Sunday, October 8 – Clean stainless steel appliances with vinegar

While I do have a stainless steel microwave and oven, I’ve never tried cleaning with vinegar. I have a special cloth that supposedly gets stainless steel clean, and it does work with a lot of rubbing, but the best thing that I’ve ever used was a stainless steel cleaner spray. I felt a little guilty about using it, which is why I now have the cloth, so I have to admit I’m curious about the vinegar. I think I’ll try it!

Monday, October 9 – Pick apples and make cider

Today I cleaned all of the windows in the house. It took 6 hours, maybe 7 and I’m not exaggerating. I removed all of the screens, and storm windows, and washed them, and vacuumed the sills. At first I thought maybe I would just clean the downstairs windows, but then I thought I might as well finish. My husband helped with a few by removing or replacing storm windows, and did some vacuuming, but it was still an insane undertaking. They look good, but I also need to do the OUTSIDE of the windows and can’t reach most without a ladder, plus I’m exhausted even contemplating washing more windows.

I didn’t use vinegar, I followed This Old House’s guidelines and had several cloths and a spray bottle with a mix of dish soap and water. I know lots of people swear by newspaper, I just didn’t feel like dealing with all that black ink on my hands.

I did not go apple picking.

Tuesday, October 10 – Schedule gutter cleanings

This was easy, I scheduled my husband for this task, although I think we need to replace the gutter on the back of the house and I’m not sure if we can do that ourselves (I mean, if he can do it himself because to be clear, I have no intention of doing anything on a ladder with a gutter). It’s on the schedule for Saturday, October 21. Nothing like advance notice.

In case you were wondering, I am very sore. I didn’t anticipate that.

Thursday, October 12 – Friends of Hudson River Park Annual Gala

As luck would have it we have not one but three client events this evening. A press preview and tasting at the launch of a new restaurant, BlueFin at the Portland Harbor Hotel, a Gala fundraiser at Thompson’s Point for Spurwink Services (they honored our client Coffee By Design’s owners as the Humanitarian of the Year) and a viewing of Cooking Channel Late Nite Eats featuring client Liquid Riot. That’s way better than Martha’s evening. Plus I am actually going to a gala, and will wear a black dress and heels.

Plus plus I got a chicken started in a dry rub earlier today for tomorrow night’s birthday dinner for our son; he requested fried chicken and chocolate cake with chocolate icing.

Friday, October 13 – Early-morning horseback ride

Last night was great fun and I got to see myself eating on the Late Nite Eats episode, which wasn’t flattering but was funny.

I woke up this morning at 6:15, which is early for me and it was pitch black. Today is our son’s 17th birthday and I realized that if I got up I could make a cake before going to the gym at 8. This is an astounding concept, and something I’ve never entertained before as a viable option. I did it. I had the cake cooling on racks at 7:55 a.m. I figured at that point that pretty much no matter what happened the rest of the day I was way ahead. By the way, I also hung up the birthday banner in our kitchen, wrapped a birthday present, fed the dog and the cat, took the dog out and packed a lunch for my son.

I think I earned major Martha points for this week, even with no horseback ride (ahem, no horse).

Saturday, October 14 – Co-host 10-year VIP Chef Party with Lee Schrager for NYC Wine & Food Festival

I know, you’re thinking I probably collapsed today and spent the day in bed or something like that. My husband, who has a cold, spent much of today napping. I did some laundry, and some work I’ve been meaning to get done for Eat Drink Lucky. It felt like a good, productive day. Oh – and I planted the garlic!!!

This week’s tip from Martha: Clean kitchen from top to bottom

I think I might need to start fresh, with all new appliances. And a new kitchen.