I love to make a good mess; I hate to clean one up. Worse, for me, than cleaning up one mess is cleaning our entire house. Not only do I not like it, I'm terrible at it. It's just not my thing.
When the kids were little and our days were jam-packed, we had a wonderful housekeeper who would come every other week and make the house sparkle. When we moved to the country, our housekeeper moved on to a full-time job. I've never been able to find a suitable replacement for her, and so I struggle to keep the dust bunnies at bay and the house looking respectable.
In October, after an especially frustrating day of cleaning, I sent daughter Mary a string of texts with "Tips for Housecleaning." They said things like:
1. Try not to break things.
2. Do not trip over the vacuum cord.
3. Don't get blood on the couch pillows from the cut you got from tripping over the vacuum cord.
You get the idea. Cleaning is just not high on my skill set. So I wasn't really surprised when, on Tuesday, I was cleaning the upstairs bath and knocked over a top-heavy aloe plant. Dirt went flying and, much to my dismay, three large leaves split from the central stalk. I swept up the soil and headed downstairs to compost the leaves. But then I didn't. Instead, I put them in our shower.
Next time I was showering, I ran my fingers down both sides of one of the leaves and extracted a mound of pure aloe vera which I then slathered on my legs before shaving them. The next leaf, I slit open and rubbed on my freshly shampooed hair, left it there for a few minutes, and then rinsed. Next, I added a bit of the gel to some baking soda and scrubbed my face. And the last dab I used to smooth down my wild eyebrows.
So, I'm sorry I knocked over the plant but I'm pleased with my recycling efforts to reuse the leaves. Turns out, there are many more uses for aloe vera. Here's how beauty experts use the gooey stuff to get gorgeous.