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Monday, October 22, 2012

Fall Cleaning

The truth is - I rather like housework. There's something precious about stroking my hands (or a dustcloth or broom or vacuum) over my things. I like to admire what I have on the buffet. I like to stroke my fingertips along some of the picture frames. I certainly love the way the house feels when it's completely dust free and, happily I can ignore the smudges on the fresh-paint-starved walls just so long as they're at least clean. But even something I really like, like chocolate cake or cheeseburgers or sweet woodsy perfumes, can be ... well ... just too much. With housework, it's a case of it too frequently lifting its nagging voice. If only I had to clean house about as often as I eat chocolate cake or cheeseburgers, why, I would say it's one of my favorite pastimes.

But the need for housecleaning doesn't show up once every few months. That need rears its ugly head with mind boggling frequency. You see, I live in a breezy (leaky) house. It's at the end of a long dirt lane. It's to the east of a big open field that gets plowed either once or twice a year. I have dogs. I live with guys. Mind now, those are all good things too, but they are not conducive to keeping a cleaned up house ... clean. In fact - it is my belief that any one of those conditions is a deal breaker when it comes to any clean house transaction.

Of course it's fun(ny) and easy to blame Others but TheQueen can't escape her own share of the responsibility. She is scattered and slothful. She's famous for just putting things down - not away. She is unfocused and while actually cleaning a house, must frequently stop to play essential games of Spider Solitaire. She has low standards. She has doors and an attic! She can pretend the clutter isn't there for long stretches at a time by simply refusing to acknowledge it..

But give her 2 or 3 days  home alone and boy can she do some scrubbin', sortin' 'n' tossin'.

Which is exactly what I have been up to for the past 2 days. First came the general Saturday house cleaning - what I'd do on any weekend. But because nobody was coming in, flopping down on sofa or bed and asking "are you done yet? Can I read to you? Do you want to take a walk?",  I could do things like, take down the pictures and dust behind them ... eew.  But because it's the end of October and surely a frost is nigh, I also swapped out more summer clothes for winter. And that's when the shameful part began.

I store the off season clothes on a long pole in the attic. A long pole, 3 large plastic tubs and a number of lawn'n'leaf bags - great emergency storage when you can't stand to look at this stuff one moment longer. Of course - once crammed into those bags and bins, the clothes disappear into Never Never Land and come the equinox or even a little before, when the New Fall/Spring clothes appear in the stores, it's easier to just buy another white turtleneck than to paw through forgotten containers upstairs. But because there was nobody I had to accommodate this weekend, I began tossing those bags and bins down the attic staircase and going through them and I tell you this. As gawd is muh witness, I'll never buy another white turtleneck again!

Frequently along the way I thought about taking photographs of the dread clutter but truth is - I was too ashamed. It's funny to write about but pictorial evidence is too lowering. I did take this snap of the give-away pile. There is a trash pile of stuff nobody would wear and another pile of maybe things. There are also 4 drawers of Enough Stuff. Plus all the summer stuff I need to make decisions about before I take those bins back upstairs. And I suspect, yea, even dread, there are More Hidden Lurkers still up in the attic. Ah well. I will make an attempt to get them all - but I shan't break my heart if I don't. Just so long as I can get to the Christmas ornaments in a few weeks.

LOL - and guess what I found in the bottom of the umbrella crock? All of Ike's old toys. Most of our pets have shunned toys for more canine pursuits, but a dozen years ago we had a big black lab named Ike, who absolutely loved toys. It was such fun to have a dog like that because you could actually buy presents for him. Callie-girl loves them too, especially the ones that squeak. She will play a song for you anytime she can find one. Jack not only doesn't like toys, he positively hates the ones that squeak. If Callie leaves one lying about he'll take it off and push it behind him.

What do you mean there's a dog on the

And now - it is Monday. I could use another day at home but we're short staffed this week. ThePrince will have to look after the pups and their toys. As for the rest of the clutter that is not yet put away... I'll think about that to morrow. At Tara. Where there ought to be servants to put it all away for me.

Why it's hard to keep a clean house when you live with dogs

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