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!

Guilt...

I'm so glad that Alexander is at school 3 days a week. He's not getting neglected there. When he is home -- lately -- he's been getting 50% of my attention at best. I've been working fast and furiously on a vastly enormous project. As head of the school's Ways and Means Committee I thought it might be nice to have a fall wine tasting for the parents of the school. Well I got the go ahead 2 months ago. The party is on Saturday. I have had two months to plan a rather large party (80 - 90 guests) with a lot to cover. I have never done such before. I have never planned nor hosted such a large party before. Ok, my wedding was pretty close but my mother took care of all the dirty details as it was at her house in Newport, RI. It was a wonderful, affair. An affair to remember, for certain.

So here I am with the go ahead to organize a wine tasting. And suddenly I panic. First thing I did was to surround myself with the best people around to help me with this project. My friend TL had a catering and wine connection. My friend MJ has hosted massive events for many companies including Goldman-Sacks... but we won't mention that name again. It's been on the news too much lately. I knew that with TL and MJ behind me at the helm we could pull this off after all.

Two months is not a long time however. Both the caterer and wine distributor were on board from the get go and were free the night of November 15th. Ok, that was a start. Then I needed a location. This was harder. Many places were booked. Many people did not return my call. Others did not want to go out of their way to help. One location told us we could have the date and then told us we couldn't. Another Not-for-Profit, Operation Hope was having a wine tasting that same afternoon. (Afternoon?!) The museum would not be able to have everything cleaned out and cleared out for us. We needed a location. We were now 6 and a half weeks away. Finally, someone suggested the Audubon Society. Perfect! Rustic and birdy... we could work with that. That's what our decorating committee would do! We approached them and found out that that there was no event booked there that night. We signed the papers, wrote a check and were on our way. Now we needed invitations. CB and AC worked on the graphics and layout. TL said she would handle the printing. Then AC's father passed quite suddenly. And TL had to fly out to Chicago. We tried printing the invites at school. They kept jamming in the printer. Six weeks to go and we needed to get those darned invites out ASAP! So with the help from my good buddies (or now they are!) at FedEx/Kinkos the invitation problem was solved.

We managed to book a Jazz trio through Yale University's music department. We finalized a catering menu and all within budget.

Two weeks ago I organized a decorating committee. I told them they had to make the place fabulous. And that we had No budget! So my (new bestest buddy) and uber creative genius Kim happened upon this amazing blog and got the idea for painted pumpkins. Each table would have a painted pumpkin centerpiece which would sit atop a mirror with votives all around. I saw a sample. To say it is fabulous is to not give it enough praise! Her pumpkins, furthermore, were all donated to us by Silverman's Farm, all 30 of them! Half the pumpkins will be painted winter white and the others sage green. All will have some sort of freehand stencil-like design. They will all sit on the mirrors and have votives around them. The table cloths will be sage green. A perfect setting for our event which we named An Autumn Evening of Food & Wine.

Now we are faced with all those last minute projects that take forever... we need to make up the catalogs for the wine lists and prices... we need to make up the Silent Auction wine baskets... we need to create the slips for the baskets... we need to confirm numbers with caterer and payments... we need to assemble gift bags.... we need to have enough order forms and pens and paper... coordinate decorating teams, arrival of music, wine and food... soft drinks, waters and ice... we need to have everything ready for our front table. I need to wash out 90 glasses that have the school's emblem on them, that each guest will also be able to bring home as a souvenir. I need to have our door prize picked up (an expensive box of chocolates.) I need to make sure that champagne glasses, "spit buckets," pitchers and ice buckets are delivered by various people. I need to label the pumpkins that will be raffled off at the end of the night. I need to figure out tax exempt prices and tips... and this event is taking place in a mere 5 days. And tomorrow is shot. I need my highlights. And I have to take R to skating. And I have my book club meeting. I'll pick up the chocolates and do a few other things on Thursday. Friday I am worthless. I am keeping my kids home from school that day... It's Grandparent's Day and we'll have no grandparent there this year. We'll make Turkey Cookies instead... What was I thinking when I told them that?!!!
So with all this craziness I am on the computer or on the phone or running to and fro. I am not here for Alexander. I am here physically. Just not in any other way that matters. So I will make it up to him next week... big time!

What's on your children's bedside table?

What's on your bedside table?