Monday, November 19, 2007

Teetering on the brink of reality

I am hosting 24 people for Thanksgiving dinner in a few days. And I'm not even freaking out.

I am in control. I have a plan. A schedule. I have a list.

My list currently has 21 things to do on it before I go to sleep on Wednesday.

1. Fix the light switch in the foyer so the outside lights actually turn on, thereby lighting the way down the fronts steps for K's 91 and 86 year old grandparents.

2. Patch and paint all of the nicks and dings in the basement walls so that people actually think my children play nicely together instead of hurling toys at each other in fits of rage.

3. At some point, get to the grocery store to buy actual food to serve to the 24 people on Thursday.

4. Plan a vacation, because I'm experiencing a bit of post-vacation-is-over-and-it-sucks-to-be-back-in-the-cold-with-things-to-do-that-don't-include-laying-on-the-beach-depression-disorder.

5. Find and buy mini taper candles at Williams Sonoma because while I had the great idea to buy taper holders in the shape of turkeys while I was there two days ago, I did not have the foresight to realize I would need the actual tapers for the taper holders.

6. Call every Williams Sonoma in the Chicagoland area to see who still has mini tapers in stock since the one located closest to my house in now sold out of them. Then, spend a morning driving to go get them. Because if the food sucks, at least the table will look nice.

7. Repeat step 6. for the Turkey Brine seasonings. Because the one jar I bought is only good for a 20lb. turkey. And I bought a 22lb. turkey. And my OCD will not let those two extra pounds go unbrined.

8. Reorganize my kitchen cabinets and drawers so when people look in them they will be fooled into thinking the rest of my house is just as organized.

9. Clean out the fridge so it is shiny bright to anyone who opens it. Because I think nothing says disgusting like sticky apple juice with a few stray dog hairs in it stuck on a refrigerator shelf. And that is not exactly the impression I'm trying make on my dinner guests. Whose food has been stored in my fridge. With the sticky apple juice. And dog hair.

10. Repaint the family room ceiling. Because the family room is just too dark. And after all, I have three days.

11. Tidy up the front coat closet so that actual coats fit in it.

12. Learn to speak some french, since I found out this weekend the French cousins will be coming. To Thanksgiving. THE AMERICAN HOLIDAY. Not the holiday in which the pilgrims that came over from France introduced us to the croissant.

13. Decide what to feed French vegetarians for Thanksgiving dinner.

14. Sweep the back patio in case anyone goes out there. Or at least looks at it, out the back window.

15. Clean the sliding glass door so that in case anyone did want to look out at the back patio that was freshly swept for their viewing pleasure, they would actually be able to see it through a clean window.

16. Make ahead dressing, mashed potatoes, squash, and sweet potatoes, and anything else I can think of that can possibly be made ahead of time. And find my recipes for all of these dishes. They are definitely around here somewhere.

17. Get the turkey brining started. Once the 2nd jar of seasonings is bought, that is.

18. Figure out where I am going to seat 24 people and set the table.

19. Figure out if I even own 24 plates.

20. Go to Target and buy more plates.

21. Get a manicure.

Because a manicure will make me look like I had it together this week. Manicured hands will say 'Look at me! I'm so together and organized I had time to get my nails done while shopping, cooking and repainting for 24 people!

And tomorrow, I will be back on this side of reality. And the freaking out will begin.


Family Adventure said...

Good luck! With a foolproof plan like that one, it should be a breeze.

Heidi :)

Cindy said...

Well, at least you have healthy expectations of what can get done in a couple days without losing your mind. ;)

Martha said...

You are HILARIOUS!! My faves are #2,#9, #10, #12 and #21.

Whenever I entertain (which is never), I'm always in such a tizzy that I start organizing the linen closet or some other random place that guests will never see.
Hey - at least your organizing the kitchen, where they might actually go into a drawer! Oh, I know....just send them into the laundry room!!!! But then you'll have to make sure all of the laundry is done. Okay....forget I said that.
No. Really. Forget it.

Are you still thinking about the laundry room? Well, STOP!

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

I think you should buy the side dishes at KFC and stick them in beautiful bowls so nobody can tell. Don't paint the ceiling, just turn off the lights. Everyone will be wondering why you make them sit in the dark, and nobody will notice the ceiling. Definitely get that manicure. And for sure get the dog hair out of the fridge. Otherwise, I think you're ready.

ValleyGirl said...

Wow. Take a deep breath and cross off at least 5 of those items, specifically things like painting ceilings and patching walls!!! If they don't like the way your house looks, maybe they'll want to gather somewhere else next time!! If you can be relaxed about your home and have a good time, your guests will have a wonderful Thanksgiving despite any imperfections YOU notice. I'm learning that hospitality doesn't have to be stressful. 24 people is a houseful, that's for sure, but you can do it! Just don't overwork yourself or you won't be able to enjoy all your hard work either.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

My "To Do List" this week has this on Wednesday: "Cook like a mad woman."

Because I, too, plan to make all kinds of dishes early. In between the painting and mainicuring and cleaning.

Sanity is highly over-rated.

Plus, do you really think Martha Stewart is sane?!? I don't think so. Yet look at her Thanksgiving table.

missbecky75 said...

Look at you! So organized with a list and everything! You should be proud! :)

I like Martha's idea of sending them into your beautiful laundry room. I'd eat Thanksgiving supper in there. (Especially if I could be all by myself without any kids!)

Good luck! Hope you get some sleep Wednesday night!

Christy said...

Wow, that's some list! I hope you have time to enjoy being with family :)

PLO said...

You are so funny. Your blog shows your obsession with neatness and class. I don't even have a clue how to make a turkey. I would be in a complete panic if I were you. You are my idol.

Jul said...

I am having 8 and a 18lb turkey - my first turkey....J always complains there is not enough turkey leftover when we have been to everyone else's house for Thanksgiving so we will have plenty and then some :) So work on those small tweaks around the house and let them revel in your design and housekeeping can let the fam know it's a progressive dinner- if you run low or don't get a particular side dish accomplished....walk on down to the neighbors down the street :)

chrissy said...

7 8 10 12 too funny! You have a great outlook on things, keep it up, you can do it!!!

Kim said...

Oh my God, we must be cut from the same husband is always reminding me that there are just 24 hrs in the day. I think "Why can't I make dinner for 8, clean the house, do the laundry, paint a room, spend quality time with my daughter & look great, all in less than 3 hours???" I always end up shoving stuff into the closets & cleaning the bathrooms, because a little dust is OK, but a nasty bathroom is not. Then, I usually have, oh, about 3 minutes to get dressed, do my hair & my make up before the guests arrive!

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

Oh thank gawd I'm not the only person who thinks like this in the 72 hours leading up to a major family gathering!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Loving #8...ha ha ha!

Hope it all gets done and you get that mani in time!

Annie said...

Oh, My GOSH! I could not even come up with one of those hilarious things, let alone a whole list full of them! I've had my mother-in-law here for 8 days, and the day before she arrived my husband TORE out the Carpet in the LiVing ROOM! I could've killed him. But we pulled most of the house together, even if it wasn't perfect.

So happy about your results, and no cancer. Don't sweat it, it may just turn out to be the small stuff!