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The Confessions of a SUCKY Housewife…

a.k.a….. Learning to be Betty.

Why Betty?? Martha’s a pain in the…….. fanny.

AND when has it EVER been fun to be around a MARTHA? Really?

BETTY has always been da BOMB!!!

So here I go….

In a nutshell, the way things penciled out for me growing up, I became a Half Earth Muffin/Half Spoiled Brat with a big ol’ splash of flakiness.

AND………………..I HATE CLEANING!!!

I have absolutely no freaking idea how to manage a clean house from day to day. My mother, a former “Betty,” turned in her apron and heels when she got knocked up with me…Number 5.  ALL GIRLS.

***The only reason I’m alive to tell the story? Number 4 was too scared of my father to strangle me in my sleep.***

So with that, this is what I learned from my mother, who had only been working as a school nurse a year longer then I’d been a live.

1. Clean your plate

2. The weekends are for cleaning and laundry.

3. Kids have chores: they do the cleaning and Mom does all the laundry for 7 on Sunday.  (At this point, I was too young for chores and when I was old enough … SHTF in other areas)

4. Dinners MUST HAVE a salad, starch, protein and a dessert.

5.  All dishes are done in the evening, by kids.

6. Parents never have fun.

So, I married a man who’s the complete opposite; laid back, fun, loving AND… I will forsake all others when he’s home from work. My friends can attest to this, I suck at returning phone calls, making plans and even just answering my cellphone.

(Yes, I’m a Sloper’s Wife…two on/two off)

***For all that do not live in Alaska, he works in the oil fields on the “North Slope,” 1500 miles away.***

Which also means when Daddy’s home IT’S PLAY TIME!!!

I DESPERATELY STRUGGLE with this….I would much rather blow off my chores and hang with him and usually I do.

Having been “home” for four years now, I can not seem to figure out how to not get overwhelmed and defeated with housework.  Being bored out of my mind during the week, I do not watch daytime TV, afraid I’d get addicted.  Instead I fill my time with “cleaning in circles,” as I commonly refer to it, or experimenting with X, or blogging, or Facebook, or ….busy work.

I never REALLY seem get too much accomplished.

Of course there are those days when I’m going to “get control of this house!!” and burn out shortly thereafter for trying to do the whole thing in a day or two. Looking at areas I haven’t even touched; frustration sets in.

The house is always cluttered with a growing population of dust bunnies.

Always feeling like the boys are horrible little mess makers and no body cares that I want a nice pretty house.  Since I’m the only female in it, it feels like a losing battle. I find myself saying SCREW IT more often then not.  To the point that laundry is done on a “As Needed Basis,” then it mostly lives in baskets because no body wants to put away a  mountain of laundry.

FRUSTRATION has been a part of my life for as long time. This last year has been particularly stressful and I changed from being an overbearing, micro managing Mom to….Screw it, I’m just going to have fun and not worry about it.

Well, that sure as hell didn’t help anything on the home front. If you catch my drift.

I’ve read about a million cleaning techniques.

I LOVE the Fly Lady, but could never really get ‘flying.’ I had a hard time seeing the big picture. She wants me to ‘shine my sink,’ build a ‘Control Journal’ one page per day and take painstaking small steps to get my house in order??

Ummm…..Doesn’t work for me, Honey.

PLUS…ya think I really need yet another person sending me an email every morning telling me what to do? GEEEZ!!!

I DID start to build that ‘Journal’ once and the Hubby laughed at me. After I’d already decimated half a rainforest worth of printer paper. Saying….

“What do you need that thing for? You just need to have a routine.”

***From the guy you can freaking set your watch to at 6:30 in the morning***

Some mornings I’ll be lucky to get deodorant under BOTH arms. Don’t laugh. I’m not kidding, mornings will be the death of me.

Any who, so this is what I have learned over the last 5 days:

Home management for an “Stay-At-Home-Mom” is NOTHING like  management for a working Mom and it’s something that has to be taught.

Women love to make things pretty, but it certainly has to be clean before it can be pretty.

One day at a time, but a little bit everyday…seems to be working

****OK! I admit… I’m PRETTY slow on the up take, at times****

On my “Epiphany Day”  I drew out a 4-week schedule on a simple sheet of lined paper and started plugging in which chores needed to be done once or twice a week.  For example:

Daily Chores: Laundry – Washed, Dried and put away. Kitchen – Cleaned to a shiny counter and sink emptied.

Mondays – Vacuum, Sweep or Mop Floors on 2nd Level, Tuesdays – are for once a month chores that have been neglected, Wednesdays – appointments/ groceries/errands, Thursdays – 2nd Level floors again, Fridays – 3 Bathrooms used daily,  Saturdays – Vacuuming the 3rd Floor, Clean Bedrooms and Plan for the Week. This gives the kids a set day to pick up their room. Before, I’d just bug them when it got bad, but no one likes to clean a room when its THAT BAD.  Sundays – I get to cook or show the boys something.  A relaxed fun day. Probably a good day to wipe down the range and clean the microwave.

This sheet of paper I slid into a plastic sheet protector and taped it to the fridge.  With a dry erase marker I can mark off the chores daily or quickly make changes to the schedule because I did it in pencil. It’s not set in stone, it’s fluid…

…and I think it’ll work.

To put it in perspective, it was far easier for me to quit smoking after 20 years then keep my home in order. I’ve always known I’ve done better with structure, but who makes a wife’s structure? A wife who had pretty much no structure after age 10.

Me?

I’ve completed Day 4 and although some days are a little overwhelming, I started with a LOT of work ahead of me, by my own doing.

Chores FIRST, play SECOND………….this is one of my guilty pleasures. 🙂

So, a little of me, where I’m coming from and what I’m doing…

Cross your fingers.

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Yogurt begets yogurt

Extremely simple and you don’t even need a yogurt machine, although they do have heat cycles to promote optimum growth.

Using a newly opened carton of milk I’ve forgone the step of reheating the milk (yet again) to boiling and then letting it cool to 100*-110* F…It’s a pain in the a**.     I’ve forgotten a batch on the stove overnight (waiting for it to cool) more often than I’d like to admit 😀

Not to mention, technically, isn’t it more likely to collect bacteria while you wait for it to cool?

Therefore, I pull a sealed carton out of the fridge while I start making dinner and then after dinner is done and cleaned up…I remove the seal, add the culture from either a commercial starter OR a previous batch, mixy-mixy, ladle the milk into the cup, snap on lids…

…and put the yogurt on to “cook” overnight. I “cook” mine for a whole 24hours.

It’s is truly that simple.

As a result, I have Greek style yogurt for $0.71 per 7 oz cup.

This is our creation, the kids and I call it a Yogurt Sundae, it includes:

– One 7oz cup of the plain yogurt

-A handful of pecans, almonds or any one of your favorite nuts

-A tablespoon or two of milled flax seed (carried at Costco)

-A handful of frozen blueberries (not shown here cuz we were out :D)

-A drizzle of honey

That’s all folks!!

~Off like a crazy woman!!

So true!

Do me a favor….learn to cook something.

As I see it, our economy is only going to recover once we’ve hit bottom and swim around in the muck for a bit. Considering we’re in a half gainer, with the ground is coming up fast, I worry. Most people seem to have blinders on and have turned off the news. I wonder, how do you breathe with your head in the sand?

 

This evening, between the beeps of the timer and reading a few SHTF blogs, again the thought tumbled back into my head, “What will we do with everyone else?” It frustrates me…

 

My husband and I disagree here, his solution…lots of ammo, mine…knowledge. If I have the knowledge then I can share.

 

Sometimes I have my moments of “prepare” panic…But I can only do what I can, no sense in worrying about it til later.

 

So, I learn. Experiment with something potentially useful…something simple…like pita bread.

 

Flour – olive oil – yeast – salt and water…REAL SIMPLE.

 

Its flat bread, you cannot screw it up! It doesn’t even require an oven, only a hot flat surface; say the hood of a burning car? **hee hee**

(insert flash of the Zombie Apocalypse here)

 

Speaking of things to cook on…

Are current pots and pans going to be useful when SHTF? I personally don’t think they’ll hold up to the inconsistent temperature fluctuations of natural flame. I’m thinking long term; you and your BOB bag are going to have to settle eventually, and when you do….then what? Find a use for Gramma’s old cast iron skillet collecting dust in your pantry. Pull it out, oil it up and practice. They’re nothing like cooking on Teflon or stainless steel AND they make the best bread pudding in the WORLD!

 

I can take my cast iron griddle, currently toasting those pitas in my oven, throw it over an open flame, and produce the same pita…crispy, golden brown and bubbly.

 

Serve it with a slab of squirrel and we’re GOOD!  Ok, maybe not squirrel, but you get my point.

 

I was discussing a bit of this with our boys while dunking grilled cheese in tomato soup the other night. ***Mom’s can have bad manners too, once and a while, when no one’s looking*** 😀

 

My middle son asks “Mom, why do you teach us how to cook?” and I replied, “Because when you grow up I don’t want you to starve to death.”

 

That got a big chuckle from the rugrats, but it’s the truth. If they know how to make a meal from basic ingredients, it’s CHEAPER now, and more adaptable in a future emergency.

Have fun.

–          I’m off like a crazy woman

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I’m BAAAAAACK!!!!!

It all started with sustainability on the brain and following that damn white rabbit again. 😮 October 14th I was driving home from taking my son to check-up thinking about how I can afford to buy fruit and nut trees … Continue reading