Thursday, May 15, 2008

Keeping Paradise Tidy

On April 27th, I wrote a blog on cleanliness. Not many people read it because I had trouble notifying my friends that it was available to read. When I sent a notice out on the following blog people read that one and the other was skipped over.

In light of that blog and to continue with my story, I offer this.

I like my house. My husband did a great job on designing and building it. It is just the right size for the two of us and we have room in case a guest or two shows up. As with any house, there are a couple things I would change but, for the most part, it’s perfect.

It is easy to clean and I can get the job done in just a couple of hours. If I want to do a more through job, like mopping the floors inside and the porch outside and doing the screens and louvers on the windows, then we are talking about 2 days. With two birds inside the house, there is always "bird fluff" (the downy feathers they shed daily) all over my floors so dust mopping every day is a must. We are in the dry season so there is more dust blowing around and cleaning must be done more often. Thank goodness I am not in Iraq where my son presently works. They recently had a sand storm which was akin to the sand storm in the movie "The Mummy". If you saw that you know what I mean. This thing travels at 60 mph and goes on for quite a while depositing sand everywhere. So, at least I don't have that problem.

The only cleaning job that I dread is cleaning the louvered windows and screens. The windows in our house are over 6 1/2 feet tall and the screens are attached on the outside and non-removal. This means I must scrub down the outside twice; once with soap water and then with clean water. I then must fit my hands between the slats in the inside and with the aid of a sponge, clean the screens from the inside. This is time consuming and cramps my hands. Then I have to wipe down the slats at least twice and clean the sides (which is a whole other job). I wish the screens were like the screens I had in Minnesota as a girl. They were on a wood frame which fit over the window and held in place by a type of wing nut device. But they are attached and will never be changed knowing my husband. And why should he? He doesn’t have to clean them!

The porch is always a problem. We have a fairly large porch and with 4 dogs and 2 cats the porch floor is always dusty or full of shed hair or muddy paw prints from dogs who have been wading in the sea. I can sweep it daily but every now and then it must be mopped. The floor originally started out to be a lovely wood floor but with Hurricane Mitch hitting us, the porch floor boards were torn up in some places and warped in others. My husband elected to put a concrete-type board down on the floor and we painted that. Down side of this floor, with 4 dogs and 2 cats they managed to chip off the paint about a month after we have painted. We have painted the porch 4 times in about 9 years and I’ve just about given up. Now, when one walks barefoot on it the bottom of your feet pick up the green paint and you have dusty-green soles! I want to put a new product down that is made from recycled plastic products and is suppose to be great. Problem is getting it here from the states. Well, maybe one day.

The other job I dislike is cleaning the stairway up to the second floor. Well, it really isn’t too bad but with lots of geckos in the house their droppings always appear on every stair. I dust mop the whole house every day but the stairs I neglect. These must be dusted and washed down and all my little candles sitting on each step, must be moved.

We have a good sized kitchen where I can store all my kitchen devices, a nice sized dining table that I can enlarge quickly for up to 10 people, a small laundry area, a one sink bathroom and a nice shower with a window facing out onto the backyard. Now I know so many people these days want two sinks in their bathroom but my husband and I manage quite well with one and it is one less sink to clean.

I have shelves every where because the walls are not insulated and the spaces between each supporting 1x5 has small shelves where I display my figurines, shells, candles, etc. Of course this means more cleaning, but it is not a weekly event. We have adequate storage room and my husband has a nice big bodega where he can keep his tools and machines.

What is even nicest of all, the house sits up about 35 feet above the sea and about 600+ feet from the beach. When a boat of friends approach who have not called in advance to warn us they are coming (which is perfectly fine as I love visitors), we can see them approach and I have time to whip off my dirty clothes and put something fresh on, straighten a few things and check the refrigerator to see what I have to serve them! The sad thing is, we live in a rather remote area and don’t have a lot of visitors!

So, in Paradise, I don’t have to spend all my time cleaning and can do fun things like cook, sew, make cards, garden, take walks, etc.

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