Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cleanliness is next to...PURE RAW JOY!

Good morning, ya'll!

I'm up bright and early this morning! Well, actually, sure is early, but i'm not sure i feel all that bright, since I've been up since 3:30a.m.! Maybe i rested as much as my body needed to?

I loved this picture of the sun! I don't know what that factory is doing in the back....!!! Please disregard!!!

Yesterday was the most amazing powerful lesson i have experienced in a while. What a person can accomplish in ONE day with HELP, MOTIVATION and POSITIVITY is simply extraordinary!

My dear, sweet friend, Megan, who is my coworker from Arnolds Way and who we have affectionately named "Megabytes" accepted a proposal from me to work at my house for 50 hours to help me 1) clean out the basement and the 2 "junk" rooms upstairs and 2) organize and beautify our home.

Our project will take about 6 weeks total to complete. A 6 week makeover!!!!

So meet Mr. and Mrs. Slobberson - that's me and Cliff! I've been living with Cliff for 10 years (in un-wedded bliss - we've been engaged for 2 of those years) and in the 10 years i've been here, my parents, who live 45 minutes away, have never set foot in our home. We adore my parents and see them weekly. Just not HERE.

I was raised in a stunning upper middle class home in the suburbs, 3/4 of an acre of land with a swimming pool in the backyard, cleaning ladies, yearly trips to summer camp, parties, the good life. My father had a very successful business, and we were as my parents say, "comfortable." I never lacked for anything. The house was designer decorated, spotless, and my mother cleaned my room. I had very little discipline or responsibility growing up when it came to cleaning. And cleaning never came naturally to me.

Both of my parents were neat-freaks. I was always a slob.

So much a slob that when i was in elementary school, my mother was called in by the teacher to clean out my school desk, as it was jam packed with papers....unfinished homework assignments...books. You name it!

And i used to get punished all of the time for having a messy room. But somehow i never remember cleaning it. My mother used to.

So, when i was in high school, my mother snuck into school with me after hours to clean out my locker, repeatedly, which had become smelly, jam packed with old lunches, paper, books, unfinished homework assignments. (I used to borrow money from friends to buy greasy fattening lunches at the cafeteria in favor of my mother's lean sandwhiches, which i snubbed and shoved in the locker). When things got so bad in the locker that i couldn't even open it for fear of stinking up the hallway, i called in the reinforcements. Dear old mom.

I have a long history of letting mounds GROW. And she has a long history of cleaning them.

But, now i'm a grownup and, um, well, mommy's not as young as she used to be and i didn't call for reinforcements and just let the mounds GROW AND GROW.

You know, it's not too unsimilar to my issues with food.

Things easily get OUT OF CONTROL with me. Be they food or weight or stuff.

Now, it would really be something if i had hooked up with a partner who was a neatfreak. Someone who could, shall we say, keep me in line, yell at me alot to clean, throw tantrums if i left a sock on the floor.

But, i didn't!

Cliffy and I kiss and hug and couldn't love each other more as we step over piles of laundry, blissfully looking into each others eyes. We don't NOTICE it.

You see, Cliff and I have similar histories in that he was always a slob, too, but he grew up in a home with a mother who was an even bigger neatfreak than my mother or father. His mom had him waxing furniture and dusting and doing continuous chores, as an 8 year old. When all of the other kids were out playing ball, Cliff had to clean and do chores. And he got yelled at for making fingerprints on the tables.

Needless to say, as an adult, he rebelled.

So did i.

To put it mildly, we BOTH hate to clean!

So, after 10 years of living together, stuff has gotten out of control. The one junk room we had grew to 2 within the last year and a half. And because the basement was a disaster, there was nowhere to store that junk elsewhere, so it kept growing and growing.

Plus, we live in a big house in Manayunk that's over 100 years old. Homes built here at that time have NO CLOSETS. Can you say 'sure set up for disaster'? I can! No storage, two slobs, one (cliff), a worse packrat than me...and it's a ticking time bomb.

Cliff and I love each other dearly, and our tolerance for a mess is obviously quite high. We're great in a mess, but when faced with possible guests coming over, it's panic-city. We've barely had any guests to our house, let alone my parents. I told my mother repeatedly that it was an old home, that there were several repairs that needed to be made, that some walls needed to be painted and that it was, basically, a mess, but that she and my father were more than welcome to come over anytime they wished. Her response was, "Daddy couldn't handle that." And, you know what? Daddy wouldn't be able to, so Daddy and Mommy never came. We always go over there. And the mess stayed a mess.

Until yesterday!!! (deep sigh)!!!!

Megabites and I and Cliff decided the basement was the first room we wanted to tackle on the 6 week makeover project - as when that was neat and orderly, it would give us plenty of room to store the junk we wanted to keep from the two junk rooms upstairs, converting those rooms back into useable and functional.

So, yesterday, Megan arrived at 11a.m....and didn't leave until 6p.m.!!! NON STOP she took charge and whipped that basement into shape with Cliffy and I assisting. 4 trips to the local recycling and trash center to throw away old bike tires, lamps, 2 toilette commodes that belonged to cliff's mom, and tons of random stuff, including at least 10 bags of trash outside and lots of elbow grease, and that basement actually LOOKS like a BIG, CLEAN, ORDERLY basement. I cannot quite believe it. I'd have taken pictures but i don't know where Cliffy put the camera. I think it's in the car.

Cliff's mom used to live with us. She is wheelchair bound and only moved into a nursing home a few short months ago. So, now that we have the house to ourselves, the time was ripe to go digging and dumping.

For 10 years i have looked at the mess, have always wanted to clean it. Cliff looked at it and always wanted to clean it. So why didn't we? I asked him why yesterday. He answered, "Because we didn't have Megan!"

Megan is our little angel, sent from heaven, and for the next 5 weeks, until mid-December, she is going to whip this house into shape.

I'm excited to perhaps cook Hannukah or Christmas dinner here...and actually invite my family over!!!

Raw Foodists who clean: As Megabytes and I cleaned, she snacked on grapes, dates and mangoes. That's how us raw folks do it! I had chocolate mylk for breakfast (cashew, agave, vanilla, cacao, water vitamixed) and dehydrated italian eggplant all afternoon (slices of eggplant brushed very lightly with olive oil on one side, no salt, nutritional yeast, basil, garlic, onion powder) dehydrated on 115degrees for 6-8 hours. YUMMMMOOOO. Of course they are even more bangin' with much more oil and salt and much more yeast, infact, DIPPED in yeast flakes, but i did the 'diet' version.

I'm doing well with my food. VERY well in fact. I've been salt free and low-fat raw since i discovered my dress for the masquerade was too tight and i'm happy to report, it fits much better. It's amazing how much water i can retain.

Well, chickies, I feel so happy about my basement. So hopeful for this house. And i owe my Megabytes a debt of gratitude for her willingness, her positivity, her vision, her initiative, hard work and dedication! God bless her!!!!

OH! We discovered a room in the basement that i didn't even know we had!!!! What an amazing find. More storage. More pure raw joy.

It just keeps getting better and better!

xoxox michelle joy

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