Monday, April 7, 2014


At our house, the welcome mat is always out.  As the saying goes, "If you are coming to see my house, please call first.  If you are coming to see me, come on over."  But in reality, calling is a good idea.  Because. Because gone are the days of instant clean when it took just a couple of well invested hours to cover the house with the fresh, clean scent of a fresh, clean house.
soote Aprile flowrs

Ye Law!  I am feeling every bone and muscle in my body right now.  I have paused for a Coca Cola break, sustenance before the last bath.  And I am not finished.  The guest room bed is made and the room is totally uncluttered.  The lamps are dusted, polished and shined.  All the wood is sporting new lemon oil.  A new picture is on the wall.  The "guest register" is waiting for cheery comments.  The bottled water and peppermints are ready for inspection.  The floor is the only item needing attention which it will get when I vacuum the house, if I am still standing.  This is my glory room of inspiration, the what can be, the medal of all elbow dust cleaning bees.

Busy as a.....what was I doing all week long?  Why did I wait until one big effort to get it all done?  Because. Because it takes more than one try.  The study has languished since Christmas.  I still found wayward Christmas tree needles hidden near the edge of the sofa.  Not anymore.  I moved a two drawer mahogany (supposedly) file cabinet in and out of its usual place and discovered new muscles in my back.  At least half way through the endeavor, I thought to take out the files.  Duh.  There was a decayed bug and I couldn't get to it but I knew my company would discover it.  It has been vamoosed into oblivion.

Ah, the sweet days of Saturday afternoon cleaning at the cottage, listening to Prairie Home Companion whilst I powdered the tub with Comet, enjoying the patterns made by the bristle scrub brush as I leaned over into the old porcelain tub which could hold me, a child and an unwelcomed water loving mutt jumping into the bubbles.  At the time, I remember thinking, "Someone should invent a long handled scrub brush."
My soote Aprile flowrs

Where, oh where, have all the rented floor polishers gone?  Laying down paste wax and then holding on, spinning around the wood floors with occasional intervention.  This was a carpet free house and provided endless hours of necessary dancing.

Putting a cassette tape in and rocking to the 70's (a recent decade at the time) while my head was stuck in the oven, holding my breath against the noxious fumes as I plied away months' old grime.  (Obviously not my favorite job.)  Crusty drip pans, another favorite item, soaking in Comet water in the kitchen sink.  And I haven't even mentioned my cobalt glass collection which needed soapy water or a good swipe with the Windex rag.  It seemed endless but it was doable.

And after all of that activity, we would grill hamburgers and serve them up with baked beans and coleslaw, sometimes potato salad, and maybe homemade salsa.  I'm tired just typing the words.  Because.

Because that was a few years ago and while not gray, this thoroughbred has gone around the racetrack a few times.  A few times, I have employed help which ranged from good, mediocre, wonderful and dear friends.  Oh, and my personal favorite, thieving.  Once.  Because when leaving the house and locking the door and discovering I had left my rings on my bedside table, I didn't go back in and retrieve them.  Because this person had been coming for years.

Kiss it goodbye.  They were gone when I returned home after working all day.  My mother's gifted half carat diamond and my wedding band.  Two rings totally undiscovered after hours of turning the clean house upside down and going through the huge city provided garbage bin with rubber gloves.  Sifting the fine dust of the vacuum cleaner bag.  We looked everywhere and then some.  I always hoped when we moved they would fall out of a piece of furniture.

This will make you think twice before finding assistance.  Fortunately, I've only worked with amazing, hard working friends since this time.  But on days like today, now that my trusted friends have retired or moved on to less physically demanding occupations, I would love to be able to call someone up to share my load. The long handled scrub brush has finally been invented but of course, I still lean over the tub on occasion.  Because sometimes elbow grease works best from a short distance ratio.

I have dealt with the realization that the house will not be entirely ready this time when company arrives.  But I have a very good start and a few rooms for new inspiration.  And still rooms for perspiration.  But next week I am not waiting until the last minute.  I will jump in with renewed vigor Monday morning.  Because the best part, they will be back through by this weekend.  When they come in the door this time, they will need to keep their sunglasses on.  Sparkle and shine will be reflected all over the house.  Of course, they may need a key.  Because I will be immobilized propped in my chair in my office, passed out on my laptop
 ,.           bfmfxyu             ggggggggjkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkklllllllllllllllll;dff;;oerkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkvdk;ldddfffffffffffff;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;ddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd

with apologies to Chaucer

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