Thursday, July 08, 2010


First I'm going to give you a little update so you know where I've been and then I'll write some more of the story for you, because I know many of you have been waiting.

Here's where I've been - MOVING!!! And I should have Internet at my new house by tomorrow with any luck! What I mean by that is that I have to sit and wait for the Comcast man to come between 8am and 1pm when I have no TV, no couch, no computer and nothing to entertain myself except my phone and some cleaning supplies.

Yeah, we have a lot of cleaning supplies. You see, we got a tremendous deal, I'm talking an unheard of deal, on the rent for a three bedroom cottage which is a quick walk to the beach and which also has a mango tree (and ZERO peacocks). The house, were we to buy it, would need a lot of fixing up, but since we're renting it, it's staying the same and will be quite livable as is. It's not a big fancy house by any means, but we love it and it has so much charm and so much room. It kind of reminds me of a tropical version of my house in Atlanta and that makes me very happy.

Here's the issue though. The house has been a rental for a long time and has not been given the love it deserves. The previous tenants were filthy. I honestly don't know how they lived the way they did. They were three women, each with identical mullets, all of whom were mechanics, which I actually think is kind of cool, and they were incredibly nice people. They had adopted all sorts of misfit, one eyed, three legged dogs and had a bunch of birds and I swear there was a ferret running around in there too and although these women were really nice, in a life or death situation, it would be more sanitary to perform surgery in a frat house on a Sunday morning than it would have been to do it in their house. I honestly think that these women never once ever cleaned anything. Ever.

We're talking moth cocoons hanging from the ceiling, a half inch of fur on the fan blades, clumps of dog hair, black baseboards, mildewed bathrooms and a pervasive odor of Fritos. They were, however, kind enough to leave us with a half bottle of Popov and a empty pizza box on the back porch and I sincerely wonder how they didn't manage to start a raging fire from all the lint in the dryer. My suspicion is that they never did laundry. I could have made my husband a sweater out of the lint I cleaned out of the dryer trap.

We agreed to clean and do some maintenance on the house for a drastically reduced rent and the owner was actually happy to have us as his tenants. He's really nice.

The next problem is that no one, partly including myself, wants me around cleaning chemicals and germs from all the dirt, so I haven't been able to get in there and scrub the place down until it gleams like a Tibetan monastery. We hired some cleaning ladies to do part of it and Husband single handedly has been doing the rest and I've been doing little things as I can and with much ventilation. We got all eco-friendly cleaning supplies and when I clean I use dish soap and lavender Dr. Bronners, which is how we cleaned at the Waldorf school. It smells good too and I have very pleasant associations with lavender. 

Luckily, my parents will be home tonight to help us out and once we unleash my mother, that place will be downright sterile. My mother can clean with a vengeance. When I was little she used to piss me off so badly because she'd stay up until 3 and 4 in the morning cleaning and make so much noise that it would wake me up. I've always been in awe of my mother's cleaning abilities. She can't organize for crap, but she can do a deep cleaning like nothing I've ever seen and no matter what the mess or stain, you can ask her and she's like the google of housekeeping. She knows how to get everything out of everything. Me, well, not so much. My strength is the organization that she lacks. Some people call it OCD, but I prefer the more PC term - very orderly.

My parents, for those who were wondering, went to Austin, didn't like it, went to Orange County,California, did like it, stayed for a while, visited my in-laws, went back to Austin, still didn't like it and are now on their way home to help us move. After this, they may leave again and go up North to see my grandmother, but we don't know. There's a lot going on for them this year, with two pregnant daughters and that's a once in a lifetime thing. Their first two grandchildren are going to arrive just two months apart and they're beside themselves over it.

Speaking of that, Baby Lawns is doing well. I haven't been feeling so great lately and I learned that I was dehydrated and not eating often enough, so I'm working on that. I also learned that I needed to double my thyroid medication, so maybe that was part of what was making me so sluggish and miserable. I think the oppressive heat and humidity is also contributing. But I'll be fine. Baby Lawns is very active and well. She's a little small, but nothing to worry about. We had an ultrasound two days ago, but she was not so cooperative. She flipped around and faced my back and then rolled around so much that we couldn't get any non-blurry shots of her. My greatest fear was unfounded, of course, like all of my greatest fears. I worried that they had made a mistake on her gender and that I had gone and had a shower and people had gone and gotten her girlie things already and that she'd turn out to be a boy when I couldn't come up with a single boy's name. I've heard stories like this. Baby Lawns is still a girl. Her name still sticks. Her initials are MJ.

So that's where I've been. Oh, and did I mention work too? I'm teaching summer school, which is going nicely so far, but it's a class I've never taught so it requires a lot of preparation and creating of new lesson plans. Not a big deal, but I have a lot going on. 


Yankee said...

Congrats! Glad everything is going well.

JoeinVegas said...

Wow, you do sound busy. New place and new class - doesn't sound like you are standing still.

Maria said...

When you first mentioned that you picked an old fashioned name, the name Mildred came to my mind and I convinced myself her name would be Mildred. Now you're telling me her first initial is M! I'm PSYCHIC! Or wrong.

Wide Lawns said...

Well Maria I can't tell, but you might be psychic yet.

JTN said...

If you want to stay away from chemicals but still clean, I recommend baking soda. It is my absolute favorite cleaner. It scrubs off dirt without scratching. I started using it when we got a fish tank and I wanted to clean out the sink before working on things in the tank (I figured harsh chemicals and gills don't mix). The stuff works better than most commercial cleansers.

Why didn't your folks like Austin?

Anonymous said...

Glad you and BL are doing well! Don't put too much on the size of the baby (not that you sound like you are) from the ultrasound. My ultrasounds always "showed" a very different sized baby than what popped out - a 2lb. difference - and this was pretty common with my friends and family that have had babies as well.

mcgrimus said...

When my wife and I bought our house, the first thing we did was rip up the blue shag carpet in the bathroom. Nasty.

Glad you found something you like! Enjoy the nesting process. I'm sure the impulse will only get more and more urgent the further along you get. But it sounds like you have enough help to at least get it clean and livable.

Jan said...

I have been thinking Maude or Margaret (or one of it's variations, Madge or Marge). Oh! The suspense.

Every Day Reader said...

I think it's going to be Molly, but you should not tell if you don't want to.
God bless you all. I hope you have a wonderful time in your new home.

Faye said...

Is it Miriam? My hipster cousin just had a baby named Miriam. Its one of my favorites.

Kayla said...

I *LOVE* Dr. Bronners. I work for a green cleaning company and we use castile soap and baking soda for pretty much everything. 7th Generation and Mrs. Meyers are good brands, too (the one downside to Dr. Bronners is that you have to rinse it off. These two make all-purpose cleaners you don't have to rinse). Safe for you, Baby Lawns, and Canela ^_^

Anonymous said...

Man, I was so sure your parents would love Austin! Well, as sure as I can be from the snippets I think I know about them from your posts. Maybe they didn't visit the right parts :/

Melissa said...

I am thinking Baby Lawn's name is Maeve. If so, great choice. I love that name. :)

Also, if your mom wants to come clean my house, she's more than welcome to. Somehow, I think cleaning with your mom could be fun from what you've written about her.

Robin in Ohio said...

Glad to hear your little "seedling" is doing well. So, her initials are MJ? Could be Mary Jane like Spiderman's girlfriend....hmmmm! I'm just happy you haven't decided to name her Gladys or Olive. (That's all I could think of when you said her name was a family name and old fashioned.)

Anonymous said...

matilda jane! or matilda jean!

also color me surprised that your folks didn't like austin. what was there primary complaint against it?

(go wide lawns! we love you!)

catherine said...

You might want to spray the place for fleas before you move the furniture in if they had that many dogs. Give it some time to disipate before you move in. I speak from experience. Even though the carpets were shampood before we moved in here, the place is infested with fleas and giant centipieds. We had to get the place sprayed and it would have been easier if there wasn't any furniture, plus it wouldn't reak like insecticide.

Sharon said...

There's a girl who works at the deli nearby named Mavis. Maybe that's it. I'll have to ask her middle name.

BTW, she looks like a Mavis. A truck-stop-waitress, hairnetted Mavis. And I'm thinking she's only in her early 20's.

morrigoon said...

Go buy a gallon of white vinegar. That stuff works better than any commercial cleaner I can think of. And it's the only thing that makes a dent in soapy bathtub scum (even with a scrub brush, it takes vinegar to get that nastiness off). Seriously, it's my "new" favorite cleanser.

mcgrimus said...

Never heard of Dooce, but just now checked out her Daily Photo, which is of one of her hallways. About as long as a basketball court. "This hallway just screams HOME to me," says the caption, but if that were me, I'd be thinking, will I ever get used to this? It looks so sterile, and more like the back room of an Abercrombie & Fitch (or at least what I imagine it might look like) than a HOME.

And who loves a hallway, really??

kr said...

I love Dooce and I love your blog! Just remember she lives in Salt Lake City and you live in Florida, money goes further in Utah (not to mention its one of the ugliest states) chin up! :)

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