Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Pettle and A Buzz

So, the news that The Man is now semi-permanently posted to a city far, far away for several months means that my single parent status is now more or less permanent as well. Sigh.

But, as Posy wrote in my Mothers Day card - You are the pettles to my flower, the buzz to my bee.

When my day gets a bit miserable, I just need to remember that I am somebody's pettle. Somebody's buzz. Somebody who is relying on me to keep it all together for her.

And, I really just have to crack on and do something. I AM going to clean the house this week. It is getting difficult to see out the front windows.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Can't Be Bothered Thursday: Reprise

So I have decided to embrace minimalism. I have done this by 'tidying' all the papers into the hall drawer and taking the dead house plant outside. I am loving the surfaces darlings. This is, however, all a tiny bit of bloggy magic. Turn around with me and let me share with you the actual state of the house:

Yes, all the precious, precious art projects.. are still there. The blanket fort is still half dismantled downstairs. There is food in the carpet. The children's bedrooms are looking somewhat.. bohemian, but I can't point the finger because this afternoon I tossed a foot high pile of clean washing off the chair in my bedroom so I could read my book. Look up at the 'Housekeeping' tab above there people, and tell me it isn't all just a tiny bit ..smug.

Oh, I hate and despise housework. That is why I invented those housekeeping routines in the first place, because unlike naturally organised people I cannot stand in the middle of a messy house and think about cleaning it up. That would require Advanced Decision Making skills, which I also don't possess. One thing I am good at though, is Developing Theories About That Which I Have No Intention of Really Carrying Through. That would be housework routines. That is not to say that I never do any of them. Seriously, I would be lost without that morning routine. With it I can function almost like a normal person. Without it I used to stand vaguely in the middle of the mess holding a tea towel in my hand, looking pathetically incompetent. Now I still do that, but there is a tiny voice in my head that says, 'Put the washing on, unpack the dish washer, make the bed..' And I just do what I am told, because who am I to question the voices in my head?

Anyway, due to spending all the summer thinking about things that weren't housework, and doing single parent child wrangling, I have tried to get away with doing as little as possible in the house. It is feeling neglected. It has smudges and ground-in food and cobwebs, and cupboards full of ...surprises. It needs someone to care about its grimy windows, its dusty corners, and Oh My Lord have you SEEN what is under the fridge? And due to a deficiency of other suitably qualified candidates, that someone would be.. me, of course.

My two plans so far have been: hire a giant skip and throw everything into it, truly embracing minimalism, St Francis style.

The second is: just clean the damn house.

Leaning towards the first, as much simpler.

However, am putting it off, in the best tradition of Can't Be Bothered Thursday.

Tell me, what would you do?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Green and Thrifty

My green and thrifty projects this week are mostly things I meant to do, but didn't quite - make the last of the basil into pesto. Pick the last apples and rhubarb to stew. Make sourdough, sew on buttons, freeze some warrigal greens before the weather does it for me. What actually happened was school holidays.

Ah, school holidays. Over the Easter break we have done.. nothing. A whole lot of lovely, lovely, thrifty nothing. This is how our days unfold. I get up at dawn and go to the gym. When I get home I hop back into bed (in my gym clothes. Yes, I am a slattern), and read my book. When I get up the children may be playing cards. When I have finished my shower I may find children on my bed playing their flutes (why on MY bed girls? Go away). They may be cooking brownies, inviting friends over, cooking cupcakes, watching movies, painting eggs, painting over last year's canvasses (there goes their eminently collectable juvenilia..), learning canasta, playing spoons, watching endless ABC3, getting to Level 132 of the fruit game. Posy learns how to lay and light a fire. She does this every day, except she prefers not to go out in the rain and get muddy.. 'Look, the rain is letting up Mummy. You and The Girl should have enough time to go and get wood now before it rains again..'

The entire dining table disappears under painting detritus. Posy and her friend are painting an entire farm. They paint the backdrop, then paint all the individual elements and animals on separate pieces of paper, then cut them out to stick on the back drop.. then lose interest. Rosy is painting sunsets. The Girl is painting still lifes for her Year 12 art study.

There are sleep overs. The whole downstairs family room is turned into a giant fort with all the sheets, mattresses, cushions and blankets in the house. A teddy club is formed. Sleeping bags disappear into the fort where the 'sleep over' (ha) commences. There is hilarious dancing to loud music. There is home made pizza for dinner, and home made waffles for breakfast with whipped cream and this divine chocolate sauce. There are marshmallows toasted on the fire. Small girls disappear into the outside cubby between rain showers to spy on the boys next door (the ones they despise and loathe). The girls pull out the stash of Grandma Hazel's fabulous costume jewelry, and load themselves down with pearls and marvellous 70s clip-on ear rings. Then they get out all their beads and make their own jewelry. I happen to know what several mothers are getting for Mother's Day this year.

The absolute favourite and best thing to do in school holidays though, is to wear pyjamas all day and use an old foam mattress to slide down the stairs.

Let me warn you though - cheap and thrifty fun in the school holidays can be made to sound idyllic in a blog post, but mainly creates a whole house of mess. There is also a fair amount of yelling (both parents and children), some crying (ditto), door slamming, food embedded in soft furnishings, and similar prices to pay for cheerful mayhem. It is not for the faint hearted. Tell me about your black-belt parenting school holiday experiences..