Carpet Rakes, Food Shortages, & Thoughts On Making A Home

It's beautiful around the homestead with the bright white snow that coats our property contrasting nicely against the red outbuildings.  Cold mornings allow for quiet gratitude for the pellet stove and furnace that work non-stop to keep us cozy.  I adore watching the wild birds and squirrels as they go about their day, busy gathering food.  My ventures out to the coop are also quite enjoyable as I anticipate what type of wild animal tracks I might see at the back of our property.

Our property is currently covered in ice.  This is the time of the year where I previously began longing for Spring. I would wish for the days to move quickly so we could exit the ice phase and enter into the mud phase.  Now I am consciously trying to embrace it.  Rather than dreaming of the coming days featuring temps above freezing where we can walk throughout our property without the challenge of ice, I am trying to find gratitude for what season we are in.  Honestly, some days are easier than others.  With the additional challenge of having a dog who has a tough time walking anyway, it's hard not to wish this time of the year away.

My husband and I went grocery shopping yesterday for a few pantry items and some fresh fruit and veggies.  We both hit a couple of stores and neither of us could find plain (unwhipped) cream cheese.  While not one of them had the bricks, which is what we were looking for, only one of them had the tubs of whipped and flavored varieties, so Jay grabbed a few of those.  You just never know what's going to be missing and for how long.  Speaking of food shortages, I haven't been able to find manicotti pasta in months!  Has anyone had luck finding manicotti?  Have you experienced any specific shortages in your area?

We ended up taking Oliver back to the emergency vet last week.  He began coughing a little bit and showing signs of excessive nasal discharge Wednesday evening.  When he woke up around 3:30a coughing, we decided we had better bring him.  Last time he had pneumonia it went downhill fast, and we did not want to relive that again.  The flat-faced dogs are prone to aspiration pneumonia unfortunately.  

So, at 4a.m. we hit the road.  He's doing pretty good now, as far as the pneumonia goes, but it appears he's experiencing some additional anxiety.  We are having such a tough time and our hearts just ache for him.  He's always had quite a bit of emotional baggage and it seems to be increasing as he ages.  With the help of his doctors, we are adjusting his meds again to try and get him in a more comfortable space.

As I was cleaning the living room this week, I began reminiscing about the weekly cleaning my mom and I would do when I was a kid.  For as long as I can remember, Saturdays from wake-up until lunchtime were reserved for full-on housework.  As a child, provided I didn't have a pre-planned activity, it was my mom and I spending the morning in an absolute cleaning frenzy.  We divided the house up so that we each had rooms that we would dust, vacuum, and thoroughly clean, and once all of that was done my mother did a final sweep through the house with the vacuum (a second vacuuming) and I followed with the carpet rake.  Yes, a carpet rake.  Do you remember those?  After vacuuming you raked the carpet so the pile was all going the same way.  I became quite the expert at successfully raking myself out of the rooms so there wasn't a footprint in sight.  I bet there were less than a half dozen people who actually purchased those things and even less then that who used them, let alone every. single. weekend.  I also distinctly remember the (awful) smell of lemon Pledge, which we used with abandon.  Everything was Pledged or Windexed.  Everything! 

**On a whim I googled "carpet rake" and what do you know, my mom was right.  Other people actually use them!  And they are still around - even Lowe's carries them! **

As an adult I carried on the tradition in my own home (minus the carpet rake and the second round of vacuuming) and began my Saturdays with cleaning the house from top to bottom.  Having it clean at the start of the weekend has always provided me comfort.  Windows were washed, floors were scrubbed, sheets were changed, laundry was caught up, walls, trim, and furniture were dusted, carpeted floors were vacuumed, showers and toilets were scrubbed, and so on.  And yes, the Pledge and Windex were replaced with non-toxic (and usually homemade) versions.

When I was finished, I could sigh with relief.  The rest of my weekend would feel more relaxing because everything within our home was clean and in order (I'm a Virgo, organization is my "thing"). 

Now that I work for myself, I've slowly changed this weekly routine to be completed throughout the week.  I can usually devote 30-60 minutes at some point in the day cleaning a room or two.  And while it doesn't result in a suddenly sparkling clean home, it's nice to not have to devote half of Saturday to cleaning up my nest before enjoying the day. 

My reason for having a clean home has also changed.  I realize now that for me it's about making a home.  As I've come to realize, this is more than furniture and decor.  It's about how the space makes you feel, and that goes beyond having a home decorated with random in-style things.  Having our home clean and tidy, with decor that we love including handmade and personalized items like photos and memorabilia is a must.  For us, an inviting and comfortable home should feel not too excessive but not too stark, not too trendy, and emit an overall warmth.   Making a home is about loving the space we (more than willingly) spend so much of our time.

While I've been making a home all of these years, the hectic times when I would clean Saturday mornings to check it off my list didn't feel like it.  Now that my life has slowed down and I am able to reflect and appreciate in a manner different from years past, I fully embrace it.


  1. I still find pictures of people living in a snowy area so weird since I live in the sub tropics. It's so pretty the red barns against the bright white snow. Have a good week. Kathy

  2. I'm falling behind in commenting (could it be my frozen fingers couldn't type?!) I hope Oliver is on the mend...I know how it is to worry over them; they give such love and trust.

    The snow is lovely against the red...such a pretty picture! You made me smile talking about cleaning. I tried a Saturday cleaning too once upon a time, but it took up all of a day off, so now I break it down into specific rooms each day...Monday I do a general pickup and laundry. While it's not all clean at one time, it seems to work. I've never heard of a carpet rake...that would certainly make carpets look picture perfect! Hope you're doing reading your posts, and appreciate you sharing what works for you...too bad you don't live next door! Mary

  3. Hi Kathy - thank you so much! Wishing you a lovely week as well. 😚

    Mary - no need to apologize at all! I agree, losing almost an entire day to cleaning each week was tough. Great idea to devote the first day of the week to general pickup and laundry. I appreciate your sharing that. Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by - living next door would be amazing!!


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