Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My life in chaos or how cleaning the bathmats threw off half of my day

I usually spend Monday mornings doing some light admin in my business. Last Monday, I also had to invoice my sales order and put the customer orders together. This is where Law-maker Murphy decided to play his prank. You see, I work from my home and I work long hours with my business, so in an effort to keep on top of both jobs, I do household chores between work tasks. Throw the kids and writing into the mix, set on the stove on low and—voila!—Chaos Soup.

At any rate, yesterday, I decided to finally wash the bath mats in the master bath—it’d been a month, they were due (no, I'm no Martha Stewart, but that's good since I don't think I'd do well with prison food). Hubby & I have two mats on the floor—one outside the shower stall and one outside the garden bathtub. We have two of them down because it’s easier than moving the one. We mostly shower, but we’re—pleasingly plump?—so we need to rest our feet on the bathtub to dry our legs.

Easy enough task one would think, to clean the bathmats. Simply pick them up from the floor and throw them in the washer—yes? No. One of our bathmats was rather old because we simply can’t afford to spend money on such frivolous things when there are airsoft guns to buy, ROTC trainings to pay for, karate classes on automatic payments, and brush bars & jacked-up wheels & air tanks & roof racks to buy for the Outback (hubby’s Subaru, not the place in Australia or the restaurant). Because the bathmat in question was old and had been on the floor for many weeks, when I tried to pick it up, it wouldn’t move. Then, at my insistence, it started to come up, but not all of it—only the top half. Large chunks of the fiber matting from the bottom remained stuck to my floor like glue. In our brand-new house (well, new to us—we closed in May and moved in June 1).

So, now I’ve got to throw out the bathmat. I do so, after putting a garbage bag in the garbage can because I’d asked J, my younger son, to take care of the trash earlier (he’d cleaned the yard from his friends coming over the night before, again, after I asked him to, and thrown a plate full of ant-covered burger into my kitchen garbage can). Naturally, since I didn’t ask him to, he didn’t replace the bag. So, I put a bag in the can and throw the bathmat in the bag.

Next step—cleaning the stuck-on fibers off of my tile floor, without gouging it or leaving scratches. I wanted to try the wet sponge mop first, but since I left it in the toilet stall when water made its way onto the floor a few weeks ago, I forgot where it was and had to go on the search. Mind, with a new house and many things still in boxes because we were without air conditioning for two weeks and I was avoiding being in the house unless strictly necessary, “the search” is required for many things. Luckily, J, who is ever observant of other people’s things, told me where it was. However, my wash buckets were out in the back yard, in ant central. Since I had no desire to turn this simple job into a long process (yup, I get the irony), I rinsed out the mop in my bathroom sink, the same one I wash my hands and brush my teeth in. I found, with surprisingly little effort) the all-purpose cleaner and sprayed it on the fibers, then let it set for a couple of minutes while I went to put the other bathmat in the laundry.

I opened the washing machine to find E, my older son’s—clothes from his survival training still in the wash. I took them out and opened the dryer, to find another load still in the dryer. So, I reset the dryer to de-wrinkle the clothes and left the BDUs and other items in the washer (I hadn’t looked when I put the clothes in to wash, just dumped the sea bag and tried not to pass out from the fumes of swamp and two-weeks unwashed male teen). The newer bathmat got thrown to the floor in front of the washer to become the next load.

I figured sufficient time had passed, so I went back to try to mop up the stuck-on fibers from the tiles. Have you ever tried to mop up dried-on super glue with a sponge? It’s kinda like trying to ring a doorbell with a wet noodle. So, off to try to find an alternate way to get this stuff up. While scrounging around for a cleaning tool of some sort, I found my husband’s putty knife sitting by the kitchen sink. Don’t ask—I try not to. I said to myself—I said, “Self, if you’re really careful, this might work.” The next twenty minutes were spent very carefully scraping the stuck-on fibers from my tile floor, running my fingers along the floor to find places I’d missed and then washing up the all-purpose cleaner from the floor. It worked!

And now I have to go buy a new bathmat. I wonder what adventure that will bring?

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