The sheet was a very effective protective device, keeping my four-footed "children" off the dishes. Foiled by the sheet, they gave up and took catnaps.
This is Buttercup, who, for a few more hours, is still the baby of the house.
Whitey is the senior citizen cat at age 14. She takes lots of naps.
Jennie in her favorite place, a pile of towels on the end of the kitchen counter by the back door. The towels are there to put on the floor on days when Madison would otherwise be tracking in mud on his paws. Jennie lies on top of the stack and leaves the rest of the counter alone, so I let her stay there.
This is Princess Margaret Ann Mouse, aka Meggie (named after Meg Ryan, actually.) She too was in her favorite place on the shelf in the garage. She rarely comes out of the garage, but seems happy as a clam there. Notice the sign warning plumbers, etc. not to open the crawl space door, which is directly under Meggie's shelf, without letting me know so I can herd any and all cats into the house and shut the door leading into the kitchen. Meggie got under there once and I had a devil of a time getting her out.
There really is a cat in the above picture. Charlie's favorite napping spot is under the bedspread on my bed. If you look closely you'll see a small lump on the left center side--that's him. Every now and then I go by and give him a pat and get a muffled "meow" in response.
Shortly before the guests were to arrive I removed the sheet from the table and poured ice water into the glasses. The little green and white striped boxes on the plates are cloisanne' bells from China, which I used as favors. The end plate doesn't have a box, since that's my seat, nearest the kitchen.
I set up the "wine bar" on the oak buffet in my livingroom. (When I took this picture, the white wine was still chilling in the fridge.) The livingroom/diningroom is all one open area, and my house is really not very large. But that makes for "cozy".
Here are some of my eight guests enjoying wine and the raw veggies and dip appetizer that one guest brought. I normally have seating for eight, including myself, but I ended up with nine this time due to a mixup on the part of the coorinator. Thankfully, I have a card table and plenty of plates, tableware, etc., so the more the merrier.
I realize I should have taken a picture of the table once the food was out, but by then I was so busy I forgot. Later I was having such a good time that I continued to forget. Therefore, you must imagine the menu, which included, along with my tabouleh and baked mustard-crusted wild caught salmon, zuccini with garbonzo beans, a mixed green salad, home baked rye bread, and for dessert, fresh strawberries over angelfood cake topped with lite Cool Whip. It was a feast for both the eyes and the palate. The food got raves, and everyone asked for recipes for the tabouleh and salmon.
The conversation was fascinating, as it always is. One of my guests is a transplant from New Orleans to Carbondale, and was a Katrina refugee. His home was destroyed, so he moved here to be closer to family in our area. His tales of the storm and the aftermath were interesting and scarey. Before the hurricane hit he escaped in his truck with two duffel bags of clothes, his computer and two pieces of valuable artwork. (He had a lot of additional art pieces, many of which were destoyed beyond restoration possibility.) He told us he lost so much that it has given him a new viewpoint on life. "If I drop something and break it, " he said, "I just think, 'oh well, it's only a thing.' The importance of 'things' in my life has been reduced to almost nothing."
We also talked about China. One couple had been there 20 years ago and we compared notes and discussed changes in the country.
By 9 pm all the guests had gone. By 10 pm, the candles were extinguished, everything was put back in its place, the dish washer was running, the tablecloths and napkins were churning in the washing machine, and I retired to my bed to stretch out and contemplate my next Supper Club, which will be in June. It's going to be hard to top the salmon, but I'll think of something!