Sunday, May 7, 2017

A Different Kind of Saturday

I woke up early on Saturday. I shaved, showered and got dressed in my working at home clothes. There was no errand run. Today was different.

I have been trying to keep the house clean and still get other things done. So, both have suffered. I made up my mind to work on the toy box today, so I got in touch with a woman I know who has a housekeeping and landscaping business. She was coming at 9:30 a.m. to clean the house for me.

I pulled the truck out and set up my saw horses. I ran the vacuum cleaner one more time (I've been cleaning all week in preparation for her visit - I didn't want her to think I was a slob). I also ran the dishwasher, so the counter was ready. I didn't really have enough to justify running it, so I added all the removable parts from the Keurig.

Sidebar: I don't remember the last time I cleaned the Keurig and that's not good. I don't want to be drinking yucky coffee!

She showed up closer to 10:00 (she had to stop and get gas). I told her to ignore downstairs (It's packed with garage stuff). I also warned her about Caley, but she said she and her husband have five cats). I said I'd be in the garage and told her the air compressor was loud. I let her borrow my vacuum cleaner and a bucket (why make her haul hers inside?) and she got to work!

And, so did I!

After measuring, I put light pencil marks where I needed to shoot the nails. I carefully put a light coat of Carpenter's glue on each piece and nailed the first side to the back. I repeated that on the other side. Then came the tricky part, putting in the front piece (with glue on both ends) without getting glue on the other boards. But, I pulled it off!

Next I had to put in the 2x2's that the floor of the toy box will be nailed to. There was a miscalculation there, but I think I have a way to fix it (after the glue dries overnight).

Finally, I got out the track saw and cut out the bottom. I glued the tops of the 2x2's and tapped the floor down with a hammer (tight fit). Then I nailed it in place.

Meanwhile back inside, Lynn was busting her butt! She spent nearly an hour in the bathroom (the first room she tackled). When I told her I had just cleaned it a couple of days before, she said "Well, you really don't get the grout on the floor clean with just a mop!" I looked and she was on her hands and knees, scrubbing the grout lines with a small brush. She then moved to the office. After dusting and then vacuuming cat hair with the attachment, she mopped the floor with a combination of very warm water, Murphy's oil soap and a couple squirts of white vinegar (I asked).

I think she spent the most time in my bedroom. The dust and cat hair were all over the nightstands, dresser, bookcase and, especially, the TV stand. She sat on the floor and washed the whole thing, including the pipe rack Jake made for me years ago.

Sidebar: She washed so thoroughly that, after she left and I went to watch the Kentucky Derby, I found she had inadvertently unplugged the jack in back of the cable box, LOL! I had to reboot it (which takes about 20 minutes).

Back in the garage, I cut 3/4-inch quarter round molding to mount next to the top of either side. Amanda wants arms on this one (the old one didn't have any) and I'll need a bigger base to attach them to than just a 3/4-inch piece of plywood.

I was running out of things to do but Lynn had just started on the living room. So, I got a piece of scrap wood to design the arms. I totally screwed the first one up! So, I made another.

Sidebar, this was a lot of jigsaw cutting and rough sanding.

I did get a good design, I think. Since I now had an 1 1/2 inch base, I made the arms 2 1/2 inches wide. I think that won't snap off, no matter how much pressure you put on the outer, unsupported edge.

By then, I had been standing on the cold cement floor for five hours and both my knee and back were killing me. So, I put everything away and came inside. Lynn was busy, pulling every damn piece of furniture in the living room out, vacuuming behind it and washing the baseboards.

Speaking of vacuuming, I showed her how to empty the vacuum the first time when it was totally clogged with cat hair. She emptied it three times after that!!!

I sat in the office and farted around on the computer. But that got old and she was still finishing up in the living room. So, I told her I had to lay down for a bit (I explained the fused spine) and got my book. The bed felt heavenly...

When she finally got to the kitchen, I told her not to worry about washing the fridge. I have tried several times and the soot is just too embedded. She laughed and said, "I love a challenge!"

Sidebar: She explained to me that she always starts with the mildest cleaning products and kicks it up a notch from there as needed.

She called me in about 15 minutes (just when I was dozing off) to check out the fridge. I swear to God it was whiter than when it was new and I had just moved in!!!

When she was finally done, she had washed all the appliances (including the vents on the stove and the microwave), cleaned the counters, washed the table and chairs and the floor. The stainless steel sink gleamed like they were brand new.

She spent just over six hours here and never really took a break. So, we discussed the fee. She had originally quoted me a price of $85.00. I told her I'd give her $100.00 for gas money (she lives in Warren). But, I told her that was now ridiculous and gave her $200.00. After 6+ hours of busting her but, she deserved it.

I also asked her about her "landscaping" thing. I showed her the garden (between me and Rick and Tammy's house) that's now infested with crab grass.

Sidebar: When I, Jake and Carla did the Bobcat thing back in the day, I laid down a layer of landscape fabric before we applied the mulch. I don't know if it degraded or the layers of mulch have turned into dirt. But, it's a big problem...

She said it might take four hours to weed that garden and she gets $15.00 per hour. And, she didn't know if she could get back next Saturday. So, I suggested I just give her $60.00 right now and she can come and fit it into to her schedule, without me being here. I told her if it took less, just keep it, and if it took more, let me know and I'd send her a check. She agreed and then left...

She is a very OCD, interesting person... The perfect cleaning lady!

She was gone and the kitchen floor was drying, so I got my jacket on and headed out. I went to Home Depot and bought some poplar wood for the armrests (they don't sell birch).

Sidebar: I think that poplar will look better than pine.

On the way home, I stopped at Arby's (I hadn't eaten all day and was starving!) I got a Buffalo chicken sandwich (on a pretzel roll bun) curly fries and a Doctor Pepper to drink.

I ate my early dinner watching the Kentucky Derby and then ran white vinegar through the Keurig. Next I ran water through it three times to get the vinegar out of it. The Derby over, the same channel went into the Stanley Cup finals, so I started watching that. But, I fell asleep before the game was over. Long day...

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