• Domestic goddess??

    family_bathroom_70_mainI did one of the strangest online surveys ever. It was about….toilet cleaning products.

    It didn’t make me feel very good about myself. My only excuse for my total ignorance is, well, I just don’t spend all that much time in the cleaning aisle. It gets a cursory run at most, sometimes not at all – unless we specifically need to pick up something. What do we ever need from there, except loo paper, bleach, Jif, and dishwashing liquid, washing powder? (I use vinegar and water, sometimes with a dash of detergent, for general cleaning).

    I sure didn’t know there were special products that go inside the tank. Or special toilet cleaning products designed for use on the rim and outside of the bowl. I thought toilet duck and the like were for cleaning the bowl, full stop. Then again, when I’m buying cleaning gear, I home straight in on what I want and never look at anything else.

    Am I more concerned with hygiene, germ killing, fresh smells or keeping the bowl sparkling white? Or with bottle tops that make my life easier?

    Jesus, it’s an effort just cleaning the toilet once a week, no need to get all deep into this territory.

    But it’s all got me thinking. Obviously, I will be a REAL grown up when I use disposable cleaning wipes on the seat and outside of the toilet every other day.

    And when I sweep up the kitchen more often than once a week.

    And dust the windowsills (ever).

    And actually have a reserve of food in the pantry/fridge, even at the end of the week.

    And have a spice rack, a range of condiments, baking basics and Tupperware for storing food.

    And when treats like ice cream and biscuits last more than two days in the house.

    Okay, maybe never. That’s all a bit daunting…

  • Lazy Sunday

    Well I’ve had a fairly productive day – managed to paint my nails (right thumb eluded me, I had to do it three times over), wash all my makeup brushes, cleaned the bathroom, cleaned the kitchen cabinets and went to the Laundromat. Since our washer died a few weeks ago we’ve been making weekly trips to our friendly local Laundromat. For $2.50 our washing is beautifully done and never starchy…I don’t think we’ll bother replacing the machine! Not least because as time goes on the less I want to invest in this household. Over half of our bowls have disappeared. We have about three left from closer to 8 or 9. So it’s a struggle when I want cereal or noodles, to find something to house my meal in.




    00542-1_mdWhen I have money to burn furnishing my dream house, I’m off to Howard’s Storage World to spend up a storm! Retro fifties spice tins and rubbish bins, steel shoe racks, spice racks, holders and organisers of all sorts, hangers and shelves. Yeah, I never thought I had such a hidden homebody…but being in the store the other day was like nirvana. I don’t want a HOUSE AND GARDEN home, but I would like it to be nice and clean and pretty and organised. Gah, I want a house of my own, and I want it now!

  • The un-joys of flatting

    angry-faceI’m sure I’ve bitched and moaned enough about our flat for a lifetime, but here’s one more rant. I really would love to live alone/with the boy, but it’s always more expensive than sharing a house with others. Why is that? It’s the same world over I’m pretty sure. From what I can tell, living on your own in an apartment is the done thing in the States. Like, once you graduate from the dorms, you rent a place of your own..I guess it’s a sign of independence, not having roommates, and maybe cause apartments are more dominant in cities? Of course, it’s much cheaper to share accommodation, as many an MSN Money poster has pointed out. Anyway.

    I seriously have the flatmate from hell. Were he not a friend of the boy’s he would have long been kicked to the curb. Right now he’s over $100 behind in various bills. Some of it is from last month – I should have been more vigilant, but last month I had exams and the boy had no work, so I had other things on my mind. He doesn’t clean. Ever. Not after himself, not anything around the house. The boy says it’s not his fault, he was never taught to pick up after himself. So? We’re all grown ups, this is basic, BASIC stuff. The first month or two, we all tried to clean on Sundays. We’d divvy it up; bathroom, floors, kitchen, lounge. Out fourth flatty is rarely home though, so that made it hard. And the system soon disintegrated. I tried having a chore wheel on the fridge. That lasted all of one day.

    So now, I’ve just given up totally. I’ve stopped asking him to do anything. The last straw came months ago. I had to literally ask him about 8 times in an evening to please mop the floors. The LL was coming to inspect the next morning. Eventually I went to bed, but went to the bathroom before (around 10pm). The mop and bucket were standing by the door, full of soapy water, but the floors were still filthy. Oh, I was enraged. I had to clean the floors myself at 10 at night while he snored just behind his door. I made as much angry noise as I could, but he sleeps and snores like nothing human.

    It totally fucks me off. I’ll come home, scrub the floors, vacuum, out he comes and asks “what are you doing?” “Cleaning”

    “Oh Okay” and off to the kitchen to make a mess. Not even an offer to help with anything. Approximately once every three months he’ll say “Leave those dishes, I’ll do them”. Then he’ll go shut himself in his room to watch wrestling while I slave over the bathroom.

    wipe down benches? do dishes? empty the bins? take out cans and bottles for recycling? put the bins out for the collectors? NEVER. He’ll drink boxes of beer, and never take out the bottles or the box. He’ll go nuts at a party at home, then do NOTHING to help clean the next day. And it’s not like he doesn’t make any mess. He doesn’t wipe up stuff he spills, pick up stuff he leaves in the lounge, do dishes, wipe down the stove, clean the microwave after a drunken feed…

    Plus, his ex. the one good thing was she’d help him clean, or clean herself  – empty the bathroom bin, sweep, scrub the boys’ toilet, do the kitchen, take out rubbish. But they were a toxic couple. I…won’t go into details, but seriously, I know much worse goes on, but I like to think I lead a relatively normal life, and their dramas were just fucking out of it.

    So this is ridiculous, I’m at breaking point. At times, it’s not so bad. Everything aside, we otherwise gel as a flat. But the cons so far outweigh the pros. I mean come on, I’m not a bank. In fact, banks charge late fees, etc. I don’t, but I bloody well should. It’s just so disrespectful, and I don’t like being lied to. He’ll tell me he’ll get the the rest of it tomorrow, then the day after, then the day after….then never. I even get the boy to nag him, but he just fobs him off and tells him he’ll get it ‘the next day’. Then avoid us.

    Last time we moved I decided I didn’t want to live with strangers again, as it hadn’t worked out well for me before. I still don’t, really. Ideally I’d join a flat with some of our mates, but I wouldn’t be the head tenant. Unfortunately that’s not an option. Very few of our friends live away from home, in fact, a fair few of them have moved home recently. I don’t really want to take on a tenancy again, I’m sick of having all my money tied up in bonds and I hate worrying about little things like damages or having to call the LL myself when things go wrong.

    So I guess  if we could find a nice place, in a nice area, with flatmates we might get along well with, that takes couples, I wouldn’t mind taking a punt. I’m certainly not going to say I’ll never live with guys again; girls can be just as bad. Not just the bitchiness and cliques, but they can be just as grotty. Like when I lived with two chicks who were rarely home and never cleaned up after their cats. The kitchen floor was always a mess. The bathroom wasn’t too bad, except for the pawprints tracked all over the tub/basin/counters. Trust me, it wasn’t TERRIBLE, but got really old really fast.

    I don’t know what I’ll do if he doesn’t get caught up with his bills this month. I guess we’d ask him to leave, and speak to his mother about getting money out of him (as well for the wallpaper he ripped when he taped his TV aerial to the wall). Yes, it would hurt our budget. But it would be worth it. God knows he uses so much electricity, never cleans up after himself, let alone do household chores, it would save me a ton of time in cleaning and stress.

  • What am I, Cinderella?

    Man, I don’t know how people have families and work full time. Housekeeping is exhausting! It could be a fulltime job in this house.

    I’ve nixed the idea of cultivating cute veggie plots in the garden beds out the back. They are weed-strangled; it’s going to be a mission to dig up my garlic. And it’s not worth it! I don’t have the time or inclination to maintain the backyard. We were so stoked to have a full section and garden. But we don’t ever use it. I venture out to the clothesline a few times a week. I had a compost heap out the back for a bit. But otherwise the grass grows freely and goes untrampled. So we’re paying a guy every three weeks to mow everything, and getting no pleasure from it.

    It’s just that vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, dishes, cleaning the pellet stove and benches, and the toilet, shower and basic gets on top of me. Seeing as we’re staying here another year I don’t foresee any of the workload changing. After that well I hope to be living without flatmates, or with mature ones who tidy up after themselves and pitch in for communal/chores cleaning. That worked here for about a month. Didn’t last long.

    One day I shall have a cleaner, who’ll come in once a month to do things like clean the cabinets, stove, oven, windows, and go over the house really well….

  • Being done with uni for the year is freaking awesome. I don’t have anything I NEED to do in my weekends/evenings. However, on my to do list

    Get new guitar strings/get back into playing

    Weed, rake up garden

    Get lawn mowed

    Organise contents insurance

    Read books on the list I compiled last week

    On Friday I actually dusted in our room (first time since we moved in, disgusting, yes?) and was revolted at the thick dark dust on all our surfaces. And I organised my stuff on top of my dresser and drawers (really want new dresser, but can’t afford one. Come to think of it, I’d like a fabulous new closet with tons of room, sliding wire racks, heaps of storage space, etc. but hey.) I even threw out a bunch of stuff – bottles, makeup, other detritus – unheard of for a hoarder like me! And without feeling a single pang of loss. I guess after starting to put together a story on spring cleaning your makeup bag I thought I should put that into action for myself. It’s disgusting that I have lipsticks from back in intermediate school.

    It also leaves me lots of time for blogging (obviously) and thinking… like, maybe I’d like to get into publishing some day. It first occurred to me after reading Marian Keys’ The Other Side of the Story and thinking Jojo had a pretty cool job and wouldn’t it be fun being a book agent? But I couldn’t do the whole selling thing. I’ve never been in retail/sales and I think that’s for a reason. Then I thought maybe I’d like to be a reader, going through all the manuscripts sent into agencies by wannabe JK Rowlings and Dan Brows. I love reading. What could be better than getting paid to read? But you’d be reading all the crap stuff (99%) and I wouldn’t ever want to lose my love of books. Plus, readers are low level and presumably low paying jobs, and by the sounds of it, it’s hard to move up. And I’m not confident I could pick hits as my reading taste is sometimes a little eccentric. I could get into editing – but it’s a bit dry, really, and my grammar is passable but nothing special. Spelling, though, I’d cut up. I always wanted to be in a wicked spelling bee…

    It’s just amazing to realise just how many different kinds of jobs there actually are out there – ones you never really consider or hear about. You tend to think you’re restricted to the main degree areas, like business and law and engineering, etc, but there’s so much more out there (albeit less common ones).