Spring Cleaning (and Preening).

hello Spring postcard

It’s that time of year to clear out the cobwebs, destroy the dust bunnies and revitalize your abode, now that Winter is hopefully in the rear-view mirror.

Please don’t forget your brain needs a little airing out too … at least mine did this weekend.  I confess to running out the door two mornings in a row, not giving a second glance to any dust that may have settled down (ol’ pesky dust) or worrying about a single thing that smacked of housework.   And, for sure I wasn’t going to do any housework today because it is “National No Housework Day” – oh yes it is!  Just check it out here.

My intent was to clear out the cobwebs in my brain first and foremost and that could not be done with a feather duster.  Nope, I needed a dose of fresh air and a couple of parks under my belt to get the job done properly.

So off I went, shutting my eyes to that dust.

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You read about my trip to Elizabeth Park yesterday, and this morning I headed to Council Point Park to visit with Parker and his pals.  There will be more on that trek later.

The back story ‘bout housework.

My mom, God rest her soul, was a fastidious housekeeper and she tried mightily to instill that trait in her only child.  But, just like cooking and baking, the housekeeping gene clearly skipped a generation.  As a dutiful daughter, I helped keep the house clean, and, when my mom was unable to handle the everyday housecleaning tasks, it became my job full-time.  Oh yes, I tried to ignore the criticism, spoken or unspoken.  I knew my housekeeping efforts would never pass the white glove test.  But, we were two different personalities, and, even people who love one another disagree sometimes as you all know.

So, I fought mightily to forgo the big, all-house cleaning that we used to do both Spring and Fall.  I made the point that Spring cleaning butted up against mowing the lawn twice a week, endless weeding, pruning and planting, plus a full-time job.  Working in a law firm all these years served me well, as I presented my case and made a valid argument, and Mom finally relented.  We settled on one big house scouring every Fall.  Buoyed by that victory, even then I protested taking never-used dishes and glasses out of the cupboards to wash them, plus washing down the insides of the cupboards.  I reasoned that we never used these items and who was looking high up in the cupboards anyway?  I won that argument too (yay me), albeit by a narrow margin, as my mother’s rebuttal was “dust will collect in there – have you no shame?”  I hate being shamed, but it made no sense to me.

Today’s cleaning regimen is an abridged version.

Fast forward several years … I have adopted a new-and-improved routine for cleaning the house.  You might want to try it.  (You can thank me later.)  No more scrubbing and washing every nook and cranny in the house (grrr), and it’s not like I plunged headfirst into that chore anyway.

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With MY housekeeping regimen, no water is involved, so no muss – no fuss!

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Now, a feather duster is my friend.   

A few tips are in order when you use a feather duster.

#1 – Make sure it is of good quality, as you don’t want feathers flying all over the house.

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#2 – Make sure all the feathers are clean before you start working.

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#3 – Angle that feather duster properly so you can tackle the dust.

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#4 – Then, with a mere flick of the wrist, feather duster in hand, just a fluff over the stuff is all you need to do.

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The way I see it, housecleaning has no gray areas, even though my method is certainly different than what you’re used to.

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But in the end, everything still looks pretty and presentable.

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So, you can still hold your head high because you gave it your all.

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And, next weekend you can hit the ground running because you finished your housework in just a few minutes.

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I don’t know if Martha Stewart, or Mom, would approve, but I hope I haven’t shocked YOU by these revelations?

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Will I ever return to the tedious business of washing down ceilings and walls, moving every piece of furniture and polishing that furniture, while knickknacks repose all over the house awaiting the polish to dry?

The answer is “NO, I believe that ship has sailed.”

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Note:  The Mallards, Mallard Hybrids, Pekin ducks and Canada geese were seen on my walks yesterday at Elizabeth Park and Dingell Park.  I must admit I grew a little impatient with the ducks who were busy with their preening and it was difficult to get them to get their beak  out of their feathers.  (I was lucky a few times.)  That, coupled with “National No Housework Day” prompted this post.

The freighter was the first one I’ve seen in the new shipping season; it was on the Detroit River and I viewed it from Dingell Park.

About lindasschaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, and this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for over three decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, although I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too.
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56 Responses to Spring Cleaning (and Preening).

  1. Not a fan of that rip it all apart and clean routine either. I have a corner cabinet with dishes I rarely use. I found that when I use them I have to wash them first anyway so why bother unless I can see something nasty. I didn’t do anything productive either. Not inside or outside. Well, maybe a walk can be productive.

    Liked by 3 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, it took me a long time to convince my mom that this was the way to go and I’m sorry to say I’ve gone the opposite way now. I’ve learned from several friends with debilitating illnesses to put the housework aside and live in the moment. They said to me they wished they had the ability to do so. It put my thinking in another light. I’m glad you agree with me. My mom said “they’ll get a film on them” … yes, but like you said, wait til they are used.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. susieshy45 says:

    Linda,
    The post pictures are beautiful- looks like those birds are doing a bit of spring cleaning themselves. I am a fan of those detailed house cleaning strategies you wrote about- the only issue is I have never done them as I am now too big to do it. My mum is a daily cleaner and am not sure if she does the whole works these days but she probably did when she was younger. She is a two cancer survivor.
    I agree that we don’t need to clean those little used dishes so often and who visits so often anyway and of course, we need to wash them everytime we use them – so why bother? But the fans and the ACs and stuff like that- they need a regular brush over.
    The birds in the first picture are beautiful and look well fed too- in fact all of them. I think they are all happy Spring is here.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Susie – I thought the ducks deserved a post dedicated to them – it was okay to throw in a couple of geese as well but they did look happy – perhaps the weather has finally gotten a little warmer. I hated seeing them in the icy water and on the ice floes. That seems so cruel to me Susie. My mom really got into the housework … I took years trying to convince her that she could rinse out a coffee cup and put in in the sink to await the next dishes to be done. She was adamant a dirty dish should not be in the sink … she relented a lot the last few years, but because I pressed her about it saying it was not necessary. I have one of those long-handled dusters which is great for getting the hanging lights in the kitchen and hall. I don’t have any ceiling fans.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Laurie says:

    Oh, Linda, my mom was quite fastidious in her housecleaning too! I can remember as a kid, I had to iron the sheets and pillowcases and even my dad’s handkerchiefs and boxer shorts! She had a routine – washing on Mondays, ironing on Tuesdays, etc. She wiped down all the woodwork (baseboards, trim, doors) and cabinets every week, along with a thorough cleaning of all the bathrooms, dusting and vacuuming. The dusting and vacuuming was my job too. Every spring mom would do a thorough housecleaning, wiping down all the walls, removing everything from all the cabinets, etc. So time-consuming!

    I am much more relaxed about my own housecleaning. Mom would be so disappointed! 🙂 I would rather be outside watching the ducks and birds in the parks too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Our moms were the same Laurie. My mom ironed the sheets and pillowcases, pajamas and my father’s boxer shorts too. It must have been the era. My parents were 30 years old when they had me and I always figured that had something to do with my upbringing (strict) and my mom’s incessant cleaning, as she was older (at that time 30 was old for starting a family). My grandmother was not like that at all. The kitchen was the worst – the house is done in Early American and the kitchen with all the knickknacks on the wall and corner cabinet, above the high cupboards … there are ducks everywhere, decoys mostly, a rooster or two and decorative rustic pots. All dustcatchers. I am relaxed about the housecleaning as well – a little too relaxed. When the weather is bad, I do a better job.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Laurie says:

        I do a better job when the weather is bad too. In fact, I just wrote a post about that! 🙂
        My mom was 40 when she had me, so I had an older mom too. My grandma’s house was also immaculate. I must have dropped the ball somewhere.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, you figure that you have to stay inside anyway, so you might as well be productive. I am behind in Reader at least 1 and 1/2 days – I may be scrambling all week to catch up, especially while so busy at work and leaving later. Yes, older moms have a different mindset for sure. My mom quit working after I was born. My grandmother’s house was clean, but she was not fastidious about it like my mom was. I figure I dropped the ball somewhere too and I take after my grandmother for her cooking and baking skills – they are not stellar!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie says:

        My mom quit working after I was born too, but she eventually went back part-time. She was a teacher too. She had worked during WWII, when my dad was in the army and my sister was an infant, all the way up until I was born.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        You were inspired by your mom being a teacher to be a teacher too then Laurie? My mother had gone to business school and worked in an office as a bookkeeper before I was born.

        Like

  4. Joni says:

    That was cute! I don’t like clutter, and I like to organize so my house is usually neat and tidy but I seldom dust anymore. I just don’t have the energy for it. I used to clean my house from top to bottom at least twice a year, dusting all the tabletops and little knicknacks etc. Now I just clean the main areas every week, and when the tabletops get too dusty, I get the Molly Maid people in….they send three people so they are in and out in 2 hours. It’s $100 plus tax. My mother was a relaxed housekeeper, more into cooking than making sure the house was spotless, impossible on a farm, with people and dogs coming in and out. I know women who drive themselves crazy trying to maintain their houses perfectly – what a waste of time and energy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you liked it Joni. I looked at those duck pictures last night and told myself I could do something special with them. They were all about preening yesterday – they’ll stop to catch a breath for 1/2 second and then go back to it again. You have a two-story house though, so lots more to do. I have a very small house – it seems there is clutter everywhere or it gets relegated to the basement and it is a finished basement, so I feel bad about that as well. Yes, I will not get any awards as “Suzy Homemaker” that is for sure. It is a waste of time and energy.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve seen 2 freighters so far and both were last week. The coal docks are right in my town so we do see a lot of them throughout the year. Cute post it made me smile!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I didn’t see any close up last year … several at Lake Erie Metropark, but very far away. Glad you like this post Diane … I had a mess of duck pics preening and decided to have some fun with it. I started to do a post saying “we all have a morning beauty routine” but went with housework instead. Hope your house is getting back to order after last year’s water woes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Linda it’s all dried up and it is a great week! All my flower beds, raspberries, rhubarb, asparagus and blueberries are ready. All I have left is my 50 foot arbor that is covered in wisteria. Will finish that one day this weekend and babysit my new (5 months old already) grandson the other day.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I didn’t realize you had that much property Diane – do you live in a rural area? That wisteria must be beautiful. My neighbor had an arbor with a beautiful wisteria for years. He lived on a corner and people would stop to admire it – he was very proud of it. He passed away and they sold the house – the wisteria is no longer there and perhaps the new owners did not like it, or it died. I know it took a lot of maintenance – he was always out there pruning and fussing with it. No wonder you have such a large harvest to cook/bake and freeze! Five months old already – I told you your new grandson will soon be ready for Swedish meatballs at the next big family event!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Here is the link to my arbor in full bloom. I have pink and purple wisteria. It is A LOT of work, non stop until winter. I totally understand why the new owners got rid of it. My husband and I built this arbor back in 1997. I planted small wisteria plants and trained them to go all over the top….so much work but worth it now. All I do now is constant pruning.
        http://indianeskitchen.com/2017/05/10/our-wisteria

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        That is beautiful Diane – thanks for forwarding it to me. My neighbor next door had a small wisteria and she never did anything with it. It was a small arbor with two planters, one on each side of the arbor. She put it in the corner of her yard and I thought it was dead – it never blooms or has bloomed. But I was in my back garden and a vine had wound in and around my lilac tree … it has to be the wisteria and it was choking it. Here I thought the wisteria was long gone – like you said … wait and be patient for it to bloom. Very beautiful.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ally Bean says:

    My mother worked full time so she was more lax than most of her peers about spring cleaning. However, we lived in a clean enough house with a spotless kitchen. I do what she did figuring I grew up healthy enough, so why not do like mom did!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Shelley says:

    Excellent tips and photos to complement the words! You’ve got me smiling, once again. And incredibly thankful that all I did yesterday was mop the kitchen floor. To heck with dusting! 🙂 Happy Monday, Linda, hope you have a great week!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Shelley and glad I gave you a giggle for your early morning. The ducks were more interested in preening, so that worked to my advantage for a change.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        Yes, it was an enjoyable read! Ducks, despite the saying, are hard to get in a row for pictures! xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Glad you enjoyed it Shelley. Speaking of ducks in a row, I aim to get a shot of a Mama duck and her ducklings trailing along behind her this year and hopefully a swan with her cygnets riding on her back. I’ve only seen the ducklings in a row behind their mom one time and the shot was dark because it is difficult to get close to the Ecorse Creek at Council Point Park. The City thinned out the trees along the Creek banks last Fall and some of the bushes as well, but there is still too much brush to get too close to the water. I’ll likely need to try another park to be successful in getting those shots. It was a sweet sight to behold. I have to research when ducklings and cygnets arrive – I always think of it when I’m offline. At this Park, the goslings arrive in various stages and last year I had three different families at one time, with each family’s goslings in a different stage of growth. I hope at least one goose family will plan to debut their goslings for Mother’s Day Week.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        That’s a wonderful idea! In our parts, or at least south of us, Mother’s Day weekend is when we saw the cygnets at the park by where my daughter lives. I look forward to your post, I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful tale (tail) to share! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I hope I am luckier this year – we had all the rainy weekends last year. One of the walkers at Council Point Park is retired and he goes to the River to visit with the fisherman down there. There are several regulars who he visits with. He kept telling me about the swan and cygnets … I got there a couple of times and nothing was there. I also understand there are deer on the island where the eagles are and they swim in the channel, but I’ve never seen them. I assumed it was an urban legend, but I’ve asked others and they say “nope, they swim in the water with only their heads above water.” That would be an interesting post too if I saw that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        I have a hunch you’ll be luckier for photos this year. The animals are all thrown off by this winter too, they’ll be moving around in modified patterns I’d think? Just like us?! Keep that camera ready!!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Eliza says:

    Love, light and glitter

    Like

  9. alison41 says:

    Loved the duck pics alongside the feather duster text. I never heard of such house cleaning horror!
    OMG! In Africa we take a very different view. There’s loads of dust, insects, torrential rains etc constantly, so its a losing battle of note. So we don’t even begin. Much more restful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Alison – I watched those ducks preening and caught a few nice shots of them and decided it would be perfect to talk about feather dusters and housework. Glad you liked it. I finally had to stop that madness as it seemed there would be a long Winter period of inactivity (except for shoveling snow) and then there was a mad dash to get everything done in the space of two months once the growing season kicked in – it left me quite frazzled. But it would be every weekend for 6-8 weeks to get the house back in order again. Your way and my way works for me – restful is a better way to go!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Saw butterflies today… eating sap oozing from Birch trees! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My mother wasn’t overly fastidious. Our house was clean enough, but I really liked that she had more interesting things to do (in my mind, anyway) than deep clean. I have definitely inherited that gene. Our house is clean but I bet someone could find some dust in a few corners (and that’s ok). I didn’t realize that yesterday was National No Housework Day so I’ve decided to, instead, celebrate today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I certainly should have put the word out earlier! Some other bloggers said the same thing. I was glad I convinced my mom that we should lighten up a little – it was killing me and now I think of all the weekends we missed while stuck in housework mode and it makes me sad.

      Like

  12. Pam Lazos says:

    Oh my gosh, my mom was the same. It must be that generation. All that emotional energy went into cleaning the house!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I think you’re right Pam … maybe it was because the definition of “the family homemaker” was so different in those days. It took me many years to persuade my mom that it was okay to rinse out a coffee cup and leave it in the sink until the next load of dishes were done. She was adamant that everything must look perfect in the kitchen before she turned out the light and went to bed. I am striving to go the opposite way and if she was still here, she’d probably be disappointed in me, but I know I was resentful of the time making the house look perfect and a house can still be a home without such attention to cleaning details.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Cute post, Linda! And great photos of the avian spring cleaning! I try to keep up with chores, but don’t get swept up in the spring cleaning fever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Sabine! When I first got to Elizabeth Park, with the exception of the beautiful bridge in the mist, there was not much to see or take photos of … the waterfowl were performing their morning preen as they usually do when you get there early. The longer I watched them, their cleaning rituals created a few pictures and were begging for a narrative to go with those photos. Those Mallard Hybrids sure are beautiful and unique looking. I have strayed away from those Spring cleaning routines, after too many years of trying to accomplish them at the expense of giving up every weekend … it is just an abbreviated routine now and even then, not as much as I should be doing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I watch birds take baths in the bird bath and love how thoroughly they preen their plumage, so I know what you mean about their rituals. As for spring cleaning, I can think of plenty of other things I’d rather be doing! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, the birds are fastidious about preening their feathers. Even domestic birds. My parakeets loved their hooked-on birdbaths.
        My canaries were scared of them. I got the baths in different sizes, but they were reluctant to get in. They wanted to try climbing into their water cup and taking a bath there. 🙂 I agree with you wholeheartedly on the housework. I do my best job when the weather is bad.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Mackenzie says:

    Amen to the brain needing a bit of airing out too! I think I might have honored National No Housework Day non-intentionally, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. ruthsoaper says:

    This was such a fun read Linda. I don’t understand why such an important holiday wasn’t on my calendar. Now please tell me where I can get one of those feather dusters you have pictured. I would like an automatic (well trained) model. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you liked it Ruth. I came home with so many pictures of birds preening or eyes closed, that I figured I’d have some fun with it. My feather duster is not so exciting – it is bright pink and looking a little sparse. Get an older model as they will know all the housekeeping tricks. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        I hate dusting so if I could get a duck that would walk or waddle around my house all day dusting everything I would pay big bucks. LOL. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        And get one of those Roomba vacuums and you’d be all set! I don’t like dusting either Ruth, and my mom used to use soft flannel cloths which she cut down from old flannel sheet blankets or PJs. She would pick every item up and dust it and underneath it. When I started doing all the housework, I bought a long-handled and a short-handled feather duster. My mom said “that only pushes the dust around” … I bought those special dusting clothes by Pledge – now they were great, but they stopped making them, so back to the feather dusters again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        I don’t mind vacuuming or really any of the other house work too much. Just dusting! One of my quirks I guess. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I know a lot has to do with your ducts being clean too. Right after we painted and papered the house, one of my bosses at that time, got his wife an unusual present. She also hated dusting and so he got Dusty Ducks to come in and clean the ducts. He said they never had any more dust. I had to get a new speaker phone for work last year as the old one broke – this one is black and you would be surprised the dust that is there, just one or two days after dusting. The computer keyboard too, even when I’m using it – hmmm. After my boss had it done, we looked into getting it done, but they had to take all the registers off and this is a small house and they said that they would try to be careful but couldn’t guarantee that scuffs from equipment would not be on all the baseboards, or in the case of a recent paint job, lifting paint off. My mom and I agreed we had enough work with the painting/papering, and not going to go through more painting.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I am with you all of the way on this. Life is far to short to dust the skirting boards daily and constantly clean the places no-one ever looks 😁. I am loving your feather friendly way of cleaning .

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      It sure is Zena. It took me years to try to convince my mom that we should not be dedicating as much time to taking care of the house (and that was just inside for goodness sake) … she agreed but not whole-heartedly. That feather-friendly way of house cleaning was innovative wasn’t it?

      Like

  17. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………..that was clever how you correlated the duck pictures with the kinds of house cleaning…………………….I enjoyed the white duck looking “shocked” at me the best

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Ann Marie – I am glad you liked those pictures depicting Spring Cleaning. I liked the white duck with the “shocked” look on his face and looking backward the best too – it looked like he stopped what he was doing to utter the words “you don’t say” or “really!!!???”

      Like

  18. Pril says:

    Ha ha Great post and entertaining. I really need to share this with my mom as my mom was simular to your mom you could eat off the floors growing up. And now that i have to help out it’s not never to her standards. We joke about it sometimes. But housework well it will always be here. I hope i didn’t do housework on NO housework day.
    ugh. lol Sorry for the lack of reply i’m catching up now tho!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I’m glad you liked this post Pril and hope your mom gets a kick out of it and does not take offense to it. I said to my mom for years “we must lighten up on housework!” I felt pretty triumphant when I succeeded in getting rid of some of those chores and also when I convinced my mom she could just rinse out a coffee cup and put it in the sink for the next load of dishes … she liked the kitchen clean, and uncluttered, nothing out of place when she turned off the light for bed. I’m just the opposite! I figured you were busy or on weekend adventures … hopefully the weather gets a little better soon.

      Like

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