Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Harvey and Lori Ferguson Ch. 4 First Pool Party

The day of the pool party Harvey was outside, eager to greet his guests.They’d scheduled it to start around 1 pm. This would be the first real party they’d had at their home. Lori was inside putting the finishing touches on the devilled eggs. Last night she’d made Striped Delight, a chocolate lover’s dream, but still light enough for a hot summer day. She’d had a tough time keeping Harvey out of it.

Striped Delight
1-1/2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine
1 package 8 oz cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sugar
2 Tbsp. 2% or whole Milk
1-8 oz container cool whip thawed, can be Lite
2 pkgs. 4 serving size Jell-O chocolate instant pudding
3-1/2 cups cold 2% or whole milk

Combine graham cracker crumbs, ¼ cup sugar, and melted butter, press firmly into bottom of 13” x 9” pan. This is the hardest part. Put it into the pan a small like maybe tablespoon at a time and smash it down a section a time and work with a spatula to get it uniform thickness and to make sure you have enough to cover.

Beat cream cheese with sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk until smooth. Fold in half of the Cool Whip. Then spread this mixture over the crust. Using 3-1/2 cups of Cold Milk prepare pudding as directed on package. Pour over cream cheese layer. Chill several hours or overnight. Spread remaining cool whip over pudding. Garnish with grated chocolate or chopped nuts. Substitute lemon or butterscotch or pistachio for chocolate. 

It wasn’t long before their friends and family were having fun around the pool. Andy Lomax headed straight for Harvey’s huge and amazing pinball machine. Nicky was enjoying the pool slide and Trey was showing off his form at the diving board.

Holly had showed up in a great mood and was sampling the nectar available poolside.

They had a party-crasher. Bella Cullen had happened by when the guests were arriving and managed to just blend in. Harvey was all for booting her out, but Lori knew Renesmee Cullen slightly and insisted that they make Renesmee’s mother welcome.

“At least she didn’t bring her husband. I’ve seen him only once and he’s kind of handsome, but creepy somehow,” Lori whispered to Harvey.

“How is he creepy?” he whispered back.

“I don’t know, he’s really pale for one thing, I mean way paler than Chelsea or Elle. Well, so is Bella; she’s going to get a heck of a sunburn here today. But I think it’s his eyes. When he looked at me I got chills and not the good kind.”

“Well, I'll say this; she doesn’t look like a woman who has a daughter the same age as Gillian. She looks like she’s in her twenties.”

Bella switched into a bright blue swimsuit (did she carry it around with her?) and plunged into the pool. She was the best swimmer Harvey had ever seen. She must have trained for the Olympics at one time, he concluded.

After a while Lori could not resist the music and clambered out of the pool to dance with abandon all by herself. Once Holly saw that she climbed out of the pool to join her.

Nicky took time to catch his breath on one of the lounges.

“So Mom says you’re married now,” Harvey plopped down in a chair next to Nicky, “When do we get to meet her?”

“I would have brought her today of course, but she had to work,” Nicky said.

“Well, I have to say I was sure surprised to hear you were somebody's husband,” Harvey grinned.

“Yeah, I know, but Allyn is special, believe me. You’ll like her. And, frankly, I want children while I’m young enough to run after them. You know, kid, I’m kicking 40 in the pants.”

“Well, let us know what’s a good day for you and Lori and I will have you over for dinner.”

“Great idea. I can cook all right, but Allyn, well, she mainly nukes prepared stuff. At least, so far. I’m going to send her to a cooking school, probably. And you’ve been bragging about Lori’s food for a long time. I’d like to taste for myself.”

“Well, as I said, just check with Allyn and let us know when,” Harvey said, wondering if Nicky was kidding about the cooking lessons.  He could just see himself demanding that Lori go learn how to do anything. Of course, she didn’t need cooking lessons at all, and Harvey couldn’t think right now what she would need to learn except maybe patience or balancing a budget. Hmm, a basic night school course in bookkeeping? Harvey could usually convince or encourage Lori to do things, but he could never "send" her to do something, much less demand it. He wasn't suicidal, after all.

Naturally, around 3 in the afternoon the skies darkened and the wind blew. A thunderstorm struck hard and everyone vacated the pool in record time because of the lightning. Fortunately, Lori had heeded Harvey’s warning and they’d borrowed utility tables and folding chairs from her mother and set them up in the dining room/living room. She still made the cheeseburgers on the grille, it was right outside the kitchen door and had a roof over it.

Harvey sat down at one table with Andy and Holly and Bella Cullen joined them while Lori served up the burgers. He wanted to be a good host so he immediately engaged Bella in conversation since she was the newcomer. She seemed pleasant and intelligent.

Wow, thought Harvey, first time I’ve seen someone with such light brown eyes. They’re almost gold.

Lori played hostess over at the other table with Chelsea, Trey and Nicky. When she was near her brother-in-law Lori always tried to forget the image of him big-time flirting with her mother while her father fumed. It had been at the pool party Lori gave the summer after graduation a few years ago. She'd said at the time to Harvey,

"Oh, well, I guess he's harmless," 

They'd been alone in her parent's library while the party was still going on and had just agreed to go back together again.

"Don't you believe it--he's not harmless at all," Harvey had grinned rakishly, adding, "And neither am I, Brat."

Lori almost giggled suddenly remembering how many times she and Harvey had made out on that black leather loveseat as teenagers.

Lori's twin brother, Trey, had for some time wanted to try Lori’s plastic surgery machine. He thought he needed work done on his eyes and mouth; he claimed he had just never been that crazy about them. Today they gave it a try. Lori had been worried that he’d look all stretched and weird, but it turned out quite well although it took two tries to get it right. Chelsea loved his face the way it was, so Lori worked hard to keep him looking like his old self, only better. 

After the meal Harvey, Andy and Nicky headed back to his man-cave. He was proud of it and planned to add a couple of armchairs or another loveseat and a big wall-mounted flat screen TV.

“Yeah, then I’ll probably never see you,” Lori had said when he'd told her his plans a few weeks back.

“You’ll see me, honey. You'll see me when you bring in the nachos and cheese and those sausage balls you make. I love them."

“Oh, thanks so very much, Master.”

When she thought Harvey was getting a little too domineering, even if in jest, Lori always called him Master or Sir.

"You won't forget the chips and guacamole, will you?" he'd asked and ducked as she'd thrown a sofa pillow at him.

Holly, Chelsea and Lori were talking babies in the living room. As young married women and especially now that Melanie was expecting they were consumed with the subject. Bella wandered into the room and sat down near them. Melanie and Gareth had not come because they had gone on a weekend trip to Three Lakes. The vacation had been planned for a while.

Holly giggled, “I think it's funny that they went there. Melanie told me long ago that she hated all the moose and deer stuff at Horrible House. I thought it came from Three Lakes.”

“Oh, it did. As for the deer décor; I hated that, too.”

“I love deer,” Bella supplied.

“Who doesn’t love deer?” Lori agreed and added, “You know; Bambi, Rudolph, Comet and Cupid—what’s not to like about deer, really? They're supposed to be gentle creatures. I think they're beautiful, too. That’s why I hated to see that stuff and think of the poor dead moose and deer it came from.”

“Yes, deer are no good dead, unless they’re very, very fresh,” Bella nodded.

All conversation ceased for a moment as the other women stopped to looked at her curiously,

“I mean,” she faltered, “That is…well, um, did you know that deer meat is really low in fat?”

“You eat venison?” Chelsea was interested, “Is it good? I’ve heard it’s an acquired taste. Trey doesn’t hunt much, but I know some guys that do and their wives have to deal with cooking it and I hear you have to cook it a special way for it to taste good and not too gamy.”

“Um,” Bella struggled, “Well, yes, I’d have to say it’s an acquired taste—I actually became sort of addicted to it after Renesmee was born. My husband turned me on to it, you might say. Funny, right now I can't think of one recipe for venison, though.”

Lori nodded, thinking of the mysterious Edward and Bella Cullen and trying to picture Renesmee as an infant. Edward was rather good-looking—in a dangerous way. Still, there was something sinister about him—and, to be honest, about Bella, too. It was hard to imagine the man dandling a toddler on his knee like her brother-in-laws, Jeremy and Kevin, did. And somehow she just knew Bella was not the type to breast-feed.

“Well, anyway,” Holly got back to her subject, “Melanie is up there in the mountains right now, with every chance of being stalked by a mountain lion or bear or something and having to learn how to throw an axe and sleep in a pup tent. Can you see her dressed like a lumber jack? Andy says it gets cold up there in the mountains, even on a summer night. I just can’t figure out why she agreed to go there of all places.”

"They're staying at a beautiful lodge, Holly, not sleeping in a tent!" Chelsea laughed.

Lori shrugged her shoulders,

“She agreed because she loves him,” Lori said, “What else can you do when you love a man so much? You just want to make him happy so you have to give in on some things. Anyway, I know she feels he has gone her way on living with her folks, so she probably wants to do something his way with this trip.”

Chelsea nodded,

“Makes sense to me.”

“Oh, Chelsea,” Holly laughed, “It would make sense to you. You’re so crazy about Trey if he said he had a job at the bottom of the ocean shoveling whale poop, you’d get your scuba gear and go right with him. You'd think it was marvelous.”

This made Lori and Holly almost double up with laughter, while Chelsea blushed and smiled. Bella didn't laugh, but she nodded her approval of Chelsea,

"That's the way it should be. Good for you. A woman should be ready to give up everything for the man she loves."

Holly chuckled,

"Holy cow, how politically incorrect can you get; don't let the women's rights movement hear that. I'd give up a lot for Andy--I'm sure I'll have to in the sixty-odd years I hope we'll have together--but I don't think I could give up 'everything'; like my family, for instance. Or air conditioning."

"I could," Lori said with shining eyes. When Chelsea and Holly looked at her incredulously she hastily added, "Okay, maybe I haven't done that so far, but I think I would give up everything for Harvey if he asked me to. And I know that, for Trey, Chelsea would make a stab at it, too."

Chelsea nodded yes.

"We aren't very liberated, I guess," Lori laughed, "Anyway, I can't wait until Melanie gets back to find out how the trip went."

The rain had ceased and Trey decided to try out that fabulous pinball machine Andy had been playing earlier. He would have given anything to get one like this, he'd have to ask Harvey where his brother got it.

Around dark, Holly and Lori talked their respective husbands into take a turn in the hot tub upstairs where Harvey enjoyed splashing his sister the way he had as a kid.

There were still people downstairs and Trey left the pinball machine and joined his wife, Chelsea and Bella and Nicky.

When Andy and Holly came back downstairs there was a sudden uncomfortable moment for the others as Andy became angry and scolded Holly about drinking too much nectar. He went on for a while, but Holly just laughed it off. Harvey finally tapped him on the shoulder,

“C’mon, Andy, can’t this wait for another time?”

Andy looked around at the other people in the room, who had lapsed into silence when his ranting became loud.

At least he had the grace to be embarrassed and shut up. Holly still looked amused as though Andy were a small boy throwing a tearful tantrum. The tensions eased and people went back to their conversations punctuated by laughter. 

When the final guests had departed Harvey turned to Lori,

“That went well, honey.”

“I think everyone had a good time. But Andy and Holly—that was awful,” Lori said.

“I wouldn’t worry too much about it.”

“But Harvey, aren’t you afraid that…well, you know, she’s your sister and it was terrible the way he talked to her for a minute there. Do you think she might be…well, in danger?”

Harvey shook his head no,

“She didn’t look afraid of him to me and she actually was hitting the nectar a little hard today. That’s their business, though; he just should have waited until they got home to discuss it."
“Ha! That wasn’t a discussion, we have discussions and they’re not like that. That was him losing his temper and lecturing her in front of their friends at a party.”

“Totally inappropriate, I agree, but we can’t referee other people’s marriages, honey. Holly says they want to start a family right away and that worries me a little, I have to say. She can be flighty and Andy is a good kid but kind of immature at times. Then again, he just turned 22. Are they ready for parenthood?" Harvey shrugged, "Who knows? And it's none of my business, actually."

He was saying it was none of hers either, Lori knew. She guessed he was right and she thought about the other things he'd said. She knew Andy was younger than the rest of them by almost 2 years, having skipped a grade in middle school and the same in high school. He was extremely intelligent and had always taken advanced classes. But emotionally he seemed to be a little backward. Maybe that was all it was tonight, immaturity and not an anger control problem.

Harvey returned to his original statement,

“You were a great hostess today, honey—you made sure everyone was happy,  and well-fed. I’m proud of you.”

Lori simply glowed under his praise. Harvey took her in his arms and kissed her, then announced,

“I'm thinking it’s time for that trip to Takemizu Village. How about it?”



Mrs. Stuffy said...

That is my most favorite dessert in the WORLD! Harvey is so romantic! :)

Lorelei said...

Thanks! Yeah, I just decided to print the recipe since I already had it on file.

I just love Harvey; I have since he was a child. He and Brian are definitely my two favorite male Sims(from this generation)in Pleasantview. Uber-hotties. LOL

mrssimgirl said...

Striped Delight Sounds Fabulous!! Great party! "Youll see me when you bring in the nachos and cheese.." LOL Great updates. Cant wait for the trip.