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Three weeks ago, I cleaned most of the house, excepting my room (and didn't finish various things, like vacuuming). I'm pleased to report that I've managed to keep things at about that level of cleanliness ever since--in particular, I've been very good about putting all dishes in the dishwasher immediately after use, and emptying the dishwasher immediately after running it, so the usual vast fields of dirty dishes have not been piling up on my kitchen counters.

And today, two women from Emma's Eco-Clean came and cleaned my house (again excepting my room), so now everything is really clean, not just not-messy. The carpets aren't covered in bits of stuff. The windows are clean. The sinks were already empty, but now they're clean. The bathroom mirrors are clean. It's very pleasant. And I highly recommend Emma's for anyone in the area who's looking for cleaners--I hired them a couple years ago and was quite pleased with them then, too.

I've asked them to come once a month. Don't know whether that'll be sufficiently often (if it isn't, I'll move to a more frequent schedule)--and in the past, I've never managed to maintain even a semblance of non-messiness for more than a couple weeks at a time, so I don't know if I can keep that up--but if it works out, it'll be really nice. My goal is to have my room in good enough shape by a month from now that they can clean there too.

In other news, my new office chair arrived the other day; I put it together late last night, and cleared some space around my desk, and am now sitting in the new chair, and I like it quite a bit, especially when I remember to sit back in it to get the lumbar support.

I also acquired some nice new wooden bowls and lovely cobalt-blue glasses from Cost Plus, and will be going back in the next couple days to buy some dining-room chairs to replace the ones that are falling apart. I'm planning to get the Chemia chairs, which are not only attractive but very comfortable to sit in. I would love to get the Chemia table to go with them--it's attractive and it matches the chairs--but I think it would overwhelm my tiny dining-area space; it's as wide as my current small table is long (and my current table is already a little big for that space). The other table I was looking at was called the Mason (don't know how long that link will work); smaller, and vaguely similar looking, but significantly darker, and doesn't have those nice round legs.

Anyway. I'm mostly asleep, so I'll sign off here. Mostly just wanted to brag about the nigh-unprecedented state of cleanliness that my house is currently in, 'cause I don't expect it to last.


I thought your current dining table was 36x60?

The flexibility of the two leaves in the Chemia table is really attractive, if you have the room to open it up when you want the extra space.

I've been thinking for a while that the best option for our dining room would be two 40" square tables which we could have apart normally -- one for eating and one for projects. It would be great for playing games in the dining room, since a single large table really doesn't work well for 4-person games like bridge. The combined size of the two tables would be right for a big dinner party. But legs at the corners would make it impossible to seat three people on a side when the tables are combined. We'd have to find a solid pedestal base that would still be stable enough for projects involving (for example) a heavy sewing machine.

Grrr! Bragging about the tidy! I'm all envious-- I covet the tidy! My creative energy seems to do better in a clutter free space-- less static sapping the voltage. I am trying to new cleaning strategy (and, no, I have no intention of letting the wookie win). I am trying to use cleaning as a form of meditation. I have a vast resource to meditate on.

My wife and I used Emma's Eco-Clean for eight years while we lived in the bay area, and were always very happy with them. We had them visit twice a month, but we also had two cats contributing to the mess.

One personal note: they never once raised their hourly rates ($25 per cleaner) over those eight years, so D and I just increased the amount of our gratuity a little every January. I'm sure our cleaners' cost of living was going up, just like our own, and it's got to be tough being a non-high-tech service worker in the bay area.


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