Thanks for checking into my blog!

As a "recovering" middle school teacher with a unique outlook on life, I stopped active teaching in 2010 and moved into another career path... writing! Here goes! In addition, I am a travel buff, forever baseball addict, movie fan, music fan, foodie extraordinaire, NCIS devotee, gardener, and more.

Just love writing for kids, travel writing and basic journalism. Pretty unusual, since I taught Home Economics! But there's a story here too - a non-fiction one or more...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dust to dust

Rule #  38 – Seek Balance

     My grandmother – God rest her soul- would freak! She was a person who believed her sole purpose in life was to take care of the house and family. She also did not like dirt. She was the one who dusted the furniture each and every day, sometimes more. This situation would make her absolutely, freaking crazy.

     We had the drywall put up – the next step in our kitchen crash.  Now while the drywall contractor did his cutting outside, he still taped and mudded the seams, then sanded… And sanded… and remudded and sanded again. This went on for a few days. Now, I’m no Mrs. Clean, but I could literally autograph my furniture. There was wallboard dust in places I didn’t even know existed. We changed the furnace filter and I still think I ate some dust.

     Next step in the process is putting up the cabinets, more dust, but in the form of sawdust. This presents as brown flecks, versus the white powder of the wallboard dust (Dude!). Now there is no way at all, that I can keep ahead of the dust. Air conditioning is on, air is circulating with the house fan, and dust bits appear in the weirdest spots. We go through Swiffer dusters like they grow on trees and are emptying the vacuum more than we have in the past. 

     Add in our painter, who sanded, primed and sanded again. Then he painted. And more dust…  but a great color on our walls. It’s a nice, calm light green.

     In come the floor contractors! And more sawdust! We got hardwood through the dining room and kitchen. Cutting was done primarily on the front deck, but there is still sawdust in the house.

     Now the kitchen is really starting to take shape. We are past 3 weeks of the job and we are almost ready to move the stuff back into the new digs. Did I use the word “ready”??? I am MORE than ready. The project is at the point where we both want it done and over so we can clean up and reclaim our sanity.

     Both Hub and I are sneezing and coughing with the dust. He even changed the furnace filter – again.

     You know, as crazy as my grandmother would have gotten, I often wonder how she would have responded to this work. Bless her heart - she was a bit of a control freak. The house was her domain. When she said to do something, you were supposed to just do it. No questions asked. Screw it up and you did it again and again until it met her standards of cleanliness. My mom – her daughter – was not as much of a stickler. But Mom had her moments. She would get nuts over other people’s clutter. The nuttiness seemed worse when Nana was staying with us. Guess the grandmother had lots to say, and my mom was stuck in the daughter role. One thing I do remember about both women – neither went behind us redoing the job. You did the job to their expectations and that was it. My mom’s expectations were more relaxed, for the most part. I guess having six kids will do that to you.

     My expectations, for the most part, are non-existent. I am eternally grateful for true effort and an attempt at sweat at least as far as cleaning goes. Remember when I said that I taught middle school and high school Home Economics? Most of my relaxed attitude comes from that experience. I showed the students how to clean. I expected them to do it. If they didn’t, tiny livestock moved in – and you would be surprised how quickly the law of natural consequences kicked in and how fast the kids “remembered” how to clean the kitchens. The kids at both levels never left any classroom kitchen totally in disaster mode. But if they did forget a few things, I took the “dirties” and put them in the fridge until the next time they came in. The offenders had to clean up after stuff was frozen on the surfaces. They learned quickly. It was great to have after school detentions in my classroom, too. Behavior problems spent an hour after school scouring stoves, cleaning and sanitizing counters, all while listening to Pavarotti sing his favorite arias (and me, trying to sing along). Word got out, I got a reputation and detentions were not that popular. No one wanted to suffer the pain of listening to opera (or me). Except for this one fellow, who found he actually liked the music of opera. That fellow took notes… not sure if he was serious or just kissing up. Most kids complained about cleaning up after others. I told them to get used to it, especially if they ever had kids themselves.

     My patience is certainly being tested with this project. The professionals are just that – very professional. But sometimes I think I’m becoming my mother. I want it done and over with, so I can get everything back where it belongs. I have to remember to keep the faith. I also have to remember to be a stickler with the quality of the work. I have to be sure things that need redoing, get redone. Back to teacher mode…

     Note to self: trust that this job will be done, to my satisfaction and as close to on-time as possible and any issues will not resemble the pain of passing a kidney stone. Find your inner chi, self… deep breaths. It will soon be finished…

     Ummmmmmm….. Ohmmmmmmmm…. Ummmmmmm……

     And where is the latest, new furnace filter and box of tissues?


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