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Monday, October 11, 2010

Putting Plants to Bed and Light Housework

If you love Laura Ingalls Wilder and The Little House Books as I do, then you have probably read Little House in he Ozarks, her collection of articles, tips, poems, other writings, done while she was a farm wife for various Grange publications and other magazines. What stuck in my mind most about this collection is that Laura talked about house cleaning a little at a time, or one corner at a time. Then, she recommended resting. About 20 minutes a day, she writes, it would help your energy levels if you could like down. I try to follow her advice, but time crunches and servitude to other peoples' schedules defeats me.

I had a couple days off,a nd I followed her advice again today. I have been cleaning out kitchen cupboards and cabinets, restributing and rearranging as I need to. I have taken several bags to Goodwill, and yes, am taking a deduction. This helps our family in the long run; we can save a little more for Christmas, vet bills, and other things that come up. I also love the idea that someone else can use them at a bargain. It is far less wasteful than just tossing everything. I have taken out some things to reuse, and made room for my mother's collection of pots and pans. As I go, I move around and change things around, mop, sweep, vacume each area. Remember, I have a lot of things, and fewer and fewer days off, so it is crucial that I get some housecleaning in.

I also spot pick up all week, and try to stay on top of dishes. My husband helps with Laundry. I also save magazines to give to my students as prizes, and go through novels to share with them, or to exhcange at the local paperback trader.

Spring cleaning comes late for me, and in stages, but my asthma, work schedule, and exhaustion monitor don't allow me to do a purge of the whole house! I thought and thought about it, but have decided I will decorate for Xmas this year after all, and will put up more than one tree. I will have a strategy to use new ornaments first, and to make what I can, especially from natural materials, from the cornhusks I've saved, from bead and collage projects. I will string battery operated lights where possible, and will bake for gifts. This is more meaningful, and makes people happy, as do small gifts of remembrance.

I have resolved not to use credit cards, and to save a little cash here and there whenever I can. I find it easy to save coins; we have a family collection anyway, and I ask myself more and more whether I really need some purchases.

I used many natural elements for Halloween this year, but the naughty squirrels, who make eye contact with me, have eaten one through, and scooped out the seeds. They don't like the blue pumpkins, however. I also replanted some of my flowers; the perennials will soon go inside, and I have dumped the seeds of the annual pots into flower beds. I get volunteer flowers this way in Spring.

Also, I try to recycle water from dishes, etc., for flowers, and monitor the dehumidifier. I am trying hard to recycle and reuse what I have, and will create, not buy, a costume for the Halloween Party to which we are going this year.

A friend of mine calls her old clothes that she chooses to keep her "archives," and I've adopted the term happily. I like to read the fashion magazines, maybe buy one, and use the photos to put together outfits from what I have. We also use them for research in ficiton writing, and for paper doll and collage projects.

Be crafty as you can, and use your leaves to mulch. Use the dried stalks and pods from plants in autumn arrangements and displays, and revisit those cool bottles and soft drink cans, like Arizona Tea and Jones; they make wonderful theme vases.

Now is the time for fall festivals and craft shows. Visit all youc an, and start your own where possible. Make this a heart felt, homemade holiday. Put some thought in gifts, wrappings, and trappings. Mother Earth will thank you!

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