Sunday, September 28


No, it wasn't a "loud rock music kind of party" (although there was music) it was a "rock party" as in real rocks. It all started a few years ago when I got this idea to do something fun after the garden was cleared. I thought "why not dig a hole in the center of the garden, rim it with rocks and roast hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire". We were short on rocks to rim the fire, though, so everyone that was invited was asked to bring a rock to put around the fire. This is the rock that our neighbor Ann decorated for the party. I used the picture of it on the front of the invitations that I sent out to neighbors in our circle, to our kids and a couple of other friends, (one from Steve's work and one of my quilting friends). The invitations went out two weeks ago and I could only hope that the weather wouldn't be too cold as September can be rainy and cold and our previous "Rock Parties" had us huddling around the fire for warmth. Not this one!! The day dawned warm and sunny although there was almost a "damper" on the day and, as I said in my previous post, it had nothing to do with rain.

I'll share the details as quickly as possible it's Friday morning and my husband leaves for an early morning Dr. appointment, then a little later I get up and go out to walk the dog. However, as I come into the kitchen, I think - that's funny, sounds like the water softener is running and it shouldn't be. So I open the door to the basement and I am immediately aware that it is the sound of gushing water. So I run downstairs in my bare feet (do not do this) and see water spraying from the pipe next to the softener and water is fast spreading toward the middle of the furnace room and has begun to spread toward my boxes of Christmas decorations and such in the other direction. I try to shut off the water but the valve doesn't seem to want to move. I run back upstairs, call my husband, no answer, get some shoes, run back downstairs again. Still no luck with the shut-off valve so I try our builder and I get his wife but they're out of town and then my husband pulls in the garage. I run out as if the house is on fire, yelling "quick to the basement, there's water shooting out of the pipes!!" Of course, he gets the shutoff valve closed and in a few minutes water stops spurting out so we were saved from any further mess. I cleaned up while he went and got a replacement part for a fitting which he declared was "faulty" and showed me why but I didn't care. I was just glad this all happened while we were home. And here is where I tell you something you may have heard before - this is why they tell you to turn off your water if you are leaving your home for a vacation! If we had been gone for even a few hours, we would have had a horrible mess to clean up, imagine the mess if we had been gone a week! As it was, the whole thing was repaired and the water mopped up and only two boxes had to be tossed. That's because most of the Christmas items were in plastic totes and the stuff in the boxes was also in plastic bags so nothing was lost.

So, with the water problems all fixed, I was in the kitchen by 11:00 a.m. to get to my cooking for the night's festivities. I already made my desserts earlier in the week - a double batch of chocolate chip cookies (no special recipe, just straight from the Nestle Tollhouse package) and a pan of brownies (Betty Crocker Supreme with frosting) and a big pan of pumpkin bars that were really good. I'll share the recipe for those later this week. I had stocked up on tons of pop/sodas, loads of chips and stuff and hot dogs and marshmallows to roast. I slow-cooked a big roaster full of ground beef and put half of it in the crock-pot and seasoned it for sloppy joes and added beans of all kinds and seasoned the rest for chili. I also made a corny cornbread dish that was really popular. Kaiser liked it all and as you can see in the picture, he was eating all the crumbs that I dropped on the floor. I worked all afternoon to get everything just right and while I did that, Steve prepared the ring where we would have our fire and rim it with rocks from our neighbors. They started arriving right about 6:30 and by 7:00 everyone was here. Steve had the fire going and
the table was set and ready to go.
Our son, Devlin, started cooking hotdogs and that's his girlfriend, Stacia, and our son-in-law, Daryl, making sure he cooked them just right.......

You can see the rocks our neighbors brought for our fire, some decorated, some not but each one will be kept to use next year because this is an annual event, ya know!

The food was on and everybody had filled their plates and were intent on eating. I must make apologies to my neighbors as I tried hard to get shots with everyone looking really great but in everyone somebody had a strange expression as they were eating or talking. This was the best of several shots.
Here's our daughter, Collette, and she hasn't started eating yet so I caught her with a smile! :-)
This is Sarah with her mom (on the left and with Dad (on the right). Her dad, Orangy, has helped a lot with the landscaping we have been doing.
Friends who couldn't make it were our builder, Steve and his wife as they were out of town.

This is one of my favorite photos of the evening - grandson, Jacob, our neighbor girl, Kaylee and a friend of hers that was spending the night. They had a great time as all kids do when the weather is nice, the stars are shining, there's a fire for roasting marshmallows and just plain fun to be had because you are just a kid!!

I had to add this photo of my friend, Jeanne, and her fiance, Jeff. They just got engaged a week ago. Can you tell?

Devlin has always, along with his dad, given me a hard time because I take so many pictures. Guess who was taking pictures that night? Here he is shooting video of the flames and he also had fun taking photos of a large bug that was on the patio.

I thought I should include a photo of my husband, Steve, so here he is enjoying a second round of marshmallows along with neighbor, Judy who remarked that she got her marshmallows done just right. Jacob, on the other hand, was having some trouble as the wind kept blowing smoke in his eyes but he finally got them roasted.
Once the food was gone we had a nice time just sitting around visiting and listening to some of Devlin's music and we got caught up on who's doing what and just kept remarking about what a lovely evening it was. This was, after all, Minnesota and it was warm enough to not wear a sweater!!! Pretty unusual for this time of year!! Some folks left earlier than others but our kids hung out and Jeanne and Jeff, too, and it was just nice to be with all of them.

When it came time to clean up, Collette snapped this photo of me next to the workbench where the sloppy joes, chili, etc. had been setting. Everything was gone except a little bit of left-over chili. Earlier in the day, Steve was concerned about "what are you going to do with all the left-overs?" I kept telling him, I was pretty sure there wouldn't be any left-overs and - ha, ha - I was right! I wrote down how much I fixed for this year so I can make more for next year. The sloppy joes were a favorite and I think folks would have eaten more if there had been more. I'll get it right next year!!!
So that's the end of our "Rock Party" event. I have a special quilt to share with you in tomorrow's post. It's a commissioned quilt that I did for the Prior Lake Library. And speaking of quilts - I think this photo below might be inspiration for a quilt. After everything was cleaned up, Collette and I went out on the porch and I took this by covering the flash on the camera so I got only the features on the Jack-0-Lantern. Kinda cool, huh? The first of October is just around the corner and Halloween will be here before you know it so have a "howling good week" and stay safe.



DiddleDaddleDesigns said...

Wow, what a great idea.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

What a fun party. You are so good with people Sandi. And I really don't know anyone that would have kept going that day after the basement disaster! What a fun tradition. I love it.

You know just over a year ago a pipe broke under our sink and we had half a house total remodel. We were gone for 5 days. My daughter happened to come home for something but the water had been running at least 12 hours by then. Anyway needless to say we turn the water off now when we go out of town.

You have a lovely lovely family and great friends.

"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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