Still Life with Crossword

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I’m not posting this picture to show how clean my house is. But I will admit that it’s nice to be up and moving around and able to keep things picked up. And also, I’ve just discovered these. Holy cow, they’re incredible!

I realized something today, something that I’ve known deep-down for a while. As I was getting ready to go out to lunch with a friend, and doing finishing touches on the house — I have become my mother.

When I go to my mom and dad’s during the day, this is exactly what I find: a spit-spot house, with the crossword folded and ready for the filling. Just waiting for a few quiet moments.

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  1. Swiffers (the kind you use on the floor) are especially helpful w/post-baby hairloss (my bathroom floor would suffer dearly without them).

  2. Do you know what color/brand your dining room walls are? They are really a nice shade and each time you post a photo, I wish I knew what it was!

  3. your mother’s house was this clean? didn’t she have eight kids?I want to meet her!

  4. Rachel Swenson Balducci says

    The paint color is called Alexandria Beige, HC-77 (Benjamin Moore). I love it! It hides a multitude of sins.

    As for the clean house with 8 kids: yes! My mom is amazing, and her standards for cleanliness is one facet of that (but not in a robotic sort of way).

  5. Funny about those Swiffers….my mother-in-law gave a box to each of us daughters for Christmas, wrapped and everything. I wonder what she was trying to tell me…..hmmm.

  6. Rachel Swenson Balducci says


    That is too funny! A classic m-i-law story (the kind where if it had been your own mother, maybe totally different?).

  7. Thanks for the paint color! I think this would look great in my Mom’s front room. I’ll look for paint chips to share with her!

  8. I need to tell ya’ll that Benjamin Moore has some awesome hues and customer service. I was impressed when I moved into my new townhome and I did not know what color the contractors had used (but had left a can of paint with no name/## on it) I called BM and with my home address they were able to look up the color and mix some new paint in eggshell finish that is easy to wash off. Then one day I had to get an extra gallon and the store was closed but the owner was there, so he made a gallon for me and let me pay the next business day. Talk about home town service!

  9. The Swiffer products are amazing. I recently bought the Swiffer Sweep and Vac and let me tell you my floors have never been cleaner! My son (age 7) and daughter (age 4) love to use it after every meal. It picks up hair, crumbs, cheerios, noodles, everything! I highly recommend it. They love using the Swiffer Dusters too- especially the one with the expandable pole.
    I’m so glad you are feeling better.

  10. Wow… I’m just amazed that your house stays this clean. Somehow, we never quite make it over here…

    My mom was this clean too — but, she always reminds me that she had the hours when we were at school to clean up, and that since we were gone, we didn’t make as much mess.

    I just think she’s trying to be kind to her “slowly-losing-it” daughter.

    I just haven’t found out how to manage all the legos, tinker toys, and bionicles that scatter throughout my home and leave me frothing at the mouth: “would you pick up all this stuff???? You are trashing the house faster than we can clean it!”


    Seriously, your house is BEAUTIFUL. Fantastic job!!!!!

  11. Hi Rachel:
    My own mother would sooner set her hair on fire than give me a cleaning product for a major holiday. Pajamas, yes. Anything approaching “duty”, no. My own approach to housekeeping has been stunted by my mom’s attitudes. But I can cook anything and I’m a laundry fiend, so it all balances out in my husband’s eyes. And my mil has enough other wonderful qualities to make this gift funny.

    You take it very easy and hope ya’ll scored big at the Derby.