Creatures of the Earth

I am choosing to believe my suddenly poor work ethic is due to the fact that it feels so much like spring outside. They are tapping the sugar maples! In early February! It’s what everyone says when the subject of the bizarre weather comes up, which it does during every interaction with every person. The sugar maples! Did you hear? THE SAP IS RUNNING!! Everyone is horrified. Yesterday the vet said “The sap is running! The birds are singing springtime songs! BABY ANIMALS ARE BEING BORN!” It’s very disturbing and no one likes it, really. Or at first it was something to jokingly pretend you liked but now it’s just scary. Everyone wants a snowstorm but the weather guy keeps saying it ain’t gonna happen. The sap should not be running in the first week of February! The local paper published historical records showing that in 1800 the sap didn’t start running until April. Lord! Lord save us!

Anyway so I am pretending that since my body believes it’s spring that’s why my mind is doing a bad job. I am taking naps and spending 10 hours making a personalized crossword puzzle for my husband and cleaning my house and reorganizing the refrigerator and staring out the window at the spot where I’m going to put my garden and basically I’m just puttering around. I’ll get out my book on Keynesian economics or open up my Word doc with my book proposal and then suddenly it’s 3 hours later and I’m bleaching the shower curtain and listening to the “THAT GIRL IS POISON” spotify playlist of all new jack swing that I found recently and enjoy very much. I am acting like I normally don’t start acting until April. JUST LIKE THE SUGAR MAPLES

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So I have to tell you, this Cheryl Mendelson book one of you people told me to get? Is a LIFE-CHANGER. My old man and I are both reading it and we are living our lives now in a different way. Every night after dinner we clean the kitchen, sweep and mop the floor, sweep the bedroom and bathroom floors, and clean the tub/sink/toilet. What? But it only takes 15 minutes! Cheryl Mendelson was right! I wake up feeling like I’m in a goddamn General Foods International Coffee commercial. Everything sparkling clean and covered in Laura Ashley prints. Like Heaven!

Things Cheryl Mendelson has already taught me and I’m only a few chapters in:
– how to do hospital corners
– how to clean a mirror
– how to take care of hardwood floors
– how to do laundry that has “protein stains” on it (gross but real human issue, especially for someone with horrifying night sweats)
– which clothes don’t actually need to be dry cleaned
– what to do during “spring cleaning”
– what order to clean the house in
– have a “reshelving station” where you put books before reshelving them (just like at a library!) instead of leaving 100 books scattered on every flat surface of your home
– air out the bed before making it in the morning
– ideas for how to separate all my different kinds of rags

I love this book. I love its focus on how housekeeping is some of the only unalienated labor still available to us. I love how quietly revolutionary it is. THANK YOU

Now I will go buy a nightgown and a yoga punch card

Pray for America

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3 Responses to Creatures of the Earth

  1. freddy says:

    Yeah, Cheryl’s the best. She’s one of only a few first-name references we have in the house. “How do I clean felted wool again?” “Better ask Cheryl.” Others include Harold (McGee) and (J) Kenji (Lopez-Alt).

  2. ericka says:

    OMG I now have proof my life has been worth living.

    I love that book so hard! Glad my recommendation fell on happy ears(?).

  3. Alex says:

    Remember when you wrote this and it felt like Spring outside and then it was -6 and there was ice on the INSIDE of your windows?

    ;(

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