Muddy Cotton – Random Moment

image: Cotton, from martha0stout's phone

image: Cotton, from martha0stout’s phone

She stared at me without comprehension, not certain of what I was doing. My sister held her tightly to her chest, careful of her face and worried that we were frightening the poor dear.

I had other thoughts on my mind such as, I really hope that Cotton continues to suffer us to clean the mud out from between her little toes with more patience than she usually shows when near a sink full of water. She seems annoyed that dipping her paws into the water to work the thick mud out before we can use a rag to get out the rest is necessary.

But she suffered it without clawing our faces off and there were plenty of opportunities to do so.

Slice of Life

With a forward slash the body in front fell to the ground, nothing more than a carcass the previously erroneously identified geek panted, a bloodstained sword clasped in his hands.

A terrible grin spread across his pale face, the blood spatter across his-

Her head dropped with a dull thunk against where her keyboard met the desk.

“Why did I think writing would be any kind of career again? All I seem to write are horror slashers that aren’t any different from what is already on the shelves in the local dime and nickel store?”

The sound of a vacuum cleaner went off down the hall, “This isn’t bothering you is it?” came the yell.

The loud noise actually soothed the slight migraine that had been picking up over the last half hour.

“No,” the young author wannabe smiled, “it’s rather like a nice white noise machine but with more functional use.”


Little slice of life kind of thing brought to you by Three Word Wednesday.

Up the Ante

Your rules are really beginning to annoy me. –Escape from LA

Lately, the kids have been getting their work done really fast. So we, the adults, decided to up the ante.

Keep in mind that their housework previously included the following only:

  • pickup bedroom, make bed
  • pickup/vacuum/mop, etc. main room (living room, kitchen, dining room, hall-stairs-entrance way) (only mop/vacuum three times a week, sometimes two)
  • put clean clothes away
  • clean kitchen after dinner (dishes, counter tops, stove top, put leftovers away)
  • clean bathroom once a week
  • clean kitty litter box, pickup after dog

Sometimes we’ll throw in a little yard work every other week (as needed).

When I was their age I had to do the following either every day or at least once a week:

  • pickup/vacuum/mop, etc main room
  • pickup/vacuum bedroom, make bed
  • clean kitchen after dinner
  • pull two bags of weeds in the yard during the fall/winter, four bags during spring/summer
  • wash walls/windows/washboards every weekend
  • polish furniture every weekend (we had a LOT of wooden furniture, including a baby grand piano and intricately carved furniture from before they had kids)
  • laundry (wash, dry, sort, fold, put away)
  • rake leaves, any other yardwork as needed
  • clean out pet cages/litter box/clean up backyard from dogs
  • clean out fridge and under stove top, etc. once a month

It was a lot because we had a big house, a large yard and eight kids. Now we live in a duplex with a small yard and pretty stuffed quarters (we are going to move…eventually…) and only have three kids with a handful of adults.

When it was decided to up the housework as they are old enough to handle it now they were not happy. They must now do what they did before and wash the walls by the end of Saturday. They have informed us that there might be a revolt. The would-be revolutionaries were informed that any revolt would include loss of electronic privileges as they’d be ‘locked down.’

It’s going to be more fun when we get them to start washing windows and polishing/washing furniture in a few weeks.

When informed of a change of pace
How red you looked in the face.
At least you didn’t throw a fit
There was something positive that came from it.
 

This post is brought to you by the Light and Shade Challenge.

More Than One Choice – Day Eight

What to do today?
Should I while the day away?
Should I buckle down and type away?
Should I choose instead to clean all day?
Or may-hap travel ’round the town instead?
 
One way leads to relaxation galore,
Another to hair-pulling and plots I adore.
Yet the third will bring peace and zen still more.
The last brings adventures that will ne’er bore.
Which path shall I take?
 
Each will bring with it rewards,
Whether I weed amongst flowers
Or mentally cross a ford.
Yet again there is the satisfaction brought
With whatever I decide.
 
They say that two roads will diverge in a wood,
But that is not quite right.
There are more than just two paths
Before my sight.
And maybe the choices will all cross in the end.

Written for today’s NaPoWriMo Prompt: http://www.napowrimo.net/2014/04/day-eight/

I chose to try and write a different version and yet still tip my hat to Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken.

House Elves – Day Two

Have you heard those little feet
Out and about in your home?
Unstable legs that easirly give way
Slipping sideways with arms all full?
Every place I’ve lived has had a few, at least.
 
Every day I watch them scurry about,
Little people with only stocking on.
Various years and different homes
Even staying in a few two room places.
Still those little elves will come and tidy up my spaces.

Written for the second day of NaPoWriMo: http://www.napowrimo.net/2014/04/day-two/http://www.napowrimo.net/2014/04/day-two/

Whenever I look up old stories about house elves, elves that sneak into your house at night and clean things (not the ones in the Harry Potter books, though, no slavery) the cleaners remind me of when I was little and my siblings and I were in charge of the housework. Later, my sister’s kids took over housework when they were old enough to help. (The age gap between me and my eldest niece and nephews is about the same between my eldest sibling and my youngest sibling; so I was still barely a teenager when my sister had her kids.)

Of course unlike the story, if you give these little elves clothing they won’t stop cleaning. They will stop cleaning if you give them too much sugar. House Elves aren’t very focused when under the influence of too much sugar.

Cleaning Madness

Bleach, vacuum, bleach and then Windex.

Don’t forget the mountains of laundry,

Trying to figure out how much of the homemade laundry soap for thick blankets and quilts.

Sweep and mop,

Wipe that mirror down,

And take out the trash.

More bleach for lots of walls and don’t forget some spots on the ceiling.

(How did ketchup get up there? This is the bathroom!)

Fold the laundry,

Sort the laundry,

And for goodness sake, don’t forget to iron!

Grocery store and shop, shop, shop!

Put the food away,

Try not the smash the eggs in exhaustion.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and you’re hosting last minute.

The house is clean and the children falling asleep.

Have yet to cook or bake or even dice.

Sit back and rest.

The madness continues in the morning.

It’s the little reminders

Integrity is something that you have to decide to have for yourself. Others can force you to be honest with them by use of consequences, though it’s always been easier to do so without prompting in my experience. The choice to be honest with yourself is not something that you always need to be worrying about, though it is something that you should take the time to think about. Kind of like taking an inventory on yourself once a month just like you can take a moment each month to go over the house finances.

“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.” (Doctrine and Covenants 88: 119)

I’m not perfect and I won’t claim to be. I screw up and I have lied and I have stolen and I have done things for which I am ashamed to think of. I have not always been honest with others mostly because I have not always been honest with myself. It’s harder to be honest with another, completely honest, when you don’t want to be honest with yourself, but it is easy to judge another because they aren’t being honest and throwing stones and blame at another can make you feel better about yourself. There’s just something about pushing someone down that seems to push you up at the same time. Probably because the actual act of pushing something down has a spring-like reaction in pushing whoever is doing it physically up. (I like to think of it as the Spring Board Effect.)

“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8: 7)

I got a lesson yesterday in personal honesty and integrity from my niece. She was cleaning out the closet that she shares with her mom and happened to find $55 in cash. It had fallen out of her mother’s jeans pocket earlier in the week and hadn’t been missed just yet. Instead of keeping some or even all of the money, she returned it after admitting that she had thought about keeping it, but decided that returning it would be a better use of her time.

She’s not even a teenager yet (almost, less than a year) and sometimes her simple honesty with others as well as herself helps to inspire me to not only want to be a better person, but to actually act on it and be one.