Goodness at the parties we have had in the last week! You aren’t going to believe how many there have been! (And it is going to take several posts to share them all with you.) So let me start with the first one.
My husband had been talking about retiring for some time now, and two weeks ago he finally signed the paperwork to make it official. After working for the city for over 37 years, his last day as city engineer was Friday, but due to some scheduling conflicts his retirement party at work was last Wednesday.
The ladies who planned his wonderful party (with only a week notice of his retirement!) knew he liked camping, hiking, and canoeing so that became the theme for their party. They asked me to send a couple of photographs to them, and they did the rest. They used the photos to make signs for the halls and the elevators in the building.
Right outside the “party room” they had a table set up with an outdoor photography book and a paddle for everyone to sign as they entered. What clever and meaningful mementos! You know those are going in our upstairs room. 🙂
This great camp sign was a collaboration between Mark, who works in Traffic Operations, and Shawn, who works with Code Enforcement. So you can see, the party was a joint effort between all city departments.
Little vignettes with camping gear were set up around the room.
And stuffed animals were even brought in to add to the theme. 🙂
Many many people contributed all the delicious food for the event. They knew my husband loved the banana cake from a nearby restaurant, so they made sure to include it (the one on the left below.) And Jessica (the Transporation Planner who was one of the ladies in charge of arranging the party) decorated the chocolate cake below to look like a campfire. Wasn’t that smart?! She said she melted butterscotch candies and cinnamon red hots to make the “flames” on the cake.
I just had to get a photo of my husband with Gloria, whom he hired over 20 years ago. She made the meatballs, the buffalo chicken dip, and several other things for the party. (She is a very good cook. 🙂 )
Actually, too good of a cook. On Wednesday night my husband decided he wanted to bring in a meal for all the people in his building on Friday (like I did for the teachers with whom I worked when I retired last May.) He asked Gloria what kind of ham she liked, and when he spilled the beans about bringing in a meal, she said, “I can bring some bread, and I can bring some deviled eggs, and I can…” That was not his intent at all, but of course, he couldn’t refuse her offer. 🙂
Back to the retirement party. Our daughter was able to drive down for the party and pop in for a short time when she finished her classes that day.
All in all, it was a fantastic celebration with great attention to detail in the theme, much delicious food, so many generous gifts, and genuinely heart-felt speeches by many. I know it meant a lot to my husband.
Now remember I said that party was on Wednesday, and his last official day was Friday. Well I wanted to surprise him with a party with friends and family on Friday night. Not only does he like hiking, camping, and canoeing, but he is also an avid snow-skier. So skiing became the theme for that retirement party.
The thing about doing the party as a surprise was that I could not decorate for it – nor prepare any of the food until after he left for work on Friday morning. So I ran around like crazy that day!! Luckily, all the winter decor that I have been using since January worked beautifully. I just added an old Department 56 ski slope to the foyer buffet for a further touch of the theme in there.
Take home treat bags held cups with cocoa mix and marshmallows (yes, again.)
(I had prepared those in secret earlier in the week.)
I also secretly created a banner earlier in the week using a paper set from Michaels and large printed out letters.
I put my husband’s skis and ski boots in the corner for added decor.
A small chalkboard was covered to make the sign in the dining room.
I had planned to make beef stew in our crock pot to leave cooking all day. I even had the meat thawing out in secret in our sons’ bedroom. Well guess what was one of the dishes my husband made for his party and took to work that morning in our crock pot? Yep, beef stew. 🙁 Can you believe it??! Of course, I wasn’t about to tell him he could not take that to work. So I had to cook the beef stew on the stove.
We had chili, grilled hot dogs with all sorts of toppings, cole slaw, Caesar salad, cornbread, (made by my mom since my oven was full) and apple turnovers with ice cream. And that beef stew? An hour before the party, I smelled something burning in the kitchen. It was the beef stew…and there was no way to salvage it. 🙁 (I’ll never turn the heat up high on those red pots again.) Luckily, my daughter and her boyfriend went to the grocery store and saved the day by getting tomato bisque for me. Not quite the same, but a good replacement.
Beverages were set up on the island. If I had had a little more time, I would have made a ‘Snow melt” sign for the red dispenser that served water.
The last of the ski theme was the ski jackets and poles in the hallway.
Despite the missing beef stew, everyone seemed to really enjoy the party (and the tomato bisque tasted delicious. 🙂 ) And most everyone stayed late on Friday night. It was a nice way for my husband to celebrate the beginning of his retirement.
But these weren’t the only celebrations we have had in the last week. Oh goodness no! I’ll have yet another one to share with you coming up this week. 🙂
Until next time…