Just some thoughts on being a single person and hosting 11 people for two days and a night:
I would never have tried this, except for what I’ve learned from a wise woman, from my brother, and from my mother. A wise woman once told me that all you need to do to have a successful party is to “supply music on the stereo, flowers on the table, and ice for the drinks - everything else is up to the guests”. My brother’s approach to having house guests is to stay mellow, provide lots of bedding and towels, and prepare as much as possible ahead of time – like the easy quiches. My mom – well, she taught me by bad example as much as good; she always has to have everything “perfect”, which drives her to distraction and makes her snappy, but she does make sure the house is clean beforehand, and I’ve learned a lot of little things by helping her prepare for the holidays when I was growing up.
But this “hosting” thing is still new to me, so I learned quite a lot, such as:
Things I did right:
- Lots of bedding, towels and aerobeds
- A really simple menu – and the mystery fruit salad was not only fun, but good!
- It’s true: provide the setting, get some great guests, and they’ll entertain themselves
- Thank god for a cleaning lady (yes, I'm THAT decadent! a wonderful woman comes and cleans my place once every two weeks... it's heaven)
Things that went wrong, but turned out okay anyway:
- I didn’t know you couldn’t park on a new cement driveway until 2-4 weeks after it’s done (*meep*!) – but it was easier for people to get in and out by parking on the street.
- It was too cold for the kids to “camp out” in the sunroom, but since they both ended up getting fevers that night, it’s a good thing they were up with their parents.
Things that went wrong, but we got through it:
-Both SB and the Shireling getting sick, but, bless them, I think they managed to have fun anyway
-Next time, get a bigger pot to cook spaghetti noodles in (or two pots!) and remember that quiches are cooked at 375 C, not 350 C - *G*
Serendipity strikes again:
- Ninq’s Boo got an advance copy of Ringers in time to share it with us (yay!)
- SB had to do a project on dinosaurs – and the Children’s Museum has a GREAT dinosaurs exhibit
- Meeting Pearl Took on-line to go to the Nickel Creek concert with tickets I won
Unexpected little things:
- Pearl and Dee bonding over knitting
- Everybody loving the sparkling cider that Graewolf and Edie brought
- Getting to hear Mr. Dee read stories to the Shireling
- Crayon drawings for my refrigerator!
- A dance performance number from SB and the Shireling
- Morgan's cute cat shoes and black and pink retro outfit
- My boy cat actually being friendly and welcoming, bless him
- The hot water lasting for the showers!!!
- The weather being better than expected – we even had partly sunny for Saturday (!)
- And, thank God – nobody fell down my steepity steep stairs! *huge sigh of relief* You have no idea how much I feared that, especially with the kids.