No Tribble at All
They Might be Giants
Flying for Me
A Taste of Freedom
Door to Door
IN MY OPINION
"Importance of Being Earnest"
Books Read in 2007
"Snow in April")
"The Cat Who Could Read Backwards"
"Dog is My Co-Pilot"
FUNNY THE VLOG
Mefeedia Video Archive
LIVING WITH THE CLEAN QUEEN
2 February 2007
"We're going to have to do some cleaning around here on the weekend," she
announced at breakfast. "I'll try to dust and you can vacuum."
You mean...more cleaning?
I've been rather proud of myself these past few days. The dishes are always
loaded into the dishwasher at the end of the meal and the dishwasher
unloaded in the morning. I remember to load the silverware basket of the
dishwasher with only spoons in one section, only forks in another, and only
knives in a third, because it's "neater" to unload. The sink is scrubbed and
would make the Fly Lady proud.
I sleep on the couch at night and fold my Sheila blanket (which I brought
with me) up in the morning and move my pillow back to the bed in the spare
bedroom, so it won't clutter the living room.
I sweep crumbs off the kitchen floor and pick them off the carpet. I check
to make sure that all cupboard and drawers are fully closed, since I tend to
leave everything slightly ajar, in true Aquarian fashion and I know that
drives her Virgo sensibilities crazy.
I make my mother's bed as soon as she gets out of it, whether from a night
of sleep or a nap. I remember to pile the decorative pillows just right, the
"sleeping pillows" on the bottom, then the flounce pillows, then the
decorative pillows, big in back, little in front.
Her clothes are hung up immediately, each on its color-coded hanger (how
could I hang the PINK shirt on the YELLOW hanger? ... I'm introducing her to
Monk on Friday). My own clothes are tossed in a heap in the spare bedroom,
where she can't see them from her wheelchair. It makes me feel more "at
The plants are watered and no longer droop. Leaves that are past their prime
are picked off and thrown away. The plants seem to be surviving care by
someone with a black thumb.
The newspaper, once read (and the crossword puzzle worked in ink) is
reassembled into the section order in which it was delivered, and moved out
to the laundry room to be taken down to recycling, once I have a reason to
navigate the treacherous metal ramp (I've discovered Birkinstocks' rubber
soles are a godsend).
A friend of hers from Hospice of Marin came to call yesterday and I was
proud that the house looked like...well...my mother's house. But now we have
to schedule cleaning? I frantically thought of the caretaking schedule.
Maybe my cousin Kathy would be here for her shift by then. She cleans. She
could do a goood job. But no, she's not coming until Sunday. It will be just
me and my mother ... cleaning.
And so I will face a new learning experience: cleaning a clean house. I hope
that doesn't include windows. The only windows I'm familiar with come
attached to a computer.
In spite of it all, I'm loving being here and even, temporarily, not minding
the order of it all. We get up in the morning, I fix her coffee and get the
paper for her, then make her breakfast. We sit at the table and read the
paper and talk over the days events and what George has done to destroy the
country today. It's a little strange not having the TV on all day, but that
void has been filled by our noisy card games (I still say she cheats). We
haven't had this much alone time...perhaps ever. We're remniscing about
times past, discussing times present and laughing a lot. I'm loving having
her all to myself.
I hope Walt doesn't feel that all this cleaning and neatness and stuff is
going to spill over to our house when I get home. After a week of neatness,
I intend to toss my un-packed suitcase on the nearest chair where it will
sit for a few days, settle myself in behind a nice tall pile of papers and a
couple of energetic dogs, and just vegetate until it's time to come back
here in a few days to work with The Clean Queen again.
There's only just so much "neatness" that an Aquarian can handle.
New Developments: Compounding the inherent problems of a Virgo at the mercy
of an Aquarian, no matter how well-meaning, there has developed the
difficulty when the Aquarian in question is a klutz. Today alone: I put an
egg shell in the garbage disposal and caused the sink to clog; natural
bodily functions caused the guest bathroom toilet to clog and I'm not sure
what I'm going to do at 4 a.m., since plunging hasn't helped; and I dropped
a stack of dishes and discovered that Corelleware is not unbreakable; a
glass of water with ice in it "sweat" outside so that when I picked it up, I
dropped it and left tiny shards of glass all over the floor.
And there is a new complication: Kathy, my cousin who was going to relieve
me on Sunday, is not well and doesn't think she is up to being here, so it
looks like I'm here until next week, and who knows what the house will be
like by the time I leave.