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Post by Gwendolan on Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:48 pm

Gwen had been doing a lot of thinking, the man that she loved was going to be having a birthday soon. She had spent the last couple of months making a quilt for him, to her that was just not enough.

She had an idea; she wanted to make him a formal dinner, she could do the cooking but the dishes? For that she needed help, there was only one person she could think of to ask for that. Venis.

That was not the only thing that she needed, she wanted to do her hair in an updo and have makeup done. She had the makeup and the perfume she wanted to use, Emilia had given it to her for her birthday. She would need a dress too, something fitted at the top but flowing everywhere else. For that she needed Selene's help.

She also wanted jewelry to ware, she knew that Tasha could make earrings for her that would just clip to her ears, so that was the one thing she needed to ask from her.

Manny was at work, so now was as good a time as any, she slipped out and went up to the top floor and knocked on the door jam of Venis' room.

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Re: Preperations

Post by Gwendolan on Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:53 pm

Venis looked up from her desk where she was sitting and day dreaming. She smiled when she saw her friend standing there. "Gwendolan, hey sweety, come on in." She dropped her feet down to the floor and turned in her chair. "What a wonderful surprise." She motioned to the seating area of the room. "Would you like some tea?" She rose up to get the tea ready if she said yes.

Gwen came into the room with a smile on her face. She sat down and nodded.

"Tea would be wonderful."

She folded her hands in her lap and waited. She had asked a favor from Venis before, she was about to do it again. She knew that this one would probably be easier after what happened during that last favor she asked for.

Venis opened her small ceder box that was on the bar in her kitchen rather than her desk like before. "Peppermint, Earl Grey, Chamomile, or blackberry?" Yes, Gwendolan had just been offered the coveted blackberry tea. While Venis awaited her answer, she got a tea cup and saucer from the cabinet. She placed it on the tray that held the other acutraments that went with a tea set.

"Blackberry please."

Gwen liked the fruit flavors, and that was one of her favorite.

"I came to ask for another favor."

Venis had peach tea, but it was best served ice cold. It came in a powder anyway. She filled the tea pot with water and held it in her hands to warm it. Then she scooped some blackberry tea leaves into the tea ball and put the tea ball on a plate of it's own. Then she got the cream pitcher from the fridge and set it on the tray as well. Then she carried the whole thing into the living room and set it on the table. Then she remembered to check the bowl for sugar cubes. Luckily she had plenty in there. Then she sat down and put the tea ball into the cup. She poured hot water over it and set it before Gwen on the table. She would leave her to her own sugar and cream. You used cream in blackberry, rather than lemon or honey. "So, how are you today dear?" She smiled as she sat back a little and crossed her right leg over her left.

She looked at Venis and smiled. Well yes it would be nice to go threw the pleasantries.

"I am doing well, I just have a lot on my mind."

She poured a little cream into the cup and then added two sugar cubes. She stirred it and then set the spoon on the saucer.

"Thank you."

Venis smiled at her, but then got those little worry lines in the center of her forehead. "What's on your mind?" She smiled more and nodded when she was thanked for the tea. "You're welcome." She knew that Gwendolan would know that it takes a few minutes for the leaves to soak and turn the water to tea, so she chose to not explain that to her.

She leaned forward a bit and smiled.

"Nothing bad, just something more I want to do for Manny's birthday."

She took a breath.

"I want to make him a formal dinner. I can handle the cooking but I know nothing of the dishes that you are supposed to use to set the table."

She took another deep breath,

"I also have a favor to ask of Selene and Tasha."

Venis arched both eyebrows. "I can definitely help." She smiled. "As for Tasha and Selene, you have to knock on their doors sweety." She thought for a moment. "We would have to make a quick trip to the keep for the dishes." She said that upfront just in case.

She smiled and looked at the tea, it was almost ready to drink.

"I would like to go back to the keep; it is beautiful."

She liked all the colors of the paintings on the walls.

"The requests I have for Tasha and Selene are smaller."

She smiled at that.

"A dress and help with makeup hair and jewelry."

Venis smiled. "I think the dress would be my department sweety. We can hit the closets when we are at the keep." She looked at her watch. "When did you want to go?" She had time, if Gwendolan did.

She smiled.

"As soon as I finish my tea."

She smiled as she took a sip. It was finally ready.

"I hadn't forgotten about the closets, but I was already asking for a lot by asking for the loan of your dishes."

She took another drink.

"I really love Manny and I want his birthday to be special."

Venis laughed. "You are not asking for a lot. I have two hundred and fifty place settings, and I have fifty service settings. It's not a big deal. And that's all in just one pattern." She smiled. If a dish got broke, it got broke, she had plenty. It helped that she knew the person who created them personally. He made sure she had plenty.

She finished the tea and set the cup back on the table.

"The tea was perfect, thank you again."

She was in a good mood and this was working out better than she had hoped.

"Venis, do you have a way to get Manny out of the Inn for the day, and get him to where I want to have dinner with him?"

Venis smiled. "Oh I can so do that. I'll just send him away for the day, tell him you and I are going to hang out, and then have him back and where you need him on time." Venis winked, it was a quick answer to an easy problem.

She smiled as she stood.

"Thank you. I am ready to go as soon as you are. Will we need the unicorns again?"

She missed them, she really should go down to the stables with sugar cubes for them.

Venis stood up as well. "No, not for this trip, we're taking a faster route." With a wave of her hand her diamond rolled out of the way and her door closed and locked. Then with her right index finger she made a cutting motion through the air. No one could see the portal, but it was there. "The direct route. This leads to the kitchen at the keep." She motioned for Gwendolan to go through first.

Gwen laughed.

"I thought that no one could use a portal into your keep."

She was sure that she remember her saying that.

"Not unless they were blood relations."

She moved to where Venis had just cut the hole."

Venis smiled. "It's my portal, anyone I let pass can use it." She followed behind her. The portal was so smooth that as a foot lifted for a step it was in Venis' room at the Inn and when that foot came down to complete the step, it was in Venis' kitchen at the Keep. So they were there in no time.

She stepped through the portal and into the kitchen. The first thing she noticed was the smell of freshly baked bread. She smiled at the cook.


Venis stepped out into the kitchen right behind her. "Hello Gretchen." She smiled at the portly woman.

"'ello miss, Lady Venis. Would you care for a spot to eat?" She had a large pot on the stove and was stirring it as she added ingredients.

Gwen looked at the woman.

"Does it have meat in it?"

Gwen would not eat meat, but she would eat the bread, she was smiling at the woman.

"Oh no miss, this be vegi stew. Me mum's recipe. Care fer a bowl?" She had made some to send to the construction crew. There were other dishes as well, some of them would have meat.

She smiled as she nodded.

"Then I would love a bowl, with some of that fresh bread I smell."

She sat down on a stool at the table in the kitchen. She was very happy, she was going to be loaned the dishes she needed for the dinner she wanted to make.

Gretchen smiled. "Straight away miss. Lady Venis, care for a spot o' O neg?" She moved her large frame around the kitchen as if she had been built into it. She got all the stuff she needed and got the guest a bowl of soup and some bread. "'ere ya go." She added a glass of ice water.

Venis smiled. "Yes, thank you Gretchen." She sat down with Gwendolan. "Gretchen, this is Lady Gwendolan, she is Manny's lady friend."

She smiled again."Pleased t' make yer acquaintance m'lady." She bowed slighly as she went to get Venis a glass of blood wine.

"Hello Gretchen, thank you for lunch, I am sure it will be delicious."

She meant it too, she knew that lunch was going to be good, it smelled great and she was hungry, she had not eaten since dawn.

Gretchen nodded and went back to preparing the food. She was glad to have a guest in her kitchen, and it was always a pleasure when Venis stopped by.

Venis smiled as she heated her blood wine and took a sip. "The dishes are in that closet over there." she pointed to a closet that was on the far side of the refrigerator. There were actually a lot of closets and cabinets in the room. But that one held that particular china pattern.

Gwen smiled as she ate her lunch. She was very curious, it made her eyes light up. In many ways seeing new things like this she was still like a child. Her eyes were a light and sparkling.

Venis got up and walked over to the closet and opened it up. There were several trunks within. All stacked one atop the other. Venis reached up and pulled one down from the top and brought it over to the small table where Gwendolan sat and ate. Then she retrieved a second one, same size. The third one she grabbed was bigger, it looked the same, but it was definitely bigger. She had to turn sideways to get it out of the door. She placed all the boxes on the floor. "After lunch, we can go into the Dining room and I can show you how to set all this up." She would get her some food warmers as well before they left.

She watched Venis as she took boxes out. Three boxes, why was the last one so large, she was about to ask that question when she heard Venis say they would go to the dinning room. She nodded.

"Thank you, I would like that."

She finished her lunch and drank down the water.

"Why do I have a feeling that I have a lot to learn?"

Venis chuckled. "You are a smart woman, you will pick this up in no time. Plus, I have charts to help you remember. And if one thing is off, Manny will not mind." she smiled more.

She smiled as she nodded.

"He loves me to much to point it out I know that, he is to kind to hurt my feelings."

She was really smiling now almost glowing. She loved Manny a lot and it showed when she spoke about him.

Venis smiled and nodded. "If you ask him later, he will find a kind way to tell you. But if you ask him during, or right after, he will simply say that all was perfect. He's just that kind of guy." It made Venis so happy to see someone love Manny the way he deserved to be loved.

"Then I will wait until a few days later and ask him."

She stood from the stool and looked down at the boxes.

"Shall we get started Venis?"

Venis nodded and then downed the rest of her blood wine. "Yes, if you will grab one side of that top small box for me." She lifted the larger box first, placing it up on her shoulder and holding it in place with her arm. Then she grabbed one end of the smaller box. The weight would be off balance slightly, but it was better than hurting Gwendolan or even herself.

She nodded and took the handle of the smaller box on the top.

"I thank you again for this. I am not sure how I can ever repay you."

"It's going to be kinda heavy sweety. I can loan you two employees to help you when we're done." She lifted with her legs hoping Gwen would do the same. "You don't have to repay me. You helped me more than I can ever repay, and you make Manny so unbelievably happy. I am in your debt for a great number of years." They headed out of the kitchen and into the formal dinning room. Once they had everything set down Venis shot up some flames to light the chandelier above them. It lit about one eighth of the table for them. That was enough.

She smiled.

"How could anyone not love a man that kind?"

She meant it to.

"There is so much goodness in him, so much love, he deserves the best, I can only hope that the best is me."

She set the box down with Venis bending at the legs. She watched as Venis lit the chandelier.

"I think help would be great, we need to get it there without involving the employees that are with you at the Inn."

Venis nodded. "Would you prefer men or women? I have some women who could handle a load such as these. Though, they are not exactly human. But they are good beings who will do as you ask and not question you." She knew in her heart that she was the best for Manny. He would not love her otherwise.

She smiled.

"Women would be better, I am not very comfortable around men."

She looked at the boxes.

"That they are not human does not mater, I am not exactly human and neither are you, I am sure that if they would mean harm you would not send them with me."

She looked at the lit part of the table.

"Do we need to sit down?"

Venis nodded. "I would not, you are correct. You may sit if you wish. You might find it easier to stand for some parts though." She walked over and opened the smaller of the two chests.

As soon as the ladies left the kitchen with the boxes Gretchen was on the phone. "The lady is giving formal dinner setting lessons in the formal dine. I am sure that some would like to attend so they may work towards their promotions." She spoke a few more words and then hung up the phone.

Moments later three women and two men entered the formal dinning room from the courtyard entrance. "May we join the lesson?" It was necessary for employees to know this before they could work a formal dinner party. And the parties added bonuses to their pay.

She sat down smiled.

"I will stand if I need to."

She was looking at the boxes again. She was about to ask a question when five people walked into the dinning room.

Venis smiled. "That is up to lady Gwendolan. I am fine with it if she is. Petrika, Star. Could you ladies accompany us back to the Inn when we leave? I was just letting lady Gwendolan know that I had some females who could lift a load and who would be willing to help her. If you cannot, that is fine. I can find two others." Petrika was half ogre half human. Her lineage was a long, not so pleasant story. But at least she simply looked like a very big and bulky human. Star was a cyclops. She had found inner peace with Venis and was a bit of what humans would call a hippie. But she was big and strong, so she served Venis well.

She stood from the chair she had just sat down in a smile on her face.

"That will be fine, I don't mind."

She smiled to the two women.

"I would welcome your help if you have the time."

Venis smiled again as she started to unpack the box onto the edge of the table. All the items held within were wrapped for safety.

Star looked thoughtful for a moment. "I am free or about a weeks worth of time. I have no appointments." The two men who had entered were standing near the table to watch the lesson, as was the other woman. Petrika scratched her head. "Um, I can give you ... Nine days time. I have a function ten days from now." All of the employees that were there had jobs, but they simply had to call their supervisors and fill them in on the goings on. There were plenty of temporary employees about the Keep.

Venis nodded again. "That will be fine. Shall we get started" She had the trunk empty.

She smiled.

"I thank you both, I am sure that it will not take longer than that, do you two mind having to stay hidden, if Manny sees you he will know something is up."

Venis chuckled. "They can stay in my spare room. Krys is not back yet so it is free." She knew that they would have to remain hidden as well. She watched as they both nodded and then she began the lesson.

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Re: Preperations

Post by Gwendolan on Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:11 am

"Ok, place mat goes first." She pulled out six charts from the lid of the chest and passed them out before getting the place mat and putting it in place. "Now, if you wish the cloth napkin to remain unsoiled you may place a paper napkin down like so." She placed a paper napkin on the place mat. Then she grabbed the largest plate. It had a twelve inch diameter. "This is the dinner plate or the charger plate. It goes first. Note how the paper napkin peeks from under the edge of it so that only the person seated can see it." She pointed it out to them and moved so all could see.

Gwen smiled and took the chart from Venis and she put the place mat on the table and laid a paper napkin on top of it. She placed the plate over it and saw how the napkin was almost hidden.

Venis picked up two plates. One was ten and a half inches, the other was seven. "This larger plate is your salad plate. This one is the fish plate. Now, if you are serving a fish course, you serve the salad after dinner before dessert. When you are doing that, you do not place the salad plate atop the dinner plate. It is brought to the table when the salad is served. If you are not serving fish, you serve the salad before dinner and place the salad plate atop the charger. But if it is fish you place the fish plate. Gwendolan, am I correct that you are not serving fish?" She set the salad plate atop the dinner plate as she asked. She was pretty sure of the answer already, but she asked to make sure.

She watched as she nodded.

"You are correct in that, I do not eat meat of any kind."

She was taking this all in repeating it over and over in her mind.

Venis nodded as she placed the fish plate aside. "Ok, then you place the butter, or bread, plate here. Upper left corner above the plates. You also place the butter knife upon it." She showed them the six inch plate and the small knife that had a curve to it's dull blade.

She looked at her.

"Bread or butter? I am confused, is it used for one or for both? I will be serving bread."

Venis smiled. "It is for bread. The butter rests in the butter dish, or dishes, depending on how many you are serving. The plate holds the bread and the butter knife so that fingers don't get buttered as well." She smiled. "Which brings me to this. This is the lemon bowl. It holds slices of lemons. You use the lemon slices to wash your fingers after every food item you touch or between courses. You can place it to the far right like so." The dish was a small crystal bowl, three inches across. It matched the pattern of the stemware she was going to soon produce.

She smiled as she looked at her and nodded.

"Thank you."

Then she got quiet again as she listened to the rest of the lesson.

She picked up on of four matching bowls and one of four matching saucers. The bowl was a small two and a half ounce, the saucer was all of four inches across. "Speaking of between meals. These are your sorbet dishes." She picked up the sorbet spoon. The part of it that went into the mouth was shaped like a clam shell. She placed it properly upon the plate, tucked so that the handle was against the bowl and the mouth piece barely touching it. "You serve a mint sorbet between each course. You use a small dessert scoop, which is in the other case. It reads one third on the handle. I will give you the recipe to Manny's favorite one of course." She showed them the dishes. "These do not sit upon the table, and you use a clean one each time, hence there being four. There will always be extras available if more courses will be served." She set them aside so that they did not interfere with the place setting or where the serving dishes would go.

She watched and smiled. A recipe for Manny's favorite sorbet would be a wonderful surprise.

Venis moved on. "I'm not going too fast am I?" Her employees all silently shook their heads no. So She looked to Gwendolan.

She shook her head as well.

"No, as you said I am very smart and a fast learner."

Venis smiled. "Glad to hear it. Then we shall proceed." She picked up The soup and salad bowls. "Ok, this is where it gets complicated. The bowl with the larger lip is the soup bowl." They were both nine inches across, but the soup bowl had a smaller space for food. "Now, if you are serving salad and fruit, you use the salad bowl for salad and the salad plate for fruit. If you are serving soup and salad, you use the salad plate for salad and the soup bowl for soup. If you are serving all three. You use the soup bowl for soup, the salad bowl for salad after the main course, and the fruit on the salad plate. But, you can serve fruit after and salad before if you are using the fruit for dessert." Yes, that was the confusing part. "But if fruit is your dessert, you can also serve it in this." She picked up the dessert/seafood bowl. It was stemware, yet it was a bowl. It matched the stemware pattern just as all the plates and bowls were of the same china pattern. "But if you are serving seafood in this, shrimp cocktail for example, then the fruit remains on the plate no matter when it is served." She hoped that they were all getting this.

She was getting it, she was not serving fruit, so the salad went on the salad plate and the soup went in the bowl with the larger lip. She looked at all the items on the table so far.

She looked over at Gwendolan again. "I know that it's a no on the seafood, but the fruit?" She had to know which dish to place where.

"No, no fruit. I am serving an appetizer, soup, salad,a main course, and desert."

Venis nodded. "What is your appetizer? I need to know so I can tell you the correct dish." She looked at the dishes before her.

"A stuffed mushroom."

"Ahh. Salad plate for that, salad bowl for the salad, and serve it after dinner. If you serve too much before dinner it will make it hard for your palate to be cleansed enough to savor the flavors of the entree." She smiled as she placed the salad plate on the dinner plate, then the soup bowl atop of that. The salad bowl she set aside to be brought to the table when it is to be served.

"So I need to serve the salad after the main course but before desert."

Venis nodded. "Yes, that is it exactly." She smiled. Gwendolan was getting this. "Your dipping sauces can go in extra sorbet bowls, and they sit right upon the plate with the mushrooms." She smiled. She would get her a box of extra bowls for sauces and other such things."

She nodded and then waited for the lesson to go on. She still had not seen much silverware, and there was still the serving dishes.

"Now, onto the flatware. From left to right on the left side of the plates you put the dinner fork, then the salad fork. There is no need for other forks. This two pronged one is the oyster fork, also used for escargot. You don't need it. This three pronged one is for fish, so you don't need it either. You need this short four pronged one, then this longer four pronged one. They must be even at the base and equal distance apart. And on the place mat like so." She put them down where they went, about an inch from the tables edge.

She watched and listened she saw how they were placed just about an inch from the tables edge.

She moved onto the other flatware. "From right to left on the right side of the plate. You will need this spoon, it is the fruit spoon." It had a pointed mouth piece with a jagged edge to it, but it wasn't sharp. "Then you will need your soup spoon. Which ever you serve first, that spoon goes on the outer edge." The soup spoon had a rounded mouth piece. "Then we will skip the fish knife." She pointed to the knife with a leaf shaped blade that looked like a longer, fatter version of the butter knife. "Then you want the dinner knife." Most people had these in their flatware sets at home, they were commonly mistaken for butter knives. "Then the salad knife." It looked much like a steak knife, but it was dull. "Knife blades always face the plate. And these pieces all line up the same as the forks. Does this all make sense?" She looked as her employees remained silent, some had taken out pens to make notes. But they all nodded as they waited.

She nodded as well and waited for the lesson to continue.

She picked up the napkin. "Now, because you have a bowl resting upon your plates, your napkin goes over here to the left of your forks. There are several ways to fold the napkin, and there are charts inside. I recommend a bud pocket with a rose inside or a rose bud shaped fold. Most others only look good when upon the plate." She pulled out the napkin ring and folded the napkin to look like a rose quickly. Then she slid the ring on it and placed it to the left of the forks. "Plus, this way it helps balance out the space on the sides of the plates." It was almost time to place the stemware and glasses. So she waited a moment to see if there were any questions so far.

She smiled as looked, she was not taking notes but she did not have to, she had a great memory.

Venis slapped her forehead. "Oh, I forgot, you need the table spoon here, then the dessert spoon here, before the knives." She placed them in their places. Most people would recognize them as the big and the small spoons that came in a standard flatware service. "And the tea spoon goes up here, above the plates. But, if you want a more balanced look, and you're not serving iced tea, you can put the dessert spoon in place of the tea spoon." She looked again to Gwendolan for the answer to that.

"No, I am not serving iced tea."

Venis nodded as she put the tea spoon back and put the dessert spoon in it's place. Then she moved the flatware on the right so that it was all evenly spaced yet again. "Ok, if you are serving soft boiled eggs at any point, they go in this little cup." The cup matched the rest of the china pattern. And the solid gold flat ware was a lovely accent to the china and the crystal.

"Now we move on to beverage containers." She began to set them all in a row. "Ok, water. It is to be served in either this eight and a half inch high stemmed goblet, or this high ball tumbler." It was a good thing she was not serving tea, there was no tea glass or juice glass in this service. Of course, those were usually breakfast or lunch drinks anyway. "I like the look of the stem ware, so I use that. It goes here in front. All glasses line up in one or two rows in the upper right corner of the plates. Next is the white wine goblet, it's this seven and a half inch stemmed vessel. If there is to be champagne, it goes in this eight and a half inch high stemmed flute. And it goes on the other side of the water, so from left to right it goes White, water, Champagne. Then in the back goes the Red wine goblet, the brandy sifter, and the Sherry glass. Though, you only set out what you need. Most times, it's water and one wine or the other. But they always sit the same in relation to the water. It is always front and center. And the red wine is always behind the white, even if there is no white, it is still back from the water." It sounded silly, she knew that, but it was proper.

Gwen nodded and smiled.

"Water, and red wine, coffee with desert."

Venis nodded. "Ok, coffee goes in this eight ounce mug. It sits upon the saucer. Tea goes in this seven ounce cup, also set upon the saucer. If you were serving white wine and a wine with dessert you would serve a pinot noir. It's combination of berries, cherries, and pomegranate are the perfect compliment. Now, after dessert, you can serve a whiskey in this old fashioned tumbler, or a brandy in this sifter, or even a sherry in this glass." She showed her the glasses. "Beer can go in this this tankard or this six and a half inch high stemmed glass. This is a shot glass." She held up the small glass. "It's for shots of tequila or whiskey or even vodka. Vodka can also be served in the old fashioned tumbler. Then for mixed cocktails, which are also served after dessert just like the hard liquor, you use this for any martini style drinks and this for any margarita style drinks. Most other mixed drinks go in the high ball or the old fashioned tumbler. But I don't think you'll be using any of these, will you?" She was fairly sure that Gwen wasn't going to be serving the hard stuff. She held up one last cup. It looked similar to the tea cup, but was bigger than the coffee mug at eleven and a half ounces. "This is your accent mug, mostly used in the colder months for hot chocolate with dessert." She set it aside too.

She shook her head with a smile.

"I have found I don't even like beer, I'll stick to the wines."

"Oh, I forgot one more thing. This is the steak knife, but you're not serving meat. It comes out when the food is placed out to be served. It doesn't sit with the others." She sighed with a smile.

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Re: Preperations

Post by Gwendolan on Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:42 pm

She nodded.

"I doubt I will ever be serving meat, I am not sure I could ever bring myself to do it. I know Manny understands and when he wants meat he goes to the kitchen."

Venis nodded. "He is a carnivore. But he is a very understanding man. I just hope it doesn't upset you the first time you see him wolf down a massive steak that's still pink in the middle and might even have some blood." She smiled. Manny was a medium rare guy.

"I have seen him eat his steak before I just don't ever want to have to cook it."

Venis chuckled. "I can understand that." She walked over and opened the larger trunk. She began to set the dishes upon the table just like she had the others.

Gwen watched the larger dishes come out and waited, she knew these would be the serving dishes.

"Ok, with serving dishes, usually your meat is your center. It is usually served on a large platter. But, this is veggie night so what are we having Gwendolan?" She needed an idea of the menu in order to place the right dishes in the right places.


She had already mentioned the appetizer, salad, soup and that there would be desert.

Venis nodded. "That would be served in the pan it is cooked in. You said there would be bread. So that would be served on a smaller serving plate to the side of the lasagna." She placed a lid on the table in the center to represent the lasagna and then set a plate for bread beside it.

She smiled.

"That is not as hard as I thought it would be, thank you very much Venis."

Venis nodded. "I know that lasagna is a pasta, but you don't use the pasta spoon." She held up the awkward looking utensil and put it aside. "You use the spoon with the small holes, just in cases there is some extra juices you wish to leave in the pan. And this is the bread knife." It was long and serrated and of equal width all the way along.

Gwen actually reached over and picked up the bread life and looked at it. She had never seen one before. She smiled and then set it back down on the table.

All of the service ware matched the flatware. And all the service dishes matched the china and the crystal. It was truly an extraordinary set. "You might also want to use this knife to cut the lasagna so that it comes out in a nice shape rather than a scoop of mush. There's a spatula here if you prefer." She showed her the knife with a large blade that narrowed as it moved to the pointy tip. Then she showed her the spatula that looked like it was extra bent. It was for scooping from a deep dish.

Gwen looked at the other knife she had never seen before and reached over to pick it up as well. She looked at it and set it down before picking up the spatula and looking at it.

Venis smiled. A good student always takes time to examine what they know less about to more depth. This was a sign that Gwendolan was learning. "Now, your fruit can go in either this bowl, or on this tray. I prefer a bowl. It sits on the opposite side of the center." She placed the small bowl over where it went. "Use a slotted spoon for that." She placed it beside the bowl. "The flatware always sits beside the dish until used, only then may it rest inside the dish."

She just kept watching and listening She was sure about the fruit bowl she ate a lot of fruit.

Venis continued on. "Soup will be served from the pot it is cooked in, or in the larger bowl. It has a cover to help keep it warm, and I will loan you some coal warmers to place under the dishes. Here's the ladle for serving it. You can place it upon the lid after it has been used. You just tap it off gently and set it scoop down like so." She placed the bowl next to the fruit and put the lid on it. Then she showed her how to rest the ladle on the lid.

After Venis showed her how to place the ladle she did it again for herself and then looked at Venis with a smile looking for reassurance that she had done it right.

Venis nodded. Her employees were still paying close attention and sometimes making notes. She moved on after giving Gwendolan a reassuring smile. "Now the salad goes in a bowl as well, and is placed on the same side as the bread. These are the tongs you will use. Notice how one side looks like a fat fork and the other a spoon. That is how you tell them apart from meat tongs, which are these." She held up the tongs that looked like something people would use to turn meat on a grill.

She looked at the salad tongs, she knew what they were, she was excited to see something that she knew. The meat tongs she looked at and nodded.

"People use those for cooking meat too don't they?"

Venis nodded. "Yes, they do. You're learning. When Manny get's the itch to bbq, you'll see these again. Well, his of course. So that leaves dessert and beverages. Dessert doesn't rest on the table with dinner, just like the appetizer doesn't. They are served from their dishes and their dishes set aside on a separate table. The wines sit closest to the one drinking them. If it is both, then closest to the male. The water is the same way, only closest the female if both are partaking." She set the water pitcher close to Gwendolan, yet in the middle of the table, and the white wine decanter on the other side, as if it were closest to Manny.

She nodded.

"We will both be drinking water and wine so the water goes closest to me and the wine closest to Manny."

Venis nodded. "Yes, because it is the gentlemanly thing to do to pour a lady her wine, and pouring water is more of a domesticated activity, so the female does it to show respect to the man. Trust me, that is not to say that the woman is or should be subservient to the man. It's just good manners." She winked. She was subservient to no man, and they probably all knew it.

She smiled, she knew she was very submissive; but she also knew that Manny would never try to dominate her, he was to kind and gentle.

"I am used to the man serving the wine."

Venis smiled. She knew what that meant. But they would worry about teaching Gwen to grow a pair and use them later. This was about dinner. She started pointing to other decanters and things to tell her about them. "I know you aren't serving liquor, but for educational purposes, this is for whiskey, this is for brandy, this is for red wine, this is for other liquors, sherry or whatever. Here is your creme pitcher and your sugar bowl. They replace the main course after dinner is cleared and dessert is served. You have tongs if you use sugar cubes, if you use loose sugar, there is already spoons at the place setting for the sugar. If the dessert spoon is already used, the tea spoon works too."

She smiled and watched, Even though she would not use them. she was fascinated by the way the light caught the glass. Her eyes were sparkling.

Venis looked around. "Most everything else is pretty self explanatory, you know the tea cup from the coffee mug, the tea pot from the coffee carafe, right?" She figured that as a tea drinker, Gwen would know from a tea pot. "Um, there's the butter dish, it sits by the bread here. And I think that about covers it." If there was something she was missing, someone would ask her about it, or just come to her later.

She didn't see anything missing. She thought she had it all. She had the chart and she also had the gift Manny had given her. It was a pretty little green camera. Manny had shown her how to use it and she had been taking pictures of a lot of things, mostly animals. She took a picture of the place setting and smiled.

"Thank you Venis."

Venis smiled seeing the camera. "If you all could help me pack this stuff up right quick. Then Gwendolan and I have one more stop to make before we leave. Ladies, if you could meet us back in the kitchen with the trunks in say an hour or so?" She started to pack things back in their bubble wrap and put them back in the trunks.

Gwen smiled at Venis and began wrapping things in the bubble wrap. She had never seen it before and when several bubbles popped at once she jumped a bit. She looked at Venis with a smile.

"What is this strange paper?"

She continued wrapping and passing while she talked.

"Venis, did you have something in mind for a dress already?"

Venis smiled. "This is called bubble wrap. The little air bubbles help cushion things in case they are jarred. It help keep valuables from getting broken." She closed up the boxes when they were done. The employees took the trunks back to the kitchen and Star and Petrika went to go make sure it was known they would be away. Meanwhile, Venis and Gwendolan headed to the closet rooms. "No, I figured we would go through Tasha's formal's and see what you wanted." Tasha was the closest to Gwendolan's size.

Gwen nodded at V's explanation of the bubble wrap.

"It startled me a little."

When they were finished Gwen smiled and got up to follow Venis.

"She won't mind will she?"

Venis shook her head. "No, not at all." They got up to the rooms and went into the one that held Tasha's formal wear. "Here you go. Take your pic." There were literally thousands of gowns. They were hung on racks by color then went from strapless to long sleeve. They were also sectioned according to length of the skirt.

Gwen started looking at the dresses she was going back and forth between greens browns and blues. She smiled as she went from dress to dress between the colors. She pulled out a dress from each of the three colors she had been looking at and showed Venis.

"What do you think?"

Venis smiled. "Green is my favorite color." She took the green one and held it up to Gwen. She fluffed out the skirt and pressed it to her in spots. "We might have to take it in just a little in the waist and chest area. It's a two and you my dear, are not." She chuckled.

She smiled and nodded.

"I am not even sure what size I am."

She looked down at the green dress with a smile.

"It is beautiful. "Do you think Manny will like it?"

She nodded. "He will love it, and we can check your size when we do a fitting for the gown and do the alterations." She smiled at her some more.

She smiled. She put the gown back into the clear garment bag.

"Thank you so much for everything."

She was almost on the verge of tears, but they would have been tears of joy.

Venis just smiled. "You are most welcome." They headed back down to the kitchen. From there they headed back to the Inn. Venis carried the larger trunk, Star carried one, Petrika carried the other of the smaller trunks, so all Gwen had to carry was the gown.

And she was being very careful with that gown. She really hoped that Manny would love the way she looked in it. She was happy to be back at the Inn and hoped that Manny would not have had time to miss her. She followed Venis up to her room so that they could hide the extra women, the gown, and the boxes.

Everything was hidden in Krys' room in Venis' suite. It was the most convenient place. So when it came time, Gwen had help, and then she would be able to get all dolled up and give him a night to remember.

"I am going to go see Selene and then go back to my room, if Manny comes looking for me please tell him I am with her."

She hugged Venis and smiled at the other two women.

"Thank you again for coming to help me."

Venis returned her hug and the other two women nodded. They would find things to do for Venis in her room or just hang out until Gwen came to call for them. "I'll let him know sweety." She let her out and propped open the door once again.

Gwen left the room humming to herself and headed out to the garden to walk to the small house Selene and Shuda shared.

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Re: Preperations

Post by Gwendolan on Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:18 pm

Selene was sitting at her desk, adding dates to her wedding invitations. She was in the living room so the drapes were drawn. It made the room a little darker, but there was always artificial light. Which was preferable to Selene. Even if she was wearing The Day Walker Gem.

Gwen walked up to the door and knocked softly, she knew that Sel was a vampire and may have been sleeping because it was early afternoon. If she was asleep it could wait till later.

Selene got up from her desk. "I'll get it honey." She called out to Shuda who was in the other room. She was already in the living room so no point in him coming in to get the door. She opened the door and smiled. "Gwendolan, come on in. To what do we owe the pleasure?" She closed the door once Gwen was inside. She called out to Shuda again. "Honey, Gwendolan's here." The sound came from the bedroom. "Hello Gwendolan, be out shortly." He was doing some things in there that needed to be done.

Gwen smiled brightly when she saw Sel open the door. She heard Shuda call out and nodded. she didn't need to yell back.

"I need to ask you for a favor for Manny's birthday."

Selene nodded and smiled. "Of course, what could I do for you?" She smiled as Shuda came out of the bedroom and walked over to sit on the couch. She offered Gwen a chair as she sat with Shuda on the couch. She brought her legs up beside herself and leaned slightly towards him on the couch.

She smiled at them as she took a seat.

"I was told that you can fix people's hair for them."

She took a deep breath.

"I am going to be cooking Manny a formal dinner and I would like to dress up for him. Would you be able to do my hair and makeup?"

Selene smiled. "I would love to, it would be my pleasure." That reminded Selene that she had orders for things to be delivered to the other Inn, she would have to get on that.

She smiled and nodded her thanks.

"I was thinking about putting my hair up. Manny has never seen it anyway but loose or in a braid."

Selene arched an eyebrow and got a wicked grin on her face. "Do you have a few moments? I can play around with it to see what would look good with your facial structure?" She got up from the couch. "Would you like some tea first?"

She smiled.

"I have all afternoon and I would love some tea."

She sat back in the chair. She was a bit worried about that grin but she was sure it would be ok.

Selene headed for the kitchen. "Honey, something to drink?" He shook his head no and so she went in and made some hot tea. She used the coffee pot because it was the fastest way to get the hot water. They only had regular tea on hand. She had forgot to go to the store. So she made her the cup of tea and brought it to her. Then she got out some brushes and started to play with her hair.

She sipped the tea.

"Thank you."

She tried to sit very still while she played with her hair.

Once it was all brushed smooth, she began to gather it up and twist it. she tried a bun first. Loose and on the back of her head. She moved around to look at her face. She pulled a few strands free to let them cascade around her fragile features. "Hmm, maybe." She moved the bun higher and let the back loose enough to form a slight cushion around her face. "Oh, no. That makes you look old." She chuckle. Then she changed the bun to a french twist. She left the small sprigs of hair framing her face. Just a strand here and a strand there. "Oh yes, what do you think love?" Shuda looked at her and smiled. "I like it." Selene smiled even more. "And so will Manny."

She smiled.

"I hope Manny does like it I am excited and worried at the same time."

Selene chuckled as she went over to her desk. "Natural colors would be best. What color is your gown?" She started to pull out eye shadows and other make ups.

"Green, and I hope Tasha doesn't mind we borrowed it from her closet at the Keep."

Selene chuckled. "The clothes at the Keep, in those rooms, are clothes that were given to them as gifts from Venis' worshipers and others. They never wear that stuff unless they need something new and they already have it there. I found a thirty year old pair of jeans that still had the tags on them once. It's fine that you use clothes from there." She used a cotton tipped brush to streak Gwen's cheek with a light tan color. Then she placed a olive green with it. "Hmm, needs accent." she added a darker shade of tan. "Hmm, yes. And lets see." She got some eyeliner. she tried black first, then a olive green, then a brown. "Green I think, it helps bring out the blue in your eyes." Then she chose a brown mascara. "And for the lips." She used a brush on a tube of lipstick that was a tan color with a hint of pink. "Perfect." She smiled as she gave her a wet facial cloth so she could wash her face. "I believe we have it. Just come by and get me when you're ready and I will come do your make up and hair once you're dressed." She smiled as she sat back down with Shuda. She hoped Gwen would stick around at least long enough to finish her tea and share some small talk.

She would she had time and the tea was warm and the company good.

"I made Manny a special quilt for his birthday."

Selene's eyes widened. She wasn't very crafty. "What did you make it with?"

She smiled.

"Venis took me to the Keep a couple months ago and I took different items that belong to Manny's ancestors and turned them into a quilt."

She left out the part that one square was left with just white fabric, a place for something from Manny's first born child.

Selene smiled. "I am not very crafty myself. That is neat. Maybe someday you could teach me how to make something." She wasn't sure what yet, but she would like to make something for Shuda someday. After all, he had gotten her engagement ring custom made for her. And he had made her floating rose in a box. He had made it of fire and ice. She wanted to return the favor someday.

She smiled and nodded.

"I would like that, I make a lot of my own things. I think it would be fun."

She took another sip of her tea.

Selene was very happy to hear that. "So do you do other things besides sew?" She wondered so she would be able to formulate an idea of what she wanted to learn.

"Yes, I cook, and garden too among other things. I am horrible with makeup and hair, I would like to learn to fix my hair and make up. I also sketch and do other small craft work. embroidery."

Selene smiled. "We can teach each other then." It sounded like a good idea to her.

She smiled.

"I think I would like that."

Gwen laid one hand on her lap and if Sel looked she would notice that Gwen had beautiful hands but her nails were a disaster.

She did. "Gwendolan, could I do your nails too?" She didn't want to tell her that they looked like she had been digging a grave.

She smiled.

"Yes, I am sure they must look bad. I dig in dirt and work with plants all day and I never do anything with them."

Selene chuckled. "We can fix that sweety." She had an idea to fix them and keep them low maintenance.

"Do you have time to do it now, it would explain why I have been here without tipping him off to what we are doing."

Selene smiled. "I do. Honey, chemical smell." She chuckled as Shuda got up and kissed Selene before he headed up to the Inn. He would hang out up there for a while. He knew she could work fast and make it look like it took a while so it would make a good alibi for her. Selene moved to her desk and got her supplies.

She smiled.

"Where do I need to sit?"

It was a simple question but a valid one. She had no idea what was about to happen. She had never had her nails done.

Selene smiled. "Right there is fine." She moved the table and set up a chair across from her. "This is going to stink. But I can do it in about half the time, and Manny will think you were here for hours getting them done." She started to open bottles and jars. She set out some paper towels and got her brushes. She opened a new file from a plastic pouch and wrote Gwendolan Tyson along the edge so she wouldn't ever use it on anyone else. Then she began to clean out from under her nails carefully.

"It can't smell worse than natural fertilizer."

She laughed a little. and tried to relax her hands as she watched Sel took on her hands.

"Thank you, I just want to make Manny's day a special one. Venis already loaned me the dishes for the table and two women from the keep to help me. I just have to go ask Tasha for jewelry."

Selene was so happy that she got to be included in all of the helping. "Thank you for asking me to help. And I'm glad that it's working out so well for you." She pressed her cuticles carefully, then she used the file to shape her nails and smooth the tops of them.

She winced a little her cuticles were bad but it only stung for a moment.

"I knew that you would know what to do that would look good and I knew that you would not do anything to my hair to permanently change it."

Selene shook her head. "Oh no, never." she started checking tips against the size of her natural nails. Once she had all ten picked, she started to glue them in place. They were all perfectly strait and glued tight and secure.

She watched as Sel did her nails she was making mental notes just like she had with Venis and the dishes. She never knew who would be around all the time."

She used white colored tips. Then she used her own ails to measure. She placed her nails flat against the tip of Gwen's finger and clipped the tips against her own nails. Then she used the file to round the tips just a touch so they wouldn't be sharp.

She smiled.

"They already look so much better, I think Manny will be surprised."

Selene smiled as she kept working. She put pink acrylic on the nails once they were all cut and shaped. Then she filed the acrylic once it was dry so that there were no bumps or sharp edges. She also made sure that none of it was stuck to Gwen's fingers. then she opened a buffer cube. She put Gwen's name on that as well. Then she buffed her nails so that they were nice and smooth and shiny.

She looked at her nails with a huge smile her eyes sparkling.

"I am learning so much today."

Once that was done Selene picked up a bottle of clear nail polish. "I'm glad. It's always good to learn." She polished the nails with clear first, no need to stain the acrylic with a colored polish. Once that was dry she chose a soft shade of a pinkish color. It was a pearlized cream so it only took two coats.

She watched as her nails were polished, she was not sure if she could do it herself but she made notes anyway.

Then Selene opened a small plastic container. Inside of it were dozens of tiny jewels. She used an orange wood stick and picked them up one at a time and placed them in the center of each nail at almost the very tip. Once she had ten of them applied, each one a different color, she got out a tiny brush and several colors of polish. She used each color only once on every other nail. So there were five stripes per color. Each stripe went from the stone upwards in a slight descending curve. Once each nail had four stripes on it, no two alike, it looked like rainbow fountains of color. She added a top coat of clear polish. Then she handed Gwendolan the bottle. "Tomorrow, add another coat of this. Someone can help you if you wish. But this makes sure that your stones don't come off or your colors chip." She smiled as she looked at her handy work and turned on the nail dryer for her. "Here, this fan will dry them faster for you."

Gwen was all smiles and was a very happy camper. She looked at the colors on her nails and the smile got even bigger, there was so much color.

Selene smiled. She was glad she had made Gwen smile. "So ... you like them?" She hoped for a yes.

She held her hands very still under the dryer.

"I love them. They are beautiful."

Selene was all smiles. "I'm so glad you like them. I will fill your acrylic for you in two weeks." She wasn't sure if Gwendolan was ready to leave or not, but she did mention visiting Tasha. And if she was away from Manny for too much longer, he would know she did more than just get her nails done. Though Selene was glad to have company.

She smiled.

"Thank you so much, I have to go see Tasha Manny's birthday is in two days and I still need to ask her for jewelry and Venis said the dress has to be altered."

Selene frowned, though she knew that she had to go. "Alright sweety. Come by again sometime?" She got up and moved the table so Gwen could get out from behind it without trouble. "I'm going to air out the house, if you see my beloved future husband, could you tell him it's safe to come home please?" She gave her a hug and walked her to the door.

Gwen hugged her back.

"I will come by after Manny's birthday, maybe I can start to teach you embroidery."

She smiled and turned around before she left.

"Oh and you have to come by in a couple days and see the quilt I made."

Selene nodded. "I will, and I will drag him along too." She smiled and winked before she went off to start opening windows. She left the door open too.

She smiled and headed back up to the Inn, she stopped at the bar first to tell Shuda it was safe to go home.

"Shuda Selene said it is ok for you to head back to the cottage she is airing it out now."

Shuda would be polite and thank her. When he got home, he would find the house almost completely aired out and free of smell. So he would help Selene close the house back up for the night that was approaching in a few hours.

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Re: Preperations

Post by Gwendolan on Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:55 am

Gwen then headed up to Tasha's room, again she knocked very softly on the door. Tasha was a cat and was a night person as well, if she was sleeping this could be done in the evening.

Tasha was awake too. She answered the door in a pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt with no shoes or make-up. "Oh, hello Gwendolan. Come on in." She opened the door wider for her.

She smiled as she walked in.

"Hello Tasha how are you today?"

She waited for Tasha to close the door.

"I came to ask for your help."

Tasha smiled brightly. "I am quite lovely. Ha'Ruil is out getting dinner and walking Leviathan. So we have the place to ourselves for a bit. I didn't hear Manny come in yet, is everything ok?" Maybe he was just working late. At least that was her hope. And that would make this a social call from Gwendolan. Which was much beter.

"I have not seen Manny all day, I have been very busy trying to set up a suprise birthday dinner for Manny."

Tasha smiled. "Oh how sweet. How's it coming along?" She was anxious to hear the details.

"I have dishes that Venis loaned me. She showed me how to set up a formal table."

She smiled as she showed her nails off.

"Selene is going to help me with my hair and make up."

She took a deep breath, she was not used to talking so much.

"Venis let me take a dress from your formal closet. I wanted to ask you if you had some earings I can use, I know they make some that clip to your ears."

Tasha listened and was caught off guard when she said clip on. "You're ears aren't pierced?" She was shocked. She thought everyone got their ears pierced. Even elves, especially elves. Even Ha'Ruil's ears were pierced. "Let me pierce them, please. It would be so much better. Less chance of loosing an earring and more variety of styles and colors." She was going to push this one until Gwendolan gave in. She was just that persistant.

She looked at her.

"I have never done anything that was not natural to my body."

She sat down in the closest chair she found and folded her hands in her lap.

"I just don't know."

Tasha smiled. "I know an elf or two who has piercings. It's not that it's unnatural. It's just a slight alteration. And if you don't like them, we can let them close up. I'll thow in a pair of gold diamons studs. Now both gold and diamonds come from nature, right?" She was all about driving the point home.

She looked up at Tasha.

"Yes, both gold and diamonds come from nature, you promise it is not permanent if I don't like it?"

She had another question.

"I am wearing a green dress for the dinner, can they be changed for that one night?"

She was so full of questions.

Tasha smiled and nodded. "I promise, and I can use something to match the dress to do the piercing, then you can have the diamonds for when it's time to change them. Even if you choose to not keep them pierced. You can still hold onto them for the memories. The green ones too." She hoped she had her convinced.

She smiled.

"Will it hurt?"

Tasha gave a half smile. "Just a pinch, but I can numb you with ice first." It was the best way to numb an ear.

She nodded her consent.

"I will let you do it, it gives me another reason to explain my being away all day."

Tasha made two fists and brought them up to either side of her chest, shaking them with excitement. "Yay." She got up and went to get her gun and pick some earrings. She didn't have to put super tiny studs in her gun, it was a custom job. But they still had to be petite earrings. So she chose some small emeralds, round brilliant cut, with slightly larger round emeralds that dangled from them. "Do you like these?" She showed her the earrings, setting them on the table as she went to the kitchenette for some ice.

She looked at them and smiled.

"I love them."

She watched as Tasha moved around and gatherd her things.

Tasha grabbed up a few more supplies. Like alcohol wipes and rubber gloves. Not that she was worried about Gwendolans blood, she just didn't want to make herself bleed either. She wasn't contagious in human form, but that wasn't the point. She sat down and applied the ice to both sides of Gwen's left ear. She smiled at her. "Let me know when you don't feel it anymore."

It took a couple minutes but her ears became numb.

"Ok I think it is ready."

Tasha loaded the gun with the little earring and it's back, then she placed it over Gwendolans ear. She would squease the trigger as she spoke. "You might hear a slight pop." But before Tasha's sentence was finished, the earring was through and the back was on it. So did Gwen even hear the pop? She moved to put the ice on Gwendolan's other ear.

She barely felt it but she did hear the little pop. it was a shock but it was fine. She sat for another couple minutes.

"Ok this one is ready."

Tasha loaded the gun with the other earring and it's back. And again, she pulled the trigger while she spoke. "They look very lovely on you." And the earring was in. She put the gun down and checked the backs to make sure that they weren't too tight or too loose. "You should twist them a lot. And if there is any swelling or redness come see me emediately. Also, take this bottle. Drip a few drops on them every few hours or so, but especially before bed and when you get up." She handed her the ear cleaning solution. Then she went back to the chest she had gotten the emeralds from. "Here's the diamonds for you. It takes six weeks for them to be ready to change. And now you need some other jewelry to go with the earrings." She smiled as she pulled out a necklace. It was called an invisible wire. It was actually made from the same type of nylon wireing that they used for fishing poles, but the clearest ever made. There was a small emerald that slid across it in a channel setting, just like the earrings. "I think this would work, nothing more would be needed, it would be overpowering with the stones being so petite." She smiled as she gave her the necklace and the half carat studs. "You may keep it all, the jewels and the gown. I'm so glad you are in Manny's life Gwendolan." She gave her a hug.

She hugged her back and after the day that she had had she did cry.

"Everyone has been so wonderful to me."

She hugged her tight.

"I feel like I found a second family."

Tasha chuckled. "You have sweety, you have." She stroked her hair as she held her in the hug. Tasha was barely taller than Gwen in her bare feet, so that made for a hug that wasn't akward.

"Thank you, for now I have to get back to the room before Manny really wonders what happened to me, I missed lunch with him."

Tasha chuckled. "Here, let me take care of this for you right quick." She went and got her a cold wash cloth. "Wash your face sweety, your eyes are red and puffy and you have a touch of eyeshaddow on your cheek." She wanted her to look her best when she got next door.

She smiled and took the cloth and washed her face, she smiled at Tasha.

"Did that fix it?"

She didn't want Manny to see any makeup on her, it might ruin the suprise, she already felt bad that she was keeping a secret even if it was to try to suprise him.

Tasha smiled as she took the wash cloth. "Perfect." She walked her to the door. "Have a nice evening sweety." She watched as Gwen went to the next room on the same side of the hallway and went inside. Then she closed her door too.

Gwen slipped quietly into her room she didn't know if Manny was there or not but she was getting hungry again and she wanted something to eat.

Manny came through the door only moments ater gwendolan did. "Hello love, I missed you at lunch today." He greeted her with his usual greeting. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into a passionate embrase with a deep kiss.

She looked at the door as Manny came in and she sat her salad to the side.

"I was spending time with the girls."

She hugged him tightly and returned his kiss. When it was finished she smiled at

"I was just making a salad, do you want one?"

As late as it was he may have already eaten in the kitchen, he did that sometimes.

He smiled, still holding her in his arms. "I would love one ... What is this?" He brushed her hair back from her face and saw the little stones in her ear. "You got your ears pierced today? They look so lovely my dear." Yes, he was that observant that he noticed her ears.

She smiled as she finished making the salad and then sat the plates on the table.

"Tasha did it for me, I am glad you like them."

He went with her to the kitchenette and grabbed his dressing from the fridge. "You want dressing tonight love?" He watched her set the salads down and smiled. "I love your nails. Did you hang out with Venis too, or just Seleen and Tasha?" He was glad that she was friends with the other women in his life.

"I spent some time with Venis too."

She smiled as he noticed her nails.

"They have so many colors."

She nodded.

"I would love some dressing."

He grabbed up the ranch, because they both ate it, and he took it to the table. He reached for her hand so he could better see her nails. "I love them, they're cute. And the earrings too." She had been having fun obviously. He was ver glad.

She smiled her eyes sparkling as he took her hand. She poured some dressing on her salad and than ate her salad while making small talk with Manny.

"What did you do today?"

He smiled. "I worked the horses. I must smell frightful. I saved Rapture and Empyrean for you to do tomorrow. I still have some more to work. You're welcome to join me if you don't already have plans with the girls." He smiled as he let her have her hand back to eat.

"No I will join you."

Her eyes lit up when he told her he had saved the unicorns for her.

"I was just thinking that I needed to go down and see them with some sugar cubes."

He chuckled. "Well, they need to be walked, so you can give them the cubes, then they can walk them off." He was glad that she would be joining him. "We should take a treat for Willow, she seems sad." He thought maybe a treat would cheer her up.

Gwen smiled.

"Willow is the pink dragon right?"

She knew she was going to have to take her meat that made her sad but she knew that dragons ate meat, that was just the way it was.

He smiled and nodded. he saw how her expression changed and he had a thought that might cheer her back up. "Yes, that's the one. Do we happen to know where to find a pumpkin? She loves getting them in the fall. She plays with them for a while then eats them." He hoped she liked that. The bigger the better too. She would eat lots of them if they gave them to her.

"I have some in the green house I built."

She was much happier now that she knew they didn't have to feed Willow meat.

"There are several of them ripe already."

Manny got a huge smile. "We can get her one in the morning then." He ate some salad and admired his beautiful girlfriend.

She smiled as she looked at him. She had finished her salad and yawned.

"Lets go get some sleep."

Manny took the dishes and washed them up quickly. Then he grinned. "I have a better idea, right after I shower." He winked at her and took her hand as they headed to the bedroom.

She laughed and took his hand headed into the bathroom.

"Do you need help with your back before I go to sleep?"

He nodded as he closed the bedroom door.

((Fade to black))

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Re: Preperations

Post by Gwendolan on Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:33 am

Gwen woke with a smile on her face, it was just before dawn. She went out onto the balcony and said her prayers to nature and listened to the trees speaking. She closed her eyes and just stood there as the sun came up bathing her in the light of the morning. This was her favorite part of the day.

She heard the phone ringing and knew it was Venis from the song that was playing. She knew that Manny had just been woken up. She was not ready to leave the rising sun. It was Manny's birthday and she knew what this call was for. Venis was going to send him away from the Inn for the day so she could cook and get ready for his dinner. She had one more favor to ask of Venis.

She heard Manny talking and smiled when he called Venis young lady. She heard bits and pieces of the conversation. When she heard him get into the shower she closed her eyes and finished meditating. She stretched her arms up towards the sun and then dropped them at her sides. She was about to come in when Manny came out. She returned his kiss and smiled.

"It's ok love, I am sure that it must be important for her to call you this early on your birthday."

She watched him leave and then got ready herself.

The day before had been crazy; it was a blur of activity. As soon as Manny and herself had finished with the animals she went into the kitchen. She avoided answering as many questions as possible. She made inventory of the things that where there and what she was going to need to buy.

She went up to her room and went to the box that Manny kept in his desk; he called it the petty cash fund. He said it was there for extra things that needed to be purchased. She took a lot more cash than she needed, she had no idea what things cost. She went to Venis' room and gave Star and Petrika the money and a list of the items that needed to be purchased.

23 pounds of tomatoes
6 pounds of mushrooms
60 medium cremini mushrooms
5 pounds of spinach
5 pounds of iceberg lettuce
2 pounds of romaine lettuce
6 pounds of cheddar cheese
8 pounds of mozzarella cheese
4 pounds of fresh parmesan cheese
13 16 ounce tubs of ricotta cheese
1 pound of toasted pine nuts 3 pounds of swiss cheese

Everything else on the list was in her garden boxes, the green house she had built, or was in the kitchen already.

The women looked at the list then at the money. They asked if there was something else she needed. They handed her back more than half the money and left with the list.

When they returned she had two large pots of water boiling and two large bowls of ice water. She needed to have the skins taken off the tomatoes The best way to do that was to put them in boiling water for no more than one minute than dunked into the ice water. She demonstrated the way to do it. The skins rubbed right off after that was done. She cut the tomato in half and than squeezed it gently some of the water came out with a lot of the seeds. She took a spoon and scooped out the rest of the seeds. After that she let the other women help her, they made a couple mistakes at first squeezing to hard but they soon got it down. It took them about three hours to finish the tomatoes.

She went down to her room and had lunch with Manny, she treasured every moment that she got to spend with him. When they finished lunch she went back up to Venis' room. She went right back to work. She chopped onions, oregano, minced garlic, chopped bay leaves, basil, celery, and sweet red peppers.She put all that in the pot and than added a bit of salt, lemon juice, and red wine. She turned the pot on to simmer.

She then switched to the veg broth she chopped a bunch of veg and threw them into the pot and turned it on to simmer.

Then it came time for the fitting, they found out she was a size zero, the rest of the afternoon was spent chopping and cutting, mincing, and grating. With the help of Star and Petrika she got about ninety percent of the prep for dinner done. She enjoyed the company. She went back to her room in time to make Manny dinner. She had bread, cheese, and fruit waiting for him.

Now that he was gone she showered and dressed for the day, she was getting nervous, this was Manny, she loved him so much, she knew she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. She took the quilt from it's hiding place and put it on the bed. She placed candles everywhere around the room, she was going to ask Venis for one more favor. She wanted her to pop into the room and light all the candles when they came back into the inn and then pop out.


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Re: Preperations

Post by Gwendolan on Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:13 am

Gwen went up to Venis' room and met up with Star and Petrika. They where soon taking all the prep that had been done down to the kitchen. It was there that Gwen began to separate all the food into recipes. She had never cooked for so many people ; but she felt it only fair, if she was going to be in the kitchen all day she was going to make enough for every one here. She planned on cooking for at least thirty people. There would be some extra but that was ok.

The kitchen here was massive and there was enough room for her to do something that would make things a lot easier. She began to separate the items into the recipes.

She set the sauce, carrots, oregano, lasagna noodles, ricotta cheese, spinach, eggs, zucchini, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese.

A little further down the counter she put out fresh loaves of bread, mayonnaise, butter, garlic, rosemary, basil, parsley, green onions, cheddar cheese, mozzarella, and fresh parmesan cheese.

Next she set out eggs, pure vanilla extract, sugar, ricotta cheese, lemons, flour, cooking spray, pine nuts, and confectioners sugar.

She placed mint leaves, white wine, and sugar. She needed lemon juice to she was going to squeeze fresh juice from the lemons she was using for desert. She only needed the rinds for that.

She laid out the cremini mushrooms, onions, garlic, olive oil, spinach, and swiss cheese.

She put out the veg broth, mushrooms, onions, tomato puree, sweet vermouth, fresh basil, chives, and parmesan cheese.

She than put the items for the salad on the island, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, spinach, croutons, cheese, and ranch and italian salad dressing.

To all the food items she added the pans, pots, baking dishes, knives, graters, mixers, and measuring cups and spoons. Now things were organized and she was ready. She had Star and Petrika looking at the recipes. She had them chopping and grating all the things that had not been prepped the day before.

She started with the sorbet. She crushed up all the fresh mint leaves and put them in a sauce pan and added the sugar. She brought the water to a boil and than reduced the pan to a simmer. When it stopped boiling she put the lid on the pan and left it for a few minutes. She had Star and Petrika grating the lemons while she squeezed the juice out of them. She added the fresh lemon juice and the white wine to the mixture. She than moved on to make desert while she let the mixture cool to room temperature.

She took the muffin pans and lined them with foil cupcake wrappers. She sprayed them with cooking spray. She got a bowl and started cracking eggs into it. She put the vanilla in. She was using an electric mixer. When the eggs and vanilla were mixed together she had Star add in the sugar. She mixed it until it was completely blended together. Petrika added the ricotta cheese and grated lemon peal. Star added in the flour. When it was all mixed together she began to fill the muffin pans and than placed them inside of baking dishes. She filled the baking dishes with water and than put them in the oven. It would only take twenty minutes for them to cook.

She then went onto the salad. Star, Petrika, and herself began cutting up the different types of lettuce and spinach. She cut up tomatoes, and cucumbers. She added some cheese to it as well. The croutons would be the last thing to add to the salad right before it was served.

She than put the sorbet mixture into the ice box. It had to cool for two hours before she could put it in the ice cream maker.

She than turned and pulled out the desert and with the help of the other two women she pressed pine nuts into them and left them to cool.

She then turned on a huge pot of water and began to boil water for the lasagna noodles. While they cooked she added carrots and oregano to the sauce. In another bowl she mixed eggs, ricotta cheese, and chopped spinach. She mixed the mozzarella, and parmesan cheese together. She got out several pans out and put sauce in the bottom of them. There was one smaller pan that was white and a bit more fancy than the others. She placed sauce in the bottom of all the pans. She put in a layer of the lasagna noodles over that. She than put the spinach mixture on the noodles, over that she layered the zucchini and mushrooms, she topped that off with the cheese mixture and than started over. The last things added were more noodles the last of the sauce and then the cheese. She covered all the pans with foil. It would only take forty five minutes to cook so they were place aside to be cooked right before dinner.

She moved to the cremini mushrooms. The first thing the women had to do was remove the steams off the sixty mushrooms they had to hollow out the tops of them. She helped with about a dozen of them and than began to saute the minced garlic and onions in olive oil. When they were done she mixed them in a large bowl with swiss cheese and spinach. The woman washed their hands and began to stuff the mushrooms by hand. It took them about thirty minutes to stuff them all. When they were done she covered them with foil and set them aside. They only took fifteen minutes in the oven to cook. She than moved to the desert not that it was cooled and topped them all with the confectioners sugar and then covered them with plastic wrap and put them in the ice box.

The next thing to make was the soup. All the prep had been done the day before. She only had to saute the mushrooms and onions in olive oil when they were ready she put them in a large pot with the veg broth. She added the tomato puree, basil, chives and sweet vermouth. She put the pot on the stove and turned the heat on low. It needed to simmer for a few hours.

Now was the bread. She cut twelve loaves in half and laid them on cookie sheets. She mixed together the mayonnaise, butter, minced garlic, chopped rosemary, basil, parsley thinly sliced green onions, salt and pepper. than the mixed together the cheddar, mozzarella, and fresh parmesan cheeses. Half of this she added to the spread. Star and Petrika helped her spread it on to the loaves and then top it with the rest of the cheese. These to were set aside after being covered with foil. It only took ten minutes with the foil on and than five with it off.

The last things she did was put the sorbet mixture into the ice cream maker.

It was now late afternoon. She left Star in the kitchen and had Petrika go up to Venis' room and get one of the boxes with the table settings, she led her to the gazebo where they would be having dinner that night and had her place the box off to the side out of the way. They went back to the Inn and she had Star do the same thing. She stayed at the gazebo and set the dinner table. When she was done she set candles all over the gazebo and then place luminaries up the walk leading to it.

She was trusting Star and Petrika to finish dinner and take care of the service. They knew where she was if they had any questions about what to do.

She went to her room and filled the bathtub with water and oils. After that she went to the shower and washed her hair; she wrapped it in a tight bun and than soaked in the tub until her skin was as soft as rose petals. She put on a bath robe and then went up to Venis' room. She knocked on the door jam and waited.

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