Today in My History

2001:  On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
Keep the Candle Burning Until It Burns Out

2003:  Lucky Luciana
2004:  Secret Weight
2005:  Mary SAID

Sex and Violence
2007:   Something Sinister

A Thurber Carnival

Books Read in 2007
Updated: 11/17
"Second Chances"




Mefeedia Video Archive

My Favorite Video Blogs
Desert Nut
(for others, see Links page)

Look at these videos!
Morning Stories
Bodies Revealed
A Jib Jab Life
Mrs. Hughes
Automatic Confession
Killer Tortoise

Family Stories Vlog
(updated 10/2/07)

New on My flickr_logo.gif (801 bytes)

Cousins Day, December 2007


13 January 2008

It's not often ... well, let's be honest, I've never done it.  I've never written an entry about how much fun I had cleaning house.

(I will now take a brief moment to let you all recover your equilibrium at reading that I mentioned the words "cleaning house" after the words "how much fun I had.")

One of the benefits of being an occasional insomniac is that you see really weird things on television.  Even stranger is falling asleep during regular programming and waking up during an infomercial. 

One time I did that and woke up when I heard a voice say "My name is Audra Sykes...."  It was Paul's widow extolling the benefits of some facial cream which had made all of her wrinkles disappear.  (I saw this about three years ago and she just celebrated her 31st birthday this month, which may make the thrill of losing her "wrinkles" somewhat suspect!)

A month or so ago, I woke up during a commercial for a steam floor cleaner which, I learned the more I watched it, was safe for laminate floors (i.e., Pergo).  Now maybe those of you who are not domestically challenged have known about steam floor cleaners for a long time, but this was a new world to me.

I went to to check out reviews of this particular cleaner and they seemed to be mixed, but people mentioned other brands and so I was on a hunt for buying a good steam floor cleaner.  In trying to care for the Pergo and keep it in any even partially decent looking condition, I've gone with Swifters and an electric broom and mopping with real Pergo cleaner.  Why not try steam?

The Bissel floor cleaner arrived from a couple of days ago, but with Chunk pooping out applesauce every time I turned around, and the bigger dogs running through the swamp in the back yard and tracking it into the house, I didn't feel like ripping open the box and plunging headlong into a cleaning marathon.

But today is Saturday and Saturday was to be Chunk's first appearance at Petco.  I got her bathed this morning and all sweet smelling and Walt and I took her up to Petco.  She met Half Pint's siblings (Half Pint has been adopted but several of her siblings have not) and she immediately tried to attack them through the fence.  Must be some family scent, I figured.

I handed her off to one of the volunteers and Walt and I went on our errands, me to buy coffee beans, he to buy toilet paper.  As I was coming back toward Petco, I could hear Chunk barking her head off.  She was trying to get to the dogs in the next pen.  Ashley showed up and moved her to another pen, presumably farther away from other dogs.  I do so worry about that little girl when she grows up.

Anyway, with Chunk out of the house, the plan was to try out the new steam cleaner.  I was only going to do the hall and the kitchen, until we knew whether Chunk was coming back or not.

I had only cleaned a few feet before I decided that I was in love.  It cleans like a dream.  It does, indeed, "bring back the original luster" of the Pergo, which had faded with the use of chemical cleaners.  It doesn't dry instantly, as promised, but dries soon enough that it's no problem (gives me a chance to sit down for a bit). 

I even cleaned the floor in the laundry room.  I haven't thought of my "what were you thinking??!!!" folly for years.  We moved into this house in 1973, with 5 children between the ages of 18 mos. and 7 yrs and I actually chose linoleum that was white with a lovely blue embossed pattern on it.

"Are you sure you want white?" Walt asked.

I assured him that it would be a joy to keep clean.

Well, we hadn't seen the blue since the first week.  The house had no landscaping yet, so within minutes, the kids were tracking in dirt that settled into those convenient grooves on top of the blue.  It very quickly became a black and white floor and, of course, I quickly gave up any pretense of keeping it clean.

Walt tried once to bring the blue back. He spent an hour on hands and knees with heavy duty cleaner and a toothbrush and he only cleaned two squares of the linoleum and you couldn't really see the blue anyway.

That's not really an issue any more since all of that was gone with the installation of the Pergo, except for the stuff in the laundry room which, within literally seconds of steam cleaning was once again a blue and white embossed tile.

Now I don't, in my wildest imagination, picture me suddenly becoming Mrs. Clean and whipping out this cleaner every weekend.  In fact, I'll probably have to dust it the next time I use it.  But for one brief--literally shining--moment, the floor looked great.

I went up to Petco to get Chunk, having had no phone call from Ashley, and learned she had just been adopted.  I got to meet her adoptive family, a police officer in Sacramento and her husband.  They have seen the kind of mistreatment that pit bulls get and want to be sure Chunk has a good home.  Ashley says they are the "perfect" family.  I was sad to say goodbye to my little Chunkabunk, but I did not come home empty handed.  I have a singleton Chihuahua mix male puppy who is trying to figure out what this house is all about.

In keeping with my penchant for naming dogs (sometimes) with things that are going on in my life, I've named this new little guy Bissell!  Bissell was doing well until Sheila started eating his food after he walked away from it.  Bissell walked back toward it and before I could get him, Sheila had lashed out at him.  The puppy ran yelping and yelping all across the family room, peeing all the way.


Walt did yeomen's work today with the floor project and then, because he obviously read my entry called "I'm delighted" and got the hint, he took me out to dinner.  A good night!


This is a rare photo -- perhaps the only one in existence --
of me actually cleaning.  (But look how great the floor looks!)



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