So people, its been awhile. Like a really long while. Sorry about that...a lot has happened in the past few months including a whirlwind trip to my folks' house in Idaho for the first visit back to the ranch in a full year. Due to our work/travel schedules, family vacations for House of Miller have been few and far between unless sandwiched between board meetings, steer weighings and tradeshows. But that's beside the point. We're home post vacation and walked into our beloved house with one stark realization....our house is ridiculously messy. Especially compared to my mom's style of clean (as in "if it falls on the floor, you've got well over the 30 second rule but don't tell her that you actually ate it" kind of clean). And she is insanely organized in a beautiful way that allows you to actually set down a coffee mug without first cleaning Forbes magazines, kidlet toys and puzzle pieces off the sidetable first.
I've spent the last two straight days cleaning out every kitchen cupboard, reorganizing, adding to piles headed to whichever poor college student I can find first,devising the perfect spice cupboard and making lists of Organizational Tools. That's code for "things Type A people can't live without and make a small fortune selling to Type Bs". Alas, I've suppressed Martha Stewart genetics as long as possible. Even the Martha after the Slammer variety, which is much more practical.
Over the years, I've developed 4 highly evolved coping skills in dealing with sudden company and the chaos:
The Panic Method: Car breaks field of entry on the driveway, as chirped by The Reporter. I have approximately 5-7 minutes (7-10 if we're talking family with babies) to decide which is scarier, me with spinach in my teeth and lacking lip gloss, or the overwhelming pile of morning dishes in the sink. Or perhaps THE BATHROOM. Because out here, no matter how polite the visitor, even a Jehovah's Witness needs to go sometime. That's roughly 7 minutes to prioritize, apply lip gloss, grab the toilet brush, swab the sink and make sure the toddlers haven't had an owie-repair session and left bandaids on the floor. And then come to the door like a modern day Lucille Ball (still haven't decided if this is a good thing or not but will get back to you on that one.)
The Confession Method: Company arrives. Panic Method left more than a few things undone. I decide that it is impossible to ignore the major flood of paint in the living room that resembles a Jackson Pollock masterpiece. And also wearing hard on me is the fast that I didn't get the fuzz out from under the fridge and that at any moment a very furry peeper frog may make his presence known. And that my laundry pile is hard to hide across from the bathroom. I don't like those odds so am sure to clear the air of the paint, laundry and unplanned amphibian appearances. Jokingly of course, but the stunned silence that follows makes me think this one needs a little more work.
The Hide It Behind Something Method: I'm sorting laundry. In the living room, the biggest space I have. This includes underwear. Reporter announces incoming people. Quickly, my Littles are pressed into making the most awesome fort ever...cleverly disguising our mass dry cleaning injustice with a sheet to become Mt. McKinnley, surrounded by base camp. Provided that the "flag" on the top is not a particular clothing item. This method is statistically least-successful.
The It's SO Nice Outside Method: Earlier tactics are deemed unusable, so I saunter out on the front porch to water my dead flowers and shake out the doormat. It is usually far less than 50 degrees by default and I have no jacket (it would look far worse to bundle in Mt. McKinnley ascension gear, right?) Attempt making small talk in friendly fashion while working on the I'd-be-happy-to-let-you-use-the-bathroom-but-I'm-sure-you've-already-used-it-and-polite-people-don't-talk-about-such-delicate-subjects-to-anyone vibe.
And there you go. I'll pause a moment to let you collect your thoughts and decide never to visit me on whim.
While we wait, I'll list off the next few cleaning tasks this Memorial Day weekend that I still hope to survive:
1) Researching proper size and shape of spice jars, including active use of Pinterest and freely canvasing friends on Facebook for suggestions.
2) Buying larger sheets, Tibetan flags and Organizational Tools
3) Blogging about it.
Actually, I do plan to continue cleaning but prefer to go for the surprise effect with incoming visitors this coming week. Just give me a call first wouldya?