Posted tagged ‘cleaning cabinets’

“I have a very bad relationship with mice.”

October 6, 2017

When I went out with the dog, the air smelled of wood burning. It was morning in Ghana. All that was missing was the rooster crowing.

The day is again remarkable. The doors and a few windows are open. The sunlight made me squint. I felt like a mole emerging from my underground burrow. It is a day in October wearing the best of a summer’s day.

I slept in this morning, waking up at 10:30. It was close to one when I went to sleep so I was surprised by how long I’d slept. My mother would have said I must have needed it.

Yesterday, Leandro, one half of my cleaning couple, went into two lower cabinets to clean them. I suggested he might want a mask as those cabinets are where the mice used to live. He actually had one with him as well as gloves. He started pulling out everything: the pots and pans, paper goods, Tupperware, baking supplies and dishes. He vacuumed the bottom of the cabinet as he uncovered it. He mentioned my mice must have been diabetic given the number of empty Equal packets he found, each chewed at the top. He checked the expiration date of the food he found: all had expired years ago. I didn’t even remember food was there protected by Tupperware. I was hoping he would find two of my favorite missing kitchen tools: my apple peeler corer and my old double loaf pan, the one I always used for my date nut bread. He didn’t find the pan. I was disappointed and perplexed. I can’t imagine where else I could have put it. Lee found a good size mouse nest made of paper towels, dust and pieces of cardboard. It might have been the home of the three dead mice he found, all mummified. One clogged his vacuumed. That was the only one I saw. I had him throw away some worse for wear pots and pans I never use, didn’t even remember they were there far back in the cabinet. They are as old as the house and were gifts from my aunt when I moved in. I filled the dishwasher twice.

It rained last night just after I’d turned out the lights. The window beside me was open, and I could hear drops hitting the leaves though it took me a minute or two to figure what I was hearing. That was the sound which lulled me to sleep.

This will be a quiet weekend.

“Feet that run on willing errands!”

March 31, 2017

The day is dark and cloudy, as usual. It rained earlier, after my paper was delivered because underneath it was dry. It will rain again according to the weatherman. I have a to-do list with three or four stops, including Gracie’s favorite, the dump. I also have a chore list with mostly outside, get done before the rain stuff.

When I was a kid, I hated rainy days in the winter. The walk home was pure misery. My shoes, my jacket, and my bare head would get soaked, and I’d freeze from the combination of wet and cold. Usually about half-way home, at the train tracks, I’d be so soaked I was akin to an ice cube.

Rainy afternoons have always been favorites of mine. I like the darkness clouds bring. The lights are off except for the window lights in the front rooms. Theirs is a cozy glow.

The weekend will be quiet. I haven’t anything scheduled. I could tackle a couple of cabinets which do need cleaning, but, if history repeats itself, I won’t though I do want the cabinet formerly the home of the obese, now departed, mouse, cleaned. Yup, the wee beastie didn’t make it. I knew it wouldn’t.

Boston may get a couple of inches of snow from today’s storm. Groundskeepers may have to shovel Fenway for opening day on Monday. I saw a Red Sox game in Cleveland once, and the temperature was in the high 30’s with a wind. That is football weather. I froze though I did last the whole game with frequent trips to the ladies room to sit on its giant radiator to get warm. The Sox won in the top of the ninth with a three-run homer by Manny.

Well, there’s not much going on in my part of the world so I’ll get dressed and go out to finish the errand list.

“Sand was dribbling out of the bag of her attention, faster and faster.”

September 30, 2014

Today is a bit chilly and rainy, and I love it. The house is dark and cozy and I feel as if I’m in a cocoon, safe and happy. The two cats and the dog are sleeping, each in her usual spot. Fern is behind me lying on the afghan on the back of the couch. Maddie is sleeping in the warm light from the lamp, and Gracie is in her crate with her head on her dog pillow. I slept in this morning because I was awake until well after three. I just couldn’t get to sleep. I finished my book, watched a couple of documentaries on my iPad, got up and changed the two litter boxes and washed the cat food mat in the upstairs bathroom. By about three I was thinking I might just get up and find something to do, like clean that cabinet which has been driving me crazy because I have no idea what’s in the back of it. I’m guessing a few old mice nests as that’s where some lived before they were relocated by Grace and me. Mostly I want to find my apple peeler/corer and my old double loaf pan. I know they’re in that cabinet probably way in the back. I’m hoping to find a few surprises as well.

I’m having one of my distraction days. Nothing gets done straight through. I feel a little bored with what I’m doing and stop to do something else. Earlier, between the two papers, I decided to look through the two small wooden boxes on my table. It was like finding treasure chests filled with memories. The first small box had all the commemorative pins I got from working the Boston Marathon. It also had a Peace Corps cloth badge and a returned volunteer pin. Two nails were on the bottom. They are the size I usually want for something but can never find in my tool drawer. I love the red bead bracelet I found. It came from Ghana. Several coins were on the bottom. A couple were from Iceland but most were from Ghana. They are coins which are no longer used. My favorite was the twenty pesewa coin. That was the cost of a taxi ride anywhere in the city of Accra. I thought of all the arguments I had with taxi drivers who wanted to charge more. One even said he hated Peace Corps, a guess as to who I was on his part, because they always knew the right price.

The other box is filled with addresses, a few boxes of wooden matches, an old Winston lighter, an eyeglass kit and a few odd items in a small plastic bag. I bought them just because I liked them and figured I’ll find a way to use them.

The last is a cigar box, and I’ve saved that one for later, for my next distraction.

“Americans can eat garbage, provided you sprinkle it liberally with ketchup, mustard, chili sauce, Tabasco sauce, cayenne pepper, or any other condiment which destroys the original flavor of the dish”

March 25, 2014

A blue sky and lots of sun belie the prediction of snow. I’d be skeptical bout the storm except every weather cast says the same thing. We are getting the most snow here on the cape, but luckily the amount has been reduced from 6-12 inches to 6-8 inches. Dangerous winds and blizzard conditions are also predicted.

Food is on my mind today. Peapod came yesterday and my fridge is filled. Before that delivery it seemed only condiments were left. Pickles, I have pickles of all sorts, and I have mustards of all flavors. I have relish and piccalilli and ketchup which I seldom use. Thai cucumber sauce, Thai peanut dressing and Jungle Safari Sauce are some of the odd bottles on the side shelf. I have a chuck of salt from Columbia’s salt mine on the bottom shelf. I keep it there so it won’t melt. Bottles of jalapeño peppers, both diced and sliced, are also on the door shelf. I use them all the time in salsas, quesadillas, sandwiches and scrambled eggs. Mayonnaise, always Cain’s, and horseradish sauce are two of my favorites. I use the horseradish sauce on hot dogs and sandwiches. It adds a nice bite. A snowman bottle holds maple syrup, the real stuff. I use it on my French toast and sometimes on chicken I bake in the oven. Chicken and maple go together well. Every now and then I check the shelf and combine jars of the same stuff and toss jars with little or nothing left. I have no idea why I put them back, habit I guess.

My cabinets have been cleaned within the last year. Stuff long expired, we’re talking years here, were tossed. I organized like items to make them easier to find, made one shelf all baking ingredients and another, a smaller shelf, food coloring, extracts and sprinkles of all colors. I was able to free the top shelf for dishes, for my Christmas dishes. That made me feel most accomplished. Empty shelves in this house are difficult to come by.

Today will be a sloth day.

“The trouble with, “A place for everything and everything in its place” is that there’s always more everything than places.”

June 8, 2013

When the rain came yesterday, it arrived with a vengeance and poured all afternoon and evening. I left my window open here in the den so I could hear the heavy drops hitting the deck and trees. The wind was so strong it blew one of my huge umbrellas over, but I was lucky, though, as it missed 4 lanterns attached to the deck rail and three clay pots. My deck is again filled with debris, small branches and leaves, but I’m leaving the cleaning until the deck is dry.

Saturday is usually a busy day on my street, but it is still and quiet outside: no lawnmowers, no kids playing and no dogs barking, a rarity on any day. I went out yesterday to Hyannis and early last evening to dinner with my friend so I have not been housebound, but I feel it anyway. I think the clouds and the rain close in after a while.

Today I have no plans, nothing on my dance card. I might just do laundry; it’s been sitting in the hall for a few days. A while back that would have driven me crazy, and I would have had it finished the same day I brought it downstairs. That was when I still worked. My days had structure back then; they had to so I could get everything done. Now I do my chores whenever the spirit moves me. The laundry doesn’t bother me anymore. I’ll get to it sometime.

I have this cabinet, the one with all the pots and pans, assorted dishes for special occasions, small appliances, bowls and some Tupperware, and I think way in the back of it, in the corner, is a mouse nest. I know the mice are all gone, but I know the nest is still there. Before I started the Great Mouse War, I found gnawed paper towels, a perfect nesting material, soft and comfy. I keep saying I’m going to clean that cabinet, but I have this vision of starting the project, getting too tired to finish and leaving the kitchen floored covered with whatnots from that cabinet. A while back I did clean it, and the cabinet looked great, but right now it’s filled. I don’t even remember what is in the way back. I’m thinking Skip, my factotum, might be just the guy for this project.

“Housework is work directly opposed to the possibility of human self-actualization.”

December 7, 2012

The morning has gotten away from me. That usually happens when I sleep-in as I did today. I came downstairs around 9:30 brewed my coffee, got the papers, took my time reading them then did the crosswords puzzles, the knowledge questions and the cryptogram. I definitely dawdled, and I think that’s what I’ll be doing today. It feels right somehow; however, I will do a wash and finally get to my Christmas cards. They’ve been on the table in front of me for a few days. I might even make a dump run, but I won’t get dressed. My flannel cozies, my sweatshirt and slippers will just have to do. Really, who is there to impress at the dump?

Yesterday my canned food cabinets got cleaned. Roseana, my cleaning lady, did them. I casually mentioned that if she ever gets the time, the cabinet could use a bit of culling. Roseana loves to organize so she was off and running. When she’d find an expired can, she’d announced it to Lee, her husband, and me. In the way back she hit the mother lode. One can had a 2008 expiration date and it was crowned the winner. A 2009 was the runner-up. Roseana then organized what was left, and I made a shopping list of what I need to replace, things like cornstarch, baking soda and unsweetened cocoa. Lee carried the heavy bags to his car as I would never have been able to hoist them into the containers at the dump. Roseana now has her eye on the cabinet with pots and pans and who knows what else. It will be like an archeological dig. My apple peeler corer is lost somewhere in that cabinet, and I’m hoping it will be unearthed.

The wreath on the gate has battery lights so I have to turn then off before I go to bed, and last night was so cold I could see my breath. It was 33˚.

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