Cleaning the Grout

I have a tendency, when the pressure is on, to lose myself in tiny details, neatly blocking out the necessary big items.  We have a phrase for this in our family lexicon: I’m cleaning the grout.  While cobwebs are merrily waving hello, food in my fridge needs to wave goodbye; while beds need to be changed, batteries need to be charged; while dust bunnies need to be banished and resident dirt needs to be dismissed — I take up a toothbrush and focus in on two square inches of grout. 

My grout at the moment is the issue of Christmas stamps.  This is a tiny detail in the totality of Advent, but one about which I happen to care.  Here are some choices.  Generally there is a secular choice and a religious choice.  There are some other non-holiday stamps which might work.


Holiday Knits. 
Folks, these are a little too, um, folksy for me.
They remind me of Grandma Sweatshirts.
You are allowed to like them, though…

Luini’s Madonna of the Carnation
I like this as art.
But I’m not sure as a stamp.
I’m betwixt and between.

Polar Lights
These are certainly colorful. 
I will purchase some of these for regular correspondence and bills.

Celebrate
I guess this stamp replaces the traditional Happy Birthday stamp.
Christmas is the ultimate reason to celebrate, no?

Okay, it’s audience participation time.
What is your favorite?
Do you care?

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13 thoughts on “Cleaning the Grout

  1. P.S. — “cleaning the grout” – great description.    I go to the opposite extreme — bouncing from task to task like a superball.  The end result (nothing is really getting finished) is pretty much the same!

  2. I love stamps and delighted at the end of DH’s lease with Pitney Bowes when I could return the franking machine without penalty.  Now we use real stamps at the office and I get to buy lots of them in all different denominations.  That USPS CD they send me to *print my own* B&W hits file 13 😉
    I bought the Madonna/Child for my Christmas cards; Celebrate ones for fun and have ignored the Knits and Northern Lights.
    Looking forward to your Advent posts and pictures of your pretty china.

  3. I’m pretty traditional when it comes to Christmas and always buy the Madonna and Child choice they have (unless its particularly gawdy).  I liked this year’s choice of Luini.  I hadn’t seen the Northern Lights one and really like that too.  I don’t know that I’d use to for my Christmas cards, but it’s certainly nice for all other “regular correspondence”, like you’ve mentioned.

  4. I agree with your take on the Grandma Knits – just too folksy for my druthers. I like the Madonna, but I’d also like to vote for the Polar Lights. They’re festive, include the motif of light (always an appropriate motif for the season when we celebrate the Light that broke into our dark, sinful world), and I love their peaceful blue.SDG,Lynne, another grout cleaner

  5. I like the Madonna, and the idea of art on everyday things- art is meant to be looked at by everyone, and very few folks on my Christmas Card List would look at a Luini anywhere else.
    You ought to browse a copy of Jacob’s Geometry (text) and see the stamps they come out with to honor mathmaticians.  The Pythagoras stamp still floors me!

  6. I am just fresh from a dysfunctional family Thanksgiving gathering and was wakened 3 hours early this morning by jackhammering across the street. So picking stamps as a dilemma? I think not. Take one of each (minus the knits) and mix them all up. Enjoy the important things and let it go. (I reserve the right to take this all back when life becomes normal again sometime in January).  Love you more than the perfect stamp, me.

  7. Greetings fellow “grout-scrubber”~Choosing stamps for mailing is never difficult. I choose the ‘Madonna and Child’ each and every year because it says something to the receiver of my letter or card-that I celebrate the historical and spiritual of the season, not only the festive.I’m back to the grout…….er, floors!

  8. Pick the stamp that conveys the feeling you have about what you are sending.  I choose flowers (generic, whatever they have) for sympathy cards, etc.  And really, unless you have this absolutely out-of-the-ordinary stamp that no one else is sending this year, or one that just isn’t one you would choose, the majority of people will not notice.    Thus I vote that you go with the folksy ones because people will remember them because they will be surprised at your choice.And at least grout IS noticed.   We were scrambling to clean before one of our home inspections for our yearly homestudy update.  Dh was diligently mopping, dusting, wiping down, getting clutter put away, etc., while I feverishly cleaned the oven.  No, caseworkers do not check the inside of the ovens when they do homestudy visits.  Dh was completely perplexed and asked me what I was doing.  With that tone.  You know the tone; “What ARE you doing????  No one is going to see the oven and we won’t even be using the stove while they are here!”  Ah, but I would know.  (and he was doing all the real stuff, so we did ok.  I have gotten a teensy bit better about this.  Somewhat.)

  9. Am i the only one who likes the Celebrate stamps? They catch my eye! And i love the “grout” analogy (metaphor? sigh. i never know.) What i do likewise is, while there are huge multilayered piles all about, i will organize bill files.

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