorating (remember gloves for girls)
Make gift baskets
Deliver gift baskets
Make up bed for Ben

posted by Bess | 10:38 AM

3 Comments:

Okay, I'm pulling rank here! As a former MOB, I insist you remember to relax and enjoy! instead of fretting...

Laughter is wonderful -- follow The Groom's advice! Remember the celebration, and determine that you are going to Have Fun, that there may be a glitch here and there, but as long as the YDs tie the knot, and no one gets hurt or sick, you're sailin! I have your Entire Family in my prayers!

Hugs!

By Blogger Margaret, at 11:34 AM  

Offering additional blessings to the Goddess of Weather... and SO Much love to you!

By Blogger Amie, at 11:49 AM  

Fortyleventyhundredkazillion hugs to you, BD and the YD's ... you should have made GD an ANGORA shawl to wear with the Dress ~ just kidding! but hot dang, is it cold out there today!!!

Prayers and promises are being sent to the Weather Goddess to hold off until Monday!

xxoo

By Blogger Jennifer, at 12:06 PM  

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Wednesday, January 19, 2005  

3 days to go!



It’s almost impossible to believe that there are so few days left before TheWedding. At the same time I’m staggered by all the details left to tie down between now and Saturday. And yet - there ought not be any reason we can’t do them all. And more important, it can’t really matter if we forget something.

Well - as you can see, I am at the down to the wire point. Yesterday I had my first jitter attack. Not really a panic attack, just a fluttery feeling in my stomach. A sensation that something big would have to be scrapped or wouldn’t come off or oh, I don’t know what. I think the trigger was trying to figure out how to get 10 cedar trees, covered in twinkling mini-lights, to stand up in the reception hall if I couldn’t find 10 Christmas tree stands. Yes. Those spider shaped dishes of red and green metal that used to be ubiquitous - back in the days of yore - when I was young. Now days, nearly everyone has artificial trees - or else they are like me and plunk their tree in a bucket filled with broken up bricks. Tree skirts and tulle can hide all sorts of bad decorating architecture.

Now, I’ve known I’d need these stands for 2 months, but have I called anybody about them? NooOHoo. I waited till last weekend to begin calling around. At the Friends Board meeting yesterday I managed to get one stand, and my assistant, L, had one. She said she even knew where it was. I cast my mind over my most creative friends and thought of B, my WW buddy and knitting pal. “Oh yes, I have boxes of 12 of them in my garage. They’re the devil to put together but they’re green.”

Eureka! A dozen tree stands. We can create the winter forest effect after all. This was good news for me but fantastic news for BD, who otherwise would have been drafted into the tree stand construction corps.

Yesterday was a chatty sort of day at work. All day folk were coming in, talking about the wedding, encouraging me about the snowfalls we are expecting - “Oh snow will be so pretty”. Of course, I know that snow falls don’t really mean that no car can go on the highway till it’s all melted, but I always feel that way. Part of the problem is that VA, being in TheSouth (yes. yes, we really are southern. Lawsee me.) That means that we can go years without any snow, or it can snow 26” or we can have ice. But more often than not, we get nothing. So the government doesn’t budget much for snow removal and we never learn how to drive in snow and our cars use the cheaper, lighter weight engine oil so they don’t really run well if it gets cold. It is, after all, Virginia. Wait a while and the weather will change. We were in short sleeves last week, with 70 º temperatures.

The other part of the problem is that BD can grouse for weeks if I take the car out on the road when there is SALT on it. There is no point in telling him that we have a car so we can go places; that if we can’t take the car out when we want to, we don’t really have a car. Salt on his beloved (ancient, cheap, sub-compact) car (minus its hub caps - they’ve all rattled off into foreign ditches) is as bad as graffiti on the Mona Lisa. I am far too tickled by the absurdity of human nature to point out to him that if he decides he must go somewhere, no matter what is on the roads, he does. But I have, alas, internalized his message of snow=salt=stay home. And to be 100% honest, I love staying home so much, it’s nice to be able to say it’s all BD’s fault, when the accusing finger of guilt shakes itself at me.

As I sit here this morning, I can’t remember a thing I did yesterday except meet with the Friends Board, fix the video machine, and catalog a few books. That means, today is the last day to finish the TTDFMOL (ThingsToDoForMyOtherLife). Fingers crossed here.

P arrived last night with a car loaded down with catering supplies. Food, dishes, aprons, and the endless list of other things a caterer uses. What had to be brought inside is now filling the den. Much of that will be transferred to the church kitchen tomorrow, just in time to make up the couch for Ben, my dear step son, arriving on the 8:00 train from Baltimore. The Young Darlings will pick him up in Fredericksburg along with one of Bride’s friends flying in from Seattle.

The YD’s dropped by yesterday to pick up more wedding gifts and go over scheduling stuff and make jokes. LD walked around moaning impricarious rhymes: “The Briiiiiide is Friiiiied - The Groooom is Doooomed.” He had us weeping with laughter in 15 minutes. P worked on hors doeuvres. I managed to lose the print-out of the program without leaving the living room.

This morning I’ll begin assembling the gift baskets for out of town guests who’ll be staying at the motel. I also have to pick up BD’s dress shirt and do something about my coat, which has picked up so many hairs from pets and alpaca sweaters it looks like it came from the Goodwill store. BD is cooking the VA ham. P will be working on food and meeting with Bride and the mistress of ceremonies. La. A MOG’s work is never done.

HA! Don’t you believe it - this is the most fun thing I have ever done in my life. I can’t begin to say how happy and fortunate - nay - how utterly blessed I feel for having such a glorious loving thing to pour myself into. At any time of the day I find myself stopping and just soaking up the joy - accepting the gift of all this. The ripple effect of a joy filled wedding is so wide and so broad and so deep even the most casual participant - a sales clerk or the girl at the motel reception desk - gets caught up in the loving happiness. You wouldn’t believe the number of dull sour faces I’ve seen transfigured into glowing sunshine when asked for help with TheWedding.

I would wish such happiness for everyone.

So - the updated list:

TTDFTW LIST

Additional offerings to WeatherGoddess
Press dress 30 minutes
Monitor budget & write checks, place in envelopes
Tidy house so Magnificent Sheryl can clean
Find out who has IVY - and beg some off of her
Gather greenery
Make copies of Maps
Get manicure
Trees - cut
Help w/decorating (remember gloves for girls)
Pick up Dress shirt at cleaners
Make gift baskets
Deliver gift baskets
Confirm about flower girls hair
Make up bed for Ben
Take P to my nail salon
Buy birthday card for special wedding guest

posted by Bess | 6:04 AM

1 Comments:

We Canucks expect snow in January -- but then again, you're 'way down South...I will send up prayers for sunshine for your family's Special Day! Hugs to you all!!

By Blogger Margaret, at 10:48 AM  

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Tuesday, January 18, 2005  

4 days to go!



So now it is calling for snow to begin on Thursday and continue through Sunday. Do I believe this? Well. There is snow, and then there is SNOW. I believe if we get anything it will be
snow
But just in case, I will do another little weather dance.

Now for the important, good news:


TheWeddingDress is done!!!



Yes. Well, I have to press it. But I have sewn the last stitch. Finished. Complete. Last fitting approved. Tonight I’ll give it a careful pressing and put it back in it’s bag to hang unmolested, till Saturday.

Oh la. There is so much more I wanted to write about but I have an early morning meeting and can’t linger. Here’s an updated list, though. Got to keep that in the front of my mind.

TTDFTW LIST

Make more and greater offerings to WeatherGoddess
Press dress 30 minutes
Monitor budget & write checks, place in envelopes
Tidy house so Magnificent Sheryl can clean
Get refrigeration lined up - (empty Bride's & my refrigerator)
Find out who has IVY - and beg some off of her
Gather greenery
Make copies of Maps
Get manicure
Trees (more consultation w/BD)
Get car cleaned Friday (in time for rain/snow?!?!)
Tidy front yard
Help w/decorating (remember gloves for girls)
Pick up Dress shirt at cleaners
Make gift baskets
Deliver gift baskets
Confirm about flower girls hair


REST OF MY LIFE TTD

(Same old same old)

I’ll be back with a report about yesterday’s events if I can.



posted by Bess | 7:26 AM

4 Comments:

Oh, I am so with you ~ we do our best to hide the flaws, and then proceed to tell everyone what we did wrong, and what we did to fix / hide it! Ah well. There you go. You can fess up here, and then hopefully you won't need to fess up on the Big Day. :-D

I'm sending positive karma thoughts to the Weather Goddesses, too! Hope it holds off til after the festivities!

Hugs, Jen

By Blogger Jennifer, at 9:09 AM  

Bess, love, you are SO hard on yourself! That tiny little flaw amounts to 99.99999 percent perfection, not 90! I hereby order you to focus on the incredible job you have done, not just making this work of art but designing it as well. You are a goddess, and I am in awe.

Love -
LWLY by the ton

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:15 AM  

Darling Bess - it doesn't matter how cold it is, it doesn't matter if it snows, it doesn't matter if it's 70 degrees and sunny - it will be a beautifull, blessed day that will be warm and loving in every way.

(Says she who got the same comments about her own winter wedding.)

By Blogger Amie, at 11:16 AM  

Bess - the dress sounds fabulous - the flower the perfect addition. Its been enthralling reading about your trip from idea to finish on this dress. Have a wonderful weekend!

By Blogger Melissa, at 6:03 PM  

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Monday, January 17, 2005  

5 days to go!



'Every cloud has a silver lining.' That's what they say. 'It's an ill wind that blows no one any good.' They say that too. They say it. But do they really mean it? Or do they just feel socially obliged to be optimistic? You can't summon positivity out of a sense of duty. It has to be heartfelt. If, though, you really are prepared to look for hope in a seemingly hopeless situation, you'll find it. Always. This week, you won't just find hope, you'll yet find something that really deserves to be celebrated.


They say that, at least, in my horoscope again. And it better be true because now weather dot com is saying for sure: Snow on Saturday and Sunday. 60% chance.

Of course, that means 40% holds no snow and that might just be a corridor between Powhatan County and Caret. That’s all I really care about. Heck. We can have all 60% of the snow after 8 p.m. and I’ll be okay with that.

Well, I intend to look up in the sky for my hope.

You might say “Why did you plan a winter wedding in the first place?” and I would say “I have my reasons.” That wouldn’t be true. Bride&Groom had their reasons, though, and they were pretty good ones. But they are deeply private. And no, Bride isn’t expecting, either. Anyway, it’s too late to do anything about it. TheWedding goes forth.

Yesterday I made the bronze green shrug for MOH and a silk taffeta calla lily to stitch to the back of TheWeddingDress where the zipper leaves the bodice and enters the skirt. It’s got a wired stem so that it can be bent and positioned just right. There’s a story behind this.

Back in December (the 18th, to be exact) when I put in the zipper (by hand, through all that taffeta and ribbon tape) there was a flaw in the insertion. The flaw was really created when I cut out the skirt. It’s too complicated to explain, but I can describe the flaw. It was the sewing equivalent of the jog in circular knitting. You know what I mean: when you get back to the beginning of the round, especially in colorwork, there is a little jog where the next round begins. In knitting, people usually accept it as what Elizabeth Zimmermann calls “a little thing of beauty that you can't change so you must admire”. She gives the German word for it, but I don’t have the video at home to remind me.

In sewing, though, it is proof that the garment was made by an amateur. It is one of the major “LovingHandsAtHome” mistakes. Anyone who sews will see it immediately, even if she didn’t actually look for it. Everyone who knows me will be looking hard at the dress, since the whole world knows I made it. It’s a quarter inch jog. The bodice is sewn to the skirt along a steep diagonal seam, dropping 6 inches from right side to left, across a slender size 4-6 girl's hips. That jog is smack in the center of the back. Since the bodice has a layer of ruched taffeta on top, the gathers and folds of the ruching very quickly hang down below the seamline enough to make the jog almost unnoticeable.

So. No man will see it. 85% of the women I know won’t see it. Bride had been putting the dress on for a month now and never said a word. The issue for me was - could I bear the humiliation of presenting BeautifulBride in Gown made by MOG - to that 15% of the people who would see it?

Answering that question was a spiritual journey for me. Mama will see it because I’ll probably point it out to her. She showed me my first sewing lessons when I was just a little girl and coached me through my teens, after I’d taken “real” lessons from the home-ec teacher at the high school. There were countless times when she sewed along side me, late into the night, when some fashion emergency loomed with it’s frightening deadline. I remember one navy blue crepe skirt, cut on the bias, that we struggled with, just before a concert! La - Mom - thank you yet again for that. C will notice it and her big loving heart will welcome the fact that I, too, while talented and skilled, am not perfect. It will be another bond between two good friends. P will notice it and perhaps a little pinch of satisfaction will sharpen her heart before her knowing eye will survey the rest and figure that 90% success is not bad. Congratulations will follow. E will see it and, I’m sad to say, will probably be glad - and smug.

When I first saw this flaw I had to search both my soul and my database of sewing skills before deciding what to do next. I truly believe that I could not fix the mistake. There wasn’t enough time, nor fabric. The alteration would require such thinly margined seams that the integrity of the dress would be compromised. I asked myself if I could accept the embarrassment and decided my discomfort was but a small offering to lay on alter of the Goddess of Sewing, in return for the success of the rest of this dress. And so, for the past month, that little jog has been my “little thing of beauty...”.

But on Saturday, timidly, nervously, hesitantly, Bride asked me if we couldn’t do something about it. How I laughed at myself and at fate and at the world then. She had a little fabric flower thingy with streamers and put it over the jog. Could I make something like that? Yes, of course I could. I’ve already come to terms with the embarrassment. But she had not. I realized that she’d been worrying about it for over a week.

And in the night, the idea came to me that instead of a rosette with streamers, what was called for was a clean, sleek, elegant, silk taffeta calla lily. And that’s just what I made. Her bouquet is a long sweep of calla lilies tied with vanilla ribbon. She will walk in holding them in front and the little silk one will be the last thing to follow her down the isle. It’s hard to believe 2.5 inches of fabric would require 3 hours of sewing, but it was hand sewn and had to be lined and turned and the stem is wired so it can be bent. But it is stunning. It is the perfect touch on this glorious dress. And nobody will know that there’s a flaw beneath it.

Nobody but y’all.

If I can keep my fat mouth shut.

I am so likely, now, to grab everybody and say “Look here! See where I screwed up? See how I fixed it?”

Well. Only here. Bride does not want people to know there’s a flaw in her dress. And in my new role as MotherInLaw, I will, by gum, learn to not talk about my beloved darlings as if they were my beloved dolls.

P was down yesterday with loads of WeddingReceptionStuff and we plotted out the coming week.

She won’t be back till Tuesday, when I will be at work. Still, we managed to cross some stuff of the TTDFTW list.

TTDFTW LIST

Make more and greater offerings to WeatherGoddess
Finish wedding dress 2-3 hours or just press dress 30 minutes
Call or have Bride call restaurant
Monitor budget & write checks, place in envelopes
Tidy house so Magnificent Sheryl can clean
Get refrigeration lined up - (empty Brides & my refrigerator)
Find out who has IVY - and beg some off of her
Gather greenery
Make copies of Maps
Get manicure
Trees (consult w/BD)
Get car cleaned Friday (in time for rain/snow?!?!)
Tidy front yard
Help w/decorating (remember gloves for girls)
Visit Chris and pick out serving pieces
Pick up Dress shirt at cleaners
Make gift baskets
Deliver gift baskets
Confirm about flower girls hair


REST OF MY LIFE TTD
(Same old same old)

And so - off I go.

posted by Bess | 8:36 AM

1 Comments:

Hey sweets.
The love, joy, excitement & pleasure of the upcoming event are felt all the way here in Philly. Your excellent planning & the readiness of all things for TheWedding are admirable & inspiring. Have a great week, dear heart - we are pulling for you all.
XOXO,
Marfa

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:11 PM  

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Sunday, January 16, 2005  

6 days to go!



People can always find much more to say about a problem than an opportunity. If something is good, we just get on with the business of enjoying it. There's really not very much to talk about. Unless, of course, we want to start worrying about when or whether a good thing can turn into a bad thing! This week, Mercury and Venus form an extremely encouraging conjunction. Nothing good is going to turn bad and several things that have not been looking so good, are soon due to start looking a lot better. There may not be much to say but there will be plenty to celebrate.


Well, isn’t that a nice horoscope for a Virgo. Especially a Virgo who is putting on a weeding this week. A great antidote to this forecast, from weather dot com:

Sat Jan 22 Light Snow 41°/29° 60%


And Bride is a Virgo too. Our birthdays are 3 days apart. No wonder I like her so much.

Well. I refuse to believe it will snow that day. And if it does snow it will be a light dusting, not an accumulating fall. And it can snow a mountain's worth, after TheWedding, just so long as Bride&Groom are heading south. TheWeddingFairy just can’t desert us now.

I also ought to know better than to give myself ultimatums. Nobody who is so process oriented, who loves the doing of a thing so much more than the thing done, will ever live up to her self-imposed deadlines. While TheWeddingDress is, for all intents and purposes, done, there is the possibility of another adjustment after today. I have one small hem to finish on the shrug. I also have a new sewing assignment - or rather, I took on another sewing project. MaidOfHonor visited yesterday with her dress and we had a Fitting/Consultation/FashionShow/PhotoOp/SquealieGirlFest. There has never been such young woman femininity in my bedroom - ever. Plenty of maternal femininity, mind you, even a goodly amount of WiseOldWoman femininity, loving spouse femininity, oh, just lots of other sorts of femininity. But not that much squealy-girlfriend stuff. I would never say I don’t make an impact in my own home, but for all that I have a decided presence in it, it’s always been a boy’s house.

MOH's dress is very chic, very pretty, and very bare shouldered. They both want something to cover her shoulders and she brought with her a magnificent bronze-green shawl. Her dress is a taupe sort of champagne color. We tried a dozen different ways of tying that shawl on MOH, but we couldn’t ever make it small enough to avoid hogging all the attention. It’s just too big a fashion statement. And the bare shoulders are too bare to please either Bride or MOH. At last MOH asked “Can’t you just make something else out of it? I bought this for the fabric, not as a garment.”

Out came the tape measure and up went MOH’s arms. She will get a bronze green shrug, sewn exactly like Brides, but in this interesting fabric. Fortunately, it’s not sheer, so I can dispense with the delicate hand sewing. It will be done today - it’s really only about an hour’s worth of sewing. And there is just something so fitting, so tender, about making part of this very sweet woman's outfit. Besides, I don’t’ have to go back to work till Tuesday. And I don’t have all that much to do, either, before about Thursday.

So. What do I have left to do?

TTDFTW LIST
Make offering to WeatherGoddess
Finish wedding dress 2-3 hours
Make MOH shrug 2-3 hours
Call or have Bride call restaurant
Monitor budget & write checks, place in envelopes
Tidy house so Magnificent Sheryl can clean
Get refrigeration lined up - (empty Brides & my refrigerator)
Get ALL punch/cake/coffee ladies lined up (M,P,J)
Find out who has IVY - and beg some off of her
Gather greenery
Make copies of Maps
Get manicure
Trees (consult w/BD)
Confirm totals w/rental place
Get car cleaned Friday (in time for rain/snow?!?!)
Tidy front yard
Help w/decorating (remember gloves for girls)
Visit Chris and pick out serving pieces
Cook ham (BD’s job)
Pick up Dress shirt at cleaners
Make gift baskets
Deliver gift baskets
Confirm about flower girls hair
Empty my refrigerator
Unity candle? Do we have?


REST OF MY LIFE TTD
(Same old same old)
Make calls to school principal and guest speaker
Contact Sanderbeck
Library Board meetings
Clear off desk at work



A Word About Photos



Several words, actually. I have some photos of making TheDress, but Bride has asked that nothing be posted, even on this blog, before TheWedding. Also, since I don't have a digital camera, the photos will all have to be scanned in. I will do so, but it'll be a while before that is done. Predictably, we will scatter disposable cameras about the reception. There are bound to be some fun shots among them to share.

The photographer will also be posting photos on her web site. This is the usual procedure, now, with most photographers, but this is no usual photographer. She is the one enormous indulgence in this wedding, chosen after much angst and consultation and confereeing but really, there never was a choice. Once she was found, she was claimed, by us all. This is LD's great gift to his Bride.

You can view her work here.

posted by Bess | 8:26 AM

2 Comments:

Bess, dear, thanks so much for continuing to take the time to share your anticipation and joy with us! I'm a'quiver with excitement for you and all of the darlings. No one deserves this joy more than you do.

Love you madly -
LWLY

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:00 AM  

Thank you honey - you are a sweetie to read about it.

By Blogger Bess, at 8:59 AM  

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Saturday, January 15, 2005  

7 days and counting!



Who would believe time would actually move along until we have only one week till TheWedding? And what a week it’s going to be. Today, after a quick dash to Millers Tavern to pick up a VA. ham, I will sew all day. ALL day. When I put my head down on the pillow tonight (or tomorrow morning) that dress will be finished, pressed and hung. FINISHED or BUST.

I think I’ll put P&P on the video machine and sew away.

Yesterday Bride and I drove off to the city for what I hope is my last shopping trip. I may have to do some chauffeuring around next week but I can’t think of anything else either Bride or I have to buy for ourselves. We picked up all the gift basket items and wedding trinkets. We bought makeup. I found some ooomphy earrings, that ought to do something to punch up my beige outfit. It turns out that I will be wearing the most plain (and least expensive) outfit at the wedding. I hope I won’t look dowdy - but if I do - it’s okay. I am, after all, the Mother of the Groom - and as such, carry my own importance on my stately shoulders. I don't need to flash to stand out. And Brenda gave me a PerfectHaircut last Friday so if I ever do feel a little plain, I can just laugh and shake my head ... dahling.

The weather is turning cold this week. I wonder how we’ll manage the trek from the back rooms of the church to the front door, in all our shivery finery. Bride has a pretty little fur jacket to wear. I’m likely to be in the throes of a hot flash. The guys will all be in wool suits. But whatever does one do with the others’ coats in a tiny church vestibule? Eh. Well. We shall all manage. And what fun it is all going to be.

There are such treats in store for our guests I am almost rubbing my hands with glee. The ceremony will begin with BD playing his flute and Bride will march down the isle to Handel’s Water Music; both ways, different movements. The decorations are to be all twiggy and winter landscape-ish. The same winter forest decorations, highlighted by 10 lit evergreen trees, will spill over into the reception, which is in the church hall, but with a more casual feel and bluegrass music, provided by my sister’s all girl bluegrass band. Food to die for goes without saying when P is doing the cooking, centering around several of her own smoked delicacies. You have not tasted smoked salmon till you’ve tried hers.

HA! and you can, if you just email her at this address:

CountryGourmet@aol.com

So - here’s the rest of the stuff I can think of, that I have to do:

TTDFTW LIST

*Finish wedding dress - 6-8 hours
*Call or have Bride call restaurant
*Monitor budget & write checks, place in envelopes
*Clean house (+laundry)
*Get refrigeration lined up - (empty Brides & my refrigerator)
*Get punch/cake/coffee ladies lined up (L,M,P,J,C)
*Make copies of Maps
*Get manicure
*Trees (consult w/BD)
*Confirm totals w/rental place
*Get car cleaned Friday (in time for rain)
*Tidy front yard
*Take down Christmas wreaths (or make into wedding wreaths w/white bows)
*Pick up Ben
*Help w/decorating (remember gloves for girls)



ADDITIONAL TTDFTW

*Visit Chris and pick out serving pieces
*Buy ham
*Cook ham (BD’s job)
*Dress shirt to cleaners (and pick up)
*Sat. conference w/P
*Make gift baskets
*Deliver gift baskets
*Make L’s hair ornament (maybe)
*Confirm about flower girls hair
*Empty my refrigerator
*Unity candle? Do we have?


REST OF MY LIFE TTD


*Make calls to school principal and guest speaker
*Contact Sanderbeck
*Library Board meetings
*Clear off desk at work



Well. Best get crackin'!

posted by Bess | 6:57 AM

1 Comments:

What a lovely post today, dear, it's like I can feel the stress melting away from you with love... Big hugs to you and your beautifully growing family...

By Blogger Amie, at 3:40 PM  

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Friday, January 14, 2005  

There is a soft cloudlike place; gentle, supportive, enfolding, where the spirit, once it has exploded past maximum excitement and joy, can float away, heedless and worry free, welcoming of all new energy threads, but secure in the knowledge that in the end it won’t matter- everyone is going to have a splendid time.

Bride and I have both entered that misty world. The lists, the spread sheets, the tasks and phone calls and duties haven’t gone away. We won’t abandon them, either. But we are both there, in that state of bliss. Usually, when I’m working on a massive project, there comes a moment when I know each and every step left to get from point A to point B and once I can tick them off, I’m essentially done. I keep physically doing the tasks, but my soul leaps forward to “the point beyond”. In essence, I begin the next project. In a sense, that’s where I am right now, only, I’m not looking forward to the next project, but rather, looking forward to the warmth of all the guests who are coming to the wedding. To a week of evenings with P in the house. To a weekend with the BKS family and Bride’s loving uncle and my step-son B, oh law, and R&Co. and Mama and Daddy and my sisters, and oh just all these loving people who are coming to celebrate with us. It’s as if I know there is this week-long hug that will begin on Monday and won’t quit till the last person drives off on Sunday. I feel like I’m going to be this big baby in a pair of enormous collective cradling arms.

I hope Bride feels this way too - I suspect she does, based on some things she’s said. Happily, the BoyDarlings are too full of masculine pride to feel anything but gladness. That familiar RockOfGibraltar strength is oozing out of them. I have known these men for 30+ years. I recognize it. Part bravado, but mostly true strength, it is one of their most endearing traits. I’m so glad both of them have it. It will stand Bride in good stead when storm waves crash around her.

I got some work done on the hemming yesterday and Bride came for another fitting. She has lost some weight - and she’s already slender - so I shall have to take in the side seams a tad. A bit more sewing, but still well within our time limit. I also got the guest room ready for P. And some laundry done. And enlisted another friend to help at the punch bowl. Ticking things off the list nicely.

And yesterday I had a wonderful realization occur to me. Like many people, I have struggled my whole life to keep my house neat and tidy and presentable. I’ve failed far more times than I’ve succeeded, but over the years I’ve learned some tricks and developed a few good habits. Yesterday BD had a group of business colleagues come from all over Md. and VA, to work on a major project. And even though I’d had a houseguest for the weekend, and all this wedding stuff to do - it only took 30 minutes to get the house ready for them. By gum, I must be a pretty good housekeeper after all.

Funny the things we take such pride in.

Today we go shopping for makeup and stockings and such. I also need some sort of earrings. Well. It is just the most wonderful thing that I have a weekend ahead full of only stuff I want to do.


posted by Bess | 7:21 AM

1 Comments:

Oh Bess, so-o-o-o glad you're feeling better. I think that the water/fresh veg/fruit/sleep did it. Courage to face that list, girl! And remember to delegate when you can (though I suspect that's not a very Virgoan trait, I know you can do it!).

Hugs,

Marg

By Blogger Margaret, at 11:08 AM  

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Thursday, January 13, 2005  

What a difference a day makes. And how strange when you didn’t really do anything to make the difference. Just wait for the passage of time. Tuesday night was a particularly bad night for the labyrinthitis - so bad I woke up several times in the night with a stomach ache. Once up and about, though, I was fine and I haven’t had any dizziness since - even when I put my head back to look up at the stars. Pressure on the back of my head, at the base of my neck, has caused the worst of the daytime dizziness - but it just ... piff .. went away.

No need to tell anybody why this is good news. We are now down to into the single digits. 9 days to TheWedding! La! I haven’t finished the dress! EEEEEEE! Am I crazy or what? Well, yes I am crazy, but sewing on it when I am not feeling exactly right is a sure fire way to screw it up. ENFP me can only go with feelings and I haven’t felt right for a couple of days. But now I’ve had some good sleep, lots of water and lots of fruits and vegetables. Not enough exercise, but there really are only so many hours in a day. I’ve also gotten some deadline stuff at work done - which goes a long way towards putting me in the right state of mind to do precious hand sewing.

We’ve been so busy with ThingsToDoForTheWedding that suddenly it seems as if there isn’t very much left to do. Or perhaps I should say, there isn’t very much left to plan. It’s just about all in place. Still and all, a little list of TTDFTW might help me see if there is anything I’ve forgotten.

TTDFTW LIST

*Finish wedding dress - 6-8 hours
*Get final list of rehearsal dinner guests
*Call or have Bride call restaurant
*Monitor budget & write checks, place in envelopes
*Clean house (+laundry)
*Fix up bedroom for P
*Get refrigeration lined up - (empty Brides & my refrigerator)
*Get punch/cake/coffee ladies lined up (L,M,P,J,C)
*Get final list of OutOfTown guests DONE
*Buy gift basket items
*Make copies of Maps
*Confirm manicures for bridal party DONE
*Get manicure
*Shop with Bride on Friday (makeup, lingerie, L’s hair bow, earrings)
*Trees (consult w/BD)
*BD’s suit (ACK!)
*Table skirts
*Get final guest estimate to P by Sunday night DONE
*Confirm totals w/rental place
*Talk to sister about live room
*Get car cleaned Friday (in time for rain)
*Tidy front yard
*Take down Christmas wreaths (or make into wedding wreaths w/white bows)
*Pick up Ben
*Pick up Cake
*Help w/decorating (remember gloves for girls)
*Find out when photographer wants all of family & let them know

REST OF MY LIFE TTD
*Pay Bills
*Make calls to school principal and guest speaker
*Contact Sanderbeck
*Hair!!!
*Library Board meetings
*Clear off desk at work

Well. I’m sure I’ll think of other things, but that’s enough for a start. It doesn’t seem like all that much when we have 9 whole days in front of us - 2 of them holidays and 2 of them weekend days and 2 of them vacation days - but then, we all know just how fast new things will pop up to fill any spare minutes. So it is off to the hemming for me. I’ve got a lovely hour before anybody will be calling for his pipe and bowl.



posted by Bess | 6:49 AM

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Wednesday, January 12, 2005  

For 2 months I’ve been suffering with labyrinthitis, which does not mean that the boxwood hedge maze in my back yard is on fire. It means the little bone in my inner ear, called the labyrinth is inflamed and it makes me dizzy. It’s faded in and out, always getting substantially better when I finally get a dr. visit, but never quite healing and just when things are at a peak of busy-ness, and I can’t get an appointment for 3 weeks, it comes roaring back. I plan to spend more and longer hours in physician office waiting rooms once TheWedding is over, but for now I’m dosing myself with AlegraD and Nasenex. Some days it’s more effective than others, and today is one of the other days. Feeling a little woozy, a little stomach achy and oh so tired.

Thank you all my dear dear friends for the warm e-mails and letters. They are enormously soothing. Just know that I’ll answer, with all the joyful news - especially when I have pictures - later.

So - that’s the post for today. 10 days to go.

posted by Bess | 6:47 AM

1 Comments:

XOXOXOXOXOX!

Love,
LWLY

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:46 PM  

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Tuesday, January 11, 2005  

Farewell K and hurry back.

BD & K just drove off. She will be on a flight to Chicago in a few hours and he will spend the day doing research at the state library. The house feels empty and I would be pretty durn sad if I didn’t have all the coming excitement of TheWedding to keep me busy. Instead of moping about the house I’ll be clearing out the living room preparatory to finishing up TheWeddingDress.

I plan to unstitch the lining and fix a little seam bulge I actually put in last time. But the real reason I’m redoing the lining is that, when I tacked it in, I didn’t pull it down tight enough. With a strapless dress the lining should be a little bit shorter than the actual bodice so that the lip, the top edge, is pulled slightly into the dress, keeping it snug up against the body. If the lining is the same length, the top edge tends to stand away from the body, since our chests curve inwards at that point too. That little flaw was niggling at me all weekend and it wasn’t till yesterday that the solution clicked on in my brain.

So. That’s your sewing lesson for the day.

And dear, dear LWLY - yes, I know. It is important to not beat myself up over imagined or even real imperfections. I wouldn’t have been so morose yesterday if I hadn’t had a stomach ache. My complaints stemmed, not from exaggerated self-recrimination, but from physical pain - caused by party food on Saturday night sandwiched in between brownie gobbling on both Saturday and Sunday during the day. Nothing like a tummy ache to make a whiny brat out of the most level headed adult. Well. Yesterday was a much more healthy day, even if I didn’t get any exercise in. And tonight is WW. I had thought to go but skip the weigh-in. I think not now. I’ll do the whole thing, not in some punitive gesture, but to keep track of things, much the way I’m keeping track of the WeddingBudget.

Mama’s dress came in yesterday and the alterations will take about a week. She said it would be ready on the 19th. Dad said the dress was beautiful, but not as beautiful as the woman wearing it. Now that’s a compliment worth shopping for!


posted by Bess | 7:55 AM

1 Comments:

Give yourself a break 'til after the wedding, Bess! I can't imagine trying to be superwoman under these circumstances. Don't beat yourself up, and just enjoy these next 10 days.

Love,
LWLY

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:21 PM  

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Monday, January 10, 2005  

Okay, I’m not trying very hard to do healthy things. How about, “I am thinking about things that are healthy that I could do.”

Gad, I can’t seem to stop eating too much, getting too little sleep and no exercise. This is not good. I feel like someone who used to be a drug addict, got treatment, moved away, then moved back to the old neighborhood and got sucked into the old gang. My stomach has that continuous dull ache in it from eating too much. I remember this feeling from before WW. I hated it then, and feared it too. I hate it still.

The idea of food as comfort is a mysterious conundrum. Nourishment certainly is comfort. But I have not ever found eating traditional comfort foods actually comforting. White food, sweet food, gooey food, chocolate food. I am always so furtive about eating comfort food that the actual comfort never gets a chance to kick in. If I could really spoon up a bite of rich, slightly tangy macaroni and cheese, let it sit on my tongue, savor it’s fragrance, enjoy the soft texture, and then swallow that single bite - maybe then I could find comfort in it. I would probably stop eating it after one or two bites.

Instead I enter some food laden environment with my skinny friends or [far] younger darlings, who are excited about having a treat. My multi-tasking mind casts a quick and efficient glance about the situation, registers happy friends snapping up food treats, checks the Nice box in the Naughty-Or-Nice questionnaire, decides to get myself a treat, buys it and inserts it into the chute that leads to the TreatSector of my stomach where the switch to the YouAreLoved wrinkles in my brain will get flicked on.

Only there isn’t any such thing. It’s just a stomach. A completely full, disinterested and overworked stomach that is royally ticked off that I dumped more sugar into it. That poor stomach sends up a screeching alarm for help to get rid of this danged excess, draining all the happy endorphins from my brain and the energy pulses out of my muscles, as every resource in my body whumps into my digestive track; armed, determined, but really irritated that they were called away from their regular duties to stave off the effects of misguided eating. In their place they left cushioning fat cells to keep their regular responsibilities, those strong bones, firm muscles and cheerful attitudes, from banging into each other.

This weird combination of the multi-tasking efficiency nut and the mindless pleasure seeker guarantees that I get nothing out of the whole process. Like some adolescent post-prom ex-virgin's belief that if she was drunk it didn’t happen, I think sometimes my brain tells itself that if I don’t really enjoy the brownie/cookie/latte, I didn’t really eat/drink it.

Well. Opening with such a lengthy grousing might lead you to think I didn’t have any fun yesterday. In fact I had a deliciously fun day with K, catching up on her life, listening to her interesting tales of adventures in far off lands, and in general enjoying myself in the company of someone I like. We were not too long in the city, were home in time to go out to dinner with BD, had more interesting conversations when we got home and made it to bed before it was shamefully late. She has one more day with us before she must fly away and I’ll come home early this afternoon to spend more time with her.

Right now, a little goal setting is called for. Some of it health related - like - 5 fruits and vegetables and 8 glasses of water. Some of it will be of a more occupational nature, as there are things that must be done to keep the wheels grinding at the library. There shan’t be any time to visit the gym today but it’s possible I could take a good walk across the winter landscape - which might do more for me than a 400 calorie burn on the elliptical machine. There’s something to be said for natural lighting.

posted by Bess | 6:33 AM

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Sunday, January 09, 2005  

La. What day is it anyway? It seems like it’s been a week since the last time I’ve posted. Crack-0-Dawn mornings and JamPacked days are the norm around here. It’s less than 2 weeks to TheWedding and each day I think “yup - mostly done” and each day new things pop up to remind me that I’m not done yet.

But it’s mostly happy times, even if the days are packed. Thursday night our dear friend K got in and I was determined to be awake when she got here. We haven’t seen her since the infamous 9/11 week, when she visited us with her darling mother. Her life has taken some exciting and challenging turns and I didn’t want to miss a thing. BD drove into the city to pick her up at the airport while I stayed home to make sure the spare bedroom, piled high with WeddingStuff, was transformed into something of a welcoming oasis. They got it at midnight, though and my nearest and dearest will all laugh in disbelief at even the idea of me awake at midnight. I was, though and we had time to do a little catching up.

Alas, I had to be out of the house by 7:15 on Friday for a class on computer network maintenance for librarians. Yeah. Really. Talk about mental whiplash! Thank the gods and heavens and all the LordsOfGeekdom, the teacher was dynamic, had a fabulous voice and incorporated some clever physical activity into his lecture. He teaches the second half of the class next Friday - which just happens to fall on a day off for library staff. Crumbs on that. I won’t skip the class, just use it to pad out some of my used up vacation time.

The Darlings were over for dinner Friday night and that turned out to be a not-all-that-late night. LD and K graduated from high school together and they had catching up to do, but I was in bed by 11. And out of it again by 6 because we had to be in Richmond at the Wholesale Florist outlet by 8. The morning was filled with wedding activities. The cake is ordered and paid for. The flowers are selected. The bouquet has been thought through. The rental items have been selected. (I did another budget spreadsheet and we’re covered.) Contents of welcome baskets discussed. We paused before we left the city at the Barnes&Nobel, for coffee and stacks of magazines for me. Yes. I scooped up every knitting magazine on the shelf. When TheWedding is a glowing memory, I plan to dive deep into my fiber world again. And I’m going to begin by catching up on all that is out there in KnittingLand. (which I hope will not include ponchos - ugh!)

We were home by about 2:30. The morning had begun foggy and clammy but by afternoon the sky was clearing and the beauty of a country winter sky was etched all around us by bare trees, cushioned by velvety patches of moss and lichen filling up the understorey. BD & K were settling down to watch Collateral but the tape was jammed so we watched something else. After promising that I was putting TheWedding aside for the rest of the weekend - I do want to give K some undivided attention - I mostly buzzed off. It was a long French film. At least it was not gloomy beyond endurance. By the time it was over it was time to head off for the Old Lloyds Hunt Club Dinner with Dancing to Follow.

In fact, we were a little late for it, since it begins early - at country dinner time, 5:30. But there were plenty of people and lots of food. For the second time in 2005 I was swept into sentimentality by the passage of time. How portly and grandfatherly Ben Ellis looks. How cute it is to see Marvin and Shelby still dancing, though they are both so gray. Brooke Heite looks so much like her mother did when I first met her that I kept starting to talk to her as if she were her mom. I had to keep reminding myself that the little toddler she held was her son, not her grandson. Have I too grown that old? I am sure I must have. I was that young thing dancing out on the floor once - but my goodness - it was 20+ years ago. The music didn’t begin till 7:30 and true to history the 13 year old girls were the most excited about it. When their contemporaries wouldn’t join them the dragged out the 8 year olds, who were thrilled to be dancing with the big girls.

I don’t suppose too many people get to go to dances where the parents and grandparents are all sitting around or joining in. Very Pride and Prejudice-ish, if I do say so myself.

“Country Dances? I love ‘em”.

Thank you, Mr. Bingley. I love them too.

So. K has asked me if we can go do some girl stuff together. She’s had 2 full days with BD, who is shivering with delight at the pleasure of escorting a pretty girl about. Now she wants some girl time. She’s requested a trip to the city - to the makeup counter. She reminded me that long ago, on a shopping trip with me to the city, she told me she wanted to come back sometime when she had money to spend. “Now I have ze money”. she said, with wistful twinkles in her eyes.

Who could resist?

Who would want to anyway?

So we will play a little in Richmond and come home and play some more with BD. I think I’ll take a half day tomorrow, too, to spend with her, since her plane leaves Tuesday morning.

I am trying to do healthy things so that I can move strongly through the coming weeks. I haven’t made it to the gym any, and the food situation could be better. I believe I shall eat fruit all day today. And with that I had best go begin the day.

posted by Bess | 8:58 AM
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