This book is dedicated to my aunt for her unending patience and great understanding. It is also dedicated to her "Homestead" and all that it stands for.
Thank you, my aunt, for giving me the opportunity to write this book. I also appreciate your assistance in this book's content. Thank you.
Be prepared to read a very dirty book. This book contains much filth, and is not particularly pleasant reading, however, everything printed is necessary to know.
1 A little Dirt Never Hurt Anyone 1 2 The Irritation of Vegetation 7 3 Constructional Faults 10 4 Being Neicely 13 5 Housetosis 15 6 Permanent Residents 17 7 Wonderful Changes! 21 8 Ancestors and Forefathers 24
My Aunt bought a --- well --- a farm, which she refers to as a homestead. There is a barn, a chickencoop, a garage, an old corncrib and the remains of a granery. There is also what some people would call a house. I prefer to refer to it as a "hickydoodle."
The house does have interesting possibilities. Such as tearing it down, burning it down etc. So far, my Aunt has --- of all things, decided to do neither of these, but --- Clean it up!!! Imagine!
Well, I suppose I should describe the interior of the "hickydoodle." Each room has a dirty floor and four dirty
walls, with many ugly cobwebs hanging about.
In the kitchen are two unclean stoves, three soiled cupboards, one rickety bench, eight peeling doors, one filthy window and one birdcare (no bird). This constitutes the grubby kitchen.
Next, we see the pantry, immediately off the kitchen. It has four dirty shelves and a woodbox. It is painted a very putrid shade of yellow. It also has one door.
Across the kitchen is another pantry. This one is larger, but, alas, no cleaner. It has two doors, fifteen shelves, and one window. It is done in the same rotten shade of yellow as the other pantry.
From the pantry we go to the washroom. Here we
find a hopelessly filthy sink, a water tank, two doors and one window. One door opens onto the entry way for a quick exit if this is deemed necessary.
If you have not made your exit by this time, we shall continue on to the entry way. Here we find the other entrance to the woodbox; filthy floors and three broken windows.
The walls are decorated with little charming objects from out of the past, such as an old mop, an old wringer, and an old washboard, to name a few.
From the entryway we shall go on to the bedroom. This has a closet with two shelves and a weird combination of flooring. It also has funny-
looking plaster which has recently been patched. It is my neicely duty to encourage my Aunt, so I will write this down, about the plaster, instead of telling her it looks funny. By the way, the room also has two windows and a door and a chimney cupboard.
From the bedroom we go back into the kitchen and we can see out the front door onto the very rickety porch. I see clippersnips1 so I decide not to visit the porch at this time.
The next room we visit will be the living room. Here we find a school desk. I suppose this is in case my Aunt decides to tutor for profit to help defray the cleaning supplies expense. The room
has four windows and three doors. Also a mysterious linoleum - the pattern obstructed by much filth. There is also a rocking chair in the room.
From the living room we see the other bedroom. It has two windows and one door.
From the bedroom we return to the kitchen and commence our tour on the second floor.
The stairway is done in ugly blue. The steps slant back. Upstairs there are two bedrooms. The first room has a closet and off the second one is the attic. The attic provides a true haven from the rest of the house, because it is clean! Imagine that!
Back downstairs, and this time outside. Here, on the south side of the house are green, climbing monsters, growing where unwanted. These are usually known as ivy. There is also a patched window on the second floor and the outside entrance to the cellar.
On the west side are the meter and wires. A rose bush grows near there.
In front we again see the rickety porch and sagging roof.
The east side does not have anything important on it.
So, this concludes our tour of the house, and ends my chapter on the visible aspects of this "hickydoo."
Around "The Homestead," there is much vegetation. However, there is so much vegetation that there are few windows out of which the view is not obstructed, by green stuff.
For instance, the view from the east windows consists of mock orange and a peek at some grass. The view of the sky is quite good. Out of the north window, the view consists of clippersnips, clippersnips and more clippersnips! Some work has been done on cutting these by some poor soul, who did complain of swollen hands, and a sore back, arms and legs. The poor dear!
The view from the west windows is likewise obstructed by the same "green stuff."
I think there is entirely too much vegetation on the much - used trail, recently blazed, to a favored spot behind the chickencoop, more commonly known as a latrine in its most primitive form. Here the vegetation may remain "as is" but something must be done about the approach.
There is an orchard there also, containing many trees yielding wormy apples.
There are also grape vines which as yet have given us no grapes, mostly due to the fact that it hasn't gotten enough excercise [sic] carrying gossip.
Surprising as it may seem, lost in the forest of tree - like vegetation known as clippersnips, are found roses. They are thorny and painful when touched, but look nice at a distance.
There are also many day lilies which might be stupid enough to bloom at night also.
If you can get through the extremely tall grass to the backer part of the Homestead, you would find trees and pines and probably more clippersnips, if you have luck like mine. Oh well, the sky is pretty and so is the vegetation if you don't gaze at it too closely. These are some of the irritations of vegetation.
This chapter could cover a lot of territory, or could be summed up quite easily and accurately by saying that the house is one big constructional fault!
I'll take the first approach.
We shall begin with the entryway. It sags some, thus accounting at least in part, for the fact that the door is not easily opened, except by my intelligent, strong Aunt.
The kitchen is fairly solid, expect for the cracking plaster. Contrary to popular belief, a kitchen does not need nine openings. Eight
The small pantry has table - leaves in a rack, but there is no table in the house. Thus the leaves are placed on chairs and people sit on the floor to eat. How original!
Next, we look at the bedroom which has windows in the wrong places for a bed. Stupid architects!
The washroom stinks!
The big pantry has shelves where there are no shelves.* This is a fault.
The living room has a sticky door which absolutely ruins toes and shoes when you have to kick it shut.
*The outline of shelves but no inner part
There is a place for a stovepipe and this makes it very drafty when standing under it.
The other bedroom is too dinky and has no closet. Thus you have to throw your clothes on the floor or use a window.
Now for the second floor.
The stairsteps lean backwards, so you don't walk upstairs straight. This is particularly bad if trying to teach good posture.
Upstairs we find a big room with no privacy, a closet with a door that doesn't close, another bedroom but no door and no closet, and a little door to the attic.
Perhaps the roof will leak soon.
It appears to be solidly built, the house - I mean, but who knows? We haven't had much wind recently.
Being neicely is difficult if not impossible.
Neiceliness is hard toil, absolute obedience, unfailing devotion, constant loyalty to the cause, ignorance of the cause and fun!
My duties extend from laboring from morning until night for my aunt, to giving her coffee or pop when she desires it.
Most of the time my duties are relatively easy, however at times it's almost impossible to please her.
She asks me to place a ladder in a certain place, and before I know it she wants it moved and she hasn't even stood on it! How revolting!
Sometimes she locks me out of her car, makes me go to bed, and forces me to get up in the morning.
I have to help clear tables, do dishes, open doors, peel wallpaper, not laugh at funny things done by certain people, share a bed and a room, be patient, obedient, respecting, helpful, kind, considerate, help her drink her coffee while driving, not tell anyone she was drinking while driving, help make beds, run errands, pull tacks, clean carpets, be a memory for someone else, make lists and write books about neiceliness and auntliness.
Auntliness is neiceliness when older. So far I haven't
The chapter, of course, deals with "bad breath in houses."
The first stench encountered upon entering the abode is the stench of dirt, mustiness and SKUNK!
The dirt fills the air upstairs more than down. Downstair, everything is choked out by the stink of skunk.
With every tack pulled in the carpets, the dust is raised and pollutes the air.
This is a definate [sic] problem of my aunt's - air pollution. She hasn't had a water pollution problem as yet -- probably because she has no water.
Housetosis is a constant
"Mary" is the only permanent resident so far. She is a ghost. We have not seen her as yet, but we are aware of her presence.
She may be married and have a family, or did at one time. It looks as if a murder has taken place; evidence of this being the blood on the living room wall and bullet holes in several doors and windows.
My Aunt may join Mary in residence at the Homestead, however, Mary may prove incompatable and very inhospitable.
This remains to be seen as to whether a semi-permanent residence is taken up by my Aunt
First, before moving in, my Aunt would have to clean! First of all, the kitchen would have to be fumigated and exterminated, all four legged beasts removed, some two - legged beasts and any one - legged beasts present at the time of eviction.
The pantries would need cleaning, the living room cleaned and a few pictures of some unknown, ugly relatives probably hung.
The bedrooms would have to be scrubbed also and beds supplied.
These are just a few of the things necessary before a permanent residence is taken up by anyone -- even my Aunt.
The first six chapters of my book have dealt with the house as it was when my Aunt came, or soon thereafter.
Now I shall deal with the house as it is, after needed improvements have been made.
First, the floors are beginning to be clean, and less cobwebs are found lurking about.
The stoves are much cleaner as are the cupboards and the windows. The rickety bench is still there as are the peeling doors and the birdcage (still no bird).
However the kitchen is no longer truly grubby.
The pantry is now painted white, so the shelves and woodbox, as well as walls and ceiling are fairly clean now. Obviously it is not putrid anymore.
In the other pantry some of the shelves are lavender.
In the washroom we find a white sink instead of the previously, hopelessly, filthy sink.
From here we go to the bedroom and find to our great surprise that the bedroom is painted white with a grey floor. This white covers the funny patched plaster.
In the living room we find a mopped floor, thus disclosing the myterious pattern of the linoleum.
Also we find that the house has electricity. Lights! A special thanks to Thomas Edison!
In my Aunt's house there is a big box on the living room floor. Unfortunately, the box contains pictures of my ancestors and forefathers.
There are several who look like they were horse theives, others appear to be rejects from any good organization ever formed, and some look like prospective ghosts all set to haunt.
One looks like Festus Hagan, (from "Gunsmoke")--possibly an older brother -- another holds a close resemblance to an Indian, probably with a tommahawk [sic] in her hand, could it be seen.
Actually, I might have had a couple of nice looking relatives -- however probably they were just friends of the family.
A lot of my ancestors smoked, including my Great-Aunt who smoked cigars. I wonder what she lacked in her childhood!
Well, at least you can say one thing for my ancestors and forefathers -- there was great quantity if not quality.
Neiceliness - of or pertaining to a neice
Auntliness - of or pertaining to an aunt
Clippersnips - the same as a purple flower growing on a bush often found near homes. Very tough plants extremely hardy - also known as lilacs
hickydoodle - undefinable shelter or house
The Long Hot Summer
Householder's Manual (1899)
Everywoman's Guide to Extermination
How to Live with Ghosts and Like It
Farmer's Almanac (1883)
Clues for Cleanliness
The Silent Spring
Smokey the Bear's Helpful Hints
What's What in Houses
The Art of Landscaping
The Cry of the Lazy Farmer
Out Behind the Chickencoop
Guide to Common Prehistoric Animals
Too Many Ghosts
Patching Plaster Can Be Fun By R. U. Crazy