Joe and I just got back from a mini-break to Omaha. We headed out a bit early from work on Friday afternoon and actually got in before dark. A rare treat, since we usually roll in near 10 pm. We chatted with Joe's parents, Sherry and John, and just hung out. Of course, Sherry forced some dessert upon us. And by forced, I mean, I asked if she had anything sweet in the house, a question I already knew the answer to, and she said, well she just happened to have some ice cream sandwich cake on the premises. Now ice cream sandwich cake, a delicious family recipe, has become a bit of a joke in the Sands family. Multiple and extensive conversations about the limitless layering possibilities. This version was insanely sweet, made with birthday cake flavored ice cream sandwiches, and yes, Jim, layered with multiple levels of Cool Whip and butterscotch. I've finally found something even too sweet for my sweet tooth. After a small sugar coma and some conversation, we headed off to bed. Because what did we need to get up early for on Saturday? GARAGE SALE DAY!
My warm and fabulous in-laws, as mentioned numerous times previously, live on a lake outside of Omaha. And this lovely neighborhood filled with an eclectic mix of houses, and an equally eclectic mix of people to be honest, has a huge garage sale day, for the whole neighborhood once a year. Over 40 house participated, so we got our sale on. We hit almost twenty houses and collected loot all over. It was hot and sweaty and busy and an excellent way to spend a Saturday morning. Amusing just to see what weird stuff people own, what kind of value they place on their belongings and digging around all the crap to find that perfect little whatever you didn't know you needed. I found a couple of those.
I picked up some books, big shocker. And we scored these cool little metal card catalog boxes. The women we bought them from, for a mere $1 a piece, (we got 5) said that she had bought them from a garage sale at an old library in Western Nebraska. I'm not sure what we are going to do with these suckers, but I know mine are getting a coat of paint, because that yellow is nasty and too 1970's for my taste.
So we scored books, some cool little storage units and a lot of excellent people watching. An older lady with lavender hair and a matching pedicure, an intense 40-something shopper with a huge pair of breasts hanging around her waist, a man collecting his Scavenger Hunt stickers from each garage sale and proudly wearing them on his shirt, the hagglers and bargain hunters who wanted to argue over crappy extension cords and VHS tapes priced for a measly $.25, the garage sale operators who bring out everything from their musty basement and label it all with brand new retail pricing, and more mugs than you can imagine. There must be 100 mugs per person in the United States. One thing we didn't come home with was this beauty. If a Porsche is being sold for under $1,000, there must be something seriously wrong. And frankly nothing can quite beat last year's borrowed Porsche.
After the garage sale browsing was completed, Joe and I cleaned up and headed out for a little lunch and a visit with his grandparents. We tried a new sushi place, Hiro, and it was tasty, with a simple clean Asian decor. Though I think Blue is still the favorite. We had a roll with asparagus in it for the first time and it was delicious, definitely ordering that again. Rudely, I couldn't help staring at the strange group of people eating behind us. I couldn't tell if they were family or friends or what. They hardly spoke, hardly looked at each other and seemed totally unaware of how to use chopsticks. Fascinating. Maybe they were on a day pass from the local psychiatric hospital. I'll never know.
Then we headed over to Janice and Gus' to talk over family photos and help Janice lay out exactly which photos and which frames she wanted for all of the family photos Joe took last month at their anniversary party. Joe is going to pull together two large frames with multiple photos in each, after much discussion and talk of mat colors and horizontal versus vertical. They will be lovely and I can't wait to see it all finished. After running errands around town, we headed back to the lake house for a little birthday dinner with Joe's parents.
Sherry's birthday was Sunday so we got to celebrate with some drinks, appetizers, dinner, presents and of course, blowing out candles on the cake. And since my birthday is next weekend, we got to celebrate together. Did you know that Seabreezes are tart and refreshing and the perfect summer drink? And it's a fact that they taste better when served in lobster glasses. And when sipped on a deck overlooking a lake.
And presents! Joe bought Sherry and I each a digital picture frame that has Wifi so you can actually email photos directly to the frame itself or add photos using a memory card. Can't wait to set it up at my office. And I had casually mentioned to Joe that I would love a little piece of pottery to hold jewelry and to add to my growing collection of little pottery.
If anyone could buy something like that for me, and pick exactly what I would love, it would be Sherry. She knows my style and my colors, and I'm sure Joe gave her tons of details, but she gave me the perfect little piece of art. It's modern and funky with all the colors I love. It looks perfect on my dresser and really ties my little collection together. I was just thrilled. Sherry is just that type of person. Her gift giving is one of her talents, and she is such a thoughtful, warm, silly, enthusiastic person. She brings joy and stability and kindness to everyone she knows. Happy Birthday, Sherry. Thank you for being exactly who you are and thank you for your son.
After a tasty dinner, John and I took the dogs for a walk, originally planning to go all the way around the lake, but the humidity and the constant barking wore them out, so we headed back to the air conditioning and the carrot cake.
Saturday night was a sweet summer evening spent relaxing, feasting and chatting with people I love. Just a perfect way to celebrate Sherry. (And kick start my birthday, since I really strive to stretch out the celebrating as long as possible, 'cause why not?)
Sunday morning and Sherry's actual birthday, so we started it off with a sweaty, humid walk around the lake. Followed quickly by showers, because damn it was hot. I think we were all a little rank after that walk, ok, I should speak for myself, I was. And then more celebrating and eggs benedict. A little family brunch with Joe's grandparents and aunt. If you are ever in Omaha and looking for a cozy little place for brunch, give Taxi's a try. It's got a European bistro vibe and an extensive menu. The ladies love it.
Wrapping up one of those rare weekends. We didn't get together with friends. There was no one else staying at Sherry and John's house, it was just the four of us. And as much as I love it when the house is packed with family and kids running around, and the weekend is packed with friends and get-togethers, it was relaxing and refreshing to just stay around the house and talk and read and catch up, oh, and the eating, always with the eating. Ice cream sandwich cake, anyone?
Some photos by Joe Sands, some photos by me, if you really care who took it just click on the photo. If it's really good, it's probably Joe's.