Posted tagged ‘cleaning lady’

“I make no secret of the fact that I would rather lie on a sofa than sweep beneath it. But you have to be efficient if you’re going to be lazy.”

October 18, 2021

The morning is chilly. This is the time of year when the house is colder than outside. I need a sweatshirt. The sun is bright. The sky is a deep blue. The leaves at the ends of the branches are barely moving. Today is dump day. The car is already loaded. Anything else I need to do is in the house. My things to do list is getting smaller. I’m down to six from ten.

My new cleaning lady is here for the second time. She is great with Henry and waits for him to come to her. Nala likes everybody and everything except the vacuum. She thinks it is a beast and has been constantly barking. I’m sure both cats are under the beds hiding. Gwen hid under the bed this morning when I went in to give her the morning shot.

My week will be busy, and I’m not so sure how I feel about that. I miss my sloth days. Tomorrow, Nala goes to the vet for a booster shot. Gwen goes on Wednesday for a day of testing. As for my ukulele, I have practice tomorrow, a lesson on Wednesday and a concert on Friday. My fingers have permanent string marks.

When I was a kid, I didn’t know a single other kid who took music lessons. We did have that first grade rhythm band for which I played the triangle, but it took no musical ability to tap it, just timing. I think the sticks were the hardest to playing because you had to kneel on the floor to play them. We didn’t pick what instrument we wanted. The nuns picked for us. I became quite proficient on the triangle.

I never helped in the kitchen when I was a kid so I didn’t know the first thing about cooking. When I was in college, I had an apartment my junior year. My roommate did most of the cooking while I did clean up. When my parents came to visit, they always brought bags of groceries. They brought lots of meat and vegetables, but they also brought cookies, bags of cookies. They usually took us out to dinner. I loved when my parents visited.

In Ghana, I had a cook, Thomas, who didn’t have a repertoire of dishes. Each meal was pretty much the same. Breakfast was two eggs cooked in groundnut (peanut) oil, two pieces of toast and coffee, instant coffee, and canned milk. Lunch was a bowl of fruit: oranges, bananas, pawpaw (papaya) and maybe mango. Dinner was chicken or beef. The beef was cooked in a tomato sauce which tenderized it a bit. The beef sold in the market always came from old cows. We had mashed yam or rice as a side. Vegetables were hard to come by back then. Tomatoes and onions were just about it. When we had chicken, I had to buy one alive at the market. Thomas dispatched it for me. I could never do that. We also ate a couple of my chickens.

When I went back to Ghana, my students said they tried to find Thomas, but they thought he had passed. I would love to have seen him again and maybe enjoyed one of his meals.

“I’ve buried a lot of my laundry in the back yard.”

July 27, 2017

My quiet mornings ended this morning. I heard a dog barking, a little girl yelling from down the street, two mowers from different directions and voices from the next door deck. Gracie even barked out the front door. I didn’t bother to get up to see why. I was hoping to fall back to sleep, but then it got quiet and the silence was as loud as the noise.

Today I have people. Skip, my factotum, is completing the deck decorating. He has connected the umbrella light, gotten the fountain working and put down the deck rug. The barbecue has been cleaned, and the squirrel nest on the tray underneath the burners has been cleared. My shower has a new board replacing the mushy one. New lights are on the rails just waiting for the spawns to eat. Lee and Rosanna, my cleaning couple, are due here in the afternoon. Peapod is coming Saturday morning with all my groceries. My job is to write checks, worthwhile checks, as a recent study has shown that if you hire people to do household jobs you are far happier. That would be me sitting here with a grin on my face.

It was sunny when I woke up, but clouds have taken over the sky, and the breeze makes the air feel a bit chilly. Last night I woke up cold and added a light blanket. How silly this weather is for late July.

My menu is set, my movie chosen and the deck is ready for movie night. The only issue is the weather. It may rain on Saturday night at the movies so we’ll have Sunday night at the movies.

I’m getting the urge to cook again. I used to love making new recipes and inviting people to dinner. I’ve been mulling an international dinner with dishes from a variety of countries, each identified by a tiny flag. It would be fun.

When I worked, I had a schedule for weekdays and another for weekends. I got everything done: the cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry and garden and lawn work. Now I have people. The only thing left for me is the laundry, and I admit I procrastinate. The laundry bag sits in front of the cellar door for a few days and sometimes even a week. I don’t even care. If I could hire a laundress I would. I have no pride!

“Diligence is a good thing, but taking things easy is much more restful”

July 26, 2012

The last few days were lovely, but now the air is thick with humidity. I could feel it as soon I woke up so I closed the upstairs windows, came downstairs, closed the rest of the windows and turned on the AC. I gasped when I went outside to get the papers. Gracie, a bit of a barometer herself, spent little time outside this morning. She came in quickly and collapsed on the couch in the AC. She is now deep asleep and snoring.

The older I get the more my life seems, in different ways, to get easier. When I first lived here, I didn’t even have a fan. When it was really hot, I just slept downstairs with the back door opened all night. When I bought a standing fan, I used it down here and then carried it upstairs so I’d have a breeze all night. I couldn’t sleep without it. It was just too darn hot. Finally I got a window air conditioner for my bedroom. The afternoon sun pours in there, and because it is on the third floor, it stays really hot. I used it at night all summer and many times in the afternoons if the heat felt unbearable. On those afternoons the dog and I would go upstairs in the cool air where I’d stretch out and read. The both of us usually napped. Now I just turn the thermostat and the whole house gets delightfully cool.

My lawn gets mowed every week by my landscaper’s crew. I used to mow it myself on a late afternoon or a Saturday. It is amazing how many chores and errands I used to squeeze in on a weekend when I worked. Now I don’t even enough time over the course of a seven-day week to do everything. I keep telling myself I’ll do it tomorrow. My house gets cleaned every two weeks though I do some spot cleaning in the meantime. I used to clean my house every weekend. The only chore I still consistently do is the washing but no longer do I need to iron a single thing. Wrinkles are perfectly acceptable. I do turn on the dishwasher, but most days I hand wash the few dishes I use. I look out the window as I wash and I do some of my best thinking. Most days I make my bed. It makes my bedroom look neater, but if the cats are sleeping on it, I wait, and if they sleep on the bed all afternoon, I don’t make it at all.

I make no apologies for my sloth. I earned the right to do nothing after all those years of working and getting up at 5 in the morning. My new motto is whatever makes my life easier is just fine with me.


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