Vivian and I have been keeping busy for the last couple weeks being social with our numerous circles of friends. We’ve also been taking time for each other whenever we get the chance, dropping in at IHOP for breakfast to celebrate National Pancake Day and helping to set up at JNO all through February.
Last week, our friend Jolene turned the big 3-0, but we celebrated her birthday a little earlier because her husband Randy was being deployed, and she wanted him to be there for her party. It was a fairly simple affair with pizza, cake, and Vivian’s delicious artichoke cheese dip. We hung around for an hour or two talking and playing foosball, but by ten o’clock, just about everyone has gone home. Vivian and I and Randy and Jolene were left somewhat bedfuddled. I guess the four of us hadn’t been married long enough to forget what it was like to be single and stay up late on a Saturday night.
Last Friday, Vivian and I had a date night together and went to see the African Children’s Choir at the Orpheum Theater downtown. They’re a group of young African children (ages eight to eleven) who perform traditional songs and danced from various African countries. They are often orphans and come from very disadvantaged backgrounds, and their performance is part of a fundraiser to help them to go to school and a better life growing up. Vivian had seen the group perform at her church once years ago, and she was quite eager to see them again, and it was grea to be a part of this experience myself.
On Saturday, the two of us finally broke down and got a membership at Costco. I had heard you can save money with them in several ways, from car insurance to their premium credit card, so I thought it might be a good deal. We’re already saving money buying a whole month’s supply of V8 in advance. Vivian seemed to like being able to pick up a pound container of blue cheese and packages of Italian Dry Salami as large as a baguette. If anybody needs to get an entire palette of Gummi Bears, let us know.
On Saturday night, the two of us drove up to Blair to hang out with some older JNO/GAMe friends Dennis and Kara. We got to take a look at their new house and then have some Italian chicken and white wine together as we discussed the possibility of Vivian and me buying our own home while prices seem to be in our favor.
Speaking of wine, this week Vivian and I got to be part of a wine tasting event at the HyVee across the street. There’s a wine club that meets in the dining area every month as a means of promoting new wines in the store. We got to sample a variety of red and white wine from Argentina and Chile this month while nibbling on crackers and cheese. Most of the samples were far too dry for my own tastes, but one called the Pascual Toso Torrontes had a sweet, smooth flavor that I enjoyed. I think the two of us are dangerously close to becoming wine snobs, so we may need to call on our friend Onion Boy to bail us out with a bottle or two of good old Blue Moon.