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I'm afraid I'm going to be insanely boring today. But you don't have to! Buy a pattern by Extreme Patterns from Reconstructing History! Do your part to make the SCA the most over-dressed bunch of people ever!

(Kass says I should do nightcaps, so the guys have something to wear, too. She is right. I will be working on those next.)

I am going to the embroidery session at Plimoth this weekend. Sadly, this means that I will be apart from Bob on Friday, which is our 11th wedding anniversary. Maybe Wednesday we can go out to dinner, or something. I love you, baby - more than ever. Smoochy and boring (to other people) endearments aside, I never get bored of being with you, and I never need space from you. We are the two halves of a whole that would much rather be together than apart.

But we are two halves that must clean like madmen, since we have company coming to stay this weekend.

(Yes, when I'm not there.  This is often the way our life works.)

Do any of you watch that show on BBC America called How Clean is Your House? Well, I'm just about a candidate for that. Since we don't have a guest room at the apartment, we rarely have people over to stay (apart from an occasional person who spends the night on the sofa after an evening of partying over the limit). Never much of a housekeeper, I have become a lazy slattern with half-inch layers of dust on every surface. My kitchen floor says "good morning!" to me before I've had my drugs. The bathroom has horrifying Dust Bunnies that Ate Tokyo.

I must clean. But first, I need to go to the grocery store to pick up cleaning supplies, since I am out of Magic Erasers.

(I loves me my Magic Erasers - and I have a tub that needs to feel its loving caresses something awful.)

While I am at the store, I'll be getting a few other things we need (like "everything" bagels for when I can't stand GF bread any longer, Maruchan spicy shrimp and chicken instant ramen, and what the hell, maybe some fresh fruit), so it's not completely about cleaning, but still. I should be ashamed; I'm only cleaning because other people will see my apartment.

I've said it before, but I am really rotten at housekeeping. When I was married to my ex, he was even worse than me, and decided that because I wasn't working regularly, that the entire house was my responsibility (fair enough, but he took it to extremes sometimes).  Since I had long days to fill with nothing but attending to the house (I didn't have a car, there was no public transportation anywhere reachable - and I didn't have any money anyway), I was usually pretty good about keeping everything nice, but the dishes tended to pile up in the sink, the laundry got put off more than once, and worse, the cat litter sometimes went unchanged.

(It is only now, that I've been without a cat for a number of years, that I realize how horrible my cat litter box must have been for visitors, as it was in the guest loo downstairs. I used to flush the stuff (awful for sewer systems), and it never flushed right, since it's mostly clay. People say you stop smelling it, and they are right, but it only takes one visit to a person with a bad litter box to realize how nasty it must have been. I hereby apologize profusely to anyone reading this who knew me then.)

Now, I'm a little more functionally equipped with cleaning things, and I have an incredible husband who is not only better at housework than me, but also actually thanks me when I do boring chores.  I love him, and I also love my dishwasher (not as much, nor in the same way, thankyewverymuch), as washing dishes is one of my least favourite chores.  I have a vacuum that tells me if the carpet is clean or dirty (assuming I use it), and the washer and dryer are right by the bedroom, so laundry is a million times easier (really, it's so silly to put the laundry at the far end of the house from where the most washing is produced, don't you think?).

I have got in the habit of taking out the trash when the bin is full (really, I had to learn this habit - aren't you disgusted?), unload the dishwasher, and scrub the loo every now and then, but I am still so bad at it!  The laundry is frequently done by Bob, who unloads the dishwasher far more often, and the dust just piles up - mostly because every surface in my house is covered with antiques, odd things, photographs, and books. This includes our mammoth coffee table (it seemed smaller in the store, but it has barley twist legs, and is awesome, so I'm keeping it, even though it's big enough to sleep on), which holds the notes and bits for every project I am working on - that isn't piled all over the dining table (which also has barley twist legs).

...Or under it - there's a half-cut out linen cassock on the floor under the dining table, and sewing boxes and more books and notebooks under the coffee table.

Bob is really a wonder - we've been together for 14 years, and he hates piles of stuff. All I do is make piles of stuff, because if I put it away, I forget about it.  He still loves me, and tells me so every day.

When we were first together, we lived in a tiny house (no, really - 425 square feet of living space) that had a bedroom, a sitting room that could hold six people (if they all stood), kitchen, bathroom, and a seriously unfinished (as in bare earth walls) "basement" that held the washer, dryer, boiler, and sump pump. I didn't have as much stuff back then, because we were both a lot broker than we are now, but we managed to completely fill the space. Bob managed to make a space in the attic (it was filled with things the owner of the house was storing), and "gave" a painting studio to me as a present, which increased our space by almost a third.

(And was beautiful - I loved working in it, as it really had that "starving artist working in a garret" feel, while being properly air-conditioned and heated.  Even the cats that lived next door who had claimed us as their own liked it; one of them would unfailingly join me just so he could sleep in front of the heater.  It rocked.)

I managed to keep that place reasonably clean - mostly because it was tiny - but the bathroom (you had to lean back against the sink to get the door open) had a funky shower that was tiled in such a way that it never drained completely, and clearing the soap scum from the corners was something I got to maybe every six months or so.

When it's your own dirt, you don't notice it as much (if you're a bad housekeeper, I mean).

I never, even when my first marriage was falling apart, and I was trying as hard as I could to be June Cleaver (I thought that's what he wanted), never, ever, managed to get my mind wrapped around the whole "housekeeping is fun!" thing. I've tried FlyLady - it annoyed me. I've tried drugs - not much housekeeping got done, but the dust made very pretty swirls in the air that I could watch for hours. I love a clean house - and I'm actually doing okay at keeping the new house in shape, mostly because it's so lovely - but I am genetically deficient in housekeeping genes (there's more than one - the newest one they've discovered gives you a predisposition to the smell of Febreze).

I imagine I dislike it in part because, as I said yesterday, I like English country house style - and that means the aforementioned things on every surface. If I was into Swedish Modern, dusting would probably not involve hauling everything off a surface, cleaning the surface, and then cleaning each knick-knack before it goes back on the surface, and would therefore be a little quicker and less tedious.

But I'm ready today - I'm really ready. I have reached the cleaning event horizon, and I will take the opportunity to cull my things, dividing them into Trash, Thrift, Take to Farm, and Stay. I will fill bags. I will destroy many cleaning implements. I will de-fur the bathroom sink. I'm not promising it will be uncluttered, but I will make it clean.

As Mr. Clean is my witness, I will be able to see enough floor to vacuum.

Comments

( 59 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
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kass_rants
Sep. 9th, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC)
I am into Swedish/Danish Modern. I love empty surfaces. I dispise clutter.

Unfortunately I also love piles of stuff. Well, I don't love them. But if I put it in a drawer, I forget about it. So my desk has no drawers and you can't tell that it's glass because there are piles of stuff covering it. But that's how I organise.

I hate the way my house is currently. I hate when things aren't put away, but I forget where they are if they're not in front of me. So when I'm working on multiple tasks (like always), I have piles of stuff in every room.

I am not a housekeeper, and just keeping the business stuff organised takes all of my time. Somedays I wonder whether my first employee will be a personal assistant or a housekeeper (perhaps both!).
attack_laurel
Sep. 9th, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC)
I'm the same way - if I can't see it, I forget about it. My work space is insane, but I know where everything is.

I am a big fan of housekeeping services - once a month, they do all the boring stuff that takes too much time.
(no subject) - kass_rants - Sep. 9th, 2008 03:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
maricelt
Sep. 9th, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC)
Go! GO! FLY! Make the garbage and dust bunnies flee in terror! I'll just sit here with my foot up and watch the dust collect in my own house, and go quietly insane.
attack_laurel
Sep. 9th, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)
As long as the dust bunnies aren't sentient, I'm okay with it. But mine are talking, and organizing a provisional government. It's time for a Tuesday afternoon massacre.
(no subject) - vom_schwarzwald - Sep. 9th, 2008 03:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
hsifeng
Sep. 9th, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC)
I almost never have the time to *notice* the state of my house: Up at 4:30 AM to run the dog and normally not home from work/school until 6ish when I take the first hour or so to prep all the stuff I need for the next day, do homework and then off to bed by 9:00 PM - I know, I am *loads* of fun! *rolls eyes*

But then Labor Day happened - a whole extra day in my schedule with little (OK, less) to do than normal.

And I say the Dust Bunny Gods that have come to roost in my house.

I would *kill* to have a maid. *le sigh*

Barring that, I am sticking my head back in the sand (dust) until the end of the semester. Hey, at least my dishes are clean and the laundry is done every day. The carpet, on the other hand, is at about a 10:1 pet hair to fiber ratio right now...
lorebubeck
Sep. 9th, 2008 02:51 pm (UTC)
Magic Erasers ROCK! I find new uses for them everyday. Soap scum on the shower door? Check! Spills on the glass-top stove? Check! Water and food spots on the stainless steel dishwasher front? Check! Grime on the fridge doors? Check! Sharpie marker on the endtable? Check! (note to self, kill children later).

The only fail I've had so far was some sort of black print that somehow got transferred onto my vinyl seats of my very cool 50's dinnette set. Still haven't figured that one out....
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - lorebubeck - Sep. 9th, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - florentinescot - Sep. 10th, 2008 12:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - attack_laurel - Sep. 10th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - florentinescot - Sep. 10th, 2008 11:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - albreda - Sep. 14th, 2008 12:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - attack_laurel - Sep. 16th, 2008 02:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
raventhourne
Sep. 9th, 2008 02:58 pm (UTC)
I'm a very good housecleaner when its just me and I have time. My mother was an OCD housewife and she cleaned all of the time and everything had to have its place...my dad was also OCD so I have a tendency to want things perfect. Enter my husband, who when he moved in with me was very happy with our arrangement and it was much easier to clean up a 1000 square foot apartment than our 1800 square foot house. Course we also have way more busy lives now and have to do "power cleaning" for people coming over everyweek...its still not the way I like my house.

But I really don't like cleaning, I just like the results..i hate bathrooms but when it smells of bleach and lemon its really nice.

Sounds like your hubby is a godsend! Congrats on your anniversary!
(Deleted comment)
chargirlgenius
Sep. 9th, 2008 03:12 pm (UTC)
When I have piles of stuff, I know exactly where everything is at. I can find anything. It drives Jeff batty. Sometimes he puts piles of stuff away, or makes me do it, and then I can’t find a thing.

We’ve finally hired a woman to come in once a month and do the dusting, bathrooms, etc. Though she doesn’t take care of the piles of stuff, it helps *me*, because if there’s a pile she can’t clean under it.

When it's your own dirt, you don't notice it as much (if you're a bad housekeeper, I mean).

I think that goes for most people. Jeff notices my clutter, and I notice his. *I’m* a bad housekeeper, but he isn’t. Go figure. :-) On the plus side, I feel much better about my housekeeping now, because our au pair tells us the horror stories of the other places she’s worked. There’s much worse than sentient dust bunnies.
pinkleader
Sep. 9th, 2008 07:03 pm (UTC)
Y'know I'm always surprised that Alan can notice my piles and subtly warn me when they get to be too much, but not notice his loose coffee grounds and crumbs.

My piles are a part of my life, and I try to contain them to only certain surfaces. But I come by it honestly. We could never see the dining room table growing up without serious excavation. Perhaps that's why my dining room table is clear but the kitchen one is just another pile on a horizontal surface.
(no subject) - attack_laurel - Sep. 10th, 2008 10:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chargirlgenius - Sep. 10th, 2008 12:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
evil_fionn
Sep. 9th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC)
Happy anniversary... :-)
Sigh... I thought I was the only person that got tired of GF bread and cheated.
And if it weren't for the fact that you don't live anywhere near me, I swear I was married to your ex... Or that you were married to mine!! (I did the June Cleaver thing in an effort to save the marriage as well..) And aren't we both so much happier NOW!! :-) Although in a bit more disarray..
Will have to try the Magic Erasers... I can pick them up on the way home from the Wal-Mart. :-)
attack_laurel
Sep. 9th, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC)
I'm suffering right now from a bread binge over the weekend (I'm not coeliac or Crohn's, just mildly intolerant of wheat).

The GF bread really, really sucks - even the good versions are nothing like real bread, and when you're making a chicken and Jarlsberg sandwich with mayo and horseradish, you need soft white bread that squishes. It's just like that, that's all. :)
(no subject) - evil_fionn - Sep. 9th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - attack_laurel - Sep. 10th, 2008 10:02 am (UTC) - Expand
ornerie
Sep. 9th, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
yay for over the top dress accessories!
Any plans for embroidered partlet patterns? :)
attack_laurel
Sep. 9th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC)
Yes. *mysterious smirk*
azpapillion
Sep. 9th, 2008 03:39 pm (UTC)
I think the bathrooms are my worst enemy. I'm trying to get it in the budget for a housekeeper to come in and JUST clean the bathrooms. If that is done, I'm much better about everything else.

I'm much more of a swedish style - nothing on the counters and despise paper in general and tend to keep scanned copies of stuff online so I don't have to organize it, but can do a search in the file.. :) Thats at least how I imagine it. Reality is that paper is stored in bags until I have the chance to process it.

Bills are paid automatically so I don't have to worry about that, just have to make sure the money is in the account. :)
attack_laurel
Sep. 10th, 2008 10:04 am (UTC)
I have had to learn to recycle paper catalogs, because we get so many. I like it that way, though - I often find things I wouldn't think of looking for on-line. ...And I get the *weirdest* catalogues - did you know Cher had a catalog of home decor stuff once? It was very gothy and fun.
heatermcca
Sep. 9th, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC)
GF bread... I can't eat it. I should be on a GF and very low-sugar diet (it helps with a couple nasty things I've got going on and my skin gets so *smooth* and soft and lovely) but it's just too dang expensive and I WANT bread and pasta.

We're starting to pay Meg to clean "her"/the guest bathroom. For an eight year-old, she does well. Otherwise, our problem is compounded by too many hobbies and their stuff, my massive fabric stash, and our general unwillingness to do housework.
attack_laurel
Sep. 10th, 2008 10:06 am (UTC)
Oh - there's a brand of GF pasta that has a mouthfeel and taste that will fool my husband! It's called PastaJoy, and it is teh awesome. I agree with you on the GF bread, though - when I'm being good, I mostly just don't eat bread products, and save the GF bread for when I absolutely have to have cinnamon toast. :)
(no subject) - heatermcca - Sep. 11th, 2008 04:05 am (UTC) - Expand
snailstichr
Sep. 9th, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)
Well, if it is any consolation, my husband just found our important papers for the taxes (he finds April 15 a suggestion, not a firm rule; fortunately we have a clever accountant.) Our accountant told us last year to put the papers in a safe place.
He found them in his copy of "A Latin Sexual Vocabulary." I told him he had obviously confused "safe place" with "safe word."
attack_laurel
Sep. 10th, 2008 10:07 am (UTC)
*snerk*
theodorad
Sep. 9th, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC)
Perhaps, we shall buy you a cute robot vacuums for the new place - the Roombas are very Jetson-retro as they toodle about my place vacuuming up the daily debris like little mobile dust busters. They occasionally get stuck in the oddest places, which I'm sure would either amuse or annoy Bob.

Or, maybe you'd hate a Roomba. I don't know.
attack_laurel
Sep. 10th, 2008 10:08 am (UTC)
I have a Roomba - it has little googly eyes and everything (did you know you can buy costumes for your Roomba?), but it's horribly noisy on the concrete floor.

When they get stuck, they emit a two-tone sound that made Bob laugh; it sounds like it's going "uh oh! uh oh!" over and over.
(no subject) - chargirlgenius - Sep. 10th, 2008 12:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorad - Sep. 10th, 2008 01:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - attack_laurel - Sep. 10th, 2008 01:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
damedini
Sep. 9th, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC)
I hear ya! At one point when I was married we rented a condo that had built-ins! Brilliant. My sewing room had a lovely press/chest combo built in and so it was easy to stash the sewing supplies and fabric. The upstairs hall was one 20' long storage place!!! One living room wall was all drawers and cupboards.

That place stayed fairly tidy.

Then we moved to a tiny jewel box of a house with no storage whatsoever. And you know what happened.

Now I'm in a somewhat larger house, still little storage.

It's funny; I don't hate cleaning at all. I kind of enjoy scrubbing and polishing within limits. but. I LOATHE tidying and putting away with every thread of my being. I don't need a cleaning lady (much), I need a tidyer to come in and make order where there is chaos.
heatermcca
Sep. 9th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
Built-ins: WANT. We're going to end up building some in this house, I think hope.
(no subject) - attack_laurel - Sep. 10th, 2008 10:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lady_guenievre - Sep. 10th, 2008 08:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
cathgrace
Sep. 9th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
I'm a firm believer that cluttered artistic minds, require cluttered artistic spaces to work. Although I do have my moments where I HAVE to clean or my head might explode from the chaos, usually I am quite happily disorganized. Paul is more like Bob, he cleans and hates my clutter, but he knows I need it and still smiles and kisses me everyday through it all.
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