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the satisfying crunch of ramen noodles beneath my feet

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I have mentioned several times before that I have not done housework in, oh, seven years. I've had mixed experiences with housekeepers - the one who hid the items she broke, or the one who didn't speak French, or the one who left dirty diapers in the loo. But overall I loved coming home to a clean house. I knew it would be a big adjustment to start doing it all by myself.

It was with some trepidation that I've been looking at and eventually purchasing the myriad of cleaning products and equipment available. Environmentally friendly? Organic? Scented? Non-scented? Anti-bacterial? I'd spend at least 20 minutes just examining the items in the cleaning aisle. Maybe that's why all the greeters at Wal-Mart know me. I think I'll buy a Swiffer Sweep + Vac or a carpet sweeper as an intermediary measure. Why does a purchasing a vacuum cleaner feel like a bigger indicator of adulthood than marriage?

Last night after a friend and I picked up our veggie basket of organic locally produced foods we traipsed over to Target to buy even more cleaning stuff, namely from the Real Simple line of products. I happen to like the Target design aesthetic better, and the RS items look sleek and useful. I bought the upright dustpan and broom with which I happily swept away the remains of six weeks' worth of ramen dinners. I find that cleaning is like riding a bike or roller-skating: you may be a little rusty at first, but then everything kicks in.
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On October 27th, 2006 02:06 pm (UTC), flemmarde commented:
and then the novelty wears off quick smart :(

it's the old myth of sisyphus, no achievment remains achieved
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On October 27th, 2006 02:11 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
It'll be interesting to see how the division of labor plays out with MoBob. Having a housekeeper means sidestepping that discussion.
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On October 27th, 2006 02:25 pm (UTC), flemmarde replied:
and i've always found there's a difference between the discussion and reality :)
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On October 27th, 2006 02:11 pm (UTC), meredith_eats commented:
You know, you could hire a housekeeper in America.

I vote against anti-bacterial stuff. I think people weaken their immune systems and build up allergies by trying to kill every last germ that resides in their house.
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On October 27th, 2006 02:13 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
I don't think I can afford to - overseas we didn't pay taxes, or for the house or utilities or the car - so for the moment it's not an option.

I've been avoiding the anti-bacterial stuff too, I think it's a false and misleading economy. Bring on the microbes!
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On October 27th, 2006 02:15 pm (UTC), congogirl commented:
Do you have a Trader Joe's in the area? They have a lot of organic/env. friendly products without the mainstream pricetag, since they market their own brand in many cases, in the same manner as Whole Foods has the 365 brand.
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On October 27th, 2006 02:28 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Nope. No Trader Joe's, no REI, no lots of other standard mall stores.
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On October 27th, 2006 02:29 pm (UTC), congogirl replied:
Trader Joe's is not standard yet - we just got one in the past few months over here.
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On October 27th, 2006 02:30 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
I'm just waiting for the Gap. *sigh*
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On October 27th, 2006 03:12 pm (UTC), mynuet commented:
Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. You'll thank me.
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On October 27th, 2006 03:52 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Oooh, good idea. I'll pass that on to MoBob. :)
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On October 27th, 2006 03:22 pm (UTC), 13oct commented:
Unfortunately, I have to admit to being a total cleanness freak - the side effect of having baby who inspects my floors and eats anything she finds on them!

I could give u a product review of almost every cleaning product on the market. So yeah, I can definitely relate to spending time in the cleaning isle in every store I go to! I have to sadly admit that I own not one but three different types of vacuums. A little dry/wet dustbuster, a regular big vacuum and the Swiffer Sweep + Vac. Yeah, sad and pathetic but true.

So if u ever have any Q's on any product, or want reviews for any vacuums, ask away. Man I sound like such a looser!
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On October 27th, 2006 03:59 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Oh yeah! Thanks! I think I will hold off on the major appliance purchases until/if we buy a house. And I'm sure once we have a little one we'll be a lot more conscientious...or paranoid, as it were.
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On October 27th, 2006 08:48 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
I didn't know Targets were allowed in Arkansas. Target beats Wal-Mart in my opinion largely because there is something aesthetically appealing about their stores that WM lacks... like clean floors, items located in the same zip code as the correct shelf tag, and people who can actually help me find what I'm looking for.

As for cleaning supplies, my wife wholeheartedly agrees with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser recommendation. Hoover Vacuum Cleaners are generally the most reliable and available for your dollar, though Kenmore (Sears) has good ones too but you will pay $200-300 for a good one--don't go cheap (Dirt Devil) or you'll be sorry! Costco has the best dishwasher soap (with enzymes! Enzymes are good). Don't go nuts being environmentally friendly at first or you'll get frustrated as such products usually require more elbow grease and more $ and sometimes aren't as effective anyway. Find the nasty stuff that works the best, get used to that first, and then gradually shop green for one product at a time and see what you like.

Michael
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On October 27th, 2006 09:05 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
Cleaning
I agree with one of your "posters" that the best form of cleaning is a baby girl. AG (as you call her!) loves to find anything and everything in the floor. I must admit there is more cereal around my house than EVER before.

Let's do a movie or something. I miss you!!

Penny
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On October 28th, 2006 04:15 am (UTC), nausicaa1 commented:
As someone who has to do an unreal amount of housework just to keep the Child Protective Services at bay, I fully endorse the Method line of cleaners. Gets everything clean, smells nice, is nice to the environment, has great packaging, and is also reasonably priced compared to top-shelf organic cleaners. I probably go through a bottle of the kitchen surface spray a week.

Good luck!
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On October 28th, 2006 03:49 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Thanks! I do like the Method ads. I checked and they are available in AR - one never knows about availability here....
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On October 28th, 2006 02:46 pm (UTC), hatter_anon commented:
Hmmm, it's a worry when you're posting about cleaning products!
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On October 28th, 2006 03:50 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Oh dear. I've become an aging hipster. :/
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On October 28th, 2006 04:03 pm (UTC), hatter_anon replied:
Not at all! Cleaning and other such necessities overtake us all at times :)
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On October 31st, 2006 01:28 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
Cleaning up
I love Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day cleaning products. They smell so nice and aren't filled with dangerous, toxic junk. But I've been getting into the Method and like that as well.

You need something on a stick to clean your bathtub. It's just easier. I bought this product that comes with disposable cleaning pads you attach to the end. Only that brand's cleaning brands will fit on it -- but I've cheated. I safety pin a thick dish cloth (environmentally-friendly alternative) on and use my Mrs. Meyers instead. Convenience and aesthetics, yes!

Maybe I think about this stuff a little too much.

Adriana
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