Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Cooling scarves lead to Chillows lead to Fwoomph? So what is Fwoomph?

Well, there are fwoomphs and there are fwaps:

If you own pillows you already know how to fwap. Fwapping is the sound a pillow makes when I fluff it. Got it? So what's a fwoomph? This one you may not recognize. A fwoomph is the sound a comforter makes inside its cover when I shake it back into shape.

A house full of pets needs comforter covers, pillow shams and afghans to drape over the sofa and chairs. Or else it needs highly disciplined pets that aren't allowed on the furniture. That last sound like your house? Doesn't sound like ours either.

The extra bonus in our house is the ease of tidying, not just the ease of cleaning and laundering. To make the bed, I simply fwoomph the comforter and fwap the pillows. I usually keep two cheap pillows in shams to finish the job. Downstairs I launder the afghans. No clever noises to that.

We use hugely stuffed, feather comforters in the winter and feather blankets (also inside a cover) in the summer. and when we didn't have air conditioning, we used Vellux blankets that are oh, so easily laundered. Unfortunately, we lent the Vellux blanket to MammaDog, who learned that Granddog Ellie gently chews it during the night. Rather like thumb-sucking. She didn't have the heart to discipline Ellie, so we no longer have the blanket. But the Vellux blanket was perfect for the hot nights, as I remember.

Some may not make the connection between all this and Multiple Sclerosis.

Many of us with immunological disorders also experience more than our share of allergies. I do, and I compensate by keeping our place tidy and vacuumed (filtered air conditioning helps), more, I guess, than the average person. Or maybe not. My mother kept our house spotless when I was a child. I think she was an A-Type personality, though. My housekeeping does not begin to measure up to my memory of hers.

Still, I do what I can. I scrub floors and carpets with machines, vacuum frequently and dust whenever shame overtakes me. When I can no longer stand the cats, I take an antihistamine and brush out the extra fur (with a cat-brush, not an antihistamine). Granddog is shorthaired, thank the Lord. I use premoistened wipes to clean the puppy-nose marks off the windows and to polish the furniture. And I wear gloves. NOT white gloves. Place isn't that clean. Disposable plastic gloves to keep the fluids off me. More on allergies later.

So fwoomphs and fwaps are the order each morning. Laundering and vacuuming a few times a week. And deep cleaning when I can no longer stand the ground-in dirt or stains. No more. No real schedule, except that dictated by my relapsing-remitting MS. Although I am inclined to wait until Granddog goes back to Golden Glow with Mamma before I bring out the heavy equipment. It makes my heart ache to see her cower.

If this sounds easier than what you do, go for the covers. If you have a better way, clue me in. I am always open to good suggestions.

Little Pond


Pam said...

I don't remember mom keeping a spotless house, but then again, I was the one doing a lot of the cleaning at that point. Probably why I had untreated asthma as a child. Anyhoo, gotta get me a chillo, especially after the night sweats I've had the last 3 nights!

I use a washable bedspread this time of year, which probably could use a good fwoomph. Also the HEPA is always going at night, and Freya the cat has taken up residence in other rooms this summer.

BTW your house is WAY cleaner than you give yourself credit for! Cleaner than mine. Also I can't say enough for spending $40 a month for someone to come and help with the cleaning, especially the dusting and the bathroom work that requires harsh chemicals. My lungs think it's the best $40 I've ever spent!

Talk to you soon,

pb said...

Ah, yes. A touch of asthma for us all, it seems. Veggie girl KT and I share that lovely genetic gift. Nothing serious for us, luckily. My solution is to clean, clean, clean. Good therapy for me.

Love you, Baby Sister