Organizing a Mess

Monday did not catch me by surprise today! Let me get a cup of coffee and I will be back to write.

OK, coffee in hand (well, on desk at the moment) and hopefully I am awake enough to not write anything too drastic so that my family will not speak to me or own me. Believe me, it has happened before, like here.

I do not know about you, but some parts of homemaking are hard for me. I am more laid back, messes do not bother me till they get bad and I am not always running behind my granddaughter (or even myself for that matter) to make sure everything is picked up the minute it is done being used.

Scout, my granddaughter, rips paper, gets toys out, gets out my plastic containers and I get to them eventually, but not immediatly.

I am an all or nothing person. Either I am wacked out over making sure everything it spotless, or else I am so laid back it piles up.  Finding a middle road is hard for me. Having five kids at home I found it almost impossible!

I am a grandmother now, no kids at home but one I babysit all day. I want to do my sewing and she wants to do her playing. As a result, my husband can come home to pieces of scrap fabric all over the floor with the toys and Scout’s ripped up “mail”. Dishes from lunch in the sink (we do have a dishwasher, but…) .

Poor guy, works all day and this is what he comes home to. I have been working all day too, and that is part of the mess.

My husband is very supportive, I like to brag about that, but I also like him to come home to some semblance of order.

To do this I am trying:

  • Keep my sewing stuff on the table and sewing machine table (I have to use my dining room, so hiding it totally is out)
  • I cut out on the chest freezer and try to throw away any papers, scraps etc right away where Scout can’t find them. If she likes the fabric, even pieces 1/4″ wide are carried off.
  • Have her help pick up her “mail” before Papa gets here
  • Keep her books in one place and read to her in the chair by that place, she then keeps them near there too.
  • Have her high chair available in the Living room to put her drink, crayons etc on and she can get them and return them as she needs.
  • Dishes: we will not talk about that!

I need to get more organized with all this as I am working on a home sewing business and plan on opening an etsy store in the near future. Sewing has to be out, but I can keep it neat and organized.

Any tips you have are more than welcome to comment on. I can use it!

A Dripping Faucet?

Somehow I missed last Monday with my homemaking ideas, but I think I am back on track today.

How has your life been? Mine has been filled to the point my head has been spinning! I wonder why I am even participating in a Homemaking carnival when my home gets to looking like a diseaster area.  Please do not tell me I am the only one that has a home that gets messy!

This weekend I found myself frustrated. Headache from something that the wind blew in, literally.  Worry Concern over a new granddaughter that has jaundice, her sister who is sick and my son in law and daughter who are exhausted; sewing projects piled on the table and my sewing machine decides to act up and may need to be replaced, our work schedule, goats that keep getting tangled up because husband has not got the fence up yet, clothes dryer not able to work when the air is on as it blows the cirguit breaker at the pole (and husband has not put up clothes line yet) … the list goes on.

Now, did you notice something? hint: the word “husband” mentioned?

I used to be more uptight about things, but now it is hard for me to nag. I find I am more laid back and will go through the trouble of putting up with things that there is solutions for that money is not totally involved in.

For instance, we have much of the wire needed for the fencing. Yes, we need some poles, but there are some to get started. It is laying on the side of the house. Something else for the goats rope to get tangled in and me have to go out and untangle.

The supplies to hang the clothes line are behind my freezer in a bag. Well they were in a bag till my granddaughter played with them and broke the bag and dumped them behind the freezer. I can’t put up the line, we live in Texas and it means putting up a pole since there are no big trees.

I can’t take a bath because the tub is filled with cement board and tile for a project that is started and not done.

My craft/computer room is unorganized. I need to get some wood feet under one cabinet so the drawers will open and I can fix the one that broke trying to open it on the floor. A large shelf needs to be moved out too.

When you live in a small place things look cluttered pretty easily.  Drives me bonkers.

Now, as I said, Nagging is hard for me. I think that is good in many ways. Before I nag I think. What has he been doing? How is he feeling? Is he wasting time and just not doing or is there a reason?

  • Till recently my husband has not been getting days off, but rather working many hours
  • He is tired when he is home
  • Some of the projects need money we do not have
  • Some projects take my time at the same time and we are not able to get it together or I need to do something just before he has to do something then we need to put it all back after he is done. This takes time together and time for each of us. Scheduling can be a problem.

What I have learned after years of marriage is that we need to think before we nag and grumble. It seems so obvious, yet so hard at times.

Let me explain how I learned this lesson.

Before Rick, I had been married to a wonderful man. We had a good marriage. I loved him very much. However, I was much more head-strong. I would nag, sometimes with that silent nag, you know the one, get angry under your breath, grumble, have your little tantrums about things not getting done. Maybe not so others will even notice, but he knew. Arguments followed. Finally he did it, and then it may not be done right as he was now angry too.

Then one day this man you love has a heart attack. Nothing that happened when you were nagging, but rather on our vacation when it was fun. He was between life and death for 3 weeks.  I changed. When I knew that our life would never be the same again, it all hit me. I knew I had to do something to make life easier on him and needed to think more.

Before I complained, nagged, grumbled to him I asked myself this: Is this worth him getting stressed out and having another heart attack over? If it is, grumble, if not, shut up.

He lived through the attack and the following kidney failure, but we knew it was just a matter of time. I stuck with that change. I complained when he was eating something not good for him (like the bag of potato chips that were left in the house). Other times I would get after him when needed, but not like before.

My husband did die and I remarried. I still think before I complain or nag. I have a wonderful husband who has a tiring life at work. I have a tiring life at home.  I learned to think.

Things will get done, eventually. Not on my schedule, but they will get done. I want to grumble ,sometimes, about the goat fence. The weather has been close to 100 or above out there. Would me, after working all day want to go out and work on that in this heat? Not on your life! Neither does he. Fall is coming. It will get done. Eventually.

Homemaking and being a wife involve a lot. It takes sacrifice, patience and love. It is not all about us and what we need when we need it.

The Bible says a nagging wife is like a drippy faucet.  I have one of those too! We can’t find the part to fix it. It drips, loudly. So loud we turn off the water at the hot water heater to keep it from dripping. (It is summer and in Texas the cold water is warm enough for most things anyway!) I know I would not want to be thought of as a dripping faucet. A nag. A control freak whose husband needs to jump at my command. No way!

Ladies, let’s be sure to turn off the faucet. Stop the dripping and think before we nag, grumble, complain, get on him.

Homemaker Monday: Getting Fabrics!

Welcome to a new carnival! I am hoping we can all learn as weshare in Homemaking tasks.

I love to sew. In fact, this year I am taking on a big project for Christmas. With 8 kids, their spouses and 19 grandchildren by then I have a lot of gift giving. This year I am starting now to get on to it and am making much, if not all of the gifts.

Yes, I do realize that makes 35 gifts before I even go into any one else!

I thought I would like to share some fabric resources that I use and see if you have any you can share with me.

  • Freecycle: I have got bags of fabric from freecycle. Not always what I want, but when I take it I go through and then pass on what I do not like or know I would not use. This is a free source and one time someone was actually putting out huge lawn and leaf size bags of fabric. I am talking at least 15 -20 or more. I was not greedy and took 4. I got home, it was all new fabric, most with still having the yardage and price per yard on. There was a lot of the old polyester knits that I do not use much of so those were passed on. However, I got some really nice cottons, cotton knit, cordoroy and flannel out of it. Put away for future use.
  • Thrift stores: dig around and look. I got 5+ yards of a heavy fabric like placemats and some tablecloths are made of. It is a pretty plaid and was about $3 for the piece.
  • The Fabric Club: This is an online store that has some good specials. Sign up for their notices and you can see for yourself!
  • Yahoo group coops: I just found these recently and have just placed my first order. Look through the groups and check it out. I am in a number of them. Be warned, they are busy and you may want to subscribe to the digest view as there are a lot of emails. NewestablishedCoops give a heads up on what is going on out there also.  Colormeflannel, diaperfabricscoop, diaperfabricsupplies and HSBS are a few I belong to. You may wonder about the diaper sewing, I was going to make some cloth diapers, well was looking into it, and found these have other fabrics that are usefull for other things as well. There are other, many of them just do a fabric, sewing search. I am in ones for notions, thread etc. They are great.
  • Warm Biscuit: This is a great shop for some  vintage and unusual fabrics. While their prices are a bit higher on some things, they have great sale fabrics and fabrics you can’t find anywhere else. Have you ever heard of chalkboard fabric? Me either till I found some there!
  • Blog giveaways: I have given fabric as well as gotten fabric on giveaways. Just look around.
  • ebay: I saved this one for last, as I would imagine many people use it. If not, get in there and see what you can find! I have found some beautiful pieces on there for next to nothing. Also, when I was looking for Suzy Zoo fabric when my one granddaughter was on the way I found it there. Do not be afraid to ask sellers if they can get some other pattern for you. Some regularly sell fabric on there and I bought some from them and then asked if another one was available in their area. Different areas of the country have different prints and prices. I found everything I needed for that layette that way.
  • There is always Walmart, fabric stores etc. For me they are far away and the selection is not great, but when I am near I do look. I have been burned often by Walmart, so really check it over. Only once have I had a problem with a fabric on ebay. The print was crooked and would not line up right no matter what, but out of all I purchased online that was the only piece with a problem. Walmart did me in good one Easter when I was trying to make 11 dresses and a few boys vests. Check it over!

I hope these help you some. One more idea, check your mom’s, neighbor’s, friend’s stash! Maybe you can mooch!

For other homemaking ideas go to 11th Heaven Homemaking Haven.