Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Be careful what you ask for… (or, Mr. Clean comes to visit...)

Two weeks off. Just what I always wanted – really!

I know that they are making my shoulder better, though it didn’t hurt that much to begin with. (Yes, I know, we don’t want it to get worse…)

And truth be told, most of the time it’s not that painful. Not broken-bone painful, for sure. More like “hurts” – like when you do something that hurts – or even REALLY hurts – but not constantly. (Except when I do my exercises; now that’s more than hurt…, but even that's getting better.)

The big thing about this is I feel so bloody helpless. This huge sling is more like a cast – it hangs out so far I can only wear a couple of things and while I’m no skinny, the Jabba the Hut image is one I see every time I go to the bathroom sort of freaks me out.

My friend Kate calls it the lawn chair – and it is like hauling a lawn chair about…

The sling is hooked up to a big blue pump that goes to cold water packs under the shoulder padding. For the most part this feels good, but it’s just heavy. (“It ain’t heavy, it’s my cooler…”)

The other end is attached to a cooler that plugs into the wall (if you read Rick’s Chopsticks and String post, you know about the perils of the cooler.)

So, if I go anywhere from the bathroom to the computer to the kitchen to bed, Ice Baby comes with me, with Gypsy baby close behind.

Or, a lawn chair and a cooler.

Fortunately, Gypsy has only walked on my shoulder once.

It’s such an ordeal (and carrying around a cooler built like it was for a 12 pack with power cords and filled with ice and water isn’t easy) so I generally stick to the sofa.

(Update: Last night I got unhooked from the cooler! Hooray!)

Typing is hard, the computer is slow and typing is worse. I now type like e.e. cummings (and am now going back with caps on to uppercase stuff. So, apologies for booboos.)

Now those of you who know me well know that I am not exactly God’s gift to housecleaning. Yes, I AM a master of understatement.

And we won’t even start on the clutter. I never met a dish I didn’t like and Goodwill (where I got my big clothes before surgery, along with some leftovers in the basement) could do well by a return visit.

Having said that, I prided myself on having the house as clean and tidy as possible before my confinement. I can’t handle unmade beds and don’t like dishes in the sink all that well. The table was clear, the floor tidy. I knew I’d make my own mess, and I didn’t want to start with one.

I didn’t count on a visit from Mr. Clean.

Rick, bless his heart or maybe not, decided he needed to clean my kitchen cupboards.

Now, he wasn’t without reason. I’ve periodically had wretched battles with kitchen moths and lately they have returned, obviously nesting between Trader Joe treats, Fiestaware and Hall china patterns. I’m very good at slapping them down and squishing them against the cupboard, a can, the counter, with nary a look back. Gypsy is awesome when they fly low, and on good days, we work as a team -- I bat them down low and he finishes them off.

Rick is less tolerant.

So, he took everything out of the cupboards and put it on the table – and the floor. And all I can see is the stuff.

“Choose things,” he says. I’ll take the rest to the basement.

Do you know how hard it is to choose things when your arm is in a world of hurt? (Yes, now it’s not so bad, but during this escapade it was pretty nasty.) Everything is a mess and I can’t even find a chair to sit in. I can’t make important decisions. So, I cry. Repeatedly.

And, it’s not just choosing. It’s Mr. Clean making remarks as he scrubs the cupboards inside and out. “Why do you need this?” he asks.

“Because I do,” I say, and then I cry some more.

“Geez,” I hear, followed by muttered expletives.



It was like when Joan Crawford had Baby Jane locked up in her bedroom, unable to escape while Joan lived her demented life in another room.

No, he didn’t serve me rat. Or parakeet or whatever it was Joan served Bette. He’s a very good cook and has been most attentive, changing the ice in my cooler faithfully and making excellent dinners (including a pretty fabulous tikka masala).

Well, until he dismantled the stove and now no one’s cooking in it.

But I will say they stress level has been pretty high…

I almost called my cousin from Cleveland to come put stuff back, but we seem to have reached an agreement on what stays (for now).

Rick won’t let me put things back in the cupboard (which is admirable – so I wait till he leaves). But don’t worry, I’m not overdoing it. I only do the things I can reach.

Meanwhile, Mr. Clean – or Joan, as the case may be – really got far more than he bargained for. (Probably reminding us both why we don’t live together.) And I’m most grateful to him for all his work. (Especially while I have been mostly reading and watching PBS mini-series on DVD while he does this).

He turned something relatively disgusting into something that really looks wonderful. That is probably is fine incentive for me to keep it that way – especially since I’ll be wearing this sling for a long while and won’t be able to carry things up from the basement for at least a month or so. Maybe by then I’ll get use to it.

He’s back at work, till the next cooler change. Maybe the stress level will go down….

(Update: The kitchen is pretty well put back together and most of the stuff put away from the other room. I'm getting very good using one hand and sometimes two, even tho' I can't really use the arm at all. (and if you knew how many times I kept correcting that sentence you would know the typing isn't that great yet!)

And yes, the stress has reduced, and yes, I'm appreciating my kitchen and Mr. Clean.


beth said...

ohhh....I think rick must have read my post regarding men cleaning for their wives and that being a form of FOREPLAY !!!

watch out....that sling and cooler isn't bothering him AT ALL !!!

hee hee

Rosa said...

Glad you got rid of the cooler! Reminds me, somewhat of the double electric breast pump oh-so-many years ago! Bob would come in the baby's room and pretend to be cranking up a lawn mower pull! We still laugh to this day about that contraption. Hope you'll be laughing soon also. What a sweet hub to clean--but not so to not put back. Grrrrr. Why??? I feel your pain, my friend. But you do have nice cupboards now regardless of who put it all back (and be careful!). Sweet Gyp taking care of you. Love him. Stay healing and don't push yourself. xoxo

Anonymous said...

What can I say, Jeanie... at least the cupboards are clean. I think Rick has been planning this a long time, and was actually waiting until you were incapacitated and couldn't stop him! Very wily!!

Good riddance to the cooler. I never heard of such a contraption :)

BONNIE K said...

Oh, this post made me laugh. I remember after giving birth, my mother decided to take time off and "help" me. Well all I wanted to do was rest, and she was busy cleaning everything in sight, commenting on what a bad housekeeper I was. I kept thinking when will you be returning to work, mom?

Beth Leintz said...

I know your post was about husbands and cleaning- but the words that caught my eye were PBS documentaries- I love 'em and get them from Netflix. Any recommendations? Take care Jeanie- I'm thinking about you.

Joanne Huffman said...

"No good deed goes unpunished" applies to the giver and the recipient. It sounds like things are going well and you now have a tidy kitchen. Keep the DVDs coming.


Beth said...

OMG,,I think Rick and Dan are brothers seperated at birth. You poor thing with your little broken wing.

Kris said...

I popped over to see how you are doing and read about Gypsy walking on your shoulder. ouch! It sounds like you are being well cared for (men mean well, right?) and have time to rest. tee-hee.s
Take care,

MSchuess said...

This made me laugh! Sorry, I know you're hurting, but you write funny! I actually snorted when I read the part about the great food RIck is cooking, followed by, "And then he took the stove apart and now nobody is cooking on it."

Again, sorry to be giggling, but it's like reading a sitcom pitch.
Hey -- the Jeanie & Rick Show,
Wednesdays at 8:00 PM, check local listings.


Judy Winter said...

Ha Ha Ha!!!!!!! Love the photos, too! xoJ

Mary Timme said...

See I knew this surgery was complicated! Great stuff to watch though!

anno said...

Oh, this is too funny, like something from I Love Lucy!

FWIW, my husband is the efficiency expert in our relationship, and he is forever "streamlining" things to the point where I can't find my baking sheets when I need them. You have all my sympathies.

But I think we need to hear more about that tikka masala.

Herzblatt said...

My husband is the opposite....:-))
If I am ill or had trouble like you, he would lay waste to my kitchen and perhaps the whole house....therefor I`ll never become ill..*lol*....
And you...let it kiss me better!!!!
Best wishes and if Mr. Clean wants to clean a kitchen in Germany....I am looking forward to him...*lol*

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