Appalachia Cleaning

Cleaning Up Summer

Cleaning in appalachia

Something about Summer always makes me want to clean this place up-you know sort through all the closets, change all the curtains, scrub all the windows. Mind you know-as the years go by it seems like I have less and less time for that type of cleaning-but I still want to do it once summer arrives.

Granny got a wild hair the other day (I think summer makes her feel the same way as I do-that’s probably where I got it) and decided to change the wallpaper around her kitchen cabinets. Her and Pap said Chatter and Chitter saved their lives! The girls helped them move the stove, frig, and whatever else needed to be moved. Granny said she was plumb embarrassed at what a mess was behind the stove but Lord knows when the last time they moved it was. Anyway the girls helped them get the job done and felt better for helping-and Granny and Pap were just glad it was over!

I used to keep my house spic and span-I remember I mopped every morning before I got the girls up because I couldn’t stand to think of them crawling in a dirty floor. As I got older, I changed my way of thinking to: awww dirt won’t hurt you to bad and there’s always tomorrow for cleaning. I do manage to vacuum, mop, and do the bathrooms every week-but the deep cleaning days stretch farther and farther apart as the years go speeding by.

Over the next week or so we’ll be talking about cleaning here on the Blind Pig-stick around and chime in with any old time cleaning tips or stories you can think of.


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  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    June 12, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Our last house was bigger (3 bedrooms/5 HUGE closets/2 baths) and there was plenty of room for everything; I had a cleaning schedule of bathrooms and kitchen M/W/F and all the floors Tu/Th/Sa, I took Sunday off and everything was great. Then we moved to a smaller house (2 bedrooms/4 SMALL closets/1 bath), and I got a part-time job, there’s no room for everything, and little time to fix it, so I’ve learned to put up with things as they are until I have a better plan. In truth, I do like to have a place for everything so I can keep everything neat and tidy, but such is life! God’s in control, and I am content with that!!!
    God bless.

  • Reply
    June 11, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    b.Ruth-Looks like the line is pretty full to me, however it looks like the droops cudda held a couple of warshrags halfend accrost the line.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    June 11, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Before we had kids our house was spotless. After having two boys we now attribute that to just being bored. If you try to keep a spotless house with kids you are fighting a losing battle. Now our home is lived in, not dirty but nowhere near spotless. You have to choose your battles and we choose a little dust over insanity by trying to keep it like it once was. My wife has to always tidy up the house if we go away for vacation or whatever. I asked her once why and she said if something happened to us she did not want people thinking we didn’t keep a clean house. I laughed and said would it really matter?

  • Reply
    June 11, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Retirement has changed my cleaning habits. I do it as the whim comes. It’s just the two of us and a precious eighteen year old kitty, so I don’t usually have a set day. Bathrooms are usually a weekly thing, but dusting could go a bit longer. Laundry is also a weekly thing. I remember when the children were home I was running like a roller coaster through the house on Saturday morninging, so I could get everything finished before running to some sort of sport game. I was an educator, so doing housework during the week was almost impossible. I’m sort of glad to be finished with that time of my aging process.

  • Reply
    June 11, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    I remember my mother sweeping the whole house up to the door then opening it and sweeping the trash out into the yard. Then she would get her outside broom and sweep the yard. Anywhere that didn’t have something growing got swept.

  • Reply
    June 11, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    When I was about 3 months old, mama
    had a stroke and was out of commission for several months. She
    was left paralyzed on her left side,
    but Thank God for kinfolks! Daddy’s
    mama and sister took care of me
    during this time. Times were tough
    but daddy worked for the TVA, helped build Fontana Dam and later
    Nantahala Lake. Then finally he
    bought the holler where I live now. Back then we had lots of
    chickens and nobody fooled with
    a lawn. I don’t know where mama
    came up with all them brooms, but
    we’d all sweep our yard clean as
    a whistle about every weekend.
    We didn’t even have a car but we
    shore had a clean yard…Ken

  • Reply
    June 11, 2013 at 11:14 am

    After seeing pictures and reading
    the Blind Pig since you started, I
    could tell you were a Cleaning Nut.
    Wish I had one over here! When I
    was younger I had energy to clean
    much better, but now my tiller just
    drags me through the garden. Cindy
    and others have it right, other
    things are more important in life.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    June 11, 2013 at 11:00 am

    I always got the Spring cleaning feeling about the teasing couple of warm days in February! Then it would come a skif of snow and back to the corner of the couch with a book I would go!
    I once had a friend that was such a good housekeeper that I literally would dread going in her house for fear of messin’ something up. She was always the first in her neighborhood to clean up after winter. She had one child!
    One day I heard a knock on the door, it was that child. He said, “Can I come in and stay a while, Mom is trying to sterilize the house again!”
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS….No pain or hurt intended to you, but the only time we hung towels in a slight dip was if we were running out of clothes line.
    Momma always said to strech those towels pin to pin and not a wrinkle will be in them. Didn’t make sense to me since you gathered them in a bundle when you took them in after drying.
    Oh, and did you washrag that line of outside dirt before hanging those white towels…More than once I got in trouble if a dirty line streak was on the towel! LOL

  • Reply
    June 11, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Erma Bombeck once suggested that you leave your vacuum in the middle of the living room so folks who dropped in would think they caught you in the middle of cleaning and wouldn’t think ill of you if things were a mess. Problem was, you had to remember to at least dust the vacuum. . . .
    Since my 3 kids came within three years, my philosophy was clean according to where the kids were. Infants got a pristine floor. Toddlers meant “sanitized” shelves, coffee tables, chairs. Elementary kids – well, then I was working and going to school, leading scouts, driving carpools – – y’all know the drill from the time of (70’s and 80’s?) and the commercial/song I’m a Woman which implied women could do it all: “Bring Home the Bacon, Fry it up in the Pan, Never let you forget you’re a man, cause I’m a Woman”. A lot of us nearly killed ourselves trying to keep up with that image – some of us did damage our health. Although there was nothing in that song about cleaning, it was implied in the Stepford Wife image presented.
    Older and wiser (maybe), I’d rather spend what little spare time I have in the garden! Still do, – cleaning is good; greening is better!.

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    June 11, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Now where are my sunglasses. I can’t find them for all the clutter.
    I used to dust for my grandmother. I’d get under the dining room table and places she couldn’t get to. She would give me a quarter.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    June 11, 2013 at 9:58 am

    I think the women who lived on Choestoe invented cleaning! Every spring it was “major housecleaning time.” We dug “white sand” out out of steaks of it that were naturally deposited in a certain bank on our farm (what was it? Talc? Kaolin? Anyway, it was a good abrasive, and left a whitish, clean look on wooden floors, even when rinsed off thoroughly). We scrubbed this in, with warm water, and a home-made scrub broom made by putting corn shucks through holes in a triangular plank attached to a handle; my daddy had fashioned that “scouring broom.” Of course this procedure came after all the furniture had been moved aside out of the path of the scrubbing, and then moved back when one floor dried. That “thorough” cleaning and scrubbing that a once-a-year thing around our farmhouse. Combine this with washing down the walls, washing windows, and of course laundering all the curtains–and later stretching the starched lace ones on “curtain stretcher” frames. Did any of you “grow up” under this type of all-nooks-and-crannies spring cleaning? And then weekly was the sweeping, mopping, dusting…for the way a lady kept her house was definitely a reflection on her very character! “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” It was more than an adage; it was a way of life!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Until about five years ago, my friends and co-workers would pop in and I would proudly show them through the house to look at a new piece of furniture, freshly painted wall or some other decor. Now I let them in the kitchen door, if they are lucky, and that is as far as they go. LOL!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2013 at 9:05 am

    when you finish going through your house — come on to Comer.

  • Reply
    Beth in Ky
    June 11, 2013 at 8:58 am

    My hubby’s aunt is one of the cleanest women I know. However she had one of those 40 inch ranges that the cabinets had been built tight to & she could not clean behind. Since it had been in place for 20+ years, she said “I hope to God I’m dead when that thing is pulled out.”

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 11, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Tipper, trust me, as more years go by you’ll care less. More years of living give one a different perspective on what is important in life.
    Why, I’m almost old enough to not clean at all. LOL!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2013 at 8:02 am

    I wear dark glasses in the house. You don’t see near as much dirty that way!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Oh the joy! As a young woman, I used to get high on the sunshine. I would fling doors open and clean everything in sight. The clothes line would be hung with all the blankets and clothes. The ironing board was on ready. They now call this multi-tasking. By the time one bent over all summer hanging out clothes, there was no need for a fitness center.
    Cars driven to a mountain water fall sometimes and washed, so no need for a car wash. Entertainment was loading up a bunch and hiking into the mountains to investigate old torn down homeplaces. We had potato salad and fried chicken stashed in a picnic lunch. We ran across a broken still and some milk cooling in a branch once upon a time. We were once chased by a pack of dogs, but all were skillful at tree climbing. Tipper, you have me thinking and dreaming again. Guess I better come down to earth and finish my coffee.

  • Reply
    June 11, 2013 at 7:53 am

    We only have a short time on earth. It seems a shame to spend it cleaning. It just gets dirty again and we have to start all over.(that’s my theory, anyway) LOL

  • Reply
    Connie Cochran
    June 11, 2013 at 7:48 am

    I just love getting and reading your posts each morning. You are blessed to have a family that is so well connected. And, thank you, Tipper, for taking the time to answer my sauerkraut timing questions.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    June 11, 2013 at 7:44 am

    I’m anything but good about keeping the place clean, but do get – as you say – a wild hair every once in a while.
    Mama was a great psychologist when it came to instilling a want to do it right mentality. I can remember, as maybe a 6 or 7-year old, having to help her dust. She took to telling me that no one could dust as well as I could, which of course changed my perspective altogether and probably got me to actually doing an almost passable job of it.
    I’ve since wondered if she’d said the same thing to my older siblings.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    June 11, 2013 at 7:24 am

    I know what you mean, it’s like you have to get rid of the feeling of winter

  • Reply
    June 11, 2013 at 6:42 am

    Girl, ain’t it the truth! I used to go with a dust rag in one hand and the mop in the other one. Even took the light fixtures down and washed them every week. Old age and arthritis sure makes a difference tho, so now it gets done when i get to it.

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