The undamp

Mercury is retrograde, and let me tell you how I’d know that even if I didn’t know that: I got out my laptop to blog at you, which I’ve done every weekday morning for close to a year now, ever since I started working from home after my surgery and then right on into our pandemic. Today? I can’t log on.

“That’s not your password,” said my laptop.

“Well, yes, it is, though, is the thing,” I said to my laptop.

“Newp. No. It just isn’t,” said my laptop.

In normal circumstances I’d handle it in the way of my people: By throwing the laptop down the street and then getting in my car and running it over. But it belongs to work so I got my phone out and got on our messaging system.

“My computer is saying I have the wrong password but I don’t,” I told the fine people at IT, who are over me.

“IT is offline,” said my phone.

NO THEY AREN’T. THEY’RE IT. THEY CAN’T SHUT DOWN.

So then I made the long trek over here to my desktop computer, old school, the way Laura Ingalls Wilder did it, to blog at you and email IT the way I used to circa 2006.

And?

My keyboard didn’t work. I began typing and no WORDS came up on the screen.

So then I plugged the keyboard in, and THANKS FOR ANY WARNING WHATSOEVER THAT ITS BATTERY WAS LOW, STEVE JOBS AND MERCURY, and now I am finally, finally here writing you.

…I have no idea what I was gonna blog about now.

Oh, I know. My weekend. That fascinating thing.

On Saturday morning, I got up and couldn’t do my usual thing, which is wash the kitchen and bathroom floors. I am out of floor-washing stuff, and I have done something stupid which renders me broke till this Friday, payday. I WAS BEING NICE and helped out two people with money stuff, but overdid it and then I forgot about an automatic withdrawal of a payment I make to something annually, of course, and now I am living on the edge till Friday, trying not to spend any money at all, including spending that $5 for some Mr. Clean.

Or however much Mr. Clean costs. How much does it cost?

…I just looked. Depending on the size and where you get it, it ranges from $2.99 to $7.99. Why do they do that? Does the .99 really fool us? It must or they wouldn’t keep that up.

Anyway it’s really kind of a challenge for me, a game, if you will. Can Joooooon go all week not spending a dime and make it to Friday? Can Joooooon not sign up for automatic withdrawals of things because they always screw her up? Can Jooooon help people and feel like a nice person but not fucking overdo it like she’s the Moneybags guy from Monopoly?

So, because washing the floor was out, and let me tell you how much that bothers me. ONE WEEK I’m going without washing the floor, and I can’t TELL you how seldom I washed my floor at my old house. I don’t know what changed from there to here other than I know the guy who lived here for 50+ years was a neatnik and some of his spirit washed over me or something.

This house is just so nice and tidy and it inspired me to keep it that way. And do you remember the one time he came over, as I know him vaguely, I had orange peels just sitting there in the computer room? I never ever do that but the day he dropped by, Mr. Neatnik, ORANGE you glad I stopped over?

Anyway, since the kitchen and bathroom floors have to be filthy and littered with dirt, I decided to clean my area rug in the living room. I stood in the living room surveying my domain, and realized I’d have to, you know, move some stuff out of there.

So I took out the cat condo no one uses and the smaller bookshelf and the dog bed and the two cat beds and the side table and the wood chair Iris lounges on when she’s feeling well (she’s a lot better lately) and when I got everything piled in the hallway, I said, “I oughta clean the wood floor, too.”

So then I rolled out the barrel and also the area rug, which was relaxing and not at all hard to do myself, what with having to pick up heavy furniture and everything.

So then I Bona’d the wood floors, which if you’ve used Bona I’ll tell you I did the cleaner AND the polisher, and I know you always run out of polish first but I had some so yay. But halfway through, my Bona mop broke so then I had to replace it with the mop from QVC my Aunt Mary sent me and can we just make a deal right now? Any time I say “from QVC,” can we know it’s from Aunt Mary and we save us some keystrokes?

“Us.”

THEN, after the floor dried, THEN I hauled the area rug back and sprayed it with the rug cleaner and then got on all fours like a washerwoman, which I literally was, and scrubbed the rug using the microfiber rags I got from QVC

[pauses to see if we remember our deal]

because the instructions said to use with “a sponge mop” and I don’t have one because it’s not 1972. I didn’t spray the dining room table with lemon Pledge after then set a bouquet of daisies on it, either.

Then I moved the detritus in the hallway to make a barricade so none of the 56 animals would go in there, a thing I’d done previously while the wood floor was drying, a wood floor I then covered in an area rug so why did I even clean it, even.

The thing was, I had also washed my comforter, the big puffy one, because even though it’s the dead of winter I am finding that comforter too hot. The plan was to wash and dry it and store it in one of my storage bags you all told me to get, the kind you suck all the air out of, the same way I do out of any room I enter.

But that thing is huge, so it dried, sort of, but not totally, so I laid it out on the bed in the hopes it’d be undamp, the undamp, after a few hours. So after I was done in the living room, I glanced in the bedroom and

OK. I guess everyone wants to lounge on the damp comforter. This ought to help move matters along.

So we were all stuck there for a bit, just waiting for shit to dry, but eventually the area rug in the living room was dry, and I placed it back under the heavy furniture and then moved the wooden chair and the bookshelf and the cat beds and the side table and my attitude back in there, and I settled onto the couch to watch TV. And?

Cat pee.

Something about either the cleaning agent or what I’d done made the rug smell cat pee-ish.

My cats are adults and they are trained. I won’t have it any other way. Besides, they mostly “go” outside, in the dirt out there, which I do not mind. So I really don’t blame them. If anything, maybe it was a foster from ages ago. But I think what I really smell is just a cleaning agent I don’t agree with. A cleaning agent I’m arguing with on Facebook.

So thank heavens I did all that work.

Is that part of Mercury retrograde? Someone tell me. Of course, your message will be garbled.

Clearly,
June

P.S. I got so caught up in my rug I forgot to tell you about bleaching my teeth so don’t let me forget to tell you that tomorrow.


42 thoughts on “The undamp

  1. Ahhh, your day sounds so very, very satisfying! Productive days like that always make me feel like a grown-up human who has her act together. Early in the pandemic, I went through this house like my pants were on fire. It was so awesome! We donated most things, but I kept our nicer clothes for when my fav place to consign clothes ever opens back up. (Not a minute too soon!)
    I’ve never tried Bona, but I’m inspired! I use a steam mop on my hardwoods and love how they shine. Life tip: add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your steam mop water.

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  2. Your cleaning regimen gives me hope. I went through a rough patch – I lost 5 people I love dearly in a span of 53 weeks. The staggering grief caused me to let things slide… which seemed to focus on pocketbooks. I’d fill one up and instead of cleaning out all the scraps of paper holding grocery lists, gift lists, reminders, receipts, etc., I’d just start a new, clean, pocketbook and trudge on. This weekend, finally, I went through nearly a decade of those strapped time capsules. Did I find any treasures? Yes. Earrings, loose change. a photograph or two, and hit the jackpot in gift cards. I hope Macy’s still has a lingerie section because I need a new bra.( I’m still grieving but the ball hits the button less often.)

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    1. I am so very sorry as I can’t even imagine losing five in 53 weeks. Losing loved ones over multiple years was bad enough, but all in one year is too much. You have my sympathy.

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    2. Persephone, My heart hurts for you for all that loss you went through. I love your term “strapped time capsules”.

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      1. Sadie and PJ – Thank you. One of the many lessons I’ve learned from grief is to forgive myself for all of the things I did not do because my energy was sapped by grieving. I do my best to extend this to others and be patient with others. Guilt and grief are a toxic combination.

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  3. It must be time for “spring” cleaning even though spring is nowhere in sight. I decided I need to start cleaning one room at a time because if I decide to dust everything, I just hit the high spots I always hit and ignore the rest. Or I swiffer under a few things and leave the rest. TV room is getting cleaned this afternoon. Too much fun! I had planned a little solitary getaway to a cabin in the woods for a couple days this week with my dog but no husband. BUT it’s snowy and right around zero or below all week and I am just not that winter-hardy, so I cancelled. Thanks Mercury, I guess.

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  4. IT and computer stuff…sucks. I was ranting and raving to my IT people about my password not working. Turns out I had accidently hit the F12 key, which is number lock, and prevented my password from working. I slunk away feeling like an idiot.

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  5. Ahh so is that why so many things are haywire in my house? The Mercury thing? I now have a houseful of boxes and furniture that my son moved to my new place yesterday. Oh good grief. I have been moving since November and now it is just “like starting over.” So cleaning? Junie, you make me tired but hopeful and our home is adorable. I think the pic of the cats on that comforter is a classic!

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  6. So now when my coworkers text to ask if anyone is having problems with Teams, I’m just going to tell them Mercury is in retrograde. Because Teams is a whiny botch also.

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  7. I know you have more than one cat, but yowzah . . . that is like a whole herd of cats.

    I’m glad someone was productive over the weekend. I like to take back the house over the weekend, but Coach and I were gone all day Saturday. Long story. Sunday Curly’s friend mom invited families over to watch the super bowl. I declined. A) Her husband is a nut job . . . that Seinfeld episode was so true – trying to find a couple to socialize with that you BOTH enjoy spending time with, and B) I wanted to take back my house from the mountains of laundry and dust and spills teens don’t bother to clean up . . . and I DID NOT CLEAN ANYTHING.

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  8. I have had a hard time pinpointing what I enjoy about your writing but it hit me today, I would have just said, I cleaned the rug and hardwood floors. The End. I would have left out all those great details about lugging furniture and then lugging it back. Thanks!

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  9. Lovely post Coot.
    Ah Mercury, you bitch. Woke up this morning and my husband’s phone won’t allow him to make calls. My exactly identical phone has no problems.
    I want a clothesline to hang sheets out.

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  10. Why can’t my two cats get along nicely like that? WHY? Maybe they need a damp comforter. I got Phyllis so Albert would have a friend. Albert wants to be more than friends and Phyllis wants him dead. It’s stressful and I have to keep canned air at the ready to get Albert to leave her alone. Maybe instead of blasting air in his direction I should bounce the can off his head. Also, in my haste to blast air at him yesterday, I blasted before checking the direction of the nozzle and got myself in the face.

    Your weekend activities are a favorite of my cleaning/organizing/insane self. We are still cleaning out the downstairs. I took an entire basket of afghans to be washed, much to Phyllis’ dismay. There was enough fur in the dryer’s lint trap to assemble a third cat. ICK. We went through several cartons of stuff, determined if any of it had any value and sorted the haves and have nots into Etsy/Ebay listings and Goodwill. We haven’t listed anything yet (today’s project) and I’m already annoyed with the amount of time spent researching and taking pictures. Plus if anything sells, then I have to package it up and etc. and so on. I am thisclose to bringing everything to Goodwill with a resounding EFF THIS. I think this is a diminishing returns situation. I don’t know the official economic term for it but I am spending more effort that it’s worth.

    Sorry to have rambled on. I skidded down my driveway this morning and narrowly missed also skidding down my neighbor’s driveway and crashing into his house, so I’m a bit on edge.

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    1. Paula, I am so sorry for all that happened. But I laughed all the way through your comment. Thinking it couldn’t get worse then the skidding part put the icing on the cake.

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    2. JP, I separate things into Goodwill and ‘get some money for this somehow’, and a year later move the ‘get some money for this somehow’ things into a Goodwill box. Someday I will skip the separate step. Life will be so much simpler.

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    3. Paula, the hauler is coming in the next hour to remove all kinds of crap that has been living in my garage. I then intend to box up the rest of the stuff I want to keep and arrange it in clear boxes on the shelves. Half of my kitchen lives in my garage because I don’t have enough storage in my kitchen and I don’t want to spend $30,000.00 to remodel. Plastic bins on shelves are cheaper.

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  11. Is your personal computer a MacBook or do you use that for work, too? My point is, Mac’s “password denied” shake, is both delightful and infuriating.

    I’ve been envious of your cleaning ritual. It gives me hope that I can start a new habit and it will stick. I thought you’d been cleaning on Sundays all along. Either way, envious and impressed here, as I am sure to be when I read about your teeth bleaching.

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  12. Vinegar and water June. That’s my secret recipe for floor cleaning. And just about everything else. Cheap and easy.

    I do love a good no-spend challenge, though. That’s how I found you and Bye Bye Buy!

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      1. I used the Bona (the Bon-a makes me LOL. Oh GROW UP LISA) on my fake wood floors and it left a cloudy residue. So I abandoned it. But I was only using the cleaner. Maybe I needed the polish too?

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        1. Yes. The cleaner itself never thrilled me. But the POLISH. And for some reason I’m overrun with the damn cleaner. I think when I moved out of Ned’s I took all the Bona and we both had the system and then I think I bought more cleaner once thinking I was buying the polish and there you go.

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  13. Productive weekend! Sorry about the lingering offensive odor, though — that sucks.

    I have to drive to DC to my office on Wed to turn in my laptop and get a loaner. I am fraught with anxiety. The city! The people! The office with crappy air quality! I shall have to take a Silkwood shower in some foul-smelling, burning, cleaning fluid when I get home.

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    1. Silkwood shower! I said that to coworkers on a Teams chat, and none of those obviously-younger-than-me people knew what I was talking about.

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  14. We had always shampooed our carpets ourselves, with our machine or the one your rent. In 2018 I finally hired Stanley Steamer to come do our carpets. I was mortified by the “come look at the difference” part when they first started.
    When they left, the house started to smell like cat pee and the smell intensified until I was ready to throw a match to the place and tell the insurance I have no idea what happened. I even called Stanley Steamer to complain. They said it will go away, cleaning brings things up.
    The next year we used our tax return to put in flooring. We did that ourselves, and seeing what the underneath of the carpet and the carpet pad held when we pulled that up has turned me from carpet for life.

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    1. Same. Same. Same. The first time we ripped up wall to wall carpet I was a convert. Wood or tile with area rugs that can go out for cleaning. Or go in the trash.

      We did send out a rug for cleaning once and when they brought it back the guy said “watch your dogs for a few days. There’s something about the smell of a clean rug that makes them want to pee on it.” And SURE ENOUGH our never ever EVER pee in the house dog peed smack in the middle of it before the rug guy was out the door. WHAT THE HELL.

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  15. I am way too excited to read about your teeth tomorrow. I don’t know if that’s a testament to your skills as a writer or how boring my life is.
    Both, I suppose.
    Also, why is Mercury such a moody bitch? Seems like it’s always screwing people up. Has it considered therapy or something?

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  16. Whee, all that cleaning and furniture moving and washing energy should be shared. “We” need to figure out how to bottle that energy to sell and wouldn’t that make you rich, selling your energy. I kept thinking Saturday was Friday, but when you are retired every day is Saturday, so I’m not sure how I missed a day. The past year Sundays are lazy days since we are not attending church, but we did take a nice walk yesterday afternoon.

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  17. You certainly work hard, Miss Junie. I would have to take to my bed for a week after all that hauling of furniture and other items, plus all the cleaning. I have smelled a similar smell after rug-cleaning.

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  18. As for my weekend? Imagine my surprise
    when I got a call from someone asking for Joon Gardens. (It was Harry and David about some special offer.)
    Lovely post Joon

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  19. I got tired just hearing about your productive day. The cats flocking to the damp comforter is just that cat logic we humans will never understand.
    Lovely post, June

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    1. I’m exhausted just reading this. And I’m scrapping all my cleaning plans for the week. Bah! Who am I kidding. I had no plans to clean. Anything.

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  20. Wouldn’t it be helpful if we all had those backyard clothes drying racks like they had in the 1950’s? It’d also be helpful if we could call Mr. Roper, who’d bring us things we need for cleaning and he’d drop it off with that silly little grin that made him so sneaky?

    Ahh. Those were the days. Sounds like you had a busy weekend. Thanks for the laughs.

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    1. You know, a lot of these millhouses still have those cute drying lines, but Mr. Tidy took mine down at some point. I find those charming and wish I still had one.

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