Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It Took a Village ... and Baby Powder

We did it.  It was close, but it got done:  Everything was finished in time for the Dining for Women group last weekend!

I say "we" because my husband, our garden guy and I worked all day Saturday to get things done. It took a village (sorta). 

Front Walkway

The fixed dining room table and missing brackets for the china cabinet didn't get delivered until late Thursday afternoon.  On Friday I unpacked the dining room boxes, made a quick trip to Ikea, went to the supermarket for wine and flowers, and potted new plants to freshen up my front porch and deck containers.

That left Saturday to get rid of the weeds that threatened to overtake the house, mow the lawn and clean the house.  Not a problem, right? 

Here's the thing. We have a lot of pets. And while typically a dog hair dust bunny won't send me over the edge, I'm very conscious of having dogs and cats when people are coming over.  Especially people I don't know well, since I have no idea if they have allergies.  Even though I'd cleaned earlier in the week, the dogs don't stop shedding or tracking in mud just because we have company coming over! 

So after the typical dusting, kitchen cleaning, etc., I washed doggie nose prints off of the windows, vacuumed all floors and furniture, mopped the floors with Murphy's Oil, and -- because I wanted to the newly refinished floors to shine -- followed the mopping by going over the floors again with Orange Glo. Time consuming.

Foyer Vignette

I finished up cleaning around 5:30, and everyone was due to show up at 6:30.  That gave me one hour to take a shower, dress, cut the flowers and put them in vases, and set up the buffet table. Something had to give.

Here's tip, just in case you don't know this trick:  When you don't have time to wash your hair and blow dry it, a little baby powder and changing the side of your part can save the day. Just be careful you don't overdo it, or else you can end up looking prematurely gray. (Or in my case, what might actually be my true hair color if I didn't get highlights every couple of months!)

People started showing up while I was opening the wine and getting the hors d'oeuvres ready. I poured myself a glass and took deep breath. I don't think anyone knew that just an hour earlier I had been sweaty, in grubby clothes, and on the verge of hysteric tears.

And we raised a lot of money for this month's charity.


P.S.  Thanks for all the nice comments on the Living Room refresh!  (If you didn't get a personal thank-you from me it's because you are a "no-reply" blogger and there is no way to get back to you.)


  1. Great Job, Deborah! I'm sure the inside looked as good as the outside did, and it was fabulous! The things we do because we have an animal! I always put on the invitation, "pets in our home." If they have allergies, that gives them the time have the necessary medication with them.

    Love your garden!

  2. Deb you made it look so easy! The house looks really lovely, we all admired all the special touches.

  3. I can’t clean house and save the world at the same time. - Anonymous

    (Lynn from Alabama)

  4. I like Lynn's attitude. :)

    I can picture you frantically trying to get everything pulled together at the last minute.

    "Quick trip to Ikea" is an oxymoron.

    Skip the Orange Glo on your floors. If you don't, you'll end up with a sticky residue that sticks to your socks and dulls your shiny new finish. (Been there, done that with our newly-refinished floors five years ago.) A little bit of really dilute Murphy's will do the trick.

  5. Deborah, your place always looks lovely and it did last Saturday too. And great to see, in person, some of your recent painting projects that I've seen on your blog! Thank you so much for hosting and thank you for mentioning our great org, DiningforWomen.org, in your blog. So I guess you actually did prove that you CAN clean house and save the world at the same time! In this case, helping women in a little corner of the world called Rwanda :) Helen


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