Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Hope Springs Eternal Dude Ranch

Several weeks ago Shelya mentioned that she was going to have a pony at her daughter, Keller's, 2nd birthday party.  Shelya's family lives in a standard Florida subdivision where pony rides through the cul-de-sac are almost certainly a violation of their declarations and covenants.  So I offered Casa Flamingo as an alternative location for the shindig.  We are not troubled here at Casa Flamingo by pesky homeowner's associations.  If we want to keep 7 camels and 6 pigs in our front yard there's no one to stop us.

Well, the EPA might have something to say about all that poo in the tidal creek by our house, but our non-existent neighbors definitely would not complain.

Shelya agreed that the amenities at Casa Flamingo would better suit her party plans and I promptly put the matter out of my head . . . until a few weeks later when I realized that both Flamingo Joe and Grandma Elsie were going to be gone the weekend of the Pony Party.  So that meant I was on my own for getting the house clean, moving the patio furniture from upstairs to downstairs, mowing the lawn, and picking up the trash that somehow manages to settle in our yard.  See, when we have parties, I am usually responsible for everything inside the house and Joe is responsible for everything outside the house -- which is why I am always cool and refreshed when you arrive at our house for any event and Flamingo Joe is filthy and sweaty and heading inside to take a shower before firing up the grill.

The division of labor for this party fell like this -- Shelya was responsible for planning, decorations, and actual party set-up; Lauren was responsible for cooking most of the food; and I was responsible for not embarrassing myself or my family by allowing people to see my yard or inside of my house in its natural state (overgrown, weedy, slightly messy and a little grimy).

This party is why sweet Lauren spent the weekend with us -- she had to cook.

Here she is wondering where those children's mother is because she does not feel it is her place to yell at the four year old for smearing sugar cookie dough all over the floor with his bare feet ("But I yike it!").

Lauren made cookies decorated with paisleys, cookies shaped like "2"s and "k"s, apple and cherry mini-pies, and an adorable cake:

 Poor Lauren was up baking until 1:30 a.m. last night.  She probably would have gotten to bed sooner if I hadn't made her and Dez move Flamingo Joe's car:

I was steering.

And . . . here they are pushing from behind:

I had to lend Lauren a pair of shoes in which to push the car because the only shoes she packed were high heels.  I asked her what size she wore and she said anywhere between a 7 and an 8 1/2 depending on how cute the shoe is.  One day I will spend an entire blog post analyzing the ins and outs of Lauren's shoe choices, but today is not that day.

Shelya somehow transformed my office "foyer" into a country jamboree in about 15 minutes, complete with Mason and Ball jars for the kids to drink out of.

And don't forget the pony:

That's the birthday girl.  Isn't she cute?  I think the pony handler lost about 15 pounds in the Florida heat this afternoon in our yard.

(But isn't that freshly-mown lawn pretty?)

Neither Casey nor Mace would ride the pony today.  Their fear of horses is a grave disappointment for Joe's sisters, both of whom own and love horses.  Unlike their fear of beets, they did not pick up a fear of horses from me.  I suppose their fear is grounded in lack of exposure.  Just like the beets.

Somehow, word got around that we were having a party at our house and the usual suspects showed up looking for the adult beverage trailer (which was closed for the afternoon).  We gave them pink lemonade in Mason jars and let them pet the pony.  In exchange, they didn't vandalize anything.

As far as I could tell, the party was a success.  The kids were happy; the pony was happy; there were pink boots and cowgirl hats . . . and the water moccasin stayed under the canoe where he belongs:

Apparently our water moccasin is not a fan of horses.  I'm not sure how he feels about beets.


  1. Does the snake not realize that just because you have your head hidden doesn't mean we can't see you?


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