It’s party time! I say this a lot because someone or other is having one and they know I always show up. My husband and I enjoy celebrating most any milestone in life for any member of the family or close friend. We also have fun at casual get-togethers. It doesn’t have to be a birthday or anniversary. Life should be full of happiness, and it often comes with rejoicing the special moments of our existence. They are rare for some people so make the most of them.

I went to a really good party the other day and there is a message I want to share in this blog. I enjoyed not being the hostess with all the planning, shopping, cleaning and cooking it requires. When I am in charge, I end up pleased with my efforts, but this time I could sit back and relax. The food was wonderful and the people were friendly and talkative. This makes for a terrific time. Add a few decorations and some flowers and you are in heaven. Drinks enliven any down spirit. By the way, a party doesn’t have to be super fancy. Some people like to show off, but it is rather obvious. Why not do your best and let everyone take it from there. It is all about the right mix of guests in one room. Give them a few snacks and they are off and running.

The problem with the party I mentioned—it happened to be for dinner—was that the hostess smoked all throughout the evening. I expected it to permeate the food because the air was certainly stale in the living room. Being in a smoky environment for an extended period of time is not my preference. Even if the rest of the party is great—and it was—I am always disappointed. I go home and there is telltale smoke in my hair and clothing. I don’t like to go to bed with smelly hair and can’t stand to leave the clothes out where they can pollute the air. I have to take a shower and load up the washer right then and there. It only gets worse if you wait, and getting smoke smell out of clothes just gets more difficult with time. You don’t want your head to touch your clean pillow.

The next morning, I noticed that the clothes were not as fresh as expected. I ran the machine again but this time I added a tiny drop of lemon essential oil. It was a guess and I had high hopes. I know that citrus candles do wonders for cooking odors, so why not lemon for smoky clothes? It was a successful scientific experiment and the evening was salvaged in that I didn’t need to toss my favorite blouse. Most of my friends don’t smoke, but it is a heavy price to pay for a little company and good food. I will ask next time before accepting an invitation.