Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcome 2012

After a great night's sleep into 2012, I woke up with a migraine on January 1.  Happy 2012!  It's what happens when a rapidly-advancing cold front with a 20C differential combines with female hormones.  It's a cruel, cruel world.

All that to say, January 1 was pretty much a write-off.  Eric's still working (he left on Christmas Day), so we haven't really been doing a lot of socializing this season.  While Eric returns tonight at midnight if all goes as planned, I return to work tomorrow morning.  Things didn't quite work out for us, schedule-wise, this holiday season.  We did spend a lot of time on the phone though, planning next year's strategy.

When the throes of a migraine have me in firm clasp, there's pretty much nothing that will help to make me feel better.  I wasn't at the point of slapping an ice-pack on the back of my head yet and retching and/or whimpering silently into a pillow while curled into the fetal position in a darkened room, so I tackled one of those household chores many people either 1) ignore, or 2) have on their Top 5 Hate-to-do-List.

It's cleaning the shower stall.

Maybe because I still have a bit of a headache left as a reminder of yesterday, and a hard vein in my right temple I can take my pulse from, that I'm taking the opportunity to bitch a bit here.  Yes, I understand, it's the dawning of a new year and all, but let me gripe for a moment.

That effin' shower stall.  We have a big corner shower, one of those molded-fibreglass units with clear glass doors that open and shiny metal tracks that accumulate soap scum like it's going out of style.

I've been bitching about those shower stall doors for years.  It got so bad a few years ago, our plumbing store actually replaced them for us - I can't recall what the problem was, I think the finish was peeling off the rails - and for a decent replacement fee, we got new, easier-to-clean doors.

And despite doing the eco thing by squeegee-ing the stall and doors down after each use (we actually fight about who gets to go in the shower first - meee - nooo - meeee - nooooo - I squeeged last time!) - all that to say we have developed a certain disdain for the shower.

Trying to be ecologically-conscious, I clean pretty much every surface of the house with either Dr. Bronner's soap, or vinegar and baking soda, or just plain old Sunlight dish-washing soap, but when I noticed a 2-for-1 coupon for Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-a-Clean Mega Shower Foamer, my curiosity was piqued.

So yesterday morning I grabbed a pail of hot sudsy water, a toothbrush to extricate the grossness from the rails and around the fixtures.  Then I braced myself and liberally sprayed the shower stall with noxious, toxic, environmentally unfriendly Scrubbing Bubbles.  I waited three minutes (pass the gas-mask, this stuff stinks), and rinsed.

Well, if Oprah had been in my living room with a camera crew, I'd have declared it an Oscar-worthy "A-ha" moment of housekeeping.  I'd also have been stark-nekkid, save for a carbon-filter mask on my head, a worn-down tooth brush in one hand, a chammy in the other and an incredulous grin on my face, but again, I digress.

I still needed to clean the nooks and crannies with my dedicated shower toothbrush, and wipe everything down with my chamois, but man, was it clean.  2012 is starting off with a new-looking shower stall, and I'm warming up to chemicals in pressurized containers...once again, Yin is fighting with Yang.

Of all the rooms in the house, Eric and I have major design issues with the bathroom.  We dislike the tiles, the sinks, the shower stall, and I particularly dislike the corner tub, which I physically need to climb into to clean.  I used to be a bath person until I moved here.  But the bath is so big and takes so long to fill, I feel I'm practically hot-tubbing it when I'm in it.  I now take, like one celebratory bath a year, and the rest of the time, I take my shower and try and ignore the scumminess that forms on the doors.

Because Eric needed to finish the bathroom in a mega-hurry when he moved here, attention was given more to the placement of plumbing than to actual fixtures.  Eventually, we'll replace the tile, change the 2 pedestal sinks (I mean, who does that?  2 PEDESTAL SINKS?) for a one-sink vanity with actual shelves and drawers and space for toilet paper and related accoutrements.  We need all the storage space we can lay our hands on, and a nice vanity would fit my bill perfectly.

But those things can wait for a while.  For now, me and my trusty can of Scrubbing Bubbles will eek a few more years' use out of the shower-stall and truth be told, I can live with the rest of it.

It ain't perfection, but what is?

So on that note, with one day of vacation left, I'm off to polish my stainless cook-top to a mirror shine I can see myself in...and then I'll hunker down and knit, or read, unless something else comes up.

And then, with those 2 most-disliked chores struck from my cleaning list, let the games that are 2012 begin.

Have a good year.  Keep smiling.  It ain't that bad.

And remember, like Momma always says, nothing's eaten as hot as it's cooked.


Miriam said...

I am fascinated by your shower issues. When we moved here all the fixtures in all 2.5 bathrooms were iron-stained and mineral-deposited from the well water. We now have a good water treatment system, but since we've gone to all the work of replacing EVERY SINGLE fixture, we're kind of obsessive about keeping them looking nice. And despite cleaning the toilet bowls with Dr. Bonner's and a scrub brush a few times a week (I told you we're obsessed) we're still getting a mineral ring. Argh!! So I did a little googling and tried a few of the less offensive suggestions (like emptying the toilet bowl and filling it with Coca Cola to soak overnight) but nothing has worked.

I think what's keeping me from being as obsessed about our new shower is the fact I'm blind without my glasses, so all kinds of things can go unnoticed while I'm having a shower...

Migraines are awful. I hope you're feeling better.

Shim Farm said...

I sit here, sympathizing in laughter! Before we hooked up to city water, our well water was unbelievable. Full of iron and sulfur and lovely black sediment from time to time, so it was impossible to keep the fixtures clean. Now that we have city water, it's easier but still a challenge due to the chalkiness. At least our whites stay white in the laundry department!

I've heard of the Coca Cola trick for toilets, alas, we changed our old toilet for a Toto (with patented SanaGloss glaze LOL!), and I am happy to report said toilet is very easy to keep clean! The coke trick is supposed to work because of the phosphoric (food grade) acid that coke contains. I do have a bottle of commercial-grade liquid descaler that contains phosphoric acid, but it's heavy-duty stuff. You wouldn't want to go pouring it down your drains and into your septic tank.

I have a hard time using potent chemicals to clean, but I have to say, the shower is going to get a beauty treatment more often now. One day, we'll redo the bathroom, and design a shower that's infinitely easier to clean, in the interim, it's me and my can o' Scrubbin' Bubbles!

While I didn't want to start the new year off with a rant, it did me well. Today was a good day LOL. My migraine is gone, and along with it those nasty-next day "fuzzies" I often get.

Oh. And tonight - I took my yearly bath LOL. I wanted to enjoy that clean shower for just a day longer!

Robin said...

I can't believe you were cleaning with chemicals when you had a migraine!! I can't believe that you were cleaning in the first place with one. I will agree with you that sometimes the chemical cleaners do a better job. I used to be obsessive about everything being natural, and now I will say most of my cleaners and personal care products are but not everything. Somethings just don't work as well.

May your shower experience be more enjoyable now. lol

Shim Farm said...

Robin, trust me, I was wearing a full-face mask. That stuff is deadly. But seriously - the shower, it's amazing the job it does.

I used to be more militant about cleaning products and shampoos and what-not, but like you, I'm trying to find a happy medium. Some of the higher-priced "organic" stuff just isn't worth the extra money, unfortunately. What used to be trial-and-error has become tried-and-true. I rarely deviate from my "must haves" these days.

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