Sunday, October 07, 2007

Scrubba-Dubba!!

You'd think that, with my summers off, I'd use the time to do a little upkeep on the manse. You know, scrape off a layer or two? See what colors my carpets and counters really are? Yeah, you'd think that.

But, I don't.

In my defense, I have all good intentions. I spend the last few weeks before the close of school carefully inspecting the squalor and determining which tasks must be undertaken during the summer holiday. I go through those days with my head held high, secure in the knowledge that I am a responsible homeowner and one who does not fritter away the vacation days watching cartoons and playing with wool.

And, when the vacation begins, I proceed to watch cartoons and play with wool. Suddenly, the Labor Day weekend is upon me and any chance I might have had to create order from chaos is lost. It doesn't really bother me, though. After living in it for a couple of months, I sort of stop seeing the mess. That is, until I come home after that first day of school and see the place with a fresh eye.

This is always rather startling, frankly. Once I've gotten past my need to believe that vandals broke in during my absence (for they had clearly been monitoring the place throughout the summer just waiting for their chance to slip in and scatter my dirty laundry all over the bedroom and sprinkle dust on every available surface) I begin to regret my not having done a better job taking care of the deep cleaning when I had the time.

Hence, the Columbus Day holiday is always one where I feel the urge to scrub something. To say that I am a "casual" housekeeper would be a gross understatement. I'm something of a slob, really. But on this, the first long weekend of the school year, I am the Captain of The Grime Patrol. This year, I armed myself with such wholesome, natural cleansing products as vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda and borax in order that I might tackle the various jobs around here with less of the toxic fumes. Allegedly, I can get things just as shiny with these sorts of things. I don't know if that is necessarily true, but I can say that it was a heck of a lot cheaper. And I don't miss Hysterical Mind's constant squawking about the dangers of inadvertently mixing certain chemicals that, once combined, will kill us within mere minutes or her overriding fear that a curious cat will suddenly be overwhelmed with a desire to drink bleach.

I have spent the weekend cleaning in fits and starts, scrubbing away at helpless appliances with great vigor and aggression. The toilet has been cleaned as never before. At one point, I do believe I heard it weeping, although whether this was from relief or fear of this strange new condition, I know not. I am now almost blinded by its glare when I enter the bathroom.

The Big, Fluffy Kitty has also been the victim of this frenzied spate of housekeeping. Over the summer months, distracted as I was by her weight gain, I fear I got a bit behind in the maintenance of her coat. And when I say, "coat" I mean "coats." She has at least two of them and the undercoats tend to get a bit matted even when I am keeping up with things. When I don't...well, let's just say that I have a very lumpy kitty. I've staged a number of surprise brush attacks over the last few days in an effort to tame the mane. To make matters worse, those mats located in points south on the kitty map come with what we will call a "chewy, chocolaty center." The brushing of these delightful surprises is not only yucky for the groomer, but is an unwelcome intrusion for the groomee. And I have the scars to prove it. The BFK has pretty much had it with me at this point. Then, to add insult to injury, I broke out the steam cleaner while she was resting so that I could sterilize the carpet area where we'd been poo brushing. The hissing of the pressurized water was more that she could take and I suspect that it scared the poor thing enough that she added more of the offending matter to the mix.

But, I am a Sheep on a mission this weekend and I will not be thwarted. Except when I get thwarted. Then I respond to the Thwart accordingly. Thwarts come in a variety of forms, but mostly boredom with the whole activity and a desire to watch cartoons.

As a result, I have also managed to get in quite a bit of knitting time today. And, (now please make sure you are sitting down) spinning! I know...crazy, right? But, the urge to whirl the wool came upon me hard today. Spinning is also a Thwart. But it is not a bad one. It is really sort of helpful since spinning the wool means that it will be yarn and that takes up less space than fiber. This is really more like cleaning. So, instead of being a "Thwart," it is really more of a "thwart." A "thwartling" if you will...

And the festivities will continue tomorrow! As we celebrate the kinda/sorta "discovery" of this great land and Man's inability to ask for directions no matter how lost he may be, I will be enjoying a three day weekend. Monday is a no-school day for this Sheep so Buff 'n Polish '07 will continue for another day.

But let's not tell the Big, Fluffy Kitty that. I honestly don't think that she will be pleased with this piece of information.

SA

17 comments:

Julie said...

Could you come over here and do a bit of the scrubbing for me? And also a bit of the Fluffy Kitty combing; Moggie is feeling very lumpy these days, too!

crzjane said...

Wow, I could really use some of that cleaning here.
I have just stopped laughing about BFK and sharing the misadventures with Hubby. Please don't let BFK know we were laughing at her, we all know how kitties get when you laugh at them.
Enjoy (?) your day off, I'll be working. fun.

Donna Lee said...

I had every intention of doing the same kind of cleaning this weekend. You know, wash the windows and curtains, move furniture, etc. But all my energy flew out the window and left me with some bronchitis and a lethargy that is all encompassing. So, I will have to put it off for another week. Maybe it will be cooler next weekend and I will feel the urge to clean. Probably not, but one can hope.

trek said...

I would love to be able to say that I cleaned with the best of the Sheep today. I, however, attended the parish picnic in the grassy field and, as a result, am suffering from OD-ing on antihistamines.

PS - I thought at first that the BFK had actually stolen chocolate from the Sheep's table and gotten it caught in her fur. See how dopey I am tonight?

Geraldine said...

Is there a kitty on this planet who likes cleaning!!! Not possible. Although I did have one feline (Tasha) who thought her tail made a good duster LOL....

Happy Thanksgiving Sheep!!!

PS I do NOT believe you are a slob....

Beth said...

"Chewy, chocolaty center?" Eeewwww...gross. I'm glad my dog has short hair and isn't plagued by this problem. (In all fairness, there are other gross things about her, though.)

Hey, today I taught her to shake hands/paws. She's not totally comfortable with it yet and kind of sticks her leg out to the side. But she's getting there.

Have fun with the cleaning!

April said...

Why, oh why do I always sit down with my dinner and start reading your blog?

I suppose it might work as a weight loss program.

I cleaned today too. It's like I have an entirely new apartment.

kmkat said...

My cats like to be brushed, although they become convinced at some point during the process that the brush is really a mouse and must be pounced upon. If their mats involved chocolaty centers, though, I suspect none of us would enjoy it as much.

I was overcome with that same revulsion over my own living quarters a few weeks ago, although my cleaning activities were confined to the kitchen and then only from the level of the counter tops upward. Mostly I cleaned the stove, but such a cleaning -- I put all the removable parts through the dishwasher and scrubbed the stationary bits with a toothbrush. Insane.

Someday I shall wash the floor. But not yet.

(I think I am starting to write like you.)

catsmum said...

Sophie and Ms C are gloating because they have short shiny coats.
Oakley just gave me 'the look' and asked that his commiserations be passed along to the BFK.

Anonymous said...

Cleaning, kitty coat maintence and knitting. You are having a full weekend! If you have time and feel like taking a ride I'd be happy to let you continue at my house. The dogs could use some grooming and the house needs serious work.
Karen
http://nothingbutknit.blog-city.com/

Alwen said...

That's weird, I am also starting to look around at my house and think, "Ak! Must clean up around here!" Maybe I should go watch cartoons until the fit passes.

Anne said...

At least you know what the pavement on the road to hell looks like, eh? I've visited the "good intentions" exit a few times myself.

Knitting Linguist said...

Bwahahaha! I love the word "thwartling". It is now my new word for all of the small thwarts in life that keep me from getting things done (e.g., knitting blogs :) ). Thwartling. Love it. I will be using this in class tomorrow when I ask my students what kept them from doing their reading. Hehe.

Cursing Mama said...

I think the BFK should feel lucky she didn't end up in a borax bath.

Sherry said...

I drive a school bus so I kinda know
what you mean. I have every intention of doing major clearing and cleaning. Yet, every year its Labor Day and I am like nooooooooooooooooooooooo I don't wanna go and have accomplished nothing but knitting all summer. which really can't be all that bad!!!

Ronni said...

I completely disrupted piano practice this afternoon since I could not not guffaw while reading this. I love thwartling. I too plan to steal it and use it to confound my enemies and smite the forces that keep me from knitting and spinning. Or at least confuse them.

My verification word is pphwdhbb which is rather how I spell the raspberry that is the stick out your tongue and blow air under it kind. I'm not sure if this means the planets have aligned in such a way as to make it possible for me to knit a row of lace only once or not. But I think I might take it as a sign to try again.

Ronni said...

Err, how I spell _the sound of_ the raspberry that is etc.

I spell the sound of the raspberry that is the fruit Y-U-M.

Mmmmm wish I had some right now...