Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

Technically, It's Still Spring

I've been on a cleaning binge this week. telnar came to visit last weekend, and we had a lot of fun. The hotel across the street from my house built an attached indoor waterpark. Telnar was staying at the hotel and we spent most of Saturday at the waterpark.

Because it's indoors, it's very small. It is, both despite and because of this, very nice. "Despite": there's not a lot of room for the big rides I'm used to in an amusement park. "Because": since it's small, there aren't the long walks between rides that I'm also used to.

The park has two long tube-slides and one long person-flume. These three are about equivalent to typical outdoor waterpark slides: they're four stories high and twisty. They also have a "river ride", where you hop in a tube and float in a long circle. One nice feature of the tube slides: they end in a pool that connects to the river ride, so you can either get out and do the slides again, or coast into the river and continue on its circuit.

There's also a section in the center, surrounded by the river ride, that's mostly for children, but has three more slides long enough to be fun for me. In the center section are several fixed-mount water guns that customers can use to shoot people lower down. Mostly the guns get targeted on people floating by on the river ride.

Lastly, they had a wading pool, a four-foot deep swimming pool, and a ginormous multi-section hot tub that was bisected by the outer wall, so that most of it was outside and part of it was inside. The outside hot tub was ringed by deck chairs, so you could lay out in the sun if you wanted.

The park had little in the way of concessions: one combined Pizza Hut/A&W shop, and a bar. The bar area had way more table space then they could possibly need, so far as I could tell. Officially, the waterpark rules prohibited bringing your own food or drink, but the attendant didn't say anything about the diet Coke I carried in.

Even on a Saturday, there weren't enough people to give the "overcrowded" feel I'm used to from amusement parks. There were plenty of people around, but not enough to form significant lines. Usually on the four-story slides, we had to wait for one pair ahead of us to go down and clear the pool. The longest waits were never more than a few minutes, and rides like the river had no wait at all: you just hopped into a tube and went 'round for as long as you liked. Since the rides were all so close together, there was little time spent walking from one to the next. So the ratio of time spent on the fun things vs time spent getting to the fun things was excellent. Overall, very happy with the place. I need to find out if they sell season passes. They make good neighbors, too: Lut was worried about noise or traffic from the park when we first found out it was going up, but as it turns out it hasn't been an issue. They're small and indoors and quiet from the outside.

The park wore me out, in fact -- probably all those trips up the four flights of stairs to the slides. We spent an hour or two lazing around in the hot tub.

We also took a break in the middle of the day to eat lunch and play a game of Titan. We played Titan again on Sunday, and also a game of RoboRally that Lut joined in on. Altogether a good weekend and rather a busy one.

Normal people clean before a guest arrives, so the house will look nice for company. I didn't clean for Telnar, who is notoriously oblivious to the cleanliness or lack thereof in a domicile. Not that he's a slob: he generally keeps his things organized. But he wouldn't really notice if I did or not.

But he did leave the toilet seat up, and every time he did I was forcibly reminded of just how disgusting the toilet was. I mean, I already knew that it was bad, but with the seat down it was partly disguised. With it up, the full grotesque glory of it jumped out at me.

This led directly to many of the purchases I made at Linens & Things on Sunday evening, and from thence to
a thorough scrubbing of the shower, toilet, and sink. Shower and sink look a hundred times better now. The sink actually got all the way to clean. The shower has mildewed caulk that cannot be salvaged; it needs to be ripped out and replaced. I might even have bought some caulk at some point in my home-owning life with the intention of doing that. The toilet doesn't get all the way to looking clean, either; the bowl has some hard-water stains that have been there since before we moved in, and I think only replacing it would fix that.

Nonetheless, it's much improved. In addition to getting scrubbing supplies, I bought a package of vaccuum attachments designed to clean up pet hair, a task which my current vaccuum is wholly incapable of on its own. I decided $20 for attachments which might or might not work was better than $250+ for a new vaccuum which also might or might not work.

Much to my surprise, the new attachments do work!

... more or less. The package included a 6" wide 'pet brush' (Instructions: Do Not Use on Pets) with a suction-powered flywheel doohickey that makes it rotate maybe a couple hundred times a minute, and which actually does grab and suck in whatever cat or human hairs do not get tangled in the brush and eventually prevent it from rotating. The carpet had a lot of cat hair in it. I spent a lot of time detangling the brush.

So I spent a chunk of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evening vaccuuming the living room, hallway, bedroom, and den. The den was the most fun, as it has about 80 square feet of floor space and 50 square feet of furniture. Much of which is the 8'x2.5' table, underneath which is a rat's nest of power cords and surge protectors, and right in front of which is the loveseat. The cats have no trouble getting underneath the table and shedding there. The vaccuum cleaner and I had a harder time of it.

This is kind of a strange experience for me. Normally when I'm on a 'cleaning' kick, I start by decluttering/organizing: putting things away, finding places for other things, and throwing stuff out. If I get through the organizing stage and still have cleaning energy left (which is rare) then I go on to actually clean: vaccuum, mop, scrub, etc.

This time I skipped the decluttering phase. So the table surfaces in the rooms are all cluttered and messy-looking but various other surfaces are clean, in the "been scrubbed at" sense.

The reason I've been so industrious about vaccuuming is rather more depressing: my cats -- my indoor cats -- have fleas. I still don't know how Ash picked them up, but the infestation started last year. The fleas hibernated or something over the winter, then came back with a vengeance when the weather got warmer. Flea collars and sprays were useless. The over-the-counter stuff that goes on the back of the cat's neck was also useless. Flea combs were viscerally satisfying (die fleas die!!!!) but like emptying a bucket with an eyedropper. Flea shampoo clears the fleas off for a few days but they're soon back. The prescription version of the back of the neck stuff works ... sort of. The cats remain flea-infested but the fleas are either slowly poisoned by them or slowly starving to death, I'm not sure which.

Unfortunately, "slowly" is the key word here: three weeks later and my house is still flea infested. Vaccuming the first time didn't even seem to dent the flea population: Lut thinks it gets the larva and the eggs but not the adults. In any case, there were still way too many fleas (read: more than zero) in my house.

Last night I asked Lut to buy more of the prescription flea-death for Ghost (she was treated before I got her and was due again, as was made manifest by increasing flea activity on her). I put the stuff on her, then vaccuumed the whole first floor again. (Ironically, the Basment of Doom is immune to the flea problem, since the cats can't get into it). This went much faster without having to use and subsequently detangle the pet brush attachment every five minutes. Then, for good measure, I swept and mopped the kitchen floor.

The second pass with the vaccuum did make a noticeable dent in the flea population, which gives me hope that possibly I won't need to hire an exterminator after all. Not that it would be so horrible if I had to pay for an exterminator, but this method has another distinct advantage: I get a clean house out of the deal.

Semi-clean, anyway. There's still a ton of clutter around, various kitchen surfaces need to be scrubbed, the bathroom floor mopped, and it probably wouldn't kill me to dust (though one can never be too careful.) However, tonight I plan to go to an SCA event to see some friends, and I may go tomorrow, too. So my spring cleaning binge will have to get finished in the summer.

Assuming I don't lose all steam and quit. Which would be sort of a shame, after all this progress. It'd be nice to have a fully-clean house for a few days. Not that I'm ever going to make it to 50s-housewife standards, but living up to my own modest standards is not outside the realm of possibility.
Tags: cats, life

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