Posts Tagged ‘cleaning’

August 10th Quote of the Day

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
St.  Francis of Assisi

This particular quote can get me through every day of cleaning the playroom. Every night I walk into that room and stare at a carpet of toys.  Boxes of giant Legos are mixed with wooden blocks, alphabet blocks, toy food and dishes, dinosaurs, stuffed animals, balls from the ball pit, books and zoo animals, and the list goes on.

Before we go on, let’s just get past the part where I should have taught my children to be neater and I should make them clean up after themselves. Let’s just realize that some people call my little ones ‘special needs’.  I just call them special. So Nature Boy can figure out ‘clean up’ when we talk about the ball pit and the Legos but other things confuse him causing him to -literally- tear his hair out. The Little Guy has PIKA which means he eats everything as long as it’s not an actual food so he is too busy eating his toys to put them away.

Anyway, the job looks insurmountable. Time to break it down into what’s necessary. The empty and mostly empty juice boxes that are attracting bugs have got to go.  So do those sneaky snacks that have made it into the playroom when I wasn’t looking. Then I start tossing toys in the general direction of their allotted containers which usually reminds me that my height is not the only reason basketball should never have been a career choice for me.  Eventually all the toys are in piles close enough to their containers to be scooped up and stored properly. Once they are in their containers, the rocking horse, the little table and chairs, the little trampoline and the books can all be returned to their allotted spots. Bingo! What has seemed impossible has become possible.

Okay. So the playroom is not an earth shattering accomplishment but it is an accomplishment.  The point is that you should take your life in little pieces.

Don’t try to fix all the errors of your life and all your shortcomings at once.  Pick one piece.

Fix that one.  Go on to the next. Work on that for a while.  Keep adding those things one at a time until -wonder of wonders- you are accomplishing the impossible.

Red Wine in Carpets

Saturday, September 17th, 2016

Q: How do you get red wine out of carpet?


A: Good question.  I had no idea so I reached out to one of my favorite wine drinkers,  my sister. She said she didn’t have any idea either since she has hardwood floors.  But she did sent me a link that looks like it would be pretty helpful:

If you try it, let us know if it works.


Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Success! Two-and-a-half years later, we can finally park the car in the garage. I thought it was never going to happen! Granted it’s a two car garage and only one car will fit but we are still using the garage for it’s intended purpose. Joy and happiness!

We moved into our new home 2 ½ years ago. At the time, my parents were still alive but both were ill. My mother had suffered a stroke. It had been so debilitating that the family had been unable to care for her at home. She hated being alone in the nursing home so one of us was with her at all times. Thank God I have siblings. We all worked to keep her feeling safe and comfortable. Dad wasn’t well either and was in and out of the hospital. Even though there were several of us to carry the load, going from hospital to nursing home, along with caring for those in our own homes was a time consuming task. Moving really complicated the situation even though we were happy to be out of the apartment and in our own home.

While I thought moving was a complicating factor, I never anticipated the bypass surgery thing. I am one of those people who believe I have things to do, places to go, people to see. I do NOT have time to be sick. The doctor thought I needed major surgery? Fine. It’s better than being dead. So I took it fully expecting that I would be back to normal in a couple of months. A couple of months came and went. A year came and went. Like the little energizer bunny, time just kept moving on but my body didn’t. Getting up and getting dressed required a half hour nap afterwards. My energy level allowed for about 20 minutes of activity before I broke out in a sweat and had to sit down. Washing floors and vacuuming were out of the question.

My husband, who has been living with a chronic illness for quite some time, cheerfully assured me that I would get used to it after a while. Of course, he has a higher tolerance level than I do. Acquiring extra laundry baskets because the laundry was overtaking us didn’t really bother him. It didn’t even bother him that we had to have enough extra laundry baskets to keep clean laundry in as well since no one had the energy to put the laundry away once it was clean. The little munchkin didn’t mind either. Toys, coloring books, crayons, craft supplies and other childish things strewn throughout the house only made it easier for her to find something to play with wherever she was. The only time she became upset was when one of the dogs decided to shred her papers or chew her toys into tiny little, feet puncturing pieces. A scenario which occurred almost hourly. I longed for a housekeeper. I schemed for ways to sneak a housekeeper into the budget. Never happened.

One day not too long ago, an amazing thing happened. (It had actually been happening slowly over a period of weeks but I hadn’t realized it.) I felt normal! I had cleaned my bedroom, thrown in a load of laundry, eaten breakfast, picked up the house all at the same time! No rest periods. It was great. I can work longer stretches at a time. Things are beginning to look normal around here. The carpets are probably going to need to be replaced but the rest of the house looks almost clean. At least as clean as I’ve ever gotten my house. I need a housekeeper for actual cleanliness but the pick up is done daily now. Most importantly, we got to the garage! The Christmas decorations that had been put in the garage until someone had the energy to bring them to the attic have been returned to the house to be put up this week-end after our Thanksgiving Dinner. The rest of the garage has been organized almost neatly. Life is good!

I am writing this primarily to encourage any of you who have suffered an illness. It may feel as if your life will never be normal again. It will! Someday your carpets will become visible under the mound of toys and debris. You, too, may have to replace them but once you’re finally feeling well again, the urge to redecorate will come back too. You may think you will never have the energy again to do the things you used to enjoy. You will! Please don’t let those negative thoughts dominate your life. Enjoy each little step forward that you make. Keep them in mind when the depression tries to take over. Amazingly enough, those doctors of mine were right. Someday I was going to get better. So will you. Trust me.

Pets Can Help Us Determine if We Are Ready to Be a Parent

Friday, November 11th, 2011

1) Did you have to return the puppy to the shelter because you simply couldn’t get him to housebreak after 3 months of trying? You cried all day because you loved that little guy but your carpets we’re being destroyed. You’re not ready! There are not shelters for you to drop off your two-year-old when he refuses to potty train. Furthermore, he will refuse to learn to dress himself but undressing is another matter. He will happily remove his diaper when it is soiled (especially the worst kind of soiling) and will drop it wherever he chooses. If you have expressed your displeasure loudly enough, he may hide it when he removes it assuming you won’t notice that he is no longer wearing a diaper. Fishing a bowel-filled diaper from under the couch is not fun. It’s also not fun shampooing the underside of a couch.

2) Did you throw your cat out the door to fend for himself because he jumped on the counter and ate your dinner one too many times? You’re not ready! As soon as your child is old enough to shove a chair against the cupboards, he/she will put little fingers into anything edible they can find. They don’t outgrow this tendency. It only gets worse with age. After a while, even the top of the fridge isn’t safe. By the time your child has reached teen years, the entire dessert can disappear out the door before you even sit down for a meal.

3) Okay. The cat’s food pilfering isn’t enough to make you get rid of it. But that kitty litter box is! You’ve tried every kitty litter on the market and the smell still is too strong for you. You might be able to put the box in the laundry to make the daily smell tolerable but cleaning the thing still makes you gag. The cat has got to go! Sorry. You’re still not ready. No matter what the advertisements say, there is not a diaper pail made that can totally rid your home of the lovely aroma of diaper. The diaper pail, combined with some Febreze and some disinfectant can mask the odor but everyone knows why you have all those cleaning supplies smelling up the house. Furthermore, if you think a kitty litter box makes you gag to clean, just wait until you empty a diaper pail. But – you argue – the diaper stage will pass. It certainly will. Only to be followed by stinky socks and gym shorts.

4) You feel pets are too much trouble to keep. The dogs track in dirt every time they’ve been outside and the cats bring you gifts of small mice and birds. You’re not ready! Any kid worth his salt will be tracking in mud and dirt from your yard, your neighbors yard, the street, the park and the sandbox! Pets are nicer. They can’t bring home their friends to help with the tracking. Furthermore, every boy alive will be bringing in bugs, snakes, butterflies, worms, you name it, to keep as pets. All the little girls of the world will be ’saving’ every cat, dog, rabbit and furry creature they can find.

5) Having a pet is simply too time consuming. You are soooooooo NOT READY! You will only learn the true meaning of the phrase ‘time consuming’ when you have a child. If you think dropping off your child at the daycare on the way to work is only going to take a couple of extra minutes, THINK AGAIN. You will use up those couple of extra minutes just getting the little one bundled up and out the door. You’ll use up a couple more extra minutes getting baby into the car seat. When you arrive at daycare, there is the waiting your turn to hand him over to the caregiver who is talking to some other parent right now. Then there’s the screaming, yelling tantrums because he doesn’t feel like going today and he refuses to let go of you! With sighs of relief, you pull out of the daycare parking lot only to do a u-turn at the end of the block because the diaper bag is still sitting on the seat next to you. Children consume your time from the second they are conceived until the day you become too senile to remember who they are!

6) You don’t have pets because you can’t afford the vet bills and the pet food? Whatever you do, DON’T have a child! You are NOT ready. That one doesn’t even need discussed.

There are probably 50,000 other ways a pet can help you determine whether or not you’re ready to be a parent. If you know of any you think I should have mentioned, please feel free to let us know about them in our comment section.

Getting the Job Done

Friday, October 14th, 2011

I’m sitting here thinking of writing. The article written for the site last night just didn’t want to come. I knew what I was thinking but couldn’t make the words align in an interesting way. Ever been in that situation? Not just in writing but in any area of your life? You know what you want but you just can’t line it up. Sometimes you look at it one way. So wrong! You turn it around 180 degrees and it doesn’t add up to what you started with in the first place. The trick is trying to figure out where you went wrong. It’s a trick that sometimes looks too hard to start. I want to quit until I am reminded of the words of Marilyn vos Savant. ‘Being defeated is only a temporary condition; giving up is what makes it permanent.’ I’m still working on that article but in the meantime, I’m being reminded that I’m not that different from most every other person on this planet. We all come up against times when working through a tough project seems like an impossible task. So, I thought I would offer a few suggestions that have worked for me in the past. Hopefully, they will help you as well.

The hardest tasks to unravel are the ones with way too many components. The bedrooms of my children come to mind. I send them into their rooms every day to clean them and every day they assure me they have done it. Because I lack fortitude, I don’t check on their progress for several days. After all, if I check, I will have to insist that they do it right. Then we’ll go through the battle of ‘it’s my room. Why can’t I have it my way?’ I then go through the same spiel I went through the last time we had this conversation. Chips spilled on the floor invite bugs which will spread into the rest of the house, dirty gym socks left lying under the bed will eventually require a gas mask for anyone passing ‘your’ room; etc. Procrastination doesn’t improve the situation. Eventually, I will have to enter their room for one reason or another. That’s when I am forced to accept my role as mother and teach my offspring correct cleaning techniques. When the carpet on the
floor isn’t visible because of the books, crayons, laundry (dirty or clean?), toys, and papers, you can feel slightly overwhelmed. That feeling is only intensified by the amount of stuffed animals, dresses, shirts, and socks piled on a bed that hasn’t been made since the last time you checked. Your only hope is to take things one step at a time. For instance, the bed first. Break the bed down into it’s many components. Any dresses on the bed still on hangars can be considered clean and re-hung in the closet. All other clothing should be considered suspect and returned to the laundry basket. Stuffed animals can then be returned to their designated container. By this time, you should be able to identify food, candy wrappers, soft drink containers, etc that can be thrown into the trash. Once everything has been removed, you can replace sheets, blankets and pillowcases. One part of the room is done. Take the floor in the same manner. I like to remove the biggest things from the floor first simply because I get a clean spot faster that way. Then start removing things in categories as you did with the bed. And now you have a manageable task. This technique can be applied to any task with an overwhelming amount of work involved.

Then there is the problem of the project that requires concentration and study. You learned as a student that the best place to study was the library. Why? Because your roommates weren’t partying in the next room, the television wasn’t blaring, the radio couldn’t be heard in the next county and the phone wasn’t ringing off the hook. Hang onto that concept when you’re trying to sew a complicated Halloween outfit for your child. Or when you are trying to decorate the perfect cake for the party. Trying to do either of these chores when the kids are up is a bad plan! Wait until they’re in bed. Or, if you’re too exhausted to do anything once they’ve gone to bed, get up before they do to get the job done. The project is so much more enjoyable when you are uninterrupted.

Since you already know that I lack fortitude and tend to procrastinate, it will not come as a surprise to you that I like to put off unpleasant tasks. It is amazing how much I can accomplish while avoiding giving the dogs a bath. The beds need made, the laundry should be folded and put away, the kitchen floor needs washed, the front porch hasn’t been swept. I should probably dust the books shelves. I haven’t called a stressed out friend in a few days. I could get my house totally spit polished, my car buffed and shined, the yard and porch cleaned and on and on and on. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing except dogs are living beings for whom I have accepted responsibility. So they have to be bathed. My solution is to assign myself a day and time to do this particular task. It’s important that I inform family and others of my intentions. Otherwise, I am too willing to be distracted by other things like ‘come have lunch with me’ or ‘let’s go garage sale-ing’. Once I have stated publicly that I will be doing this job, I might have time to go to lunch or even spend a little time at garage sales but I will have to be home in time to bathe the dogs. I’m sure there is a task that you have that is equivalent to bathing the dog. So schedule it in! Short of an emergency room visit, do it as scheduled!

I’m sure others will have little techniques they use to get the job done. If so, please feel free to put in a comment for the rest of us. Thanks!

Gum on a Suede Couch

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Q: How do I get gum out of my suede couch?

A: Cleaning has never been my forte so I looked it up online. Here are a couple of places you can check

Good luck!

Toilet Paper Etiquette

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Q: I am so stoked! I just moved into my very first apartment! It is awesome!!! But I want everything perfect, you know? But one thing I don’t know. My friends will really think I’m stupid if I ask them. Which way do you put the toilet paper? I can’t remember if it’s over the top or down the back.

A: Back when I was a teen-ager I remember Dear Abby having a question like this. My feelings on the subject are about the same now as they were then. Who cares?!?! It’s your house! Do whatever you want. There is nothing more wonderful than coming home from work to a house that is exactly like you want it. So have it like you want it. But, just in case it is really important to you to have my opinion, I’ll tell you what I prefer. Now that I’m older, I can’t make it through the night without a bathroom trip. So I prefer my toilet paper to go over the top and away from the wall. That way I don’t have to fight the wall for possession of the toilet paper. Trust me. At 2 in the morning, when you’re half asleep, that wall can be a formidable opponent. Not that I always get it over the top. Other people in my house hang the paper, too. But when I get a chance, that’s what I do. Enjoy your new apartment.

Cleaning Grease on Carpet

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Q: My son was recently home from college on break. While my husband and I were out, he decided to fix his motorcycle in the family room on my brand new carpet. (The game was on!) Anyway, now I need to get motorcycle gunk off my carpet. Do you have any ideas?

A: I’ve never tried to get grease off a carpet. I’m assuming that’s what you mean when you say ”motorcycle gunk”. I’ve checked online for some suggestions. Since I’ve never used any of these ideas, I strongly recommend that you check with a professional before you try these to be sure you don’t do more harm than good. Here’s what I found.
1) Use waterless hand cleaner, the type that mechanics use. Rub it on the spot and then wipe it up.
2) Resolve carpet cleaner
3) Simple Green cleaner
4) Spray WD 40 on the carpet and them immediately blotch up the stain. Once it is gone, shampoo the area.

Hope these ideas work. If anyone else has a suggestion, feel free to let us know.