Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Desks and Pets by Kaye George

Kaye George, an Agatha nominated short story writer, is the author of CHOKE: An Imogene Duckworthy Mystery (Mainly Murder Press), as well as A PATCHWORK OF STORIES, a collection of her previously published stories, and THE BAVARIAN KRISP CAPER, available at Untreed Reads. FISH TALES: The Guppy Anthology contains her story, "The Truck Contest". She reviews for "Suspense Magazine", and writes for several newsletters and blogs. She, her husband, and a rescued feral cat named Agamemnon live together in Texas, near Austin.

Desks and Pets 
by Kaye George

That's the theme, right? A picture of my desk in its normal state is below.  There was a time in my life when I would have cleared it off and given you a view of pristine, maybe even shining surfaces. But I outgrew that long ago.

When my children were young, they played in the living room. They're part of the family and I never saw any reason they couldn't play in every room of the house.  Consequently, their toys were on the living room floor during the day. I really did pick up almost every night. Otherwise, the house would have become unlivable. But my housekeeping was, well, relaxed.

(I read a report in the newspaper once of a home robbery. The police were alarmed at the ransacked condition of the house at first, but later, according to the article, it was decided that only a few items had been taken and the general state of the house was due to "relaxed housekeeping." I liked the term so much I adopted it as a lifestyle. Sounds nice, I think.)

Sometimes friends would come over and, occasionally, comment about allowing my children to play with their toys in the living room. I decided that was a service I was providing other young mothers. They could compare their housekeeping to mine, and it would make them feel good about themselves. A humanitarian project, really. Glad to be of service.

Such is my desk. I'll bet you feel good about yours after seeing mine.

I'll end up with a picture of Agamemnon, my twelve-year-old rescued feral cat, enjoying the t-shirt I brought home from Left Coast Crime. Everyone likes it, including Memnon. He likes to lie on top of my shoes, mostly, but will take in a t-shirt for variety.

You can also spy him in my desk picture. That's his usual spot when I work. He's a good old guy, keeping me company. He knows who feeds him.


Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Kaye - Welcome!! I'm loving your housekeeping philosophy. "Relaxed Housekeeper" - that's what I am too; I just had no idea there was such a delightfully clever title for it!

Kaye George said...

Stick with me, Kaye, and I'll show you how to get out of a lot of housework. :) Thanks so much for having me!

Peg Brantley said...

Kaye, it was wonderful to meet you at LCC, even briefly.

I'm struggling with developing a personal sense of relaxed housekeeping. It sounds like it would be so freeing, but the insides of my elbows get all tight when I contemplate actually well . . . relaxing.

Bless you. You must be such a calm and peaceful person.

Anonymous said...

What a brave and generous person you are, sharing the photo of your desk. And the phrase "relaxed housekeeping." I can use that to explain so much.


(P.S. I like your toy philosophy, too.)

jenny milchman said...

I don't feel good at all, Kaye--in fact, I feel like a compulsive freak ;) Oh well, I am a compulsive freak. Only about my house, though. I adhere to "awfully relaxed" in terms of clothes, kids' schedules, probably a few other things. In any case, your extension of relaxed to your work area makes me envious. You probably get way more done. Great to see the Kaye's together!!

Kaye George said...

Of course, the state of the house will eventually get to me and I'll have to have a flurry of upkeep. I do miss the good old days when I was working and could afford a cleaning lady! But my desk has always been off limits for cleaning people. Curiously, when I was working, my desk at work was always neat as a pin. I probably need to be analyzed.

Coco Ihle said...

Kaye George, you are a gal after my own heart. Love the term, "relaxed housekeeping!" I really prefer working in a neat environment, but keeping mine that way is almost impossible. So, like others, I go along until I can't stand it any longer, then clean, neaten up and start again. My kitty, Annie, doesn't like it if I move things too much. She has favorite curl-up spots, usually on piled papers.

Cher'ley said...

How'd you get a photo of my office, oh...I remember, mine looks worse. LOL. I was looking at a photo of me yesterday, as I sat in my office. I thought, I really should crop the office out as much as possible.
I love relaxed housekeeper too. I had a couple of stitchery pieces in my house that expressed my feelings. A clean house is a boring house--my house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy--Come in, sit, relax, converse, if you think this is bad, yesterday it was worse.

Love your post. Gave me a quick smile and a fun memory.

Warren Bull said...

What you call "relaxed housekeeping" I always thought of as "a good sense of priorities."

Kaye George said...

It's good to know my house-keeping style is so popular. I'm not sure that's a good thing. :) But I'm glad there are so many of us.

bo parker said...

"Relaxed housekeeping." It's also saves a lot energy.
Canned goods stacked beside the microwave is much easer to manage than if they are hidden away in a cabinet.
Cleaning and placing the frying pan back on the stove means never having to remember where it was stored.
Retrieving one's hat, if it is hanging on front door knob, is much easier than digging it out of a closet.
The list could be longer, but suffice to say, "Relaxed housekeeping" is the perfect answer for an old guy living alone.

Cher'ley said...

Kaye, I need to order a signed copy of Choke. I love ebooks, but I want a hard copy of your book. I can email you a paypal payment or a check. Thanks

Earl Staggs said...

Hey, JudyKaye, I like your philosophy, but my wife is a neat freak who makes me put stuff where it belongs.

BTW, if a tall, skinny, old guy creeps up beside you in Georgetown this evening and squeezes you, don't panic. It may be me.

Kaye George said...

Squeeee! I'll be on the lookout, Earl!

Carolyn Smith said...

Love the term "relaxed housekeeping." My desk, by th way, is not as neat as yours, but I do know where stuff is. At least, that's what I tell my family. To me, it's more important that children feel loved and able to enjoy their home than that it be pristine. Best of luck with your career! You sound nice, and I love it when nice people succeed.

Kaye George said...

That's sweet of you, Carolyn. Thanks so much!

Supriya Savkoor said...

Kaye, you always inspire and motivate me but today, you've given me a whole new outlook on my housekeeping skills. I'm just trying to make it easier for the other neighborhood moms, something to compare themselves to, so they can sleep at night. Yes, I'm running with it. And yes, I want my autographed copy of Choke as well. How and when, my dear?

Kaye George said...

Supriya, email me and I can get it done!

Maybe I should add that to my web page. :)