Brazilian Queens and Winter Breaks.
I. am. swamped.
Break so far has been made up of lots of cleaning, being dad's secretary while he's traveling.. (taking phone calls, making phones calls, translating articles and letters, extremely fun stuff), cleaning, putting my new bed together (seriously! who are those manuals made for? An Asian Hulk? Smart and super strong? Because that thing has taken me two days and I'm still waiting for dad to get here to figure some things out...Oh.. and I've probably broken a piece beyond repair already.. not my fault! I'm not an Asian Hulk) and cleaning, baking cookies! cleaning and a couple of things. Have I mentioned cleaning? Yeah..
See, Brazilian moms are the queens! of cleaning. They clean everything everywhere and please! get that whole "Windex spray and yellow gloves" scenario out of your mind. Cleaning for Brazilian moms means "get down on your knees and wipe that thing clean from top to bottom with a bucket of water and various cleaning products and a wet cloth" type thing. It has to squeak clean. The windows will blind the neighbors type clean. You will break your back and skin your knees type clean. They enjoy this backbreaking labour. They take pride in their scoured stainless steel pans and shiny pots and stainless glasses and the house smells clean.
So it only stands to reason that the first thing my mother set out to do in our new home was... clean it from top to bottom. Thing is, the elderly lady who lived here.. probably never knew you could reach inside that cabinet and give it a good scrubbing.. she probably never knew that the workshop or the toolroom in the garage could be mopped, or that the deck might need its windows cleaned from inside and out... my mother does. The carpet will be vacuumed fifty times to get all the cat hair gone. gone. gone. The wooden floor will be varnished. The tulips will be planted. And oh so many hundreds of other things will be done. And you know what the best part is? I'm on break. I get to help! I admit it's exciting and I love this about her because I'm pretty proud of the house's customary cleanliness too.
Right now, however, it seems like we clean and organize and move stuff and get rid of boxes... but it never ends! There's still dust, there are still windows to wash and boxes to unpack and things to find places for.... Everyday something new and unexpected shows up and the plan you had to put the basement to rights or to finally find a place for that box just goes out the window...! *sigh*
It's still a very happy exhaustion ..but I can't wait 'til things are put in their place and we can all breathe a bit easier... People say it takes six months.. I'm crossing my fingers for two weeks...
How long did it take you to settle into your home?