Showing posts with label cleaning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cleaning. Show all posts

Friday, January 19, 2018

I Need to Take a Breather

            I had quite a full agenda yesterday.  After the sun rose, I drove to Riddle as Jenna had a dentist appointment.  On our return, I stopped at Dollar General for just a few items to add to her lunch and then I took her to school.

            I meant to turn in my assignment before my assessment, but I somehow had allowed myself to become frazzled and instead of submitting the assignment I clicked my assessment and started the quiz. 

            Once the quiz starts, there is no turning back, there are no retakes.  Most tests are timed. I had less than two hours.  And though it is open book, the e-book appears on just one third of the screen and I have to control plus each page I am on in order to view something bigger.  As I had explained in my last post, it is very time consuming.  And while I thought I knew the answers to some of the questions, there were a few that had stumped me. 

            It took all of two hours and I started marking answers just to have them answered but still hadn't checked on whether they were correct.  Time ran out before I was able to find them all - plus I knew I had a luncheon to attend.  I should have waited until this morning to take the assessment!  I doubt I would have gotten a much different score however - but perhaps I would have had a few more right.  I don't guess I'll ever know for certain.

            I had misunderstood the meeting time, for I thought I was assisting with cleaning the church before going out to eat. I have not assisted with cleaning a church building since I lived in Utah.  It is quite different here as it is a smaller building and only one ward meets there.  In Utah the cleaning was always done on Saturday - sometimes by different families, sometimes by organization.  The ward I had attended in Kearns split the work in half with one family cleaning  the chapel and the other the rest of the building.  In West Valley the chapel made about a third of the work (bigger building and three wards)

            This ward is cleaned on Thursdays.  A couple alternates weeks with two sisters - or at least that is how it has been.  But health issues have complicated matters and so there have been requests made for others to volunteer their time.  Aurelia had started at 10:00.  On the average, I am not even available on Thursdays until noon - so I was not there when the workload started.

            Aurelia had invited me to lunch because she wanted me to meet with one of the sisters that she visits teach.  We met at the restaurant that serves Mexican food before returning to the church.  They had the majority of it cleaned already.  I was asked to dust and wipe down the kitchen and doorknobs. 

            The "dusting" reminded me of dusting in the temple.  One has to have a recommend to clean in the temple.  I haven't done it often.  Maybe three times in West Jordan.  It seems like it was a very long time ago.  A white cloth will remain white by the end of the night.  I used a blue micro cloth at the church yesterday.  I did finally manage to find some dust on the piano used in the Relief Society room.  All the dust I had gathered yesterday amounted to less than the size of a fingerprint. 

            One tiny piece of glitter sparkled over the piano keys.  I was excited that there was only one.  I saw glitter ALL of the time when I was cleaning in West Valley. I don't think there was any week I cleaned that I didn't see glitter.  So finding only one glitter speck was really quite refreshing.  I think if they assign workers - even more so specific jobs (that's what they had done in my mom's ward;  my nephew and niece had been assigned to clean the blackboards; someone else was assigned vacuuming and so forth) also I think they might get a better turn out on a Saturday than a Thursday.  Cleaning on a weekday just seems weird to me. 

            Then again, my mom's ward had several hindered people who were/are active.  Those that attend this ward may already have multiple callings.  I do.

            I did not return to the house until just before 4:00.  Today I've been managing online billing, account balances and other information required for credit.  Jenna will be home in one hour and though I have accomplished a lot, I still need my breather.   Tomorrow we'll be going shopping for a car.  Dang! I feel so overwhelmed with missing hours.   

Friday, January 2, 2015

December 31st and New Year

         Roland had come home early on Wednesday.  He probably shouldn’t have even gone in.  He slept most of the day.  He needed to.

         I took Jenna to the library for the afternoon countdown.  I have been to the library on December 31st before.  But the last day of 2014 was different.  The library was overly quiet – except for children in the library.

         It wasn’t crowded.  Less crowded than I have seen the WV library – EVER. Roland had told us to leave early in order to get a good parking spot.  I honestly don’t think it would have mattered what time we left.  The turn-out wasn’t as good as it had been the last time we had gone for the New Year/afternoon countdown.

Jenna decorated a hat and asked me to finish her noise maker while she went to participate in games.  I wished Anna had been with us as I think she would have enjoyed the parachute game.  I don’t know if the library near where she lived had offered a New Years celebration or not.

 I left Jenna in the auditorium while I went to the teenage section to read.  It felt like the library was closed. It was actually kind of awesome just to feel peace and enjoy my reading. 

I returned for the countdown.  Two years ago I could have just stayed put.  The children were loud enough that you could hear them no matter where you were in the library.  There was a lot less children on December 31, 2014.  Even from the auditorium they didn’t sound even half as loud as they had two years prior.

As we passed the park, Jenna expressed her desires to go there.  It was cold.  But the air was clean still and not filled with the pollution that’s come with the New Year thus far.  We went home to get Highness and returned to the park.  I walked the dog while Jenna played.  I also took a fair amount of pictures.

Jenna always wants to stay up for the New Years countdown.  When I was growing up, my family had always played games on New Years.  I was willing to play games with Jenna, but she wanted to watch Aliens in the Attic. So we watched that followed by Little Shop of Horrors before we shuffled and dealt cards to play Go Fish.  We were playing cards when we heard the fireworks and the clock marking the New Year. 

We finished our game and played another – though I don’t recall what it is we played.  Cranium, I think.  And then we went to bed.  Not a typical New Years celebration.  But typical that someone was sick.  This year it just happened to be Roland.
         I am surprised that he was feeling well enough to donate blood the next day.  He had an appointment on New Years’ Day.  One had to have an appointment in order to donate.  They weren’t taking walk-ins yesterday.  That was my first time ever not being able to get in without an appointment.  But because it was New Years’ day, Red Cross didn’t have a full staff.

         We were at Red Cross for a long time before Roland was hooked up and producing blood.  It took him less time to bleed than to wait and be checked in.  I read four chapters, I think.

         We did get our game playing in – only a couple of hours though.  We went to Bill and Kayla’s and played a couple of games.  One was called Mad Gab – which we’ve never played together before.  And one was called Whatzit – which is puzzle solving which I’m not terribly good at.  Jenna played that one with us, and she is good.

         I’m in awe at all the birds I’ve seen – even on December 30th which was an extremely windy day.  What surprises me more than the birds are the fall leaves that have continued to cling to the trees.  Those are some major STRONG leaves!  January 2nd and they are still there.  Nature is puzzling lately.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I Don't Spring Clean - I Clean When the Weather's Crummy

We got a new furnace and thermostat – which we haven’t totally figured out.  It was really cold yesterday morning.  Not a big problem for Jenna and me, but Roland needed warmer.  So he made a few adjustments and the air blasted and continued after he left.

I put my hair into pigtails to keep it off my neck.  I keep it up during the summer because it is so thick and weighs like a fleece blanket in addition to the already blasting sun. 

When Jenna and I left the house, my hair was still in pigtails.  I have worn it down when the morning air’s been cold.  But I didn’t bother taking the bands out of my hair, but secured my hat around them.  It was amazing how warm my ears felt.  I may just continue to do that.

In addition to a new furnace, some new appliances were added to our house.  As we made room for all our new material things, items were moved, furniture rearranged and it looks like a tornado blew into our house.  It’s in need of so much attention right now.

It’s much easier to clean the house when the skies are grey and the elements are cold and dreary.  When the sun is out, I would like to use the sunshine for other things – like reading or running errands or even taking the dog for a walk.  It’s hard for me to be motivated to clean when the weather is nice.

My niece and nephew would always clean whenever they would stress – which happened quite frequently when they were living with mom and her health had deteriorated.  I thought it would be nice to have them in my house (though the clutter alone could give anyone stress) and right now I’m so ready to let go of everything, I wouldn’t care what they threw away.

Monday I did an excellent job going through the drawers and discarded a lot more than I kept.  I need to do that with every room in the house.  But I have to be motivated.  I think I need to take a break and pick up when it gets dark again – which seems to happen earlier with each passing day.

I remember voting online for whether to keep daylight savings or not.  Must have not been legit as the anchors are sending reminders to set our clocks back.  The majority said to get rid of daylight savings.  Like 80%.  I hope that this is the last time we have to move our clocks an hour and that we can just stay on standard for the duration.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Baking Soda is Fantastic!

I have actually used baking soda as a cleaner, a medicine, a laundry booster, and perhaps a third of the suggestions listed here and here but my absolute favorite miracle (which I did not see listed) is that in addition to grease spots and stubborn stains, it also works on scorch marks and burns.

In the past, when I have burned a pot beyond recognition (usually my fire is too high) I have just thrown it away.  But the other day, I was boiling some water on high.  I excused myself to visit the bathroom and just forgot to come back.  I wish I would have done before and after pictures.  It was so truly amazing that I was able to save a pan that had been on the expensive side.

I was steaming corn – which by the way turned out really succulent and tasted great – when I realized that I had forgotten to turn it down.  The bottom of my pan glowed red along with the burner.  I thought that the fire had burnt a hole through the pan and that I would have to throw it away.  Baking soda to the rescue!

                                                                               actually did not look quite this bad

I thought I had filled to the burn mark.  But apparently not.  The pan was hot!  Even the plastic handles were hot (but fortunately not melted) and I took it outside and left it until late yesterday morning. 

Strange thing though, I poured vinegar on it to watch it bubble.  But it made the baking soda harden.  And it was hot to the touch.  Never had that happen. But I found I could use the hardened baking soda like a wonder eraser.  And then I scoured out what I could from the sides.

Okay, it’s not in factory new condition, but at least it’s useable.  And I am happy that my pan and colander have been saved!  Thanks to the miracles of baking soda.  Thank you Google for giving me that suggestion!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness – Don’t ya Know?

I think I must post about cleaning the church at least once every four months.  I don’t mind cleaning the church building.  I really don’t.  There have just been some weeks in which I have been appalled over the tremendous amount of litter that is left behind. How can people be so careless and not take any consideration that they are in God’s house?

         Today I put myself in charge of vacuuming the chapel – which is what Bro. McDobb had done every Saturday morning in which our ward had been assigned to clean the building.  Roland joked that he wouldn’t have been surprised to find him there this morning – even though he moved out of our ward over two weeks ago.

         Programs had been left on several pews.  I get it.  I’m sure I am guilty of that as well – though I have tried to make a conscience effort to check the pew before I leave.  Usually I’m making certain that Jenna hasn’t left a mess on the floor or in the pew.

         I couldn’t explain any of the torn paper on the floor or candy wrappers and lollipop sticks.  Come on!  This is the chapel, not a picnic area!  Many children were given treats for whatever reason.  The snacks provided seemed to produce a tremendous amount of crumbs – not just where the congregation sits.  Bro. Drake, who came to assist me in the chapel, said they were behind the pulpit as well.  He and another brother joked about the bishop eating crackers and then moved on to believing perhaps a primary program had been involved.

         Ladies and Gentlemen – last Sunday was FAST SUNDAY – therefore there should have been NO FOOD distributed.  So either none of the members (of the last ward which meets in the building) fasted last week – or else it was broken during Sacrament meeting.  Or (here’s the most logical explanation) the first ward that meets in the building (and had been assigned to clean the building last month) failed at cleaning the building AGAIN.

         Bro. Drake had the stupid upright that was designed to glide be moved between the pews.  I had a cool canister that actually reminded me of the one that Wilma Flintstone used – only without the attitude.  But I probably had enough attitude for both of us.


         Brother Drake said that someone had put something that looked like sawdust upon all of the folding chairs set up in one of the class rooms.  I remember cleaning up a similar mess in the scout/storage room.  Only two small glitters to behold and not the obscene amount that I have had to deal with before.

         I had wanted to go to the garden before the church.  There is a lot more shade at 7:00 a.m. than at 9:00.  I had forgotten to bring hats.  Roland and I have decided to just do the community garden this year.  Roland is busy with other things and I don’t want to make the time to try and do a home garden on my own.  I get enough sun just in waiting for the bus. The community garden will be enough this year, thank you very much.

         It has been well over ten hours since I started this post.  I’ve actually experienced a lot more wearing out.  I’ll have to save it for another post.  I am pooped. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Biff has always kept his body in great shape inside and out.  I wish I could say the same for his room.  I don’t have a picture of how it looked before I started cleaning.   

These pictures truly represent half-way done.  

Anyone who has been in Biff’s room can tell you that this is the cleanest it has looked from the day we moved in.

Actually it was clean one other time.  I took a picture for evidence.  But somehow I have misplaced that evidence.  Doesn’t matter.  I told Jenna that when David moved out, she could move into his room.  Not that her room looks any better

I had eight garbage bags FULL of Biff’s stuff (clothes mostly) I think three or four full of garbage.   

And four loads of towels.  FOUR LOADS.  This is a fraction of what I washed   

Jenna’s room was fine when we moved in four and a half years ago.  She was smaller then. Still in kindergarten.  We painted her room pink.  You’d think she would have learned to clean so it wouldn’t have crowded her out  

We’ll probably repaint it as it is going to be our computer/book room.  What will we do with all the extra space?

Jenna now likes the color blue.  We let her pick out her own paint color.

Once it was finished, we had purchased new curtains (well, new for her) and the decals she had received from Randy and Carrie for Christmas

Moved in most of her furniture  but also Biff’s old bed and dresser

She continues to add her personal touches

Though not all of her belongings have left the pink room, she has spent the last two nights in the blue room - her room which will NEVER EVER look like the first three photos on this post.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Pantry Fairy Strikes Again

     When Roland and I lived in Kearns, we spent time volunteering at the pasta plant.  We once purchased a very large order while there.  A mammoth order actually – which was good, because it carried us through several years of hardship.

     I think it was just right after Christmas when we passed out the remaining pasta to our boys.  Within a week I found a huge box of food had been left at our door step.  No note.  No hint of who may have left it.

I didn’t know if the church was taking up a collection and Roland had given our address as a drop off – but it was on Sunday when I found it – meaning whoever dropped it off was a lot faster getting home from church than we were.  It was odd.  And so I actually started taking things out to sort them into groups.
It was an odd assortment really.  Bags of pasta.  A variety of canned goods.  A box of two pack muffins and some tasteless marshmallow twists.  I didn’t know if they were intended for us or if it was the wrong house or if the stuff was really any good.  It was though someone had raided their own pantry – oh, perhaps it was from one of our next door neighbors.  Because the box of muffins came with information given in Spanish, I thought perhaps it was our neighbor to the west who had cleaned out her pantry.


Neither neighbor said anything about the box.  I think it was only a month later when we were hit again.  Also on a Sunday.  We had survived the last food without getting sick.  But I still questioned the safety of the food, or who it was from.  When I found pudding from the bishops store house I figured it wasn’t from anybody on our street – unless it was from the couple on the corner but I really didn’t believe it was from them.  Oh, my word.

The most likely candidate I would have considered right away was Frank and Marie.  But they had moved out of our ward and are living in another county.  I think they’ve encountered more financial struggles than we have, actually. They had lived in a double-wide trailer when they first moved to West Valley.  Monthly payments became a burden and they moved from their double wide to a single.  When they moved they’d given us an assortment of food – much like what was in the box. 

When they moved a second time, it was just easier for them to part with their food than to pack it.  I don’t think we got all of it, but they did include us in the division of their storage.  Funny how I received a phone call as I was going through the storage.  It was Frank and Marie.  I asked if they had left the food.  They wanted to keep it anonymous.  They knew that we had had struggles.  They don’t know we actually seem to be out from under it now.  I don’t know if they found themselves in a similar situation.

Jenna and I were both home when the pantry fairy hit again.  This time it included Easter candy.  I’m certain that they had Jenna in mind – for they love her. Roland was certain that someone keeps leaving the goods at the wrong house.  I once again explained that I had talked to Frank and Marie and told him why I thought it was them.  How kind of them to willingly drive from Ogden to West Valley.  I sent them a note to thank the pantry fairy should they ever see him/her. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Glitter Should be Illegal

         Each ward has a different cleaning schedule for the building in which church meetings are attended. The church was across the street from the first house in which we lived.  Two wards met in the building.  The two wards would trade off with the cleaning the building and the upkeep of the grounds (namely shoveling snow)  A list was passed around to the members of our ward to sign up for various weeks.  It felt like our family was involved with cleaning the church 4 – 8 times during the year.

There are three wards which meet in the building which we currently attend. When we first moved into the ward we were told that each ward was assigned to clean four months out of the year.  The months were consecutive and not spread out.  Our ward would be cleaning the building each Saturday for the last four months.  I personally thought they should be spreading them out, but whatever.

In our first ward the kitchen was ALWAYS under lock and key.  Actually, a lot of rooms were.  We were never asked to clean/vacuum the library or kitchen.  But this ward keeps the kitchen open and many Saturdays there is someone cleaning in there as well as the rest of the building.  Whoever uses the kitchen is supposed to clean up after themselves.

Roland and I have been over at the church almost every Saturday that we are assigned.  We no longer clean September through December but every third month (as I highly suspect that one of the wards is not pulling its weight – of course it would be the one that we follow)  Each organization is assigned a specific week – but members are still encouraged to show up every week that they are able.

We haven’t been diligent about going every week this month and today was only our second time this month.  I took the vacuum around one side of the building and hit all the class rooms, Relief Society room, primary room and nursery (though not in that order) and found bits of glitter I think in every room – though nothing like last year.  The glitter I picked up today had been missed with the last twelve times that the vacuum was used – for the most part the floors were clean except for those bits of sparkle that would glisten at different angles.

Sister Claus was cleaning the chalk boards told me that the wrapping paper she used had blue glitter stripes.  She had wrapped them and tucked them into the suitcase of her visiting sister so that they would find their way to family members left in her home state.  She said her sister called a bit irritated that blue sparkles had doused the inside of her suitcase and every bit of clothing.  Sister Claus assured her that she was not the only recipient of the blue glitter as it continued to spread its way around every room at her house and every room in her home state.  And by the time the last piece of glitter is finally vacuumed or cleared away from whatever spot it may be, it will be time to wrap gifts again.  Let’s hope Sister Claus goes with a non-glittered wrap the next time around.

I used to be in the nursery.  The rule was that if a child wished to play with a toy that was still in the closet, she had to trade it for the one she’d just been playing with.  I wish all nursery leaders would incorporate this idea into the children.  Jenna still hasn’t learned it.  But I really don’t see the sense in having every single toy from the closet out on the floor.

The nursery leaders at present don’t seem to be bothered with having eight times more toys on the floor than children.  For I have passed it in the morning and have seen the toys spread out – even when it appears that no one is there to play with them or pick them up.

I don’t know how large the nursery is.  I wouldn’t imagine it would be any larger than when I was in (five kids tops) nor do I believe that all three rooms need to be used.  We kept two open as the other nursery leader seemed claustrophobic.  But it appears the last ward that meet has enough children that they are able to separate them into groups.  It was the first time I had seen the folding doors pulled out so that there were three separate rooms.

The last room that I did was the one over the stage – a neglected room that few people even know about.  I think it’s only my third time being in it. Our ward doesn’t use it.  But somebody obviously does.  I think it gets used as a baby sitting room by members of the ward known for not cleaning. We do have a mother’s room that is actually on the same level as all the others.  Why climb up the stairs?  And why treat the room with such disrespect?  It’s still a part of Heavenly Father’s house.  It’s like his attic (I guess).

I like the sparkly effects of glitter when it stays attached to what it’s intended for.  But it’s really annoying when it spreads and attaches itself where it doesn’t belong.  It’s almost as bad as the pink stuff used by the Cat-in-the-Hat.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dragged Decorations or Did I Just Vacuum Up Pixie Dust?

         Each Saturday this month we've gone to clean the Church. The primary and youth were assigned to clean last week.  Not a lot of participation – especially from the youth (Jenna was the only one from primary and only one youth leader) and the floor was in need of major vacuuming.

          The mess I mention in this post was confined to just one room – while it appeared that either decorations had been dragged across each room and the halls in the Church or else a naughty elf went around pouring sparkling dust. 

          There are three wards which share the building.  One in particular seems to get blamed for any mess that may be left – though I did find evidence of their ward in March when I went in to vacuum all that popcorn.  They just seem to use more in the way of decorations, party more, and have the reputation of not cleaning up.

          We usually get a lot of support on Saturday mornings.  We show up at 8:00 and have the entire building cleaned long before 9:00 am.  But not today.  We were there for the entire hour.  In that time I did only four rooms.  And the vacuume was actually working.  But, oh, my.  The entire building?

          Actually, I don’t know if there were any sparkles in the chapel.  The chapel is always done by the same person who takes charge with his vacumme and has never let himself get trapped into another assignment.  I understand.  That was my baby when we lived in our last house.

          I don’t just understand why glittery specks appeared in every room though.  But the trees in the foyer looked quite naked.  Perhaps they had been fully decorated last week but dragged around until bare all over the building.  That'll be my conclusion.  Dragged throughout the building by some naughty elf (or children)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

For Heaven’s Sake, Clean Up After Yourselves

Last week we were cleaning the Church and I was asked to sweep the stage.  I sent Jenna to the room that’s just above the stage.  I’ve heard others refer to it as the ping pong room.  I also learned that three or four plastic Christmas trees live there as well.

The room doesn’t get used a whole lot and not all the wards (a geographical boundary of those who attend an assigned LDS Church building) will even think about cleaning up there (there are three wards that meet in our building; one in particular has a not so great reputation as far as cleaning and discipline go – I’m guessing it was someone from that ward who created the mess that Jenna discovered)

Popcorn everywhere, broken ping pong paddles, tape . . . what was an adult thinking?  We found a cub scout CD, burp cloth and roll of tape.  Are you kidding me?  I don’t believe it was a scout leader from our ward.  I believe it was a mother absorbed in the infant she must have had with her and didn’t care that her other children were running wild.

Now, I can understand the desire of having fun – and perhaps throwing popcorn at one another was giving them a thrill.  But for heaven’s sake, you do not leave a place trashed like that in hopes that somebody else will clean it up.  Had I been the leader, I would have made the children get on all fours and pick up each kernel of popcorn with his teeth. 

I remember a sign posted in the cafeteria at various places (usually a work environment) reminding those patrons of the cafeteria or lunch room to clean up after themselves because “your mother doesn’t work here”

Give me a break.  Clean your mess at home.  You’re an adult.  This mother will pick up after the infant or toddler that doesn’t know any better.  Once you can reach the sink, table, garbage can, etc.  you need to do it!  You should do it.  Show some respect!