I’ve realized muttering under my breath isn’t working, so here we go.


  1. Always read all of the House Rules. Don’t skim. Read. 
  2. If you produce a piece of trash or recycling (food wrapper, can, K-Cup*, band-aid trash, toilet paper roll, etc.), please place it in the appropriate nearby receptacle. I have strategically located them throughout the house. How convenient! Leaving it on the counter for Mom/Wife to deal with sort of makes you an a-hole. It means you think my time is less valuable than yours and it’s my job to pick up after you. Or it means you are being lazy. Don’t be either. 
  3. If you produce a dirty dish, it should be placed in the dishwasher. Not left on the counter. Not put in the sink. Not put near the sink. Listen, I know you don’t want to open the dishwasher because you are afraid the dishes are clean and the dishwasher will then need to be emptied. In this case, get courageous and take 5 minutes and empty the dishwasher! And THEN put your dirty dish inside the dishwasher. Not in the sink. Not near the sink. Remember what I said in Rule #2? Don’t be either. 
  4. Dirty clothes belong in dirty clothes hampers or in the laundry chute. Towels belong on towel hooks or towel bars/racks. BUT: NO WET TOWELS IN HAMPERS. Hang it up, let it dry, and then place in dirty clothes areas. The laundry fairy will take it from there. One warning though: the laundry fairy isn’t entirely benevolent. If she discovers folded, clean clothes amongst your dirty ones, she reserves the right to freak. 
  5. No citrus on the soapstone counters without a cutting board or plate.
  6. No food in your bedrooms. Bugs. Do you want them?
  7. Glasses and drinks from bedrooms must be removed daily. It’s really just gross otherwise. Starbucks drinks with milk in them two days later? Please stop. 
  8. Toilet seats down unless you like dogs who drink toilet water giving you kisses later. 
  9. If a household good appears to be empty, try to refill it! Paper towels, napkins, K-cups, Keurig Water, dish or hand soap in the dispensers, toilet paper, tissues. It’s not just Mom’s job and it will give you a sense of accomplishment! OK, does that sound like bullshit? It is. Mom doesn’t get a sense of accomplishment from this stuff either. Suck it up and just do it because you are a member of a household. If it appears we are out of a particular good, first: LOOK FOR IT. If you have tried the normal locations and it is unavailable, add it to the list. There is always one going!
  10. Related to #9 above, if we are out of something you enjoy, add it to the grocery list! Don’t complain that we are out of something or that there is nothing to eat. Make the grocery fairy aware that your favorites need to be purchased and they will magically appear again! Crazy, huh?
  11. Don’t leave your junk on the kitchen counters. The kitchen counters are my work space and I wouldn’t leave my junk all over your work space. Computers, phones, bags, wallets, etc. should go in the mud room or in your own rooms/offices when they aren’t in use. Also, the dining room table is not Mud Room #2. 
  12. The secret code word is “TL;DR.” Say the code word to me at 11:11 AM on Saturday, August 17, 2019, and I will give you $100. (*applies to my spouse and children only.)
  13. If you remove a product from a medicine cabinet, use it and put it back when you are done. Unless you are leaving the medication out so people will know that you took it and maybe it was poisoned and here is a CLUE to why she collapsed! Oh, wait, that’s just me. Even so, I put it away after it is all clear and I realize the Aleve was just fine. This time.  
  14. This rule is just like #13, but for pantry and food items. Put them away after usage! Corollaries for #14 include: 
    1. If there is a tablespoon of cereal left in the box, finish it or toss it.
    2. Finish an almost empty box before you open the new one. 
    3. If a snack is stale, don’t put it back. Throw it away. 
    4. For the love of God, don’t open cereal boxes as if you are a maniac. What are you people doing to these boxes? And close them when you are done. They make special tabs for that purpose! But they can’t be used when you open the boxes like wild animals. 
  15. When you leave the basement, turn the lights off. No one likes to go down at 10PM and turn them all off. Especially moms who just want to go to bed and don’t want to go downstairs and see the mess that you created that day. 
  16. Don’t add anything to a to-do list that takes less than 5 minutes. Do it now. 
  17. Don’t yell at barking dogs to be quiet. Don’t ever add to insanity. Quiet it. 
  18. “Don’t get into a pissing match with a skunk. You all end up stinking.” Can you believe that when Nana Grace used to say this, Twitter and Facebook weren’t even invented yet and discourse was generally civil? Can you imagine? 
  19. Put your phones down. Look up from your laptops. Life: it’s like reality TV, but in front of you, and coming at you live!
  20. These people in this house? They love you more than anyone in the world does. Be kind to them always. But follow the rules, OK? 

*Before the Internet freaks, in this house we have reusable and biodegradable/ compostable K-Cups. Jeez. You were ready to pounce, weren’t you?

One thought on “Our House Rules

  1. Hey there! I haven’t checked back with your site since it went on hiatus several years ago. I copied all the recipes that I loved, wished mightily that there would be more one day, and slowly stopped checking in. I’m setting up a new computer and going through all my old stuff to see what stays and what goes and there was a link to your site. I clicked it. I’m so very happy to see new stuff and will start checking in more frequently!

    Most importantly, I hope you and yours have been weathering the pandemic with good health and as much grace as could be mustered.

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