Monday, October 31, 2011

Day 31: How to Build a Cleaning Routine

Please, grab a coffee or tea and settle in. It's a long one, today.

Well, after 31 days of this, I just may know something about it!

Far more important than the content of the checklist for cleaning is the structure you build for yourself for doing it.

Seriously. You are the crucible.

#1 Know thyself. You are the most important thing in this process. First and foremost you need to know how you change. How do you "do" success? Think back to a past success. How did you bring it about?

#2. Give up perfectionism. If you suffer from this, please, let go. No one was perfect but Jesus--and He didn't do housework (as far as we know).

This is why I keep the dining room table clear!

#3. Give up all or nothing thinking. This is my constant battle. You are not a failure because something didn't get done: but neither are you Mrs. All-That when you do get it done. Oh, it's OK to celebrate when you get it done just as it is OK to feel sad and reflect on how to do better when it doesn't go the way you wanted it too--but please do not get on that spiral staircase of thinking it's "all done" and you "deserve" a day off 'cause you're so awesome. You are awesome. The work still needs doing. I'm not even going to talk about going down the spiral staircase. That trip isn't fun either and it certainly doesn't put you in a place where you feel like doing housework, of all things!

Here's my staircase. My daughter's things wait for her to take them upstairs. The walls and risers wait for me to need re-paint them.

#4 Accountability. How are you going to stick to it? Change takes tremendous effort: some days more than others. This 31 day series was the perfect way for me to do this. Perhaps you might be able to call a friend every day. Would posting on facebook work for you?

Even with the Blog, I missed two days completely and on several I didn't do all the items on my small list. Those aren't the days that matter, though. It's the next day when you face the mess and start over. What helps you then? What brings you to the next day? The day that really matters? (By the way, you all taught me that. Thank you.)

#5 What has worked before? Now, I'm talking about cleaning. Have you followed Flylady in the past? Are there parts of her routine which worked for you? Can you implement those bits? Myself, I found the "hot spot fire drill" to be crucial to my success. I expanded the idea to include my whole main floor: it started out as a timed fifteen minute pick up and put away. I don't set the timer anymore: but it is the thing which has the biggest bang for my buck. It's magic.

Technically, this is a hotspot. Now, it is just part of the house that gets picked up.

#6 Start small--or big--whatever works best for you. Doing one thing (even if it was washing the dishes four times a day) would not have been enough for me to feel like I was making any progress. I needed to do that and other things as well. On the other hand, don't schedule two hours of cleaning a day--not at first! What's reasonable, for you?

#7 Evaluate not only how much time or how many tasks you will do each day, but sit down and figure out which tasks will mean the most to you. Seriously. What nags you most? What, left undone, makes you start talking nasty to yourself? If you're lucky and escaped self-esteem issues related to housework, then what tasks will make your house run more smoothly? When I started, it was dishes and laundry.

#8 Add cleaning tasks as it feels necessary and comfortable. For example, I have vacuuming down once a week on my list. I would actually be happier doing it every other day or so. I haven't committed to it yet, but I might. And don't worry about it making sense. You can add "mop kitchen floor once a week" before you have mastered "sweep kitchen floor everyday." You can even decline to make up a list of "regular cleaning chores" and instead pick one or two or three things you want to do in addition to your "must haves." It's totally up to you. You have my permission, should you need it, to rock your housework whatever way you want.

#9 Reflect and evaluate your progress. Add or subtract--not just what you're doing, but your expectations. For example, in June of 2009, I made it my goal to wake up to a clean kitchen counter every morning. I tried that for a week. It was too lofty a goal. I hadn't even developed the habit of doing my dishes directly after supper yet, so the work involved in trying to achieve this was beyond me. (In order to be able to do the supper dishes, I have to do the dishes before supper, too. And in order for that task to be manageable, I need to do them after breakfast. So, that's where we are now. If I do the dishes after breakfast I know that the day will run smoothly. I still wake up to a counter full of dirty dishes. I'll change that when I'm ready to give up a piece of my down time to take care of them.)

Remember to adjust for busy seasons. And hardest of all, realize it's OK: you can't do it all.

#10. Learn it, do it, teach it.

As it stands, my morning routine consists of the following:

Weigh myself.
Make my bed and pick up the master bedroom.
Wipe down the mirror, counter and sink in the upstairs bathroom.
Wipe the toilet. (The bit where the seat connects to the bowl is always bad.)

Walk around the main floor and pick things up and put them away. Put the dishes in the kitchen.

Go into the downstairs bathroom and wipe down the fixtures.

Gather the laundry and head to the basement to sort and start a load. Transfer if necessary. Fold, if there's anything still in the dryer.

Do the dishes, before breakfast or after, but certainly before lunch!

Do my weekly tasks.

And today, because I did want to end this series all caught-up--so far, I've done everything but the weekly tasks!

Boom da da boom.

I am so, so grateful to you all for following along with me and cheering me on--and reassuring me when I needed it. I appreciate it so much. Thanks to the Nester, too, for putting forth the idea. I wouldn't have done such a crazy thing, otherwise!

So, to sum up, build a strong foundation. Get some good scaffolding. Watch, listen and learn. Get 'er done. It'll be great.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 30: Nothing.

That's what I did today.

Oh, there was lots of car travel. In the darkness, before lunch, after lunch, after dinner. I dropped people off, picked them up, dropped them off and then picked them up again. I looked at fabric that wouldn't satisfy; I looked and looked and looked for white wrap-up velcro; and I struggled with making decorating decisions without knowing the whole picture first; but house work wise? I did nothing.

The bed lay crumpled. Nothing was swished or swiped. No one was weighed. Nothing was picked up and put away. Stuff was just shuffled all day from one surface to another, like the clutter was merrily playing musical table tops.

My husband did the breakfast dishes, and no one did them after supper. None of the plans and schedules which desperately need doing were done.

I wanted to end this series with a bang, but instead it's a whimper.


The windows in this room face North which means I never, ever see direct sunlight in this room.This remarkable effect was created by the sunlight reflecting off the window of a car parked in front of the house. It was so cool, I took a photo.

Browsing the 'net I came across Songbird's tips on how to dress a bookcase, as she puts it. I was reminded I wanted to deal with these shelves over the computer desk in the dining room/office.

I also wanted to put up a couple of new NON lights I got at IKEA.

So, I played. I dusted, too, but it really was mostly playing.

I decided to weed out a few books and dvds while I was at it.

I arranged the books at the top by colour.

I took the shells my son had collected for me on the beach in Newfoundland this summer and put them in an old clear glass candle holder.

I fussed and arranged and read over her tips. I rooted around for screws to fasten the lights.

The great thing about a board and bracket system for shelves, of course, is that the shelves are removable.

All in all, it was most satisfying.

The shelves and desk at dusk:

Light truly is a most amazing decorating toy, don't you think?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day 29: Smooth as Glass

Thank you all for your encouragement. It seems odd to me that you don't mind hearing all about my housekeeping every day! I'm grateful to hear that as I've tried to make each post interesting, even though I'm talking about the same subject all the time!

Both kids had activities related to Scouts and Guides scheduled today. My daughter sold cookies with a friend and her mother, leaving me free to help out my son and his troop clean up after a rummage sale at the Church which gives them their meeting and storage rooms.

So, I had a deadline this morning and it worked out well.

Made the bed, picked up things in the Master bedroom, wiped the glass counter, mirror and sink in the bathroom. My pick up and put away dealt with a lot of stuff left over from last night's shopping errands.

What the kitchen table looks like sometimes after a pick up and put away. The table is the holding spot for taking things to the basement.

I wiped down the fixtures in the downstairs bathroom and hemmed and hawed about doing laundry. I'm not entirely sure what's happening downstairs: I think we're close to the end, but Daedalus is working tomorrow so it will be a while before it's back together. (The dryer hose isn't connected to the exterior, yet, and I really hate running it). Line drying won't work: not only do I not have a line, but it wouldn't occur to Daedalus to take down any laundry hanging up before running the power saw!

I also did up the breakfast (and lunch) dishes before I left. I knew that would make me happy when I got home and it did.

Please forgive me the nasty drainboard. I bought the one that "comes with" the dish drainer and it wasn't big enough. There was a mess of water absolutely everywhere. I don't know why Rubbermaid didn't get it right!

"New" Curtains.

I have always maintained that I need to decorate my home in order to be motivated to clean it.

Hah! I now realise, that was just an excuse!

As a result of my 31 days of housekeeping project, I have this utterly fabulously clean home. Right. We know that. What I didn't know and could not have anticipated--was how much it motivates me to decorate!

I feel like it's become a sickness.
(But maybe it always has been. It was just half-hearted under the squalor.)

Nonetheless. Let's get to the curtains without further ado.


This photo was taken as part of the tongue in cheek "room tour" I posted back in March. What a lot of changes writing that post has brought to this room!

I bought the fabric sometime in the summer from a lower income department store here called Zellers. (Sort of like K-Mart.) It was a twin sheet. By happy accident, I discovered that a twin sheet is the perfect width for curtain panels 54-56" wide. There is extra fabric at the sides: but I just turned them to the back, pinned, and sewed through all three layers together.

I got one panel done just before Thanksgiving (October 14th).

I desperately wanted to finish the second one. So, the morning of our big dinner, I came downstairs and decided I'd take an hour and see how far I could get on the second one.

I got as far as measuring it, cutting it and pressing under the raw edge. Then Daedalus (my husband, not his real name) came into the dining room where I was working, plunked himself down on the computer and tried to rustle up the Thanksgiving Monday Canadian Football League game with the Montreal Alouettes. (He grew up there. He's a fan.)

That was it. I folded up my fabric, put away the iron, ironing board, and sewing machine and wandered into the kitchen to start chopping onions for stuffing.

Yesterday, almost two full weeks later, I finished it. Took about an hour, maybe two--between writing up a blog post and making dinner.

I grinned all night.

(Here's the photo which shows I got the second panel to line up perfectly with the first--and, hey, that hem's not bad either!)

Linking up to another inspiring 31 dayer: Marianne at Songbird. Her topic was "getting things done" and boy, did she ever! She was inspiring.

PS. You may remember I promised a tour of the dining room/home office/project room. I haven't forgotten. It just may take just a couple more days to happen.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Day 28: Dance.

A routine, is, apparently, just a bunch of habits linked together. They work best when there's a flow to them, a rhythm, a sequence which makes sense both for your tasks and for your body.

There is a reason it's called a dance routine.

It's so much better to face a clean sink in the morning.

Here are the steps:

Get up, brush teeth, return to bedroom.
Get out the scale and weigh myself.
Put the scale back and start making the bed.
Finish making the bed, get dressed, and pick up any clothes lying about and put them away.

Go back into the bathroom with glass cleaner. Spray the mirror, the glass shelf and the sink. Wipe them all with the microfiber cloth. Wipe the outside of the toilet seat, the seat and then the rim of the toilet.

Take the cloth and anything else which needs to be taken down the stairs.

Put the cloth in the downstairs laundry hamper, put the dishes in the kitchen and make coffee. Empty the dish rack from the night before.

While the coffee brews, walk around to the living room, the dining room, the hallways and pick things up and put them back where they belong.

Go into the bathroom, wipe down the mirror, tiles, sink and toilet as before. Put the cloth in the hamper. Take the hamper to the basement (and pick up anything waiting to go down on my way) sort the items and start a load of laundry. Transfer if necessary. Take any loads in the dryer out of it and fold. Come back upstairs, grab some coffee, my to do lists and go over them.

Start boiling my egg for breakfast. Wash the dishes.

This is what happened this morning and it was nearly perfect.

Most mornings I put away the dishes while the coffee brews and keep my daughter company while she has breakfast.

Sometimes I start the pick up and put away while she's here, sometimes I wait until she's left. Doesn't matter, really. The point is, this is the rhythm. This is the flow.

It is almost automatic. If I woke up tomorrow and I was somehow unable to do my routine, I think I'd feel off-balance, as though there was something wrong with my day.

I remember my whirling dervish of a grandmother. She did her housework all day long, it seemed to me. She was always moving, doing something. (I used to live with her in the summers when school was out as my Mom had to work.)

I remember one evening after having friends over she was complaining about how tired she was as she started to fill her sink with water and soap.

I asked her why didn't she leave those dishes for the morning? There weren't that many.

And she laughed and said, Oh no, she couldn't do that. There weren't that many.

It was like leaving them for the morning was unthinkable. (She would hand wash and dry those glasses, cups and saucers by hand, too. Then she'd wipe down the dish drainer and put it away. No leaving things out in her kitchen! (To be fair, she only had slightly more counter space than I do.)

I think I'm beginning to understand that now. Beginning, mind you.

I'm hoping that one day, before I am a grandmother, it will be unthinkable for me not to do my daily chores.

Imagine that.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 27b: Mary, Martha, Housework and Righteousness.

I was reading another 31 dayer last night and she brought up the first to fourth verses in Mathew 6. They are all about doing your good deeds in secret. If you do them "before men" and they honour you, then you will have received your full reward--and will miss out on one from God.

I did my daily tasks today afraid that that is what I have done with my 31 days. I am afraid that by having posted my good days (and my bad days), by trumpeting my successes before you, and having received your praise and encouragement (for which I am so grateful) I have "cheated" myself out of a gift from God.

Wow. Was I having setting myself up to have a bad day, or what?

It did occur to me to ask: do these verses even apply to me and this project? To answer that, we have to ask: Is housekeeping an "act of righteousness?"

As I put away my husband's clean clothes which have been sitting in the basket for, what, two days, now, I was grumbling to myself about it. And then I thought, why am I so upset about this? Do I think I am doing my husband a favour by staying home and looking after him, the house and the kids?

We have a very traditional marriage: I stay home, he goes to work. I know that sometimes he wishes I would work--just to alleviate some of the pressure on him. And sometimes, I wish he would take over the housekeeping for a week or two.

The point is, we could change the way we have things set up. As it is, doing the laundry, washing the dishes, shopping and cooking supper--that's my job. They aren't even "acts of service" strictly speaking. To my way of thinking, "acts of service" are acts above and beyond the necessary, the required, the ordinary. I could be wrong. But, they aren't "acts of righteousness" either, not by a long shot. As far as I understand it, it seems an "act of righteousness" has something to do with following God's law. Thus, how I feel in my heart about putting away my husband's laundry may be more an "act of righteousness" than doing the laundry, per se.

Does that make sense?

We have to have Mary's heart while we do Martha's tasks. And the Lord will surely reward that, as he promised.

Day 27: Desk Day

It's a Flylady concept. I love having an "Desk Day." That's the day to pay bills, deal with e-mail, deal with forms, make appointments, and the part I don't like--file papers.

I'm not entirely happy with my tray--though I love my tray. It's just that these papers left over need a home that isn't in a stack.

Uuuuugly. This is only a temporary solution. I hope. I got these out of the basement--I've had them for over twenty years, I'd bet. I'll figure something out.

I had a slow morning.

But, by noon I had made the bed, picked up the master bedroom, swiffered the floor and wiped down the upstairs bathroom.

I'd done two dish racks of dishes. Cleaned the microwave, inside and out.

Washed, dried and folded some laundry. Put even more away.

Wiped down the sink in the downstairs bath.

I was in quite a funk all morning about the whole housekeeping and blogging thing. I am going to miss doing this: and I'm scared I will backslide horribly. I did way more work today at my desk than I would have if I didn't have to come to the blog and report on it. And I'm not even going to mention it all because it was a lot and it's boring. But I will mention two things:

1) Christmas is coming. Did you know that Aby Garvey (of Simplify 101) is offering a 28-day plan to get your house ready for the Holidays? It'll be offered for free, on her blog. It started today. I'm excited about this! As well, today I signed up for her annual Get Organized for the Holidays course. That starts Tuesday.

2) There's a new month next week. I made up a bill list and ran off the necessary items to begin preparing for the Big Shop.

Ugh. Once again, I've put off the "fun" things on my list: two decorating projects I wanted to have done by today. I also haven't got to washing the floors in the kitchen and the bathrooms.

What to do?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 26: Lazy Day


I woke up quite early this morning in order to take a shower and sneak my way to my daughter's school where she was getting an award. (She didn't know she was getting it.)

That was fun. It took me fifteen minutes of solid walking to get there and twenty to get home. The wind sliced through my ears. At least it was sunny. I really didn't mind that much.

(By the by, this is one of the reasons I made an effort to lose some weight this summer. Last year, my knees and feet could not manage the walk at all.)

I came home, made a pot of HOT coffee, turned on the computer, checked Apartment Therapy--and never looked up again except to forage for food.

I made the bed. I wiped down the fixtures in the downstairs bathroom. I washed the breakfast and lunch dishes at about 4pm. That's it.

But you know what? I refuse to beat myself up. All that does is create self-defeating and disempowering self-talk--and I don't need that! Someone once asked me an excellent question: How would I reply to a friend who told me what I had to say?

What a great question. I wouldn't call her a loser. I wouldn't say she was a failure. I wouldn't tell her she'll never get this problem fixed. I wouldn't say she was condemned to live in a pig sty forever.

I'd say, "Wow, sounds like you had a relaxing day. You must have needed it. You'll get back on track tomorrow."

PS: I also gave my son the day off from school as he was feeling a bit under the weather still and had a Mega-Block Birthday present with just under a thousand pieces to keep him occupied. So, there won't be any homeschooling report this evening.

Fall Cure 2011 Day 3: Aspirations

I've always thought of images of interiors as inspirational. But Maxwell is calling them "aspirational" these days.

Jaimie Drake via Color and Style

Personally, I don't like the upward, reaching, grasping, connotation to "aspiration." It's outward. Worse, to my ears, it's riddled with consumerism.

The Spade Kitchen. source: The Selby

Inspiration is much more inward. It's reflective, meditative, thoughtful. Organic.

source: Little Green Notebook (her own entryway)

I looked at blogs today with the word "aspire" in mind and I became depressed. Discontent. Envy stole my joy.

Jill Scholes via Desire to Inspire

I looked through the hundreds of images I have already saved to my computer which inspire me and I wanted to jump up and create something.

After hours and hours of looking at beautiful interiors today, both new and old, I traveled what seems like a gravel logging road from the valley of envy to the mountain top of exhilaration.

source: decor pad

I can imagine myself inside some of these interiors. They speak to me, personally, intimately.

Others speak differently. They will forever remain simply beautiful. Marvels. Three dimensional works of art.

Steve Giannetti via Cote de Texas

To be admired and appreciated. To bring me joy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 25b: The Homeschool Report

As promised in the Goals post, here is today's Homeschool Report.

I am so relieved to be able to report--and before dinner, no less--that we have completed all the items on the Homeschool schedule. Today.

It wasn't seamless. It took effort. I had to confiscate a game and a dvd. It got ugly more than once.

A lot of my problems come from not paying attention. I suppose that's not particularly unusual. Like anyone, when I'm interested in something, I give it my full attention. I know what's going on. I do whatever it is I need to do in order to stay on top of it.

But, since my daughter started attending public school last fall, my heart for homeschooling seems to have gone with her. It's wrong. It isn't fair to the student I have with me still and, thus, I have to change it.

I sat down with the work he did today to go over it and see what was what in order to write up this report. Let me just say that I am so glad I did. My inattention has caused him not to pay attention as closely as he should. My inattention has meant he hasn't been accountable to anyone for how he has been doing his work.

I am hanging my head in shame.

We'll do the corrections.
We'll do the work scheduled for tomorrow.

And I hope we have a happier report tomorrow night.

Day 25: Grumpy.

Daedalus (my husband. Not his real name.) had to go back to work this morning after his week off. We don't get up with him.

But, my daughter and I overslept our alarms. So, I woke up "behind." That was the first "grumpy."

I gathered all the clothes out of our laundry hamper to sort into baskets and take downstairs. The laundry room isn't done: but Daedalus hooked up the machines last night before bed so I could do some laundry.

As I turned right at the bottom of the basement stairs and stepped into the laundry room, I just missed a pile of fresh poop.

That's the second grumpy.

I started the first load and helped my daughter get some breakfast (last of the frozen pre-made pancakes. Errgh.)

Then, I walked into the living room to begin my "pick up and put away" and lo and behold, a fresh wet stain on the carpet.

What is wrong with the dog? Is he just protesting my husband's return to work? This is the third time in five days in roughly the same spot. I'm going to have to do some research and figure out how to stop this. Fortunately, our curbside carpet was treated with something, but nothing can stand up to much more of this abuse.

Oh--and the last grumpy?

(If you are at all sensitive, have a weak stomach or are eating something, look away.)

I put a quarter down for scale

This was left in a bucket under the bathroom sink.

Yes, Daedalus finally tackled that clogged bathroom sink. He said he'd found a "clump of hair" in the pea trap.

The anger gave me a lot of energy, though. I scrubbed away at that stain in the carpet (before breakfast!) and wiped down the fixtures in the downstairs bathroom. Truth be told, I am glad we have the sink useable again!

I washed the breakfast dishes after briefly debating with myself about leaving them until after lunch and just giving up this morning and hopping onto the computer.

But I did them after cleaning out my purse and reviewing the calendar and my to-do lists for today.

I have washed, dried, folded and put away two complete loads of laundry already! (There'll be more.)

I went upstairs, wiped down the upstairs bathroom, made my bed, and quickly dusted. I knew today's Fall Cure 2011 task was "buy fresh flowers." Currently I have lots, so I made a fresh bouquet for my nightstand.

You know why?

I knew it would cheer me up.

And so it does.

(Did you catch that? I did housework to cheer myself up. It's just weird.)

Movin' and Shakin'

OK, so maybe I exaggerated a wee bit the other day when I mentioned I was changing things up in the living room to accommodate the "new" rug.

Nonetheless, I have made a few changes.

The most dramatic has been new curtains from IKEA.


Usually in winter I put up a set of triple pleated brown polyester drapes. They weigh a ton. They're old: but I like them. But they are a bit "heavy" for summer.

So, as I usually do when the light lengthens, I put up these cream tab tops this Spring.

This was supposed to be the "before" picture for the summer project item "lengthen living room curtains."

They waited patiently for me to make up my mind about what I wanted to sew along the bottom. I waited for direction, inspiration, something to strike. And then we found the "new" carpet. Not even a coordinating bottom could save them.

I confess I'd lost heart long before when in the attempt to iron one of the six panels I found the edge had been twisted beyond all redemption.

They served me well.

Don't mind the chairs. That's just me trying to figure out how to make things work.

I've read that a clear bright colour like my teal rug needs lots of white, black and other clear colours to look its best. Now that I've purchased and hung white RITVA curtains from IKEA, I think they're right.

Can you see the difference?

I'm letting all six panels go to Value Village.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 24: The Fall Cure 2011, Day 1

Yep. Maxwell is doing that abbreviated 20/20 cure for "busy" people, again. Yep. lots of dusting, vacuuming and flower buying. Whatever.

It feels odd to say, "I don't need it." But I don't. Not the extended 8 week version, or this quick lick and a promise version. It feels odd--but strangely liberating too. Odd because the Cure was the reason I started this blog in the first place. 829 posts ago I wrote the very first post announcing my intention to participate in the fall Cure of...wait for it...2007.

Liberating because this daily thing is working so well. Finally, I feel like I've got this cleaning figured out.

Nonetheless, I can't ignore it. I'm not quite ready to just let it go. So, here is what I'll do. As always, I'll make it work for me.

Today, Maxwell encouraged us to "surface clean" one room: vacuum and dust. I chose the dining room. With spilled chocolate cake crumbs and gift packaging littered the floor, a toddler's handprints and a Beagle's nose prints smudging the windows, it seemed the obvious choice.

So, in addition to my morning routine, I quickly dusted all the shelves, washed the windows and swept.

Then, I wiped down the top of the two doors, the sides and cleaned up a few spots on the walls.

I've been wondering how to prioritize my projects and get them done. This 20/20 Cure thing may provide me with the format I need. This week, I will finish up the projects related to the dining room and give a little tour on Friday.

Then, we'll do the kitchen and the living room in the weeks following. I just made up a schedule. Either it is unrealistic: or I am going to be very busy!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day 23: Goals

Nothing like the smell of chocolate cake creeping into the corners of the house to put me in a good mood!

I woke up this morning determined to not let let today slip by like yesterday. I weighed myself. I didn't make the bed: I changed the sheets! Then I made the bed.

I wiped down the mirrors and the fixtures in the upstairs bath. I'll be sending my daughter up to wash down the walls, clean the toilet and wash the floor.

I wiped down the fixtures in the downstairs bathroom and swished the toilet bowl.

I've picked up the house, more or less. I washed the dishes while I "helped" my daughter make her brother's birthday cake.

No laundry. I'll have to ask Daedalus to hook the machines up tomorrow so I can get his work clothes ready, at least.

I have to plan lunches, yet, and make up my grocery list (and go shopping for the next ten days. Terrible Tuesday is coming back up--already!) Then, I have to make up our homeschool schedule for the week.

I thought about adding biweekly chores to my list: I probably should. But, frankly, my biggest challenge right now is doing what I need to do with my son to make sure he gets through his school work everyday.

There are eight or nine weeks left until Christmas: surely I can focus that long and keep us on track (though I will be tiling the bath tub and shower in a few weeks). I think what I need to do is come here in the evening and quickly report in on whether we got done what was on the schedule for the day. I hesitate, though, because I do not want to make this a homeschooling blog. Yet, the accountability is necessary and so helpful. It would only be for a week.

Nonetheless, I think I will give him the day off tomorrow. He went to camp this weekend not feeling well. He'll be getting his gifts tonight and I'm pretty sure all he'll want to do tomorrow is rest and make a start on some of his stop motions with his new toys.

Inspiration: The Living Room

I've been surfing over at The House of Turquoise lately to try and find a way to live with our "new" carpet.

There's a story behind it, of course, but it is a simple one.

Daedalus (My husband. Not his real name.) and I were actively looking for and discussing carpet options. The thing is, we need an 8x10 for our living room--and they are a bit out of our price range.

As well, our sweet Beagle loves to leave little "presents" for us whenever we leave him alone. (We tried crate training him but it didn't work.) So, we were understandably reluctant to spend good money on something that may be wrecked as fast as our old one. (Of course, we know that the less you spend the quicker the rug will be ruined as it is of poor quality to begin with!)

So, one evening this summer while we were walking the mangey mutt we noticed a house for sale in the neighbourhood. As luck would have it, outside by the curb was a TV, a bunch of plastic shoe boxes, odds and ends and this bright teal rug. I hemmed and hawed for five full minutes and then sent my son and husband down to carry it home.

It's bright. It's bold and it's bossy.

Kind of like these inspiration pics.

Betsy Burnham via House of Turquoise

How about this?

Chris Barret via House of Turquoise.

and this?
Porter Design via House of Turquoise

This, taking Turquoise in a quieter direction, is also lovely:

Phoebe Howard via House of Turquoise

and one more:
Kathryn Chaplow via House of Turquoise

I have no idea, really, where we'll end up....but things are movin' and shakin' around here.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 22: What, Again?

Today, Nester has a post on not liking her limitations. Today, that's how I feel, too.

I took my sweet time with the Morning Routine today. In fact, I don't think I've finished. Let's see:

I started with picking up the house while coffee brewed. As I was picking things up and putting them away, I came across the purchases I made at IKEA yesterday. I hadn't had a minute to deal with them. So, over coffee, I put together two Kassett video boxes. Then, of course, I had to deal with the rest of it.

There's water standing in my downstairs bathroom sink, again, so I did not swish and swipe (though I could have. It really wasn't any reason not to.)

No laundry. No laundry room, yet. What does it say about how many clothes we have that I haven't been able to do a laundry for a week: and all I've needed is cleaning cloths?

I did review the calendar as my daughter had to be somewhere to sell Girl Guide cookies later this afternoon. I did not make a list. I did not make my bed, but I did weigh myself. And I waited and did the dishes after lunch. Believe me, I had to give myself a good talking to to do even that much.

Today is the last day of the weekly list. What did I not do?

Dust. (again!)
File papers.
Change our sheets.
Wash the upstairs bathroom.

Tomorrow, we're celebrating my son's 14th birthday, so I'm not sure I'll get these things done. I'm not sure what to think about that.
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