Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Cleaning......   a normal everyday occurrence around the world.  Whether it is a maid in the White House polishing the marble, a home-maker wiping off the kitchen table and counters or a mom sweeping her dirt floor in Africa, cleaning happens, day in and day out.

I personally rather enjoy cleaning- in moderation.  I like the smell of a fresh bathroom and kitchen. I like to walk around barefoot and not have indistinguishable things stick to my feet. I grew up in a home that was kept neat and clean and I was taught at an early age to vacuum and dust and clean bathrooms. It is in my blood.

My husband refers to me as a clean-a-file, while my in-laws add Dutch to the front of that title. I am told that by adding Dutch to the title it makes a "plain" clean-a- file look dirty.   That is OK- I like the title and since I happen to have Dutch roots- no problem.

So, why blog about cleaning?  Well, since moving from the states, I have discovered that cleaning is a little different here AND my standards have gone down, just a little. 

Here in Ecuador, I have more time to clean than when we lived in Costa Rica, so one would think I would have my house in tip-top shape. Well..... cleaning here is a continuous thing- and I do mean continuous.  You see we live near the "ring of fire", meaning the line of active volcanoes that run from North America through South America into Asia and back around again through Alaska.  We have 2 particularly active ones nearby that spew off ash and smoke every 20-30 minutes.  That means dust every minute of everyday.The fine greyish stuff that cannot be seen except when moving items on shelves.

Ok- so dust can be ignored until Friday when I get to it- just don't move anything on the shelves and no one will be the wiser- plus they all live here too, right? 

Due to the proximity to the Amazon Rain Forest, carpeting is NOT recommended, nor even sold in this area.  Do you prefer tile floor or mildewy carpet?  Yeah, I thought so- but tile floor, especially white tile floor gets dirty easily and is easily seen - so we sweep everyday, sometimes twice and yes I still get things stuck to my feet.

Now, lets talk about these "indistinguishable" things- when you live in an environment where there is alot of rain (and I mean ALOT of rain) there will also reside bugs, of all shapes and sizes.  I am not particularly fond of bugs but neither am I particularly afraid of them, however, bugs have a place and that place is outside!  Can I hear an "amen"?    The bugs here do not seem to realize that however, and so I must remind them frequently that this house is for humans and humans only. This involves using a broom (and sometimes gloves) and removing them from the corners, under the  beds, the window sills, in the closet, behind the doors,........ well you get the idea.   If this "procedure" is not done at least every other day, well there may be a bug revolution or downright explosion or as in the case from a month ago- a really awful, haven't washed my socks that I wear everyday in a month, type smell.  

I hate to even admit it, but that "smell" has been in my house not once but twice now and I do have 4 "boys", but living here they don't wear socks, just sandals, so what could it be?   Time to get the broom AND the gloves and a bucket of disinfectant.  Sniffing, sniffing..... room located........ any guesses as to which one?  The boys room, of course....... could it be moldy laundry in the closet?  Continuing to sniff and remove items carefully from the closet- ahha!  Found it!  Now what was IT?!
Sweep up "smelly item" into dust pan and bring out into the light for further inspection-  of course, a shriveled up, blackened with age, rotting tree frog.  How could I have missed that!?

I guess my standards have gone down. ;)    Now the next question is:  Where is the rest of that millipede that I found the exoskeleton to yesterday while sweeping?  Maybe it's better if I don't know.

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