With less than 3 weeks left in Maine it is time to start the serious cleaning required to put a house to bed for the winter and since Tim only has about a week of "vacation," I'm trying to get most of that cleaning done prior to his arrival. As I tell the children, it isn't fair to make a mess and then walk away, expecting "Mommy, the servant" to clean up afterwards. Every morning I wake the kids up and say, "Take care of your jammies," After every meal I say, "Clean up your dishes," and every evening I order the children to clean up the huge mess they have made outside in their play. But over time the barn and loft and garage have turned into places to deposit all their stuff such as 8 bottles of bug spray, gardening gloves and pruners, Timmy's 14 toy tractors, and everything else one can think of. Tools need to be put away, seed packets for next year should be stored in a cooler (so the mice don't eat them), and the spilled fertilizer needs to be swept out to the grass before Julia Ellen tries to eat it.
This past weekend Will mowed the entire yard by himself and considering that it encompasses the area around the garage, barn, and new house, as well as a strip all the way down the driveway, $10 is pretty cheap payment. Mary cleaned out the garage and vacuumed out the van for $6 total, and Maggie tidied up the barn loft for another $3. Yesterday I started the inside chores of cleaning out the oven and scrubbing the tub and toilet to remove all the iron stains that have accumulated over the summer. We still have a ways to go, but by the time Tim arrives next week, I want the place looking shipshape so he can enjoy the tiny bit of vacation he certainly deserves.