Around the house In the kitchen

Random cleaning chores

It occurred to me, probably as I seem to be inundated with “spring cleaning” e-mails, that there are some things that I really ought to schedule into my life. The things that you don’t think about on a day-to-day basis.

This happened to me also because I was reading a short story about bugs in a ceiling light fixture and looked up and there was a bug casting a shadow in the family room light fixture so I took down the five fixtures on that floor and gave them a good wipe and dusted the bulbs and stuff. And felt very accomplished.

So I googled “monthly chores” and “seasonal chores” and poked about a bit.

Somethings that I haven’t thought about cleaning:

  • baseboards
  • curtains / blinds
  • screens – like computer, tablet, phone
  • the in-house garbage cans
  • light fixtures

Things I have thought about cleaning or have actually cleaned in the past but can’t remember the last time I did:

  • the dishwasher
  • the ovens
  • the coffee maker (this is fine, I just got a new one!)
  • the outdoor bins
  • pillows

I am grateful that we have someone who comes to our house every other week and does a really good clean of the bathrooms and kitchen and also vacuums and gets all the floors clean.

So I made a new page in my journal for monthly chores, so at least I have someplace to start! I guess I will also have to do one for “seasonal chores” – I mean, I don’t think I need to clean the ceiling light fixtures monthly….but maybe they do attract a lot of bugs. I’ll have to monitor!

So – cleaned the dishwasher on 6 March. We pretty much run the dishwasher every day. Toby cooks a lot (yum)! and we’re mostly still working from home so there are lots of coffee and tea mugs and water bottles and lunch plates etc.

I took out the filter and washed it. Took out the spray arms and soaked those in soapy water while I wiped down the rubber seal and the sides of the door – how the heck does the side of the door get so gross?!? For all the general wiping I just used a cloth and some random “all purpose cleaner” I got in some eco-friendly cleaning subscription box of stuff I once got seasonally that has now sadly gone out of business.

Then I reassembled all the parts, put a bowl of white vinegar on the top shelf and ran a sanitizing cycle.

until next month anyway…

What’s next?

This week’s focus I think will be catching up on all the mending – Q has a few stuffies with ribbed seems and a couple pairs of trousers that need mending as well.
Also I need to get going again on the basement. I’ve gone through the shelves under the stairs, so next up is the actual suitcases. How many suitcases do we need really?!?

Around the house Book Diversions Reading Review

Bookish – 3 Bs

So, moving on to the Bs….

The Sins of the Fathers by Lawrence Block

A screen capture of the cover from the library app; There is a church steeple in the fog.

This sort of shouldn’t count for the decluttering / organizing part of this activity because it turns out the actual physical book I have is book two in the series so I read book one from the library.

Storygraph key words: fiction crime mystery darktense medium-paced

Me: while parts of this “written in the 70s” detective story were kinda painful to read nowadays (bosoms should just not be commented on okay?!?) the overall premise of this one is awesome and I will be reading more! I don’t want to spoil it – which is weird to say about a book as old as I am but still. Once I get through the alphabet I’ll come back to read the second one.

Milkman by Anna Burns 

A photo of the cover of Milkman, an evening sky in shades of pink and rose and a person walking by the water. The book is on Lisa's desk

Storygraph key words: fiction historical literary challenging dark reflective slow-paced

Me: if you want to read a book that seems to me like what my brain is like read this. Digressions all over the place (like for pages!), but always swinging back around to the point etc. Again, not my usual sort of thing but I LOVED it. So far it’s still on the shelf. And will likely stay there for a while.

Kindred by Octavia Butler 

A picture of the cover for Kindred. A Black woman wearing a light coloured blouse looking down; overlayed with an image of trees and houses

Storygraph key words: fiction classics historical speculative fiction dark emotional tense medium-paced

I loved this book first published in 1979. Usually Butler is lumped into science fiction but I far prefer The Storygraph’s use of “speculative fiction.”

I thought this was just beautifully done. And also so much of what I would do. She travels through time, but doesn’t understand how or why and she and her partner try to figure it out as the story progresses and I love that part of it. I will definitely read more by her. I have read Bloodchild and Other Stories – I love short stories and these were all fantastic.

So I was really happy that I read three A books and got 4 books out of the house. Less decluttering with B books – they are all still here. But ohhhh so worthy of staying on the shelf. On to C next!

Around the house Family Finance Health

Setting up for #MoneyMasterclass

I shared the link last time for the twitter achieve of the money masterclass but here it is again.

Some items are required at the start:

• 2 notebooks

• 5 jars for T and I and 4 jars for Q

• a month at a glance calendar

• 500 things (beads, buttons, toothpicks, poker chips, beans, whatever you can gather)

• 2 highlighters – different colours

• Construction paper

and a box to hold everything in.

I have no idea what to use for the 500 of something that I am not gonna mind having around somewhere. I’m going to wait until they are actually explained to figure them out.

Next the first actual task: list your core values.

WHY does this come up so much?!?! lol

So here’s the link again to my August 2021 blog post. This time I’m going to print out the damn list of values and post it near my computer.

Task 2 – List all the things you want or need to do in the next few years. The idea is to empty out your brain: everything you have been planning to do/wish you had done and then label them:

A = top priority; then B; everything else = C

Key for me is “next few years” there’s really only so much I can do in that time frame (retirement ain’t in the cards just yet)

So here’s my list – I think maybe I have too many A priorities but oh well!

A – improve my health

A – do things together as a family more

A – pay down debt

A – set up an emergency fund of 3 – 6 months of expenses!!

A – stop accumulating stuff

B – travel more

B – contribute more to our RRSPs / TSFAs (retirement savings)

B – create more (stitch, paint, play piano)

B – read more / learn more

C – move to a smaller place (still walkable; with some outside room; dog friendly)

Some more stuff to think about:
WHY do I want to do this?
By WHEN do I want to get it done?
WHAT are the steps I have to take?
WHO can I ask for help?

Around the house Health

Getting better

I posted on facebook that I feel like I should be better at some things than I am and so I am going to focus and do my best – said for perhaps the 47 hundredth time….

First up: a daily schedule that builds in some mindfulness skills to help me accept me more. I’m actually going to a weekly class right now to help me learn some skills around being able to step back from stressful situations and not go into my own little spirals all the time.

Also some general medical stuff: Since Edgar joined us I’m definitely walking more every day which is great. I also need to follow up on a referral for a sleep study as well as putting some thought to some more focused activities than “walking the dog.”

Also important: thinking about what I need to do to decrease the stress I put on myself (and yes, I know I put it on myself). So one of the things is money, obviously. So I went back and found the #MoneyMasterClass that Gail Vaz-Oxlade did on twitter back in 2020. I’ll be doing that as I can – so sometimes more than one task in a day and other times skipping a few days in between.

Another is the house – I like our house but it’s so much to keep on top of and clean and stuff. So I have a household planner that I’m going to try and stick to as well.

I guess it’s a sort of “fuck I’m turning 50 soon” level of motivation.

Wish me luck!

Around the house Diversions Reading

Bookish – Aug 2022

Okay – so I actually had a dream while at the cottage where my dad made fun of my attempts at decluttering by asking when I was going to get around to reading the books I owned instead of reading the ones from the library.

Seriously. *insert eye roll here* I tease myself in my dreams!

So my goal for September is to read three books from A authors on my shelf.

On August 26 I made all my current library holds “inactive.” Well, except for a book on beadwork that the library is still looking for and Vol 1 of The Sandman because Toby is making me watch it on Netflix (and as of Aug 26, I was number 142 on the wait list for 10 copies).

I will finish the ones I have out now and the book of poetry I picked up on August 27 and then no more library books until it feels right.