Laudetur Iesus Christus!
Memorial of Saint Justin Martyr (First Friday)
I don’t know about you but there are just some days when I want to get down with my domestic self. Holy Mother Church, did I ever today! I got home from Mass after helping a nun set up her iTunes, showed her how to make a purchase, setup a playlist, and sync things to her iPod (I had done it for her before I entered the convent but she wanted a refresher). It rained all morning: all during Mass, all during my little bit of geeking time, and on my trek home (my Missal and Breviary are delightfully dry, thankyouforasking) so I was in heaven. I love the sound of the rain on the copper roof of the church and the sound of it splashing on the ground in puddles. My feet stayed nice and dry this time (no squishy sounds!) but my long brown skirt (at least the front of it) was soaked.
Once I got into the house, went up to my room, put my God stuff away, took off my skirt, and hung it up to dry. I threw on my Powderpuff shorts (probably one of the only pairs of shorts “little Miss Pale Legs” here owns) from when she played football her senior year of high school (Yes, I played football. I was so tough sometimes that the coaches told me to ease up a bit … I was the one who got to hold the tackle dummies sometimes and boy did I fight back … lulz) and contemplated the day for a bit.
I needed to eat something, when I don’t eat for a very long period of time I get a really bad headache which I estimate is from having low blood sugar because as soon as I eat something of substance, it goes away. I am one of those rigid Catholics who does not typically eat anything after midnight when I am going to hear Mass in the morning. I’ve done it since I was in grade school (when I was a padawan trad). Today is Friday, do I have a meat-free option?
We got Thai carry-out yesterday and I got something that had tofu in it (such a hippie sometimes, don’t judge me)! Tofu is just compressed soybean paste! YAY! Apparently, women should not eat a lot of it because it elevates estrogen levels. We’re worried about estrogen in tofu but we’re not worried about all the artificial hormones in contraception?!?! BSOD. Something is telling me that some women consume more birth control pills than they do tofu. Of course, then you get those earthy all-natural womyn who only eat “food that did not have a face” who eat tofu like it’s manna from Heaven lauding it as the safe alternative to hormone-pumped meat while they gleefully pop birth control pills and get their hormone-laden IUDs. *facepalm of the culture of death and idiocy*
So I had my Thai food, which was quite tasty and had just enough spice to compel me to make a delightfully big mug of chocolate milk in my Dean’s List mug from college (Yes, I am an overachiever). God bless whoever had the GENIUS idea of mixing chocolate with milk to make the cool delight of which I partook.
You know you have a lot of food when you have to take a Cutco knife to the literal brick of food to cut a more prudent portion. I cut my piece, picked it up in the most-unladylike way with my knife, and put it in the bowl, broke it up and nuked it. It was dee-leesh-us! And yes, I used a fork to eat it. My mother did teach me manners and all that. lulz.
After I saved myself from an impending sugar headache, I looked at the sink full of dishes. It’s my unofficial duty in the house to make sure that nary a dish is to be seen in the sink once the parentals get home. So I decided to just get it over with.
And thus began my ascent to domestic diva-dom.
I put on my oh-so-cute white with black polka dot apron (that was apparently too much show in the convent), tied my hair back with my lime green bandana, and filled the sink with soapy water as hot as my hands could take (it could be part of my Friday penance … mortification with sanitization, yo). All I needed was a pair of those really cute latex gloves that have frilly girly cuffs. I had a pair when I worked at the parish for polish jobs so my manicure would not be ruined.
While I waited for the sink to fill a bit, I neatened up the kitchen and appraised what else needed to be done.
I turned on the tele and since I did not feel like watching EWTN (the Catholic TV feed that the AOD has now on CTND doesn’t do it for me, idky), I turned on Style Network (totally similar to EWTN) and “Jerseylicious” was on. “Jerseylicious” is one of those shows I watch when I think my IQ is getting immodestly high (of course I say that layered with sarcasm). It is also one of those shows whose dialogue (if you can call it that) and action is kinda mindless so you don’t really have to invest too many neuron synapses to keep up with it. Think comparing M. Somerset Maugham’s “Of Human Bondage” (one of my all-time favorite books) to “Amelia Bedelia” (though I love how she takes everything so literally!). It’s like trying to compare a course in Philosophical Anthropology to a Self-Esteem class (I had to take both in college. Guess during which one I read the entirety of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” by Victory Hugo (unabridged)?).
All that said, “Jerseylicious” is perfect for white noise (with lots of hairspray, heavy makeup, and thick Jersey accents) while doing other things. The only parts I really don’t like is when they talk about cohabitation, pre-marital sex, and all that crap that is sadly such a part of our culture. I just wonder how they do anything with those long acrylic nails they have. It is kinda interesting to watch how they do hair. I’m a girl. Get over it.
Moving on …
I scrubbed those dishes to a delightful shine. One of the reasons I use REALLY hot water besides for sanitary purposes is because when I do the final rinse (I do two) and put them out to dry, by the time I get to putting things away, the heat from the water has dried the dish or glass without me having to wipe them down. Of course, to keep fingerprints from appearing on glasses, I handle them with a dry dish cloth. That kinda came from my habit of when cleaning the vessels after Mass, I always handle them with a dishcloth when putting them away. Call me OCD, I don’t care, in the end, it saves time and effort.
After completing the dishes, I decide to tackle my mother’s granite countertops. Her kitchen (it’s her kitchen because my father had it redone for her a few years ago as an anniversary present before the economy tanked and all that crap happened) has these wonderful dark green and black granite countertops and backsplashes. Our center island is so long that when they guys came with the granite pieces for it (there are two), they needed a whole crew of guys to carry them. My father calls it the “Last Supper Table” because Jesus could have easily had his Last Supper there and accommodated all the Apostles. It really comes in handy when we have major holidays and we need a lot of prep space.
Anywho, she is really particular about what we use to clean them. Nothing very abrasive because that will take the finish off the granite. Luckily, her eldest daughter is a clean nerd so I came up with a nice cocktail of white vinegar and water (it has to have the right ratio of vinegar to water or it does not work the way I want it to). White vinegar cleans EVERYTHING! It cuts through grime and grease very well. It also lends a nice sheen to the granite.
I had my spray bottle of my vinegar spritz under the sink so I pulled that puppy out and doused the counters and backsplashes (the kitchen is quite large so there is a lot of territory to cover). While I let that set for a bit, I looked at the range.
This is me attacking the counters with my cleaning cocktail.
My mother has a Thermador gas range that has six burners and a griddle (perfect for making French toast) and two ovens (one large one for making the Thanksgiving turkeys … yes, plural) and another small one perfect for sides or when my sister feels like baking randomly (I have just recently begun my venture into baking). She is also very particular about how we clean that.
Now, I use my vinegar cocktail on the range top but sometimes a sister who shall remain nameless, decides that she will cook something (like cream of broccoli soup) on the stove but leave it unattended for a little bit. Not too long but long enough that some of it ends up under the grates. Don’t even get me started on the scalded soup pot that took TWO DAYS to loosen enough to clean thoroughly. Well, since the range top gets very hot when it’s in use, she does not wipe it up then. She usually doesn’t wipe it up at all. Instead, it gets baked on. For me to scrape off.
When that happens, I make a paste out of Bar Keeper’s friend and apply it with an old toothbrush (I have a collection of old toothbrushes that each have their own task) and hot water. I let that set for a bit and then scrub it up with said toothbrush. Most of the time, it comes off pretty well. I can’t use anything too abrasive here either because it will take the glaze off the surface and then there will have to be a Requiem Mass said for Ms. Allie.
Thank the Lord I had just done that not long before and no one had ventured into the world of “Let’s see how baked on we can get this crap to see how ticked off Allie gets as she mutters things under her breath!”. All I had to do was a bit of a wipe-down with vinegar (the kitchen smells like salad dressing by the time I am done with it) to get the stainless shining.
Having done that, I got back to the counters. Wiped those babies down with paper towel and shined them up real nice.
Mind you, while I am doing all of this, I am also texting a college friend of mine (and not just one sentence responses). I try to use proper grammar and I spell out the words. No “text speak” for me outside of “lol.” English may be a barbaric Germanic language but it’s our mother tongue so we have to show her some respect. I have an addiction to multitasking in case you have not noticed.
Having done the dishes, the range, and the countertops and backsplashes I moved onto the big kahuna: the hardwood floor. My great nemesis.
I used to clean the hardwood sanctuary of the chapel every week so I have the cleaning of hardwood down to a science. At SJA, I used to use Murphy Oil Soap but since I did not have enough to give the floor the cleaning it deserved, I went back to my old stand-by: vinegar. I do love the smell of Murphy Oil Soap. My pastor used to say that he could tell whenever I had just cleaned the chapel because it always smelled like Murphy’s, Pledge, and Silvo (quite a fragrant bouquet).
I moved all the chairs out of the room, got the Swiffer out and began to consolidate all the loose stuff to a pile that I could sweep up and get rid of of. That alone is a task because the floor is so big and there are so many nooks and crannies in which stuff can hide (not to mention the occasional spider of death, doom, and ewww!).
Sweeping with one hand and texting with another (trust me, I am thorough), I got it all together, swept it up, and threw it out. You could tell we had just had my nephew for the weekend: little pieces of cereal were in my pile.
Now for the really laborious part: the washing of the floor. I got my bucket filled with my vinegar and irresponsibly hot water, threw in a soft rag, got down on my knees and started to wipe the floor down. No scrubbing, that removes the finish from the floor. A thorough wipe-down with some elbow grease does the trick.
Must. Remove. All. Dirt. Must. Be. Dogmatically. Immaculate.
She missed a spot.
That alone probably took me about 40 minutes because of all the detail work I have to do in the corners and under things. Only one spider today and he got spared.
I made my way around the island and made comments about the show. My phone would vibrate, I would stop, read the text, respond, and get back to work.
I finally finished the floor. I walked around the dry parts to appraise the job. Pretty darn good, Ms. Allie. So shiny and clean!
After I neatened things up around the kitchen and put everything back in its place, I went up to my room for a bit.
Then there was a knock on my door.
’twas my brother.
“Allie, could you iron this for me?” as he held a button-down shirt.
“Sure. I’ll do it after I take this powernap.” Cleaning can be quite tiring when you’re as OCD as I can be.
I woke up from my nap, picked up the shirt, and set up the iron.
“What happened to my spray bottle?” I have a spray bottle of water that I use when I iron clothes. The mist has to be fine enough that it won’t accumulate on the fabric and make those annoying water spots. BAH!
I went into my room and found my backup. Yes, I have a backup in case one walks away, so to speak.
Spritzed the shirt down and began to iron it. Made sure the collar was well-pressed and the sleeves were evenly done with straight creases. I enjoy ironing. I really enjoy ironing.
I put the shirt on a hanger and put it on the door to my brother’s room.
A little while later, my brother came up to me and said, “Dang, Allie, good job. This is professional quality.” This is coming from a man who was in the Navy where they are very particular about appearances (he actually taught me some ironing tricks). I also learned some ironing tricks from a film I found on YouTube from the 1950s.
Needless to say, I am quite satisfied with myself today. 🙂 If I am called to be a wife, I can keep house pretty well (I would probably want to be a stay-at-home for a bit while the kids are younger … depends on what the husband thinks too). If I am called to be a sister, domestic duties won’t be too bad. If I am called to be a single woman or a consecrated virgin, my pad won’t be a hot mess!
Getting down with my domestic side is very relaxing. That’s probably why I just typed almost 3000 words about it. Just a big post about absolutely nothing theological. But it does show how even the simplest things in life like finding the perfect ratio of vinegar to water can make life so wonderful … and clean.
Have a great evening!