The house did get cleaned by 5 PM and the dinner went very well. I would say yesterday's dinner party was a success if it weren't for the pets. Our cat, Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry for short), nearly lost his life when he pulled the dining room tablecloth and vase over on his head while trying to reach the flowers contained in the vase. It was not the vase that almost did him in, but his rabid, raging mother who chased him around the house threatening to wring his neck! Not 30 minutes after the floor dried from its initial bath, shattered glass, foliage and a quart of water covered the previously pristine surface. Compounding his misdeeds for the day, Merry later vomited his entire dinner on the floor next to our guest's foot. The fact that he hit the tile was only accomplished by his mother racing from the table and hauling him from the carpet as he was attempting to spew.
Not to be outdone, his brother, Peregrin Took (Pippin), had an accident on the hall carpet and Icey(19 years and crotchety) knocked over our guest's glass of red wine with her tail. We ended the evening with dessert, after frantically spraying and blotting to get the red wine out of the new, light tan carpeting (but it doesn't show cat hair!). Thankfully, guest is a pet owner and no stranger to such happenings or she might have been out the door, never to return. The glasses of wine imbibed before dinner probably didn't hurt her tolerance level either :-)
It is always good to know, as I read your blogs and comments, that our household is not the only one with chaos and a lifestyle the housecleaning police would frown on. It is a good life, and I wouldn't change it ... much.... maybe the vomit part. Anyway, thanks for your support and good humor in getting me through this.