“I don’t think that [letter] means what you think it means.”


We cleaned out our garage so as to host the “annual” (minus 2020) block party. It was my beloved neighbor who kindly suggested we have it in our garage instead of on the street since we have pool and ping pong tables, shuffle board, and corn hole.

The day before the party, I watched, eyes narrowed, as this neighbor came and went merrily from her driveway, not a care in the world, as we spent hours clearing stuff out of the garage, hiding it in the shed, leaf blowing, sweeping, etc. (I kid, she’s lovely.)

At one point, unbeknownst to me, little Joe got the broom and decided to draw in the dirt, creating an incredible likeness of the letter “P.”

“This is not the P you’re looking for.”

When I saw it, I remarked to my husband, Paul, “You know, that’s not what they mean by marking your territory with p.”

The block party was great, BTW. It lasted five hours, even after I put the food away, hoping people would get hungry and go back to their own homes.

We decided we wouldn’t host again. In the past, we were able to just go home when we were done. This time, I figured it might look a little weird if we disappeared into our house and left people lounging in our garage. Then again, that might be a less subtle hint that removing the food. (Still kidding. Mostly.)

The fact that only the little kids played the games, with the brief exception of one retiree playing ping pong with my daughter, furthers my excuse to not host again.

On the other hand, having the impetus to clean the garage was nice. Our shed, however, looks abysmal. The night after the block party, I invited two couples to a back patio party so as to take advantage of the white curtain of blooming jasmine before it was gone, and the carpet of pink bougainvillea petals beyond.

So many beautiful, delicate flowers. A couple of times we’ve found a tiny hummingbird nest in there. The babies look like peanuts.
Bougainvillea (Thank you, spell check!) I suppose we should clean those petals up, but they’re hiding the dead grass. Dead grass caused by not clearing the petals. And so it goes on and on.

Since we’re cat sitting, and one friend is somewhat allergic, I let our guests walk through the garage to the backyard instead of running the dander gauntlet of the house.

One friend said, “Your garage is So Clean!”

At first I thought stacking events so close together might be a bad idea. But now: totally worth it.

What’s the state of your garage these days? Wanna take bets on how long until ours descends into chaos? Any pretty plants in your yard? What two movies have I (loosely) quoted?

Have a lovely weekend!

63 responses »

  1. What lovely flowers! Are you in California? Our rhododendrons just finished blooming. Next up are the butterfly bushes and my faves, the calla lilies. We’ve never lived anywhere that had block parties. It seems like a fun way to meet neighbors. People keep to themselves here. Our garage is full because my husband has been staining the deck. Hoping to sit on some of that patio furniture before summer is over!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am in CA. How did you know? Do bougainvillea (What do you know? I got it right!) typically only grow here? We also have a butterfly bush. It’s quite fun. Calla lilies are beautiful. We had some. They died. :/

      I hope you get to enjoy that patio soon! Maybe you should think about hosting a block party? Our neighbors are always grateful when we do, and it’s great to become friendly with these people whom we may need to rely on in an emergency. (Like for baking supplies, for instance.) πŸ˜‰


      • Yes, CA is the only place I’ve seen them, though they probably grow most places that don’t get cold? No thanks on hosting a block party, I host every family holiday and don’t need extra duties.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hosting family holidays is far worse than a once-a-year thing for neighbors. Soon I will no longer have any family around, so all our holidays will be spent just with us. 😦


    • You are most welcome to our next party, Jacqui. Just jump on the 5. πŸ˜‰ And are you blog friends with Retirementally Challenged? She’d hop the 5N. I’ll happily provide tea or other beverages for us to sip as we discuss our favorite books. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      • FYI, you know how it’s important to befriend librarians and book store owners, right? I’m meeting my retired librarian friend at a lovely restaurant for tea on June 27th. Jacqui, Janis, you’re welcome to join! πŸ™‚ My friend’s name is Judi. I will clearly be the odd woman out being named Betsy!


  2. No one but the kids played the games?!? Are you kidding? I would have been all about the pool, shuffle board, and ping pong.
    Glad you got your garage cleaned, but I totally get the beauty of simply leaving the party when you are done. I am not a night owl, so I tend to host sit down dinners and afternoon pie days. Your flowering plants look great! We have a Bougainvillea (thank you copy and paste!) and feel your pain about the petals vs. dead grass cycle.
    Our garage is an embarrassment and I will give yours about a week before the chaos starts to encroach. Sorry, no help on the movie quotes, I’m not a movie buff. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shoes, are you also the person who told me 90s grunge was her jam? Why do you not live closer to me?!?!

      Quotes: title is from Princess Bride. P pic caption is from the first Star Wars movie. Not even those movies??


      • We would have the most marvelous of times together, I am sure! Imagine the parties we could head bang at and then quietly go home at a reasonable hour when we get tired (now days that is between 9-10).
        I have watched both movies, but other than quotes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, I am rather useless when it comes to such things.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Monty Python is quite quotable. “I’m not dead yet!” πŸ˜‰

        You would enjoy when that other band comes. They have 3 PJ songs and a Nirvana in their line-up, among some classic rock and other 90s tunes. As to head banging, however, the last time I tried that was probably 10 years ago, and even then it gave me a headache. #gettingold 😦


      • I feel shame in not getting the Star Wars quote – I was somehow distracted in that it was the letter “p” and was remembering the “who peed on the floor” humor from a while ago.
        Yes, head banging may be short lived for me as well. My dance moves are a mixture of awkward high school dance moves, jumping up and down, and some random belly dancing moves thrown in for good measure.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Your dancing description had me LOL!
        The quotes may very well be too obscure to pick out when I throw in weird words… Or letters. And thanks for remembering my earlier p pun. πŸ˜›


  3. Yes, eyes narrowed, Betsy. A great deal of work to host a party. β€œHiding it in the shed” made me smile. Gorgeous flowers! How about Bryan Adams β€œWe Found What We Were Looking for.” (I know this is a song versus movie). We will likely be getting company soon so I will be on a cleaning blitz. Thanks for the inspiration πŸ™‚


    • I hope you have good music to listen to while you clean! I would say Pink Floyd, but that’s probably far too mellow to get really moving to. πŸ™‚ I hope your guests get to appreciate your fabulous yard!

      Don’t know the Bryan Adams song, but do I get points for having heard of him?? πŸ™‚ The title of this post is an homage to The Princess Bride. The caption for the p pic was sort of from Star Wars. I wasn’t making it easy on you folks. πŸ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your garden is gorgeous, Betsy. I love those walls of flowers. Our garage is make believe, so It’s always spotless. Just don’t ask me about the sheds. They’re stacked with stuff. Every once in a while a stack falls over and I clean it up and out. πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ I’m glad your garage party was fun and done. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Betsy, we shall not discuss garages or attics here. Too much still to do to organize, clean, donate and toss. We will clean some, then my wife will go to a garage sale or estate sale and bring more back. As for marking things with “p” I remember that movie “Doc Hollywood” with Michael J. Fox, when his new friend was doing such in the woods to scare the deer away from the hunters. He asked, “What are you doing?” and she responded, “I’m peeing” in a matter of fact way. Good luck with the shed. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Although we haven’t hosted a large gathering for a long time (we have a neighbor who loves to entertain so who are we to argue?), I have discovered the benefits of hosting back-to-back small gatherings/dinner parties. One major house clean amortized over several get togethers… win!

    We have a few old (50+ years?) bougainvillea bushes in our yard and they are so lovely. We never water them but they keep on producing. I do miss the jasmine that was here when we moved in, though. The scent was heavenly!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Having a neighbor who loves to host is a win, for sure. I’d take that over having to host myself any day. (Aside from being forced to clean my home/garage/yard on occasion. I often need that push.)

      We were very fortunate with the plants that came with this house. We saw the yard first before touring the home when we were house shopping. It was the yard that I first fell in love with. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for your tale of hosting a party. I’ll never forget years ago having a July 4th party and no one, literally NO ONE, out of 10 people, offered to lift a hand to do ANYTHING, maybe other than throw their own trash away. It sucked.

    But, yes, the joy of having a newly clean home or space after the company goes is heavenly.

    Great to see your post!
    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I can just picture this party and the scenes clearing out the garage. What a nice (and realistic) description of neighborhood life. Our garage is looking pretty good these days, although there were years and years of chaos. We finally hired a junk hauler and that was awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A clean garage is one of those things that impresses me. I am in awe of you and refuse to tell you how our garage looks. As for the bougainvillea, so pretty. I’ve always enjoyed seeing them when I’ve visited CA.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha. Only under duress will you disclose the state of your garage. Heehee. We needed to do a big overhaul just to get the pool table in. We were highly motivated then. Once we got the ping pong table too, I had to give up parking in there ever again. Oh well. It doesn’t rain here that often, at least.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a lovely backdrop for your friends.
    Block parties should rotate houses, you should be good for another 10-20 years depending on the number of houses.
    My garage? Holds all of the ‘crapola’ from the old house that I did not want to move into the new house. It’s best to not look at it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Star Wars is one of the movies, of course. Though only in the very loosest sense.

    See, that’s the trouble with hosting: you can’t just get up and go home. We’re having a big gathering at our place next Saturday with Tara’s coworkers, and I’m already mentally stockpiling excuses for an early exit…although, ahem, where am I supposed to go?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shoot. And the headache excuse is so cliche. Will you be able to escape to the basement? Maybe there will be so many people there, no one will notice your absence.

      Thank you for being the first to guess a “quote.” The other is the title. Can you see it now?

      And no one has pointed out the brilliance of my p comment. Maybe I buried it with too much other stuff.

      Good luck with your party!


  12. Our garage is always clean. First, we no longer have kids with all their bikes and toys. Second, my husband is a clean freak. Left to me, it probably would not look so good. We have cone flowers that are just starting to bloom in our back yard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did step away for little bits of time to put food away and other clean up, which DID NOT GIVE PEOPLE A HINT!! πŸ˜‰ But, on the whole, it made me happy to have provided an opportunity for these neighbors to come together in a pleasant environment and to enjoy each other’s company. On the whole, it was still a net gain. But thank you for feeling me on that! πŸ™‚


      • I remember on many occasions enjoying the party prep right up to the point when guests start arriving …. So you see, you did way better than I!

        Liked by 1 person

      • The problem with my party prep routine is I’m futzing with the house, the food, the drinks nearly right up to the wire until Hubby looks at my sweatpants and messy ponytail wide-eyed and says, “People are going to be here any minute. Go get ready!”


      • Oh my gpodness! yes! that sounds very familiar! I am so out of practice now, I’m not sure I will remember what to do when we actually start to have people over again!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow, 5 hr block party? When we host Easter for my inlaws, that’s about all I can handle. We are out in the county, with a generous dose of outbuildings my husband has so conscientiously stocked with, um, stuff. I dread the day we decide to move out; it’ll take months to go through everything. I can relate to the cleaning, though. Sounds like what we do when preparing to host Easter. Haven’t had to do that for a few years (2019 we had 2 weddings on that side, so we were tired of seeing each other, and 2020 of course, and this year as a precaution.) I suppose we’ll have to suck it up and clean next year. πŸ˜€

    Beautiful pics of flowers! That would be so cool to see a hummingbird nest.

    I got both references. I think I’ll have to rewatch both movies. Love the sword fight in Princess Bride, and Wesley’s drink with the Sicilian. Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julie Holmes—winner!!!!! You’re the only person to get both references. Well done, my friend. (Sleep well and dream of large women.) Hubby and I were playing ping pong recently and the whole, “I am not left handed!” bit got bandied about quite a bit. Good times with the old classic flics.

      Funny break down on the family get togethers. 2022 may yet provide an excuse for you to cancel. Fingers crossed. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: My most embarrassing text | parentingisfunny

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