Rule #1: Do not pack and wear your warmest pajamas no matter how cold it is.
My parents turn the heat up so high I feel like I'm in the tropics when I'm over there! The first night I was sweating so much I was crawling around on the floor, looking very much like Mr. Magoo I'm sure, since I didn't have my glasses on, looking for the floor vent so I could close it. When I got up the next morning and looked at the thermostat, it read 80 degrees!! O.M.G!!! There is something seriously wrong with that. But my dad is always cold and he doesn't like long sleeves. So in the dead of winter, they just keep turning the heat higher and higher instead of giving dad a sweatshirt or a sweater.
Rule #2: Do not plan on watching any of your shows while staying at your parents house because even though they assure you that there is cable on the TV in your room, the TV itself is so old the numbers only go up to 20. The remote is wonky, the TV is weird, the numbers stop at 20. As if I don't have enough reasons to feel like I'm 10 years old again while at my parents house, this one just drives it home!
And speaking of shows, dad watches the worst stuff on TV. Westerns. if it's not a game show. And if all else fails, he watches Gunsmoke or Bonanza reruns. So Rule #2B is, pack a book or two. Better yet, just being your Ipad, Kindle, Nook or device of your choice if you have one.
Rule #3: This rule only applies if you are staying at your parents house when there has been a time change. Be prepared to change many, if not all, of their clocks. Most likely they have either forgotten, decided not to bother, don't know how to change them or didn't realize there even was a time change.
Rule #4: Discard all old, moldy, spoiled and expired food because they never will. There is that mindset in older people "waste not, want not" so you may have to achieve this one on the sly. But do it. Oh please do it! What lead me to doing this is that I went to make a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for the nieces. I know, I know it's gross to begin with but kids like it so what can you do? So I grab a box from mom's pantry and go to make it. The boiling of the noodles goes fine, I have my butter ready and once the noodles are cooked, drain them and add the butter. Then dump in the disgusting powdered cheese. Something is amiss. The neon orange is not there, instead the "cheese" is red. Not just a little off from orange, but RED. And I'm stirring it thinking, "wow, it's really been a long time since I made one of these, I wonder why it's red?" And I'm stirring thinking it will turn orange. It doesn't. I can't shake this "this is just not right" feeling so I grab the box and look at it. The expiration date on the box was June of 2008!!! Promptly the whole thing went in the trash.
That led me to grabbing a garbage bag and going through the pantry and refrigerator and going through everything. I'm sure mom was horrified by all I was throwing out but it had to be done. It's November and she still had peaches in the fridge! Do you know how long peaches have been out of season around here? Is it any wonder that they were shriveled into little pebbles? And then I found the orange color that was missing from the cheese powder. It had transferred itself to an unopened jar of pineapple preserves. Correct me if I'm wrong but shouldn't pineapple preserves be yellow, not orange? Yeah I thought so. The date on the preserves was 2010!
After all this, I am very grateful my parents welcome me back. After all, it's for their own good that I do these things. At least, that's what they used to tell me when the tables were turned :)