"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Celebrating Friends

 This week was one of "radio silence" (as my friend Laura would say) from Yours Truly.  I can't exactly explain why, except to say that "chatty" was not how I was feeling in the least.  Some friends and family members had some bad health news which had me feeling quiet, and contemplative.
Speaking of my friend Laura, tonight I'm hosting a dinner party to celebrate her birthday, well her belated birthday (which I missed when we had the Plague).  I've been working towards this all week, because I was determined to do a full spring clean of my entire house, and have the main floor prepped for the party, by Friday evening.

This feels like a really special celebration for Laura because she herself has struggled with her health since becoming ill last July.  She spent the summer in hospital and to say that we were all frightened is a real understatement.  What did we hold on to during those dark months?  The times we'd had together, the dinner parties and the vacations.  I'd visit her or phone her and we'd talk about being able to have dinner again, or plan a holiday.  Or even to get together for a glass of wine on a Wednesday, anything, normal things.  When we don't have our health the real stuff of life becomes apparent, and intensely appreciated.

So I began the spring clean on the third floor and worked my way down: windows washed, surfaces dusted, ceilings poked at with my lambswool duster.  I hauled the vacuum into every corner, mopped the floors with my favourite wooden floor cleaner (that smells of marzipan).  I went through MrBP's storage closet and dressing room as well, picking out clothes to be mended or dry-cleaned, washing and pressing the rest.  I scoured the bathrooms and emptied the pantries in the kitchen, tossing out the stale and scrubbing the interior of the cupboards with a natural orange cleaner.
It might sounds strange to say it, but this is my therapy.

By yesterday afternoon I was ready for the good bits: polishing the copper champagne bucket and setting up the bar, the dinner table and the dessert cart.
 I found this old Ikea tray (below, on the bottom shelf of the tea cart) at our office some time ago and brought it home.  I remember buying it thinking it would be handy to ferry coffee cups between the little kitchen and the boardroom but it was really never used.  It's very plain but the perfect size to hold ten coffee cups and a pitcher of cream.
Dessert cart in the dining room.
Ready to go.
 I have my dessert plates ready to go on the dessert cart, and left some room for the birthday cake Berna is bringing.

I set the table with my white dishes which is my go-to look for a dinner party.  I used these linens from Provence from one of my favourite shops: Pariscope.
 The tablecloth is really stunning, it is a cotton fabric very lightly coated with an acrylic finish (it does not feel plasticky) which is perfect for wiping up spills of coffee and wine.
 The napkins are cotton as well, without the finish on the fabric.  They wash up beautifully and only need a quick press with the steam iron.
 Laura's birthday present is also from Pariscope, a French market basket that I know she'll love to keep in her car for quick trips to the market.  I drove out to Pariscope in Elora yesterday (completely unsure of what I would buy as a birthday present) knowing that "just the thing" would present itself.
Laura's birthday present waits for her in the foyer.
So now for the menu!  I'll have to figure that out this morning, though as is the custom with our group of friends everyone is helping by bringing something for the dinner.  That makes it so much easier... and helps prevent Crying In The Kitchen.

I hope you have a really wonderful Saturday, whether you have something to celebrate or you're just doing the normal things... which can also be cause for celebration.


  1. I hope you have a wonderful celebration for her. Health is precious. At this age, it's the only thing that's important to me. Xx

  2. I've watched many family members struggle with serious health problems. I so agree that your health is incredibly precious. When it isn't up to par, it becomes a lens through which we see everything in our lives distilled to what is important. I hope those people you were thinking about last week are doing better.

  3. I also hope the people you were thinking about are also doing better now. Cleaning can be good therapy, for sure. I'm impressed you were able to muster up the energy to host a dinner party. Hope you all had a great time.

    My beloved white Maine Coon kitties are celebrating their 10th birthday today. I've already sung "happy birthday" to them and plan to toast with some champagne later on today. I know this sounds crazy, but they are our babies!! One developed a heart condition (HCM) but seems to be enjoying life and so we just take each day as it comes. It's a genetic mutation, but so far his brother seems to have escaped it. They truly bring us a lot of joy and we hope they will be around another 10 years! (Probably unlikely, but there is no harm in hoping!)

    Take care, Dani!

  4. Enjoy your dinner Dani, Happy Birthday to your friend. This will be a lovely celebration of her continued recovery. I hope the same for your other friends.

  5. It always feels GOOD to CLEAN!AFter I do it I always say THAT wasn'T so BAD!
    WE too got bad news this week that two people have cancer........One has less than a year to live!
    Shakes you to the core..........

  6. What a beautiful post - I opened it having learned that a friend had unexpectedly passed away - someone from Guelph - and yes, health is everything, and celebrating our friends - we can't do it enough. I'll email you to tell you more. Meanwhile, cleaning is the best therapy - I say it brings us into "theta" that space where unexpectedly we receive answers to our questions - where problem solving occurs. Have a wonderful Sunday, Anna26x

  7. I meant to add that I LOVED that shop in Elora!!!!Anna26x

  8. Your event sounds wonderful. Especially where everyone brings food - that way you can really clean and decorate and it will be special. I am sorry for the bad health news - I send you and all concerned good wishes.

  9. Dani hope your party was fun and your friend enjoyed it. I know what you mean about cleaning as a therapy. I feel the same when I just can't deal with some things. Health is everything and the older We get more people are dealing with things. I'm sending good thoughts to your friends. xo Kim

  10. What a great friend you are. I’m certain everyone had a lovely time. Good health is precious. Your tablescape looks so pretty. Sending good vibes to your friend. x x