How to prepare for warm weather parties

  Monday is Memorial Day, so it’s full steam ahead, we’re into summer!  And summer means getting together with friends and family to hang out in the beautiful weather, grill food and enjoy each other’s company.

  I’ve mentioned before that my attitude towards hosting is less is more, but warm weather does add a few extra factors to the mix.  I thought that a list of the extra things to keep in mind might be useful, and besides, it means I’ll always have an easy to find checklist for myself for our BBQs.
  Clean your outdoor furniture
  What on earth is my patio set doing when we’re not using it?!?  Even if we’ve used it a few days before, the combination of dust, pollen and, I don’t know, what’s the mud version of acid rain? seems to leave a film of crud on everything.  Use a wet paper towel and wipe everything down.  Your sister’s white pants will thank you.
  Make certain you have enough drinks
  I don’t actually mean drink drinks.  If you’re having a party, chances are a few of those are going to show up, even if you don’t buy anything.  What I mean are non-alcoholic, hydrating drinks.  If you’re going to have kids at your party, they’re obviously not going to be hitting the beer cooler, and even if there won’t be kids at your party, make sure you have some water or juice on hand for DDs, pregnant guests or guests smart enough to not want to kill themselves the next morning after too much booze in the hot, hot sun.
  Provide shade for the pasty
  Please?  I burn like paper.  Even with sunscreen.  And a hat.  A chair under a big tree or an umbrella are life savers for me.  There are more like me than you think.  The Irish are a prolific people.
  Fight the sickness
  And by “sickness” I mean malaria…or West Nile…or insanity caused by itchy, itchy bug bites.  Nobody likes being a dinner buffet for bitey little winged monsters.  Screened porches, citronella candles or spray on repellent.  Pick your poison, just make sure you have a plan.
  Beyond that, everything is more or less the same.  Good food, good friends, calm down about the little stuff and enjoy yourself!
  Happy Memorial Day weekend everybody!
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