Monday, July 28, 2014

50 WAYS NOT TO HAVE A PARTY


You might remember that we were going to have a BBQ on Saturday and yes, we did.  It was a lot of fun but I am sorry to say I only have a handful of pictures.  I was going to try to get pics when everything was set up but we were actually doing that even as the first couple of people came.  If I learned anything from this particular party, if someone offers to help, don't try to act like you're Mr. Nice Guy and get all "Aw, shucks" over it.  Be firm.  Say exactly when and how you want that help.  I was offered a tent, tables and chairs as well as some setting up help.  I was also offered some help in the kitchen.  Most of it happened but I think it turned into more of a disaster in the making and no one was very happy.  I'm all for delegating, but not if it involves more than making a simple dessert to bring or loaning some extra folding chairs.  





I thought I had planned ahead...we do this sort of stuff at the lake all the time so as I try to think back on what went awry that day, it's mind boggling. 

Maybe I didn't prepare for the unexpected.  I woke up at 4:00 a.m. Saturday morning having asthma issues.  I reached for my inhaler and it was empty.  It became worse and worse until The Husband could get to the pharmacy at 9:00 a.m.  I was finally getting my breath by noon but many hours wasted.

We thought we could squeeze in other obligations.  We had two graduation parties that day that we (The Husband and I) thought we could manage by each of us going to one for about an hour.  I raced out the door an hour before my own party to go to another party up the street where I barely knew any of the 60 or so guests.  I stood like a wallflower with my teensy plastic cup of wine and looked at my watch every other minute.  

I could have done without the tent, I worried too much about rain.  I should have done more ahead of time, I got a little too confident that time was on my side.  And I must never run out of my meds!

 












These are bamboo forks and knives that I stock up on from a website called Smarty Had A Party.  I love this place.  They have everything disposable to take your party up a notch but make the clean up easy.  Most of the stuff is sold in bulk so one or two bags of utensils or napkins (in every color of the rainbow) can last me all summer long.  I keep some of the disposable forks in a Mason jar on the kitchen counter to grab for a snack or take out food.  


Yesterday was my "I'm not doing anything" day.  I really need time to slow down, stop and smell the roses.  I ate leftovers all day and dug deep into a mystery novel I'm reading.  I wouldn't even go outside with the dogs...I have had enough of the Great Outdoors.  Then today I woke up to sunny skies and just when I thought I was losing that summer enthusiasm, you know, when you can't stand the sight of another weed and keeping your yard neat comes second to cleaning the bathroom, I felt renewed.  I got showered and dressed and decided to pick up where The Husband left off outside yesterday cleaning up.  I picked up branches from the wind we've had the last few days, I watered my plants and swept and filled the bird feeder.  It is glorious out there!!  Do you see the striped outdoor rug there?  I had been really stubborn about not getting one even though our patio is really, really cracked and split.  That happens when you've been outside in the wind, rain, sun and cold for over 80 years!  What I thought was just a little old time charm started to get ugly so I broke down and got this from Home Decorators (on sale) and I think it looks good with my replacement umbrella.  


Did you notice the green beans?  My first harvest!  And my only harvest...I planted the beans in a container and well, you just don't get as many as you do when you have a few rows in your garden patch.  I am getting some decent container lettuce and the tomatoes are getting big, just not red.  :(



Other than an eye doctor appointment tomorrow and maybe a trip for a few groceries, I am free as a bird this week.  There is no company in sight coming up to the lake and The Husband surprised me, he has taken a week off the second week in August for us to go up there and just do nothing.  But of course we will.  I'm still working on the never~ending job of expanding my English Garden but we also plan on scouting out some new towns, flea markets and restaurants.  Can anyone tell me the name of a good beach read?!! :)


XO,
Jane

Joining Brenda at Cozy Little House for Tweak It Tuesday

29 comments:

Stacey said...

Hi Jane. :)

We had a big cook-out Saturday too in honor of my son. I did a lot of it ahead of time and made a promise to myself not to freak out. Our very good friends decided to come and stay with us for the weekend. Cheryl was a lot of help to me too...thank goodness for girlfriends. Usually we have way too much food. This time I'd say we had way too many hamburgers and hot dogs and could have had more side dishes. There was still more than plenty but I like choices. :) One mom can only do so much though!! We had a great time and today I'm putting everything back in order.

cathy@my1929charmer said...

I went to my nephews wedding on Saturday, had a little too much to drink and have been feeling bad ever since. Looks like you had a good cook out and the weather held out. It did look every day like it was gonna rain and finally we caved in and watered. I always make to much food, but then I don't have to cook for a few days so that's fine by me.

Jen Vandervoort said...

Sounds like a fun whirlwind, did you get a chance to just chill and enjoy during the party? I hope so.

Thanks for the great tips...I'm loving the chip one especially, I never thought of that.

Jen

awal.ny said...

You sound like me. I always think I have more than enough time to get it all done at the last minute. Sounds like you had fun though. Thank you for your very kind words. Alaina

Kathleen Grace said...

Sometimes a party just doesn't go as planned. There's always next time, and you DO have some good tips! I like the rug with the umbrella :>)

Doreen@househoneys said...

Looks like Papa might have had just a few too many pork n beans...he's sayin' 'pull my finger' please.

I know. I'm bad. But hopefully Papa doesn't read your blog! lol

Thanks for your sweet comment about the wedding Jane! Unlike me, at least one of us is feeling nice today ;).

xxx

Debbie Freitag said...

Wow. You really did cram a bunch of things into one day. What loyal friends to take time out of your party day to attend your friends parties! The bins for the chips and cookies is a great idea! I'm going to be hosting a back yard party for my daughters graduation party and I'm using your tips! Hope you have a great relaxing time at the lake!

Beth said...

You make things look nice, and are a terrific hostess! Good to have green beans - we have been having them too, and trading them with the neighbor for cucumbers! My tomatoes are showing no hint of red yet; soon they will, I hope. Your party sounds like fun. Take care and enjoy your week - now that really sounds like fun!!!
Hugs, Beth

Donna said...

Sounds like you had a great party, but wow, what alot of work! I guess the moral of the story for all of us is expect the unexpected! Your pup is so cute:) And I love the bamboo forks and knives, that's a great touch!!

Betsy Brock said...

Looks like it turned out to be a great party! Who doesn't love a bbq with salads on the side? yum.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I love cook outs and company but I am finding that it happens more at my daughter's homes than at mine anymore...which suits me fine. Still it was fun to see all the neat things you used at your party.

Leslie said...

It wouldn't be a party if something didn't go wrong. : ) I hardly have parties anymore because they stress me out to much. I hope your asthma is better. I feel the same about plastic dishes.. I can never get them clean so I don't use them either. Yuck.
Have a great day. relax

Ginger said...

Read "Gone Girl".

Wicked Faerie Queen said...

Sounds like you do parties like I do, running around at the last minute pulling it together but it always works out and is a lot of fun. I got up this morning and it was cool and felt a little Fall-like, gosh I am not ready for that just yet.

Your beans look good, we have a lot of tomatoes but still all green. Hoping summer holds on for a few more months.

Relax and enjoy the day.

hugs
Sue

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

It still seems as if the party was a huge success in the end!

Don't count on those green beans being your last. I planted one small row of bush beans..four feet long...and have had three harvests already just from that wee bit! :)

Sarah said...

Jane, it seems no matter how organized and on top of things a hostess is, parties end up being a lot of last minute details. I've learned to just relax and go with the flow when necessary. The biggest disaster was the 90th birthday party we hosted for my mom. Woke up to no electricity and rain. When the first guests (out of town no less) arrived, we were still in our work clothes having cleaned up the terrace after the rain. It all worked out just fine. '-)
Sounds like your BBQ did too. Thanks for sharing your tips. Love the idea of the individual chip bags.

A Quiet Corner said...

Our cookout went well the beginning of summer...until the flies arrived. We think that was because of the smell of cooking meat on the grill. People did pitch in to help..my oldest friends...which was great because they know how I am about things. Sounds like you had an interesting time though...:)JP

It's me said...

Hi Jane...what a lovely post...like your doggie....love from me Ria...x !

June said...

Hosting a party is something I have never been good at Jane. I did have a big garden party this past week with about 38 women and it turned out lovely. I was shocked really. Everything got done and I think all had a great time. I think I'll do it again next year...maybe :))) This week feels like a vacation now that the party is over.
I hope you have a great rest of the week my dear. And just keep enjoying your summer.
many hugs from me...

Susie said...

Blondie, Some times it doesn't matter how well we plan ahead, there's always things that happen. I think when we host parties we tend to worry too much. I bet no one left hungry or thirsty. LOL When it's summer time all those colors just perk things up more. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

bj said...

Hope you had fun amid all the work....:)

Melanie said...

You have been a whirling dervish with all these parties and BBQ's! You have some great ideas to help with summer parties, but I rarely host big gatherings at my house anymore. My extended family is all on 'the outs'. So if and when I have company, I still use regular plates and utensils and serving pieces - I don't need special "summerware". And my house is so small that there'd be nowhere to store all that extra stuff anyway. I love that bamboo flatware - so much nicer than the plastic stuff! I'm so sorry to hear your asthma is so bad. That was really scary that you ran out of your med. Hope you are enjoying our cool summer days. I sure am! It's so nice not to have to turn on the AC. xoxo

Debbie said...

Holy cow! It sounds like a whirlwind over there! I'm glad you had all the stuff ready and waiting for your guests. You seem like a really prepared person when it comes to entertaining, Jane! I wish I had room for so many things to entertain with. I stink at it!!
We have next week off, too. Zoey and Sadie are spending the week here. I fear I won't be getting much relaxation time in. It will be fun, tho.
Have a great week at your lake house!!
Debbie
xo

Art and Sand said...

I also have asthma and an episode can wipe me out.

Glad you are better and back to loving summer.

Mary said...

Sorry you were down with your asthma Jane dear - those things always happen on the wrong day! Why do we knock ourselves out to try to entertain so perfectly - it never happens, BUT usually everyone has a blast anyway! I'm sure your BBQ was loved by all.

Glad you two are getting away alone to enjoy the lake - have a ball and relax, rest and read……
hope you find a good book!

Love you - Mary

P.S. I did the blog tour challenge!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Parties are a lot of work but I'm sure everyone had a great time. I agree with you about trays…they are wonderful. Don't worry about your tomatoes, mine all all green as well.

Deserae said...

Parties are so much work....looks like everyone had a great time though. Great tips!
~Des

Traci said...

It sounds like you made yourself half crazy but I know everyone enjoyed the day! Those trays you have are used for crawfish trays in my area!

Junkchiccottage said...

Parties are always so much work Jane but yours sounds like it was a lot of fun. Glad you are enjoying this wonderful weather we are having. It has been so nice.
Kris