Posted tagged ‘vacuuming’

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

December 2, 2017

The sky is cloudy, gray. A small breeze just about ruffles a leaf or two, brown ones left on the branches. It is a bit colder than yesterday but not so bad that I’d need to bundle going out. I have a list of errands, but I haven’t ventured beyond the yard for the last few days. I’m either becoming a hermit or I’m practicing for hibernation.

I actually vacuumed the kitchen yesterday and hope to do the rest of downstairs today. I can’t even remember the last time I vacuumed. I do some spot cleaning between visits from my cleaning couple, things like using my sweatshirt cuff to dust and a wet paper towel under my feet to wipe the kitchen floor, but I don’t vacuum or rather I didn’t vacuum.

I have started writing down what I want to bake for Christmas. One sister always gets fudge and date-nut bread. I add a few other cookies but those first two are more than enough for her. My sister in Colorado always wants my English toffee. I don’t make it every year, but I used to because my mother loved it. The orange cookies are on Clare’s list. They remind her in a way of her mother’s orange cake. I also usually make a new cookie each year, but I haven’t decided which one yet.

I’m Hallmarking it today. It is a perfect day to stay home and watch Christmas movies with happy endings. Last night I watched Alistair Sim find Christmas in his heart. I never tire of him as Scrooge. One of my other favorites is called Scrooge and stars Seymour Hicks. It was released in the US in 1926. It opens with Charles Dickens pacing his library and hoping for inspiration. He writes A Christmas Carol. This movie presents a graphic picture of London with its beggars and lines for food. Scrooge falls asleep with his money around him. But watching Alistair Sim is the real beginning of the Christmas season for me. Let the bells jingle and the carolers sing. It’s time to start getting ready for Christmas.

“I can be quite sarcastic when I’m in the mood.”

January 10, 2015

Today is sunny, but I don’t care. It does me no good. The day is still cold, and outside is uninviting. My mood now reflects the cold. I yelled at Gracie this morning because she was driving me crazy sitting beside me and staring. That’s not new. She does that most days when she wants something, and I usually ask her what she wants, and when her ears perk, I accede to her wishes but I didn’t today. The cold has undermined my good humor. All I ask is one warm winter’s day.

The house is cozy but staying inside day after day has made me far too productive. I can’t walk into a room without doing something. I’ve vacuumed, changed my bed, put things away, done laundry and swept the kitchen. I even watered the plants and did some polishing. I’m thinking possession, an evil spirit bent on making me clean the house, a cruel and hideous spirit. While I work, while I’m in a frenzy, the dog and cat ignore me. The dog sleeps on the couch and Fern sleeps curled in a ball. The dog snores. Fern sort of whistles, a cat’s version of a snore. I envy the both of them.

I do have a reprieve. My friends have invited me to watch the Pats play the Ravens. I can put my dust rag away for just a while and silence the madness.

A few of my Christmas presents are decorative, and I’ve been walking around trying to find just the right spots. A couple are hanging, but a couple more still wait. The hall upstairs has a new rug. The table in the living room is where the new pottery from Ghana, a gift from my sister, has found a home. The woven lamb, from my other sister, is still waiting. I have tried several spots but none were right. There I was walking from room to room holding up the weaving and then shaking my head and moving on. There is a cascade effect here. I find a spot and what was there needs to be moved so I look for another spot and on and on. I have become the Diogenes of interior decorating.

“Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.”

February 26, 2013

Gracie is my barometer. She has been in and out all morning so I know it’s warm outside. When she first went out, I watched her run the perimeter of the yard at top speed. When she came inside, she was panting and had the usual amount of spit on her face. I also have the front door open for her. She loves to sit there for hours and look outside. My street, though, is so very small I can’t imagine what holds her attention except in the late afternoon when people walk their dogs by the house. That sends Gracie into a frenzy of barking and jumping at the door. She is not a lover of dogs unless she can meet them on her own terms: face to face with plenty of sniff time and no human interference.

Today is another I have nothing on my list to do day. Yesterday I finished all my chores and also swept and wet mopped the kitchen floor. I have no idea what compels me to do these household chores. I just know that every now and then I get the cleaning bug, a virus for which I wish there was a cure.

My mother didn’t work outside the house when we were kids. She spent the day at home doing laundry and cleaning. I know I always had clean clothes, my bed was made every day, the rug in the living room was vacuumed, my blouses and skirts were ironed and the dust was gone, but I seldom saw her cleaning. It was almost like the shoemaker and the elves, but it was really because my mother did it all when we were in school. The only thing I did see was my mother making dinner every night. In my mind’s eye, I can see her at the kitchen sink, her back to the door, as she peeled potatoes, cut them up and put them on to cook. The stove was behind her to the left on the wall opposite the sink. It was white. All the appliances were white back then. Harvest gold and avocado hadn’t yet made an appearance. The kitchen was small with very little counter space. The fridge was beside the sink with a small counter in between them. That’s where my mother kept her dish rack with a rubber mat underneath. The mat was opened at one end so the water from the dishes went back into the sink. My mother believed in air drying dishes. I do too.