I tend to get just a wee bit stressed before any overnight guests arrive. I'm not one of those Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, Martha Stewart, Home and Garden, Southern Living types. I would dearly love to be, and sometimes I try to fool myself into thinking that I am, but I am so not. If you had to correlate my housekeeping skills to a magazine, it would have to be Mad Magazine.
So Bill started on Sunday and Monday, tidying and cleaning out the junk drawers, while I finished up my orders and started laundering dog bedding. I bought two new dog beds for the kitchen/dining room, but didn't put them down yet. We bought new pillows for the guest rooms. Then on Tuesday, I went into Psycho Cleaning Woman mode. The dogs hate Psycho Cleaning Woman mode. First I dusted, vacuumed, and washed all the rooms which could be closed off from the beasties. Still doing load after load of dog blankets.
I decided to let the dogs out, blocking their access to the mud pit formerly known as our yard, forcing them into the gravel potty area. Another most unpopular move. Humph they sighed, but their bladders were bursting. Then I went ahead and fed them which was met with unanimous canine approval. Early dinner - finally I had done something worthwhile.
OK, blah, blah, blah the power came back on and I mopped and polished and the whole house sparkled. (Except this little computer room, which can be closed off, and which was the repository for all the mess for which I couldn't find another place. There are now piles of stuff on every surface, and it is impossible to walk across the floor. Oh well.)
At nine o'clock I put the dogs to bed, and at 9:15 our guests arrived! Perfect timing. The dogs were so exhausted from watching my frenetic cleaning zoomies that they didn't make a peep from up in the bedroom. Oh how the kids had grown! They are our grandchildren, but I'm being completely objective when I say they are the most beautiful, charming, intelligent children ever born. We had a wonderful snack of prosciutto and Asiago cheese which Amy and Bob brought from Chicago, and bruschetta which Bill had prepared. Ah, heaven.
Abigail and William don't live with dogs. My dogs don't live with kids. Usually I keep them pretty well segregated, just to err on the side of safety. And then there's Luciano, who's special in his head because he didn't have quite enough oxygen during his birth. I kept him way separated. Except the time years ago during another visit when I came home from a walk with Amy, to find that Bill had thought I was being silly ("Oh, the dogs will be fine") and had let the dogs out loose with the kids, and five year old Abigail had backed Luciano into a corner, and Abigail was screaming with her hands waving in the air and Looch was backed as far as he could melt into the woodwork and every tooth in his head was showing. I have still not recovered from that and it was four years ago.
Abigail is a star!
But a miracle happened this visit. Nine year old Abigail and seven year old William were not seen as alien beings by the dogs. They were just little people! And Abigail had new prescription allergy medicine and wasn't sneezing, and William and his namesake Swede William became instant buddies. And we cooked together and we walked together and the neighborhood kids came over and it was just the best of visits ever.
Morning snuggle with William, Amy and Sam I Am
the two Williams
Bob and beautiful Abigail
I hope they can come for Christmas, too. The house will need another good cleaning by then anyway.