09/24/2009 02:45 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Top 5 Greatest Mysteries of Housework, Plus Top 5 Records to Clean By

You may disapprove, but I take a big deep breath of relief the minute my husband gets in the car with the kids to go to church on Sundays. Finally, I can assess the week's damage, and gather my forces to bring order to the house. If, God forbid, he misses church for a week or two, or we are traveling and I don't get my Sunday morning, it's like the evil lords of chaos descend on our house and I am lost in the ensuing flotsam and jetsam. As I turn on some music that I like, room-by-room I bring it all back into order. Hard as I have tried, I've never been able to hire someone to do this sort of's the unavoidable reality of life. But still, I can't help but wonder...

1. Why do the pillows from the couch always end up on the floor?

2. Where do all the glasses and empty plates with crumbs on them come from overnight?

3. Why is it so hard for people to leave the car keys on the table by the door, where they belong, and where we can all find them?

4. Why are bits and pieces of plastic, wrappers, paper, bread twistie things, bottle caps, and crumbled-up tissues and paper towels so difficult to put into the trash can?

5. Where does all this paper come from? And why does it keep circulating around the house like it's a giant whirlpool, rather than end up in the recycling bin?

Honestly, I don't expect answers.

My Top 5 Favorite Records to Clean By (for Now)

Dar Williams, Promised Land--She's soothing without being whiney. She's folk without being old and boring. She hits a note in my heart that makes me feel like I'm not the only one who feels the way I do.

Ida Maria, Fortress 'Round My Heart--Just angry enough to be cathartic, but fun enough to keep me smiling through it all.

George Strait, Twang--Reminiscent of a simpler time, with the slight but distant promise that something very romantic might just happen after church is over...and with just enough sad songs to prepare me for the worst.

Bob Dylan, Modern Times--There are songs in this album that just bring me back to goofy country club dinner dances in the 1970s -- when my Dad was still alive and he might ask my Mother to dance, and I'd sit there wishing they would play something really Bob Dylan.

Roman Candle, Oh Tall Tree in the Ear--Fresh and new and happy and no pretension or bad memories involved. Honestly, I'm sick of Bono and Coldplay, but bands like this make me feel like I did when I first heard them...

For more from Maria Rodale, go to Maria's Farm Country Kitchen.