Unpleasant tasks….Are there many in this nomadic life?…

“Throughout Morocco, each door has a different story and design that reflects Moroccan values and culture. While some doors signify Islamic values of humility and respect, others illuminate a past of colonialism and cultural cohabitation.”

Whenever I have a task to do that I don’t enjoy, I find myself wanting to make excuses to postpone it. I am not a procrastinator, but some tasks make me wonder if I have tendencies in that direction. This morning, on cleaning day, I thought of ten reasons why we should change it to another day, mainly the reality that I didn’t feel like doing it.

In my old life, I had the lovely Teresa, who cleaned our entire house every Wednesday. During the in-between times, I cleaned as necessary but only washed floors after we’d had company for dinner on the weekend. I cleaned the kitchen and bathrooms daily, and laundry was tackled every three days.

With Tom working 12-hour days, I didn’t expect him to clean the house, although he took care of everything outdoors on his days off. When he was home for dinner or when we entertained, he did a huge portion of the cleanup and always did the dishes, a huge help, even now.

With him retired, he’s very helpful in keeping things tidy and still doing all the dishes. I clean the counters, stovetop, and refrigerator’s front and handles. I thought by now, with modern technology, there would be fingerprint-free refrigerator doors, but I’ve yet to experience such a “luxury” in any holiday home.

Ten days from now, while in Apache Junction, we’ll do our own cleaning. The park model is small with one bedroom and bath, and once a week, we’ll clean everything, getting it done in about 40 minutes. We’re not willing to pay $200 or more for a weekly cleaning. That will be another six weeks of cleaning; we’re free from there! We’ll have at least four months when we won’t be doing the cleaning.

Overall, I’d say cleaning is my least favorite task. I’d better get used to it since we won’t have a cleaner until we get to the hotel in Minnesota around May 23. From there, we’ll stay in hotels, and then, pure bliss, we’ll be in Marloth Park until the latter part of September.

In Marloth Park, we have Zef and Vusi five days a week. On the weekends, when they are off, all we do is make the bed and clean up after cooking and doing dishes. I can’t recall a day when we didn’t make the bed or had someone to do so. That’s no big deal.

The next thing I procrastinate over is getting the worksheet done for our accountant to do our taxes. I did this earlier this year, and at the moment, our accountant in Nevada has everything he needs from us. Tom gets worried about this, and although he never nags me about it, I can tell he’s concerned. It’s a job I’ve assigned to be my responsibility since I handle the money, but I tend to procrastinate about getting this task done.

Regarding procrastination, these are the only two tasks that I fall short of my usual “get it done” mentality. Everything else, I do when it comes up or on a regular schedule without giving it another thought. Even getting the daily walking and exercises done doesn’t find me looking for excuses to avoid the daily responsibility. I just do it without giving it much thought.

Every one of us has tasks we dread. If you’d like to share some tasks you dread, please comment at the end of today’s post. I’m curious to see what nags at you.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, March 22, 2014:

Yesterday, this was my meal at Le Jardin: fillet of Dover sole with a spinach sauce made with a flourless cream reduction sauce. In the center is an array of cooked vegetables, including carrots, zucchini, and eggplant. The chef prepared this meal after the server showed him the restriction list on my phone. It was fabulous. Now, I can’t wait to have this again! See how tempting it is to return to my favorite restaurant in Morocco when I can order a dish as unique as this? For more photos, please click here.

Busy day…I’m not cut out for this…Happy Leap Year Day!…

We were on a private tour in Placencia, Belize, in 2013 to see manatees and wildlife in the area. It was a successful day. Gosh, we were tan!

We hadn’t done a thorough cleaning in almost two weeks other than tidying up after ourselves, wiping down countertops, and cleaning the bathrooms and the kitchen. Today, we’re doing the bedding while I’m catching up on the rest of the laundry that has accumulated over the past several days. Tom will vacuum and wash the floors tomorrow while I do everything else.

The bedding and dark clothing are in the laundry room’s dryer, and I’m washing the bathroom rugs in two batches in the washer in our unit. Tom was worried they’d fall apart and we’d have to replace them, but I assured him that bathroom rugs are intended to be washed, even these thick bathroom rugs. They came out of the washer in perfect condition. Tom’s mind was at ease.

What would one do if bathroom rugs weren’t washable…send them to a dry cleaner? Who uses a dry cleaner unless they are cleaning wool, business attire, and dressy clothes? In the over 11 years we’ve been traveling, we haven’t had anything dry-cleaned, and we’ve rarely seen a dry-cleaning store.

Even in our old lives, I rarely took any clothes to the dry cleaner once I retired and began wearing more casual attire. I used an excellent product, Dryel, that did a fantastic job. I don’t think that product still exists as I remember it. For the heck of it, I checked Kroger/Smith’s, and the product, as I knew it, wasn’t available in either location, although Amazon has a newer version. We live in a “wash and wear” world these days.

I am still spoiled after having such fine household help in South Africa which was included in our rent and will be again when we return in three months. Jef and Vusi do a fantastic job keeping everything clean five days a week, with weekends off. They would do our laundry, but we feel they do enough, so we wash our clothes and hang them on a portable rack to dry. All we’ve ever done there on the weekend is make the bed, clean up after cooking, and do laundry, if necessary.

It’s incredible how much cleaning is required, even in this two-bedroom condo with little traffic. But, much to our surprise, it gets very dusty. I read this tidbit today:

“There’s a common misconception that it’s mostly human skin. It’s not that it mainly ends up in the bath or shower. Two thirds of the dust in your house comes from outside, as dirt tracked in on your feet, and airborne particles like pollen and soot. The rest is mostly carpet fluff, clothes fibers, and pet hair.” 

That’s interesting. I always thought dust was from human shedding skin cells. We don’t have carpets or pets and are a long walk away from the outdoors. We keep all exterior doors and windows closed in this cool winter weather in the desert. I wonder where all the dust is coming from. In any case, it requires a lot of cleaning.

Once we arrive in Apache Junction, living in the park model near Tom’s sisters, we’ll probably be faced with paying $200 a week or more for cleaning. Having a cleaner only once or twice a month makes no sense since we’d have to clean in the weeks in between. We’ll most likely do our cleaning again; it gets dusty in the small space. Thank goodness we don’t have clutter and aren’t messy. That helps a lot.

Today is Leap Year Day. It doesn’t mean a whole lot to us, but some celebrate this date in a variety of ways. If you do so, have a good time!

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, February 29, 2014:

There wasn’t a post ten years ago due to the fact it wasn’t a Leap Year at that time.

Photos from a new area…Off to a Monday morning appointment…Never late if we can help it…An amazing video from one year ago…

Rocky shoreline at Ellis Beach along Captain Cook Highway narrowed the farther we drove.

Most mornings, we are up and dressed for the day by 7 am. Knowing we had to head out the door at 8:40 made it difficult for either of us to stay asleep beyond 5 am. Is that an old person thing? As we’ve aged we’ve noticed that we always attempt to be early for appointments rather than simply on time.

We drove further than we’d ever driven to Ellis Beach.  We’ve yet to head to Port Douglas but that road trip is coming soon.

What’s the deal with that? In my old business-orientated life and certainly in Tom’s railroad life, being on time was a vital part of our work and persona. Why be late when one can be on time? Why bear the embarrassing consequences of lateness when in most cases it’s entirely avoidable?

From this location, we could see the backside of Double Island and another view of Scout Island.

I’ve never understood the mindset of those people who try to do “one more thing” before they head out the door often making them late for the person waiting for them. Does doing the “one more thing” make the person waiting feel happy and respected?  Hardly.

House atop a hill on a peninsula in Ellis Beach.

In the case of professional appointments of one type or another, the person waiting may feel less personal about it but they develop a perception of the late person that is difficult for them to ever shake, at times having an effect on the quality of the service provided throughout a working relationship.

Ellis Beach is another pristine unpopulated beach.

Isn’t it ironic how right now, at this very moment, we could each make a list of 10 people we’ve known going back as far as 20 years or more as always being late? It’s a sad perception to leave in the minds of those who may otherwise care deeply for that individual.

This life we live has no room for tardiness. One can’t be late for a flight or a cruise. Imagine the additional inconvenience and cost one would bear from being late and missing a departure time. 

It’s surprising to see even a single person walking along the beach.

Of course, on a rare occasion being late may be due to an unforeseen occurrence. But, older people tend to factor in an extra period of time for the “unknown” when possible. In our minds, other than sudden illness or injury, being late is entirely avoidable with good planning.

This morning, in our somewhat obsessive manner (for lack of a better descriptive term) we hustled about the house tidying up, moving things out of the way, and even cleaning, knowing that Sylvie and Andy are coming to do the floors when we leave for the doctor appointment.

Zooming in as much as our less than stellar camera would allow, we spotted this fishing boat off the coast of Double Island.

We’ve worked out an equitable cleaning arrangement between us and the kind owners who could have chosen to do nothing to help us. However, their thoughtful mentality consisted of the fact that they usually provide cleaning for their short term renters, why would we be exempt from that service for us long term renters.

They’d offered to do the entire cleaning and bedding change but we refused in an attempt to be equally thoughtful. The compromise definitely reached amicably was this: we clean and do the bedding and they do the floors every two weeks vacuuming the area rugs and washing the floors. 

The sand is soft beneath our feet and yet few find their way to lounge in the sand during the winter months here in Australia. The temperature is ideal for beach activities and yet people stay away. Perhaps, apprehension about sharks, stingers, and crocodiles keep visitors off the beach.

Of course, in the interim, we (I) use the dust mop almost daily and sweep as needed. Tom is oblivious to crumbs on the floor whereby even a small gathering of dust requires my immediate attention. Weekly, I dust all the tables and surfaces and daily clean the bathroom and kitchen (Tom does dishes and cleans the kitchen after dinner and again after breakfast). This works perfectly.

Coming up at our next location, Fiji, we’ll have maid service twice a week  (included in the rent) which for us is more of a bother than helpful when we (I) always feel a need to clean up before they arrive.

More rocky shoreline.

The other aspect of our getting out the door in one hour from now as I write this is my desire to upload today’s post before we go, a lofty task this early in the morning, when usually, I submit it to the world wide web close to 11 am or at times later, depending on the content and number of photos.

Most often, I take my time, local news on in the background, coffee in hand, with no sense of urgency. Today, it’s different. We’d like to experience our first meal in a restaurant by the sea on a sunny day like today without the thought of rushing home to upload the post.

At this spot, there was a parking space where a few caravans had stopped to enjoy the sunny day. To the right, is the curve in the road, Captain Cook Highway which follows along the shoreline for many miles/kilometers.

Don’t get me wrong. I never dread this daily undertaking. Never. But, on days like today, having not planned a post in advance, my inept uncoordinated fingers are flying across the keyboard trying to avoid errors and hoping to be ready to go out the door in plenty of time, so we won’t be late.

And I promise we won’t be late. Not in posting before we go to the appointment nor in arriving on time for our 9 am appointment with Dr. Konny (yes, correct first name spelling). 

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with comments on Tom’s doctor appointment, my final test results, and how we actually spent the remainder of the day including our dining experience in a restaurant by the sea. Have a good day!

                                              Photo from one year ago today, July 20, 2014:

One year ago today, we drove on a mountain road in Madeira under this waterfall. On the post that day, we included a video as we drove under the waterfall, the entire time squealing with delight. To see that video, please click here.