CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- "Company coming?" asked Celeste, lifting her feet from the coffee table long enough for me to dust underneath.
"What makes you think that?" I asked.
She pointed to my can of furniture polish.
"Bet that's older than me."
"Geoff won't let me use the leaf blower indoors anymore," I said. "Says it's too loud for everyday use, no matter how efficient it is for dusting."
"If there were power tools for cleaning," she said, "our house would be spotless."
My affinity for boy toys generally makes me better suited for Popular Mechanics than Better Homes & Gardens, but come spring, the compulsion to clean overtakes even me.
"Can't we just blame the dust on your grandma?" Celeste said. "Tell people she was agoraphobic and never left the house, so we spread her ashes indoors."
I dropped a few empty trash bags on Celeste's lap.
"Just the other day at work, my friend Penny was telling me how her husband once had this nasty old pair of shoes he absolutely refused to get rid of," I said. "The smell from those shoes was horrific, but he wouldn't part with them, so Penny quietly rubbed bacon grease all over those shoes, and his dog chewed them to pieces. Problem solved."
"You're sharing this -- why?"
"I've been saving bacon grease," I said. "You might want to spend some time cleaning your room before the dogs and I do."
My husband, the least messy member of our household, was cleaning the refrigerator. The kitchen is his domain. I relinquished control after Celeste claimed my cooking was causing her jaw muscles to overdevelop.