Tag Archives: cleaning

Have some teriyaki sauce with that apple braid

Last week, I went to the grocery store, as usual. I bought a dozen eggs, three cans of tomato sauce, some cinnamon and some teriyaki sauce for stir fry. I came home and opened my food cupboard doors and tried to put these items in (except the eggs) and they came flying back out, along with a number of other items already in the cupboard, including tomato sauce, cinnamon and teriyaki sauce. The eggs, I put in the refrigerator…on top of two other cartons of eggs.

Roy picked up the two bottles of cinnamon spice from the floor and asked, “Why did you buy more of things you already have? They won’t fit in the cupboard as it is.”

“That’s the problem,” I began defensively, “I don’t have enough cupboard space and that means I don’t know what I have, so I buy more of it. I should really have a pantry.”

“If we had a pantry, you’d have enough stuff in it to survive a nuclear holocaust and the zombie apocalypse,” he predicted. “Clean out these cupboards and use some of what we have.”

I threw a package of butterscotch pudding at his retreating back. It’s okay, I could spare it since I have four others and that one was expired anyway.

I’ve always had a reputation as a bit of a hoarder, but it’s really only because I’m disorganized. Without telling Roy that he was right, I decided to go ahead and clean those cupboards and get an inventory. That way, I could plan meals around what I have. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Cupboards were cleaned and the first meal from the contents of it was on the table that evening.

“What’s this?” Roy said, approaching the table with caution. “I smell…well, I can’t really decide what I smell.”

“I made a little sauce for the chicken,” I told him proudly. “I made it with the ingredients of the cupboard and a few eggs…I seem to have a lot of eggs.”

We sat down to the meal and Roy took several manful bites before he put down his knife and fork in some haste.

“Okay, I’m not sure what’s in your sauce, but the flavors don’t seem to be working together,” he began, feeling his way cautiously through this food mine field.

“I used powdered sugar, dry brown rice, brown sugar, teriyaki sauce and pumpkin pie spice,” I said. “It’s a daring combination.”

Before I was done giving him the list, he was up and scraping his plate in the garbage. “Why in the world would you use a combination like that?” his face was screwed up in distaste.

“I had three bags of brown rice, five bottles of teriyaki sauce, a container and three more bags of brown sugar and eight of those containers of pumpkin pie spice,” I answered unhappily, adding, “You said use what I have.”

“And the powdered sugar?” he asked testily, patently ignoring my attempt to shift the blame onto him. “Why did you put that in?”

“I have three bags in the cupboard and about eight more in the freezer,” I said, counting on my fingers, “I could coat the entire driveway with a layer of powdered sugar.”

“Maybe you should,” he said through gritted teeth as he made himself a peanut butter sandwich…using the only jar of peanut butter I had.

“Oh, no! I need some to frost the apple braids we are having for dessert,” I answered brightly.

“Apple braids! One of those things will feed eight people. Oh, let me guess, you have a lot of them.”

I opened the freezer and two packages of the apple braid fell out, “I counted seven of them up here and I haven’t looked in the basement freezer.”

“Well, at least we’ll get a powdered sugar frosting, that’s normal anyway,” he sighed, looking them over as they sat on the counter. “What are those lumps in the frosting?”

“Frozen corn,” I answered. “The freezer’s pretty full too and I have six bags of the corn.”

Now, I don’t need your criticism, dear readers…I need you to take some basil leaves and sage off my hand…I’ve got a little extra!

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It was that time again….

I knew it was time. It had been building up for weeks and soon I knew that there would be no more hiding it by shutting the door. Mostly because the door was not going to shut anymore. That’s right, you guessed it: it was time to clean the refrigerator again.

Time goes so quickly. It seems like I just cleaned the refrigerator and now here it is a year later and it needs it again. My least favorite chore in the house is this unappealing ritual which takes up time and effort and never leaves me with any sense of accomplishment.

Nonetheless, I resolutely began the process of going through the wilted lettuce, spoiled potato leftovers, and jars of mildewed tomatoes. Roy came in while I was deep in the refrigerator’s bowels, scraping something sticky off the wall and wondering  how it had managed to seep into the glass plating over the shelf.

“What are these bags?” he asked, pointing to two garbage bags, bulging on all sides.

“They are the results of my cleaning the refrigerator,” I announced proudly.

“You threw all of these things away?” he was shocked and slightly offended.

“Yes, I thought it was time for some of the things in this refrigerator,” I answered sarcastically. “Some of those items were mating with each other and adhering themselves to the refrigerator shelves. It was becoming a matter of national security.”

He was busy looking at what was in the bags. “I can see three juice bottles in there. Those were in the bottom of the fridge. What was wrong with them?”

“The cranberry juice had mold on the top and the apple juice was so old it had turned and not in a good way,” I blew the hair out of my face and started on whatever was crusted onto the vegetable drawers.

“And the prune juice?” he pressed.

“It expired the year Tracie graduated from high school and she’s been out of the house for ten years. I thought it was time to give it a decent burial. Don’t disturb the dead, dear, let it rest in peace in that garbage bag.”

Roy gave up and left me to chip the ice off the freezer trays on my own. I only stabbed myself three times before I finally gave up. I put everything back on the shelves, including the excessive number of packages of butter. Apparently, I have been buying boxes of butter and burying them in the wilds of the refrigerator. Then, I would buy another package. At present, I have enough butter to grace the toast of an entire medium-sized country.

I decided it was time to sit down with a cool drink of soda and maybe a piece of cheese. Except both of them had been out so long they were an unpleasantly warm temperature. So, I got a glass of tepid water, dragged the now dripping and drooling garbage bags out the front door and turned on an old episode of I Love Lucy.

Thank goodness that job is over for another year, I tell myself. Now I can get on with doing all the things that I think are more fun…like having a root canal on a tooth that doesn’t need it or skydiving with a faulty parachute. Have a great week everyone, and if your refrigerator needs cleaning—don’t call me!

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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I’m just gonna walk my paint cans now…

Some people go skiing in the mountains on the weekends. Some people enter marathons and walk and run their way through days at a time. I envy these people because they have normal, ordinary activities—things people would understand and often, things that they admire.

That’s right, I’m about to tell one of those whiny tales about how all the bad stuff happens to me. If you don’t want to read that, stop here. But I warn you, you’ll miss a pretty good story. The things that happen to me aren’t necessarily normal, but they are entertaining!

The storeroom needed cleaning and I decided that definitely, this was the weekend. And what’s more, all that stuff I didn’t need was finally going. I sorted the paint cans and put everything that I couldn’t identify (and that was too many of them) on the track of the exercise walker that has been serving as a laundry hanger because it hasn’t worked right in a year. All of that was going.

I surprised the cat, who has apparently been taking afternoon naps on the Easter decorations and while I was stopping the rain of plastic eggs, gaily-decorated baskets and multi-colored Easter  eggs from hitting the floor, the cat chose that moment to walk across my arms, over my head and then cast herself off my shoulders onto the freezer, from where she could get to the floor.

While digging the Easter decorations that I couldn’t catch out from behind the freezer, I encountered an empty beer can. Aside from wishing at that moment that it had been full and cold, I was left to wonder how it got there—Roy drinks beer, but not usually behind the freezer.

The next order of business was cleaning the shelves because the dust had me sneezing so much, I was bumping my head on walls, shelving and the window. I pulled an old hand vac out and plugged it in as best I could behind the freezer.

Except I didn’t plug in the vacuum, I plugged in the mal-functioning exercise walker. Guess what? It wasn’t malfunctioning right then, it was ON. Paint cans began shooting off the sides and the end like a mortar attack in a war zone. Once they were done and I had cleaned up the damage, I tried to look on the bright side: at least the walker was working. Except it wasn’t. I discovered with some experimenting that if you unplugged it and then plugged it back in, it would run for approximately a half a minute…or about the amount of time it takes to walk about 10 paint cans at a sharp jog.

It was getting  to be too much. I was contemplating a break when the dog decided to aid me. She found some Christmas wrapping paper where I had put it in the hallway outside the door. I was alerted to that fact when I heard paper ripping. I looked out to see her joyously dismantling  a half-used roll of paper. As I was cleaning that up, she nosed her way in, trying to get some of the bigger pieces and that’s when I noticed that her head was extremely damp-looking.

I was busy; I didn’t ask questions, but I should have investigated. When I finally dashed upstairs to get more garbage bags from the kitchen, I did some unexpected cross-country skiing across a very slippery kitchen floor. When I slammed into the stove, I discovered that the dog had washed her paws in a skillet full of frying grease that I had left out to cool off. She had distributed it over every counter and surface and turned the floor into a pre-greased skating rink.

By the time I had cleaned up the paint mess, the shredded Christmas paper mess and the greased kitchen mess, it was time to call the weekend to a close. So, although I didn’t go skiing in the mountains or run a marathon, I skied through my kitchen and I definitely walked those paint cans at a brisk pace! However, I don’t think anyone’s going to admire me for it!

 

 

 

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The Cleaning Cliché

New Year’s Resolution number one this year for me was to keep my house cleaner. I figured this would be easier to keep than losing weight and at least my husband might get some benefit if the house was cleaner.

I really mean to keep this resolution, but I haven’t been able to resist looking for some shortcuts that would help with the cleaning. I have done more research on these shortcuts than I have spent time cleaning house since January 1, and I must confess, the shortcuts I have tried have not turned out that well.

Let’s take the smell issue. I read that your house will appear cleaner if you have a pleasant smell, such as a scented candle can give you.20160111_092630 I invested in a great many scented candles and lit them throughout the house. Then I sat down to read my Facebook and found a charming article on how unhealthy scented candles are! Add to that the fact that my husband couldn’t tell me how great the house looked because he was too busy sneezing from the candles! Exit a lot of scented candles!

I still went with the smell theory, however. Rooms like the bathroom will have a cleaner appearance if you pour just a small amount of cleaning fluid in the corner…preferably by the toilet. I used bleach, which watered my eyes and ruined the paint on the wall where it splashed. As for the other suggestion..that baking cookies enhance the look of a house by presenting a beautiful smell? I burned the cookies. The house looks a lot less clean through a haze of smoke and an acrid smell!

Your house will be cleaner, they say, if you spend 15 minutes every day picking up. People with children or pets know that this is a joke. While you are picking up for your 15 minutes, they are making messes which will take hours to undo. When they get old enough to help, children will find their own way of using the cleaning time and as for pets…well, they never quite get the hang of sweeping a floor and they leave enough fur to open their own coat factory!

Always keep a mat in your bathtub, the experts advise. That way, you can pour cleaners in the tub and it will, again, smell better and when the mat gets too bad, you can simply remove the mat and put in a new one. If only the same could be said for the toilet! And as for the soap scum on the shower walls, even a squeegee application after each shower (which is recommended) does not keep those walls from looking as though there is a permanent fog in there!

I know that there are ways in which I could keep my resolution for a cleaner house. One of those involves dynamite and a pay loader. The other involves hiring a cleaner. And I’m not sure after the cleaner took one look at the place, that she/he wouldn’t recommend the payloader and the dynamite. Good luck with your New Year’s resolutions…and your cleaning!

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Visitors – My reason for cleaning!

I read a poster on Facebook yesterday (well, actually, my daughter sent it to me) which said: My housekeeping schedule—Do the absolute minimum until someone is coming over, then clean like a crazy person.

I’m sure this was meant to be funny, but seriously, who doesn’t do this? Am I actually going to dust that back corner of the basement unless I have a serviceman who needs to check the furnace? I know there are people who regularly clean their woodwork and scrub their floors, I am just not one of those people.images

What I clean is dependent on who is coming. If it is a guest stopping through on the way to or from somewhere else, then the bathroom must be cleaned. Not necessarily the shower, I’m not going crazy; just the toilet and the sink and if time permits, I might even clean the mirror.

If someone is coming to look at the dishwasher, then it seems necessary to scrape the grime off the outside of it and maybe even clean the floor—you never know when something sticky might be there. The same is true of the stove and the refrigerator, but if I have to clean the oven in a hurry, then I’m going to need the shop vac.

When my parents come, that’s a bathroom, dining room, even living room going over. I frequently employ the laundry basket ploy here. I run around scooping things off of every surface into a laundry basket and shove it in a closet. You must realize that this may result in your address book ending up in the bowl you used to eat sticky melon last night, but it’s all in the cause of making the house look “kinda” clean.

I’ve even taken essence of clean advice from other people in regards to smell. If your house isn’t clean and you don’t have time or Febreze, pour a little cleaner in the corners. It does work but it’s messy. Someone else advised me to mask the smells by baking some cookies before the visitors come. If I have the energy to bake cookies, wouldn’t I have the energy to clean? I can’t take this kind of advice from someone who clearly doesn’t understand my cleaning philosophy.

I found out recently that I have passed these skills on to my daughter. We were sitting around my house both knowing we had things we needed to do, but luxuriating in the mess instead. Then, our expected company called to say they would be unexpectedly early and we both leapt to our feet. As I attempted to scrape the grime off the kitchen counters and straighten the bedding in the bedroom, my daughter managed to single-handedly remove the large living room rug from under two heavy chairs and the sofa and resign it to the outdoor deck in order to improve the look of the floors. House—semi-clean!images (1)

So, if you want to visit my house, thank you in advance. If you have small children, I’ll sweep the floor and if you’re coming for a meal, I’ll wipe off the stove and the refrigerator. If you crave a cooler place to sit on a hot day, I’ll even take a shovel to the basement. Cleaning like a crazy person before the company arrives is the only way to clean in my book!

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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If you bruise your foot, you’re gonna want to clean the fridge…

I’m not feeling too well as I write my post tonight.  I don’t feel sick or anything, I just kind of ache all over and in addition, I Have a nasty looking bruise on the top of my foot that is turning from greenish blue to black and blue.

I actually blame my random craving for chocolate ice cream for the whole mess.  If I hadn’t wanted chocolate ice cream, I wouldn’t have had to find a spot for the carton on the freezer.  My freezer is…well, it’s…okay, it’s a mess and full of things that are not only expendable, but also unidentifiable.

I bought a carton of ice cream, brought it home and tried to cram it in my over full refrigerator freezer.  It wouldn’t fit on the shelves, but there was the door shelf left.  Of course, because my refrigerator freezer is always overstuffed, I have broken off the bar that holds things on the door shelf, but if I put the ice cream on the shelf and then opened the door very carefully, it would be ok, right?

Not right.  You know what happened.  I whipped open the freezer door and an entire carton of frozen ice cream landed on the top of my foot.  After hoping around the kitchen, screaming and otherwise having a minor fit, I decided it was time to clean the freezer.  Half an hour later, my garbage can was full of tin-foiled-wrapped mystery objects and my fingers had a bit of freezer burn.  The good news was that my freezer was clean enough for me to fit my ice cream without making it a heat-seeking missile every time I opened the door.

While nursing my foot and trying to warm up my fingers, I noticed that the refrigerator now looked messy compared to the freezer, so I decided to clean it.  Another full garbage bag later, I had the refrigerator looking good and a finder that I had rammed into a drawer track and it was looking rather damaged.House-Cleaning

Once that was done, it only made sense to scrub the outside of the refrigerator, so it looked as good as the inside.  That cost me a bit of hair and a twisted neck when I caught my hair on the coils on the back of the refrigerator.

While I was taking aspirin for the headache that ensued, I noticed the glasses cupboard was pretty messy.  I added to my headache by banging my head on the shelf as I was cleaning the cupboard door.  That led to dropping a glass and breaking it in to the sink.  I wiped out the sink, and you guessed it, cut myself.

Finally, I limped into the living room, put bandages on my wounds and propped up my poor bruised foot.  BAND-AIDI am forced to face the awful fact that chocolate ice cream may be bad for my health – or at least my foot.  I have also decided that cleaning is too hazardous for me now, and I’ll just have to live in a dirty house for my own safety.  Come to think of it, that part is not so bad!

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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