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!