Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Cleaning day...

Today is a cleaning day.

My parents have been funding a monthly, full-house clean.  Of course, we had the great debacle with The Maids, who broke an original floor register and I had to battle to get recompense for it.  When Mother started pushing me to find another cleaning company, I was deeply hesitant to look.  It wasn't just the things that were broken or even battling to get the cost of the replacement reimbursed.  It was just how ugly the owner and manager were to me.  The things that they said still haunt me, as much as I have tried to put them out of my mind.

This is now the third clean with CottageCare.  I am happy to say that they actually do a better job.  And, more importantly, they have stable staff who are quite friendly and positive.  Having the same team leader three months in a row is a relief.  Her partner, now two months in a row, is rather diligent and I hope that the pairing remains long term.

I generally have several goals before cleaning days, chief amongst them being to stop cleaning the house the night before.  No, I do not do a house clean, per se, but I do tend to empty all the trash and clean the kitchen counters.  I go around and look for (and remove) dust bunnies, too.  My dirt embarrasses me.  Shames me.

In the past, I have tried to get Amos bathed, the bedding changed, and the toweling and bedding washed, dried, folded, and put away.  That is a lot of work for one evening, although having a clean Fluffernutter and a clean house and clean sheets is just marvelous.  However, since Amos has started taking exception to his skin, licking now eight bald spots in the process (we have a vet appointment on the morrow), I was advised to hold off giving him a bath.  That seemed contraindicative to me.  But the vet tech said that some skin problems give off an oder that helps with diagnosis.  Of course, she also said that his skin could be fine and Amos could be having some stress issues.

Stress issues.

My bundled sage and thyme had been drying on a rack in the solarium.  I had wanted to get it out of the room so they could vacuum the rug and to get them ... processed ... so that the mess of that job would be cleaned by the maids, not me.  I am pleased to note that I accomplished that goal ... with about 15 minutes to spare.

Another goal has been to get some cooking done the night before, not the day of the clean.  I somehow had gotten in this place of finding myself in need of cooking the day of or the day after a clean.  So, last night, having skipped the whole bathing Amos task, I made another batch of Sun-dried Tomato Chicken Meatballs and one of my Medley Black-eyed Peas.  I had wanted to make some more of my bloody fantastic 15-Bean Soup, but I am out of the package of 15-beans.  Sadness.

Amos kept me company whilst I was cooking.

The last goal was to clean out the fire place, lay another fire, and move the canvas bag for logs out on the back porch so that the hearth can been cleaned well.  In cold weather (we are finally having some cooler weather), I tend to leave a stack of wood over by the fireplace even when I am not having a fire despite the fact that doing so is very decidedly not visually restful.  Last winter, the maids just cleaned around it.  This winter, I would like to clear the space around the fireplace

I left this last task for after the maids arrive.  They typically start on the second floor and clean it completely before the first floor and the basement are cleaned.  Although one of them does the bathrooms and kitchen before joining the other on all the rooms.

The best part about CottageCare is that this is not a time-based clean.  It is a house-size based clean.  So, the maids are never pressured to hurry up and finish.  I was very, very, very clear about the basement being on the clean list, which was a constant source of dispute for The Maids, despite knowing about it beforehand.  I like how CottageCare describes my basement: laundry room, bath, rec room, bedroom, living room, and utility room.  The latter is the only part of my house that the new maids are not cleaning.  And I think that is just wonderful.  [The whole house cleaning part.]

As for the clock, it is definitely running fast now, so I stopped it to make another adjustment.  When I went to the clock shop to pick up my grandfather's pocket watch, the repairman told me that the way you "look" at a nut on a pendulum to determine which way is clockwise is to look down on it.  Of course, I was right; to turn the nut clockwise means lowering the pendulum and, thus, slowing the clock.  I am looking forward to having the timing set correctly, but I do not mind working on the adjustments because it means I have learned something new.

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