Mixed blessings

Posted May 15th, 2006 by Penny Wise

What a hectic week it’s just been! Somehow I found the time to carry out my very first ‘home blessing’ according to the instructions from Flylady. Basically you are given an hour to clean your whole house and you have to designate no more than 10 minutes to each of the following tasks – dust, vacuum, mop, polish mirrors, purge all magazines and rubbish and change the sheets. As far as I was concerned there was no way this was going to be possible. Only the weekend before it had taken me an entire day to achieve the same thing! But you know what? I did the whole lot – in an hour!

Friday afternoon came around, I put some ‘feelgood’ music on the stereo and flew around like a mad thing in order to get my dusting done in ten minutes. Vacuuming was more of a challenge, it took me almost 20 minutes – you’re supposed to do no more than 10 minutes on any task but I’m sorry, there was no way I was leaving half the house covered in pet hair when the other half was presentable! Anyway, it took me less than two minutes to purge magazines and rubbish, so I figured it kind of balanced itself out. With only the floors left to wash, there was no way I thought I would get four dirty floors washed in ten minutes, but I did it. With five minutes to go before the boys were due to come home from school, the house was in tip top shape for the weekend. I wish I could say the same for the state of me after racing around doing that lot though – I had to go and collect the kids with my hair plastered to my head and sweat pouring off me, what a workout! ‘Get off my wet floor, I’ve just blessed this house!’ I barked at a bemused Noel when he attempted to come in. Even he could see I had been busy and my lovely clean home stayed that way for approximately 18 hours until two little rugby players traipsed wet grass throughout and ate popcorn in the lounge, but it didn’t phase me too much for a change because I hadn’t spent all weekend cleaning – only a measly hour!

Mother’s Day was yesterday. The boys had made me a dozen pieces of fudge at school which they had already proudly presented me with on Friday and force fed me the whole lot because their teachers told them it would melt. I got up at 8.00am and was immediately ordered back to bed while Noel made me breakfast and told me to stay in bed and read my book. What a treat! Unfortunately I didn’t realise that he had only made me breakfast, not the boys, so by 9.30am they peered in woefully to ask me if I could please get up and make them breakfast because they were starving! So, I got up, dutifully went to make them breakfast and as I walked through my office I noticed that one of the cats had been shut inside at night and had not sat on the proverbial mat but done something much worse on it instead. Happy Mother’s Day Penny, I thought!

Noel asked what I wanted to do for the day – anything I liked he said – so I said I would love to go shopping. But when it came time to go, I couldn’t do it! I couldn’t bear the thought of just going out for the sake of it because it was Mother’s Day and spending a load of money needlessly, so we turned around and went home. I decided I would rather celebrate the day by being a good Simple Savings style Mum instead. First I defrosted the freezers and managed to empty enough space to turn the beer fridge-freezer off. Noel thought it was a rather strange thing to be doing but I was adamant that our leaky fridge that didn’t even seal properly was wasting power and was willing to demonstrate, so he let me get on with it. I made some soup, some biscuits and a cake and while I was trying to fit my baking in the pantry I decided to give it a bit of a sort out. Now I thought my pantry was pretty organised, but imagine my amazement when I found no less than FOUR packets of unopened cereal lurking on the top shelf! All boxes that the kids had opened to grab whatever freebies were on offer and then never even touched the cereal packaged inside. Grr, and I had just gone and bought two new boxes! I made some home made chicken stock and froze it in ice cube trays before popping the cubes into freezer bags and did the same with stock made from vegetable scraps before feeding the leftovers to the worms. I even froze ¾ of a tin of tomato paste into ice cubes as well after reading a hint in the Vault. These days I always store my jars upside down in the fridge to prevent mould growing (I learned it from the Vault, it really works) but had bought a large tin of tomato paste as it was cheaper and wasn’t sure what to do with it – I could hardly tip it upside down once I’d opened it! So that wee gem of a hint solved that problem.

Later that day, Noel and I walked around our patch of land to see where the best place was to put my Mother’s Day present – he’s building me a chicken run! Actually, he was always going to build me a chicken run, but I have wanted one for ages so if it gets the job done faster I am quite happy to accept it as a gift offering! Our own fresh eggs, how exciting. It’s being built in the orchard inhabited by Bob and Friday the sheep, right next to the vege garden, so a jolly Felicity Kendall I shall be, collecting my eggs and harvesting fruit and vegetables (while Bob and Friday persist in try to eat my trousers as usual). The Mother’s Day present I gave to myself was pushing everyone else off the Playstation and having a go myself – I announced this occasion very loudly to the rest of the family and was really looking forward to it. However it took less than an hour of trying to steer Harry Potter and friends through spooky castles and forbidden forests before I had had enough – exterminating all those fire breathing reptiles with my magic wand had left me quite exhausted. I have decided I’m much better at blessing my home than battling monsters!

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