Tuesday’s Homemaking

I did not accomplish exactly what I had planned on accomplishing. My husband was just handed a huge project for work and spent most of the day on the phone. I did manage to keep the kitchen clean, tidy the living room, wash some laundry, and reorganize a bit.

Until this morning, this counter was covered in piles of library books, mail, and my knitting projects. It was a mess! I took all of the library books downstairs and moved the printer off the floor. However, I still had several piles that I couldn’t figure out what to do with.

This is what was underneath that counter. Some adaptor for the cable television we have no possible way to actually watch (but is free with our internet service). The Wii, plus all the accessories that go along with it. All stuff that we won’t be able to use until we buy a television.

I moved all of that downstairs into our spare bedroom. Here is the result – a couple library books, my knitting, and printer paper. All things that are actually being used in our day to day life.

And here is our current living room. Sparse, isn’t it? Our bed is propped up against the wall so that the cats don’t jump on it while the sheets are in the wash. Over the fireplace, I taped a print of one of my favorite paintings. It brightens the room a bit, I think.

The only thing I wasn’t able to do today was to clean the floors. I am supposed to sweep every day because the cats track their litter, fluff hair all over the place, and normal dust accumulates. It’s disgusting what I sweep up every day but I guess that would normally be hidden in the carpet. Then on Tuesdays, I want to dry mop the upstairs floors. I will have to add that on to tomorrow’s list!

On the schedule for Wednesday – clean the upstairs bathroom and our pantry (the closet in the hallway).

Monday’s Homemaking

After yesterday’s rather honest confession, I decided that it would be best to try to remedy some of my procrastination/laziness/lack of motivation. It was hard. But I pushed myself and was able to complete all of my housework.

Monday Cleaning – Kitchen

  • Tidy kitchen
  • Wipe down front of cupboards
  • Serious counter scrubbing
  • Sweep floor
  • Mop floor
  • Eliminate junk mail/library book/random pile that accumulates on my counter
  • Next week I want to add scrubbing the fridge drawers and shelves to my Monday Cleaning.

    In addition to this, I swept the entire upstairs and cleaned out the cat boxes. I even washed, dried, and put away all the dishes after dinner! For me, that is a huge accomplishment.

    My cleaning is usually finished by lunch. In the afternoon, I study Japanese, read books, read blogs, and knit. Here is today’s knitting progress.

    I finished the second skein of yarn on my dad’s scarf. He wants all three included! The scarf is already almost as tall as I am, about 63 inches so far. Tomorrow I’ll be starting the third skein. I hope to have the scarf completed by the end of the month so that I can start working on Christmas presents.

    And tomorrow I tackle the living room!

    A second month of homemaking?

    I don’t know why I am struggling so much with this challenge. Last week, I cleaned the house from top to bottom. It looked really good! Then we had a very busy four day weekend.

    Friday – My SIL flew in from LA and settled in for four days.
    Sabbath – Two friends drove up from Portland to see us and SIL; they stayed overnight.
    Sunday – Portland friends left. Hubby’s childhood friends came over for a couple hours and then we went out for the rest of the day.
    Monday – My SIL flew out in the evening.

    In between all of that, we explored Seattle. Hours of city driving and visiting restaurants and shopping districts and country drives.

    We had a lovely time!

    But come Monday night, I was wiped out. Tuesday, still exhausted. Wednesday, still exhausted. Then I spent the rest of the week with no motivation for anything productive.

    Why can’t I do what needs to be done on a regular basis instead of tackling everything at once and then letting it pile up again? So frustrating!!

    I’m exploring and praying about several ideas of why I struggle so much – Laziness. Lack of motivation. A house that, once cleaned, still doesn’t feel like home.

    I don’t mean to complain. I really don’t. Just sharing what’s going on.

    Last week, we took our cat to the vet. Still waiting on test results. Provided we don’t need to spend any additional money, we are still hoping to order our new bed on Friday. Maybe sleeping in the master bedroom on a regular bed, instead of in the living room on an air mattress, will help us feel at home. Maybe I’ll be able to get some quality sleep. Maybe then I’ll find my motivation and energy again.

    I hope so!

    A month of homemaking

    She looketh well to the ways of her household,

    and eateth not the bread of idleness

    Proverbs 31:27.

    I had detailed plans for my September challenge. Originally, my plan was to focus on eating fresh fruits and/or vegetables at every single meal. I thought that would be a great addition to our attempts at a healthy diet. However, hubby and I are still sleeping on an air mattress. We order a bed on Friday afternoon but that will use up the entirety of our account. It’s just not good timing for an additional grocery expense.

    Instead, at the very last minute, I decided that I’m going to spend September focused on my job – that of being a fulltime homemaker. It seems these days I do anything but my job at home. I mentor a Bible reading program, write blog posts and read others’ blogs, knit, and study Japanese. All of these are good things but they are not the most important thing in my life. Outside of my relationship with God, my relationship with my husband is the most important thing and that includes my duties as his wife.

    This week, my focus is on finding a loose schedule. Attempts at strict scheduling while still in Arizona failed miserably because my husband works from home. He works very long hours but is not on a strict schedule. Sometimes he takes breaks during the day. Sometimes he works all evening. And sometimes he works through the night. All of this, since he was working in our living room, made it difficult for me to develop and keep a homemaking schedule. A good portion of his job is phone support and conference calls and that requires me to be absolutely quiet.

    Right now, my husband is working out of our dining room. That is the same situation as in Arizona but it seems he is on the phone less. Eventually, he will be setting up an office downstairs in our spare bedroom but has to wait until we can afford to purchas office furniture. For the time being, a loose schedule is the best I can do.

    For the past few days, I have shut my laptop and not allowed myself to use it until after 10AM. This gives me several hours to read my Bible, eat breakfast, and complete various housekeeping chores. Getting on the computer first thing in the morning is a difficult habit to break, but a necessary one. I can waste hours on the computer being “productive” by responding to emails, reading blog posts, finding new recipes, browsing knitting patterns, etc. Again, these are all positive things but they need to be limited.

    I will spend the rest of the week coming up with a loose schedule and a list of housework that needs to be done each day, each week, and each month. I have bookmarked several websites that discuss homemaking binders and will report back at the end of the week!

    A Month of Knitting – Week 3

    A finish! My first finish in several months. I am so happy!

    Sorry for the bad pictures. It’s late, I’m still feeling under the weather, and I don’t think this shawl is very photogenic. While I am happy to finish it, I kind of wish I had chosen a more distinctive pattern. Ah, well. It’s a good starter project. This shawl is very warm and should help keep me toasty this winter. Plus, I love the color!

    So what’s next? I get to play with this lovely gray, wool yarn.

    My dad requested a warm scarf for his birthday. He even picked out the pattern! In July, when I was visiting my grandfather in Wyoming, my dad and I made a quick stop into a local yarn store and he picked out the color and yarn he wanted. The store didn’t have enough skeins in one color lot, so I made a special order and it arrived just yesterday. Perfect timing!

    I’m really excited to be working with such big needles. What fun!

    A Month of Knitting – Week 2

    I haven’t posted lately because I’ve been so tired. We are still sleeping on an air mattress and I don’t think I’m getting more than 3 or 4 consecutive hours of sleep. We figured out our budgeting and determined that we can order a mattress on September 9th. A little less than four more weeks! Maybe once we have the new bed, I’ll be able to get a full night of sleep and have more energy during the day.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been diligent about knitting every day. It’s not much but I complete at least two rows each day, roughly 30 minutes of knitting.

    I had hoped to complete my shawl this week but fell a bit short. Two inches left to knit!

    A Month of Knitting – Week 1

    The first week of my knitting challenge is already complete. I knitted every day! Some days were more productive than others, but I knitted at least two rows each day. As the rows keep getting longer, each row takes 10-15 minutes depending on if it is knit or purl.

    I had hoped to work on more than one project but my shawl is so close to completion that I’m pushing myself to finish it before starting another.

    Bruno supervising my shawl

    32″ complete

    Three inches left to go

    I should be able to complete the body of the shawl this week. Then I just have to add the rest of the border. Today was chilly and I could have used my shawl when we visited the mall. I’m excited about being so close to the end!

    August – a month of knitting

    Because of life happening over the past few months (strange, isn’t it?), I haven’t had the energy or motivation to commit to a thirty day challenge. Now that we are getting settled in Washington, I’m eager to begin a new challenge. I did not plan ahead at all, just thought of things that I’m already doing but could focus and push myself on. I needed a challenge that does not require any money, thus the need to be creative with what I already own. What better project to tackle than my knitting?

    I am going to spend some time every day for next thirty days pushing my knitting knowledge and skills past their current limits. At this point, I do not want to commit to a certain amount of time, but I will pick up my knitting every single day.

    Here’s what I have on my needles right now:

    Moss Shawl
    My moss bordered shawl is currently 26 inches long. The goal is to reach 35 inches and then add the rest of the border.

    Baby washcloth
    I have made this dishcloth pattern before. However, this one is on smaller needles. Hopefully it turns out well!

    Upcoming project – fingerless mittens

    This is my challenging project for the month – fingerless mittens. Thus far, I have only knitted flat items: a scarf, a partial shawl, and several washclothes/dishclothes. The mittens will stretch my knitting to a new level and I’m excited to try!

    I only know three knitters “in real life,” but two live in Michigan and one in California. I would love to meet other knitters online! Want to connect with me on Ravelry?


    Bible Alone 30 day challenge – recap

    It seems it was just Christmas and now it’s February first. January was a long month but, at the same time, it flew by! It feels like I just started my Bible only challenge but it’s already over. When I posted last week, I mentioned that I was hoping to read through the end of Nehemiah. Once again, I underestimated myself!

    During the 31 days of January, I read:

    Judges 12-21
    1 Samuel
    2 Samuel
    1 Kings
    2 Kings
    1 Chronicles
    2 Chronicles
    Psalm 1-13

    I could have read more. I found myself mainly reading first thing in the morning and again right before bedtime. Occasionally I would sit down in the middle of the day and read a few chapters or read a bit while waiting for a pot of water to boil. I didn’t read the Bible for as many hours as I would normally spend reading other books, but spent more time each day in the Bible than I usually do. It’s a matter of balance, I think.

    To be very frank, I learned a lot about myself during this challenge. Reading the Bible is not exciting to me, though I do enjoy it. When I read other books for the first time, I find myself excited to sit down and see what happens next. I’ve read the Bible completely through at least three times and have read a few of the books (Psalms, Proverbs, Genesis, the Gospels) numerous times over my life. I was born into a Christian family and thus have heard many of the Bible stories many times. For the most part, I know what’s going to happen next. The familiarity strips away some of the eagerness of reading.

    On the other hand, each time I read through the Bible, I learn new things. I become aware of holes in my Biblical education, of biases that are taught in children’s classes or facts that are left out. For instance, do you know how Esther came to be queen? She pleased the king, and it wasn’t simply because of how she looked! How PG-13! Just last week I finally caught on to the fact that the Jews (in the book of Esther) were saved not because they weren’t hunted by non-Jews. No, they were hunted but because of Esther pleading with the king were allowed to defend themselves and killed thousands and thousands of people in one day! That was not taught in my Primary School class.

    Now that I’m older and taking the time to search, I love tracing themes throughout the Bible and seeing how the Old Testament and New Testament are tied together. You can’t reject the Old Testament by saying we’re no longer bound by it or to it. There’s so much in the Old Testament that is still relevant, that is still crucial to our understanding of God. So much of what is taught in the New Testament is also taught in the Old! Unless we take the time to read both, we don’t see the complete picture.

    Overall, I came away from this challenge with a greater appreciation of the Bible. I’ve found that I can spend 30 minutes reading the Old Testament stories and not get bored. While it’s not exciting per se, it’s interesting and important and relevant. I really enjoy spending time with God first thing in the morning and last thing before I go to bed. I’m looking forward to spending more time in God’s Word.