Thursday, September 25, 2014

Apply self topically.

You know, it's hard sometimes to have a blog for which I need topics without becoming bogged down in the topical items of the day. Is Rocket Raccoon a better hero that Nolan's Superman? What side should I fall on in Gamergate? Should our focus be on Syria or ISIS?

Boxers or briefs?

But as with my chosen propaganda posters, I have chosen to keep this blog free of the usual polarizing rhetoric on the radio and focus more on internal struggles. Does my husband have clothes for tomorrow? Did I remember to pack an apple in my son's lunch? How do I remove THAT stain?

Boxers or briefs?

Okay, okay, focus! So the house has seen better days of late. As the sole house keeper, when you are feeling under the weather, the raccoons (aka, my son and husband) learn to adapt. Obviously washing laundry is a skill that they teach us in housewyf school and folding is something my husband refuses to do because of what he claims are my "Exacting standards."

I don't demand much.

My El Guapo has been clutter. I spent the summer trying to rid us of this dreaded disease of a modern consumerist culture and that has basically resulted in it creeping out of hidden corners to lay about my house and trip us in the dark. Now on top of that, my dear sweet beloved husband who I would not murder because I have no where else to go (and also blah blah, something about love), is collecting cans for the boy scouts. That's right. So all those tin cans I usually rinse out and toss into the recycling bin, he wants to keep. So for some reason this means that they don't get washed and must be stacked on counters, laying in bags around the kitchen, oh, and roaming free.

Just because I like to WATCH Hoarders,
does not mean I want to be ON the show.

I know what I have to do. It's not really an easy thing, but then, when do you have to resolve to do something when that something is NOT difficult?

I resolve to eat this.

I'm thinking that the first thing I need to conquer is the laundry. I'm so behind that the pile is nearly as tall as I am and I, er, haven't changed the sheets in a bit. Next will be drifts of clutter in the kitchen. I realize that my husband recently reduced his number of jobs to one that actually both pays the bills and gives us health insurance, but this also does not give him permission to decorate my car or my kitchen with his old papers.

Has anyone seen my casserole pan?

As for the books double stacked on the floor behind my mops, as a guy told his marriage counselor, "We're here to discuss THEIR problems not MINE!"

(Real actual picture of my house.)

Okay, the books belong to ALL of us.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Keeping busy.

It's been a roller coaster couple of weeks here at the Homefront. Some good things have happened, though they have been somewhat overshadowed by rendering unto Caesar, and we've had a lot of rendering to do as we move from five separate paychecks to one decent one.

Close enough.

This being said, we're crawling out from under a debt rock, and this is actually a good thing. I will be thrilled when the only thing we owe money on is the house.

Maybe one or two other small things.

Anyway, I'm getting used to packing lunches for everyone in the mornings, though I admit to getting in a bit of a rut, as it can be hard to plan creativity ahead. More importantly, Thursdays lunches have to be special: for Mr. Smith, extra cute, for Junior, extra sturdy. Mr. Smith eats lunch with other professors, and loves to show off adorable bento lunches, because inside he's still a high schooler, and this is what we get for watching too much high school romance anime. I'm still looking for pickled plums though.

The world needs more hot dog octopi.

Anyway, on Thursdays, the boy goes hiking around the forest with his teachers. So for him, lunch has to be full of yummy things and sturdy enough to hold together as he treks through the forest with his backpack. I wish I had pictures.

I'm pretty sure it looks like this.

In other news, we are gearing up for fall yard work. Pruning is going to be the name of the game for the most part, at least here at the beginning of autumn. Once the snakes are definitely hiding down nice warm holes, it will be time to cut back the growth around the walnut trees. I'd very much like them to put their energy into making walnuts and not new sprigs and sprouts, but they are stubborn.

And a little mean.

I do have to admit that I've fallen a bit behind in my usual house cleaning. I'm the first to admit that I'm no Suzie Homemaker, but all those little things I do that aren't cleaning the pee from under the toilet are, I'm sorry to say, a bit more in need of my attention right at the moment.

I swear this isn't all I do.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Working hard or hardly working?

Okay, let's be fair, I plumb forgot to post last week. With the boy in school, I have a lot on my mind, he's out there in the world, and I am unable to hover. Being a helicopter mom of a school aged child is tough.

Not enough protection of his hands.
Also, he needs a coat... and a scarf.

So mornings have been busy, I have to make two lunches and a breakfast on most days. When I did this before, I had to get up at 5:30 am to start the rice in order to have it done, and I wouldn't eat breakfast until after the boys were away. Now, I don't have to start until 6:30, and I usually have time for breakfast, too.

Coffee is very important in the house of a Professor's wife.

I'm settling into the rhythm of things, and the long, quiet days of housewyfery, with my neurotic dog Bruce by my side.

Moves like a ninja, farts like a...well, not a ninja.

Recently, I have been looking at the piles of clutter around the Home Front. The fact is that since Junior started Home Schooling, I sorta just let my brain melt into my butt. But with my time being my own again, and the ability to concentrate for extended periods back to me, I have found a lot of things falling back into place. Without worrying about getting him a drink or making lunch on demand, or a snack, or trying to stimulate his brain. I leave this to the pros.

Just another day at school.

It's going to be a busy fall, this year. Junior has Scouts, I have volunteer work for the new school, Mr. Jones has scout stuff AND work, and I need him to help me with the yard. As grocery prices go up and everyone is shouting about GMOs and E. Coli in lettuce from human fecal matter, and all of the horrible things that happen to our vegetables between seed and table, not to mention the fact that it is right and proper, we have a five year plan beginning this year to fill up our little 1/2 acre of land with our own produce.

Nothing we eat is safe anymore.

That's right, time to plant a Victory Garden! Our current plan includes herbs, veggies, and plenty of fruits, including blackberries, blueberries, peaches, apples, and possibly grapes. I dream of having a little shady grape arbor where I can sit with my tea during the summer and watch the chickens and work on my tatting and needlepoint.

This is my moment, don't ruin it for me.

This year, we will be planting fruit trees, since they will take the longest to bear, and this will give me a little more time before I need the standing freezers and all of that. Luckily, I will be snagging a second hand food processor from my husband's grandmother who passed away, and though my kitchen is small, expert organization means that everything is right at hand.

Still bigger than my kitchen,
however, I'd kill for this set-up.

But today, at long last, I must do something I have not done in a while (which, as with any cleaning task, makes it that much worse). Today I clean out the fridge. I have some containers that need reclaiming, not to mention the space. Let me tell you, it's bad.

Maybe not that bad.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

How this Housewyf got her groove back.

Okay, I'm going to admit it, the bush still lives. What's worse, fall is approaching and I have it and a couple of friends that need to meet the business end of my axe.

Obligatory Gimli. (That is, plural of a gimlet.)

I've been a little busy with a couple of home things, first and foremost, I have been returning to a cleaning schedule. I'm still a little bit on the crazy hippy side of things, but things ARE getting done. So, for those of you playing the home game:

Monday: Bathroom.
Tuesday: Bedrooms.
Wednesday: Living room, office.
Thursday: Kitchen, shopping.
Friday: Dusting and floors.

Find joy in your work.

In between, I have hobbies and, as most housewyfs, I have a whole lot of social media and online series binge-watching to do. To be fair, for the first couple of days of the Boy's new school, I spent most of the time scrubbing the grout, which is to say, I was doing nothing but cleaning things that don't need to clean in order to pass the dragging seconds until he got out of school. Of course, I'm cleaning the grout about other things as well.

It helps to pass the time.

In other news, I have to get either a new dryer or a permanent line. The current dryer situation is not working, as my dryer has decided that actually drying the clothes is for losers. Of course, with the weather the way it's been recently, the outside is not a good solution either.

We've had a bit of rain.

Well, it's back to work. Hubby is finishing the mowing, and I still need to cut down the monster bush.

O hai, I made some friends.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Garden Gnomes have the Police Rock!

So, over the summer, the husband and I created a 5-year garden plan for the yard. This autumn, we are taking our first steps towards farming our half acre by planting our bushes and trees and acquiring a few things that I will need to save a summer harvest.

Better living through produce!

It is nice to know that large portions of my grocery bill will be reduced through homegrown eggs, veggies, and fruits. I am learning to make desserts using fres fruit, I still need to learn about jam, and I want to collect more vintage WW2 cookbooks and books on canning and preserving. Combining the wartime missives with the urban homesteading, and I'm about ready for a global Postman style apocalypse.

I used to be famous.

Of course, it is a five year plan. So patience will be a virtue. Then again, so will not having a crippling fear of snakes. You see, there is already a bush growing in the spot where I want to grow a peach tree. Unfortunately, it is defended by the fact that it is an excellent snake habitat. I saw a brown ribbon snake sauntering back under the bush as though he owned the place. Being a snake, he does.

Thug life.

But I will have to have the husband evict him and take down this overgrown monster of a bush. It's true, I suppose that a large part of our yard overhaul consists of deforestation and herbicidal mania, but in the long run, not having to mow an uneven half acre will be nice and having all the fancy home grown, organic, open pollinated, home prepared foods means that I will be able to fit in better with the parents at the private school.

Why no, I don't pass gas, but if I did, my flatulence would smell of Japanese orchids.

I'm kidding. There are a few others, like us, who are just normal working class and lower middle class parents who have to get our kids out of public school. I just wish we didn't have to go to this extreme just for our kid to get into college. But common core and no child left behind really did damage the schools--at least here. We don't really need schools designed by committee, we need standards designed by teachers with some parent input. After that, if little Cletus can't read, maybe they just aren't suited for greatness...

... or college.

Well, back to the laundry mines!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Back from the war!

So homeschooling put a big damper on my regular posting. I know that my adventures in the modern homefront have also suffered. This is why I am going to make an attempt to return to a regular blog posting twice a week. I have decided what I really need is a schedule, so I am going to make one, and now that I have an office with easy access, I should have the ability to multi-task with other stay at home mom things, such as chores, raising the Boy, and working on my career. I know this is a short post, but it's 4am and I am spending my time finding determination, since sleep is for the weak.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Winter is... ending, actually.

It's been a long and hard season in a lot of ways. Not just for the Home Front, but I've noticed a shift in tone in my friends' posts as well.

Go ahead, post one more time.

Okay, I'm not going to say that I've been all sunshine and rainbows. A year ago, I decided never to post whining on the internet unless I already had a plan of action. I'd like to say that I'd stuck to that rule. I'm human though, and when things are hard, sometimes I feel like I want to scream from the mountains about how hard everything is and how no one loves me and flounce to bed.

Need I say more?

It's been too cold, too snowy, and like the frogs I love, this is not something I care for. Winter depression is a thing, and sometimes husbands hate the look that daylight bulbs give your house.

According to hubby: the only acceptable lighting.

But I have to look back to those brave women who didn't have the option to constantly whine. Amid the austerity and rationing that helped us win the war, our governments reminded us that it was not what we did not have, but what we could make of it that was the most important.

Or to be more direct:

I know, easier said than done. You're saying: "Mrs. Smith has started to sound like one of those cheezy aphorism reposts I'm always seeing on the Facebook!"

I swear by my apron I WILL cut you.

To be fair, if I blocked everything on the things not to post list then social media would be pretty unsocial. I mean, social media is not the same as a face to face conversation, it's having an open window into other people's lives, and sometimes you're going to see them hanging up their underpants or cleaning out the junk drawer. This is all part of always looking in that window.

"Uh, hey, you should check the expiration date on your yogurt."

But the thing is that--in spite of the weather, the darkness, the cold, the loneliness of winter--I am friends with my friends for a reason. More importantly, Spring IS nearly here.

At least until it snows again.

So like my resolution to never post without a fix, I'm going to try to be more lenient on my friends. I'm not the only one who relies mostly on social media to get my social connections, and I value their contributions to my narrow little world. I, too, can contribute by getting a better grip on my own feelings.

More or less.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Back from Hiatus, I think.

So it's been utterly upside-down and cross-ways here on the Home Front.

Plus side, minor repairs are a lower priority.

The holidays liked to have killed me, but after this many years, I've managed to survive. Down side, I didn't see my siblings or their kids for the holidays which is a MAJOR bummer. I miss my brother and my sister, terribly. I did get to see parents, cook good meals and enjoy time with our friend. Up side? I also didn't murder anyone.

Nor did I lead any parades.

It's been a wild roller coaster in the school department as well. We have been tangling with the school both due to our India trip and for gifted testing. Well the India thing has been decidedly easier, but thanks to Husband's knowledge of The System, we've taken a "26 week observation and assessment period" and made it into a "We're sending you the paperwork and will have him tested as soon as possible.

Just waiting on their reply now.

And who knows, if Junior was in regular school out of the house, I'd probably do the whole house twice a week AND have time for my hobbies.

Didn't you know I was a gamer?

Speaking of hobbies, I've been picking up a new skill: Gregg shorthand. Technically, if you want to get down to it, it's a bit anachronistic to the time period, but then, I also enjoy my computer, my bread machine, dishwasher, and a laundry list of medical advancements. Besides having always wanted to learn shorthand, it will help me with other tasks. It's an all around useful skill. Especially considering all the meetings that we have had with Junior's teachers it might become incredibly important to have detailed notes.

As for my hipster hobbies of churning butter and baking my own bread, I've only bought one loaf of bread in the months since buying the bread machine. The husband is enjoying choosing his own slice thickness, and his ability to cut it by himself has drastically improved. (If it didn't I'd have to keep doing it for him, and that would interrupt his quiet morning. Downside, the first bread machine couldn't keep up with us. I just got another $20 machine off of craigslist. A cute guy with a great truck didn't need his anymore. That's the great thing about bread machines. Most people buy them thinking that they'll do what I'm doing.

Because this is useful.

In pet issues, it seems that one of our guinea pigs will likely die this year. To be fair they are rather old, and we've taken good care of them. These will be our last guinea pigs. Their corner will probably be filled with bookshelves and maybe a work-desk for me.

It's not all this kind of glory.

Last but not least, there IS actually been some pre-spring cleaning. Every year, we promise that we'll declutter the Home Front.

The problem comes when the regular use surfaces are not just cluttered, but just dirty. Who cares about organizing the kitchen when the regular dishes aren't done? So I have re-instituted my one room a day clean, which works very well for our family. In addition to this, I've put the husband to work, and the kid, which makes my life easier.

Your Nagus is proud of you.

So everyone has their check-lists. It's been working pretty well. Though this week we're catching up after we all took a snow day. I'm also introducing a new "Friend" of mine, the Pentopus of Alien Doubt. You know how sometimes you read something or someone says something to you, and suddenly you doubt things that make perfect sense? As in, you start to believe the conspiracy theorist. Well, here's the reason.

"You don't see anything!"
Shut up, Pentopus.