Archive for the ‘cleaning’ Category

aww, no

December 19, 2013

I just got an email about tax software.

This compounded with having returned from the UK after being overseas for five months, unpacking, jetlag, getting the kids up and going to school, getting and planning food from an empty cupboard, changing my insurance, sorting through the seasonal clothing, laundry, holiday shopping and plans, cleaning a house that’s been empty for five months, and a really, really bad cold.

Forget this.  I’m going to knit.


the unmaking of things

June 13, 2013

I just don’t make things.  I also unmake them.

I frogged a hat recently – one of those that you knit the brim as a big cable and then pick up and knit the body.  Couldn’t get it to fit.  I suppose it helps that I develop a mild antipathy to most of my projects as I’m working on them.   (Something along the lines of “stupid ##$$@#@# – I’m going to finish you!”)  I usually get over this once I’m done, but if I dislike something enough to frog it, I don’t mourn long.  (Perhaps I could have salvaged the cable and made it into a headband, but eh, I wasn’t going to wear that either.)

We’re trying to do a bit of clearing out.  So while the kids were out, W and I tossed/donated some toys.  There were trashed hand-me-downs, things that were outgrown, and then the bad gifts.  But times being what they are, I try to be moderately eco, so I have to find things to do with them.   I took apart some of them for the electronic/battery part of the garbage pickup (especially with the stinkin’ noisy-ass mechanical toys that someone related to W gives us all the time).  Those, I terminated with extreme prejudice.

I admit, the insides were really interesting.


So, I guess something to be learned in all things. (Even from awful electronic toys that no sane parent would wish on another.)

Clean this!

February 8, 2013

W and I got into a conversation about cleaning.  (It really was a conversation and not a loud conversation aka fight.)  He admitted that I did most of it.   That really didn’t bother me – what bothered me is when I clean the thing and then he says something like “Oh, yeah, that really needed cleaning.”

I said that really annoyed me, because if he noticed it was dirty, then he should clean it himself.

He said that he only says something because he’s noticed that I am actually cleaning, or it’s a little damp or something.  Then he said IT.  He said that he actually rarely notices if anything is cleaner or dirtier than anything else.  He’s trying to encourage me or make me feel good about the effort I’m putting in.

HE DOESN’T NOTICE.  (Let that echo around my head a bit.)

Why am I cleaning then?  Is it just for me?  For the kids?  Then I should own it.  But I should stop cleaning if it’s for him.  Because he doesn’t notice.


Less cleaning = More writing/knitting time.

And on that note: the baby hat for the mitts that I made earlier.


I had no idea where to put the mitts to make it look like an ensemble.  Does it look better this way?


You know, more active and youthful?  Suitable for a new baby?

(I obviously don’t know what I’m doing here with the photos.  So much for knitblogging.)

Yarn: Spud and Chloe Sweater, pattern Simple Baby Cap 1 from Itty-Bitty Hats by Susan B. Anderson, mitts from Susan B. Anderson’s Ravelry page.


January 29, 2013

So cold here last week that when the little bit of half-dried laundry got left in the drier, it froze.  That’s right.  Frozen.

The other thing happening here is knitting.  A fair amount.  Nothing complicated, as I’m not very good, but still.  It’s happening.

I am full of feelings about knitting.  A lot of it is happiness – I really enjoy it.  I didn’t know what to expect when I took that class last year, but happiness was not it.  Maybe I would have been okay with contentment.  I was taught knitting when I was a kid, by my grandmother.  She basically used me like a machine – she would cast on, give the item to me, and I’d knit until she thought there was enough and then she’d do everything else – the bind off, the shaping, changing colors, buttonholes.  I just knit on straight needles, back and forth.  So I left knitting behind, for something close to 25 years, with a brief foray into afghan knitting that failed miserably.  Then a friend’s sister was teaching a class and another friend of mine wanted to take it, but there needed to be a minimum number of people and so I joined.

And the knitting came back – but I was determined to do thing differently.  Learn how to make stuff I could use.  Learn different ways of knitting.

So now I have made a couple of things.  And I am emotional about them, but not possessive, if you know what I mean.  Rethinking the process has made me a crazy person.  I have found that it is really, really hard for me to get gauge.  It drives me crazy.  I have learned how to knit continental, re-learned English knitting, figured out Irish cottage/lever knitting and none of these things ever gets me gauge.  I have gone up and down on needles.  I try different yarn.  It’s maddening.  Swatches are all over the place.

And should I ever get gauge, then the hats I make (following the pattern very carefully) are huge.  How is it that a hat that supposedly is 18 inches in circumference looks like a bucket on the head of somebody who has a 23 inch head?  The hat doesn’t even stretch – it’s just hanging there.  I think there’s a conspiracy in the hat-pattern world.  They like big hats, and they cannot lie.  (Even though gauge apparently does.)  I’ve had to re-knit most of the hats to sizes down to “toddler” for me.  That’s crazy.  It’s not like I want a tight hat – I just want a hat that FITS.

Still, I am very fond of knitting.  I have made a sock, successfully, but it does not have very tight or good gauge – but the sucker fits.  (We’ll see what happens when that guy gets washed.)

Tell me of your knitting and how you do it, because it must be better than mine.

It doesn’t rain…

April 23, 2012

It’s the change of seasons here at my latitude.  This means a lot of things.  Some changes at work, but mostly, the change of clothes and spring cleaning.

This year, it’s been particularly frustrating because while there have been days so warm and lovely, it’s  like a gift from the universe, the weather switches back horribly.  This happens right after I have gotten out the spring clothes, laundered and prepped the winter clothes for storage.  Then winter comes back with all the cold and damp and I have to get the winter stuff back out again.  It’s  something I’m just doing to myself, I realize.  But having my front hall covered with clothing for every 5-degree variation between freezing and summer, wet and dry, is driving me crazy.  I’ve got to clear things out – one way or another.

As for the spring cleaning angle – well.  I realize in the winter, I, and therefore my family, live in shameful conditions.  I have been cleaning all weekend (with breaks because honestly, I am no machine) and geez.  There’s a reason nobody except other people with young children come over.  I figure I have a couple more days (all day) of cleaning to make things liveable.  I’m not terribly fond of cleaning, but the realization of how bad it can get is a really powerful motivator.

I need an adult

January 12, 2012

We’ve been throwing out/donating a bunch of stuff since before the holidays , clothes and toys, mostly.  Partly to make room to the new stuff that undoubtedly was coming our way, partly just to feel like we’re starting fresh for the new year.

Usually, I’m all about tossing the old and the broken and the long-unplayed with.  Get out, I say!

But a few things just hit me the wrong way this past week.  On Monday, I ran over one of Henry’s good outside toys (if there can be such a thing) and felt truly terrible about it.  It was a nice Tonka digger with caterpillers that really turned.  Because the broken plastic stuck to my mittens,  I had to scrape these little yellow plastic bits off the snow with my bare hands to get rid of all the evidence before he came home.  I don’t think he’s noticed yet.  At least, he hasn’t asked.

Today, I packed up all the Lego Primos (the really big chunky blocks Lego used to make for small hands) to give them away to the kids’ daycare.  I wasn’t happy about it, because I just have this fantasy that J will use them and love them even though she hasn’t, but when W said it was time, it made perfect sense.  But man, I burst into tears when packing them up.   I’m glad the kids weren’t here to see it.

Partly because this was the first toy I really invested time in finding – doing it all ebay style  (I don’t think they’re made anymore) and finding a couple of big lots of them.  And Henry loved, loved, loved them.   (They’re great for wall-building.  And that might be about it.)  Although he hasn’t gotten near them since he discovered the duplos and then the regular Lego bricks.  And they’re perfectly good and probably will last forever.  They’ll have a good home at the daycare and be loved by other little children.   Even thinking about it is causing me to tear up, though.  (If I think about it at any length, I will go all ugly-face and bawl.)

That said, I don’t even know why.  It’s not like I felt anything like this sense of loss when W got rid of the crib, or when I stopped breast-feeding, or the day Henry started school.  Or any number of things that really might be considered more personal than a box of brightly colored plastic chunky toys.

I can’t do it just yet.  I’ve just boxed them up and put them in closet, so I can get my act together.  In my head, I’m thinking I’ll make sure every last piece in the house is gathered up before I give them away.  But I know that’s just a delaying tactic.   When I do give them away, I want to be perfectly composed.  Maybe I should ask W to do it.

W also mentioned getting rid of the push-toys that make clanking, pop-corn sounds when they’re pushed across a floor.  I also have feelings about them (there are two).   Sure they’re annoying, but I’m not yet ready to give them up.  I don’t know why.  It’s not like I want to have more children and are saving these things for them.  I don’t think it’s because I want to save them for my children’s children.  It’s like they’re my toys or something.  What’s my issue?

Internet, I think I need a hug.   Or some counseling.  Or maybe just a kick in the butt.  Something.

Ready, set, go!

August 11, 2010

I’ve just thought of a new competitive sport.

Xtreme laundry-hanging!  Bear with me.

All competitors get the same amount of laundry (same items, washed identically, and then weighed).  They hang it as fast as possible on a line – or rotary.  (A rotary adds a certain flair, I think.)  After a certain time period – they get judged on how dry things were.  Close calls can be weighed to determine winners.

Style points for hanging particularly hard items, like shirts with collars, or heavy blankets.  Things like usage of clothespins may or may not effect outcome.

What do you think?  (Aside from the fact that I was in a panic hanging up clothes this morning so I could get to work on time for a meeting.  This might be the only nice day this week, so I booked it.)


July 27, 2010

It seems like every time I unload something from the house, I have to post about it. Because I love getting rid of stuff. There is a term for loving to throw away things – I just can’t remember it right now.

Most recent stuff to unload: 4 rather large boxes of books – they’re at the library book sale right now. Half and half paper books and book on tape – and I mean cassette tape.  Some of them I was never going to read (gifts or stuff that came extra with the lots of books I was buying online) – some I never want to read again, they were so bad.  Those books were good for a while, but since neither of us have vehicles with cassette players anymore (and haven’t for a couple of years, and that is where we do all our active listening), it was time to let it go.

I hope they go to a good home, but honestly, I’m just glad to be rid of them. I do feel for the technology aspect of it – I mean, it was a sort of older technology, and you wonder who still has tape players.  (We have one, but it’s mostly for the kids.   The library has tons of books on tape.  We actually don’t sit around and listen to books – that’s what the car is for.)

Even with this unloading, that was really only 2-3 shelves worth, out of our whole house.  Geez.  My whole life is about stuff – getting it, moving it, and then dumping it.

Up next: unloading several bags of little boy clothes onto my sister.  Heh-heh.  Let that be her problem.

15 minutes

July 3, 2010

I heard somewhere that all you need is 15 minutes a day to clean your house.

It’s really appealing, but I don’t believe it. I spend at least 10 minutes a day just sweeping up crumbs in the kitchen alone. A dish washer is helpful – mine happens to be W, but that’s because he hates vacuuming.

I’m guessing laundry doesn’t count.

And what happens with things like serious cleaning – windows and heavy-duty things like that?

Well, I mis-understood.   I checked it out on the arbiter of all things – the Internet.   It takes 15 minutes per room – and this is the important part – to pick up. It can actually take 30 minutes to 2 hours to really clean each room.  Floors, walls, windows, vacuuming, dusting, the works.  Well, that puts a whole new light on things.  A whole, new, dingy, depressing light on things.  But it makes so much more sense.

Now I just got to find the time – before my in-laws show up.  In two hours.  (I guess I got to pick up a couple of rooms or else do some serious triage on the cleaning, huh?)

Entry for July 04, 2008

July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday, USA!

Nothing much going on here. W reminded me that I should be one of the last people to complain about the nonworking pen situation – and I tried a snappy comeback to the tune of “at least you’re guaranteed a working pen by the second try at our house – ” but he wasn’t buying it. He was sort of like – ‘nice try.’

I vacuumed under my parents’ couches today – I am compulsive about my parents’ place in a way I am not with mine. Can’t explain it – except that they need it more and they’re less likely to do something about it – and the mess in the bathroom kept building in my head until I had to do something about it. Also, their house is smaller and you feel like you’re actually doing something useful. Our house is so old and large and Henry is so ever present that it’s hard to clean very well. Plus I’ve got very little else to do here. Found something like 12 cents (the cents symbol is gone on the keyboard!). I get a better return grubbing around parking lots.

SIL A caught me out on my Facebook page about where I was going to be. I forgot she could read it – but then she emailed W about getting together this weekend and that’s the last thing I’m interested in. The travel and the heat – forget it. I’m a little annoyed about this – this is exactly why being “Friends” in facebook is in quotes and why I didn’t want to be her “friend.” It’s sneaky and I just don’t like it. Grrr.

We fed Henry some Korean noodles – it’s an onion/pork base and sort of brown in color. He got it all over his face – so now we know what he’ll look like with a 5 o’clock shadow. (Oh that poor kid – what a wise-ass for a mother he’s got.)

More about my mother later…..