Friday, July 21, 2017

How to Clean a House in Just a Few Easy Steps

Preface, this is a First World Problem, so if you are going to get all righteous, just walk away. Now.

Moving on.

Grandmother Mary Jean would be proud of what I'm about to write.

I've had my house cleaned by a number of different cleaning crews in the past. Only at various times, like when I was in a cast for ten weeks. Four different times, by four different agencies (I'll call them agencies...every cleaning "crew" is different). It never felt right when I did it. It still doesn't. But I'm running out of hours in the week and my house is getting pretty scary, so it's time to get serious about finding a permanent house cleaner.

And here's the thing.

NOBODY FREAKING KNOWS HOW TO CLEAN A DAMN HOUSE!!!

Whew, I feel better.

Maybe it's because I learned at the knee of my Grandma Mary Jean. She was notorious for vacuuming and dusting every day. Every other week she would deep clean the cabinet doors.

She was downright military-like when it came to teaching me to clean a house.

And I've slacked over the years. Oh, my, how I've slacked.

I'm ashamed at the level of slacking.

Kids...work....volunteer work....friends...exercise....maturity (which has taught me that a clean house should come last on the list when compared with spending time with my kids or my friends....all of these have intruded on my "used to be" clean house).

I simply don't have the time or the desire anymore and most of my friends use someone.

But it never works because the basic tenets of house cleaning, which were damn near biblical to my Grandmother, are being neglected. Unless I can find someone who understands and appreciates how you clean a house I'd rather it stay dirty and I'll get to it when I can.

Here are the basics:

1) When dusting, remove every item from the wooden surface you are dusting and dust underneath said items.

2) When dusting, remove every item from the wooden surface you are dusting and dust underneath said items.

3) One more time, in case you didn't fully understand numbers 1 & 2: When dusting, remove every item from the wooden surface you are dusting and dust underneath said items.

4) Dust the items you removed, even if it's just a quick swish. And dust the sides of the cabinet...and the front of the cabinet...and the doors of the cabinet. What's that? Yes, all the way to the bottom. Yes, I know, it's laborious. But it's important.

5) Wipe the dust cloth across the tops of frames. Every frame. It doesn't take long, I swear. Just do it when you walk by them. But do it.

6) If it has a glass surface (like the two huge doors on my antique cabinet in a, oh, I'd say fairly prominent position on my landing) then clean it. With glass cleaner. Please.

7) If it's a toilet, get on your hands and knees and clean the floor around the base of the toilet. Yes, all the way up to the wall and the baseboards. I know, I know...it's kind of gross. But it's part of CLEANING THE FREAKING TOILET.

8) While you are at it, wipe down the entire bowl and the base and back of the base. IT'S PART OF CLEANING THE FREAKING TOILET. And not just for one toilet. For ALL of the toilets.

9) When mopping a wooden floor, vacuum under pieces of furniture. Then mop the same area. You know, it's very obvious when someone is on the floor playing with their pets if a massive pile of dust and pet hair is growing under a buffet or a cabinet as if in a petri dish. It is fully expected that these surfaces get the same love and attention as the rest of the hard wood floors.

10) Look for cobwebs and destroy them. Sometimes, they are easy to spot. Like on the wall, eye level. You can use your vacuum to suck them up or the dusting cloth you just used to wipe of the top of the frames I mentioned. Just don't ignore them. Please.

It's bad enough that we live in a world where we no longer mop the kitchen floor on our hands and knees. My Grandmother is screaming from heaven and disturbing the angels because of this, I'm certain of it.

I fear that, along with the sewing/quilting, the printed newspaper, actual paper books, in person human interaction and phone calls, the art of housecleaning has disappeared.

My children are in for a looooong weekend. House cleaning boot camp is about to commence.

Oh, and if you happen to know any cleaning services that are run by a Depression Era, World War II Grandma? Send me the info. I'll pay anything.

p.s. Photos are from AFTER my house was recently cleaned...by a crew of three. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, give me strength.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

How Do We Survive This?

Been awhile folks and I haven't felt the "blog" bug in some time.

The state of the union is just that...the state. Nothing I type will change our current reality. Trump is President.

In the meantime, I've focused on the things that matter, like my family, my job, my friends (and the 2018 mid-terms, eh hum).

I've been tested lately, though. And I think all of us need to step back and look at each other.

Two people who I have held deep respect for over many years, both with advanced graduate degrees (lest you make assumptions; remember about assumptions, right?), voted for Donald Trump and have literally said to me within the past few weeks "yeah, but don't you think Trump has done some good things for the people?"

I still respect these two. They are still special friends to me.

I didn't argue with them. I didn't attack or call them names. I didn't repeat the monsoon of concerns roiling in my brain. What's the point, after all?

And honestly, they didn't want me to argue with them. They didn't want to hear my response. And I didn't have the energy to discuss "it" or "him".

What I was left feeling, to be honest, was a deep sense of concern regarding how ALL of us interpret information and how all of us treat each other.

Something profound has happened in this nation when people with the same values, the same love of family and friends, the same family structure and from a similar socioeconomic level and with even a similar sense of humor have such insanely opposing opinions of the President of the United States.

It hurts my head.

What we can't do is let it hurt US. We can't let it hurt our relationships with each other. We are bigger and better than the office of the President, whether you love him or hate him.

What I DO know is that my two friends are good men and that I enjoy having them in my world. They BRING something to this nation, their professions, their families and their friends. They are very special and unique (I'm a bit picky when it comes to those I adore, after all).

I know that I trust them and I trust their ethics and values. And I believe that there IS a red line for them and for other good, decent and honorable Americans.

We have painful days ahead of us still but I trust that even in the current political environment in this nation enough good people like my friends would step up, speak out and put a stop to actions that would destroy this Democracy or cause the death of innocent people.

If I didn't believe that, what would be the point of continuing to live here?

I accept that there hasn't been a single moment where I can rationalize or understand their support of Donald Trump and his behavior. I accept that I disagree with their political opinions on an almost visceral level for some issues. I accept that they view certain policies differently than I do, particularly policies that I believe will severely harm segments of our population. I accept that they have come to their beliefs based upon their upbringing and life experiences, as have I. And I accept that they are still amazing men that I'm honored to call friends.

Take a good look at the people around you and remember, most of them are decent. Most of them are no different than you. We simply interpret information differently. And trust that when push comes to shove, in extreme circumstances, they will do the honorable thing. We just aren't there yet, even though it feels like it to many of us.

It's the only way we are going to survive this. Believing this is the only way I am going to survive this (and working towards the mid-terms, of course...I mean, I'm not going to STOP fighting for what I believe and don't expect you to either).