I want to start this entry with a big “thank you!” to Kathy Sampson for the beautiful spring pictures she sent.

Friday was relatively quiet although we had a bittersweet event. We held a farewell party for Josh Malone, who is leaving us to take a job at Notre Dame. He and his wife, Dacia, are expecting their first child in August. We wish them the very best in their new undertaking and their new life. Josh always greeted everyone with a smile and no matter what was asked of him, he was always willing to cheerfully take on the task. We will really miss his bright spirit and warm sense of humor.

After the farewell party, I left for a retreat up on Mount Petit Jean with a group of professional women. The purpose of the group is to encourage and nurture women leaders. It was a lovely drive and a great day for it. We had dinner that evening at the lodge at the Rockefeller Center. During dinner I asked for some cracked pepper for my salad, and after a while a man came out with something that definitely wasn’t pepper in his hand. He looked around the table and asked if anyone had requested some crepe paper. Of course, we all got a good chuckle out of that.

While both the location and setting were beautiful, I would have to say to my foodies out there that the food was not as memorable. Some of the women ordered appetizers to share and they were fried green beans, chips and salsa and guacamole, and some crab cakes that were quite frankly a little on the bready side. The menu was kind of eclectic and limited. There was shrimp teriyaki for example, two types of steak, a pasta dish, and a trout dish. I had a steak which is something I usually don’t do. The starch offerings were pretty limited. I could either have french fries or roasted little new potatoes, which I thought was unusual because baked potatoes are usually served with steak. Anyway, having said all that, the camaraderie was great. It was good to see all the ladies again. Afterwards we went to one of the larger cottages where we had dessert which was a Boston crème pie. I got to know some of the women I’d never met before, and caught up with old acquaintances before calling it an early evening.