Tag Archives: cleaning

The “F” Word

13 Jun

My husband said it (again).  And he said it knowing that I would overhear.

And react.

Why, why do I let him manipulate me so?

(And why do I sound like a 1940’s forlorn movie ingenue?  Never mind; we know that I adore sounding like a 1940’s movie ingenue.  The forlorn part is a bonus.)

He said that our house was “filthy.”

Not “messy” (check), not “cluttered” (check plus), not even “in need of a good once over.”

Had he actually said that our house was in need of a good once over, I could at least enjoy making fun of him while being angry: at what level do the “overs” stop?  Why not a twice or a thrice over?  (I love the word “thrice”- so underutilized, I almost wish he had said “once over.”)

Our house is many things including a source of never-ending food for the boy and his friends.  (How does it get there and why can’t the fairies ever remember to put the caffeine-free Cokes in the fridge?  I’d hate the boy but right now I’m too busy being mad at his dad.)

There is one thing, however, that my house is not.  Ever.  And that is filthy.  Public restrooms are sometimes filthy.  (I say sometimes because I once had a positive experience in a Penn Station restroom that, consequently, negated my right to generalize.)

My house is not a train station lavatory.  As the only female in the house, feline included, I will admit that there are moments when the bathroom is less than daisy fresh.

But “filthy?”  An entire house?  Based on what?

Ah, the heart of the matter.

For every “F” thought he has, for every “F” word he espouses, I counter with the “G” word.

“G.”  As in German.

The very genetics that make him insist on being early for being early for any event- have you any idea how mortifying it is to be, not only the first guests to arrive at a dinner party, but also the guests who ask at what time the party will terminate?

Those genes are responsible for his liberal and unwarranted use of the “F” word.

His heritage made him drop the “F” bomb.

It’s horrible.  And it works.

Because before I posted this, I finished a hands-and-knees cleaning of the laundry room floor.  I found five dollars and three guitar picks.

And I’m just mad enough to clean the kitchen too.

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Artistic License

28 Mar

Here’s the truth behind last week’s post titled “When this whole world starts getting me down”:

I did clean the window screens and windows and,

I did freak out over being the only person who gets anything done around here because I am the only person who gets anything done anywhere.  Also, yes to drama queen.

After that I was forced to utilize my artistic license in order to better cope with reality:

I was stranded on the roof while husband was at the hardware store but eventually he came home.  With a cactus plant.  “It was only $3!” he said.

I did not witness a gentle rain storm wash through the valley.  Instead, I feared for my life as a storm rolled over me and, in an over the top attempt at survival, I flattened myself across a span of roof so that my body was below lightning rod level.  I still have shingle grit embedded on my face.

Apparently I don’t truly know any Drifters songs because I kept confusing “Under the Boardwalk” with “Up on the Roof.”  It’s just that “oh when the sun beats down and burns the tar up on the roof and your shoes get so hot you wish your tired feet were fire-proof” sounds way more like someone up on a roof than someone “down by the sea.”  And what’s with all the prepositions in Drifters song titles?  No wonder I was confused.

My arms remain the weakest part of my body but I vowed to begin strength training- if I survived.

My neighbor did come over and help me down once I screamed over the  seemingly constant yipping of her dogs.  And even then she didn’t come right away.

Also she did not bring lemonade.

Oh, she brought a beverage alright.  Not immediately because she was watching Dr. Oz who recommends drinking the juice of three lemons and three limes for an instant energy boost.  So she ran three lemons and three limes through her juicer and gave me that to drink.  I tossed it back and felt nothing but the enamel on my teeth erode.

Shortly thereafter the school bus pulled up and deposited the boy.  When I told him of my misadventure and let him know that his bedroom window was where I got locked out, he replied that “he never asked for air anyway.”

It’s good that I have an artistic license and not a carry permit (like Mr. Nugent).

When this whole world starts getting me down

21 Mar

Spring arrived early so the window screens had to go in NOW which means that I had to get the screens down from the attic, set them on the lawn, scrub them and clean the windows.

By the time all that was done, I was tired and dirty yet determined, by now, to get just one screen in one window because if anyone else wants street air, you can put in your own damn window screens.  Who died and made me screen queen?  Drama queen, for sure, but window screens?  I hope you can hear me.

Lacking a queen’s minions, I climbed onto the roof and, with rubber mallet in hand, slammed a window screen into place and secured it like nobody’s business.  Ted Nugent loaded up on five-hour energy drinks would have difficulty busting through that screen.  Mosquitoes and moths, no problem.  But the Nuge?  Definitely a challenge.  Already the house felt fresher.

Knowing that with screen in place I would have to climb off the roof, I positioned a ladder nearby.  I knew that the ladder was a little short but the bigger, safer ladder was way over in the shed and all I wanted was to be done.  So I kept the smaller ladder and figured that spouse could hold onto my ankle to help me down.

If he were here.

While dangling from a gutter is a less than ideal time to recall that spouse decided to “run to the hardware store,” hanging from a gutter contemplating why women marry at all, is worse.  And, my arms got really tired.

So here is why living in a small town is bad: because it is impossible to “run” anywhere.  No matter what the task, there is always someone eager to chat.  Even if you say that you are in a hurry and that your wife might be (literally) hanging from the roof, there is always a neighbor, friend of a neighbor or stranger who will ask: “well now, what’s she up there for?”

And here is why living in a small town is good: because after sitting up on the roof for 45 minutes, singing all The Drifters songs I know (one), watching a rain storm in the hollow, seeing a robin build a nest and noting that I need a pedicure (I am still a queen), a neighbor came over, popped the window screen out and helped me back in.

And she brought some lemonade.

And the Rest

20 Sep

There are three season where I live.

Our annual trip to the beach is in August which means that September and October are all about sand.  Sand in the house, car, bathtub, bed, peanut butter, books, couch, clothes, silverware drawer, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer regardless of how often I clean.  As far as I’m concerned, the sand is a reason not to clean.  “You enjoy nature,” I tell spouse, “that bathroom floor is a tropical oasis.”  For as long as we continue to enjoy the ocean in August, September and October will be sand season.

Fall is when the pine needles, like the mice, come inside.  Stuck to shoes, stashed in hoods, hidden in the cuffs of jeans- the needles, not the mice.  The mice, they just nod to the sleeping cat as they saunter down to the basement- we’ll be hearing more from them later.  The needles though, they end up in weird places: in tomato sauce (contributing a slight rosemary essence that is not entirely unpleasant), atop untripped mousetraps and one time a pine needle jabbed me right in the eye while I was mopping the kitchen floor.  I was forced to stop mopping immediately.  “You enjoy nature,” I said to spouse, “it’s like we’re dining amid the redwoods.”  (Do redwoods have needles?)

Pine needle season culminates in December when we bring a whole damn tree inside, light it up and spend the next three months vacuuming.  And when I say “we” I mean “not me.”  I enjoy nature.  Outside.  In its natural habitat where you won’t find “vacuums” and “trees” in the same vicinity.

Winter is what we have the rest of the time.  Winter is like MaryAnn from Gilligan’s Island- she and the professor are left once the headliners are done.  And while everyone knows that MaryAnn, with her level-headed sensibility and boundless energy, would be most helpful if stranded on a desert isle, Ginger is who the boys desire and the girls want to be.  Ginger is summer of upstate New York and who wouldn’t want to be summer in upstate New York?  This place shimmers like a movie star.  For about three hours.  A three hour tour.

Mud season is just a bonus.  It’s how the pine needles and sand get tracked back in and the kitchen floor is “like visiting the Canadian Rockies without leaving the house.”

Dawn Wells recently- there must be a ganga season where she lives.

Why spend more for pure maple syrup?

3 Sep

Because when the bottle, with its cap loosened, is placed in the refrigerator on its side and the contents of the bottle leak, leak, leak across the shelf and down the drip edge, the natural sugar content of the real maple syrup makes it much easier to clean than the fake stuff.

The real stuff, when chilled, chips off easily which makes the hissy fit you threw seem over dramatic and shrill.  Especially when spouse asks: “what are you getting so worked up about?  It just chips right off, see?” and then hands off the putty knife and swaggers away like he just changed a spark plug or something thereby guaranteeing that a second fit will ensue: “why am I the only person in this house who sees that the maple syrup is leaking, anyway?  It doesn’t take x-ray vision, you know, the entire kitchen smells like Canada.”

So if you’re going to spill maple syrup willy-nilly and with any sort of regularity, go for the real stuff.  If you don’t like the taste of the real stuff, don’t cook things that require maple syrup.  The fake stuff is insulting to upstaters.

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