"Courageous care partners recharge with self-care, striving for peaceful pinnacles
in patience, persistence, and positive 
changes, knowing when to conquer and when to comfort."

When my BALLOON is full, I function well

Dec 19, 2020 by Eileen Adler

Maggie Marshall is the author of Food is the Frosting, Company is the Cake, is a former caterer so she knows how to entertain, prepare a menu, organize the steps needed from appetizer to dessert, setting a table that is as delicious as the beautifully displayed food, all completed with outwardly tremendous ease. The book is divided into eleven chapters, each one dealing with a different aspect of entertaining as a care partner but, aren’t we all pursuing our dreams while caring for others?

Among her many seemingly-so-easy suggestions is this quote by Truman Capote, “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor,” and chapter one, “It’s Really Not About the Food” sets the tone for her book.

And that is the point – it’s about connecting and staying connected with friends and family, not food. My mother enjoyed hosting dinner parties but having to clean the entire house to get it in ship-shape order was daunting so this is how she dusted: she lifted whatever was on the surface, gave a good blow so all the dust went elsewhere, replaced the item and moved to the next surface. No one wears white gloves anymore and frankly, no one really cares about your dust.

But I think the most important message throughout Maggie’s book is connecting with yourself. Maggie advised me to tackle activities when my balloon is full of air, when I had the most energy to participate. As I mentioned earlier, I am not a morning person so hosting an early breakfast will NEVER happen but coming for coffee and a sweet mid-day, or a wonderful brunch or lunch, or afternoon tea and scones, or yummy drinks and appetizers – come on over. Wise words from Maggie Marshall: “Stay in your comfort zone.” The last two pages in her book list her Tips, all one-hundred one of them, but number 93 is the best: Smile.

Life Lesson Tip: I have a few stand-by tried and tested recipes that everyone enjoys and are easy for me to prepare. Make sure you have a few as well so you will be identified with your special dish. I love my Aunt Eileen’s Brownies. Aunt Madeline’s spaghetti sauce is divine, and her Strawberry Jelly Roll Cookies are scrumptious. My mother’s melt-in-your-mouth Almond Crescent Cookies are my favorite cookies. What are mine? My Brie appetizer, Sangria, Banana Bread, Dad’s cheesecake, and I can prepare a killer salad!


Wishing each one of you a wonderful holiday season.