Hey, You Knew I’d Procrastinate on This Blog Too

Sorry for lack of posts. Honestly, I feel like a blogger failure. Oh well.

So I’ve been thrown for a bit of a loop and I got a bad mark as a housewife – I failed to truly listen to one of M’s goals. He has a goal of earning a set amount of money together – I’d need to earn about 1/3 of it. I had forgotten that was one of his goals. I heard the words but didn’t listen. Bad Aella. He mentioned it again the other day and I feel I finally listened. Clearly this housewife thing isn’t going as well for him as I thought. So I’m starting to slowly look for work again. It’s just a tad depressing. I’ve been processing it in my head the last few days. I need a structured job – as much as I want to work decluttering people’s homes, I can’t seem to go out and find clients. So back to looking for government work and how much it would cost to go back to school (a lot).

In other news, I’m preparing for a “low tech” August. The goal is to not use my computer until 6pm everyday in August. I find that I get more done with the computer off. As I wander around my house bored I enivitably clean little bits and pieces. I’m not quite sure if I want it to be a low-tech month or a House Pride month. I want to do a House Pride month for sure at some point. A lot of the blogs I read about vintage housewives wasn’t just they cleaned a lot but they took pride in how their home looked. I kind of want to do that. I’ve even made a list of tasks to try working through in my low-tech month. Also low-tech really just means no computer. I can still play on the 3ds and on my phone. I’d lose so quickly if I couldn’t have any technology. We’ll see how things go.

Do you have pride in your house? Would you be interested in such a challenge?

Housewife Challenge Recap & Future Outlook

For 30 weekdays I have attempted a housewife challenge. I don’t think I’ve done so great. I wanted to build at least one new habit but nothing has stuck. I wanted my house to be sparkly, but it’s the same as ever. I wanted my garden to be practically perfect, but I knew that was never going to happen. I was more successful than the last few times I tried similar challenges. Maybe it was the advanced planning or maybe it was the nicer weather. It’s funny how we remember things based off the ending and not the beginning or middle. Because I’ve been failing the last week or so, I feel like the entire thing was a failure. But I had lots of successes early in the month. The first two weeks I accomplished so much and my house was closer to sparkly. Did I take on too much? Why did I fail at week 3? I felt so many things were “good enough” that I stopped trying.

I think my next major housewife challenge will be in August. I’m even thinking of doing a vintage august (minimal computer), but we’ll see.

The last few days of the challenge I was finally delivered my free mulch. It was as tall as I was! A friend took three truckloads and I still have enough for my side yards, fence line, and a majority of my backyard. It took four days to move it all into a pile in the backyard and I’m still working on putting it out. Coming up, how to mesh M’s keto diet with my idea of healthy eating and make it tasty for both of us.

Happy April! Decluttering season is here!

Happy April! It’s a beautiful month for some spring cleaning. Now is a great time of year to declutter some of those winter clothes that never got worn and to pull out what’s ahead for summer. Even if you aren’t using a professional decluttering service (like yours truly) you should still take stock of your summer things. Advantages: see what you have and what you still need; don’t make unnecessary purchases getting duplicates of things you already own that might be buried; gives you time to make any repairs before you need the stuff to wear.

  • Pull out all those shorts and summer tops and make sure they all have their buttons. Have a few you don’t like? Donate them! Have a few you’re excited to wear? Make sure they’re clean and easy to reach.
  • How’s your bathing suit and other beachwear looking? Do you know where it all is? Consider making a beach bag with your suit, cover up, a big hat, sunscreen, and a towel. Then you can just grab the ready bag whenever you’re headed to the pool or beach.
  • For many women, summer means sundress season! (Face it they are street acceptable nightgowns.) Pull out all your sundresses. Have some that no longer fit? Unless they fit last summer and you are two months into a workout routine, what are the chances they’ll actually fit this summer? Donate them to someone who will love them! Have a few that just don’t do it for you? Maybe they don’t sit right at the shoulder or a dart is in an uncomfortable place. Donate it! If you have anything preventing you from reaching for it again and again, it’s time to donate it.
  • Shoes and sandals. I have a hard time talking about this one because I’ve never owned more than six pairs of shoes in my life (at a time) so I don’t understand the fascination, but…….Are your flip flops worn through? Get rid of them! Did a sandal strap break last year and you still haven’t fixed it? Put it on the front seat of your car and vow to deal with it in the next week. Otherwise it gets trashed or donated. Have a pair that makes you happy but nothing to wear them with? Shop your closet first to try and make an outfit. Then decide if it’s worth spending another $50+ on an outfit just to wear with those shoes.
  • Hats! Another one I have troubles with, but take a look at all your hats. Do you like all of them? Really truly? Go through all the ball caps, all the floppy hats, all the berets (Hey, I don’t know much about hats okay?) Surely you have a cap or two that can be donated?
  • Now is a great time to re-evaluate your yardwork and grungy clothes. How many outfits do you really need to paint the house it? Can your paint clothes double as your garden work clothes? How are your garden clothes holding up? Do they have holes that make gardening difficult? Are they too tight? If you had to answer the front door in those clothes would you be embarrassed by what you are wearing? Donate, trash, or repurpose as many yardwork clothes as possible.

If you are feeling ambitious or your clothing situation is perfected, consider decluttering some of these other areas:

  • Seasonal decorations
  • Garden tools
  • Yard furniture and games
  • Pool supplies

There you have it. April is a great time for decluttering and getting ready for summer. Have a summer category I’m missing? Feel free to comment below.

Housewife Challenge – Days 20-26 The Lazy Days

Somehow I’ve become a complete slug. Not sure if it was a typical failure of week 3 or if it’s just my natural state (who am I kidding, it’s my natural state). I accomplished very little in the last week or so. Seeing the snake completely derailed my plans for the next day or two, since most of what I wanted to get done was in the garden. M had off Good Friday and I wouldn’t normally count it as a day, but we had the HVAC people out to service the AC before summer and while waiting for them we tackled a few weeds and I set up my soaker hose in my raised beds. After a few days with them that way though I don’t think they’re working as well as I’d like. They may not be getting my pea plants enough. The allysum I bought is already dying. I don’t know if it’s the container, our harder water, or what, but it’s looking really sad already. I want to plant it along the fence line but I’m scared of seeing another nope rope so it’s slowly dying while I work up the courage. The last batch bounced back pretty fast after dying multiple times, so hopefully it’ll work. If not, I might be able to take them back to Lowe’s. Not sure about that.

Anyways the following week was even lazier. Was it purely that woman’s reason? Probably I was just too lazy to care much. I managed some meals – spaghetti one night, homemade pizza with leftovers another night, a great breakfast burrito scramble. M worked from home one of the days so I got little done that day for “fear” of disturbing him. Really I was glad of the excuse to do nothing.

Things I could improve:
I failed to schedule anything at all for days 22-26. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t feel any sort of purpose. Having a schedule at least makes me feel a tad bit less lazy.
Perhaps my chore-of-the-days are on the wrong days.

Goals for the final 4 days:

  • Weed whack all the back yard and transplant dead allysum.
  • Buy more mulch from Lowe’s (currently $2.50/bag instead of $3.33) and spread it
  • Fold and put away last week’s laundry, put away this week’s laundry right away
  • Shut off computer at least 2 hours every day
  • Get photos off new camera
  • Plan a “low tech” week for April 22-27th
  • Research recipes to do a keto month for May (M’s request)

Housewife Challenge – Days 18 & 19 – The Bad and the Great

Monday (day 18) was mostly a failure. I did a couple hours no computer in the morning which let me do a lot of straightening up – the weekend messes, the piled up receipts, the four days of dishes all got dealt with. The moment I turned on my computer, however, all productivity stopped. I did very little all day, managing to start dinner at 6pm – a time when we’re normally finishing eating. M was running late however and our sliders were coming out of the oven just as he was pulling in the driveway so it seemed like I did something.

Tuesday, in contrast was extremely productive. Woke naturally before my alarm, hyper. Before M even woke up I was dressed, brushed my teeth, and starting on chores in anticipation of running errands. I transferred all my photos from my phone onto my computer ready to free up some space on my phone. I left for errands. Got gas, went to the bank, and target. Target was almost a mistake for me this time. I went in for socks and ended up buying a wastebasket, 5 straw hats (to start my pirate hat making business), new pajamas (first bought pair in 10+ years), and of course socks. That whole trip was an impulse trip – I was killing time until Joann’s opened.

At Joann’s I spent $1 on a strip of fabric to make up my curtain ties. Then I went back to Joann’s because I forgot to look for pirate hat material. They didn’t have the fabric I wanted unfortunately so I put off buying anything more.

Finally, I went to Lowe’s to shop their spring black Friday deals. The paving stones I’ve been wanting were on sale so I bought twenty of them and loaded them onto my cart and into my car myself. I also got mulch, stakes, plant tape (for staking), three packs of alyssum (which were so fragrant in my car) and two gallons of oops paint in a beige color I liked. I was pleased to see Lowe’s selling ladybugs which I might buy later this year for my garden.

I figured once I got home I’d be dead tired and wouldn’t accomplish much the rest of the day. Right after lunch though I wanted to keep working so I busted out my hula hoe and rake and got to work in the backyard. I was making decent progress and getting into a rhythm when I saw a nope rope near my shoe. It was only a garden nope rope but I have an extreme phobia of them (to the point I can’t look at pictures without anxiety and seeing the word printed just now gave me the creeps). I ran screaming into the house. 20 minutes later I was no longer hyperventilating. 30 minutes later I was able to go out my front door and walk around the block (the nope rope having been on my back fence). 40 minutes later I managed by sheer force of will to go into the middle of my yard and retrieve my rake and hula hoe to put away. That I could go back into the backyard the same day as seeing one is a testament to how much better I’ve gotten. As expected though, it derailed all outdoor plans for the rest of the day.

I resigned myself to playing on my computer and maybe getting laundry done for the rest of the day. The laundry I managed to do. I also straightened up some rooms. I updated my linkedin profile for the first time in two years. When M got home we went back to Lowe’s where we decided on a handcart wagon for the garden and bought a decent looking one. That’ll be my day 20 goal. After take-out dinner we worked on a new puzzle for a bit.

Overall, day 19 was insanely productive! (And I can feel it today.) I’m pleased with all of my purchases and all of my work. I still want to work in my garden though the thought fills me with trepidation right now. Hopefully soon I can get back out there and continue transforming the backyard into my oasis.

 

(P.S. I may hate the cold and winter, but at least there aren’t nope ropes around. That is one very good thing about winter. I think last year I saw them in spring too. Why do they seem to appear most in spring?)

Housewife Challenge – Days 16, 17, & Weekend

The weather of the week left me lazy as all else. Unfortunately, I did very little on either day 16 or 17 of the challenge. Managed to water my plants. On Friday (day 17) I finally transplanted my green bean sprouts and a couple of my hydroponic pepper plants. They are in the ground now and hopefully will survive. I did get a bit of fruit off of the two pepper plants before I transplanted them, which made me feel accomplished. However, I’m looking forward to starting new seeds as I’ve learned a lot about my hydroponics. The green beans might be too long and thin – I’m not sure. They sure don’t seem perky yet. Last weekish I transplanted my pea plants and took a couple that weren’t going in the planter and planted them next to the tree. I’m pleased to say that those pea plants are still alive and starting to grow, much to my surprise. The ground around the tree is hard clay so if something can grow a bit, I’ll be happy.

The weekend resulted in visiting friends, going dancing, and being extremely lazy. I think I needed that pure laziness though. I’m feeling more energetic. ‘Course that could be our California spring sunshine.

The Guilt of a Lazy Housewife

Once again I am questioning my role as housewife and whether I’m any good at it. Sure our house is clean enough (very tidy according to M and visitors, lacking in areas according to me) and I manage a dinner most weeknights. But I feel….well I was feeling a bit guilty about not working as hard as some SAHW. I feel guilty, often, for not using my college degree in a substantial way. Occasionally, I feel like I”m mooching off my husband. What am I really contributing anyways? He’d eat out maybe a bit more if I weren’t cooking. The vacuuming might only get done once every six months instead of twice a month. The kitchen would still be fine – cleaner perhaps because he washes his dishes right away whereas I procrastinate doing mine.

Anyways, I was feeling blue then I made a terrible mistake. I went to the internet for support. Ha! Every article in defense of housewives details their endless routines of cooking and cleaning. 95% of them talk about caring for kids. Very few mention those without kids. When we’re mentioned, it’s always in slightly negative tones. Why aren’t we contributing to society? What really is the point of it all? Your husband doesn’t say he hates it but he’d much rather you were earning. In short, the internet made me feel twenty times worse about being a stay-at-home-wife-no-kids. It isn’t helping my guilty conscious.

What’s more, I really don’t think it bothers M. We talk about it frequently and he seems okay with the whole situation. I ask what I can do to enhance his life and it’s just “keep doing what you’re doing” or even “play more Stardew” (yes, he’s said that before). Occasionally he’ll ask for a particular meal (fajitas) which is a really easy request. But I start feeling guilty and feel like a moocher sometimes which is ridiculous. I quit my job over a year ago and still have money from that 6-month stint even though I use my account to pay for most of the groceries. I don’t usually ask for expensive things or go shopping very often. I’m careful with all of my purchases. I don’t pay rent or electricity though.

My biggest struggle keeps coming back to not using my degree. Too late in school I discovered it’s uselessness for anything I’m interested in. To use a degree, I’d need to go back to school. I like staying home. I like cooking dinner. I don’t mind folding laundry. I enjoy my little walks and grubbing in my garden. Am I lazy? Very much yes. Do I contribute to the bad names of housewives? Well, I’m certainly not giving them a great name (my apologies SAHW). I want to be better but I also like who I am.

Eh, this was just a little post to lessen my guilt. I think I’ll go for a walk and start dinner now.

Housewife Challenge – Day 13, 14, & 15

Back from the funeral so time to resume the housewife challenge. While I was gone M got me an early birthday present – the new camera I’ve been wanting. The old one was from 2001 and took worse pictures than my cell phone. Now I have a Cannon Rebel T6, the fanciest camera I’ve ever taken. Playing with my new toy is fun.

Day 13. Eager to take advantage of Lowe’s spring black friday sales I headed over there only to be met with disappointment. None of my yard stuff was on sale. Not a huge deal as their sale extends through the end of the month and they’ll have new stuff on sale on Thursday. Still, I had plenty of energy I intended to spend gardening. Instead I unpacked from my trip, cleaned up the kitchen, wrote an About Me page for this blog, and played with my new camera (M suggests a post about my new camera, what do you think?). It felt like I got quite a bit done but really I never even did my chore of the day.

Day 14. Spent the morning hours working with my first official client on decluttering her closet! I loved getting to help her and it was lots of fun (and I got paid!). I hope to do this more often and with other people in the future. I can’t quite get over why people are willing to pay to have someone help them declutter. It’s more a hand holding position than anything else. Do you really love that? Are you sure? Why do you love that? Okay now let’s move on to the next one. Once I get over that people might be willing to pay for that sort of help I’ll be more at ease.

On my way home I stopped at the grocery store for a few more items. I had plenty of time to do all my usual housewife challenge things in the afternoon but between the morning and the rain (and me being lazy) I accomplished little else all day. I did do half the laundry. Could have finished all of it but though I put the soap in, I forgot to turn the washer on for a cycle. By the time it went in the dryer it was well past my bed time.

Day 15. Another rainy day, another lazy unproductive day. I dithered away the morning and afternoon before starting on my evening tasks. Managed to make a new recipe (Afghani Bolani from Foodtasia) and took pictures while doing so. Post about that coming up soon. Food blogging is not my thing, I discovered while taking pictures. Cleaned up all the dishes. Never folded the laundry. I miss taking my walks. Took my walk after writing that, it was warmer out than it appeared. The recipe was pretty good but now my kitchen is all oily from frying the bolani. It also took quite a few dishes. Overall a mediocre day. Didn’t achieve everything on the list but did get enough done.

Housewife Challenge – Days 10, 11, & 12

This week’s interruptions and failures brought to you by weather and funerals. First, I was supposed to only have two days this week of the housewife challenge because a friend was coming from out of town. However we mixed up our days and then the weather was too crazy for her to come down so we cancelled. On day 10 (Monday) I managed to transplant my pea seedlings into the garden and finished mulching completeing all my outstanding yardwork projects until Lowe’s Black Friday Spring Sale puts a bunch back on my list. With yardwork out of the way, I made dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, and wiped down the bathroom. In all, I managed to complete everything on my list for the first time in over a week. A lot of it was in preparation for said friend coming over.

Day 11 I lost all momentum. I had planned in my head being out of the house most of the day and so hadn’t set up any projects for myself. And the it was raining in sheets and torrents. I was worried for my poor little transplants. Bad weather always makes me hole up and do nothing. I managed a dinner later in the evening and to do a load of laundry but that was it.

Today, day 12, isn’t looking much better. I’m still feeling very lethargic but also feeling guilty I’m not doing stuff. Most everything is ready for me to go down to my parents’ house tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll finish the kitchen dishes from last night and work on something? My challenge is not going well. I’m blaming the funeral but I know it’s just me being lazy.

Truth is, I think I’m getting tired of myself. I need to do something, to have a goal to work toward but nothing is taking my interest. I wish I could start college classes whenever I want instead of having to do it at the beginning of a semester. I could start classes tonight and be fine but next week who knows? I think I’ll have to get a real job soon. As much as I want to be a housewife and a professional blogger, I just don’t think I can stand the guilt for much longer (self-imposed guilt). And the only views I’m really getting on this blog are M, my friend who comments on my other blog, and porn spammers. I keep thinking a real camera and pictures will help, but I’m not so certain. Still, not something to think about today. I’ll think about my failures next week. Thank you Miss Scarlet O’Hara (now there was a resourceful go-getter).

Housewife Challenge – Days 7, 8, & 9

Ugh, this week has been really tough to motivate. Day 7 I barely made my morning straighten up chores. I folded the previous day’s laundry and worked on upholstering my ottoman. It’s one of those small footstool storage ones like you find at target. I’ve had this red one since …. forever. At least since college so 10 years? It resided in storage for four years with a bottle of leaky bleach on top of it for at least a year. The top was all molted in color, the rest of it faded, and generally bright red doesn’t match anything in my yellow room. I just so happen to have this “sailor” coastal fabric that’s survived three purges. Originally I bought it to be a makeshift headboard back when I had no money or space for a real headboard. Somehow it always survived the decluttering, usually with me saying “I must use it in x months” and then not doing so. Well I finally used it! The ottoman started to look a lot better but I didn’t finish it.

I ran so far behind and did so little on day 7 that I never finished reupholstering the lid of my ottoman. Instead I whipped up a Philly cheese steak meatloaf. I eliminated a step in the cooking process that saved me doing a few dishes and it still turned out excellent.

Day 8 was a complete and total failure. My biggest accomplishment for the day was getting dressed at 4pm and emptying the dish drain.M’s friends came over to a board game I don’t like and one of them brought dinner for us. As soon as I finished eating I escaped back to doing nothing. Truly a waste of oxygen kind of day.

Day 9

It seems my guilty conscious is working on me after yesterday’s laziness. I managed to turn off the computer for two hours, during which time I finished my ottoman lid and whipped up a pillow case with the left over fabric. Cleaned everything up  did a cursory straightening of my room. Wiped down the bathroom. Cooked fajitas.