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Timeless truth in a changing world

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The Best Motivation for Cleaning

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For the past two weeks, my carpets have never been cleaner. You might think I’m expecting guests, but no. Selling and showing a house, perhaps? Not that either. No, the real reason is far less exciting, but it’s highly effective. You see, we have fleas.

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The Diagnosis That Saved My Husband’s Life

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It’s been something of a crazy week. My husband came home early in the week with chills/fever/aches, and I immediately quarantined him to our room, certain he had the flu. It’s been going around our town, to the extent that they cancelled school for two days because 20% of the school district was out sick. But it soon became apparent that my husband had something other than the flu. After a few days of worsening health, he went to the hospital, where they determined he had MRSA, a bad staph infection. They got him on strong antibiotics to fight the infection, because his body can’t fight it on its own. One medical worker told him if he hadn’t sought medical help, he likely would have been dead in three more days. It’s that serious. You don’t want to mess around. Continue reading “The Diagnosis That Saved My Husband’s Life”

Tried and Found Wanting

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Looking at my friend’s list of goals for the week, I started to feel rather unambitious. She and I are accountability partners, so we check in every week to report progress and set new goals. It’s a lovely arrangement, but last week she sent me her list that included seven items, many of them multi-faceted. My list had all of two things on it, both related to writing. I told her my goals looked completely lame in comparison, and she laughed and said, “I was thinking my goals were lame! You’re writing a book, and all I’m doing is finding people to fix stuff around our house!” Then she reminded me of a saying someone had once told her: “To compare is to despair.”

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The Golden Calf in Your Life

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The story of the Israelites and the Golden Calf is a ridiculous one, isn’t it? C’mon, people. Just a few weeks after God performed ten miraculous plagues, led you through the Red Sea on dry ground but drowned Pharaoh’s army after you, and fed you with manna and quail, you forget all this and make an idol to worship? After all God has done for you, this is your response? It’s laughable, really. This golden calf that Aaron made in front of your eyes is the one who led you out of Egypt? Lame. And yet, all too familiar. Because we are no different today.

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Dirty Socks

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My socks told the story. The bottoms were more brown than white, with black specks and crumbs peppered generously all over. They were rather disgusting. So I knew it was time to steam mop. Again. I pulled out the mop and worked my way through all the tiled sections of our house, which is everything but the bedrooms. I felt a great sense of accomplishment, but then realized I was still wearing my dirty socks. Well, that wouldn’t do. I went to my room and opened my dresser to pull out another pair, and I hesitated. I had a couple pairs of brand-new socks, never worn. But did I really want to wear those? Any dirt left would certainly show up on those. Frankly, I didn’t want to know if the floors weren’t completely clean after all that effort. So I reached instead for a pair I’ve had for a while. Clean, but slightly discolored on the bottom. It would be better not to know.

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Infestation

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My first clue was the bites around my ankles. Nor could I deny that our dogs seemed to be scratching an awful lot. I set out traps and caught nothing, which put my mind slightly at ease. But when I walked across the carpet in my girls’ bedrooms one day, I looked dawn at my socks and saw about five little black specks. Upon closer inspection, I realized they were exactly what I was afraid they were. Fleas. 

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Deep Cleaning

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Some time ago I did my quarterly … semi-annual … okay, annual (if I’m lucky) full-house carpet cleaning. I’m talking pulling out beds, moving dressers, and rearranging furniture. Oh, sure, I use it here and there to spot clean, but this was different. I focused on a different room each day, and by the end of the week, the carpets were squeaky clean, and I was feeling pretty happy about my progress, so I decided to use the upholstery tool to clean the couch and armchair as well. Looking at our couch beforehand, it didn’t look especially disgusting. It’s beige, so it showed a few discolorations, sure, where the kids spilled something or other. But I had the false impression that it was fairly clean overall. Boy, was I wrong. Continue reading “Deep Cleaning”

Leaves of Three

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For as terrible as it got, it had a rather innocuous start.  Two days after contact, I noticed two small bumps on my arm and wondered about them.  Over the course of the next few days, more bumps appeared.  Then more.  Then there were some on my sides.  My arms and both sides of my abdomen were covered with blistering sores, and during the dog days of summer I was relegated to wearing long sleeves to cover the gauze that hid the ugly red sores and scabs that lasted the better part of a month.  What caused all this discomfort and pain?  Poison ivy.

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Keeping House

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Just once I’d like to prove myself wrong.  I have this theory that housecleaning is always a humbling and usually disgusting experience.  And I have yet to disprove that by my own experiences.  With five children and two dogs, my house certainly won’t pass any white glove inspections.  I steam-mopped the house this weekend, and even though I had done so the previous week, I went through multiple mop pads in the process this time, and every one of them was black afterwards.  The stuff I swept up beforehand was nothing to sneeze at, either.  And my baby crawls on this every day?  Disgusting!  I could clean my bathrooms three times a day and they’d still have toothpaste on the counters and who-knows-what on the floor.  No matter how I try to keep a counter clear of clutter, it seems like I turn around and there’s a mound of stuff.  Sigh.  Just once, can’t I prove myself wrong?

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