It’s over. Years of hard work and devotion and obscene amounts of money went into preparing for what ended up being a hiccup in the grand scheme of  time as we know it.

You think I’m talking about the 138th Run for the Roses, don’t you? Oh, if only I was. No. I’m talking about the 2nd Annual Kentucky Derby Party.

Let me recap the flash-in-a-frying-pan events as they occurred…I can piece them together given my keen sense of recall…ability to make things up as I go.

10:00 am: I decide we need a trophy for the person who picks the winner of the race (horse race, not hat race). This trophy will be used each year and handed off to the person who picks the next winner. Until someone breaks or loses it. This is how traditions begin, if you were wondering. It’s that simple.

10:15 am-11:15 am: Philip and I scour local stores for suitable trophy under $25 because we’re into the spirit of the day but we’re not what you’d call “rich.”

Hey, what do you expect on short notice and in a rinky-dink one-horse town like I live in? At least it’s solid ceramic.

11:20 am: Score! We found a cheapsuitable…perfect trophy. Having found the trophy, I decide the trophy needs something more, so we go in search of “something more.”

11:45 am: Back home to prepare Gazpacho soup to bring to the Derby Party (which is also a Cinco de Mayo Party), dress and groom for party, and adorn cheapsuitable…perfect trophy.

Can you see the glittery gold lettering I carefully stuck to the stallion’s chest? Pretty impressive, huh? No? You try sticking tiny glitter-letters to a beefy steed in your living room. Well, maybe you shouldn’t. Leave that up to the sexperts, oops, experts.

Location, location, location.

2:30 pm: Feed and walk Scrappy, then explain why he must stay home rather than party with us–he is a pooch who doesn’t get along well with other dogs that could be at the party. Oh, who am I kidding? Scrappy doesn’t play nicely with any other dogs. He’s called “Scrappy” for a reason.

I know you’re going on a r-o-a-d t-r-i-p. Just because I’m a dog, it doesn’t meant I can’t s-p-e-l-l.

Whoa, Nelly! You didn’t say there would be other dogs there! I have a job to do. Without me to protect you, who knows what kind of trouble you’ll get into…

4:00 pm: Leave for party. Philip’s Sonata Hybrid trunk barely fit the 3 hats that needed transportation: my younger sister’s (Lisa), her daughter’s, and mine. Philip refused to wear a hat. He’s such a rebel.

Slowly back away from me with that hat in your hand, Ma’am, and no one will get hurt. I’m a former Marine and it’s not just these eyes that are registered with the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, CIA, and Hunka-Hunka-Burnin-Love Undercover Ops Team.

5:00 pm: Arrive at party. At this point I must let the pictures tell the story. While there was plenty of booze there, I had nothing to drink but Seltzer Water. But the room was small, spirits were high and the atmosphere was a buzz with noise and excitement. My brain kind of went on auto-pilot then slowly nose-dived around 8:30 pm when we left the party.

Let’s start with the Parade of Hats, then I’ll reveal the winners of the Hat Contest and the Derby Trophy.

My niece and co-hostess of the party. Too bad you can’t see her face here. She’s stunning.

My other niece. Also lovely. Neither niece named their hats that I can recall.

The youngest person at the party and my niece, she named her hat “One Flew INTO the Cuckoo’s Nest.” There is a nest with an owl in it (not real–the owl, that is).

The most experienced at life (oldest) person at the party, my mom. She picked up her hat at a second-hand store called the “Shalom Shack.” You think I’m kidding? I couldn’t make that up if I tried. She didn’t do anything to the hat but wear it.

A friend of the Hostess.

My older sister. You can’t see it, but her hat had a doggy theme, complete with a doggy biscuit that got nabbed by one of the dogs at the end of the party.

My younger sister–the one with all the artistic talent. Remember her? Her “hat” is a headband with a “1st Place” banner stuck to it. She called it “minimalist”; I called it presumptuous. We were both wrong. Spoiler: she didn’t win and some of the women didn’t wear hats–the ultimate in minimalism.

You will recognize both the hat and the woman underneath it…

It’s post time and the hats are lined up for the final look-see. And the winner is…

And everyone thought “I’ll Have Another” was a long-shot… Yes, it was a tie.

Much to her, and a lot of other people’s, surprise, “I’ll Have Another” is the horse that this friend of one of my niece’s picked, so she ended up with the trophy, presented by my Hostess Niece.

I learned quite a lot from this Derby Day Adventure. Well I learned 3 things:

  1. I’m not so great at picking winning Thoroughbreds: Take Charge Indy came in second-to-last.
  2. Rather than spending my creative efforts on a hat, I should be writing and shopping at the “Shalom Shack.”
  3. I love spending time with my family even if it drains my batteries. I always know how to get a quick recharge to get me through the evening…

And maybe next year, I’ll go for something a little less time-consuming for my head adornment…

The “Shalom Shack” must have something like this. I’ll just have to keep going back until I find the right clip on fluffy-doodle.