Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Introduction: The Lazy Person's Guide to Home Management

Are mundane chores preventing you from reaching your true potential--like becoming thin and famous? Over the years, I have found several ways to make routine tasks easier—especially for a lazy, always-on-a-diet person like me. If you're lazy too (or busy saving the world or raising children) and need some advice, or have a tip to share, please read on:

1. Gardening
Laziest way: Buy fake potted plants and put them outside. That's usually what I do--I’m not kidding! It mortifies my mother, who lives in my neighborhood and is a real gardener, but for drive-by's, I doubt they can tell the difference (one winter, however, I was too lazy to put my red begonias inside so they me gave away as they sat there getting faded yet still blooming in the snow).
Lazies who want to make an effort: Buy plants from a friend’s plant sale fundraiser and hire your friend’s kid to plant them (at least you're maintaining friendships when you do that). Warning: you’ll have to pray for rain all summer long or you’ll be out there watering them every few days.
2. Maintaining/cultivating friendships
Laziest way: Just give up. I saw a movie recently where the leading lady said, “I can’t have girlfriends, because then I'll have to remember their birthdays.” (By the way, if your friend is a true friend, she would just self-address a card and give it to you a week before her birthday.)
Lazies who want to make an effort: If you’re too lazy to enter your friends’ birthdays on a google calendar that can be set to remind you, then you’ll have to be thoughtful other times of year. For example, if your friend produces a CD, buy it, or if they approach you with a catalog from their child’s school fundraiser, buy something. If you don’t need it, give it away as a gift. If you can’t afford to buy anything, promise them that when you have to do a fundraiser, you won’t bother them!

3. Cleaning
Laziest way: Hire a housekeeper who doesn't speak your language (so they can't blab to all your friends about what a slob you are).

Lazies who want to make an effort: Get rid of all knickknacks—be honest, you never dust them and they cover your table surfaces that you need for piling papers on. When people ask you what you want for birthdays, Mother’s Day, etc., ask them to clean your house for a couple of hours or to hire someone to clean it. That way you get what you really want and you are making it known to everyone that you just can’t handle doodads in your house.

4. Meals
Laziest way: dine at a drive-thru.

Lazies who want to make an effort: it’s all about the crockpot and pre-washed salad, canned/frozen vegetables and prepackaged soup mixes. Never fall for those crockpot recipes that make you sauté or brown something first—we’re trying to save steps here. I am getting my “weight loss” crockpot recipes from a free weight loss site I joined (they give you a diet and track your weight—if you’re honest when plugging it in) at:
Sorry, there’s no getting out of going to the grocery store. But if you’re buying a lot of frozen and pre-packaged, chemical laden foods like I suggested, you probably only have to do major grocery shopping once a month since that kind of food lasts forever!

5. Christmas/Hanukkah Cards
Laziest way: Just say “No!” (But you better be in mourning or sick or something--otherwise, your friends WILL be offended unless you all agree beforehand not to exchange greetings.)
Lazies who want to make an effort: If you’re bad about remembering birthdays, then you really have no choice—you must send holiday greetings. Other than sending a form letter or a family/pet picture postcard, the easiest thing to do is to send an e-mail with the excuse that you are saving trees or on the cost of postage in order to donate to some noble cause. Right after 9/11, I used the anthrax scare as my excuse!

6. Pets
Laziest way: Don’t get a dog! They’ll urinate on your new wall-to-wall carpets and shed all over, making you look more of a slob than you actually are. Just learn to say, “No Dog!” to your kids. (Plus they might accidentally harm a young child--I was a afraid a dog would jump on my youngest daughter, Elizabeth, who was disabled.)

Lazies who want to make an effort: Offer to get your child an ant farm or some other small, confined creature. Not wanting to appear completely unyielding to my oldest daughter’s yearly pleas for a dog, I made her a promise: “If God brings a dog to our door, then you can have it.” Well, you can figure out what eventually happened! And of course, this 100-pound dog’s shaggy, black fur made cleaning an even bigger challenge for a lazy housekeeper like me (don't worry, he never did hurt Elizabeth but became her faithful couch companion instead). The following is an incident that happened when preparing for a “girls night out” gathering at my house:

Not wanting the gals to be disgusted by Riley’s kinky black hair wrapped around chair legs and rolling across the floors, I decided to do a thorough vacuuming job. I had to do it fast, however, because they were coming over within a half hour. The food was laid out, delicate wine glasses face up ready to be filled, and water and cinnamon was bubbling in a little blue pot on the stove to disguise the doggy smells.

Suddenly I had a brilliant idea! Our leaf blower could blast all the hair to one corner of the house in seconds! Then I could quickly gather it up. Energized by this innovative thought, I flung open the mudroom door that led directly into the garage. Beholding the machine that would clean my house in an instant, I wondered why no one else had ever thought of this before!

Collecting the leaf blower with its long, orange outdoor electrical cord, I dragged the contraption through the mudroom. Plugging it into a kitchen socket, I pondered a second career for myself—move over Martha Stewart! Adjusting the nozzle toward the floor, I flipped on the switch. The machine sprang to life with a loud resounding WOOSH. And POOF! The dog hair vanished. But not where I wanted it to go! It wasn’t racing tidily toward one corner of the house. Instead, fluffs of it flew high into the air. It landed on ceiling cobwebs and clung to them. Black hair also settled on top of the salsa, hummus, and tortilla chips and gently drifted into the wine glasses. Not exactly what I had planned!

I wiped as much of the hair off the table and counter surfaces as I could before my guests arrived. Just as I was blowing the hair off the food and out of the glasses, the doorbell rang. Once my friends were all seated, and had eaten their fill, I entertained them with the account of my leaf blower disaster. It felt great to make them laugh. I decided, however, that in order to keep the giggles going, it would be best not to burden them with the fact that I’d turned on the blower after their food and wine glasses were already laid out.

The account of Riley's hair and my leaf blower is an excerpt from Chapter 19 of my memoir, “Anything But a Dog! The perfect pet for a girl with congenital CMV (cytomegalovirus).” If you’d like to read Chapter 1 of “Anything But a Dog!” or see photos of Elizabeth and Riley relaxing together on my couch, visit:
If you have any "Lazy" tips to share, please post it in "Comments" below or e-mail me at
Lazily yours,

Lisa Saunders


Anonymous said...

Lazy person's way of getting kids ready for school- After their nightly bath, dress them in school clothes, then send them to bed. Saves 20 minutes the next morning when all they need is breakfast. I did this as a single mom working three jobs. P.S. Only works on kids young enough to not be embarrassed by such antics. :)
Terry Mayo, Maryland

Lisa Saunders said...

I just tried this "Lazy Recipe" on my husband Jim and he loved it:

Creamy Chicken and Sweet Potatoes (Crock pot)

4 boneless, skinless breast halves
2 teaspoons McCormick brand "Season All"
2 large sweet potatoes cut in chunks (I left the skin on)
2 10 ounce cans low fat cream of celery soup

I threw it all in the crockpot yesterday morning (making sure the chicken was covered in the thick goo) and put it on low. The original recipe, which I got from the book,"Delicious Slow Cooker Recipies" by Sheryn R. Jones, called for white potatoes, chicken seasoning, one 10 oz. can of cream of chicken soup and one 8 oz. carton of sour cream. I wonder what it would taste like if I used 8 oz. of Greek style non-fat yogurt in place of one of the sour cream. Any of you care to try?

Lisa M. Saunders said...

I've tried the following VERY EASY recipe submitted by Bernie and I almost felt guilty when my husband raved about much he appreciated me taking the time to make such a great meal:

Mexican Soup (adapted from
4-6 servings
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers (Rotel)
¾- 1 pound of frozen cooked grilled chicken (you could shred a deli roasted chicken about 2–3 cups total)
Put everything into a large saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until frozen chicken is heated through. You can top with shredded no-fat cheddar cheese.

Lisa M. Saunders said...

"Easy" Crockpot Chili:
1 pkg. McCormick Chili Seasoning mix.
1 1/2 lb. lean ground turkey (brown that)
2 (8 oz.) cans tomoto sauce
2 (8 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
30 oz. canned kidney or pinto beans (undrained)

Throw it all in a crockpot and set on low in the morning. By evening, you'll have a yummy meal with lots of leftovers. Add shredded chedder and/or sour cream or Greek yogurt if you like.

Lisa M. Saunders said...

Lazy spinach and spaghetti:

6-8 cups fresh prewashed spinach leaves
1 box of whole wheat pasta
1 jar of favorite spaghetti sauce
1 cup egg whites (I use "Better n' Eggs")or use four real eggs.
Parmesan cheese can be added on top after you serve it.

Directions: Boil pasta in water as usual. Moments before the pasta is done, stir in the fresh spinach and cook for about 15 seconds longer . Drain off water. Meanwhile, heat spaghetti sauce in a frying pan When simmering, pour egg whites on top and let cook there for about a minute. Then stir into the pot with the pasta. Makes four- six servings. My husband loved the creamy/lumpy sauce. He wanted to add parmesan cheese to it, but the old, opened jar I had in the fridge tasted terrible cuz it was about six years old.

Lisa M. Saunders said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa M. Saunders said...

Losing weight for Lazy People:
Lazy people don’t want a complicated diet to follow—that’s too much thinking and work. I found the answers to my weight loss problems in Weight Watchers and in the Feb ’10 Reader’s Digest article, “Weight Loss Secrets from around the World,” which lists how other counties stay thinner than the U.S. I’ve taken the best of those sources and come up with the following diet that works for lazy people (I did, through barely trying, lose approx 20 pounds by following this diet). The weight lose is a slow one pound a week, but this change in lifestyle is so easy to master that I didn’t have to think about it once I had it down. Try to make a habit out of the following suggestions:
Eat beans with every meal (they are low in fat/high in fiber and help regulate blood sugar).
Eat spicy food – Foods like hot peppers speed up metabolism, but the real benefit of spicy food is that you eat slower, which helps you know when you are full sooner.
Add the spice turmeric, a key ingredient in curries, to your meals—it’s a fat fighter.
Eat your breakfast
Drink rooibos tea (Starbucks sells it) or green tea.
Pickles—eat more, or make sure you are getting vinegar in your salad dressing.
Midday meal should be the biggest. Late evening eating packs on the pounds for some reason.
Consume omega-3 fatty acids—eat more fish.
Walk as often as possible (getting good books on tape really helps).
The overall plan:
Eat as much as you want (but stopping when you feel satisfied) of the “free foods” and then allow yourself approx 1,700 calories a week of “fun” foods (cookies, nuts, raisins, fatty cheese, bread, oil, etc.).
“Free foods” are: Beans (not jelly!), fat-free dairy, grains, fish, poultry, very lean beef (like filet mignon), eggs (I buy the egg-white mixture so I can cut the fat in the yolks), sweet potatoes, vegetables, fresh fruit (not dried), 94% fat free popcorn, whole wheat pasta and brown rice (when I stopped eating the pasta and brown rice, however, I seemed to lose more weight).
Mindless snacking: try grapes, 94% fat free popcorn, fresh spinach leaves, can of string beans, beets, baby corn, frozen blueberries (a great smoothie is a blend of banana and frozen strawberries and frozen blueberries), etc.

Lisa M. Saunders said...

Slaw Supreme

1 bag of broccoli slow (califorina slaw looks similar)

1/4 cup low fat mayo

teaspoon mustard,

teaspoon vinegar

handful raisins or cranberries

handful toasted almond slivers

3 packets of splenda

1 apple cut up(with skin on)

Mix it all up!

Lisa M. Saunders said...

Easy five ingrediant recepes: