Friday, November 09, 2007

Six Simple Steps to Get Ready For Guests

I am fortunate. I manage to find humor in many places, some unexpected. Sometimes my boys look at me, and I am laughing for some random, inexplicable reason, and they have to ask, "Why are you laughing? And most times I can't even give them a good reason. To quote my favorite Buddy: "Smiling's my favorite." So, when Martha Stewart emails me a special, personal email message, (What? You got one too?) my mind is already primed to see the humor in her suggestion that there only "Six Simple Steps to Get Ready For Guests." The subject alone had me profoundly amused, the idea of me successfully applying the 6 Simple Steps is freakin' hilarious.

Step One: Create a Welcoming Space
Well, this one's not so bad... I mean, my guests are welcome. I want guests. OKay, but for God's sake please call first, like at least 2 days ahead. I will stop doing anything except clean, and I will burn a lot of incense and stuff things under beds. I will glare at Geoff whenever he sits or starts taking off his socks. I will give the children withering looks, when they ask, "Have we had breakfast?" And I will answer all requests with a shrill, panicky, "I'm cleaning!" Driving myself to the brink of exhaustion, cursing my landlord... the house will get clean passably clean.

Step Two: Clear Out the Clutter
What? I thought we covered this. No. No, I guess the "Welcoming Space" bit wasn't about sanitizing... it was more about giving up our bedroom and the comfy chair. Note to self: Must get a comfortable chair.

So, apparently cleanliness is paramount to receiving guests. Martha is very practical on this subject and she suggests we hold a "tag sale." Get rid of the mess. Sell it off piece by piece. Good idea. OKay... that part where I ask for 2 days advance warning of your arrival? Better make it 2 weeks.

Step Three: Set Out Individual Hand Towels
Sure. No problem. After cleaning for 2 weeks, Step Three is a cake walk. Martha suggests I tie the fancy, individual towels in a festive ribbon, thus giving the appearance of a five star establishment. LOL... Who knew? Festive ribbon is all that stands between our place and The Hilton.

Step Four: Supply a Bedside Water Glass
Hold on... when did we provide a bed? No worries. William and Alex can double bunk and that frees William's room. Now, about the water glass... which do you think, giant plastic Zoo cup or giant plastic Legoland cup? And please, do remember to cover it, unless you don't mind sharesies with Chango. Cats get thirsty too you know.

Step Five: Pick Out The Right Sheets
May I just say, if this were a test I would be getting high marks. I know the answer to this one! The right sheets are the clean sheets. Score!

What was I so intimidated about? This is pretty easy.

Step Six: Provide a Handy Guide to Your Appliances
See? Now I am laughing again, because our appliances are On or Off models... the ones that work. The landlord might have a few pointers to add, like "Do not put anything in the garbage disposal." Nothing. Same for the downstairs guest bathroom: Do not put anything in the toilet. Nothing. Also, most of the windows are either stuck shut, or fall closed faster than a French Guillotine. Don't lean too heavily on the stair and balcony railings... well, best to avoid using the railing period...

Two weeks notice, that's all we ask.

In the meantime, we're at the beach.


nikkipolani said...

Natalie, you're killing me here. These are the only sane responses to Martha's personal email message to you - so carefully crafted because she really knows how you are. Hugs and more hugs from me and Nik.

Missy said... have absolutely made my afternoon! I had a good tearful laugh...thank you.


p.s. your littles are strikingly handsome and beautiful. Did you handmake that hat? lovely

Natalie said...

Thank you... it's much more fun laughing with company. And the hugs are especially welcome.
The hat is a fun project from a pattern at Angry Chicken... (I have a link in this post:

Anna Banana said...

I'm going to the tidepools on Sunday at low tide with the UUs! Does Martha know we laugh at her? (sorry, WITH her?)

Tracy said...

Whew...I've not had a chance to stop by here for a couple of days, lots going on---and fun too! Love all these photos! Thank you for the "tips"! Happy weekend to all of you ((HUGS))

kimsherrod said...

First, I didn't get an email from Martha. I would probably freak out if I did. Oh, wait, I just get the ones about subscribing to Blueprint etc. I would have to clear off the spare bed, after I moved the clutter and over stock from my chenille bedspread obsession and the piles of books and tissue paper and boxes of boxes that I store in there in case I have something to pack up and ship which I don't because I have been too busy cleaning the rest of the house and trying to figure out how to make Sadie stop shedding so profusely which she does this time of year because its cooler and I would really rather be riding my bike which I am going to go do just as soon as I can get up from this cozy spot and stop drooling over your beautiful beach pictures. It looks kinda gray and cold. Maybe I should bake you a pie? I would if we were neighbors. Maybe I could bake one and then freeze it and pack it in dry ice and mail it to you? I am going to have to investigate that possibility. In the meanwhile I will start folding the towels to look like bunnies, just in case...where's the ribbon? to you, chicken girl :P calamityk

Jennifer said...

Sigh. I'd need several months, and another job, quite truly, to be able to be that prepared for a guest. But to be prepared so spend a day at the ocean? Oh, please -- let's just go right now! Lovely work here, as always. And I'm holding a special cheer for you here to go for it -- to gather up all your chickens and to hit the road for the dream trip of family time and real learning and true life.

Jeanne said...

Natatlie, that was hilarious! And so true here. VBG Wonderful pictures inbetween the six steps, too. Thanks so much for this post. It sure brightened my day.

Tarie said...

I can sleep on the couch. :P And the Legoland cup sounds fine to me. I'll help you clean! :)