Tuesday, January 08, 2013

“I Let the Houseplants Die – One Woman’s Story” I love it! And even more do I love the way you and your mother cut it out and sent it to each other simultaneously. Thanks, Stashdragon.

I spent some time with Roz Chast yesterday, looking through Google Images for the page I think I remember, without success but with much pleasure. My mother was expected to be one of those Stepford Wives teetering about the house in high heels during the 1950’s, admiring her washing machine. It wasn’t a role that suited her. She would have loved Roz Chast.

Our Polish cleaning woman is coming tomorrow at 8, so I will have to spend some time today sorting out the dusters and exploring the inner recesses of the refrigerator. Helen clearly thinks that a clean-out there would be a good place to start.

My husband is behaving exactly like your friend’s father, Shandy. “More damage is done to furniture by servants than anything else except flood.” We have some good things, and some pictures in gilt frames which send gold flakes cascading floor-wards at the slightest touch of a duster. I think it will be possible to work around these difficulties.

And also around the greater difficulty of my husband’s occupation of the kitchen for his breakfast during most of the morning. A cleaner needs free access to the kitchen. That’s why she’s coming before first light tomorrow, before he gets up.

We shall see.

As for knitting, the sleeve is progressing well. I am nearing the point – should reach it today – when I have to decide a precise figure for the final number of stitches. “35-40% of K” leaves a 10-stitch grey area undetermined. It is time I showed you a picture – soon.

Thank you for your comforting remarks about gents’ sweaters and ease – and, indeed, layering.

Helen just phoned to say she is in Athens, and Archie successfully installed at Merchiston for another term. She reminds me that I was going to knit him some kilt hose. She says her husband doesn't think a cleaner will be able to stick it, here. Helen and I have some faith in our woman.


  1. Anonymous9:55 AM

    You might let the cleaner do the non-controversial things, and reserve those more delicate tasks for yourself! My mother's marvellosu Polish cleaner does clean so enthusiastically that she has rubbed all the numbers off the dials on the cooker - which has made life there a little more "interesting".But the bath and sinks and floors positively sparkle :-) Mum refused to ask nicely for a gentler touch in some areas, but I think it would be a reasonable request........my advice would be to enjoy teh help and support while you have it!

  2. Anonymous12:38 PM

    I agree with other commenters that I think you will enjoy having someone scrub the kitchen/bath so you no longer have to do so.
    You could save your energy for knitting and reading.
    have a good week!
    Lisa in Toronto

  3. but wouldn't your health and sanity in not having to do all the work by yourself make a little damage to furniture more acceptable if it really did happen? having perfect picture frames on the wall doesn't help if your back is sore all the time?:)) my mother doesn't want a cleaning help though, she would start to sort and clean before that person comes, just to have a tidy house to present to a "stranger":)which is missing the point, but then it's her decision....

  4. I was just thinking yesterday about the kilt hose you were planning to knit for Archie and wondering if you were still planning to make them.

    My mom has a cleaner at her new residence and the rule they have there is the cleaners do not do any dusting. I think it is out of fear of items being damaged. I'm wondering if you kept the dusting job for yourself if this might help reduce the risk of damage to your furniture and anything sitting on the pieces. It sounds like it is going to be a fine balance between reducing your workload and reassuring your husband that all will be well. For your sake I hope having the cleaning lady works out.

  5. The Senior Cat tells me that his "Calvinist work ethic" does not allow him to pay other people to do things he "can and should" do himself. We have no hope of getting a cleaner while he thinks he can sweep the floor. (I have to quietly sweep up the missed bits later.)

  6. Anonymous11:38 PM

    There is another boxy sweater you might like on ravelry:
    Just one size, but easily altered.
    Erin in PA

  7. Anonymous5:09 PM

    I laughed about "cleaning up for the cleaner" too, until it happened to me! As it works out, I do a bit of pickup around the floors and counters so that my cleaner's time is not wasted in moving around my piles of stuff. Good discipline for me, and with kind of a schedule we don't get quite so out-of-control as we used to! Over time it has worked out wonderfully. Hope it works for you too.
    Beverly near Yosemite