Thursday, October 13, 2011

the morning after



Let us have wine and women,
myrth and laughter,
Sermons and soda water
the day after.

Lord Byron, from Don Juan


Come in and help yourself to some delicious brunch. There's plenty of my favorite press pot coffee, brewed extra strong, since most of us had a just a few too many Last Word cocktails last night, including Branwell Bronte, brother of the three famous Bronte sisters, who came along with Alan Burnett.  The Bug, didn't imbibe, but was seen flashing around a large nickel-plated revolver.  I'm not sure exactly why.

In addition to our fascinating list of guests there was quite a bit going on all evening, which miraculously lasted 24 hours, including fencing competitions, drag racing, men in kilts, and Tom, Half Moose's attempt to scuba dive in the Scioto River.  Steve Martin once again roamed the grounds of the manor without his pants, or even the rest of his clothes, for that matter.  Tom's tuxedo came loose and floated down the river, on its way to the mighty Mississippi.  Steve was only too happy to loan him his white suit, replaced by a metallic silver thong.

Reya was stunning in her fur trimmed mini Twiggy dress.  Dino Hand, looking just as stunning in his Michael Jackson glove, spent most of the evening hovering behind her.  Lord Thomas of Wellington entertained us on the piano, and Dr. Linthead, dressed in handsome Civil War general's uniform, took over, not even realizing he could play.  Brendan absolutely outdid himself by writing a glorious mythological poem in honor of the ball.

Junk Thief's film presentation of the Willow Manor Ball, included yours truly ice skating with the ever talented Archie Leach. The diligent practicing of my woolly socks triple axel truly paid off.  My personal highlight of the evening, was watching the sunrise over the Scioto, while the dashing R.A.D. Stainforth read me a passage of Lord Byron's Don Juan. He can read poetry just as well as he can tango, by the way.




Some might think this was simply a lot of silly nonsense. But, I happen to believe the fine line between fantasy and reality is the space where artists live.  We should never apologize for this virtual world, if not celebrate it, gorge in its creativity.  This is exactly what we did.  Thank you for dancing that powerful dance on the splendid border between fantasy and reality with me, dear friends.  It was good.



Congratulations to Fireblossom and Rob Kistner,
winners of the door prize of an Ohio Starbucks mug.
(please send me your mailing addresses)


79 comments:

  1. Tess-thank you for hosting such a memorable event and inviting us to walk the line --it was a great night! c

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  2. It was wonderful. Thank you.

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  3. You look so stunning still this morning Tess! I to would like to thank you for hosting such a grand affair. I think I will take a cup of that extra strong coffee if I may. All that dancing has worn me out. :-)

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  4. Oh my! That is quite the "morning after" picture :-) Thank you, Tess! Putting aside the pirate, the general, the infatuation with edged weapons, in my heart of hearts I just want to play the piano and sing torch music, as Johnny Mercer preferred to call it. Last night I did! Also, I got to use the line, "don't shoot me...I'm only the piano player."

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  5. Tess and the "party happened". Thank you for inviting me. I had a blast and now I must take some excedrin for migraine to ease my throbbing temples.
    Helen Tilstonxx

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  6. What a wonderful party I missed Willow. But I was there in spirit. I will so enjoy the day reading about all the fun and the marvelous line I love to dance on between fantasy and reality. Enjoying your poems daily in your book.
    QMM

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  7. Oh Dear Tess,
    Len (it's easier to passioniately breathlessly call him Len instead of Leonard)and I caught a glimpse of your red tail feathers as you were trotting across the hardwood with R.A.D., but we know you didn't see us..your head was thrown back in lust and laughter. Phipps made us a NoTellTale cocktail and we took a tour of the upstairs of the Manor. I was so caught up in the moment as the sound ofLen's voice slipped over my being like a glove...ahhh...Just wanted you to know that your cricket is still between the sheets..We had to slip out very quickly though because as I was pulling myself back together I dropped the train to my gown in the W.C.

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  8. Additionally, does anyone know a formula for removing Bobby Brown Crimson lipstick from a silk pocket handkerchief? Just curious...

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  9. What a night. You even surpassed last year's Ball. Ms O'Hara is now back in Ireland; resting. She sends her most sincere thanks.

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  10. It was exquisite, darlin' - everything! And a rousing HURRAH, as Bertie would say, for our door prize winners. I'm sure it must have been a tough selection, as I was gob smacked by your brilliant list of very talented and colourful guests. However, I was somewhat puzzled - admittedly a tad fuzzy today from an overconsumption of sloe gin - by your chat on fantasy versus reality. Really, darlin', is there any difference? I'm still debating the great one-hander: 'What is life?' :) With that said, I still think your tops, a lovely enchantress who spins and weaves a truly marvellous party. My troupe and I enjoyed ourselves immensely. And now Jeeves would like to leave you with a little something. I said he could, and I DO hope you indulge him, as he so likes to be helpful. Little father hen, I fondly call him....

    To our Lady Kincaid, in all sincerity, from Mr Jeeves, manservant to Bertram, Wooster:

    "A caveat potor ('drinker beware')"

    The following list is a compilation of popular hangover nostrums (reported by members of the Urban Legends and Folklore Forum), which may prove most helpful to any remaining guests of Willow Manor:

    Tomato juice, aspirin and a long, hot shower
    Coffee made with tonic water, orange juice and honey
    Water, water, and more water
    Water and vitamin C (also, water and calcium)
    Water and vitamin B complex
    Vitamin E
    Buttermilk
    A "Red-Eye" — whiskey, coffee, Tabasco sauce, a raw egg, pepper and orange juice blended together
    Alternating between Pepto-Bismol and water
    Lots of icy-cold Coca Cola (not Diet Coke!)
    "Coating your stomach" before drinking with milk and/or bread and butter
    Vegemite on toast
    Vomiting before bedtime

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  11. Oh dear...Jeeves corrects my spelling, which should read: 'you're tops', not 'your tops' - please forgive the momentary 'alcohol brain'!

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  12. Ah Tess..my coach is back in the pumpkin patch and Tommy and Dick are back home (still arguing about who Mom loves best) and my sable has been returned to the "rent a great look" store. A memorable event for sure. Thanks so much for an event to remember.

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  13. Thank you so much for last night! I had so much fun with all the Brits who came along to do their country dancing in the tent. I managed to come inside a few times... once when I met up with Pat and Derrick (it was sooo good catching up with Derrick).. they both came out to the tent for a few reels and I loved the old standards provided by Carolina.... nothing could be finer!! I am staying for a little yummy brunch today and then I am off to my volunteer work. Brilliant once again, dear friend. xoxo

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  14. Ahhh, the coffee is delicious and much needed. Also, a mimosa should perk me up after a night of dancing, talking, and ogling. You, my dear Tess, have once again made a fabulous evening for us all. This morning's breakfast is the perfect end to a delightful evening.

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  15. I can only gaze with envy at the sumptuous goings on..That I, party animal that I am, missed the extravagaza is almost unexplainable. Straddling the day /night vampire thing is confusing...I promise to have it sorted out by next year...what a beauty you are!

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  16. I had a great time Tess!

    P.S. You know dear Dr. Linthead - I wouldn't really have shot you :)

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  17. I'm still giggling this morning...it was fabulous fun, dear peeps(!!!) More coffee anyone?

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  18. So glad I came, was brilliant meeting with so much glamour and intellect in a single space... but you were wrong about the magic cocktails.. I do feel slightly hungover... never mind, Catfish Tales advice to the rescue :)

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  19. Oh, dear Tess...it was a grand amd glorious night....(yaaaaaawn and brushing straw from hair)...Now I can truly say I have had a royal roll in the hay....
    After coddling him and feeding dates to Mr. Ed (on a tip from Catfish Tales)Roger and I were too much to tired and enchanted to get back to the car...and so nestled down for a sleep with the Ohio moonlight pouring through the windows and the soft whiffling of Mr. Ed happily snoozing in his special Willow Manor stable stall! He is such a sweetheart he loaned us his blanket...
    Check out comments over at TKR to read about the search party...the Willow Ball crowd are the greatest friends a girl have!

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  20. Carolina...why would you want to remove it?...What trophy!!

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  21. Tess, Daaaarrhling....is there a teapot in your pantry?

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  22. I've said it once and I'll say it again...no one throws a party like you dear friend....SJP and I had a fabulous time :)

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  23. Yes, FireLight, thank you! Top shelf on the right...

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  24. I will be slowly making it around to visit all of your blogs today...there are quite a few of you I have yet to visit...ah...the beauty of the virtual world...

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  25. Oh heavens, I must needs try Jeeves's tonic...I think I was trying to say that Roger Livesy and I were much too tired and too enchanted...maybe we had just had too much to drink.....anyway....one thing is certain we had the time of our lives .... thank you soooo much!

    PS I know this is rather inelegant...but perhaps I can find another accessory or car part for your beloved Rover as this year's hostess gift for you ....uuuhhmm?? ...or would you prefer diamonds, my dear?

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  26. Oh yes, there's the little pot short and stout.....and you have already put the kettle on....oh my Yorkshire Gold....another bit of heaven at the Manor!! I love the morning after visits almost as much as the ball!

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  27. Thanks for helping me with my bow tie Tess ... I have feathers in my boxer shorts this morning ... and a note in the breast pocket of my dinner jacket (tuxedo) ... "I'll always love you, signed Emily Dickinson" ... she took my cigarette lighter ... sermons and soda water the day after is right ...

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  28. Feathers? Red feathers? ...giggle

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  29. Dear Willow: Absolutely the most! Absolutely. I owe you a bottle of Absolute! Ok dear, I'm nursing a day after the best party EVER! "I could have danced all night" and we did! :)

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  30. This is the only time I indulge in fancy on the net. It has been such a joy participating since its inception. You have created a tradition and a community around this event.

    Next year let's have more fencing, I will bring my épée.

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  31. Oooooh! I'm all for more fencing! I missed out on it this year...didn't want to risk the "borrowed" uniform. I'll polish up the rapier and main gauche. Perhaps Mike Loades will show up...

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  32. It was good. More than good. Thank you Tess, for dancing on that edge and inviting us all in. Some of my readers who didn't know about the ball were confused by my post - and with any luck, they will be attending next year.

    p.s. You remember Raoul, my date? He confided he caught a glimpse of you standing by the Scioto this morning at dawn in your chiffon gown (a few feathers missing) and for a moment he thought he was in Portofino, watching Aurora herself rise over the Med.....oh those Italian men...

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  33. p.s. just read Yoli's comment.

    You're on girl. I'll don my fencing whites and bring my foil — we'll show them more panache than Errol Flynn's ghost could conjure~

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  34. I am sorry I was only able to stop in for a short time, but my "real life" required me to work all night, so I was unable to make witty repartee with you and the inimitable Mr. Buttkus, who seemed entranced by MY buttkus.... ha! 8-)

    What a soiree - finally gave me a chance to wear that black gown I've been hiding in my closet all this time!

    The cocktails were amazing - do pass me a mimosa, darling... hair of the dog, you know...

    I didn't mention this yesterday, but the impromptu reading by Sir Anthony Hopkins undid me quite. I was moved to tears by it.

    Butterfly kisses to one and all!

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  35. yawn..... yawn again....wiggle toesies...ouch.... still a nit tender after all that revelry!

    I loved R.A.D.'s morning poetry recital to you.... so perfect...
    I loved it also because last night, I was *hard* at work with the *real* Don Giovanni! Quite a good production....Lucas Mecheam is the perfect *Don*... (he is also a sexy Baritone)... hmmmm...already planning dates for 2012! A-ha-ha! I'll try and get some photos for you....wonderful costumes!

    I did tell many of the SFO Company about your Ball....and they loved the idea..

    It was so much fun!!!! I loved meeting so many new and fabulous *guests* from all round the world!

    Wish I was there now for some of that scrumptious-looking brunch!

    Enjoy the day, divine hostess!
    I hope the sun is shining and warm (as it is - gasp - here)!

    Thnak you again.....all my *guys* loved it too!

    ♥ Robin ♥

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  36. It was a grand night indeed. The best part of it was that in an age when there is so much snark and mean spirited comments on the internet, it was heartening to see so much creativity and supportive remarks by the many participants. The Grand Lady of Willow Manor proved to be a wonderful muse scattering sparkly fairy dust with the wave of her wand over the virtual universe.

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  37. Yes, Marcheline, let us raise a morning after mimosa to the inimitable Mr. Buttkus!

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  38. No Tess, it was gooder than good.

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  39. Your Quote:
    "Some might think this was simply a lot of silly nonsense. But, I happen to believe the fine line between fantasy and reality is the space where artists live. We should never apologize for this virtual world, if not celebrate it, gorge in its creativity. This is exactly what we did."

    And *that* dear Tess, that is exactly why I am so pleased and humbled that I found you.
    I may not be able to *quite* keep up as well as I should....bloody life *does* have a way of getting in the way of living.....but you provide me with a place to play....and that is priceless.

    Carry on, luv.......

    Now, if you would kindly point the way to the mimosas and Paracetamol.....I would be ever go grateful.............

    *hugs*
    ~Mimi

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  40. What a talented hostess you are. Sounds like a good time by all.

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  41. Tess,
    What a splendid party! Thank you so much for hosting. I'm afraid I must apologize for the monkey droppings on your front lawn, however. It appears that Captain Jack Sparrow did not follow my instructions and brought along the monkey. I caught him imbibing from the punch bowl and banished him (the monkey, not Johnny Depp) to the yard. Alas, he showed his displeasure. I'll send a clean up crew.

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  42. Once again...the fest of the season! Brunch was delicious...bacon...mmmmmm.

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  43. Oh I have missed it again!!
    It sounds divine as always. I had planned on bringing Archie myself. May I show up for brunch anyway? I enjoyed just reading all these comments. I'm wondering how many people found red feathers this morning?
    Your dress was divine.

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  44. Yes - thank you for yet another fabulous evening, Tess. It is all now just a blur for me, but that is probably because I was hit over the head by Grace Jones.)

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  45. Never, ever say it is nonsense Tess - it is a fantastic event and the whole of blogland seems to be talking about it. Surely that is what blogland is for - to have fun and to dream. Thanks for a lovely evening.

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  46. Sorry I only danced a few dances but was amazed and overwhelmed by the magnificence of it all! Brava!

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  47. Dearest Tess,

    Eugene and I had a wonderful time last night. Sorry we had to leave so early. We had to be in Moscow at 6 this morning. Would have loved to stay for brunch. Eugene did leave you a song. Hope you will have a chance to listen to it later. Hugs and kisses, Kristen
    http://www.livinginthemiddle.com/2011/10/sun-is-on-my-side-by-gogol-bordello.html

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  48. Great party, Tess. I've just surfaced after 'crashing' at Donovan's pad, en route to normality.

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  49. Thanks for your gracious hosting Tess. Once again, I apologise for the behaviour of my guests : Branwell drunk was bad enough, but that cat-fight between the three Bronte sisters was not very edifying. But despite the drunken guests, despite the fights, I enjoyed it all thoroughly.

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  50. great fun, wonderful people, delicious food and a good laugh at the door prizes. Hoho.

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  51. Thank-you for the wonderful party, Tess. It really was fun. Your guests were amazing.

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  52. I had a blast,and I am so sorry about falling into the punch. I might have had a little too much champagne, or was it the Cosmopolitans?

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  53. Wow! The bravo in this post and the answers... acutely entertaining!!

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  54. We had a wonderful time at the Manor as always, Tess. You are the quintessential hostess. Sparkling fun with shining people : )

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  55. Oh, I'm so sorry I missed it!

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  56. My was the ground hard under the shrubbery. Thank you, indeed, for the coffee, and for allowing Dinosaur Hand to soak in a bowl of Palmolive. What an evening. Dancing, drinking, the Scioto! You haven't by any chance seen some handcuffs? If you don't mind, could I have one of those red feathers as a souvenir - I'll put it next to a leaf from my suit, awash, alas...

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  57. I do believe The Bug found some handcuffs, Tom...not that I would know anything about that...

    LadyCat, I hope you enjoyed your time on the floor with Tony Hopkins, ahem. Lord Thomas was not overly amused, but on a happier note, he introduced me to the piano, which apparently I can play!

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  58. Apparently, you play the piano very well...

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  59. Thank you again for a lovely evening M'lady! Much fun was had and not a single ill word spoken in the Ballroom of imagination and dreams.
    Cheers!

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  61. yes, duchess, a fabulous time was had by all - and then some - liam is now awaiting the photos of him in the pool sans tux or even kilt to hit the tabloids, but what a small price to pay for such a good time! the event will remain the talk of many for days, months to come!

    and for the virtual/imaginary versus what others refer to as reality - well, i for one, dahling, live as much of my life in the former as i do in the latter and would not have it any other way! of course, magic and the mystical are rampant in gypsy blood! and don't those "others" know that our worlds our lives are created in our imagination - what we can imagine we can have -

    thank you for a loverly loverly time!

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  62. As usual I overslept and missed the event however brunch is my favorite meal...so I will toast the hostess with a mimosa and sit back and listen to all the stories and gossip of just really did go on...Cheers!

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  63. OMG, I missed it!!! Sorry, Tess/Willow. I have been in all day training this week and exhausted at teh end of each day.


    BTW, wanted to tell you that I am closing Hot Toast and Jam so thought you might enjoy its last post. Please read to the end for surprise.

    Hope you receover soon. I'm looking forward to reading the details.

    I will still be visiting just not as much (as if I have been that frequent anyway) as one might expect when hosting a personal blog, verses an art one.

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  64. Tess, I think that was such a fun idea. I rarely get to write creatively since community college years ago before I got into archaeology and then my current work that goes to court, so it is super dry. what a breath of fresh air.

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  65. Sorry I missed this. Especially now I’ve figured out how it goes and how amazing the ball was.

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  66. As always so much fun.I raise my morning orange juice in a toast to the hostess with a rousing "hip- hip -hoo...ouch! maybe later..that is so loud!

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  67. I have both soda water and a sermon.
    Have a sip or two as I begin:
    "Dearly beloved in the Lord. . . ."
    Sad that I missed most of the fun. Perhaps more time, next year.

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  68. I can't wait until next year!

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  69. I've just found four hastily scribbled phone numbers in my sporran. I seem to remember that one of them was given to me by Quentin Crisp (or a damn good lookalike).

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  70. I just found you from - Starting Over, Accepting Changes. The party sounds like it was amazing! I am so disappointed that I missed it but will have my glass slippers ready for next year. Great blog! Love it!

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  71. Dr. Linthead, aka The Piano Man,
    Tony Hopkins was fantastic on the floor...ahem...dance floor ; ) He is such a charmer.
    You gave Lord Thomas quite a run for his money tickling the ivories. I saw quite a few tips in the jar on the piano after you played.

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  72. That was amazing, thank you Tess

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  73. I enjoyed myself and some of your guests were exciting.

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  74. Thank you for the unforgettable ball. I am still breathless and only slightly hungover. I caught 40 winks in Clint Eastwood's pickup but had to saddle up and hit the road solo as my merry companions had all dissappeared, but oh, what a night. Left a big salmon with the cooking staff. thanks again.

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  75. Tess- Always late to the ball, I am, but I had a fabulous time reading about everything I missed! A masterful hostess, high-spirited guests and good fun high-jinx make for the most smashing and memorable evenings.

    I imagine all have recovered well by now. Pressed coffee's the best cure. ;)

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  76. I missed it! I will come next year, I'll start planning now.--hart

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  77. I won a mug! It won't gather any dust around here, I promise you. Without coffee, I would grind to a stop. :-)

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  78. Oh dear, I missed the whole thing! A sure sign that I have not been keeping my priorities in order and my loss entirely, as I adore fencing. Kudos to you for another fantabulous event!

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)