Last January I decided to remodel, just a tad, just enough to sort of freshen things a bit. We’d been in our home for 20+ years, and January’s gloom needed a bit of twinkle. What resulted was a year and ahalf of unexpected tear up, to the house and our wallet.

During those 16 months, we entertained zip-o and oh, my, are we making up for lost time! Hosting a series of dinner parties, Prince Charming and I are having the most fun: he as Mixologist, reading my vintage cocktail primers, and me as menu and ambiance planner.

To my way of thinking, ambiance – not food – is the Splurge, and for Saturday’s gathering, peach roses were my extravagance. Roses in rural-ly Colorado define splurge.

As special as these blooms were the guests. I adore bringing diverse people together. One couple, Pamela Nelson and John Tan, were actually total strangers to us!

I’d read about Pamela and John in our newspaper about a year ago, when they’d moved from California to purchase the Abriendo Inn, Pueblo’s premiere B&B. They warranted a nice mention, and I’d meant to call, to thank them for their relocation and faith in our town’s supporting their new venture, but I forgot. A few weeks ago, the paper again heralded Pamela and John… as the family of author Amy Tan. Amy, who inspired me nearly 20 years ago with The Joy Luck Club, that I might one day find an outlet for the storyteller in me.

So I called. And I asked Pamela to please take a chance and accept our invitation to a dinner party two weeks hence, and to trust that we weren’t weird.

This is the hostess gift Pamela and John presented

a lovely wine wrapped in an apron designed of fabric selected by Pamela’s mother.

New friends. The best gift of all.

Tie One On…an apron, of course!