Tuesday, November 29, 2011

On Cleaning House

We try to give our house a thorough top to bottom cleaning at least once a month.

On a good month there is spot/maintenance cleaning work done throughout the rest of the month.

On a bad month....

I have never kept track but if I had to guess there are probably more bad cleaning months than there are good ones.

We do pretty well keeping the house straightened up, because clutter stresses me out.

Because of our good straightening up habits, I would guess that the average visitor would say I keep a really clean house.

I however would say the person making such a statement is a big ol' liar liar with flaming pants on fire. Or perhaps I would accuse them of being delusional depending on the day and my maturity level at the time.

I really dislike cleaning house as I would guess most people do.

We have a two story house that is over 100 years old. There is a finished attic, and a shit ton of woodwork. It is beautiful woodwork. Big trim, built in bookcases and china cabinet. Beamed ceiling in the dining room.

So cleaning the house even with two adults, one teenager, and one 10 year old takes us pretty much a full day to complete if we are doing things right.

That is a day I am pretty much guaranteed to be grouchy.

I have some very negative associations with house cleaning.

When I was growing up it was always a HUGE source of contention among family members. My mother was/is very particular about cleaning. She was not always very nice about sharing her opinions on the work we did, and the rest of the family was not always nice back. There was almost always arguments, resistance, and hurt feelings. As a coping mechanism I eventually learned to just power through and get the shit done so I could leave and not have to deal with everyone's dysfunction.

My children as children are wont to do, complain mightily about having to clean. Particularly #2. Man she hates to clean. I would guess that she hates it more than I do. Clean and orderly just are NOT on her priority list.

My husband patient saint that he is, has worked to do things to make cleaning fun and bearable for the children. This involves things like making a game out of it, lots of breaks, etc.

I am in full awe of his ability to do what I just described above. Because I. Can't. Do. That.

In fact it makes me crazy. I know that what he is doing is right. I know that it is better for the kids. No matter how I try, I just can't bring myself to join in on the fun. It makes me sad. However, I have learned that trying to do it their way just makes me want to tear my hair out one strand at a time.

So I deal with my sadness, do my power through, and let him deal with the kids on cleaning tasks.

It ain't one of my prouder mother moments, but it works, and in the end the house is clean, and I haven't yelled or hurt any feelings.

So all in all... win. I guess.

But if I had my druthers....

We would hire cleaning fairies to do the work and go see a movie instead.

I am almost NEVER grumpy at the movies.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Last week we traveled to Ohio to visit BH's grandparents.

Since BH's grandmother has not been well we have been making it a point to go out there at least once if not twice a year for a visit.

Every time we have been there the past few years I have wanted to walk around the downtown area, which appeared to house some interesting stores.

FINALLY this year we took that walk downtown. I was right, there were a lot of great little stores.

One in particular that we visited twice was a good old school record store called Endangered Species.

Music stores are really a thing of the past around here anymore. The best we do is Vintage Stock. But it is huge and corporate and all that crap, and music is only a small part of their offerings.

As soon as I walked in I was greeted with the smell of incense, and loud classic rock music. Yes I believe it was. Vintage posters on the wall and racks of albums.


Back when we lived in Okland, CA we used to frequent a store called Amoeba. It was HUGE, and had everything you could imagine and had the coolest atmosphere ever.
This place was no Amoeba by a long shot, but man did I feel happy in there.

I used to buy vinyl all the time, but eventually gave it up because it was hard to find and not convenient to play.

About a year or so ago, BH and I made the decision to sell our CDs. We had uploaded everything and never used them any longer. It was a bit sad to do.

I love the convenience of digital music, and it really appeals to my preference to hear a mix of all my favorite artists as opposed to listening to one artists entire album all at once.

But while perusing through the record store I was reminded of how much I love cracking open that new album, looking at the cover art, and reading through the liner notes. (Yes I am that geeky.)

I was keeping myself content to look and purchase a couple of Beatles memorabilia items for #1, as her birthday is around the corner.

That was the first time we went in.

The second time, BH who knows me so well, came up and placed an album in my hands and hinted that I should treat myself.

I hemmed and hawed a bit, but soon the siren's call of new vinyl was too loud to ignore.

So I am now the owner of the latest offering by the Decemberists on vinyl.

#2 also requested to buy an album too.

Now both are converts to the joys of vinyl.

Good to know I am raising my kids right!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Random Thoughts

Have I ever shared that BH and I lived in California for two years? Oakland, California to be exact.

We did, so that I could go to graduate school. It was an interesting experience. I got a graduate degree, we did some really cool things, had lots of visitors, and decided that while we enjoyed many things about California, ultimately it was not the place we wanted to raise our family, and so one internship away from finishing my degree, and hugely pregnant with #1 we moved back to Kansas. (Luckily the internship could be done anywhere, and I decided to do one in the state where I planned to work. The baby only delayed my graduation by about 6 months. Not too shabby!)

One thing I did not experience while in California was an earthquake. BH did experience a small one that hit San Francisco as that is where he worked. This was kind of a disappointment to me. After all, I was the one who had worked in schools/daycares there and gone through the earthquake drills! I was prepared!

We have been back in Kansas for 14 years now, and I got to experience my first earthquake this past Saturday, and then another one last night. These quakes a felt were just minor shaking, because apparently the real deal has been going on down in Oklahoma.

Now I just need to experience a hurricane I guess, oh and a tsunami... a typhoon? Have I left out any other natural disasters? I think I can feel I lived a full life without experiencing any of the above mentioned disasters.

I am getting old.

I will be 40 in a few months and my joints are not happy. Arthritis runs rampant among women in my family and it seems to begin around 40 for many of them.

So I have started taking a dietary supplement for joint health. I am exercising regularly again, and am looking in to doing yoga or something similar for flexibility. I would like to look in to weekly massage too, but I fear that might be pushing it. I hope these things help. I am not ready to seek help from the doctor yet. Mainly because I need to drop about 9 more pounds before I go back. I hate to disappoint people, and I have creeped back above the weight recommended by my doctor. Hopefully I will lose the 9 lbs soon. My pants don't fit so great right now and I vow that I will not by bigger clothes. I can't afford to replace a wardrobe again. I am so pissed off to be in this position, but I have to say that wearing uncomfortable pants has been a great motivator.

So I hope all this crap works.

As always I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Computer Genius

I like to think that I am somewhat computer savvy.

Then I do something like get a new computer, and the Reality Tour Bus comes slamming in to me at full speed.

I FINALLY got my Mac.

It was a bit of a chore as it turns out.

You might recall from my last post that I found a floor model Mac for a bit of a discount.

Alright...full disclosure...I got it at Best Buy. I know there are many out there who pooh-pooh Best Buy, but I have always had good luck there, and the nearest Apple Store is over an hour away. Yes, I realize I could have ordered online, but have I mentioned my issues with patience once I have made a decision about a big purchase? If I haven't or if you missed that part, the story goes like this:

I have no patience once I have made a decision about a big purchase.

So as you can see, ordering and waiting for shipping were out of the question.

So I made the purchase at Best Buy on Saturday evening. They had to give the computer to the Geek Squad so they could get all the floor model demo stuff taken off the computer. No big deal right? It would be ready for me Sunday. I was a bit disappointed, but..I figured getting it Sunday would still allow me time to get things migrated and play around before work Monday.

Sunday comes and I wait and wait for a call. Finally get one about 4:30, only to be told that they had to have someone bring in the disc they needed to get the demo stuff off. The disc would be there the next day, and they would call me when it is ready.

Monday comes. I wait all day for a phone call. Finally it hits 5:00 and I have heard NADA. So I call. I'm told they were still working on it, they would call when it was done. I have a busy evening and no time to go down there in person and "encourage" them.

TUESDAY comes. Wait all day. No call. Go down in person. After waiting several minutes I am told, "They are having trouble getting the demo stuff off the computer, they will call you when they are done." At this point I have decided that I am done. I inform them that I am no longer interested in the floor model, and they can just go get me one that comes in a box that no one has used before and requires no geeks to remove any demo software. I left feeling very grouchy.

So I finally get it home. I know that getting everything moved was going to be a chore. However, I did not expect it to be a chore that has lasted more than a week. I think I am done now. I hope. All the easy ways I researched did not work at all. AT. ALL. Finally BH helped out and got things done in a few minutes that I had been trying to do for DAYS. I am not kidding. D-A-Y-S.

Typically I would have been grumpy about his easy success after all my failure, but I am just so glad to have the shit done!

Because lugging two computers to work got old after the very first time.