No, the title was not the result of absent minded redundancy. The basement is partially finished and my job of getting it cleaned out is also partially finished. I was hoping to have the common area cleaned out by the end of this week. Hmmm...I'd say I got it about 80% of the way there.
Between yesterday and today, I've done about ten loads of laundry (I was a little behind). All but two of the loads are folded and put away. Much of that laundry was stashed in the bedrooms, so it didn't look quite as bad as it really was in Tuesday's 'before' photos. But trust me; it's way better now.
I put Ellie on taking care of all of her junk this afternoon, a little bit at a time so it wasn't completely overwhelming and counter-productive. I sent her down there to just pick up dress-up clothes, then another time to just pick up books. She only had to do doll clothes and paper dolls on another round and a different session yet focused only on trash. It worked well that way and the job got mostly done. We just need to find homes for a few more of her things and the rest of the main room was ready to be swept.
I must admit, that floor has been covered with junk for a VERY long time. I don't recall the last time it was swept. I'm hoping it could be measured in months, not years, but I'm afraid to think too hard on it, so let's move on. Oh, but before we do, I did think you'd enjoy this photo of the dustpan full of the contents of that one section of floor. I could say that it's embarrassing, but I really don't feel much shame in showing proof of things getting better. The shame is in admitting the problem in the first place and I've already faced that. BTW, sorry about the blurriness of some of these photos. I'm still borrowing my kids' cameras because I don't have my wide angle lens for mine, and the auto focus didn't seem to be working right tonight.
Here are the before and after photos for the main common room of the basement:
It's not done, like I said, but it's much better. It's actually kind of echo-y down there now.
After sweeping the floor, my eye was drawn to a red stain that actually looks...bad. I happen to know that it is from a leaky cap on a bottle of red food coloring. Don't ask me what I was thinking allowing my daughter to take a glass bottle of food coloring into a cement basement. I just tend to say yes to dumb ideas, I think. Or maybe I didn't know she had it down there. Yes, that was probably it. Anyway, there is now a very bold, dark red stain smeared in the middle of the basement floor. I promise, no one was bleeding out down there.
Although there was that incident with the moose several years back...but that's a different story for a different day, and I'm pretty sure we cleaned up all the evidence.
Looking at that stain, I was also reminded of the fairly morbid handprint that one of the kids streaked down the stairwell wall when we were painting the long basement wall burgundy. I never did find out who did it or if it was intentional or accidental. It really looks disturbing, as if...well...you can use your imagination, I'm sure. It's been there for several years now and has garnered a few nervous laughs from the lucky few who have ventured down the stairs into the basement.
As we get our paperwork in order so we can request a home study for our adoption, I'm thinking we might want to cover those two morbid-looking stains. An area rug and some paint should do wonders.
In other anti-chaos news:
- A big truck that has been littering our property for seven years was hauled away. Rural Montanans are famous for collecting junk vehicles on their properties, and we never meant to be so stereotypical, but this truck has been a money pit from the day we bought it and it was time for it to go. Good riddance, Dorf!
- I have cleaned out and sorted through enough stuff this month to come up with four kitchen-sized trash bags of things to haul off to Goodwill. Just today, Ellie and I carted three bags of trash out to the big can outside--in addition to the normal chore of 'taking out the trash.' We're trimming down, and it feels GOOD.
- I did make a batch of snacks today for next weekend's masquerade ball, but it looks like we will be canceling the party anyway. Unfortunately, Mary Irwin, a dear lady from church who was involved in everything and dearly loved by everyone who'd ever met her, lost her battle with cancer this week and her funeral has been scheduled for the afternoon before our evening party. It was the only night we could do our party, but I just don't think I want to plan a huge fun costume event that starts right after the service. It just doesn't feel right. The kids sadly concur. Everyone loved Mary. Most of the families who would have been at our party will also be at that funeral, and the day deserves a little respect. Sad to not hold the party, yes, but also feeling a little relieved that the pressure of preparing for it is off. We can use that energy elsewhere, for sure.
I guess that's all for tonight, friends. Tomorrow, we'll look at goals for Week 4. I can't believe we are there already. This month has really flown by for me.
Oh, and one more thing...but I have to whisper: My secret plan is working. I think my dear husband is feeling the impending doom of the 'before' photos that I plan to post of our bedroom this coming week. I haven't asked him to or said anything about it at all, if fact, but he has started cleaning some of his junk up in there in anticipation, I think. I have plenty of my own junk in there that needs to be cleaned, but he is making a huge dent. I hate to say it, but shame can be an awesome motivator! BWAHAHAHAHA!