DIY Oven Cleaner

I'm not the world's greatest housekeeper.

Really, the clutter bothers me way more than the actual dirt, because it's not like I'm going to pick up a bunch of piles of shit, dust under them, then put it all back where I found it.  So I usually start with a bit of de-cluttering, then I either a) get tired and just stop or b) find something really cool on the bottom of a pile that I haven't seen in a long time and spend the rest of the day admiring/using/reading/ it.

It's kind of a lose-lose situation, really.

However, being the pretend martyr that I am, one thing I do enjoy is TALKING about how much housework I do on a daily basis.  Most of my family and friends have completely shut me down on this topic, but RJ is pretty much a captive audience.  Ya know, if he wants dinner.

Just as an aside, RJ could really care less if I do any housework or not.  He's more of the opinion that we can catch it all up when the kids leave for college, but now that I'm a stay at home Mama, I feel like it's part of my job responsibilities, and I want to get CREDIT, dammit.  And since every time I do clean something It's dirty approximately 1.235 seconds later, I have to resort to talking about how much time I spend on housework because the proof magically disappears into a flurry of little-boy-funk.  Every. Single. Time.

This is a typical dinner conversation between me and RJ.

Me:  "Whew, I'm tired.  It's been a long day.  I spent most of the day vacuuming and cleaning out the boys closets and playing on the internet and reading magazines and drinking cocktails."
RJ:  "Great!  Can you pass the potatoes?"

And so it goes...

So today I decided that I would clean the oven.

Since the oven is self-cleaning, though, I wouldn't actually have to do anything except set the timer, wait till it was done and maybe, if I was feeling a little crazy, wipe it out.

However, it takes three and a half hours to complete a cleaning cycle, so I could totally claim credit for that time.  I could just picture it.  "Honey, we're going to have to order pizza tonight.  I'm too tired to cook dinner.  I spent OVER THREE HOURS cleaning the oven today, and I am EXHAUSTED."

This plan was brilliant in it's simplicity.

So I set the timer (Whew.  I am working HARD over here), then wandered off to Pin some make-believe clothes and make-believe recipes and make-believe crafts on Pinterest.  Oh, and some uplifting quotes about exercise.  Those go so well with the recipes for Double Dark Decadent Chocolate Caramel Fudge Nutty Brownie Cake Ice Cream.

A few minutes later I noticed a faint smoky smell.  "Ah, that's just me cleaning the oven," I thought.  "This really IS hard work."

Within a couple minutes, however, my house was FILLED with smoke, and my smoke alarms, which, by the way, are hardwired in and therefore un-silence-able, were blasting at full force.

Did I mention it had been a few *coughcoughcough* since I had last cleaned my oven?  Sorry, I was just overcome by the smoke again...

Anyway, as I ran around opening windows, fanning smoke around with a dishtowel and turning on all the ceiling fans, I heard the doorbell ring.


The garage door guy was supposed to stop by this morning to adjust what he referred to as a "wonky eye" on our garage door sensor.

I met him at the door, which I quickly closed behind me.  "The garage is right over this way," I gasped, the outdoor air clearing my lungs.

"Ma'am, you ok?  Your house is, uh, smokin' a bit," the garage door man said.  "And are those smoke detectors going off?"

"Oh that? It's nothing.  Really. It's nothing.  Nothing to see here.  So, the garage?"  I responded, and then physically moved him out of the smoke that was curling our from under my front door and toward the garage.  This was no small, feat, by the way.  Dude looked like he loved him some sammiches or something.

With a last look back toward my smoking front door, he ambled toward the garage and began the wonky eye surgery.

I left him to his business then ran back inside, where I fanned more smoke and opened more windows and finally, finally got the smoke alarms off.

Ah, blessed silence.

Over an hour past the time I started the oven cleaning, I had cleared most of the smoke out of the house, turned the oven off it's self cleaning cycle, and sent the garage door man on his way.
Then I opened the oven, pulled on my rubber gloves, and set myself to cleaning out the oven the old-fashioned way, with elbow grease and lots and lots of water.

Later that day, I sent RJ a text.  "Pizza ok for dinner?  I've been cleaning the oven all day and I'm WORN OUT."

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