Clean Enough

The holiday’s are coming and there is so much pressure to have everything perfect for our visiting family and friends. It just makes me laugh. With the addition of Baby J to our lives, we’re lucky to get the basics done. Add that to the fact that most of our family will arrive at our farmhouse in Oklahoma for Thanksgiving before we do, there are some things I just gotta let go. Having the house neat as a pin is one of them. I figure good food along with good conversation is what we look forward to anyway.

The following is a post from a couple of years ago about cutting ourselves a break to let ourselves focus on more important things. I hope you enjoy it.

Clean Enough


I received this memo today via Facebook. Thank you for the reminder, Sharon.  So often we find ourselves caught up in the if you just knew my life excuses when it comes to sharing hospitality. The graphic actually brought to mind that little potty training book Everybody Poops by Taro Gomi. This plotless little story states the inevitable—Everyone is the same on a very basic level. We are all very much alike.

Yes, we all know people that seem to have it all together. Their homes are beautiful. Their bathrooms are sparkly. Their kitchen looks as though it was the housekeeper’s day in. Ah. . .perfection. Or is it?

We usually visit others on their good day, meaning: they knew you were coming so they tidied up. If we happened to stop by on any other day, we might find piles of laundry to be folded, dishes waiting to be loaded and just general everydayness happening. Their house, like ours, would be a testimony to a life full of living.

There used to be a saying that hung on everyone’s wall that goes a little like this—Our home is clean enough to be healthy but dirty enough to be happy. Perhaps we should take that to heart. Do not miss out on any more opportunities to enjoy a happy gathering with friends or family even if there are dishes in the sink. Their sink probably looks just like yours.

“Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.”

Phyllis Diller

Here’s a quick little recipe that requires no mixing bowl for your sink yet yields a pretty delicious dessert. Don’t let the name put you off. It is delicious. One way we like it at holiday time is to replace the fruit with pumpkin prepared as you would for a pie and then follow the rest of the instructions and serve with whipped cream.

Dump Cake


  • Fruit, fresh or canned. [If fresh, peel, core and slice into a size you would like to bite. You may want to add sugar for your desired sweetness.] Two 15 ounce cans or approx. 4 cups. My very favorite is a combo of apricots and pineapple.
  • Yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup of butter. Two is actually better but this is totally up to you.


  1. Spread fruit in bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  2. Top with dry cake mix.
  3. Thinly slice butter and cover the top of the dry mix. You can melt the butter to drizzle if you like. Both methods work fine.
  4. Bake in 350 degree oven until top is browned. Thirty to forty-five minutes.
  5. Ice cream is a must when it cools enough to serve.


Life is all about balance, and there are certain times of the year – birthday, anniversary, holidays – that are meant to be enjoyed without guilt.

Harley Pasternak

Have a Very Happy Thanksgiving.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. I would have to agree, Patty, that our homes don’t have to be pristine to be welcoming. Hope you have a terrific Thanksgiving, too!

  2. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours also Ms. Patty. Given the children’s book you referenced, I’m going to pass on the Dump Cake (don’t worry, Mr. Schell will understand). 🙂 I’m sure glad our God doesn’t expect to see our lives all neat and in order whenever He looks down at us. I think we were made to be messy; we were created to need Him. God’s blessings sweet friend.

    1. Patty Schell says:

      Haha. I never gave the word connection a thought. Only you boys would think of it. Lol. Maybe others will find the humor in it, too. Don’t let it scare you away. The cake is quite tasty. Happy Thanksgiving.

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