….oregano out of my garden this morning. I have delayed doing this because I don’t tolerate the sun very well. This morning was bright but cool…perfect for working outside.Apparently, a number of years ago, we had a beautiful garden. The previous owners let it go wild (pretty much). One of my neighbours told me that the man of the house would just mow the whole thing down when it got too overgrown. It had been taken over by oregano. This plant had covered most of the intended ground cover (vinca minor), and had grown up some of the plants, getting intertwined with them. Because we are on a corner lot, the garden is all out there for glorious display to everyone in the neighborhood, so this morning I finally tackled the oregano…what I’m thinking of as the top layer of disarray. On our small lot I pulled three tightly packed yard waste bags full of it. My back is going to be sore tomorrow (it’s feeling sore as I speak), but it looks miles better. Now I just have to identify which of the remaining plants are weeds, what should be pruned, and what should be left alone.
Our house has been incredibly dusty, particularly since the weather cooled and the windows are open. We have never had the amount of dust and grime that we seem to get now, except during the spring pollen season in Atlanta. My suspicion is that the dust is due to all the construction of new homes in the neighborhood. (You can buy a little “tear down” and build a micro-castle, and sell it for triple the purchase price in these parts.) In particular, a demolition took place yesterday just up the street and I suspect it generated a ton of airborne grime.Z had been complaining about the dust in his throat and we started talking about getting an air filter for the house. Last night it dawned on me that we have a whole house filter attached to our furnace, but since the furnace has not been on, it hasn’t been running. I started it up last night, with the furnace off/fan on, and Z noticed a big difference by this morning. Unfortunately, it means keeping the windows closed. Daily dusting and vacuuming vs. windows closed? My choice is clear. I can sit on the porch or walk the dog if I need some fresh air!
I mentioned my little housekeeping checklist a few days ago, the one that reminds me to do all those little chores that I wouldn’t even think about. One of the nice aspects to it is a gentle approach to cleaning out the fridge. One or two shelves a week, or something like that.I neglected to do a few of the items on last weeks list, one of which was “Clean bottom shelf of fridge.” Today, I was instructed to clean out the fridge drawers so I did said shelf at the same time, and what did I find way back there? A half bar of French white chocolate with hazelnuts, carefully wrapped, that must have slipped down the back of the shelves. A little prize for housekeeping diligence, I would say. Had it for my lunch time dessert with a big glass of milk.
I’ve made some big strides over the past couple of days. The basement bedroom that was wall-to-wall-and-floor-to-ceiling boxes and furniture is half empty.We seem to have accumulated a huge number of Rubbermaid plastic storage bins, so I am trying to consolidate like-with-like and store stuff together. For example, I’ve gone through a lot of our Christmas stuff, donated the things that we no longer use, and put the remainder in a couple of bins. Same with linen. Tablecloths that are the wrong shape or size for our tables are gone. I have whittled our sheets down to a couple of sets per bed, a couple of guest sets, no more poly-cotton blends, no more ugly and/or torn comforters. I am also going through all the boxes that never got opened in our last move (ahem). I’ve found ice-skates that are at least five years old. Light fixtures that were purchased for a house that we lived in six years ago. Beach chairs. Cappucino machine. Sigh. Why did we drag this stuff around through two international moves? Okay, the cappucino machine will get cleaned up and used. But I despair at my sloth in not dealing with all this stuff years ago. Now I’m off to figure out where I can dispose of the two dozen cans of paint that the previous owners left in the basement. She asked me if I’d like paint for touch-ups and I said sure, thinking, five cans of paint, tops. She has left me paint from probably 15 years of painting projects. Paint colours that are no longer in the house. Bits of paint in glass jars. Arghh. I’m pretty sure there will be a hazardous waste depot somewhere in the city. Tomorrow I’ll make a Goodwill/paint disposal run. But it is freeing to actually get RID of stuff.
True confession: I never learned any housekeeping skills as a young woman.There you have it. Running a household always seemed like an afterthought, and our home showed it, in spades. Since returning home from outside employment when we moved to the ATL five years ago, it became more and more clear that I did not have a clue. And so it’s been a learning process for me, one that has actually been rather fun and satisfying. One of the nice little tools that I’ve come across is the houshold chore planner published by Motivated Moms. It comes in a variety of formats, but essentially gives me a daily list of stuff to do so that the entire house gets cleaned over some reasonable period of time. Sort of like Flylady but without all the email. I don’t necessarily do everything on the exact day it’s noted, but I try to get most stuff done within the weekly timeframe. Today, I wiped down the California Shutters in my kitchen and family room. There is was, on the list. “Clean blinds/curtains – living room.” It would not have occurred to me, barring some bizarre spillage involving red wine hurled against the window, to actually clean these things. But sure ’nuff, they were FILTHY! Clean shutters shouldn’t be a souce of such happiness, but darn it…I can’t stop looking at them!