Julie

By JULIE (ROTH) FREIBURGER

Bellevue Herald-Leader

 Monday of Thanksgiving week: I give in and go see the doctor to get something to treat the semi-annual crud that I know is never going to get better without medication.    I leave with scripts for an antibiotic, an inhaler and prednisone.  And the suggestion to rest and drink lots of fluid.  Rest?  A couple of days before Thanksgiving?  And, unfortunately,  I assumed she didn't mean that I should drink more alcohol.

Tuesday:  Feeling somewhat better, I decide to tackle some of the pre-holiday cleaning.  I know, there are those of you who will say I am certifiable...cleaning before a houseful of people coming is a waste of time, but I  am sure there are others who will concur that it is necessary.  As I drag a hairbrush through my hair, I notice it's rather dirty. Odds are someone (who lives in this house and has yet to  ever put it away) will leave the brush on the counter or the girls will grab it to do each other's hair.  I know this because I have been embarrassed by this.   Off to soak combs and brushes.  The drawer they are kept in has enough hair to make a small toupee. Off to the kitchen with it to scrub.  Why is hairspray overspray so darn hard to get off things?

I notice the soap dispenser is all gummed up.  Take that apart and soak in vinegar until it works again. Could have sworn that I had a refill in the linen closet. Open that door. What a mess.  Don't find any soap, but about 20 partially used bottles of conditioner  (you would think I would learn that they all make my hair too soft and flat).   I wonder if there is another use for them?

 Thinking my eyes are maybe getting fuzzy, I am happy to realize that the bathroom mirror, with a little elbow grease, was also just coated with hairspray. Clean mirror really shows up the wrinkles well.  Sigh.

Scrubbing shower and wondering how something that you only wash and rinse in with lots of soap and shampoo can possibly get that disgusting.  Again, scrubbing, using some kind of cleaner that makes me cough.  Good for my lungs, I am sure.

Closing the shower curtain, notice unknown spots on it.  Wondering why I was compelled to buy a crisp, white, linen looking curtain. Soak in a bucket of non-chlorine bleach.

Bath mat hasn't been washed in a while...might as well throw in a couple of throw rugs with it.  Down to the basement.  

Back upstairs, open medicine cabinet and find toothpaste smeared all over...really, there aren't even any kids living here! Wipe that out in case someone should be on the hunt for a Tylenol.Throw out a few outdated bottles, too.

Go to remove rugs from washing machine and discover that the machine that is only 3 weeks old  stopped in the middle of the cycle and the rugs are sitting in water.  Crank the knob to the rinse cycle and hope that it is a one-time occurrence, right?

  Upstairs again, folding load of laundry.  Putting clothes away discover that several drawers are in terrible disarray. "Sometimes the girls want to borrow some socks."  Dump out drawer on bed and roll into pairs (just how long do you keep single socks with the hope that its mate will one day turn up?)

Drop a sock on the bedroom floor. Upon retrieving it, remember the time a toddler rolled under my bed and appeared out the other side looking like Pigpen from Charlie Brown.  Out comes the Swiffer.

Go to throw shower curtain in the dryer, discover it says line dry only.  It is 32 degrees outside. I don't even have a clothesline anymore. I gather some chairs to drape it over in the basement.  Carry another load of laundry upstairs.

  Back to folding dish towels and attempt to put away in kitchen  drawer.  Drawer won't shut.  Dump out drawer and refold.

 Putting rest of clothes away, see that closet door won't shut because of piles of shoes. Not mine.  If God had meant for shoes to be stored in one big pile, he wouldn't have paired them in shoeboxes.  Someone doesn't realize that the reason closets have doors is to hide the mess.   Since I know that said person will not shut it, even for the holiday, I pair and straighten shoes.

  Cleaning front and back doors and wondering why I ever picked out full pane doors, 12 panes each, inside and outside.

  Thinking that I probably should bag some extra ice for Thanksgiving, and knowing that I will probably forget, I  head to the kitchen to dump the ice drawer into a bag.  Can't shut the freezer, so grab armloads of giant packages of chicken wings and stuff and carry to freezer downstairs. Old bag of ice falls on my foot. I say a few words and hobble back upstairs.

While coming up the steps, notice orchid on top of fridge is dropping and climb up on a chair to water.  Discover dirty top of refrigerator.  Jump down to get a rag and bucket of water.  Climb up again and clean because some tall people are coming for dinner.

Inside fridge, throw out several containers of dubious foods to make room for future new food.

Discover what looks like a Pepsi bottle has exploded all over the refrigerator and into the crispers (whoever designed these has never cleaned one, grooves need scrubbing with brush.)

Throwing away soggy lettuce, discover that my trash bin/wastebasket is as disgusting looking as a vegetable puree... how can two grown adults miss a wastebasket so often?

Downstairs to see if  shower curtain is dry enough to iron. (I know, but it looked awful!)  Iron is caked with whatever drop cloths are coated with (Christmas projects)  gunk probably will come off on my clean white curtain.  Scrape and clean soleplate.  Run upstairs to hang curtain.

  Getting out a clean garbage bag, find that drawer is also in utter disarray.  Girls will be getting foil and plastic wrap out when we clean up. Straighten and throw out 110 plus bread wrapper ties.

Reminds me of plastic containers for leftovers.  Where have all mine gone?  I scurry out to the Family Dollar to buy more, knowing that my kids will probably bring back more.

Vacuum crumbs (wish I had a dog sometimes) discover vacuum isn't suctioning right, probably clogged from cleaning my horribly dirty basement Monday.  Unclog vacuum.  Run vacuum. Discover little tractors under couch from the previous time kids were here.  Run those downstairs to put with toys.  Upstairs again.

 Throughout the day getting alerts of online sales. Have to check them.  Don't want to miss a good buy on a Christmas gift.

    Glance at the clock. OMG, where did I put the turkey?