Friday, March 5, 2010

Settling In

Our kitties have acclimated themselves quite well, and we've decided to keep them. Though my poor plants would definitely veto the decision, if they could speak. The cats are training us well, and I have now cleared a spot for them to sit in the window. Oh sure, we have a perfectly good plantless window by the couch, but they want to be where I had my plants. It's just a cat thing that I have to get used to.

I'm also settling in on a new routine that has nothing to do with cats. 'Cleaning' is a bad word around here as far as I'm concerned, but unfortunately, a necessary evil. I used to be an 'all or nothing' cleaner, but then I shifted into a 'forget the all- I'd rather do nothing' mode that wasn't benefiting anyone. It's frustrating being a mom with a family that messes things up the moment you're done cleaning. Just think about how unfair that is! You spend an hour cleaning, and it takes less than five seconds for the husband and kids to mess it all up. Yet the mess they made takes another half hour to straighten up.

I really think I need to talk to those Star Trek people about the cleaning space-time continuum...something is out of whack here!

And why is it that a freshly mopped floor takes hours to dry, but a dropped ice cube takes 2.3 seconds to melt, making a puddle the size of a small state? I'm telling you, the planet is completely off-balance.

Dish soap can take the nastiest stuff off of my fry pans, but let a drop of dish soap dry on the countertop, and you can't get it off with a blow-torch. Please don't ask me how I know that. This also holds true for raw eggs and oil spatters, for which the only way to remove them is to simply buy a new house and move.

Then there's the dark realm under the stovetop itself. Oil and other things have fallen through the holes and made a right mess of things. The heat has turned the oil into a smooth rubbery polymer, and even a chisel won't remove the worst of it. It's also fireproof (I assume from all the tempering from using the stovetop and the oven on a regular basis), so putting a flame to it is useless as antlers on a turtle.

Many of these things I have completely given up on, especially if it's out of eyesight. But I swear to you that I've adjusted (and readjusted) my cleaning schedule and found that I don't need to have an all-or-nothing approach anymore. If I get one desk clean or manage to straighten a shelf, I have accomplished a lot more than if I just sat there staring at it and lamenting about the mess.

And it looks nicer too.

So my new approach to cleaning (and life in general) is the same as praying- do it throughout the day, every day. Bit by bit, you can get a lot accomplished! Do a chore (and maybe stick a little prayer for a friend in there somewhere), write a little, do another chore, go through e-mail, do another chore, and pretty soon the house is starting to look good, and you feel a lot less stressed by the lack of mess about you.

And frankly, that makes my family (and my new kitties), very happy!


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