Sunday, September 07, 2008


I gave in to my strange habit of cleaning when I'm stressed. I feel much better now, and the house looks better, and the garage is cleaner, and a lot of odd little tasks are done.

Crazy Aunt Purl went on a no-buying campaign a while back. Concidentally, so did I. Of course, mine is actually a "no money" situation - I'm adjusting to my new budget. I always wondered why I had a tendency to stockpile - yarn, cleaning products, favorite things on sale - and now I see: somehow, subconsciously, I was preparing for the second term of the Bushies, and the devastation of our economy that Republican Rule has brought. I will not rant at length about how bad it is here, because I am all about the low blood pressure and Zen serenity these days, but, yeah, it's really bad, it's really not just me, it's everybody and everything. We have been so screwed, it will take a long time to un-do the screwed-ness. But enough about that. My personal, real-time evidence that we are in a Recession with a capital R is that I haven't set foot in a mall since May, when I indulged in a few things on sale at the Ann Taylor Outlet. But now, it's coming to a new season. Thought it's still hotter than hell here, cooler weather is coming eventually (please GOD) and dammit, nothing I own FITS.

There's a full length mirror in the ladies' room at work, and I try to avoid looking. My slacks bag in the butt, my cute knit tops aren't so cute (more like shapeless, which make the body underneath look shapeless too). My clothes do not fit, and I look like shit. Time for a fashion show - I need to visit the closet and try on the Things That Used to Be Too Small, and see where we stand. See what fits.

There is no guarantee that anything will. Girl discovered this over the last couple of years. She lost over 30 pounds and went from a size 12 to a 6. (Yeah, she's 25, 5'9", beautiful and a size 6, and has a job she loves too. Poor kid.) But I digress.... She discovered the hard way that diet and exercise may or may not get you back into your old clothes. You'd think that along the way to her fabulous size 6 figure, the "outgrown" size 10s and 8s would have fit, but no. It's all the exercise, it really did change her shape. I have the same issue; the scale moved only a few pounds but my clothes fit badly now. The body inside isn't quite as potato-like (though it's definitely not done yet) and the clothes had shaped themselves to cover a potato. I've changed from a round baking potato to narrower, yam-like potato. So, closet exploration time, see what's close to fitting, see what's hopeless and can be put out for the garage sale.

But I feel good, because I've had a madly fun weekend of cleaning. Yeah, strange habits.... Yesterday I moved furniture and scrubbed floors, today I tackled the pond and the garage, and cleaned out my mother's car for sale. It was immaculate of course, and all I had to do was remove my father’s emergency kit, an atlas, a couple of umbrellas, and the trash bags and such. Oh, and the St. Christopher medal that I swear has been in every car since I was a child – I’ve put it in Baby. And while I was at it, I kept going and worked on the garage.

The garage was a horror, a mix of my junk, my mother’s junk, (St. George Carlin: "Did you ever notice that other people's stuff is shit, but YOUR shit is STUFF?"), plus a sea of normal garage dirt, dust, pet hair, kicked out cat litter and – this is disgusting – stains and yakked up hairballs. Oh, and my garage floor is carpeted, so picture all of the above on filthy, smelly indoor-outdoor carpet. No, we didn’t carpet the garage; it had carpet when we moved in 12+ years ago, and we didn’t really think about the wisdom of leaving the carpet in place, we just moved in and lived on it. And so did the cats. Disgusting, puking cats. God, it’s gross. After the garage sale, after the weather cools off, and the house is emptied out, I will have to think about tackling pulling it up. But for now I shop-vacced it and dumped a ton of cleaner on the stains. It looks a bit better, and smells a LOT better.

The cats are so distressed, they don't want to be out there. Where's their stink? Girl took Dudley to her temporary quarters, so Higgins has reclaimed the couch.

Which is falling apart, and yeah, new couch, also on the things I don't have money for but really need list. Along with a new printer. New printer is probably do-able - Printers are Cheap. I covet a wireless Lexmark printer.

But it's September, which means these really hot days must be going to go away eventually, and the sky is blue, and my house is cleaner, and I indulged Murphy and let him play in the hose:

What do you mean, I have to stay outside until I dry a little?


Anonymous said...

You sound...chipper! That's good to hear. It sounds like the universe is being a little kinder to you these days. :)

Please send teeny dog this way. Damn, he's cute.

--Shana in MO

Anonymous said...

That sweet little face. And Boy isn't bad either! just joking.. He's such a cutey in his school piccie.

Congrats on getting some cleaning done and tossing done for your mental health index. Brava!

I'm only buying yarnie things- a bit here and there.


Catherine said...

School picture? I think he was 2 in that one - possibly 2.5. I do have an adorable preschool picture that I'll have to share on the next occasion that I can use to show kid pictures.