I watched Bewitched. Well, tried to, I fell asleep each time I tried to watch it. Either the movie is horrendously terrible or I watch it when I'm tired. And I SHOULD be tired. It's been a long weekend.
Let's see, it started on
I took off Wednesday and Thursday from work. Some would say that Wednesday was hardly a holiday, and would take off Thursday and Friday, the first two technical days of Pesach. But, Wednesday is a Seder day, and I needed to help my mom prepare. And prepare we did! In less than eight hours, we cleaned out the refrigerator and freezer to the max, scrubbing every last bit of chometz (un-kosher for Passover food) out of that thing. Then we refilled it with the Pesach stuff, of course. Our refrigerator looked so bare (of course, not for long). Then we cooked. And cooked and cooked and cooked. My mom and I made turkey, I made chicken soup, I prepared the cold gefilte fish, I chopped all the ingredients for Charoset, my mom made tzimmus, I started the hot gefilte fish... Then, I went to go pick up family friends Terry and Amber (14 and 12, their mom was going to come too but got sick) and when I came back, not ONLY was the hot gefilte fish finished, but it was finished by none other than those who hath arriveth! Matthew, Naomi, Kalina, Alan, and Vivi drove down. M, N, and K flew from Baltimore to Atlanta, and then the five of them drove down together. Janis and Phil Spitzer brought salad (they either like to bring it or we always ask them to.. but their salad is always fantastic). We also had broccoli. I felt bad to leave that out. And hard-boiled eggs, of course.
Twas seriously fantastic. My dad was being his odd self and passed out sunglasses to wear at the beginning of the seder, and then when we actually started we took them off-- except for when Phil came in (he had to come late) we put them all back on. We're cool like that. I miss the craziness of the "THIS IS THE BREAD OF AFFLICTION" from my younger years, but it was completely and totally made up for with a heinous and totally awesome version of the Birkhat Hamazon (grace after meals). Speaking of the meal, everything was great-- EXCEPT for my chicken soup. Which is odd, because... well.. I rock at chicken soup. I'm blaming this one on the chicken though. For awhile I was really afraid I had lost my mojo. Four cups of wine were had by all, though I did notice a few well-timed glances by mother telling me I shouldn't drink as much wine. I was only doing what the Haggadah said, mom! (The Haggadah is the Passover book/manual/story that we read every seder night. It tells the story of Pesach with lots of fun commentary. We use the Maxwell House Haggadah because we got them for free probably more than 30 years ago, and I love it :)
The "festive" meal cannot end without the afikomen, a piece of matzah, broken from the middle piece of the three symbolic pieces of matzah on the table. Generally, the leader of the seder (in this case, my dad) hides it, and the children try to steal it, and sell it back to the leader at the end of the meal, because the meal cannot be finished without it. I remember being happy getting a bouncy ball. This year Deborah stole it. What she didn't know, is that when she presented it.. I had one too! Which was the real afikoem? No one knew. Except for me. And her. And Vivi. And probably everyone else at the table. but the Passover meal cannot be finished without it, and to be sure, we used mine too. Negotiations should have happened later that night, but did not. Kalina joined in on the song-singing with some very nice nonsense speak. She speaks in real words very nicely as well, but you can't really expect her to know the words to Adir-Hu.
After the seder, everyone stayed around for awhile to talk. Then Janis and Phil took Terry and Amber (I wasn't exactly in a position to drive, ahem, and it was on their way, so none of our family had to leave). A few of us stayed up late working on a puzzle (we always seem to do puzzles when Vivi is home) and had lots of good laughter between siblings. I finally came back to my apartment around.. 2?
I went over around 11 or so, ate matzah brei with the fam, worked on the puzzle more, and made more food. We needed replenishment of charoset, using much the night before, and I wanted to make new chicken soup, since the old stuff was.. not good. I think this was the day that Kalina and I bonded. I held her for while, and Kalina was very nice and shared her stickers with me, so my shirt was pretty much covered with them by the time I got to put her down.
There's a reading at the end of the Haggadah that's special to my family: Echad Mi Yodea, translated to be "Who Knoweth One?" It's a little tricky to explain, but the phrases get longer and lnger (kind of like Partridge in a Pear Tree) and we always try to do it in one breath. The night before, I had been able to go through all thirteen TWICE, my record so far. That afternoon, Vivi and I busted out a Chumash (Torah book) and books on Kabbalah and Numerology, and wrote MORE, up to FORTY! Then Vivi and I went to go pick up Alice, an elderly friend of the family. Other guests that night included Leon Hilfstein, Delia (Hilfstein) Thorne, and Delia's 6-month old girl, Taylor. Who, btw, has gotten MUCH prettier since I last saw her.
My chicken soup was incredible, and my mojo was restored, and even made up for the night before. The seder wasn't particularly interesting. Nothing out of the ordinary, except being the one in front of the sliding glass door, I got to be particularly cold throughout the whole thing. After the seder, We did Echad Mi Yodea again, and I successfully got up to somewhere in the twenties. I think I tried for 26? I don't remember. I'm just happy to always win. I suppose that's my prize for not smoking, playing flute and piccolo, and lifeguarding. I got some awesome lung capacity. No jokes on THAT, please.
I left fairly soon after the seder, I was pretty much exhausted. I figured Ron would be out with his friend Nick, but apparently he had fallen asleep at something lame like 9 pm, so I didn't get to talk to him that night :(
I had to work. Sucky, but atleast I finally had The Big Talk with my boss, and everything is thankfully okay. I build things up in my mind to be so terrible, but really? I'm a good talker, I hadn't REALLY done anything wrong, and I am actually good at what I do. SO everything was fine. I got off at 12 or so, but had to be back around 3 to pick up my check from LVLC (my $60 gas check, not my actual paycheck), at which time I also gave Sabrina a ride to the capitol so Ken could give her a ride from there so that... she could officially become a Mary Kay consultant! CONGRATULATIONS, SABRINA :)
Deborah wanted to go shopping, and Naomi wanted to get a few things for Kalina, so at that point we went to the mall. Ugh, the mall. Luckily we didn't actually go in, but went to Ross and Shoe Carnival, the latter of which where I bought some INCREDIBLY AWESOME FANTASTICALLY COOL RED HEELS that hurt my feet like mad. On the way out, I checked, and... Clinique was having Bonus Time! I really wanted the gift, but I wasn't about to buy $21.50 worth of lipgloss or something just to get the gift, and they had nothing else I wanted. We went home, ate a wonderful dinner of leftovers, and then went to services. ALL of us. We took up two rows :) I wore a fantastic skirt i bought about a year ago that I hadn't seen since (remind me not to let Deborah borrow my clothes) and of course my fantastic new shoes. Not wanting to go by my apartment, I borrowed a shirt from my mom. Don't think she's getting it back, either ;) Everyone was all excited to see Kalina, and some of Matthew's old classmates were there (home for Passover), so that was neat.
Afterwards, six of us went to go see Ron. Deborah had already met him, and obviously I had as well, but I wanted my other siblings and in-law, and possible-future-in-law to meet him as well. So Matthew, Naomi, Vivi, Alan, Deborah and I went over there. We had packed our bathing suits previously, although I hadn't warned Ron of our intent to swim. Muahaha. I'm PRETTY sure everyone liked him, and he's officially Naomi's hand twin (or atleast had the same exact size hands). We went out to the pool, and some of us went in , but the wimpy ones stayed out of the water... until Ron mentioned he also had an indoor hot-tub (which I hadn't even known!). We went to the hot tub, only going over capacity by like three, and played "lets tell fun factoids about ourselves." Oh! I remembered the other "theme" I had thought of, which was "Say something about the person to your right." We talked briefly about everyone's exes, told random facts about ourselves, and of course, everyone fired questions at Ron-- Not to be mean or intimidating, but because they were generally interested in him, which made me happy. He fits well :) There was also brief talk about being part of the Abrams family as a whole, and how Alan and Naomi have perceived us over the years (Matthew and Naomi and Vivi and Alan have each been together for six years). I think Ron was a little scared from talk about my dad, and then afterwards when we went to shower in the bathrooms there, we were afraid that Ron had left us (and me) forever.. but it turns out he had just gone to a different bathroom. We went back to his apartment, changed, marveled at a laundry rack, and were soon back at my parents house.
I came back to my apartment, and slept wonderfully (except I woke up at 5 am for whatever reason ;)
Woke up, made matzah brei (quite possibly for the first time ever), and then met my family at the Junior Museum. Some of you may know it as the Tallahassee Museum of Science and Natural History or something like that, but I do not. Vivi and I both went to pre-school there, and my mom worked there, so we're pretty familiar with the place, or atleast how it was 18-24 years ago. Passing by the gift shop I saw the candy sticks we always used to get, and longed for one, but told myself I could have it AFTER we went to the museum.W e saw all the animals (they didn't have a visiting animal though, booooo). The otter totally showed off for us. The alligator was lame, the bears were cool, we missed the deer, confirmed that a bobcat is in fact no bigger than our friend's old "fat cat," saw a panther, and discussed 'trees with knees' I'm probably leaving something out. We ate lunch (matzah and salami), we saw the mules, the pig, the sheep, the geese, the cow, the turkeys (Deborah said, "what is that?" for both the cow and the turkey). We checked out the old farmhouse, went to our old classrooms, made sure that Kalina got to play in the Caboose, visited the old buildings, went to the sinkhole, and then went back to the Visitor Center/gift shop.. where .. duh, Melissa, it's Passover, no candy sticks. Oh well. I don't think I really wanted one, I just wanted the nostalgia. It was the first time during Passover that I missed something because of the dietary laws of the holiday.
After the museum, we drove home. Made dinner (guess what? more leftovers!) and ate with everyone, and then Matthew, Naomi, Kalina, Alan, and Vivi left to go back to Atlanta (M, N, and K have an early Sunday-morning flight). I was about to go home too, when I saw Deborah with money, and remembered I needed to negotiate my afikomen winnings. It was definitely more than a bouncy ball, and definitely will be able to be put to good use with bill-paying. I'm putting off several bills till my next paycheck (this Thursday). I'm not paying anything LATE, it's just that I like to be able to pay bills and be done with them as soon as I get them... which I have not been able to do recently (I blame it on the Orlando trips to IoA and State Latin Forum).
Anyway, I came home, started to clean, but realized I was very very very tired, so I lied in bed with Padfoot and watched Bewitched. I mean, fell asleep during Bewitched. Aaaand then I woke up around 2, and spent about forty-five minutes writing this entry.