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I know this is going to sound stupid but a church friend of my mother's wants to come to the house to give her a pie. She hasn't been to church for a month because of foot surgery and is doing well. She has been going there for almost 2 yrs and this is the first time anyone has wanted to come by. My problem is we have a total of 8 little dogs in the house, 2 are my mother's. I already have a friend over today to help me with cleaning. This woman just called up this AM and wanted to come over. I hate drop bys. I can't keep the house spotless all the time for people to just drop by anytime they want. Between mother and the dogs all I do is clean, it's like chasing my tail, lol. Its' a small town church and I know this is probably a "spy" mission. I am all frazzled about this. I try to keep things as clean as I can, I am 53 and back surgery a few months ago. Keeping mother clean is my main priority so I don't care if there are some dishes in the sink, at least mom is clean. I just don't want to be judged. Would appreciate any advice about making house smell fresh and not just like bleach which I use a lot.

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haha this is where you throw an apple or an orange and some cinnamon in the toaster oven and let the smell permeate the room. And let the 8 little dogs yap and sniff her butt so the spy doesn't stay long. LOL
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Vanilla is great. Cinnamon is good. When I was selling the house I put vanilla in the air dispenser. The first person bought the house! Vanilla is a loved smell. If you can find Refresh air spray in the store with a vanilla smell, it is very good. The rose and Thai dragon are also good, but they smell like air fresheners.
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BTW, we all know that mature people's houses smell. No matter what you do. The main thing will be to ooh and aah over the pie, maybe sit down to have a piece of it. The church friend is most likely not spying, just letting you know the church is there for you. We have a young lady of the church assigned to look in on us. My mother fights her coming, but I open the door to her, because I know the young woman needs to follow through. I'm glad to know there is the link to the church if we ever have to stop going.
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On the other side of the coin, don't clean the house. Then maybe the church lady will want to offer some help to you knowing that both you and your mother aren't physically up for the rigors of house keeping at this point in time.... if she does, take the offer.

Don't forget, even Martha Stewart might have an off day where she doesn't feel like cleaning :)
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You are doing a great job and don't need to worry about what your visitor may think. Try to visualize her intentions as only the best, and enjoy the pie! You and your mother may develop a new friendship.
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JessieBelle, OMG that smell in my parents house... and having the indoor temps 80+ doesn't help the issue, either.

I am always politely suggesting to Dad to open a couple of windows and get some fresh air in the house.... my parents are just so use to how the house smells they don't even notice it. When I bring over groceries to my parents, I always leave the door to the garage open to get some new air into the house, but before I know it Mom is closing the door, she doesn't want any flies in the house.... really now, is one fly going to destroy the house?

What is weird is that their car also has the same identical smell... that new car smell is definitely long gone.
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I saw a posting on Facebook yesterday that said, "I just sprayed fruited-scented Febreeze in my bathroom. Now it smells like sh*trus." LOL, I thought that was so true! Just boil some cinnamon/cloves on your stove for a short time and enjoy the visit. If she's an animal lover, she'll understand. If she isn't, she isn't worth worrying about in my opinion! Good luck!!
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You know, men don't worry about things like this. I doubt if there's a man alive who worries about cleaning up his Man Cave before friends come over. Can you imagine a man saying: "Oh, I must clean up this mess of empty beer bottles and dirty paper plates before the guys get here?"

This is a woman thing. But I do understand because I battle it myself.

You could also tell the woman when she brings the pie over that you'd love to invite her in but:

(a) you're in the process of cleaning
(b) the dogs have been sick throwing up all over the place and she wouldn't feel comfortable
(c) you're feeling sick and don't want to spread anything to her
(d) offer to meet her someplace to pick up the pie as your mother needs her rest and visitors wear her down;

(e) you've love to invite her at some other time; now just isn't convenient.

There is no reason that someone who hasn't been over before needs to feel comfortable dropping over uninvited and spend time in the home of someone who's recovering from surgery ( and needs her rest).

And avoid any of those chemical sprays which just stink up the house and release chemicals (some of which are carcinogenic) into the air. Some people are also allergic to those toxic air fresheners.

Cinammon, cloves and vanilla or herbs such as mint are always good standbys. So are chocolate chip cookies, and you get to reward yourself afterwards by eating them.
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If you have it a stick of cinnamon, a few cloves, few drops of vanilla and maybe an orange or lemon slice or two in a couple of cups of water....bring to boil and let simmer on low for as long as you want. Add water periodically. You can also just sprinkle a few drops of vanilla in corners of room and rub a little bit on light bulbs.

Like that idea of baking chocolate chip cookies...lol. A realtor once said she always throws a bag of popcorn in the microwave before clients look at a home. Gives them a munchy as well and most people love the smell (not me)..

Like the idea of declining and offering to visit another day very much!
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Our other friends know how it is at our house. With 8 dogs someone is always throwing up,bringing in the latest thing the cats killed, just rolled in something not even CSI could identify.We keep a large amount of paper towels,spray cleaner, dog shampoo etc. We are dog lovers,I just don't know what this woman's views are on dogs. Some people would freak out if they knew we let them sleep with us. My mother would call the police if I didn't let her dogs sleep with her, they are her babies. Thanks for all the great ideas. I actually found an air freshener that is supposed to smell like cinabons.Let you know how it works out.
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Eloise used to say "put an onion in the oven." It will smell like supper is cooking.
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boil water with some cinnamon and apple in it. Or go to Walmart and pick up a $10 wax tart burner and some $2.00 wax scents. I have 5 cats and even though I'm good about cleaning the litter boxes I use these all the time and they smell awesome.
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Texarkana, I burst out laughing when I read "just rolled in something not even CSI could identify".

Thanks, I needed that :)
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Clean and open the windows. Most importantly wash the pooches. 8 dogs is a lot.
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Buy some frozen bread dough, make sure you give it plenty of time to rise then bake it just before she is due. You will impress her and have a very nice loaf of bread to munch on. It could even be a quick bread, banana but comes packaged in the bake aisle at the grocery store. Many, many choices.
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If it's nice weather, open the house up. If not, I like those little wax tarts that I melt in my little tart melting thing. Love the vanilla or cupcake smells. Makes me hungry, but oh well... :)
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A pot of coffee can make the house smell good. But ultimately, I wouldn't worry. My daughter always freaks out before any of her friends come by because we have four dogs in the house and it smells like it. I remind her that she brought three of them home, and then remind her where I store the carpet cleaner. We've both noticed that the people who are cool with the dog smell tend to be much more worth knowing overall than the ones who are bothered by it. It's like a built-in meter that can tell you very quickly if someone is a potential bestie, or a superficial twit;-)
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Try using bowls of vinegar around the house to absorb bad odors. It really helps. Then try the positive scents. Don't put anything on a hot light bulb. It could explode. Use the vanilla or other liquid on a cold light bulb, then turn the light on to release the scent.
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Be careful about using different scents.... what you may like someone else may not find it as pleasant.

I know this might sound weird to some but I really dislike the smell of vanilla and the smell of coffee. Do love citrus. Best bet is just let in some fresh air, or as Vegaslday mentioned above, bowl of vinegars [I need to try that].
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To complicate things one of our dogs is sick and we have to go to the vet in about 30 minutes so mother's hair appointment had to be cancelled. Oh brother that didn't go well. I have always dropped what I was doing for her dogs to go to the vet so I am not feeling guilty about her d---mn hair.I will bairly be able to get back and clean up some more for the "pie" lady.My back is killing me, my dog is sick and mother is worried about her hair(doesn't had AD or dementia,just a narcissist).I told mother after this if anyone wants to visit her I will gladly drive everybody to a restaurant,pay for everything but I am not having a bunch of other old ladies coming to the house,herd all 8 dogs into one bedroom with my poor husband to babysit so these women can ooh and aah over mother's china.Thank god the MD cleared her to go back to church,she had foot surgery and it is doing well.Keep your fingers crossed for me and hugs to everyone. Oh, I found an air freshner that is CINNABON smelling. I figured why cook it if I can spray it.
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UPDATE! Well guess what, at the last minute it was going to be 3 ladies coming instead of one! (my dog is doing well , could be seizures but is on meds) They have finally left after 1 1/2 hrs. I am emotionally spent , I know this sounds crazy but now everybody in this county is going to know I have 8 dogs in the house, the linoleum in my kitchen is peeling,I have multiple doggie pee pads(that are clean) around the house which the dogs do use.,six eyeballs looking over my house. I cleaned as best I could but I told my mother never again.I was told one person was coming over and then at the last moment mother informs that it will be 3. If they think they are going to just drop in on us any time they want they are crazy. I made the offer to mother to take them from now on to any restaurant they wanted and I would pay for it. But I am not going thru a cleanup lollapalooza like I just went thru, I can't live like that. We have dogs, horses, cat, I am constantly going in and out of the house and no matter how careful I am things get brought in the house, like hay ,grass , birds that the cat is still chasing, I once even had a goat get in my house. I live in the country sh--t happens and sometimes gets tracked into the house.We live in our house,it was never meant to be town and country magazine.Good Lord!
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Kexarkana, thanks for the update. Well, just think, you did your Spring Cleaning :) Really enjoyed reading your postings, thanks for the humor.

Next time my cat bring in whatever *fast food* he chased, caught, and brought it home to me as a present, I am going to laugh from now on.
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I'm so glad you got through it once! And now you'll be prepared on how to keep them from coming again, LOL!
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I wouldn't worry one bit about what these women say. They invited themselves over, at their convenience and not yours.

Someone, can't remember who now, always said: "if you want to see me, come anytime. If you want to see my house, call for an appointment."

Anyone who visits then goes back and talks about someone's else's house is in my opinion not someone I would ever want back. If these women do, then you'll know they were there on a spy mission. Some women are like that and do judge othes based on house status rather than on good deeds and more important criteria.

There are too many styles of housekeeping these days for women to be judgmental of others on that basis.

You're taking care of your mother; you don't need to be Martha Stewart.

And I hope your doggie feels better and gets over whatever is bothering her/him.
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i was fortunate enough to cop on a double oven when i was building . i could bake all eight dogs at one time. thats just how i roll ..
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Febreze!
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my renters dogs are gone now . her unfortunate son who has been keeping them was trying to describe his extreme distain for them to me one day this week . until hes reached over the baby gate and piledrove one of ems heads into the floor hes got nothing on my level of distain for them..
man , im just busting to be edited tonight, lol ..
oh well . ive been splitting massive hunks of firewood in the pouring rain all day . editing is the only thing that will calm me down..
ill stop harshin on your dogs and listen to some music , that might diffuse me. ( not )
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Place a pot on the stove with cinnamon sticks, cloves, orange and/or lemon peels and bring to a boil puts a nice smell through out the house of apple pie, it is comforting and warm plus puts moisture in the air, for easier breathing.
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How was the pie?
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Actually not bad, they brought a bunch more food.
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