Friday, October 29, 2021

Cleaning, Nevermore

As I posted oh so long ago, I was finally going to hire a cleaning service.   I am in my 70s and I have never had a housecleaner, except for the two years we lived in Indonesia where you were expected to hire a cook, a laundress, and a night watchman (who actually slept at night and played with my 3-year-old son in the daytime).

Anyway, I was not used to having someone clean. My younger sister lives in a big house in Denver and has had a cleaning service forever. She always said they never clean as well as you want.  Since her house is huge she looks upon it as a necessary evil.  My daughter, who has three children, a demanding job, and a nice little house, has two cleaning ladies that also make the beds and do her laundry!  She also said that they tend to cut corners and not clean stuff as they should.  So I lowered my expectations.

When I started the service the first time they sent two women who washed window sills, washed doors, and did a major cleaning...sort of.  Then the service goes to one cleaner who comes weekly or bi-weekly or monthly.  They actually thought my house was so clean with the two of us that we only needed a monthly clean!  I went with the bi-weekly schedule anyway.  

After two months of bi-weekly cleaning from a sweet young woman, I realize that they miss stuff.  The recessed area below my kitchen cabinets in my kitchen is full of spider webs and dust and in one corner is a dead wasp.  I will finally point that out to her.  No one cares about the cleanliness of your house as much as you do!  I did a quick test in the third week.  She mops my floors each time and a day after she left I spilled a glass of water. I got my Swiffer mop to clean it and this is what I saw from a floor that had been mopped only the day before!  AND I had watched her mop.

Each time she comes I find some little cleaning area that needs more attention and it does not add to her four hours.  This service is expensive, but oddly I feel I am helping this young woman keep a job, perhaps influenced by a mini-series I watched on TV?

Netflix had/has a TV series "Maid" that I watched last month.  The TV series is based on a book by Stephanie Land and has Andie McDowell as a bi-polar mother and Andie MacDowell's real daughter plays her daughter who is a maid.  It is well done and really reflects the chaotic lives of some people.  It is about a young woman with a small child who flees her husband's alcoholic violence and goes to a shelter and also finds a job with a company called Value Maids where she cleans various clients' houses...which of course, adds to the story.

My 'maid' Meghan is a young divorcee with a 4-year-old. She has backup in babysitting from her mother, but I think the mother also has a job. (The child had strep throat and although she is now well and no longer infectious she has a chronic cough that will diminish in time, because of COVID they must keep her home from pre-school until the cough is gone!)

Meghan is a quiet and gentle girl who goes about her cleaning with iPods in her ears listening to music so we do not talk much.  Sometimes I hear her humming which reminds me of my Dad who used to whistle while he worked.  Of course, I want to direct her to podcasts that will educate her and enlighten her, but I will mind my own business.  I did give her some children's magazines that my children have left behind and she was pleased to take them.

I have mellowed on my cleaning expectations in my old age.  I used to be one of those that polished and shined every piece of furniture.

Anyway, the title of this post reminded me of the coming Halloween and I will link to a nice little favorite poem of mine which is perfect for this time of year.

Have a great Halloween!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

A Lot Happens in My Little Town

I just posted on my other blog about the wonderful shoreline visits last weekend in our canoe. 

This weekend I have been out and about at meetings, something that is a bit of a stretch for me with my cough. I struggled but I continued! 

During this time, I met a world-famous orchid breeder who lives in my state but handles millions of orchids in a venue in Central America.  She lives on 40 acres and has her own laboratory.

I met an elder ecologist who talked about all the data he had taken on his little part of a larger river over the last decade or so which clearly showed water rising and temperature changes in a very dramatic and terrible way over each year. 

An old high school friend of my husband sailed down from Connecticut with his wife on his "yacht" and took us out to dinner. He is (was) a nationally well-known heart surgeon who developed a unique procedure to save lives and make himself a fortune.  He and his wife were very friendly and you would never know this about them.  This was a nice reunion for my hubby. 

Me? I felt somewhat small in all this prestigious company being just a retired librarian/educator with no national or international profile. But I did enjoy all the conversation! Now, please go ride a canoe with me on my other blog.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

When You Need to Just Stretch

At our age my husband and I realize that life has many twists and turns. He has received a probable medical diagnosis that we sadly anticipated.  We will shoulder on until the specialist appointment which can only happen a month from now confirms our path ahead.  My medical diagnosis for the idiopathic cough is still that and my specialist appointment with another doctor is in early December!  Don't you love the American health care system?  My cough is retreating as the medicine I am taking is increasing in dose.  I HATE pharmaceuticals...but I accept their necessity and ignore the side effects.

Anyway, we both said "screw it" and loaded the canoe onto the big car, and headed to the Eastern shore for four days of meditative walking and canoeing.  We are so lucky to still be agile.  The weather was super cooperative and even a little too warm in the sunny afternoons.  So we stretched our muscles.

We crossed the big bridge and saw barges full of stuff we have ordered sitting in the center of the water highway waiting for a pilot or a go-ahead.  Your order will arrive a little late today.  There were plenty of recreational boaters zipping along as well.

We crossed several small bridges in our exploration.  Bridges that have recognition in this low land part of the world and are so important to those that live here.

What we were looking for were peace and no agenda.  What a lovely time.  What perfect cooperation from Mother Nature. What a great distraction.

This is the land of hard-working people.  People who have rarely found change a good thing.  They want to be left alone.  They rise early in the mornings to work the water or tend to their small crops or get ready for church.  The water is rising but they do not believe in climate change.  Their savior was Trump and they are angry he was not re-elected even though he gave them nothing the last four years.

And plunked right in the middle of this wild country is a more liberal treasure of history.  It is a beautiful small museum with lots of interesting facts about this marvelous leader who single-handedly saved over 70 individuals from a treacherous life.  We did not follow the path of the "Underground Railroad"  by automobile but did explore this museum slowly and with interest.

My next post I will take you on a canoe trip to where the wild things are.