Monday, August 29, 2011

What I've learned about cleaning...

1) the amount of dog hair in a house has no direct bearing on how hairless a dog should appear after shedding so much. She shows not a sign of balding; it boggles the mind.

2) the satisfaction of vacuuming carpets last but a moment - or until the dog shakes.

3) a Dyson on clearance at Home Depot still works like a Dyson at waaaay less cost. Older models still suck stuff up with abandon, although they may be last year's color. I'm an 'older' model, and I have no idea what last year's color was on me. I'm still working, too, for what it's worth.

4) sucking up a live wasp, into the vacuum, does not bring about any feelings of sadness. Am I a bad person?

5) high ceilings make me wonder what I can't see and can't reach...

6) does thinking about what it would be like to set off the indoor/fire sprinkler system to 'wash' the house top-to-bottom make me a bad person?

7) wrought iron is lovely but impossible to clean effectively with any tool currently known to man.

8) no chemicals or name-brand mopping devices clean a floor better than water and a rag on one's hands and knees.

9) ironing makes things smooth and soft. It's a comfort drug of sorts. (You knew I'd mention ironing, didn't you?)

10) stone fireplaces are beautiful but can never be clean enough. Crevices, stone, cement = dust bunny heaven.

11) spiders thrive in Canada in the summer. They thrive, I tell you! Don't come here if you're an arachnophobiac. Consider yourself warned. I clean - they build; I clean - they build. It's becoming competitive, and, yes, I know their brains are smaller... but still... I think they know.

12) a gym membership is not necessary if you consider cleaning your house a personal challenge. It's all about winning...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

the worst blogger? Probably not...

Why do we blog? I know it's not ego, because everyone I (personally) know who blogs went into it against their better judgement. What could we possibly have to say that others would find interesting? Each of us (Kathy, Robin, Melissa, etc.) started out hoping you would find our words heart-felt, inspirational, or even funny.  My hope is that we were right...

We just returned from our 1-month Lasik exam, and all is well. Michael's vision is a little better than mine - darn! Not that we're competitive around here - ahem... Is it okay to blame mine on my age? Please? Otherwise, I'll feel like I only got an A rather than an A+ - not that it matters (I'm lying).

Since we traveled over the weekend, we thought we'd throw in a quick cruise. I know... shocking, right? Seriously, though, the cruise cost less than a hotel room, and the meals were included. How can you not love food, housekeeping, and the Bahamas? Sunday, on Coco Cay, we grabbed two lounge chairs and a hammock under the palm trees. Once in the hammock, we didn't move for 2 hours. Maybe we could move there after, or if, we survive the Canadian winters...

OCC is kicking into gear here in Canada, and I continue to learn all the differences. Same project - different processes (and, by the way, that's "processes" with a long O). Coming home from an OCC meeting in Leamington last night, we passed the Canadian Trampoline Museum... ummm... Do you think I should take visitors there?

The weather is beautiful (remind me of this in February's cold), and fall is just around the corner. Fall is always lovely to me; I don't see it as a dying off at all. It's just a turning toward a restful cycle in nature before God blooms it all again. And He always does. That so encourages me... every day is new and full of its own possibilities. I pray that as God gives me those, I walk into them with obedience and excitement (remind me of this in February's cold).

Friday, August 12, 2011

Weeds...and bitter roots

I pulled weeds (again) today. The house we rent has been a weekend vacation home for the couple who owns it, and, as such, has had intermittent care. The weeds, however, have been full-time residents. It is they who are established and I who am temporary.

God has used weeds to teach me a lot through the years, and those lessons come to mind every, single time I pull one. Seriously, without exception, I am struck by the following things:

1) It is a matter of commitment for me to pull every last weed in an area. Should I just grab the larger, easier ones and leave the smaller ones that take more effort? How long will I stay with the task? This is a lesson I review every morning as I question my commitment to the things God has called me to.

2) The size of the weed has no bearing on the size of its roots. A 2-inch tall weed can have footlong roots. It's easy to break off only what I can see, but seeking out and loosening that root takes time. Again, am I willing to do the harder things?

3) The struggle is worth my time. Why I find victory in pulling those roots out (and spraying dirt everywhere) is silly really. This makes me feel validated? Perhaps this goes back to the old "job well done" philosophy, yet I believe it's the slightest little reward for following through.

4) These weeds are just like my heart. The Bible talks about "bitter roots" that "cause trouble". My heart, like areas of my garden, is full of things hanging on for dear life - things with deep roots that I don't always want to work to pull out. It's hard work to tackle those deeply-rooted 'weeds', but God wants them out indeed.

What a sad statement it is that the larger the weed, the easier it is to pull. How big are those things in my heart that come out easily? How long have I allowed them to grow there? The little 'weeds', the newest things, are much tougher to go after. They may actually be shaded, protected, by the bigger things that have made a home in my heart.

Today, I found garden weeds in the tiniest places, all but hidden from view. I wanted to leave them until they'd be easier to see and to reach. But God had other plans, and we attacked those sprouts with a vengeance. Oh, that I would do that in my heart today...