Friday, August 02, 2013

Squeaky Clean

Just a while back, I updated my fb status to: “I used to say that the thing I like doing is just to stare blankly into space, and just be idle.. Can’t say that anymore. I gotta be occupied or I’d go nuts. There isn’t an emoticon to express my current state – feeling idle.”

Minutes after, suggestions from my sister and well-meaning friends came up in comments. My sister (who was the hesitant subject of my blog post yesterday) encouraged me to try sewing and/or knitting, and a couple of friends suggested that I bake and cook. I told my well-meaning sis that she’d better take up her own suggestion, and start a project herself, as I was never good at any sewing projects I had at school. I had others do those projects, in fact. Ooops.. No harm admitting it now.

I thought that Home Economics (H.E.) very much favored those with an inherent talent at crafts. Oh, my son suffers the same predicament, receiving grades as low as 80 for a project! HELE, as it is called now, always pulls down his grade point average. And it’s not looking good this school year either. After seeing one of his projects with the teacher’s marks, I asked him to exert more effort as he was graded poorly on that criterion (i.e., effort). 

I should have given my opinion more thought before blurting it out as my argumentative (but objective) son replied that it was ridiculous that he got a low grade for effort when he had done a lot of drafts and did his research to come up with the finished product. Garrett created our family tree as one of the course requirements. And, true enough, I knew that Garrett went to great lengths, calling his grandmothers and aunts to ask the information he needed to draw up his own family tree. But, well, he did not care much about the appearance, hence, I could not also blame his teacher.

So why did I end up talking about Garrett? Ok, to swing back to my idle status -- I agreed to the suggestion that I consider baking and cooking. I said that I was actually watching lots of cooking shows lately. But then, I got a better idea – how about (I suggested to myself and asked my friends and sister for validation) if I scrub the house clean, starting with the sinks.

(Sorry for another long post. I will try and stick to the principle of brevity in future posts. I know only my close friends and relatives would again take the time to read this to the end. If I am to take this blogging thingy seriously, I will need to enrol in writing workshops or take up Blogging 101. For the meantime, please bear with me.)

My house may not exactly showcase my talent, but, I know I got it in me – that ability to take off stubborn stains and clean hard-to-reach areas! I knew since I was about 9 years old that I was a sucker for organization and cleanliness, because at the time, I often found myself picking up baby items of my baby sister, and putting them in the proper place. And I had this happy feeling when the house was clean. But, as the years passed, and my life became complicated, juggling tasks at home and at work, that ability lost its sparkle, muddled in my mind together with lots of other more important things.

I will let you in into my humble abode, well, actually just some snippets of it. We’ve had this house for almost 6 years now. We moved in when I was still pregnant with my youngest. It’s an old house which we had renovated a bit, especially the kitchen and bathrooms. It’s simple but spacious, and it meets our needs just right, for now.

So what did I end up doing today to cut my idle time? Yes, I did scrub the sinks and faucets. I used baking soda, which, indeed, has many uses. I also use it to remove deodorant stains from shirts. I would get sweaty even in an air-conditioned office when my bosses asked for information and I couldn’t give an outright answer, or when my director called me into his office! Don’t you? You’re lucky. But, in case you got some shirts with chemical stains, try using baking soda. Trust me, it works!

I just splattered baking soda on the surfaces and worked my way around using a sponge, making sure I reached the undersides of the faucets and drains. I used an old, frayed toothbrush to clean the grooves and corners that accumulate grime and dirt. I am happy with the results.

Today’s been not so idle after all. Tomorrow, I plan to organize the fridge. And experimental cooking can be for next week. I need to schedule the tasks, spread them out so that I'd have some degree of accomplishment I could be proud of at the end of the day. 

P.S.: I'm gonna have to take down this post if my husband sees the photos and does not agree that they go public. I pray he wouldn't. ;-)

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