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2006 December » Philoxenos

Philoxenos

Time Machine

20th December 2006

Time Machine

I have discovered a way to manufacture more time in the evenings - do the dishes more often. I don’t know how this is possible, but it’s true. I have struggled with regular dish washing for the entire course of my 7 year marriage. Some weeks go by when we’re struggling to find a clean fork or knife or we have to actually wash a cup in order to have a clean one to get a drink of water from. To many people (including my mother) this is disgusting. I can’t say that I like it either, but it’s a real struggle for me.

Since having children and staying home to care for them I can’t say that I’ve improved. I’m generally actually quite conscious of health standards around the home - I don’t like that yucky ring that can appear around the bathtub or toilet bowl so I clean often enough that it doesn’t appear. I vacuum at least once a week (most of the time) and sometimes a few times a week and even wash the windows a few times a year. But dishes, they’re my nemesis.

Fast forward to the last week: I realised that washing the dishes is very important to our household functioning properly. When I wake up to a clean kitchen I’m more likely to say YES when my oldest daughter asks to make cookies. This makes her a happy little girl and gives us some fun time together. When the kitchen is clean it makes breakfast a much nicer event because I’ll be happier making waffles for breakfast instead of just schlepping some cereal into a bowl. But more importantly, I think it really makes my husband happy to have a clean kitchen. I don’t remember asking him this specifically, but I have a feeling it’s true. He tells me that he reads my blog so I’ll see what he says :)

But on to my original statement about washing dishes creating more time… For the last week I have been making a concerted effort to wash ALL the dishes in the evening before I go to bed. NOTE: I don’t have a dishwasher. Some days I haven’t succeeded, there might be a pot or a dish left (or several). But the last 2-3 days I have washed every single dish before going to bed. And one night I even mopped the floor too! When I wake up to a clean kitchen, it means I want to wash the breakfast dishes straight away so that the kitchen stays clean. Then after lunch I wash again. What this means is that after dinner there are only a few dishes to wash and I get them done while my husband bathes the kids. So by the time that the kids are in bed, I’ve finished cleaning up and I have all this time on my hands! So I’ve been doing great things like reading books, catching up on my blog reading, spending time with my husband, sorting things to sell. It’s amazing! It makes me wonder how in the world I wasted all my time before.

So I’m nearly 30 and I’ve learned that washing the dishes is a good thing. I think I knew this before somewhere in my head but perhaps didn’t want to be ‘tied down’ to some kind of schedule or something equally ridiculous. I wonder what else I’ll learn in the coming weeks and months? Perhaps dusting isn’t so bad after all, eh?

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18th December 2006

Is it possible to have too much music?

The next question is probably “How many CDs does a person really need?” Yesterday afternoon and evening J and I decided to sort our CDs to see if we had any we’d be happy to part with (for a price!). We have all of our CDs recorded onto the computer so we have our own little jukebox, which is very handy. For example, we’ve started doing just 5 min pickups in each room. This is particularly helpful in the evenings when we’re wiped out but need to pickup. Knowing that we have only 5 minutes makes us work harder and then we’re done. Normally our combined 5 minutes (so a total of 10) can make a big difference and we’re satisfied with that. So J made a playlist on the computer of songs that are between 5 min and 5 min 30 sec long. We push play and it randomly selects a song. We know that each song is 5 min so we do just one song (or two or three, depending on what we’ve agreed) and then we’re done! It’s brilliant.

But back to the CD culling… we did a similar exercise about 18 months ago, before we moved into our current house. We probably sold 20-30 CDs for some quite good prices too. Well, last night we managed to sort out another 50 CDs to get rid of. Some of them we will simply never get rid of because of memories attached to particular songs or the fact that we still regularly listen to that music. But others, well, we’ve just moved on I suppose. So if you’re interested in some Aaron Jeffrey CDs or Clay Crosse, let me know!

By the way, we still have at least 150 CDs so we’re not going to be silent around here for a while.

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17th December 2006

Too many undies

How many pairs of underwear does a person really need? As I was putting away some clean clothes just now I realised that my drawer was getting rather full. I’ve been in a decluttering place for a few days, so I pulled out the drawer and had a look. Ridiculous. So, I started culling. Some knickers I’ve had a bit too long. Some I will never be able to wear again due to baby-induced body changes. So, I tossed them. Although I’m normally quite happy to donate my second-hand clothes to the local op shop, I do NOT pass on my underwear, so they went into the rubbish.

How many pairs is too many?

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13th December 2006

Cloth nappies and dead birds

I was just outside hanging up the cloth nappies to dry (you know it’s summer when you can hang clothes out at 3 pm and bring them in at 6 pm and they’re bone dry. Gotta love it!) and almost stepped on a dead baby bird. Ick.

We have a plethora of birds that live around our house, in the many trees in our yard and in the yards of our neighbours. They also like to hang around on the gutters of our roof, making little click-click-click noises early in the morning. These beautiful little birds (I love listening to them when I get up in the morning to pray), unfortunately, attract all the neighbourhood cats. I don’t mind that the cats come in our yard because they’re peaceful and we don’t have a cat that would then need to protect its’ territory (not sure about that last apostrophe). BUT… what happens when a cat finds birds? IT WANTS TO EAT THEM. Or at least play deadly games with them. I’m afraid that a cat found a nest and decided to play with the helpless little birdies while their mother had gone out to find food. I gingerly moved the dead little birdie (so young it had no feathers) with a laundry peg away from the main playing area. The last thing I want to hear today is “Mommy, why doesn’t this bird have any feathers?”

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11th December 2006

Tupperware

I’m sitting here drinking Coke (with ice, because any other way is inferior) from a lime-ish green cup from Tupperware, which my friendly Tupperware demonstrator just dropped off, along with the rest of my order and the order of my friends who recently attended a Tupperware party that I hosted. [I’m pretty sure that should be more than one sentence.] Unwrapping everything that I got was like an early Christmas! My youngest daughter thought it was fun, too, as she stacked and re-stacked everything. My parents very generously bought me Tupperware for Christmas, which allowed my party sales to go high enough that I got some really great gifts (to the tune of NZ$120 in free products, plus the normal host gifts). One of the things that I bought was a mystery gift for $20, but was worth at least $50. I got these great lime-ish green cups (I’ve yet to figure out how to post a picture, so you’ll have to take my word for it), a cheese saver, and a great Tuppertoy Train, which is no longer being sold! I was really stoked.

As I opened all the plastic-wrapped plastic packages [Considering that one of my reasons for buying Tupperware is that it reduces the amount of disposable plastic products that I use, it’s ironic that it comes wrapped in so much disposable plastic.] I was thinking about the simple pleasures in life and remembered that

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

Although Tupperware might change its colours along with the changing fashion trends, my Heavenly Father remains constant and very much the same.

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9th December 2006

Room for more?

This morning the children gifted us by sleeping until just before 7 am. Considering that the youngest has been waking around 5:30 or earlier the last few days, 7 am seems like luxury. After my required trip to the toilet, I got the one year old out of her cot and told the oldest that she could get out of bed. We all snuggled in bed with Daddy and I personally enjoyed just laying in bed a little bit longer. After a few minutes the kids started getting a bit antsy and there was much twisting and turning and elbows into backs. I looked at my husband and asked “Could we possibly fit any more children in this bed?” And he said “I’m sure we could fit at least four more.” So there’s something to work towards!

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9th December 2006

Gardening today

This morning we went out to the chicken farm belonging to some of our friends from church. We needed to chop wood for the winter, of which they have plenty, and we also needed to do a bit of work in the joint vegetable garden that we planted on their property. We figured that they had the space as well as a ready supply of fertiliser so we work together on the garden. While Jeremy chopped wood, I worked in the garden, mostly picking vegetables. I got more spinach than I know what to do with, a cabbage, and two broccoli. I also had a quick look at the potatoes. I don’t think there are actually any potatoes growing, much to my keen disappointment. J says of course there aren’t any potatoes yet, we have to wait for the plants to flower. Huh. Maybe there is something to that.

After working at the farm for a bit we came home and decided to attack our completely overgrown, almost-jungle like garden. I started hacking away and J piled up the cuttings and put them into the recycle container. Although I know I worked really hard because I smelled like it, I can’t actually see much of a difference except in the shrub by the back door. I wish I had a before and after photo to show you. Imagine a big shrub with a crewcut. That’s the closest description I can come up with. And the number of snails living in that shrub is amazing! But at least it’s now shorter than I am, although I’m proud to say it’s still much fatter.

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8th December 2006

Bad parenting

While attempting to put my oldest daughter to sleep for her afternoon nap (she’s 3) I’m pretty sure that I committed an extreme parenting faux pas. I believe the words out of my mouth sounded something like this “Lay down and close your eyes or White Bear’s gonna get it!” Her immediate response was not one of compliance, but rather wide-eyed horror and screaming NOOOO!!! as she attempted to retrieve said bear from my hands before he lost an arm. I wish that I could blame this example of poor parenting on my disastrous dentist appointment this morning where I found out my procrastination is going to cost $2000 in order to fix my neglected tooth. Or perhaps I could blame it on the weather or on my pregnancy. But, unfortunately, I have only myself to blame. But as I sit here typing I think about something I pray with her almost every night “Thank you, God, that you love us even when we do things that are wrong.” Thank you Lord for your eternal, unconditional love. May I show the same love to my children.

And yes, she did eventually lay down. If she’s sleeping is yet to be determined, but sometimes I just settle for what I can get.

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