Sunday, June 26, 2011

Organizing on the Sabbath

Usually working on the Sabbath isn't a recommended thing. I have done some reading on the what it means to rest from work and take a day that reminds you that God is God and you are not. A day where you celebrate creation and not worry about your to-do list. I feel very strongly about stepping away from the craziness and taking a deep breath and maybe a nap.

So, you might be surprised that I spent my Sabbath organizing my pantry. That's work, right? Well, not to me. To me it is a beautiful thing to take something from chaos to order. Spending a an hour purging old crackers, simplifying shelves and making things a little more manageable actually brings my heart joy. Ending the day with a heart full of joy is exactly the goal of the Sabbath.

Here is the pantry and Tupperware cabinet before. Remember, we just moved in, so things got shoved where there was space. My girls actually put away the Tupperware and they did a good job. I just needed to consolidate.

The cabinets were a mess. I wouldn't even look in them. I would just grab something and close the door.

I spent time using my Tupperware the way it is intended. Imagine that, when you put food in your Tupperware containers it organizes your pantry and it creates space in your plastic-ware cabinet.

Here is the new simplified plastic-ware cabinet. I was actually able to empty some things from a full cabinet in the utility room with all the space I created. Ah, space. there is nothing like having a space for everything and everything in its space.

Here is the pantry:

The amazing thing, that you wouldn't know until I told you, is that the pantry is actually now COLOR - CODED! Red for snacks, blue for cereal and baking goods.
When I told Maeve this she replied, "I think you are sick." Maybe, but I'm sick and organized! Hilde, who shares my organizational illness, just gasped and said, "Wow."

So, what is the sacramental lesson for the day? First, your Sabbath is your own. You can use it any way you like. Hopefully, it will bring you and the people around you joy.

Second, little things go a long way. I didn't win the lottery, I didn't get a new car, and I didn't meet Oprah - but I did something small, and fairly quick and it brought me great joy.

It is a great way to start the week.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Unexpected Fun

We took a detour today and ended up having an fun afternoon that recharged our batteries and gave us lots of creative ideas for the new house.

We stumbled upon Feathered Nest Market .

This great store is right across the street from our library but you can't really see it well the way we usually drive. Today we were headed the opposite direction and this gem of a store caught our eyes.

It is an antique, resale, vintage, flea market kind of place better known ad heaven for the three crafty Perrin ladies. We saw lots of stuff we wanted and lots of great ideas.

The timing was perfect because we have a whole house to decorate.

While we oohed and aahed down the aisles, I realized how fortunate I am to have girls. I am sure that I would have been happy had I birthed boys but I am pretty sure that afternoons like today wouldn't work so well. I can't imagine two boys lasting more than an hour with antiques and glittery things.

It was also nice to see things that spurred my creativity. I have been in a decorating rut lately. I am just trying to empty boxes, prettily arranging things hasn't been a high priority. One of the things I loved about the store is that each "room" was decorated.

Now I have bunches of ideas and a few things on my list to pick up next time.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Stay at Home Friday

We stayed home all day today.

No activities, no appointments. No driving. Daniel took the car to work. Having nowhere to drive made me very happy.

So happy that this may become a tradition.

It is nice when you can set your own pace for the day.

I didn't shower until 3pm.

When this happens, I always think of my friend Amy who said she sometimes only showers at 4pm because her husband is coming home. She said he should be thankful that she loved him enough to shower for him.

That was a long time ago. I am sure she showers earlier now.

They are still one of the happiest couples I know. Maybe it's the showering.

Anyway, it is lovely to be able to be about things without watching the clock because you have to be somewhere at a specific time.

I got a lot accomplished and I still feel calm.

I love when this happens.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The End of My Rope

When you are a mother or a stay at home mom or a housewife, your job is taking to care of the needs of others. It is actually more than a job; it is a vocation or a calling. A calling to live a certain way, so that your primary focus is to nurture others. (The discussion of terms like housewife and vocation is the subject for another post.)

Normally, I think I do a pretty good job. I can’t think of anything else I would like to do as much at the present moment. Normally, the love I have for my family outweighs the difficulties of the position.

Occasionally, I come to the end of my ability of selflessly take of others while maintaining my usually sunny disposition. There are only so many breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks I can prepare. There are only so many errands I drive for hours trying to complete. There are only so many times I can re-arrange my schedule to fit everyone and everything in and get it all done. Get it all done and not have a little resentment or grumpiness creep in, that is.

Yesterday, I reached the end of the rope. First off, it was hot. The week was long. I had been dropping off and picking up and running errands all week long. Did I mention it was hot? The car was boiling. I had spent the week driving all over town signing children up for activities, trying to find the right activities and fitting in doctor’s appointments in between picking up my husband from work.

The madness culminated yesterday in a three hour search for liquid doxycycl for Maeve. This is the antibiotic prescribed for Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. She doesn’t have either, we think. She did get tick bite while we were in Virginia and she did have a headache and she developed a rash last week. All of these things added up to a visit to the doctor just to make sure. Apparently doctors treat Lyme and RMSF profilacticely. This meant Maeve got an antibiotic, even when the doctor was pretty sure she wasn’t sick. On Thursday we filled the prescription at our local Wal-Mart. It took forever and we ended up wandering around Wal-Mart way too late in the evening. During this whole adventure Maeve also developed a real illness (head cold). On top of the regular madness, she actually had reason to be cranky.

The original prescription was in caplet form. This was her chance to learn how to swallow pills. This didn’t work so well. (My family’s inability to swallow medicine is also another topic for a post.) So, Friday morning I called the doctor and asked them to send another order for the liquid version. Apparently, no one stocks this. After many phone calls and three pharmacies and three hours of driving later. We had the specially-compounded-just-for-us liquid form in hand. Oh, the things I do for my children.

Sandwiched in between this quest for the elusive liquid was the husband drop off, breakfast, drop off and pick up at vacation bible school; contacting a two places to visit for gymnastics, a trip to the library to return over due books, a visit to gym to do a meet and greet and see if the daughter likes this one, many calls to the pharmacy, lunch and laundry. I also had to pick up Daniel and have him home by 6:30pm because he has an appointment. Living with one car can be daunting. Did I also mention we are still unpacking from a move?

By the time I finished putting away dinner at 8pm, I was toast. I was cranky, hot and overtired. I felt one step away from having a full blown tantrum. I almost threw the tantrum when Daniel turned off the AC in the car on the ride home because he was cold. He had been sitting in a climate-controlled office all day so I guess he was chilly. It took about five deep breaths before I was able to speak in a calm voice. Bitterness and resentment were beginning to take hold. I began to think bad thoughts such as, “Maybe if I worked full time, I could hire someone to do this.” “I’ll make the car as cold as I damn well want to, when I drive around for three hours.” “If you complain that this liquid medicine tastes bad, I just might throw something.” “Get your own damn snack.” I said none of these things, thank goodness. I don't think it owudl have helped.

The antidote for bitterness and resentment is to step away or a glass of wine. Make that and a glass of wine.

After dinner was on the table I wasn’t doing anything else. I went on strike. I plopped down on the couch and refused to move until I put the girls to bed and then I went back to the couch and sat until I went to bed. I had a glass of red wine. I watched My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, the news and David Letterman and then I went to bed. I left the dirty dishes in the sink. I left clean clothes in the washer and hoped they wouldn’t mold. I slept until 8:30am and I am still in my pajamas at quarter to ten.

At this present moment my family is gathered around me waiting for me to go to Home Depot and Lowes. During the writing of this post, I have made two breakfasts, done hair and moved the wet laundry to the dryer.

I guess my short lived strike is over. It’s a new day, a fresh start. A new to-do list is waiting.

My prayer for today is that love, kindness, respect and gentleness rule the day. I’ll let you know how I do.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

God Sightings, VBS and Squash Blossoms

Today my girls came home from VBS (vacation bible school) with homework to look for "God sightings". These are ways that God shows Himself to you during your day. It may be a hug from a friend, a prayer or a sunset.

My "God sightings" today were VBS and squash blossoms.

VBS was a God sighting for two reasons.

One, my girls have not been in years and while I think VBS is somewhat corny, they love it. I mean LOVE IT. They came home singing songs, telling stories about the stories they were told and describing new people they were meeting. The VBS is at a church that is on the short list of churches to join, so making friends and feeling comfortable is a great thing.

Second, I got to be alone in my house for three hours. I haven't been alone in months. I resisted the urge to unpack and clean and I sat and enjoyed the quiet.

My soul needed the time out.

Thank you VBS for the gift of a quiet house.

The other God sighting was squash blossoms. Squash blossoms are edible flowers and we purchased them at the farmer's market last week (which is a God sighting too). We learned about them on the Food network. Each girl got to pick one thing from the market and squash blossoms were Maeve's choice. We finally cooked them tonight. We stuffed them with cheese and spices, battered them and fried them. They were delicious.

Cooking with my girls is always a God sighting for me. I love the way they think. I love the way they actually work together. I love that they love to cook. I love that it is time together doing something we all love that produces deliciousness. Cooking with my girls is a "God Sighting" because it stretches me and forces me to give up control and slow down.

I am sure that there were more than two ways that God showed up in my life today but realizing these two made for a great day.