Time for Fruhlingputz


Well, no howling wind, just that steady drip-drip. Tonight the howling is supposed to take up again – whatever, I’ve lost  track of the days. Weatherman  says we have a dry spell coming next week, I’m looking forward to it. 

For now we still follow our dam-ned routine – clean, bake, scrub, take the dogs for a walk. When the rain let up yesterday we went out and picked up storm debris – another sycamore branch  came crashing down on the fence yesterday – at least this time, no fence boards were lost! We loaded up two wheel barrows full of sticks and junk and got back to the house just in time, as heavy rain drops starting peppering the black plastic sheets across my lawn.

This is  the time of year for Fruhlingputz – that’s German for “Spring Cleaning.” We do it inside and out, depending on the weather.

Inside, I like to start in one corner of my house and work my way  around in some sort of organized fashion. The smallest room in my house is the bathroom. I always think I keep my bathroom clean until I turn on it with my Landlady eye, and decide I would charge myself a handsome chunk of dough to make that pigpen suitable for rental.

Sheesh that Landlady is a Bitch!  But I love her, cause she keeps me on my toes! 

The first thing I noticed with my Landlady eye was a huge spiderweb stretched across the ceiling of the shower. Spider had abandoned ship, leaving nothing but dust. I realize, I’m not really awake in there,  and when I do finally wake up, I’m freezing cold and I’m out of there so fast – when does anybody really  take a good look  at the ceiling in their shower? 

Time to wash the bathroom  ceiling.  I use one of those flat floor mops with the sponge head and removable dust cover. The  dust cover is a good scrubber but replacements are kind of expensive so for most jobs I cover the head of the mop with one of those microfiber rags. I get those really cheap by the bag  at Home Depot or wherever. 

This is a simple job, but Arthur hates it – you have to look up, hold your arms up – this morning I’ll admit I’m real stiff, but that ceiling looks very nice. The proof was in the wash water, which had started  out clear and smelling like lemons  and ended up brown and brackish.

Of course I didn’t stop at the ceiling, it’s just a tiny room, so I washed down the walls, Arthur begging for mercy. Bathroom walls get, what’s the word…yechhhy… Another wash tub of brackish water, and the whole room begins to shine.

Arthur had to admit, sometimes you have to suffer to have a beautiful bathroom.

 So we moved into the shower, where we have a ginchee window, and I scrubbed the hell out of that window while Arthur cursed at the storm. Window tracts get moldy this time of year, from dust that builds up naturally, and moisture that is being pounded in by one storm after another. My husband showed me how to clear out the “weep” holes that let out the rain, keep it from coming in the house. One little piece of dead bug or stick or leaf and that water backs up, causes problems. I tried to clean them with a toothpick, but that was tedious and non-productive. So, I took a spray bottle with a weak mixture of bleach and water and sprayed those holes until clear water came out the other side and ran off the window sill into the storm.  

My husband  did that shower in big tiles, it’s easy to take a plastic scrub  brush and a mixture of Murphy’s Oil  soap or dish soap and baking soda.  The soap and soda makes a paste that sticks to the walls, soaks up all that soap scum, breaks it down quicker than Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt. 


Sorry for that aside, but every time I use the word “breakdown” or “foggy” or “mountain” I think of Scruggs and Flatt, it’s in my DNA somewhere.

Once the soap scum was gone, I noticed the tiles had taken on a new color, looked shinier, and I realized I need to get in there more often. Oh well, that’s what I always say.  I guess it’s better to let things get a little frowsy,  so you can really appreciate them when they are clean! 

With that room under my belt, I will work my way around the rest of the apartment through the course of the next storm, howling in tonight. By the time the storm is over, I’ll have the windows all washed from the inside anyway,  and Spring will  look a little closer!




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