I say "plan to" because it's all going to be fluid according to time and it's realities. But a small miracle has occurred this year, and I've relinquished some control to others to help out and bring some of the food. My SIL Jill makes a killer green salad, so that will free up lots of time for me. She's also bringing napkins for dinner, and Easter napkins for the dessert - a small but key detail that I probably would have overlooked until it was too late, so thank goodness for her! My mother is slicing the strawberries for me, thus saving me another hour (or more) of time. Ashley is bringing the rolls, so I won't have to worry about those. The point being, that I've had many many dinners where I couldn't/wouldn't let anyone do anything, insisting on doing everything myself. And then I'd melt down when it was all too much. Maybe I've grown up, maybe I've just gotten over needing to do it all, maybe I'm just old and tired. Whatever, it was lovely to be able to count on my family to be willing to help. I think it's going to be a fun afternoon. Plus, I have my not-so-secret weapon: L. When I start to get wound up, he just steps in and gives me sweet relief. He's very at home in the kitchen and we are each other's assistant chef.
So the countdown to dinner prep begins. I'll be getting a few things done tomorrow, with the balance being done Friday night (shopping) and Saturday (prep). I'd love to say that I plan to color eggs with natural vegetable dyes, but no.... no, I don't see that happening. And for the first time in years, I'm ok with that.
Yesterday was a quiet work day. It was sunny and warm outside, so at lunchtime I sat outside and enjoyed the great outdoors on my patio. I saw one of these fluttering by
and the usual gangs of hummingbirds were flying around. My next door neighbor has a hummingbird feeder, and I have a big hibiscus bush,
so between our two yards, the hummingbirds keep their tummies full and their wings busy. All of a sudden I noticed that one rogue hummingbird was dive bombing me. He did it about 3 times in a row, coming within about 5 feet of me. I looked all around, but saw no nest anywhere. Maybe I was too close to his food? A hawk flew over head, and so I thought for a few minutes he was just warning the others of the danger. But no - in a few minutes he was back to diving bombing me and giving me his tiny stink eye a couple more times.
Again, this morning when I stepped outside, I heard so many birds singing and fluttering about in the trees. Small finches, and millions of hummingbirds. We have a hillside full of pepper trees, and the little birds just love those trees. Anyway, I tried so hard to get a picture of one, but I don't have a zoom lens, and frankly, I don't have the skill. This was the best I could do:
Before I lived here, I'd never seen hummingbirds just sitting still. EVER. But they do it all the time. Such pretty little birds.
Then I started noticing what else was going on around my little kingdom. The orange tree is starting to bloom and has little baby oranges starting up.
There's the aforementioned hibiscus bush in full bloom, attracting birds and butterflies alike
The sweet potato vine is starting to bloom again after a rough winter (of being ignored, with
not enough water *sad face*)
On the front porch, the pot of Kalanchoe is blooming crazily
And while walking from back patio to front porch I noticed how truly beautiful red and white
geraniums can look in a sunny window box. (Pay no attention to the dirty windows.)
Spring is abundant and joyous. It's having a dance party in my yard. This afternoon I need to get out and sweep the patio - clean it up for this weekend's Easter soiree. It's a little neglected looking after the wind and rain we've recently had. And so, as nature refreshes and renews, so do we. We clean patios, trim plants, pull weeds, and scrub the winter debris off of the patio furniture. We prepare to gather with family and friends. I'm missing my grandmother this year - she who could whip a meal up out of nothing, and who never said no to traveling. She loved family parties and gatherings of any kind, so I'll try to do her proud. Because somehow, I think she'll be close, watching out for us girls still learning the dance.