Cleaning for Company
The Paraded Home
I'm not sure if I've ever achieved the status of "clean", which I imagine to be like houses on the Parade of Homes: neat, uncluttered, in good repair, color coordinated, and entirely without dust, stains, dirty dishes, or paw prints on the floor.
When my children were little, I defined my goal as "basic sanitation," i.e. dishes done at night, the tub scrubbed before use. I developed a somewhat lofty excuse to explain my housekeeping lapses that went something along the lines of, "If my house is clean, then my children (of whom there were six) are neglected."
However, if the truth be known, sterile, beautiful, color coordinated homes make me feel ... uneasy. I have a dear friend who manages to live in this fashion, and when I visited her home on one occasion, I could not contain myself. "Where is your stuff?" I asked.
She looked startled, but answered readily enough, "Put away. I can't stand clutter. But ... if you really want to know, every cupboard, every drawer, every chest and every cabinet is absolutely crammed to the gills."
She did not even have a bookcase.
"Where are your books?" I demanded. (I have walls of books, stacks of books, boxes and tubs and tables of books, despite constant "thinning.")
"Books? Oh, they're in a basket in the bedroom," she replied.
Obviously, we do not have the same sort of relationship to books. Or perhaps we do. Perhaps she just reads hers more efficiently, retains the information more thoroughly, and is less codependent about their departure, whereas I read three (or more) books at the time, feel my favorites to be old friends, and am no more able to part with some of them than I could cut ties to one of my children.
But I digress.
mljdgulley354 spoke of mold in her guest toilet.
You are not supposed to speak of these things in "polite" company.
It stands to reason then, that I am not polite. Because ... I'm here to tell you that ...
I once had mushrooms sprout spontaneously from the carpet behind my primary toilet after one of my littles (children) caused an overflow. That was the day I sprouted the plan to eliminate all carpet from my house.
Because carpets ... hold odor. Things breed in carpet. Trust me.
For example, I once opened the door to my SUV, in the days when there were car seats strapped to every seat, and raised a cloud of fruit flies from off the floor, where they'd been enjoying a lovely repast of fermented sprayed-from-the-baby-bottle apple juice.
It was just one day in a life of days. Please, do not feel you need run to refill your birth control prescriptions! Even a day with fruit flies rising in clouds from my back seat nether regions was a blessed day ... I promise!
Life With Dogs
In addition to six children, I perhaps should mention that we are dog people. The number varies, (currently seven) but there have always, since the very beginning, been dogs.
Dogs are wonderful. They have cold noses, warm hearts, and ... muddy paws. And ... dog hair. And ... accidents. And sometimes, ... they get sick. Dogs are a lot like children ... a lot of work at times, and totally worth it.
However the reality is that seven dogs living in the house equals ... at the barest of common denominators ... a lot of dog hair and many paw prints.
Conclusion? Dogs, while of utmost value, are not conducive to a "clean" house.
Who's Coming Over?
It is a sad but true fact, that when my children were little, and I set for them the task of cleaning house that, invariably, one of them would ask, "Who's coming over?" To this very day, the recounting of this story causes me much chagrin. However, I believe in transparency. Therefore, I will confess that nine out of ten times, when my children asked this question, we were expecting company.
In addition, had you checked inside the oven on any such given day, you might have found: crayons, tennis shoes, dirty frying pans, soiled underwear (did I mention my chagrin?). It is possible, but not certain, that we did indeed, sweep dirt beneath the carpet.
Had you thought to look, you may have discovered our guest room to contain piles of unfolded laundry, school books, sports equipment, bags of dog food, unused vacuum cleaners, science projects, and bagged trash.
However, transparent of not, even I have my limits, and thus cannot confirm with certainty, that any of these things actually existed.
What I can confirm, is my admiration for mljdgulley354.
This chick cleans her ceiling fans, folks, and honors her company. She cleans her toilets. Wipes her counters. Vacuums her rugs.
I'm pretty sure that mljdgulley354 and those like her are the examples that I, and the rest of us, should follow.
My hat is off!