Wednesday, July 01, 2009


I have been cleaning, cleaning, cleaning! Slowly Grandma's house is getting into shape again and it probably has never looked so good!

Each day I pick a room or a section and jump in and usually am stuck there for 5 or 6 hours. Yep... Pretty bad! First I started on Grandma's bathroom and I disinfected and cleaned out cupboards and drawers. Next I worked in the bedroom and flipped the mattress, took down the blinds, cleaned under the bed and threw away an old hamper. Another day I cleaned out the closet and Marcy and I went through all the clothes and tossed or gave away or washed almost everything. Amazing! You can see the clothes in there now!

One day I worked on boxes in the living room and Marcy and I went through paper stuff and book shelves.

Yesterday I spent the whole blessed day in the kitchen (this is a three foot square kitchen by the way!) and tossed and washed every single piece of dishware and changed the shelving mats. And when there is any spare time I've been going through photos and cleaning out the desk and bedroom drawers. Still have a ways to go on those.

The result of all this cleaning has been numerous trips to the second-hand shop and garbage cans (plural and plural again!) filled to overflowing!

Yesterday was garbage day and the garbage men came in their big hulking automatic garbage truck early in the morning. We don't have the hulking automatic garbage trucks like this in Japan so I snapped a picture of one along the main street. Unfortunately the automatic truck can't get down the little road leading to my brother's house so the garbage men have to do extra work hauling the trash bins and lifting them onto their trucks. Marcy was still in her PJs so she asked me to run out and ask the men to take all the extra garbage and bill us for it.

"Excuse me~~ Could you please take all this away and send us a bill."

"Sorry, Ma'am. You'll have to call the head office for that. They'll call us on route and we can come back later."

I ran back inside and told Marcy to call the office. Nope. We would have to wait until next week. Back outside I ran to tell the men that we'd be needing their services for extra garbage next week.

"How much of this stuff can you take next week? Does it have to be in garbage cans? Can you take this shredded rattan hamper?"

"Okay Ma'am. If there's nothing inside the hamper we'll take it now for you."

"Yes! Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

I about hugged the man. I did shake his hand.

Back inside I went to tell Marcy that the old hamper was being taken away.

"Such nice garbage men! And look! They are taking the window blinds and curtain rail away too!"

"Quick! Go take them a tip and tell them to get an In 'N Out hamburger or something."

When I got back out there, the nice garbage man had collected ALL our garbage!!! Without me even asking! I gave them their tip and thanked them with another handshake.

It feels so good to get all that stuff taken away!

Mother has not even noticed that her house has been cleaned, smells good and is no longer dark and dusty. This in itself shows me how much she has changed because this has always been a touchy subject with her. She used to take great offense when Marcy and I tried to clean or vacuum saying that she'd rather do it herself and did we think she couldn't take care of herself! Nowadays I don't think she really cares one way or the other.

Her place is looking so good I'd like to move in permanently! Good thing Tetsu can't read that last sentence.

By the way, I talked to Tetsu and he has somehow managed to tear the cartilage in his knee. So he is limping around and is anxiously waiting for me to get back so that he doesn't have to climb upstairs to feed Vel and also so that Choco can get taken for walks again. I guess I'm happy I feel needed. Poor Tetsu!


Mrs. Goodneedle said...

You need a vacation from all the cleaning, I can relate to this scenario. I know the reward of all of this hard work is in the satisfaction of helping Grandma, she appreciates this on some level. Bless you!

Allie said...

Oh Tanya the house looks wonderful. Bless those garbage men! I am praying for Tetsu's knee.....poor guy!

Anonymous said...

Can you come to my house, too?

BrendaLou said...

Tanya....I noticed in the picture of the Kitchen a sewing machine is set up! ANy more sewing going on?

Laurel said...

Doesn't it feel good to get so much stuff accomplished?

Sounds like Tetsu wants to be taken care of, too. He must be missing you.

Shasta said...

All your hard work is paying off. The house looks great.

Sandy said...

You are a very special person and I enjoy reading your blog with your positive outlook. Laughter is good medicine and this time with your Mom is special indeed.
Take care. Hang in there.

Katie said...

Can you make my house your next stop? Sure looks good.

Anonymous said...

Looks like you are getting quite a list of houses to clean you can add mine too.

Joyce said...

I am so glad that you are able to spend some time with your mother.
I'm sure it will be something that you remember long after you go home to Tetsu and Japan.


Michele's Quilting Journey said...

Wonderful job, Tanya! As someone who has been doing this for my own parents on my Alaska trips for the past 4 years, I still have to do this for the first three days of every return visit, just to be able to live, cook, caretake and do laundry in the midst of their perpetual chaos for my month long visits. I bundled up so many garbage bags (extra large) that I can't even print the total was mind staggering what old people save. 14 years of calendars and phone books alone! Sear Roebuck catalogs from the 70's. There was no room to live, forget history and sentiment ;) It taught me to look at my own habits, pretty quickly! You're doing good and with memory losses they truly need things as simple as possible!

roberta said...

looking good! It's nice to feel missed and needed although you are probably pulled in two ( italian way of saying that that you are torn between Grandma and Tetsu:)). I'll pray for his knee. When do you go back to Japan?
love and prayers, Roberta