Because I am continually humbled by my friend Susan's ability to practice so many disciplines (spiritual and otherwise), I will complete her A-Z regarding housekeeping (below).
Everybody has their own standards for housekeeping, and it's funny to me how much we take from our moms regarding habits and expectations...even the menfolk use their moms as a touchstone for how a house is to be kept. Is that true for you? Do you keep your potholders in the same place as your mom did growing up? Scary when I think of what expectations I'm setting up for Owen's future spouse...high or low. :)
So, here it is: Arnold Housekeeping from A to Z...not a model for you, just how it is at our house.
A is for Aprons - yes/no? A definite yes. When I cook, it's usually right after walking in the door from work, and I still have my work clothes on. I'm not the neatest cook, so an apron with coverage is important. I have a feeling one of Santa's elves is making me a cuter, retro apron that I won't be embarrassed to wear in front of company, so I'll keep you posted.
B is for Baking - favorite thing to bake? Chocolate chip cookies. The classic is hard to beat.
C is for Clothesline - do you have one? Nope. Home-owners association is pretty strict at our new apartments.
D is for Donuts - have you ever made them? Yep; fond memories of my dad making donuts on Saturday morning from canned biscuits. Yummy.
E is for Every Day - one homemaking task you do every day: DISHES. I can't stand them in the sink.
Laundry! Wash-Dry-Fold-Put away...every weekend, several trips down to the laundry room loaded up with quarters. Michael helps a lot here.
F is for Freezer - do you have a separate deep freeze? Oh, you've tapped one of my deepest desires (bold ambitions, I know), but no.
G is for Garbage Disposal Unit - do you have one? Yes, but I wish I had a compost pile. Again, I think the Home-Owners' Association would frown upon that one.
H is for Handbook - what’s your favorite homemaking resource? My memories of my mom and grandmothers' homes...nothing like coming home to a clean and organized home.
I is for Ironing - love or hate it? I was raised in a house where my dad did most of the ironing on Saturdays while watching football, and that is a tradition that continues at our home. Michael does my ironing; he laughs at my elf clothes. :) Compared to his shirts and pants, mine are like doll clothes, he says. If this baby is a girl, he'll have even more doll clothes to work with.
J is for Junk Draw - yes/no? But of course...every house needs one catch-all place. No shame there, I say.
K is for Kitchen - color and decorating scheme? We chose not to paint in this apartment, so not much there. All focus is around the kitchen table, which is usually covered with a newspaper, a plate Owen will come back to when he needs a nibble, and an incomplete crossword puzzle.
L is for Love - what’s your favorite part of homemaking? the peace of a clean house with a lit candle...all things in their place is heaven for my personality type.
M is for Mop - do you have one? Finally, yes. In our Ft. Worth stay, I'm ashamed to admit I went a year without...that's the nice part about a small apartment...I got by with a rag and some Lysol. Now, I mop every week. Still hate it, but my feet don't stick to the floor. :P
N is for Nylons - machine or hand wash? Machine wash. I buy the cheap ones so I'm lucky if they ever make it to the wash before they run.
O is for Oven - do you use a window or open the oven door to check? Window, unless I want a sniff of the goodness.
P is for Pizza - what do you put on yours? sausage and mushrooms...sprinkle on some Cavender's seasoning, and I'm in heaven.
Q is for quiet - what do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment? Hmmm...at work, those do not happen, so it's usually only enough time for a deep breath before moving on. In the evenings, I do a crossword puzzle.
R is for Recipe Card Box - yes/no? Own, but do not use.
S is Style of House - what style is your house? Craigslist, hand-me-downs, Ross, and Big Lots...an eclectic sort of whatever we could bring to California in our U-Haul and the limits of our budget. One day...one day...my home will express my personal style...or maybe, this has become my style. I think that's okay with me.
T is for Tablecloths - do you use them? No. Do I have a few? No. I'll add on my arch-nemesis: T is for Trash - do you take it out? NO NO NO...with respect to traditional American gender roles, this is one area where it is Michael's job, and his job alone. And woe to him if it is neglected.
U is for Under The Kitchen Sink - organized or toxic wasteland? Organized...too small a place here at Apt. 47 to be untidy. With no laundry room, a lot has to be kept there.
V is for Vacuum - how many times a week? Once a week. Since we're all gone during the day, that is sufficient. In the summer, when Owen and I are home, every 2 or 3 days.
W is for Wash - how many loads of washing do you do each week? 3 loads...a white, a dark, and a linens. When using a coin-op machine, the fewer trips down to the laundry room, the better.
Do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off? In my mind, yes. If Michael is helping that day, I write the whole list down, and we choose tasks. I've realized what an amazing helpmate he is to me this year in Fresno.
Y is for Yard - who does what? The grounds crew comes every Tuesday to our apartments. As we walked through Home Depot last night, picking up an air filter for the AC/Heating unit, Michael said, "In a weird way, isn't it nice not to be tempted or even need 98% of the items in this store?" (I'm sure my dad cringed at that statement) As much as we hope to have a place of our own one day, with respect to the yard and house maintenance, apartment living is the life for me. (I hope that's my sentiment, since that's what I've done for the last 11 years)
Zzzz’s - what’s the last homemaking task you do before bed in the evening? check the kitchen one last time...I hate waking up to a dirty kitchen...and do one last round up of any Owen toys he missed before he hit the sack.
Thanks, Susan, for all the questions. It made me appreciate the home of which God has made us the stewards. Home Sweet Home.