Sunday, July 17, 2016

Widder Lady: Cleanup! 7-17-16

Widder Lady: Cleanup! 7-17-16: Cleanup! Sunday 7/17/16 Sharing - Pictured are my currently favorite cleaning products! Scrub Daddy, Bar Keepers Friend, Magic Erase...

Cleanup! 7-17-16

Cleanup! Sunday 7/17/16

Sharing - Pictured are my currently favorite cleaning products!

Scrub Daddy, Bar Keepers Friend, Magic Eraser, Green Gobbler, Fly Lady's Purple Rag

Remembering "way back" to my young self doing housework, way back to the forties at Potter Farm Lane. Mama divided up the household tasks between my sister and myself. I don't remember if Allan (our younger brother) had any specific household task other than being responsible for cleaning his room.

My job was to clean the kitchen and living room each week. It was not a quick swish and swipe assignment. Mama was definitely a "clean freak" and I suppose she learned this from her own parents and from being the eldest child of a family of 7 and then orphaned early (age 18) and married young (19) and a mother of me before she was even 20.

Cleaning meant dusting and wiping all woodwork - baseboards, window sills, trim, doors, etc. Windows were usually done by Mama sitting on the windowsill while precariously balancing outside the window, holding onto the bottom edge the lifted window. We eventually learned how to clean windows, following Mama's example.

In the kitchen I emptied out the refrigerator of everything, then wiped everything clean using baking soda and clean water. If there was defrosting to be done, then the freezer part would be cleaned, too.
Shelves and bins would be removed, cleaned and put back in place.

Cleaning the stove would be a challenge, too. We used "Easy Off" to clean off the spills and built up gunk from many baking projects. When we lived on Route 125 in Withamsville, Ohio I took the entire electric stove apart - even undoing all the wiring under the burners! I wonder to this day how I put it all back together again!

Then, I know and knew what it is and was to scrub the linoleum kitchen floor clean. I used two buckets - one filled with Spic & Span water and another with clean rinse water. I used a scrub brush with the Spic & Span mixture on the entire floor. Then, this was followed by using a rag dipped over and over again in the clean water to wipe up the dirty "gook" of wax and debris. Eventually the floor would be clean and dry enough for me to apply two coats of liquid wax. (I can still smell that wax).

Instead of buying new linoleum, we painted it with three color dobs - yellow, red & green "all over". It was part of my 4-H Kitchen Re-do project. I chose a color scheme of dark green walls and woodwork and we made french cafe curtains - white with red, yellow and green ribbon stripe trim. Part of the project required that the kitchen be organized efficiently - "zones" for specific tasks and storage. We had a Hoosier cabinet which 'housed" the baking supplies and provided a porcelain pull-out table/shelf for rolling out pie dough. The kitchen table was big enough for our family of 5. It sat in an alcove.

For awhile we didn't have running water. Instead there was a hand pump at the kitchen sink. Eventually we did have running water! But, we never did have an inside toilet at that house!

I was also in charge of cleaning the living room. Luckily we had an Electrolux sweeper which I think we got from Uncle Charles (who may have been selling them). I used all the attachments to clean all the woodwork and upholstery.

Daddy had made some beautiful end tables from piano bench and piano tops. I dusted those with a rag and something oily for a protective shine. The floor was dusted and swept. I don't remember if there was an area rug, but it seems an important finishing touch to the room. I loved the roll-up bamboo shades and turquoise walls. I remember enjoying many incredible sunsets from those west-facing windows above the couch. The living room would be shut off during very cold weather. For awhile we had an old pump church organ that I enjoyed playing. Eventually we got a piano which I played a lot. We took lessons, too.

All this leads from an early introduction to housekeeping/home making to a lifetime of tasks, doing again and again, the never-ending tasks that fill up "to-do/done" lists/booklets and constant thinking of how a housekeeping task can be done more efficiently or delegated to someone else!

I now have my Meetup group called "The Society of Too Much Stuff" which encompasses many challenges of "keeping house". I'm writing this today, to remind myself that, "Yes, I have done it well in the past and will continue "doing" until I can't do it any more. Onward!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July, 2016!

Happy 4th of July, 2016!

It is a rainy Monday, 4th of July here in Indian Hill, Ohio. I'm happy it's raining - keeps the grass green and gives all the blooming flowers an extra boost of energy!

I celebrate Independence Day by changing the mailbox flag to something patriotic and am sure to keep Old Glory on display at the front of my home. During this weekend of celebration I've worn Star-Spangled beads, an American Queen (the steamboat) t-shirt and big star earrings. I've shared many 4th of July posts on Facebook and listened to a lot of patriotic music - from the Cincinnati Pops at Riverbend with my son, Marshall Garrison to Sirius on the car radio and WGUC's offerings.

I set out a display by the altar for loved ones - a red gladiola with a daisies in a clear, small vase with a small statuette of Uncle Sam - especially for Harry Garrison who would dress up as Uncle Sam for many patriotic events during the sixties.

When we were married, Harry would stand at the bathroom sink and coat his mustache and goatee with white stuff (looked like the shoe polish which I put on Marshall's baby shoes). The red satin neck scarf was shiny, bright. He wore red and white striped pants and had a blue vest and matching blue coat. His hat was an Uncle Sam top hat. He was Uncle Sam for sure!

Our 4th of July celebrations included picnics out at Mama and Daddy's home on Carterway Drive in Milford. Big round tables were set outside and topped with festive and delicious 4th of July "fixin's".
Many relatives and friends arrived with their special pot-luck sharin's. Mama's German Potato Salad and Hunt's Meat Loaf were always a big hit!

Fireworks preparation was done down at the end of the property. Harry would bring fireworks which would be dropped into big metal mortars that had to be sunken into the ground. (Those mortars were still in Mama's garage many years "after").

We celebrated all afternoon and then settled into a
Happy 4th! Acrylic Abstract by Karen Kelly
viewing mode. Harry was in charge of the show. One by one each fuse was lit by Harry who then ran fast as he could away from the zooming bomb as it shot high into the sky, boomed loudly and then burst into a fiery blast of sparkling, dripping magic crystals!

This year's fireworks at Riverbend were booming, mostly singular displays searing into the blue-black sky. Loud music - mostly movie themes - John Williams "in particular" - added to the excitement. Marshall and I had attended the earlier USO tribute by the Cincinnati Pops in the covered arena. To see the fireworks we climbed steps to get to the walkway behind the lawn patrons where we leaned against a couple of pillars to watch the show.

As the show was ending, a small spider dropped down and would have landed on me if I hadn't seen it! I figured that small creature had "had enough" and was "getting out while the getting was good".

We walked back to our car and slowly made our way home, peacefully and happy to be an American, "Home of the Free" - "Land of the Brave"!