Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shedding Some Light On My Perfectionism

Working in a living history museum where modern conveniences like light switches and flashlights are non existent, we must go the period appropriate throw-back route and use things like oil lamps and candles. For portability we put candles in lanterns kinda like the one in the picture, only not with  big honkin' pillar candles as shown. We use and abuse these candle lanterns, especially during the Christmas season program called Lantern Tours.  They end up absolutely covered in wax and soot, the glass sides are broken, etc.  It's quite the hot mess.

Anyway, a charity group is renting our establishment this weekend for an event and they requested to use some of our lanterns, i.e. someone needs to clean them beforehand.  That someone would be me...

Day 1 of cleaning lanterns I did have help, a co-worker took the job of cleaning the metal frames themselves by scraping the melted wax off the bottom with a putty knife then giving them a bath in industrial strength degreaser to remove the soot residue.  We might have gotten a little high off the fumes.  I set to task getting the wax off the glass panes themselves.  To do this I modified a little trick I learned years ago to get wax out of clothing: Pick off any big hunks of wax, then place a paper bag over what remains and iron the spot.  The wax will instantly melt and absorb into the bag.  Ta da!  For the lantern glass I didn't have paper bags so I just found an old thin cloth rag and laid that over the panes, ironed, and ta da again, clean glass!

Day 2 of lantern cleaning was me alone scrubbing more frames. More getting high. At the end of this day, there were 21 totally clean lanterns ready for the event.  My boss said that should be enough, and I breathed a sigh of relief thinking I was done.

Yesterday was Day 3.  My boss texted me around noon and said that the co-worker in charge the rental had just informed her that the renters wanted a total of 50 lanterns for their event.  50.  5-0.  As in, more than double what I had already finished.  Oh boy.  I drove on down there and got back to work, but this time I knew I wouldn't be able to be as thorough as we had been before.  Working alone I had time to de-wax, but not to de-soot.  By the end of the day I had chipped the wax off the 29 additional lantern frames, but still had to go in today to de-wax the glass.

Day 4- (Today) I de-waxed the glass and was able to leave with 50 completed lanterns ready for use this weekend.  The only thorn in my side was that the final 29 never got de-sooted (is that a word?)  In my mind I had a mini-fail because I couldn't get them as clean as they could be (and the first batch was) due to the time constraints I was under.

Later this afternoon my boss texted me again, and part of our convo went like this (she is white and I am green):

Apparently even my boss knows I'm a FlyLady Flunky/perfectionist at heart...


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gillette, The Best A Girl Can Get...

Hey guys, I just wanted to do a quick post and pass on a money saving tip I found awhile back whilst perusing the black hole of time internet.  I don't even remember how it was I landed upon this video, but I watched it anyway and was intrigued. It's all about how to make disposable razor blades stay sharp for a looooong time by using only your arm! Before you watch I will warn you- the man in the video is shirtless, but you do not see anything below his shoulder line.  I only bring this up because apparently some people were bothered by this according to the comments left on the video.  You have been warned.  Also, the sound is kinda quiet on this one, or at least it was for me, so you might want to turn up the volume a notch or two.

Seems too good to be true, doesn't it?  That's what I thought, but after having tried it for the past year, I have to admit that it seems to do a pretty good job!  I didn't make my razors last as long as he has, but they were pretty far gone before I started this technique and weren't as good as those made-for-guys Gillette Fusions that he was using to begin with. (God I love those things, even if they do cost an arm and a leg and don't come in pretty girl colors.  They work awesome!) I just bought my first new pack of razors in a year, and I'm going to see how long I can make them last this time.

Some people seem to do this same technique, but instead of using your arm they run it up a pair of blue jeans.  Haven't tried that one myself, but it seems worth a shot.  And here's a random thought- I am so tired of men whining about having to shave.  I'm sorry, but the last time I checked, it was socially acceptable for a man to grow a beard in this country, but for a woman to not shave her legs/underarms/etc.- not so kosher.  Plus, when it comes to actual square-inchage of surface area needing to be shaved, I think we ladies have a tougher job. So- zip it boys! End rant.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Stopping To Smell The Febreze

I have a confession- I am addicted to Febreze.  It all started ino-scent-ly enough.  (Get it?)  About a year ago I stole borrowed a can of furniture polish from my mother to restore the shine on my bed set.  As I sprayed and wiped away smudges I began to notice how utterly fabulous the stuff smelled.  I took a look at the can to find that it was Swiffer Dust and Shine with Febreze's Lavender Vanilla and Comfort scent.  Hmmmm, not bad.

Fast forward to my time living with the guy formally known as Roomie.  The  first time I wanted to mop the floor in that apartment I discovered that he didn't actually own a mop, but instead used one of those Swiffer Sweepers with the wet cloths.  I pulled it out, stuck on a cloth, and there was that smell again!  Heavenly. Again, the cleaning agent in the wet cloth was scented with Febreze Lavender Vanilla and Comfort. Because of that smell, I actually started looking forward to mopping the floor.  Unfortunately, the wet cloths didn't do the best job at getting up the ground in dirt one finds on the kitchen floor of a single guy.  I went out and bought a real mop, and while I was at it, went on an obsessive hunt for other products containing that scent.

In my search I found Mr. Clean Multi-Surfaces Liquid cleaner with my new-favorite aroma, which is what I now use with a real mop when cleaning the floors. I also picked up some actual Febreze Fabric Refresher spray (the extra large bottle of course), and was happy to see it came with a small "Febreze To Go" bottle that I keep in my car.

It was filled with the standard old-school smelling Febreze, and you can bet I used that up as quickly as possible so I could refill it with- you guessed it- Lavender Vanilla and Comfort. Oh, I can't forget to mention Febreze Air Effects, a sprayable air freshener.  This I have in several scents for whatever tickles my fancy at the time:

I love how Febreze freshens up my "home" (be it a shared apartment with a friend or my sister's old room in my parents' house, sigh), but the only problem I have with it is that is doesn't last nearly long enough!

When I walk into my "home", I want to be greeted with that delicious smell.  Well, unless I just sprayed the fabric refresher/air freshener/mopped the floor/polished the furniture, that wasn't likely to happen.  I needed something that was going to guarantee smell-ability any time of day.  Enter: Febreze NOTICEables:

If you've never heard of this before, the NOTICEables are a plug in air freshener that has two rotating scents in the warmer that change periodically so your snoz doesn't get de-scents-itized to the smell.  (See, I did it again!)  It is rather effective at this goal, and now whenever I walk into my room I immediately notice the welcoming smell. 

A couple  side notes on the NOTICEables- I was a little nervous about using a plug in freshener again after a bad experience I had when I used to use some made by Glade.  Although I loved them and their wide range of scents, my cats had bad reactions that resulted in vomiting whenever I plugged them in.  If I removed the freshener from the apartment the puking stopped, and I tried out this theory several times, so I know it was the Glade.  I read somewhere that animals can be sensitive to essential oils, (which are claimed to be in a lot of these oil warmer/air freshening plug in things) but luckily after months of use with the Febreze NOTICEables we haven't had the same pukey problem.  Secondly- the NOTICEables version of my favorite scent doesn't smell the same as any of the other products I have mentioned.  There is something about the NOTICEables version of all their scents, really, that are a bit off.  Not that is smells bad, just not the same.  Even the name is slightly off, in this case it's called Lavender Comfort and Gentle Vanilla. Just sayin'.

Today I noticed that my NOTICEable was due for a refill, so off to Target I scampered to purchase a new one.  Whilst browsing the aisle dedicated to making your home smell better the urge hit me to *gasp* try a new scent.  Yes, it's true, I have strayed from my beloved Lavender Vanilla and Comfort.  I decided I wanted to go with a nice fall-smelling scent to compliment the recent changes in the weather, so I went with this:

Pumpkin Harvest and Fall.  Yummy.  I could have gone with another that had something to do with apples, but the NOTICEables version smelled kind of chemically even though the candle I used as a control smelled great.  I can't even find that scent on their website, so buyer beware, I guess.

As a final thought- Normally I do not care for the smell of lavender, but there is something about pairing it with vanilla that makes me want to lay on the carpet and inhale like they do in the Febreze commercials.  Nor is there anything in my home that smells so bad that I actually require all this stuff to cover up a stench, but rather I just really like the way it smells in general.  In fact, I may or may not use the Febreze On The Go bottle as "perfume" on occasion... With my "signature" scent of Lavender Vanilla and Comfort, of course.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Overwhelmed and Under-energized

<------ How I feel!  I loathe the actual moving process- the packing, lugging boxes around, etc.  I am finally now at the part I do like- the unpacking and making everything in the new space all pretty. 

Since I ended up moving back to my parents' house I'm pretty familiar with the landscape, but I'm still having trouble figuring out where to put everything.  I've also hit a cleaning roadblock.  As I am putting things away I find myself thinking "I don't want to put that there yet, it needs to be dusted/wiped out/hosed down so I might as well do that first instead of having to pull everything I've just put away out by doing it later." (Apparently I think in run-on sentences.)  This has caused a slow-down in the actual unpacking process, but all this compulsive cleaning should help things run pretty smoothly once it's time for me to start a new Zone cleaning system.

I really need to get back to cleaning/unpacking, so I'll leave you with a few bad iPhone pictures I snapped on Tuesday, my last day in the old apartment:

Empty living room/my bedroom.  :(

Empty kitchen and bathroom.  :(

Roomie (who is no longer my roomie) waving goodbye to y'all in his empty bedroom.