Monday, May 19, 2014
A CLEANING STORY AND MORE THOUGHTS ON MOM
It's Monday morning again and my head is all over the place. I guess I will start by telling you how hubby and I pretty much spent the whole week-end....and before you begin to think it was on something fun and exciting let me just say it was NOT, lol. Unless you can consider the final results fun and exciting, which I guess I can say that. We spent it CLEANING house. Or maybe you could say DEEP cleaning our house. Now I will admit that I find little to NO posts on house cleaning, so by that I assume NO ONE is interested in such mundane subjects. But I haven't let that stop me from this post...lucky you, haha. And the only way I can properly tell this house cleaning story is by doing a "little" ranting and raving, and a LOTS of whining. Bottom line is I honestly cannot be sure WHY I continue to throw good money down the drain. Parts of me cannot really even bear to tell this story, but I guess if this blog is suppose to tell my grandkids someday how their grandma's head and heart worked, then this story has to be told. And part of this I have told a couple times before so I will only briefly recant. Years and years ago I found myself knee deep in raising 4 kids, working part time (just for the sheer enjoyment of it as goodness knows I didn't make much money!) at my daughters school, and trying to keep my large house looking good and running smoothly. Somewhere along the line my husband suggested I get some occasional help cleaning house and like any busy, busy, mom I jumped on it. THIS is where the problem began. After a couple of quick "no goes" I stumbled upon the most detailed, wonderful, thorough, couldn't have pleased me more, cleaning woman anyone has ever had. She did things that never occurred to me to do, and I am considered a fanatic by anyone who has ever really known me. Sorry, but I did come by it naturally...my mother was exactly the same way. Probably one of the reasons we lived together so well...but I regress. Anyway, she was WONDERFUL, became a part of our family practically, and worked for us for years and years. She only came twice a month which by NO means was all it took to keep the house looking the way I wanted it to, but was such an enormous help that I could NEVER bear to part from her. In short, I was very spoiled. Not only in that I help in the first place, but in that she was such a find. In all the years she worked for us I NEVER and I mean NEVER had any need to do a deeper cleaning, or a spring or fall cleaning or whatever you might want to call it. She kept track of all those things that you don't necessarily do all the time such as moving furniture to vacuum underneath, clean ovens and refrigerators, clean out china cabinets, wash windows and screens, clean light fixtures and ceiling fans, clean silk flower and plant arrangements and on and on the list goes...you get the idea. And she just did them. One time she'd pick a few "extra" things and do them, and the next time she'd pick a few more. Occasionally she'd tell ME, "Debbie, we are cleaning ALL the silk arrangements today and Nina needs some help." And trust me I'd stop whatever I was doing and help her, lol. She was kind of bossy and I will admit I was kind of scared of her at times, (all of my kids jumped to her bidding too) but it was just easier that way trust me. The result was everything was ALWAYS clean. There was NO need for me to keep track of things or wonder when the last time the light fixtures had been cleaned or the lace table toppers washed, or the rugs, as she did it all. Sooo when we moved to our new house 4 years ago now I had to leave her behind, (she refused to come this far even with my telling her I'd drive her back and forth) and I have been whining ever since. Unfornately my arthritis (which is in MANY places ~ not just my knees) makes cleaning house truly difficult for me these days and I now I REALLY need a little help. And so has begun the stream of house cleaners we have had. Each one of them has come and gone with hubby and I shaking our heads and wondering how this job can never really get done properly. The latest gal we have is the best so far, and the closest to Nina we have found, but I would never say that in her presence, or worse yet let her inspect her work. I was FORCED to lower my standards, and you know what it's OK. Everything in our house is NOT totally immaculate anymore, and it is the old it is what it is. And I am fine with it....or until "things" start to build up and suddenly I know it's time some "deeper" cleaning is done. Soo this week-end my husband graciously said he'd give me a hand and we would do some things he knew were bugging me. Plus, this Wed is usually the day we'd have her in to clean, but since we are not going to be here she is not coming again until the 4th of June. So all of this to tell you just how bad some of the things are NOT getting done. Hubby and I washed all the windows and screens in the main part of the house (leaving the bedrooms and bathrooms for next time) and that in itself took us quite a while. Then he moved furniture after giving it a thorough vacuuming, and all the baseboards and ceilings and light fixtures and fans and blinds and silk arrangements and on and on the list went were thoroughly vacuumed. We have that wonderful Kirby vacuum that mom bought us (she knew how much it would thrill me!) that has attachments that make all of this easy. I do have to say I secretly think that hubby enjoys it as he does tend to get carried away with it all, vacuuming everything and everywhere the nozzle would reach, lol. Now here is my first beef. I have told the cleaning woman about my vacuum, demonstrated more than once how to use it, and am pretty sure she has NEVER used any of the attachments EVER. Not sure how she cleans any of these items, which means of course she probably doesn't, and considering the occasional cob webs we found is further proof. And then, the actual furniture dusting. I think she dusts things off as I rarely if ever SEE any actual dust, but she doesn't use furniture polish either even though I have told her more than once I want her to. And how can I be soo sure? Well, after hubby DID use furniture polish, everything looked soooo good, I knew in fact it had probably NEVER been done. Oh, and then there are the times I have seen her large feather dusters going and her swifters etc. Not that these can't be used occasionally, but not as the ONLY way one dusts in my opinion anyway. Now, less she sound completely pointless I will say she does a wonderful job on the showers, tubs, toilets, and parts of the kitchen. But my poor tile floors. NO ONE and I mean NO ONE scrubs these floors anymore on their hands and knees. Even Nina did not do that every time. She moped (though the bathroom floors were ALWAYS done that way) with the best of them. But every once in a while she'd get down on her hands and knees and scrub those floors. I personally could hardly ever tell the difference, though she swore it was necessary. She was a GOOD mopper. (and trust me there are BAD moppers, lol). But my floors here have not looked really good in quite a while. (a big area I have just lowered my standards in...sigh). I should tell you that there is LOTS AND LOTS of ceramic tile in our house. The only thing that is carpeted is the bedrooms, and the living room and formal dining area. ALL the rest of it is the tile. Now I do have big area rugs in the family room and everyday eating/sewing area. But of course there is tile showing all around these rugs. I don't think she even mops these areas let alone scrubs them. They are vacuumed right along with the rugs I am sure. Now again, that wouldn't NEED to be done every time, but at least occasionally, right? So my blessed and wonderful hubby got down on his hands and knees and scrubbed every square inch of it even though I begged him not to! He was just going to do the kitchen that way. But when he saw how black his water was, and how much better it looked when he was finished, there was NO stopping him! And oh my goodness, my floors are simply sparkling! Honestly you just wouldn't believe how good it all looks. Less it sound like my hubby did EVERYTHING (and seriously he did WAY more then me!) I will tell you I did everything in the kitchen. Microwave (she does that well however) toaster, coffee pot, stove, refrigerator, all the things sitting around in the kitchen (don't think she ever does this!) and the bathrooms as well, minus the floors and the shower that is. I also washed (by hand) all the lace table toppers (I have them everywhere for some reason) many of the silk arrangements, and all of our crystal and glass figurines that sit around. Trust me, I was busy the whole time. My jobs were just less physically demanding. Oh and one more quick beef. I like ALL of the glass in my house to be windexed....EVERY time. I like the way glass glistens. And I will admit, I have a lot of it. From the china cabinets, currio cabinets, picture fronts, mirrors, grandfathers clocks etc. etc....lots of it. She is NOT doing this either. She wipes (or feathers) them off, so there is NO dust on them, but they are NOT glistening. Kind of fanatical I guess, but it is one of my things. So this morning as we sat in our glistening house and my hubby said, "Deb, why are we PAYING some one to do all the easy stuff, when we still have to do all the hard?" I had to admit it was a darn good question. Soo here is our latest plan. We will cut the cleaning woman down to once a month. And once a month we will work our magic. If we stay on top of everything the way Nina used to it shouldn't take us two full days working non stop either. We should be able to work around 6 hours and be done with it. And two weeks later when it really needs to be done again, she can come in and give it the once over she has been, and this leaves us most of our Saturdays to enjoy as we see fit. When hubby retires we will probably take over completely. Now that it is just hubby and me every two weeks seems to do it. OK, I will admit the fanatic in my does do SOME light things on the off week, but it doesn't really count as "cleaning" lol. As I just got up to run to the bathroom (this has taken WAY too long!) I remember that we did a little bit of furniture rearranging too. Mom had brought her recliner chair when she moved in here and it has been sitting in our family room off to the side where she had a good view of the TV. I had kept a VERY small little chair there before and had moved it into our bedroom when she came. I decided to move the large recliner into our room where there is MUCH more room for it and brought the old smaller chair back. For months now that chair of moms has brought me some comfort as I could picture her sitting there enjoying TV or snoozing the afternoon away. But it suddenly occurred to me that the smaller chair really does make much more sense in that room. I will NEVER get rid of mom's chair though. Now it is in my bedroom nestled in a corner and I intended to drape one of her old quilts over the side of it, and it will bring me pleasure I know ever time I look at it.
I can't believe I have taken soo much time to tell such a ridiculous, boring story. I have many things to get done in the next couple of days before we leave for New Mexico. Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of my mother's passing. It was a hard day for me even though I tried to keep busy and not dwell on it, but my mind wandered there many, many times nonetheless. I think I told the cleaning story partly because it was something mom and I shared for sure. She would have discussed this whole thing with me in great detail. She'd have asked questions and wondered many of the same things I did, sharing her thoughts, opinions and advice on the subject. I don't really have anyone to tell these kinds of stories to anymore, as mom is gone, and no one else is really all that interested, lol. How I miss her. In sooo many unexpected ways. I rejoice for her everyday. Honest I do. Her life here had become soo hard as her body had begun to fail her so. But I long for her nonetheless. Don't think that is ever going to change, as honestly who can ever take her place?
I will get busy now so I will end this drone, and get to it. I might post once more before we leave..if all else goes as planned. Enjoy your weeks everyone! Blessings, Debbie
Forgot to mention...air conditioner was fixed once again for under 200!! YAY! It is on definite borrowed time, and we are praying it makes it through one more season. But for now it is POURING wonderously cool air into this house. And the heat wave is over. My glistening windows are wide open this morning and a glorious cool breeze has been blowing through all morning. Ok, think that's it!
at 3:51 PM