Couples and families often have in jokes & catch phrases that turn into short hand too obscure for outsiders even when explained. Lemon difficult is one between me and my husband.

Long ago my friends and I worked to get our hipster cred by slogging through lots of lousy sketches on Saturday Night Live to get the one insider gem that would be all anyone could talk about the following week. Now I pay $7.99 a month for Hulu on Roku so I get the best bits vetted and watch them on my phone over lunch. I digress. Or not.

A while back we saw the most tense, disturbing, political movie I’ve ever watched called “In The Loop”. Beside the fact that it should have been named “Capaldi Live: Cursing as Art Form”, I thought I was going to pass out because I kept holding my breath. There was one deeply funny moment however, that made me laugh until I cried. I still have a hard time repeating the words without cracking up. An idiotic politician tells his staffer to do a profoundly impossible thing at a UN meeting in the middle of a situation that is beyond crisis. He blithely says it will be “Easy peasy, lemon squeezy” and the staffer hisses at him “No it wont, it will be difficult, difficult lemon difficult.”

Things that are currently “Lemon Difficult”:

  • Recommitting to the house we live in. Because, in anticipation of a pending move that was subsequently canceled, many hundreds of books are boxed up. Which makes this the perfect time to paint, rearrange, re-purpose rooms, areas, furniture etc., also known as “The Great Cascade of Work”.
  • Trying to determine the criteria for the project management for “The Great Cascade of Work”. Possibilities include: what do I /we need out of boxes, what room is most annoying to have in chaos, what would be the easiest project to accomplish, what would be the fastest project to accomplish.
  • Writing my annual performance review and objectives. Just this side of torture, this chore takes an inordinate amount of my time because it is all self-assessment which I absolutely suck at.  Hey maybe I will make that Objective II: Suck less at self-assessment. I wish I could do a Survey Monkey with a 5 point Likert Scale…
  • The pending homework for my certification. I am being such a slacker lately what with all the paralyzed staring at walls that I am a bit behind. Where to start.
  • The pending paper that I have not been writing for two solid months (see wall staring above)

The law of Amanda writing would indicate that since I am writing about it, Lemon Difficult must be on its way out. Had the impulse here to launch into a discussion on law v. theory but I really do need to read a few more articles today.

I think I will spend some time this weekend making a Meyer Lemon simple syrup for a Lemon Difficult Cocktail. Much more satisfying than lemonade don’t you think?

Someone asked me, as people do – “Got good plans for the Labor Day weekend?” and I replied Yes! I will be glazing windows! You?

This led to my explaining glazing which is a word that describes the glass itself as well as the caulk like compound used to keep the glass from falling out of the window. Glazing, being exposed to weather, chips, cracks and all around disintegrates which then leads to drafty windows. So it has to be repaired. Actually, to be truthful, what has to happen is:

  1. scrape away old glazing
  2. sand window frame
  3. repair cracked or damaged wood
  4. sand newly repaired cracked or damaged wood
  5. clean window frame
  6. apply new glazing and replace glazing points if needed
  7. allow glazing to cure, apply primer
  8. paint

Glazing is why people get replacement windows.

Still it is Labor Day when, if you’re a home owner, you’re obligated to labor on your house, garage, driveway or deck to begin the countdown to winter. And we live in a tricky weather area, so we could have snow in 30 days or 90 days. I need to look at the Farmer’s Almanac soon.

Owning a house is in itself a labor. Now I know why my parents saw every long weekend and day off of school as an opportunity to round up their children and teach them the meaning of work. In their defense there is a lot to do to keep up a house.

My husband and I are continuing this tradition in that we have made the front porch renovation (glazing, scraping, painting etc.) a family affair. Our daughter is a good with a putty knife and doesn’t mind painting the low bits so we can save our old, old knees.  This allowed me to blow off the Mormon missionary guys making their rounds last weekend when they offered to help.  I said we were training our daughter for when she owns her own house, so they went away. Its nice that they offer to help. I never accept.

The last thing I said to the woman today – who now knows all about glazing windows – was ‘Dont ever buy a house.’

Her face lit up like I gave her a gift. She told me she didn’t want to buy a house, but everyone in her family kept telling her it was time to buy a house, and renting is like throwing your money out the window, and I was the first person to ever tell her it was a bad idea to buy a house.

I told her a house is tons of work and responsibility and owning a house is not a symbol of adulthood. And if she absolutely had to own something she could someday think about a condo, but don’t rush it.  If she gets the urge to buy a house she can come over my place and caulk the tub, or clean gutters or something else necessary and disgusting and just get it out of her system.

Happy long weekend non-home owners!

Using a time management system I have developed a three part list of fall household chores. What “Should” be done, What “must” be done and what “Will” be done. From this I have distilled the essential “First Priority” list from which all work will flow.

Fall Chores (archive after 22dec11, because by then, its time for winter chores anyway)

Should Be Done:
Rake leaves
Mow /mulch lawn one more time
Tidy front garden
Tidy back garden
Tidy far back garden
Wash exterior windows
Caulk windows
Clean garage
Clean and store outdoor furniture
Drain and store rain barrel and garden hoses
Empty, clean and store all planters
Repair and winterize hot tub
Clean basement (see store outdoor furniture above)
Take down, launder and store summer curtains.
Wash interior windows
Weatherstrip where needed
Hang winter drapes
Launder and store summer bedding.
Unpack winter bedding
Store summer clothes, unpack winter clothes (cull and bag items for charity)
Deliver items to charity

Must be Done
Rake leaves
Mow /mulch lawn one more time
Tidy front garden
Caulk windows
Clean and store outdoor furniture
Drain and store rain barrel and garden hoses
Store all planters
Take down, launder and store summer curtains & bedding
Hang winter drapes and pull out winter bedding
Store summer clothes, unpack winter clothes (cull and bag items for charity)

Will be done:
Rake leaves (ish)
Tidy front garden (enough so the neighbors don’t remark)
Store outdoor furniture (usually done during a sleeting rain)
Drain and store rain barrel and garden hoses (after they unfreeze that first time)
Store summer bedding in the winter bedding bins (the easier to become confused in the spring)
Store summer clothes (on top of dresser), unpack winter clothes (and place in drawers no later than Thanksgiving)

First Priority:
Purchase additional vodka for cold weather friends
Put the pumpkin scented candle on the mantle

That should do it.