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
March 28, 2021 · 8:36 am
In my last home, how many sleepless nights did I spend worrying about the big question: hardwood flooring versus wall-to-wall carpeting?
There doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer, nor does there seem to be a reliable guide for reassuring a homeowner of the correct answer before one sinks several thousand dollars into an option that one needs to live with for years to come.
And of course the question of resale invariably comes up. Will the option I choose be the one that will encourage buyers or have them running away screaming, leaving me with a house that won’t sell in a slow market? … No pressure!
When I moved into my last place, which was before meeting my life partner and in the year I refer to as 2001 BC (“before cat”), the decision was entirely mine to make.
My usual approach to striking a happy medium when faced with an analysis paralysis of options might be to do a little of both. Mind you, the monotony of carpeting throughout was already broken up by outdated gold vinyl flooring in the kitchens, bathrooms and entry hall. Would adding a third flooring material be a bad thing?
If I recall correctly, I believe I was traumatized by a home renovation show on TV around that time, when a designer referred to a home that used multiple flooring options as a Frankenstein style of decorating. I think that was enough to scare me off that idea, no matter how tastefully I tried to plan it out.
In the first five years I lived there, I don’t think any visitor was spared from being polled for their thoughts on carpeting versus hardwood. Continue reading →
Filed under home, Humour
Tagged as carpet, carpeting, cleaner, debate, decor, decorating, engineered, floor, flooring, hardwood, home, house, indecision, opinion, option, options, preference, solutions, vacuum, wall-to-wall
November 16, 2016 · 7:30 pm
It’s November and we all know what that means… I’m cold! And if history repeats itself, that also means I will stay that way until mid-March.
I sometimes think it is Mother Nature’s way of telling me that it goes against nature to be out and about over these frosty months. But then reality kicks in, along with the realization that I still need to work for a living, which then sends me outside, grudgingly braving another winter.
Over the years, friends and family members who may have had an accidental run-in with my permafrost hands or glacial feet suggested that I bring the condition to the attention of a doctor, before they contact a mortician to confirm that I am in fact alive.
I have to agree though. My hands can get so cold sometimes, even the cat won’t play with me.
To the disbelief of my inner circle, the medical community has concluded that everything is actually normal with me.
With that verdict in, I have had to adjust and to find ways to get warm and to stay warm, even if it means a commitment to a life of layered looks and thermal wear, outdoors and indoors.
Here they are, the top 10 remedies for when “I’m cold” Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Cats, Humour, Lists
Tagged as baking, blanket, Canadian, Cats, chill, cold, cold feet, cold hands, fireplace, frost, funny, furnace, heat, heater, housework, how to get warm, humour, icy, nordic, observational humour, poor circulation, remedy, snow, snowy, sweater, thermal, tuque, vacuum, vacuum cleaner, warm heart, warm up, weather, winter, working out
February 21, 2016 · 11:38 am
In discussing my cat Ivy’s foibles over a few blog posts, I don’t believe I shared with you another one of her talents. She is a dancer! She can do the conga… Step step kick, step step kick… And always, right after the litter box.
What this means is that not only does she have great rhythm and can count, but her splendid choreography leaves a noticeable trail of cat litter throughout the basement.
In the first few months, I dealt with it the best way I knew how, the dustpan and the broom, but after a while it was turning into a bit of a production to keep her dance floor clean.
A couple of months later, I bought her a little exercise ball, one that releases kibble every few steps as she pushes it around with her head or her paw. Once I figured out that this was one of her favourite toys and she played with it all the time, picking up the litter sprinkles became a more time-sensitive priority as the thought of her eating kibble breaded in used cat litter seemed gross to me. There had to be an easier way to stay on top of the fallout from Ivy’s “after parties” around the litter box.
While watching TV one evening I saw an advertisement for a hand vacuum and thought… That’s it! A hand vac!
Up to that point, I had never owned one. Having always been a bit of a neat freak, spills of any kind were often cleaned up before they even hit the floor. Plus given that it was always just me in the house or the apartment, no kids, no pets, I was usually pretty careful in not letting spills happen in the first place. So I never really became acquainted with the hand vac until Ivy’s recent rehearsals for “Dancing With the Stars”.
My first inclination was to get a budget priced version of one, just to try it out and see. No sense in buying the Cadillac hand vac, just for the cat. My nearest WalMart had a great deal Continue reading →
Filed under Cats, Humour
Tagged as cat, cat litter, Cats, cleaner, cleaning, Dirt Devil, floor, hand vac, hand vacuum, housekeeping, litter box, pets, vacuum, vacuum cleaner
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