Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gone all Martha Stewart...

I am not a hostess. We don't have parties or people over much. Mostly it's my in-laws, who are so happy to be there that they don't really notice much except that I still don't have salt and pepper shakers and that we finally bought a bottle of A-1 Steak Sauce.

So imagine the trepidation I felt when I offered to have Thanksgiving at my house for my husband's family. His parents, his son (and his family), and his little brother (and his family). That's 13 people trying to eat at my house.

That's MY house. The one with the kid and the cats and the dogs and all the hair that goes a long with them. The one with the ratty $20 sofa, miles of ugly green carpet and a decorating scheme straight out of Goodwill's back room.

As usual, the spectre of company got my butt in gear.

First, I experimented on my friend Kelly.

She was also having the big dinner at her house and had a couple of chairs that were looking ratty. I went over there and we speculated on how to do cheap, fast slipcovers without buying those tacky throws that never stay put. We came up with a plan and when I did the chairs, they turned out beautifully! (There will be pictures after I get a new card reader... apparently mine is now kaput.)

Confidence bolstered, I returned home and tackled my own house. I was alone, as the male population had gone on a cub scout camping trip, so I had plenty of me-time to do this in. First, I did the couch. It turned out much better than expected. Then I turned my attention to the old chair. IT came out nicely too! And it totally changed the character of the room. That's a good thing.

The diningroom was cleaned up and has a new table cloth on it, the living room has been arranged. The bridge was removed, as was the other boy debris that seems to build up in it and both look quite presentable now. The kitchen has been cleaned and all the dishes washed in preparation for turkey-making tomorrow. The pies are done.

For someone who doesn't entertain, I seem to have managed to pull this off in a fairly efficient manner.

Darling Man was making fun of me... "With all the cooking and cleaning that needs to be done, why NOT add reupholstering the couch and chair to the list?"

Truth is, my sister-in-law kind of intimidates me. Both of them do. They make hosting the family look so easy. Their houses look like they came out of magazines. There's actual interior decorating that happened there. My house just isn't like that.

My house gets seriously lived in. We've been here a year and a half and I have to repaint because of all the dings and handprints. I don't see much point in buying new furniture when I have a kid that flops, drops crumbs and carries a cloud of debris along behind him like Pig Pen. And the hair everywhere... Dogs throw up on the carpet, cats scratch the woodwork... There doesn't seem to be any getting ahead of it all sometimes.

But for a couple of days this week, I think I'm going to pull it off. The carpet's been cleaned, the furniture redone, the sliding glass door is minus tongue slime for the first time in ages. There's no homework on the diningroom table - or little men with light sabers either. I'll have to take pictures so I can prove to myself that my house looked presentable once.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody!


Sandcastle Momma said...

LOL Your house sounds JUST like mine! I've taken shabby chic to a new level LOL
Glad it all looks good now and I'm sure your family will have a wonderful time.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!!

Island Rider said...

I told husband I wanted new furniture for Christmas. He said he would buy me some when I teach the dogs not to get up on the couches. Sigh. Oh, and one of the best pieces of advice I ever learned was that company comes to see you, not your house, so tomorrow relax and enjoy your company. Happy Thanksgiving!

Mrs. Really Long Name said...

you just reminded me that I have to find my salt and pepper shakers. Sigh....

Good for you for doing all that stuff. I did that last year - we had 20 over. This year, there's 6 total. and I am doing small parts of the meal. Parents are doing the big stuff. Luckily Mark helped a lot getting ready. I have all the serving dishes out and ingredients to my dishes ready to go. Table set. All i have to do tomorrow is assemble and cook a few things.

Happy Gobble Gobble Day my friend!

Now, I really have to remember those pesky salt and pepper shakers.

BeeDancer said...

FEMA should declare my cottage a disaster...After 3 years here I'm still trying to fit all the stuff from a much larger place into my tiny space...Large plastic bins from Wally World are my primary storage device, and my decorating sense dictates they each bin is a different color...

I am in awe of your reupholstery skills...I've tried, with little luck

Wishing you a warm & peaceful Thanksgiving

Anonymous said...

With every year that passes you become your dear Momma. It's her response, down to the slipcovers and, like you, it was always beautiful and gracious and a wonderful occasion.


Anonymous said...

Sounds lovely, Sayre-
Happy Thanksgiving from Camp Cupcake! :)


Ari_1965 said...

I desperately want to know all about your slipcovering. The armchair that the dog wasn't ever supposed to be on but somehow became the dog's chair really needs some help. But not the $600 to $800 help the upholsterer suggested!

Happy Thanksgiving. Congratulations on the cleaning job.

Liane Michel said...

Ah yes, the joy of the Pig Pen cloud. I just love it when my children literally drop everything they are wearing into pile where ever they happen to be standing and walk away!

I am the same way you are with regard to "entertaining", but seriously, listen to Island Rider... it's so true!

Happy Turkey Day.

Anonymous said...

It sounded wonderful and take my word for it folks come for the social and the food.
Hope your day was happy.

lisaschaos said...

Sounds like you pulled it together great! Can't wait to see the couch now! :)

m (the misanthrope) said...

Wow...Sayre, I am so happy that you were so honest. I feel the exact same way about my house compared to other family members' houses. Think "Better Homes and Gardens" (them) and "Better Clutter and Zookeeping" (me).

The idea of having ANYONE over, even for takeout and football, terrifies me. Never mind hosting Thanksgiving dinner! I bow to your bravery.

Aoj and The Lurchers said...

I have two takes on this....firstly, I bet your SIL's houses don't look like they've come out of Homes & Gardens magazine all the time and I bet they run round like headless chickens making it look like that prior to everyone arriving.

Secondly, IF they do look like that all the time, I bet your house is much more of a "home" than theirs do!!

Anonymous said...

Cordelia and I decided we will know if you survived when you next blog.

PinkPiddyPaws said...

Wowzers!! Talk about going into Martha Stewart overdrive!! ha..ha.. careful, next thing you know, we'll be reading about your insider trading troubles. tsk..tsk... ;)