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Sparkling Clean

At the outset, let's get this straight, I'll be the first to admit to undervaluing the allure of sparkle and shine. Who knew my things could look so nice without a layer of grease and grime? Deep down, I'm sure I did, however, making the effort to get there has not been my strong suit. Yesterday, I made that effort.

The morning began gray and gloomy. In fact, not long after getting up, the rain began falling. That ruled out going swimming.
Unlike our typical rainstorms, this one was nice and easy--no thunder or lightening--just soft rain. Before it came on in earnest, I spent about an hour and a half, working in the yard, weeding and trimming. Although I got slightly wet before I quit, it was preferable to baking in the sun. While outside, I looked diligently for our babies with no success.

As well, we have a slight problem with the pool finish; some dark spots are appearing on the bottom. The company has been responsive, sending out a fellow yesterday morning. I don't know about you, but it is VERY hard for me to look someone in the eye who has a tattooed bald head, scraggly beard, and lisps because of something embedded in their tongue. I did my best. He may look kinda scary, but he seems to be knowledgable and that's what we need. Worst case scenario is draining the pool and treating the shell with acid. Let's hope it doesn't come to that!

In homage to Nancy, I decided to seriously clean the kitchen. If you can imagine it took me hours and hours. We now have a perfect toaster, shiny kettle, impeccable stove, and more. I emptied the canisters and washed them as well.
You might notice the 409 on the windowsill--Nancy has definitely convinced me of it's usefulness. I washed all the cupboards, polished the dishwasher and take a look at this stove:
Sparkle! That backsplash and granite around the stove were pretty gross, covered with spattered grease that has been on there for who knows how long!

I had the weirdest experience while this was going on. My doorbell rang and it was an elderly woman looking for my neighbor Marion who lives across the street on the front side of our home. She explained that she was there for a visit and despite having scheduled it, Marion wasn't home. Marion is another of my neighbors in her 80's. After her heart attack a few years ago, she's had a helper who comes several times a week, driving her places, and I suspect keeping her company more than anything. I related this to the woman whose name I'm not sure I ever got. Anyway, I told her they most likely would be returning soon and did she want to wait inside. She did.

Although I suggested she sit in the living room, she couldn't hear me. I wasn't about to quit my cleaning for a stranger. No telling if I would have finished had I done so. In the 45 minutes she was there in the kitchen with me,  I discovered that she also is in her 80's, and despite having three daughters in town, they are mostly too busy for her. In other words, another lonely soul. I learned more, but all the while she talked, I scrubbed and scrubbed on that stove.

Then it was time to tackle the stuff above the cupboards. That's one thing about having lots of decorative items. Lots to collect dust. I got the ladder out and started bringing things down. It was pretty darn icky I'll tell you that much. Not everything was as gross as this soup tureen which was stationed above the stove:
Outrageous the amount of grime!!! You see that white middle? That's what the whole thing looks like if there were an excellent housekeeper around here. While cleaning it I kept puzzling about who gave me this. How long ago? That sort of thing. Well, take a look at what a bit of 409, red scrubby thing and dishwashing soap will do:
Much better indeed. One by one I washed everything and there is a lot. The photo below is less than stellar, however, for those of you who've not been in my kitchen before, it gives you an idea about what one side looks like:
By the way, the top of that fridge was pretty nasty as well! See how everything sparkles in the sunlight? Tremendous! Luckily, last night, I had some leftovers to eat for dinner, because after doing the whole kitchen, including washing the fan and floor, I mowed the lawn. Hey, it was cool from the rainy day. Why not?

After bridge today, I came home to my sparkling clean kitchen, to cook. Rhubarb is hard to find in the South and when you are married to a Northern boy like I am, you buy it when it comes to market. This year I'm making a rhubarb crisp recipe from the  New York Times which I'm hoping Bruce will enjoy.
Those canisters are blinding they are so clean! Bruce has been in Casper, Wyoming all week, however, not long ago he called once he landed in Orlando. As such, I expect I best get in that sparkling kitchen to rustle up a little something more than a dessert!

Finally, from what I'm hearing, the riots have quieted somewhat in London. Truth be told, one of the reasons I did all that yesterday was to distract me from worrying about our man in London. Mostly I'm not a worrier--something about this situation though was getting to me. Busy hands help.
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