Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Patience is not one of my strongest virtues.  

This is illustrated by the fact that I do not handle uncertainty well.  For me, one of the worst things about late pregnancy was not knowing what day my child would be born.  Not that I couldn't wait for her (or him) to arrive, but that I couldn't plan when we were leaving for the hospital.  I never knew what I had or didn't have time for, and it drove me crazy.  I like to know.

We are in what has become, for me anyway, a similar situation.  Our family is moving to the Boise area.  This means also that many families are following us--employees of Larry's.  So this decision was not made lightly.  It was as much a business decision as a family decision, although those are admittedly difficult for us to separate.  

I look forward to the move.  Were it not for the great little community that we call home, I'd miss nothing but our family who reside in Southern California.  We think that the upcoming adolescent phase of life facing our kids will be benefitted by the move.  We'll have space for horses and orchards and even sheep, if we so desire.  And I really like Boise.  It's a nice little city with a university and parks and museums.

Originally, the timing was clear and set.  Summer 2009.  That's what it would take to build a house and a warehouse and have everything moved across several states.  #1 would be about to enter high school, so great timing there.

There is now a small chink in the fence.  Larry has found a business for sale.  It's a contract manufacturer of dietary supplements.  That will sound familiar to those of you who know what Larry's company does.  The company is located in Boise.  So, if Larry and his partner decide to buy, we may need to move in August.  This August.

Twelve months is just too much wiggle room for my comfort.  I was prepared to spend the upcoming year getting our family and household ready to relocate.  Now I may only have a few short months.  I was prepared to have a year to take life in, breathe the mountain air, hug my friends, and say goodbye.  If we need to move in August, I'll hardly be able to catch my breath.  It won't be easy.  But ultimately, I just want to know.

Not knowing gives me stomach aches and head aches.  It makes me tense and grouchy and uninterested in life beyond the mystery.

It looks like we'll know by the end of April.  Unfortunately, the end of April is not tomorrow morning.  Not much I can do to hurry it along.  I have great difficulty distracting myself when I'm stressed.  So I am trying to read a book, but I can't get in to it.  I'm trying to do my job, but I am waiting for some dates to be cleared by the school.  I'm trying to keep up on my housework, but it's too easy to think while you're doing dishes and folding laundry.  So I decided that posting on my blog might take my mind off of Idaho.  

Clearly not. 

Check in again in a month.  I'll tell you as soon as I know.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Monday is Laundry Day

I hesitate to even write about this for fear that I will start to receive all sorts of unsolicited advice on how to manage my housekeeping chores.

I like to say that my house is often in some state of disarray because of choices I make to serve and volunteer in the community. Namely, I spend vast amounts of time helping at the kids' school. I am where they are and I have a clear impact on their education.

This is partially true. But the fact mostly is, I am not great at getting things done around the house, and I hardly think that quitting all of my involvement would help that.

One ongoing bane of my existence is the laundry. Growing up we didn't often have a washer and never a drier in the house. Laundry was done once a week. My mom would wash it at a laundromat and bring it home wet to hang dry on a large white and orange metal rack. So I never did a whole lot of laundry as a kid. The once a week thing was all I knew.

I tried that when we were first married. I tended to end up with huge piles of clean, wrinkling laundry in baskets or on floors, waiting to be folded. It was a hassle, and I always thought that if I could only find the right day, that things would magically fall into place. I tried Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays, and I think even Wednesdays. No difference.

My dear husband offered several times that his mom had done a load or two of laundry each day, and that it seemed to work well for her. I tried that, and the only outcome was that after a week of going crazy, I was back to once per week.

Things improved slightly on moving into our current home. Our washer and drier are in a closet which is in our downstairs secondary family/office/guest room. I'd always get a good start (and here for some reason I've been better about folding laundry right away), but I'd run out of steam, and laundry would get stretched into a 3 or 4 day event which by the time I'd finish was almost time to start again.

In December, I decided to try something new. Each person would have their own laundry day. #1 is Monday, #2 is Tuesday, etc. until Larry and I get our laundry done on Friday. There are several things about this routine that make it successful. The first is that I have changed the way I sort the laundry. Instead of the light, dark, red thing, I go strictly by person. This way I can generally be done in any given day after only one or two loads. It's easy to fold as all the clothes have the same destination. I haven't noticed any trouble with bleeding colors. There was one time that I washed a new pair of dark blue jeans, and that load I did keep separate. I also still separate delicates, which is now also the only clothing group that does not go into the drier.

The second factor is that drier. I have residual drier issues after growing up without one with a mother who turned that fact into a moral stance. But I am over them, largely. We dry our clothes in a drier. And life still runs pretty well. Laundry goes more quickly. With a family of six, that multiplies out into a significant amount of time.

Lastly, it is much easier to get help from the kids with cleaning their clothes. They know their day, and they have some responsibilities regarding ensuring the task gets completed. If they don't, then they are the only ones suffering with a lack of socks.

It's been nearly three months, and it's gone very well. There have been a couple of times when I've gotten behind, but catching up seems much easier with this new system. And boy, that only took me 14 years of marriage to figure out. I hired out the bathroom cleaning a year ago. Two down, so much to go ...