Sunday, February 23, 2014

Busy, busy, busy. . .

This retirement stuff is so overrated! We have really been busy, but things are slowing down for now.

Last week we had the Birch Street Dinner on Wednesday. All the streets in the park put on a dinner and sell tickets to the park residents and anyone else who wants to come. The dinners have been very popular. . . one is a meatloaf dinner, another is spaghetti, ham balls, lasagne, roast beef, baked ham, and ours which is a pork loin dinner. We serve it with real mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, roll, applesauce or jello, coffee, tea, and cake for dessert.

We start with a meeting about a week before and assign all the duties. Hopefully everyone on the street participates and our street is very good with lots of help. Not too much for any one person when everyone chips in. We start at 9 a.m. on our day and peel potatoes. Then they are placed in pots and turned on later. We unwrap the loins and they are rinsed and placed on foil on large baking pans. Then each gets mushroom soup and dry onion soup mix and rosemary on top, then it is wrapped up. Later, all the pans are stacked in the convection ovens and they are slow roasted. The tables are set up, washed, salt and pepper put out. The coffee/tea tables are set up and the cake tables are set up and plates and knives for cutting are set out. The rolls are put in airtight boxes and set in place and the applesauce is put into serving cups.

Once the preliminaries are done, we get to go home and relax and have lunch. We return at 1 p.m. and mash potatoes and check on the meat. We put the green beans and corn and potatoes in the roasters. Once that is done and everything else is checked again, we get to go home. First shift starts at 3:30 and serving starts at 4 p.m. People are always waiting to eat. Mom and Dad went over early and since Terry and I worked second shift, we caught up with Mom and Dad and we ate a leisurely dinner with them. After we were done and saw them home, we took our turn. Terry was serving. The men always serve. I think it's because the counters are tall and the guys can easily serve from the roasters. I had cake detail so I was on the other end of the hall and cutting up cakes and seeing that everyone got what they wanted. We had cake left over, but no whole cakes, so we figured it out pretty good.

When we are done serving at 6, cleanup begins. I cleaned up the cake area with the help of the other gals working. We are a great group and everyone helps. By 7 p.m. everything is cleaned up and everything back in place.

The dinners are one of the ways our park earns money. By raising money we are able to keep our assessments down to a manageable amount and the common areas like the clubhouse and pool are maintained.

On Saturday after our street dinner we had the Ladies' Luncheon. The theme this year was "Bal en Blanc." I think I spelled that right. It was all done by our French Canadian ladies and the theme was a "white ball." Everything was white and everyone was supposed to wear white. Hard to believe how that theme was so interesting, but something about everything being white was quite refreshing. They decorated the entire hall in white and covered the backs of the chairs in white and covered other visible furniture and items in the room with white coverings. It was really pretty cool. We all pitch in with salads and eat lunch. Then there is entertainment and this year several women from the park sang and some line danced. Awards were given for the white outfits that seemed to capture the essence of the theme. It was a wonderful afternoon and our French Canadians ladies outdid themselves with their preparation. Thank you Ladies!

Today I spent getting ready for our first visitors down here! Yes! Luanne, my high school friend, and her husband Jim are due in sometime tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing them and the weather is supposed to be pretty good. Not too terribly hot, but was enough for shorts and it will be a nice diversion from Luanne and Jim and all that snow they have had this winter.

So, until next time. . .


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