the casa is generally a cluttered world of books and mail and the occassional cat-hair-tumbleweed slowly blowing across the floor. the bathroom and the kitchen are cleaned regularly but they are exceptions to the rule. we tidy up here more than we clean - moving piles from one surface to another, vacuuming the dust bunnies in the corners, shuffling books/dvds/videogames back to where they live (even though they always manage to migrate back to the coffee table/top of the tv/floor). i took a few hours of my days off to tend to a few of the forgotten realms, the areas we always look at and say, 'we really should clean that' but then dinner is ready and 'jeopardy' is on tv and then somehow the whole night has slipped away without getting anything accomplished.
i scrubbed the stovetop, soaking the drip pans and burner rack thingys (i don't know what they're called) for an hour in scalding soapy water. i thought the soaking would losen some grime but it still took 45 minutes, copious amounts of bar-keeper's friend, and plenty of elbow grease to get most of the baked on crud off. unfortunately it didn't occur to me to take a 'before' picture. oh well. recent houseguests may be the only ones who appreciate the full glory that is now the stovetop.
this was living in the fridge. i think it used to be a bowl of tomato soup (the chunky tomato bisque is amazing!). i know it's mold and therefore disgusting, but look. it's kind of beautiful, too.
i also tackled the primary living space with a few garbage bags, some furniture polish and rage (ha! this was a typo too good to fix... i meant to say rags), and the vacuum.
i found some peace in the process of scrubbing, of cleaning so hard i sweated, of going through the accumulated dirt and effluvia and finding things i had forgotten about. already the house has lost its sharp, clean edge. the piles have slowly started to sneak back onto the coffee table and i'm pretty sure i just saw a baby tumbleweed making its way into the kitchen. but i have to start carmelizing onions and chopping cucumbers for dinner tonight and then 'jeopardy' will be on tv and then... well. you know how it goes. why didn't anyone tell me how humbling cleaning a house is? and why did it take me so long to find the joy in the whole process?