Friday, April 11, 2014
How do you order your day?
When I was growing up, our house was incredibly neat and tidy. My mom was amazing. She had five kids ranging in age from newborn to 15 and she not only took good care of us, but was a great cook and amazing housekeeper. She also found the time for an afternoon rest time and sewed a lot of our clothing.
My grandmother also kept a pretty neat house, so I am guessing she learned her good habits from my grandmother. Somehow, she never taught me those lessons. It wasn't like I didn't help out. I washed dishes, peeled potatoes, vacuumed the stairway and upper hall, cleaned the bathroom etc, but there are two things she neglected to teach me- how to cook and how to manage a household! I am not sure why that was. I think she must have taught my sisters who were 7 and 15 years younger than me, and my brother is also a neatnik, so somewhere along the line, she realized that was something she needed to do.
When I got married, I had already been living on my own for a few years and did a little bit of cooking, but most of the time I grabbed breakfast and lunch at the hospital I worked at and dinner was something you heated up in the oven. I got so good at it that one time when I had a date, I did a spinach souffle, turkey and baked potatoes that were all frozen precooked and heated in the oven and the guy thought I was a great cook! Then I got married and realized I hadn't a clue of how to make a roast, fry chicken, make sauce for Italian meals etc. I got a Betty Crocker cookbook for Two and learned a lot. I am a firm believer that if you can read, you can cook - my husband says that's a joke, because the only thing he can make is a precooked ham, but I stand by my belief. Over the years I have made gourmet meals, lots of wonderful baked goods etc. and it was all because of the cookbooks I bought. I learned how to tend a garden and can/freeze from our friend Spencer's mom and I did learn to make jam from my mother. She also gave me several of her recipes - her tomato sauce is so good we used to sneak little bowls of it while it was cooking! She wasn't Italian, but made her own sauce from scratch and I have never tasted better! I think my biggest fail was tuna casserole with potato chips. We used to watch Welcome Back Kotter and my husband always said I must have gotten my recipe from Julie! So, cooking I had down pat, housekeeping not so much...
I have to admit something - I HATE HOUSEKEEPING!!! I do everything I can to avoid it. I am not sure if that is because my mom ran such a tight ship that nothing could be out of place, or if I am just plain lazy. I remember not being able to have a friend in my room unless I turned the cover down on my bed so it wouldn't get dirty, or having to go out and watch where our dog did her business and then having to water it and put grass seed there so our lawn wouldn't look patchy. If my room was out of order, I would come home and everything in my closet and drawers would be dumped in the middle of my bed, and I would have to make it perfect. I had to vacuum out the car if I borrowed it and my dad literally used to vacuum the lawn and ajax the gutters. Our house looked beautiful, but I think for me it bred rebellion!
Initially I didn't do too badly - but of course, we didn't have a lot in those days. I love to do crafts, so often there were projects that were being worked on and some magazines on the coffee table. When we moved to Canada, we had a two story barn that held LOTS of stuff, so the house was tidy as long as I didn't bring too many projects inside at once. When we moved back to the US and our family increased to three kids, I really started having trouble getting things done. Usually the basics were good - the beds were made and things were reasonably tidy, but then we started homeschooling. I had three different types of curriculum, projects for three grades, was also a 4H leader and taught a Christian based "scouting" type of program at our church. It involved making crafts with the kids as well. SO, I had projects for all these things on the long counter in our kitchen and some of it leaked over to the table. I remember my son drawing a picture of the kitchen and the end of the table had this big scribble on it. I said ,"What's that?' and he answered, "The stuff on the end of the table." I was overwhelmed and had no idea how to sort things out. I never did figure it out. My children have all gotten married and gone, I don't work and yet, I still find it hard to take care of my house! Of course I spend too much time on the internet working on genealogy and getting sucked into Facebook and other sites, and of course, I am still making crafts.
I am trying to change and get some order in my life. I have been unsubscribing to newsletters and web sites, attempting to stay away from JoAnn, AC Moore, Hobby Lobby and Michaels so I can finish the projects I have before my eyes are caught by a new and different craft that I just have to master. But I need to make some sort of plan as to how much time I can spend on each thing. I need to make sure I find time to vacuum and dust (ugh), to read a magazine only once and then dispose of it by giving it to the library or someone who might enjoy it (well, not my genealogy magazines or my quilting magazines, those I need, but ones like Better Homes and Gardens, People, and Living), to plan my meals so I don't spend a fortune buying whatever at the grocery (my husband says I am like a crow -I am always pulled away by bright shiny things!) and leave time for the garden, time with hubby and time for those little surprises that always seem to come along - how the heck do you do that and keep to it? Really, can someone please clue me in on this secret???