Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Different Kind of Marathon

When I woke up today (correction – when my cat woke me up), I thought the plan was to ride my bike or go for a run before I started cleaning house. But at 5:45 a.m. (the cat apparently forgot it was Saturday), it was still dark outside, so I decided to get started on my cleaning projects. All summer I’ve subscribed to the “a lick and a promise” method of cleaning – “lick” down the cat hair and “promise” to do better next time. However, I have company coming on Tuesday, so I knew I had to get out the big girl mop. Both of my sisters are cleaning fanatics, and one of them even likes to clean house, but, unfortunately, Mrs. Clean was not available to assist me.

Fortified by a cup of left-over coffee and some toast, I started with the guest bath. I washed the curtains, the rugs, and the floor. Then I moved on to the guest bedroom – more curtains to wash. Since my guest room is also a repository for items that belong to family and friends, but they have no place else to store, I decided I needed to do some re-arranging so my guests would have a spot for their suitcases. I moved the rocking chair to my home office, put the recliner back together so someone could actually sit in it, took some books to the garage, and put the extra pillows in my closet. By then, it was fully daylight, but I was into high cleaning mode and decided to postpone the bike ride/run until later in the day.

I ate a spoonful of peanut butter for energy and tackled the kitchen cupboards. Soon my garbage can was filled with out-dated spices, hard-as-rocks colored sugar, tubes of decorator frosting, and other sundries my sister gave me three years ago because she didn’t want to move them to her new house or throw them away and she thought I could use them. Perhaps I would have, if I still baked cakes and cookies, but that was in a past life.

The next project was my porch. I emptied pots of weeds, swept up nails and other trash the roofers left behind when they installed the new roof last week, and wiped off the furniture.

Back inside, I dusted every knick knack, scrubbed two more bathrooms, and cleaned out the litter box. With my chores about two-thirds done, I was starting to hit the wall. Opting for a lunch break, I was surprised to discover it was 2:00 p.m. Considering what else I had to do in the house, the possibility of a bike ride/run later seemed unlikely. And my body felt like it had already logged those miles, anyway.

After lunch, I finished dusting the furniture and baseboards and vacuumed. If everything wasn’t covered with cat hair, this wouldn’t have been such a hard task, but the two critters that share my house are the hairiest “domestic shorthair” cats I know. I’ve tried all sorts of ways, with varying success, to “de-hair” my house, but I think attempting to qualify for Boston might come easier for me. And even though my visitors like cats, too much cat hair is still annoying, so I persevered.

Final job – scrubbing the kitchen floor. I did it the old-fashioned way – on my knees. I’ve tried lots of mops, but the results just don’t satisfy me.

By 5:00 p.m., my house was as clean as it’s going to be, the last load of laundry was in the dryer, and I was ready for a glass of wine. Then I noticed the refrigerator handle was really grimy, so – like the final sprint to the finish line, I grabbed my scrubber and had at it. The pristine result was as good as a medal.

1 comment:

Mullet said...

I knew you only cleaned when someone was coming to visit but I didn't think it needed to be so extensive! As the guest so honored with cleaning, I can report the accommodations were perfect.