August 21

I dream of the day I am able to deep clean my house. I realized today when I came home at lunchtime to get the allergy pill I meant to take this morning but left on the counter instead that my house smells like D.O.G. That’s something I never thought I’d say. Seriously. I actually have a very keen sense of smell myself, so I’m usually pretty aware of odors. It was a bit disconcerting to admit that I don’t notice it much when I’m home. That means either the rain storm we had last night and the accompanying humidity today are just making it seem worse than it is, or I’ve let my housekeeping go. Since I’m going for honesty here, I’m going with the latter. It’s time for proper scrubbing, vacuuming, and spraying of all surfaces.

Yet while I acknowledge that I need to do some heavier cleaning at home (this weekend!), I also have to admit that my lackadaisical attitude lately speaks to my growing tolerance and/or patience level. Puppy training has been hard. And kind of consuming. Items have been scooped off of floors and dumped on top of cabinets. Stairs have been blocked off with baby gates and become a dumping ground for shoes. Things get thrown down to the lower level and out of sight of Chance while he’s not looking and then stay there. Rugs got rolled up and set on tables. My free time at home is spent walking Chance or playing with him or watching him play with Barley, my boyfriend’s dog. We’re learning how to incorporate him into the family, so it’s necessary time spent. In the meantime, though, I still have piles of papers in my office to file. My basement is still a disaster. Clothes get washed and dried but piled in the laundry room. And dust is accumulating. There was a day when I would have been pretty bothered by getting so far off of my normal cleaning routine. But I know things will eventually get done, just at a slower pace. I need to remind myself of this sometimes in other areas of my life. Work or relationships. Be patient and plug along at what I can accomplish. Eventually it comes together.

I suspect my household will never again be quite as clean-smelling now that I’ve invited this little whirlwind of a dog into it. But when I see his little face peering out the front window when I leave or how excited he is to see me when I return, I figure it’s a good trade. Something new to be thankful for.

June 11

I got my garage half cleaned and organized, which is something I’ve been wanting to do for weeks now. I put up shelves and a bike rack. I even bought a really cool workbench with a light and built-in electrical sockets, although it won’t be delivered until Friday. That gives me another day to finish up the rearranging and cleaning. I’m so excited to get all my tools organized and the floor swept clean. Ever since I started painting my house, the garage has gotten to be a dumping ground, to the point where I haven’t been parking in it, so I’m thankful I got so much done tonight.

March 22

Today I was thankful for a lot of small things:

Making it to the gym this morning for a good workout. I missed the class I enjoy going to, but I ended up running a little longer than I normally do and still got some biking in.
Putting clean sheets on my bed. I’m going to be happy about that as soon as I’m done writing tonight.
Having my kids stop home unexpectedly. They’re visiting their dad this weekend, but needed to pick up a couple of items for a birthday party tomorrow. They hung out long enough to have a proper chat over lunch.
Catching up with my younger sister over the phone. We don’t do that often enough.
Seeing the sunshine, even though it was too cold out again.
Finding ways to stay warm without turning up the thermostat. That’s always a good thing.
Eating a really good burger. I don’t often crave specific foods. Today I did and made a good choice of where to go for it. Yummm.
Watching a Dr. Who special. (There should be no need to explain that.)
Writing at the computer with my cat in my lap. Even though he isn’t very helpful.

March 10

It’s Spring Break at my school. I just wished it actually coincided with spring. I think we actually have more snow on the ground now than we did at Christmas break. Oh, well. The weather did turn a bit for the better today. I think we actually got close to 50 degrees, which felt amazing. I spent the afternoon with my daughter, riding around in her new little Miata convertible. She wanted to put the top down, but I nixed that. It may have seemed warm, but 50 degrees in the form of fast wind feels a whole lot cooler on the face. We did roll the windows down for a little while before stopping for ice cream. That was delightful. Until we both felt sick afterwards. Unfortunately, my kids have adopted my eating habits, which are basically eat whatever sounds good at the moment. It could be green beans and apples or it could be popcorn and Skittles. Today when I got home at lunch, she was eating chocolate mug cake. Since I had that last night, I know how filling it is. I settled for an avocado with basil olive oil and leftover edamame. When we added ice cream later, it was a bit much.

At any rate, the break from work and the bitter winter was a good switch. So I followed that up with cleaning the growing mess in my basement and upstairs office. Both places had become a dumping ground. The office was filled with stacks of papers that had been periodically moved from the kitchen when the mail piled up and visitors were coming. After sifting through and filling a garbage bag, I can now see the office floor again. And I can also see the new carpet in the basement after putting away the Fall and Christmas decorations that got left in a heap. In the process, I unearthed items I had forgotten about–a whole tote full of clothes and shoes. And the cover I bought for my grill but never put on before the snow fell. And some exercise DVDs. (Those I left in the basement. I’m not that motivated yet.) It felt good to clear away the clutter. It felt like a spring thing to do. I’m glad I took the time to get some of the organizing done that I clearly need to do. And I’m also thankful I took some time to enjoy the warmer weather with my daughter; that was a treat.