HOUSEWORK SUCKS – Marilyn Armstrong

Housework seriously sucks.

It’s not just me who thinks so. No one likes it, not even the people who are paid to do it for other people. Maybe they like it the least, but I suppose getting paid makes up for something.

Last night, Garry sniffed and said: “It smells like ammonia here.”

The recently departed carpet

I knew right away what it was. A few weeks ago, my grandkid brought over a darling and completely un-housebroken puppy who — of course — pissed on the rug, directly in front of where Garry sits.

The rug before this one

I have cleaned the rug, cleaned the floor … but the dogs have great noses and they can always smell it and feel obliged to add their own personal scent at the same site. This is why I only buy cheap carpets, so even if I have to ditch them once per year, I don’t have to slash my wrists because my hand-tied woolen rug from somewhere in Asia has been ruined.

I pondered the possibility of getting the rug cleaned. It was only a 4 X 6 so it would not have been all that difficult to haul it to wherever they clean rugs (I am sure there must be a place that does it), but the price of cleaning it would be around $30. The rug only cost $40 in the first place and once the urinating has soaked it through, it never entirely comes clean.

The rug before the rug before the last one

I pointed out to Garry last night that we needed to do some cleaning, especially floors. Even though we clean up after the dogs, they can smell it. The whole urinating becomes a kind of canine party, you know?

So when the dogs started their morning barking: “GET UP GET UP GET UP,” I got up. I turned on the coffee, gave them biscuits, cleaned the water bowl. I tried to get Garry up to help with the cleaning, but he had gotten up early to put the dogs out. It was pouring again this morning, by the way, as it has been doing pretty much every morning for weeks. When Garry said he thought he might need extra sleep to compensate, I said “Whatever,” and got to work. If I waited for Garry, it would be dinnertime and we wouldn’t be done yet.

I took up the rug and its underpinnings — the thing that was supposed to keep it from sliding around on the floor. I threw it away. It stank. It was made up of some kind of sticky foam and I think it had effectively functioned like a sponge and absorbed everything. Yuck.

I rolled up the rug and pushed it off to one side of the room, got out the vacuum. Vacuumed everything. Since we’d done this a mere four or five days ago, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I vacuumed the living room, hallway, kitchen, then took the dustmop and cleaned behind the dressers in the bedroom, another one of those jobs which needed doing for a long time. Oddly enough, it did not disturb Garry who thinks I can’t tell if he is sleeping or awake.

Back to the kitchen, I dumped Murphy’s Oil in the bucket, let it seep into the mop, and washed all the hard woodlike floors. Then I did it again, moving all the furniture out of the way. By this time, my back was screaming at me.

All the pulling and bending was taking a toll. I emptied the bucket. Refilled it with the kitchen floor cleaner and started moving everything out the way for the next stage. I got halfway through the kitchen and realized I needed help. I was not going to get the rest of it done. It was almost noon. I figured since this big cleanup was his idea, maybe he could lend a hand.

Soon to be the new rug. It’s shabby chic, just like the rest of the place.

About an hour later, it was done. Garry hauled the old rug to the trash. I changed the covers on the sofas. Duke is shedding and being white, he leaves a trail wherever he lays his body. Which is everywhere.

Duke made out well, all things considered. When I hauled the end table out of the way, at least half a dozen tennis balls emerged. One was tossed for excessive slobbering and toothy destruction, but all the rest were salvageable. I put a few back in the box where I store new ones and gave Duke three previously lost balls. Bonanza!

That was approximately when I realized I actually couldn’t move. For all practical purposes, my back had seized.

I ordered a new rug. Another $40 plus a new non-skid pad for underneath it. I considered skipping the pad, but falling isn’t a really great idea.

I hate housework. It’s never finished. As clean as you get it today, it will need to be redone in another few days. And another few days after that. It is the task that is never finished and never completed

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24 replies

  1. My dogs are gone 6 years but when it is humid there smells come back to life. No matter the cleaning of my rugs, no matter how many years, it permeates forever. I replaced my front hall rug like you, 5 or 6 times, buying them on overstock for cheap, knowing they would not last more than a year or 2!


  2. The cats and I are coming to visit…..don’t worry. They are litter box trained. πŸ™‚


  3. I heard that old adage, “a woman’s work is never done” I think they meant “housework” is never done, it’s endless because what you cleaned yesterday, could just as easily be cleaned today because…something happened. I get what you mean about dogs now, it’s been a long time since I had one. Although the shedding isn’t nearly as bad a the cats! good grief. I cleaned under my bed and came out with a tennis sized ball of cat hair. Who knew?! I just cleaned it, seriously just cleaned under the bed…


  4. I wonder what it is in the animal nature that leads them to ‘go’ (pee, poop, throw up) on the RUG instead of the more extensive tile or linoleum or wood floor. Huny lost it on my couch, in the area of the house that I keep for ‘company’. I have no idea why she chose the cushion to barf on, but there you are. She also pooped on my rag rug in front of my stove, which I didn’t see and stepped in. I have a great ‘green’ cleaner that is supposed to take away the scent as well as cleaning up the mess – without being hazardous to one’s pet. I don’t know how well it works , but it gets rid of the smell any way…and she rarely goes back to the same spot. Now in a few days I’ll be watching my neighbor’s chihuahua, who is elderly and has issues. I’m rather glad I’ve put off having my carpet cleaned until the spring. It might smell a bit funky in here (I can’t smell it…but they say you never do if it’s ‘yours’), I use those plug in oil scent things in all the rooms, have a whacking great supply of ‘Febreze’ and baking soda seems to absorb most wet messes pretty well too.


    • I have frequently asked that question as I hauled a dog off to a floor I could at least clean. NO idea. I think it’s payback for not have opposable thumbs.

      Those green cleaners sound good, except that they don’t work. What DOES work — surprisingly well:

      DON’T rub the whatever. Sop it up. Then clean with a mixture of Dawn (just Dawn) detergent and warm (NOT hot) water. Sop up the water with paper towels, then dry it again with a clean white fabric (dish towel, paper towels, whatever you’ve got). That DOES work. There’s something in Dawn. Also DON’T RUB. That only digs it is deeper into the fabric or shag or whatever.


  5. I did some cleaning before our Thanksgiving dinner. That was a mistake, our younger son brought his “blonde” dog and the hairs are all over. From now on the cleaning only happens after the event.


    • We don’t have enough events, so at least some of it has to get done because otherwise, it gets pretty unpleasant.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, dogs will return to the area no matter what I’ve tried, enzyme eating pellets, products that are supposed to sit and turn to a gel/powder and the sweep/vacuum still doesn’t work 100%. I notice a smell a few days later, my husband never does but I guess I am sensitive to it. I use those scented oil plug-ins, and have air filtration systems in living room and bedroom, they seem to work very well at removing food odors. If I turn the filters off I will smell “dog” and a damp smell as well, we have fish tanks in basement, warmer there creates dampness on rugs upstairs. So I basically have them on low always, and change the filters as needed. It is a choice, have a pet, or have a fresher smelling house. I’ll take my dogs every time, I have allergies too, and deal with itchy eyes, and stuffy nose, cough. I do whatever I have to do to deal with dog hair and smells. I’d rather sneeze and have itchy eyes, than not have the love and companionship of my pets, so I do my best to keep the house less hairy and fresh scented. I have all the products needed to do the job, it is endless, and I have always said cleaning is a waste of time, but it has to be done . Nice products make it easier, has many good cleaning products, and I order from Grove Collaborative, non-toxic cleaning supplies. I also have non toxic Flea Bully cleaner, good product for cleaning bed frame, can use in laundry, and spray on furniture as well. Cleaning does suck, it is back breaking and when finished I ache for days, but my house looks and smells very good….for about a week or so. It is worth it for our “babies” I say.

          Liked by 1 person

          • It helps to get some help along the way and I wish I had the money to hire some help, but reality IS. We sneeze and have itchy eyes dogs or not because we live in the woods and we have hay fever. But the dogs are family. I cleaned up after the kid and the grandkid. Now I clean for us and the dogs. That’s just the way it goes, I guess. Cheap rugs really help. We’ve been replacing them pretty much once per year, but they are inexpensive and there comes that moment where the stink exceeds everything else!.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. When you have pets it’s never over, there is always hair to be swept up, vacuumed or brushed off the furniture and your clothes so you don’t deposit it elsewhere but as I would never be without pets and would not even consider making them live outside it’s just become part of life. Naomi brought her Bissell carpet cleaner over the other week and shampooed the carpets for me, normally I hire a steam cleaner from the supermarket but that requires getting someone with a car to get it and return it so this was easier and she did a good job. I try and have the windows open for a few hours a day now the weather is better as the real estate agent told me that the house smelled a bit doggy. That made me paranoid because I don’t usually notice it unless there has been an accident. Guests won’t usually tell you that your house smells.


  7. The trials of a housewife. I have reduced my carpets to one, under the dining table. If tabby has a hairball moment, it is naturally deposited on our one and only carpet..


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