Saturday, April 17, 2010

Necessity: Mother of Invention, Twin Sister of Insanity

It's a typical Saturday morning. I get up, toss the laundry into the washer, make myself a cup of tea and put on my headset so I can talk to my Mom while I do my housework. Alex runs errands, drops by Yarnmarket, and either glues himself to the computer or goes out to the yard to work in our gardens. We've got a lot of gardens...and they take up most of our time from April until September. (Yes...I clean my own house, we do our own yard work, and I even hang my laundry outside to dry if the weather is good enough. Some people think of me as "old fashioned." But I'm actually a cheap old fogey.)

As often happens, I run out of cleaning supplies and either send Alex to the store, or I figure out how to make do without them. Weak tea is terrific for cleaning windows and mirrors. The tannic acid in the tea wipes away any grease. Silver can be cleaned by lining a pan with tin foil, putting the silver on top of it, adding some baking soda and then pouring boiling water on it. In a few minutes -- voila! Your silver is shining and bright.

How do I know these things? I'm cheap and I'm old.

Today Alex was already working in the garden, and pretty dirty, when I realized I'd run out of vacuum cleaner bags. Rats. What's a girl to do? I couldn't empty it because I'd accidentally ripped it as I was getting it out of the vacuum cleaner, so I had to come up with a substitute. does it work? The air has to come into the bag, and be able to pass through it while depositing the stuff it sucked up. I needed something porous...but not too porous. I had a spark of brilliance/insanity.

If you every run out of vaccum cleaner bags, you can get one of those cotton recyclable grocery bags (the cheaper and lighter, the better) and put the opening of the bag around the hole in the vacuum cleaner where the proper bag goes. Attach it with an elastic band. (A rubber band to most Americans, I think.)

It's not going to be HEPA quality like my usual vacuum bag, but it works in a pinch.

While I'm doing stuff like this, I'm always thinking to myself, "I'll bet David Bowie's wife doesn't know how to create a makeshift vacuum cleaner bag." And then I feel oh, so superior in my short, squat troll-like way as I compare myself to one of the most beautiful women in the world.

After I finish catching up with my Mom, I begin to work on problems while I'm scubbing the toilets. Don't we all?

Today's problem is: How can I get from Columbus, OH today to London, England by April 19th to see Rupert Sheldrake in a discussion entitled, "Reinventing the Sacred" He's going to be having a dialogue with Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk who also studies Buddhism. Can you imagine anything more fascinating? Me, neither!

But thanks to some stupid volcano in Iceland, I think it's pretty well impossible for me to get to it...even if I pull together all my air miles and ask a friend in London if I can visist for a few days. Maybe Rupert will post a video of it on his web site. I hope so.

Isn't it fun to be alive and to have to make choices like: If I had to leave my husband, would it be for David Bowie or Rupert Sheldrake? Both are brilliant, talented, and British. David Bowie can sing and dance. Rupert Sheldrake can tell you about morphic resonance. David Bowie can whisk you away to Corsier-sur-Vevey and serve you the finest champagne. Rupert Sheldrake can go for a walk with you in a forest in British Columbia while he tells you about morphic resonance. David Bowie can introduce you to Arcade Fire and the beautiful people and talk about the modern art scene. Rupert Sheldrake can introduce you to his research assistants and tell you about morphic resonance.

I hate to say it...but I think that when push comes to shove and I have to choose between David and Rupert, I'm going to go with with Rupert.

I don't think Mrs. Sheldrake will mind. I'll be the one cleaning her house each week and pulling the weeds in her gardens.

Which one would you choose?


Anonymous said...

Definitely Bowie. He was one of my first attractions - I was so young I don't think I even really understood why I liked him so much.

Deborah said...

Ann, our lovely office cleaner just said, "Why limit yourselves? Take both!"

I like Ann.