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March 31, 2010

Dusting My Pickax

Dusting My Pickax

By Elaine Viets Alty-free-cartoon-clip-art-of-a-happy-red-haired-housewife-or-maid-woman-wearing-an-apron-while-singing-and-dancing-and-using-a-feather-duster-by-andy-nortnik

It’s eleven o’clock at night and I’m in my office, working.

I’m not writing. I’m dusting my pickax.

I got the pickax two years ago at the Left Coast Crime conference in Denver. Yes, it seems odd that Denver hosted the Left Coast Crime conference hundreds of miles from the west coast beaches, but it was fun.

Denver is better known for mountains and mining. The engraved miner’s pickax was the Lefty Award for the funniest novel of 2008. I probably have the only engraved pickax in south Florida. Maybe the whole state. I wasn’t about to take it home on a plane. UPS shipped the pickax in bubblewrap.

I keep the pickax in my office. Where it got dusty.

Last week, I was seized with an insane desire to dust the pickax – and scrub, shine and vacuum every object in our home. 8191-picture-of-a-woman-vacuuming-by-jvpd

Why?      

It’s spring cleaning.

Florida doesn’t have spring like my hometown, St. Louis. There are no daffodils or flowering dogwood. An outburst of palm-tree pollen makes our eyes itch, but that’s nothing to celebrate. Yesterday, a small tornado took out a fence and some tree branches. That did remind me of a St. Louis spring.

My family is German-American, better known as the Scrubby Dutch, which is a corruption of Deutsch. For the Scrubby Dutch, cleanliness isn’t next to godliness. It’s a whole religion. If certain female relatives met the Pope, they’d ask his Holiness how he got the cobwebs off the Sistine Chapel.

Scrubby Dutch women held cleaning competitions. If they could clean something the neighbors never considered, they won. One woman managed to clean her furnace ducts. I have no idea how she did that, but she showed her pristine ducts (sounds dirty, doesn’t it?) to everyone. She was the envy of the neighborhood.

Grandmother was no slouch at cleaning. She washed, ironed and starched her kitchen curtains every week. She scrubbed her floors on her hands and knees and attacked the dirty wax buildup with a knife.

Spring only upped the ante for competitive cleaning. When the Scrubby Dutch ran out of things to clean, they started rearranging the furniture. I’ve seen 70-pound women move heavy three-cushion sofas like they were made of balsa wood. This spring event created great bouts of unclean language when husbands tiptoed in late from bowling and fell over relocated coffee tables.

I swore I would never be a Scrubby Dutch fanatic but I still have occasional ancestral outbreaks. Once, Don found me scrubbing the light-switch plates.

"What are you doing?" he said.

"I’m celebrating!" I said. "I got good news."

"Most people use champagne," he said.

"Leaves a sticky residue," I said, as he gently pried the cloth out of my hand.

When I was fired from my newspaper job in 1994, I went into a cleaning frenzy, following Don around the house with a howling vacuum. He was afraid to walk on the floor.

That ended when a plasterer showed up to fix our ceiling. His boots were covered with thick white dust. "Wait!" I told him. "Your boots are dirty." I got down on my knees and gave the astounded plasterer a shoeshine on the door mat.

I’d gone clean out of my mind. I had to either clean houses for money or write for a living.

Fortunately, the mysteries sold. I’ve resisted the siren song of the sponge mop and bucket. Our home is only reasonably clean.

Until last week, when I started attacking dust. It was everywhere, on everything. I took the wing chairs apart and vacuumed under the cushions. (And found two ink pens.) I polished candlesticks and ornamental tables. Saturday, the first sunny day in weeks, I escaped the house and cleaned the car.

I wish you could have seen how it shone.

Too bad it’s rained ever since. I’m stuck inside, where I noticed the vents at the bottom of the fridge look a little dusty.

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Comments

OMG.....I love you......someone who understands!
The Spring cleaning fenzy around the Berlinger-Gorman household of my youth culminated in the noon to 3 PM ritual silent cleaning of your own room on Good Friday. Even when I was in college, my mom's idea of spring break was washing all the walls on the first floor. As a lousy student with two jobs I had a few other ideas so I convinced her we would paint instead of washing-----thus the family joke that a looser is someone who pays full price for Sears paint!
Happy spring/passover/easter!

ANYBODY can clean up dust bunnies.

But a true and dedicated competitive cleaner takes a page from conservationist outdoorsmen, and lets those static-charged collections of fur, fuzz and dust RIPEN.

Thus are dust rhinos born, to be worthy adversaries of the Scrubby Dutch. Careful; when they charge, it takes two solid hits from a Eureka to get them into the tank.

Good heavens, Mary Alice. I forgot about washing the walls. Did you have to walk around in socks because the floors had been waxed? It was weeks before we could put shoes on in the house after spring cleaning. I have encountered the dreaded dust rhino, Tom. Terrible creatures that live in the back of closets and under beds.

No intention to blaspheme, but the way to get out of part of spring cleaning was to spend more time in church. Without coughing up a lung, it was the only way.

Mary Alice - I am shocked - shocked I say - that you and the whole family was not in the pews from noon-12!

I clean out my office files every March - but that's for taxes, not for cleaning. If I didn't dust regularly, 3/4 of the family would be unable to breathe. Which, you know, could lead to the coughing up the lung, which would get us out of cleaning, but that is one of those "If you give a mouse a cookie" threads that becomes circular. It's too early for that.

Now I’m really depressed. Currently a crew of men speaking a language that sounds like a cross between Aramaic and Chippewa are in the process of disassembling my house. We’re having the old wood siding replace with a something called “Hardie Plank” which I have been assured by the siding salesman is all the rage in hurricane prone areas like Charleston. Basically it is brick that looks like wood but won’t rot or need to be painted again in my lifetime.

Because of the hammering, I’ve taken all of our art off the walls so our home has that “Early Obama Foreclosure” look and feel. Plus, there is nothing like the sound of a power saw cutting a piece of concrete to really get the muse excited.

But that’s not why I’m depressed.

When they cut these planks it puts out a talc-like dust that gets everywhere. My spouse’s only concept of a broom is a “Nimbus 2000”. She has been scurrying off to her “real” job every day, leaving the mess and noise for me to deal with. She has also developed a sudden interest in the well-being of our grandchild. She has managed to “stop over and give Kelly a break” every day since the work started. She has been arriving home about 5 minutes after the workers have left.

For a guy whose domestic role model in Phil Hartman, combined with the natural spring urges, this has been a nightmare.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/4101/saturday-night-live-cooking-with-the-anal-rententive-chef

I love you and am in AWE of you...could you perhaps hop a plane and come help me finish moving? I'm *SURE* that will cure your urge to spring clean. ::g::

- Maria

Ahem. Obama did NOT cause the foreclosures. They were already begun--in earnest--when he took office just over a year ago.

Now that that's out of the way, my mom is a Scrubby Dutch, I just never knew that's what she was called. She "wipes up" her kitchen and bathroom floors EVERY DAY, and when we were kids she expected me to vacuum every day of the summer while she was at work. We must have spent a small fortune on vacuum cleaner bags, come to think of it.

She also used to wash down walls every year, but now that she lives in a four-year old home she has not been compelled to such an ambitious project. Thank heavens, because she's about 5' 1", and the ceilings in the new house tower over her. I wouldn't put it past her, though, since the display over top of the kitchen cabinets changes suspiciously often, and the only way to manage that is to climb on top of the counter in order to reach that high.

My second stepdad, when informed that the commotion going on in the other room was because of a bug sighting, said "God help the bug who has the misfortune to wander into this house." Seriously.

"Clean" is the rule 'round here, but, um, well, 'neat' is a variable and flexible word. There may have stacks of paper scattered about on my desk and in the Lab, but they're MY stacks, and I can find what I need almost instantly.

Some of you may have seen this already, but it came to mind (cannot imagine why) and I couldn't resist posting this morning:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4wCs8i6rSc

William, I am still laughing at that video.
Maria, I'd hop a plane,but then I'd have to clean that, too. Do you know how dirty those things are? The tray tables are petri dishes. One flight was held up for an hour because the flight attendant found a "pod" of roaches on the curtain between first-class and steerage. As for the bathrooms, let's not go there, in any sense of the word.

I LOVE this blog. You crack me up, Elaine. Well, until I got to the roaches in the plane. I may never fly again.

My mother washed the walls every year as well. My oldest sister loves to clean, and her house is immaculate. By the time they got to me (number 9), that gene was way diluted. My house is a wreck right now, which I'm not doing anything about, because the dining room is still torn apart for painting. Yeah, a good enough reason as any.

Speaking of bugs, you all just missed a show. A stink bug was dive-bombing my head (they buzz LOUD), and I was running and hopping and flailing all over our home office, ruffling my hair and smacking various parts of my body. I probably looked like I was on LSD. I finally corralled him and sent him down the toilet.

God, I hate those suckers.

Yep. I grew up with a cleaner for a mom. Every Saturday morning was spent cleaning baseboards and window sills. So I understand the fever.
Last night I got "the look" from my husband when I commented about a scene from The Biggest Loser where some contestants were talking in the bedroom and their room WAS A MESS! How could they bare to let the nation see their unmade beds? Unthinkable!

All these years I thought I was half Slovak, half Scandinavian, and now I discover that somewhere among my ancestors was a Scrubby Dutch. Because you are singing my song.

I get cleaner as I get older. I have to watch myself. It's like a disease. I know my children are looking at each other and whispering behind my back. You know how I can lose hours--no, days! -- of my life? Shutter slats. My house has a lot of shutters. And the windows that aren't shuttered have small handprints on them. I swear, just as I sit down to write my novel, they call to me. "Harley! Harley! Come clean us"

I bought a bag of yellow microfiber cloths at Costco last month and it's like a clown car. Hundreds of these cloths came out of that bag. I'm set for life. It's the best thing that's happened in my life since He Who Did Not Cause Foreclosures won the election.

Elaine, you have described my ex-MIL exactly! She's Pennsylvania Dutch but shall now be known as Scrubby Dutch! Her house is beyond spotless, and she cleans things I'd never heard of. Not only do they wash the walls often (totally foreign to me), they PAINT the walls every year. She rearranges the furniture all the time to clean. She irons her sheets and her DH's boxer shorts!!! I'm lucky if I get my work clothes pressed before I walk out the door.

Although she was very nice, I hated to have her come to my house as even on my cleanest day, my house didn't meet a messy day at hers.

I'd love to have a house that clean, but it aint' gonna happen!

Since for Passover EVERY piece of non Passover food needs to be removed or destroyed (Elaine, I know people who clean their ovens with a blow torch, to get EVERYTHING) I have been cleaning like a mad man. Of course the princesses have no idea what Daddy is doing, only that Daddy's rule is, any piece of paper smaller than his hand can be thrown away without notice. My years of cleaning restaurant kitchens comes in handy. I don't miss the corners, and the floor is as clean as the counter tops, at least for a while.

I did work for one Domino's manager who around inspection time would mop the floors twice. The second moping was done with your shoes at the back door and then starting at the front door in your stocking feet. Once you got to the back of the store, you put on your shoes and went out the back door and around front to wait for the floor to dry.

You know, Rod, I found out that St. Louis has a service to help Mr. Moms with all that cleaning. http://stlouis.backpage.com/AdultJobs/sexy-housekee5per-will-come-detail-your-place-of-living/3639735 Everyone needs a helping hand.

The good Friday clean-up? Back in the day, there was no room in the church for those who didn't sing or serve.

OMG the airplane thing.......I wipe down my area and still get sick!

Alan P.

Let me know when they open a Charleston franchise!

The hell with the stupid rewrite! It's time to get really, really clean!

Like Laura, the cleaning gene was plenty used up by the time it got to me. The rest of my family used to stare in awe into my bedroom (well, until my dad started yelling at me), but I could find anything I needed in a heartbeat. I still can overlook clutter if I'm lost in a good book/crossword puzzle/daydream.

I do go into a cleaning frenzy a couple times a year (usually before a dinner party or visit from my mom) and I think, "Gee, this looks really nice."

But, then that book/crossword puzzle calls my name.

Oh Judy, I am so with you.

I am waiting for the later Obama Era of Plenty for Everyone. It will happen.

Oh god, thank you Elaine. I don't feel so alone now.

The Hindus believe you get reborn to learn an important new lesson. I think mine is to learn to ignore household dirt. (Or as my husband calls it: don't sweat the small stuff).

I have this vision of St. Peter greeting me at the Golden Gate and telling me, "No one cares how you fold the towels. Go back and try again."

Harley, I've also bought that clown car-like package of yellow microfiber cleaning cloths! They are awesome. And I've given a couple to each of my kids, taken some to the farm, have one in the car, and there is STILL what looks like a full package sitting on the laundry room shelf.

They might be breeding in there. I think I'll give them some privacy.

JanetLynn, you do not want to be that clean. It's hard to relax in a house amid Lysol fumes.
PJ, can you tell I'm close the end of a book by this cleaning frenzy? If I don't turn in my manuscript on the due date, I'll have LOTS of time to clean. I may even have time to needlepoint the family motto: "We were never so poor we couldn't afford soap."

P.S. to William:

Thanks for that video! Sent it to the husband. He gave his ex-wife a set of radial tires for Xmas. One year, he gave me a cookie jar shaped like Lucille Ball. Next year it was diamond studs. Who sez men can't learn?

Ah, the memories! When my grandmother lived with him and my Aunt, my Uncle used to claim that he couldn't go to the bathroom at night without Grammy changing the sheets. Mom was pretty thorough, too, and all 3 of us daughters learned to clean and clean often. It only seems to have stuck, though, with my middle sister, whose house is always clean and neat.

Mine goes though a broader entropy cycle. It never gets disgusting, but it doesn't get deep-cleaned nearly as often as I was trained to believe it should. Amazingly, the addition of my daughter, son-in-law, and 2 dogs hasn't completely destroyed the place.

But now that I think about it, Sunday is wide open . . .

We're renting tiny tiny tiny quarters while we wait to buy a house, and I find that I'm cleaning more and writing less. At least I'm de-cluttering. In this space, if you leave anything lying around, then you can't get to something else you need.

But I'd rather be writing!

I come from a town where the old Hungarian and Polish ladies used to - I am not making this up - get on their hands and knees and scrub the cracks in the sidewalks in front of their houses.

I completely understand this urge. While waiting for my editor to get back to me, I did my annual clean-out of the basement. Whenever I go down there, I feel proud and pure.

There's a plane ticket in your name waiting at the airport. Come on out to Texas! My house alone will send you into raptures. The pollen is falling the dust is blowing and it's a mess. Oh and my car is eagerly anticipating your arrival, too.

PJ, How did that cookie jar look on your DH's head?

Holly,
ROFLOL! The poor dear meant well. He knew I loved "I Love Lucy." This past year, he got me a boxed set of the original Star Trek. Now, THAT I liked!

Live long and proper, fellow tarts.

My husband's Scottish/Irish grandparents were amazing.
His grandma had a routine Saturday schedule where all three girls in the family would clean their small house from top to bottom.
The boys not so much. My mother-in-law would laugh at the later conveniences that we had.
My own mother was a worker and washed clothes with a wringer washer until we moved to our second house.
I would scrub floors on my hands and knees and apply paste wax and then buff and shine.
Alternating Saturdays I would IRON my father's shirts would watch American Bandstand with Dick Clark.
When I got my paycheck my friend and myself would take the bus downtown, see a movie or shop with our meager funds. On the way home we would sit at the rear of the bus and laugh ourselves silly making the bus driver relieved when we got off the bus.
It's strange but cleaning seemed such a high priority. The wash on Monday, Iron on Tuesday, Mend on Wednesday, Clean on Thursday and shop on Saturday was always the rigeur. The butcher shop where my mother haggled for meat after the war held a fascination for me and I loved the butchers.
Now our places are easier to maintain and I do not wax the floors any longer..HOORAY!!

Is there a way I can get this infirmaty? A shot or something? My house could use my grandma right about now.

For those of you wishing for the cleaning bug, think twice. It's like asking for the flu. It will take you over for weeks and disrupt your household.
And back bloggers, you are bringing back many memories. Sarah, my mother's Saturday chore was to scrub the front porch stairs, made of limestone, with Old Dutch cleanser.
Since most St. Louisans had coal furnances in those days, this was dirty, never-ending job.

Maybe I'll vacuum . . . after I do my taxes . . .
I did plant a hyacinth yesterday by my new tree, and scattered some grass seed on the ruts caused by the lawn service's big mower . . .

The roaches on the plane. That is--heart stoppping. As if there's not enough to worry about on planes.

Cleaning, huh. I've gotta admit, gang, I'm not a fanatic cleaner. Our house is socialy acceptably clealn, if people come over unexpectedly it's fine, except for the piles of magazines and books and if you don't count my study OR the second kitchen which has boxes of bookmarks and flyers all over the floor.

I do like it when things are really clean, and once I cleaned out my freezer, and that was terrific. But actually doing it--sigh. Elaine, can I get on your list? Mary Alice, maybe you could come over, too?

And my mother had a cleaning fit at one point, and threw away ALL my Beatles magazines. Maybe that's why I hesitate...

Egads, Elaine, thanks for nothing on that plane story. I'll be getting on a boatload of planes next month, and won't be able to relax for a minute now.

We had a wringer washer when I was a kid. Mother, who worked a full-time job, would roll it over to the sink and hook it up early every Saturday morning, then spend the day doing the family wash. We ate saltine crackers with butter for lunch on Saturdays, since the kitchen was full of laundry.

My Aunt Rosie was doing laundry in their basement when her long hair got caught in the wringer, trapping her for an entire day until my cousins got home from school. From that day on she had the shortest hair of anyone in the family.

My husband being the neat freak once threatened to throw out all my Woman's Day magazines from 1975..you know the ones that assure you that you can indeed get dinner on the table in twenty minutes, maybe.
I should have clipped out the articles that advised on how to tell your kids about sex.
I kept the magazines so long that the kids already knew about sex and I should be preparing for my senior years.

Karen, my great aunt Edna died while washing windows. She sat on the window sill to clean the outside and fell two stories. I don't do windows.

Even though, my mom was Irish, she too suffer from this affliction. I used to hate when she came to visit because she would start cleaning my house all over again. After awhile, I got smart and gave her a list of projects to do. Now, that she's gone, I miss her eagerness to help. My walls need painting and I don't want to do it.

Back to the homework. Only 5 more weeks till graduation! I can't wait! I get 2 months off before I start grad school. Guess I'll be painting during that time. Unless I can find another way to distract me again :)

To all, don’t read too much into my little swipe earlier at our beloved president. As the founder and only member of the International Curmudgeon Union – I See You – I don’t like, trust or admire ANY politician. In my mind, anybody who solicits and spends millions of other people’s dollars to get themselves a job that pays $200K a year is someone who needs watching. I hope Obama’s four or eight year run is a rip roaring success. I also hope the Easter Bunny will bring me a package of “peeps” on Sunday. I will not be surprised or disappointed if neither works out.

It is not just Obama. Both of the Bush presidencies were a profile in incompetence and the best case I’ve seen for not allowing “legacy” students into Ivy League colleges. I miss Bill Clinton for pure entertainment value though I wouldn’t leave either one of my daughters alone in a room with him.

Don’t get me started on Congress. A recent poll said 68% of American thought every member of congress should be voted out of office. That’s my idea of a worthwhile cleaning project.

Let’s take it a step further. Let’s ban all men from holding public office for the next couple hundred years. You would get the curmudgeon vote. Not because I think women would do any better but because but it is impossible to imagine the girls screwing it up any worse than the boys have.

PS. I will occasionally toss in a cheap shot at some garden variety democrat – either one of the Clintons are the easiest targets -- but it is just good clean fun and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. I love to see Karen of Ohio’s head explode. I’ve been doing this to her for 30 years and it just never gets old.

No kidding, I'm just back from buying paint.

Rod, sit down and behave. The "let's ban all men" remark might be taken seriously around here, and you don't want to be responsible for that, now, would you?

You have just received The Look.

Yes Dear. Oops sorry. The Look usually comes from my long suffering wife and that is the stock reply.

Humm. My watch has stopped... Nancy, you are GOOD!

Hijack: It looks like Carol Burnett went under the knife far too often. I can understand a little work, but this is extreme.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/31/books/31burnett.html

With Heather Ledger gone, maybe she's looking to score a role as the Joker in the next Batman movie.

Rod, Nancy! Behave. Go to your rooms -- and don't come out until they are cleaned.
Rod, we do not have exploding heads on this blog. May I recommend any of the better Sci-Fi Websites.
Now, to get back on topic, my German relatives didn't want my uncle Tim to marry my Aunt Katie, because the Irish were't "clean enough." Katie was one of my favorites and had a raft of sturdy boys and a Kit-Kat Klock. I loved that clock and the red-headed boys were cute, too.

Yeah, Rod, as if you had that much power. I raised three daughters to your two, remember. I don't explode easily.

But it's fun to see you try. Never gets old.

To everyone else: When Rod and his lovely wife lived next door we used to have to-the-death Trivial Pursuit matches. Talk about seeing someone's head explode! LOL

Elaine, my niece had a Kit-Kat Klock in her bedroom when she was a kid! I wonder if it's still there, or if she took it to her grownup house by now.

The best part of the Trivial Pursuit night was how little Steve and Jan cared while we were trying to bludgeon each other into submission. I still bear the scars...

Back to cleaning: does anyone else vacuum her/his computer keyboard?

Keyboard: No, I use shreds of a cotton ball with a dental pick to 'mop' under the keys.

Harley:

For a buck or two you can get a can of air at the Office supply store. This is a better option, especially if you're using a laptop. The risk is slight, but you can get a static electric charge from a vacuum cleaner and fry a component.

Found this....

Users can use a vacuum to suck up dirt, dust, or hair around their computer on the outside case and on their keyboards. However, do not use a vacuum for the inside of your computer as it generates a lot of static electricity that can damage the internal components of your computer. If you need to use a vacuum to clean the inside of your computer, use a portable battery powered vacuum designed to do this job.

http://www.computerhope.com/cleaning.htm

Man. Thank God for tilt-in windows.

Is anyone else disappointed with the way all those "environmentally" sensitive cleaners clean? Or am I just jaded from decades of using Clorox and phosphates?

Laura: I’m with you on the windows.

My list of cleaning supplies now:

White vinegar (buy it by the 1 1/2 gallon)
Baking soda (when grit is called for)
Lemon juice
Clorox Cleanup (or Clorox, diluted 1-1 in a spray bottle) for hard cases
Clorox GreenWorks Natural Cleaner
Clorox GreenWorks Natural toilet bowl cleaner

The toilet bowl cleaner, by the way, is the best I've ever used, and it got a high rating from Grist's Umbra.

Laundry soap: Seventh Generation Natural\
Softener: 3/4 white vinegar in each load
Dryer sheets: No. I just use dryer balls

We also swapped our ruined laminate kitchen floor for a cork floor, and I'm thrilled with it. Sweeping and damp mopping only needed.

My aunt (not Aunt Rosie) used to use rubbing alcohol and newspaper on her windows. I use diluted white vinegar and old cotton diapers. And those yellow microfiber cloths are awesome for cleaning mirrors and windows, including the inside of car windows.

Rod, who knew we could have bonded over cleaning? LOL

I thought the only reason we had a clean house growing up was because we had a wonderful woman who came to clean it. But the real reason was my mom didn't like a mess, but also didn't like to clean up. So I have that gene. I hate having a mess, but I loathe housework. Unfortunately I don't have someone else to take care of my house like my mom did. However I have a husband that took this week off from work to clean out the basement and garage, and he's been vacuuming everywhere else too. Baby steps...

Rod - don't panic about the Hardie Plank Dust - we went through it last summer and after ... oh ... four or five good rains it went away. But we are very happy with our Hardie Plank, and perhaps more important, our neighbors are happy and the woodpeckers are unhappy. One dented his little beak, I swear. So. If the outside of my house looks great, do I actually have to clean the inside?

I clean my computer keyboard with a tiny brush that came with my first portable typewriter. If that doesn't work, I turn the keyboard upside down and bang on the back.

I am off work this week and am I house-cleaning . . . well a bit. I am waiting for the frenzy to hit. Every couple of years I make up a big bucket of TSP and clean my kitchen cabinet doors and then polish them with orange oil. Oy vey, I want to have visitors over just to show them off.

My mom was uber clean when there was 5 kids at home. Drove us all nuts. My mom is illegitimate so who knows, there may be some scrubby dutch in my family . . . While I can clean like her I am easily distracted by books, a walk outside or maybe a nap.

Maybe that is why I like Disney World so much it can be so clean there!

My great grandmother was Norwegian, she ended up in the hospital at 92 with a broken hip - she was on a ladder cleaning the outside of her windows . . .

OH, good idea Elaine. Banging on the back of my keyboard now. Well, not NOW, but as soon as I hit send.

Anna - Good to know. For those who have lived in the South this is pine pollen season. Right now there is a competition to see if my green Outback is going to turn white or yellow.

For those who haven’t figured it out yet, Karen from Ohio is that annoying younger sister I was glad I never had. I can tease her as much as I want but if anyone else tries, they have to go through me first. Ditto her three daughters. Steve can fend for himself.

That's it! NO ONE is invited to my messy house...am related to cleaners, but it appears to have been passed on..by me....Can I hear a yay for the pile process? Haven't met a dustball I don't like? Somebody, anybody?
And now...back to knitting...

Considering that one of my themes for "The Adventures of Cinema Dave" became about house cleaning, Elaine's commentary is appropriate!

Of course,
I can't wait until November 2nd when the American voters clean out the House and Senate in Washington D.C.

When married to ex#1, I dusted & vacuumed every day. Guess I got it all out of my system then. LOL!
I used to do my major cleaning Thanksgiving week since that's about the only time we had company. (Dwain said that's the only time he saw the dining room table, the rest of the time it was covered with a quilt project)
I'd like to put my foot up the ass of whoever invented textured linoleum! Since I broke my elbow, scrubbing on my hands & knees just ain't gonna happen!
A cleaning hint for ceiling fans when you live with cats - just hit the reverse switch & turn it on high. The cat hair will float down in sheets that can be vacuumed up. LMAO!

Alan, that link didn't work, but instead . . . (is this your new side business?) Man offering nude house cleaning services to women only. - 32 (St.Charles/St.Peters)

On a more serious note -- safe cleaning products
http://www.cleanhappens.com/

On the very rare occasions when I do clean, I use these, because I really like to breath.

>Live long and proper, fellow tarts.
. . . I'll bet you really typed "prosper" as we don't do "proper" much here. Keyboards have such a wacky sense of humor.

BTW, what is this "ironing" of which you all speak??

One more -- I went back to yesterday's blog (because I was too tired to finish it yesterday) and the comments on mutual respect in marriage reminded me of this song my niece introduced me to
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oe_pwGzoBIw
The same niece made a piece with Prince's songs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjPHlP09F44

Mary, this "ironing" of which we speak is a task designed by man to enslave one into standing at an "ironing board" to smooth the wrinkles in garments.
It is sometimes given as a physical exercise endeavour to enable a person who has been dutifully scrubbing floors on their hands and knees to regain the feeling in their legs by standing at said ironing board. Upper arm strength is enhanced when wheeling this iron.
Sometimes steam escapes the iron burning the iron-er. When this occurs it is generally recommended that one have a whiskey sour drink or even a daiquiri to dupe the iron-er into the false sense of achievement at such task.
It is recommended that perma press garments be chosen at all times to escape the dreaded task of IRONING!

Thanks for the explanation of this occult anti-woman practice. Our front desk people at the Y were talking about a rule against wearing wrinkled shirts. I'm glad that's not an issue for swim instructors. I figure that if wrinkles are good enough for my face, my clothes will just have to deal . . .

BTW, I explained to my niece the other day that a typewriter was an ancient word-processing device . . . ;-)

Mary, I have seen many electric powered devices to smooth said wrinkles on face. However, I have not succumbed to such a blatant device to acquire an artifice that could make me possibly resemble Raquel Welch. Since she and I share the same birthday month I can only imagine her outcry when millions of women will suddenly rival her beauty. I'll take the high road and let Raquel bask in her glory without competition.

Ah, yes Mary.
I do remember the "typewriter" the ancient printing device that I never could master.
The lack of a delete or back space key caused me many a job opportunity. The dirty graphite paper that was used was the bane of my existence because after all who could erase without a smudge. The 100 wpm was unachievable for me and so I was shown the door only to better use my talents elsewhere.

God bless the inventors of the computer!!

>cork floor, and I'm thrilled with it. Sweeping and damp mopping only needed.
Karen, I hope you like yours as much as I like mine -- it's easy to clean and bouncy to walk on . . .

Geeze, I missed all the fun today. Oh, well, I have nothing to add. The dust mites and dust bunnies here are getting together with the dust rhinos for a drink later, probably from the water standing in the unwashed dish in the sink. I don't dislike housework. I actually like it. Especially when I'm writing and have a deadline. But, somehow, I can just not NOTICE that things are going undone . . . until it dawns on me that someone else might come over and see it this way, at which point, cleaning fun sets in (except dishes . . . just not fun since I grew up and no longer share dishwashing duties with siblings or visiting cousins. Boring, boring).

I have a Scrubby Dutch theory, come by honestly as my grandmother's early years were on an Amish farm: she preferred and expected clean, clean, clean at all times, but I think she was a little stunned at having nothing to deal with in the aftermath of the Great Depression, World War II, losing her husband just as their three daughters were reaching college age or high school . . . after all that survival and resilience, being a full-time stay-at-home housewife meant she had little to occupy her except the full-time awareness of every surface, floor, cupboard, garage shelf, etc., of her home.

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