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October 24, 2005

There was much tomfoolery and carrying on and I did not mop, which caused great heartbreak for my mom.

I didn't mop. Let's just get that out of the way right now. My mom had to pour a cocktail when I told (confessed) this fact to her, and she sighed. The sigh which clearly conveyed HAD SHE TAUGHT ME NOTHING? WHERE IN THE UPBRINGING HAD IT ALL GONE WRONG? After all, a Very Important Guest from the East Coast had come out here to stay with me and I DID NOT MOP. What on earth could I have been doing that would take precedence over this crucial step to houseguesting?

Well, let me tell you. It's so exciting! And also, magic!

You see, I discovered Magic Erasers, the miracle cleaning product. They are these little white eraser things that you dampen and they remove anything -- ANYTHING -- on the walls or doors or countertops. Scuffs! Mystery marks! Schmook*! Gone! And I was so thrilled and also excited by the Magic, that I Magic Erasered spots both real and imagined on every surface of my house except the kitchen floor. For hours. Whoops!

(*This was a different word. It meant something bad. I am maybe not very smart. I changed it. Moving on.)

Then I had to clean about ten feet of ash off every surface of the patio for The Big Party, and there was much housecleaning and laundry-doing and, also, perhaps shopping, so I guess they'll have to revoke my Southern Belle card because not only did I neglect the crucial mopping, I CANNOT EVEN FIND MY MOP.

But! I did find my houseguest, the very lovely and funny and warm Annie Modesitt, who is out here in Los Angeles teaching classes and doing book signings for her latest, a collection of essays called "Cheaper Than Therapy." We met at the Yarn Garden in Studio City on Friday night, where she signed books and knitted and chitchatted and we saw Debra and Gaby there. And I met the lovely Yarn Garden owner, Tiffany, and her mom Cherie who is an AMAZING maker of knitted things, and Tiffany's daughter (who at three years old is a better knitter than I am. Really.)

Annie signed some books and told us some great stories, and we all sat on the patio at the shop and chatted. At some point, someone figured out that I was the Jack-Daniels-in-a-coffee-cup cat lady from the book, and after SO MUCH ARM TWISTING (ha!) I got to sign MY VERY FIRST BOOK EVER and it was so exciting, and thrilling, and I loved it! In fact, I loved it so much that I offered to sign all books! ALL books! I don't care who wrote them! In fact, I might just start asking people on the bus, "Hey! What are you reading? Hand it to me! I'll sign it!"

Send me anything, I'll sign it! Me, Tiffany and Annie with Tiffany's blanket; Cherie, with a gorgeous shawl of her own design.

Debra and Gaby; Girls Gone Wild; Inside the cozy Yarn Garden.

After we left the shop, Annie and I went to visit her friend James, who has an amazing house in Sherman Oaks that I kind of want to move into. With clear oak floors and huge built-in cabinets and a granite kitchen island. Then we went back to my house (which is no so much the granite island kind of place) and I drank wine and talked Annie's ear off, and she was very sweet even though you know she was about to fall over from tiredness.

On Saturday, I hosted a little gathering of knitters and friends at my house to meet Annie and have dinner. In fact, I called this gathering a "dinner party." All the elements were in place to make very fancy chicken kebabs and Jasmine rice with toasted almonds and so on. All the elements except... maybe someone to cut and marinate the chicken, and slice all the vegetables, and marinate those, and then clean the grill and light the grill and make the kebabs and toast the almonds and so on. That person was... missing? Not me? Tired? Perhaps drinking wine and visiting with Faith on the patio?

So, instead I made my guests a very fancy and delicious meal of the Italian persuasion:

But everyone seemed to forgive me, and I got them liquored up and before long we were Knitting Under The Influence:

Party at my house, ya'll! Bring... something to eat. Because apparently the cook is on strike. Again.

Click for big images:

All in all, a lovely weekend and so much fun. Especially if you were the hostess who didn't have to clean a single plate after the party. In fact, I may never cook for a party again, it's much easier for a nice man to bring you food in a warm box. Then you can sit back with your red cheeks and big red wine and offer to sign people's paper plates. Don't you agree?

Posted by laurie at October 24, 2005 11:10 AM