SUE SMITHSON: Housekeeping -- the Bare Necessities
Housekeeping in horse country has its challenges. Everyone is always dragging in sand, manure and shavings. And how about laundry mountain? In summer I sweat like crazy and change clothes about three times a day.
Perhaps not every household here in horse country is environmentally challenged, but we do have a higher pet population and we spend more time outside.
I have established a house cleaning routine that seems to work, at least by our standards. The key ingredient is music. Loud music. I discovered a long time ago that my satellite TV has XM radio. I hooked big speakers to it and really crank it up on housecleaning day. Upbeat, classic rock and roll really gets me going, especially for the initial sort, pick-up and de-clutter.
I like blues for the kitchen. With a mellow Taj Majal set, I can settle into tedious chores like cleaning out the fridge and inside the microwave. Bonnie Raitt can even inspire me to clean under the toaster oven.
Solid, sweet country rock is fine for the sweep, mop and dust routine, but bathrooms require some arousal. Scrubbing toilets calls for serious, hard-driving, bone-jarring rock 'n' roll at deafening decibels. Last week they played a fabulous old Stevie Ray Vaughn set, and it got me pumped enough to tackle the tile grout in the shower.
Unfortunately, we don't have those nifty detachable shower heads, so I had to just strip down to my visor (as a sweat band) and old sneakers (for grip), get in and get down with the nasty chemicals, rinsing the walls with a plastic cup. This is called commando-style house cleaning. I learned it from my sister.
When it was time for vacuuming, the final phase, they were playing the best cuts from Santana's Supernatural CD, so I just kicked off the wet sneakers and started dancing, commando-style, with the vacuum.
The good thing about living in horse country is I don't have close neighbors, so I'm not very self-conscious about the loud music and commando thing. So with Santana and the vacuum blasting, I never heard the truck drive up, or the doorbell ring.
A packet of entries for my upcoming horse show was left wedged inside the front door, and the next time I see that trainer, I'll know by his expression if he approves of commando-style house cleaning.
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