How does it happen? One day the house looks neat and tidy and the next…… Where did I store the squeezo? How can I be out of antibiotic cream? I just saw those shoes someplace. Where’s the quilt I put on the sofa when the grandkids are sleeping over?

I have some excuses. I have had a ton of company with kids and grandkids sleeping on every available flat surface. Canning season has started and the garden calls. I have a young adult foster child preparing for independent living and we have been picking up pots and pans and such at tag sales for months. But some of this chaos is just sloppiness. I have my systems and they work well but it takes only a few days of not paying attention and things fall apart. Clutter springs up like weeds and there are days when it seems easier to move than to clean. But Ben and Maggie return home today and it’s time to get this place back in order.

I’m particularly anxious as we are making some changes around here. Bruce has begun installing the new windows (beautiful!) and, as long as things are torn up anyway we have decided to pull down an exterior wall and rebuild it with, of all things, insulation. Our house was built with very little space between exterior wall and interior plaster. We had some insulation blown in years ago but there is really too little space for it to do much good. If we pull down the wall we can insulate properly and rebuild with the loss of only a few inches in the room. But here’s where the project turns into a kind of “Give A Mouse A Cookie” book. As long as one wall is down, we might as well install the two sliding doors in the other wall that would make the closet usable. Right now it’s a 14 foot long useless space tucked under the eaves. Only a hobbit could manage to get to the back of it through the one tiny door.

And did I mention that we are replacing the old furnace with two new ones; a propane furnace vented through one wall and a wood furnace vented through a repaired chimney. Of course repairing the chimney means more wall demolition.

All of these projects will help with our energy consumption and ultimately may save us a good deal of money but for now they are just one giant migraine with a helping of poverty and panic.

So today I head off to the registry so Jackie can take her driving test. Then I get back here and take Phoebe to the pediatrician to get her toe looked at. Then back home to make an early dinner for Ben and Maggie so we can get them to the airport. Then back home to put the spare bedroom they used back together-or is it take the room apart- or is it to heck with it and schedule a date with the deck swing and a bottle of wine?