Laura Haley-McNeil

5/21/17, Why is May Such a Busy Month?

Hello, Everyone!

Can you believe it? Spring actually seems to have arrived, at least where I live, though we did end the week with a snowfall. I guess winter is like the guest who never knows when to leave. I still haven’t planted my garden, which is a good thing because of the weather, but I haven’t planted because we’ve been so busy. This happens every year. Every important event is scheduled in May. Our family is large and growing every year. This month has been busy with a baby shower, a bridal shower and a graduation. Because my husband is a musician, we like to attend concerts given by the community orchestras in town. Most of the orchestras schedule only a few performances a year, but they always schedule their grand finale in May! I prefer to attend the Friday evening performances so I can spend the rest weekend catching up on shopping or cleaning or gardening or most importantly writing. Then when May is over I feel breathless. So I ask, why are so many events scheduled in May? Is it because people have been cooped up all winter and it’s a chance to finally get out and see people you haven’t seen all winter? And maybe it’s a chance to shed the winter sweaters and slip on sandals and sundresses. That’s always a favorite for me. Finally, I want to wear pastels and meet friends for lunch at a restaurant’s patio!

It’s strange to attend these baby showers and bridal showers and realize I’m one of the older persons present rather than one of the younger guests. When we attended my niece’s graduation party, I was struck at the young people and not just teenagers. There were children there also. The hosts had planned a wonderful party and had rented waterslides and bounce houses, I’m not sure if those are the official names, but hopefully you get the idea. The children wore their swimming suits and had great fun inside those inflatable buildings. It was a hot day, so I’m sure a lot of adults would have liked to have joined them, but the adults seemed to keep entertained with the food and drink and bocce ball. I asked my grandniece if she were proud of her mother, and she said yes, though I think the entire event was a little overwhelming for her.

For me, the event of the day was the bridal shower. We had to leave early to attend the graduation party otherwise I would have wanted to stay. The bride’s mother cooked all the food and there was a ton of food there. Each tray was artistically arranged and was labeled with a card perched on a stand. There was a separate table for the mimosas with labeled carafes of orange juice and grapefruit juice and pineapple juice and there were trays of fresh watermelon, cantaloupe, mango and strawberries. On an easel next to the champagne bottles was a card with instructions of how to mix the champagne and the juice and add fruit. Whoever wrote the labels and instructions and beautiful penmanship. I don’t so I always notice that. We didn’t play games, but we did have activities. One group went to the patio where buckets of flowers sat next to mason jars tied with ribbons. Each guest took a jar filled with water and added plant food then selected flowers from the buckets and made an arrangement. In the other room, were ingredients for making soap bombs. I pasted a recipe below, but there are numerous recipes online if you want to make them. I think they’d make great gifts and if you make them yourself, they make inexpensive gifts. Again, the recipe for making them was written on a large card and placed on an easel. The hostess had an arrangement of food coloring and scents so we mixed some beautifully colored and nicely scented bombs, then we packed them in ball shaped molds of clear plastic and carried them home in cellophane bags decorated with hearts. The cake was a wonderful idea of white and chocolate cupcakes arranged into a wedding gown shape. We had to leave before the cake was served but it looked lovely with each cupcake decorated with swirls of frosting. Yes, I’m a frosting fan so I always notice the frosting. Below is the recipe for the soap bombs:

Basic Bath Bomb Recipe
Gather your ingredients:
• 1 part Citric Acid
• 2 parts Baking Soda
• Witch Hazel
• Coloring of your choice
• Fragrance Oil of your choice
• Dome Shaped Mold

1. BLEND BLEND BLEND BLEND the citric acid and baking soda – this step is super important – if you don’t blend well, you end up with a grainy bomb. We actually use a mixer on our larger batches.

2. Once you’ve blended really well, add your colorant. Dry pigments or a specialty bath fizzy colorant like La Bombs work best – don’t add too much though – the color shows up once you add the witch hazel.
3. Add fragrance oils to your personal nose preference.
4. Now, this is the difficult part. Spritz (with a squirt bottle) the witch hazel onto your batch while stirring with the other hand. When your batch sticks together when squished, you need to start putting it in molds – time is of the essence. If you wait too long, the mixture will get hard. If you spritz too much, the mixture will be too wet and “grow” (start the fizzing reaction) on you.
5. Put the bombs in molds – wait a few minutes and tap them out. Let them air dry for 3 or 4 hours and voila! Wonderful, hard bath bombs. The harder you pack the bath bombs, the more dense, heavy, and durable bomb you will get.
The hostess for the bridal shower was a woman who was in her forties and had three children and she’d recently graduated college. I was happy for her because that is no small fete, but especially when you have so many responsibilities. For those of you have accomplished that, I take my hat off to you.

Now I’m ready to relax. I had planned to work in the garden, but the weather changed that. Next weekend is a three day weekend which will give me plenty of time to plant and relax.

Also this May I released the 5th book in the Crystal Creek series, Risking Her Heart, and submitted the 6th book in the series to my editor. If you haven’t read Risking Her Heart yet, I hope you’ll read it very soon, and I hope you like it!

Have a fabulous week even if it’s filled with the usual May events that leave you exhausted. Just remember, June is around the corner!

Love,

Laura

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