Thursday, December 5, 2013
The Turning of the Holidays
I did a tiny bit of cleaning today. It was mainly to demonstrate to my children how the chore chart is supposed to work. Do you try a chore rotation with your kids? Has it EVER worked? My three at-home kids are supposed to rotate between sweeping the floor, dusting/picking up the living areas and feeding the pets, and unloading/reloading the dishwasher every morning for their "morning chores." They get a different morning chore each week, so it stays the same for enough days that they should actually do it at least once a week. It seems I do more nagging to remember to do their morning chores than I get to enjoy a nice tidy house. So today I straightened and dusted and vacuumed the living room. I had to empty the vacuum twice, it hadn't been done in so long. Seems the "living spaces" person feels that the pets HAVE to get fed, so everything else is optional and therefore unimportant. One day, and it will have to be when I am good and mad and ready to live with the drama that will follow, I really will follow through on my threats to dumpsterize anything left lying around.
I did a bunch of sewing on a certain Christmas project yesterday, attempting to withdraw to my sewing corner and listen to Bonnie Hunter on quiltcam while I sewed. But the same instinct that draws toddlers to pound on the bathroom door when Mommy seeks refuge there seemed to draw the very people I was trying to keep from seeing my sewing projects to come ask me things like, "Is it okay if we store the leftover enchiladas in the pan? And do we need to put a cover on it?" or better still, "Do you think my hair is getting darker?" "Would I look good driving a Saab?" (just kidding, the Saab question was from a week ago... but the hair question was last night.)
Thanksgiving and Christmas being holidays that revolve around food, I am rather concerned by the state of the fridge. It is producing a lot of ice and snow that overflows into the fridge section (enough to cancel school in Clark County, probably) and the ice seems to have grown over the blower so the fridge section is not staying sufficiently cool, while the freezer section is super cold so that we can't buy a brick of ice cream any more because it would be, well, too bricklike to serve. This weekend we are going to try a manual defrost experiment and move everything to a cooler (or outside, it's cold enough) while we try to get the fridge working adequately for the holidays. The budget says it needs to last for another month or two until the next tuition payment is made, and then we might consider replacing it, because this ice thing is not totally new, just a lot worse than before. In the meantime, I am buying dairy products in smaller quantities and manually removing the snow before it forms puddles on the bottom of the fridge.
We watched an episode of The Middle this week. Secundus was scrutinizing me rather closely to see if I was crying as they dropped Axle off at college. I do tend to cry during this show, I can't help it. It's just a little too close to home sometimes. Come to think of it, my mom used to cry during episodes of Roseanne, way back when. We all looked at her funny, but I totally get it now.
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Yes, I've used chore charts. And yes, they worked. First we had a talk about how it takes the whole family to make the house run smoothly. Then if their chores weren't done, I didn't do something that made their life easier. For instance, dishwasher not emptied? No bowls for oatmeal for breakfast. Have a nice day! It has to be something that impacts them. They won't starve to death if they miss a breakfast or two, and that's all it ever took, one or two times that something didn't work as THEY wanted it to, and they got the message.
Fridge: Mine does that, too. I defrost at least once a month, sometimes more in the summer when it's humid. It is easy to have repaired - less than $200 most likely, from what the repairman told me, but I don't have that in the budget yet, and defrosting is easy enough. Sometimes it goes even longer in the winter.
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