I’m number two in a family of 11 kids (yeah, I asked my mom what she was thinking and she asked who I would put back). When I was young, we had parties: birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. Those were the parties, period. And while those were peachy, I found that they — how shall I say it? — needed something. I was young, so I didn’t know what, but I do now. They needed just a little more planning and lot less yams with marshmallows.
So now that I’m as grown up as I plan on getting, I have come to realize there is way more to throwing a party than shopping, cooking and yelling, “It’s diiinnnnnnerrr.”
I didn’t learn how to create a party overnight. Having watched “That Girl” religiously, I knew what I was aiming for: adult, sophisticated – matching plates and silverware; flowers on the table and cloth napkins. So I started with very small dinner parties. I would invite a sister over for a steak and baked potato after work. I mastered a rare steak and matching napkins and moved on.
Then it became dinner parties for couples. Yikes! What kind friends I had. I still cringe (and laugh) about my first party for two couples. I made the requisite steaks (do what you’re good at), a baked potato, some steamed veggies and a salad. Um, about that salad. I had not realized in my youth that you really need to wash lettuce thoroughly. While I served my sweetie du jour and our two friends salad, I returned to the kitchen to madly put the finishing touches on our entree. I came back to join them as soon as I had time and took a bite of my salad. It crunched (yes, salad is supposed to crunch, but it shouldn’t hurt your teeth)! Seriously, there was that much dirt in it. I looked at my guests and burst out with, “Why didn’t you tell me?” Lucky for me, we were good enough friends to have a great laugh and the party adventure began.
Now, I hold down a full-time job, and it pays the bills and insurance. I like my job partly because it allows me to follow my real passions; I like riding motorcycles and arranging flowers; I enjoy cooking and creating new recipes and I love to write. My full-time job is as a Girl Friday – I do a little of everything, and a big part of my job is that I drive places and deliver things. That allows me to stop places and meet people, mostly in my industry, but I often end up next door to motorcycle shops, which brings me to one of my freelance jobs. That being a writer for a motorcycle magazine. I have a monthly column, and it’s always a lot of fun to meet the different folks who ride bikes.
But that doesn’t take up anywhere near all of my waking hours. I also take freelance floral assignments. I have a sister (boy, do I have sisters!) who owned a wonderful flower shop. I worked for her fairly often and she taught me the trade. She moved on but I still enjoyed floral, so I started finding paying gigs that allowed me to follow that muse. Now ,when it comes to our parties, I’m designated centerpiece chick. How lucky am I?
Laurie and I divide up the cooking and recipe fine-tuning. We brainstorm daily to conjure our current party. We are not above asking friends for their ideas – we love hearing from them! We are blessed with a very creative group of family and friends and our parties shine because of them. At times you will hear from them and often about them, here in our blog.
This is me, throwing my hat in the air!