January 12, 2009

January… Ummm… Monday?

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:48 am by allisonwonder

I’ve lost track of the date- one of the dangers of “not working”.

That said, I’ve got a lot of work to do.  AJ’s in the middle of a few days off, so in theory I should be able to get more done, but between going to the big city one day (she said with just a touch of sarcasm) and having a migraine yesterday (though I still managed to clean the main bathroom), I’m a bit behind.

Today’s laundry day. Judging by the full hampers in all of the bedrooms, we’re looking at at least 4 loads; once I add in whatever’s scattered around the house, it’ll probably be more.

The fridge needs to be cleaned out. Something’s rotten in the state of Kenmore, and it don’t smell great in there. Tomorrow’s garbage day, so now’s actually a good time to get that done. That also means I need to get the garbage together and the recycling sorted- I forgot about it last week, so the recycling has overflowed its boxes and has turned into quite a pile (which Hurricane Ike delights in knocking over).

What else… we need groceries, so I guess that’s on the agenda, too. I did meal planning for the week last night, so at least I don’t have THAT to worry about… That might be it, aside from the regular tidying of living areas, washing of dishes, wiping of counters  and sweeping of floors. Oh, and emptying of litter box- definitely can’s forget to do THAT before the garbage goes out!  Eeeeew.

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January 2, 2009

See? This is what I’m talking about…

Posted in cleaning, family, Uncategorized tagged , , at 11:24 pm by allisonwonder

Remember when I said that Ike is wired for destruction? He’s a 10-month old demolition expert- and I have photographic proof.

This was his big (though not his only) project for the morning:

dsc07811 Yeah… that used to be the recycling pile. I’m sure he was just helping me get it out so I could put it in boxes.

And then I swept, swiffered and washed the floors. I started with the living room, then did the dining room, and then moved on to the kitchen. And then I went back into the living room to put the furniture back in the right spots, and Ikezilla was at it again.

dsc07825  Those would be his Daddy’s DVDs- Daddy’s not too happy when those end up all over the floor. Just another reason I’m watching kijiji for some storage units with doors on them!

He’s trouble, alright, but there are a few things that make it a bit easier to deal with him than it might otherwise be. for one thing, he’s my baby, and I love him. And then there’s this face of his:

dsc07815  I mean, really- would you be able to get mad at that guy for being curious and busy?

 

Of course, his brother’s not exactly a saint in that area, either- he can make a pretty good mess, too.

dsc07818

This, my friends, is why I don’t try to have a perfect-looking house. It’s not possible, and it’s no fun. Passable would be nice, though. 🙂

January 2, 2008

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:59 pm by allisonwonder

I have little to no motivation today. Ike was up at 5:00 this morning, and I’m so tired I actually walked into a wall earlier today. In spite of that, I’ve got 2 loaves of bread rising on the counter, and I’ve swept the floors, though they already need to be done again before I can actually wash the floors.

Supper tonight is going to be Shake n’ Bake chicken with rice and… I don’t know, some kind of vegetable, I’ll have to look and see what we’ve got. There’s no way we’re going to the grocery store today- we had horrible weather last night, and I don’t feel like dealing with the snow yet. It would be nice to get outside with Simon for a while, but Ike doesn’t have snow pants yet, so I guess that’s out.

I’ll try to get some pictures of the bedroom today so that tomorrow I can post about the problem I’m having with decorating it… It might have something to do with the almost-lime-green walls. Maybe.

 

Today’s To Do…

Kitchen

dishes (as needed)

sweep

wipe countertops and sink

stains, spills and smudges

 

Bathroom

wipe sink and shower after use

hang up towels

put bath toys away

wipe counter and floor as needed

 

Living Room/ Dining Room

sweep floors, spot clean messes

tidy floor and flat surfaces

take baskets to appropriate rooms

 

Bedrooms

make beds

laundry in hampers

 

Basement

tidy toys and craft area after use

litter box- quick scoop

food and water for cats

 

Other:

bake bread (double recipe) & clean up after

wash the under-burner crater thingers on the stove (yeah, I’m tired)

garbage and compost out

steam-mop floors

January 1, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:59 am by allisonwonder

 

Happy New Year!

December 25, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:20 am by allisonwonder

dsc07425

December 12, 2008

Just in case you’re planning on flying to 1924 this holiday season…

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 10:19 pm by allisonwonder

The New Book of Etiquette doesn’t have a lot of advice on travelling byplane, as “it’s still new enough to be thrilling for most of us!” Still, there must be something we can learn; after all, as Money Grubbing Lawyer* pointed out a few days ago,  flying was (in theory, at least) a far more enjoyable experience in the early days of commercial aviation.  

so, without further ado, Lillian Eichler’s tips for airline travel:

-“On most of the large planes, passengers are given glassine envelopes containing cotton and chewing gum. The  experienced traveler pads his ears with the cotton and chews the gum to adjust his ears and throat to higher altitude. This is one occasion when chewing gum is not frowned upon as a vulgarity!”

-“The cabin of a plane is so small, the passengers in such close proximity, than any attempt to observe social formalities is quite out of the question. Nobody waits to be introduced- everybody talks to everybody else- strangers are drawn to the common thrill of flying.”

-“It is not customary to tip airplane hostesses. However, if a hostess has been especially kind and attentive and the passenger wishes to show his appreciation, he may have a small, impersonal gift such as a box of candy or an interesting new book mailed to her after the trip is over.”

*(for advice on keeping flying in the present more tolerable, read his post. Don’t go expecting Air Canada to hand out glassine envelopes, now.)

November 30, 2008

Not On This Week’s Menu

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:02 pm by allisonwonder

This week’s menu planning is a bit awkward. We went out and bought a range (stove) yesterday (the first big, new appliance or furniture we’ve ever bought), which is exciting, but I don’t know exactly when it’s going to be delivered. This means I might be able to use the stovetop or oven every day, but I need to be prepared in case it doesn’t get here until Friday. We have a fridge now, so I can stock up a bit more on various ingredients, but I also can’t spend a huge amount on groceries, as buying said fridge (second-hand) and stove has left our bank balance lower than it was, to say the least. Not an emergency, but not time to fill the freezer, either.

So here I am, trying to be all responsible and find meal ideas that don’t rely entirely on convenience foods. I’ve found a few good websites for recipes, which are probably old news to most of you, but I haven’t used them before- Kraft Canada lets you create a ‘recipe box’ of stuff you like or want to try; so does AllRecipes.com. The latter has a big section of slow cooker recipes, many of them submitted by real people (ie not professional cooks). I’ve found a few I’d like to try…

…and then there’s this one, for Slow Cooked Squirrel. I just don’t see this one coming up on the menu around here. Not that there’s anything WRONG with it, of course, but it struck me as being really funny that not only is there a recipe for Slow Cooked Squirrel, but that it’s one of the Top 20 Slow-Cooker Recipes on the site.

Has anyone tried squirrel, either slow cooked or otherwise? Is it really that good? Any thoughts from those who accuse squirrels of being rats with furry coats and good PR? Tell meeeeee.

November 25, 2008

Catching Up (long entry… sorry!)

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:36 pm by allisonwonder

It’s amazing how hard it is to go a week without internet access. No e-mail, no favourite blogs, no messenger… talk about feeling cut off from the world! That said, having a week without those distractions following a move to a new house meant I got a lot more unpacking done than I might have otherwise.

Here’s where we stand right now: I’ve got almost all of the boxes that were upstairs unpacked. The boxes that are in the basement have all been opened, though there’s a lot of stuff down there that still needs to be unpacked- or not, depending on whether we need it or not. I’m just as happy to have fewer things around at this point; We’re not used to having free space in our home, and I’m in no rush to fill it up.

The big problem right now on the home-ec front is the fact that this house, which we’re renting, didn’t come with appliances. Does that seem odd to anyone else, or have we just been lucky in the past? We were fortunate enough to get a washer and dryer from AJ’s sister, and we already had a microwave and slow cooker, but right now we’ve got a toaster oven instead of a stove/oven and a mini-fridge keeping the bare necessities of perishables cold- milk, cheese, butter, apple juice, lunch meat and yogurt. AJ found a used fridge, but we need to borrow a truck (and some strong arms) to pick it up… I guess we’ll be stove shopping on his next day off. This is making meal planning and grocery shopping rather difficult at the moment!

Housekeeping is actually going pretty well so far- a clean slate is always nice, even if it’s covered in boxes. I’ve managed to not let the dishes pile up for a whole week now- definitely a record for me. Actually, I don’t even mind doing them right now, because we have a nice window above the sink I can look out of; a few days ago I saw a doe (a deer- a female deer!) wander across the front lawn, cross the street and disappear into the woods. So exciting! We’ve got hardwood and laminate flooring through most of the house, and I’ve been sweeping several times a day. Not having a booster seat for Isaac (9 mos) to use to sit at the table means he eats his meals off the floor (in a bowl, people, in a bowl), which leaves crumbs, scraps and bits of food everywhere. Come to think of it, Ike leaves a trail of destruction pretty much everywhere he goes these days…

We have one rug, donated to us by AJ’s aunt and uncle. It seems that our vacuum cleaner (along with our dish rack, cooking pots and other minor things) has gone missing. I didn’t really want to buy a new one just for a few square metres of space, so I was quite excited when I found a small upright vacuum cleaner in the basement… but it didn’t work. The power went on, but it wasn’t sucking anything up. So:

Step 1: Empty the canister. Eeeeew! I didn’t look too closely at the contents, but if I’d had a camera, I totally would’ve taken pictures to post here. Still nuthin’.

Step 2: cleaning the filter. This thing was so clogged I could hardly tell it was supposed to have ridges. I banged it into the trash, picked the solidified crud out of the crevices with a pancil crayon (proper tool use not being a strength of mine) and washed it under warm running water. That sucker (or not, as the case may be) had to dry for 24 hours befor I could test again, but then: still nuthin’.

Step 3:the rolly bar thinger. You know, the bit with the bristles. I got the scissors and cut layers of hair and miscellaneous fibres off of there, and then tried again. The rolly bar thing turned freely, but I wasn’t feeling a whole lot of suckin’ going on down at the bottom.

Step 4: Disassemble! Not entirely, of course, but I pulled the hose out, separated the top and bottom bits, and generally poked and prodded and looked for blockages. I didn’t find anything, but when I put it all back together- SUCCESS! Now I have a vacuum cleaner that totally sucks, instead of one that… totally… sucks… you know what I mean.

I think we’re caught up, now.

TODAY:

-clean bathrooms (toilets, bathtub, sinks, counters, floors, mirrors)

– walk to post office with the boys- it’s cold, but a nice, clear day here today. I need to buy stamps for Christmas cards and get a little package sent to AJ’s parents.

– Stop at grocery store* and get what I need to make supper tonight- I’m going to try to make chicken soup in the slow-cooker, which means I need to get to the store before lunchtime.

– start debt assessment for budget planning. Painful, but necessary. We’re not as far in debt as a lot of people are, but there are credit cards to pay off, the car, and money owed to family members for various things. I’ll probably think of more, too, dammit. Taxes, student loans… Aaaargh!

 

* The grocery store here in town is fine for little things, but a thorough shopping trip (especially if produce is involved) requires a 30 minute drive. Obviously careful meal planning and grocery list making will be important so I don’t have to go too often!

November 13, 2008

New Beginnings, Introductions, and Stuff

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:07 pm by allisonwonder

Hey there!

Welcome to my adventure in Home Economics. Did you take home-ec in high school? I didn’t. Come to think of it, I don’t even know if it was offered at my school by the time I got there… we all had to take it in junior high, but it was only a half-semester course, the other half being woodshop. I vaguely remember making a lasagna with a small group… and sewing a book cover…

What I’m getting at here is that I managed to get through school and be released into this wide, wacky world with next to no knowledge about anything to do with managing house and home. My mom is great- she’s a good cook, she kept our house clean and (usually) tidy, she raised me and my brother and looked after other people’s kids, too. Still, I grew up hating housework, and I just didn’t pick up much in the way of cooking skills, either. As for kids… I love mine, but take all others on an individual basis.

Oh, and MONEY- the economics within the home economics. The hubby and I haven’t had a lot to work with in the past, being both employed in retail, and then with the addition of two beautiful boys, plus various cars that cost more in repair bills than they did in monthly payments. We’ve never gone hungry, we’ve never missed a rent payment, but it’s been close a few times. Now that hubby’s starting a new job, one that actually pays decent money, there’s actually going to be money to manage.

We’re moving for that job. Hubby’s already there; the kids and I will be joining him in just a few days. For the first time, we’re going to have a house to ourselves; we’re renting a sweet little bungalow with a view of the water, and I’m going to do the best I can with it, dammit!

A new start means new goals- that’s the point of New Year’s resolutions, right? I’m gonna think on that, and I’ll post those next time. Food, kids, house, finances, marriage, self… so much to think about! I’m going to be learning by trial and error (especially with the cooking, God help us!), but we’ll get there…