Monday, February 26, 2007

The ABC's of Homemaking

I've really been struggling with feeling like a maid lately. It seems that my entire existence consists of cleaning, laundry, cooking, and stain removal of all kinds. I'm no domestic diva, but I thought I would share my insights and opinions about housekeeping. Thanks to More Cowbell for the idea.

Aprons? - I have quite a collection, but I never wear them. I'm actually a rather neat cook unless I'm dealing with chocolate. But I do have a favorite apron. Kendra made it at preschool and it proclaims that I am, indeed, the world's greatest mommy.

Baking? - I love to bake. I'm a super-geeky baker. I actually weigh my flour for certain recipes because it's so much more accurate than scooping.

Clothesline? - Not a clothesline, per se, but I do drip dry several blouses, sweaters, and other unmentionables. I would never hang clothes outside, though, because with my luck a bird would poop on them.

Dusting? - I'm a little neurotic about dusting. I love my microfiber cloths and use those to quick dust. I use damp rags on the blinds and most of the furniture. I use every attachment on the vacuum to dust behind furniture. I really like to dust.

Everyday - One homemaking thing you do everyday? - Wash dishes. That's pretty much it. I don't make my bed every day. I don't do laundry every day. Heck, I don't even shower every day. But dishes? They're neverending.

Freezer - Do you have a separate deep freezer? - Not a deep freezer, but we have a second fridge in the garage. It doesn't work very well so I try to not keep much in it! Things tends to melt slightly and then refreeze. Not very safe, but nobody's gotten food poisoning yet!

Garbage Disposal? - Yes! I take great joy in shoving things down the disposal. Today I made key lime tarts and I happily put the rinds of 5 limes down there. My sink smelled yummy.

Handbook? - A handbook for what? Cleaning? Not really, although I've read Queen of Clean and a few other "housewife" type books. A handbook for parenting? Tons, but we've yet to decide which route we're actually on. A handbook for life in general? That would be the Bible, my friends.

Ironing? - I try to save it for my mom, who loves to iron. She lives 1400 miles away and visits twice a year. And that's pretty much how often things get ironed around here. The only exception is if I'm sewing something. Then I'll iron a seam or hem.

Junk Drawer? - I abhor junk. I have neatly organized drawers that house a variety of things, but I refuse to have any junk in the house. Drives me nuts to own things that don't have an assigned purpose.

Kitchen - Design and decorating? - The walls are Builders Beige, just like the rest of the house (although we're painting in the near future). My decorating is seasonal, and I try to change the accessories based on the weather. I have summer dishes and winter dishes that go with the summer chair pads and winter chair pads. And that's my extent of decorating.

Love - What is your favorite part of homemaking? - I love a clean house, but I can't say I actually love any aspect of homemaking. I'm an organizational freak, but that's more of an obsessive/compulsive thing than an act of love.

Mopping? - I do not mop; I FloorMate. Mopping is gross since you're just wetting the dirt and moving it around. But FloorMating? (Yes, it's a verb.) That actually sucks up the dirty floor water! It's brilliant! OK, maybe this is what I love -- the joy of pouring out the dirty FloorMate water and knowing that all that filth is no longer on my floors.
Kevin mops, by the way. We have a loose agreement that I handle everything from the ankles up, and he handles everything ankles down. He loves to vacuum and he mops almost every week. And, God bless him, he actually dries the floors with a towel.

Nylons - Wash by hand or in the washer? - Nylons? Can't say I've worn them since our wedding. I'm exaggerating, of course, but the last time I went to put on nylons I found that they were all so old that the elastic was shot in every single pair. And I hadn't even opened the boxes on most of them! When I do wash the occasional pair of Spanx, I use a lingerie bag in the washer and then let them drip dry.

Oven - Do you use the window or open it to check? - Open to check. The window is so filthy that it is hardly an accurate gauge on how the food is cooking. Of course, my oven isn't even working properly right now. Every night is a crap shoot on whether I'll cook something edible. Tonight's dinner didn't fare so well. I really need a new oven. If you'd like to donate to my oven fund, I accept Paypal.

Products - What cleaning products do you use? - I've got quite a list of favorite products. Best invention of the decade, hands down, is Lysol Wipes. I prefer them to Clorox Wipes which leave a sticky residue. But I use Lysol Wipes all over the bathroom, kitchen, and even to shine my shoes. Best invention of the 90s would have to be OxiClean. Man, that stuff is amazing.
Other products I can't live without? Comet or Ajax with bleach for the sink. Cascade powder with lemon. Sno-Bol. Mr. Clean erasing sponges for the walls. Scrubby sponges (the gentle kind) for my kitchen counters and dishes. Windex. Lysol for the counters and floors. Dawn dishwashing detergent. Liquid Tide with bleach alternative. I'm very loyal to my brands! No generic cleaners for me.

Quiet - What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment? - Check my email or waste time online. That's during the day. At night I read or do logic puzzles.

Recipe card box? - I have a three-ring binder. I have a template on my computer for recipes so I can format them and print them out. Then they go into my binder in a plastic protective cover. Did I mention that I'm obsessive/compulsive?
I also have a fairly large collection of cookbooks. The two I can't live without are the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, which is 1200 pages long, and my good ole' Better Homes and Gardens cookbook with the traditional red cover. I'm a fan of Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa cookbooks and the supersized Southern Living cookbook, too. My biggest disappointment has been all my crock-pot cookbooks. I've never found a crock-pot recipe that I really love.

Style of house? - Kind of colonial. Two story red-brick with big white columns. It doesn't match the neighborhood, but we sure like it.

Tablecloths and napkins? - With three small kids? We use vinyl tablecloths even though I think they're tacky. And cheap paper napkins, but I'll break out the good paper napkins for company.

Under the kitchen sink? - A whole lot of cleaning supplies and two huge boxes of Latex gloves. I can't stand to touch raw meat, so I wear gloves when I make hamburgers.

Vacuum - How many times a week? Usually just once, sometimes twice. Kevin vacuums 90 percent of the time. I try not to look down very often.

Wash - How many loads do you do a week? - I don't count. It's a neverending, continual thing. Maybe eight loads a week? I truly don't know.

X's - Do you keep a list of things to do and cross them off? - Only lists of errands and things to buy. I don't keep a to-do list of household tasks because that would just add to my stress level.

Yard - Who does what? - I am absolutely, positively NOT allowed to touch Kevin's lawn mower. It was in our pre-nup. My extend of yard work consists of occasionally watering the potted plants and trees. And sometimes I remember to fertilize the potted plants, but only when they look really bad.

ZZZ's - What is your last homemaking task for the day? Does throwing my clothes on the bathroom floor count? Honestly, I pretty much shut down after the kids are in bed. I try not to do housework at night, so making dinner is usually the last job of the day for me. I don't even do the dishes at night. The clattering bothers me after a long day, and I like working in a sunny kitchen so I usually do dishes in the morning.

1 comment:

Amy Soupiset said...

I loved this! That was a lot of typing. I have copied down your list of cleaning products so I can get a few of them. Thanks for sharing.