Sunday, August 28, 2011

Embarassingly clean!

I had a cleaning spree yesterday, totally inspired by FLY Lady that culminated in the sparkling clean shower curtain you see above. Before shot below...Yes, that's a picture of the World - who says you can't learn something in the bathroom?
I almost feel embarrassed to admit that I spent a couple hours cleaning my house yesterday just because of a FLYlady digest full of testimonials and a purple rag. When people come over, I plan to tell them I got a new maid ;)
It all started when checking my email and just skimming the usual email I get from her everyday and it occurred to me that I needed to clean my bathroom mirror and wouldn't it be fun to see if I could do it with the damp purple rag, like other people claim to do, instead of windex and a handful of paper towels?
And I did. But I couldn't stop. I used it to wipe the dust out of the mouldings on my doors. Then I took it to the kitchen and wiped down my cabinet doors (um, now they are shiny!)
Then I took it to my nemesis...the microwave. Many years ago I had a huge boiling oil/deep frying incident that sprayed hot soybean oil all over the kitchen and I still have spots on the ceiling to remember it by! As you may or may not know, once soybean oil dries up it's nearly impossible to clean off of certain surfaces because it bonds to plastic. Did you know that they actually make some plastics out of soy?
Anywhoo, there were splatters on my microwave that lives above the stove that I'd tried to scrub off with everything but steel wool. I had tried vinegar, scratchless scotch pads and many types of caustic cleansers. None got it off so I figured I'd probably just have to live with it.
God bless the inventor of the purple rag! I just started wiping and the surface got shinier and shinier. It's hilarious to see the spots of smooth plastic surrounded by the permanently etched surfaces that I scrubbed to death! I wish I had my purple rag 4 years ago :(
After that, I pretty much carried my rag from room to room and wiped and dusted and rinsed it off and did some more and I'm proud to say things are kinda sparkly around here this morning!
People are going to think all I do with my time is scrub the house, but the truth is it was all done in about 90 minutes.
My sink was so shiny I had to take a picture of these giant collard greens bathing in it even :) They are destined for wraps, for sure! Lunch was already Hormel Roast beef rolled up simply with some mayo and mustard - great lunch!
So, not to be too much like an infomercial but, I heart FLYlady and I'm mad at her a little too because now I know how good things can look and the stuff I didn't clean looks kind of shabby today :(
I'm going to get back to her daily assignments and I'm sure I'll be lying about my maid all the time!
LOL kidding!

Love to you all!

Friday, August 19, 2011

On the road!!

The last 2 weeks have been a little stressful for me. 2 weeks ago my Grandpa turned 100 years old!
Of course this meant that I had to plan a trip - packing, food and flights. I haven't traveled farther than downtown in about 2 years, so I was a little overwhelmed.
Luckily, there was a Walmart Supercenter right across the street from my hotel so all I had to do was ensure I had a microwave and refrigerator. Easy, right? Not so much.
I booked the hotel on Expedia because their website stated that all rooms had a fridge and there was a micro in the breakfast area in the lobby. I called ahead to try and get rooms together with my family and mentioned the fridge and they corrected me stating that only the suites had fridges. "Can I get a suite?" I asked and she sweetly replied there was nothing she could do until I checked in, at that time I could request an upgrade. Ahhhkkkk! I freaked out a little. Honestly!
So I got on the phone to Expedia for some help...after being on hold for what seemed like forever I decided to email through their website and got an auto response that they would respond properly in 24-48 hours - we were leaving in 2 days!
Well, hello twitter! Guess what, if you tweet - they will come. I had a customer service response in about 2 hours. Brilliant!
Longer story shorter, they upgraded me to a suite for free and all was well. Super customer service from Expedia!! Lessons learned?
1. Call the hotel before you book to make sure of essential equipment.
2. Tweet Expedia to get help faster
The rest of the trip was fantastic! I had so much fun seeing all my relatives and hugged rampantly :) Grandpa is such an amazing man - sharp, strong and such an inspiration to us all.
It was super easy for me to run over to Walmart for groceries. I got a package of Oscar Meyer Ham, a package of Black pepper beef, a veggie tray with ranch dip, an Amy's Frozen enchilada dinner, a package of Organic greens, a bag of plain Lay's potato chips and some Pamela's Chocolate chocolate chip cookies! Coupled with the Larabars and organic bananas I'd packed for the trip, I was easily set for 3 days and I even fed my parents one night!
The evening of the program, I simply packed what was left of my greens topped with meat, dip and veggies and took it along to eat with every one else. It was a casual served dinner so not a problem at all.
The day after we got back, I got a call that Grandma (on the other side of my family) was really sick and it was just a matter of days. I scrambled to look at flights to see if we could get out there ASAP and she said that she probably wouldn't still be alive by the time we got there. And she wasn't - the next day I was searching for flights to the funeral :(
Stress, stress and double stress! Not only was I still wiped out from the weekend, I had to come up with a new traveling plan - last minute and completely on-the-road!
We were going to have to fly in, drive 5 hours, sleep, get up early for the funeral, drive 5 hours and fly home.
I still reserved hotels with fridges and microwaves, but there was not a lot of hope of using them since the schedule was so tight.
I literally fed the 3 of us out of the trunk of our rental car.
It went a little like this:
Land, get car - drive a ways and stop at a Coborn's grocery store. Thank God they had Udi's gluten free bread and Pamela's GF cookies!
So, I picked up a loaf of gf bread, package of hormel natural roast beef, lay's chips, both peanut butter and chocochocochip cookies, a veggie tray w/dip and snagged a few packets of mayo and mustard from their deli section.
Picture me in the parking lot making sandwiches in the trunk of the car. But, oooh honey, they were the best roast beef sandwiches I had ever had! I was starved from the full day of flying and I won't even go into what a foul mood I was in from low blood sugar :(
We got to the hotel and I was able to snack on some of the veggies and store the rest in the fridge for the night. Did I mention that I also packed a Minute Rice ready-to eat bowl and some more organic bananas and Lara bars. They saved me!
Since we were their early enough we drove out to see my Godfamily :) poor me - had to pass up the ice cream, but it was so nice to be able to sit and feel at home for a while. There were tears, of course...and hugs. And then a rough night's sleep.
Dad helped me put ice in bags and pack up the veggies to keep until the luncheon after the funeral and we went. I don't know anyone who would have felt like eating before their grandma's funeral. Nonetheless I knew I had to have something so I didn't pass out and was truly thankful for my little bowl of ready rice and that microwave. I couldn't finish it but it got me through until after the service when I finally relaxed enough and had cried it out enough to eat my banana and a couple cookies.
We got to spend the afternoon with the family and I wouldn't have done anything different. Except drink more water so I wouldn't have almost died of dehydration!
We left that night to drive to a hotel at the airport - still toting along the leftover veggies and dip. Stopped at Walmart for more lunch meat and once again - made sandwiches for all of us out of the trunk of the car! lol
I'm so glad to be home where I can eat off a plate and truly appreciate my counters today. Hot food is at the top of my thankful list too. Tonight's taco salad (hot, fresh and not microwaved :p)