April 2, 2023 · 9:32 am
Back in 2015, a few days after I adopted Ivy the Wonder Cat, it was time for my weekly housecleaning.
When I turned on the vacuum cleaner, it was like a scene from a feline version of “The Exorcist”. My adorable little kitten turned into the devil’s child, hissing at the vacuum cleaner and at me for the horrendous ordeal that was underway.
In a house with wall-to-wall carpeting, it’s not like I could avoid the vacuum cleaner, just to keep Miss Ivy from turning into a horror movie villainess. When it came to cleaning, the show must go on.
She eventually learned to cope by disappearing to a quiet corner of the house until the vacuuming was finished and the vacuum cleaner was put away.
Despite the advice of online pet psychologists suggesting that some cats eventually make peace with vacuum cleaners, unfortunately, this wasn’t meant to be in my household. Continue reading →
Filed under Cats, Humour, stories
Tagged as cat, Cats, clean, cleaner, cleaning, dander, dust, hair, home, house, maintenance, management, pet, Roomba, time, vacuum
January 1, 2023 · 8:17 am
I think it would be fair to say that most people experience the “exploding tissue in the washing machine” situation at one time or another.
You know… it’s those times when despite having thoroughly checked the pockets of the garments being loaded into the washing machine, a tissue still sneaks in, goes through a full wash cycle, and explodes into a million little pieces.
Given my emergency preparedness training at work, it should come as no surprise that I always kept a tissue neatly tucked in a pocket (especially since the pandemic) to catch unplanned, unscheduled or unexpected sneezes.
That being the case, over the years, I was no stranger to the occasional case of exploding tissues in the wash.
It’s not that I didn’t check my pockets. I did… I do… I always do… but once in a while, I might miss one.
That being the case, I developed and implemented a two-step checking process to try to catch those sneaky little buggers (or “boogers” in the case of used ones):
Step 1: I check the pockets before an article of clothing goes into the laundry hamper.
Step 2: I check the pockets again before the clothing goes into the washing machine.
This two-step process has proven to be invaluable as I have found myself breathing a sigh of relief in catching some just before a wash load, especially a load of dark coloured clothes.
But still, every once in a while, a tissue sneaks through and makes a mess.
Why is this? Continue reading →
Filed under home, Humour, Running, stories
Tagged as clean, cleaning, clothes, laundry, mess, stories, story, tissues, Washer, washing
September 26, 2021 · 8:38 am
When making the decision to move to the country, there really isn’t a reference manual of things to consider before taking the plunge… except perhaps Erma Bombeck’s classic, “The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank” (which, by the way, it really is!)
Just the same, I took the plunge into rural life in good faith, knowing I would learn or figure things out as I went along.
But had there been such a handbook, I am certain that there would have been a whole chapter warning Type A people like me to forget about keeping an immaculately clean car. Even if you do succeed in cleaning your car, it probably won’t stay that way for very long.
That’s just the way it is… or at least that is what I have experienced over the last year.
I’ve never been one to ever have a cluttered car, and that part hasn’t changed. But I always tried to keep the interior as clean as possible. And when Covid-19 first hit, my car was sanitized so frequently, you could have performed surgery in there.
All that changed when I moved to a rural address, where gravel roads are pretty common for getting around the community. And given that we live on a gravel road, I tried and tried, but there is no way that the car can tip-toe its way through the dust and dirt to get to our house. Continue reading →
Filed under home, Humour
Tagged as car, car wash, clean, country, detailing, dirt, dust, maintain, maintenance, perspective, rural, rural life
May 3, 2020 · 8:17 am
With renovations completely behind me, the house was ready for showings.
One might think that this might be the easy part. With the house de-cluttered, with the cat living it up at her cat hotel, and with the house staged to help prospective buyers see themselves living at this address, what else was there to do?
Well… a lot!
Ironically, the first thing was to minimize signs of someone actually living here day-to-day.
Planning elaborate meals that would require serious cleaning time afterward was completely out of the question. I had already thought of that and prepared large quantities of food ahead of time, stored in single-serve containers, ready to go from freezer to microwave to stomach.
I even reverted to my young bachelor ways of eating certain meals right out of the containers to cut down on the dishes that would be needed afterward.
Next, my game plan was to keep to a minimal number of core activities that wouldn’t mess up the house. The home routine became eating, sleeping, reading, watching TV, using the computer and working out to my exercise videos. As I yearned to extend the core activities, I had to keep reminding myself that this was temporary.
Every morning, before heading off to work, I would set aside 30 minutes (which turned into 45) for a quick dusting, a quick vacuuming to restore the splendour of vacuum tracks into the carpeting, and a quick once over here and there with Windex or Fantastic. I finished by cleaning the bathrooms to reduce the perception that someone just got ready to go to work. Continue reading →
Filed under home, Humour, stories
Tagged as activities, clean, cleaning, home, house, OCD, prepare, preparing, real estate, routine, selling, showings, staging, viewings
October 1, 2017 · 9:04 am
Ever since I moved in to this house, I have been in a never-ending hunt for ways to clean my tub.
If I remember correctly, scrubbing the tub (and the entire main bathroom, for that matter) was one of the first things I did the day I got the keys to the place. That and eradicating a trail of ants from the kitchen counter from a sticky sweet mess left behind, as well as a load of laundry for a proud first-time owner of a laundry centre.
But for some reason, no matter how much I scrubbed with my trusty scouring powder with bleach, there were patches of darker shades of beige throughout that didn’t seem to want to come off. Technically, I knew it was clean, but it looked stained.
I don’t know much about the previous owners and occupants, but for a fifteen-year-old house, there were some signs of premature aging. There were some pieces in the house showing more wear and tear than my first apartment that was twice that age, including chips in the enamel of a sink, knife marks on the kitchen counter and some carpeting that absorbed the fallout of a kitty cat with an unfortunate bladder issue.
In the months that followed, whenever I had a few minutes, I was back at the tub, trying to clean it with the same tenacity as the Coyote trying to catch the Road Runner. I tried every product on the market and had to hold myself back from using anything deliberately abrasive, in my frustration for the stains that would not come out. Continue reading →
Filed under How to, Humour, Misc blogs
Tagged as bathroom, bathtime, bathtub, bathtubs, borax, clean, cleaners, cleaning, glazing, home ownership, house, housecleaning, household, housekeeping, humor, humour, joy, maintenance, reglazing, removal, shower, solution, sparkling, stain, staining, tub
March 30, 2015 · 7:20 pm
A couple of months ago, I was off for a few days to take care of some home maintenance. The first day, I was expecting a windows guy to come over to inspect (and hopefully re-insulate) a recently-installed window as cold air was seemingly seeping through. On the second day, the insulation in my attic was getting topped up. Let’s face it, finding drafts and eradicating them is a key deliverable in the job description of being a middle-aged man.
The weekend prior, I did what anyone would do before anyone comes over. I cleaned the house. The error of my ways became evident when my partner pointed out, “Won’t you need to clean up AFTER they have done their work?”
He was right though. Why is it that when tradespeople are coming over, I clean the house to the same extent as I would if I was entertaining guests?
Hmmm… Lightbulb moment!
The fact is that anytime someone is coming to fix or check something in the house, I will make the extra effort to clear furniture out of the way in order to give them lots of room to work, as well as to ensure that there are no breakables within proximity for them to worry about. To me it just makes common sense and helps them to do a better job if they aren’t worrying about “stuff” surrounding them.
But in the process of pulling furniture out of the way, I might possibly reveal dust bunnies lurking in places that aren’t usually in the vacuum cleaner’s path over the course of regular housecleaning. I can’t leave those there… so out comes the vacuum cleaner.
And when I pulled out the furniture, it appeared that I had left a little scuff on the wall, so out came the microfibre cleaning cloths and my trusty all-purpose cleaner.
Of course, once you have one corner of the room spruced up and neat as a pin, you can’t just leave the rest of the room undone. Continue reading →
Filed under Humour
Tagged as anecdotes, clean, clean house, cleaning, decluttering, dust, dusting, home repairs, observational, repairman, short story, spring cleaning, vaccum cleaner, vacuum