The Return of Martha

This was how this seven-day block was supposed to go:

Last Friday night: take kids to Harry Potter opening. Stand in lines. Trade youngest child for popcorn. Scream at movie.

This past weekend: Shop. Do early prep work on Thanksgiving meal. Braid corn husks. Dress cats in colorful indigenous costumes.

Tuesday: Tidy up house in preparation for cleaners coming on Wednesday.

Wednesday: Go to work, see extra patients for colleague on vacation, come home to sparkling clean house. Start pre-cooking activities. Brine turkey. Bake pies.

Thursday: Have leisurely breakfast with Himself. Roast turkey. Make potatoes. Set festive table. Slam a few cranberry cocktails. Enjoy dinner with family.

Friday: Go to work, see a few extra patients for colleague on vacation, come home to cuddle with Himself and watch movies. Extricate cats from costume remnants.

This is how this seven-day block is going  instead:

Friday: Cough. Hack. Run fever.

Saturday: Cough. Hack. Run fever.

Sunday. Cough. Hack. Force fever into temporary submission with mega-ibuprofen dose. Take kids to Harry Potter matinée. Trade kidney for large drink to squelch coughing during movie.

Monday: Go to work. Come home. Lose house. Wander aimlessly until kindly neighbor redirects me to my actual residence. Hide from cats. Get forbidden by Himself to go to work on Tuesday.

Tuesday: Stay home. Wander around house. Be well enough to be bored, but not well enough to be useful. Think about tidying in anticipation of cleaners coming on Wednesday. Become apathetic.

And without a crystal ball, I can’t actually tell you what’s happening in the next few days except, the cleaner IS scheduled to come, and we are having Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant.

I was ready to cancel the cleaner, not because the house isn’t a disaster, but because it seemed a little…well…pretentious to have cleaners when the reason I justified having them come was because I was going to be cooking Thanksgiving dinner here while working all week. But now…no work, no Thanksgiving dinner. Was there some other need that I missed? OH YEAH! Dirt! Yes, we still have dirt. If dirt’s my only threshold for needing the cleaner I’m good fourteen ways from Tuesday. I guess Himself considered that reason enough because he told me to keep the cleaners scheduled.

So my housecleaner (although I’m not sure she really gets to be my housecleaner when she’s only been here once) who really is named Martha (I just didn’t catch it right away because she doesn’t pronounce the “h’”) is coming tomorrow. It makes me happy just thinking of it.

So, in a year when someone hugely important left our earth…

When I’ve been so sick I haven’t been able to engage with my family or earn my income for over a week…

When I had to turn my family away from a dinner in my home…

My day is brighter because a nice lady with an amazing work ethic is coming to make my house shiny and beautiful.

Which means that, really, I can be thankful…

That a wonderful woman was able to die with dignity and grace and surrounded by love.

That I have a doctor to go to and can afford medication to heal me.

That my family is not prone to drama over a cancelled holiday dinner.

And so despite the hacking and the coughing, I am lucky and I am grateful.

Oh, you know what else I’m thankful for?


And you.

And you and you and you and you and you and…well, ok, you too. And definitely you. And totally you too! And I can’t forget you, oh my god, or you either!

Happy Thanksgiving, my wonderful, beautiful, funny, loving, tweeting, blogging, hysterically oversharing, monumentally ever-caring internet friends.



Filed under Humor

46 Responses to The Return of Martha

  1. Listen, as one who has a Martha on a regular basis, you don’t ever need to justify it. Celebrate it! And, like you, I am so very thankful for it.

    I hope your Thanksgiving Day dawns with your renewed health and vigor (I was going to say humor and sarcasm, but that all appears to be intact).

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • I think the sarcasm doesn’t cut out till the fever reaches 104, it’s just that by then no one can hear me.

      And I am very thankful for my beautiful shiny house!

      And for friends like you.

      Happy Thanksgiving, Alyson! Much love to you and yours.

  2. That sounds like a perfect Thanksgiving. A meal cooked FOR you, and a clean house to come home to, which no one has ruined. Enjoy the day!

    • Yes, we’re actually twistedly gleeful about the clean house that no one is around to mess up.

      And I will enjoy today. I hope you do as well!

      Happy Thanksgiving, Kmama!

  3. You were going to put your cats in colorful costumes?

    Brave woman. Brave brave woman.

    • We often THINK about doing things like that…but then the wine wears off and we consider the bleeding that would accompany the dressing part.

      But we can imagine.

      And then giggle. : )

      Happy Thanksgiving, Stacey!!

  4. Oh no! You got HackBoogeyMan! That nasty sucker has been in our house for weeks. I hope you recover quickly (I recommend a Z-pack) and wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.

  5. I’m so happy for you that Martha is coming and you don’t have to cook! Have a great Thanksgiving!

  6. Plus there’s still the cranberry cocktails. Don’t forget those. Happy Thanksgiving

    • Oooh…how could I?

      Am dreaming of them right now!

      (Darned Pacific time zone…still a little too early!)

      And hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving also, lovely lady!

  7. But wait… You still got to see Harry Potter? I might be a little jealous.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

    • AND I even managed to only cough during the loud battle scenes so as not to annoy everyone else.

      I’m terribly clever, aren’t I?

      And thank you for the good wishes, dear one. I hope your own plague has been kicked to the curb!

  8. Melinda

    Oh no. Well you deserve the cleaning and tell the family you just saved them 5 gravy pounds. I’m still convinced there was an Italian pilgrim that justifies spaghetti or pizza to celebrate so go with that story. Hope you feel better soon!! Btw I made a cup of coffee and got 10pts so you can giggle at someone is toasting you this AM with some Peets coffee in a special mug. I’m all for the small achievements in life. ;). Lol

    • I love that you toasted me with the special mug!

      That makes me happy in ways I can’t even put to words.

      And we’ll see maybe if something Italian calls to me at the restaurant. Although they’re having the traditional turkey dinner available, I feel no huge compulsion to order it.

      I’m a prime rib sorta gal, myself. 😉

      And hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving too, Melinda. Much love to you and yours!

  9. That leaf looks like it’s crying.

    Which is symbolic of the bitter tears I’m shedding as I look around my disaster of a house and know that no Martha is coming to save me from The Dirty.

    Anyway, Happy TDay, my beautiful, wonderful friend. xo

    • Dewdrops! Those are dewdrops!

      You need a romance injection there, woman.

      But I wish there was a Martha to come to your rescue. That being said, I also wish I could afford MY Martha more often. Ah well!

      And Happy Thanksgiving to you too, Cheryl. Your friendship is one of my many blessings this year.

  10. KLZ

    Glad you’re feeling better and taking care of yourself. Because I’m grateful for you.

    I’m also grateful I read this before submitting my comment or I wouldn’t have noticed I typed greatful.

    • I keep telling myself I should proof-read before I hit submit.

      I think it’s a compulsion thing. I have this thing to say! It’s already taken me SOOO long to type it out. Hit submit! NOW NOW NOW NOW!

      And then…


      Well, I’m sure she’ll realize that I mean’t to type “runt.”

      Happy Thanksgiving, Kristin. Much love to you and David and Alex.

  11. Lori, this is just perfect. An awesome blend of what I love about you…silly, snarky, sarcastic, and sweet. All rolled into one.
    You do have an awful lot to be thankful for. Maybe you should take your kazoo to that restaurant, just brining along a friend.
    Happy Turkey Day to you, and hope to give you an actual hug this weekend my friend!

    • I may just slip that kazoo into my purse, now that you’ve mentioned it.

      And maybe I should bring it on Sunday. Cause I’m definitely going to be there to collect my hug.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you, Sherri. I am so very grateful the ‘sphere brought us together to be friends.

  12. OK, we don’t “brine” friends to restaurants. Damn extra cup of coffee…we brine turkeys.
    Which some of my friends ARE. But not you.

  13. The solution to the absence of leftovers is easily remedied, order twice as much food!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  14. Love this post! Its funny how the holidays were meant to be a time of thanks and togetherness, but it seems that for most people – its just the opposite. Good for you for keeping your eye on what’s iomportant!

    • Trying to!

      It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all the things and the food and decorations and the drama…

      Leave it to the flu to force me to slow down and think smaller instead.

      Happy Thanksgiving, Jennie!

  15. Dear Ms. Lori,
    Mother Hen is sure that you were especially grateful for her, but just didn’t say so because it would make all your other bloggy friends jealous. That’s just fine, dear, it can be our little secret.
    Oh, and MH is grateful for you too!
    Condolences on your hacking and feverish wanderings. As long as none of the neighbors thought you were overimbibing, it’s all good.
    When one is sick, one deserves a Martha visit as appropriate compensation, so enjoy!
    Thankfully yours,
    Mother Hen

    • Dear Mother Hen,

      I am eternally grateful for you, and of course I have to be discreet about these things. We bloggers are such a sensitive bunch.

      The fever and the hacking are almost gone, and I so far no teams from the BATF seem to be casing my house, so I must have the neighbors fooled.

      Hope you and Missy and Junior and Father Rooster have a wonderful holiday. Sending loving thoughts to all of you.

  16. O.M.Gsh I love that picture.

    Grateful for all your wit. My parents are, too. No seriously– they keep telling me “someone keeps leaving these comments on your blog that make us split a gut! Whoever that is, they are so clever.”

    I’m grateful that my parents are actually reading my blog, too.

    • Ok, tell your parents that in additional to loving them for their incredible house, I know officially love them for thinking I am funny.

      The way to Lori’s heart is through telling her she’s funny.

      I could embroider that on a pillow.

      Happy Thanksgiving, Mandi. To you and all your gorgeous family. Hope today is wonderful.

  17. Have a lovely Thanksgiving, Lori! And on the plus side, you won’t have to clear up after a big dinner if you go to a restaurant, and your house will still be sparkling tomorrow!

    • Yes, we may be taking a bit too much pleasure in the fact that no one is messing up our nice clean house.

      That’s probably unhealthy.

      And thank you, lovely one! We are enjoying the day despite the non-traditionalness of it.

  18. The fact that you went to work, even contemplated braiding corn husks, and actually took the kids to Harry Potter… makes you a hero in my book. Those things have gotta be worth beaucoup Martha points, no?

    I hope you feel better soon… and have a great Thanksgiving in your shiny and clean house.

    • I think the perpetual coughing and snorting at people (the non-funny kind) probably did in any possible point accumulations.

      But mostly I’m glad that I’m finally getting better. Cause EVERYONE was getting tired of me being sick.

      And I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving to, lovely lady. Much love to you and your family.

  19. liz

    braiding corn husks? you are a woman like no other.

    loved the red leaf photo, BTW.

    • The leaves are right outside my window. They were just glowing in the sun one morning so I grabbed the camera and took a few shots.

      I love when I get lucky like that!

      Happy Thanksgiving, Liz. To you, and Craig, and Maddie and Kate. Much love to you all.

  20. amyblam

    Happy happy Thanksgiving! I hope you feel better soon.

  21. I am so thankful that you are feeling better and that you can enjoy your family…even if it’s in a restaurant! Love to you!!!

  22. And me, too? Aww.

    (You didn’t mention Teva and Isabel, but I think they’re implied.)

  23. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well! I hope that you feel better soon.

  24. I adore my bloggy internet friends, too.


    I am grateful to all of you.

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