Casaubon's Book

What is your blogiste doing instead of writing posts and working on her new book these days? She is frantically trying to make her home a suitable place for the workshop she’s running in it in a few days. That means moving furniture that might get moved and discovering things horrible beyond description. It means sorting out things that ought to have been gotten rid of years ago. It means discovering that the bottom layer of my laundry pile has entered the “composting” stage.

Of all the domestic virtues, the one I lack most deeply is tidiness. This is exacerbated by four kids under 10, the eldest with the developmental characteristics of a toddler, many animals, and nowhere near enough time to keep up with my life.

In the spirit of a new broom sweeping away the old, I am attempting a flirtation with cleanliness. Will it last? Not holding my breath – but maybe long enough for the apprentice weekend ;-).

Posting will be light over the next week, as I dig through the archaeological layers under my sofa and otherwise prepare, and then while people are here! If you are looking for more to read, you could definitely check out Scienceblogs main page and many of my colleagues!

Sharon

Comments

  1. #1 Pine Ridge
    December 31, 2009

    Oh no! You didn’t move the couch did you? I always find the most (ahem) interesting things under there.

    Happy New Year to all.

  2. #2 Shamba
    December 31, 2009

    what fun cleaning is sometimes! :)

    A happy new Year to You and your family, Sharon!

    And Good Luck with the workshop. I hope the little goats are going to be alright, too.

    peace, Shamba

  3. #3 Paul Sonntag
    December 31, 2009

    Cleanliness is highly overrated, and usually the sign of someone without enough to do. Or at least that’s my excuse.

  4. #4 Annie Wilcox
    December 31, 2009

    I always love to hear that housecleaning is not high on other people’s ‘things to do’. Each year we have an open house on New Year’s Day which means we see everyone we love, all the cookies get eaten up (or carried off) and, yes! we have a clean house for the New Year.
    Thank you, Sharon, for Casaubon’s Book. It’s a lodestar for me.
    Best wishes for 2010,
    Annie

  5. #5 Claire
    December 31, 2009

    Ugh, cleaning. I’m tidy, but my DH is not. He thinks floors are where you pile things you might need sometime later (I do my best to confine his piling instinct to one room, our office). And neither of us is good at general cleaning of floors or furniture, though I am good about keeping surfaces used to prepare and eat food clean. Plus we’re both nearsighted. Add it up, and the dust kitties are more like dust tigers in our house.

    My MIL gave him one of those robotic vacuum cleaners for Christmas. Not sure why she gave it to him, because I’m the one who, eventually, cleans, generally only before we have guests, and I think she knows this. But anyway, we now have one, so I am trying to get in the habit of using it, hoping that it will inspire me to dust the furniture more often as well. The robot does an OK job, but we have to block it in with chairs where we don’t have doors between rooms and keep it off the floor register, which hangs it up. So I still have to sweep a mop around the edges and under some furniture. Plus, Ed the robot has to be charged with mostly coal-fired electricity. But if I do manage to develop the habit of keeping a cleaner house, and if I reduce electricity use a lot more than Ed sucks it up, it might be worth having Ed do the floors.

  6. #6 Greenpa
    December 31, 2009

    I’ll be interested if you can top our most horrifying discovery. That was under Spouse’s jurisdiction, not Spice’s. An intern, helping around the house, discovered a paper grocery bag, in a corner of the kitchen area, which had once contained about a peck of apples, and had remained undiscovered and undisturbed there for at least 4 years…

    So, you certainly ain’t alone here. :-)

  7. #7 Greenpa
    December 31, 2009

    And now for something completely different. Have you seen Crunchy Chicken’s post today?

    Knowing that the two of you are sometimes a bit competitive, the inquiring minds want to know if you will be posting a response, in kind?
    :-)

  8. #8 Anna
    December 31, 2009

    Someone once told me that a clean house is a sign of a boring person who doesn’t have anything better to do with her time. I strive not to be boring… :-)

  9. #9 alexa kelly
    December 31, 2009

    Greenpa, I cannot believe that given the size of your house, something managed to remain undisturbed for four years! (Said in the most amused astonished, NOT critical, tone)

    I sometimes wonder if that’s why I rearrange furniture relatively frequently – to rediscover lost treasures.

    -curiousalexa, who dreams of having a house the size of Greenpa’s…

  10. #10 Sharon Astyk
    December 31, 2009

    Greenpa, you want me to get competetive with La Crunch over bull semen? Over genetic diversity? I don’t have a bull of my own, and for all the breeding I’ve personally done, well, I outbred by marrying a Jew, but I didn’t actually do anything for genetic diversity, since the same stud fathered all of the kids ;-).

    Or am I not understanding you?

    Sharon

  11. #11 Greenpa
    December 31, 2009

    Sharon- um. Timing, timing. Darn Crunch posted another while I was typing. No, I was referring to her “Happy New Year 2010″ poster, in the previous post. Which is a little, um, under the top, blogwise. :-)

  12. #12 Greenpa
    December 31, 2009

    Curious Al; ah, you misunderestimate the WILL to not see. It can be tremendous, even in a tiny house. “I know there’s something over there- but- I don’t think I want to deal with it” can turn into a long-standing habit, eventually attaining the power of local belief that “that house is haunted!” – so- nobody ever, ever goes there. :-)

  13. #13 dogear6
    December 31, 2009

    You know the cleaning is behind when the dust bunnies are bigger than the cat (and chasing it around too!).

  14. #14 risa b
    December 31, 2009

    When the contents of the house get to the compost stage like that, just bring the hose in through the window and have a hydroponics workshop. That’s what I’m thinking of doing!

  15. #15 Alan
    December 31, 2009

    “You know the cleaning is behind when the dust bunnies are bigger than the cat (and chasing it around too!).”

    Posted by: dogear6 | December 31, 2009 7:06 PM

    My wife would say that those are not big dust bunnies, they’re dust badgers — notably nasty-tempered creatures.

  16. #16 knutty knitter
    December 31, 2009

    Greenpa you mean like the teen bedroom I don’t visit? Its scary even from the doorway :)

    I only clean for two reasons – visiting important peeps and putting off something else even worse :)

    viv in nz

  17. #17 Crunchy Chicken
    January 1, 2010

    Sharon – Next thing you know, Greenpa will be suggesting a wrestling match. Preferably not in bull semen.

  18. #18 Gina
    January 1, 2010

    My son’s laundry pile once did start to grow things – fuzzy things. Apparently you cannot leave applesauce on pants and then neglect to do the laundry for a week. In my defense, he has very generous grandparents who buy him a ridiculous amount of clothes.

    And you know,there is a hypothesis tbat excessive cleanliess leads to auto-immune problems such as childhood allergies. Really, I keep my house this way *for the children*, not because I hate housework.

  19. #19 Gina
    January 1, 2010

    My son’s laundry pile once did start to grow things – fuzzy things. Apparently you cannot leave applesauce on pants and then neglect to do the laundry for a week. In my defense, he has very generous grandparents who buy him a ridiculous amount of clothes.

    And you know,there is a hypothesis tbat excessive cleanliess leads to auto-immune problems such as childhood allergies. Really, I keep my house this way *for the children*, not because I hate housework.

  20. #20 Sharon Astyk
    January 1, 2010

    Ah, yes, Gina, I’m doing it for the children. And thanks for clearing that up, Greenpa, I’m greatly relieved you don’t expect me to do anything about cow genetic diversity today – I’m kinda tired from last night.

    Sharon

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