IOWA COUNCIL OF THE UNITED BLIND
Web Site: www.acb.org/iowa
Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind
MIKE HOENIG, PRESIDENT
Davenport, IA 52807
PHONE: (563) 344-8787
1-888-401-5562 (Toll Free)
LINDA SLAYTON, EDITOR
3210 Aurora Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50310
DICK NATALE, TREASURER
817 – 6th Street
West Des Moines, IA 50265
JO ANN SLAYTON, SECRETARY
4013 - 30th Street
Des Moines, IA 50310
ICUB OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS
President, Michael Hoenig - Davenport, 563/344-8787
1st V.P., Gary Patterson – Windsor Heights, 515/278-2686
2nd V.P., Gloria O’Neal – Waterloo, 319/ 235-5687
Secretary, Jo Ann Slayton - Des Moines, IA 515/279-4284
Treasurer, Dick Natale - W. Des Moines, 515/277-1167
1 Year Directors
Muhammad Jihad - Des Moines, 515/ 778-6159
Elsie Monthei – Des Moines, 515/ 277-0442
Rose Stratton - Maquoketa, 563/652-2546
Robert Nesler - Dubuque, 563/557-0987
2 Year Directors
Dee Clayton - Des Moines, 515/282-1275
Dorothy Janvrin - Fort Dodge, 515/573-6043
Donna Seliger – Des Moines, 515/ 284-0505
Shirley Wiggins - Cedar Rapids, 319/362-7138
DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING MATERIAL
FOR THE NEXT ISSUE - ****July 13, 2005 ****
CHANGE OF FORMAT OR RETURNING CASSETTES
Anyone who cannot read this print bulletin or finds it difficult to have it read may receive an email or cassette copy at no charge. Please contact the editor, Linda Slayton at 515/274-8993 to request an alternative format. Cassette readers are always invited to keep their copy of the Bulletin. However, if you would like to return cassettes when you are finished with them, please place in a NEW standard mailing envelope, write “Free Matter For the Blind” in the upper right hand corner, and return to the editor using the address on the front of this bulletin (Note: Please send all correspondence to: Linda Slayton, 2800 48th Place, Des Moines, IA 50310 after April 30, 2005).
SELECTING ICUB AS A BENEFICIARY
If you or a friend would like to remember the Iowa Council of the United Blind in your will, you may do so by using the following language: “I grant, devise, or bequeath unto the Iowa Council of the United Blind, a non-profit charitable organization, the sum of ______ dollars, ____ percent of my net estate, or the following stocks and bonds (please list them) to be used for its worthy purposes on behalf of blind persons.” If your wishes are more complex, you may have your attorney call (515) 279-4284, or write Iowa Council of the United Blind, 4013 30TH Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50310.
There are so many changes that occur throughout our lives – unexpected, planned, happy sad. In my own life I am planning one of those changes. Beginning in 2006, I will no longer continue as editor of the bulletin. This decision has been well contemplated and, though I see the importance of the bulletin, I feel I must turn it over to someone who can give it the attention it deserves.
I notified our president, Mike Hoenig, in early February of my intentions and we both hope to find a replacement as soon as possible. I will continue in the capacity of editor throughout 2005 in order to help the new editor with the transition process. Ideally, I would like the next editor to be in place by July and assist with the Summer Bulletin. Then, the new person will do the November edition and I will help in whatever capacity is needed.
The bulletin is a tradition that serves us all and something that is important for unifying the various chapters throughout Iowa. It is necessary for someone to step up as editor or we may not have a bulletin any longer. Kevin and I recently purchased a new home and I will be devoting more time to that endeavor along with some other activities I’d like to pursue. I ask that anyone who is interested contact Mike or myself with any questions you may have. I know there is someone out there that will do a great job.
I thank all of you for your enthusiastic support during my time as editor. It has been my pleasure to serve ICUB.
By Mike Hoenig
Convention is almost here! I hope that you are planning to join us at the Hotel Fort Des Moines the weekend of April 22-24. We are planning two new and exciting activities on Friday evening. A youth pizza party and social is scheduled from 5 to 7 PM. This is an excellent opportunity to share the ICUB and ACB message with young people. Please, please help us spread the word! I will be happy to send you invitations to distribute. Just let me know how many. Immediately following the pizza party, we will host a talent show complete with fabulous (well sort of) prizes. Ed (Doc) Bradley, an ACB board member from Texas and all-around good guy, will join us for the weekend and provide our Saturday night banquet address. Ken Rogers, ACB of Minnesota president, also plans to attend and hopes to bring several ACBM members with him. You’ll enjoy getting to know these great folks while catching up with old friends and learning what’s new with the Braille School Task Force and at the Iowa Department for the Blind. Additional information concerning lodging and convention registration can be found elsewhere in this bulletin. I would like to thank the Des Moines Chapter for once again generously subsidizing hotel rooms. Thanks, too, to Chair Donna Seliger and the program committee for organizing a convention that you won’t want to miss.
Congratulations to Joel Ray, this year’s winner of the Marie Hoenig Memorial Perkins Brailler Award. He is a seventh grader from Greenfield who loves Braille and has a talent for creating tactile graphics. Please take a moment to greet Joel and his family at convention. I wish to thank Kathy Davis and Loren Wakefield for their dedicated service to the Brailler Award Selection Committee. Though their terms as voting members have ended, they have promised to continue to assist us with their valuable input.
ICUB members continue to be active on the policy front. In December, I testified on behalf of ICUB at the Iowa Braille School Task Force meeting. I stressed the importance of high student expectation and the need for a broad range of service options to meet the needs of Iowa’s diverse blind student population. In January, Jo Slayton shared personal experiences using alternative techniques of blindness with young persons in the Iowa Department for the Blind’s Pathfinders program. In February, Elsie Monthei and dick Natale represented ICUB at the Iowa Department for the Blind’s legislative open house held at the state capitol. To maintain services at their present levels, the Department must receive an increased appropriation from the state legislature. This will be an extremely tall order, given the state’s tight budget situation. There is still time to ask your legislator to support the Department’s budget request.
Dee Clayton, Dick Natale and Donna Seliger joined me in Washington, D.C. for this year’s ACB Presidents’ Meeting and Legislative Seminar. There was a sense of enthusiasm throughout the proceedings that I hadn’t experienced in ACB for several years. Attendance at the seminar reached 140, the highest mark since 2000. Excitement was fueled by ACB’s recent successful advocacy, which resulted in the DVD “Ray” being released with Descriptive Video Service (DVS). The mood was tempered by concerns over proposed Social Security reform and threats to Vocational Rehabilitation. We discussed these issues with staffers in the offices of Iowa’s five representatives and two senators, stressing the importance of preserving separate funding for agencies serving blind persons. Staffers seemed particularly interested in DVS, and without fail enjoyed the ICUB talking clocks and key chain thermometers! Please contact me if you would like more detail about the seminar and ACB’s legislative agenda.
trust that 2005 is treating you well. See you at convention!
Dubuque Association Report
By Bob Nesler
We had a couple of very nice events during the Christmas holiday. First we went to Eichman's Restaurant in Dubuque for a wonderful dinner. Next, we all had a very good time in Vinton for a delicious meal and wonderful auction. Hats off to Shirley Wiggins and those who planned it. We held our election of officers and the results are as follows: Bob Nesler, President; Shirley Conrad, Vice President; Gaby Nesler, Treasurer; and Inez Schultz, Secretary. We certainly miss our former treasurer for so many years, Thelma Kerth, who passed away late last year. There is an empty spot we cannot fill and we surely miss her.
We are looking forward to beginning our new year in March with our meetings continuing at Finley Hospital. Please contact me for more information if anyone is interested in attending.
DES MOINES CHAPTER REPORT
By Dee Clayton
Hi All, Hope everyone is getting a good start to 2005. The Des Moines Chapter had its Holiday Party on December 11th at Judge Roy Bean's. We had 46 people in attendance. Many door prizes were given and then we had an auction. I believe everyone had a good time.
Since we have our holiday party in December, we changed our yearly election to the November meeting. Officers elected for 2005 are as follows: Dee Clayton, President; Jo Slayton, Vice-President; Sandy Feldman, Corresponding Secretary; Donna Seliger, Recording Secretary and Dick Natale, Treasurer. Our Board members are as follows: Elsie Monthei, Mohamad Jihad, Bob Seliger, Bob Palmer, Kim Lawson, and Sherran Keir.
We are sending two people and the stat4e is sending two to the President's Meeting and Legislative Seminar in Washington D.C. It will be held the weekend of Feb. 19th through Feb. 22nd. This is always a good meeting.
Of course, we are looking forward to the state convention in April and hope to see many of you there. It is looking like a great convention so start making your plans and get your reservations made. Signing off for now and will talk with you are after the ACB National Convention in Las Vegas in July.
FORT DODFE CHAPTER REPORT
By Linda Sorenson
Hi, you may have noticed that the Fort Dodge chapter has a different writer. Because of health problems, Thelma decided to give up her job as secretary, and concentrate on taking care of herself. We wish her the best and thank her for her dedication. She did a great job. She will still continue as a member. Also, Gary Michael, our president has also had health problems. Donna McBurney has taken over as our president and I will serve as secretary. We thank Gary for his service also.
In October, we had a dinner for our readers of IRIS to show our appreciation and thank them. We held it at Friendship Haven where the new studio is located. Everyone got to tour it and see where our readers read. It is a very nice facility for them.
In November we didn’t have a meeting, as it was Election Day. In December we held our regular meeting and had our change of officers. Terry Poldberg visited us and told us about Liz Soener, project specialist. January’s meeting was cancelled because of weather. In February we finally got to meet again. Liz was there and told about having mini workshops. She also informed us of the new aids available and tips for help in our homes.
Hopefully by the time you read this winter will be a fading memory and spring will be here. I think that about covers all that has been happening with our chapter. Happy Easter!
NORTH IOWA SUPPORT GROUP
By Jeanne Jensen
On March 2 2004 a support group was formed for blind or visually impaired person in the North Iowa area. They meet the first Tuesday of each month with ten to eighteen persons present.
Greg Jensen and Steve Falkner gave programs on their lives as blind persons and Rochelle, a member of the group, on her use of a Leader Dog. Other programs focused on nutrition with regard to controlling diabetes and the access to the area newspaper through IRIS by area volunteers who read the paper from 8-9 am every morning, seven days a week.
In August Barbara and Lee Meleney hosted the group at the Clear Lake Public Library meeting room for a delicious luncheon followed by an informative program on macular degeneration given by a local Ophthalmologist. In October several members tried out the accessible voting machine on display at the county courthouse.
The group decided not to meet during the winter months. The next meeting will be in March. For information on time and location call Barbara Meleney at (641) 423-5410.
CEDAR RAPIDS CHAPTER REPORT
By Shirley Wiggins
Hello all! What have we been up to these winter months? Not much I’m afraid. We did host the annual Christmas party on December 4, 2004. It was held at the Pizza Ranch in Vinton. We have had only one meeting since then. We held our meeting at Tommy’s restaurant on February 17, 2005. We had an excellent treasurer’s report for a change thanks to the auction held during our Christmas party. Jonathan Ice was our guest speaker. His talk was about the Vocational Rahab bill now in congress that would combine services for the blind with other disability services. We agreed to contact Congressman leach to urge him not to support this bill.
Two new members were recognized at the meeting. It was also reported that we have sadly lost our dear Elinor Andrews. Eleanor passed away February 21st. She will be missed very much.
The support group had our Christmas party with close to 40 attending. We did not meet in January due to the weather. That is the first no show in over nine years. We did meet in February and all were glad to be together again. We have gained seven new members in the last three months and are very excited about the new people attending. See you at convention!
By Dick Natale
Balances as of December 31, 2004:
Raymond James Account $25, 382.18 ` Increase for year $1,361.54
Checking Account $35,625.54*
Savings Account $17,729.33
SUB Total $78,737.05
(*MARIE HOENIG $25,188.71 INCLUDED IN CHECKING ACCOUNT)
ICUB TOTAL $53,548.34
Marie Hoenig Fund $25,188.71
MARIE HOENIG AMERICAN EXPRESS WAS CLOSED AND TRANSFERRED TO CHECKING ALONG WITH NEW DONANATIONS OF $17,780.00. IT IS BEING HELD IN OUR CHECKING ACCOUNT UNTIL FEB 1, 2005. AT THAT TIME A NEW CD AND CHECKING ACCOUNT WERE OPENED AND THE $25,188.71 TRANSFERRED OUT.
VEHICLE DONATIONS FOR THE YEAR 2004
$1,607. DOWN CONSIDERABLEY FROM PREVIOUS YEAR.
STATE CONVENTION ANNOUNCEMENT
By Dick Natale
Announcement regarding the 2005 ICUB STATE CONVENTION being held this year at the Fort Des Moines Hotel:
This year the cost will be:
But we have a special price if you pre-register by April 15th and attend both meals. The combined price for pre-registration and both meals is $40.00. You SAVE $5.00.
Hotel reservations can now be made. The regular room rate is $75.00 per night, but pre-register and tell them you are with ICUB and you will be charged $60.00. The Des Moines Chapter of ICUB is paying the balance of $15.00. Please call the Fort Des Moines Hotel at (800) 532-1466. We hope to see many of you at the convention
ACB DIABETICS IN ACTION
By Dee Clayton
I would like to let you know that there is a new affiliate being formed. We are called the ACB Diabetics in Action. We will be receiving our charter in Las Vegas this summer.
This is a group for diabetics; their family and friends or anyone interested in diabetes. As of now the provisional officers are as follows: Dee Clayton, President from Iowa; First Vice-president, Patricia Wolf from California; Second Vice President, Steve Heesen from Wisconsin; Secretary, Alice Ritchhard from Georgia; and Treasurer, Jeff Bishop from Arizona.
The yearly dues for this organization are $10.00. $5.00 of this amount goes to ACB and $5.00 stays in the Diabetics in Action group. If you are interested in joining or know someone who is interested, please send your dues to Jeff Bishop, 1631 West Maplewood Drive, Tucson, AZ 85746.
We are making plans for convention. Each month we have a conference call on the first Thursday, starting at 8 p.m. Central Time. You are welcome to join this conference if interested. Please contact me at (515) 282-1275 and I will give you the information. Please consider joining this new group if you are at all interested in diabetes. Hope to hear from some more Iowans.
IBSSS SCHOOL REUNION
By Jo Ann Slayton
Many of you may have received a letter by now from Bob Spangler and his Committee regarding an IBSSS School Reunion planned for June 3-5 2005. In a nutshell, plans are underway for a wonderful time for all alumni attending, with lots of time to visit and participate in varied activities. Organizing an Alumni Association and plans to repair the wonderful old chiming clock donated to the school many years ago will be on the agenda for discussion. Bob noted a cost of $75 would be assessed for persons wishing to stay at the school and attend all meal functions. Otherwise, just meal functions would be at a cost of $55. The banquet alone would be $12.
For any questions you might have, or to call and request a letter with a registration form enclosed, you may contact Bob Spangler at PO Box 188, Vinton, IA 52349 or call (319) 472-4843. In talking with Bob Spangler, I noted that he is very enthusiastic about this reunion, and he hopes that many alumni will plan to attend.
SUMMER READING PROGRAM
Summer Reading Club - 2005
The IDB Library will host a Summer Reading Club from June 6 - July 27, 2005. Any borrower ages 3-17 is welcome to join us as we launch a summer event filled with contests, book discussions, drawings, fun, and spectacular prizes! If interested, contact either Deena Cross or Carol Eckey at the Iowa Department for the Blind, (515) 281-1333, for more information.
By Ron Ocken
Personal helper(s) wanted at ACB Las Vegas convention.
Ron Ocken of Omaha (formerly of Iowa) has low hearing as well as low vision. He is seeking companions for special events at the ACB convention in Las Vegas. For example: tours, RSVA dance, cheese and wine party, possibly hotel show, etc. He will provide admissions.
Communication options include TellaTouch, tactile signing, “print-on-palm” and handwritten messages. He can teach “fingerspelling” and basic signing.
Contact Ron at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 402-496-6385.
(Editor’s Note: This is an unsolicited contribution that I received from the manufacturer. I am including if for informational purposes, but know nothing about the product and am not endorsing it. Please contact Mr. Jinon for more information.)
* Bierley Associates announces 24/7 Online Shopping capabilities. Bierley Associates is the only manufacturer of handheld video magnifiers that provides customers with Online Shopping, including 3 other purchasing options (Telephone, Fax and Mail) to promote a hassle-free purchasing environment.
* The MonoMouse has been recognized as a finalist in the European Assistive Technology Awards. After review and comparison from the show’s assistive technology specialists, the MonoMouse was selected to be showcased and was declared as a finalist in the “Lifelong Learning” category for assistive technology. The product is now on permanent display at Fern University, Germany, in the Assistive Technology Department.
For information on the MonoMouse contact:
Jay Jinon, 835 Blossom Hill Rd., San Jose, CA 95123
Phone: 1 (408) 224-8188
COURT WEIGHS DISABLED ACCESS ON CRUISE SHIPS
Tuesday March 1, 2005
By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY
Disabled people who vacation on foreign cruise ships that stop at U.S. ports should be protected from discrimination in rates and amenities, a lawyer for travelers who use wheelchairs told the Supreme Court on Monday. (Related story: More Supreme Court happenings)
Thomas Goldstein argued that the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) should apply to cruise ships that stop in U.S. waters even if the ships sail under a foreign flag - as most cruise lines serving the USA do.
But David Frederick, representing Norwegian Cruise Line, said Congress did not cover foreign ships in the landmark civil rights law for the disabled. He said that if the court were to interpret the ADA's requirements as extending to such ships, it would force cruise lines to operate under a complicated patchwork of regulations.
The justices poked holes in both arguments and suggested that a ruling for either side could have troubling results.
Most justices expressed concern that if the ADA applied to cruise ships, it also would cover other types of vessels that stop in U.S. ports - and that many ships would have to make costly structural changes, such as widening doorways. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Goldstein's underlying message seemed to be that when it comes to setting standards for ships, "the U.S. rules the world."
But the justices also worried that if the ADA does not apply to cruise ships, U.S. civil rights laws also would not extend to such vessels. Ginsburg and Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and David Souter repeatedly asked Frederick whether his logic meant that ships should be exempt from U.S. laws that ban racial bias. He reluctantly said yes.
The case presents a clash between disability rights advocates, who say the ADA was intended to help people pursue full lives, and the cruise industry, which argues that it would be too complicated and costly to abide by the laws of individual port countries.
An estimated 10 million people a year take cruises, and one "friend of the court" brief said the number of disabled people in that group could be significant. A brief by the Paralyzed Veterans of America and nine other groups said cruises are ideal for disabled people because they offer activities within small spaces.
The ADA requires that places of "public accommodation" and "public transportation" be accessible to the disabled. It does not mention foreign ships in U.S. waters. Douglas Spector and two other travelers who used wheelchairs or electric scooters took cruises on the Norwegian Sea and Norwegian Star, which sail under the Bahamian flag. They said they were charged extra for cabins accessible to the disabled, and that some services in public areas, including bathrooms, were not accessible.
A U.S. appeals court said neither the ADA's history nor its text indicate Congress wanted it to apply to foreign ships. Goldstein said that decision allows cruise lines to discriminate simply because their ships fly foreign flags. Frederick said foreign ships comply with the laws of the nation where they are registered and with international safety laws.
DINING IN THE DARK
Germany's Unsicht-Bar restaurant offers its customers a whole new way of looking at food
By Ursula Sautter Cologne
The dark is good for all kinds of things, like love, trysts or even murder. Now, however, another nocturnal activity can be added to the list: fine dining. In Cologne's trendy Unsicht-Bar (in German, an untranslatable pun on the words invisible and bar), light is absolutely verboten, and patrons gather to wine and dine in utter darkness.
With the complete loss of vision — and the resulting heightening of the other four senses — an evening at Germany's first-ever dark restaurant is an extraordinary culinary adventure. "You smell better, you are more receptive to differences in texture, consistency and temperature," says Unsicht-Bar manager and founder Axel Rudolph, 46, who opened the eatery in May 2001. "It's a holistic experience." As taste buds work overtime to discover fresh nuances in well-known flavors, even simple, everyday foods like potatoes or plain yogurt morph into nouvelle cuisine.
Before descending into the Stygian darkness of the dining room proper, where flashlights and even luminous watches and mobile phones are prohibited, customers choose their fare in the restaurant's brightly lit, cheerfully decorated entrance hall. To add to the spirit of mystery, individual dishes are not clearly identified as, say, goat cheese on a tomato beignet. Instead, enigmatic descriptions such as "a flying visit to an Alpine cheese factory" make the diners even more curious about what's soon to hit their palettes. It's all very reminiscent of the exotic dinner parties planned by the Futurists, the early 20th century avant-garde group, who concocted multi-sensory meals such as the "tactile dinner party" during which guests might feast in the dark on Polyrhythmic Salad (undressed lettuce leaves, dates and grapes) and Magic Food (small bowls filled with balls of caramel-coated items such as candied fruits, bits of raw meat, mashed banana, chocolate or pepper).
The Unsicht-Bar's waiters play a particularly important role — all of them are either visually handicapped or completely blind, and they not only serve the meals but also act as guides to the stumbling diners. Once they have shepherded the clientele through a "light lock" to their table in the pitch black dining room, the specially trained staff offer reassurance to the nervous — some guests are so uncomfortable in the dark that they ask to leave at once — and instruction on how to best to tackle the food and drink. "It's a very interesting and satisfying job," says Majsar Saliov, 39, who has been employed in the Cologne restaurant for three months. "It's really more like a hobby than work."
Cooking for the temporarily sightless is also a challenge. "We try to preserve the original flavor of the ingredients we use," explains Unsicht-Bar chef Dieter Voigt, 49. "We would never smother meat or vegetables in complicated sauces or use convenience products that mix flavors." The only spices the cook uses — he, it is important to note, works in a well-lit kitchen — are salt, pepper, garlic, onions and herbs.
Since dining in the dark is not without its pitfalls — knives and forks tend to miss their invisible targets — certain dishes and foods are absolutely taboo. Peas, prawns and spaghetti, for instance, would just be too hard to eat and are therefore absent from the menu. Finger-food, however, and soup served in double-handled mugs are great favorites with the clients and the chef alike. Whenever possible, the food is precisely arranged so that customers can locate it using directions such as "celery at 3 o'clock" or "feta cheese at 9 o'clock."
Because the dark restaurant has been doing a roaring trade since it opened, others are now copying Rudolph's idea. In September, the local Association of the Blind and Visually Handicapped will open an Unsicht-Bar in Berlin. This restaurant will also have a "dark stage" on which it will host audio book premieres, readings and concerts. It will even present blind- date events that truly merit the name.
But Cologne's Unsicht-Bar does more than just fire the imagination and stimulate the senses. After one or two hours in complete darkness, patrons come to appreciate the skills of the blind waiters, who move around the room with perfect ease. A trip to Unsicht-Bar thus sheds light on a strange sensual world in which the sighted people are the ones who are blind.
From the Jul. 29, 2002 issue of TIME Europe magazine
SCIENTISTS REGENERATE OPTIC NERVE IN MICE
United Press International, Thursday, February 24, 2005
BOSTON, Feb 24, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Scientists in Boston have been able to regenerate a damaged optic nerve, from the eye to the brain, in laboratory mice.
The achievement holds great promise for victims of diseases that destroy the optic nerve and those who have injuries of the central nervous system.
The team developed two genetically altered strains of mice: one with an overactive protein for regeneration and one that could not form scar tissue blocking the regeneration. By combining the two mutations the team was able to cause the optic nerves to return to an embryonic state, stimulating rapid, robust regeneration.
"For us, this is a dream becoming reality," says Dr. Dong Feng Chen, lead author of the study, assistant scientist at Schepens Eye Research Institute and an assistant professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. "This is the closest science has come to regenerating so many nerve fibers over a long distance to reach their targets and to repair a nerve previously considered irreparably damaged."
The research is described in the March 1 issue of the Journal of Cell Science
A not-so-smart woman enters a store that sells curtains. She tells the salesman: "I would like to buy a pink curtain in the size of my computer screen".
The surprised salesman replies: "But, madam, computers
don’t have curtains….
And the woman said:.........."Helloooo....I've got Windows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Helpful hint: Best Cleaning Tips Ever
Dirt: Layers of dirty film on windows and screens provide a helpful filter against harmful and aging rays from the sun. Call it an SPF factor of 15 and leave it alone.
Cobwebs: Cobwebs artfully draped over lampshades reduce the glare from the bulb, thereby creating a romantic atmosphere. If your husband points out that the light fixtures need dusting, simply look confused and exclaim, "What? And spoil the mood?" (I just throw glitter on them & call them holiday decorations.)
Pet Hair: Explain the mound of pet hair brushed up against the doorways by claiming you are collecting it there to use for stuffing hand-sewn play animals for underprivileged children. (Also keeps out cold drafts in winter.)
Guests: If unexpected company is coming, pile everything unsightly into one room and close the door. As you show your guests through your tidy home, rattle the doorknob vigorously, fake a growl, and say, "I'd love you to see our den, but Fluffy hates to be disturbed, and rabies shots are SO expensive.
Dusting: If dusting is REALLY out of control, simply place a showy urn on the coffee table and insist, "This is where Grandma wanted us to scatter her ashes."
Painting: Don't bother repainting. Simply scribble lightly over a dirty wall with an assortment of crayons and try to muster a glint of tears as you say, "Junior did this the week before that unspeakable accident, and I haven't had the heart to clean it."
General Cleaning: Mix one-quarter cup pine-scented household cleaner with four cups of water in a spray bottle. Mist the air lightly. Leave dampened rags in conspicuous locations. Develop an exhausted look, throw yourself on the couch, and sigh, "I clean and I clean, and I still don't get anywhere."
As a last resort, light the oven, throw a teaspoon of cinnamon in a pie pan, turn off oven and explain that you have been baking cookies for a bake sale for a favorite charity and haven't had time to clean...Works
Face it... If the house is clean, the computer has crashed. ;)
Consider this: “What is a free gift? Aren’t all gifts free?” ~ Anonymous