Posts Tagged ‘horrible housekeeping’

I Lost The Battle Of The Suitcase

Actually, it was the battle of the giant pile of dry cleaning bags and hangers. I call it the “battle of the suitcase” because there was an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where they get home from a trip and leave the suitcases at the bottom of the stairs. No one moves them because each is waiting for the other to do it. Ray becomes really miffed when he notices that Deb is wearing clean clothes that should be dirty in her suitcase. He is so set against being the one to move them that he takes a plastic grocery bag as luggage on a business trip. And before he leaves he hides stinky cheese in one of the suitcases. The cheese, of course, becomes smellier when he’s gone. And well, you can imagine what happens next.

Our “suitcase” was a very large pile of plastic bags and hangers from the dry cleaners. My husband got sick of a bunch of empty bags and hangers hanging on his side of the closet, so he took them down and put them on the floor. They were on his side of the closet, so they didn’t bother me! After a couple of weeks on the floor on his side of the closet, they must have started to bug him. So he moved the pile to the floor of the master bathroom. Here it became a bit more of a nuisance. Still, we continued to step over the pile (sometimes on it!) for another couple of weeks and wait for the other person to clean it up. It’s too bad those plastic bags are see through, because I totally would have done the smelly cheese thing. The husband would have wigged out and given in. It would have been a sweet victory!

I know what you are thinking. What on earth is the matter with these people?!! Obviously, too many things to go into just now! I will tell you that I was thinking, “I should clean these up. But now that they are all tangled up on the floor, it’s going to be too difficult to do my recycling. He put them on the floor, he can clean them up!” I have no idea what the husband was thinking. Probably something along the lines of, “Her job is the house. Why isn’t she taking care of this? I’m not doing it!” Little did he know, he should be thanking the dry cleaning gods for see through bags. Because some stinky cheese could have been headed his way!

Why did I lose the battle? Because we were going on a trip and I didn’t want people to see that giant pile if we died. That’s right, I’m crazy. There are a couple of other things I didn’t want people to see in the event of our death that I didn’t get to. But I’m actually too embarrassed (shocking!) to speak of them. Let’s just say that I didn’t take some of my own house faking advice.

So, I took a giant black garbage bag and I (If you are environmentally or ecologically sensitive, look away, look away!) shoved the whole mess in there. Done! I know you are thinking, “Was that so difficult?”. And the the answer is “yes and no”. It does usually take longer when I do the appropriate thing and recycle everything. And it was a little bit annoying. I don’t know that it was annoying enough for a month long stand off. But I bet something similar happens again. ­čÖé Mind you, we haven’t spoken of this even once! What is the craziest/funniest silent battle you’ve ever had?

**Update: the husband called from work, laughing. He claims to have had no idea a silent battle was going on. **

House Faking

I am a house faker. I was thinking about this a couple of weeks ago when April over at Coal Creek Farm mentioned it. Then I was reminded of it again last night when my Auntie V posted on Facebook that she almost burned down her kitchen because she forgot stuff was being stored in the oven!

I’ve been married and running my own home for almost 14 years. I was trained by my mom to be neat, but it never took. As the years have gone by, my house faking has expanded and become more convincing. So much so, that a friend’s husband recently doubted me when I said that my house turns into a crap hole at least once a month. I then emailed him pictures of the mess the next time it happened. He said it looked like a staged mess. Ladies and gentlemen, I have achieved at the age of 36, the pinnacle of house faking! I showed someone my mess and they thought I did it on purpose.

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done in the realm of house faking? Mine is fairly recent. Last summer we threw a party for our dear friends who were moving away (don’t get me started on that trauma). I really did clean the house from top to bottom. Cleaned the porches, worked on the yard, sent the dogs to camp. But I forgot one very important task. Especially important when you are bringing in catered food – clean out the refrigerator! So I get home with the food and I’m running at least an hour behind. I open up the frig and I can tell it’s going to be a near thing. Taking up a lot of space right in the middle is a half eaten pan of rigatoni that is at least a week old. I’m in total panic mode. I haven’t showered yet and I’m making my sister use a tiny little lint brush on giant things like couches and carpet (yes, she’s still speaking to me, but I’m unsure why). So, I shove the rigatoni into one of my ovens. I wish this was the worst part, but it isn’t. Brace yourself. I didn’t remember to take it out of the oven for over TWO WEEKS! I will not even try to describe the horror. (Dear friend, you know who you are. Go breath in a paper bag for a while. You’ll be okay. :))

Why? Why didn’t I at least throw the food in the trash and put the dirty dish in the oven? The dishwasher was running when I went into panic mode. Let’s all pretend I would have made a better decision if there was room in the dishwasher. Thanks, I appreciate it. Why didn’t I put it in the freezer? I think there was room in the freezer. That would have eliminated quite a bit of the horror that was to come. Maybe the better question to ask is why was it down to the wire when I had known about this party forever. Because I am also a master procrastinator. But that’s a whole other therapy session! Back to house faking…

Here are my top tips for house faking:
1. Save paper shopping bags with handles. They are great for shoving paper clutter into and storing in a closet. If you do this with any frequency, you might want to date the bags. I haven’t dated mine, but I wish I had. It could cut down on Tucker Fits a.k.a temper tantrums by your spouse. This is of course, just a theory. No one I know ever has fits (wink, wink).
2. The really large, black plastic garbage bags are best for wrangling the clean clothes you haven’t folded. Or the dirty ones you haven’t washed. Just don’t forget where you stashed them! Who me? I would never do that!
3. Restoration Hardware sells scented Vacuum BBs that can help your house smell fresh and clean. Even if you have two stinky, old dogs living there.
4. Put your dirty, food encrusted dishes in the freezer, NOT the oven!
5. This one really put me over the top, but might not be possible for everyone. Have a house with: a. a three car garage, b. big closets, and c. “The Room Of No Purpose”.

After reading some of the above, I realize that this will be used against me when I end up on one of those “clean out” reality shows. Take my advice at your own risk!

A little food talk and meal planning. My one new recipe I made last week turned out okay. I made a roasted pork loin from the Building The Family Cookbook (thanks Lou). It tasted better than it looked. But it wasn’t as good as I was expecting. For Wed., Thurs., and Fri. the plan is green chile chicken enchiladas on Wed. & Thurs. (thanks Erika) and good old tuna noodle casserole on Friday. The enchiladas are a new recipe, so I don’t feel bad about repeating the casserole. There’s a debate going on right now on a Google Group I am on about St. Joseph’s feast day on Friday. No one seems to know whether you can have meat or not. I’m going with not. If anyone reading this knows the answer, please share your knowledge.

Now go fake your house!