Thursday, January 17, 2008

Half a Dozen Handy Household Hints the Experts Won't Tell You!

But heaven knows I'm no expert on household management--so I will.

1. If you have children or pets, you don't need pretty decals or other peel-and-stick stuff on your glass sliders. Just stop cleaning them!

Glass cleaner is expensive, and diverts household funds from more important things, like my secret chocolate stash. Decals are messy when you try to apply them, and it's really annoying when they curl up and stick on your fingertip; then you can't uncurl them without destroying them. Argh!

While visiting the home of a friend with neither children nor pets, twice Mr. Lucky walked into the host's sliding glass door. He said he had no way of knowing it was there. The problem wasn't poor vision; he wears glasses.

"The doors were simply too clean!" Mr. Lucky exclaimed. "And there were no decals to warn anyone."

But I have found that fingerprints, paw prints, lip prints, unidentifiable smears and splatters on our own sliders serve as a constant, not to mention economical warning to inattentive husbands and guests alike that there's a sheet of glass standing between the family room and the patio. I save money on glass cleaner, and frustration from the peely, sticky mess of decals.

Best of all, I get more chocolate.

2. If you are folding clean laundry, don't let the dogs in from the rain until you put the clothes away.

Not only will you conserve electricity and water on an extra wash and dry cycle, but you will save major strain on your vocal chords, which you will need for screaming at Items 5 and 6 below.

Try as I might, I just can't react with the same delight as the woman you see on any commercial for laundry detergent. Whether the dogs jump up and track mud over her recently folded towels; or the husband spills grape juice down his freshly starched white dress shirt; or the kids get into her own secret chocolate stash and smear it across her newly restored wedding gown, her reaction is always the same: She just tilts her head to one side, shaking it with that "my-family-gotta-love-'em" grin, as she snatches up the jug of detergent, eager to do the same load of laundry all over again. ("Oh, goody! I get to use this wonderful detergent again!")

That's what the experts would have you believe.

3. Want some time to yourself? Put the oven on "Self-Clean."

Despite the fumes and increased heating up of the residence, this is the ONLY proven method to get husbands, children and pets out of the house for at least four hours so you can (a) work on writing your book without interruption; and (b) go to the bathroom without interruption.

4. Children's Race Car Beds Also Make Handy-Dandy Ant Farms!

Those race car beds look so cool, and are built to withstand anything--including my ten year old son. But if there's a downside to them, it's all the little nooks and crannies on their interiors. What marvelous little traps they are for all manner of gunk! But alas, no vacuum cleaner manufacturer makes an attachment that will fit into them.

While the mattress fits snugly inside the race car frame--thus making it more difficult for Baby Bear to disassemble the bed (subject for another post)--I am forever amazed and appalled at the objects I've found crammed between mattress and frame: Cups with sour milk or water still in them. Bowls with cereal still in them. Plastic bags half-filled with gloppy (meaning it's been there more than a day) cheese snacks. I pull up the mattress to find even more horrors lurking beneath: Cereal that doesn't match the cereal found still in the bowl, blobs of dried out cheese, and suspicious puddles galore.

Of course he's not allowed to take food into his room. The problem (besides that bed) is that I gave birth to a self-taught smuggling prodigy.

5. If you have children and/or pets in the house, and you hear a loud crash, investigate immediately.

And have the following handy: Broom with extra large dustpan, old towels, garbage bags, wet-dry vac, name and number of your insurance agent.

6. If you have children and/or pets in the house, and you hear nothing but dead silence for more than five minutes (or even less), investigate immediately.

And have the following handy: Broom with extra large dustpan, old towels, garbage bags, wet-dry vac, name and number of your insurance agent.

These are only suggestions. I will not be held responsible for your mother-in-law's comments about the fingerprints on your glass sliders.


Wendi said...

Thanks for the laughs, Karen! :D

BTW, I had another lady bug spotting yesterday. She was on my screen door when I went to take the puppy outside. She flew away when I opened the door. Maybe she's headed your way.

Karen Lingefelt said...

Wendi, that's so cool about the ladybug sighting! My husband thinks it might be "ladybug" season, but I never knew there was such a thing.

They're certainly popping up a lot lately!

Vicki said...

Ummmm...did you change your colors (which I love by the way), or is my computer going bonkers?

It's almost Friday. :D

Erica Ridley said...

LOL. You crack me up!!

Chanticleer said...

Your wisdom astonishes me, Sensei. You hold the truth in the palm of your dishpanned hands.

Will you please play tag with me?