attack_laurel (attack_laurel) wrote,

Knick-Knack, Paddywhack, Give the dog a Swiffer...

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.
Tags: cleaning, house, nostalgia
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