Tuesday, November 19, 2013

One Day: A Little Beauty and Order in My Home

Dear friends,

It's been over a month since I posted on either this Come, Weary Moms blog or Virginia's Life, Such As It Is.  The only blog I've kept up with at all is Watch the Shepherd because of my weekly hymn series and an unexpected post on troubling issues in the home schooling movement, which has had nearly 3,800 pages visits in the last 16 days. Yikes!

Frankly, I'm sometimes a very Weary Mom and there's not as much time to write. It's a busy life raising several kids, homemaking, and teaching three days a week in a private Christian school...  Well, enough said there.  All in all, I think I'm doing pretty well. For the most part, I love what I do, and I do what I love.  So it's a good kind of tired.

Monday is my "breathing easier day" since my grading and lesson planning are done over the weekend, and I'm off school for the day.  Not that I'm sitting around twiddling my thumbs!  Usually, Monday is a mix of housework, errands, appointments, and a bit of writing if I'm lucky.  This particular Monday was one for pursuing "a little beauty and order."  I'm trying to make my home a haven and keep it that way.  I do a little here and a lot there, and sometimes a major breakthrough push, but never quite catch up. Yes, my kids do help out with the housework, but does it really have to be this difficult to enforce little things like not eating in the living room or computer room?  And will I ever get the laundry and paperwork and books completely under control?  Yeah, I've been purging, purging, purging the clutter.  I took out a huge pile of books yesterday to donate to the library book store.   However, even with all of the puttering around, I think I've decided that with six of my kids still living here, I'll just have to hold my breath and wait a decade until they're all grown and gone before I can keep my house consistently clean. :-)  

Anyway, Monday....

After I drove my youngest two to school, I transplanted about two dozen golden poppy seedlings into a patch next to our front walkway.  (This is Florida, folks!)  When I was a little girl in northern California, I grew poppies and pansies and all manner of other floral lovelies with my sweet mother.  One of my ways of honoring and remembering her is gardening.  I hope they thrive and that the kids don't step on them.  They're so small, they are hard to see! I'll be writing a post on gardening soon, too.

This past weekend, I found two very attractive books on homemaking in the discount bin at the grocery store.  I know I could probably have found the same information on-line, and I actually do most of my reading on the web, but sometimes it's nice to have a real book in my hands, all there in one spot.  Can I get an amen?  I am also inspired by visiting my daughter's apartment and seeing how simple and attractive she's keeping it.  (It helps that she just moved in and doesn't have much stuff yet, but she's been shopping IKEA and it all looks lovely so far!  She said it seems like she's buying kitchen stuff as if she had 10 kids.)

I also found another favorite volume, Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion, that I bought at my fav used bookstore a while back.  I didn't get too far into any of them before I had to get up and try out few of the ideas.  You know, put it into practice!

I read about foyers.  Fascinating, right?  Two of the books had wonderful pictures of entry ways, and some featured wooden benches.  I've been wanting to switch things up in my front hallway lately, and I happened to have a beautiful bench buried in the storage room under laundry baskets.  Here we go!  Socks and shoes underneath, and backpacks off to the side.  Sure, I wish I could convince my kids to take them all the way to their bedrooms, but hey, I'm willing to compromise a little if the backpacks actually make it into their designated corner by the door.

In order to put the bench there, I had to move a tall narrow table from that spot.  I knew what I'd do with it, though.  I'm always running out of flat space when I'm writing lesson plans and doing my grading.  I like to lay out my books and papers, and not perch them on my lap or squeeze them onto my desk with my computer.  So, as you can see in the photo below, I placed it perpendicular to my desk as an extra wing. (It's a bit longer than what shows in the photo.)  I like!  While I was at it, I took the time to reorganize my desk, get rid of a lot of extraneous papers, put my medicines back in the cabinet, and pin up a few new fancies on my bulletin board.

I also took the time to read through a basket of sympathy and birthday cards that thoughtful family and friends sent in the past few months.  So sweet!  I came across a few that my mother had sent to me before she passed away.  Sigh.  I'll treasure them all.  I mounted two of the Mary Engelbreit cards on the front of my supply cabinet.

This is the little raised shelf area in the right hand corner of my desk, with containers for hair brushes, pens, pencils and scissors.  The little butterfly dish holds sugar-free hard candies.  The doily hangs down and camouflages all of the electrical cords (for charging my computer, iPod, and phone) tucked under the shelf.

I left the house after lunch to go visit my counselor, who is helping me sort through my life, including strategizing how to more effectively thrive in my duties in and out of the home. (For the record, she says, "Don't ever stop writing!  Make time for it!")  On the way home, before I picked up kids from school, I stopped into an interior design store, Kim Coe Designs.  I didn't buy anything, just enjoyed the beauty as an inspiration to my homemaking efforts.  They're all decked out for Christmas, of course!  These light-up snowmen in a basket were tempting, but I'll just wait until I get all of my holiday decorations out in two weeks to see what I already have.  I do like a little something new each year, but it's not like I need anything right now.  Anyway, I'm trying to simplify! (I did buy a pair of Christmas salt and pepper shakers on clearance at Walgreens later!)

For dinner, I had a big package of boneless skinless chicken breasts in the fridge.  I cut them into smaller pieces, and baked half of them with barbecue sauce and the other half with rotisserie seasoning and red potatoes, adding some crunchy onion topping near the end.  Yummy scrumptious!  My family appreciates the two flavor options.  

The rest of the evening?  Shopping, putting away laundry, cleaning up some more, and chatting with my very lively and affectionate kids.  

I didn't get everything on my list done yesterday, but as I often say, "Well enough!" Today's another day!  (And it was!  Today I did a lot of paperwork after I got up, then drove kids to school / bus stop, made lunches for one son and me, taught three classes at school, took two kids to appointments and then went to the science night at their school.  The three of us ate fast food (gasp!) and the rest had leftover chicken for dinner.  Now I have some grading to do for tomorrow.  Another full day, different than yesterday, but just as good!)

Other related organizing and decorating posts you might enjoy...

What does your daily or weekly life rhythm look like?  Leave a comment for me!

Virginia Knowles

1 comment:

  1. Amen to the real books, I know what you mean. Keep being encouraged with the beauty and order - it will come. God Bless