6:41 AM

            We are not house owners. Or apartment owners. We own our car free and clear which is saying something I guess, but we don’t have a house or apartment that we can call our own. There are certainly ups and downs to this. In our situation at the moment buying a house would be a stupid thing to do. Our situation being that we are living in another country that is not either one of our own, we will be here for 5 years tops when really it will probably be only four and then we have no idea where we are going to go after this. Not exactly the time to buy a house. We want one of our own someday…just can’t be now.

         There are ups to renting of course. Like when one morning you step into a puddle in the middle of your carpeted hallway you get to call the landlady and have her take care of the pipe that decided to explode. And she gets to pay for it. Nice. If anything out of the ordinary happens not due to your kids or your husband deciding he wants to try his hand with the drill, it all gets directed to the landlady. And she gets to pay for them.

          Now, while all of that is nice, the downs seem to be stacking up a bit higher. Like the fact that she won’t let us take out the stupid 1950′s fridge that, while cute, holds next to nothing and is now the “beer and cheese fridge.” We brought our own from Spain but apparently she thinks hers is a valuable antique. I bet the thing costs us a pretty penny in electricity each month….She also told us to be careful about the cheap carpet she “just had put in”.Or the fact that she never finished the wood floors off with sealant so that they can be mopped or so that at least not every drop of water that, even when cleaned right away, leaves a mark. And I won’t even go into the whole thing about getting splitters every other day from the floors in the playroom because she has refused to fill in the wood that has shrunk or shifted.

          But today of all days I found one thing I hadn’t ever thought about. If you know me, cleaning is always on my mind. Although my apartment isn’t half as clean as the one in Madrid was since now I have double the kids and our place is quadruple the space, I am constantly thinking about what kind of cleaning I SHOULD be doing. And this place, for my standards, is filthy. I need to clean the shelves in the kitchen, degrease the back areas of the kitchen, clean under the radiators, wipe down the utility closet, etc. You get my drift? Yes, I am a clean freak. Our friends who were just visiting made comments between themselves that they had noticed their socks were still clean at the end of the day. As my socks are a bit dirty every day, something that constantly nags me but again, I am unable to MOP the wood floors, I silently wondered just how dirty their own floors were….
Digressing. MY missions this morning was to kill the mosquito that has bitten up the left side of my baby girl’s face. She must have about 15 bites on her, which makes her crabby, which makes me crabby, which makes everyone miserable. So I was on a mission to kill the bastard. And I got him hanging out just above my baby’s bed. I hadn’t no mercy either. The coloring book that I whacked him with came down with a precise and forceful swing. The guy exploded blood out, which was gross, but I grinned in satisfaction as I wiped the blood off Queenie’s coloring book (and replaced it before she couldn’t figure out what I had done with it) and as I wiped the carcass and blood off the wall: only to step back in horror at the sight now before me. Yep, there was certainly a difference in color. And nope, the rag had not wiped paint off the wall. The difference in color was the difference of clean and dirty. Gross. Which begs the question: how long has that wallpaper been up there?

          But the blaring clean blotch of space smack dab in the middle of the wall in my girls’ room begs a bigger question: what do I do now? How do I clean it and make it even? My ceilings are 12 feet up, remember? What do I do now?

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