Monday, May 19, 2008

There's Lots to Do Around Here...

"Thank God for the things I do not own." ~St. Teresa of Avila

I have the next "Inspiring Home for Learning" post almost ready. I'll probably post that tomorrow because today I am going to be very busy around home.

Every spring, I do a thorough and ruthless decluttering of the house. I harden my heart to sentimentality and toss things out like crazy (big things, little things, nice things, things I like, anything that is too much). This year, I started much later than usual, and I've gone way too slowly. Actually, I've been sort of puttering through a job that requires serious action. If I don't hurry, I'll still be working on this year's decluttering next spring when it's time to start again! So, everything comes out of the laundry/storage room today, and I will go through every single box, getting rid of as much stuff as I can. Then, when there's lots of space on the storage room shelves and the laundry room is spiffy and clean, I'll move on to other rooms-- every single drawer, cupboard, cabinet, closet. I go through it all, making space where things somehow became cluttered over the past year.

(I don't own this book, but I love the sentiment.)

I'll start a gigantic Goodwill pile and let my kids look through it before I drop it off. The entire family might be here next weekend, so they can take what they want, and Goodwill can have the rest. I'm finally highly motivated to get this job done! It always feels so good to have the house clean and orderly, with lots of breathing room, doesn't it?

And there's the outdoor work. Yikes, I'm so behind there, too! Thankfully, our growing season in the high desert is very short, so I'm not even late yet. It's foolish to plant anything here before the first of June because it will likely be killed or damaged by frost. We can have frost any day of the year, though, so once we plant, we always have plastic covers ready to use on nights when frost is forecast. As I look at a few blogs out there, so many people are showing pictures of their beautiful flowering gardens, and there's nothing remotely resembling a flower here yet. The perennials are growing, but nary a bud is showing.

Anyway, my herb garden looks like a jungle, moreso than ever before. It looks hopelessly lost to weeds and wildness (and I like it so neat and tidy!). My planter boxes need repair. The lemon balm has taken over, covering even the pathways around the boxes (I can't believe I was foolish enough to plant this invasive stuff right in my main herb beds!) Thankfully, working at things slowly, but steadily, gets a lot accomplished. So, little by little over the next week or so, I'll see what I can do...

The fact that my family may all come home next weekend (yippee!) motivates me to get things done now, too. I don't want to be busy with this when they're here. We're talking about having a Mexican food party on the weekend (since it's been in the conversation lately), choosing recipes from Rick Bayless and Diana Kennedy's books. This could be fun! Oh, and I'll have to tell you about my Mexican Coffee later (made in a French press). My son, Aaron, told me about this one. (Aimee, did you try it?)

I just wish I could get my hands on a really good croquet set before Friday (ours is broken down and worn out)! We play killer croquet here all summer, and with the entire family home and the weather nice, well, it would sure be fun to have it set up. If you think of croquet as a mild, polite game, you might not want to pick up a mallet and play here. Thankfully, I tend to be always behind in the game, so there's usually no one knocking my croquet ball down the road into the neighbor's property.

And now a list. George Grant has a new blog called Eleventary where his posts are limited to either 11 words or lists of 11 things. I like it. He's got lots of pictures up of his library and gardens, and those of you who like this kind of thing should go have a look. Lovely.

I am a Master List Maker, so I like the idea of posting lists. Here's my list of 10 Things to Do Today. Gee, ten things doesn't sound nearly as cool as "Eleventary." I'll have to come up with my own cool number later.

1. Wash all laundry and hang on clothesline.
2. Take everything out of laundry-storage room and begin sorting, cleaning, etc.
3. Start a gigantic Goodwill pile in the corner of the family room.
4. Mow big side yard (and then water).
5. Clean up one flower bed.
6. Take dog for a long walk.
7. Return my sister's phone call.
8. Email Laura.
9. Go to Jill's to pick up eggs.
10. Make raw milk yogurt or cheese.

With all of the interruptions that will occur today, I might not get everything on that list done. If not, I'll just move it to tomorrow's list!

So, off I go now. Time to get busy!