Thought some of you might have a good idea about this: We have a big old farmhouse, and we like to throw parties and entertain. Of course, we love having guests when we invite the guests. When we agree on a time and date. When it's only for a few days or so, and when our work schedules allow. When I have time to clean the house and stock the fridge and make some plans for entertainment. Lately we've been getting "surprise" houseguests. That is, someone decides they would love to visit the Boston area, and decides they will stay with us. When they inform us (inform, not ask) of their plans to enjoy our hospitality, if we are busy, we say, "I'm sorry, we already have plans and we are going to be busy that week/month. Maybe some other time, or we'll see you at (future holiday)." We hang up the phone, thinking, okay, that seemed to go well. Then, they simply show up in our driveway, or occasionally march through the door, and expect that we are going to drop everything to host them. They don't stay just a day or two, either, it's always several days or a week or longer. I can handle this, once in a while. Not a big deal. But this fall, it's been literally every other week. We tell someone, we're busy, and then they show up anyway. It got to the point where I told a relative, "sorry, I can't host because I don't have time to clean and I'm working late all that week" and she showed up, let herself in through the back door, and started hosing my (antique, expensive) woodwork down with Formula 409. Then stayed four days, two of which were the two days my husband had off work for a holiday. I only see my husband for a whole day about five days per year, due to conflicting work schedules, so I was pretty angry about losing two of 'em. Is there something else I can say/do? We've already banned one friend for taking advantage after being told DH was in ill health and unable to host. I hate to be out-and-out rude, I'm hoping someone else has an idea?