We take food seriously in my house. We stake our reputations on the foods we bring to pot lucks. I will (almost) never show up to a food event without an offering of epic proportions. And when we have people over, they are in for a culinary treat.
This was my day.
I got up around 6:30 and decided I wasn’t going to walk. I made sad, pathetic excuses and climbed back into bed. But I couldn’t go back to sleep. Buddy got up soon after and started frying bacon for the tater tot casserole he was making for the Mandatory Fun today (https://ithilen.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/mandatory-fun/). I was not making anything because I was a a little miffed by the whole thing. The plan was for him to get everything ready for the casserole before he went to work so I could just pop it in the oven later in the morning. So he fried bacon and then the hamburger meat. As punishment for not walking, I cleaned the bathrooms.
I have three levels of cleaning: Good Enough, Good, Inspection.
Good Enough is the daily efforts. Wiping up spills with a little water so stuff isn’t sticky. Putting stuff away that has just piled up on the bar. Folding the couch blankets. The kind of stuff that keeps the place looking respectable without me dragging out the cleaning supplies. Tidying up, you know?
Good is the level we usually pull out for parties. All the public areas get swept, mopped, vacuumed, dusted, and windex’d. The bathrooms get the most attention. It’s the type of cleaning I should do once a week, maybe, but tend to only do for parties. It’s actually one reason we host parties. Sure, we like hanging out with people, but it’s a handy excuse. “Man, I really need to vacuum. Lets have some people over Friday.”
Inspection is a layover from the School of Music. You’d think that Basic would be the source of my cleaning paranoia, but it really wasn’t. Sure, they’d freak out if you didn’t have a 45° angle on your bed corner, but the cleaning was really basic. It’s not like they gave us cleaning supplies. Someone was bound to drink some. No, SOM featured 5 Drill Sergeants who had very little to do and so focused their energies on ruining the lives of their soldiers. My roommates shoes were chucked across the room because they were displayed incorrectly. They would fail you for paper towel lint in the tub, a strand of hair in the sink, or a speck of food on the microwave tray. There were rumors that they failed a room because the grout was dirty, when in reality it was just gray grout. The guys apparently went over the grout with whiteout in order to pass muster. They failed an entire floor because the first three rooms had dust on the shoes under their beds.
We had inspections every week. The first one was a surprise. The second one happened the next day if your room failed. Then there were field nights every other week with an inspection at the end. The worst were the Command Inspections every couple of months, where the DS, the Commander, and the XO would walk through and look at your room while you stood there trying not to panic.
Needless to say, we adapted to this stress by having a lot of industrial-strength cleaning products, extra sets of sheets so we never had to make the bed once we got it perfect, and a penchant for cleaning everything that we could see as well as several things we couldn’t.
Have you ever seen that anti-drug commercial about Meth where the anorexic girl is scrubbing the bejeesus out of everything with a toothbrush because she’s tweeking so hard?
Yeah. It was like that.
Inspection clean is a once a quarter or “The Parents are Coming to Visit!” event. It means that I clean base boards, the bases of toilets, the microwave, the fridge, all the small appliances, the remotes, the decorative jars and knick-knacks, the window sills, and anything else that I can see is dirty. I even do a thorough cleaning in the master suite, which usually gets half the vacuum/duster attention of the rest of the house (funny how the rooms we use the most are also the one’s we put off cleaning the most => we’re the only people who see them, after all).
Today was a blend of Good and Inspection. I did a thorough job on all three bathrooms, laid down PetFresh baking soda on the carpets (so they smell nice when I vacuum), and when I eventually vacuumed I made sure to use the hose for all the edge stuff I’m usually too lazy to get. The sweeping and mopping (dining room and kitchen) were done yesterday. No toothbrushes were harmed in the cleaning of my house. This time.
I also ended up finishing the prep-work for Buddy’s casserole because he had to go to work. Then I churned tiramisu ice cream for tomorrow’s Bday BBQ. While that churned, I put down the baking soda, then vacuumed, then put the casserole in the oven, then finished vacuuming , then showered, then got the casserole out to cool, then took a 15 min nap, then loaded up the car for Mandatory Fun. I wore heels so no one could make me play games.
It rained, but really only a drizzle. The kids liked the water balloons but had much more fun are the park’s play equipment. The adults didn’t play games because they were full of good food and the field was covered with Canadian Geese poop, like a gross, non-deadly mine field. When I got home, I tossed a pork shoulder in the slow cooker and took a well-deserved 3 hr nap.
As I’m reading back over this, I’m realizing that I made out like this was a food post and then went into a treatise on cleaning, which isn’t interesting to anyone.
The food post goes like this:
My husband got up at 6:30, an hour earlier than usual, to make a casserole for a potluck we were made to go to. It’s his best dish. Who makes their best dish for forced food festivities? While I cleaned the bathrooms, he prepped the pork shoulders (we forgot to do that last night) for the pulled pork dishes for tomorrow. At 9:30 last night, I was making the ice cream mixture so I could churn it today. We spent over $200 on groceries yesterday. There is a whole beef tenderloin waiting to be broken down in the fridge. Why? Because two small roasts, 6-8 filet mignon steaks, and “the chain,” that’s why.