A Perfect Weekend

I had just the most perfect weekend.  First off it was simply glorious outside.  Whilst I love the magical visual effect of snow, and desire a snowy Christmas, I am certainly enjoying the warmer December weather while it lasts.  It was 45-50 degrees F this weekend.  And it's the middle of December...in Montana!  Hip, hip, hooray!
Since it was so nice we figured we could sneak in one more outdoor grilling event this year.  I don't quite understand how the "grilled" taste can make foods I like even better!  But, it does. 
We also had a very special concert to attend on Saturday evening.  Our friend, Sean, was in a bluegrass band called The Anonymous String Association, which sadly took a break over a year ago primarily because one band member moved to Hawaii.  Well, Jess came back to visit and so a reunion show was most certainly in order.  They sounded so, SO good too.  You'd have never known they took a year off and had only a couple practices with the whole band before this show.  It was one of those shows where afterwards all anyone could think of to say was how tremendous a performance it had been.  It was incredible, but also a little bittersweet because we don't know when it will happen again.  Still, it was a blessing to our little community of bluegrass lovers who boogied like there was no tomorrow.   I hadn't danced barefoot for far too long it seems.  I have photos, but blogger isn't cooperating with them so I will just have to post them later.

On Sunday my girlfriends threw a surprise birthday party for another friend, Jonnie.  While it ended up not being a surprise (Jonnie was told the night before by an intoxicated friend after the bluegrass show) it was still a highly successful gathering.  Cake, bruschetta, tie-dye, hula hoop making, music, pinata, pomegranates, punch, and of course, a whole lot of laughing (like when Jen nearly hit the TV instead of the pinata or when Genoa got squirted quite well with pomegranate juice).  It was great.
The birthday girl, Jonnie.
Josh taught us a new way to eat pomegranates.  He squeezed it until it was squishy, punctured it, and we drank the fresh juice.
I led some folks in tie-dying.
Genoa brought her hoop making supplies.
Jen made her now-famous Newman-o's birthday cake.
The pinata ended up being the only thing that got broken...no wait....one strand of decorative beads and bells was taken down in the process.

The ladies!
This is Jonnie's birthday hoop.  Everyone decorated a small section of it for her.  Jen took it for a test drive after it was finished.

Then, after all the birthday fun, I topped the evening off with hot tubing and stimulating conversation at a hotel with a friend visiting from out of town.  It was the most superb way to end the totally awesome weekend!


  1. You were making hula hoops or decorating them? I really want a hula hoop! I had one when I was a child.

  2. We were both making and decorating them. Genoa makes and sells hula hoops as a side job. As I understand it you take a length of black irrigation tubing, like you might use for underground sprinklers I think. The ends of the sections are fitted into each other to make hoop. This involves heating the tube up in hot water. I'm not sure, but I think maybe to make one end expand so they other can be wedged in. Then they are decorated with colored tape.

  3. What clever party ideas! I have never thought of making a hula hoop. Tie dying is a great idea. I will mention that to Maria for her friends. Jonathan will never hear of it. Ha!....Denise

  4. I can't really take credit for it. Genoa and Jen came up with the idea, they just asked if I'd bring my dye stuff and take part. Oh, it was a fun party though!

  5. If you want info on making hula hoops- go to youtube. There are many 3-5 min videos. Basically: go to homedepot. Buy 3/4 in 100psi black irrigation tubing. Should be less than 20 dollars. Get 9 connectors (3/4 in double barbed male male connectors) should be less than 50 cents each. Get at least one roll of colored duct tape (less than 4 dollars). Also a pack of black electrical tape, you can do some cool designs with just normal gray duct tape and black electrical. If you plan to do more than one or two hoops also go to Harbor Freight (china tool) and get a racheting pvc pipe cutter, should be approx 5 dollars. Go home. Boil pot of hot water in a pan that may or may not be foodsafe again, I use a dedicated electric teapot. while water is boiling, cut end of tubing to size the hoop to fit you- probably waist high but any where between hip and armpit will work. go big if you are new. Stick end of pipe in boiling water, hold in there for approx 30 seconds, or until you see bubbles going up tubing. Put connecter in the hot meltey end of plastic, a little nub will still show, this is okay. Do same to other end, connecting your loop. Make sure it is round, you can stretch and move when it is warm. Tape. (this is where the skill comes in, and having a box full of >$100 worth of tape colors). you can do bands, spirals, blocks. Try going one way with the duct tape, and the other way opposite spiral with the black electrical tape. Glitter tape should be first layer, electrical tape top layer. Try to cover sides of duct tape, the adhesive squeezes out.

  6. Also if you want me to come do parties, I do that as well even if you are not close enough friends with me to warrant a surprise party where all the people who are interested got to go home with tie dye apparel and custom hoops as party favors. My cell is (347)669-HULA 347-669-4852. Parties start at about $10 per person for supplies, my time is on a gratuity basis only.


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