I was elated to learn recently that my entire family and some wonderful friends planned to visit me in the metropolis of Mile High city. Then the realization slowly settled in that a little planning was in order. If you are hosting family during the holidays, I’ve learned that the below planning template can give you a good start, or at least something to keep you occupied while you panic that your living space is no larger than mine and couldn’t possibly accommodate a party of 6.

  1. Shop for groceries without a car and cook meals that may store easily. Apparently, Monday night is the busiest time to buy grub at your local market. Me and 10,000 of my closest lady friends abandoned Monday night football at home and braved the store at approximately 6:05 p.m. After elbowing my way to the elbow macaroni, I scored one large bag of American Beauty and fought my way to the checkout line with a basket of overflowing crap. I exited the store and wondered how many 401k contributions I just spent on food that I may or may not cook for my impending guests. I caught a ride in my friendly neighborhood Uber car and headed home at about 10:00 p.m. to unload enough groceries to feed all my single lady friends for a year. I cooked a variety of Facebook Tasty video meals over the next 2 days and stored them in the freezer after I threw out last year’s frozen leftover Christmas cookies, a floating pepperoni hot pocket, and something that slightly resembled goulash.
  2. dinner-on-rooftopParty your rocks off! The first night I entertained my guests, we painted Aspen trees on canvas under the tutelage of a mobile painting artist, Merissa. She is possibly the most patient artist on the planet. We drank, spread paint on a canvas and each other, ate Fajita casserole complimented by Bachelor Pie, and ended up with 6 wonderful renditions of the painted Aspen tree sample she brought. I can’t wait to hang mine in the crawl space. We also hooped it up at Howl at the Moon, where my son and friends paid $14 for the privilege of honoring me in print “Thanks for the Party Momma Spitz.” On Saturday, the younger crowd braved a scavenger hunt with Urban Party. Their mission was to take as many creative selfies guided by a list of activities. The snorting sugar photo might be my fave. The men cooked steaks on Sunday night, and we played a rousing borrowed card game of Exploding Kittens thanks to my good friend Stacy. I highly recommend this game for anyone interested in strategy uniquely combined with inappropriate photos. I found it interesting that the recomended minimum age for play was 30.  A trip to an infamous local favorite restaurant, Mexico City, for deep fried tacos and a trip up the mountain to see the haunted Stanley Hotel where the Shining was filmed topped off the trip.
  3. Say sweet goodbyes and see you soon, then clean like a Merry Maid. Before my guests arrived, I conducted what I thought was an honest effort at cleaning the humble abode. Four members of my family stayed in a guest suite, but the other two camped in my place. I found after all hugs and parting kisses were exchanged that there was an embarrassing amount of dust that had mixed with the dog hair behind every piece of furniture. Surely a week of ignoring the usual cleaning regimen hadn’t resulted in the heap o’dirt I discovered at every turn. I broke out the vacuum, tied on my Rosie-the-riveter bandana, and dove into “roll up your sleeves” kind of cleaning. Today, I am proud to say that every dish has been returned to the cabinet, all towels and bedding have been washed and stored, and the counters are suspiciously void of butter drippings, wine stains, and errant graham cracker crust.

Sierra the Writer Dog and I are experiencing bouts of melancholy and loneliness as we stare at each other wondering where the outrageous laughter disappeared to, what happened to smells of honest to goodness really good food, and both of us are in awe at how tiny a queen sized blow-up mattress really is once deflated. I look forward to gathering with the whole crew again over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, albeit in another state far away from my cozy (and now clean) tiny apartment that rests at the base of the Rocky Mountains a mile high.



Sherrie’s Always Write

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Read yesterday’s Manic Monday – Ready for NaNoWriMo (Not!)

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