Tag Archives: Cleaning

Looking up sustains life

During the craziness of life I have found that when I keep my mind and thoughts positive things look better and lives are spared. 

Like today, when the dog took a Goliath size dump right in front of the door I wanted to practice my blood-letting skills on her but instead, I took a deep breath and said “at least it’s on the ceramic tile.” 

This outlook saved her life….and the fact that we are dog sitting a rambunctious 1yr old lab who wouldn’t let her do her business outside.  He is a nut, a beautiful nut.  His color is fox red and is personality is fiery!  Our poor, fat, mellowed 5yr old lab experiences daily harassment and physical activity rape.  With her eyes she pleads for salvation and questions whether his presence in our abode is permanent. 

Although I believe a dog should physically combust before releasing any waste material in MY home, I gave her a one time pass.  She will live to die another day! 


Ours is the fat white one visually pleading for salvation in the background!


Help me...I must rest...must get air!!

Because usually the scene looks like this – ALL day long:

Play with me...pant, pant...play with me!

 I try to talk to our fatty in the spirit of looking up and viewing thing positively.  I explain that all of the exercise she is receiving is a good thing and will allow her to table surf for many more years.  Then I throw her a piece of food.

Oh yea, incase I forgot to mention her most recent conquest was an entire mixed berry pie, a loaf of bread and a batch of bananas all of which were consumed in under two minutes.  Really.  I turned my back for two minutes and that’s when she preformed her perfected air assault, paw maneuver causing (in one swoop) those three items to fall from their secured spot on the counter and into her enormous gastric holding area.

She chose to dine on the mixed berry pie on the solo carpeted living space we have.  It figures that the last piece of carpet left in our home was the feasting spot of my homemade, organic mixed berry pie that didn’t even touch my taste buds!  But I got to experience the heart warming joy of cleaning up the residue….look how close she was to dining on wood….grrr.

The mixed berry mess


It is still present but now faded.  I have scrubbed.  And scrubbed.  I thought about taking her far away from home and dog dumping her butt and I smiled.   When I realized that I would be the only one smiling, I decided to engage in some positive thoughts and secretly wished she developed an upset stomach or diarrhea – outside.  It helped and again, her life was spared at the thought of her gut spasming and cramping.  Looking up, it really works.

Now…how do I get this stain out of the carpet?????


Germs, Poo and Resurrection

My daughter is a germaphobe freak.   Actually, two of my three kids are germ freaks. My second born (and middle child) is the only one who has a cavalier attitude toward microbes.  He was fed enough spiders from his loving older sister at a tender young age before resisting her was possible.  Initially he would furrow his brows and smack at the object while wearing a mixed look of curiously disgusted.  Occasionally Most times I caught feeding time and performed the perfected parental finger swipe retrieving the object.  I’m convinced it was this constant diet of nasty that lowered his freaking-out threshold. 

My germ loving son NEVER gets sick.  That child has a nazi immune system.  And it seems he has been rewarded for enduring all of the meals provided by older sis because nothing in nature, of nature, around nature, or containing nature touches him.  He is the nature whisperer!

Older sis?  Not so much.  She attracts nature just by breathing.  Payback?  Maybe, but we often attract that which we fear or place our focus on.  Whatever we place before our eyes and elevate in our lives, we empower.  It’s like the child who fears becoming like a parent and declares “I will never be like my parent!” They focus so much on the behavior of the parent that often times they become the very behavior they despised.  

Think about it…Have you noticed that there could be a group of people gathered outside but it is always the people who fear bees or are allergic to them that get stung?  The people who fear dogs attract them like Cesar Millan (minus the “ssssttttt” of course).  The people who are afraid of water usually are the first to fall off the boat.  And the people who fear heights too frequently find themselves in nosebleed situations. 

Could it be that the bee people proclaim “I know I’m going to get stung!”  The dog people utter “Dogs are always after me.”  The aqua people respond “I’m going to end up in the water…I just know it.”  And the height people confess “I’m afraid of heights and I know this lift is going to stop!”  All of these people share two things – fear and belief.  Fear of a situation and the belief that IT WILL HAPPEN.

Fear is a powerful emotion.  It is the opposite of faith (some say fear is faith in the wrong kingdom) so it should come as no surprise that fear works.  Hebrews 11:1 tells us in the new living translation that “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”  Now doesn’t the fearful statment of “I just know….[insert feared expectation]” sound very similiar to the faith principal?

I came across this quote a few years  ago and I found it enlightening:

“Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable and, most of all, fear puts hopelessness at the heart of life, while faith rejoices in its God.”

So what of my daughter who breaths and nature responds?  What could be the worst for a clean-freak germaphobe to experience while taking a leisurely walk through heavily populated Central Park?  Take a look:

It's a direct hit - Bird Poo fresh from Bird Butt!

 Heavily populated Central Park and the bird chose her for this special gift.  I was right beside her…shoulder to shoulder…a few cm and I would’ve been blessed with the gift.  I felt the wind from the falling “load” brush past me but it was not until I heard her wails of disgust that I fully understood what had occurred.

We laughed as we washed off her boots and she said “I’ll never look at these boots the same again….I can still see where the spots are!” 

As we celebrate Easter this weekend I am faithfully thankful for a Savior who has not only [permanently-residue free] washed away my sin and spots, but also is blinded to my sin and never looks at me the same again [I am new]!! 

I am a new creation in Christ. Old things have passed away and all things have become new! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Soap and water will break that itch cycle.

I’d be safe to say that we have all encountered dirty people…filthy people with grease and odor galore.  I’m talking about your common, everyday, normal, average people.  Not the mentally ill, homeless, or physically ill.  After having my nose hairs singed by one such common Joe, I became intrigued as to what causes the tendency towards filth.  Do these people know they are dirty or is this their version of normal?  Are they like Linus on Charlie Brown who enjoyed his state of disgusting? 

We don’t live in a third world country.  We live in America where running water is plentiful.  The majority of us are not homeless so we have access to showers and soap and our sense of smell is most likely intact enabling us to sniff out that ‘not so fresh – time to shower’ odor.   But uncleanliness still prevails???  I just don’t get it.  There is NO excuse, in my clean opinion.

So for those of you out there who are curious of where you stand on the whiff-o-meter, are teetering on the verge of being called Linus or just want some brief reassurance here goes.

You might be a DIRTBALL if: (feel free to add to this – these are just a few that I quickly threw out)

  • you attract more insects, dogs and wild animals than humans
  • You think running water is an Indian name
  • you have an accumulation of lint, debris and crud in the folds under your neck or other areas of your body
  • You think deodorant is not necessary OR…
  •  …that deodorant may take the place of bathing and the more white layers, the better
  • You believe there is nothing disgusting about the dirt accumulation under your nails
  • you cause the facial orifices (eyes and nostrils in particular) of those around you to water profusely
  • you notice that people tend to create a cosmos of distance between you and them
  • You like to smell “natural” and you believe that bathing destroys the o’naturale odor
  • You can fuel candles with the build-up of substance in your ears
  • You thought “body wash” was a service offered by the mechanic for your car
  • You often get asked if your hair is wet when really it hasn’t seen water for weeks
  • You publicly pick and dig in places that should be tended to in the shower
  •  You notice those around you tend to hold their breath
  • You think the stains on your sheets add a vintage-like character
  • There is always an empty seat or a hundred empty seats next to you
  • You think hand washing is for the obsessive-compulsive people and find nothing wrong with using those unwashed hands to eat after just going to the bathroom
  • You often hear “what’s that smell?”
  • You fail to bathe daily and feel that once a week or less is fine
  • You think the plaque accumulation on your teeth is fortifying
  • You frequently itch and are not embarrassed to scratch your itch

Here’s an idea:  SOAP and WATER will BREAK that itch cycle!!!

Toilet thoughts

We all had the flu recently.  Now I know many people use the flu term lightly to encompass a variety of aliments from headaches and sniffles to muscle pains.  But we had THE FLU as in the old fashion puke – your – guts – out flu.  All of us, that is except my older son who has a super hero immune system that is impenetrable to most foreign invaders.  When my daughter had the chicken pox I gave her permission to cough and snot all over him, which she did so all too willingly and enjoyed it a little too much.  I guess it was pay back for all of his gross boy moments.  Yet even with her body fluid attack, he never got one single pox!  Amazing.

And as if all of us being sick wasn’t evil enough the hubs and I got to experience this joyous occasion simultaneously.  We were side by side on our bed groaning and sleeping away the misery while thinking bad thoughts about the mattress for the back pain.  I usually like to think that there is some adult presence in our home capable of maintaining order and the general well being of our kids.  However, not the case this time.  I moaned helplessly and tried unsuccessfully to move as I heard my 6yr old yell out “I’m hungry – now how do I turn on the stove to make these noodles?” and my older son, who almost burned the house down two times, offer to help him. Both adults were taken out and somehow had to manage until the Calvary (my parents) could come to the rescue.

I haven’t been this sick in a long time. I even flashed back to my childhood flus.  You know how everything was worse “back then.”  The weather, the snow, the chores, child labor, everything was more difficult and painful — including the flu.  So while I was heaving my guts out I remembered how my mom would always awaken to the sound of her puking child. Every.single.time that woman would hear us vomit.  She never missed an episode and would stand along side of us with her arm wrapped around our waist.  She seldom spoke a word during the expulsion of our innards.  But her presence somehow made it all better.  With each retch she held me firm as if to say ‘I won’t let you propel yourself into this toilet’ and that made it more bearable!   

So as I forcefully retched alone in the dark bathroom two thoughts went through my head.

  • Don’t fall in the toilet
  • I want my mom!


And maybe a third…..thank God I just cleaned the toilet!

It happens in a blink

Have you ever noticed that you can look at something over and over and over and over again in your home for YEARS with total peace until suddenly, one day, for no reason, out of the crystal blue sky something snaps in your head that screams “Yuck, that is ugly…what were you thinking or drinking when you did that” or “what an eye ripping out of the socket mess!” And usually once this mental pathway is triggered everything in your home becomes subject in a blink. 

Yes?  Well I had that very epiphany this week which lead to the tearing apart and remodeling and painting of BOTH bathrooms simultaneously, the garage (a.k.a. one of hubby’s many man rat piles) and our bedroom.  Oh, and did I mention that this was the week that school began?  Or that hubs and his friend have taken on a brick retaining wall building project that has overtaken our driveway and morphed it into a dangerous rock climbing expedition.  It also seems as if winter may come before they are done.  Did I also fail to mention that a mammoth tree fell in our yard and is decaying nicely?  Our yard would not be featured in Better Homes and Gardens and causes the demons of our yard perfect neighbors to twitch and convulse each time they drive by our unsightly spread.    

Before: The step and wall project

Before: the wall to be. Lovely! Better Homes and Gardens watch your back!

Before the work: The retaining wall bricks all neat and orderly.

We have so many projects going on. But what can I say.  I don’t have any control over these freak brain spasms or when they occur.  Surely if I did then I wouldn’t have decided to tear up our indoor life as well.  Creativity as it’s finest!  At least that’s what I tried to tell hubs when he emerged from his bathroom like a disoriented tourist whimpering “Did you really have to tear up both bathrooms at the same time?”   

Yes. I. Did.  in a blink!

Buffalo Farts

I, with the mandatory assistance of my young helpers, are embarking on a shed clean-out project and it is taking place on the HOTTEST days of the entire year.  Why?  Because when I get an idea I just have to move on it.  Plus, the tale-tale odor of death and decay along with killer African Bees (I’m sure of it) swarming the shed hinted to me that some TLC was in order.  

We have made some interesting finds…from old stuff we forgot we had to critters in various stages of anatomical decay.  It has proven to be quite the biological lesson.  My kids have become experts at sniffing out “death” and have been know to loudly shout “I smell death” as soon as they get that familiar whiff.  Although, shouting this sentence truly becomes awkward when the elderly are around. 

For the sake of those with weak stomachs I will not post the pix of the maggots having dinner ‘with’ the mouse.  But here are some more appropriate finds…..

The killer African Bees

The ‘rat pile’ mouse nest my husband fosters
Awww, now this little baby bunny we can deal with                                                                                                                                                                   

So after experiencing heat exhaustion and dehydration I had to make a trip to the local landscaping store.  The hubs thought it would be a great idea to lay down a rock floor in the shed to help with moisture and really show some shed TLC.  I was apprehensive when he told me the type of rock I wanted to ask for was called “Buffalo Farts.”  Buffalo Farts? [I echoed] and he absolutely assured me that this was indeed their proper name.  But still my gut was twisted…somehow I could not envision the landscaping business advertising Buffalo Farts to the manicured lawns of the rich and famous. I can just picture the conversation “Hey Bob those are really nice rocks you have there.  What are they called?”  Bob (having great difficulty): Buffalo Farts.  

But ok, I get that I am a landscaping ignoramus so Buffalo Farts it is.  I confidently walked up to the counter in my sweat pouring state and declared “I need a half ton of Buffalo Farts.”  As awkward as this may sound, the real humiliation came with the extremely long pause, followed by the quizzical looks, and ultimately the deep belly laughter from big burly, tanned men.  Big burly, tanned men who attempted to repeat my statement but were unable due to their fits of hysterics.  So the moment turned into a prolonged comical session of partially spoken sentences – “A half ton…..A half ton of Buff…..Buffalo Far….half ton of Buffalo Farts” followed by more hysteria while I stood in fake confidence.  Once they regained their composure and questioned the ignoramus they determined that what I actually required was #3 gravel.  Yes, #3 gravel has a nice ring to it and I can totally see Bob (fictional guy from my imagined conversation above) proudly proclaiming “Well, thank-you it is #3 gravel.”  

Buffalo Farts or #3 gravel…same thing yet solid proof that “A good name is more desirable than great riches” Proverbs 21.

Blame it on the Boys!!

Oh, I forgot…did I mention that the L’oreal self tanner stinks?  Most bottled tans do so I was not surprised however, what I was not prepared for was the Neutrogena spray self-tanner.  We used this one as well and turned our bathroom into a thick foggy chemical haze.  It was bad.  When we were done the floor had a sticky residue that even freaked out the boys who usually bring the disgusting into our home and are phased by very little.  When I woke up the next morning and walked into the bathroom I ran into a wall of stench.  It resembled urine and could easily be blamed on the trigger happy males in our home.  However, being mature and responsible  having used self tanners before I knew immediately that this smell was from the chemical in a bottle tan. 

Enter daughter:  “UGH! MOM, The bathroom smells like pee!”  Fighting the urge once again to blame it on the boys, I explained that it was from the spray tan haze we created and that I used Clorox on the floors.  It should get better. 

12 hours later:  The smell is still present and even the boys are complaining.  The sink and every surface have been cleaned.  Clorox has been doing its thing on the floors yet the smell still lingers.

24 hours later:  Rotten, rank — the smell persists.  The youngest has a little Sponge Bob toilet seat (below) that he places on the big toilet seat when he has to poo and occasionally  it will get splashed with pee.  My daughter “Mom, I think it is his toilet seat.  It has to be!”  Low blow.  She tried to blame it on the boys?  Now, where would she get that idea?  I explained that on average there is more nasty on the main toilet seat than his little seat and that it would take a whole lot of gross to stench up the entire bathroom.  So we concluded that the self tanner has to be on the walls, the woodwork, the shower curtain and the bathroom curtains.  Like an alien life form it has permeated our living space and is sinking into the pores of our home.

baby boy's bathroom luxury

Today:  The washing machine is groaning as it runs full speed. I have vowed to eradicate this urine-mimicking chemical from our home.  and if all else fails I can always blame it on they boys or take the high road and pin it on the Sponge Bob seat!