Thursday, October 23, 2014


No matter the job, you will run into surprises.

When i arrived to play Mary Poppins, there were a couple of surprises waiting for me.  First, none of the children were there!  The two youngest boys were supposed to be, but the soon-to-be-ex had decided, even though he wouldn't keep them for overnights, he would handle them during the day.

The second surprise was that the homeowner association, knowing that Ms. P's STBX had left her with a house that was behind and tried to saddle her with a huge IRS debt, had decided to do something nice for her.  They hired a cleaning service!

Yes, i've been doing her housework for a couple of months now, but this was a good thing, even if it means i didn't have as much to get paid for this week.  When i come, i do laundry, remake beds, and fight to keep things at status quo.  In fact, i often wish i had more time to tackle special projects, but the once a week for 8 hours is barely enough to get the place cleaned and the laundry done.

Because the service had skipped laundry and didn't worry about changing beds, but just did the actual cleaning, it meant i could spend the two days watching kids, doing laundry, and helping the younger boys organize their room and clean their closet, plus tackle the linen closet, and maybe other things.  It would remain to be seen how much i could get done, but at least i would only have a couple of things to actually clean, so i could try for things like wiping out the kitchen drawers where crumbs accumulate and making some sense out of the pantry.

A word about that cleaning service.  They do good work, but they missed a few things.  My first lesson was to never move things, or at least not to move them far.  Especially papers on a desk, that attorney or doctor or pastor really does know exactly where every paper is, and each one better be in the same place when you are done cleaning.  You don't presume to put away small appliances, even if you think they are superfluous.  You don't clean the boys room by stuffing everything into the closet, and leave crumbs all over the closet floor.  And you do not empty the bathroom trash bins and not put a new bag in there.  The daughter was throwing her unflushables in a can with no liner!  Not Cool, and Not Acceptable.

Oh, and you do have to scrub harder than that to get the hair spray residue off the bathroom surfaces.

Anyway, i got there to no kids and supposedly the daughter wasn't going to be home at all (or would only stop by to pick up clothes and leave) and The Big Boss with his credit card, the gate key (it's a gated community), and the news that i wouldn't have the kids until after 2:30pm so i could go to the store and get some storage bins.  First i started the laundry, of course.

All was going swimmingly as the boys got home and helped with organizing their clothes, and the daughter did come in for a couple of hours and then went back to the friend's house and then came back to spend the night, but there was a complication.

Dinner was supposed to be pizza, and Sweetie and Little Girl were supposed to watch the boys for a couple of hours so i could go to prayer service at church.  The snags in that were that no pizza place delivers to this neighborhood, and the traffic was such that by the time i had pizza delivered to our house and Sweetie got it to us, it was too late to try to make it to church.  At least the kids had dinner.

We've had a few interesting discussions so far -- what are Cajuns?  What is the loupe garou? Where is the Middle East?  What do you mean you go to church just to pray for an hour?  Why is caution tape yellow and black?  What is marketing, and why is everything on that cereal box exactly the way it is?  Is wanting to sell stuff to people a good or a bad thing, and does it depend on what you are selling?  Somehow i don't think these are the kinds of discussions Ms. P thought about her kids getting into with me, but i'm nothing if not weird.

And there are no more crumbs in the silverware drawer, and the laundry is going, and i think we will have a good time, even if the kids think i'm crazy for making myself a veggie burger instead of sharing the pizza.

Oh, and the last time i was here, there was no internet, no TV, and no phone.  It seems the geniuses who sold Ms. P a different package, with the same company, managed to not transition her to the new package, but just turn it all off while still charging her for it.  It took a tech 12 hours to correct the mess, but it's corrected.  No need to drag them all to Starbucks so i can post this!

Also, many happy returns of the day to my Sweetie!  He and his twin were born on this day mumblety-mumble years ago (he would kill me if i said how many, so that should give you an idea!).

Today is:

Canning Day -- get that harvest preserved!  on the birth anniversary of Nicholas Appert, the French chemist who devised modern canning

Chulalongokorn Day -- Thailand (Rama V Day)

Commemoration of the Paris Peace Agreements of 1991 -- Cambodia

Day of the Macedonian Revolutionary Struggle -- Republic of Macedonia

Deepavali/Diwali(Festival of Lights) -- Hindu; Jain; Sikh (fifth day of the festival)
     Bhai Tika -- ritual where sisters honor brothers for the protection they give
     Gyan Panchami -- Jain (celebration of knowledge and education)

Dia Nacional de la Aviacion -- Mexico (National Aviation Day)

Festival of Forgotten Gods -- so we don't offend anybody, i guess?

Festival of Selket and Ceremony of Thoth -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Finding of King Look Under Your Mattress Jubilee -- Fairy Calendar

French Food Festival -- LaRose, LA, US (local specialties, dancing, music, and fun; through Sunday)

Great Pumpkin Carve -- Chadds Ford Historical Society, Chadds Ford, PA, US (carving pumpkins that weigh about 150lbs or more each; through Saturday)

Liberation Day -- Libya

National Boston Cream Pie Day

National Day / Republic Day -- Hungary

National Mole Day -- US Chemists; from 6:02AM to 6:02PM, in honor of Avogadro's Number; this year's theme, "Mole-O'Ween"

National Pharmacy Technician Day -- because pharmacy technicians "Help America Feel Better"

Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan -- Beginning of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan, Hebrew Year 5775, at sundown today

Solar Eclipse -- a partial solar eclipse will be visible in East Asia and over the Pacific, and in most of North America

St. John of Capistrano's Day (Patron of judges, jurists, military chaplains)
     Swallows Depart San Juan Capistrano Day -- after today, in spite of what you think, the natives will tell you that bird is not a swallow

TV Talk Show Host Day -- the way some of them behave, do they deserve a day? Well, I guess everyone is good for something, even if only for being a bad example!  This one is for the birth anniversary of Johnny Carson, who certainly deserves recognition

Ueno Tenjin Matsuri -- Mie, Japan (festival and parade of oni gyoretsu -- demons or ogres -- dating back to the 16th century and said to halt plague, dispel illness, and ward off bad luck; through the 25th)

Birthdays Today:

Keith Van Horn, 1975
Al Leiter, 1965
Dug Flutie, 1962
Randy Pausch, 1960
Nancy Grace, 1959
"Weird" Al Yankovic, 1959
Martin Luther King III, 1957
Dwight Yoakam, 1956
Ang Lee, 1954
Michael Crichton, 1942
Pele' 1940
Chi-Chi Rodriguez, 1934
Johnny Carson, 1925
Frank Rizzo, 1920
Gertrude Ederle, 1906
Gummo Marx, 1893
Adlai Stevenson, 1835
Nicholas Appert, 1752

Debuting/Premiering Today:

The iPod, 2001
"Shadowlands"(Play), 1989
"Pippin"(Musical), 1972
"Barefoot in the Park"(Play), 1963
Dumbo(Disney animated film), 1941
"The Fred Allen Show"(Radio), 1932
"The Squaw Man"(Play), 1914
"In Old Kentucky"(Play), 1893 (ran for 27 seasons)
"Prince Igor"(Opera), 1890

Today in History:

According to the calculations of Archbishop James Ussher and based on the Bible, Creation begins, BC4004
Second Battle of Philippi, Brutus defeated by Octavian and Marc Antony, Brutus commits suicide, BC42
The Jews of Barbados are forbidden from engaging in retail trade, 1668
A revolt is held in Haarlem after a public ban on smoking, 1690
First Jewish prayer books printed in the US, 1760
The Continental Congress approves a resolution barring blacks from the army, 1775
Failed coup against the Emperor Napoleon, 1812
The first plastic surgery is performed, in England, 1814
72 Senators are summoned by Royal Proclamation to serve as the first members of the Canadian Senate, 1867
The New Orleans Mint reopens as an assay office, 1876
The First National Horseshoe Throwing Championship is held in Kellerton, Iowa, 1915
The first North American transcontinental air service begins between New York City and Los Angeles, California, 1929
Husband and wife Dr. Carl Cori & Dr. Gerty Cori are awarded joint Nobel Prizes, 1947
An underground earthquake traps 174 miners in the No. 2 colliery at Springhill, Nova Scotia, the deepest coal mine in North America at the time; only 100 were rescued, 1958
A United Nations sanctioned cease-fire officially ends the Yom Kippur War between Israel and Syria, 1973
Emperor Akihito becomes the first Emperor of Japan to stand on Chinese soil, 1992
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat reach a "land for peace" agreement, 1998
Apple unveils the iPod, 2001
The US CDC announces that, if current trends in diet and exercise continue, by 2050 1 of 3 American adults will have diabetes, 2010
To bolster their relationship, China and India sign a new border defense agreement, 2013


  1. Wow, that was a full day. I wish I could hire you to clean my house. I have done it myself forever, but thinking about gettng help and you certainly are the right person!

  2. This post of yours just reminded me that I need to clean the crumbs outta my toaster.

  3. my mother cleaned houses for many, many years. i won't even clean my own and just live in dust. :) i do sweep up crumbs on the floor, though.

  4. ♪♪Happy Birthday to you,♪♪
    ♪♪Happy Birthday to you,♪♪
    ♪♪Happy Birthday Dear Sweetie and his Twin,♪♪
    ♪♪Happy Birthday to you.♪♪

    What a day. I'm glad you didn't have everything to clean. Sounds like you made some great progress. Good for you.

    Have a terrific day. ☺

  5. Wow! You can come and clean my house anytime. Let me know when you're on the west coast.

  6. What Stephen said! You are super organized, a quality which I do not possess. (But I'm working on it!). :)

  7. Oh my...what a day. I have to say that I wish my HO Ass'n was kind. They would rather railroad HO that they don't fit into their mold.
    Those questions you mentioned sound like fun discussions!

  8. I could use you around my place. It's a mess and I can't even blame kids anymore. I bet your sweetie is not old at all because your not. Unless, he robbed the cradle when marrying you.

  9. Busy, busy, busy. :) But fun in a very tiring way. I wouldn't have been able to keep up with them!