Many aspects in life are beyond our control, due to this, I operate a fairly strict household with a list of rules and am somewhat offended when family members call me Captain. You see, everything has a place, there are curfews, meals are served at a specific hour and at no time are shoes, clothing or other items allowed anywhere other than the proper place.

Carefully arranging table settings complete with napkins, water glasses and other essential items is one of my stringent details conducted every evening at the dinner hour. Eating in bedrooms or living areas is, strictly prohibited!

Last week my son returned to our home after an electrical house fire, yes my rule list is somewhat lengthy. He and his wife are staying in my guest room while waiting on the insurance to repair their home. Since we have a dog, Foxy Wortham, their pets are staying with Stephanie’s father. The very thought of THREE dogs in my home at the same time horrifies me.

Over at my “good time Charlie” sisters home, the lifestyle is much more lackadaisical than here and if she lived closer to his workplace, I feel certain my son would have preferred to stay with Cindy- the fun one!

Sure, I have my moments of “fun ness” although quite rare, I sometimes have gone to bed with one or two dishes in my sink and, without properly fluffing the throw pillows on my sofa.

My daughter in law, Stephanie Hafele lost her cell phone while visiting my sister 4 years ago and still hasn’t found it! I found my sons shoe that has been missing since 6th grade last year, he’s 24. Notorious for lost items, the Daniel house is Camp Fun.

Every time I visit, I never just sit down and relax- instead, I throw on rubber gloves and start cleaning which bothers my sister to no end!

Cindy’s house is in a constant state of chaos, she’s always “working on a project.” Often, these projects are throughout the entire house.

I never bring my purse inside when I visit my sister for fear of losing it somewhere amongst the “projects.”

Cindy hates my ideas about clothing and attire. In fact, she believes her house slippers are perfectly acceptable outside of her home and, says she gets compliments all the time on her foot wear. I am horrified regarding this issue and believe that proper dress is and should be worn at all times! Every occasion should have the proper outfit. My strive for perfection and presentation for some odd reason I cannot understand- given me a reputation of being stiff, bossy and, military like in my code of living and long list of rules.

Riding in Cindy’s car can be hazardous! Don’t pull the sun visor or you risk a head injury. Her husband refuses to drive her car after something fell on his head from the roof. Apparently, an old French fry. Cleaning the car is at the bottom of her list of priorities. We always take my car since any time I’ve tried to enter her vehicle, there is no place to rest my weary feet. Cindy loves “fresh coffee” when finished with her beverage, she often throws it over her shoulder into the backseat! When I asked what was staining the headliner, she said oh probably coffee. I’ve had her vehicle detailed only to find it (yet again) trashed a few days later!

Cindy’s priority is the tiny Texas Twins! Everything about them must be perfect at ALL TIMES. I told her this just this evening and she laughed at me. Perhaps because I illustrated the fact that some of my rules for homemaking have rubbed off on her-hilarious to even assume this was a reason for her organization of every aspect of clothing and accessory for Maryssa and Makenna Mahaney, I find it amusing that Cindy is Captain of clothing and all items regarding the twins. She is addicted to shopping for the twins and loves nothing more than finding yet another, super cute item to add to their burgeoning wardrobe!

Cooking is unthinkable and, after all, there are numerous fast food restaurants within a 5 mile radius. “Cooking is overrated and time consuming” after all, you have to wash dishes to begin the project or, worse, find the dishes to wash. Yes, remarkably the clutter on the dining room would limit you for a seat the enjoy a meal that you worked so hard to prepare. Ask me, I’ve cooked at Cindy’s house and her husband loves my cooking! Steve Daniel has VERY limited space for his personal items at the Daniel Diggs- it’s a constant complaint. He’s surrounded by women that overtake every restroom as well as the closets and chest of drawers. Alas, the only place he has that’s not commandeered is his beloved shed!

It’s much easier to cook at my home, once again every item has a specific place, time and finally, place- my dining room.

Where are family members more comfortable? Cindy’s house. Everybody loves to hang out and visit or watch TV.

While I strive to provide a comfortable and happy home, it is difficult for me to relax in it. You see, I’m constantly cleaning or rearranging here in order to keep the ship tidy at any and all times.

Cindy constantly requests help around the house from her husband, Steve. Having no interest in fixing the porch that broke after a storm 8 years ago, making shelves for the twins or, doing another this or that project, Steve hides in the backyard hunting squirrels or toiling on the shed to escape any chore Cindy may have had in mind.

When attending an event, it takes me nearly an hour to locate my sidekick amongst the guests. You see, Cindy is a social butterfly who can easily forget that we are at an event and she is there to take the photos. Often, she’s having so much fun, I take the pics myself!

Cindy is fun loving and completely unconcerned about being the house maker of the year. “That Job is overrated, how often has your son told you thanks for keeping an immaculate home mom?”

The answer, never. How often has he had a rip roaring time at Cindy’s shooting a BB gun in the backyard, jumping on a trampoline and hitting fast food drive thru windows? Many! She’s just more fun than I am and, keeps me laughing.

At our age, there’s no chance of my changing her, I’ve given up trying to get her home whipped into shape.

I’ve given up trying to get her to wear shoes that I find appropriate.

I’ve decided that her house has all the key elements of good times and fond memories that my rules and house keeping have no place for.

Oh well , I enjoy having my son home again and, while my rules may seem a little over the top, it is without question, the only thing in my life I can control.