On Friday night we enjoyed Shabbat dinner with friends. Their young daughter made me a card and a small paper lantern "lit" with carnation flower. It was a sweet way to celebrate.
Saturday morning saw me in synagogue, feeling well enough to lead the musaf service as planned. There's something very powerful and satisfying about standing in front of the congregation, with my back to them. I can't see them, but I can hear their voices lifted in song along with me. Leading the congregation in prayer has got to be my favorite synagogue activity.
That night our inner circle of friends got together at one home for a potluck dinner and birthday party. We noshed on nuts, cheeses and crackers, focaccia, and a bottle of champagne. Then we went to the table for Moroccan vegetable stew with quinoa, broccoli and leek quiches, green salad, more talking and more wine.
Our friends from Vancouver were in Everett for a kid thing and drove to Seattle in order to see us. They arrived in time for dessert. I had picked up a yummy selection from Whole Foods including mini cupcakes and tarts in chocolate, vanilla, lemon, key lime and salted caramel; a couple of eclairs; a fresh fruit tart and a small apple pie. In addition we had Graeter's chocolate-chocolate chip ice cream, Fran's dark chocolate sauce, more mixed nuts, pomegranate seeds both fresh and covered in chocolate, and chocolate covered ginger. Of my four personal food groups (champagne, chips, chocolate and whipped cream), only the whipped cream was in short-ish supply on the eclairs and the mini tarts.
Sunday's festivities featured a clothing exchange with about ten friends. We had all picked from our closets the items we no longer wear, or don't like, or that don't fit properly any more. Everyone contributed, and everyone went home with something. You should have seen R in a slinky one-shoulder black velvet gown. Just about everything looked good on N. S was particularly helpful in saying if something really flattered or wasn't worth keeping. Even a couple of teenaged daughters ended up with stuff they loved! I think I ended up with the best bargain: a grey cashmere dress with short sleeves by designer TSE. It looks kind of like this item from the TSE spring 2010 collection. The remaining clothing from our exchange will go to another clothing exchange, and the final bits will go to the Lifelong AIDS Alliance thrift store.
Now the birthday celebrations have ended and it's time to pick up some projects I've avoided lately, prepare for Wednesday's chemo cycle three, and get ready for Thanksgiving!