The Birth of the Points

I had quit my job.

My stable, secure, well-paying job that was keeping me from sleeping, relaxing or maintaining a systolic blood pressure of less than 130.

I was trying to launch a home-business. Which turned out to be several orders of magnitude more difficult than I thought it would be. Because I am always clever about grotesquely underestimating the time/effort/money/energy/natural resources/donuts necessary to accomplish big tasks. This may be a protective mechanism because if my brain really understood what it was getting into when I do these things, it is far more likely that I would make a cozy little nest for myself under the bed and only come out once a year to see if I could see any gray hair, thereby predicting 51 more weeks of take-out dinners.

So my time was completely absorbed with the learning how to be self-employed, developing the infrastructure of a home-based speech pathology business and the half-time job that I kept so I could do this all without borrowing any money and continuing to pay my share of our household expenses so as to keep us from living under a bridge or in a box.

Along the way, a few things fell by the wayside.

Here is a partial list of the things that by the wayside fell:

  • cooking
  • cleaning
  • grocery shopping
  • dusting
  • disposing of junk mail
  • putting away of things
  • emptying the dish drainer
  • speaking in complete sentence
  • donning matching socks

My home – in which I had taken tremendous pride, put in copious amount of time, blood, sweat, tears and broken fingernails – was becoming grimy, cluttered, dysfunctional and inefficient. I couldn’t find bills I was supposed to pay, checks I was supposed to deposit, children I was supposed to feed  or husbands I was supposed to recognize.

One night I was standing in the family room, furiously shoving aside a pile of clutter that contained mail of various legitimacy, unread books, iPod cables and potentially the progeny of the Lindbergh baby. And as I waded through the mounds in search of anything that might possibly resemble the fabric on my sofa, I spied my Martha Stewart Living magazine peeking out from between a Fuji’s Treats catalogue and the owner’s manual for a Moen faucet (because it is entirely possible that without the manual you will not be able to figure out the complex mechanics of turning the water on or – heaven forbid – off.)

And I stood in the family room, pointing accusingly at, well, my life – which at the time was being played by a massive pile of random crap with an attitude and sporting a full set of looming “late payment” dates – and declared, “I would not get any points for this! Martha would NOT give me any points for this! Martha would give me negative points for this!”

And a concept was born.

The concept turned into an idea.

And the idea turned into a blog.

So here we all are.

Hello!

PS – This is my 200th post!

56 comments

  1. Thank you for the history lesson. My house is much as you described, unfortunately, no wonderful ideas have been born from it. I’m all broken or something. Dammit.

    1. Broken? Not broken.

      Not filled with delusions and talking to magazines and piles of crap is NOT broken.

      I am far more likely the broken one here.

      I’m one crack away from an omelette, I think.

  2. I had to come and visit today and ask how many negative points do I get for having to go to Target this morning to buy the husband underwear so he could go to work?! It’s definitely a new low in my career as a housewife.

    May you have at least 200 more posts!

    1. I think that’s actually a trade-off.

      You COULD have sent him off to work commando, or in manky skivvies.

      But having the dedication to go out and buy clean undies?

      I declare that a neutral exchange.

  3. Congrats on 200 posts, Lori!!! I for one, am glad this blog was born.

    So the question has to be asked: after 200 posts, how many Martha Points are you at? Me? I’m definitely in the negatives.

    1. Thank you, thank you!

      Now I feel like Barbra Streisand!

      And, at the moment, I’m sitting on +8 points.

      There was major slippage a little while ago.

      And I’ve been clawing my way out of the hole with guest posts.

      Which in my universe now earn me points.

      Cause I’ve got nothing else going for me at the moment.

  4. Dear Ms. Lori,
    Mother Hen congratulates you on reaching this momentous milestone! Two hundered posts certainly deserves many,many Martha points…um….let’s pick a random number…say…200.
    Felicitations!
    Mother Hen
    (Fine print) These points are only redeemable within the next 30 days, including Sundays and holidays. Some restrictions may apply. Points may only be redeemed together at one time, and are not applicable for any blogs previously awarded Martha Points. All points are non-transferable (except to chickens, of course).
    Please answer this skill-testing question to recieve your points.
    How much wood could a woodchuck named Chuck Woods chuck, if a woodchuck named Chuck Woods could chuck wood? _____________

    1. Oooh… a test.

      How much wood could a woodchuck named Chuck Woods chuck, if a woodchuck named Chuck Woods could chuck wood? _____________

      Let’s see. If a wood chuck named Chuck Woods leaves the forest heading northeast at 4 miles per hour, and a bunch wood that needs chucking leaves the lumber yard heading southwest on a truck traveling 40 miles per hour…

      The answer, clearly, is “Q to the purple.”

  5. Think bicentennials are a good time to reflect.

    But if you’re even considering giving yourself negative point for not wearing matching socks, please refrain. Footwear should be warm, not matchy.

    1. I never went as far as deducting points for not wearing matching socks.

      But there are days when I’m tempted to AWARD myself points for managing it.

      Cause at times I am actually that desperate.

  6. Happy 200th post! And please don’t look at my stack of bills/unnatural amount of paper my 1st grader comes home with/diapers/ribbon shards/sanity. It may cause you terrible, terrible flashbacks as it sounds like I am now where you once were. :p
    Need help. Stop.
    Must find bills to pay. Stop.
    Oh there’s where that half-eaten apple went. Stop.

    1. Nope! All is out in the open now!

      That being said, it’s not like I’m brilliant at secrets or anything.

      Although I never told ANYONE about Liz and that Dyson vacuum cleaner.

  7. Many of my bloggy friends, (Wonder Friend, Kludgy Mom, a belle, a bean & a chicago dog) have talked endlessly about you.
    I refused to get sucked into yet another blog. I had my limits. I could only read so many blogs a day & fellowship with so many bloggers. I would not be pushed.
    And, then, today happened. I saw your cute little button over at Gigi’s site and I thought, “Oh, what could it hurt”.
    And, now I am hooked. You have drawn me in with this amazing post about how your site came to be & I’m done.
    I hope you are happy!
    Glad to be your newest follower!

    1. Hello lovely new person!

      I love meeting new people! It is one of the things I never anticipated when I started the blog in the first place.

      And it’s so good to know that my bribes..err…good friendships with other bloggers pays such lovely benefits!

      Please be happy and entertained here.

      Laughing at me is TOTALLY ok and, in fact, encouraged.

  8. Well, congrats on 200!
    I should do a post where I talk about the fact that in 7 years, my pursuit to be an actual Domestic Goddess is pretty much a moot point because I am not, in fact, Domestic nor am I a goddess.

  9. Love it. I think we might share the same brain some days…only I am awful at self-reflection and probably would have just tossed the magazine instead of using it as a tool for change.

    1. I’m glad I ended up with the blog too.

      And even more, I’m glad that lovely people like you enjoy it.

      Cause THAT I love more than anything else.

  10. Congrats from a new reader! Your description of your clutter pile and list of things that have fallen by the wayside are ALL too familiar. My reasons? One word. Twins. And then as things started to get a little easier, say, around 16 months or so? Two words. Another baby. I’m lucky if I get to brush my teeth before noon (reminder…go brush teeth now), much less do more than the bare minimum to keep my house from getting condemned.

    Much looking forward to backtracking and reading your posts. :)

    1. Thank you wonderful, lovely new reader!

      And…twins??

      ACK! And a baby???

      ACK! ACK!

      No, I just have teenagers.

      Who are mostly self-sustaining now.

      Although a teenager borrowing the car cause all kinds of new angst.

      But I am very glad you found me!!

    1. People keep making the Barbra Streisand reference.

      Which is totally fine by me, my god if I had her voice and talent I’d be…I’d be….

      Well, I probably wouldn’t be a writer, would I?

      Anyone else feel compelled to sing “Memories” now?

      No? Just me?

  11. Just found your blog from Kristin @ Peace Love & Muesli. Love the name and concept. I went through a “Martha Stewart phase” in high school in a big way. I no longer read her magazine or watch her shows, but Martha certainly shaped me! Congrats on your 200th post.

    1. I think at some point in most of our lives, Martha Stewart speaks to all of us.

      And thank you, and thank you for coming to read!

      And I absolutely adore Kristin. She is funny, smart and lovely. All rolled up in one great package.

  12. Can I borrow your Martha Stewart Magazine? I need a large coaster for all of the mugs that are not, for some strange reason? in the dishwasher. I’m glad you had your Martha epiphany. 200 posts? Wow. I have no idea how many posts I’ve written, and I’m too lazy to go and count. How many points would Martha give me for that attitude? La la la la la la lalllllalllala See thats what I would do if I felt the ghost (I know she’s not dead) of Martha starting to bug me. Fingers in ears singing at the top of my lungs.
    Why is it I alway pop by and somehow write a complete post in your comments box? I just can’t seem to stop myself.
    Yay! 200!
    Dana

    1. You may ALWAYS write blog posts in my comments section.

      Free pass. Any time. Cause you always make me laugh with your comments.

      And the only reason I know how many is because WP lists my post count first thing on my dashboard.

      So that’s sort of cheating.

      And mugs sneak out of the dishwasher when you’re not looking.

      It’s true.

      I read about it on a blog somewhere.

  13. Happy 200th!

    How many points would one get for receiving a years worth of Martha’s cooking mag and only ever using 1 recipe, and totally replacing every ingredient in the list? Including the use of instant mashed potatoes instead of ricing the taters with turnip.

  14. OK I love the Martha Points concept. I believe if Martha should walk into my house right now she would probably refuse to sit down, ask for a bio-suit and tsk-tsk me every 7 seconds. She certainly would refuse an almond crescent cookie that has probably been dropped or licked by at least 3 member of the house.
    This is my first time to your blog and I am thrilled to have found it and saddened that I have to now put off doing laundry to read the other 199 previous posts in a frenzy today.
    Saddened…well, not really!

    1. Well hello then, you!

      What a lovely thing to say! Thank you!

      And there are times when Martha would run from my house like it was a plague ship also.

      *sigh*

      But I keep trying!

      And…any reason to avoid the laundry! Yay!

      Glad I could help there.

  15. I love to hear the story about the birth of the points! And of course, I can just picture the scene….I fear it may be repeating itself in my own home, Lori.
    There are really just too many things we are expected to do. You know, like talk in complete sentences and feed the family. I mean, really.

    1. Whoever even SUGGESTED that you should strive to be a mom who can make subjects agree with verbs or use embedded clauses should be shot.

      Repeatedly.

      And then dipped in lemon juice.

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