Thursday, December 31, 2009

The great list

I make lists of my goals, things I want to accomplish and items I feel obligated to do. My list is called my MASTER TASK LIST. Sounds quite impressive doesn't it? MASTER TASK LIST must be very important and worthy of a special name. But it isn't really. It is just a list of things I don't want to forget, things I should do-or think I should do and things I have full intention of procrastinating about and never doing.

When I think of my MASTER TASK LIST I feel guilty and behind. It's not that I don't get a lot accomplished in the course of a year. It's just that this important list is always there reminding me I am not done. It tells me I am behind and will never catch up-not a good feeling.

This year I'm going to try something a little differernt. I'm going to rename my list. What do you think of "Really good, Don't forget and Procrastination list". That has a nice ring don't you think?

I now realized this list is just a list. I have many great qualities and one of them is procrastinating. I'm not doing to defind myself. I just thought you should know.

MY MASTER TASK LIST is kind of like all the stuff I collect over a year. I gather material/ideas/research. I devour some and file others for a later time- a time that rarely comes. I am curous and overzellous in my enthusiasm. If you put this quality in a MASTER TASK LIST you will have a long list.

This year, the the first items on my list will not cause my stomach to do twists but my heart to do a leap of joy. Next, on my list will be valuable items I don't want to forget. Like calling my grandparents, changing the fire alarm batteries or going for ice cream. Finally, I'll write my procrastination list. I now know this is not my most important list, it is just a list I created to help me along my year. a place to put things I don't want to forget.

I'm I rationalizing,? Could be, I'm also very good at that.

Happy New year,

Monday, December 28, 2009

Top 10 New Year Resolutions with a Twist

It's the time of year to set our new years resolutions. Here are a few ideas for a different twist on the tradition of resolutions.

1- Get abbs of steel- by having at least one good belly laugh per day
2- Become a master of procrastination- 10,000 hours are all you need - you might be close
3- Tap a nap a week- Our cat loves to nap- she is happy and well rested
4- Practice listening- Our dogs are great listeners-its really nice to be listened to
5- Spend $20/week on whatever your heart desires-( as long as it only cost 20.00)
6- Learn to enjoy everything you do- or just stop doing it until you figure out how to enjoy
7- Go outside and get the stink blown off everyday
8- Make a wish a day- wish for anything you want and then just smile, relax and say thanks
9- Pretend. When in doubt or unsure learn to pretend as if
10- Find a new love a month. Not spouses! I'm talking foods, activities, books, friends

There is no need to end the year filled with regret. I say end the year well rested, with a smile on your face, happily enjoying your life and family.

Wishing you a most happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A little slice of heaven

It's early on Christmas Eve morning. The house is still asleep and I'm wide awake. This is the first year I am completely loving the dark and quiet mornings. I used to hate the darkness and for some reason I'm growing to love this time of year. It's supposte to be a time of reflection, of rest and of rejuvenation. A gift to us all. A chance to take a deep breath and relax a bit.

I know during the holiday season this may not be how we actually feel. It's more like rushed, behind and longing. I feel those same things and yet the mornings are so quiet, so peaceful so calm. Each morning I wake up and go sit at the little coffee table my grandpa made for me years ago. I sit on the floor overlooking our back yard. Here I can see the sky and the silhouette of the trees. I sit and I write with paper and pen. The pets usually come around so I can rub their ears while I'm sitting. There are no electronics on, no music, no anything. My only light is a little salt lamp. It is a little slice of heaven.

Who knows where the rest of the day will take me. I still have presents to wrap, work to be done and places to go. This is one time residue is good. The residue left over from this quiet time seems to stay with me most of the days. It make this dark season so beautiful and my to do list a little less heavy.

Merry Christmas to all,

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The expectations of a procrastinator

It is good to be good at something! I am a good procrastinator. Maybe that's how we all feel toward the end of the year. Looking back we see all the goals, the ideas, the resolutions quickly running out of time. It's easy to judge ourselves this time of year. Not only are we running out of time of our years expectation but we are also smack in the middle of the holiday with the biggest expectations- Christmas.

We all want to have happy homes, where everyone is loved, where we are wildly prosperous and never forget someones birthday. Oh no we are perfect. Well, perfect doesn't really exist- it is only in poems, Christmas specials and displayed carefully by advertisers. And so with the end of the year upon us and the holiday of expectations in full bloom it is no wonder we start to judge ourselves.

This is the season to love each other. It's really as simple as that. While we are at it maybe it -is a good time to love ourselves. Stop-just for a minute: take a deep breath, now relax your shoulders and let them fall. Smile as if you just noticed the crazy whirlwind you found yourself in and take another breath. This time breathe a little deeper, relax a little more and smile with your eyes as well as your cheeks.

Yes, I am a good procrastinator- I will admit that all day long. And no I'm not perfect- no one ever is. For the rest of this year I will try to remember that and maybe instead of thinking of everything I didn't do this year or season, maybe I should make a list of all the great things I did do, all the amazing things that did happened and let that be perfect.

Merry Christmas,

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dandelion: Friend or Foe???

For my birthday my mom sent me a book: A Handbook of Native American Herbs byAlma R Hutchens. I was flipping through and landed on the dandelion apparently also known as taraxacum officinale, blow ball, cankerwort, bon's tooth and wild endive.

The health benefits of this little weed are incredible. I just keep running into how great this little weed/herb is. Alma Hutchen's goes on to further impress me with the value of the dandelion. Did you know the green leaves of the dandelion contain 7,000 units of vitamin A per ounce? Lettuce contains 1,200 units per ounce and even the highly recognized carrot is weak in comparison coming in at only 1,275 units per ounce.

"Herbalists use dandelion more generally than any other herb, as it combines well with other herbal preparations for the liver and is mild, wholesome and safe. It's prolonged use can only be beneficial in all rheumatic complaints. The natural nutritive salt in dandelion is twenty eight parts sodium; this type of organic sodium purifies the blood and destroys the acids therein".

The book goes on to tout lots more benefits but that isn't really the point of this blog. I got to giggling about our society. We are surrounded by perhaps one of the most beneficial herbs known and yet we spend most of the time trying to wipe it out. We spray our yards with herbicides. The herbicides get washed into our sound and streams. The herbicides get tracked into our homes. We take pills to cure many ails, some of which do more damage than the original illness.

All the while this little herb is patiently sitting outside waiting for us to let it help us be healthy. My own yard has many dandelions, perhaps too many. I just can't put herbicides on my yard. I pull each one by hand with my dandelion puller. The other day my grandma asked me why I didn't just spray and be done with it. The fact is, I haven't the heart to kill something of such benefit while poisoning my home.

Wishing you a happy and healthy home,

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Asking a different question

As I'm waiting for my newsletter to print, I thought I would check in with a question for you: How have you been creative today?

My sister wrote me an e-mail today posing that question. It makes you think doesn't it? This week she had met one of her husband's mentors and former teachers. A lady named Una who my sister said is probably in her 70's' but has more spunk and energy than most people in their 20's. Apparently instead of asking "how are you today?", she asks "how have you been creative today?"

Our creativity is a gift we all have. Learning to use that gift is priceless.

So how have you been creative today?
I decided to write,

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It is in the intent and the details

Thanksgiving, where did the word thanksgiving come from? I don't have to do lots of research to grasp it is meant as a time to be thankful and to give. This week my sister and I are planning our family Thanksgiving. Remembering why we are celebrating seems in order. It is not about stress, fitting into our schedule or long hours of cooking.

Last night I visited with my mom, she is preparing a dinner for 17. Yesterday, was Monday and she had already done her planning, shopping and started baking. We figured this would be about a 6 day project; lots of energy, lots of money, lots of time, lots of work. As we talked, I was sad I couldn't be with her to help, she is in Colorado I am in Washington. She reminded me this is not a chore, she does this for love. She always has.

When I was little, she would cook special meals on Sundays. Even though she worked all week, went to church in the morning. Sunday was special the dinner felt rich. When there was a holiday, we would get out the grandma dishes. She taught me to set the table with care and detail. The plates one inch from the edge of the table. The colorful grandma dishes needed to be arranged so like colors never touched. The water glass directly over the knife and the blade should always point toward the plate.

Why would someone who worked hard all week go to such detail and work to prepare a special meal? For love, she did it for love. There is something special about preparing a meal with the end result to bring those you love together, feeding not only their bodies but their souls. A time where the world stops, even if there isn't much money in the bank, we can enjoy a time of great abundance in just being together in a setting created with tender loving care.

My mom taught me many lessons, most of which I probably forgot. And until last night I had forgotten why my mom would go to so much work- for love.

This was a good conversation to have before I start my own cooking- to remember why I will be cooking this week- for love, there is much love in the details.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Smacked in the face with smelly dryer sheets

The dogs are walked and I'm back in for the evening. As I was walking, I noticed how earthy it smelled outside. All the leaves decomposing on the ground, it smelled so rich.

As we trotted along- whack- the smell of dryer sheets covered up all the autumn smells and flooded my nose with thick fake flowers. Fake fragrances are like having plastic flowers. Maybe, I'm jaded from being in the cleaning industry for so long. No, tonight the dryer sheets were powerfully obnoxious!

When I smell plastic fragrances I cringe. Partly from my own sensitivities and partly because the man made fragrances pale in comparison to nature and yet are so strong they smack you over the head. Those smells are out place and sneaky, like an invading pest attacking our sense of smell. The evening smelled so fresh, so clean, so earthy and then -wham- fake plastic rose smells. Yuk.

Have a residue free stroll,

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Toilet paper doesn't smell like chocolate chip cookies

Yesterday, I swear I was being enticed by toilet paper! I was on a supply run picking up towels and a special stripper for an upcoming job. Costco was on my list, as I shopped, I found myself back by the toilet paper smelling chocolate chip cookies. It smelled delicious! I thought about swinging by the bakery until it dawned on me " toilet paper doesn't smell like chocolate chip cookies"!!?? Was the odor from the bakery drifting all the way back to the toilet paper or was this mouthwatering smell being piped in?? I don't know, all I know is there were no cookies around the toilet paper and toilet paper doesn't usually smell like cookies.

My next stop took me to a janitorial supply house. As I was loading up my stripper I smelled pumpkin pie - outside! I know this place carries cleaners, strippers, mastic remover, brushes and squeegees but there are no pumpkin pies baking there! However, it does carry toilet paper-hummm!!!!!

This isn't my first awareness of mouth watering odors enticing us to eat and buy products. I have also smelled apples and cinnamon spice at discount stores and grocery stores. I hate it when I forget to notice this stuff. It is funny and scary all the same time. If I wasn't on my toes I might have stuffed myself with chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin pie yesterday!!!

It's not so much the odors I found that surprised me as much as my lack of smell awareness. How many hundreds of stores have I been in with no clue what I was smelling. Learning to be awake as I go through the day is the lesson I learn, not if a store adds odors or not. Truly, I have no idea if they do or don't but I do know I'm not paying attention and that is very interesting.

What a cool practice: learning to smell as I shop.

Happy shopping and sniffing,

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween cookies that could frighten grown men!

Happy Halloween!!!
This morning I'm traveling to Olympia to see my niece run in a cross country meet. I was going to bring her some of my odd cookies but then I remembered it is Halloween! So I baked her some super scary cookies.

If you want to scare your family try these- if you are easily frightened maybe you should substitute 1/3 cup turbinado for the molasses!

1/3 cup grape seed oil -green if you can find it
1/3 cup turninado or brown sugar
1/3 cup black strap molasses- hauntingly black
1 egg
3/4 cup spelt or whole grain flour
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour- (you can also just use a full cup of flour if you don't have bean flour)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract -
(if you would rather add some spice, substitute 1/4 tsp each of cinnamon and nutmeg for
the vanilla)
1/4 cup non fat dry milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup grated carrot- who likes veggies in their cookies???
1/2 cup raisins- makes a beautiful Halloween batter- orange and black
1 1/4 cup quick rolled oats

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Beat together oil, sugars and egg. If you used vanilla add it here.
Mix flours, baking, powder and soda, dry milk and salt. If you used cin and nut spices add here.
Mix together
Add carrots, raisins and oats- mix well
Drop rounded tsp full of cookie dough, two inches apart onto lightly oiled baking sheet
Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly brown on edges
Cool on rack

This recipe has been hauntingly altered for Halloween. the original recipe is from Jean Hewitt's the New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook. I added the green oil, garbanzo beans, black strap molasses, turbinado sugar, spelt flour, and swapped the spices for vanilla.

What better time to scare your family into eating healthy cookies then on Halloween? The scariest way would be to have them help you make the little eerie nuggets. When you break out the garbanzo bean flour and carrots, I think you will see their eye brighten right up!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

A little sip of Chocolate

This morning as I write, I'm sipping a cup of hot chocolate with a little splash of pure orange extract. The combination of quality chocolate and the fragrance of an orange is heavenly. My hot chocolate is very basic. I heat up a cup of soy, rice, cow or almond milk. Once steaming hot, I add a heaping tablespoon of rich quality cocoa. From here I play, sometimes I feel like cinnamon, almond extract or just basic vanilla. Other days I experiment with peppermint, orange or pumpkin spice. My hot chocolate doesn't have any added sugar, although I usually use vanilla flavored milks. Some days I combine my hot chocolate with toast or a fresh orange. Dallas likes his with sugar and usually the old standard- marshmallows. Hot chocolate is very personal.

Even though I still drink hot chocolate in the summer, there is nothing like that first cup when the days start getting dark and cool. This morning it is raining outside-perfect.

You may be wondering, what in the world does hot chocolate have to do with the topic of being residue free? Taking time to relax and enjoy the simple pleasures of life maybe the best way to live residue free.

On one of my book shelves lives a book about chocolate: Chocolate a Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light by Mort Rosenblum. Before drinking my first sip this morning I read a couple of pages.

A reflection from a chocolate master: Michel Chaudun. Page 174

"Chocolate has always brought me great pleasure, being a gourmet and a gourmand, I have always loved it... Chocolate is marvelous; it brings a smile to the lips, it makes eyes shine, and it flutters the eyelids... I think above all it is a drug, nicely seductive, which marks the sweet hours of our existence. Bitter as the pain it consoles, but sweeter than the love it inspires."

Wishing you and happy and healthy home,

Monday, October 19, 2009

Residue is a sneaky little fellow!

Residue is a sneaky little fellow. This morning as I unloaded our dishwasher I found dishwasher detergent specks on my dishes. The specks told me my dishwasher didn't rinse very well last night, but they also sparked this morning's blog.

There are 4 main ways for us become exposed to chemicals: ingestion, inhalation, absorption and injection.

What does this mean to me having soapy-clean dishes? I'm so glad you asked... it means everything! If I hadn't seen the residue left behind on my dishes, we most likely would have ingested the cleaner. I use non-toxic dishwasher detergent, which is good, but I still don't want to eat it. How would I have been feeling if I didn't use non-toxic dishwasher detergent???

In this case, the residue was visible, but what if it had dried clear? In food areas please use non-toxic cleaners. This includes dishwashing, dishwasher, and kitchen cleaners. Next,be aware of little residues that may just become lunch.

Oh yeah and while you are at it, don't open up your dishwasher and breath in the vapors- especially if you are not using a non-toxic cleaner.

Hope you have a good 28th day of Autumn!

Friday, October 16, 2009

A 3 year journey changed my life

It's 6:08 on Friday night. Most of my day was spent on the computer or phone. By the end of my work day I was tired and stiff. My husband called on his way home asked if I was taking the dogs for a run. I mumbled something about 6 out of 7 days a week was plenty and I thought I would take the night off. Dallas due to his 19 years of wisdom, as my husband, suggested I should take the dogs for thier walk. Oh, did I mention it is pouring rain outside???

We, me and the dogs, just got back from a wet, refreshing and fast run in the rain. It was amazing! I feel like a new person. Years ago I was having some trying times with my health. One day I told my sister I was going to walk/run at least 15 minutes everyday for a year.

I ended up doing this daily routine for over 3 years never missing a day. Occasionally, I would have to hop out of bed and walk in place for 15 minutes because I forgot, but most days I went outside.

I ran/walked in the rain, the dark, the cold, the windy, the sunny, the heat, if I was sick, tired or lazy- it didn't matter I did it everday.

During this 3 year plus time I not only regained my health but I found how important it was to my health, happiness and awareness of the seasons. It was the most valuable 3 years of my life- it was life altering. Somedays, I just walked, some I ran, some I did both. I only had to do it for 15 minutes, most days I did more. Being outside, in the fresh air, does something beneficial to you, you just can't measure.

Tonight, I remembered some of those lessons, plus the feeling of freedom and pure joy from running wildly in the pouring rain.

The residue of my computer and office work is long gone, I feel great and both dogs are very happy this evening!

Happy running,

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Accumulation of residue goes wild!!

Residue come in many different forms. In cleaning, most times residue can be tracked down to cleaning products, soil and hard water deposits. In life, residue is a little more creative. Today I started the day with a backed up shower drain. This was not on my to-do list. As I was playing around trying to coax the water back down where it belongs I had a little time to think about residue.

Apparently residue not only sticks to your shower walls but your skin, oils, hair, shampoos, hard water deposits, soaps, body and face washes also accumulate in your shower drains. As write this of course it makes perfect since but until my drain backed up this morning, I'll be honest, I hadn't given the residues in my drain much thought.

Residue is one of those little topics we just don't think about until it backs up and spills all over us. Today, as I was running around I realized stress is a form of residue. If let stand and not flushed, rinsed or dried off, stress builds up in our bodies just like the muck in my shower drain.

Before your drain backs up, consider rinsing out the stress in your body. You don't want to wait until your drain spills black sludge all over your day.

May you have happy and healthy homes,

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lasagna Gardening takes root

Years ago I had a neighbor, Dianna, who recommended I try lasagna gardening. She thought this type of gardening and I would be a perfect match. I didn't start lasagna gardening then but its seed was firmly planted.

What is lasagna gardening? I'll let Patricia Lanza explain it in her own words. ( Patricia is the author of Lasagna Gardening)

"Lasagna Gardening is a nontraditional, organic, layering method you can use to create better soil while keeping your gardens neat and attractive. ... Based on a commonsense approach and readily available natural ingredients, lasagna gardening is an easy, time-saving way to install and maintain any kind of garden without removing the sod, digging or tilling. Close planting and generous mulching greatly reduce the time needed for watering and weeding. And because of the healthy growing environment, lasagna gardens are plagued with fewer garden pests."

For me lasagna gardening is an intriguing idea filled will possibilities. To the west of my house, we have a patch of land. It has maybe 1-2 inches of top soil, below that a nice bed of rocks. This is not the ideal setting for a garden. The area does have some good points -sunshine and close proximity to the water spicket. This horrible soil is where I'm experimenting with my first lasagna bed. If I can grow a garden here you can grow one any where!

The idea of using waste from my home and yard and creating healthy soil is as old as dirt. This is what lasagna gardening does. Gathering up organic waste and using it as the foundation on which to rebuild soil. Layering newspaper, leaves, grass, compost, peat moss, chopped plants, straw, hay, manure, sawdust, seaweed, wood ashes, coffee grounds and stone dust to create a sheet composting system. Fantastic!

This is residue free gardening at its best. Building healthy Eco-systems and minimizing waste!

My experiment starts this fall. This month I'll be collecting matterial and building my beds. Our home is a buzz with excitment!!!

Happy and healthy homes,

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fresh Out of the Garden Tortilla

Saturday at 1:00 pm.

My house is clean but my stomach was complaining. Before I head off Federal Way's Farmers market I needed to eat. My tendency would be to grab something fast and maybe not that healthy just so I could keep going. Heavens help me if we stop for a few minutes: eat a little bite, catch our breath and maybe enjoy just a bit of this gorgeous sunshine.

What are we rushing around for? Isn't today the most important day? Why don't we stop and enjoy this moment before moving on? I will and I did. Firsts things first- food- I needed food.

A lesson Dallas and I learned very early in our cleaning career- you must eat and hydrate yourself. You can't clean on an empty stomach with no water. You can try but it's just a matter of time before your body will ignore you and stop.

A better idea is to listen and do as your body begs. This Saturday I did and ended up making the best lunch. Just in case you find yourself at the end of a project with a growling stomach give this recipe a try;

Fresh out of the garden tortilla
In a skillet put in one flour tortilla
turn on burner to medium

In the tortilla
grate a light layer of mozzarella cheese
chop up some fresh basil
slice a small fresh sweet pepper
cut up a few sweet cherry tomatoes
top with a light sprinkle of sea salt

Warm until cheese melts - don't flip just fold and serve

This was better than any fast food!!
Here's to a happy and healthy home,

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The practice of house work

It's Saturday early afternoon, my house is clean! Did I always love to clean? Heavens no! As a young girl it was like a life sentence. Living on a farm my brothers would go do something fun like build fence or pick up hay. I had to stay inside and help my mom. I'm sure from my brothers perspective I was spoiled rotten and the lucky one. Well -the grass is always greener!

Still house work was not a natural fit for me. Funny how life works out, for the past 19 years it has been my profession. What do I think of house work now? My mood shifts week to week as I clean but in general it has become a friend. In yoga my instructor talks about grounding yourself and doing grounding exercises. There is nothing in the world more grounding than cleaning your toilet!

For me, cleaning has become a practice. A practice of gratitude, a practice of creativity, a practice of relaxing and letting go, a practice in quiet reflection, a practice in awareness, a practice in value, a practice in flow, a practice in remembering and a practice in consistency.

The list of benefits to a clean house is a topic for another day but today I'm thankful my house is clean, that my husband just stopped in to say hi, that I still have plenty of time to stop by the Federal Way farmers market.

Happy cleaning,

Monday, August 24, 2009

The lost art

Last Sunday I sat on my front deck and hand wrote letters to friends and family.

My step mom and I have had mulitple conversations about the lost art of hand written letters. In the age of texting, facebook, blogging, cell phones, and e-mails the art of hand written letters seems lost. It is a sad loss.

When I was 10 or 11 my great grand mother wrote me a letter. The stationary she used was bright yellow

These are a few of my experiences of letter writing:

When I was in AZ visiting my grandparents, who are not connected to cell phones and computers, I noticed how they wait for each day's mail. The mail is a connection to family and the ouside world. Most days thier mail was filled with donation requests, bills and junk mail.

A friend of ours relocated to help his parents. I forward some mail to him once a month. In his mail I always tuck a littlehand written note. The other day he mentioned how much he looks forward to my notes.

My sister just got married and has been busy for much visiting. I got a letter from her last week. In the letter was two letters- a typed letter to our family in general and a hand written letter just to me. It was surprising how different the hand written personal letter felt vs the typed letter.

Sunday, when I wrote those letters, one of those letters went to a family friend. Yesterday, I got a call from my sister in law. My friends husband had just passed away Tuesday. Before it had happened I had already sent her a note telling her how much she means to us and how her kindness had helped me in a tough time.

The art of hand written letters is an old, out of date way of communicating. Today, there are so many forms of fast and easy communication. The act of sitting down writing a letter is a slow and intentional way of thinking of someone with no distractions. The gift of a hand written letter is your heart.

Happy writing,

Saturday, August 22, 2009

True Sustainablilty

Two springs ago I was in Arizona visiting my grandma and grandpa, along with my mom and aunt Velma. Many of you know of my amazing family. Aunt Velma just turned 100, grandpa turned 96, a couple of days ago and just got his drivers license re-newed-until he is 101! Grandpa doesn't even wear reading glasses.

I guess you could call my family a sustainable family given our longevity and health. But that story is for another day, this this is about the sustainablity of usable materials.

My mom and I were cooking up some fried apples with honey, cardamon and grandpa's home grown pecans. I noticed the stainless steel pan looked brand new. Wondering if grandma got new pans I asked my mom- how old is this pan? "Oh I'd say its about 50 years old. She's had that pan forever".

And there it was, sustainability, it smacked me right in the face. This January Dallas and I will have been married for 20 years. During that time I had gone through 3 sets of Teflon type cook ware. Not only did the finish wear off - we probably ate it-uggh!

Since that discovery I have switched to quality stainless steel cook wear. Cooking in stainless took a bit to get used to but once I got it there is no turning back. It started with 1 10inch pan my dad gave me. Now I have a full set. My budget didn't fit with a full new set. I found great buys at TJ Max, Goodwill and estate sales. For the same cost as my previous 3 sets of disposable and unhealthy pans I have a full set of 50 year pans. Now that is true sustainability.

happy home travels,

Friday, July 31, 2009

Don't wobble


Cleaning has many lessons. There is a saying that goes something like: " If you are going to stand then stand. If you are going to sit then sit. Don't wobble".

This am, as I cleaned our home - I wobbled. I got lost in my bookcases. To me there is something so relaxing about organizing and looking through my books. By end of the morning I had sorted, reorganized and cleaned all of my bookcases -so relaxing almost meditative.

The morning slipped away without a care- well except I was suppose to be cleaning our home. Before I knew it it was 11:06am. My cleaning time had been devoted to organizing and sorting.

My lesson for the day: When you are going to clean -clean, when you are going to organize -organize, don't wobble.

Happy cleaning,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Use Good Tools

A good tool can make your life so much easier. Knowing how to best use that tool is priceless. Frequently, I go into homes and my clients are trying to use itty bitty tools in great big houses. If you have a big home get commercial sized and quality tools. You are going to be amazed how much time will be saved from a 18 inch commercial tool vs a 6-12 inch flimsy tool. This doesn't even mention how much longer these tools will last and easier your job will be. Even if you hire a house cleaner get good tools. It will save them time and you money!
Years ago when we had our carpet and upholstery cleaning company we would pre-vacuum
each room before our cleaning. I used a 17 inch commercial vacuum. Every once in a while, I would have to use the standard residential sized vacuum. The number of passes and time needed almost seemed to double. It felt like trying to clean a floor with a tooth brush. While we are on the subjects of tooth brushes- have you ever tried to clean your grout with a tooth brush? I rest my case!
Happy and healthy cleaning- denise

Friday, April 17, 2009

Residue Free

It's Friday night and I wonder what residue did I leave on this day? In our business residue is something left behind on accident that will eventually attract soil and make a surface look undesirable. Most of our jobs are created by residue left behind on stone, tile and grout. We are hired to remove the residue, restoring the surface back to its original beauty. For our company, residue is usually made up of excess soap, dust, moisture, grease, etc. This residue can be singular or it can be a combination of most of these residues. We are forever teaching our customers how to leave their surfaces residue free.

For a surface to be residue free, means there is nothing there but the surface. Going back to my original question, I wonder what residue did I leave on this day? In life, your attitude is what leaves the greatest residue. What was my attitude today??? Did I leave the world lighter, brighter, more joyful? I wonder. Did I notice and appreciated this beautiful spring day? Was there a layer of worry, of distraction left on this day? It's a good questions and a question I should ask myself every day. In the morning, maybe I should wonder what residue do I want to leave behind? Following up at night to ask myself, what residue did I leave?

For years, residue has been a common word at our home. We wonder, how do people not notice the residue they leave behind that attracts so much soil? Maybe we should be wondering what our own emotional attitude was and was it an attitude that would attract soil or leave this day residue free? Just a little food for thought!