Why Having Company, Makes Your House Clean

We had company last night. These are people we are socially friendly with, as opposed to those who are like family. What’s the biggest difference? Family/friends you can just sort of be yourself with. If there is a little dust, or a fur bunny from the dog, you don’t worry because these people are “family” and will love you anyway. In fact, they probably don’t even notice those little things. (right?)
Social friends you clean like crazy for. You don’t know them well enough to feel safe with a dusty fur bunny, and you want to be so clean that you could literally eat off the floor.
So for the week prior to last night’s dinner party, I cleaned and washed and vacuumed and then did it all over again a few hours before their arrival. My goodness the house looks so nice! All of it.
I walk around and think, “who lives here, not me. I’m way too messy.”
I wish I were one of those people who could live a neat and organized life, but I just don’t have it in me. I know that in a little while, I’ll go and get the Sunday paper and before long it will be spread all over the family room floor. Try as I might, I just can’t seem to keep it all together.
Hubby claims that I take things out and then don’t put them back again. He is right, as most of the things I put away, were my things!
I know what I need! A housekeeper! That’s the ticket! She could come and do nothing but clean up after me all day long, and wait on me and make me hot cups of tea.
Oh wait, maybe that’s a Nanny!

The Table

March 25 002

Originally uploaded by dackelprincess.

This table has been a big part of my life. As a child it was my parents dining room table. Back then it was stained with a dark mahogany color that was quite popular in the 1930’s.
Birthdays, Thanksgivings, Christmases and Easters were spent around this table. Christmas cookies were frosted at this table and tea parties were held. I can hear the laughter, and the jokes and almost see the smiles from my family of yesterday, if I stand close enough to this table.
Then for a while the table got lost. I’m not sure who had it, but I do know it didn’t get used. I think it was in a basement.
Then I got it. I was with my ex-husband then and we brought it home to our apartment. Then I made new memories with my two daughter’s at birthdays and holidays.
By then, the old table was not looking too good. The once beautiful mahogany finish was scratched and faded and rather unattractive. But in many ways, it was a piece that had a history about it.
When I divorced and remarried the table came with me, and my mother offered me the matching piece, a china cabinet that had been sitting in her wet basement for years.
I looked at the old table and the cabinet and saw years of use, which had caught up to it, like a worn out favorite toy.
Slowly I started to sand away the scratches, and grime. As I sanded and stroked the table I could feel it coming to life under my fingers.
Under the mahogany finish was solid red oak! Imagine covering that beautiful wood with mahogany stain? I stripped the cabinet as well and found the same red oak wood.
I went to the hardware store and selected a stain. A light red oak stain. Lovingly I rubbed it on until the wood began to glow. Then I alternately polyurethaned and sanded it until a bright glowing finish had been achieved.
This table has been with me almost all of my life and I suspect it will remain with me until my final days. My table and I share a lot of history together and as I look into the future I see we will make many more memories before it’s job is done.

As The Passport Turns

The phone rang at 11:56 AM today.
“Hello, is this Maribeth?”
“Yes”, I answered.
“This is S. at The Passport Office” she said. I found myself holding my breath. “Your old passports arrived and I have them here, so it will all be submitted now and you should have your new passports in about 20 to 25 days.”
I breathed and laughed and thanked her over and over again.
Could this really be the end of the Passport Saga?

Passport To Frustration

I went down to get our mail this morning and what should I find in my P.O. Box? If you guess our old Passports, you would be correct!
I nearly fainted when I saw them. “How is this possible?”, my feeble, dazed, mind asked. There was a letter inside saying we needed to resend the entire package WITH a payment.
Because guilt had plagued me yesterday, I’d hurried down to the Post Office and sent the money certified mail to expedite the process. I just thought that they actually HAD my passport and Hubby’s at the Passport Center in Portsmouth, and that this was why I was told to send the money there. Oh silly me! Why should a governmental agency actually work like a well oiled machine?
I came home and told Hubby what had happened. He did not want to hear it. The “Blond Look” came back into his eyes.
So I tried to find a phone number for our passport center in Portsmouth. No. It’s unlisted. Of course, why should I be able to call a governmental agency about a problem?
I thought and thought until my head ached. Then it came to me. Call the closest US Post Office that handles passports. And guess what? That is in Portsmouth! So I called and spoke to a wonderful woman named Terri, and she promised to help me out.
In less than half an hour The Passport Agency called me and arrangements were made for me to send our passports in to them, where they will be united with our checks and processed!
Could it be, that at last the Passport Saga is about to be over?
Stay Tuned!


I’ve been cleaning. This is not something I do with great relish! However, after the construction to rebuild my fire place, this just had to be done. There was this thin film of cement dust on everything. Walls, curtains, floors, counter tops, EVERYTHING! The family room and kitchen are side by side and open to each other, so the project is great.
I’d covered the upholstered furniture with dust clothes, so they were just fine, and I’d rolled up the rug and removed that and the coffee table, but those things aside, I needed to wash down everything else.
I was grumbling and grousing all during this chore. Two full days of doing this heavy, nasty, house work. However, when I got up today, I thought how wonderful the two rooms look! Wow!!!
I still have a little left to do, mostly dust a few things and then actually file the papers in the file box. Not really tough stuff (although I secretly detest filing!).
But everything is clean and that is wonderful!!!


Okay, they say confession is good for the soul, right?

The day before Hubby had his surgery, we accomplished two things. We filed our Income Tax, Hubby’s job, and we sent off our passports for renewal, my job. Guess who screwed this one up?
I was rectifying our check book last night and I noticed there was no entry for a check paying for our passports. Luckily, I use duplicate checks (I am notorious for not recording checks), and I went back and looked for the check in question. You guessed correctly if you guessed that I sent off all of our documentation, old passports and applications for new ones, WITH NO CHECK!
I felt like such a fool. This is really basic stuff here. How could I have been so stupid?
I waited until this morning and called the Passport Center. Yes, they’d received the passports and the application, but then sent them to a holding spot at a regional office. It was easy to rectify the problem, but, I to get Hubby to give permission for this woman to release his information to me. Shoot! I was hoping upon hope not to have to admit to Hubby that I’d done this. Now, I had to tell him, I HAD TO CONFESS!
I’m not sure I will live this one down. I’m already staying out of his path. He gives me that look, that, “How can you really be a BLOND in a brunette’s skin?”, look.
Granted, this is not one of my finer moments.
So there you have it. I confess. Let’s just hope I can get through the rest of today without messing up too much more. I’m not sure I could handle that!


The Stone Masons finished their interior work on the fire place yesterday. So, what does this mean to me? It meant I spent all afternoon, dusting, vacuuming, and washing every available surface in that room. I had to move furniture, remove the curtains and then start the arduous task of returning the braided rug to the room after the floors were washed, as well as the coffee table, chairs, etc.
What I discovered this morning is that this 47 year old back is just not as young as it once was! Oh, the aches I felt upon waking! I finally got up and made coffee because just lying in bed felt so much worse, and usually I am a real bed potato, so you know I felt bad!
In my misspent youth, I loved to rearrange furniture. No sofa was too big! One never knew where the sofa, bed, table and chairs would be from one day to the next. Now, however, I almost never move stuff. That could explain the dust “elephants” that I found under the sofa!
My plans for today are pretty simple. Do laundry. It’s fairly straight forward and easy, and since I have my curtains to do, as well as the dust covers, there is a ton of it.
Hubby is about the same. I got in to his room this morning and got those sheets changed and served him up a big breakfast. He seems to do really well early in the day, but by noon it is all down hill, and by dinner he has very little appetite and just wants to rest.
Time for one more cup of java before I start my day.

The Agony Of Defeat

I am not graceful. In fact, I am probably related, somehow, to the athlete on ABC’s Wide World of Sports, who for the last 30 years has been “The Agony of Defeat“! I can be walking down the street, and simply trip over nothing, and land on my face. Therefore, today should not have surprised me nearly as much as it did.
I’d gone back into the guest room to retrieve a cable for my laptop, when Hubby asked me to get him a fresh cup of coffee. I picked up his cup, half filled with cold coffee and started towards the door. I paused to climb over the doggy gate, and yes, that is when it happened.
(Slow motion)
I caught my foot and began to fall. The cup went up, as I started going down. The cold coffee spurted out of the cup, onto the wall, the floor and on me! The gate crashed! Dogs ran in different directions and when all was said and done, a new bruise appeared, the walls got a coffee wash and I didn’t have to worry about emptying the cup of coffee in the sink before I filled it with fresh, hot coffee. After, I did not put the doggy gate back up. Hubby will just have to figure out how to keep the beasts off of him. It’s simply too dangerous for me.

My Day

It’s been a full day. I decided to get all my heavy work done this morning, and then watch some video’s this afternoon.
After breakfast, I cleaned the house, gathering all the trash, newspapers, bottles and boxes to bring over to the recycling center. I loaded up the Jeep and off I went.
I was a bit nervous about going, as last time, if you recall I was faced with Mr. Meanman, who yelled at me for leaving the inside insert in the cardboard wine box.
Once again I was the only woman at the recycling center. I pulled up and tossed my burnable trash, disposed of my glass bottles, and then went to the next building where just about everything else is left. I brought in the plastic bottles, the tin cans and the newspapers. Then as I was bringing in the cardboard, I saw him. Mr. Meanman! I tossed my cardboard onto the pile and went back to get another load. That’s when I saw him going over and checking the wine boxes! Ha! This week I had remembered to remove the insides, and he had nothing to yell at me for!
I came home with a spring in my step and a smile on my face!
I chopped vegetables for Jack’s favorite comfort food. It’s called “Scrambled meat” (see recipe below).
After lunch I put on a CD of:


My cousin Janet gave me the entire series for my birthday last year! It is such a funny BBC show with Dawn French, and a cast of characters that’ll make you smile. What a great way to spend an afternoon! Thanks J!

Heavy Sigh

I woke up at 3 because I was so worried about Hubby. His temperature has been high, the knee very swollen, indicating an infection in the knee. It is not unheard of, but absolutely not a good or easy thing to get rid of. He talks of feeling very weak, which I know is due to the fever and to the fact that he isn’t eating too well (me either). A call to his surgeon may be in order today.

The two dogs seem to be in tune with Hubby and spend a lot of time watching over him. It’s really sweet to watch this love for their Dad.

I need to get the drop clothes out and cover the chairs, the sofa and the table in the family room. I’ve moved every thing else out of the room to avoid getting the mortar dust all over every thing when they are demolishing the fire place front today. Yes, on top of everything else, I will have jack hammers blasting away in my home a good portion of the day.

Greta is over her heat! Yahoo! No more panties for my little Princess! This also means I can let her out in the rain to do her business without escorting her. Praise the Lord!

I think it’s time to put the coffee on.