The Bureau of Magical Cleaning

Clump #247: Clear off bedroom bureau; day five of National Blog Posting Month.


I was trying to remember the song in the movie Mary Poppins where Mary (Julie Andrews) teaches Jane and Michael how to clean up their room by just snapping their fingers. It was A Spoonful of Sugar.  (Oh, Google, you know everything.)  “In every job that must be done there is an element of fun.  You find the fun aaand … SNAP… the job’s a game.” (What is it with Disney heroines cleaning and singing with birds?)


Well, let’s just say that my clumping is not normally a snap.  But today I started the project of clearing my husband’s and my bedroom. Anticipating the season of company-coming-cleaning, I decided to turn my attention to our own space, counter to my usual impulse.  Like the shoemaker’s children going barefoot, the housekeeper’s quarters are often the last priority. Clearing our bureau was much more of a snap than I anticipated, and I did find an element of fun in the job.  I’ll try to explain:


In the foreground is a soap-on-a-rope.  One year my older sister and I, both in a very punchy mood, were looking through a catalog and, for some reason, asked my husband whether he would like an extremely expensive soap-on-a-rope.  My husband retorted, “If I bought that, I’d be a dope-with-a-soap-on-a-rope.”  I’m sure it was a case of “you had to be there,” but my sister and I laughed until tears were streaming down our faces.  Last year I found this soap — not the same vendor, and very much marked down — and gave it to him as a gift.  Somehow it never made it into the bathroom.  But guess what now awaits him in the shower?

I also found a stash of magazine photos I had cut out quickly one day with my older daughter, with the intention of making a vision board.  You know, telling the universe what it is that you want in your life.


I obviously didn’t put a priority on doing it.  Since then, though, I found an old notebook with pictures I’d glued inside years ago of a home at the New Jersey shore.  This was the exact place my husband and two of his sisters and I rented in September.  Talk about a dream come true.


So, into the notebook go these photos, too.  Much of my wishing is about intangibles like health, love, harmony … and maybe tangible grandchildren.

When I blissfully revisited Mary Poppins to find the song, I picked up something I had never heard in all my many viewings.  At the end of “A Spoonful of Sugar,” Mary is ushering the children to an outing in the park. Michael whines, “I don’t want an outing, I want to tidy up the nursery again.”  To which Mary replies, “Enough is as good as a feast.”  Good thing to remember when wishing.


Before I knew it…SNAP…the job was done!  Spit spot.


Even though, the motto of this blog is more like:


Slow and steady wins the race.

Worst and Best Things

Clump #69: Unclog bathroom shower drain.

Short and the opposite of sweet: first thing this morning, I finally unclogged the shower drain. Yucko.  I won’t go into disgusting detail or show graphically gross photo documentation of the contents of the bag, below.  You’re welcome.


Mind-cleansing images … please!   A fine drizzle was coming down most of the day today, same as it was the day I picked up my younger daughter for her fall break over a week ago.  She wasn’t quite ready to go when I arrived, so I told her I would take some pictures of the yellow roses against the dark grey slate of her dormitory.


With my rain coat hood up and creeping around a college dormitory, I was very aware of looking like a suspicious character … but was counting on my middle-aged, mom-type aura to redeem me.   As I took the pictures, I was hearing Julie Andrews singing “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens …” from the song My Favorite Things, and the movie, The Sound of Music.


I’d like to add another line to the song:  “Blue light through bottles and speckles on pumpkins …”


I hope you are surrounded by a few of your favorite things today.