As a friend pointed out to me today, Rachel Alexandra, a filly I have actually met, went ahead and won the Preakness Stakes and I have yet to celebrate. What can I say? I'm about 12 blog posts behind but real life must always come first and it's been coming at me nonstop lately.
Most recently, I have had the pleasure of celebrating the 11th year of Chick Cabin Weekend, an annual gathering at my family's tiny getaway cabin in Green Valley Lake, California. Every year is different and yet, every year is the same. You put a bunch of funny, strong, beautiful women in the forest, add several pounds of bacon, champagne and margaritas and voila! You get approximately 48 hours of deep love and even deeper belly laughs.
It's strange watching us get older. With the annual marker, it's easier to spot our changing attitudes and habits. In the beginning, Debbie (mother of four) would be doing tequila shots within 15 minutes of arrival. Now, she takes naps. "This is the only time all year, I get to sleep uninterrupted," she says.
Then there was the year we all came with chips and beer, reasoning somehow that surely somebody else would bring the real food. Now, thanks to Susie, we are more organized and the snacks a tad healthier. Although Chef Lisa continually created baked goods from scratch while dancing away on her iPod - how could we resist? We simply didn't.
I couldn't help but notice that our weekend was magically timed with another female gathering - a ladybug fest. Kim and I watched them for awhile and noted how un-ant-like they are. No single file lines for them, no marching. Each Lady is on her own mission and yet they're still all hanging out together. Seemed fitting for our own lady gathering.
This was also the first year I was able to successfully quiet a batch of giggly girls long enough to enjoy what I call, "The Frog Cocktail Party." On the annual midnight walk, we go past a large pond that is home to thousands of frogs. At night, they chat up a storm but the intrusion of cars, porch lights, humans - anything that makes noise - causes them to shut up all at once. If you are patient and still, they ultimately forget and one frog inevitably picks up the conversation, "Anyway, as I was saying ..." and the Frog Party begins again. It is one of my favorite sounds and this year, I was able to get others to hear it a little too. So, yay!
I'd sprung a new tradition on the gals this year and wasn't sure how it would go over. After the Saturday Night Feast, I proposed an Open Mic Talent Show where anybody could get up and sing, tell a story, juggle or whatever. Chef Lisa had brought stand-up microphone that connects to an iPod so ultimately, it ended up being karaoke-without-a-net in that lyrics were not provided. If you knew the song, you just got up and belted it out.
This seemed frightening in the beginning but ultimately turned into, "Hey, you've gone twice already it's my turn now!" The biggest surprise of the evening was Kim, mother of two and easily the funniest gal in the bunch, belt out an expletive-laden version of "Crazy Bitch" by Buckcherry.
Not to be outdone, Andrea, also a mother of two and former warrior of Corporate America, launched into her word-for-word performance of Kid Rock's "Cocky", which brought down the house. Later, Kim and I did our version of Prince's "Housequake", which got us many laughs. And to think it all started with John Denver's "Country Roads" ...
Good to know we still got it, even if we have to dig deeper to find it.
(My photos are all here.)