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Monday, April 14, 2014

Nice Slow Weekend

Saturday and Sunday, my husband worked 10am-10pm both days. Saturday, none of the rest of us had any plans.  The kids played Minecraft all day or drew, painted, surfed Tumblr and Facebook, and just kind of vegged. Me too mainly. I did try to keep up with laundry and dishes so we don't get behind again like we had. I also mowed the whole front yard.  Now that the home in front of us moved out, we have the whole front yard to ourselves, and now everyone driving up the street can see our entire yard and the whole front of our house.  So, anyway yeah I mowed the front yard. By the time I got done, it was too dark to start on the back yard, and I was in the mood for movies.

The girls and I sat down and watched Captain America The First Avenger, Thor, and The Avengers. We've seen the Iron Man movies a ton of times. They still want to see Thor 2, and I would LOVE to see Captain America The Winter Soldier again.  Oh my gosh that was an amazing movie!  I'm a huge Sebastian Stan fan anyway, and he was SO good as Bucky, even though he only had like 2 lines in the whole movie. Can't wait for the next one. 

Looking forward to the next episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. too! 

Then today, the girls had a birthday party to go to, so I had to take Christopher to work, then come home and try to sleep some more, then take them to the party and come home and give up on trying to get more sleep. (How I am still awake now is a mystery to me.) I did very little today.  Zoe layed around and played Minecraft and Pokemon on her DS. I tried to keep up with dishes - I don't want them piling up in the kitchen anymore, and I did 2 loads of laundry.  I also vacuumed the master bedroom again. It is so gross to see how much stuff that vacuum is STILL pulling out of this carpet. I like carpet in the bedroom, but this one is more dirt than carpet I think.  I wish I had the spare cash to just buy new carpet and have it installed in just this one room.

Anyway, I went back and picked up Faelyn and her boyfriend from the party.  Rhiannon was going out with her boyfriend, Joe. Dinner was just chicken tenders, mashed potatoes and beets. Just didn't feel like cooking much.

Tomorrow (Monday) is Family Dinner Night. Christopher's off all day, but has a Dr appt. His mother is coming for dinner and bringing her chocolate lab, Duke again.  She has to go to Nashville to see a Specialist about her liver, so we'll be dog sitting for a while. She's hoping to get on a transplant list, but isn't sure she'll qualify. She lost part of it in a car accident, and then contracted Hep C (they think) while in the hospital after the accident, so it's kind of a time bomb now. So, keep her and the family in your prayers about that, please.

I haven't tackled any more on the kitchen or anything.  I'm just continuing to maintain what I have already done. No point in cleaning something and then just let it go back to how it had been again.  It'll get done, eventually.  Maybe I'll do a few things on the list tomorrow just to be able to check them off.  I never did finish the laundry room/back entry area list. I could do that.

For now, I need sleeeeeep.  Have a great week, Blogland! 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I defeated the stove top!

Remember what the stove looked like?

Well, I got SOS pads, copper scrubbers, Comet, and a magic Eraser thing, and even used WD40 like I saw on YouTube, oh and a knife.  I wasn't as worried about scratching the stove top as I was about the stove continuing to look so horrible. I'd gotten so used to it, that I didn't even see it anymore,... but once I focused on the burnt-on grime, it's all I could see!

When I googled to see if there was a *right* way to wrap drip pans in foil, I found a video showing how WD40 helps get rid of this sort of thing, so I decided to try it on the hardest part. Even with my husband helping me scrub and scrape, it was wearing us out...

Well it wasn't a miracle cure, but I did notice it was a little easier to scrape off. Finally...

So, then I just wrapped the drip pans which are actually see through in some places, they're so corroded. I always thought it was weird to see stoves with foil on them, but right now it's the best solution.  I'll buy new drip pans when I can afford to spend on the house again. Even then, I may wrap them in foil anyway, just to make cleaning easier.

I still have to scrub down some nooks and crannies and pull it away from the wall and clean out behind it. This would have been a great weekend for it except I agreed to switch for someone this week at work.  So I was off Wednesday night (which was awesome), but I had to work last night.  So now it's my last full day off and I slept til 4pm and I'm dragging. My old body needs 2 days off in a row.

Currently my sink is also super shiny because I used the SOS pads on it.  They are perfect for stainless steel sinks. I'd left the dishwasher with just a few dirty dishes last night, very proud that I had all the laundry and dishes caught up,.. and newly dirtied dishes could go straight into the dishwasher...  so I wake up today at 4 and go out there, and both sides of the sink are full. Sigh.  It's okay, the girls don't know I'm on the ball with the dishes LOL.  They probably figured it was full of clean dishes and didn't want to be the one to put them away. I'm a step ahead!!   Also, Rhiannon made home made cinnamon rolls, so yay! So, yeah I loaded it, and their breakfast and lunch dishes filled it up, so it's running again.

As for laundry.  If I empty everyone's hampers I might have enough for one load, so I'll go do that today. 

As much as I love the idea of the Spring Cleaning list, it just doesn't work in this house or for me afterall.  I can use the list to make sure I didn't forget anything, but there's no way I can do the things in order, or all in one day. I know things need to be cleaned really badly, and they will be, but it might be summertime before I get to them all.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Me vs. My Kitchen

I am almost done with all the dishes!  There's just a few things soaking.

The dishwasher is currently running with a load including the drip pan thingies from the stove eyes.  They need replacing, but that sort of stuff is not in the budget til we get a list of bills paid off. So, I guess I'll wrap them in foil like I've seen on some stoves.  It looks a little weird, but it's a great improvement over what they look like normally. It's hard to believe my stove is supposed to be white.
Can you tell I have never cleaned the top of my stove before?  I feel like a terrible person for having to admit that, but it's true.  I don't even know if that will all come off now.

At least parts of my kitchen are kind of okay.

 Certainly not *CLEAN* , but not terribly cluttered... well okay it *looks* cluttered, but I use all that stuff all the time except maybe the decorative towels (though they do cover bread baskets sometimes) and the flour canister and the 3 cookbooks on the top.  But I like seeing them. The enamel countertop on the hoosier needs a good scrubbing for sure.

Tonight after work, I'll unload the dishwasher and reload it with the soaking stuff (or just hand wash it all), and start tomorrow with a kitchen ready to finally be cleaned. Having it covered in dirty dishes just makes it very difficult.

I need to mow the back yard tomorrow too.  Not sure if I'll get to do the front yard.  The people who lived in front of us moved and took their mobile home with them.  There's still a pile of lumber and stuff left from their back porch, and it's laying in our front yard. I think they'll be back for it in the afternoon.  I never really got to know our neighbors, but their kids played with Zoe sometimes.  Usually they butted heads though. She's not upset they're gone. I am glad I can open my bedroom and living room curtains and not look directly into someone else's window. Having a whole space between us and the next home makes a huge difference. We get so much more natural light into the house now.   I can living with the big bare dirt where the trailer used to be.  No problem.

Still dreading that kitchen though..

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Just Maintaining So Far

So, I did not finish the laundry room list yet.  Also, I haven't done much on the kitchen one either. Though the floor did get swept and mopped. Actually I did a pretty deep cleaning of the living room before anything else, oddly enough... but that was because Faelyn was having a houseful of teenagers over to play card and board games all day on Saturday.  This seems to be a weekly thing now. I am happy for her to have so many friends and the ability to get together and have fun outside of school.  Her Dad and I did the same thing in his basement when we were teenagers. Also, Saturday was the prom (early because they want pics in the year book, I think it's too early though). So, Rhiannon had to get her hair done and get into the dress and makeup and all that.  So Saturday was pretty much a no-clean kind of day.  But since I knew all those people would be there, I cleaned the heck out of that living room Friday night. Swept and dust mopped the floors, then mopped really well. Vacuumed the area rug and moved it around trying to find a better place for it (eventually put it back in front of the couch) .  Washed and dried and reattached the dining chair cushions. Washed down the chairs from the dust and dog hair etc. I just wanted it really clean because they like playing Twister, so the floors get really noticed haha.

Then Sunday, we went to Dollywood with Zoe.  The teens spent the day with their boyfriends instead. Whatever. lol  They have all summer to go to Dollywood, and it was nice to take just our youngest and bond a little more with her.

Monday I was so sore and tired from spending the day at Dollywood that I barely got anything done. Today, I've just gotten enough done to get back to where I had been.  I got everyone's laundry, and had them strip their beds and remake them, and I did mine as well. I have the last load of laundry in the washer now. I've kept the laundry room clean and organized, and didn't let anything pile up.  I even washed the bags on the laundry sorter.  They were SHEWWWEE smelly.  I do need to finish that list though.  The vents are looking bad.

The dog has been marking again and the living room needs mopped again.  It's Faelyn's dog, so I had her spot mop it, but it needs another good washing down. I really really dislike that dog.  He's started harassing our 14 yr old cheagle too. Creepy dog. 

The master bedroom has been easy enough to keep clean, though I do need to vacuum again. Having the master closet cleaned out and the clothes organized, makes putting away laundry SO much easier, I don't actually mind that step anymore!

Maintaining the main bathroom isn't too bad.  I just have to keep reminding them to put their clothes IN the hamper, and put their bath stuff back into their bath caddies when done - or else their sisters get to use up their body wash and shampoo!

The kitchen again is the worst room. Thankfully Faelyn did sweep and mop it Saturday morning before her friends came over. We're consistently about 2 loads of dishes behind.  Today, I got Rhiannon to unload it after school, then Zoe reloaded and ran it.  Then Faelyn was supposed to unload it, but her boyfriend called. I don't think she ever did it.  I hate unloading the dishwasher, probably more than folding clothes. But I need to get in there and do another load before I go to bed.
I can't really get the spring cleaning even started until the dishes are caught up because they're in the way. And I need the dishwasher empty so I can put dirty stuff from cleaning out the fridge straight into it. So, yeah it just gets put off over and over.  I just have to roll up my sleeves and get it done.  The fridge is in desperate need of cleaning, and the cabinets are yucky, not to mention the appliances.  Yep, just gotta do it.

Hopefully it'll still be Spring when I get spring cleaning done.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Getting Serious with Spring Cleaning

I know how my brain works.  I know I get carried away with a project, and I miss important steps, or do things out of order. So, I knew with Spring cleaning, I needed a specific, very specific, list to follow to make sure I didn't forget anything. So, I sat down and used a pre-existing one I got somewhere last year, and customized it to fit my areas and just added and added.

I did steps for each room, though I lumped all the bedrooms under the one heading.  I'll need to use colored pens to mark off the tasks for each room in a different color. Anyway, I decided the one area that was causing the most grief of a daily basis was the laundry room, rear entryway area. So, here's the list with the stuff I did actually get done marked out.

Wash windows and window sills.

Move out the green container and vacuum it out and wash it inside and out.

Take everything off the white shelves. Sort through it and organize.

Move out the white shelves.
Move everything off the stacking drawers and move it out.

Take everything off the laundry sorter and move out.
Wash off the shelves and drawers.

Take the stuff off the walls in front of dryer.

Clean out where sorter was.
Move the freezer and clean where it sits. 
Move dryer and clean out behind it.
Take everything off wall shelves.
Wipe down the wall shelves, vacuum back corners with attachment, and cobwebs.
Wash outside of washer and dryer.
Wash inside of washing machine.
Wash lint trap with soap and water to remove filmy build-up from laundry soaps and dryer sheets. Let air dry thoroughly before putting back in place.
Wash switch plates.
Wash walls and trim.
Wash doors and door knobs.
Take everything off the Chinese cabinet by back door.
Wash off the Chinese cabinet and dust the stuff that was on it.
Put everything back on the Chinese cabinet.
Wash floor registers and other vent covers (including ceiling one and the CH&A one).
Sweep and wash whole floor. (Still need to do this in rear entry area after vents are cleaned.)
Move the laundry sorter back.
Move the drawers back.

Move white shelves back

Put everything back on all shelves in organized way.

Hang stuff back on walls as necessary.

Pack up seasonal stuff. Put giveaway stuff in bag, take to car.

So, as you can see, I skipped stuff in the middle.  That's because it was FDN - Family Dinner Night, and I had like 9 people coming over! 

Have some pics!
 I wish I'd thought to take before photos. The top of the shelving unity and the drawers was piled to the ceiling.
 These floors were so gross, especially with the dog that won't quit marking things.

 It's SO nice to have this all organized now!  That white trash bag is for our plastics recycling. Things like milk jugs and empty 2 liter bottles were filling up our trash so fast, the big trash can we haul out to the road was overflowing every week.  Fortunately, they put in recycling dumpsters across the street from Christopher's store, so when the bag is full, he can take it and toss it in quickly. They have one for cardboard too, so boxes go there. Keeps our trash to a minimum now.

 Speaking of trash, see that weird looking trashcan hanging on the wall down there?

 That's the flour sifter bin from my Hoosier.  I didn't want to throw it out and I had no place to really store it. It had been sitting on top of the white shelves taking up space forever. I knew I wanted to hang it on the wall to use for something.  The only thing I could think of was to hold plastic grocery bags I keep in there to use as trash bags for lint etc.  So I figured whynot recycle those bags instead and use it as a trashcan with an actual kitchen size trashbag.

 It still has the old rusted sifter attached haha,

This is the shelf I didn't get cleared off, but it's somewhat organized, just not pretty. That big green tub holds all the misc home repair stuff I would just toss in the garage - if we had a garage.

Extra Pantry storage on top and a basket to put towels out of the dryer and folded linens that need to be put away.
On top of the sorter, I keep the summer and picnic stuff in tote bags.
That floor looks dirty I know, but it's rust from when the pantry sat there and the rust ate away at the floor. Oh it looks SO much better now. That was just a pit of dust bunnies, lost socks, hangers, old shoes, you name it.

The basket on the freezer is for my and Christopher's clothes as they come out of the dryer. I usually also hang his work clothes immediately so they don't wrinkle more. Then each girl has a basket. One of them didn't bring the basket back after taking their clothes, and they missed  pair of underwear... so, the system breaks down if they don't bring the basket back in a timely manner.  Otherwise it's working out great....  as long as I don't go looking in their bedrooms. (Rhiannon has a pile of clean clothes she picks through - but has a whole closet and 2 dressers to herself.  I don't get it.)

The view back to the backdoor area from the laundry room.  It's a narrow hallway there with the shelves and drawers, but they are workhorses and I would not remove them just for a little extra walking room. You can see the top drawer is white socks.  Then 2nd is colored socks and 3rd is black socks. Fourth is matched up socks (if they're a pair that's easy to match out of the dryer I'll ball them up and toss them in there.  Sometimes I'll sit and sort thru the white ones or black ones to match them up.) The bottom 2 drawers are for misc seasonal storage, hats scarves etc.

That Chinese cabinet is a mess, and the rags I used in cleaning the floor are all piled up there in the corner.  So much still to do.

The remaining stuff I can do tonight on my lunch break or after work, or can just do tomorrow. I will finish that one list though before I move on to the next one.

I'm not sure which area I am going to tackle next though.  I want to stay on a roll, and having the laundry room done feels SO GOOD!  I *know* if I do the kitchen next it will make the whole house feel cleaner and I'll be so much happier knowing it's done, but MAN, it's a HUGE list. I have so much to do in there. I haven't cleaned that fridge out in...longer than I want to think about. And we had a mouse for a while (and I think we might have a new one).  My good mousing cat, pepper, passed away, and Porch Cat would rather lay there and let mice walk over him before moving enough to chase one.  Our new cat, Merlin, seems to like chasing them, but he's so huge and clumsy, all he does is cause crashes. Sorry, rambling...  anyway, we had mice, and so, it's going to be a real mess to clean up under and behind the stove and fridge.  It NEEDS to be done though. 

The other rooms are kind of *okay* for now. They're not *CLEAN*, but they're not gross. Well...  okay maybe the girls rooms are gross. So, anyway, the other main spaces can probably wait until the kitchen gets done.  It may take me two days. 

Here's the list for the kitchen:

Open windows.
Remove and clean window coverings. 
For each cabinet or drawer(including Hoosier, and don't forget cabinets over fridge): Remove items, wipe and vacuum out drawer, place items back neatly.  Donate unneeded items.
Wash and sanitize cutting boards
Wash cabinet doors and knobs
Clean and organize pantry (wash outside of it as well as inside).  Check food expiry dates.
Clean oven.
Clean stove top.  Remove elements and drip bowls, if applicable, wash and put back.
Clean and organize fridge and freezer (find and use containers to keep stuff from getting hidden in back and under deli drawer).  Check food expiry dates.
Take everything off the top of the fridge and clean top well.
Move fridge and stove and clean under and behind them.
Vacuum refrigerator coils.
Put stuff back on top of fridge if necessary.

Take the stuff off the top of the Hoosier, dust or wash.
Vacuum the top of Hoosier and get any cobwebs along ceiling.
Wash down the sides and counter on Hoosier.  
Put stuff back on Hoosier.
Take stuff off the breakfast table and wash it well.
Wash off the kitchen chairs, especially the legs and between slats.
Clean microwave.
Clean crumbs out of toaster.
Clean and descale kettle.
Wipe down any other counter appliances
Vacuum off counters to get cobwebs, crumbs, dust.
Wash counters and back splash.
Wash and shine sink.  Shine faucet. Clean drain.
Switch the microwave back to next to the fridge.
Clean Dishwasher.
Dust light fixtures- remove and wash ones that can be..
Wash glass on light fixture over sink.
Wash windows and vacuum window sills.  Remove window screens and wash.
Wash switch plates.  
Take down the iron skillets and other wall decor, wash well.
Wash walls and trim as needed.
Wash doors and door knobs.
Wash floor registers and other vent covers – vacuum them out.
Sweep and wash floor.  
Place the new spring table cloth on table and set out the Easter decorations. 

 Whew!  I just know I've forgotten something, which I'll think of while I'm actually doing the job. Just doing the cabinets alone will take a while, and that's just one line on the list. But as I said, it needs to be done.  Anyway, for now, I can do laundry in a clean refreshing laundry room. That makes a big difference already!  Hope y'all are having fun with spring cleaning or are already done with it. Maybe you don't have to! I totally do though!

Have a great weekend!