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Saturday, September 17, 2005


clean

The cat formerly known as Loose-y has regained the original spelling of her name. In fact, now that she's retired from baby-making, we could almost change Lucy's name to Prudence, or something equally puritanical. She's not happy with me. Seems she really enjoyed having four litters of kittens back to back. So to show her displeasure, she promptly let loose all over the laundry room the morning after being spayed. How she managed to hit the washer, three walls, her blanket, and a good portion of the floor and not get a single bit in the litter box is beyond me. I think she's gifted.

I smelled her message before I saw it. Emerging from our bedroom, I headed straight for the coffee maker, but before my hand touched the handle, my nose wrinkled in disgust. "Lucy ... you didn't." But she did. I nudged the pocket door open and peeked into the laundry room. Lucy sat back on her haunches, dusted her front two paws off, and sneered at me with a look that said, "There's a little 'Thanks for the surgery' gift--just for you."

Now, Lucy's not known for her love of the litter box. She's never had a kitten who didn't leave the womb knowing exactly where to squat, and for that, I'm grateful. But she herself has exhibited a great disdain for all-things-clumping. So I've cleaned up my share of presents. But yesterday morning, I just shut the door. I knew Dave would be up in a matter of minutes, and I was going to ask him a great big favor. Because yesterday morning, I faced a full day of cooking. A friend from church, Heidi, is recuperating from foot surgery, so I'd planned to make a double batch of everything and bring half over in the afternoon so Corey wouldn't need to finagle dinner when he got home from work. That meant two chicken pot pies, two Caesar salads, and a big pan of peanut butter bars. In addition to that, I planned to make and freeze a week's worth of breaded Italian chicken fingers for the kids' lunches, and if I could sneak it in after that, I wanted to blanch and shuck a big bag of corn another friend gave me Wednesday at church. So knowing I was going to be handling all that food, I couldn't, in good conscience, handle Lucy's mess. There's not a paper towel in the world thick enough to keep your hand feeling clean. And no amount of scrubbing afterward would remove the feeling of filth. I couldn't get past the "Ew" factor. You don't jump from poo to pot pie, you know?

Dave was wonderful. Sure, his shoulders sagged a bit, but I think the experience was balanced slightly by the knowledge that he'd have chicken pot pie for dinner. I saw him in there swiping a bit and grabbing the grabbable chunks with a piece of toilet paper. But all too soon--much too soon, for my comfort--he trotted out the back door to check out the doings down in the goat barn. I could still see partial Lucy residue on one section of the laundry room floor, and though I hoped he'd be back, Dave spent a good long time down in the barn. By the time he returned, the look on his face told me he'd managed to erase the distasteful episode from his mind. He had no intention of going back in there.

Fast forward to the afternoon (an ironic choice of words, isn't it? Have I ever "fast"ed anything in this blog?). Tera came home sad. I will definitely write another time about her experience in school this year. Suffice it to say, fifth grade girls can be snotty--and my girl was on the receiving end of the Queen of Snot's attention yesterday. To cheer her up, I suggested she ask her best friend, Jaimey, to come spend the night. Jaimey, of course, said yes. So Tera and I loaded the car with Corey and Heidi's dinner, made the delivery, visited there awhile, and then drove down the street to Jaimey's. When we pulled in, Tim and Kari were out front talking to a strange man (strange to me) in a van. So I said hi and walked up to the house to collect Jaimey. When I pulled open the back door, the most wonderful smell rushed forward and wrapped itself around me. I stood in the center of Kari's kitchen drawing in breath after breath. It wasn't food. It was the smell of "clean."

Tim came through the back door and noted the rapturous expression on my face and my curtain-ruffling intakes of air. "What?"

"It's that smell. What's that wonderful smell?"

He sniffed. "Who knows? Kari's been swiping stuff."

It was a husband-proper description; the gender equivalent of what I'd say if someone asked me how Dave fixed the car. “Oh, you know. He twirled some metal stuff and squirted goo on top.”

Kari came in.

"Kari, what is causing that heavenly smell?"

She pulled a bottle of Lysol All Purpose Cleaner (lemon) out from under the sink and gave me a quick commercial. "I just fill the sink with hot water, dump a generous amount of this stuff in there, and wipe everything down."

"I have GOT to get me some of that," I said.

She walked over to a cupboard and pulled out a second, full bottle. "Here."

I squealed and clutched the purity-endowing liquid against my chest. "Let me pay you!"

"No," she said. "Let me bless you."

I love my friends.

All the way home I delighted in the knowledge that Kari's smell would soon permeate my house. I couldn't wait to squirt, swirl, scrub and sniff. And later, while doing just that, I thought about how wonderful it is to be given the free gift of purity. Someone else paid the cost ... and handed me the solution to my mess ... and said, "Let me bless you."

Thank you ... Kari and Jesus.
*    *    *    

"Come now, let us argue this out," says the LORD. "No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow." --Isa 1:18 (NLT)

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19 Comment:

At 9/17/2005 7:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous had this to say ...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9/17/2005 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous had this to say ...

..thank you Kari...thank you Jesus.

 
At 9/17/2005 6:05 PM, Blogger JOE B had this to say ...

MMMMM...Pot Pie. You are right there is nothing better than the smell of a clean house.
God bless, Joe

 
At 9/17/2005 7:46 PM, Anonymous Kari had this to say ...

Shannon,
You made me cry. I'm glad to bless you....even if it was only a bottle of cleaner.
What's mine is yours....ANYTIME!

To Him the glory~

 
At 9/17/2005 7:47 PM, Anonymous Christie had this to say ...

Shannon....hope you post that pot pie recipe sometime. =)

I am known to frequent the cleaner isle in Walmart, sniffing away on each bottle. I found one that I really like the smell of after I clean....it's lavendar and called Fabuloso. Lemon cleaners smell wonderful too...but I'm on a lavendar kick.

I think you need to have a scratch and sniff blog feature. lol

 
At 9/17/2005 8:10 PM, Anonymous melody had this to say ...

Hi Shannon and Kari,

How fun to read this story and know all of the characters. I to cleaned today.

Love to you,

Melody :)

 
At 9/18/2005 5:40 PM, Blogger Suzii had this to say ...

"Come now, let us argue this out," says the LORD. "No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow." --Isa 1:18 (NLT)


What a wonderful commercial inviting people to salvation THAT would make! I love your writings. Thank you for sharing!

 
At 9/18/2005 9:01 PM, Blogger Gina Burgess had this to say ...

Shannon, you are terrific at taking a mess and turning it into purity delight ;) I loved this story!

 
At 9/19/2005 9:27 AM, Blogger Bill and Glory had this to say ...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9/19/2005 9:28 AM, Blogger Bill and Glory had this to say ...

I had to laugh at this one. Our newest furry addition - Mona (short for Desdemona) - has a vendetta out for Murron's pink raincoat. Anytime it's left on the porch floor she will give it a good once-over. She has likewise cristened blankets, towels, clothes, and anything else just laying about, usually when she's unable or unwilling to get to the litter box.

I will forever love the smell of pine cleaner. Great ananlogy!

Glory

 
At 9/19/2005 4:31 PM, Blogger Cora had this to say ...

HA, Shannon! What a great post! I must say, though, I am happy to hear that Lucy will not be having any more kittens. However, I am proud to be the owner of 2 Calvary kittens.
Also, thanks for the reminder we have in the Isaiah passage. God is so good to us!

 
At 9/20/2005 8:43 AM, Anonymous Elle had this to say ...

I've been trying to convince my sweet hubby that we desperately need a sweet, soft little outboard motor to warm our laps this autumn (and beyond!), so I think I'll keep this story just between us!

I'm headed to Target to buy the lemony scented cleaner... you've inspired me. And there is much to pray about whilst I swish & swipe.

Thanks for the inspiration!

 
At 9/21/2005 11:51 AM, Blogger Darlene had this to say ...

Your writing is so descriptive, I can relax when I read as I let your words tickle my five senses.

 
At 9/21/2005 1:06 PM, Blogger Sharon had this to say ...

Shanny,
Loved this post.Your writing is so descriptive I could almsot smell the Lemon Lysol and the Chicken Pot Pies(and the peanut Butter Bars too.....yummmm).LOL :-)My"thing"is Pine Cleaner....almost any brand will do as long as it leaves that lovely pine scent behind;however those pine"trees"for inside cars cause me to cough very badly so none of those for me!Blessings on you friend.Glad to see you've psoted again.So have I at my blog finally.
Blessings,Sharon

 
At 9/22/2005 6:43 AM, Anonymous Elle had this to say ...

By the way... I made your blueberry butter a couple evenings ago, and it is fabulous. I'm munching on an english muffin-full right now and all I can say is God bless you!!

 
At 9/22/2005 3:26 PM, Blogger YellowRose had this to say ...

Great post, as usual...My thing is Clorox cleaner with Bleach..when I clean with that I know that everything is CLEAN! Everything, even those pesky little bitty germs are killed. Kinda like those little things we think we won't be forgiven for, but once we ask for forgiveness, they are wiped away...gone...forever. How cool is that!

 
At 9/24/2005 1:49 PM, Blogger shannon had this to say ...

Hi Joe .. and Melody!

Kari, you ALWAYS bless me. You and Tim are two of the most giving people I've ever met. Thanks for making my house smell nice again. :)

Christie, that is a great idea!! Of course, you do realize that with a scratch 'n sniff feature, you'd have to take the good AND the bad. Ha!

Thanks, Suzii, Gina and Glory. Glory, when are you going to have that baby?!

Cora, glad you recognized the verse. That means you're really, really, really paying attention to your study! You make me proud.

Elle, I don't know where you live, but if you'd like your own official Calvary Kitten, I do have four left! Thanks for letting me know you are enjoying the Blueberry Butter. Try to make it again in the winter. There's nothing like it when it's frosty or, better yet, snowy outside. :) (And it's good on a thin layer of cream cheese on an English muffin, too.)

Thanks so much, Darlene. :) How's the proposal coming?

I agree, Sharon. I really love pine. There used to be a product called "Real Pine" that, in my opinion, squashed Pine Sol all to pieces. But I can't find it anymore.

And Yellow Rose, I agree about bleach. I LOVE that smell. Chlorine, too. You just FEEL clean when you smell those two things.

 
At 9/29/2005 8:55 PM, Blogger Melissa had this to say ...

Shannon,
I love your posts! I read them about once a month, which means that I have to read an entire month's worth of blogs, so I usually spend a wonderful hour or so laughing, crying, and everything in between.
I love anything that smells citrusy! Usually with me its anything that smells good enough to eat!

Melissa

P>S> can I get that recipe for breaded Italian chicken fingers?

 
At 10/08/2005 2:18 PM, Blogger Rhonda Gibson had this to say ...

I love your blog site! I happened upon it by accident but will continue to come back again and again!

Rhonda

 

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