I had every intention of returning to a more regular schedule of blogging this year, but so far, well, you know. I’m not even really busier than usual. And quite frequently I find myself making “mental notes” for blog posts even. Although, I’ve discovered my mental notes are good for about 4 1/2 minutes. I don’t know what’s going on with me.
So what else is going on with me? I’ve been watching an inordinate amount of TV lately. Frankly, I always watch an inordinate amount of TV, but lately it’s been even more inordinater. But I’d rather not talk about that. It’s embarrassing.
My MIL was supposed to fly into town yesterday, but she has shingles. FYI, Delta will wave penalty fees for ticket changes if you have a communicable disease. They just have to confirm it with your doctor.
Last week I exerted a lot of my precious time and energy preparing for her stay. I had a long list of household chores to accomplish, and got as far as organizing the pantry, cleaning off the refrigerator (but not the inside) and microwave (the inside too!), cleaning/organizing the spice/pharmaceutical cabinet, cleaning the stove (but not the inside), wiping down the cabinets (but not the insides, except for the spice/pharmaceutical one because I found a dead fly in the back behind the ground nutmeg), scrubbing the countertops with a Mr. Clean magic eraser, and mopping the floor by hand. That was my Mon, Tues, Wed. It was exhausting, but also very gratifying. But not gratifying enough apparently, because after getting the call on Thursday that Mom had the shingles, I lost all sense of urgency and momentum.
A note about the pantry cleaning… This is something I do, like really do, maybe once or twice a year. I know, gasp! Anyway, in my experience, chores are more easily accomplished while doing something else that actually doesn’t suck like chatting with a friend. So I spent the first half of my ordeal chatting it up with a pally of mine and then was able to finish the job while texting with another friend. Here’s a portion of our stimulating coversation:
Friend: Oo I wish someone would clean out my pantry.
Me: If I lived there, I would totally do your pantry.
Friend: I appreciate that. If I lived near you…Let’s be honest, I probably wouldn’t. Unless eating some of the stuff out of it counts.
Me: That counts. Although the stuff that needs to be cleaned out probably shouldn’t be eaten. Muffin mix from 2008?
Friend: Yum. I have a big old can of clams that we’ve had since our first apartment. At this point I’m never going to get rid of it. I’ll keep it until the apocalypse and it will be the last thing we eat before we crawl in our beds to die. (that way we’ll die of food poisoning before the nuclear fallout gets us.)
Me: Good thinking. There’s a nice sentiment attached to that as an added bonus. The ridiculous thing is I do this deep pantry clean thing once a year, so how did some of these things make the cut last year? Or the year before? Or the year before?
Friend: It’s a mystery for the ages. And probably a question you’ll ask yourself again next year.
Me: And what’s with this “best by” date? I want a “do not consume under any circumstances after” date.
Friend: Ha. Yes!!
Me: I have about 20 partial packages of plastic/paper cups of all varieties. Similar count of “festive” napkins. ???
Friend: Have a party party for FHE tonight and use them.
Me: I would have to do that for every FHE this year. Is there a hoarders show specifically for disposable dinnerware?
Friend: Not yet but I think you’re on to something. Call the discovery network!!
Me: But can I live with the public shame?
Friend: That’s something you’re going to have to decide for yourself. But the whole process could be very healing for you.
Me: I wonder if that’s something the lady who stored her urine in dozens of half gallon juice bottles asked herself before signing up for the show.
Friend: It does make you wonder.
Me: The sad thing is when I’m done “organizing” most people won’t even be able to tell that I did anything.
Friend: Well they probably could until your kids get in there and screw it all up. And the kids probably could tell but they won’t care enough to notice.
Me: So basically it’s just another exercise in futility.
Friend: As is all cleaning.
I should also note that DynaGirl did notice and was very impressed and appreciative. So I guess it wasn’t a complete waste of time.
Along with this early spring cleaning, I’m trying to establish specific chore assignments for the kids. They do help around the house, but no one has a particular job they’re expected to do unless Mom says, “Hey, can you clean that up or something?” I sat down with the kids one evening while Chuck was out of town and asked for their input. Naturally, the first things volunteered for couldn’t even be considered chores. BigHugs offered to pick up the couch throw pillows, and then it just went downhill from there.
Goose: I’ll get the eggs from the hen house!
Mr. T: As long as I get to milk the cow.
When I finally started to make some progress with my list, I met with some resistance. I assigned Mr. T the downstairs guest toilet.
Mr. T: Wait, what? I thought DynaGirl was cleaning the toilets.
Me: Why should only girls have to clean toilets?
Mr. T: Because I’m not a girl.
BigHugs: It’s true.
Me: BigHugs, how about you do the stairs–like if anyone puts stuff on the stairs or in the basket on the stairs you make sure it’s put away.
Mr. T: Also, if anyone gets hurt on the stairs, you have liability.
We’re still working on getting into the routine, but we’re making some progress.
Well, I think I’ve already exceeded my word count quota for the month. Perhaps I’ll come back tomorrow and tell you about the third arm Mr. T is trying to grow, only partially successfully.