Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Amy vs America's Housekeeping Book:Recap of my Living Room Cleaning. A.K.A.: Failure.

Well not complete failure. I got a good solid "Daily Clean" but not the "Weekly Clean" that I was looking for. 

I took care of the earth's living room today, okay? 'Cause I planted a tree. An orange tree with my neighbors and so also, I was giving back to my community and THAT COUNTS LAY OFF ME. 

Look at this cute little tree though!!!

And I can see it from my dirty living room window so, that counts. 

And as far as the living room goes, my sewing area is still ridiculous but I don't want to put stuff away that I'm still working on. 

But I did get a sweep in and a rug shake. And speaking of the rug, I feel pretty impressed with myself. The rug sits under the coffee table and Wally sits on the edge of the couch and pushes the rug and table into the middle of the living room several times a day and it bugs me to no end. So I took the rug and some silicone calking outside and got to work. 

Can you see that????

Just going to let that "cure" or whatever they call it and let's see Wally rearrange that bad boy. 

What's up for tomorrow? The Dining Room. I don't have a dining room so maybe I finish the living room. Or my sewing. Or this level on Candy Crush I can't move on from. 

Amy vs America's Housekeeping Book: The Living Room. Daily Schedule

I need to break this down into parts or I will never get through any of it. It's too much to deal with when I haven't been going at it consistantly for months, I have all these half finished and not even started sewing projects that people are waiting for, and I have a two year old under my feet the whole time. 

Excuses excuses. I know. But I am being honest when I tell you my woes, that should count for something. And I have to remind myself that it's my house and it's my project and I shouldn't feel guilty. 

I already make the bed most days and I keep up on the bathroom because I have to. 

Once I get everything properly cleaned, I will have time to do everything. Right now it's like trying to wax a car that just did some mud racing. 

So we're starting small. The Living Room.

Nailed it. 

Page 230. 


Daily Care

 1. Open windows top and bottom for free circulation of air. 

2. Pick up and replace small articles belonging in the room such as books, magazines, music, games, victrola records, cards, etc. 

3. Gather up on tray to take out: used ash trays, articles belonging in other rooms, plants or flowers to be tended. Collect trash in waste basket. 

4. Carry out tray.

5. Bring in cleaning equipment: hearthbroom (if not kept at fireplace), carpet sweeper or vacuum cleaner (according to need), dust mop, cleaning basket (page 142).

6. In season, clean out fireplace, lay fire, sweep hearth.

7. Dust high objects if necessary: mantels, high shelves, window frames and sills, tops of bookcases, secretary, highboys, etc. 

8. Dust radiator covers if necessary. 

9. Brush upholstery if necessary. Straighten covers. Plump up pillows.

10. Dust furniture and low objects if necessary. Treat stains or blemishes as they occur (page 187). 

11. Dust exposed wood flooring with dust mop if necessary. Use carpet sweeper or vacuum cleaner on rugs or carpets. 

12. Final touches: Straighten draperies, shades, curtains, etc. Take out cleaning equipment and waste basket. Return clean ash trays, accessories, flowers and waste basket. Close windows if desired. 

Weekly Care

One day each week additional care should be given the living room. 

1. Clear surfaces for dusting, removing magazines, covers, bric-a-brac, etc.

2. Collect lamp bases and globes, bric-a-brac, fireplace fittings, etc., that need washing or polishing. 

3. Bring in cleaning equipment: hearthbroom (if not kept at fireplace), vacuum cleaner and attachments, dust mop, cleaning basket (page 142), 2 bowls of clear warm water on tray. (At least two trips will be necessary.)

4. Brush ceilings (page 166) and walls (page 157) when necessary. Dust high mouldings, door and window frames, window shades and Venetian blinds (page 171) when necessary. Brush draperies (or use brush attachment of vacuum cleaner). Dust mirrors, pictures, lighting fixtures, lamps, woodwork; wash any of these articles if necessary (see index for page references).

5. Dust radiators (covers and coils) or registers (page 207); clean thoroughly when necessary. Brush baseboard or use brush attachment of vacuum cleaner. Dust book shelves and books as necessary (page 202). 
Wash windows when necessary. 

6. Remove cushions from upholstered furniture. Use brush attachment of vacuum cleaner on furniture (getting into all crevices) and cushions. Replace cushions. 

7. Dust furniture; rub wood surfaces to polish (page 187); apply wax or polish when necessary. For special care of furniture, see index for types.
Polish metal hardware if necessary. 
Wash glass table tops. 

8. For weekly or special care of each type of flooring, see index for types. 
Use vacuum cleaner for thorough cleaning of rugs and carpets (page 131).

9. Polish or wash accessories and return to place with other objects removed during cleaning. 

And then there's a whole section on Special Seasonal Jobs which will be another day. I don't have time for such malarkey. But here's a picture of the page if you want to see it. I'll do it soon, just not today. Sorry folks. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Amy vs America's Housekeeping Book: Back on Schedule

Monday morning. 

I'm still up to my nose in sewing projects but I'm taking some time this morning to try to get back on the schedule business. My laundry is in the wash so I'm ahead of my game a bit. 

Here's what I'm looking at today. I've already prepared and served breakfast, and I have my laundry in, although I would LOVE to have my laundry sent out like I'm some kind of Lucy Ricardo. A lady can dream. So, it being "forenoon" at 9:43 am- it's time to check out my "light cleaning of rooms". I have a feeling this will take up a vast majority of my day. 

Page 230-253. 

Okay. Living room. 

2. Pick up and replace small articles...

Craps, man. I guess I'll see you in a week. 

Okay, in order of what I need to do "light cleaning" of:

1. Living room

2. Dining room - which is awesome because I don't have one. 

3. The bedrooms. 

4. The bathroom. 

5. Halls and stairs. No stairs so that'll be quick.

6. The kitchen. (Does blogger have spooky, blood font? No? Imagine this in horror movie-like font. Screams and howling wind in the background.)

Okay dokes. I better stop my yammering and get down to business. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Amy vs America's Housekeeping Book: Sewing

My homemaker schedule is completely off the rails. 

I'm not going to panic about that. Next week is a brand new week. 

Besides, I HAVE to do a sewing day today because that's how I make money and I have 3 people waiting for me to finish their things and many more custom orders on my never ending To-Do board. I wish this were a humblebrag. So a wedding sash for a wedding in June, two messenger bags (for a June birthday)  and a memory quilt that I was asked to do before Christmas have to take priority. 

Anyway. The kids' room didn't get done yesterday and the bathroom is covered in toothpaste and hair and has a strong urine odor lingering in the air. So that's part of my day probably too.

The husband, "Ward" is home this morning so I'm going to use the opportunity to hit up the fabric store ALOOONNNNEEEEE. Besides, shopping is part of the sewing day (Wednesday) and we're just pretending they meant Thursday and the fabric store. 

So in the meantime, drool over this set-up with me. 

One day.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Amy vs America's Housekeeping Book: kids' room.

The boys' bedroom has forever been the bane of my existence. It's ALWAYS a mess. Always. 

Wally loves boxes. He makes them into robots and cars and fighter jets

And rocket ships. 

And then he insists on keeping them forever. They eventually get thrown in recycling once they've been smashed up and forgotten about but there are still several members of the fleet in active duty. Which means his room eventually looks like the receiving area of a grocery store. 

Real time shots and I'm impressed that there are only 3 boxes in there. 

I deal with the boxes because I actually love his engineering skills. They will become very valuable when he gets old enough to have his own Pinterest account. 

But I'm dealing with toys and toys and boxes and toys and toys. Everywhere. 

I have been off the charts lazy today and haven't even made the beds or cleaned up the bathroom. But I have not stopped thinking about the kid aspect of this book and since the room might just be a portal to the stock room of a Toys R Us, I can at the very least check out what the book advises I do to keep the kids' room in order. Did I mention how much I adore this book and its values????? With the exception of saying boys don't want "a sissy room" it's pretty on trend. 

Speaking of "on trend", this book invented Pinterest before you even heard of it, okay? 

It's fascinating and heart breaking at the same time when you realize why they had to be all hipster Pinterest. 

In case you are not aware of what was happening to American households in 1943- a little thing called WW2 was happening. All over the world, men were at war and women were working. And shoes went on ration in March. 

So they saved and reused EVERYTHING. My grandma still to this day washes and reuses ziplock bags. She's probably still using the ones she bought in 1986. 


So having order in the house was probably even more important to them then we even realize. 

And finding cheap and free uses for things was just how it was. Good thing I found this book, then. I'm broke. 

This era was possibly the defining moment for women, that silent rumbling that there was more to scrubbing the tub and having a perfect house and quiet, clean kids ready when your husband got home. The rumbling that got so loud that women eventually were socially accepted to go to college. (I saw that on a Quantum Leap episode, so you know it's true). 

I went to college and now I'm a really bad  stay at home mom who dreams of being a really good homemaker. But it's my choice, and for that I tip my unwashed mom bun to those ladies that came before me and did it so much better than I ever could. 

Alright, my vow is to tackle this room today. Maybe I could build some of this with old scraps laying around. 

You laugh now, but I think I could do it. How hard could it be? I'll just look it up on a Pinterest diy board. 

First I've got to get rid of some boxes. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Amy vs America's Housekeeping Book: Kids

This is the first of what may prove to be many side posts regarding this book. 

The kid aspect.

It's so "now".

The book that I have in my hands was published in 1943- the same year "Beatle" George Harrison was born. I jump at all opportunity to bring The Beatles into anything, as you know, and I will still probably try to mold this in a Beatle way even though this book says "America's" in the title and they weren't. There may be SOME similarities on how British mothers and American mothers mothered in 1943, but I don't know. Not as I type this, anyway, but possibly by the end of this post I may know a bit more. BUUUTTTT since this experiment is based solely on this book and this book is for American housewives then "American Housewife" is the way I shall lean. 

I am an American mother. And let me tell you that I kind of hate a lot of American mothers. The ones online anyway. And okay, a lot of the ones I know offline too. I hang out with a lot of cool moms but let's face it, as a mom of today, you've always got your side-eye on and stories of your kid's latest accomplishments on the ready just in case. 

That's not just a problem of today, I suppose though because The Ricardo's had a similar situation if I recall correctly and I do. 

Remember that brat, little Stevie Appleby?? Me too. Mother wars haven't evolved much since then, only moms have Facebook now and well, I'm sure you know. 

Listen, I don't want to hate moms but I think that's what quells our insecurities; hating each other and telling each other how much better it would be for them if they knew how to parent just like us even though we secretly question everything we do ourselves.  

None of us know what we're doing and that opens the door for all the parenting "experts" like Dr. Spock and Dr. Sears and Miyam Bilak and Jenny McCarthy. It's a sickness we have. 

I'm getting off topic a bit. 

So the new trend is attached parenting. It's all hippie and crap but it's actually how I tend to parent (don't tell anyone) and this book is basically in line with ME rather than my romanticized ideas of the past trying to conform with the past. It feels that way, anyway. 

When I became a new mom I was handed all sorts of books and one I remember in particular was a book on raising a genius baby written in the 80s or 90s. It had all these ideas of black and white color schemes that made the "I love everything black and white!!!" part of me want to paint Wally's nursery black and white like the Clockwork Orange milk bar minus all the naked lady mannequins.

The one part the stood out to me was the suggestion of moving the crib around the room often so the baby would have different points of view throughout the day. 

I started questioning my need to carry my kid everywhere I went and this genius baby book is telling me to leave my kid in a crib all day to familiarize himself with his new views. That never seemed okay for me. Or for Wally. 

These many times that I've been trying to accomplish being a "perfect homemaker", I've failed. I've failed because I have kids and I could never figure out how moms back then did it. And it turns out, they didn't either. It's not a fault of me as a mother, it's how it goes if you don't have a nanny or a maid. It's about accepting that reality. Facebook probably doesn't help. 

This edition that I have was published in 1943. That puts the kids of the women reading this a decade before when my mom was born (1954). I know that my grandma didn't breast feed, nor did my mom.  I'm sure that because of all the rations and everything, in 1943, breast feeding was still the norm, which is back to where most of us are at now. 

I love that the book encourages you to allow your children to help out around the house, even when that slows your work down (it SOOOOO does). 

I'm very interested to learn more about what it was like to parent in the 40s, the 50s and how that differed in the 70s and 80s when we grew up. Mostly, I'm interested in how these groups of babies grew up differently.

Do you see how I can't stop sneaking in information about what I'm doing wrong? I want to learn more and go further with this, but I also want to go to bed. 

We'll pick this up later. I welcome any insight. 

Amy vs America's Housekeeping Book: Scheduling

I think my problem is scheduling. I should've done this part first instead of going guns ablaze into the bathroom, although now I have a clean bathroom so not all has been lost. 

But when "scheduling" is on page 9 and the bathroom is on page 244, I should've grasped onto the hint rope. 

I'm doing laundry right now and airing the farts out of the beds. I was trying to figure what I was going to do next because the whole house, minus the bathroom is in sad shambles. I was planning on mopping the living room floor but it's supposed to rain tomorrow and that kind of seems like it might be a better task to handle after the rain. My bedroom is a mess, the boys' bedroom is a mess, the kitchen is a mess and I'm getting overwhelmed. 

Today is a short day for Wally at school so maybe I tackle the scheduling today. Laundry and the scheduling and a bit of the daily chores if there is time. The book has a skeleton schedule which I am going to copy. I'll start there. 

Let's see what the book says about scheduling. 

"Do you consider silver polishing more important than a picnic?" I do not, book. Clearly. Have you seen my house? 

I'm also super stoked that this book understands where I have failed every time I've tried to undertake this project due to feeling completely overwhelmed because children. And that's okay because apparently I've been doing what the book says I'm supposed to do anyway. (Facebooking would be in the current edition, I'm sure of it)

Exhibit A: 

Exhibit B:

So I accept my state of affairs philosophically. But I'd still like a little more order round these parts. Or a maid would be awesome. 

But really, only 5 hours and 41 minutes for a baby??  

My laundry probably has to be put in the dryer now. Stay tuned for part 2 of this series where I try to talk myself out of this whole project. 
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