Saturday, June 5, 2010

Mild Mannered Mania on a Saturday

Has it really been a week? Damn. I swear I post everyday. Probably because I clean everyday, and feel guilty everyday, trying to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the hours in a day to make blogging possible. I have no idea how people loiter online, when I can barely muster the interest to check news, email, and powder my blogs' noses before running away with a sick feeling. I'm just not an online girl.

I am also, it would seem, a complete disappointment to my Texan friends, hoping for an extra boost to get their mops (read: Swiffers!) flying. Kasondra, Jennifer, I'm sorry. Jennifer at least I make you laugh, and am thisclose to finding S. Kent a job here. We're still holding strong at 15% right? Cool. And Kasondra, your patience is much appreciated and undeserved, and if you didn't live so close to Crawford Ranch I would come and scrub your house's skin off, and then tell you you are insane because it was already clean. In other words, you're my sister.

Next up: The excuse for my dereliction of duties, so feel free to scroll straight down to today's tasks if you don't give a shit.

A dear friend has fallen quite ill and was hospitalized early in the week, so everyone has been pulling together to enable those close to the person to visit as often as possible. This also means we've had company all week, which, in terms of cleaning, means that I am at once more rabid than ever to keep after the details, and a complete failure. Random trips to Whole Foods and Bridgeport Village has left the house awash in assorted gifts to make sure my kids still love me despite being left alone on the island while I visit my friend. (This is a joke. My kids LOVE being here alone, and are exceedingly capable of doing so safely.) So basically, long-term guests ♥ + frantic random cleaning + gifts and treats + being gone more than usual + kids who are decidedly not OCD + Todd jamming in P-town = Holy shit I have a lot to do today, especially LAUNDRY! Let's get started.

Securing some hot water with a house full of people is precarious business. No, I was not showering silly. I can only clean in my morning-ness, in my underwear, but damn if the dirty towels aren't multiplying or if people aren't using clean towels with EVERY shower. FYI: Showering after visiting a hospital is mandatory so we're talking a natural disaster of towels. With this is mind:

So far today, I have:

-Fumbled with my new phone, which alternately displays three clocks on the outer screen, and no clocks ANYWHERE. Hm.

-Vacuumed my car.

-Crept in like a thief in the night to run a load of towels, which I will fold Marriott-style for my family guests.

-Ran another load of towels, which I will fold with less enthusiasm.

-Another load of towels and skinny jeans, Great Scott, without which, my kids will surely go into comas. (Can I get some support for tweendom? Maybe a hug. Xanax. Liquor?)

-Assessed the bathroom offensiveness factor. It was a 1, because I have cleaned it every time I've used it this week. Even as I was having my hair dyed and rinsed in the tub a few days ago, I was scrubbing the tub out with Ajax. That's when I was scolded and told to close my fucking eyes retard!

-Admired the new toilet seat. Oh man, this is a great gig if you can get it. Our trusty original one, 12 years old, broke a hinge last week, and the new fixtures are chrome, omg omg omg! I made Debe install it and she laughed and said there was absolutely nothing under the previous bolts except old Ajax. Chrome fixtures and new porcelain are for the win...until everyone gets food poisoning from a Mexican restaurant. You have no idea how hard it was not to ask everyone to kindly use the bathroom at Fred Meyer and stay the fuck away from my new toilet seat. Alas, suffice it to say it has been broken in.

-I made toast and coffee.

-Surveyed our disaster relief hostel to see which tasks I would entrust to Quinn and Reilly, which things I will non-verbally delegate to Todd (outside, porchly things that have Y-chromosomes all over them), which things can wait (none), and which things I was already doing without realizing it (wiping down the kitchen, putting dishes away, scrubbing the espresso maker, stacking the kids' stuff on the counter, for their retrieval.

-Stacked the dishes in a more loading-friendly fashion, while my coffee brewed. I can't load the dishes of the dishwasher is full because it is Quinn's job and he feels morally undeserving of his allowance if we do any of his chores. Awww. This morality did not come from me. If someone else wants to wash towels and give me $5.00, I say, "Hells yeah."

-Stacked garage sale stuff on dryer, making room for more, sure to be added today.

(Paused to eat, and wake up guests in order of who is most deserving of showers.)

In T-minus 10:

I am categorizing based on rooms/areas because there is so much to do I am going to develop ADHD and start alphabetizing our DVDs instead of folding The Big Dry Towel Mountain. Perhaps this will help some of you, also running a B&B, sloppy joe style.

no matter what! Ask kids to rotate!

-Put my hanging clothes away.

-Hang new crop of wet clothes.

-Bitch and whine that I have nothing to wear.

-Put laundry mats and porch mat in the wash. Someone can take a cold shower. It will be me.

-Wipe down washer and dryer. Bless the hearts of well-meaning laundry helpers who are aim-challenged and can't get the soap into the drum. :)

-Move shoe rack, clothing sorter, and hanging rack and sweep and Swiffer entire floor.


-Bleach the sinks, again, stealing hot water, as soon as the dishes are loaded.

-Use my Sonic Scrubber around the sink and backsplash, and various crevices.

-Pull the knobs off the stove and scrub entire stove. Send signals that Todd will intuit as needing to replace the drip pans, after the ones I bought didn't fit, and I let the kids return them for the money because who wants to return drip pans?

-Windex: Oven door, kitchen window (inside), and microwave.

-Wipe out microwave, which I refuse to allow to get dirty. Ever.

-Hands and knees with a hot soapy/bleachy sponge and give the floor a bath.

KITCHEN BONUS: Grab two or three life-saving wire caddies and organize the pasta/protein powder/chip/cracker/Ramen/straw/'what the hell do I do with this?' cupboard. It's deep and dark, and needs to be excavated. Every time I'm in there I am assaulted with "Hey, you've scrubbed that floor twice today, how about a little attention? I've got empty bags of chips, rogue clips, and pieces of blenders up my ass, I'm sick of this second-class treatment!" Got to get in that cupboard.

BONUS JONAS: You know the refrigerator I keep posting to be cleaned out? I have apparently lied each time. No, I'm not afraid of huge projects, just huge projects that cannot be compromised with. Case in point: In cleaning out a cupboard, I can leave if called to duty or pleasure elsewhere. It's not my preference but nothing will rot. If I get such a call with $307.91 worth of organic food all over the kitchen while I scrub the life out of the refrigerator, and this will happen, I'm stuck between leaving it (unspeakable) or saying no (pretty much unspeakable). So that's that.

-I need to re-stock the Vanity napkins, except I think we're out. Note: Add napkins to the Costco list.

-Organize Ziploc drawer.


-Scrub sinks/counters/toothbrush holders/mirrors, and hang new hand towels. (Yes that's all one motion.)

-Shake mats into tub and sweep/Swiffer the floor. Put mats back down.

-Grab a solvent and something scrubby and give the toilet(s) a what-for. I highly recommend new toilet seats, or, ooohhh, a whole new toilet! Can't hurt to ask.

-Hang new towels.

-Clean out window/tracks/blinds, even lazily.


-Pick up dishes, garbage, toys, and throw/put them away appropriately. I am a huge fan of throwing EVERYTHING away.

-Pick up and fold blankets.

-Push in couch cushions, spiff up throw pillows.

-Lint roll couches and ottomans.

-Dust TV/DVD player/all gaming shit.

-Dust pictures/art on the walls, clocks, etc.

-Wipe down side tables, entertainment centers, etc.



-Strip beds, throw sheets in the wash, which you've been dutifully rotating.

-Dust and wipe down everything that can't run away.

-Put clothes away, and no throwing things in the wash because you don't want to fold/hang. OMG I have so many clothes to put away. I had a huge laundry basket full of, as Reilly calls them, "Pass-me-downs" that has started mingling with keepers, and have fused into a mountain of materialistic death. Sitting atop this shit is the vest. The puffy vest that was recently given (?) well, put on me, by someone who is either blind or thinks I'm auditioning to be the third Indigo Girl. All I'm saying is burgundy, and chevron. She bought it because the lining is as cute as the outside is heinous, but now I'm starting to wonder if it's actually fantastic. Hence not having touched the entire basket for a week.


-Windex all mirrors, shake out/vacuum/wash all mats, wipe down cobwebs, edges of things, pictures, bookshelves. Um, there's a pair of Quinn's underwear on my bookshelf. That's odd. He's suddenly odd, but in the most delightful way. As I recently mentioned, we discovered that his legs are exactly the same height as mine. Our hip bones are level. But he is 5'8" and I am 6'1". And he just got the original Kate Gosselin hair cut, it's so amazing. He is loving and sweet and helpful and lays by me, and flings his underwear, presumably unwittingly, onto the bookshelf. So I'll wash the runner, just to be kosher.

-Tidy up closets. Hang up coats, organize shoes, toss anything that screams "Toss me!"

-Wipe doorknobs with disinfectant.

-Sweep entryways, both inside and out.

-Dust and wipe computer desks, serious. Cords and baseboards for extra bliss.

-Take one final sweep from one end to the other, damp rag in hand, and do a good wipe-and-grab.

-For those of you who have also had 97 gallons of coffee, and/or live in Hawaii, the only place where it's not already dark, try doing one "project" type task, like my cupboard.

FOR SYMPATHY: My room. In my room I am able to frolic as the minimalist I am in my heart, but I also have to reconcile with the consumer I am in my actual life, and the reality that one pair of jeans flung in here equals a veritable landfill in my mind's eye. I need to hand-vac the carpet, wipe what little linoleum is visible, put my Rubbermaid drawers under the table, finish installing the locks, dust, Windex-o-rama, and cry over the fact that three magazines, a cup of Sharpies, six books, and my phone = hoarding intervention.

Okay so I wrapped up your day into mine. That was really clever, and totally unintentional. The hospital called and due to a complication, I will have to be satisfied with what I have already done, thankful for clean towels, and tolerant of cold showers. My list will have to wait until later, but can hopefully be of use to some of you. Thankfully I've had SO.MUCH.COFFEE. so I will definitely be able to power through this holding tank.

Obviously Reilly and Kate Plus Eight are getting longer lists than usual today, as well as 40 extra hugs each.

Get manic and get at it! I will try to post pics later to prove how amazing (compulsive) I am.


  1. I feel so special being mentioned in your post. And I can always rip myself away from WoW long enough to read the list of shit I'm not going to do. ♥

    I'm sorry to hear about your friend. =(

  2. My husband helped me clean today! I cleaned the bathroom yesterday and today we kicked some kitchen and living room ass. The bedroom doesn't look so hot but it's mostly the clean clothes on the floor that I need to fold. I have a load of diapers waiting to be folded and a load of towels as well...and another load waiting to hit the dryer. I have a load of dishes to put away and another bunch soaking in the sink (cleaned out the fridge today...yuck)

    So, I guess I did more than I thought. My goal tomorrow is to get the clean laundry folded and put away, dishes, and maybe do some bedroom work. We'll see...