Saturday, April 18, 2009

27x5 = 0

I know that wasting a dollar here and a quarter there adds up.

I know that just a little snippiness between the kids, a hint of back-talk, a small dose of tattling, adds up to a toxic atmosphere at home and a very unhappy mommy.

I know that a little spill of orange juice unwiped, a couple of pieces of mail left on the counter, a sock here and a Playmobile there, adds up to clutter that, in turn, gives people permission to drop just a little more clutter around the kitchen.

What I do not know, however, is that 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there actually takes time. I believe [yes, yes, I do believe it! stupid though it be...] that gobs and gobs of "just a minute here" and "only five minutes there" should add up to NO time. HOW can I go through the day and "do nothing" but be busy all day?

I think that sorting laundry doesn't take any time. I noticed today that it took me about 12 minutes to make mayonnaise; I normally consider mayo-making to be "no time." I think that putting away the clean, dry dishes doesn't take any time. Sorting through the daily mail is another "nothing." Gassing the car doesn't count as something that was accomplished either, but Gary insists that I have to allow 10 minutes for it when I'm planning trips. I give myself credit for "doing something" when I make the bread dough, but greasing the pans, shaping the loaves, and baking it are more of those jobs that take "no time."

I think that I spend so much time on so many big things (dinner, teaching algebra, mowing the yard) that I don't realize that jobs of a half-hour or less take time. And when you have 27 five-minute jobs a day, that adds up.

But my gut still says it takes "no time."

One of my friends mentioned that for a whole day once-upon-a-time, she wrote down EVERYthing she did: every diaper she changed, every goofy conversation with a kid, every phone call she answered, brushing her teeth, EVERYthing. It made her realize how much she did that she didn't give herself credit for. I'm wondering if maybe I should spend a few days recording my minutes on a piece of paper. They say you should record all money spent when you're trying to get a grip on your budget. Maybe it would help to do the same thing with budgeting my time. I could see where I'm being wasteful, and I could acknowledge that some of these jobs really do add up to a couple of hours a day.

I'm not sure I could remember to keep writing all day, though. It's a good idea that I think I ought to try....

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wasted Day

There was nearly a yard of fabric left over from the bridesmaid dress. Maggie wanted it to become a matching shawl or a shrug to wear in case it wasn't very warm ... or if it is very warm next week she might need it to keep from shivering in air conditioning at the reception.

Things have not been looking very bright to me this week in the first place. I want to clean, but I couldn't do it without picking up all the sewing things first. So I figured that making the shrug needed to come before cleaning the living room. But I also needed to make bread today. And we're out of granola and tortillas. And there were errands to do. The project for the weekend is supposed to be re-arranging the garage, which has never been "moved in" yet but has been a dumping grounds and needs desperate help so we can find something, anything, anything at all, out there. On top of that, it was an utterly gorgeous day, and what I forlornly wished for was the opportunity to just sit outside in the sun, read a magazine, and do nothing. I need a little "doing nothing" right now. But I can't.

So I resolutely set aside the things I wanted to accomplish, and I set aside the silly wish to soak up sun-rays and blow off the day indulging myself. When I dropped off the kids at Kara's house for a homeschoolers' movie-making project, Kara and Laura invited me to spend the day laughing and chatting with them under the guise of Mary's birthday pizza-party. But I was self-controled and headed home to sew.

It didn't work. The large pattern that I got off the internet turned out to be way too small. Even with changing the sleeve seams to the slimmest little seam allowance possible, Maggie couldn't fit her hands through the wrist openings. There's no salvaging this project. Not only did I not clean, not only did I not bake bread, not only are the errands undone and the apple drawer empty and the cats nearly out of food, but if I was going to waste the entire day ...

couldn't I have at least wasted it by sitting on the deck with a book?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bridesmaid Dress

I discovered that, when sewing, I need my reading glasses far more than I do when I'm reading.

The dress turned out a bit snugger than I thought it would, but Maggie says it doesn't feel tight at all. Whew. Did adding the facing really make that much difference?? And it turned out much shorter than I expected. Boy, I'm glad I added way more length than I thought I'd need. I was expecting a 3" hem, but in some places it's less than 1".

I'm satisfied with the dress. Gary is mega-impressed. (Or doing a good job of scamming me about how nice a dress I made.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


For four glorious days last week, we had multiple services per day, and long services. What was offered averaged out to about 4 hours of prayer offices and/or Mass and/or Bible class per day.

This week school is on vacation; that means no prayer offices. Midweek Mass is canceled, as is midweek Bible class. No church from last Sunday until next Sunday.

I am quite aware today of how very much the services of God's house and the preaching of His word and the celebration of His Supper have become a medicine against depression.


There was ONE neighbor who pushed a lawnmower. Everyone else owns riding lawnmowers. Yesterday that one push-mower neighbor was giving his kids rides around the yard on his new tractor. That means we're the only ones left poor enough silly enough to attempt mowing a whole acre with a push mower. Sometimes I think we're totally out of our league in living in a house instead of an apartment...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New Pins

I haven't felt much like blogging. I guess the Triduum and Easter was too intense. (And yes, for you grammarians, that is supposed to be a singular verb, no matter what the computer's grammar-check may say.) If my blog serves as my pensieve, I guess I'm not yet ready to let go of my tight grip on what's in my mind and my heart, setting it aside on paper or cyber-bits of electronic data.

I bought new straight pins. As I was putting together Trial Dress #1 and Trial Dress #2 for Maggie's bridesmaid dress, I noticed that the pins were rough. I never thought of PINS as being something that would wear out. Sure, now and then one will break or bend. But I suppose 25- or 30-yr-old straight pins may get a little rough, especially after sitting in a damp basement for 17 of those years. I didn't want to snag the lovely knit fabric with my not-too-pointed, only-slightly-scuffed/rusted pins. Wow, it sure does make a difference to have pins that sliiiiiide right through the fabric!

This dress is looking lovely so far.