Friday, July 3, 2009

What Lurks Beneath?

It should be mandatory to move your fridge and stove out of their snug little holes at least once per year to see what may be growing or lurking underneath. But because no one has ever told me I absolutely must do this under penalty of law, I don't. So last weekend when we finally bit the bullet and went out and purchased new ones, it actually did become necessary to pull the old ones out to make way for the new units being delivered tomorrow morning. My much beloved cleaning lady came to pick up the old stove which she claimed was better than her old one on Canada Day and the old fridge will replace the even older beer fridge in the shed out by the pool. The under-the-stove surprises consisted of an assortment of Barbie purses and shoes, some unidentifiable petrified food bits, black dust balls and a few bread bag clips. All in all - enough of it to fill an entire dust-pan - twice. "That's pretty disgusting," I said to my husband. "I guess I haven't cleaned under there for awhile." I did remember doing it once a few years back, but it must have been when Emma still played with Barbies and that was at least 4 years ago. I could just imagine Martha tsk- tsking and waving a shame-on-you finger at me if she knew. The fridge remained in place until yesterday. We had to move all the contents to the shed fridge first. That in itself was a useful exercise as it forced me to pitch all the expired jars and bottles with 3 tablespoons of salsa, jam or salad dressing left in the recycle bin. I had no choice. The shed fridge could only take so much (and no way the beer and wine was moving!). As the fridge was on the fritz, the unplugging of it led to a melt down, flooding the kitchen floor overnight. There was enough water on the floor when I got up to float Noah's Ark and now it looks like we'll need to replace the flooring as well. When Doug slid it out of it's slot, he tipped it a bit and the drip tray beneath emptied its contents on the floor I had just cleaned and dried revealing even more grotesque goo and unidentifiable objects along with a few more Barbie purses and shoes for colour. I wasn't in the room when this occurred, so Doug swept it up and was kind enough to place the dust pan in the sink so I could view the charming gunk with my own eyes. "You won't believe what was under there." he told me, shaking his head with disgust. "Gee, thanks for saving that for me, dear, I really wanted to see that - can I throw it out now, or should we take a photo?" It's a good thing we started this whole preparatory process a few days in advance of the arrival of the new appliances. I had no idea it was going to become such an ordeal. In addition to the science experiments underneath them, now I had to deal with the walls, baseboards and interior cabinet walls adjacent to them. None of these were actually a very pretty sight either. Between the caked on blackened dust along the tops of the baseboards and the hardened tomato sauce drips and god knows what else, I had to scrub half a dozen times to get it all off. Mucho elbow grease to remove years of baked on food grease - Yuck! And I won't even bother going into telling you that the new fridge is a bit bigger and wouldn't fit in its slot, so the cabinets had to come down and get reattached two inches higher and the floor cabinets had to move over by an inch as well, leading to the reduction of the counter top......arrrrgh! The crazy thing is, I actually think I keep my kitchen pretty clean. Now I'm not so sure. It's never too late to start anew though. So now that the nooks are all clean and shiny and ready to receive their new residents, I am going to start a new cleaning schedule. I will co-ordinate it with the changing of the smoke detector batteries at the beginning of daylight savings time each year. Really, I will. WHAT? Don't believe me? Hmmff! Think you all know me better than I know myself? OK, how about every other Thanksgiving? No? What about every third Easter whether it needs it or not? Oh, screw it, let's be honest. They're never moving again after tomorrow. Unless we do.

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