Friday, February 16, 2007

Clean clean *puff puff* scrub sweep *puff puff*

I have spent the entire day cleaning, it is now 2:30. Well, I did take the dog out for a walk, and do an emergency sewing job or the Carnival parade costume, but I have scrubbed, swept, mopped and wiped every freaking inch of this joint. When is it that you get old enough to stop cleaning because your Mom is coming over?

My Mom is clean. She is in no way compulsive or obsessive, just simply clean. It is a running joke, we saw a cartoon once, this man comes into a room where his two daughters are watching t.v. He tells them to turn it off, the have to clean up because someone from the bank is coming over. The girls want to know the level of clean they are aiming at. "Dad clean?" No it'll have to be better than that. "Mom clean?" No, better than that. The girls, with horror stricken faces shriek out, "NO NO NO! NOT NOT......*G*R*A*N*D*M*A* CLEAN!!!!! Dad replies, "No surgical room clean ought to do it." My Mom was there and we all howled.

This however is the first time that I have felt compelled to really clean for my Mom, usually just a look over for anything really gross, like life forms developing on the back splash in the kitchen, and that'll do. This time though.... I have had quite a while to ponder why I am cleaning so thoroughly. My Mom is really cool, she would never say anything if it was dirty, and certainly wouldn't love me any less. I think it is because of the Chuckster. My Mom is probably somewhat allergic to him, and she is a very long way from being a dog person, so I really wanted to get all the tumbleweed up that he has been creating. I am hoping she will at least like him a bit, and if it isn't too filthy in here it will help. *Is it just me or do I sound like I am bringing a boyfriend home for the first time?* Then for the last week or so I have been letting things slide because I knew I was going to be doing a big clean before she came, so it was getting a bit squalid in here. I did draw the line at soaking the calcium drop marks off the shower door. The windows aren't perfect either, which is a bit silly as I actually really like clean windows.

Anyway, it's done. Or at least as done as it is ever going to be. My fingers are peeling prunes and my nails are all soft...

I briefed the man and the kids before they left this morning that I would be cleaning all day, and when they came home at lunch, whether they could see a difference or not, their role was to express joy, amazement and astonishment at the sheer beauty of what I had managed. They performed marvelously, and I think they actually could see a difference.

House work is one of the worst chores. I hate it. I get no sense of accomplishment from it. No one acknowledges it, (Sorry Mom, I'm guilty there.) and before you know it, it's just as grubby again. Beurk.

Trish over at Coffee House Chatter left a comment when I mentioned the lemon and orange tree that were growing next to each other a while ago. She felt that it was a miracle of grafting, and I wasn't sure. Well, she was absolutely right. I found another bi-fruited tree, again lemon and orange, and the graft is visible a good foot above the ground, branching off the single trunk of the tree. Well, knock me down with a feather. That is amazing. Urban Chicky here obviously, but that is amazing. I didn't know you could do a graft like that. Wow. The tree is astonishing to look at. It looks photoshopped.

My elder daughter did go up into the hills yesterday to eat omelets, only the pathetic immigrant kid's parents had not figured out that we were supposed to PROVIDE the food, along with pop. So they're all up in the hills, lounging around, and all the kids pull something out but my kid. Damn. Why don't they write these things down like we asked them to? If any of you are ever teaching ESL kids....WRITE DOWN WHAT THE KIDS HAVE TO BRING FROM HOME!!!! The other kids offered to share spontaneously, but she said no. Poor kid.

So when the younger child informed me that all of the other kids in the class had a paddle for the costume, and she didn't, I knew I had to do something. The parade is themed by room, the elder's class are all surfers and the younger white water rafters and I wasn't going to let her be the only kid in the parade without a paddle. It is one of the difficulties of not speaking the language, or knowing the culture. Her teacher actually wrote down what she would need, on Wednesday. A broom handle and cinta negra...well, what is that and where do you buy it? I finally found the English speaking Mom, and asked her what it is, and then what sort of store sells that, because it ain't the same here folks, and then I got it Thursday morning.

Oh, it's black ribbon.

I saw the lovely special help lady that the kids have. She is an absolute dream, and she is a good part of the reason my children are happy at school. So when I saw her this morning, I mentioned that the little one thought that she was the only one without a paddle for the parade. I was very polite, and said that I was sure that she simply didn't understand, but after the elder one was the only one without food, the little one was not going to suffer the same fate. She said she would talk to my daughter's teacher this morning. Yeah!

Oh, and the new washing machine? Tried it out, the clothes were practically dry when they came out the spin cycle is so vigorous...and the wine? The man said it was drinkable and he didn't get a headache, and that was without the soda that they traditionally drink wine with here. Everyday wine anyway. We'll see what the 'rent's say.

Parade starts in 45 minutes. I'm going to drink that mocha espresso I made, walk his Chuckiness, and go watch the fun.

It was lovely taking the kids to school, everyone, tothom in Catalan, was smiling and happy...and I found the English speaking Mom so I know what the route is!


Beth said...

Cleaning - the chore that never ends. Brief - very brief - sense of satsfaction and then the dirt/mess begins again.
Have a great visit this weekend. No more cleaning! Just enjoy! Wine, sunshine, family...

Jocelyn said...

Ha! We both wrote about cleaning this're more successful at getting your place in shape than I...

Beth said...

awww..your poor elder daughter! So she just sat around while everyone else ate? Why don't they tell you these things! These are important things!

I only clean when I am REALLY mad...that's how you know the state my marriage is in...messy house/happy...clean house/mad!

oreneta said...

Beth: Yup, perpetual motion has been invented...

Jocelyn: I just went over to your funny!

Beth: I slam when I'm mad, and sometimes break things.