Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Home Alone

Nope, this isn't a movie review, but rather a continuation of the “Getting Ready for Conference” blogs. We've talked about coping at your first conference, our efforts to lose weight (I'm down 5 pounds and if I never eat tuna again I will die a happy woman), super-duper packing lists and how to win prizes while we're gone.

But there's still one more aspect of leaving I need to take care of (besides my pre-conference haircut (tomorrow) and manicure and pedicure (Monday afternoon).
I need to make sure the DH is taken care of.

Before I board that flight to San Francisco next week, I have to make sure he has clean clothes and plenty to eat. “Leave him a bunch of take out menus,” I hear from one corner of the audience. “Let him do his own laundry,” says another.

Yeah, I could do that. But for the past twelve years I've had the privilege of being a stay-at-home wife and mother, and part of the deal was that I handled the housework, laundry and cooking. He can do all those things. He did them on a regular basis while I worked because we had a weekly chores schedule posted on the fridge door every week.

Besides, we all know that restaurant food isn't the healthiest fare around. It's okay once in a while, but not every day. He has to travel fairly frequently on business and must eat out then. So when he's home, he needs good, healthy food.
Since 2000, the DH has been on a health and fitness kick. He's in the gym at least 4 days a week and plays competitive volleyball. So I'd hate for him to eat calorie-laden, sodium-infused food and blow his diet while I'm having fun in San Francisco eating overpriced bagels and rubber conference-luncheon chicken.

So I'll hit the supermarket before I leave and stock up on plenty of salad fixins and meats he can easily grill or nuke. I'll make sure there's a fresh half-gallon of 2% milk in the fridge and a full box of his favorite organic granola in the pantry. I'll have plenty of peanut butter and Polaner strawberry fruit spread for his favorite snack. And I'll get an extra loaf of wheat bread and tuck it away in the freezer.

I know, I know. I've spoiled him rotten. But spoiling works two ways. I have limited income from my writing and I pay for as much of my RWA expenses as I can. But when that runs out, he flips his Amex card to me and says “Go and have a good time.” So the very least I can do is make sure he has clean socks and underwear and stock the pantry, freezer and fridge.

The other Playfriends have babysitter and/or petsitter issues to tend to as well. So their “home alone” preparations are more extensive than mine cause it's a heck of a lot easier to stock a fridge than line up sitters for a week. Been there, done that too.

For some reason, I don't think the rabbits invading our backyard will notice I'm gone. But I do need to remember to put my potted outdoor plants by a sprinkler head so they'll get some water while I'm gone.

Then after I've left my heart in San Francisco I can come back home, crash for a few days (conference always leaves me exhausted, but it's a good kind of exhaustion) and get back in the swing of the routine at home. But only after I've downloaded my camera and sent the pictures to Angel. ;-)

Do you ever travel and leave your spouse and/or kiddies home alone?


Lynn Raye Harris said...

Yeah, it's midnight-thirty and I'm here. I'm pulling an all-nighter. I am NOT happy. Who said this writing gig was fun? I'd like to thwap 'em right about now.

Ahem. PM, I'm amazed at what your hubs will do. I could leave a grocery aisle in my house, complete with prepared foods, and my hubby would never touch it. The man can barely, rarely, hardly rip the plastic off a Lean Cuisine. No way is he fixing a salad or reheating a pre-cooked meal I've made.

He won't even fix a sandwich. Oh, it's not that he doesn't know how. Or hasn't done it in the past. He just thinks it's easier to drive half a mile down the road and get someone to fix it for him. The health argument won't work for just a week.

Word verif: etmeru. Is that like "Et tu, Brute," but for writers on deadline? Et mer u (get back to work!).....

Jane said...

I'm not married and don't have any kids, so it's pretty easy for me to come and go. I do still have to make sure the to throw out any food that might go bad while I'm away and remember have my mail on hold. Are you all done packing for San Francisco?

Instigator said...

Luckily, babysitting arrangements were already made - my mom and mom-in-law have been watching the girls this summer. And 'Zilla cooks for us - although I do stock the pantry which I'll need to do before I leave.

I'm honestly more worried about being gone right up until the first day of school. The girls' open house is the day we fly home and their first day is the next day. I have their uniforms ready to go, bought new book bags, they get their supplies from school...and still I think I'm going to miss/forget something for them. And then I'll feel very guilty. Not that I needed any help with that. I already feel guilty for leaving them for a week. But not enough to stay home.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you two are a perfect match. Yes, it works both ways.

Hope you have a blast and want to hear all about it.

I dont travel a lot but a few times I went away with my girlfriend who works for the airlines for a looong weekend - it was fun. I did leave some food for him. But he is pretty good on his own, except for doing laundry, lol.

Have fun.
Pat L.

Jen said...

My husband is lazy. Bottom line. I used to travel with my job and I'd leave prepared meals in the fridge...and come back to find them still in the fridge and have to throw them out. Nope, can't be bothered to put it in the microwave so my leaving definately doesn't extend to preparing food. Unfortunately, I know my child will have a steady diet of fast food next week.

Anonymous said...

I'm by myself so it's not an issue for me. But you are right, it does work both ways and that's the way it should be, give & take. I hope you ladies have a wonderful time.

Playground Monitor said...

Are you all done packing for San Francisco?

Can you hear me laughing hysterically? I have stuff piled all over my office. I'm still laundering a few things. I have a jacket to pick up at the tailor shop. Hopefully by this time tomorrow the bulk will be in the suitcase.

How'd the all-nighter go, Lynn?


Jolie said...

My husband cooks and does the occasional load of laundry (his), so I'm sure, if I were going, he'd be fine himself. My kids, on the other hand...he's a great dad, but doesn't do baths and he doesn't care if they wear mismatched shoes. They'd be fed and happy, but they'd look like little runaways. :( I'd definitely have to delegate cleaning and clothing duty to the sitter. :)

Liza said...

I single, so I can pretty much come and go with no issues. However, I'm having foot surgery in a few weeks and I'm trying to get my house ready for my family to come stay with me. Storing things I don't use much and cleaning out cabinets and drawers so things can be put away by other people.

I can't wait to hear about all the fun y'all have in SF!

Angel said...

I usually stock up on snacks, breakfast foods, and frozen things for any time I'm gone. My hubby is more than happy with fast food for a week, but doesn't always have time to go get it. So the children get a steady diet of frozen pizza and mac'n cheese while I'm gone. Not that different from when I'm here, so I can't compain.


Maven Linda said...

I'm in the process of packing, marking details off the Master List as I go. One thing I did was replace the battery in my travel alarm clock; Conference is not the time to have a dead battery! You can't rely on wake-up calls or the hotel clocks.

I have the laundry almost caught up, though the man has enough clothes that he wouldn't run out even if I didn't do the laundry for a month. He can feed himself, an issue we addressed years ago, when I told him that a grown, fully-competent man who couldn't manage to feed himself DESERVED to starve. Hey, I worked longer hours than he ever did, so I was really short in the sympathy department.

Taking care of the girls (my dogs) is the big issue. I leave detailed instructions on how much to feed them, when to feed them, what medications they're on and when to take them, what treats they can have, etc. He's as crazy about them as I am, so that's no issue, and if he has things to do away from home we have a friend who dog-sits and spoils them worse than we do.

So far, I'm on schedule, but with all the repairs going on here this week (lightning hit us night before last, knocking out the garage doors, the security system, DSL, and satellite TV) I might fall behind. As I write this, the garage door people and the satellite people are on the way. Fingers crossed.

Angel said...

Hugs on all the repairs, Linda! Taking care of all that stuff is a pain.

I came home yesterday to find a storm have once again knocked limbs out of our Bradford pears trees (hate those things!). One particularly large one is down in the driveway. At least that is incentive for the hubby to cut it up. But the kids and I will be hauling limbs later this week.


Smarty Pants said...

When I go out of town, I leave DB with the obligatory collection of frozen meals, pizza, soda and a loaf of bread. He'll hit the drive thru otherwise.

Lightning? Treelimbs? I'm glad, today at least, that I have zero landscaping.

Instigator said...

Yikes, Linda! I hope they get everything back up and running for you quickly.


Playground Monitor said...

Yeah, ouch on that lightning strike. We had a strike near our house last month but it only fried our thermostat and jumbled the security system programming. They were both easy fixes. Some of our neighbors, however, weren't so lucky. Several had damage to their air conditioning systems and kitchen appliances. Some had phone and internet outages.

I drove home in the first wave of that storm yesterday, Angel. I got home before round two hit. When the DH came home from work, he said there was a tree across the road leading into our area. Glad I missed that!

Playground Monitor said...

LOL Jolie about your kids looking like runaways. I remember when my boys were small and insisted upon dressing themselves. They looked like little ragamuffins.

And once, one of the boys insisted he could pack his own suitcase for a long trip. I let him, but sneaked in while he was outside and peaked. He'd packed one pair of shorts and about a dozen t-shirts for a week-long trip. No underwear, no socks. I evened things out, added socks and undies and put his suitcase in the car. At some point during the trip he had an "Oh crap!" moment and said "Mom, I didn't pack any underwear." I let him go for an hour or so before I told him I'd remedied the situation. I'm pretty sure he never left on a trip without underwear again.

Which reminds me... I need to select the undies I want to pack and make sure they're all clean.

Problem Child said...

Storms? How's my house, SP?

Greetings from the West Coast, where we're having a great time. Giant redwoods are, indeed, GIANT. Wow!

It is also quite chilly here. Bring a sweatshirt--not a little cardy, not a long sleeved t-shirt, a fleece sweatshirt...and probably a jacket. You'll need it--especially if you're going to do some sightseeing. Highs yesterday on the coast were in the mid 60s, although once you get inland, it jumps up to the low 90s.

I'll try to report back on weather conditions in SF after the weekend. But let's just say I don't plan on being outside much in my grown-up clothes!

Miss y'all!!

Kathy said...

I'm starting to get worried. I haven't done anything yet to get ready. I've not made my lists, only mental notes. I've got this Golf Tournament to prepare for on Saturday and I haven't even prepared for it.

As far as the DH goes, I don't worry about him. The first time I left him, he was fixing meals, and making the kids wax on and wax off to polish our hardwood floors. Needless to say, the kids were glad to see me when I got back. The Col. sure knows how to run things his way when I'm gone. LOL.

I watched a tree fall across the road yesterday while I was sitting at a traffic light.

Wishing you get everything back in working order, Linda! God speed!

#4, my baby, is 17 today!!!

Lynn Raye Harris said...

This is Zombie Lynn replying. Thanks, PM, for asking. I think it's going okay. Much yet to do. Another long night in store. I think I hate coffee right now....

PC, the storms were on the north side of 72. We didn't get a thing, so no worries about your house.

Angel said...

Yay, PC!!! Waves!!!!


PM's Mother said...

LOL! Like Mother like Daughter! I don't think there has ever been a trip packed for in my last thirty years that I have not had to launder undies the night before I depart. (And I have a huge supply of undies.) I just don't do laundry as often as most least not as long as the undies hold out! Love you, learn something useful and have fun!

Michele L. said...

Yes when I go away I make sure my husband is stocked to the gills with all his favorite foods. Pizza, hamburgers, french fries, peanut butter, diet coke/pepsi, etc. He is a very good cook but only when I am at home. He doesn't like to cook elaborate meals for himself.

I also do the wash before I go. I am forever washing my clothes before a trip. It always happens that way it seems. I make my list of things to remember a couple of weeks ahead. Then as the time grows near I start putting things in my suitcase. I invariably forget something though! Murphy's Law I think!

Have a great week everyone! Friday is only 2 days away! Hurray!

Michele L.