Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cleaning for the Maid

Not too long ago, I read a post on Facebook about cleaning before the maid came to clean.  I could identify with Sheena's post and, based on the comments, it seemed that a lot of other people could too.  Now it isn't like I clean the windows or vacuum or anything before she comes, but I figure I need to try to get a lot of the clutter put away.  How well can she really clean if I have things out that she needs to clean around?  Nice to know that in cleaning for the maid I am not alone.  I do have some issues though.  I haven't found anyone who can clean things right.
"Wow!" is what I know you are thinking.  What an incredibly together person this Kathryn is to have things so perfect that no one else can reach those standards.  Yeah, not even close.  I can be completely unbothered by an inch of dust on the bookshelves or some other thing that you would think would annoy me.  It is in the little things.  See this picture of how the canisters were put back after the kitchen was cleaned today?
I know, you are wondering what it is about them.  Is it the missing wooden spoon?  Nope.  I broke that long ago.  Could it be the pill container sitting on the tall canister?  No.  That's where I like it.  Is it that they are not evenly spaced with the fronts centered?  Kind of.  The brown sugar canister (the one without the spoon) should be centered under the outlet as shown in the picture below.  THAT is the correct way for it to be.
I have many, many little "things" like this.  I know they are things that shouldn't matter and they really don't.  If Rob were to clean the kitchen and have the canisters back incorrectly, that would be okay because it would be thoughtful of his to have cleaned.  If I have them back the wrong way, that's okay because it means that I was in a hurry or preoccupied.  If my main focus was cleaning though, I would do it the correct way.  So having someone come in to clean and then not do things "right" bothers me.  It primarily bothers me that I notice it and want to (and often do) fix it.  I think that I am jealous that I don't have the opportunity to give a cleaning task my undivided attention the way I would if I were my own maid.  Hmmm... there's an idea. 

Now Rob is probably just shaking his head if he reads this.  He is wonderful and encourages me to have someone help with the house to take some of the load off of me.  Guess he will think this just proves that no one can do anything right and make me happy.  That isn't true. I was always in a great mood in Japan after Bimala had cleaned our place.  She didn't always get the spacing of items on the bookshelves quite right.  I noticed, but I was able to move on.

Oh.  Yes, Mom, I am taking my zoloft.  :)  See how well adjusted I am to notice these kinds of things and be able to deal with them?

Friday, May 14, 2010

(Plumbing) Repairs in Namibia

Okay, so we seem to have a leak in a water pipe or something outside.  The plumbers arrived quickly. Yep, three of them to check things out.  That was over an hour ago.  Now there are only two of them.  Guess one is the driver.  English (which is Namibia's official language so I don't want anyone giving me a hard time about expecting people to speak English rather than learn the language of the country) is not their strong suit.  Hopefully plumbing is because it appears that all the brick walk along side the house is now dug up.  Great.  Can you say loooooooooong project?

I hate having people come to repair, inspect, or do anything.  It is so much work.  I knew we were off to a typical start when I was asked if I had a mop.  Evidently, they meant plunger.  I gave them a plunger and they wanted to know if I had a better one.  Hello??  Maybe you should bring some tools.  (I know, what am I thinking?  We have had people using rocks as hammers until we have lent a real hammer.)  THEN I am asked for an adapter so they can charge the cell phone.  It has a European plug not a funky Namibian/South African one.  THEN they asked me to feed them.  I don't mind providing drinks when people are working but (1) they are not working.  The two of them are hanging out in the shade sitting on my chairs waiting (I am assuming) for guy #3 to come back with equipment.  (2) This is not a luncheon.  I did not plan on feeding you today.  I give them bread and fruit along with some lemonade.  This is done primarily because these guys are working on my water and I don't want to get them upset at me because heaven knows what they could do to mess things up or draw out the process forever.  I TRY to assume that it is just cultural because I know that workers are usually provided meals or meal allowance as part of wages.  They are already ticked that I don't have coffee for them.  Sigh.

Meanwhile it seems that every time I try to do something they need to be let in or out or have the power turned off or something.  I kind of need to be available to them and I don't all together trust them either so I have to keep an eye on them.  I guess we really need to have the pipe fixed though, so what can I do?

Monday, May 10, 2010

And She's Out!

Okay, so this morning (it was still Mother's Day in Idaho where my mom lives) I was wishing my mom a happy Mothers Day and chatting with her as I often do on her Sunday evening/my Monday morning.  I am in the play room with TB.  He is watching Go Diego Go while I am talking away.  Justin wakes up and comes in.  He sees Grandma on the computer screen and says a quick "hi" before starting in on his wish list.  He tells Grandma that he wants party blowers, pudding, and various other things.  She sends us a lot of packages, but the way Justin rattles off his list like he is sitting on Santa's lap telling all about what he wants for Christmas.  I don't think he understands how lucky we are to have someone like her in our lives.

So after he has made his wish list known, he decides to go over and watch Diego with his brother.  Of course the episode that is on is not acceptable to Justin so he starts whining for me to change it.  Wanting a few more minutes of quiet so I can talk with my mom, I get up to grab the remote and skip to the next episode.  I pick up my laptop as I stand and walk over by the TV.  Next thing I know, I am on the floor, my laptop is on its side, Ryan is shaking his sippy cup (his not-so-subtle way of saying he wants more) while Justin is complaining that I haven't changed the show.  Evidently I passed out.  My back and head are now sore and I am developing quite a bruise on my foot where the laptop hit it.

Been feeling lightheaded all day.  It's the day AFTER Mothers Day though, so I guess I need to try to push forward.  The day of rest is over.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Neglecting the Blog

Rob went back to the US for over two weeks and I have certainly been neglecting this blog.  Life was even more boring than usual in terms of things to write about.   The boys kept me VERY busy, but there was nothing really to say about going through the chores of the day and keeping the kids under control.  Now that he is back, I am hoping that things get back to a comfortable level of boring with some fun thrown in every now and then.
I have been blogging, however.  I have been working on a new blog.  It is called Ways I Entertain My Kids and it is located at .  Its purpose is to remind me of the things that I do to keep my kids busy.  When Ryan gets older, I can repeat some of the activities.  If I go back to teaching, some of the ideas might be useful there as well.  Anyway, I decided to put them in a separate blog because I write enough about my kids to begin with.  If you don't have kiddos the same ages as mine you probably don't want to hear about nursery rhyme crafts or their favorite toys in detail.  Even if you do have kids the same ages you might not want to hear about that.  So anyway, look if you want.  I plan on keeping most of the ideas VERY simple.  I am not trying to be Martha Stewart or some sort of child entertainment genius.  I am going with what gets me through the day.  Soon I will probably have a post about the kids playing in the boxes that their toys come in.  Sometimes the boxes are better than the toys!  So really, it will be down to earth, nothing fancy.  Any "special" materials I have will be leftover from my teaching days and things that can be easily improvised in a simpler fashion.  I just wanted my school stuff to be durable so I didn't have to make it again every other week. :)
Enjoy or ignore.  It is primarily for me.  I think the boys will enjoy it later in life too. :)