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Oh, excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor from laughing so hard … and move so the lightning doesn’t strike me.

In a variation of an old Erma Bombeck line … My second favorite household chore is cleaning. My first being hitting my head on the wall until I faint.

No, seriously … if there was an award for hating housework, I’d get the gold medal. I would much rather pay someone else to do it than do it myself. Not that I have the money to do such a thing now, but I would rather pay …

And I understand that when others do your housework there is a good deal of give and take. You have to abandon all hope of it being done exactly the way you’d like it. And there is a fair chance that things will be broken.

Now there is something you need to know about my housecleaning abilities … or lack thereof. I was really about ready to turn myself in to one of those shows on TV about hoarding. Couldn’t seem to keep up with it all. Stuff stacked from floor to … well, it wasn’t quite like the shows on TV. Not exactly paths through the house or anything. But it was bad enough.

And anytime I tried to clean … the kitchen, the bathroom, the TV room … I was immediately admonished by my longtime partner at the time to stop touching his stuff. Clean my own stuff. Leave his alone.

As time progressed it occured to me (and my counselor) that maybe … just maybe … I wasn’t the hoarder in the house. Despite what my partner would have me believe. I wasn’t the one with twenty pairs of sunglasses, six pairs of reading glasses, three pairs of prescription glasses, 12 pairs of headphones, five shortwave radios, tons of electronic equipment, miles of cabling and adapters, and numerous numerous other gadgets and collections. As a matter of fact … when we parted ways early last year … and all of his furniture and belongings and collections and whatnot were removed from the house, it became quickly apparent … I wasn’t the hoarder in the house.

Horrible housekeeper – yes. Hoarder – no.

When a friend visited in the spring of this year, she immediately picked up her cell phone and called her sister three hours away to exitedly tell her that my house was just as clean as it had been in December. That I wasn’t the hoarder … he was.

It took until almost the end of the year to get all his furniture and belongings out.  And the aftermath more closely resembled the TV shows once they remove all the hoarders belongings. Except my plumbing and appliances still worked.

But suffice it to say walls were in dire need of paint … floors in dire need of … well, everything … and the ceilings could stand for a good redo as well. With the kitchen, bathroom and TV room complete, there was still a good deal of work to be done on the other rooms.

Especially the front porch/room which for a while did double duty as an 8 by 20 litter box … with several litter boxes and several other “gifts” … both alive and dead.  The two cats and their attendant kittens are all gone now. And work needed to be done.

Enter my friend Ann … again. You remember Ann …  who came up with the idea for this blog in the first place.

Ann who harbors secret thoughts of being a professional organizer. Who has been know to have just a teensy little control issue from time to time. But I was exceedingly incredibly grateful when she arrived this morning to help me with the daunting tasks at hand.

Namely the removal of the carpeting in the front room and the organization of both that and the living room which holds my home office.

Six hours and buckets of sweat later, the living room looks fabulous. Except for a stack of boxes that need to be gone through of my office stuff, the rest of the room is clean, calm and oddly happy. A sense of inner peace. A roll top chest filled with board games. A beautiful wooden chess board. My Passion Pink PC with Lennon’s A Frog Pondering as the desktop. And the framed Pittsburgh cartoons … Pearls Before Swine and Calvin and Hobbes.

and the front room is … well, its still the front room … but the windows are cleared and the carpet is removed. The wood underneath is actually quite good and ready to be painted now. And everything is gone from the room needless to say.

Did I mention that it has been a balmy 98 degrees outside through all of this? With super high humidity? And there is no air conditioning in the front room? And did I mention the buckets of sweat?

Hey, I need to focus on gratitude here … I have no doubt lost an easy five pounds … and two hours down the road a friend just posted that it is 107 degrees in the shade.


Things could be worse.

Now where did I put that solid brass shiny Slinky?