Monday, July 23, 2012

Diana's Household Diaries "DeDusting"

Good day everyone! I had some help with choosing today's subject.
Deb from "Of His Pasture"
Sandi from "Flying into the Light"
And my old Blogging Buddy
Eileen from "Family Ties"

All of them suggested "Dusting" as today's subject but I feel that I must change that to
"Dedusting" because lets face it, that's what it really is!

First let me say that I live in two different "Dedusting" worlds. That of the house that I clean weekly and that of my own house. The latter of the two being a bit more neglected than the first!!

The easiest way to start I suppose is with the house that I clean weekly as I do it in a somewhat more professional manner. I am sure that they have a much less dusty house than I do!

So lets start with products that I use. I use these products in both my own and the house that I clean every week.
The first product is one that my grandmother used and I really like it for wood surfaces.  

With Old English and a soft rag, your fine woods will really shine. It does take a bit more elbow grease than the next product which works almost equally as well but sometimes I would swear that I can feel the wood's appreciation of this special treatment!! Sounds silly I know but it really does a splendidly fine job. To my antique's and finer wood furniture, I like to apply a nice layer, lightly spread it around and let it sit for a bit before polishing.
The other product I like for wood surfaces that makes dusting a bit easier and quicker is Orange Glo.

Another very good product for wood surfaces.

There are other things that I use depending on the surface I am Dedusting but next I have to say that I always, always Dedust from top to bottom.
In other words, I like to start with the ceiling's first if needed. For the ceilings I use one of these...

Ceilings aren't something that I Dedust often but I do Dedust them more often at the house I clean weekly than my own house, surprise, surprise!!
Next I do the ceiling fans. I find that if you dust them weekly, you don't have to wash the blades as much. I dust the fans weekly and wash them monthly. For ceiling fans I like to use one of these...

A Swiffer extended Deduster! It also works well on window frames, tall lamps, and curtain tops. Anything that can't be reached by a short woman.

Gosh Dedusting is a boring subject isn't it? If you've managed to stick with me thus far, I have a Dedusting story for you.

Many, many years ago in another life, far, far away, there was a young homemaker named Diana. She was so busy raising her two young children that she didn't seem to find much time to Dedust.
She had long since lost an expensive gold, one ct. diamond cocktail ring that had been specially designed for her. It made her heartsick.
One day she was Dedusting furniture and appliances that reach well above her head. Something that to this day, she does rarely! Maybe once a year.
Imagine her surprise and joy when while Dedusting a tall glass shelving unit, there it was! The long lost diamond ring. It was in a spot that she couldn't see unless she got up on a chair.
She always had a sneaking suspicion that someone put it there to teach her a lesson in putting her jewelry in a safe place! 
So you see the moral of the story is, don't put off Dedusting for too long. You never know where things may be hiding!!

Alrighty then, back to the subject at hand. Eileen asked if I had a cleaning routine and how often I Dedust such things as Nick Knacks.

At home I am usually always cleaning something. But for the most part I do the majority of my cleaning on Thursday, Friday and then again on Monday. I like to have my house clean when my husband comes home for the weekend. Not that he really cares but he does appreciate my need to do it for him!
It almost seems really silly because come Monday morning, I have to start all over again!

After I Dedust everything that's above my head, I will then work on the wood furniture. 
For things like T.V. screens I like to use one of these...

I have lots and lots of glassware in cabinets. I only Dedust those items annually. I wash the glassware and dust the insides of the cabinets. As for Nick Knacks, well, lets just say I have way too many! 
And to be truthful with you, I don't dust them very often. At least the one's that are hard to reach that is.
All others that are within my reach, I Dedust weekly. As for hard surfaces, such as glass and brass, I use glass cleaner and paper towels. 

Now let me think, have I left anything out?
Not that I can think of so that is my Dedusting routine in a nutshell!!

Oh and I rarely Dedust my little upstairs apartment. No one goes up there but me and Jake so I only do it once a month.

Let me say that I realize that my Household Diaries may seem boring to many. But the simple fact is that it's what I know. My thoughts have been stale lately. Just dealing with daily life and everyone's schedules and routines, has made me very tired.
So if you have followed along with me this far, Thanks my friends.

I'm thinking about next weeks subject being
Floor cleaning. I do lots and lots of that. You could say I'm a bit OCD when it comes to my floors.
Yes you could definitely say that!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Yet Another Milestone

We've come a long way from the first day of preschool. My youngest girl, Katie.
Our Baby.

And now, her first day in the working world.

It's hard to tell from the photo that she is excited. Really she is ! Kate just doesn't like when mom takes her photo. She only did this for me.

Earlier this morning while I was cleaning this song came on the radio.

It always makes me cry. 
But you and I know that the song wasn't the only reason that I cried this morning.

At least I did it before my daughter came into the room. 

Good Luck Katie.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Diana's Household Diaries " Laundry, Pain or Pleasure "

It's pleasure for me. Well most of the time it is. Laundry is just one of those chores that doesn't bother me. It doesn't hurt that we have modern appliances in which to do it with either!!
My earliest memories of laundry was of a wringer washer my mother used when I was very young. We were living in a two-story brick apartment building in Chicago. My mom, myself and my brother. There was a wringer washer in the basement to which my mother would always warn me to stay away from. I guess mom didn't like using it much as after a time we would walk several blocks to the laundromat to do our weekly laundry. Mom and I taking turns pulling our wheeled cart back and forth to the laundromat. It was always so hot in there. Air conditioning wasn't as common place as it is now. While at this laundromat I remember a time when my eyes started burning and then we started coughing. There was an awful smell and then we realized one of the dryers was on fire! At least it wasn't filled with our clothes!
It wasn't long after that when mom received a new washer dryer pair from my soon to be stepfather. I'll bet I have that photo around here somewhere. I can still see the excitement on her face from that day. I'm sure she was tickled not to have to make the six block walk back and forth with my brother and I in tow anymore. 

After I was married to my first husband, we lived in another apartment complex in the suburbs of Chicago. Schiller Park to be exact. This apartment building had a washer/dryer combo in the basement that was shared by the residents. I didn't mind doing my own laundry but there was this one older gentleman tenant that kept telling me that I wasn't cleaning the lint screen of the dryer properly. Well I really thought I was doing it right but apparently you must pick off every individual speck of lint that remained on the screen. I tried to appease him but I just never did it good enough for him so I would just apologize!  
While living in that apartment, I discovered that I was pregnant with my first child. My son Frank. I was 19 and so, so excited. This would lead to my most exciting laundry experience ever. It came after my baby shower.

I received many new baby clothes. Teeny, tiny, adorable baby clothes. My mother told me that I had to wash them before the new baby would wear them. Really? I had no idea. I was 19. I had no idea about anything. So I bought some Ivory Snow. Mom had to tell me about that too. Then I washed all of the teeny, tiny, adorable baby clothes about three months before the baby was due. I can vividly remember folding each little item, in awe of the tiny details. I know it must sound silly, but I was in heaven! The clothes were now all ready for the new arrival, as was I.

After Frank was born we moved into another apartment. That is when I got my very own washer and dryer. They were Maytags. I still have Maytags only the set I have now are much newer. This is the exact pair that I have now.

 When I was ready to purchase the new set I seriously researched the newer HE (High Efficiency) machines. I was so, so close to purchasing an HE set but I didn't like what I was reading about them. My husband was leaving this decision up to me. I also talked to our repairman about them. It was after that when I decided to go with the traditional models above. They are more efficient than the older models, they just aren't, supposedly as efficient as the HE models.

I won't tell you the reasons that I decided against the HE models as I wouldn't want to deter someone from purchasing them if that's what they really wanted. But I will tell you that I made the right choice as our house is 65 years old and so is most of our plumbing. As it turned out, our old plumbing couldn't have handled the type of water pressure needed for the new machine. We ended up having to put in a wash tub to handle the pressure of the new machine we did buy!! I am very happy with them. They wash and dry much better than my old one's did.

I have recently tried something that I learned about on the local news station a few weeks back. Most of you may already know about this but I didn't so I gave it a try. I made my own homemade laundry soap. It saves quite a bit of money. I was so sick of the skyrockting laundry soap prices, I thought " Why not give it a try?". So far I can honestly say that it works very, very well. It takes a only a few ingredients to yield about four quarts dry. You can make it liquid if you wish but I went with the powdered, it was easier. You only need two TEASPOONS, yes TEASPOONS, per load. It cleans very well and doesn't leave a scent on the clothes which is good in my house as my husband is allergic to many scented products. I read that you can scent it if you like. You can Google it if interested in more info that I am giving you here. There are a few different recipes, the one I chose was fairly easy. This is what you will need...

 6 - Bars of Fels-Naptha soap. (The photo shows 3 but you will need 6)
3- Cups Arm & Hammer Washing Soap
3- Cups of Borax
If you have hard water, add a 2-lb. box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
Finely grate the Fels-Naptha into a bucket. This is much easier if you have a teen or two around your house! Add the remaining ingredients , mix well.
I had a five quart ice cream tub that I used for the soap. I didn't need the baking soda so you may need a larger container if you have hard water and need to use the baking soda.
Use 2- teaspoons per load.

I am guessing this soap will last several months for me. The total cost was around $14.00. I found all of the ingredients at Wal-Mart, where else right? Our clothes come out softer and cleaner then they did with the store bought detergent. I can only imagine the dollars this is saving our family. We do about 6 to 7 loads a week.

It's also very important to clean your washer on a regular basis. I clean mine once a month with a cup of bleach and hot water. Follow your manufacturers directions for proper cleaning. I have also used "Afresh" washing machine cleaner tablets but found that the bleach actually worked better. Cleaning your machine regularly is very important as it prevents mold and mildew build-up which and be a hazard to your health and once let to sit too long, can be very difficult to get rid of. There is always excess water that sits in the tub of your machine weather you see it or not.

I also love hanging my clothes outside on a clothesline. I had to do this for a few years when we lived in a house that didn't have a natural gas line for my dryer. I suppose we could have converted it but we chose to hang them outside. The smell of towels, sheets and clothing hung outside, well, nothing beats it !! I would like to buy one of those big clothes hanging thingy's for my yard. I don't really have anything proper to attach clothesline to. I can only imagine how quickly our clothes would have dried in that 100 plus degree weather we had!!!

Now, I have almost covered any and all of my thoughts and knowledge about laundry here. Lets face it, most of you know the basics, it ain't rocket science!! But I haven't told you the one thing that I hate about laundry. I don't mind washing it. I don't mind drying it. I don't mind folding it. The part that I absolutely dislike is putting it away. So if you are fortunate enough to have someone that does laundry for you, unless you pay them, put your own clean clothes away, please!!!

Choose your subject !! Let me know what household subject you would like me to post about. I will choose a majority choice. If there isn't a majority, I will pick a random subject from your suggestions. This could be fun. I don't know everything you know!! But I will do my best. I will post what I know about the subject, if anything, next Monday.

Thanks for reading Diana's Household Diaries!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Baby Got a Job !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I didn't think is was going to ever happen. My youngest finally got a job !!! She's been looking and looking, applying everywhere to no avail. Her lack of any work experience has made it difficult for her.

She finally got a call back today and she starts orientation this weekend. I could cry. I could laugh. I am doing both !!

I know once she gets the hang of things, she'll do a good job. Having her own money will make her happy. She say's she feels relief because now she doesn't have to listen to everyone telling her to get a job !!

Good for you Kate. Would you like fries with that? LOL !!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Lilac Grows Through a Drought

This little Lilac bush was a gift to me from my daughters, Ginny and Katie, this past Mother's Day.
It is also special in that it blooms not only in the Springtime but the Summertime as well.

In the above photo you can see all of the dead grass around the Bush except for the green ring of grass that gets some of the runoff of water from my daily watering.

It's very odd to see so many dead leaves around the yard at this time of year. 
I have been diligent in watering all of my plants specifically my potted flowers and newly planted perennials.

My diligence has paid off as I discovered today when I bent over to smell the Lilac Bloom. I've never smelled one so sweet !!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Diana's Household Diaries- " I Don't Have a Dishwasher "

I don't really know why dishwashers came into my mind. But they did. A few days ago.
For some reason I had an epiphany. I realized that everyone that I know has a dishwasher.
Except me.

It's not that I've never had the opportunity to have one, I've just always turned those opportunities down. 

Every place that I have lived had a tiny kitchen including the house that we own and have lived in for almost 14 years. 

Before we bought this house I vowed to myself that we would find a home with a big kitchen. Then along came this house. It had so, so many features that we loved. Then came the kitchen. Tiny. My husband refers to it as " A two butt kitchen " because anymore than two people in it at the same time is very frustrating when trying to fix a meal.

We do however have a huge walk in pantry, one of the features that I loved. But that didn't really help the limited cabinet space being used for dishes, pots, pans, etc.

This kitchen actually came with a dishwasher. One of those big old portable one's that took up about a quarter of the kitchen!! So one of the conditions to us buying the home was that the previous owner's take it with them. Again no dishwasher.

My husband offered several times to buy me one. I didn't want it to take up precious cabinet space, so I always said no.
Here is my method for dish washing today...

There isn't much science to it. I do like to let mine soak in hot sudsy water for a bit before washing. Soaking makes it a bit easier. If "The Prairie Home Companion" is playing on the radio, I don't mind washing them so much. The show makes me laugh so it doesn't seem like such a dull job.
For many years I had two great dishwashers of the non mechanical type. My oldest son Frank and my oldest daughter Ginny. They would take turns everyday. Of coarse there were days when they would be in school that I would have to do them myself but they got them done for the most part.

Since they have long ago moved away, I do most of the dish washing by myself. I try to keep paper plates in the house but sometimes we just don't pick them up and there are always pots and pans that need to be done.

I do have two teenagers in the house and they will do the dishes when told to. But this is a very different generation I like to call "Lazy". They end up doing them about four times a week and only after several firm reminders from me or Jake. I usually get tired of the reminding and end up doing them myself.

I don't ever remember being Thanked for doing the dishes. I have however Thanked others for doing them for me.

Jake will also pitch in on the weekends when he is home. Although he sometimes doesn't put them away. He will put them away if I am washing them, I like that part!! I always make the kids put them away. Whats the point if you aren't going to finish the job.

Now there is nothing I hate more than waking up to a sink full of dirty dishes. This being something my grandmother, Laverne would always say. So I guess it sort of stuck in my own mind since I was a child.

Dishwashing is one of my least favorite household chores. I , for the most part, love housework. It calms me and makes me happy. The dishes, not so much.

I really think this is the main reason that I don't like to cook anymore, the mess that it leaves. I don't like spending hours a day in the kitchen when I could be here posting about something as silly as dish washing!!

It's a fact that I don't even know how to operate a dishwasher. I still look at them from time to time and my husband always asks if I want one. I still say no thank you.

It probably won't be too long before I am alone and won't have nearly as many dishes to wash. I imagine when that day comes, I will be sad. Or maybe not, we'll see.

Do you have a dishwasher? I have a feeling that most if not all of you do.

Or do you do it the old fashioned way?

Next Monday: Laundry, Pain or Pleasure?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July 4th 2012 8:45 p.m.

Well here it is almost 9:00 p.m. , Independence Day 2012 !!
I was sitting here contemplating going up to bed as I have to get up at  5:45 tomorrow. I have my weekly house to clean and it takes me forever to wake up anymore. I am slower, HA!!

The husband is gone, he should be sleeping by now. Somewhere north of here. Katie left with her boyfriend. They are off to the airport to see the fireworks display. Jake and I used to take her when he would be home. I always found it too hot and too crowded to really enjoy. That and the fact that I grew up in a pyrotechnic family.
Simply put, I had to help every year setting up several shows a season. It's a break of dawn till early in the morning job. Quite honestly, if I never see another fireworks show, it wouldn't break my heart. But I do understand the enjoyment that the crowds get from watching them.

My husband always laughs about the one year that I told a traffic police officer how I felt about the horrible parking situation as if it were his fault!! I don't like crowds. I think I am claustrophobic to a degree. I can't stand the feeling of being trapped in a space.

So here I sit by myself which is fine. I'm tired and pretty much ready for bed. The sounds of fireworks going off in the neighborhood bothers the dogs so I feel bad leaving them downstairs but they've been alone before through it. Ruby just likes to bark every time one goes off while Roxy just sits and shakes poor thing. I can't take them upstairs with me because that is the cats territory. My dogs and cats don't get along real well. They are all stubborn. 

The real reason I am posting this is to let everyone know that I had to enable my word verification. I didn't want to as it can be such a pain but I was getting lots and lots of the "S" word. I don't want to type the word so I hope you understand. And I hope it won't stop you from visiting. I may disable it in the future but for now it is a necessity. I hope you understand.

Well kids it's bedtime for me and I hope you all had a safe and fun evening. Happy Independence Day, God Bless America. Goodnight.