Thursday, January 26, 2012

housekeeping

In the spirit of full disclosure, I wasn’t making regular rice krispie treats. The ones I wrecked involved, along with rice krispies, marshmallows, and butter, potato chips and Rolos. They should have rocked my world, but alas, I didn’t have enough marshmallows so I cut back on other ingredients to balance everything out. But my guesses were sloppy and harried because I was in a frantic rush to eat rice krispie treats now. The treats ended up being so hard and dry that they rubbed the skin off of the roof of my mouth and three days later I’m still in pain.

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This warm weather is making me grumpy. It’s stupid to gripe about the weather because I can’t do anything about it, but it’s not supposed to be 60 degrees in January!

When it’s winter, I want winter. I want cozy fires and snow and lots of hot chocolate and thick sweaters.


Instead, my kids wear shorts and go outside in bare feet, and one evening we had strawberry daiquiris after the kids were in bed. It’s just wrong, plain wrong (though the daiquiris were good). It makes me feel like the end of the world is nigh, which is not a pleasant feeling to have.

***

I must have a word with you about vacuuming and window washing. Perhaps it’s a confession, perhaps it’s a clarification, but:

a. I vacuum multiple times each day. The other day I vacuumed four times, I think. (Also, I can never spell "vacuum" correctly.)

Back when we were living in our small house in town, my husband and I argued constantly over sweeping the floor. I wanted it to be done every night—crunching on crumbs gives me the willies—and he thought I was obsessed and crazy. So, because neither of us had (has) learned the art of Giving In, we argued and fought until eventually, somehow, sweeping the floors became an evening ritual. It was beautiful thing.

Then we moved to our new house and my husband insisted on installing central vac. I thought he was going overboard, spending all that money when a broom and dustpan worked just fine, but he’s the carpenter and so now we have central vac. And I love it. I just grab the hose off the hook in the hallway, push a button, and zip the pushy thing over my floors and, voila!, they’re clean. It’s addictive and simple and I vacuum all the time.

Note: The upstairs gets a thorough vacuuming every other week, if we’re lucky.

b. A reader (Hi, Margo!) noted my obsessive window washing.

When we moved to this place, we—I mean, my husband—installed a lot of large, easy-to-open windows. Large, floor-to-ceiling windows let in lots of glorious light and attract sticky fingers, fly poop, and splatters (for those above the kitchen counters).


So, I’ve taken to washing them with some regularity. The ones in the kitchen get washed about once a week. Clean windows brighten the house and my mood, and furthermore, window washing is an excellent task for belligerent children, of which I have four. Yay, me.

Most days, I feel like my house is falling down around my ears. Clean floors and sparkling windows help me to pretend it’s not.

What’s your cleaning obsession? (Notice I did not say, "Do you have..." I'm on to you, so 'fess up.)

This same time, years previous: flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies (look at that! I just made these, adding chunks of the ruined rice krispie treats to the batter), random thoughts

18 comments:

  1. 2 teenagers + 2 shedding dogs + hardwood floors + bikes that end up being ridden home from school & parked in the living room + 2 adults who work outside of the house, as well as around the house + 4 vacuums = an obsession with clean floors. Wow. I really have 4 vacuums. Funny because I was thinking of getting another just for the upstairs. I guess it is an obsession.

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  2. My most hated household chore is doing the dishes. (No, we don't have an automatic dishwasher.) So I know this seems weird but I cannot stand to have dirty dishes sitting on the counter or in the sink. I MUST do them. Even though I hate doing them. I can't do anything of a day if there are dishes undone.

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    1. We wash dishes at least three times a day, but often more, especially when I'm cooking up a storm. (No automatic dishwasher here, either.)

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  3. I'm a floor girl, too. I use a broom on the kitchen floor every other day (more often in the warmer months) and run the vacuums every few days. Not as frequently as you, but it's the only thing I can't seem to relinquish control over. Dust? Who cares? If I can't have snow outside, I'll settle for it inside.

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  4. No wonder you didn't have a winter coat - 60 degrees is much warmer than up here.

    I love the glimpse into your housekeeping!

    We used to argue constantly over the dishes and now we do them pretty regularly. I don't think I could face the day if the kitchen was stacked with yesterday's dirty dishes the way we used to do pre-kids.

    I like clean floors but I'm satisfied with twice a week. We pretty much take our shoes off at the door and I'm sure that helps.

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  5. Beds must be made every day. I cannot function otherwise. Also? Pillows should be plumped. I have been known to force a child to make his bed before climbing into it in the evening, if its neglect should somehow have slipped past me earlier.

    Also, I love to wipe down my bathrooms every day.

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  6. That food sounds just heinous.

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  7. I grew up with a mother like you: she vacuumed all the time. I remember sitting there doing homework with my feet hovering off the floor so she could vacuum under them, and having to put all the things on my bedroom floor on my bed (lots of things!) so she could vacuum my room. I grew to so dislike it that I don't think I will ever own a vacuum cleaner. Now we have mostly sweepable floors and we just sweep the carpets too.

    An un-wiped table really irks me though. It sure gets covered with sticky and crumbs easily these days. I don't always get to it -- it is a precarious task to lean over a table with an infant balanced on the arm -- but I always try.

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  8. I insist that my husband clean the toilet every week.

    And I cannot stand hair on the floor or in the sink or anywhere else except attached to the head. Dust and spider webs are apparently quite welcome here, but not loose hairs!!

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    1. Something happened to my comment. I think I may have accidentally hit the "publish" button before using spell check. Sorry for any misspelling.

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  9. If my cat poops outside the litter box, I pick it up right away. That's pretty much it.

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    1. oh my gosh...this made me laugh loud and hard...hilarious!

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  10. Windows? You wash windows??
    I don't even need to get curtains anymore because I have lovely frosted windows. It didn't start out that way- the 'frosting' is dust.
    Don't look at me like that- I have my reasons!
    1. It keeps the nosy people out of our business.
    2. It diffuses the light so there aren't any harsh shadows.
    3. Windowpanes make great canvases for finger art.
    4. It saves the environment. We save the trees because we can just write notes to each other in the dust. No paper is wasted!
    5. It keeps me from restraining my cats. The second my kitties see an open window, they'll shoot out of it and try to find the feral cats we have in the backyard. And ever try to hold a ct back when it doesn't want you to hold him? It like trying to hold a greased water balloon with oven mitts.
    6. I don't have to wash my windows. Ever. Frees up time to bake and eat stuff.

    If you haven't guessed yet, I am not adept at cleaning. I don't like it, I can't do it well, and it kills my knees. My husband LOVES cleaning on the other hand, so what I accomplish in hours takes him mere microseconds. Time flies when you're having fun, but feels like an elephant tap dancing on your back when you hate it.

    Me? I'd rather be baking.

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  11. Okay, okay, I thought of one. I hate crumbs and sticky stuff on the kitchen table. The kids share the duty of keeping it wiped clean, and I'm always on them about washing off the table- especially when they have honey on their pancakes for breakfast, and I find a sticky mess when I sit down to read a book. UGH!

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  12. You guys are all so funny! Thank you for making me chuckle this morning! Unfortunately, I am not funny nor am I a clean freak and do, in fact, live in a pigsy. But I totally agree with you about the weather. Winter is supposed to be cold and snowy and one of the things I love most about PA is the change of seasons but we sure haven't had winter yet. Our kids have been walking to school without coats nearly all winter. It still has time to come...please come winter, please come... Vicki

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  13. 1). A while back, my sister came home from her boyfriends' house saying ?I made Rice Krispy Treats, but they don't taste right...I don't know what I did wrong....?" I took a bite and gasp and said accusingly "YOU USED JARRED MARSHMALLOW!" She screamed out "I'm sorry!" Haha...let's see her try to feed me some freaky 'marshmallow' again....

    2). You have central vac? ohmygodiamsoveryjealous. Although, I might be scared of clogging it up from all the pet fur around here.

    3). I'm a horrible person. That being said, I try to keep my sliding glass door spotless. The dog rarely catches on that it is CLEAN, and not OPEN. Whenever there's a nose smudge on the door..."Oh. Dog thought the door was open again, huh?" haha...

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  14. Once every couple of years I move my bed and vacuum the rug underneath. Last time I did that, there were three cat nests (areas of profuse hair where Charlie regularly when he needs to regain his sanity).

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