Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Good Housekeeping and other saintly chores

You sometimes see a woman who would have made a Joan of Arc in another century and climate, threshing herself to pieces over all the mean worry of housework. Rudyard Kipling
The great cat Bob Marley, formerly known asKaspur and then Satchmo, has carved a path of fame here in our household. Not only is he The Great Cat, he is now, The Great Mouser.

Yup. Marley has captured, and toyed with, and ultimately ended the life of, a mouse. He is an honoured member of our household. Free to lie on the desk in the bay window in our bedroom and watch the birds at the feeder. Of course, now he figures he has the right to escape to the great outdoors -- and attempts to do so whenever the back door is opened. I have no desire for him to become The Great Birder and thus go to great lengths to ensure he remains within the confines of our home.

This morning, Marley took matters into his own paws. He escaped. Wandered the back yard and was attempting to climb the apple tree when we realized he was out. It took C.C., Liseanne and Alexis twenty minutes to get him back in the house. I sat on the back step, shaking a bag of treats, to no avail. Marley scooted from one side of the lawn to the other, into bushes, under the table, into the hedge. He even decided to do his business in the garden, but none of us thought to scoop him up while he was leaving his deposit. Alas, as soon as he was done and had covered up the evidence, he was off, leaping into the hedge, scooting through the grass. Finally, C.C. cornered him under the lilac bush and he was once again back inside.

Until five minutes later. The back door hadn't latched properly and Marley was once again on the loose. It took another fifteen minutes for him to be reinstated inside!

Which meant C.C. was late getting to the airport to pick-up his neice, her husband and their two young children. They're staying with us for a week as CJ (the husband) is here to photograph some of the events for the Worldskills Expo which is currently underway in Calgary. It's been a long time since I've had an infant and a three year old around for any length of time -- should be interesting!

Which is why I'm late writing this morning. In preparation for their arrival, I wanted the house to be presentable -- not an easy feat when hobbling around on crutches! Alexis suggested I let it go, that I just accept the house not be clean and tidy.

"No way!" I exclaimed. "You know what happens. She'll tell her cousins and aunts what a messy housekeeper Louise is and that would be awful!"

"What about C.C. Won't they think it's him."

"Nope. It's a female thing. Cleanliness is non-gender specific. Dirty houses are always about the woman!"

Ahhh, the fragility of my feminine ego. As if my worth is based on the cleanliness of my home.

Then again, maybe I do believe some of my worth is based on the cleanliness of my home -- and that's not all a bad thing!

The mess that was cluttering up the bedrooms, the living room, pretty well every surface in the house, has been tidied up and tucked away. I've even managed to clean the bathroom -- and yes, 'the other's', those who also live in this house, did pitch in to help -- but ya know how it is, it's never done to my level unless I do it (sigh, wipe my brow and collapse upon the settee in a swoon, exhausted from all that hopping around).

These are the moments when I realize I truly can be a control freak. Me and Joan of Arc. She was saving the world from sin and peridition, I'm saving my reputation and becoming a martyr in the process! I truly do want things done my way!

But that's life. Sometimes, nothing more profound than cleaning up life's little (and not so little) messes. And in the grand scheme of things life unfolds with its ebbs and flows, its too's and fro's -- and I feel more confident with my reputation preserved as the patron saint of good housekeeping.

1 comment:

S L M Moss said...

You made me laugh today. Thank you. I get to go to bed with a smile and a funny thought to sleep on.

Part of me laughs at the antics of Marley - when will we know if you have settled on a name? - and I'm delighted that he is a successful mouser!! Another part laughs at your very apt "martyr" description (the swoon was perfect!).

Yet, it's true, and it strikes a cord - a clean house is on the woman, a man cleaning just seems to scream "she's not good enough". I'm working on it. I need to let go of the control of having it done "my way" because I need to teach the kids and their way is not always the way I'd want it done, but it is DONE. That's all that matters - they are learning and they are doing.

I'm rambling and I'm headed to bed now. I missed you this morning and had to check before tucking in.

Love you.
Beans and hugs,