Wednesday, February 28, 2007

So...I am going to do a book review

My random grab and go was not quite as succesfull as I had originally thought. The book that I was so excited about caused me ever so many laughs because of it's inability to be practical. If only I had taken the time to glance at the back cover at the list of "how-to's" that the book contains. I would have placed it tidily back on the shelf I soon as I saw that it contained the proper instructions for washing and ironing sheets.

People iron sheets??? Hot dang, who has the time to waste, ironing sheets? Now, I understand that they must be washed- that is a given. But ironed???? Okay. Really, surely this one section can be ignored and I will gleam all kinds of homely tips from this books with such a lovely title as, "Feather Your Nest: The complete Guide to Outfitting, Cleaning, Organizing, and Caring for your home." (Oh, and a cute orange sticker declares that it has LOTS of earth friendly alternatives. The first question should be. Alternatives to what? Surely not cleaning. This author has a love affair with bleach. She sanitizes every THING in her kitchen with bleach. She does this once a week! Once I read the importance of sanitizing every kitchen utensil, I KNEW I was over my head. This woman would have my home condemned in less time than I could say, "crud the dog peed on the floor again."

If the tip-off on the cover had not clued me in I should have at least understood that this author was in no way connected with my lifestyle when I read her advice on cleaning an air conditioner. You have to clean air conditioners?????

Okay, I am a slob. I use bleach only on my monthly bathroom cleanings (just kidding. I clean them once a week... okay? Once a week. And dang it. My darn nose keeps clicking the keyboard...if only I could get it to stop growing). I NEVER EVER in a bazillion years thought to iron a sheet, and well, I have to admit, I have also never cleaned my air conditioner. I don't even know where my air conditioner is. All I know, is that it blows out cool air and that it costs me way too much money to have that cool air.

There is an entire page of this book devoted to combating the disgusting cooking smells of things like...sausage. What? I thought sausage smelled good. Apparently I was wrong. Apparently, when you cook sausage, you should ALWAYS, open a window.

My eyes were glazed by the time I reached the section on laundry. But I did flip through a few pages, and of course, she devoted several pages to IRONING. I have a fool-proof method of avoiding ironing. It's called "Wear Wrinkles: They are beautiful- on the face, or on your clothes!"

Essentially, I thought the book was a bust. It was too simple, at the same time being way too complicated. It would be best suited to a fresh college grad who wanted to live a wrinkle free life with a house designed for cocktail parties and dinner guests. It was condescending in tone towards the everyday housewife but...if you know someone who doesn't know how to wash the dishes, there is a nice little section in there on how to do it- as well as one on how you should NEVER put china or fine glassware in the dishwasher. OOPS.

To be fair to the author: I do not think this book was written for someone who has spent over ten years perfecting the craft of homemaking. I truely believe it was written for that fresh out of school, seeting up my first house, must devote every weekend to entertaining, kind of person. For that person, and for one who hasn't been taught the most basic tasks, such as how to clean a mirror, this would indeed be a handy book.

Oh, and I forgot something else. She suggests that we all fill two buckets with water. Add soap to one of the bucket. then we should get to work scrubbing down our kitchen walls. Scrub with the soapy water, rinse with the clear water. Surely there is an easier way..., oh, actually there is. MY WAY. option 1: ignore the dirt. Option 2: Mr. Clean Magic eraser for those areas so bad they can not be ignored. Option 3: A gallon of paint, which covers all dirt AND will give you a fresh new look, probably with the same amount of effort as scrubbing down your walls would be.
BUT, if, after reading this, you decided to scrub your walls- definately invest in a copy of this book. The discussion on whether to wash from the ceiling down, or the floor up, will be very interesting to you.

I give this book half a star for making me laugh at the idea of ironing sheets. I give it another half for enticing me to grab it with its aqua and red cover. gets a total of one star.


Dannielle said...

ha! I have a similar book written by an equally obsessive person.

I went through a whole range of emotions while reading it. I started off in awe of her expertise. Then I began to feel inferior. Eventually I found humor in her insanity. Finally I began to feel sorry for this woman who must never feel at peace.

The funny thing is that this book got kicked under my bed accidentally. I've seen it under there but I just leave it.

Anonymous said...

I didn't catch when this book was written. I grew up in the late 50's when permanent press was only a thought. According to my mother, she said that when she was first married, she ironed everything, even underwear. I learned to iron starting with pillow cases and cotton handkerchiefs. In fact, I started to learn not to help with the household ironing, but to do my own! She "gave" me my own basket of to-be-ironed clothes! Starched dried laundry was sprinkled with water and placed in the refrigerator to prevent mold. It was laborious. Mom didn't iron everything when I started to learn. She didn't bother with the sheets. If hung properly on the line, they worked. Me? I clean my house with the "Oh No! Oh Look!" method. I only iron when I must. It works for me.

Becka said...

It was written in 2005!!!