Big Dig


David’s stepmom and his niece arrive tomorrow at noon.

I have launched an archaeological expedition in search of the guest room bed. And floor.

So far I have discovered a pair of shorts I can almost wear, copies of a dozen books I need to read again, and an envelope of snapshots taken at the Barrow reunion in San Marcos ca. 1990. Plus assorted print materials.

The Serial Joiner

Housekeeping ain’t no joke. ~ Louisa May Alcott

I base most of my fashion sense on what doesn’t itch. ~ Gilda Radner

An American woman of circa 1920 dressed to do ...
An American Woman circa 1920 Dressed to Do Housework. Wearing a Dutch Cap--Image via Wikipedia

In the previous post, I confessed to breaking a pledge by joining four new groups. While the topic is still fresh in my mind—that is, before Sunday’s ROW80 report comes along and I have to confess to a new failing—I must clarify:

These groups aren’t so much groups—well, one of them is—but are more like entities that will send e-mail for me to a) benefit from, b) ignore, or c) feel guilty about. And when I detect an excess of c), I’ll click Unsubscribe.

As a serial joiner, I’ve already had experience with c). Case in point: FlyLady.

For the uninitiated, is a website dedicated to helping people unclutter. I discovered it a couple of years ago and, as is my wont, joined up.

I don’t know why it took me so long to find the site. It’s a wonder a family member, such as a cousin or a husband, didn’t sign me up years ago.

But anyway, FlyLady is wonderful. She taught me to dress and lace up shoes as soon as I get out of bed in the morning, and to shine my sink every night, and to clean in 15-minute segments, and to Swish and Swipe, and to do the 27-Fling Boogie, and to start a Control Journal, and on and on and on.

She’s also psychic. She said not to buy a new 3-ring binder for my Control Journal, because I already have a bunch lying around the house. She knows about the twenty-three categories of paper clutter I’ve collected. (Actually, I have only twenty-two, because David tosses yesterday’s newspaper every afternoon. Religiously.) She knows I’m addicted to office supplies.

She even knows about the 3 x 5 cards.

(I refuse to take responsibility for the cards. Robert Olen Butler said if I’m writing a novel, I have to use them. At last count, I’d bought 3,000 cards, lined and unlined, in a variety of colors. And I’m still on Chapter 2. For the seventeenth time. Mr. Butler is not a pantser.)

I got so wrapped up in FlyLady’s helpful hints that I blogged about Blessing My Sink.

That’s when trouble began. The next Saturday, over breakfast with friends at our favorite cafe, I explained the twelve steps of the Blessing process. In excruciating detail. David’s eyes glazed over—he’d heard it before—and the others called me several times the next week to make sure I was okay.

And then there was the e-mail. Following FlyLady’s instructions, I’d signed up for them. There were a lot. Every morning, and all day long. There were so many e-mails, I didn’t have time to Swish and Swipe.

(Years ago, I read that some people “fall into print.” I’m one of them. Show me a string of words, and I cannot look away.)

But more serious than the time element was the guilt those e-mails engendered. The writers seemed so happy. They wrote about the pleasure they got from Rescuing Rooms and putting out Hot Spots and writing things on calendars. And I was driving myself crazy just trying to keep the sink dry.

So I had to click Unsubscribe.

I still Bless My Sink occasionally. That part I do enjoy. It’s mostly waiting for the sink to finish soaking. When it’s done, and the house smells like Clorox, I feel not just pleased, but virtuous. At my suggestion, a friend tried it, and now she feels virtuous, too.

And I still visit the FlyLady site. She offers a line of high-quality products. I bought a beautiful feather duster, and when I remember where I put it, I’m going to use it. Someday I’m going to order the Rubba Package. I’m particularly interested in the Rubba Swisha. (This paragraph wasn’t composed with tongue-in-cheek folks. I’m serious. The cleaning products are excellent. I was just going through a bad patch when the feather duster arrived, and I put it where I could find it.)

Well. It’s after midnight, and I’m violating another of FlyLady’s cardinal rules—and mine—by staying up late to write. So I must draw this to a close.

I’ll just add that one of my new groups is Missus Smarty Pants. Every Tuesday, she’s going to send me a newsletter filled with fashion tips and instructions for purging my closet and accessorizing what’s left.

There’s a chance I’ll find MSP challenging, because attempts to accessorize might necessitate rejoining FlyLady so I can locate the accessories.

But I think I’ll be okay. Because I’ve already purged my closet, and there isn’t much left to accessorize.

I think FlyLady would be pleased.