Monday, February 25, 2008

The Healthy Home

Hello darlings! Pretty Lady apologizes for being ever so political, these last few weeks. She doesn't know what has become of her. She suspects that she is a victim of seduction; she just discovered that Barack Obama has the same personality type as her Gentleman Friend--ENFP! No wonder she has such a crush on him! The age of the NF is upon us, after literally millennia of domination by STs! Perhaps, one day, it will be safe for INFJs to enter regularly into society without risking nervous breakdowns.

However, before that happens, we sensitive, introverted, intuitive types will still be spending a lot of time at home. And Pretty Lady has discovered, quite by accident, that she is a better housekeeper than she had previously thought.

For let it be known that Pretty Lady has very little in common with the garden-variety German housewife. One may eat off her kitchen floor, only if one is strengthening one's immune system for an extended tour of Cambodia. The corners of her bathroom tend to putty up. The inside of the microwave, the back of the stove, and the areas under the kitchen table and fridge get a rigorous scrubbing, nearly every year. She does a lot of Artful Draping and Stashing of unattractive clutter, when people come over.

Furthermore, this being a New York apartment, space is naturally at a premium. Therefore every square inch of her home is Densely Packed and Efficiently Used. Pretty Lady's 750 square foot one-bedroom is full-time residence to one lady, one gentleman, and one short-haired feline; it contains one painting studio, one bodywork office, one eat-in kitchen, and one video-editing station. It also contains a second office under the loft, an extensive art collection, four floor-to-ceiling double-stacked bookshelves, a media center, and a great deal of second-hand furniture.

And when a Sensitive Person enters Pretty Lady's home, they generally are not subject to a full-on allergy attack. So she must be doing something right. Here is what she does.


One large HEPA filter runs in the bedroom/office/studio, 24/7/365.

Air filter over heating/air conditioning intake, changed regularly.

Water filter on drinking tap, changed regularly.

HEPA filter in vacuum cleaner.

Humidifer in bedroom/office/studio during winter; it makes things feel warmer, and reduces scratchy skin from dehydration.

Plants: as many as possible, in front of every window.


Small garbage bags and waste baskets are used, so as to be emptied once a day, tied up and carried downstairs whenever anybody is going out anyway. Cat box is stationed in bathroom, next to toilet, with broom and other cleaning accoutrements right by, thus providing a Strong Hint to anyone who happens to be using bathroom regularly.

Cleaning products:

All non-toxic. Castile bathroom cleaner, Seventh Generation dishwashing detergent, all-natural shampoos, toothpastes and hand soaps.


Before every single client arrives. Specialty nozzles are used on furniture and in corners. Bathroom given a wipe-down at the same time.


Rinsed and put into dishwasher as soon as they no longer contain food. Dishwasher set to run at night, and emptied first thing in the morning. Counters and stove-top wiped down whenever empty, which is usually.


Windows opened every day the weather permits.


Same-day drop-off wash and fold is $.50/lb on the corner, and worth its weight in gold.

Sweeping re-organization and straightening of scattered objects:

Whenever Pretty Lady gets stressed and cannot think properly, which happens with reliable frequency. This is how Virgos manage. It is not a bad thing.

Pretty Lady, let it be known, is Not Your Mother. Nevertheless she earnestly recommends that people with allergies, chronic health problems, mental health issues and/or pets give her methods some consideration. These simple habits are not excessively time-consuming or excessively onerous; in fact, after a bit of set-up, they are less stressful and intrusive of creative hours than the constant tripping, sneezing, and working around great piles of chaos that inevitably happen otherwise.

(Also, as a last resort: A Word to the Wise.)


k said...

Ah, yes, yes, yes.

Clean air is SO good.

BoysMom said...

Imediately after giving notice that we're moving out, the rental house has been attacked by mold. The weather has warmed up, the crawl space/foundation is unventilated, the snow is melting, there is water leaking in the windows and puddling against the foundation, and we are so glad we are moving.
The smell is coming out of the heater vents--unfortunately it is not warm enough to turn the heater off, just getting into the forties by day. There is visible mold on the wall in one closet.
Any suggestions on living with this? We have less than two weeks before we go.

Desert Cat said...

An ozone generater pointed into the return air vent would do a spiffy job of both eliminating the odor as well as oxidizing the mold spores.

I recently bought a used one that was identical to one I had for years, on eBay for a pittance. New ones run up around $150+ for one simliar to what I have.

There is some controversy over whether ozone is more harmful than the problems it solves, but anecdotally both my wife and I have enjoyed the improved air quality with no ill effects (unless the unit is turned way up too high-- then it stings the nose).

Anonymous said...

I'm an ENFJ, my betrothed is an INFJ.

Pretty Lady said...

I used to test as an ENFJ, during my Wild College Days, but now I am definitely an INFJ.

DC's suggestion is better than anything I could come up with. I'm deathly allergic to mold, and would have to leave any house that was moldy ASAP.

BoysMom said...

Oh, trust me, with mold induced asthema in the family, we are leaving as fast as we can. The U-haul is reserved and we're packing. Move date is the 8th.
I don't think we could even get an ozone generator shipped to us before we leave, but if the landlord asks for suggestions on dealing with it I'll mention it to him. He'd have to hang it off the ceiling or something, the air intake is on top of the furnace. I'd imagine putting a filter on the furnace wouldn't hurt matters either. (Rental properties are so . . . interesting.)
I'm just going to keep the windows cracked a little as much as we can.
The exciting part of this move, is that we are going from zone 3 with a 30 day growing season to zone 6-or-maybe-7 with a 165 day growing season. I could grow almost anything there!

Anonymous said...

If you have allergies then a serious liver cleansing, such as detailed by Hulda Clark in her book "The Cure For All Disease", is a great help.
I went from serious sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes to nearly allergy free with just 3 cleanings. She recommends up to around 25 for a full cure.

Clean air is good too.