I am going to do an experiment today and you get to watch.
My plan for today is to clean the house well enough so I wouldn't freak out if a stranger knocked and asked to use the bathroom. My house is so messy right now that I would actually care if a complete stranger were to see it--believe me. I would take a couple pictures to prove my point but most of you out there are complete strangers.
It's not that I don't know how to clean a house. I know how and if we were talking about your house, I would be able to tell you exactly where you have gone wrong and how to prevent the mess taking over in the future. I would also be perfectly qualified to do the same with your life.
So what is the experiment? I want you to see what happens to a well-planned day and at the end, let's say 6 pm, when the house is still a wreck, you may not be able to understand how I could let it all get so bad but you will be able to understand why I wasn't able to clean it today.
It's 7:25 a.m. right now and I am about to do the only scheduled job away from home--I'm going to go pick up the farmers market signs that I should have picked up yesterday afternoon. First I will take a shower and get dressed. Usually I am up at 5:30, but I slept until 6:30 this morning (made possible by closing two of the seven dogs out of the bedroom)(that's another story).
Oh, heck. I have time to tell you why I have seven dogs. You need to know this for your own good--as wonderful as dogs are, seven is at least twice the number necessary for true happiness. I will list my dogs by time owned:
I got Sparkle for my late dog, Patty, who went into a deep depression when the little dog I had inherited from my father died. This was about seven years ago and Patty and Baby, Father's dog, were my only canines. I had farm animals, but only the two dogs.
Anyway, Sparkle is half Pom and half sheltie, though the sheltie isn't apparent. A friend in Washington State raised little mixed breed dogs and I actually purchased Sparkle from her.
This is a picture of Sparky cleaning a baby goat. She loved the baby goats. So did I, but I think I am better off now...looking at the picture, I'm not so sure.
Gino you know from this story. He's probably about the same age as Sparky, around 7, but I'm not sure. Here's a picture of Gino (on the bear) with the Late Great Patty.
The third acquisition was Gumby.
Before Theo and I ran the animal shelter in Bisbee (this ended a while back), the dogs in the shelter were fed very poorly and consequently Gumby, who was just a six-month-old stray pup at the time, became seriously ill. I was a shelter volunteer with very little power (I was not allowed to change the feed) but I was allowed to take Gumby to the vet. Twice, since the first time didn't help. Of course, this was at my own expense. The vet finally told me that Gumby would never get any better if he stayed at that shelter eating terrible food.
Gumby had diarrhea so badly that he was losing weight fast and no one even wanted to get him out of his kennel to look at him. He was definitely going to die there one way or the other so I adopted him. I must admit that my plan was to find him another home as soon as he was healthy, but after about three months I knew I could never give him up.
That's three. Dog four is Sugar. I will have to take a picture of Sugar later. She's lying here under my desk with her head on my foot.
Sugar is a wolf hybrid, something I never approved of nor wanted, but she came to me in a way that made refusal not an option. One day when Theo and I arrived at the shelter at 8 a.m., a man about my own age was waiting there with a big old yellow dog. With tears in his eyes, he told us that he had to go to the Veterans Hospital in Tucson. He said he was very ill and no one could take his dog and he didn't know what to do. He'd had her since she was a pup in Alaska and they had never been apart. With tears in my eyes, I told him I would take her home and keep her for him for as long as it took.
I thought of it this way: I didn't have to go to Vietnam but I was finally being called upon to serve in a way that I could. Whatever the new dog put me through, it wasn't going to hold a candle to what his owner went through, was continuing to go through, and would forever endure.
Incidentally, Sugar's owner is doing ok but can't take Sugar back. I told him that she was no trouble and I would keep her for the rest of her life. And I will.
I'll tell you about the other dogs later.
8:45 - I'm dressed, more or less, and ready to go. There was almost a detour when I discovered I had packed all my clean underwear in the car for the trip I leave on next Saturday morning. I decided I don't need underwear just to pick up six signs.
Showering precipitated no detours. This hasn't always been the case, but that's another story, too.
9:30 - Home! Nothing happened during the sign pickup and I was able to easily resist the temptation to stop for coffee since I wasn't wearing any underwear. Hmmmm. I may be onto something here.
Slight delay at this point while I answered a couple of emails.
9:45 - I'm starting with the kitchen.
10:50 - OK. The kitchen is good enough. I am posting the picture.
If I weren't me, I would tell me that the reason my house is such a mess is because I have too much crap and haven't ever even tried to make a consistent place for any of it.
11:45 - It was my friend Ellis. I had to talk to him for nearly an hour because we had that much to talk about. I did a few little things while I was on the phone but it isn't fair to the caller to be too distracted now, is it?
So where was I...oh yes the kitchen is pretty good. Now I will move on to the table area of the kitchen where all the stuff from my last trip is still piled.
11:50 - NOW I can start in on the table.
12:25 - Did you know that a suppressed question can hurt you as much as a suppressed sneeze? This is true. I didn't want to get hurt so I have spent the last fifteen minutes answering some important questions that popped into my head while I was cleaning:
Is there such a thing as an atomic travel clock and how much does it cost?
There are atomic travel clocks that are relatively inexpensive but not at Wal-Mart, at least not online. Portable DVD players can be as cheap as $100. I probably couldn't get more than $20.00 for the frog band so Judy can have it. It's anyone's guess where the dust pan is.
12:50 - Finished with the kitchen table and hutch area:
1:00 - Checking my email. Making lunch.
(To be continued.)