P1070307It’s time to clean up this old ruin.

The stretch of fine weather and the impending arrival of a houseguest motivated me to do some spring cleaning. Especially cleaning the windows, which my French friends do once a week but which I do quite a bit less. We have So Many Windows. And it’s such a Sisyphean task. You clean them, it rains and they get spots. Clear blue skies are forecast for another week, so I went for it. I have the song “Aquarius” by The Fifth Dimension in my head–the refrain “bear the sunshine” was in a Windex commercial many decades ago. (Check out the link to the music video! Peace and Love!)P1070660I had the brilliant idea to treat some wood with beeswax, but it wouldn’t come out of the bottle. It is very stupid to bottle beeswax because it isn’t very runny (which reminds me of another commercial from childhood, for Heinz ketchup to the tune of Carly Simon’s “Anticipation”). I ran the bottle under hot water, then got completely spattered with wax when I opened it. Someone, not me, thought it was funny. The remaining beeswax was poured into a wide-mouth jar, which is how it should have been sold to begin with.P1060959It’s nice to spiff up one’s stuff from time to time. Some people are all about replacing with new, but I have fidelity to my things. On Sunday, our kid made focaccia in the kitchen, chatting with me as I sat at the table with the sewing machine and dispensed with a pile of mending. So many ripped seams. Simple to fix; just takes the time to get out the machine, thread the needle (increasingly difficult), do it. My mom darned socks and patched our clothes. Mending and sewing seem very last-century, but there are zillions of videos of young women repairing and adjusting thrift-store finds. One of them inspired me to tailor some pants that I had found a little too saggy. I suspect I will wear them more now (plus I dyed them “tulip red” so they’re like new).P1070662The Carnivore and I dragged all the patio furniture out of the garden shed and cleaned it. I pulled weeds and he trimmed the oleander–it already had flower buds and I hope it will hurry up and made new ones. Pale pink and deep “féria” magenta, they make a colorful wall around us. There are still many weeds, more than grass. Another Sisyphean task. P1060957I dream of downsizing, so that the portion of my life devoted to maintenance shrinks and the portion devoted to enjoying life can expand. Some people take their enjoyment from maintenance itself, which seems like mental judo–using the opponent’s own weight against him. Don’t fight head on, but direct the energy to your advantage. I respect that, but I’d still like more time for museums.P1070736Do you do spring cleaning, or are you a clean-all-the-time type? Any tips to share?

 

54 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning

  1. Not good at cleaning windows here. All else gets done as I go. With the exception of the big picture window in the front room. The little barking dog makes me keep it clean weather I want to or not. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m the “hire someone to clean twice a month, and I’ll do the dishes and regular touch up” type, but I’m also a “tiny house” person. We currently live in a 42 square meter apartment and are renovating a small village house of similar proportions.
    Love your photos here of the varied stone ruins in the bright sun. Mysteries of the ancient fields.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some of the structures are capitelles, structures made to provide shade for vineyard workers. Another is the ruins of a windmill.
      42 square meters sounds great. Our house isn’t big, but it’s a pain to clean, probably because both my husband and I work from home.

      Like

  3. Spring cleaning is a nice idea – I tend to do the windows when the chance of rain has passed, but even then they get quite dusty. This year there’s been not much rain to speak of, so it’ll probably rain the moment I’ve cleaned the windows 🙂 !!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I don’t love cleaning, but appreciate clean with some order. I’ve always been wary of how much of my life could be consumed by tasks that are, as you say, Sisyphean. . . Luckily, I’ve got a partner who shares the domestic tasks — I just have to live with streakier windows than I’d achieve on my own!!
    And having a smaller space really helps, and keeping less stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Company is the best incentive for cleaning. I have started to do one small job that I hate almost every day. I’m not sure how long this will last, but it seems to make life easier. Windows, now that’s another matter. We have many, and when the sun shines in….cobwebs magically appear.
    I would rather be outside in the garden.
    Ali

    Liked by 3 people

  6. My windows don’t require washing more than once a year on the outside but I live in a rainy climate. I was wondering: Why? I think it must be because the style here is to have fairly deep roof overhangs. I’m glad. More outdoor time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s interesting. We have fairly big overhangs, plus the windows have large sills on the outside. The worst is in summer, when we have the screens down; the rain through the screens makes a huge mess on the windows.

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  7. Ugh … housework. I am famous for doing very little of the stuff. Pre-guest buffing plus sporadic vacuuming. At the moment we have a domestic disaster. The dishwasher is en panne and our appliance guy is being super slow about repairing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Is it just me or do the two rocks resemble two old men in conversation? One has a rather prominent nose. Love the pictures and thanks so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I will always opt for the garden over cleaning the house. I live alone so have no one to nag me about dirty windows or dog hair on the floor. When it gets to me, I fix it. I admire a clean house, and am always happy when mine gets cleaned. Good that I have people come to visit from the US, its a great incentive to scrape out the corners.
    bonnie in provence

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m with you–I love having it clean, but I don’t enjoy cleaning it. But gardening? Not my jam either. I’d rather walk city streets, see a museum, catch a concert. Or read.

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  10. What is this “house cleaning” of which you speak? I, too, look at those perfect rooms on decorator sites and think about how you’d dust the high ceiling or the many little crevices. Not that I do, but I think about it occasionally.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. To me it’s the shiny things. Mirrored backsplashes or a very beautiful, deep tub of shiny copper on the outside and what looked like stainless steel on the inside. Beautiful, but only if there are no fingerprints and water spots.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh, yes, a kindred spirit. Every room I look at on the ‘net I think about maintenance, convenience, etc. Especially the *yuge* kitchens with an island the size of a battleship, and acres of stone countertops, with the frig about two blocks away from the stove, etc., and I think, do people cook here, or do they have the caterers in?
      bonnie in provence

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I DO DO A BIT OF SPRING CLEANING!ONLY BECAUSE I CANT STAND IT ANYMORE NOT BECAUSE I ENJOY IT!This past weekend we took the refrigerator apart and gave it a SPANKING NEW LOOK!THE DUST THAT ACCUMULATES!!!!!PLUS THE VENT inside the BEAST was FILTHY!
    WE now have a roof leak in my closet!The only part of the HOUSE THE ITALIAN didNOT DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    THAT Might make me clean IT!!!!!!
    XX

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow! You sure hit a nerve with this post. Glad no cleaning freaks responded to make me feel more guilty. My mom would be so ashamed- she would even hose the basement down to free it creepy crawlies once a year!! (Oh, good Lord!!) Not me. Sadly, I inherited all her passions but cleaning. And, yes, there is nothing like the announcement of company that gets me going, only because I want to maintain a somewhat good image.
    This was the best reading this morning!! So many kindred spirits!!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I love to clean, it is therapeutic to me. However I do not like the clean the windows outside, mainly because the entire back of your house is windows, the family room is 2 story floor to ceiling windows and we have had so much rain lately that I would be outside everyday cleaning them. I have been pulling weeds and trimming a few things but it is still a bit cold.

    I cannot sew but I am trying to teach myself. The irony of that is that my mother owns a leather company and I have worked their since I was 18, first sewing product by hand and then on a corner stitch machine, but never a flat stitch. This year I am going to attempt to make a pillow, wish me luck.

    Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I used to be a slave to my cleaning ways. Thankfully I’ve mellowed quite a bit with age. I always ask myself, “When I’m on my deathbed will I be unhappy I didn’t clean as much?” Nope.

    I do like a tidy house all the time though. I can’t work in chaos.

    I’d love to have clean windows but some of them are impossible to get at and impossible to take apart to clean.

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

    Liked by 1 person

  15. When the moon, is in the 7th house…is about how often I clean windows. But I have good excuse: many of ours are too high to reach without special equipment or a very tall ladder, so we have them done twice a year (after weeks of cajoling the nice fellow who is always overbooked). That said, I’m doing a lot of rearranging, rotating and tossing away this weekend – a sure sing of spring. 🌸

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Our windows look awful right now, and I don’t see when I’ll get around to them. You blasted me to the past with Aquarius (I remember it well and am one) and Anticipation. How about You’re So Vain which she wrote about Warren Beatty? I have plenty of other spring cleaning tasks – it does seem like all the white trim is dingy and needs to be addressed. Happy spring! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. February is spring cleaning for me, the month I have less work, and that would be Summer in Argentina. I write a to-do list and try to cross out at least a couple of items on the list each day. Being an empty nester sure helps as things stay where I have left them. And for sure it rains the day after I clean the windows 🙂
    Love your writing and the array of topics, all interesting and very well thought of.

    Liked by 1 person

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