Friday, April 23, 2010

An even exchange

We are having company this weekend and I have been putting off cleaning my house all week. I’ve always had a good excuse and never seem to have the time. It’s really only one of our sons who’s coming, but I can’t risk having him see what a sloth his formerly neat mother has become.

I have serious dust bunnies. They lie in wait for me on the wood floors and as I walk by while they try to snatch at my ankles.

I won’t go into what other messiness lives in my house but I think you get the picture.

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And so, I decided today that in exchange for the half hour’s time it took me to take these photos and then work on them in Photoshop, I would spend half an hour’s time cleaning.

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I know you’re proud of me.

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Cleaning has always pissed me off, especially when there are people in the house and they aren’t helping. For me, cleaning has always been something to get through as quickly as possible so I can enjoy the real things in life.

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But you know what?

Cleaning is one of the real things in life. It’s a necessary thing. And when it’s done and everything gleams and the scent of pine and wood polish is in the air, it just feels like all is well. So I am thinking of taking a half hour every day, choosing a spot to clean, and just doing it.

I can find a half hour in a day. Or even 20 minutes. And if it takes me four hours to clean on a Saturday, I can do it in half hour increments during the week and actually have Saturday free to do as I please.

So, what do you think? Do you think this is a good intention only and that it will never come to fruition?

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Because that’s what Blackie thinks.

Wish me luck, k?

Love ya,

56 comments:

DAnna said...

Cats are so cynical, don't you think? Go for it...I've tried, but somehow can never follow through with the 30 minutes a day thing. Good luck!

Julie Harward said...

I love your photo's..if you clean as good as you take pictures it must all look mighty fine! Blackie is so cute, my first cat away from home looked just like him, his name was blackie too. Good luck with the dividing and conquering...it might work. Me, I have to turn up the music and attack! Come say hi :D

suzyQ said...

I took some similar dandelion pictures- but not nearly as gorgeous as yours! and you can definitely call me a cleaning procrastinator!

JackDaddy said...

If you can get everything cleaned in 30 minutes, you get my vote! :)

A New England Life said...

My friend was on some house cleaning plan like that. It was a website that sent her an email everyday about what to clean. The total time each day shouldn't take more than 1/2 an hour.

Ba humbug! Life is to unpredictable. Just ask Blackie. Plus cleaning really is a pisser. lol!

Enjoy the visit with your son! And perhaps he would just die if you saw how he lives!

Chrissykat said...

What do I think?...I think that first blowie photo is lovely...I think Blackie is mesmerizing...I think cleaning bites...heehee!

"My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint." ~Erma Bombeck~

Andi said...

The dog hair bunnies in my front hall barked at me this morning, so I figured it was time to clean! :) I find I am getting more "relaxed" with the vacuuming than I used to be! I still cant' leave crumbs on the counter or dishes in the sink though.

Ellen said...

Oh how I feel for you. I would rather mow the lawn, wash the car, weed the garden, mulch the flower beds, iron, do the wash, clean the pool..... Any thing but clean the house. And I have no excuse since I am home all day. But I dislike doing it, so when I feel guilty, I clean. I think i would do it more often if only those in the house would pick up after themselves.

Low Tide High Style said...

Well all I can say is we don't get to enjoy your cleaning but we do get to enjoy the time and effort you put in to taking and working on your wonderful photos! So do like my sister does...she allows anyone to write their name or whatever in the dust on her furniture, just not the date!

Kat :)

Snappy Di said...

My husband used to be very good about helping with the household cleaning and the laundry. Not so much anymore, unless he sees me on Saturday struggling to move a piece of furniture that I want to vacuum beneath. Age seems to be catching up with both of us a bit, and to be honest... unless we have company coming I don't give near as much a hoot about the cleanliness of my house as I used to. Life's too short to worry about it.

DI
The Blue Ridge Gal

GypsyNurse said...

Ok.. I am a Cat.. and yes we are cynical... but hey.. it's worth a try.. if not.. beg for a cleaning woman once every 2 weeks! hehehee...
Smiles~
Cat

Alli said...

That picture of Blackie is adorable. I just love black cats. Your dandelion pictures are very cute as well!

Michelle said...

Those first two photos take my breath away. Since I will never be your house guest, I say snap (and PS) on!

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I have to clean in spurts or nothing would ever get done. With two teenagers in the house, we very seldom have a large span of time free on the weekends. Plus, even if we did, I'm going to enjoy my home and my family and not spend all day Saturday cleaning.
Increments work for me :)
I love Blackie!!!

Hilary said...

Cleaning is highly overrated....but I think your intention SOUNDS wonderful.:)

deborah said...

Cleaning is for the birds! I even feel guilty about our house..so I'm going to start doing 15 concentrated minutes on something a couple of times a day. (Yeah...like I will, but I hope I will) Love the pictures and Blackie looks like he is in command:)

beth said...

i've got company coming too.....and oh, i've been cleaning....but we're staying at the cottage, not the house and cleaning the cottage is easy....and actually almost fun....and in between washing the sheets and sweeping the floors.....i was out taking photos this week, too.....

life's too short NOT to take photos, i say !

have a great visit with your son !!!

Deb said...

I hate cleaning...but unfortunately so does everyone else around here...so it has to be done...of course company or a party sure gets the lead out of us all....

Deborah said...

Sounds like a good plan to me! You make me laugh!
1/2 hour at a time is do-able.
Have a good night Kate :)

Deborah

Jen at Cabin Fever said...

That's how I clean, a little at a time usually. Then, every now and then, I take a day and go all out. I clean things that usually don't get cleaned in my 30 minute spells and usually in just a couple hours (if I really put my mind to it) the house is clean and its time for lunch.

And your photos make me want a macro lens very very badly.

Tiggeriffic said...

Movitivation is the key to cleaning one's house. Company coming sure helps.. I have lately started taking 30 minutes a day and clean something in my house. It has helped with seeing things getting cleaner. I clean my bathroom with Clorox disinfectant wipes.. Now that is the key to cleaning in there.. they are easy to use and it's one step wiping everything off. Glad I have only 1 bathroom.
I had a black cat that weighed 25 pounds.. HE was wonderful and I really miss him.
I really enjoy your blog and all the pictures that you take. Every morning I get my coffee and look at your lastest blog.. IT's like a huge ray of sunshine beaming on me.
Thanks a lot~! I love George too.
Ta Ta For Now..Anne

Oliag said...

I bargin like that too:)...I'll clean for a while then figure I owe myself time on the computer for awhile:)...I really don't mind cleaning...and I love how relaxaed and happy I feel with a nice clean fresh house...I do it more for myself than my guest tho...:)

TSannie said...

The whole cleaning thing is highly overrated...and thankless to boot.
Tho I'm siding with Blackie, maybe this 1/2 hour cleaning idea of your will work...or maybe not. And if it doesn't? Who cares??
Besides, your home, in photos and in person has always looked picture perfect, warm and inviting to Blackie and me! :)

JO said...

Cleaning is low on my list of priorities, but I LOVE a clean house. Gotta keep training those kids!

Great photos as always.

JO

www.teensandtriplets.com

Deb said...

That first photo is AWESOME! Who cares about a clean house...just keep taking pictures. The house cleaning will be there when you are ready.

Shirley said...

My friend Donna sent me to read your blog and I dearly loved it. I loved the pictures that you shared on your blog. I loved the rainbow. We have had rain today and will get more tomorrow. I will come to see you again.

Holly said...

Flylady is the website A New England Life was talking about. It's habit building. I was a faithful Flybaby for over a year and the house did look much better. Then I fell off the wagon and am just now getting started again. Her motto is 15 minutes at a time. She means it, set a timer and when the timer rings....you quit.

I am very good about doing dishes, wiping counters and doing a single load of laundry (start to finish) per day. The rest...not so much tho I am sure it will get better in about 1.5 weeks after the eldest is married and moved out. I am de-motivated by having too many people living in too small a space.

Love the dandelion photos!

Cloudia said...

LOL, I SO relate!




Aloha from Waikiki


Comfort Spiral

Kerri said...

Oh I hope it works for you!!
Love the pics ~ and Blackie!!

Jayne said...

I struggle with this too Kate. I try my best to make an effort to do a thorough cleaning at least every two weeks, and to keep things picked up in between, but life seems to get in the way, and before you know it... ugh. Then it takes forever it seems to get the entire house cleaned. It's just one of those life things we have to do...blech.

Donna S. said...

OMIGOSH...I thot I was the only one. Hubby would clean while I was gone but if I was there cleaning he didn't help...pissed me off!! Finally I have gotten him to help me so we can get it done faster! I hate doing it but looove a clean house.

Marilyn said...

Give it a go...go with gusto Kate...but sorry, I'm with Blackie....it will always be there...waiting for you to come and do it...again and again and again and.......

Sharon said...

Cab;t wait to hear how it goes. I have never been able to do it. I think it's because I loathe housework. So I only do when I HAVE to.

Ellen said...

Looks like Blackie is meditating....but you go ahead and dream of that 30 minutes per day....smiles.

Mental P Mama said...

Can't you just strap some rags on George's paws and toss some toys around for him to chase after?

Daryl said...

I wish I could feel that way about cleaning ... I am good about keeping the bathroom and kitchen clean but the dust on the shelves .. maybe if I got some canned air to blow it away .. ToonMan vacuums whenever a client is coming over .. I wish he would have more client meetings ..

Hey Blackie looks sexy!

Mary Elizabeth said...

As my Mother once said..."you'll never look back and wish you cleaned more"...I have to honor that...you should too!

Megan (Best of Fates) said...

However long you spent on those first two pictures in photoshop it was totally worth it, they look amazing!

Carolynn said...

That's what I do. I clean a little bit during the week and that way, I don't spend my precious weekends working and feeling resentful, especially if it's a beautiful day outside.

If it doesn't get done, it's not a big deal. Your friends are coming to see you, not the condition of your home.

I love the photos.

Suzanne said...

I have fits where I clean like mad, then I go on strike, and don't clean. Most of the time the house is clean though. Our cat doesn't care either way.
Suzanne
http://windowontheprairie.com/

Char said...

john lennon said 'time you enjoyed wasting was not wasted time.' and i'm sticking with that theory.

gorgeous shots

Madi and Mom said...

Hi Country Girl...I've enjoyed your blog for sometime but never commented. Today struck my funny bone. I identify with your cleaning bug or lack there of. My theory on dusting is, I do it when the dust bunnies start to chase my cat or when my Daughter and son in law are coming home, whichever comes first.
Happy Weekend,
Madi and Mom

The Japanese Redneck said...

Blackie is right. It's better than nothing at all everyday.

Mary said...

I think maybe the "divide and conquer" method might work... as you know, I have initiated the "calorie-laden bribery" method. I'll let you know how that works out. Right after I go shopping for a new pair of fat jeans. ;)

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

A half hour a day is ambitious. I shoot for a half hour a week, and it shows.

wf: twids. If I could get my lazy twids to help me, this house might be cleaner, but as it is they're so busy with school and sports they're hardly ever here.

Madi and Mom said...

I do so appreciate you compliment on my native state!!! We think it is pretty special too. Our daughter and son in law live in Morehead City, NC about 2 miles (as the crow flies) from Atlantic Beach. We love visiting them,
Madi and Mom

noble pig said...

It sounds good but is difficult to stick with, keep us posted!!

Marsha's Mpressions said...

oh my! Such beautiful photos!! Cleaning is necessary, but playing with photos is so much more fun!

Egghead said...

I agree with being pissed off about cleaning when everyone is just sitting there. Steams me up a bit. But I do like a clean house after it is done. The idea of half an hour a day would be great but the problem I have is that so many of the chores are a daily thing anyway like cooking and dishes and such. But it is a good plan and I guess I should experiment with it to see if it will work.

Linda Higgins said...

Ahh the pure joy of cleaning! hmm not so much anymore...I am so happy when I come home from work and find the ironing done....laundry done....floors mopped....toilets cleaned....carpets vacuumed....the only thing Huhoney doesn't do...is dust...he won't dust...says he just can't do it....LOL, I should be grateful....LOL

Suzanne said...

I agree with Char. Let's trade the pine for lemon. You have those darn weeds like awful good. The forwers are always beautiful and do such a good job with that camera.

Gail said...

Perfectly wonderful idea that I am sure will work for you. I use to tell myself, do this inside and you can go out. Terrible when you have to bribe yourself.

My Granny always said, clean house when company leaves then you won't have to clean it twice. She was a midwife so I am sure she used many short cuts to get things done during a time when women did not work.

Enjoy your visit, that is the important thing.

mrs mediocrity said...

Okay, the dandelion photo is gorgeous!
I have been using the 15 minute method to tackle things I put off forever, like my bead table, the basement, cupboards etc. It does help you get through tasks that seem overwhelming otherwise. I think half hour a day seems perfect...I do much the same (lots of cats and hairballs) I have a cordless vacuum that only lasts about 20 minutes but that is the perfect amount of time to whip through the house and get them up, so now I do it pretty much every day. A while back I did a post on "good enough," I have been working through the same stuff, and trying to be be perfect just takes up way too much time, and really nobody else much cares!

Annie said...

Cleaning, schmeaning!! It's always there, always mocking me to come attack! Only sometimes do I oblige!

I wanted to ask you about the treatments on your photos -- I know you use PW's Action Sets, and I tried to download those, but was unsuccessful. Are they for a MAC only? If not, any tips? I have Photoshop Elements.

I specifically love when you add the scrolls and designs that you can barely see along the edges of the photos. How/where did you get those and how can I do that?

Thanks for the lovely words, gorgeous pictures, and entertainment!!

Love wins,
Annie
http://greyhairedmomma.blogspot.com
abcmgrey@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...
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suezoos1 said...

If you want to see me, come anytime. If you want to see the house, make an appointment!