Thursday, May 22, 2008

She's Here!

“She” being my mom, that is. That’s her on the left, with my aunt Marlene behind her. Mom usually comes for a visit from the San Francisco Bay Area once a year, but the past couple of years it’s been a bit different because other family has arrived at the same time. This year it’s just Mom and my little family, which boils down to lots of Mom and me time. Yay!

A friend of mine says that if romance novel heroines had great mothers (like mine) they wouldn’t get themselves into such fixes. That may be true, but then we’d have to read through pages of Mom-preparation instead. I’ve been cleaning and cleaning and cleaning for days. Things that rarely get cleaned. The grate at the bottom of the refrigerator. The highest shelf in the family room that’s even too tall for Surfer Guy (at 6’5”) to reach. Waaay back behind…well, you get the idea.

She flew in yesterday morning and by 3 p.m. we’d already done some errands that I’d been putting off, done some clothes shopping (two cute tops and a necklace, Mom doesn’t like one of the tops, but I did), found beads to repair another top that was missing them, gone out to lunch, and purchased a book I’ve been dying to read (Marsha Moyer's Return of the Stardust Cowgirl).

We’re meeting my niece on Saturday for an all-day shopping safari but today and tomorrow’s agenda is pretty open, except for a birthday dinner on Friday night for Son 2. I know how we’ll fill it…talk. And talk. And talk. Nothing like a mom for listening to all your stories with the proper attentiveness and the proper exclamations. Nothing like a mom for nodding her head when you hash over your concerns for your kids, your wardrobe, or your current manuscript.

So, it’s a couple of weeks after Mother’s Day, but I’m having a long mom’s weekend and enjoying the heck out of myself. (As long as she doesn’t see some of the spots I’ve missed on my cleaning binge.)

Does anyone else have a special visitor that you scrub-a-dub-dub for? Friends of ours often have their priest over for dinner and I cannot imagine what that requires when it comes to dusting and vacuuming. What’s the cleaning chore you put off? I didn’t get to hand-washing all the globes that cover the light fixtures. Shh, don’t tell!

20 comments:

Liza said...

I hate to clean my baseboards and ceiling fans. I make sure I do a really good clean several times a year, but the ceiling fans are always the one thing I hold off until someone is coming to visit. One of my aunts is coming for a visit in a few weeks and I plan on spending the whole week before doing a major clean.

Betina Krahn said...

Interesting topic, Christie! Hadn't thought about that in a long time. Because my parents are gone now from the mortal plane, as are the fiancee's. He has a brother in Canada, who has only visited once and mys sister lives near me. . . no need for overnight visits. I used to get into a dither when the in-laws visited. . . cleaning to the max and baking to fill the freezer with goodies we didn't usually enjoy. So I don't frenzy-clean these days. Which means something somewhere is gathering a horde of uglies I haven't noticed!

Oh, I do clean when the kids are coming for a visit, but my feeling is that they're less critical than parents or parents-in-law. And they're focused on the pool and the sun and doing things, not on what the house looks like.

Now if my sister-in-law came, I'm be in a dither for weeks before. I know how she keeps house and I'm not even in her league!

The silk plants on top of the kitchen cabinets. . . now gone. Cleaned the entire kitchen, dusting, 409-ing, polishing. the occasion? A slight remodel. Hey, maybe I ought to blog on that.

Debra Dixon said...

Most of our people know to take us with our dirt or just go home.

However, we'll shine up for dinner guests. I'll straighten up the the kid is coming by with a friend. We're usually "neat" but deep cleaning is something I have to be motivated to do.

And we have the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners here. So twice a year, like it or not it's every fan blade for themselves as we go on a tear from one end of the house to another. The dust bunnies start freaking out about Halloween.

The Christmas cleaning is a breeze compared to Thanksgiving.

Candace said...

Now that the DH has retired and become a golf bum, we usually do an intense team-clean once every six weeks or so. Polishing kitchen cabinets, cleaning the tops of things, under beds, baseboards, ceiling fans, washing windows, etc. In between, it's just wiping the crumbs off the counters, windexing mirrors, swiffering the floors (the dogs should be BALD by now considering the amount of hair they loose on a daily basis!)and making sure bathrooms are fit to be seen by any unexpected guests.

One nice side benefit of the DH's retirement is that I haven't swept or mopped a floor in two years. He took that over as his job. 'Course, he had to buy a big, noisy honkin' machine to do it but, hey, he DOES it so I can live with the noise.

Christie Ridgway said...

The fans! Liza and Deb, I bought a special tool that is sort of like a scrub brush that fits around the blades. But one of our fans is so high that Surfer Guy has to get on a ladder to do it for me.

Christie Ridgway said...

Betina: How =do= you clean silk plants? I've tried blowdrying the dust off with my blowdryer. Is there a better way? I have a pretty arrangement of silk flowers in my bedroom that my m-i-l gave me and boy, is it a dust-gatherer. I know Oprah is an advocate for only fresh flowers and living plants and I think it's due to the dang dust-factor.

Christie Ridgway said...

Candace: The dog hair (especially right now) makes me crazy. I could dust mop ten times a day. I should try a Swiffer. A friend of mine has a roomba (anyone else?) and says it works great for pet hair. I have multi-levels and area rugs in my worst dog-hair area, though, so I'm not sure how great it would work for me.

Cindy Gerard said...

Christie - first, I'm so happy for you to get to enjoy your 'mom' time. It's been three years since I lost my mom and I still miss those talks. so enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.
As to cleaning? Well, if it weren't for the lovely woman who comes in twice a month and keeps us out from under, it wouldn't happen. At least not very often. I actually miss digging in and polishing and scrubbing but right now, time is a real issue for me. Hubby takes care of the windows - bless him - and we already know he won't let me near the lawn mower, so unless there's a family or friends gathering here, I'm out of the loop. NOT complaining.:o)

Playground Monitor said...

Team-cleaning. I like that. I just have to convince the DH it's a good idea once he's retired.

I hosted the speaker for our RWA chapter's Readers' Luncheon one night last week. The house is normally pretty clean but I tend to put off dusting. As long as you don't run a finger along a table, you don't really know. But I dusted for Rocki. Heck I even ironed the pillow cases for the guest room bed.

There's a silk plant cleaner spray I've seen somewhere. Google it and see what you get.

Have fun with your mom. Mine is coming sometime this summer. My sister promised her a trip here as a birthday gift. We just have to coordinate weekends.

Marilyn

CrystalGB said...

Cleaning out closets. I hate it.

I hope you have a wonderful time with your Mom.

Michele Hauf said...

Clean? You mean we're supposed to clean our houses?

Huh.

Seriously, I don't do 'special' cleaning. But when the dust cakes I have been known to run one of those Swiffer dusters through it. Love the Swiffer floor thingie too.

I was just looking at the windows the other day and commented out loud, "Huh, those are really dirty." The hubby was sitting in the same room and replied, "I suppose I should clean those for you."

!!

Well, he said it. And you know we women NEVER forget a thing. :-)

Christie Ridgway said...

Michele: Must get Surfer Guy to do the windows. Mine are really looking bad at the moment and I didn't get to that before the Mom visit. But Son 2 is having his b-day party next weekend, so I'll try to get them done for that.

Helen Brenna said...

Oh, man, there are so many cleaning chores I put off it's not even funny. My worst is dusting. I'd rather clean 10 toilets than dust 1 room.

I wish some one would come up with some kind of intense air sucker for furnaces that pulled all the dust out of a house. We can dream, huh?

Does it bug anyone else that people usually attribute the state of cleanliness of a house to the woman?

flchen1 said...

Crystal, my closets are for stuffing full of the things that I'm picking up from the floor in the rooms--I couldn't possibly clean them out! ;)

As for what chore I put off, the question is more which don't I put off! I figure if I make sure the bathrooms are clean and the floor freshly vacuumed, most of the other stuff can be put off--most guests won't be looking that closely, I hope!

Michele Hauf said...

Yes, Helen! If the house isn't clean then it's the woman's fault. I can just feel that sometimes from people and they don't even have to say it.

But I confess, even though I'm not the best housecleaner, there have been times I've been to someone else's house (and it's usually cleaner than mine) but if I see some dust or something not quite clean, I'll think "hmm..." I'm so bad.

Christie Ridgway said...

Of course if the house isn't clean it's the woman's fault. But the fact is, Surfer Guy and Sons 1 and 2 don't even see crumbs/dirt/dust/dog hair. Convenient, that.

They're willing to help clean, but I have to ask. But we've always been the go-to house in the neighborhood so in general the boys and their friends have had to deal with whatever state the house is in.

And I am having a great time with my mom. We were shopping for shorts for Son 2 and I came away with a very pink, but very cute dress to where in San Francisco this summer.

Karin Tabke said...

I have a housekeeper who comes in weekly, so to the regular stuff that's her thang, but she doesn't go into my china cabinet or clean the chandelier in my dining room and foyer. Those are loathsome chores I do myself once a year. HATE. IT. I also hate to do laundry, mostly the folding and putting away, hence the mounds of clean clothes in my room. :)

Amy said...

What cleaning chore am I NOT putting off?

Enjoy your mom's visit. I'm off to OC to see my mommy on Saturday! Yay!

Helen Brenna said...

The guys don't see the dirt - the story of my life! lol

lois greiman said...

My beloved mother is a slob...just like me :) so I don't worry about her visits. Just wish they would happen more often. These days I just tell myself that all those chemical cleaners are terrible for the environment. Now all I need is an excuse not to dust.