Thursday, April 5, 2012

Right on Schedule?

I have two Easter dresses almost done. The seams are finished nicely, and all the hand sewing is done except for the hems. Elsie's skirt is very full. I'm betting it is  nearly 6 yards around the bottom. I have it halfway hemmed. Meres' will be no problem at all. It is straight forward and should only take about an hour.
I ran this morning. (not a good run, but a run) As I ran I had a cadence going. Something like this:
random neighborhood tulips
"Tiptoe through the tulips, through the tulips, through the tulips. Why don't you tiptoe through the tulip with me." (which, incidentally, could be why my run was lousy. How could that be inspiring?=)) Beautiful tulips are blossoming all over. This poses a problem for some in MI. There is a big deal tulip festival the first two weeks of May-not April. Being that Mr. Hippie is rather Dutch, which makes the Hippie off-spring a bit Dutch too, and being as we have never taken them to the Tulip Festival-this was going to be the year. Of course, this would also be the year that there won't be any tulips for Tulip Time, because they are over and done with. What to do? Wish away all the beauty because it is too soon, or enjoy it while its here. I'm thinking I am going to enjoy them while they're here. And I'll let someone else worry about the lack of tulips for Tulip Time.=)
A friend asked me recently if I have a cleaning schedule. I do. I find that a schedule is the easiest way for me to make sure everything gets done regularly. Here's what my schedule looks like these days.
Monday: vacuuming main floor high traffic areas-BMV, me-nothing.=)
Tuesday: vacuum and dust entire house, including moving furniture in living room about once a month.
Wednesday: scrub both bathrooms and floors in kitchen and dining room; scrub kitchen sink; Ethan-scrub dining room chairs. BMV-vacuum high traffic areas.
Thursday: complete dusting-if haven't already.
Friday: vacuum high traffic areas-BMV

Monday and Friday vacuuming prepares the house for the weekend, and then whips it into shape after the weekend. I only do laundry M/W/F. I've found I'd rather do more laundry those few days, than have to interrupt every day going up and down switching and folding laundry. I try to wash my kitchen cabinet fronts as needed, but the bottom ones usually get it every other week or so-when I scrub the floors. I wash off all the counters and the stove top a couple times a week. The boys do most of the dishes, but don't really get the counters too well. I am always washing off counters. I try to do a deep kitchen cleaning-stove drip pans, shelves, etc, about every other month. I also try to do a walk through while I have a bucket of soapy water every week, and get the major finger prints washed off the walls. I have to say that I cram most of my cleaning into Tuesday and Wednesday. If you come over on Monday, you will get my house at its worst.=) My advice to you is not to come on Mondays.=) Furthermore, my kids know that Wednesday is the big chore day-for all of us. Chores come first after school, and then if there is time before BC, they can play.
Is my schedule set in stone? No. Meres has cured me of any notion of anything being set in stone.
But I have come honestly by the idea of a cleaning schedule. From the time I was very young, my mom had a chore rotation set up. There were certain jobs each of us did everyday, with extra care being given when company was due.=) And I was joking with my aunt on fb this morning about cleaning. She and my grandma are both obsessive about clean houses. It is just in the blood. Though I'd like to think I'm not obsessive about it.=) I dust because it makes a room look nicer. And it keeps my allergies under control. I clean my floors because I like to be bare foot, but I really don't like walking barefoot on dirt on inside floors. That would fall into my pet peeves category. Dirt outside is fine. I clean because having a clean house is soothing for me. I clean earlier in the week because I can't relax when I know I have work to do. The whole, "why do today what you can put off until tomorrow" thing hardly ever works for me. I just stare at the mess feeling guilty one day, and then clean the next. I may as well save myself the guilt, and clean the first day.=)

I have boys. Their main jobs are the vacuuming and the dishes. This frees up my time a lot. I also have a mercenary little girl who wants $100 to buy Wii games. And she is willing to earn it-her terms are one dollar per job. And she wants cash. I told her I'd pay her a dollar per week. So, my work force is very helpful at keeping things up to snuff. My advice, take it or leave it, is to start them early. If they can walk, they can put their dirty laundry in the hamper. Or put the silverware away. Or empty little trash cans into the big one. Then they can progress to putting their laundry away, emptying the dishwasher, dusting end tables and baseboards. It is all stuff that we can do, and that we can probably do in half the time, but it teaches them responsibility, and the fact that each member of the family helps out. And if they do the little tasks when small, then they will expect to have chores when they are a bit bigger. And little kids love to help out. If you wait until they are "big enough" they aren't going to want to anymore.
That was a completely unplanned side track.
I have had to learned the opposite of scheduling-which, for me, is flexibility. If life happens, and I can't vacuum on Tuesday, then I try to do it Wednesday. Or dust on Thursday. Or give the bathrooms a lick and a promise. But, having the framework in place allows me to be flexible. I can put off until tomorrow, because I know I have free time tomorrow. And knowing that it isn't the end of the world if something doesn't happen right on time, is helpful too. Today I cleaned my bathrooms, and floors-well the kitchen floor. The dining room floor didn't make the cut. I know, its Thursday. But I sewed yesterday. Those Easter dresses. See, it would kind of defeat the purpose of making Easter dresses if they weren't wearable for Easter. Things happen. Life happens. Urgent happens. And cleaning happens when it needs to. Not always when it is supposed to. Which brings us back to MI tulips this year. They are not blooming on our schedule. But does that diminish their beauty?
To paraphrase Solomon, "consider the tulips."