Thursday, January 21, 2016

Counting My Blessings

How Will I Clean My Kitchen?

When I first became a stay-at-home mom I discovered something about my domestic habits.  I realized that I had quickly fallen into the routine of coming down the stairs in the morning and immediately turning on the television, which would remain on for the majority of the day.  When you're in the house all day and the TV is always on, it doesn't take long to become addicted to daytime television.  And I did.  I watched Oprah and Montel.  I followed the soaps.  I rooted for contestants on The Price is Right.  But at the same time I was trying to maintain a decent level of order in my home.  This was difficult with the television always tempting me away from the chores I had assigned myself.  I would be in the kitchen washing dishes, then I'd hear something interesting happening on the living room television set and go to see what it was.  Half an hour later I'd still be sitting right there watching, and lo and behold the dishes would not get done.

When my husband and I bought our second house, I came up with a brilliant solution to this problem.  I would put a TV in the kitchen.  That way I could watch and get housework done at the same time.  Ten years later there is still a television set on my kitchen counter.  There is just one small problem.  About a week ago the power button fell off.  I have no idea where the remote is, so I have no way of turning the TV on.  Now I am discovering that I have come to rely on the television as my motivation for getting anything done.  If I can't watch something entertaining I don't want to clean my kitchen.  What's a girl to do?

Where Will I Shower?

Our house is somewhere around seventy years old.  I love old houses, but one drawback to living in an old house is that things will occasionally fall apart.  This was happening in our master bathroom recently.  Some of the floor boards were rotting, causing the toilet to rock every time we sat on it.  So my husband decided to replace the floor.  He loves DIY projects, and I'm glad he can save us money by doing the work himself rather than hiring someone else to come in and do it.  But the thing about DIY is that it often takes a long time to get anything done, especially if you're trying to work a full-time job at the same time.  So we've been down to one bathroom for about three weeks now.  It wouldn't be such a big deal if it weren't for the fact the we've gotten so used to doing everything in the master bathroom.  Showering and brushing teeth and...well...other things...just don't feel right in the hall bathroom.  What's a girl to do?

What Will I Drink With My Breakfast?

My husband and I have taken quite the coffee journey in our lives together.  We started out hating the stuff.  Then one particularly cold morning we wanted something warm to sip so we dug through our cabinets and found the old aluminum percolator that used to belong to my grandmother.  Then we dug through the pantry and found a bag of coffee someone had given us for...I don't know...Christmas or something.  We drank coffee that morning, but it didn't become part of our daily lives until I started working full-time a few years later.  We came to rely on it to help us through our hectic morning routine.  We were still using the percolator at that point, but then someone gave us a drip coffee maker as a present, and we switched over to that.  Then a couple of years ago my husband decided he was tired of having to wait for coffee to brew and bought a Keurig.  We both drank Keurig coffee until about a month ago when I decided to start making mine in the small stove-top espresso maker I had purchased a few years back and never used.  It didn't take long at all for me to fall head-over-heels in love with espresso.  I still had the occasional cup of Keurig coffee every now and then, but after having sampled heaven in a cup it just wasn't the same.  Then the unthinkable happened.

A couple of days ago I was busily brewing my morning pot.  I rinsed out the espresso maker, put the coffee in, reassembled it, and put it onto the hot stove burner.  A few minutes later I realized I had forgotten one vital ingredient.  The water.  I immediately removed the pot from the heat, waited for it to cool enough to be handled, and started over.  As soon as the water started boiling I knew something was wrong.  It smelled horrible.  Then I poured my first cup and tasted it.  It tasted like the pot smelled.  Burnt.  And nasty.  My husband, a chemist, suggested that harmful chemicals may have leached into the coffee from the overheated metal and that my safest option was to not use the pot again.  Maybe I'm being overly cautious, but I took him at his word and threw my espresso maker away.  But now I can no longer make my favorite type of coffee.  What's a girl to do?

What Is a Girl to Do?

It's extremely frustrating that all of these things happened at the same time.  My daily routines have been altered in multiple ways, and I'm sure many of you can understand how important routines are to maintaining sanity in a chaotic world.  So what am I doing?  I'm looking on the bright side.  I may have one bathroom that's out of commission, but I do have another bathroom.  That means my husband can take as long as he needs repairing the floor, making sure he does the job properly, because we can do our business somewhere else.  I may not have a television in my kitchen anymore, but maybe that can be my excuse to finally break free from my need to be constantly entertained.  And I may not be able to drink espresso every day, but I can use this opportunity to detox a bit from the caffeine.  And we do still have the Keurig.  All and all I'm doing pretty well and have no reason whatsoever to complain.  But I do miss my espresso.

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  1. While I cannot fully commiserate with your one bathroom scenario as we share one bathroom in our house with a family of seven somehow! However, the coffee problem is definitely a problem. I'm not sure you truly needed to throw our your espresso maker, it may have just needed a good clean with some vinegar. I hope things get better, from our home to yours!

    Jefferson @ TJ Lamb

    1. Thank you for sympathizing. This was a year ago, and everything is happily back to normal now. I bought a new coffee pot, so no worries there. And yeah, the one bathroom thing wasn't such a big deal. It's just that the bathroom we were remodeling was the one we were accustomed to using, so going out to the hall to do everything just felt foreign and wrong. But it would have been a whole lot worse if we didn't have that extra bathroom!