Sunday, December 30, 2007

Housecleaning as a business

I have cleaned houses for money for the past 25 years. I find it satisfying on a personal level. I have made many friends among my cleaning clients. People marvel at the fact that I enjoy it. I just do. I always look around, after I've finished cleaning a house, and admire my work. I bask in the compliments of my customers.

I will delve into my methods and organization of my tasks. First of all, I usually always start in the kitchen of a house. I wash dishes if there are some to be done. I wipe down countertops, tables, stove top, and then sweep, mop. With the other rooms, I dust each room, pick up, then vacuum. In the bathroom I clean mirrors and sink, then bathtub, then toilet, and move on to sweeping and mopping. In a bathroom I will usually put a cleaning agent in the toilet and let it sit until I'm finished with everything else, then clean it last. I have found that using a spray cleaner such as "Mr. Bubble" in the shower, and letting it sit for a few minutes, will work on soap scum buildup very well. Sometimes a scrub pad is necessary to get rid of a build up of scum on a shower wall.

Some customers dislike the smell of cleaning chemicals-in that case I use baking soda, and vinegar. This works very well on just about any surface. Baking soda is good for sinks, countertops, stove tops. Vinegar is good for mirrors, for glass shower doors, and will remove calcium deposits on faucets and fixtures if left for a while to soak.

In later posts I will share some more information about various cleaning tasks, and give advice on the business.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Composting your kitchen waste is a good way to create good soil for your garden. I have a small area in my garden designated for this. I have a big plastic container in my kitchen for saving all waste, except for anything with fat in it. I save coffee grounds, vegetable and fruit peelings, and parts which aren't eaten, potato peelings, egg shells, tea bags, also fruit or vegetables which have gone bad.

I dump this container, when it is full, into my compost pile. Occasionally I use a shovel to mix the waste with dirt and turn it over. I also add grass clippings, dead garden plants, etc. After several months all this waste is rotted and becomes a very rich soil which can be put in my garden to enrich the soil.

One interesting thing that happens occasionally is, plants sometimes come up in the compost pile as a result of seeds that were dumped there. This is a fun surprise which I enjoy very much!! Also, birds and rabbits come to feast on the vegetable and fruit scraps before I dig them under the compost heap. An added bonus!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Cactus bloomed!!

I am so excited! I was cleaning up the kitchen, and caught a glimpse of bright pink in the deep window sill where I keep a few plants. I looked close and there they were! Two beautiful blooms. I took a picture which I will post on here later. The thing is-I water that plant once a week and otherwise, except for putting fertilizer spikes in it, I haven't done a thing. And this is so remarkable that it's blooming just in time for Christmas. I am now a believer in Christmas miracles for sure.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Animal Watching in the garden

My garden is a good place for attracting and watching wild birds. I keep some parts of the garden area "wild" by allowing native plants such as the chamisa bush to grow. I also make sure I keep water containers available. Even now, in the winter, I see many different birds coming in to get water. Quail, doves, pigeons, and other species, are regular visitors to my little oasis.

Sunflowers provide seeds for the birds to feed on, and they feed on insects. Some flowers attract birds and hummingbirds.

I might mention, also, that I have plenty of lizards, rabbits. The rabbits rest in the shade on hot days. I have the rabbits fenced out of my garden, but they have free rein around it and in the compost area where I have seen them eating lettuce scraps, and other vegetable parts. The lizards love hanging out there. When I water, I see them scurrying around there.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Gardening in the NM desert

I'll begin this section of my blog by saying-I love plants, and I love to see things grow. I have a little spot in my back yard that I have used for 16 years. I've noticed that I have to enrich the soil out there in the spring with compost, and fertilizer. Also, I've noticed that with the very hot summers, certain things won't grow. I think global warming is taking effect. This past summer the only plants to survive were sunflowers, parsley, zinnias. I resorted to growing a lot of things in the shadier areas of my front yard. I also noticed that when fall cooled things off, many plants did so much better, and bloomed into late October. Some plants continued to bloom until about two weeks ago when we had a very cold spell.

I have decided that I will research plants that grow well with heat and not much water. I will plant these things out in the garden area this spring. I may try again to grow a few vegetables, but the summer heat may be too much for these plants.