Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Torches And Pitchforks Not Required

Listen. my children, no need to mourn,
Or be downcast or feel forlorn.
The time has come to blow the horn!
And meet the returning Lord Wellbourne!

My apologies to anyone who has ever, remotely, enjoyed poetry.

I would like to say that I've been circumnavigating the planet in search of adventure and cheap thrills. I'd like to say that but I can't. More's the pity.

Several weeks back, while my mother and I were enjoying the company of our neighbours around a delightful dancing fire in our outdoor fireplace, we received a phone call from my sister-in-law announcing their annual visit. Upon ending the conversation and putting down the phone my mother began listing all that would need to be accomplished before this blessed event came to pass. The Normandy Invasion had fewer objectives.

Until they arrived this past Saturday evening, I was giving serious thought to turning this house and grounds over to a research facility or at the very least to anyone in need of space with an immaculate, quasi-sterile environment. I have washed thirty-five windows--inside and out--which, as far as I'm concerned, means I washed 70 windows. As well as the standard vacuuming and dusting every conceivable nook and cranny, I steam-cleaned every carpet, rug, and square inch of upholstery. I stripped and waxed all tile and hardwood surfaces. About an acre. All mattresses were turned and disinfected, all linens were washed and hung outside to dry and air. Fresh flowers cut and arranged. All the grounds mowed, raked, weeded, edged, and manicured, lawn furniture scrubbed, trees pruned. The house exterior itself was power-washed to remove cobwebs, wasp nests, and any residue deemed 'unworthy'. All walls and ceilings were wiped down and all draperies changed out. The fur-children were not exempted from this orgy of grime-icide. Each had to be brushed three times a day rather than the usual twice-daily regimen. Baths, new flea collars, and pedicures. I utterly refused to sweep the driveway or dust the rafters in the garage. Somehow, the logic of eradicating pine needles in the drive or dust bunnies 20 feet up over the car's bedroom escaped me. I just couldn't wrap my mind around how this would enhance their vacation. I blame this temporary lapse in understanding and anarchy on the oven cleaner fumes. Or was it Lysol?

The visit, which concluded today at 2 pm, was very successful and pleasant all things considered. It was, miraculously, free of drama and distemper. My mother gave me full credit and *gasp* praise for all my efforts (even though "I'd let her down with the rafters").

I was charming, gracious, witty, even generous. I was so mellow on the herbal infusions I made up of chamomile, Valerian, lime flower, primrose leaves, lavender, and a wee bit of basil from my paternal grandmother's ancient and ever-thriving medicinal/kitchen/spell garden. I'm going to bottle this stuff. I've been experimenting with the combination when I wasn't plotting She-Who-Should-Be-Euthanized's demise. There were heart-felt regrets at parting and all ended well and drifted off into gauzy memory.

So, Dear Hearts, I am at liberty once again to walk amongst the warrens of dust bunnies when they inevitably reappear. The kitties are tentatively emerging from their places of self-imposed exile and soon all will be as it was. I plan to keep the jug o'happy juice close at hand. And I earnestly promise not to go away for so long without so much as a "Save Me!" shout-out to you.


  1. Ahhhh, good to see you back amongst the blogging. And you survived the sibling and family even. Maybe there's hope for me yet, at least if I keep taking my herbal ambrosia as well.

  2. I was very disappointed they didn't bring their dog with them as well this year. I was really looking forward to reconnecting with the dog. He's a great conversationalist.

    Where there's 'ambrosia' there's hope. There's also that magical phrase: "Have a safe trip back home". That's an immediate stress-reliever!

  3. Ah yes those wonderful words, the parting words! Occassional they issue forth knowing they will never issue forth again and what bliss it is.
    I remember you had some jolly walks with the dog last year that probably saved someone's life.
    What a massive and invasive springclean, it was, presumably under instruction?
    Next year perhaps you could suggest you go for a week's holiday while they are present to have a well deserved break.
    Good to have you back amongst the bloggers.

  4. Two things: 1) If I open a B & B, you're hired to run the show and 2) I want the recipe or a hefty sample of that herbal bliss of yours.

  5. Von: I keep saying I'm going to 'make room' for them when they come but they always come in late summer and the one place I'd really like to go is Texas to visit my friends. Late summer in Texas would probably kill me now that I've acclimated to Maine. **sigh** Mom just issued the edicts and I carried them out. I'm sure she conducted inspections when I wasn't present. The bonus here is that the Fall/Pre-Winter Sprucing has been irrevocably moved back. Hopefully to 2011.

    Red: Can you open the B & B soon? I could use a rest. I'll email you the latest recipe incarnation of my herbal anti-matricide juice.

  6. Ahhhh.. the invasion of the relatives.. I know it well...

    you know there are a lot of people on the planet who have never heard the expression ... Don't wear our your welcome...

  7. Or the adage from Poor Richard's Almanac: "Fish and house guests begin to stink after three days" or something very similar.

  8. I like your adage better... it's Funnier!!!
    ..gotta laugh to keep from crying...

  9. Send herbal infusion of chamomile, Valerian, lime flower, primrose leaves, lavender ASAP.
    Not the recipe.
    A gallon jug.
    Or two.


  10. Gwen: I love Poor Richard's Almanac, it's very entertaining on blustery days--meteorological or emotional. Ben Franklin was America's Renaissance Man and a funny guy to boot.

    June: There's a tanker truck with your name on it heading southwesterly! Funnel and straw are in the glove compartment.