Valerie is a 42-year-old, single, Reformed Christian lady who lives in Baltimore. She doesn't remember a time
before she knew and loved Jesus, but she does remember accepting John Calvin into her heart in March of 2000.
Valerie is a member of Christ Reformed Evangelical Church in Annapolis.
Though her career aspiration is to be a housewife, Valerie has not yet found anyone suitable who wishes to hire
her for employment in that field (or, more properly, anyone suitable has not found her), so in the meantime she
earns her daily bread working in communications -- editing, writing, print design and website management.
The Bad -- As with last month's feast, I left too much work to do on one day. And I didn't help matters by deciding to do unnecessary things like hang pictures and start packing (yes, those activities seem antithetical, but they do both contribute to making the place look better). I wasn't quite as exhausted as I was at last month's feast, but I was still too pooped to party properly. I mean, here are some of the best people in the whole entire universe right here at my very own dining room table, and here I am struggling to contribute coherently to the conversation. Must do better with time management so I don't end up giving more to the preparation than to the people.
The Good -- 1) Abigail gave me a winner with her smothered chicken recipe. I cut the chicken up smaller, and used Adobo seasoning and a little cilantro (and dug out a bottle of hot sauce for those desirous of additional kick). Alas, I overcooked it a bit, but it was edible, and it was even yummier reheated the next day at Ann Rachel's. Sides were corn, salad and Italian herb bread. 2) Even though I was too tired, I was still grateful to have accomplished so much. My house hasn't looked this good in months. 3) I had fabulous guests. And as if the pleasure of having them in my home wasn't enough, 4) they brought presents! Karen and another friend had bought me two identical goreous pashmina shawls in Italy -- they knew I'd want two to sew together to make the sort of jacket-like poncho (or is it a poncho-like jacket?) I like to wear in the winter. Plus Karen brought a rocking chair she'd been wanting to get out of her house. Not to be outdone, Angie gave me a coffee maker. When she'd asked what she could bring, I told her if she wanted coffee, she'd have to supply her own. But knowing that if she brought her own fish, she'd get to eat for a day, and if she taught me how to fish, she'd get to eat as often as she came over, she went all out and bought me my very own brewer and my very own bag of coffee and (knowing my ignorance on the subject) my very own carefully written instructions so I could avoid abusing the next java lover to cross my threshold. Oh, and Karen brought a very yummy ice cream dessert, too, and Angie brought the all-important bag of ice. 5) They also brought their sons, and I took advantage of the triple-action guy-power to get a dozen boxes to the attic, a stubborn office chair disassembled for return, and the garbage taken out. 6) Many hands pitched in to clean up, and at the end of the evening, my house was even cleaner than before my guests arrived. 7) Despite my fatigue, it was a very joyful evening for me. And I'm sure my guests were even more blessed than I was...because they gave so much more than they received!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9:56 PM
On July 3, 2007 8:57 AMMargaret in VAwrote... There's always something I could do better, or less, or more! I'm so proud of you for giving hospitality to God's people and opening yourself up to your loved ones regularly like this! Cool about the gifts, too, those are always nice! ;) Now that I'm at my legal limit of exclamation points, I have to go.
On July 3, 2007 2:50 PMAbigailwrote... Wow! If you leave too many tasks to tie up at the last moment, at least you have the unimpeachable sense to invite such wonderful people to the table! It sounds as if your blessing of inviting them to feast on yummy food and good conversation allowed your guests to serve up blessings in return.