Ma Ingalls Had the Right Idea

There is a lot in the world I can’t fix right now. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I fall to my mother’s fall back when life overwhelms: I clean.

It is a good time to clean anyway. We will have a house full of family and guests next week. But, that really isn’t what spurred today’s project. As everyone knows, the dogs have taken over our lives and our bed. Even not in our bed (for long enough that I fall asleep and/or Denise gets tired of shooing them off, they do have dog beds in our room. I should sleep on them.) they are in our room.

Something you may or may not know–there is almost always someone in our bedroom when we are home. It is the heart of our home. You might find it odd. Of course, if we are in our room–the dogs are as well. That is why most of the dog pictures are of the dogs on the bed. Like this one:
dogs (2)For the past couple of days, the odor was back. Eau de Dog! I thought I had eradicated it with washing all the linens. But it never totally went away and then it was BACK. What could that odor be? The dogs were gassy. The weather had been wet again. Maybe Buster had made another adolescent attempt at being manly?

My old housekeeping manuals seem to skip over this particular problem. In those homes of yesterday, the dogs slept outside in a dog house or something. I don’t know.

I woke up this morning and did my morning runs. I started to make the bed and THE ODOR. I had enough! So I stripped all the linens again. I glowered at the dogs. I threw the linens in the wash. When they were clean I started to make the bed. I ended up nudging the bed away from the wall. Ugh! Dust bunnies. NO! Dust DOGS! Yes, the weekly sweeping and mopping of the bedroom had missed that key area. The foot of the bed and the visible under bed area  was clean. I grabbed a broom and the dustpan.

Sweep. Shift the bed so I can sweep more. Shift it more. Unplug things so I can get the dust dog off the power bar. Remember that I need to sweep under the cubby–something I noticed last Sunday when Denise was doing her weekly cleaning. Hmm let me grab the magic eraser to get that mark. Oh there seems to be accumulated Coca-Cola spray here. I go to shift the bed back. I swipe at some marks on the door. Ugh. Wait! The wall has well…dirt on it. When you can see the wall and not the shadows….dirt! Ugh! Ok, magic eraser now dead. Fill a container with water and cleaning fluid. Get some cleaning rags. Oh drat! I seem to have wandered into my mother’s territory of washing walls and baseboards. I washed the one behind the bed and bedside tables. I notice that the ones by the dog beds also suddenly seem filthy I wash. I wash the other ones. I mop. I did stop before getting to the curtain and the mini blinds. I didn’t vacuum the bottom of the dog beds. (ewww dog hair!) That was more wretched than I could deal with when hello! work!

I was sweaty and probably smelled like dog myself by the time I was done. But, our room is clean. Really clean. And…guess what! The odor is long gone.

Still, either in pioneer times they were wiser by taking it all out in the yard and burning and sluicing everything down or the woodsmoke and general funk of just washing your body every so often must mean that Ma Ingall’s didn’t groan as Laura watched Jack and later Wolf settle down for the night. Or maybe she did and it just wasn’t spoken of in the books.