Welcome to The Entertaining House. We do hope you'll pour yourself a cup of tea or a glass of wine and linger for a while!

A big storm knocked it over...






The storm was predicted and we were looking forward to its arrival as we knew that once she blew the oppressive heat and humidity would leave us. It had been blistering hot here with temperatures reaching 99 degrees. Add insult to injury the air was as thick as stew and hot winds slapped at your face every time you stepped outside. The weathermen, despite their fancy dopplers, are often still wrong. Yet this was one time we really hoped they wouldn't be.

I had cleared things up inside for my girls. It was my night to host book group and while I really wanted to be outside, I did not want anyone to be uncomfortable. So I cleared out the dining room and figured that the padded plaid walls would provide for interesting conversation! I located all the chairs and cushions in their elegant black and white stripes and toile prints... what a look when paired with the walls! My good table cloths did not match either so I found a spare Ralph Lauren off-white Jacquard in a box and draped that over the table. Since it had never been removed from its original packaging it needed a good iron but there was no time for that. What a look! Most of the stainless forks were in the dishwasher so I pulled out the silver. The only linens I could find were beige and beige and white checked ones! Could my table and room be confused for shabby chic?! Nope. Sadly just shabby! Come on, I am still unpacking for crying out loud!

Of course Alexander is digging his grubby little claws into me or hanging on to me for dear life and won't let me go despite the fact I have 2 hours left to make dinner, clean the kids rooms, vacuum, mop (well Swiffer, really... I am lazy!) hide the clean laundry, hide the dirty laundry... take out the garbage... bring up some beer, chill some soda, chill some seltzer and the list goes on and on.

At 7:00 just as my girls are due to arrive I am done when Christopher, Alexander and Rebecca come tearing in from outside without, gasp, wiping their feet tracking in dirt and grass and leaves... Arghhh!!!!

We decide, that after giving a tour of the back yard, we might like to sit outside after all. Despite all that hard work I am happy. I just love to be outside in the summertime! Yay!

Don gets right to work and cleans up the table and deck and and hooks up the little lights under the market umbrella. It's warm and it's humid, but it's late enough that it doesn't feel too bad outside.

I bring out the food, wine and let the conversation roll!

Then we could feel the storm brewing. The winds began and came quickly. We gathered our things and quickly brought them inside. The moment we were inside the winds came. And they came and they blew and they howled like I have never heard before. Don opened the front door and the leaves were blowing sideways -- completely horizontally -- and the winds, howling, loud and very frightening. I told my friends that they should stay a while and wait out the storm... they seemed to want to try get home so I ushered them through the garage and we stood just inside where we heard some crackling and I looked for hail but didn't see any. Next thing we knew a big tree limb came down before our eyes! Amazingly, incredibly it spared all 4 cars that were parked at the top of the driveway! My friends were anxious to get home to their families and decided to brace themselves and make a run for it. I went out to survey the property and noticed that it was not one, but three trees that split and cracked down the middle last night! One branch is looming, quite precariously over another part of the driveway! I really thought our house was going to get swallowed up and tossed up in the air and slammed into the ground... or at least I was going to be! I imagined the Wicked Witch of the West pedaling furiously past with Toto in her basket. I located all the flashlights and battery operated lanterns. Luckily I needed none of them. Sadly thousands in the New York tri-state area are not so lucky.

say CHEESE!!!

Make Way for Ducklings!