Tuesday, January 28, 2014

dog hair balls, blankets and other wacky stuff

so it is friday night and for a change, i sort of have a late night date.
 nope, not my handsome doggie... 
but my son came home from college for the weekend with his new used car.
 he is over the moon thrilled that he has wheels and is happy to drive to show them off. 
i am happy that he is here, safe, sound, with health insurance, car insurance, a registered car and even a little bit of his savings intact. 
the good life. 

in preparation for the return of the boy, i tried to clean up his room. 
my husband has accused me of taking over the house with my  CRAP wonderful treasures. 
so what if i have a lot of my delightful stuff stashed in every room?
he took over the garage, the basement, and our bedroom.
 somehow it is considered that i have ownership over the kitchen.
 it is seen as fair game, since i have over the years been the predominant user of said space.
 in fact and fairness, we all have migrated our stuff everywhere in this cracker box we live in. 

one of my hubby's latest loves has been his 3 hibiscus trees. 
i used to have some when we lived in harvard square.
 their beautiful, bright and luscious blossoms must have worked some magic on the man.
 i stopped being able to care for the trees when the kids came along. 
they required more time than i seemed to have when there were diapers to do and dishes from my 12 yr. stint as a coffee house baker.
 then the trees finally croaked ... it only took a decade or so. 
still i had to move on.

 now hubby has the hibiscus bug and it is a very successful one. 
two of the trees are doing well.
 one is not so happy.
 when the largest and most unhappy one was moved inside from the front porch,
 it went into shock.
autumn can do that to some of us.
 all of its leaves dropped off, dried up and stayed where they fell, on the floor in the boy's room. 

 when a kid goes to college,
 i think it is a rite of transition on the home-front, to change the purpose of the newly vacated bedroom.
 sometimes it becomes a 'workout' room, sometimes a sewing room or it is dedicated to some other unexpected purpose. 
in our case, it became the place where the hibiscus trees went to winter over. 
where their leaves are not raked up or bagged for composting. 

no matter how many times, i asked anyone to deal with that tree as it decompensated in relocation shock, its shed leafiness somehow fell to my domain.
 in fairness, i knew it had happened.
 i was letting it go until someone noticed the state of organic crustiness in the boy's room. 
eventually, some things have to change.
we are NOT a family that handles change easily.
hubby deals with surgical clarity and execution. 
i manage the rote items that require day to day management. 
its not that i enjoy any of the softer stuff to do at all, but someone has to do it and it bothers me more when it isn't seen to. 

this includes most household tasks with the exception of throwing shit out. 
i am terrible at this task.
of course, this is a typical digression on my part here. 
hubby has an ongoing fantasy of a dumpster in the driveway. 
he is a carpenter/contractor after all. 

luckily for us,
 i am fine with removing the crap on the floor or any other surface from the boy's room. 
it is the only room i don't mind cleaning up. 
i know, it is a mystery to me too. 
i think that it doesn't get me as crazy because once i clean/clear it up, no one uses the room for a while and it has a small chance of staying a little bit nicer for a little longer.

the boy has a habit of letting his trash fall where it may. 
this drives me absolutely nuts when i know it is going on. 
when he buys new socks, the little plastic bits that hold the pairs together are snipped, pulled apart or broken into two in some manner... and then dropped wherever this breakage occurs. 
if he eats gum, the wrapper falls where the piece was opened up. 
if a box from some purchase is unused after being opened, it too falls to the ground. 
do not get me started on those little plastic hangers that socks are hung on for display in stores.
they come home with my brood and hit the ground  becoming semi-permanent visitors as well. 
so you get the idea, loads of little papery junk with absolutely no regard for neatness or cleanliness is part of the scenery. 

i find this most ironic.
 at school, he enjoys his room neat as a pin and cleans it every sunday
 his laundry does a two step in the washing and drying machines.
this provides him with building blocks of what he enjoys as sartorial splendor.
 his bed gets ersatz freshly laundered linens too. 
i thought that college was where kids go to become sort of more disgusting and slovenly without the background sounds of nagging mamas. 
go figure. 

{the 16 yo girl does this trashola drop-trick too.
 she is a whole other kettle of drama though. 
 the flotilla of paper/plastic wrapper junk migrates somehow throughout the house. }

the inmates all know how much i dislike all of this stuff swirling at foot level.
 they choose to ignore  my desire for their minor senses of responsibility in its removal to 
a trash barrel. 
eventually i make a point of my umbrage and some portion of it is removed. 
{really i try to limit and pick my battles but they just keep coming...}

when the boy returned for his holiday visit,
 i was told that the leftover dried hibiscus tree leaves on his floor crunched when walked upon with  tender bare tootsies.
he claimed it was like walking on fritos. 
this is impossible to believe, since no frito ever missed a grifflinksys mouth ever. 
and there is a dog who gladly would snap up a chance to get one if it did. 
i could believe though, that the baseline flotsam was unpleasant.
it seemed that to stem the flow of organic movement to other parts of the house, it could be removed. 

this brings me to the non-shedding breed of dog. 
his best trick is to shed. 
all the time. 
he is so adorable, that i just don't really care about it. 
we have a pretty intrepid vacuum cleaner. 
it has worked with almost every need over a significant period. 
it probably has over 25 years under its belt.
my husband bought it. 
he likes his tools to work. 
 if he is going to entrust one of his beloved tools to me,
 it had better be a solidly good working one. 
i long have suspected that he considers me a tool breaker. 

one of our family mottos is
"buy cheap, pay twice"

 we try to offset the costs of repairs, replacements and other stuff in the middle of usage. 
if something we want to buy even looks like it might break down in a couple of decades, it has no place amongst us. 
 the vacuum's hose stopped working particularly well. 
i asked mr. fixit about what could be wrong. 
he thought that the hose had a leak in it. 
i thought that the basket-weave pattern had enough texture to it, 
that stuff could be catching on it and denying proper air flow.
it seemed a little bit like cholesterol globs adhering to someone's arteries 
ultimately preventing proper blood flow.
  something HAD to be done. 
again, Me. 
i kind of liked the challenge of this. 

i wanted to try to remove the crunchy walking experience from the boy's room
with timeliness  for his return to the cracker box house. 
i picked up all the annoying little tags, 
the dropped gum wrappers, t
he plastic tidbits from clothing purchases. 
i finger raked all the cracklin' good, dry leaves left behind on the floor. 
after most of the crud was eliminated, 
it was time for the use of mechanical aids.
the machine was composed. 
all of its interlocking parts were interlocked. 
the loud engine roared. 
and the dirt on the floor moved about. 
this didn't necessarily include removal of proper dirt. 
not feeling the love i had anticipated, i did what any experienced e-lux owner would do. 
i reversed the air direction through the hose. 

and there went the puffs of dog hair balls like a gun shooting ping-pong balls. 
pop. pop. pop. 
blobs of dog hair popped out. 
more blobs than i liked the look of. 
needless to say, 
since i had done this the last time i tried to vacuum, it seems as if the entire hose must be totally clotted 
with the generosity of hairballs
 from the non-shedding breed of dog that sheds constantly. 
comedic and in slow motion. 
and dirtier than i would like. 
still freaking funny. 

 the floor was delivered from its usual crispy leaves and tumbling clusters of downy doggy hairs. 
the deliverance of clean was surprising, yet very amusing.  
the boy... was tickled PINK with the news that his return merited such a change in status. 
after he left town in a non- auto owning kind of way. 

he is truly happy. 

it is super nice when that happens. 


as for progress on the bejeweled front. 
i have a lot of older things i need to deal with. 
custom made orders for folks waiting so very, very, VERY patiently. 
planning out a season/year of crafty show goodness in january 
takes a skill set i do not know how to do. 
trying to complete the family application for health insurance has been a huge time suck. 
doing taxes in january for the kids' FAFSA statements is another huge chunk of time. 
oh my gosh, and getting some stuff moved out of the dining room to my basement area is a dream . 
now i was making a little progress with my storage area, i was waylaid by the need for me to empty my entire paint storage area. 
hubby needed to move a very large table out of the work area and back to its owners' home. 
this is impossible to do, without me emptying out the paint place.
after a lot of sorting and organizing my treasures,
 i find that i just plainly need to move the furniture around in my dedicated space. 
to say this is a huge undertaking is an understatement. 
distraction is my middle name.
the payoff is that i will be able to use the space for the first time ever and that is a huge prize. 
the original layout was not sensitive enough to how i might work. 
 as new aspects of how i use materials, 
newer ways to organize things for faster production 
and dare i say the need for some privacy in my work have come together...
a more efficient layout has become clearer. 
in reality, a fresh larger, well lit space is a lot nicer to fantasize about as a studio. 
however that is not the way that i work in real time. 
it is hard for me to determine if i prefer night time to day time
 for lighting and chunks of uninterrupted time. 
 at my very core, i am a homebody. 
the need to be in my nest is pretty strong and with it goes the sacrifice of staying completely focused. 
of course impulse cleaning is not really a bad thing. 
it all gets done in its own time and placement in the list i have in my head,
like sucking up leaf detritus from the boy's room only moments before he pulled into the driveway. 

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