Tuesday, May 31, 2016

From Alice Haddow: The Alice Haddow's House for Grownups Rules Have a New Home

I have gone high-tech and created a website as the permanent home for the Alice Haddow -- Alice Haddow's House for Grownups Rules.

For any parent who is in the circumstance of having adult children living with them -- and there are a growing number in America -- my experiences hopefully will provide some help.

Click on the following link for the Alice Haddow's House for Grownup Rules:


I hope to hear from you after you have read the rules.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

My First New Post in Forever

In deference to my beautiful friend Catherine, I have deprivatized my blog. (It is here that I am debating a tangent about the possibility that "deprivatized" should not be considered a word, but I will resist.) In deference to my daughter Katy, I am thinking about adding pictures to this post. (It is a work night; it is late; I will resist that one, too.) In deference to all who love South Carolina, here is a chance to review for the first time in months pictures of our tiny little Gable home in Bluffton. I miss it terribly! If given a chance (or the time) to visit, I will not resist at all.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

AHHJ and the need for technological sophistication

Although it surely must appear that Alice Haddow cannot get enough of her Carolina villa, she is ready and willing to confess that many individual posts on the subject are more a function of her soon-to-improve technological acumen than anything else. All of Alice Haddow's friends who are also skilled bloggers can easily place multiple pictures in one post. For Alice Haddow, it's a different story; one picture per post these days seems the most she can manage. Still, it gives her a chance to share info (and pine, if only a little bit) about her homesickness for AHHJ. Look carefully out the window of this picture of the family room, and you will see the lights of the golf clubhouse that beckon Poppy each and every day he is there.

Monday, December 29, 2008

More Rooms at AHHJ

The picture to the right is our morning room at Alice Haddow's House of Joy.  Though very small, we enjoy it immensely. Sometimes, when we manage to ignore our cravings for the breakfast bagels at the Sippin' Cow Cafe, we eat on the little glass table pictured here.  As always, click to enlarge the picture.  You will not find corked, green, empty bottles on this table, but you will find three place settings with only one glass from which to drink. We asked Centex Homes, whose interior designer had accessorized this former model home, where we might find the rest of the blue glasses to match. Surprise, surprise; they had no idea.  For some reason, that was A-OK with us. Maybe that's because this little house embodies pure bliss, with or without all pieces to the table place settings.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

House of Joy

As promised, I have begun to download a picture (or two, or few) from Alice Haddow's House of Joy, affectionately known as AHHJ. To the right is the dining room. Click to enlarge it, and you will see a delightfully vibrant place to visit. Most would assume this room is used for eating, and my LDS friends can correctly assume it is never used for imbibing, despite the decision of the interior designer to stick a corked, green bottle in the middle of the table. This corked, green bottle is now and always has been empty; in fact, said bottle disappeared to who knows where--the trash maybe?--shortly after we moved into AHHJ. Each time the clan of Alice Haddow visits SC, other things in this room, place settings included, also disappear in favor of computers, computer chargers, and printers. We work in the dining room and love every minute of it. More to come after Alice Haddow attends to a couple of newlyweds who have come to visit AHHG.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What We Should Have Done

I have noted in recent weeks the existence of an organization called the Small House Society. They cite as a motto the notion of "better living through simplicity." My experience draws me to this motto like a moth to the light.

Owning a home large enough to house 15 people (see "What We Did" post below) will not ever be--nor has it ever been--easy, particularly when one attempts to employ the Alice Haddow House for Grownups rules. Despite our pure motives in building Poppy's Place as a gathering place for our large family, I now know we could have accomplished the same thing far more simply and efficiently had we joined the Small House Society at the turn of the 21st century.

How do I know this? I know it because I purchased a small home in South Carolina just before my youngest's senior year of high school. As we made plans to gather the family there for Katy's graduation, we knew that a dozen or more people simply would not fit in two small bedrooms. We asked to rent one of the 11 villas on the same street, which led to an epiphany. Nothing could beat this arrangement for family happiness. One tiny house for the tidy grandparents (plural here only because Alice Haddow chooses neatness on behalf of her hapless husband) and their tidy offspring plus a second tiny house for free-spirited offspring equals a fabulous solution. It eliminates all nagging, guilt, or other unpleasantness involved in the AHHG rules.

Best of all, when everyone leaves, Poppy and Sugamom resume their simple lives of golf and swimming at a fraction of the expense incurred in the Virginia countryside. There is a reason Alice Haddow refers to her SC villa as a little house of joy. Access to a home computer in the coming week will also provide access to the pictures that will show precisely why.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What We Did

In 2001 we had two lovely daughters find two lucky men and get married. With one wedding in June and another in December, we had plenty of company that year. The housing market had been hot for a while, and we knew we could sell our house quickly if we wanted to accommodate our growing family by building a bigger home in the Virginia countryside. At the time, we had friends whose adult children had moved back home, not just as couples but as families with as many as five children in tow. We wanted to make certain we could accommodate the grandbabies that soon would arrive in our own family, so we built Poppy's Place, aka Alice Haddow's House for Grownups. Poppy's Place has served from its first moments of construction as an inspiration for the AHHG rules.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Solution for Boredom

To my dear readers who may be waiting for continued production on this blog but finding it too slow for their liking, you are welcome to click over to my Bits and Pieces blog. You can find it by clicking on the title--"A Solution for Boredom"--to this post above.

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Apologies

Promises, promises. Despite the sweetness in the very sounds of the words, promises become a real drag when they remain unfulfilled. Just ask any politician. Better yet, ask any constituent who voted for the politician. Then ask the press, and they will either condemn or make excuses for the politician, depending on whether or not they like the guy.

I am far from a politician (Please! Call me anything but!); however, I did promise last week to start listing the actual AHHG rules list at Wordpress. At the time, I naively believed it would be a very easy task to accomplish.

The computer guru at AHHG is currently away from home, and I have realized I will need his expertise before fulfilling on the aforementioned obligation. It remains a promise, nonetheless; it's just taking a little more time than I would have guessed. Hang in there with me, and when my computer whizkid returns, we'll git 'er done.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Surprise, Surprise (another title link)

We have enjoyed the great surprise this week of much more internet traffic than could have been expected when first I decided to join the rest of the blogging universe. I have noted visits that span the country and the globe, which of course helps me realize that more than one of us in the world might have reason to feel a commonality with the whole mother-as-maid-forever phenomenon.

I have also read comments here and there that downloading a gigantically large (redundancy intended) list of AHHG rules is not the best option for some of our recent readers. In an attempt to accommodate those visitors who express such dislike of the download (I might even be one of them!), I am going to try to post the AHHG rules a section or so at a time at another website devoted to this concept.

Over the next few days, readers who dislike downloads but who want access to the basic AHHG info will begin seeing the fruits of this effort by simply clicking on the link in the title of this post. Here's to making life easier for all of us!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Digress

For those who may have missed the Washington Post article about my youngest, you'll find you're in for a real treat. Just click on the title of today's post (no pun intended). Yes, I really do mean to click on "I Digress" above and see where it takes you, given that the next paragraph will mean very little without it.

It is hard to believe that "sweet-faced junior" written about by reporter Liza Mundy and photographed for the Washington Post by Molly Bingham is now a married woman. It is not hard to believe she is a college student at BYU, living in her parents' house the way it should be done: under a different roof.

More on this concept in coming posts.


Monday, October 27, 2008

More than 14 million adult kids still live at home

I have to admit that I sometimes tire of the psychobabble I hear, particularly from the television psychologists who pontificate about all sorts of problems -- real and imagined. But the numbers of adult children who have come home to live when they are perfectly capable of living on their own is staggering.

None other than Dr. Phil weighs in on his views on this topic. I know all will enjoy this.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Alice Haddow's House for Grownups (AHHG) Rules

As a mother of six, now a grandmother of four beautiful grandbabies, there is one truth: When the kids leave the nest, they multiply and then come back -- over and over again.

Now I have drawn the line on how I expect them to behave when they come back, and I hope this blog helps others to draw that line as well.

In August of 2002 we moved into a new home, and the move inspired me to take a stand about who I am and how I would be treated by other family members.

It was an important moment for me as I sat down and wrote out a set of rules that I expected everyone to abide by when they were in my home. At the time, the kids were in the process of leaving the nest. Those were the bittersweet moments in which kids become adults and take responsibility for their own lives. Inevitably, however, those kids-turned-to-adults find themselves coming back home for various reasons, often including long stays with spouses and their own kids.

Then the transformation occurs where these highly capable adults become little children again, looking for Mom to cook the meals, clean the house, do the laundry, and be on call for any other needs they or their own kids may have.

Now, six years later, it dawns on me this is a constant struggle, and it is one the must be experienced by tens of thousands, if not millions of other mothers. The rules set for Alice Haddow’s House for Grownups is a blueprint for changing the behavior of these adult children who think that coming home means that I will resume the role I had when they were growing up.

I am expected to be the 24 hour-a-day maid.

I am not.

This is my public declaration that I am not anyone’s maid, and I will be in control of my own life. I hope it helps others.

Some of the rules are very personal to our family's faith, but I believe they have application to all mothers and to every home where emancipated kids return home thinking they can take a vacation from the real world and re-enact those sweet years in which Mom did everything for them.

In my household, at least, there is only one person who can make a difference with the intent of creating teaching moments for the real life that awaits these kids. The MOM!

I also know that others may be able to contribute other ideas, and share their own experiences, failures, and successes.

While I plan to eventually revisit each of these rules, you can download the entire document of Alice Haddow's House for Grownups (AHHG) Rules to review all at once.  Here is the link: