Friday, November 02, 2007

Mair and her BFF's Big Cleaning Adventure, part 1.

So, one of my BFF's called me, and we were deeply in angst. See, we're writers. We're married. and we're total space cases.

She and I are the ENFPesque creative, feeling types, prone to flights of imagination many mere mortals cannot dream to aspire to. Mortal men like our husbands.

They're not really feeling the creative thing. Now, it was all good when they were pursuing us before we got married. Heck, before we were dating. They wanted all that feeling. They had high hopes for creativity, and let me tell you, in some notable ways we delivered! But I assure you, having married us, now, to them our charms are faded, and they'd rather have the dishes done than have us hovering over a computer, enraptured, with an expression on our faces that looks like a statue of a Catholic saint in the throes of ecstasy. If you don't quite know what that looks like, try sister Teresa of Avila here:

And you wonder why I like her so much.

Anyway, BFF and significant other had a painful conversation that made her feel like doo doo. It doesn't take much for people like us to feel like excrement anyway. We really take words to heart. I felt her pain. So I suggested--because I am insane--that we start a PROGRAM. Like house cleaning bootcamp or something. We talk every Monday through Friday morning. We pray. We do things like the Fly Lady Program, or Messie's Manual. We work it. Creative and ecstatic or NOT!

So, I get up even though I'd only slept one hour and so wanted to go back to sleep after the kids went to school. I call BFF and she was EXERCISING.

Okay. She'd kicked it up a notch. I was gonna have to sympathy clean AND exercise. And I wasn't ready for all that. And we have to do this before we write.

Did I say I wasn't ready to exercise? Even though I declared in this public forum I want to lose 25lbs before I go to Africa?


I get started cleaning instead. I chose a single room--ambitious on deadline yes, but sometimes I'm a dynamic, highly motivated starter. I just don't finish much. So, I'm gonna do my "office." This is what should be my dining room, but we ditched the dining table because we have a "bar" in the kitchen. I got six bar stools and called the bar a table. The room was supposed to become a den, and we really did put a sofa in there. Remember Bad A** Leather sofa I told you about last year? Well, now it's Raggedy A** Leather sofa. But I get creative with mudcloth and other African textiles.

So my completely unused armoire desk in there. And my writing book bookshelf. And I feel perpetually guilty because my desk is really a place to store my kitsch. And I love my kitsch. So, I'm gonna clean my "office" slash den, thinking maybe I'll actually want to work in there.

Okay, I'll tell you right now that RAL sofa had become a clothes hamper. We have a family of six now, and two or three extras milling about. And we all leave clothes on RAL sofa because after living in ranch houses in Ann Arbor for years we are are loathe to climb the steps and take the clothes to the bedrooms and put them away. We apparently also have difficulty with folding. So, the den, in general, is always a HOT MESS!

I had to approach Mt. Fold-me of RAL sofa and fold and put away every garment, and find a place for mystery clothes I had no idea who belonged to. This called for old school music. I started off with light-skin boy bands with falsetto voices popular in black communities in the seventies. Got going with Switch. Moved on to Heatwave. Next I went darker and let The Manhattan's tell me why loving me was all that's on their mind. I added the three elements: Earth, Wind, and Fire, and had Reasons to fold.

Oh yeah.

When I finished RAL sofa looked like this:

Which is an improvement. You have no idea.

Dang. Isn't my place uninteresting? I so need good art. Nigerian basketry only takes you so far. But this, Murder, Mayhem readers, is what Jazz would call Shabby Chic meets Africa. Only Bell has more chic. And Mair has more shabby.

This is my desk and bookshelf. I'm salty because Ken puts his hats on top of my bookshelf, but what can a sistah do? The little stand in between is where I keep my art supplies for my completely undone art work. And my room just isn't my room without the saints, and right there in the middle of my desk, is a really cool black Jesus that looks like this:

I love my black Jesus. I needed color in my life.

Anyway. If nothing else, I'm ambitious. I'll keep you posted on how this goes.

Gotta go, lovies. I have to write some more before I do YOGA!

Darn that even more ambitious BFF!

pax et bonum!


paula clare said...

Dear I-Can't-Believe-I-Cleaned-The-WHOLE-THING,
Your room looks FABulous darling! What a joy to actually SEE the furniture again! I feel your pain, as my art supplies for AltAred Art have long since overtaken my little 750 ft. palace...Actually, I'm at a place where something's gotta go...either my supplies or my husband. And I'll tell you this, my supplies ain't going ANYWHERE! teehee

Thank God for the longsuffering types...who endure our madness on a daily basis.

I told my husband I joined the NaBloPoMo and must post something every which he replied, "Oh Great" (which was his laid back way of saying, "I'll be living with the creative slob nonstop for a solid month now...OH GOODY!") You see the creative slob and the writing genius are but only a neurotransmitter or two apart...

*sigh* Well, since I'm UP at the ungodly hour of 7:23 a.m. on a Saturday morning, I suppose I should do something along the lines of cleaning...OR I COULD just write and get it out of the way....

I hear the giant lumbering about in the next room...QUICK! Give me a dishcloth! Give me a towel to fold!

What's that honey? Why Yes, I've been up for HOURS cleaning and doing laundry...

Latuh sistuh...must dash incognito!


wilsonian said...

:) It's all so gorgeous!

Oh, except the exercise part... ;)

Makeesha said...

I give it 3 days. ;)

you need a crazy whip cracking INTJ like me if you're gonna get with the program, a fellow ENFP is just going to enable you hehe

oh, and I like your black Jesus too.

Makeesha said...

oh and on the icon note, have you checked out Ethiopian orthodox icons? all black and round and beautiful - I love African Eastern Orthodox iconography.

ragamuffin diva said...

Okay, Makeesha. You can learn a little sump'im sump'im from the people who ENCOURAGE me here. Like sistuh PC, who feels my pain. Of course, she's probably an ENFP.

Anyway, that's hilarious. And yes! The Orthodox faithful--and not so faithful, can't miss icons.

At the Ancient Christianity and African American festival last year I met a wonderful iconographer who writes in the Ethiopian style. Very different from Byzantine icons. I like it very much!

The icons on the wall are all on wood, except for black Jesus in the frame. I didn't want to put my paper and laminated icon's there, but I've got some Ethiopian style icon prints.

Thanks for your comments--except for the three days thing. LOL.

Shoot. As tired as I was after cleaning, writing, and Christian Yoga I was hoping I could just stop today! I gotta do this two more days???


Makeesha said...

LOL - encouragement my ass - just make a choice and do it ;)

Christian yoga huh? is that one of those wink wink nudge nudge type things? ;)

ok, encouragement, let's see, here goes....

you can do it! focus, work on one thing at a time and do not get, do not look at that book...put it down...focus...step away from the computer...ok, now get back to your decluttering, focu...stop it, do not pick up that unfinished art project...
oh screw it, you ENFP's are impossible.

Alison Strobel Morrow said...

YOU CAN DO IT! I'm an ENFP but lived with an INTJ long enough to soak up some of the no-nonsense whip-cracking by osmosis. Girl, checklists are the way to go. I'm serious. There is nothing better than a list with everything crossed off! But no more than 5 items on the list a day--that's the key to getting them all done; any more than that and it's just too overwhelming. Get up in the morning, make breakfast, and while you eat make your checklist so the items are in the order they need to be done. And then--NO EXCUSES! And as you already know, music makes it SO much easier. (And hey, multitasking is totally allowed--you can exercise while cleaning by dancing! Shake your booty while you do the dishes! Fold five towels and then shimmy around the living room for a while! See, your creative side help you. :)

You have inspired me, my friend. My office needs some serious cleaning, too. I'll try to join you on this cleaning thing. :) You have permission to gmail chat me and admonish me greatly if I can't say I've cleaned before writing. (Though that means I'd actually have been writing, which probably won't happen any time soon, either...)

ragamuffin diva said...

Man, Mak! Why you got to break a sistah down like that?

Impossible? We're not impossible. The Detroit Lions winning the championship is impossible. An honest politician is impossible. Mysterious Ways being released on DVD is impossible.

BFF and I can do this.

See Ali's post.

Thanks, Ali!

And Wilsonian was here in La Casa Burney a few weeks ago. Most of the house was clean, if... you know... you didn't inspect too carefully and relaxed standards and... um, you didn't stay around too long or venture too far upstairs.

Right Erin???

Rachelle G. said...

"I'm a dynamic, highly motivated starter. I just don't finish much." Dang, girl, you took the words right outa my mouth!

I LOVE the pics of your clean space. Not boring at all. Seems warm and inviting and... if I ever need a place to stay, can I crash on RAL???

And when you say FLYLADY, you're speaking my language. Not that I can keep up with her, but at least I always try to shine my sink.

As my hubby would say: U CAN DOO EET....

Makeesha said...

no girlfriend, I'm just messing with you.

elizabeth said...

LOL. Oh, how I can relate. I'm an ENFP/INFP (right down the middle extrovert/introvert...I can go either way, depending on what week I take the test. What would that make me? Just a "vert"?)

Love the St. Teresa of Avila photo. Hilarious.

Great blog - yay for nablopomo! (you're does sound kind of dirty...)

laundrygirl said...

You crack me up with your remarks about your couch! The cleaning I can see as possible but you would have lost me at the exercise part!

spwriter said...

What? No Jill Scott while you clean? And I need to know more about your "completely undone artwork."

But the couch looks great. Someday I'll have to get a couch. Hmm...might need to find a place to live first before I go shopping for Raggedy Ass Leather Furniture. (Oops...was I supposed to *** that word? Okay, I'll just call it RALF.)

ragamuffin diva said...

Bite your tongue, Laundry Girl! You know Mak been around here giving the smack down. She be done got you signed up for Curves!

Makeeda, we got nothing but love for you, girl. That's the truth. God knows I need to write about my prayer life so you can get me in line on that. Hey, maybe that'll be tonight's entry.

Anyhoo. Rachelle, you can have RAL sofa anytime you want. Or any other sofa in La Casa Burney.

Steve... baby, we gon' work on it. All of it. And I had Jill out, but I was grooving with the brothers mostly that day. I got one Phyllis Hyman song. 'Member when she was with Norman Conners? Not even the stylistics sing "Betch By Golly Wow" like she did. God rest her. That poor baby killed herself. Mercy. Think of all of us who loved her.

:::saying a prayer for Phyllis:::

But yeah. Jill is next in the Q. You know I love the Collaborations CD, but her first CD "Who is Jill Scott" is HOT! Might start there.

And look at you and Mak. Just a cussin' on my blog. I didn't think anybody cussed here but me. Damn!

I done ruined y'all good people.

We're gonna have to do penance as a group.

paula clare said...

Dear Sistuh,
I am an I-NFP...Give me a book over a party ANY day! Really quite heavy on the "I" it the "E" part of ENFP that makes one crazy???? teehee

ragamuffin diva said...

PC, I'll tell you how ENFP I am. I don't even remember what those letters stand for except for the two letters:

E for extravert.
F for feeling.

Heather Diane Tipton said...

I wanna stay on RAL...

ragamuffin diva said...

I am now circulating a sign-up sheet for visiting and sleeping on RAL. I should sell t-shirts made that say:

I slept on Raga-D's RAL sofa.

Make a little change up in here.

You're more than welcome, too, Heather.

Katy McKenna said...

Laughed my way through your post and all the comments! Thank you, girl. Now, about St. Teresa of Avila. I was raised looking at pics and statues of her in ecstasy. I graduated high school in 1972 from St. Teresa's Academy in Kansas City. All chicks, all the time.