Monday, October 29, 2012

This week's food waste

There was quite a bit:
  • Two cups of wilted, browning spinach
  • 1/2 cup taco meat
  • 2 slices of bread
I took the spinach out of the fridge to make veggie pizza last week and was surprised to see that it was mostly bad. I salvaged what I could, rinsed it off, and put it on the pizza. There was still a lot to throw away. The taco meat I found in the back of the fridge in a ziploc bag. I remember putting it in the bag because I was out of small leftovers containers. Then the bag obviously got pushed toward the back where it was hidden and promptly forgotten. This confirms my theory that too many leftovers in the refrigerator leads to wasted food. The bread was in the freezer and when I took it out to thaw to make some french toast I noticed that there was a lot of ice crystals in bottom of the bag which I dumped out so that the bread wouldn't absorb the water and become soggy when the ice melted. Well, instead of soggy two of the slices were rock hard and maybe a little bit freezer burned too. Lesson learned: the freezer is not the answer to all my leftover food storage problems.

This week's successes:
  • Instead of tossing out the whole package of spinach when I saw that some of it had "turned" I picked through and got the leaves that were still good. In the past I would have thrown away the whole box without seeing if any of it was still usable. Same thing with the leftover stale bread.
  • The spinach/tomato pizza was good. But my sweet little Buttercup does NOT like "lettuce" and sliced tomatoes on what would otherwise be tasty pizza.
  • I ate simple foods at home this week when I was hungry instead of buying pre-made or drive-thru food while I've been sick.

On the dinner menu this week:
  • Homemade chili made with ground beef and black beans from the freezer and homemade cornbread.
  • Broccoli/rice/chicken casserole from the freezer.
  • Chicken sausages and homemade macaroni and cheese.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I finished up the latest afghan this morning. I really like the color combination in it: medium and dark blues, turquoise, teal, spring green, kelly green, and yellow.

  • 57" x  61"
  • 100% acrylic vworsted weight yarn (easy care: machine wash cold, tumble dry low)
  • Mostly scrappy with a few newly purchased skeins in order to get it to a good size and keep it in the same color pattern.
Next up is this pattern. I hope that it will be truly scrappy. Meaning that I won't have to buy any more skeins of yarn to finish it, even though I only need a few additional ounces, thereby creating even more leftovers. Did I ever mention that I have a lot of yarn?

Monday, October 22, 2012

food waste report

Last week I threw out about 2/3 cup leftover chicken gravy that, when I went to add it to some pot-pie filling, looked watery. It had separated somehow and you know how it goes - better safe than sorry. My goal is NOT to eat spoiled food, but to use it up before it spoils.

That's it. I think I am doing much better but I'm still shooting for zero food waste. (This does not include food that gets scraped off of Buttercup's plate that she refused to eat. That's not my fault, and I'm far too squeamish to stir "tasted" food back in to the family pot.)

  • Made a chicken pot pie with the trimmings of some pie dough. (This worked fine although I wasn't sure about it when I started. I do have issues with homemade pie dough, remember?) Also used up some celery, onion and carrots in the crisper bin, some freeze-dried peas from the pantry, and some leftover rotisserie chicken. I think this was up-cycling at its finest.
  • Made a cheesy ham and potato casserole with some small potatoes and some ham from the freezer. Also used up some of the cheese in the deli drawer of the fridge. The cheese sauce did not separate this time, although the potatoes were a little too al dente. If I had cooked it a bit longer, would the sauce have curdled? We'll never know.
  • Took some beautiful, fresh, red seedless grapes to a baby shower. The hostess had asked me to help with the food by bringing a fruit tray and instead of going out and buying more for a variety I used only what I had on hand and arranged the clusters in an appealing way.
Meal plan for this week:
  • Still need to make that veggie pizza and use up some fresh spinach leaves and a tomato that I have on hand.
  • Spaghetti and meatballs with homemade french bread on the side. I'm excited to try this recipe.
  • Chicken/rice casserole with iceberg lettuce salad.
  • Chicken sausages with macaroni salad.
  • Maybe a pot of pinto beans made with a ham bone that I have in the freezer (but only if we run out of leftovers).

Saturday, October 20, 2012

staying at home

It's kind of nice when you get mildly sick - not so sick that you can't think straight but just sick enough that you should stay home and not infect everybody. A sore, ticklish throat, some mild chest congestion, headache, earache, and feelin' kinda droopy.

Yesterday and today I have been just enough sick. I pressure-canned 12 pints of sugar pie pumpkin for pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and today I worked my way through to the bottom of the mending pile. It feels good to have some of my work done.

I saved some of the seeds from inside the pumpkins to plant next spring. Maybe they'll grow and next year I'll have free pumpkins to can. Wouldn't it be cool if I didn't have to buy food to can? If I just grew some in the backyard instead?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Guilty pleasures

 the author as a young child*
Do you read People Magazine? Where stars, starlets, and celebrities gush about how perfect their lives are, and only reluctantly admit that they are also anonymous philanthropists changing the world one famous person at a time? Do you believe that schtick?

Then Suri's Burn Book is NOT for you. On this website you'll get a daily serving of snark. I love it. It must be because it's not written by a starlet, only some anonymous someone pretending to be a famous and over-photographed celebrity.

* I seriously doubt Suri Cruise has anything at all to do with Suri's Burn Book. It would make me very happy to find out Katie Holmes was ghost-writing it. I'd have a kind of renewed faith in the future of the world.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I have a lot of yarn. When I say I have a lot of yarn, I don't mean that I have more yarn than I have projects in mind. I mean I have more yarn than two people have projects in mind - about a hundred years' worth - because I inherited almost all of it from my grandmother when she died.

I don't know if she meant for me to take it all. I think it was the logical answer for the people who were cleaning out her things to bring it all to me because I do like to do yarn crafts, and because it was the easiest thing to do since I live in the same state, and I'm sure it was one big item to check off their to-do lists. I am telling myself that that is the way it was because right now, nearly five years after my grandmother's death, I know that I do not wish to use a lot of it. First, because it's not the kind of yarn that fits my taste, and second, it's tangled up with cat hair that makes me sneezy and drippy when I work with it.

I do feel some guilt about this. I have to tell myself that keeping her yarn doesn't keep her close to me. She's gone. She isn't coming back for it. I don't believe, way down deep in my heart, that keeping it safe in a drawer for the rest of my life and bequeathing it on to future generations the way she did is what she expects or wishes me to do with it. I don't believe that she expects me to knit the same kind of sweaters that she did for that reason only. At some point someone in the family has to say, "The diligent keeping of hundreds of scraps of yarn stops here." It may as well be me.

I have made multiple blankets and dozens and dozens of mittens with her yarn in an attempt to use it up. I recently came across a pattern that will use up a few more of the hundreds of "leftover" small balls of yarn that I have from her.

I have decided that when this blanket is finished I will gift it to a lonely widower in a VA nursing home. And then I will donate however much of her yarn is left to the "craft room" at the first nursing home I can find that has one.

If anyone is not happy with this, this is your official notice. If me keeping Grammy's yarn at my house keeps her close to you, I have to tell you that I've done as much as I can for you. You can come by anytime in the next three months and take all this yarn into your own home.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I sense a disturbance in the force

and that means it must be time to do more de-cluttering.

Even after that whole "40 bags in 40 days" thing I did earlier this year there is still just SO MUCH STUFF in this house that it is disturbing and unsettling to me. It actually keeps me awake some nights. It is true that there is much, much less, and my desk - trumpet fanfare, please - has been clear for days, but there are still lots of times when I'm looking around at the end of the day, ready to simply tidy up so I can go to bed, and I have no idea where to start because there is so much stuff everywhere. I have come to realize that it is going to take several rounds of going through and deciding on each individual thing before I get the volume of our possessions to a level where I am totally comfortable in this house. For example, I cannot now remember the reasons I had for keeping some of the items in my closet the last time I purged through there, and have my eye on quite a few things that I am now ready to let go of.

That reality is part of my incentive to consider a "no spend" month. To really get to the bottom of the barrel, so to speak, and use up the dregs in the pantry and in the craft room, in the closets and under the sinks. What if we finally ate those cans of weird, inexplicable food loitering in the back of the pantry? What if I could finish enough projects that I have partially completed or have not started but have gathered the materials for? Could I get the remaining tools and supplies into a craft closet like that picture up there instead of spread out all over 1/3 of the downstairs because there is just so much? I think I could do a no-spend 6 months for many things actually, but I'm not sure my poor, spendy, consumerist heart could take 6 whole months. There is something about retail therapy in a craft or fabric store that makes me feel temporarily good, no matter how much I dislike that about myself. A craft/fabric store is just so full of color, and design, and promises of fun and self-fulfillment and the possible joy of creating some awesome thing that someone I love will love and appreciate.

I have been a little lonesome missing my two older boys and my husband who is in France on business this week. Buying more things isn't going to change that, but what do I do instead of shopping that will fill that void? I know that this is a big part of figuring it all out.

Monday, October 15, 2012

this week's food waste

Into the trash goes:
  1. a half-full bowl of ravioli that Avery started weeks (?) ago but never finished.
  2. one bunch of wilted/yellowing parsley. I never made what I bought it for.
On the menu this week to use up the stuff in the fridge:
  1. chicken pot pie which will use up leftover rotisserie chicken, a few small potatoes that are rolling around in the potato basket, some carrots and celery (that I took on an outing for snacks but got partially frozen in a fridge that was set too cold - they've lost their fresh quality but will be fine to be chopped up and sauteed), a few slices of bacon, about 2/3 cup leftover chicken gravy, with some pie crust trimmings re-rolled and made into the top pastry.
  2. a veggie pizza with fresh spinach, tomato and onion.
  3. a small cheesy ham and potato casserole with some leftover Velveeta and other random cheeses in the deli drawer, the rest of those little potatoes, some chopped onion, and a bit of ham that I have in the freezer.
  4. tacos and cilantro/lime rice for lunch for me one day.
  1. I came up with a new way to cook/flavor rice based on a dish I had heard about but not seen a recipe for: cook 1/4 cup chopped onion in a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add 1 cup rice. Saute, stirring occasionally until some of the rice grains begin to turn golden brown. Add 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules and 1 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil and cover; turn heat to low. Cook for 17 minutes, turn off heat and mix in 1 tablespoon cilantro paste and 1 tablespoon lime juice. I made this for a small dinner party I had this week and it was a big hit. I get the cilantro paste at Walmart. I don't buy (and throw away most of) fresh cilantro in bunches anymore because it goes bad too quickly.
  2. Instead of going through the drive-thru or eating frozen prepared food from the store for dinner on an unusually hectic day wherein we needed good, hot food in a hurry I bought a rotisserie chicken. We ate some leftover mashed potatoes and green beans with it. By the time it's gone we will have had at least 3 meals out of it. Thank you to my good Mr. Dub for suggesting the chicken.
I am thinking about doing some kind of "No Spend" month in the near future. I am not sure I can do it, or even how much I really want to do it.  I'm just thinking about it at this point. Have you ever heard of it, done a no-spend month, or talked to anyone who had? What boundaries would you set for yourself for necessary spending in this sort of experiment?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Enchiladas - bah!

They are a lot of work. I started making my chicken enchiladas today, got all my components ready and an assembly line set up, actually made two enchiladas, thought about how fussy and messy the process is and how it's impossible to get them out of the baking dish whole and intact anyway and then decided it would be a lot easier to make it into a layered casserole in the pan and then cut it into enchilada-shaped pieces to serve. So that's what I did.

It's ready to go and in the fridge waiting to be baked off at suppertime. I wish I had some canned pinto beans ready to make into refried beans. Maybe "can some pinto beans" will go onto next week's goals list. We do still have some really good apple pie for dessert.

I have been sorting and organizing photos today because tomorrow - TA DA! - I am headed off for a fun-filled scrapbooking adventure.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Perfect pie crust

That sounds like such a Suzy Homemaker thing to say, but I gave up on homemade pie crust a long time ago. Years and years ago. I tried so hard, but it just wasn't worth the hassle once Pillsbury came up with pre-rolled crust. I can't seem to find online what year they invented rolled out pie crust but it's been since I was married to my good Mr. Dub. You used to have to buy them frozen in an aluminum pie tin if you wanted pre-made crusts. Remember those? They were so, well, dinky. They always burned around the edges too, remember?

One day I was watching the Barefoot Contessa make crust on her show. I like The Contessa because she's friendly and real and she loves her husband. Anyway. I didn't have any Pillsbury crusts (which thing I almost always have on hand but for unknown reasons did not have this one particular day) and I wanted to make either a pie or a quiche and despite knowing better than to even try to make pie crust again I did it like she did. In my food processor. And for the first time ever I did not slice one or the other of my hands nor any fingers wide open in the process of either using or washing or putting away the food processor. It was like a miracle and I figured it must be a good omen. The recipe made two crusts so I stashed half the dough in the freezer even though I knew that was a big mistake because I can't make pie crust. (I had made my peace with that fact though. Nobody can do everything.) I chilled the other half of the dough for a little while and then I rolled it out.

It sounds like such a non-event. "I rolled it out". Huh.

But I did. I rolled it out and baked my pie. Weeks later (last week, actually) I thawed and then rolled out the other half. It just laid down and let me roll it out. No crumbling mess. No sticking to the counter. No tearing. No fuss, no muss.

So tempting fate with all my might I did it again today. Made the recipe, froze half, and then I rolled out the other half. I just rolled it out and laid it down in my pie pan and made a pie.

Like it was no big deal.

You can get the recipe by clicking on the link there. I have it printed out and put in my recipe binder in my kitchen.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A closer look

A cross-section, so to speak, of my brain.

There are a few things rattling around in here and I want to get them out.

I had a bit of vertigo for about an hour last night. I sat/laid/sprawled out in front of the toilet (in case of the unholy puking that comes with vertigo) until I passed out from exhaustion. Somehow during the 5 or 30 minutes I was asleep I hurt my toe. It feels better today, but I feel sort of washed out and hazy. I sent a lot of ESP messages to my good Mr. Dub that I was upstairs dying on the bathroom floor but he didn't hear them. Probably because the football game was on SO LOUD.

A handful of spinach leaves got thrown away today. There are also about 1 1/2 cups of red seedless grapes that are going out with the trash tomorrow. I feel bad about this. The good news is that I made the most delicious pizza ever tonight wherein I used the homemade tomato sauce that saved the tomatoes last week. I have also been using up any stale bread in French toast for breakfast in the mornings. (Tomorrow morning we will have a bit of bacon too, before that goes bad.) I have been baking bread for the last couple of weeks and I think I'm getting into a groove with it, but that is where all the stale bread is coming from. I have some chopped onions, some corn tortillas, and some "nacho/taco" shredded cheese that all need to be used up. Sounds like enchiladas on the menu tomorrow night. Sort of like these, but with chicken and green enchilada sauce. Tomorrow afternoon I am making pie dough, and an apple pie for my good Mr. Dub to use up some apples that have been in the crisper bin for...well...for a while now. I have thrown a rapidly degrading banana in the freezer but I don't have high hopes for it. It may just be delaying the inevitable, but maybe I'll make banana bread with it and some of its overripe brothers that are sure to come along?

My granddaughter was especially adorable today. Maybe because I wasn't feeling well? She says things to me like, "I sure love you, Grammy" and "Wait for me, Grammy!". She is such a love.

I finally got around today to taking care of some school nurse paperwork/cafeteria business that had to be done for Jake at his school. It is so nice to have it out of the way. I'm not sure why I hadn't done it before today, and when I try to analyze it what I feel like is overwhelmed and that nobody ever helps me - I always help everybody else. Which is stupid because of course other people help me. But that's my initial reaction to guilty feelings of inadequacy and procrastination. Is that lame and immature?

While Avery napped today I read a book. Pictures of Hollis Woods, by Patricia Reilly Giff. It's a Newberry Award winning book that I've had for awhile but never picked out of the bookcase until today. So sad, but the most satisfying ending! I found out today that it has been made into a TVmovie so maybe someday I'll get to watch it.

I am not ready for my scrapbooking adventure this weekend and I am running out of time to prepare for it. I might end up "getting ready for it" while I'm there. Which will not be the end of the world. It will just mean that I won't get as many pages done and I will have to take all of my scrapbooking supplies with me, instead of the more manageable amount of stuff I would only have to take had I been more diligent over the last few weeks. Is it okay that I've outgrown scrapbooking? Probably. I only have a few more pictures that were taken with film to scrapbook before I run into having to choose from digital pics on SD cards. I don't know if I'll continue with it at that point.

Because of some things I have seen and heard I have had a look at some of the stuff inside my head and heart the last week or so that I'm still trying to come to terms with. I have had an opportunity to wonder if I am a ultra-sensitive person who takes things in very deeply and feels them all. Because of things that have happened in my life I have always felt like I had to have a stiff upper lip, a thick skin, a rock solid shell. That I have to let things just roll off my back, never thinking about them too much or feeling them too intimately because I can sense that incurable heartbreak and insanity wait for me down that road, and, well, I have things to do that require a clear head and some sensibility. It's not fun or easy or lighthearted to be broken and crazy and I don't want to be there. It's a miracle to me that I was raised to stay away from drugs and alcohol because if I hadn't I would surely be a drunken, addicted, sorry, hopeless piece of humanity. I feel great sorrow for the people who have been through the things I have experienced and have turned to chemicals to escape their pain. I can see that it has only made their problems worse. I'm glad that I don't have to personally live through some things to learn from them.

That's enough.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Gift Idea?

I've been trying to look for ideas of things that I can make to give to close friends and extended family for Christmas. Things that I can make a lot of in not too much time and for not too much money but that will be meaningful and (hopefully) useful. Things I've made in the past include:
  • crocheted pot holders
  • knitted dishcloths
  • Christmas tree ornaments
  • pillowcases
  • homemade candy and other goodies
I found this on the Internet and with a few modifications to make it larger I believe it is the winner for this year. I already have quite a few skeins of a smooth, soft, satiny, and washable yarn that is made from 100% post-consumer plastic.

Reusable grocery bags (eco-friendly) made from yarn that's made out of recycled plastic water bottles (that are definitely not eco-friendly) that I already own. All it will take now is some time and effort.

Sometimes the world seems good.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sleeping Beauty Redux

Remember this?

It's rivaled only by this:

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My shame

I looked up some numbers. In the United States in 2010 approximately one in seven households were "food insecure". Meaning that those homes lacked the resources to provide enough food for themselves. On my side of the street on my neighborhood block there are eight homes. So statistically at least one house full of my immediate neighbors regularly went hungry in 2010. Globally the statistics are about the same - one in seven people are hungry.

Here is my confession: I throw away food. Pretty regularly, and much to my horror - without even thinking twice about it.

It is a shameful and entitled and thoughtless and cruel thing. I am trying to change that, beginning by reducing the amount of food we regularly waste in our home. I occasionally read a frugal-living blog and every Friday this blogger posts a picture of food that she wasted that week in an effort to publicly expose herself to the shame and embarrassment that should accompany such a practice. It has inspired me to do the same thing.

In the last two days I've thrown away about a cupful of spinach leaves that I let get soggy before we ate them. Also a squishy, rotting tomato, 1/4 of apple that had become brown and wrinkled, and a hard-boiled egg that was hidden in the depths of the fridge. I can't even remember the last time I boiled eggs. And why in the world would I eat 3/4 of an apple and put the rest in the refrigerator to never again see the light of day?

Nutrition facts:
1 cup spinach has 10 calories,  80% RDA of vitamin A and 20% RDA of vitamin C.
1 roma tomato has 22 calories, 20% vitamin A and 26% vitamin C.
1/4 of a really big granny smith apple has 20 calories and 5% vitamin C.
1 egg has 78 calories and more than 6 grams of protein.

That would have made an awesome, healthful and nutritious omelet with a side of sliced apple for some hungry person. Or for me. It's disgusting that this food has been wasted. Disgusting because I spent money to buy it in the first place, money that Mr. Dub earned and handed over to me without question. Disgusting also because there are people in our country, maybe even in my own neighborhood - men, women, and children - who went to bed hungry every night before that food went bad, while it was still edible.

Thinking about this for the last couple days has shown me there are some things I do without thinking that contribute to this waste. Last night we had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, and while cleaning up the kitchen I saw that there were 6 meatballs left in the pan. I was all set to throw them away before I came to my senses and tried to think about it for one second. My thought process went like this:

"There aren't any noodles left in the pan. I'd have to make a whole new batch of spaghetti again before we will eat these meatballs. We don't like to eat spaghetti two nights in a row. What could I make with just six meatballs, anyway? This is ridiculous. It's not that big of a deal. It's only six freaking meatballs. But I am not throwing them away."

They went into the refrigerator and I chopped them up into a quiche that I made for dinner tonight. Also into the quiche went the spinach leaves that were still good. While rummaging through my veggie bin looking for salad ingredients I came across a number of tomatoes, the one which was too far gone and had to be tossed, but the others, while not exactly fresh and perfect were still on the good side of okay. But barely. So I simmered them in some water, put them through my food mill, and made them into fresh tomato sauce which will be stashed in the freezer until the next time I make soup.  I'm ashamed to say that previously I would have found it "easier" to throw away the whole bagful of tomatoes rather than pick through them to find any that might still be good.

While cleaning up the kitchen last night I also came across 3/4 of a graham cracker that I immediately went to throw away, because for heaven's sake it was the last graham cracker in the box (I had broken off a piece of it to give to Avery for a snack) and I'm not going to put one partial cracker back inside an otherwise empty box, am I? My newfound awareness stopped me in time and I wrapped it back up in its wax-paper wrapper and she had it again for a snack today.

It's the worst sort of entitlement. "These things are mine and I can throw them away in the trash if I want to, la de da."

I know I have a long way to go and there is a whole 'nother part to this that I'm not even going to go into right now which is that me figuring out how to not throw away food from my own refrigerator helps exactly zero hungry people.

But it's a starting point, and I'm on it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Desk

Do you remember that one of my goals was to keep my desk cleared off this year? Remember how piles of clutter disrupt my mental and emotional equilibrium and over-all sense of well-being? It's here, and here. My desk is, obviously, a trouble spot for me.


Here's what's on my desk this morning that doesn't belong here:
  1. Lists #2 and #3 of items that I will need to compose 72-hour kits for my family. This means list #1 is missing.
  2. 1 giant box of baby wipes
  3. 1 Michael's coupon
  4. 1 pink comb
  5. a roll of double-sided tape
  6. a box cutter
  7. 3 recipes that I printed off the internet
  8. my Primary binder
  9. the water bill
  10. 2 Walmart receipts
  11. two 1-cent euro coins
  12. one 3-cent euro coin
  13. one 5-cent euro coin
  14. 1 rubber band
  15. 1 packet of fairy portraits
  16. 1 gas card bill
  17. 1 mortgage statement
  18. 1 wedding announcement
  19. 1 scrap of paper with an important phone number/address scribbled on it
  20. 1 receipt from an internet order of sewing supplies
  21. 1 empty 3-ring binder
  22. another recipe
  23. 8 pages that I photocopied of handwritten notes I took during training meetings
  24. 1 blank sheet of cardstock
  25. 1 printed out email
  26. 1 family home storage center order form
  27. 5 pages of receipt/rebate info for the new cell phones I ordered over the weekend
  28. 18 empty page protectors
  29. 1 Fire Safety merit badge workbook (Am I the only one who finds this ironic?)
  30. 2 bank statements
  31. 1 check re-order form (Uh, hello. I might want to take that over to the bank today. It might be important.)
  32. 2 church bulletins from 2 different weeks (which may give you an idea how long my desk has been cluttered)
  33. 1 velcro-strap thingy to hold electronics' cords together
  34. 1 freebie mass-mail magazine that lists all  of some unknown person's best-picks for home service providers
  35. another gas card bill
  36. 1 plastic packet of some metal pins that hold bookcase shelves up
  37. a bobby pin
  38. a Student Diet Modification Form that I should probably fill out and return to my Little Friends's school
  39. a Home Depot pre-approved credit card offer
  40. Mr. Dub's YMCA key chain tag
  41. some dust
  42. something sticky that's been smeared.
Once just a couple of things begin piling up my desk it becomes a dumping ground for everything that anybody (but mostly me) can't spontaneously and immediately figure out what to do with, or that is "momentarily" placed here to be put away later in the place where it actually goes.

The sweet, peaceful after:

Monday, October 1, 2012

31 Days

I've seen a few blogs the last few days that are doing some variation of a 31-day challenge. Like 31 days of lame excuses, or 31 days of writing for 31 minutes each day, something like that.

I like the idea. Here are some things I've thought about for a 31 day challenge:
  • exercising 31 days in a row
  • blogging 31 days in a row
  • really studying the scriptures 31 days in a row
  • and other things that are equally good for me
but after much reflection I've decided that I'm not in a good place to do something that will take a lot of additional effort or time every single day for 31 days.

I decided that my 31-day challenge will be to make my bed. Every day for 31 days, starting today on October 1, I will make my bed. They say it takes 3 weeks to make doing a thing a habit, and while I do make my bed semi-regularly there are lots of days when it never happens and I (and my good Mr. Dub) get into a rumply, messy bed at night.

Reasons why I don't always make my bed:
  1. Both of us like to lay down on the bed after getting out of the shower. We live in a usually hot, always humid climate and laying down on the bed under the ceiling fan helps with cooling down/drying off like a towel cannot. Unfortunately a shower doesn't always happen first thing in the morning. Since I don't like it when I (or other people) lay down on the bed after it's made, I like to wait till we're done with showers before I make the bed.
  2. People laying down on/messing up my bed after it's made is a pet peeve of mine.
  3. Related to reason #1 is I sometimes wait to take a shower until I have to go somewhere, and then I might be in a rush to get out of the house.
  4. Once the day is in full swing I just don't think again about making my bed.
  5. Sometimes it seems like so much effort for such a small thing when it really only takes about 2 minutes and makes a big difference in my attitude/feelings about my house.
Because bed-making time varies for me from day to day I don't have a lot of hope that it will become an ingrained habit after a month of doing it.

I'm doing it anyway. I feel like the queen when my bed is made and fancy and beautiful, and like some sort of grubby scrub when it's not. Also, I wanted to pull the coverlet up over me last night because I got a little chilly and it was all balled up at the end of the bed. That is not fancy.