A leap forward in making use of time

I broke my Saturday pattern today! Didn’t quite shatter it, but made a significant improvement in my usual list of activities, and without having to leave town to do it. Here’s what I did:

  • weeded the front garden
  • sorted three piles of mail
  • organized the vestibule
  • had two naps
  • took the dog and the daughter for a walk to buy garbage bags
  • put away the winter extension cords

There were quite a few other things I wanted to get done, but I count it as a victory that I didn’t sleep half or most of my day away. It helped that my son had to go to a karate workshop at 10 am, so I had to get up at a reasonable time to get him moving, too. And that the sun came out at 11 am, warming it up enough outside to be comfortable. 

I’m always so torn, at this time of year, between being outside as much as possible and using the sunlight to fuel spring cleaning on the inside. There isn’t enough time for both. I want my house to be aesthetically pleasing, as well as clean and organized, but that’s a losing battle. The outside is much easier to manage. It’s just dirt, weeds, and whatever useful plants I put in the ground. And dog poop, but I can handle that. On the inside, there’s the piles of laundry that never seem to end, the stacks of mail that ought to be sorted and filed (I’m sharing that blame with the hubby, because he’s just as bad as I am with opening and filing envelopes. I don’t open his correspondance, and he doesn’t open mine, so between the two of us, there’s a healthy pile of paper to manage!), and all the other stuff that adds up to clutter. 

The good news, though, is that my Bridget is getting better at helping out! She cleaned up her crafting mess this afternoon, without having to be told a second time, and she started cleaning her room (with the help, and perhaps urging, of her little friend Jason). And I have a promise from Jack to sort and fold ALL of the laundry this weekend for some spending money for his upcoming grade 8 trip to Toronto. I also surprised the heck out of myself on Friday evening by vaccuming the couch and finally putting the cushion covers back on — although I can’t find one of them in the laundry pile . . . Remember what I said about the losing battle, though? It’s not just the two-legged family members who are responsible for that. I found a bag of cookies (hard as a rock) and a bag of mashed-up hamburger buns in the couch, and the next morning, when I started on the love seat, I found a — wait for it — stick of butter buried between the cushion and the arm. And it’s not the first time Skittles has buried butter in the couch! But, still, we are making progress — Jack is helping out by cleaning up whatever mess the dog has made when he gets home, though I still have to ask him to do so 75% of the time. Baby steps, right?

Tomorrow, I have a meeting at 12 that will last most of the afternoon. My mission is to get more cleaning done inside and weed another patch of garden. Plus I have my marking, and I have to wrap up the edits / proofreading that are taking me far too long on Crystal and Wand — that latter has been a real struggle to complete. Doesn’t help that I’ve had more days lately where I can’t sit or stand comfortably for more than a few minutes, but the regular visits to the chiropractor are helping with that, little by little. I used a chair to help me with the weeding today, but I found that I couldn’t do much more than 20 minutes without pain. It’s hard to focus on certain things when you’re hurting. For my friends with chronic pain isues — I know I don’t have it as badly as you do, but over the last month or two, my understanding has definitely increased. 

So, goals are set and I will work on being easier on myself for not getting all things accomplished. I feel like I should be some kind of Super Woman, and it’s hard to accept that I am not. Would be much easier to be resolved either way, though.

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Gardening Update…

A few weeks ago, I got all enthusiastic about my garden again and planted lots of flowers and things. I planted seeds and already-growing blossoms, got my veggie patch ready, weeded and hoed, and was READY!

It’s a good thing I chose hardy species.

And I think I need to stick with perennials that require little interference from human beings. Yeah, it’s that bad.

My garden patch is being overtaken by weeds. I’m hoping to remedy that tomorrow, but I said it yesterday and the day before. The raspberries, blueberries, lettuce, and chives don’t seem to be complaining, although the strawberries are being bullied a bit. Some poplars have taken root and are doing well right around my rose bush, bleeding hearts, and the other two things that I can’t remember the names of right now — not sure if the flowers like being shaded or if the baby trees are crowding them. Also not sure whether the bulbs are producing or whether it’s just really long weeds in there.

I am a terrible, terrible plant grower. I don’t mind weeding, but I have a hard time discerning which are weeds and which are buds that need to be left to grow. Of the herbs I selected to cultivate indoors, two have died and one is on the verge. I guess I neglected to check which ones needed full sun…

But the perennials I put in last year — the berries, and a variety of things I planted in my front yard — they’re doing fine. So that’s something.

I still have a grand vision of moving our old car shelter into the back so I can have a nice shady area in which to compose my words, while gazing at my growing flora and inhaling their sweet scents on the breeze… (For some reason, I keep seeing images from Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, the Importance of Being Earnest — the lady in the meadow tent, her writing desk at hand, a romantic ideal that I know I likely won’t achieve, but still want to try.)

I have to keep reminding myself: It’s only the beginning of July. I’m painfully aware that the time is going to move quickly, and for some reason I’m pressuring myself to accomplish far too much in the brief summer we’re given. I don’t want to miss any of it, but there’s far too much to do. I have a tendency to overwhelm myself. As much as I want to have a beautiful, functional garden for making teas, canning (that’s hubby’s job), and pressing flowers, to try making essential oils and soaps, to have fresh salads and teach the children about the importance of the environment, I may have to accept some of my own limitations.

I have a hard time doing that.

First full day spent outside — hooray!

Although the yard is still very soggy, it didn’t take as long as I’d feared to clear up all the doggy poopy from our long winter, and then I was able to do some gardening. I worry that it might still be a bit early, but after seeing the weeds gleefully taking hold in the garden patch, and the ferns starting out front, I decided to take a chance. I put in some bulbs and seeds, and then did some potted plants and seeds in eggshells.

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Beltane will be upon us in a few days. Let’s hope that the rest of the snow will melt away by then!