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10:58 a.m. - 2012-01-19
Ooops, he did it again!

Remember how I've said I have to be cautious about what I say around Mick? No sighing yummy noises at the grocery, no dreamy speculation aloud about this thing or that? Or otherwise Mick will provide it, even if it was just a goofy whim of the moment? For instance a couple weeks ago on New Year's Eve at the stroke of midnight Mick gave me a smooch and produced a small box. Inside was a pair of earrings I'd once pointed to at Sam's and said how versatile that size hoop was. I hadn't been hinting, honest! I'd just been making chat as we waited in a check-out line near the jewelry counter. Hey, I'm coming off 25 years with a guy who couldn't recognize a hint even if it was spray-painted on a wall in letters three feet high and I hired a gospel choir to sing, "Mikey! Here's a clue about what your wife wants for her birthday!". If I wanted something from the ex I had to write down EXACTLY what I wanted and pin it to his coat like Paddington Bear's luggage tag. And even then there was only a 50/50 chance he'd get it right. I swear I could write: 'Bring home a 12oz tube of Crest toothpaste' and Mike would show up with a head of lettuce. So those New Year's earrings were a complete bolt from the blue.

I am NOT bitching about my darling Mick's attentiveness. Far from it. I'm stunned and demented with delight to be so much at the forefront of his mind. It's just that sometimes I feel like I'm playing with a loaded handgun- fool around and it will go off.

And Mick did it again. In a recent entry I made a joke about getting a Merry Maid. Guess who showed up at my house yesterday?

I shit you not. My dear husband hired a cleaning service. He said it was an early birthday surprise. Since our last vacuum died some months ago my efforts to keep up with the pet hair and assorted crud weren't working. The rugs were disgusting. I'd start to clean and get overwhelmed by how grungy this place was and cry. The bath and kitchen were reasonably sanitary, but the rest of the place went to hell. Of course we could have gotten another vacuum, but we've been through three of them in 4 years. And that's not including the Electrolux. The ex killed my beloved Electrolux by using it as a shop vac and even the pricey tune-up and overhaul I had done a few years ago couldn't save it. Then came the parade of inexpensive vacs, but they went toe-up after one or two uses. We are vacuum killers.

So Mick figured that for less than the price of a Dirt Devil we could get a crew in here who would clean everything. Plus his pampered darling wouldn't have to do the scut work of getting our grimy house back in order. His plan worked beautifully. The two ladies who came in yesterday got rid of the crud. Dust, cobwebs, those disgusting rugs, all of the downstairs is nicely clean again. And since early this morning I've been tweaking the clean. De-mineralizing the shower head. I broke out the very last bit of this imported wood polish I can't find in the stores anymore and did the kitchen cabinets. Next up is putting a new layer of wax on the lino. The vinyl floors are clean, but not glossy. I like glossy.

Last night Mick and I toured our newly spiffy house and talked about it. We decided if we can come to a reasonably priced arrangement with the service we'll have them come in every 2 weeks and do the heavy cleaning. Use their wonder vacuum and do the rugs, most especially. In-between times I can absolutely keep up with the lighter stuff. I'm thrilled with not having to spend several horrible days scouring so I can start to really clean. This morning I feel like I've been leap-frogged right over the worst of it and can spend my energy on making this place glitter. Maybe it sounds dopey but with the overwhelming mess taken care of I truly want to do all the smaller jobs that take a place from tidy to gorgeous. The stove parts are soaking, as are the trash and recycling bins. I want the last of the grime gone, gone, gone! Hi ho, cleanser, away!

And I'm back. Waxed myself right into my office. While the kitchen floor is drying I can hang out with you good people. Turns out I had to re-wash the floor before I could wax it. I'm not blaming the cleaners, they did a good job, it's just this place was that grungy. And when in the groove I can be very anal about cleaning, especially floors. All evidence to the contrary. Goes back to when I was a kid. Twice a year my mother would let me cut school so I could strip and wax the floors. Having the house to myself was the only way to get it done. I actually liked those days. My time was my own. I could crank the music. And like I said, I can be anal about some cleaning jobs. The satisfaction of pulling up the old wax and getting rid of it and any residual dirt, making sure the surface was spotless and then applying the gleaming wax was wonderful. I'm weird that way. I also used to spend rainy weekend afternoons using Twinkle on my mother's copper-bottomed pots making them all shiny and pretty too.

Just took a peek and saw that silly kitchen floor is going to need another coat. 'No-wax' vinyl flooring...humph. No such thing.

Anyhoodle, didn't my guy give me a lovely birthday gift? I don't really need any more goodies or jewels. I do need to get my desktop repaired/replaced eventually, but Lappy is serving for the nonce. So what better thing than to give me the gift of time? He gave me something I truly wanted- a way out of the gross mess my house had become. Mick gave me a home do-over. I can take it from here and put my house back to the way it used to be before everything got so overwhelmingly grungy.

Tell you what though, I am going to be very careful from now on about what I wish for...with Mick around I will get it. Again, not ungrateful, it's just Mick is a wonderful husband as is. He doesn't need to give me things and do all the hard stuff for me. I very much appreciate his spoilage of me, but the best thing is already given and was free, he gave me his heart, his love. That's all I need.


Off now to continue spiffy-ing up my house, ~LA the Spoiled Darling

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