I Need More Days Off

When I was a stay-at-home mom I didn’t feel like I got anything done, and now that I’m working part-time, I realize that I did. I got a lot done around the house. My home was cleaner, dinners were ready, made and planned ahead most of the time (we survived without a microwave – something I don’t think I could do now). But, we needed more money. My resources tapped as far as “what more can we do?” —  Every book I read talked about strategies we were already implementing. Chances are we will never be in the position of having so much money we don’t know what to do with it. Adapt.

Make the best with what you have.

Today is my day off. So far I’ve accomplished taking the kids to school, eating breakfast. Checked emails, checked voicemails. Voicemail-checking is a BIG DEAL, because I’ve gotten very bad at it. I’ve never been good at checking voicemails on my cellphone, but checking them on my home phone? Fuggeddabaddit. The only time I did it with real frequency was when we had a telephone that had a speakerphone on the base. I had our voicemail number with a pause, and then a password programmed on the speed dial. All I had to do was hit speaker, push a button and voila. There it was. Once that went kaput, so did my daily checking of the voicemail on the landline. I’m not quite ready to give up the landline yet, but I did shop around for better options. We recently bundled our landline with our cellphone plan, saving $27/month (and adding the option of long-distance). We’ll see how much we still use that line, and maybe – just maybe – we will get rid of it. Slow moves in that direction. Still, the switching of plans hasn’t helped stimulate my checking of messages.

Back to what I’ve done so far today.

Bathroom. Cleaned it. Not the whole thing, just the toilet and floor. This is a BIG DEAL to me, because of my toilet issues. I broke out the pumice stone, the baking soda, I did it all. I hated every minute of it. I almost cried.

One load of laundry; washed.

Shower – soon.

Dinner? I think we will be having chicken patties (the pre-breaded, frozen kind) on buns. Simple dinner. Noting to self that I still need to get the buns.

Pick out senior picture for Dante? Today. Will do.

Balance checkbook. Hate. Will do. Need to write checks.

Need more days off. I don’t know how women who work full-time manage a home, too. Maybe they make such good money that the time spent clipping coupons and pinching pennies (which can be substantial) is out of the equation. True, if we had a better household income my energy could be spent elsewhere. But there is no use thinking about what could, should, or what I wish to be. It is not my circumstance right now. Right now I will be intentional with the time I have off today, try to get some of the items on my To Do list moved to a Ta-Done status, and be satisfied with that.


Cleaning the Bathroom

I hate to clean the bathroom. I don’t mean that in a cute, prissy, girlie way. I mean that in the most sincere, shudder-as-I-do-it way. Trying not to breath as I scrub down the toilet. Wearing gloves and washing my hands, changing my gloves more than once.

I’m a freak.

I love a clean bathroom. I could tell you all the businesses in Madison that have bathrooms you want to rest your bottom in, and all the places that you should hovercraft OR avoid, for fear of losing your cheeks. It might be considered an obsession or phobia. I don’t really care, honestly. It’s me and I can’t seem to change it. I’ve (literally) lived in fear of the possibility of peeing my pants after entering a bathroom, finding the facilities not up to par. Wetness on the seat, crud around the base, dampness in front of the toilet… I’m having a hard time typing it because the visuals come to mind. Not to mention the sink – if it looks like my hands will get dirtier by using the sink – oh no. No thank you.

My obsession knows no boundaries — public or private bathrooms, must be clean.

Yes, give me a cool, shiny bathroom (warmth and humidity exacerbates any unsightly, uncleanliness in a bathroom, in my opinion) with sparkling throne, clean scent, wash basin and towels… ah. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Perfectly clean and sanitized is a bonus, but absence of P & P (figure it out), clean smell, clean throne and floor, sink… I can do it. I had a friend who would scour her bathroom before I came over, concerned it would not be “good enough” for me. I didn’t know I was that transparent.

At home, for the longest time, Frank would clean the bathroom, bless his heart. I was either pregnant or nursing, or cleaning other things. But, honestly he didn’t do a job up to par with what I like. Some days I wouldn’t want to use my own bathroom. Yeah. It was like that. So I started doing it myself again. I’ll tell you, do it often, and it isn’t so bad, but let it go and pay the price. We ended up getting yellowish scum under the rim of the toilet and around the prongs on the seat, which gave me heebie jeebies. I think it smelled, too. “Frank, do you smell that? The toilet? No? I can smell it. It’s disgusting.”

I clean the bathroom about once every other day, wiping down the base, giving the inside a good once-over, and Swiffer-ing the floor. Even though I’d clean the bathroom, though, there was this nagging sense (and scent), saying something wasn’t right.

It was the stuck on yellow scum on the inside of the toilet, I was sure of it. Five man boys using a toilet over an extended period of time, and you’ve got ring-around-the-toilet. No matter how hard I scrubbed, how much I cursed, or how many drop-in toilet bombs I lit off, it remained. Until this – taking a pumice stone to the toilet.

One day while cleaning the bathroom, close to blacking out from the realization of it all, it dawned on my brain to try a pumice stone. I had either heard, read or seen it referenced somewhere as THE best way to clean toilet scum, filed it in the messy cabinets of my brain, and without knowing it, sent a page to retrieve it that day. Good boy.

Pumice stone, pumice stone? Where can I find a pumice stone? Like a headless chicken I circled and clucked, asking my brain page to help me out once again… All I had was the old stone I’d used on my feet a few times, but it would do. I gloved up, grabbed some baking soda (figured a paste of soda would help?) and got to scrubbing. By golly. The sight of flaky, crusted peediddle, and the stench of it’s wonder being released into the air was enough to let me know it was working. I scrubbed and scrubbed that stone down to a little nub, cleanliness as motivation. I likened it to a diaper explosion where you KNOW you have to clean it, vile as it is, but once you’re done you’ll be very pleased.

And I was. It was as if I had received a brand new toilet. The smell is gone, the unsightly piss ring is gone, and now when I clean my toilet you see sparkling porcelain and smell clean air.

Pumice Stones for Cleaning the Toilet

Pumice Stone If you’ve got some hard, stuck-on grossness inside your toilet that you simply can not scrub off, grab a pumice stone. I’ve had some disgusting crud under the rim of my toilet that couldn’t be Kaboomed/scrubbed/bleached, sweet-talked away.

I took my pumice stone (that I use for my feet), and with some elbow grease, got rid of it. It ate up over half the stone, but that’s just fine. Wet it a little bit (you’ve got water right there in the bowl) and scrub away. No chemicals, no fumes. Good stuff.

I have another post in queue regarding my thoughts on bathroom cleanliness, but I’ll save that for another day (here it is).

Cheeseburger In Paradise – Review

Yesterday we took Franny in to get his cast checked. His pinky toe was kind of smushed and looked as if it were suffering for lack of air. They had to use that blasted saw to cut away some of his cast. Again. Not a great experience, honestly, after the whole wedging incident. I can’t believe after all he’s been through it is the cast saw that seems to be causing him so much greif. Poor thing. Once it was done it was done, though, and he could wiggle his toes more freely. We asked if our next appointment would involve the cast saw, and they confirmed that – goody gumdrops – yes indeedy he would be having the entire cast removed and either replaced by another cast, or by a walking boot. But, he would for sure have the cast removed. Good to know. There may be some pre-medding involved in that appointment. At the least numerous speckled conversations between now and then about the cast saw.

After the grueling experience, we thought we should catch a lunch, preferably one where we could sit outside and enjoy the weather. After brief consideration we decided to go to Cheeseburger In Paradise in Middelton, Wi. We’ve been there before a few times. First just Frank and I when it first opened, then with the boys (Dante was not impressed) and now again with Franny.

Cheeseburger In Paradise

To spare the mighty cliffhanger: we  doubt we’ll be going back (it took us a bit to figure that one out, apparently). Nothing major or sexy; it just simply isn’t our cup of tea. Here’s why:

  • This visit we sat outside, which was wonderful. What wasn’t wonderful was the sticky, odorous table. Also not wonderful — the music. I enjoy some musical ambiance, but not when it overpowers the option of actually using your “inside voice” while dining. Unless you are in a club  or something, you really shouldn’t have to shout or ask “Huh?” constantly over your cheeseburger.
  • The bathroom was fine, save for the fact that I had to change stalls to avoid the water on the floor. I mention bathrooms because they are important to me.
  • The fried pickles were VERY good. If I were to be lured back, it would be for that crunchy, sour and salty delight. Frank’s salad was good. Not $10 good, as it was priced, but good. Franny’s mini-burgers… not so good. He took one bite and ditched them. I took one bite and couldn’t tell if it was the oddest flavored beef I’ve ever tasted OR if my palate was fussy after eating my turkey burger (that I split with Franny so he would have some nourishment beyond his strawberry lemonade — which was tasty). I had a bacon burger (turkey). It was mediocre; nothing great, nothing horrific. I prefer Red Robin’s burgers, though. Their sweet potato chips are very good, however I opted for the fries this time, and they too were (as Frank would say) “nothing to write home about.” With my fries I always ask for a side of Ranch dressing to dip it in. That can be a deal-breaker as well, because if a restaurant doesn’t have good Ranch, it can ruin the fry experience for me. Their Ranch was watery and tasted nothing like Ranch dressing.

Bottom Line: The bill was $30. We tried to keep it lower by drinking water and having Franny order off the kids menu, but the pickles did us in, and the prices are a bit heftier than your ordinary burger joint. We still left feeling that if we were spending $30 on a lunch, we darn sure should at the very least enjoy it (and the bathrooms and Ranch should be up to par). I’m not sure if the “Cheeseburger in Paradise” means that you’re ambiance and dining experience should be similar to a tropical paradise OR that the burgers are meant to be heavenly. Either way I felt the mark was missed.


Link: Cheeseburger In Paradise