Tag Archive for domestic goddess

10 Things I Have Learned to do Around My House


There are times when my Travel Man cannot be home, and some little thing needs to be fixed around the house.  Of course, with Murphy’s Law waiting in the wings, nothing ever breaks when he’s home, just right after he leaves.  So when something of a minor proportion goes wrong around the house I try to fix it on my own. That means I may then be forced to learn a new skill out of necessity.  I have also been known to  place a phone call to a certain Travel Man that talks me through the fix over the phone.

You see we always have an ongoing honey-do list, but I try to keep it very short and sweet.  When my Travel Man is home I do not want him spending his days at home fixing things.  I want him to be able to spend his time with me.  I am selfish that way.

Since acquiring my title of Domestic Goddess, there are a few new things I have learned how to take care of around the house. This is my list of 10 new skills that I have acquired, learned and/or taught myself while my Travel Man has been on the road.  A good portion of the things on this list I would have previously left for the hubby to take care of or for the two of us to do together.

1. Cleaning the pool filter.  This is usually just a weekly thing, but I am able to keep it on track by myself.  We have an above ground pool, nicknamed “big bag of water” by my brother.

2. Maintaining the pool chemicals.  I can do this, but in the middle of a hot summer this one drives me nuts!  Oh how I loathe algae.

3. I learned how to use a roto-hammer to take up some flooring in our hallway.  I got the floor completely prepped so Travel  Man could come in and install the laminate flooring.  This one was exhausting!

4. Taking the car in for service.  I always felt like the service writer would take advantage of my lack of knowledge where the car is concerned.  I never liked doing this one, but now I just do.

5.  Cleaning the air filter on the air conditioner. Our filter is removable, and reusable. you just spray it off, let it air dry and replace. Voila!

6. Adjusting the sprinkler timers.  I have had to learn how to program two different controllers for our front and back yards.  Now I feel like I am an expert.

7. Replacing some drip nozzles on the lines out by our fruit trees.  This one was surprising quite easy.

8.  Repairing our thermostat.  You can read the details of that story here.  Travel Man was actually at home when this one happened. This was a must-fix critical situation!

9. Fixing our lawn mower. I learned how to clean out this little teensy-weensy carburetor jet.  You can read all of the details here.

10. I have learned how to light the charcoal grill.  It took me awhile to get past this one.  I would always just light the gas grill for a quick summer meal.  But now if I want a really great hamburger I definitely light the charcoal grill.  The flavor is so much better, and now I love to do this.

All of the things that I have learned to do on this list make it easier for Travel Man to be away from home.  He knows I’m not afraid (nowadays) to try to fix something I feel is within my “comfort zone”.  And you know it’s also a confidence builder for me.  I can still learn new skills, and be just a tad more self-sufficient when I need to be.  However, Travel Man and I do have an ongoing agreement that if there are any plumbing problems when he is on the road, I simply call our resident plumber!


The Game Room’s Been Quiet

It’s a quiet Saturday here at The Party House.  Quiet meaning the twenty-somethings are all out at their various activities.  Travel Man is “on the road”.  It’s fine though I have the stereo blaring with some good tunes, and I’m writing this post.  Earlier today I was in our Game Room (this is where the twenty-somethings normally hang out with their friends) doing some cleaning.  I realized, this room’s been quiet for a few weeks.  It funny since the college kids have finished classes, and are into their summer jobs we haven’t had as much activity in the evenings here as we normally do. 

And then I realized, as I was cleaning, that the Game Room is becoming a dumping ground for “stuff”.  The available floor space in the room seemed to be shrinking at an alarming rate.   You know the kinds of things I’m talking about.  It’s those things that maybe belong in the garage or out in your garden shed.  The things that make an interim stop on some “flat surface” (that one’s for you Hilary), and dont’ quite make it to their destination.  I am the first to admit I’m guilty of parking some things in this room too.  Camp Grandma supplies that did not get put away.  Pool supplies that haven’t made it outside yet. And a Rock Band set that is collecting dust on the ottoman that needs to be put away.  Anyone, anyone?

You know,  if you have a big family and everyone leaves just one thing lying around it can add up to a mess quick style.  We have tall sons with big feet.  So just two pairs of shoes not put away can almost create a traffic jam.  And then there’s our (mine and daughter Hilary’s) running joke with Travel Man about the flat surfaces.  If there’s a flat surface in the house with empty space it gets filled quickly.  And not to pick on Travel Man, because we are all guilty of leaving “stuff” on the flat surfaces in the house. 

After working my Domestic Goddess magic, the Game Room is back in order and ready to go.  Everything is parked back in its’ respective place.  And the “flat surfaces” are cleared and ready for the next round of “stuff”.

Is the “stuff” in your house driving you nuts?


When Travel Man is out of the Country

This is the first day of a three-week trip for Travel Man.  He is on a work assignment that requires travel to Brazil, and will return long after the Fourth of July. The preparation that went on before this trip was so stressful.  He was not originally slated to be dispatched for this job.  What this meant was that we had to scramble to get a visa for him to travel yesterday.  In the normal course of things this would not normally be an issue, but Travel Man had to get this visa on a “rush” order.  He had to take all of his paperwork to the passport/visa service office last Tuesday in order to get the visa by Wednesday of this week at the very latest.  He was flying out on Thursday.

On Monday afternoon  he calls the visa service office, and is told his passport and visa are scheduled in that afternoon, and he will have to drive to their office to pick it up on Tuesday.  We call again on Tuesday morning and are told that the Brazilian consulate has gone on strike this morning.  They proceeded to find out if Tom’s passport and visa had cleared through the system before they went on strike.  After 3 most stressful hours and numerous phone calls by Travel Man we find out that his passport and visa had been released, and he will have it on Wednesday morning.  Remember he is leaving on Thursday morning.  The major panic subsides for both of us, and Tom tracks the package via FedEx.

Thankfully his passport and visa arrived early Wednesday morning, so we could breathe a sigh of relief.  If it had not cleared on Tuesday before the consulate went on strike there’s no telling when he would have gotten his passport back.  This was the most stressful pre-trip preparation that Travel Man has had in a long, long time.

For myself, I have not been this stressed out since Travel Man went to Russia last year.  My stress level stays right up there until I hear from him that he has made is to his destination, and has cleared customs without incident.  My Travel Man has been all over the world, and had some crazy experiences going from country to country.  Maybe one day he’ll find time to blog about it or write a book.   For the time being this Domestic Goddess is thankful that her hubby is safe and sound and on the ground.

Just a word about Naps…..

If you have been following my blog for any length of time you know that I have become a Domestic Goddess in the last year.   This is my new job title along with Chief Finance Manager, and Household Project Manager.  Now for a little back story.  When I was working in the corporate world and had a lot of stress in my life I would tell you, “I can’t nap. I’ve never taken power naps, can’t take power naps just don’t do naps”.

I’m now one year out of the stressfulness, fast paced, rat race.  And here’s my revelation.  I love naps.  I can easily take a little snooze after lunch, after a busy morning.  This is my favorite time to nap.  I’m usually home by myself this time of day.  It’s so quiet, and easy to find a spot in the house to nap.  Travel Man teases me to no end on this subject.  He says my napping is now an art form.  He finds it quite amusing that I can now nap at the drop of the word nap.  He’s been a power napper his whole travelling and working career, so I think there’s some sense of victory for him getting me to realize naps are good.  Kind of like a welcome to the napping club thing!

That’s all for now on my napping update, Happy Saturday everyone.

It’s Another Installment of When Travel Man’s Away

Well friends I feel the need to share another saga in the “when travel man’s away” category.  So Monday I’m all set to go and do some errands, a little browsing at Michael’s (one of my fave craft supply hangouts), and maybe stop for an ice cream treat.  My car had other plans for my afternoon.  I start the car, put the windows down, and clunky, clunk, clunk.  I pushed the button to put see of it would go up, and nothing.  So, off to the car dealer I went, with the window down. Luckily I could get there without going on the freeway.  Oi!  A quick call to Travel Man to let him know what had happened.  “Just go to the dealer”, he says, ” Nothing else you can do for that one.”. Funny thing was Travel Man had taken the other car to LAX on Sunday so I didn’t have the extra car here like I normally would.  I just love it when good ‘ol Murph pays a visit!

I get to the dealer safe and sound,  get myself checked in with my favorite service guy, Jose, and leave the car overnight.  I had talked to my Mom after this and she said, “Oh that can be a pricey fix.”.   And it was.  Just under $500 out the door.  I did talk Jose down 50 $$ on the cost of the part, but ouch.  And I didn’t even get to go on my little shopping expedition.  I’ll save that for another day.

Just a friendly reminder that stuff can happen when you least expect it.  It’s just a matter of taking care of business and moving on.  And of course I want Travel Man to know that I am extremely  capable of taking care of these things at home, so he doesn’t worry about it.  That’s part of my Domestic Goddess job description you see.  Happy Wednesday everyone, now let’s get through the rest of this week.

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