Home, home, home

It took me all of Sunday and a small chunk of Monday to get home – in fact, after a series of delays and episodes which must have been transportation based jokes that I just didn’t get, a sweeter-than-pie Joe picked me up at the airport at 2am Sunday night/Monday morning. We got my luggage and drove home, and we weren’t  in bed until after 3am, and so the last few days have had a bit of a slowness to them, and I don’t mind a bit.  I’ve been thinking about these few days for a while now.

August 8th.  That was yesterday and it’s the day that I was finally home, and not running a Summit, and not wrapping it up with Tina, and not sleeping in a bed that’s not my own and not drinking coffee that isn’t quite right and not in a convention centre, and not in a restaurant… and don’t get me wrong.  I love a lot of those things (even the convention centre grows on you if you put enough yarn in it) and I’ve had the most wonderful two weeks (especially if you like hard work, and I quite do) it’s just that there’s nothing quite like home, and for weeks now I’ve been fantasizing about these first few days home, and how wonderful they’re going to be.

Usually, this is a set up. Usually I walk in the door after having been away for a while, and it only takes a few minutes to for the rosy fog to clear.  Usually when I come home from a trip I’m only happy to be home for a bit, then realize that the relaxing and beautiful home I’ve been looking forward to is somewhere under a total pile of crap, and I freak out.  I can’t ignore the mess, and I get so mad that I didn’t come home to what I wanted to that I end up ruining my own homecoming.  (This may be one of the reasons that Joe often calls my arrival home "intense".   Personally, I’ve never understood why he doesn’t dodge it by cleaning EVERYTHING before I get here, but such are the deep and perpetual mysteries of our marriage.) 

This time, in a move that has surprised even me – I don’t care.  You wouldn’t believe how much I don’t care.  I’ve been in the time-mire of Sock Summit for months. The house was trashed when I left, so it’s no surprise to me that it’s even more trashed now.   The house is so totally trashed that I can’t even hardly tell where to start straightening it out, and in a shocking turn of events,  I’m so happy to be home that I’m almost finding the mess charming.  Yesterday I ignored it wholesale.  Hell, I sat in the middle of it and knit, and this morning I sort of chuckled at an endearing hairball that the cat must have hacked up sometime in the last two weeks. (I did clean that up.) I hardly recognize the way I think being out of J-clothes is not an urgent issue,  I doodled my name in the dust on the piano.   I find it amusing that there’s a strange smell in the fridge, and hey? Did you see the way the recycling hasn’t been taken out?  It’s sort of cute.  

I simply love it here, and even the fact that it’s raining today and I’m out of clean clothes, eggs and bread doesn’t bother me.  I’m untroubled the fact that I can’t find a clear spot to put so much as a coffee cup on my dining room table, because it’s MY dining room table and MY coffee cup and MY coffee and maybe tomorrow I’ll wipe something off, because today I’m really, really going to sit in this trashed house, and knit.
It’s my mess, and it will still be there tomorrow. Or the next day.

(PS. The baby blanket is way bigger.)

168 thoughts on “Home, home, home

  1. There’s more to life than a clean house. (That is, all too obviously, my personal motto.) Knitting, for example. Enjoy being home.

  2. That’s a very healthy decision, Stephanie. You need not even return to being SuperHarlot any time soon. Don’t clean like a maniac when you decide to do it, just piddle a bit here and there at whatever chore you choose. As happy as you are to be home, I am sure your family is just as glad to have you there. So relax. More coffee? Cheese curds? Here’s an ottoman for your feet.

  3. Welcome home to your very own family messes. They are familiar and you know what to do with them. I can understand your new attitude as you must be extremely burnt out.
    Since no one else in your house is bothered by the mess, you are not sick and you have acquired a new amazing ability to overlook and be amused by it, I say go grrl. It won’t last but hey, you deserve the QUIET knitting time you haven’t been able to access for a long time.

  4. If you actually start naming the dust bunnies,they become pets and you don’t have to clean them up. That’s one of the excuses we use over here.It works for a little while,anyway.;)Don’t forget to add YOUR wine and YOUR chocolate to your menu!

  5. Our family calls returning home after a trip, “A good miss.” It means we missed the ordinary, our own bathrooms, our own mess, our home and when kid was young, his toys. It means the time away was good but coming home was good too. So, “A good miss.”

  6. I know what you mean. I went out for a relaxing few hours with friends yesterday lunchtime and when I got home all I could do was bitch to the kids about what they “should” have done while I was out. No wonder they went out of their way to avoid me! Next time, I will be more mindful and appreciate just being home.

  7. Welcome back! Everything will be there when you are ready to deal with it. You could knit for days and it will wait.(it has already)….. Enjoy being home sweet home.

  8. I got home yesterday as well (though not from sock summit) but I’m afraid I couldn’t ignore the mess….
    What’s the secret? It can’t be exhaustion as I couldn’t have been more tired….

  9. I only get into that state of appreciation for my messy house occasionally, but it is sweet!

  10. I have always operated with the assumption that too much cleaning wears stuff out – as in dusting the side-table too often, for example, will wear it right down to kindling. (Mind you, when one is completely out of clean socks it gets a bit hard to justify. But I try my best!)

  11. It’s the difference between a house and a home. A house needs to be clean–a home is where your family, your coffee, your yarn, etc. are and it doesn’t matter a single bit if they’re all covered in dust and cat hair.

  12. Home! Home! Home! There’s no place like home regardless of its (temporary) condition. A person can always do cleaning. It is a perpetual chore, never ending in its own sassy way. So, forget the cleaning for a while. It will be there when you decide to do something about it. Meanwhile just love being home! Its my favorite place!

  13. This is what I keep trying to tell my mom. It’s my mess. Since it’s my mess, it’s up to me whether I clean it or not. It would be totally gross if it were someone else’s mess, but it’s mine and I embrace it. (It helps that my mom lives a thousand miles away.)

  14. I’m mentally tempering your words with the image of your oven posted awhile back. I believe you have a clean mess, whereas mine is of the dirty sort. And what are J clothes?

  15. Oh, I love this post. 🙂 So good for me to read after getting snippy with my sweet husband this morning because he wasn’t unloading the dishwasher fast enough to please me (i.e. the speed of light apparently, what a rag I was!). Hail the well loved Home, no matter what state it’s in. 🙂 Thank you!

  16. I guess I’m wondering why you don’t just hire a cleaning lady/service to get the house in order right before you get home? I’m not talking about every week or once a month, just those occasions when you are gone for a couple of weeks. That way you could just sit back and enjoy being home for a day or two before you get back to your regular schedule.

  17. I only aspire to this state of Zen about my own home. It is good to know it can happen, even if one has to organize a humongous sock summit first. Good for you, and welcome back.

  18. The adjustment in attitude helps with the blood pressure.
    Here’s something else to mull over it-is-not-ALL-YOUR-mess. No one in your house is in diapers the last I read so, it-is-everyone-who-lives-there-mess. I stopped taking responsibility for the other adults who live at my house messes. They finally ask when I was going to clean house and that is when I ‘lowered the boom’. I sort,wash, dry, and fold clothes. You want a clean towel to dry off with, then do your part and take the towels upstairs and put them away. I prepare the meals, do your part, wash and put away the dishes. Yada, Yada, Yada. It has helped my blood pressure and peace of mind immensely. I also have more free time to knit and read your blog!

  19. Yes! My refrigerator magnet wisdom, mostly purchased at airports: “In the midst of chaos lies creativity.” “Housework or knit? Hmmmm…” “There is no real need to do housework. After a few years, it doesn’t get worse.” “A clean house is the sign of a sick mind.”

  20. Here’s what I do when my house is trashed. In each room I go in, I try to tidy up one area before I leave that room. If I tried to tackle the whole mess at once, I’d have a nervous breakdown. This way, I can still have my knitting or painting time, I just try to leave the room a bit tidier than it was when I entered it. Your trashed home doesn’t seem to be bothering anyone else in your family, so let it go for a bit. Then maybe, in a few days, they’ll give you a hand with putting it to rights. And keep knitting on that baby blanket!

  21. On my refridgerator is a sign that reads “my house is clean enough that you will get no noxious diseases, and dirty enough that I am not too tired to enjoy your visit ( or unable find time to knit – -will be added soon)

  22. My tolerance for mess seems to be directly proportional to how cruddy my day has been. I try to keep up with it, but it is demoralizing that the male half of my partnership doesn’t see the mess the same way I do. It makes cleaning a sadly one sided affair and grumbling and shouting an unfortunately frequent occurrence. I think I need to work towards your temporary attitude adjustment, and take a bit of a breather about the entire thing.

  23. When you’re ready, get some white file boxes, masking tape and a magic marker type pen. Put everything that isn’t yours, doesn’t look interesting, or you don’t recognize, into the boxes and label each with where you found the stuff in it (dining room table, for instance.) Stack the boxes up against a wall, labels facing the wall.
    It’s not ugly. It’s not disordered. All it does is make your room a little smaller. You can even have people in.
    When somebody wants something, direct them to the boxes. You will have to restack the boxes when they are done looking.
    In 6 months, or two months after the last foraging trip into the boxes, restack them out by the curb for the trash.

  24. Also, I didn’t know what j-cloths are. I’m assuming it is the kitchen-related term that I saw and NOT the one from Urban Dictionary. @_@

  25. That deep & perpetual mystery of your marriage? I think it applies to most marriages. Mine, certainly.

  26. Well, you could’ve knocked my (handknitted) socks off “In the midst of chaos lies creativity.” ??? Not here. I only get creative when I’m bored out of my mind. THEN the saving graces gift me with lovely projects to entertain myself with. Even when I was working – if I had down time (terribly frustrating because I couldn’t just pull out some knitting!) I would begin to re-organize something so it worked better. Odd – always been that way it seems. Chaos just gives me panic attacks.
    Welcome home to your bed and your coffee.

  27. About a month ago, I put up the words to John Lennon’s Watching The Wheels lyrics (taped to my office desk). It’s a nice reminder that we don’t have to always be doing, fixing, repairing.

  28. I come home to the same mess whenever I’m gone from the house more than two hours. It’s frightening how quickly it happens. I also ruin my own homecomings by raving like a lunatic. Girls nights out are painful because I know I’m returning to a mess. My husband is good in a million and one ways, a total keeper, but in this way he is awful, and it’s okay (sort of). It’s so good to see I’m not alone. Welcome home!

  29. I think I wrote something similar to this last time you came home and i am at the computer taking a break from cleaning the mess that exists from July to December when I am in production mode for the holiday sales (I am a production weaver) and it is worse this year because I have been to two conventions in the last three weeks and my sister et al are due tomorrow, not being crafty I don’t think they will be forgiving about the ?mess
    So you are not alone

  30. Dear, Dear Steph, welcome HOME, and not the one where there’s no place to put your cup down – the one ‘where the heart is.’ And this, as you may have figgerd, is way bigger than, though related to, all the sock summits and baby blankets and other wonder-ful things you have made of your life.

  31. Welcome home. Enjoy the comfort of your home, it is the messes that make it so. My Mom’s favorite saying was ‘Clean enough to be healthy, dirty enough to be happy!! That sums it up for me. When is that baby due?
    I’ve got one more blanket to knit in what has been a marathon of baby blanket knitting. Problem is I am out of my favorite yarn for the project. I am hoping it is in today at my local LYS. So a drive is in order—-after the grocery store. Enjoy your knitting and your comforts!!!

  32. Oh, lord. Happens every time. Here come the housecleaning suggestions. At the most basic level, troops (and I speak only for myself here,) a cleaning woman isn’t possible because it’s not so muchthat things are dirty, it’s that they’re cluttered and you have to live here to know where things belong.
    Mercifully, I worked for a man with a similar attitude. He referred to the Alpine heights of his desk as a “stratographic filing system” — “No, not that far down; it would have been more recent (i.e. farther up the interlocking layers.)

  33. Welcome home….the joy of “this is mine” usually outweighs the “what is this?” Oh yes and at the end of this lifetime, you will remember home – not how tidy it might be. Thank you for being you.

  34. A few years ago, I took to heart the little saying about “housework done properly can kill you”. Creative people are messy people. Apparently, we are a really creative bunch around here. Most of it is messy clutter though. I do try to vacuum at least once a week and keep the dishes and laundry clean.

  35. It is only a house that gets messy–when you are home you are home and all else can be ignored!

  36. I just love you and your outlook on life and things. Welcome home! You SOOOO deserve several days of doing nothing!

  37. I get it. The last time I went out – alone- when I returned I didn’t even finish parking the car before a neighbor was at me about a naked baby banging on the front window. My baby. My window. My husband in front of the TV oblivious to the neighbor menacing baby. I won’t even describe the horrors I found inside. We were potty training at the time and there were several “accidents” including one on a half knit sweater that was on the couch, below the window, with the naked baby in it.

  38. Welcome home! I’m glad you’ve come to accept that it can wait a few more days. Get some good knitting in, and relax as much as you can, before you let it drive you crazy again.
    J-clothes = jeans, perhaps?

  39. That’s the spirit! Embrace the horror with the knowledge that it could be so much worse! I got home from SS and promptly came down with the flu (not the stomach kind). Been completely unable to do anything but sleep and knit for the last 6 days. It hasn’t been all bad. I’ve had lots of time to admire the new additions to the stash!

  40. Not that I don’t feel this way every day, pretty much, but I really remember feeling it after getting three straight hours of sleep while my son was an infant. I loved my son to pieces, and my life, filthy and sleep deprived as it was. The mess was part of the landscape.

  41. Some day, when we all look back on where we’ve been and what we’ve accomplished, we won’t remember the dust or the laundry that didn’t get done, we’ll remember the comfort of home and the knitting we’ve done. My mind is good to me this way.

  42. I have come to realize that when I leave for the day, I make sure my bed is made and there is toilet paper in the bathroom and the dishes are pretty much done. If the house is still standing when I get home , I am happy. I like the clean enough to be healthy, but dirty enough to be homey.

  43. My husband used to have to travel a lot for work (we moved here to get away from that job) and I remember how relieved I was when a columnist I’d read for a long time wondered out loud why it was that the reunions she and her husband so looked forward to during trips away from each other always got messed over by the high expectations they both had each time, starting right there at the airport.
    I so love that you were able to just come home and enjoy. Joe is a peach–and so are you. Welcome to truly home!

  44. I got home last Monday night late from SSII. Lots of love from the family because they missed my cooking. We just had time to change bags and then drive to Georgia for a family reunion. Got back from that on Sunday. Today, Tuesday, the love is gone. My husband took all of the things that I bought/was given at SSII and put it in the middle of our bedroom and said to me, “Please clean that up. Why do you need all of this yarn, when you already have a closet full?” Back to reality.

  45. Life lessons from the Universe! It really IS possible to relax and knit among the wee dust bunnies and fridge fungus. Once you clean it just gives them permission to come back with friends – so you may as well take your time – enjoy your days of rest and bask in the gratitude for a wonderful Summit!

  46. Glad to hear that the blanket is coming along. When you wrap the baby in it, can we play “Guess the Gender” again?

  47. I think J Cloths may be like Handi Wipes (disposable cleaning cloths). Did I guess right?

  48. The crap only takes a short weekend to pile up at my house. I haven’t yet achieved that zen place of which you speak — the “i don’t care” place still escapes me.

  49. This is why we love you Stephanie-you are so authentic. I traveled extensively this summer and was so glad to be home and in my own bed that I too do not mind the trashed house and chose knitting over cleaning. Welcome home.

  50. I have the same kinds of “reentry” issues but I found them greatly reduced by hiring someone to come in and vacuum, clean the kitchen and give the bathrooms a once-over. I am not above hiring the family member who should be doing this stuff whether I am here or not. And now I do not come through the door gritting my teeth.

  51. I used to be a fanatic about a clean house; it has taken me years to finally learn that housework is entirely overrated! Enjoy your life and knit away!

  52. And you are the only one who really cares what the house looks like so just sit down and enjoy yourself. It will all be there for you tomorrow – or next week. Welcome home!

  53. This is why the husband and I are considering coming up with the money to hire help with the housework, say every other week. Then at least two days a month the house would be pristine, all at once, for a few hours. There are three adults in the house right now, and things do get done. Just not all at once and not to that level of wonderful. Plus, it’s another way to put money in our community’s economy – hire help. (c:

  54. I feel the same way, only I’m never so tired as you are right now to find it all charming. I hate coming home after being away. I mean, really, could someone just love me enough to want me to come home to a nice and clean house ?

  55. Sounds like my house, only I didn’t just mastermind Sock Summit. I just work nights full time. I have a spouse with a full time job, and three kids (plus another away at school). None of us is very good at doing all of a job – clothes get washed and dried, and often go no further than the floor next to the machine or a basket, that sort of thing. I stopped thinking I could do it all or that I was even supposed to a long time ago.
    I think I got behind somewhere around baby #2 (when the guest room/craft room got turned into someone’s bedroom) and have never caught up.
    In my kitchen I have a small print that says “A messy kitchen is a sign of character – wait until you meet the character that lives here”.
    Enjoy reveling in the home-ness of being home. Wishing you well deserved wine/beer and chocolate soon!

  56. Wait, I’ve got it! J-Cloths are quasi-disposable cleaning cloths sold in Canada. They’re sort of disposable, but everyone Steph knows washes them. I think. They were mentioned sometime in the last year, maybe? (Who knew cleaning accoutrements could be mysterious?)

  57. The problem with hiring someone is that all the clutter gets put where that person thinks it belongs and you spend the next few days/weeks looking desperately for all those things you need. right. now.
    Glad you have achieved the Zen of welcome home and echo others’ wishes that when the cleaning bug hits it does so gently, allowing you to continue to bask in all that you have accomplished – not just Sock Summit! I believe there is a book soon to be released, no?
    Thanks for everything Harlot!!! Enjoy!

  58. Totally understand. Absolutely hate coming home to dirty dishes, etc., after an evening out … much less time away. After a nice time, I come home and scream (internally) and wash dishes.
    But real question — no baby yet? The sympathies of all womankind on your friend!

  59. Yay! Glad you made it home safely.
    I agree with the others…it’s time for a cleaning service to come by and help you shine-up the place. With the money you may or may not give you kids as an allowance use it to pay for it.
    It’s also time Joe and the kids started pitching in too. Haven’t they learned to clean up after themselves, at least when you go out of town? Is that too much to ask? If they use it, clean it.
    I feel for you, but if that’s the way you like it, I’m happy, if you’re happy. 🙂

  60. Welcome! Knit to your heart’s content. The mess isn’t going anywhere. Of course, that us what I’d do too!

  61. One of my fridge magnets: “Boring women keep immaculate homes.”
    Phyllis Diller: “Housework…you cook, you vacuum, you scrub…and then 6 months later, you have to do it all over again!” (or words to that effect)
    No one will ever put on your gravestone, “Her home was always clean & neat,” so why bother?

  62. You have inspired me. I also ruin my homecomings. Each time I tell myself that I should expect the mess and not react, but I don’t listen to myself. I am leaving in the morning and will likely return to a mess on Sunday. I will not react. I will enjoy being home. I am going to say this over and over and maybe it will work.

  63. It’s nice that you appreciate your home, and probably much nicer for your family too.

  64. I used to say that my imaginary family, the one that I missed when I was gone and imagined seeing when I was on the way home was nicer than my real family and the imaginary home, the one that I pictured myself coming home to, was sooo much nicer than my real one. Then I just decided to expect the real family and home, then when I got home I wasn’t disappointed. It helped, some. I did always hold a space in my heart for my imaginary family. They are so sweet!
    Once while we were on vacation, some friends with our house key surprised us and cleaned while we were gone and I came in to a freshly clean house. It was amazing!

  65. So the Portland atmosphere go through to you, did it? Things are different out here. Glad you got home safe and sound — saw you at SS11 but I didn’t like to go all stalker-ish fangirl and demand a picture and autograph. A discreet Kinnearing shot was all I took home. Hope to see you again at SS13.

  66. Expectations are what ruin most situations.
    I learned that when I got home from a trip,
    it worked best if I waited until my husband
    told me about his experiences while I was
    away, before I told about mine. No clash,
    all sweetness.
    If the miracle happens and you come home and
    the house _isn’t_ trashed, be sure to thank
    them! I once thought my DH hadn’t cooked
    much, and it turned out he had washed the
    dishes to surprise me, and he was hurt that
    I “hadn’t noticed.”

  67. I’ve always felt a clean house is overrated….unfortunately, I probably err too much on that side. Mess? What mess?
    Though I do want to know what it is that compels cats to cough up hairballs in the most hidden places they can find. While I’m out, of course, so I don’t know about it til I move something and find it and go…when the heck did that happen? Ah, pet ownership.

  68. You’ve got it, Steph. Nobody can steal your joy without your permission. Not even the stuff that usually would send you to the moon. Enjoy your time at home, and ease back into it.

  69. I got home early this evening after a fairly hellish day of traveling, too, and was equally thrilled to see my trashed house. After spending two weeks with my wonderful daughter who I love dearly, who lives in the midst of beautiful mountains, I am thrilled with life right now. Even if I got within 150 miles of Portland and still didn’t manage to make it to Sock Summit, which I know must have been truly fantastic! Home is a wonderful place, isn’t it, even with all the mess and chaos?

  70. Yup – you’ve definitely reached your travel quota for a little bit. Cozy up to the mess … and hey, let’s hope there’s still coffee in the house, eh? 🙂

  71. If you do ever figure out how you made the switch from “Ahh I’m home, but I can’t relax until it’s clean” to “Ahhh, I’m home, f@#$ the mess”, please let me know! And Welcome Home!

  72. Welcome home. You have had a brief moment of clarity on the joy of home – family, love, familiarity, safety, security, etc. There will always to be time to tidy up.

  73. Ok. I know exactly what happened. You and I have switched somehow. I have spent the past several weeks cleaning, organizing, finding my house under the mess, and plan to continue for months. It’s like the year you took my 2nd 27 and I took an extra 28 for you. We do this occasionally, you and I, and if it weren’t for your blog, neither of us would ever realize we’re slightly connected by the strange quarks in the universe. 🙂

  74. I got home from Sock Summit bliss to a week without my boss, which meant I had my job and his job, too. So I knit and began washing a fleece and remembered what a great time I had and how there were knitters everywhere, great knitters, awesome knitters, famous knitters, kind knitters who scooped me up and took me to Kells when I didn’t have dinner plans and … it was all better. It’s STILL better. Thanks.

  75. If my house would stay clean for more than five minutes, I’d consider cleaning it more often.
    It doesn’t help that I live with a pack-rat. And on the corner of two dirt roads… *sigh*
    I like to clean before I leave for a trip. Granted, you weren’t able to do this, because you were quite busy working and you still had people in the house while you were gone. But, it’s nice to come home to a clean house. So, I make sure all the garbage cans are emptied, the dishes are washed, and the sheets are changed. That way, the house doesn’t smell and we can collapse (weary from our travels) into a nice clean bed.

  76. While I’m very happy to hear that you’re enjoying home so much, the news of the mess pisses me off a bit for you. They’re all grown-ups (or near enough to lift a vacumn or empty the dishwasher.) When my Mom came home (even from work) the house BETTER be clean or she’d be a nasty b**ch. I lived with anxiety about that for years (so congrats to you for letting it go I guess)

  77. My house is still thoroughly trashed, and all I did was ATTEND Sock Summit. And I live in Portland, and traveled to the Convention Center each day. What’s my excuse?

  78. What is this ‘housework’ that you speak of?
    Or as my dear mother used to put it – a house should be clean enough to be healthy, untidy enough t live in. Knitting first!

  79. There’s nothing like being away from home and being ridiculously busy before I leave, to make me really appreciate both my house and my family when I finally get back home, even if the house is a total mess. There’s just something about being home that is so awesome you just don’t care that you’ll being doing 5 loads of laundry everyday for 4 days straight, or that the cat litter box has evolved into a new life form. It’s also really nice in the summer when life seems to get crazy busy, to just take a day off and knit or spin. It definitely sounds like you deserve some time off. Between company, and all other kinds of crap, I’ve been seriously craving some down time. I finally took a few hours yesterday and started a new knitting project. I really needed a brainless social knitting project that I could work on while watching a movie with my family or at my spinning and knitting group. What bliss! I actually got about 8″ of the lace scarf done, which for me “The Slowest Knitter In The World” is a freaking miracle! Enjoy your knitting time. The sad thing is that the mess will still be there when you’re ready to tackle it LOL!

  80. Steph, Thank you SO much for the Summit! My husband and I have had our house on the market since April which means it is “decluttered” (no knitting lying around when I leave for work each day, laundry always put away, books, magazines and newspapers swept off the endtables, dishes always done) and in sparkling condition every day. It takes too much time and it feels like its heart is gone; lovely, but doesn’t feel like my home. I know there is a sweet spot somewhere between the extremes but right now I am missing the piles.

  81. I loved sock summit, but there is something wonderful about being HOME.
    Up until the not caring part, you totally had me. Rocky describes my homecomings from such events as stressful. My comments that it would be less stressful if he cleaned at any time other than the 4 hours prior to my arrival are met with the same consternation as Joe apparently experiences.
    I wonder if some day I’ll care less? Maybe when I’m as tired as you. I’m still hoping that they’ll clean more. 🙂
    Welcome home.

  82. Welcome Home! That Baby Blanket is way more important than scrubbing and dusting. Relax and enjoy.

  83. J-cloths?!? I can’t believe you that you don’t have stacks of hand knit dish cloths…

  84. After watching the coverage of the Somalia famine, I think it’s time you mention donating to Doctors without Borders. Just a suggestion.

  85. You had a wonderful if exhausting experience and you have a mission to finish the baby blanket before it’s baby time. Housework be damned!

  86. Your children are all over 16 and so is your husband. If they can’t do a minimum of cleaning, it’s time they started. If they won’t start maybe the girls especially need to be reminded that you are not running a hotel or boarding house for their convenience.

  87. Not having any of your very good reasons as to why the house is trashed, I must, really, make some time to deal with it. I’ve run out of excuses: It’s too hot (we have no AC), there’s construction in the garage (sawdust), there’s drywall dust coming in from the garage (major dust), and, finally, I don’t wanna!

  88. Congrats on another successfull SS!!!!!
    You need to be kinder to yourself. You have been working hard, and do not need to now live in guilt-land for doing it. If I were you, I would treat myself to having someone come in and clean during the pre- and post- SS chaos. It would help you, it would relieve that little bit of guilt, and it would give someone a job, although temporarily. Your assistant may know a college student with time off in the summer, who would appreciate the work. Perhaps a neighbor knows someone. There are many ways to find a person to help with the domestic chores when you are so busy.
    Personally, I HATE to keep house, but do it out of necessity. If I had the opportunit to sluff it off on someone else, I would do so in a heartbeat. If you work this out now, you will be able to have the person come in when you are travelling, when you are buried under a pile of work, including book deadlines, and it will eliminate that extra stress factor.
    You deserve it!!

  89. Isn’t it nice to know you’re needed?
    You know, the saying around these parts is, Why spend your life cleaning dirt? When you die they’re just gonna bury you in it anyway! Have fun and knit on!

  90. Cleaning is over-rated, where as knitting can never be over-rated….a new meaning to Knit Happy! (My mess is my mess. I know what is there. Nothing is going to sprout legs and run!)
    Glad you are home safely, sanely, less intensely and happily!

  91. After sitting in Sea-Tac for almost two days – who cares what the house looks like – at least you’re in your house. Glad you are home safely. When is that baby due again? ;>)

  92. You deserve it! Thank you for putting so much effort into all you do, and someday, I am hoping to reap the benefits of your hard work and make it to sock summit! PS: the flash mob was soooo right on!!!

  93. The trick is to get everyone in the house together, at dinner say, and schedule half an hour the next day. Find a time that works for everyone, and write a massive list of everything that needs doing, and then everyone works like a demon for half an hour, in exchange for not being asked to do any other chores that day.
    That way, you get done in half an hour the work that it would have taken you two hours or more to do alone.

  94. A medical study several years ago determined that allergies and asthma are on the rise because people are living in too sterile conditions at their work places and homes (windows always closed, air filtered by AC, etc.) Now I tell my husband and visitors to my home: you see a layer of dust; I see a layer of antibiotic.

  95. My feelings exactly and there is no one to blame but me for the mess in my house. I have a pretty high tolerance.

  96. What I want to know is what the heck are you doing with coffee? Wouldn’t a couple of beers help you to ignore the trash even better? Plus I’m with JoezGal who puts a layer of dust in the same category as penicillin. I’ll have to remember that…next week.

  97. “…be it ever so humble…” or messy! there is no place like it. I’m so glad you’re home safe. You deserve some peace & knitting time.
    I had possibly the best birthday week -SS11- of my adult life and you & Tina organized it.

  98. So glad I’m not the only one with a mess. I think there is a floor in my knitting room. One day I’ll find it!

  99. Lovely you are home sdafe & snug. One word, “Housekeeper”. Arrives one day before your return home. Voila.

  100. I just wish the dish sculptures in the sink could be transferred to the dishwasher by the end of the day, when I come home exhausted and cranky from work. Oh, and the dog & 2 cats fed, and the kitty litter box cleaned.
    I make this request every morning before I leave for work, reinforce it with a text in the mid-afternoon, and am still amazed that this occurs maybe twice a week, by a teenager who has nothing (honestly) to do.
    Trying to focus on the positive of twice a week at this point, and thinking only 2 more years until she joins her sister away at college somewhere, and then all the mess is only mine!

  101. I’m glad you are getting to have a rest and some me time. The mess can wait.
    I live in the constant chaos that is our home everyday (no busy trips away required for our mess), but as long as I have
    a space to sit and knit I’m at ease for the most part. Being able to let the housework slide a little makes for a lot less stress.
    We’ve had shocking riots here the last few days, anyone who comes to visit will probably think the rooters came here (though we don’t have broken glass in our mess). It’s a good excuse to stay inside and knit more and try to encourage more people into peaceful knitting.
    Enjoy your new found ability to ignore the mess while it lasts, you never know someone might take the recycling out or dust for you!

  102. Welcome home! Even chaos feels good when it’s your own brand of chaos.
    When you catch your breath, I hope there will be a report on the Fleece to Foot contest. Saw videos of the flash mob, and the sheering and starting to spin. Dying to know how far the teams got in producing an actual complete pair of socks!

  103. rechanrge, knit and when the clean bug hits, that will be the time to clean.
    I am unemployed….yet again, and my house is not so clean either. I am knitting, spinning and catching up on email. when I finally put down my wool combs and see the mess and realize that the house is a mess…THEN I will get to it.
    You do the same…

  104. Oh, YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Couldn’t imagine being in a place so darn dirty. Why are you the only one who cleans? Doesn’t anyone else in your home help out? If not, why not-it’s their home, too! Just disgusting. Time for them to ‘woman up’!

  105. As they say in Sweden “Away is good, but home is best”. Enjoy being home, the mess will wait, but you’ll never get this time back…

  106. Housework is highly over-rated. You need a certain amount of crud/mess to keep your immune system alert to invasions. My other motto which has served me well for the last 60 years (I adopted it very young) is ‘never do today what you can put off until tomorrow’. Knit on.

  107. You cracked. Quite simply, you snapped. Insanity is blissful, isn’t it. Let the sane people worry and fret themselves into the grave. Enjoy the bliss and the knitting. To heck with the rest.

  108. you are definitely an inspiration. if i could ever achieve this sort of zen like acceptance of total disorder after a week away for work, i would be overjoyed. in the future, i’m going to try and adopt your approach and sit and knit in the middle of the chaos!

  109. Having just returned home from a long and arduous union convention without my knitting to an underwhelming performance by the members of my household who remained home, I am either calling the divorce lawyer or grabbing the vacuum. That sound you hear is vacuuming. Sigh.

  110. I found a sign that said “Martha Stewart Doesn’t Live Here”.
    I am boggled by women whose homes are sparkling and they knit. Wait, only one project at a time. They HAVE future projects, but they only have ONE to work on at a time.
    Sick Sick Sick

  111. When my kids were home and I was on the road a great deal, we would do a Saturday morning blitz. Set the timer for 15 minutes, work like crazy to get rid of the clutter. Whatever got done in 15 minutes was enough. Our reward was muffins. We also did afternoon blitzes, then had ice cream. Taught the kids that it wasn’t a major job to neaten up the house and made it a game. I still blitz, but now the reward is knitting time.

  112. Speaking of baby blankets, I recently took your snowdrop shawl and turned it into a baby blanket. The side that was your pattern worked out much better, very well designed pattern, my interpretation wasn’t so great but I know that the baby will appreciate it anyways. Thanks for being a constant inspiration to me.

  113. Wonderful SS again! When we were in a KOA campground not too far from the Grand Canyon, a group of teenagers were in the laundry room and not one of them knew how to put soap in the washing machine to wash their own dirty clothes. Life skills should be taught at home so they can finally leave home and at least be clean and tidy.

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