Dirt vs. Dirty Dirt --A Mother Hen Lesson.

How to know the difference.

This general knowledge came to me from my Grandmother with her living most of her life in the early-to mid 1900’s pre air-conditioning, and automatic washer & dryer.
Clean Dirt: You have been doing household duties, washing cloths, hanging outside to dry, weeding your garden, chasing after mischievous kids, cooking and yes sweating, maybe even some dishes from today’s breakfast still waiting for you, kids toys strewn about and even footprints coming from the door, laundry to be put away, baby to be diapered, etc. You get the picture. Now your thinking, yuck - yuck but wait, this is fresh “clean” dirt from just today.

Dirty Dirt: I wish I could explain this exclaiming I have never seen this but that just wouldn’t be true. Dirty dirt is the dirt that has been around so long on windows you can no longer tell if it is raining, foggy, just the windows  As for floors can’t tell what the actual color tile is without taking a razor blade and soft scrub to remove the build up of yuck one tile at a time.( I had the pleasure of helping my daughter with the clean up of a rental home recently that required rubber gloves for nearly every inch of that house before she could move in) We won’t even go into what condition the bathtub was in!!! Had she not been in a real time situation getting out of apartment on time we would have NEVER tackled this job. The other dirty dirt is the “smell” that hits the nostrils as we pass in the isle of Wal-Mart or wait in line behind someone who clearly hasn’t seen soap & water for a week or better. I seriously have no objection with fresh sweat while not my favorite fragrance but eeeeeewwwww old sour smellL.

Now that I you educated on what should be very obvious, I want to tell you about my past two day experience helping my husband. As with most homes and the dynamics of assigned duties, I handle 80% of the indoor work with his assistance. Likewise, he takes care of the majority of the outside duties and I pitch in especially in the summer with lawn mowing etc. We recently moved from a moderate size home of 31 yrs. to 10 acres, larger home and a great barn with loft for our miniature donkeys, and senior aged mare horse. More room for everyone and everything right? After hearing about this “cleaning the barn” for 3+ years (I’m not talking about the barn stalls, which is done weekly) I decided it was time! Told the Mr. it is January and we are going to the barn to work and he just looked at me in disbelief. No seriously this is not the kind of job you will do when the weather is beautiful in the fall or warn spring sunshine, a definite NOT in the middle of summer. I sent him out ahead of me to get the barn warmed up a bit with the Salamander. For you city readers that is a kerosene forced air heater aka one big ass heater. We started in one corner of the barn moved EVERYTHING so we could sweep, shop vac (clogged that baby down a couple of times) & knock down old dirty draping spider webs!!! Do you have any idea how much CRAP a man can keep in a barn for over five years???? “Oh, I might need that” a statement I’ve heard so many times, but my question is always the same . . . can you find it if you want it????????? So day one we did pretty well both of us working five hours(5hrs x 2 = 10 work hours). Spitting, sneezing, & eyes feeling like sandpaper we call it a day. I’m talking the kind of nasty you strip off right inside the door and head straight for the shower. Day two – got some serious achy muscles going on here but job not done, I announce we are going back to tackle the upstairs. Again that look. . . he heads out to get heater going, I look out the window two different times and see him standing outside the barn. (It was misting rain, what is he doing?????) As I go out and inquire, he tells me he went upstairs looked around and came back down he just couldn’t face it!!! SERIOUSLY. I am a person who tries to be frugal and think of future needs but we had enough nails, nuts & bolts, leaking water hose, buckets, to last three lifetimes. Add to this ‘treasures’ from the kids, hockey sticks & pucks, pogo stick, stilts, in-line skates, bicycle, toddler swing, ceramic yard ornaments, empty boxes -NONE of which has been touched for five years. Again the complete covering of dust, spider webs, mud dobber and I swear five years worth of mouse poison containers. I asked why so much and he just said he never removed the old just added new ones every fall. OMG. Our barn has the upper loft door that opens and if anyone drove by our house yesterday may very well have seen items flying out the barn to the pick up below. Another five hours flew by (5hrs.x 2 = 10 work hrs) and the barn looks fantastic!! I liken my past two days as the dry version of hog wrestling dirt & grime. I am still spitting, blowing and using eye drops. My friends THAT was some dirty dirt. After a great long hot shower and scrubbing I felt bad about making such a fuss about how bad the barn had gotten. I told the Mr. he would have had the time to take better care of it if he hadn’t had to take care of me and my record breaking one per year surgeries including a broken foot. I also discovered where my daughters got their crazy compulsion for hoarding gift bags, shoes, shopping bags ,T shirts . Take my advice and keep your work CLEAN dirt, much better. Tomorrow we head to the county recycle/landfill to do the “truck load” drop off!

1 comment:

  1. Just a PS regarding the picture that isn't even all of it some is inside the barn yet it was starting to rain and we just didn't want to have to handle it again and soggy wet on top of it!