Friday, July 21, 2006

Clean Sweep

A few days ago, while shoveling a path through the junk piled up in front of my washing machine, I wished recklessly for the Clean Sweep team to come to my house and just help me get rid of everything. "I need someone to help me!" I thought desperately to myself.

On Friday, my help arrived - in the body of an 18 year old, who was supposed to be watching the Tominator so I could clean. The Tominator was, of course, asleep when my helper - let's call her "Maria" - arrived. She was eager to help. I was eager to let her, since I had company arriving on Saturday.

Now, to be clear, my house wasn't in that bad a shape. Sure, there were tufts of dog hair on the carpet, and a few things out of place, but it wasn't overrun by stacks of paper or anything. So maybe Tom's car was in the middle of the floor, and his set of Playschool Peek-a-Blocks were scattered around. His Waffle Blocks were piled in a corner in a fluorescent green milk crate that looked horrid with our decor. But really, it was nothing a quick dusting and vacuuming wouldn't fix.

Maria had other ideas.

"Goslyn," Maria said to me in her best drill-sergeant voice, "You really need to organize this stuff. You have too many things sitting out! I will get to work on it."

I can't complain about her work. She busted her behind and reorganized and condensed all of the Tominator's toys so they now fit neatly in the little baskets under my coffee table. She dusted and vacuumed and even did the baseboards.

Around dinner time I offered to take her home, but she insisted on staying because she hadn't yet cleaned my back porch, which was a complete disaster. Pretty soon, she had that looking like a new space as well. She had taken all the little bags of potting soil I was stashing behind the recliner and combined them, so that I could take that one larger bag to the garden shed. She cleaned out my collection of plastic grocery bags and frowned at the pile of paper recycling stored under the library table.

"Goslyn, I can't do anymore with this stuff here," she sighed. "I guess I'll have to quit until you get more organized."

What they don't show you on Clean Sweep is how completely embarrassed the people are when all their stuff is taken to the curb and gone through - with most of it ending up in the garbage can. They producers edit out the parts where the happy couple is frustrated and angry at all these people who come in and criticize the way the couple keeps house.

I know I should be thankful for the help, but how embarrassing to be taken down a notch in the cleanliness department by a teenager. So I guess the moral of that story is "be careful what you wish for ... you just might get it."

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Technical Difficulties and a Hiatus

Remember me? Maybe not.

You may have noticed a certain lack of well, posting, as of late on this site.

Reason #1 is that we've been having some technical difficulties on our rapidly-aging computers. We have three computers in our household - and the newest one is more than six years old. It was a pretty good computer until its memory filled up. Now it is slower than molasses in January.

The laptop that has been designated "mine" (a 1998 Toshiba) was a very fine computer in 1998. Not so great in 2006. It is so old that I literally cannot connect my camera to download pictures. Thus, no pictures. And so much of what I have to say would be better with photo illustrations.

Anyhow, my blogging will be limited or maybe non-existent until we make a decision on a new laptop. We have been contemplating this maneuver for a while now, but very few things happen quickly in the SupperHubby universe. We are researchers. We are comparison shoppers. (Seriously. We have a paper and an online subscription to Consumer Report). We take a loooooonnnngggg time to do anything that involves spending reasonably good-sized chunks of money. So, it could be a while.

Reason #2 is that I find more and more that I have very little to say that doesn't involve my adorable offspring, and I am convinced that the Tominator cannot possibly be all that interesting to my 12 or so regular readers. So ... until I come up with something to say and a machine on which I can say it with reasonable speed ... I am going to take a break.

I do have access to a nice, new, speedy computer at work. If, by some miracle, I have a moment or two to post from work, I will. I hope you all will come back to see me when I return.

Until then, I will just have to read up on all your lives.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Grand Canyon Haiku (Or, How I Spent My Summer Vacation)

Jagged rocks edging
clear blue sky, condors floating
high searching for food

Warning signs: drink water
Eat salty snacks, rest often
Don't feed the condors

Sizzling sun too
strong for sprayed-on sun screen
cool breeze soothes hot neck

Awesome rift, ten miles
from side to side. God has carved
limestone with water

Created with help
from a Great Flood, ranger says
Intelligent work

Of Creator's hands
Crimson rock slicing blue sky
breathless I wonder

People everywhere
Yet silence echos throughout
This canyon Grand

Sheer drops no
Railing and sheerer terror
Sister stays well back

Backpack baby sleeps
On foot and tram, at campfire
But not in the tent

Midnight snuggles in
Big black Chevy Surburban
Jim Weiss lulls to sleep

Six hours home with Robots,
Crocodile Hunter, Jonah
and SpongeBob; great trip

*Hat tip to Mopsy, from whom I stole this Haiku idea.