Tag Archive for Saturday

I Miss My Housecleaner


A little over a month ago our youngest daughter, Hilary, left the nest.  She moved out on her own, got her own place, flew the coop, and is loving her new-found independence.  We’re very proud of her getting out on her own, however it has left me in a bit of a pickle that I had not contemplated too seriously.

For quite a few years now, since everyone graduated from high school, we have had certain “twenty-something” rules and regulations that we have expected the kids to abide by while they are still living at home.

Our rules started like this-
Rule #1:  If you’re living at home and not going to school you will pay rent.
Rule #2: If you’re living at home and going to school you do not have to pay rent.  This was our incentive to be in school, working on your college degree.
Rule #3: While you are still living at home you will be expected to do weekly chores. ie- housecleaning, yard work, pool maintenance.
Rule #4 – If you have friends’ over when we are not at home – The Golden Rule is- No Police, No Fire! Period.

These were the top Four rules.  Of course we expected everyone to be respectful of each other’s space, and live life according to Rules 1,2,3 & 4.

The Rent Rule has been modified a few times over the years.  That’s a parents prerogative.  After all we pay the mortgage.  The second generation rent rule was that everyone paid rent.  It did not matter if you we’re going to school or not.  But, if you we’re going to school your rent was reduced a bit each month.   And we also give a rent credit for the monthly housecleaning skills, and landscaping skills.

As of this year,  the third generation rent rule has seen the abolishment of the rent credit completely for going to school.  But we still do offer a rent credit for your “helping out around the house” maintenance skills.  Oh,  and I should clarify this offer goes out to any of our kids still living at home only, not just anyone who needs to rent a room.

Now,  back to my housecleaning story.  The rent here could not entice Hilary to stay any longer.  She was anxious to be out on her own in the cold, cruel world.  Which meant MY days of avoiding the weekly housecleaning chores were coming to an end.  While Hilary was here doing the weekly cleaning I would usually tackle a big, deep cleaning project once or twice during the month.  This was a great routine, and it was working like a well oiled machine.

Now those days are no more.  My cleaning lady has flown the coop, and I have to resort back to the old days of cleaning the house on my own.  It’s not exactly like the olds days though.  There are only three of us living in the house now, and at one time we had seven of us here.  The bathrooms don’t get as dirty, the floors don’t get as yucky as they used to.  And, luckily I have time to spread out the cleaning during the week if I want to.  No weekend cleaning for this gal!

When the kids were all younger, and I was working full-time we would spend two hours on Saturday morning cleaning the house, and getting our chores done.  The music would be blaring, and everyone had specific chores.  In two hours we would get most everything done and call it a day.  Then we’d move on to our weekend time.

So, even though my little birdies are one by one flying out of the coop we will survive.  The housecleaning will still get done, although I will miss Hilary’s cleaning playlist.  And the bonus for us right now is our landscaper still lives at home, for the moment.  Hopefully he will give me ample notice before he plans to move out.  After all, I’ll need time to hire a gardener.

How are or did you handle your twenty-something’s living at home?

A 50th Birthday and All the Surprises!

1-IMG_0053-001A few Saturday’s ago my loving, wonderful family celebrated my brother’s 50th birthday, Party House style.  The theme for this party was,  You’re Our #1 Son, Brother, Dad, Oinkle (uncle to those of you who have never been here), and Boyfriend.

1-640801This theme was originated by my Mom because of this picture.  And we made these cool decorations to go along that theme.


Each #1 had pictures of Son,Brother,Dad,Oinkle,Boyfriend


Everyone signed this for the #1 Birthday Boy!

 We also recreated an elementary school event that my brother always enjoyed called “Hot Dog Day”.  He had told his girlfriend, Elaine, what a great childhood memory this was quite awhile ago.  Elaine made sure to email my Mom and I so we would not forget the idea.  We all agreed this would be a great theme to include for this festivity.  Here’s the awesome banner our resident Cricut department created (thanks Erica & Mary!):


Hot Dog Day happened once a month or so.  On Hot Dog Day we did not have to bring our own lunches to school.  We would get fill out our own order blanks for hot dogs, chips, and a cup of ice cream.  Of course you could order as many as you could pay for, and that was a treat unto itself.  The hot dogs and buns were steamed, and tasted oh so good.

For our party we got a nifty hot dog steamer, some authentic Jays potato chips,  and the vanilla ice cream cups with wooden spoons.  And my niece recreated the little order blanks for all the party goers to fill out so they could get their dinner, served by an original “Hot Dog Day” lady, my Mom.


When my brother walked in and saw the hot dog day sign.  He let out a whoop!, and filled out an order blank!  3 hot dogs and 3 ice creams.  He was so surprised, and it was so much fun to see how excited he got.

We had a terrific party filled with lots of laughter, fun, pictures, and wonderful DVD montage that my sister and her husband put together. Then there was the sweet, loving toast from my Dad to my Mom.  My sister and I got all teary eyed. (tissue please)


This was also a weekend filled with surprises.  Let’s see it went something like this; my sister and her husband from Montana arrived here at the party house Friday night (total surprise, no clue they were going to be here). So when we were getting phone calls from family members on Friday night we had to keep this all hush, hush.  Then Saturday came and the surprises kept on rolling.  My sister and her husband surprised my parents, my nephew from San Luis Obispo surprised his Dad (aka the birthday boy), and then we came in the house, and my brother got surprised by my sister and her husband.  Jim jumped so high in the air when he saw Laura it was like he just started as the center for a Millburn Mustangs basketball game!!


For me the best surprise of the day was when my brother arrived.  He was the last one to arrive (he planned it that way), and when he got out of the car he had on a tuxedo with a bright blue vest and bow tie.  He made a grand entrance.  There was lots of clapping and whoops and hollers.  He really made his party day special.  I’m not sure how this can be topped.

We’ve had lots of family surprises over the years, but the surprises that happened at this party will go down in the history books for many years to come.  The only thing missing from this page in the family history book was my Travel Man.  (A tissue for me please.)

My sister wins the prize for the most family surprises.  She always shows up at a family event when you least expect it, but you’re wishing she was there with you.  Thanks for making the trek Laura and Steve.  An epic party like this would not have been the same without you here.

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