Monday, July 31, 2017

I'm So NOT Melania!

My mother has taken to calling my husband and me "the Trumps."  (If I wanted to be at all political on this blog, which I DON'T, I would tell you that that is not nearly as much of an insult to me as so many of my close friends and family members think it should be).  Mom does this because we now own two homes--which makes us proverbial real estate magnates, I suppose.

Our lake house, which we bought about two years ago and dubbed "Oyster Haven," sits on a parcel of land that is probably more priceless and more idyllic (more heaven-on-earth-spectacular) than anything the Trumps own.  I may be biased, but I'm serious, I really am; I mean, look at this view from the deck of our circa 1830's farm house-cum-VRBO vacation rental.
Not too shabby, eh?  And hopefully someday, once we've whittled down the mortgage with rental income, we'll be able to spend whole summers there and provide our kids and grandkids with a yearly vacation getaway courtesy of Papa and Grammy.

But just because we've taken our first tentative steps into the vacation rental business, you can hardly compare us to POTUS and his glamorous (and Catholic! Yes, Catholic!) wife, Melania.  As I remind my mother every time she calls us "the Trumps," I doubt that Melania does as much cleaning as I do.  I sincerely doubt that FLOTUS scrubs as many tubs and toilets.

And that, my friends, is what I've been doing every weekend this summer.

My husband and I are the cleaning/maintenance/hospitality crew that gets our place ready between the 10:00 a.m. check-out time of one set of renters on Saturday or Sunday morning and the 4:00 p.m. arrival of the next group of guests the same day.  It's a grueling six-hour process that involves vacuuming and dusting and making up all the beds; scrubbing the bathrooms and kitchen until every surface gleams; restocking the towels, toiletries, K-cups, and the gifts of chocolates and wine; making sure the grill, boats, and outdoor furniture are clean and stored appropriately; trimming away the overgrowth on the bank by the beach; hauling away the garbage and recycling...It's a lot of work, and I am always bone-tired at the end of cleaning day. 

We have a great routine, though; we make a good team.  My husband and I usually make up all the beds together.  Then he drops off the dirty linens at the laundry service while I get to work cleaning the interiors.  If we need anything, he picks it up at the store on his way back from the laundromat, and then he gets to work on the exteriors.

No matter how respectful our renters have been or how relatively tidy things appear when we start out, the process rarely takes less than the full six hours to achieve the kind of quality we both want.  Sooner rather than later, we will have to hire a professional cleaning service to do this for us--especially now that we live in VA and not NH, and the drive to Upstate NY takes almost twice as long.  We can't just "pop up" here anymore to take care of Oyster Haven.  Luckily, we are able to spend the summer months (peak time) at my husband's childhood home on the lake, just 3.5 miles away from our property.

But until we can find a reputable cleaning service to get the job done, it's up to us to do it.  I am the maid, the help, whatever you want to call me (and so as you see, Mom, I am so NOT Melania!).
That's me (on the right--ha ha!); so, so NOT Melania--and that was
about four years and several pounds ago!
I'm not going to show you the Oyster Haven bathrooms, no matter how proud I am of the sparkling sinks and toilets.  But would you like to see the bedrooms?
The Norman Rockwell Room.

The Little Cherubs Room.

The Aviation Room.

The Master Suite.
I guess that last picture doesn't really show what the whole master bedroom looks like (there's a twin bed in there as well).  But isn't this queen bed pretty?  I like the hotel look we've given to all the beds in the house, using mostly crisp white linens with touches of color thrown in via the bed scarves and decorative pillows.  In fact, our beds look an awful lot like the ones in the hotel where my husband and I have a room booked for tonight.

The reason we're staying at a hotel is that my mom is in a hospital across the lake in VT, and we're going to visit her there tonight before flying to the Midwest tomorrow out of the airport just a few  miles down the road from the hospital.  Mom was supposed to have surgery early tomorrow morning to remove a cancerous kidney, but she has some other health issues right now and the procedure has been postponed.  Please keep her in your prayers, because she needs to get well enough to have this kidney removed ASAP.

Also, please keep my husband and me in your prayers, as we will be transporting some very precious cargo over the next few days, all the way from Chicago, IL to Pensacola, FL: our oldest son's wife and four young daughters, who have been separated from him for the past month while he's been in flight training and are joining him for the rest of the summer.  (They have an adventure planned that includes spending the next few months living together in a furnished Airbnb house.)

I don't know how much blogging I'll be able to do in the coming week, because I can't bring my laptop along (the minivan will be bursting at the seams, so I can only pack a small carry-on bag for our flight out to Chicago).  But when I get back, I'll fill you in on our cross-country road trip with our girls, I'll update you on my mother's health, and maybe I'll even continue with the VA house tour that I started but never finished.
Our new southern home is very nice, but I'd be willing to bet that it's not nearly as sumptuous as any of the lavish abodes the Trumps own.  Just one other way that I'm NOT Melania!

Hope you're having a good summer, dear readers!


  1. Blogger is giving me fits today--not really sure why. And I've sent this post out to the interwebs with typos multiple times. AAARRRGGGHHH!!! I hate typos!

    I can tell I'm rusty...but it doesn't help that when I find my mistakes, I can't get back to the post to edit them. So sorry if you read this post when it was a bit of a mess!

  2. Yes, I comment on my own blog. How pathetic is that?

    1. Lol! - I love your place! ;-)

    2. Lol, not pathetic at all. We definitely miss the EDIT key when we don't have it.

    3. Haha! Laura, it's your blog. You can do what you want! ;) Prayers for your mother and prayers for you and your precious cargo. Have a safe trip!

  3. Love this! I think I will start calling you Mel!! LOL

    1. Just don't do it in front of some of our relations, if you know what I mean...LOL

  4. Great post! Your lake house looks very inviting!

    1. Aww, thanks. We do love it. We can hardly wait til we don't have to rent it out anymore and it is ours to use most of the time. My husband and I were just at the beach and there were these mini-mansions along the road, each with a spectacular ocean view. And one of them had a wooden sign on it that said, "Someday Happened." I think we're going to have a sign like that for our house when our someday comes!

    2. Wait...did you mean the lake house, or the new house in VA? (I do think our lovely statue of Mary out front makes that house look very inviting!)

  5. My father isa kidney cancer survivor , though without other issues to complicate matters. It was simply terrifying, but miraculous because he went from cancer patient to survivor in about 2 weeks, was fully recovered from surgery in a month, and now only thinks about it when considering medications and food/caffeine that are metabolized in the kidney. I pray your mum'sprocedure goes just as well, and that you have a safe and marvelous adventure with your girls.

    1. Kate, thank you for your comment. It actually made me feel a lot better about her prognosis. Mom's surgery has been postponed several times as she deals with UTI's; but it is our hope that once she has the diseased kidney removed, like your dad she will go from cancer patient to survivor almost overnight. If it wasn't for her age, I think the doctor would be confident that would be the case. But she's almost 82. However, she's tough and a fighter, so I think she'll do fine--if she ever gets healthy enough to have the surgery done. In the meantime, your prayers are greatly appreciated!