Slip Sliding and Clumping Into Action

tomatoesNow that the dreaded spring cleaning is out of the way, it’s time to be more productive. I’ve mentioned before that we live in a century home, which is a fancier way of saying the house is really old. It still has its original slate roof, and the sidewalks are some type of stone that is slippery when wet. I’ve landed on my bum on the sidewalk many times over the years.

The house is large enough for me to have more than one space for writing. You’ve already seen the desk in my office. The room used to be the dining room.


Window to the left. Fresh air and sunshine available.

My office was the hub for my children’s book business for over sixteen years and for when I began writing three years ago. Now I do most of my editing, social media, and online time-wasting activities here.

After we cleaned out a “catch-all” bedroom upstairs and painted it a garish bubblegum pink for when our granddaughter visits, I claimed the little corner nook in the room for a quieter writing space. You already know I love the color pink (any shade), and the Minnie Mouse curtains and Winnie-the-Pooh desk lamp remind me of our granddaughter and make me happy. It’s so much easier to write humor when you’re happy. (Clap along!)

The ugly green carpet is original to the house. Probably from 1903. The granddaughter is too young to care, and I’m too old to care.)

The desk is a tad small, but as it was our son’s first desk, there is a certain amount of enjoyment in using it, too. By choice, there is no internet in this room, so there are no online distractions. I do most of my writing here.

I write at the table on our deck, too, but a funny thing happened on the way to the deck last weekend. I realized it wasn’t as enjoyable as writing in the nook upstairs. In the pink room, I can open the window for fresh air and look out over the center of town. Bugs, ants, flies, bees, and bird droppings are of no consequence. Neither are sun, humidity, and the dog running in and out of the house like a child. I rather think I prefer using the deck for relaxing and visiting with friends. My days of writing outdoors may be over.

deck2You might be wondering what any of this has to do with slip sliding and clumping.

That brings me to clothing. Specifically footwear.

I’ve established that it’s easier for me to write in a clutter-free environment and that it helps to have a place to write that is free from distractions as well as to give me warm, fuzzy, happy feelings. But what about comfort in clothing?

Oh, trust me. I’m comfortable. When I left the corporate world and donated all my business suits to charity, I found myself in a new type of uniform – tee shirts, jeans, and tennis shoes. Other than the colors, and buying new when the old wears out, the picture remains the same.

It’s been a fine uniform all these years – until Rich bought a pair of slippers for me. I haven’t worn slippers since I was in high school. I’m the type of person who gets dressed first thing in the morning, including shoes, and there are no pajamas until I’m ready to hop into bed at night.

hi-topThese slippers are so cute! Ciabatta hi-top booties. If you pull the sheepskin sides up and tuck them under your jeans, they double as boots, so you can run to the store and not look like you’re out in your slippers.


Rich likes shopping online. Shortly after the slippers arrived, a pair of boots showed up as well.

bootThese boots are so cute! I like the side-button closure, and they are better suited to running to the store and not looking like you’re wearing slippers disguised as boots. A side benefit is that I can walk on the wet sidewalks with no fear of falling. They are immune to the slippery stone! So are the booties. No more slip sliding on my bum.

So what’s the problem?

For the past three and a half months, I’ve been clumping around the house. Or shuffling. Or plodding. I’ve been lazy. The slippers and boots are flat-bottomed and not conducive to picking up your feet. I even “sound” louder when walking through the house.

A few days ago, I ran to the hospital to visit a family member. It was too warm for the boots, and I certainly wasn’t clumping into the hospital in my slippers that pretend to be boots, so I found my tennis shoes and put them on.

It was like magic. There was a spring in my step. I felt energetic. I was zippy! I hopped out of my vehicle and helped a man jumpstart his van in the hospital parking lot. I would have never done that in my slipper/boots.

Heavenly music plays.

I’ve made the decision there will be no more slippers or boots for me. I’m writing more words per day now, and I’ll have my next book ready in a matter of weeks instead of months.

So there you have it. Roughly nine hundred words to tell you that I’m more productive when I wear shoes during the day.

You may throw tomatoes at me now for taking up your time.

Or you can share what it is that makes you most productive. Or on the flip side – what thwarts your productivity?

Spring Cleaning

spring_ cleaning1Spring cleaning is for the birds!

I like a clean house. I even like the lingering smell of cleaning products. I just don’t like doing the cleaning. I’m a minimalist when it comes to cleaning. I do what’s necessary and leave the rest to Rich when he can’t stand it anymore. I love coming downstairs on a Saturday morning and realize the “kitchen fairy” showed up during the night, the dishes are done, and the kitchen is spotless.

However, we recently decided to have the house appraised, and when I found out the man was coming inside to not only take measurements but pictures as well, the spring cleaning was happening whether I wanted to do it or not. I couldn’t let there be a photo record of my lackadaisical attitude toward cleaning.

Cue the upstairs bathroom. Could any one family have any more problems with plumbing than we do? Our new upstairs toilet thought it would have some fun with us. I woke up one morning to a note on the lid – “Clogged. Do not use.”

The sink and bathtub weren’t affected. The clog appeared to be somewhere between the toilet and the common pipe they all shared on their way to the basement.


Evil Clog

No problem. I am a master when it comes to unclogging toilets in this house. The water was clear, and I plunged a few times throughout the day. The toilet drained slowly, so I knew I was getting it. I poured hot soapy water down and plunged again. I heard the clog move down the line. Yay!

Oh wait. Now the bathtub and sink fill up when I run water in them. Time for the Drano Full Clog. Guaranteed to work!

So much for the full clog fix. Have I mentioned yet that we are on day eleven of living with this clog?

Two days before the appraiser came, Rich went to the basement and opened the drain cleanout. He had the foresight to put a wastebasket under the drain. Unfortunately, he opened Niagara Falls and missed the basket entirely. I actually thought that was hilarious. Thankfully, the water was clean and the floor in that part of the basement is dirt, so no harm, no foul. The clog had moved along far enough that it is now somewhere between the cleanout and the main line.

Side note: Rich, honey, just go to Home Depot and get a snake and be done with this.

cleaning_suppliesFor two days, I busted hump scrubbing, sweeping, dusting, and finding a home for every bit of clutter in the house. Rich only had to take the vacuum cleaner apart once to clear out its own persnickety clog.

I quit cleaning one hour before the appraiser came. Everything looked great and felt “sparse.”

The man showed up, raced through the house, and snapped only one picture through the doorway of each room. Poof! He was gone just that fast. I suspect if I had known there would be no real scrutiny, I might not have put so much effort into the cleaning, but, of course, I’m glad I did.

It’s so much easier to write when there’s no clutter. And when your son walks through the house and says, “Wow. Everything is so clean,” you know you did a good job (and you are definitely a bad housekeeper to begin with).

We’re having a day or two of warm weather right now before the snow shows up again this weekend. The birds have been spring cleaning outside. I hear them picking in our dryer vent, working under the eaves of the house, and quite possibly in one wall … but that’s another story.

Are you spring cleaning? How’s it going for you?