Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

This Is Why We Clean.

Posted on | January 13, 2016 | 1 Comment

I spend a lot of mornings around the kitchen sink.  It’s where I wash the breakfast dishes, where I cut and rinse fruit and veggies for lunchboxes, where I stand and watch the birds on the feeder while waiting for coffee to brew.  Above the sink I have a row of plants on the windowsill to keep me company.  It includes a peace lily, some aloe, a Christmas cactus, and my lucky bamboo.

Tuesdays are the day set aside for bleaching the kitchen counters, table, and sink, plus wiping down all the cabinet surfaces, and cleaning out the fridge and farm fridge.  I always do the bleaching because my family sets everything on the kitchen counters and they wash their filthy hands in the kitchen sink.  Even though those are actually food prep areas—not places to put your disgusting backpack or wash your disgusting hands.  I always clean the fridges because the chickens feast on the old, crusty leftovers that I find and so I save on chicken feed.  I usually wipe down the cabinet surfaces because otherwise the attached range hood gets so dirty I have to avert my eyes when stirring pots on the stove.  But I don’t always get to bleaching and wiping the windowsill and dusting the plant leaves by spritzing them with the water sprayer.  It’s just not that dirty or that important.  A lot of times I just make sure the plants have sufficient water and then move on.

However, a new year requires a new start and this week I pulled everything off the windowsill to give the sill and the plants a good cleaning.  And that’s when I saw what the Christmas cactus was up to.  I’ve had the cactus for a few years.  It was blooming when a friend gave it to me, but since then it has never bloomed again.  This year I googled it to see what I was doing wrong and apparently I was supposed to keep it cool, dark, and dry for a few months before Christmas in order for it to bloom.  As soon as I realized it needed special attention I realized it would never bloom again.  I don’t do “special attention” for houseplants.  Which was OK with me because it was still an attractive plant and a gift from a friend.  It didn’t need to bloom in order for me to enjoy its presence as I tooled around the kitchen sink every morning.

But when I pulled the cactus down and spritzed it I saw that it had been quietly blooming without any special attention at all.  The side facing the window had blooms!

Big beautiful blooms!

And more blooms to come!

After I rinsed the dust off the branches I put the cactus back the way I found it.  I didn’t want to mess up whatever conditions the plant found so appealing on that windowsill.  But I turned the plant just a teeny tiny bit so I could see one of the flowers while I was doing the rest of the chores.

Just as a friendly reminder to myself.  This is why we clean, people.  Because there are hidden treasures everywhere.  Just waiting to be found under all that dust and grime.  Also, because it’s dangerous to stir hot liquids while averting your eyes.  Clean the range hood.  Just clean it.


One Response to “This Is Why We Clean.”

  1. Jill
    January 14th, 2016 @ 6:24 am

    Thanks for the reminder. Last year’s resolution was to clean out every everything and pare down. Read a good book about Happiness and cleaning – and your blog entry is the short version. Keep writing Stevie; you are an inspiration to us all!!! or at least me.

    Recommend Jenny Lake in Grand Teton park. Day hikes for all levels of intensity.

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