June 18, 2009

Surprise Guests & Travel Prep

This morning we've been visited by that rarest of beasts (in this neck of the woods, anyway) known as the clean kitchen. That's right, folks. The dishes are washed, dried and put away. The counter is free of magazines, bills, batteries, legos, screwdrivers, foam clown noses, DS games and other assorted items. And even the kitchen table is relatively free of debris. All that's left of the unruly pile that hid our table from view for the past two weeks is my laptop, a pile of Ask magazines, a box of scented candles, an iPod, my purse, about a million paint samples (neatly stacked), a Nintendo DS accesory pack box, two books (The Corrections and The Looking Glass Wars), and a medicare summary notice for my grandma. And that's nothing! So I'm feeling free and happy and uncluttered this morning. Therefore, I can blog!

The very first thing I'd like to say, right off the bat, is if you are expecting guests (especially if they are guests you've never met) be sure to write their arrival date on your calendar. And possibly tattoo it to your forehead, or the forehead of your child if, like me, you sometimes manage to pass an entire day without looking in a mirror once. Let me tell you what can happen if you don't heed my advice.

You might be in your kitchen one Monday evening, making a late dinner, and relishing the passing of what you consider to be a stellar unschooling day. Messes were made, books were read, You Tube instructional videos were watched, and electrical toys were taken apart. You might be thinking about your guests from New Zealand, due to arrive on Thursday. Perhaps, if you're like me, you'll wonder if you can clean the entire house and get the guest room ready in one day--Thursday (the day they arrive) because what's the point in cleaning up too soon? The house will just get messy again. Naturally, you'll decide you can.

Then your phone will ring. You won't recognize the name of the person calling but you'll answer anyway. When the woman tells you her name your mind will remain blank (though the New Zealand accent may ring a bell or two way back in the nether regions of your memory) but when she says, "We're at the airport" you'll put your hand over your mouth and shout "OH MY GOD I THOUGHT YOU WERE COMING ON THURSDAY!!" To which the woman will sweetly reply, "No we leave on Thursday."

So, yes, we had our first home exchangers come to stay and I almost left them at the airport with nowhere to go! They forgave me, though. I made it to LAX in record time and luckily Warren arrived at home with just enough time to put clean sheets on the guest bed and clear out the mess--in the guest room anyway--just before we got back. The rest of the house looked--well, lived in. But our visitors didn't seem to mind. We had a busy few days of showing them the sites (La Brea Tar Pits, Farmer's Market, Rodeo Drive, Venice Beach, Griffith Observatory) and enjoying their company before they headed back to New Zealand.

And now we've gone back to getting ready for our own trip. The house swap is only two weeks away now! I haven't had much time to think about what we'll do once we get to France because I've been so busy with the house. I figure we have a nice long plane ride to sort out all that stuff. In the meantime, walls are being painted, fences repaired, flowers planted, curtains sewn, dust bunnies disposed, and huge bags of weeds (54 of them to be exact) are being hefted up to the curb for trash pick up. It'll be like coming home to an entirely new house!

In other news, Jerry has been really into electronics these days. He made a Lego computer mouse by taking the casing off an old mouse and building a new one out of Legos. And he's been enjoying his computer class, and Japanese lessons, and our new DVD player which allows us to stream movies from Netflix onto our TV (at no extra cost!).

Well, the novelty of the clean kitchen is starting to wear off and the rest of the house (mostly the dirty floor) is calling out. I'd better get busy.

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