Where’s the stick?

I didn’t get the house cleaning/furniture moving gene. Or the vacuuming one.

No pictures. Are you kidding? Let you see the mess I have wrought with one good foot, a bad back, and a Loratab fog?

Last year's Little Tree that started this monstrous horrible mess.

As my father would say, Where’s the stick? [You’re supposed to ask, What stick? And then he says, The stick you stirred this mess up with.]

It’s a flippin’ mess. I can’t imagine what I was thinking. Well, yes, I can. It went something like this.

Mom is coming up eventually to wallpaper the ceiling in the cow bathroom.

While she’s here I should ask her to get the little tree out of the closet for me.

There’s no place for the little tree.

There is a place if I move the sofa forward a couple of feet.

Ah, but, now there’s no room for the desk. [I’d rather die than do without the desk. I love desks.]

OK. If I move the Evil Sewing Machine, I can slide the desk down 10 feet and Voila! room for the tree.

Can’t move the desk. It’s too heavy, I have one foot, and my back already hurts.

Take the drawers out.


One inch at a time.

Gaze in horror at the mess behind the desk. [I found Willy’s toad, may he rest in peace.]

Drag out the vacuum cleaner. [I’d rather clean the cat box with my tongue than vacuum, but sometimes you just gotta break down.]

Oh No!!!!!!!!! Where do I go with all the crap on the desk and the walls.

Connie wrings her hands in panic and considers another Loratab.

At present, the Evil Demon of Fabric Manipulation is in the middle of the floor as are the vacuum and the carpet cleaner. There’s a toad carcass, a forest worth of dried leaves, several acorns, and a letter I never mailed on the floor where the desk was.

The puppies are wild with consternation.

I never move furniture. I never vacuum. And Willy is mourning the toad.

It’s my mother’s fault.

My mother sewed, vacuumed and moved furniture the way some women buy shoes or bake. It was a great comfort to her to stir everything up (Where’s the stick?) and then re-assemble it in a completely different pattern – often using the Torture Implement of Bobbinhood to whip up some curtains or table runners along the way. When she’s stressed, she vacuums. Vacuums when she’s happy. Vacuums when she’s sad. Vacuums because she needs to and vacuums because there is nothing else to do. At any one time, she owns three or four vacuum cleaners. She lusts over them in stores like I do desks (and shoes).

I spent my formative years listening to the drone of the vacuum cleaner and bruising my shins in the middle of the night.

I only move furniture around until I have found the exact perfect configuration. I’ll move it round and round for some months, maybe years, and then I find the one setup that works and there it remains until it disintegrates into a dust heap. I term it finding the spot the universe wants that piece in. The family room and the Christmas tree are always a battle. The exact perfect configuration does not accommodate the tree.  I was not happy with last year’s arrangement and so here I sit.  Completely demoralized as I lose this battle.

And. So. Here I sit. The family room is in complete disarray. I’m completely out of oomph. My foot hurts. My back hurts. And there is a dead toad lying on the carpet.

I hate being a grown-up.  I have to clean this up whether I want to or not.  And it’s going to involve the vacuum cleaner.  And I have to touch [shudder] the Beelzebub of Thread to keep from bruising my shins in the middle of the night as I stumble down here to guzzle Coca Cola.  (I never drink soda, but Loratabs provoke a need for massive quanities of Classic Coke.)

13 thoughts on “Where’s the stick?

  1. You remind me of the great “let’s paint the kitchen” day. We managed, us two roly-poly old people, to break a cast iron stove.

    And we did not have a bad foot or back for an excuse. Just plain stupidity.

    Maybe you just need wine instead of Loratabs? Feels nicer.

  2. For many years now, my son and I have referred to responsibility as “the bad R word”. Nonetheless, I sit assured that you will find a way to do the adult thing, dispose of the toad, shove the thread gobbler in some dusty corner and compose the magnificent tree you always manage to erect. Would the small tree fit ON the heinous needle jabber?


    • The small tree is 6.5 feet. Right now, I’ve restored order to the family room, but the tree is still esconced in the closet. Mom arrived to wallpaper and after 15 minutes, we gave up. Neither of us is in the physical condition to manipulate wet, gooey wallpaper around a ceiling. Maybe Saturday.

  3. So your mom is coming, right? Are you SURE she is your mom? Would you check to see if you were adopted? I am sure we were separated at birth! LOL!
    Last night I went thru a panic moment. Rumor is there will be 2 grandsons in the house the day after Christmas… This has NEVER happened before. I have NEVER had a Christmas tree up since I have been in this house, um, 23? years. I looked around in panic… it was bad enough knowing I had to kid proof the place – but where would I , could I, put a tree? OMG!
    Then a friend talked me out of it… said they only cared about the toys, who needs a tree…
    Then I read your blog. Moving furniture can be hazardous to your health, it seems. Thank you for helping to save me from a world of trouble and pain, to say nothing of finding the possible dead frog – the cats were chasing a live one in the living room about a week ago. Still can’t figure that one out… Maybe all the high water??? He came in on the high tide?????
    Anyway, enjoy your tree… I think I will sit this one out! If it won’t fit on the coffee table, it is too big. Besides, what does a Buddhist need with a Christmas tree?

    • I dunno, Possum. If you’re not into holiday trees, I’m not sure we can be related. As a pagan/taoist/agnostic raised in the Christian tradition, I just enjoy the spectacle of it all. Some days, I think there’s some latent Buddhism, but eclectic I am.

  4. Did I say I was not into holiday trees???? I have a blue spruce out front I decorate every year on Solstice with edibles… but no lights. I hang popcorn balls, apples, cranberries, clementines, peanuts and even put bananas onthe bottom branches for the possums. Then I carefully place magnolia leaves glued together with honey and filled with corn on the lower branches. I now have a couple neighborhood kids that help me for the pay off of sitting in my window and watching the critters come and eat.
    I used to put up the trees for the folks in the nursing home, and I have a Chrismouse tree for the cats. It is on my blog somewhere…

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