Ten Rules of Housekeeping

  1. Vacuuming too often weakens the carpet fibers. Say this with a serious face, and shudder delicately whenever anyone mentions Carpet Fresh.
  2. Dust bunnies cannot evolve into dust rhinos when disturbed. Rename the area under the couch “The Galapagos Islands” and claim an ecological exemption.
  3. Layers of dirty film on windows and screens provide a helpful filter against harmful and aging rays from the sun. Call it an SPF factor of 5 and leave it alone.
  4. Cobwebs artfully draped over lampshades reduces the glare from the bulb, thereby creating a romantic atmosphere. If your husband points out that the light fixtures need dusting, simply look affronted and exclaim, “What? And spoil the mood?”
  5. In a pinch, you can always claim that the haphazard tower of unread magazines and newspapers next to your chair provides the valuable Feng Shui aspect of a tiger, thereby reducing your vulnerability. Roll your eyes when you say this.
  6. Explain the mound of pet hair brushed up against the doorways by claiming you are collecting it there to use for stuffing handsewn play animals for underprivileged children.
  7. If unexpected company is coming, pile everything unsightly into one room and close the door. As you show your guests through your tidy home, rattle the door knob vigorously, fake a growl and say, “I’d love you to see our Den, but Fluffy hates to be disturbed and the shots are SO expensive.”
  8. If dusting is REALLY out of control, simply place a showy urn on the coffee table and insist that “THIS is where Grandma wanted us to scatter her ashes…”
  9. Don’t bother repainting. Simply scribble lightly over a dirty wall with an assortment of crayons, and try to muster a glint of tears as you say, “Junior did this the week before that unspeakable accident… I haven’t had the heart to clean it…”
  10. Mix one-quarter cup pine-scented household cleaner with four cups of water in a spray bottle. Mist the air lightly. Leave dampened rags in conspicuous locations. Develop an exhausted look, throw yourself onto the couch, and sigh, “I clean and I clean and I still don’t get anywhere…”

Dust If You Must

Dust if you must.
But wouldn’t it be better
to paint a picture, or write a letter,
bake a cake, or plant a seed.
Ponder the difference between want and need.

Dust if you must.
But there is not much time,
with rivers to swim and mountains to climb!
Music to hear, and books to read,
friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must.
But the world’s out there
with the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
a flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
This day will not come round again.

Dust if you must.
But bear in mind,
old age will come and it’s not kind.
And when you go, and go you must,
you, yourself, will make more dust.

Remember, a house becomes a home when you can
write “I love you” on the furniture.

Green Side Up

A woman wants the inside of her house painted, so she calls a contractor in to help her. They wander around the house, and she points out the colors she wants. She says, “Now in the living room, I’d like to have a neutral beige, very soft and warm.” The contractor nods thoughtfully, then goes to the window, leans out, and yells “Green side up”. The woman is most perplexed, but she lets it slide.

They wander into the next room. She says, “In the dining room, I’d like a light white, not stark, but very bright and airy.” The contractor nods, then he goes to the window, leans out, and yells “Green side up”. The woman is even more perplexed, but still she lets it slide.

They wander further into the next room. She says, “In the bedroom, I’d like blue. Restful peaceful, cool blue.” The contractor nods, then once more he goes to the window, leans out, and yells “Green side up”. This is too much.

The woman has to ask. So she says, “Every time I tell you what I want in a room, you don’t even bother to write it down, but then you yell out the window “Green Side Up”. What on earth does that mean? Are you even paying attention to what I want?”

The contractor recites her color choices from memory, then shakes his head and says, “I have four Finns laying sod across the street, and I have to keep reminding them which side goes up.”

Lovingly dedicated to the memory of Wilho Miller, who often told me this favorite joke as a child.

Diary of a Snow Shoveler

  • December 8: 6:00 PM. It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses Print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!
  • December 9: We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be
    a more lovely place in the Whole World? Moving here was the best idea I’ve ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again.
    I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I
    got to shovel again. What a perfect life.
  • December 12: The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry, we’ll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we’ll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I’ll never want to see snow again. I don’t think that’s possible. Bob is such a nice man I’m glad he’s our neighbor.
  • December 14: Snow lovely snow! 8″ last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snow plow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn’t realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I’ll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn’t huff and puff so.
  • December 15: 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4×4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife’s car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that’s silly. We aren’t in Alaska, after all.
  • December 16: Ice storm this morning. Fell on my butt on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.
  • December 17: Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should have bought a wood stove, but won’t admit it to her. Lord, I hate it when she’s right. I can’t believe I’m freezing to death in my own living room.
  • December 20: Electricity’s back on, but had another 14″ of the damn stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Darn snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they’re too busy playing hockey. I think they’re lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they’re out.

    Might have another shipment in March. I think they’re lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he’s lying.

  • December 22: Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white shit fell today, and it’s so cold it probably won’t melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to piss. By the time I got undressed, pissed and dressed again. I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter; but he says he’s too busy. I think the butthole is lying.
  • December 23: Only 2″ of snow today. And it warmed up to zero degrees. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she nuts!!! Why didn’t she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she’s lying.
  • December 24: 6″. Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the son of a bitch who drives that snowplow, I’ll drag him through the snow by his balls. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I’ve just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was busy watching for the darn snowplow.
  • December 25: Merry Christmas. 20 more inches of the !=3D@x@!x!x1 slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. Lord, I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation, and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she’s an idiot. If I have to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” one more time, I’m going to kill her.

  • December 26: Still snowed in. Why the hell did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She’s really getting on my nerves.
  • December 27: Temperature dropped to -30° and the pipes froze.
  • December 28: Warmed up to above -10°. Still snowed in. THE BITCH is driving me crazy!!!!!
  • December 29: 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That’s the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?
  • December 30: Roof caved in. The snow plow driver is suing me for a million dollars. The wife went home to her mother. 9″ predicted.
  • December 31: Set fire to what’s left of the house. No more shoveling.
  • January 8: I feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?

Signs You Hired the Wrong Contractor

  • Suspicious increase in number of 1-900-DRILLBIT calls charged to your line.
  • Uses “The Clapper” to turn power saw on and off.
  • Paints the living room with 15,000 bottles of White-Out.
  • Shows up with nothing but a strategically placed power drill and a butt crack the size of the Grand Canyon.
  • Flaming pentacle and mutilated goats in your basement.
  • Comes to work with a Bob Vila lunchbox, complete with crazy straw for the thermos.
  • Left hand: sledgehammer. Right hand: Colt 45 Malt Liquor.
  • On the day the insulation is to be put down, shows up wearing Pink Panther costume.
  • Mike Wallace from “60 Minutes” drops by with camera crew.
  • While painting: “One for the wall, one for me, one for the wall,…”
  • Keeps asking you to “adjust my tool, if y’know what I mean.”
  • His see-through teddy shows that he’s confused Victorian style with Victoria’s Secret.
  • Insists on spackling with his genitalia instead of with a trowel.
  • Runs out of shingles and starts using baloney slices.
  • Insists on trying out the new bedroom… with his entire stable of girlfriends.
  • Spends hours in your bathroom, flushing the toilet and saying, “Well I’ll be goldarned!”


One afternoon a man came home from work to find total mayhem in his house. His three children were outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard. The door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to the house. Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall. In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.

In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door. He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife.

He was worried she may be ill, or that something serious had happened. He found her lounging in the bedroom, still curled in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, “What happened here today?”

She again smiled and answered, “You know everyday when you come home from work and ask me what in the world did I do today?”

“Yes,” was his incredulous reply.

She answered, “Well, today I didn’t do it.”

You Know You Need a New Housekeeper When….

  • The good news: Her French maid outfit.
    The bad news: Her beard and mustache.
  • Housekeepers.com instructs you to attach vacuum cleaner and mop to your computer’s USB port.
  • Keeps looking nervously at the TV and asking if you’re planning to watch America’s Most Wanted.
  • Shows up wearing nothing but a strategically-placed feather duster.
  • First question: “Do you fold your towels before you put them away?”
  • “Well, Mr. Kaelin, your credentials check out perfectly. You’re hired.”
  • She’s great with the food budget — but the hamsters are missing and last night’s burgers tasted a bit funky.
  • You find a 4-lb. pork roast under the blanket in the nursery, and the baby wrapped in tinfoil in the freezer.
  • By the time you figured out that your brand-new deluxe model of the Housekeeping-Butler-Maid-o-matic was a bad idea, your wife has left you for the Business-Sportsman-Pornstar 3000.
  • “I’m sorry, but due to a recent federal ruling, I don’t do Windows.”
  • When confronted about nothing being cleaned, insists that “Scrubbing Bubbles does the work so I don’t have too.”
  • She doesn’t do windows, but she *does* do your 14-year-old son.
  • When she is done with your 14-year-old-son, she does your 13 year-old daughter.
  • Well, they don’t call him “Mr. French” because of his accent.
  • Scoot marks on the rug, and you don’t even have a dog.
  • Does windows? Check. Great with the kids? Check. Greets your visitors with, “I KISS YOU!!!!”? Uh-oh.

Being in Prison Versus Being a Housewife

  • In prison you get three square meals a day.
    At home, you cook three square meals a day and try to get your kids to eat it.
  • In prison you get an hour each day in the yard to exercise and mingle.
    At home you get to clean the yard up so you can mow it so your kids can spread more toys all over it so that you can go out and clean it again because little Jr. can’t sleep without his latest LEGO creation.
  • In prison you get to watch TV, cable even.
    At home you get to listen to your children fight over the remote control and get treated to hours and hours of mindless cartoons thanks to cable.
  • In prison you can read whatever you want and attend college for free.
    At home you get to read weekly readers starring Dick, Jane, and Spot and worry about how to send Jr. to college and still be able to eat for the next twenty years.
  • In prison all your medical care is free.
    At home you have to pawn your mother’s silver and fill out trillions of papers for insurance and hope the doctor will see you before you die.
  • In prison, if you have visitors, all you do is go to a room, sit, talk and then say good-bye when you are ready or your time is up.
    At home you get to clean for days advance and then cook and clean up after your guests and hope that they will one day leave.
  • In prison you can spend your free time writing letters or just hang out in your own space all day.
    At home you get to clean your space and everyone else’s space, too, and what the heck is free time again?
  • In prison you get your own personal toilet.
    At home you have to physically hold the bathroom door shut in order to keep from having someone standing over you demanding to know how long till you’re done so you can do something for them.
  • In prison the prison laundry takes care of all your dirty clothes.
    At home you get to take care of them yourself, plus everybody else’s, and get yelled at because somebody’s favorite shirt isn’t clean.
  • In prison they take you everywhere you need to go.
    At home you take everybody else where they need to go.
  • In prison the guards transport all your personal effects for you and make sure nothing is missing.
    At home you have to lug around everybody else’s stuff in your purse and then wonder who went in it and took your last dollar.
  • In prison there are no screaming or whining children or spouses asking you to do something else for them, or screaming at you because you didn’t.
    At home…
    stop me when I get to the downside of jail, will ya?

Diary of a New Cook

Dear Diary,

  • Monday:
    Now home from honeymoon and settled in our new home, it’s fun to cook for Bill. Today I made an angel food cake and the recipe said, “Beat 12 eggs separately.” Well, I didn’t have enough bowls to do that, so I had to borrow enough bowls to beat the eggs in. The cake turned out fine.
  • Tuesday:
    We wanted a fruit salad for supper. The recipe said, “Serve without dressing.” So I didn’t dress. But, Bill happened to bring a friend home for supper that night. Did they ever look startled when I served the salad.
  • Wednesday:
    I decided to serve rice and found a recipe which said, “Wash thoroughly before steaming the rice.” So I heated some water and took a bath before steaming the rice. Sounded kinda silly in the middle of the week. I can’t say it improved the rice any.
  • Thursday:
    Today Bill asked for salad again. I tried a new recipe. It said, “Prepare ingredients, then toss on a bed of lettuce one hour before serving.” I hunted all over the garden by my mom’s. So I tossed my salad into the bed of lettuce and stood over there one hour so the dog would not take it. Bill came over and asked if I felt all right. I wonder why?
  • Friday:
    Today I found an easy recipe for cookies. It said, “Put all ingredients in a bowl and beat it.” Beat it I did, right over to my mom’s house. There must have been something wrong with the recipe, because when I came back home again it looked the same as when I left it.
  • Saturday:
    Bill went shopping today and brought home a chicken. He asked me to dress it for Sunday. I’m sure I don’t know how hens dress for Sunday. I never noticed back on the farm, but I found a doll dress and some little shoes. I though the hen looked real cute. When Bill saw it, I wondered why he counted to 10.
  • Sunday:
    Today Bill’s folks came to dinner. I wanted to serve roast, but all we had in the icebox, was hamburger. So I put it in the oven and set the controls for roast. Must be the oven, because it still came out hamburger.
  • Monday:
    I was going to bake bread today. The recipe said, “Mix well and knead well. Then stand in a warm place until double in bulk.” I just won’t bake bread if I have to double in bulk.

Good night Dear Diary. This has been an exciting week. I am eager for tomorrow to come, so I can try a new recipe on Bill.

New Blue Cheer

One day Jack decided that he was going to show the world his new Blue Cheer laundry detergent. He went up to this lady’s house and asked if he could wash some of her clothes. She agreed. “Okay lady, I will need a blouse, socks, a pair of your dirty underwear and two bowls of water.” “Alright, hold on a second,” and she went to get those things.


The lady smelled her blouse and said, “Oh my, this does smell good! Here try my socks!”


The lady smelled her socks and said, “Wonderful! Here try my underwear!”