Posted tagged ‘Dusting’

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

January 15, 2018

It seems I get later and later which reminds me of the nursery rhyme about the scholar who used to come at ten but now comes at noon. That fits me perfectly. My late mornings are because I have been going to bed so late or early depending upon how you see the day. It was close to 3 this morning before I went to bed, and then I read a few pages.

When I went to get the papers, there were snow flurries. I swear that happens only when I go outside. They fall for a short bit then disappear. I have a vision of Old Man Winter tossing out the flurries as soon as he sees me. It is cloudy and cold still and will stay that way all week. The weatherman probably describes it as seasonal.

Today is a sloth day. I don’t need to go out for anything so no need to get dressed. My house is clean so no strenuous dusting. I could make my bed, but it is upstairs where no one can see it. I suppose I could bring the clean clothes up from the cellar as they have been down there quite a while. No, on second thought, they can stay there for a while longer.

I didn’t watch MSNBC today. The he said, he didn’t say is still the lead story. I believe he said that. Our president has no filters when he speaks off the cuff.

The two years I spent in Ghana were the most amazing years of my life. The country and its people stay in my heart. I always speak of Africa in superlatives.

Today is Martin Luther King Day so I have posted excerpts from Martin Luther King’s speech delivered on August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington.

“And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.”

“Junk is something you throw away three weeks before you need it”

November 30, 2017

Today is a winter’s day. The sky is gray and there’s a cold breeze. This comes on the heels of 60˚ yesterday, a lovely fall day, a September sort of day.

I always think of winter as a grizzled old man with his beard covered in frost. He’s a bit of a bully who shoves aside the warmth of fall. By late evening yesterday the temperature was down to the 30’s. My heat was cranking to keep the house warm. My feet were cold.

My cleaning couple can’t come this week so they’ll come in two weeks. I am horrified. That means I have to do a bit of cleaning. I’ll have to remember where I left my vacuum.

I did nothing yesterday, and I had planned to do nothing today, but now I’m making a list which already has dusting, vacuuming and bathroom cleaning on it. I hate my list.

Yesterday a man robbed a bank in Revere and jumped into his car, a Cadillac of unknown vintage, and took off. He was followed by an off-duty police officer who lost him, but he was found by Boston police who gave chase down Route 1. The robber ditched his car near TD Garden and the Museum of Science. He took off on foot. Officers were hunting for him and were searching a parking lot framed by some porta-potties when they realized one of them was occupied. The suspect was hiding out inside it, and they took him into custody. The bank robber had locked the door of the porta-potty. I suppose he was thinking the lock gave him privacy. It didn’t. When he slid the lock, a red occupied indicator appeared on the outside door. That’s what the police saw.

My mother had a junk drawer in the kitchen. It held all sorts of stuff; need an elastic, matches or assorted loose crews and nails, just check the junk drawer. I found a lonely die in there once, saved I guess in case its mate appeared. Sometimes the drawer had odd shaped stuff which prevented closing it. Cleaning the drawer was never an option. If you just shifted and held down some of the stuff, the drawer would close. That drawer followed us on two different moves, its contents intact. My mother’s credo was you never know what you have until it’s needed, and when it is, the junk drawer will have it.

“Look after your laundry, and your soul will look after itself.”

September 11, 2017

I’m late this morning. I slept in and so did Gracie. She sleeps in her crate for most of the night then joins me on the couch at no particular time. Today it was close to 7:30. I helped her get on the couch then got comfy and went back to sleep. That has become our daily ritual.

Last night was an afghan night, and the chill is still in the air mostly in the back of my house, in the shade. I wear a sweatshirt now while I wait for Gracie to finish in the yard. While I was outside, I noticed the bird feeders were empty so I filled two with sunflower seeds and another with thistle. Immediately, chickadees went for the sunflower and gold finches for the thistle. They arrived so quickly I figured they were hanging around on branches waiting and hoping. I’m glad I didn’t disappoint.

My dance card is pretty empty. I do have two errands which I’ll finish this afternoon. My inside plants need watering so that’s on my other list. The dust in this room is almost bad enough to force me to clean it but not yet. Maybe in a few days. I espouse the maxim that dusting today still means dusting tomorrow. It is a never ending chore.

When I was a kid, my mother cleaned the house while I was in school. It was a miracle of sorts. I’d leave for school and when I got home, the house was clean, the dishes washed and the beds made. My mother was like the shoemaker’s elves. The only chores I ever saw her do were cooking dinner and doing dishes at night and taking clothes off the line in the backyard.

We lived in a duplex so we shared the backyard with our immediate neighbor. We each had our own clotheslines, either two or three apiece. I forget which. The end of the lines were attached to metal poles which were green but always seemed to need paint. I remember the silver-colored metal underneath the green. Below the lines was pitch or what we called hot top. It was square-shaped except for the small walkway leading to the back door. The rest of the yard was grass. My mother kept her clothespins in a bag which attached to the line and could be slid up and down so she had easy access to the clothespins.

My mother hung the laundry upside down. I never asked her why. I just figured that’s how laundry is hung. What I remember the most are the sheets doubled over the lines. In my mind’s eye, they are all white. I can still see them billowing and flapping, and I remember the sound of the sheets in wind. I also remember running between and under the sheets. My mother always yelled at us.

“The only sure thing about luck is that it will change.”

April 14, 2016

Given the lateness of the hour, you’d think I dawdled the morning away. That is not even close to what happened. The last few days I have been in a funk, a malaise if you will, as my back has been especially bad, especially painful. Yesterday Gracie and I went to the dump. A couple of the bags were so heavy I had to drag them, but they had to go. They had developed dump smell. When I had finished tossing the bags into the big bins, I could barely get back to the car for the pain. I sat down for a while, patted Gracie and bemoaned my fate. After that we had two more errands. When I got home, my back was so bad I took up residence on the couch and stayed there all the rest of the day. I caught up with my DVR’d programs, read through the mountain of catalogues and took a nap. This morning I was so much better, and the best part is the grayness has gone.

I had that weird bout of energy I get, one of those walk around the house and dust with my sweatshirt mornings. I washed all the dog’s dishes and her placemat. I swept the kitchen floor and then changed all the newspapers at Fern’s alternative cat box by the front door. I even made my bed. I feel accomplished.

Today I have to go to the vet’s to pick up Fern and Maddie’s medicine. Maddie’s medicine is for thyroid and Fern’s medicine is for kidneys which, given her age, aren’t functioning as well as they should. The vet figures that’s why Fern has chosen not to use the litter boxes. Fern would have had to take a couple of pills a day. I would have needed to hire a crew to help. When I told the vet how feisty Fern is, she said I could get it in a rub but it was more money, as if I cared. The rub goes on her ear. That’s my only part. The rest is up to Fern.

Today is beautiful, a bit chillier than yesterday but all in all it’s a lovely day. With the change in seasons I have noticed an adjective change. In winter I would have said today is colder than yesterday. Now, in spring, it is chillier.

I guess all in all I’m feeling lucky. After everything it sounds strange I’m sure, but today my back doesn’t hurt for the first time in nearly a week. The Red Sox finally beat the Orioles. My house is clean enough for company should someone drop by to visit. The vet bill this month caused tremors, my hands shook signing my name, but we finally know what’s going on, and Fern will get better.

Things are looking up in my world.

“One who has hope lives differently.”

March 13, 2016

Today is another pretty day, warmer than it has been. I have feeders to fill so I’ll go out for a bit later.

I think I have a virus. It’s manifested by cleaning places not usually cleaned. Yesterday I took everything off my desk, which included snow globes and small wind-up toys from collecting phases. I could have written a short story in the dust. I cleaned the desk and washed all the globes and toys. I threw away papers from piles on the desk top. I organized everything. Next I lemon oiled the antique child’s desk in the bathroom. It holds all the guest towels. The den was next and I threw aways papers from a pile on the table. I had no idea why I saved what I did. There were phone numbers without names, old receipts and cards from different holidays. I threw away so much it can no longer be called a pile.

Today I am going to clean the cabinet under the bathroom sink. It serves a variety of purposes including being a liquor cabinet. I haven’t seen the back of that cabinet in years.

My sister diagnosed my virus as boredom. I think she is probably right. I think boredom is the whole reason for spring cleaning. I’ve been shut up in the house because of freezing days and snow. I have gotten tired of TV and have spent too many days just sitting around and reading. I need to be doing.

I saw a purple crocus this morning, and there are now three yellow ones. The dafs are close to blooming. The garden’s winter slumber is over. Every day I see something new. With morning papers in hand I walk around all the beds to make sure I haven’t missed anything. The purple crocus is hope springing to mind.

“Reality can be very boring.”

February 8, 2015

The new snow makes the world look pristine, but I don’t care. We only got an inch or less, but it doesn’t matter. I am becoming unhinged. I can see myself running down the street with my arms waving over my head while I’m yelling a jumble of nonsense, my mind unable to form coherent sentences. The only distinguishable word is snow said over and over.

Yesterday I cleaned shelves, watered plants, changed my bed and swept the kitchen, negative effects of all this snow. In the afternoon, I finally saved myself by taking a nap.

I can’t imagine my mother having four kids stuck in the house. She must have gone crazy. The diversions back then were limited:  TV, with shows only in the late afternoon, books and our all time favorite: teasing my sisters. They’d scream and yell to my mother. My brother and I always feigned innocence. Our favorite was when we’d point and hold our fingers a few inches from our sister’s face. When she screamed as she always did, I’d yell, “We’re not even touching her.” My mother, wise to our ways, told us to stop whatever we were doing.

My sister has and is continuing to get have snow. She got about 7 inches last night and more will fall over the next two days, up to a total of two feet. This morning she saw a cross-country skier on the sidewalk.

The bird feeders are empty. I’ll have to go through the unshoveled snow on the deck to get there, but I will. I don’t want my poor birds wanting.

Life is boring right now. I can read only so long, the TV offers little to watch despite the number of channels and I haven’t any reason to be out and about. Maybe I’ll do more cleaning, but the mere mention of that is further proof I am losing my grasp on reality.

“Home gives you something no other place can… your history. Home is where your history begins.”

February 24, 2014

Today is a good day. It’s cold and will get colder, but I don’t mine. I haven’t anywhere I need to go or anything I need to do. The ceiling stains were painted this morning, and I arranged for the whole ceiling to be done in the spring. The stacks of assorted stuff sitting in the living room until the stains were gone are now in their rightful spots in the den. After the spray painting, I had to dust or polish everything near where the stain was, but it didn’t take long, and it is so bright in here I think I need sunglasses. The toilet no longer needs a jiggle to stop running. I put the rock back, and it works perfectly. Peapod is coming this afternoon. It seems all is right with my world.

I was not the doll type of girl for very long, but I do remember a few from when I was really little. My favorite was a Ginny doll who had a wardrobe filled with clothes and a pink bed which was the same color as the wardrobe. I also had a tall stuffed doll wearing a dress who had elastics on her feet. You put the elastics around your shoes and danced with the doll. The last doll was small with yellow hair made from yarn and woven into pig tails. She wore a shirt and red overalls with patches. My mother, for some reason, had saved that last doll, and she gave it to me when I first moved into my house. She also gave me a small chair I had been given when I was three, yellow egg cups we always used which looked like chickens and my books, lots of books including The Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew.

When I first moved into my house, I had a desk, a TV and a studio couch, and my mother added memories. She gave me connections to my childhood and made an empty house my home.

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”… “It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”

February 21, 2014

Today is the warmest day in weeks, but it’s still damp and dark from the earlier morning rain. The snow is ugly and pocked with holes from the raindrops. Some lawns are visible again as the snow is disappearing. Usually today is a stay under the covers and read sort of day, but I have to go out and pick up a few things. Gracie will be my co-pilot.

The laundry basket is sitting in the hall. I’m thinking it can sit a while longer. Books and CDs are stacked on the carpet in the living room. They came from under the leak or rather from under the former leak. I cleaned all the books and dusted everything else. They’ll stay there in the living room until the ceiling is painted. It’s an old popcorn ceiling so it just needs to be sprayed where the water marks are. My toilet no longer runs so no jiggle of the handle is necessary. My plumber told me where to put the rock he had used to fix the toilet the last time. No plumbing leak and no toilet running-it’s a wonderful world.

In the morning when I wake up I have to figure which day of the week it is. This time of year the days all run together, nothing distinguishing one from the other. I don’t even have a dance card. I seem to be living in a cocoon. I’m back to an upstairs and a downstairs book. The Redbreast is upstairs and Doctor Sleep is down. Neither one is cheery but both of them are good reads.

Despite the weather, the occasional leaks, the dirty laundry, the empty dance card and the dusty books, I am still hopeful. Spring is coming. Red Sox news is back on the sports pages. That makes me glad.

“I like it where it gets dark at night, and if you want noise, you have to make it yourself.”

January 11, 2014

The only snow not yet melted by today’s warmth is in piles left by the plows from last week’s storm. The rain hasn’t started yet but is on its way. It will rain here most of the day, sometimes heavily. The wind is strong. My feeders are spinning like a carnival ride, the swings maybe, the sort of rides which always make me sick. The birds, though, don’t seem to mind and hold on when the feeders are being thrown about by the wind, by the strong wind. That dump run I didn’t make yesterday is on the dance card for today if the rain holds off long enough.

Gracie woke me up this morning by ringing her doggie bells. Yesterday she had an upset stomach so I figured she was going out to graze. Eating grass or my spider plants make her feel better. When she came inside, Gracie wanted a treat, and I obliged. She, however, turned her nose up at everything I offered until I gave her a piece of chicken meat from the deli. Once that was finished she ate all the rest of the treats: the cheese slice, the beef tidbit and the dog biscuit. I figure she was holding out for the best she could get. She knows the treats escalate in quality because I worry when she doesn’t want her usual.

Winter is a lazy time for me. I am content to stay inside. Hanging around the house doesn’t usually get boring as I have books and movies and the occasional dusting chore to keep me busy. I venture out only when I have a list of errands or I need animal food, coffee or cream, essentials in this house. I avoid main roads, supermarkets and parking lots. Rainy days are the best days for errands as people choose to stay home. I don’t care if I get wet. It is easy to get dry.

My house is quiet. I can hear only Gracie’s deep breathing as she sleeps beside me on the couch and Fern’s quiet snores from the pillow behind me where she sleeps. The lamp here is lit staving off the gloom of the morning. I like today.

“It’s thought that hibernation was once a shared characteristic among all mammals, and then we humans lost the ability to hibernate — but it still might be in our genes.”

September 19, 2013

Lots to do today but around the house lots to do, my least favorite sort of today. This room resembles a haunted house, one left to dust and cobwebs. It was in disarray because some electrical work had to be done, and the desk had to be moved out-of-the-way. All the books on the shelves and the drawers ended up in the living room. Behind the desk, an area not seen in decades, was a bit of Miss Haversham’s room. That area was cleaned but now everything on the desk is filled with dust. I’m tackling that today. I should wear a full length apron, a scarf on my head, rubber gloves so my hands will stay soft, a dress, and, of course, my pearls. For some reason, that’s how I imagine the dusting look. Wait, I forget the feather duster!

Today is another beautiful autumn day with blue skies, lots of sun and warmth. Last night was cool, perfect for sleeping weather, and the weatherman has kindly predicted a whole rest of the week of the same. Both doors are opened and Fern is lying asleep in the sun. Gracie is on the couch for her morning nap and is snoring. I didn’t get to sleep until around three o’clock this morning so I’m thinking a nap sounds perfect. I imagine Fern and Gracie will join me.

I had the two bathrooms painted, got a new shower curtain made of Ghanaian cloth and had some Ghanaian cloth send to me by one of my former students so my friend can sew bathroom curtains. I bought a new bedroom spread, curtains and throw rugs. I figure with winter coming it’s like I’m getting the house ready for hibernation, changing the scene a bit to stave off boredom. I go through recipes planning menus in my head. They all have a different theme. I’m thinking Hawaii for a dead of winter party with only flowered shirts allowed. Poi will not be on the menu. Chinese is another choice and only chopsticks will be used for eating. The planning is fun. For now, though, I’ll just enjoy the weather and keep getting ready to hibernate. I’m trying to decide what room will be next.