Steam mops and the weekend

3 October 2022
I had a lovely weekend. Jamie was here all day Saturday and there were visits from Kerry and his friend Josh. Jamie and I did some cooking, talked about Opa and acceptance, and Jamie did some drawing. I washed Gracie, changed the bedlinen, did some washing, cleaned the range hood and pottered around doing this and that. It was a wonderfully free and calm time. Not all weekends are like that so I really appreciated this one.


When I cleaned out the linen cupboard recently, I had several old sheets that I put aside to cut up for rags. On the weekend, I sat outside with the radio on and cut up two sheets. These old sheets are really absorbent and make the best rags.




For all the Gracie fans, and I know there are a lot of you, here she is on Saturday, sitting on her favourite cushion watching Jamie drive off with his dad.


Now Spring is here so are the Amazon lillies. I grow these on the front verandah.

There has been a slight change in me and in my home. I've not felt this way before and although I'm sad for the loss of Hanno every day, when I start moving and make the bed, organise lunch for Gracie and me, sweep the floor and wipe benches, I have a feeling of comfort, not just in myself but also in being here, at home. I think I've moved from intense grief to something else and I suppose when I think about it more and when time passes, I'll have a better understanding of it.


I wrote about upgrading appliances a couple of posts back but here's something I don't have to upgrade - it uses very little electricity.  It's a very old radio with cassette player! The radio still works, the cassette player doesn't open.  This table is next to where I sit when I'm on the front verandah.  Nowadays, I light a mosquito coil and turn on the radio and I feel I've gone back in time 50 years.


There's another couple of months before I start my Home Care Plan. When that starts I'll have funds on hand for all the lawn mowing and outside maintenance here. But now I'm trying to find someone to mow the lawn. I went on airtasker and I offered $150 for the job but no one would do it at that price.  Looks like the going price is $170.  Anyhow, I withdrew the job and thought I might be able to get a local to do it.  I'll look on the bulletin board when I go over to the shops again.  If you have any suggestions, let me know. 


I'm currently organising my home so I can do the work I need to do easily and efficiently. Many of you know I have a non-malignant brain tumour.  The main problem I have with it is that it makes me dizzy when I walk on uneven ground (gardening), when I look up or down (hanging out the washing), or when I pick up items that are too heavy for me. I found that mopping floors and carrying a bucket of water made me really dizzy so I looked for other options. I don't want to give these jobs to someone else until I absolutely have to.  I think when you stop doing something at my age, it's difficult to keep the ability to do it again.


This is the area in my laundry where I hang a few of my rags to dry.

I ended up buying a steam mop and I love it. It a Black and Decker 1300W 10 in 1 steam-mop. It does a very good job on the floor using no cleaning products, it's light and it comes with attachments so I can steam clean the venetian blinds, the oven or stove and the range hood. I wish I'd know about steam mops before.

When I finish this post I'll peel some vegetables, feed Gracie and start cooking my lunch.  It's meatballs with coleslaw and salad today.  Thank you for your visit here today. I send my thanks and appreciation to everyone who comments here. I don't often have time to answer but I do try. I hope everything is going well for you and that the rest of the week is smooth sailing. xx


39 comments

  1. Loved this post. Thank you for posting so honestly about things like aging and losing our partners. It's a road that so many women will one day be walking (we tend to live longer than male partners) and it brings me less dread to see how the daily routines can comfort us and make us feel like life is going on, even if we are still sad. Not looking forward to it, but it does give hope and comfort to see how you are doing it with simplicity and the simple joys of home and family. Important things to remember.

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  2. Naomi @ countrymouseOctober 03, 2022 11:30 am

    Gracie is just so photogenic . It can be challenging to get good ones of a black animal but you captured her well. That steam mop sounds good. I'm glad you're finding sone comfort in the rhythm of your days. Lots of love and care , Naomi

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  3. It seems to me that you are at peace with yourself. I don’t feel I’m like that right now but somehow your writing let me know I’ll get there some day. Thank you.
    KJ

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    1. You will get there. It's different for all of us. The one thing that helped me more than anything else was to stop listening to people who wanted to give me advice and to actively think about my life with Hanno and how grateful I was for it. Then I took time to work out simple ways for me to move forward without him. There will be many ways to do that, not just one. Don't doubt yourself KJ, you'll get through this.

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  4. It seems you are getting your sea legs! Glad to hear. When my brother died, it took my sister in law six months before she started coming back to her center and then another six months to stabilize. So it is a long process. Thanks for doing your blog posts, I am a big fan of yours, read your books and have learned so much. As I am now 66, the lessons about aging are very important to me now ;). Thanks again, and lots of love, Hilogene in Arizona.

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  5. Hi Rhonda, thank you for posting another inspiring blog. Gracie looks a real sweetie. I do hope you continue being able to do the tasks you enjoy for a long time. Sending love.

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  6. I think grief has many phases and we all experience them differently. You need to do what is best for you and accept it. I feel that in our societies, we tend to want people to rush through grief. I think everyone needs to live at their own pace. Your writing is very calming. Reading about your daily round is comforting.

    I am glad you found a solution for mopping. The steam mop sure fits your needs and more. I hope you will be able to find a solution for your mowing problem.

    My Mom is in her late 80's and I am doing a lot for her. It has made me think about the time I will need help with everyday things and I hope I will handle that time gracefully. I am a bit...ahem...stubborn. ;-)

    Wishing you a good week ahead.
    Darlene

    Gracie is beautiful and photogenic. You captured her well. She's a lovely companion.

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  7. I love that you're finding a rhythm to your days. One that brings you comfort. Thank you for sharing with us! I also enjoy finding rags that are super absorbent. One of these days I'll also get a good pair of pinking shears to help cut them properly without having to sew a seam. (did I mention I'm woefully inadequate at sewing? HA!) ~TxH~

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  8. I wish Gracie would be sitting on my porch here in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Your posts bring me a semblance of peace. I so appreciate you and all the sharing of your life and home through the years.

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  9. I have just sat down with a cuppa to recharge before tackling the floors. We came back from visiting family in SA midnight Saturday night and have friends coming today and visiting for the next week. We have been busy trying to clear space for us all to fit and though I started deep cleaning and decluttering a month or so ago knowing this time was coming, the crux of it has come down to a bit of a mad rush. It's a bit like Jenga trying to find 6 spare beds and sleeping space for them all! But more the merrier and no doubt the kids will have good fun.

    I'm glad to hear you have found some peace again at home. Washing Aggie was on my list today but I am not sure I will quite manage to get there.

    I hear good things about steam mops, I'm pretty sure my parents have one. We recently bought them a special tippy kettle that sits on a stand so you can safely pour the boiling water without lifting the jug. There are certainly some helpful appliances out there to make home life safer and easier.

    I hope the remainder of your week is as lovely as your weekend.

    xx

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    1. Enjoy your visitors, Emm.

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  10. I really enjoy your blog and a great idea about a steam mop. Whatever helps to assist in household chores is the way to go. Take care Rhonda. Xx

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  11. Rhonda you might find a local teenager that does lawn mowing to earn some pocket money. Thanks for another lovely blog post. I always enjoy hearing all your household tips.

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    1. Especially if you own a mower, a local teen may be a great option.

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  12. Your words are always such a comfort.

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  13. Hubby suggested asking at a lawn mowing shop, they may know of someone looking for work. If we weren’t 8hrs away he or my teen boys would do your lawn!

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    1. The problem I have with people just picking up a few lawns to mow is that most of them aren't insured. But I will go to the lawn mower shop and see what they say. Thank you.

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  14. Monique ElisabethOctober 03, 2022 5:45 pm

    Wonderful post. Such a busy weekend. Iove the picture of Gracie. Your lunch sounds delicious. I hope it tasted very good. Hugs from The Netherlands ❤️

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  15. Could you put a notice of your own on the bulletin board asking for someone to mow the lawn for you? You may find a willing teenager or an active retired person looking for a little pocket money and happy to help out.

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  16. Hi Rhonda, your post couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve been finding cleaning my floor a bit more tiresome of late. At our age we just needs to find simpler ways of doing things. I’ve been thinking about a steam mop for my floors and I’m really pleased you have let us know which one you decided on. I still enjoy each post you put out and thanks again for the effort you put into these. Gracie is a sweetie.
    Blessings Gail.

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  17. Gracie photographs very well, it can be hard to get a good photo of completely black dogs, but she has a lovely glint in her eye that always seems to catch the light and make her look super intelligent.

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  18. You are such a blessing to so many Rhonda. It made me smile to think of you and Jamie chatting about his Opa and you helping him grieve in a healthy way. Thank you for sharing with us!

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  19. I really want to get a steam mop again and one with attachments. I gave mine up as it streaked the floors so bad, but I think it was the solution I was using. We will see.

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  20. I'm so pleased to here you are feeling more settled in yourself Rhonda. I imagine you had also done much grieving throughout Hanno's illness. May you continue to gain strength and healing and joy in life. You are a wonderful role model. Sending you lots of love. Aisling xx

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  21. Hi Rhonda,
    It is good to hear that you are able to find the positive in your new situation.
    I have a steam mop, and my only problem is with the cord - please be careful not to trip over it.

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  22. The steam mop sounds like a great idea, I had one years ago. Making life easier for you while still maintaining your home is a great idea. As for the mowing is there some local teenager that could do it and earn $100-$120. Maybe ask at the community centre if their grandkids [teens] are interested. Or they could do the front one day and the back another week if it's a huge job.

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  23. The steam mop sounds wonderful. Thanks for the link. Maybe I'll try one. That's a lot of money to mow the lawn. I covered mine with straw, coffee grounds from Starbucks, and manure. It is now a fabulous potager garden. The soil is filled with worms. Glad to hear that you are moving through the grief. Your home looks beautiful and clean.

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  24. All the years I’ve been reading your blog have been so inspiring and comforting. I started when my kids were very young (and now one is in college) and now as I am getting older, I find your posts about aging and life very helpful. My father passed away a few years ago and my mom will soon be 80, and neither were very accepting of aging and all that comes with it. Thank you for showing me a way to not dread getting older.

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  25. Very glad you had a lovely weekend with Jaimie. So important to be able to talk about Hanno/Opa with each other...very healing. Your time at home sounded peaceful. Gracie is I imagine adding to that peace as well. Do hope you find a mower person soon and take care up there as you maintain your home.
    I am becoming more busy with both my elderly parents and their different health issues. I get tired...but want to make sure I savour this time with them though.
    Have a good rest of the week Rhonda x

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  26. Hi Rhonda. I’m quite shocked to hear what it costs to get your lawn mowed. I was going to suggest you consider a robo mower but probably not worth it if you have a home care package coming up. I see Jim’s Mowing people in my street from time to time. Like others have said, I really appreciate your honesty about accepting the impact of ageing. I don’t think I did until my early fifties (now late fifties) but makes so much sense to plan for it rather than ignore it. Love to you and Gracie. Katie x

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  27. I cannot get over the cost of someone coming to mow your lawn, I do hope you manage to find someone. Thank you for sharing your rag drying set up in the laundry room, you have just solved a conundrum of mine! I'm sorry to hear about the tumour and can appreciate how attempting certain tasks would be problematic, so yay for light weight steam mops 😊 When my Dad in law passed away just before Covid my mum in law went into overdrive doing all the household maintenance work. She recognised that she needed a project to help her work through her grief and now as time has passed she has settled into a familiar and comfortable routine. Sending hugs to you San x

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  28. It’s always lovely to find a post from you :-) I feel like I’ve had a little chat with an old friend. I appreciate such a positive role model as I get older (I’m 61). It’s so good to see life really being lived, regardless of circumstances. I’m so glad you have lovely family near to you, and that you enjoy being with them and Gracie so much . PennyL xx

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  29. The first and last time I had get a quote to do my lawns was in the nineties, we were renting a house on the central coast. The mowing guy was giving quotes and looked at the size of my backyard and told me that he would have to charge me (shock, horror) $40. I didn't think I could warrant that amount, drove to western Sydney to borrow my Dad's mower and did it ourselves.

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  30. Fear Rhonda it's been a long time since I read your blogs I was so sorry to hear about Hannoh I hope you are keeping well. With regards to your lawn I just wondered if there were any teenagers living nearby who might like to earn some money. I know when I was young I loved having a Saturday job and having money to save. It's just a thought xxx My steam mop has stopped working so I'm going to see if it needs dealing today xxx Happy Sunday to you and Gracie from me, Sharon and Scruff my miniature poodle. Lots of love X

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    1. I wonder if you would be able to manage a battery lawnmower. Which plugs the battery in between cuts. I am 79 and do three patches with it and my friend in Hervey Bay has used it for many years .it is very light no heavier than using a vacuum cleaner and I paid $300 at Bunnings.

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  31. I have followed you for many years and glad to hear you are settling in to a better place since Hanno's passing. You are an inspiration to many of us who are moving through our 50's and 60's trying to organize our lives to live gracefully in our homes. What about Jamie mowing the lawn? My children grew up on a farm and worked many jobs from a young age. Just a thought. I second the battery lawnmower idea. Those types of tools generally are lightweight and easier to maneuver for aging bodies. I moved a few months ago to a new permanent home that is set up well for me to age in as I am 56 and a newly single woman. Some of my children are close by which helps but I am also setting up my home and yard with aging well in mind...raised garden beds, less lawn to cut, being mindful of what comes into my home so I can focus on my family and community along with my interests. Your posts constantly challenge me in a gentle way to evaluate my home and life systems as the needs of a single person are different from a family of 7 and it has been hard for my mind to make the shift. Hope you are having a good weekend. Take care of yourself.

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  32. I agree with other commenters in that you have a nice way of encouraging us to think about what items we have in our homes: what we can live with/without and therefore sell/donate, how much time we'd want to spend on garden chores and household chores, thinking about the amount of stuff that's really needed before we buy it, etc. I know I think twice about everything now largely thanks to you! I'm going through my house room by room and paring items down to those things that are easily manageable both for me and for my daughter who will have the ultimate responsibility of 'closing down the shop' when I'm gone from this earth. It is sad to think about that but it is also necessary, as hard as it is. I don't want to leave a mess behind for someone else to clean up. Steam mops! I love mine too but I have to set it to a low setting for my tiled floors otherwise the heat ruins the adhesive on the underside of the tile.

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  33. Hi Rhonda. Here is how I mop: I have a flat mop base which is a rectangle. Over that base, I place cotton terrycloth mop heads. I use a bottle to squirt the cleaning water (which has either peppermint oil or tea tree oil in it) on the floor and then mop that water up with the mop. When the mop head gets dirty, I switch to a clean mop head. The floors in our home are made of Pergo and I mop often because we have 4 dogs. It works well, and I carry only the mop and the bottle of cleaning water. Maybe something like this will help you to continue mopping. I can send pictures of the mop if that is helpful. I am grateful that you continue to share your life with us.
    Many thanks! Dianna

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