Well, whatever the dead thing is, I am thinking it must be in the wall or under the floor because I cannot find it. From the area where I could detect the strongest odor (the epicenter of STINK, I should say) stands a chest of drawers which I keep sewing things in. Well, to be completely honest, mostly old scraps of cloth which are perfect for mice to burrow into and nest in and yes, I have seen mice in there and evidence of mice and so I felt sure that that's where some little furry critter had died.
I went through everything in there. I threw out three bags of scraps I will never ever use. I organized thread and buttons and pins and needles and all the stuff that needed organizing. I wiped out the drawers.
No dead bodies.
I moved on to a closet in the room which I also know has a mouse population. I cleaned it out. I weeded things from in there. Some for Goodwill, some for the trash. I found shoes I'd forgotten I had! Really cool ones, too. Which I haven't worn for years and probably never will again but that's another story.
No dead critters.
Whatever, I made a good dent in that room being tidied up and cleaned out.
Then I decided that since I was already sweaty and covered in mouse dust I might as well attack the closet under the stairs where all the paper had been shredded. Filled an entire trash bag with shredded wrapping paper. I have to tell you that mice are very, very good at shredding. Very good. Excellent shredders. In fact, save your money, don't buy a shredder and just put the things you want shredded in a closet where there are mice.
Then- what the fuck?
I cleaned up and mopped the kitchen.
I washed the sheets and towels and rugs and clothes.
Yes. I was a good little housewife today. And by the way- I totally recommend Fabuloso Tropical Scent! It's blue-colored. Don't let your kids drink it.
Although sometimes I wonder if Fabuloso is anything but water, coloring, and scent.
Whatever. I like it.
But now here's what I'm thinking about. I'm reading some not-great but entertaining novel in the Mommy-Lit genre and in it, the main protagonist is obsessed with trying to keep her house tidy. And she tells a friend that if her house is not tidy, then her life cannot be tidy or organized. The friend points out that perhaps it is the opposite- that a messy, messy life is not as easy to clean up as a house and so, in cleaning the house, she feels that she is doing something about her life, when actually, she is not.
I don't know. But I do know that the best and most organized as a housewife that I ever was occurred during a period of time when my life was absolutely shot through with depression, unhappiness, and problems out the yang. But boy! Was my house clean! I had a schedule. I cleaned everything in that house every week. I did love that house and I loved seeing it shine but still. Looking back I realize that I was trying to create order in the house in order not to deal with creating order in my chaotic life.
Ah well. Whatever. Perhaps I DO have things I need to deal with and am not, but cleaning the house isn't hurting a damn thing and it does give me a great deal of pleasure to see my floors swept and mopped and to know that there is a bit less detritus that should I die tonight someone would have to deal with.
Oh, there's still plenty! But a bit less.
Now. If I can just attend to that mending that was piled up on the dresser I cleaned out today then I will truly feel as if I have accomplished something. It may be a false feeling but at least every time I walk by there, I won't have the guilt of not having done it invade my mood.
No. I did not find the dead thing but the smell is not horrible. And the smell of Tropical Scent Fabuloso is pervasive and as Hank pointed out, if the dead thing IS in the walls or under the floor, the smell will go away in a week or two.
I am an imperfect being. But even imperfect beings enjoy a tidy house. Or a tidier one, in my case, because believe me- this house is never going to be really and truly tidy unless someone wins the lottery and can hire a full-time housekeeper. And the dogs die.
All right! That's it! That's all I have to ponder about at this moment. If there's anyone in this world who can take something as mundane as cleaning out some shit and turning it into a philosophical and psychological study as I can, I've yet to meet them.
Yours Truly....Ms. Moon
I'm actually going to clean my fridge tonight. Like, take the drawers out and so on. This may be the first time in 7 years. DON'T YOU JUDGE ME.ReplyDelete
I love the new header.ReplyDelete
Glad you got a bunch done, interesting points about cleaning and order..
I might have to do that too, DTG! Ms. Moon-I use the green apple Fabuloso!ReplyDelete
I always clean when I am angry; you would think, then, that my house would be spotless but somehow it isn't. I think that author has a point about the trying to fix what you can about your life, even if it is the wrong thing. Still, a clean house is nice however it comes about.ReplyDelete
Detritus=one of my favorite words.
Shortly after I got here and was trying to impress the Justices, I had a meeting with one. I took out my file of all my notes and information ... and it was shredded. Mice had eaten all my information and documentation in a few short days.ReplyDelete
I could have easily killed them with my bare hands, but fortunately there's poison.
I didn't impress anyone, though today one Justice told me I have to wear African dresses at our upcoming training, so maybe my ass will impress even if the rodents destroy all my work.
First, I love the new header - a lot.ReplyDelete
Second, since I've lived in this house, we've had 2 dead things in the walls episodes, likely mice, and my husband is forbidden - under threat of harsh penalties - to put out mouse poison again. They die any old where, and one, almost funny, died on his mouse pad - it looked like it was napping. But the smell.... lord, I'm not a tidy housewife, but bad smells make me want to pick up and move my camp.
There was also the raccoon under the porch that made things smell for a while....
anyway, I feel your pain. I wish fabuloso would fix it, but the only thing that worked for me was time. Spray on your favorite perfume and sniff yourself until time does it's magic. xo
DTG- I did that last week! I will not judge you, dear, if you do not judge me.ReplyDelete
Bethany- Mostly? I'm just looking forward to clean sheets. Glad you like the header.
Nicol- What IS it about Fabuloso that smells so...perfect? Clean but fresh but...FABULOUS!
Kori- Ha! I clean when I'm angry too. I like the word "detritus." It's a cool word.
NOLA- They're going to make a state monument to that ass of yours in Liberia!
Mel- Well, I pretty much AM an untidy housewife but hell- you can't stop things from dying in places you can't reach. That lizard, although you can't tell, is one of the baby ones. He was so cute and didn't have enough sense to be scared of me. The perfume idea is a good one.
I went through a "major depressive "episode about 13 years back and it was recommended I go into the hospital (I called it the looney bib) but I refused as I did not want to be medicated and I was breastfeeding at the time so I wouldn't go. What did I do instead? I started to hoard. (I am going to eventually going to write a post on this.) I wish I could have cleaned but everything was so sad and awful. I barely had energy to make toast. Anyway, I am a recovering hoarder and I would give my right arm (which makes sweeping difficult) to be a person that cleans when she is depressed.ReplyDelete
And no wonder you are tired! Look at what you did today!
No no, space clearing and Feng Shui are all about the effect that cleaning and clearing have on energy and the knowck on effect on health and wealth and happiness. You're not alone on this topic!ReplyDelete
Ha, I think I do that too. I do laundry when I want to hide from the world. But I should probably get depressed a bit more these days because otherwise we will soon be overrun with pests.ReplyDelete
I think that I was neatest when my life was in chaos. It was the only order that I had then.ReplyDelete
The epicenter of stink--LOL.
Fabuloso is the best. It does make up for any funkiness. I made some delicious red snapper that tasted yummy but stunk my whole house up. Fabuloso, yes the blue kind, was the kryptonite. Fish-funk GONE.ReplyDelete
Love your fearless mouse pursuit. Especially since I am a wimp and called my husband while he was out of town to tell him I saw a field mouse--in a FIELD--in our backyard. And was scared. Um yeah.
I guess the secret smell will remain a mystery after all.ReplyDelete
I must have the most orderly life ever...because one step into my bedroom/closet and you will find the biggest pile or "organized-chaos" ever.
Not really, I'm just good at shoving that pile of chaos out of sight/out of mind.
I highly recommend baking and decorating cakes to mask one's feelings about a fucked up life.ReplyDelete
Put some fabuloso in itDelete
A clean polished house is good even if it doesn't clear out one's mind.ReplyDelete
Wish someone would clean and polish mine though it only stays that way for a few hours. And--possums inside walls really really stink. I learned that in a very upscale neighborhood. The Fabuloso thing, I dunno. But I've sometimes felt soothed by Mr Clean. Maybe I thought he was going to jump off the label to clean and polish my house. Or my mind. Freud's All-purpose Cleaner? Make your brain sparkle?
Birdie- Bless you, baby. We do crazy things when we're crazy. Whatever we can to make it through.ReplyDelete
Jo- I could use some wealth. Maybe I should clean other people's houses and get paid. Oh wait. I'd rather stick needles in my eyes.
Mwa- Nah. Depression is not a pesticide. Believe me.
Syd- Exactly what I'm saying. Glad you liked that line. I went back ans stuck it in.
gradydoctor- We all have our comfort zones. For instance- if possible I take routes so that I will not even have to PASS the hospital. Where you feel right at home. So....
Mel's Way- We can make metaphors all day long, can't we?
Elizabeth- I would weigh five hundred pounds.
A- Each to her own Super Hero Cleaner. I think I love Fabuloso because it reminds me of Mexico. Plus, the name. But yeah, I'd do Mr. Clean. If he cleaned my house.
Dearest, I once wrote a column about the Zen of cleaning and how it was a meditative act for me, but what I really meant was, when my life was completely spinning out of control, obsessive cleaning (I am talking down on my knees scrubbing the fucking floor) gave me a sense of control and order that was just SO SATISFYING. I call it bringing order to chaos - as if, right? You can judge the state of my inner life by the tidiness of my outer life, pretty much. And cleaning provides pretty instant gratification, which is good for the soul - See! I accomplished something! Woo-hoo!ReplyDelete
Also, I should tell you I am a huge fan of Fabuloso. I particularly love the lavender scent.
Oh, and your quest for the stinky critter in the Panther Room makes me wonder if all the scratching and scrabbling I heard when Liz and I were sleeping in there last Friday night was the dogs, as I thought at the time, or some mystery varmint trying to claw its way in to our chamber of slumber. *shudder*
I do love you. And I love your new header - can that be the same little lizard Mr. Moon adopted last week?
PS. Downtown Guy, I am so sorry and ashamed, but I did judge you JUST A LITTLE. Then I slapped myself and got over it.ReplyDelete
Kati- I, too, have been on my knees with a toothbrush, weeping and wailing and scrubbing away the sins of the dirt like some insane old tangled-white-haired woman in a horror film.ReplyDelete
I am fairly sure that you did indeed hear the dogs. They feel that they are allowed to sleep with guests. But you may have heard the critters in the walls. Who knows out here?
That little lizard may have been the same one but I doubt it. It was right by the house. Its twin more likely.
I hope that DTG used bleach on those bins. I don't think Fabuloso would have cut it.
By the way- I adore you.
Ha! When I am possessed - literally, it is like a possession requiring exorcism - in a full-on cleaning frenzy, you should hear how I talk to myself! It would scare the bejeezus out of any normal person.....but not you, cuz, thankfully, you are not normal. And by the way, the feeling is oh so mutual, my sweetie!ReplyDelete
I love epicenter of STINK. It's muy fabuloso!ReplyDelete
Oh, you can judge. My home is full of interesting things to look at and read, but no one ever called it clean. I once woke up to find a house guest mopping my kitchen floor. I do keep the bathroom clean and don't leave plates of food out or anything, so I do stay right above disgusting.ReplyDelete
I love your posts like this. I laughed at the epicenter of stink!! I'm with on sorting the house out. Mine needs doing again. It is never ending! xxReplyDelete