Thursday, August 4, 2011

Perpetual Motion

I found out that I was having twins on the first Friday in January (I had been given the hint that it might be twins one month earlier, but had been fully prepared to go, "Only one? Aw, shucks, twins would have been fun). I spent that weekend taking down our Christmas tree, cleaning house and rearranging furniture. In short, I stayed in perpetual motion because I knew if I slowed down I'd have to contemplate the fact that in five short months I would triple the number of children in my home.

Lately I've been feeling like I need to slow down and contemplate what I'm doing with my time and my life--to reign in competing interests and make some major decisions about work, mainly, but also career, future, personal interests. It's kind of a "your money or your life" sort of situation, or, more to the point, "your health insurance or your life."

Anyway, to avoid thinking about all that serious stuff, I kept myself in a whirlwind of activity this weekend. Friday evening, I made raspberry jam, for which, because my neighbors did not invite me to pick their berries this year, I had to buy four pints from the Farmer's market, at $5 a pint, plus the $5 bag of organic sugar, making these the world's most expensive jars of jam. But raspberry is so tasty, and so much quicker than strawberry (jelling in 5-10 min. rather than 25-35 or never) due to higher natural pectin. And so pretty:

The rest of the weekend I spent cleaning house. I finally finished my third room in my whole-house overhaul: the "library," a.k.a. stairwell.  Here are the before (and during) photos:

And here's after dusting and reorganizing books (taking at least four boxes of them to the library book sale), evicting spiders and washing the gray film off the walls that little dirty fingers create because we have no railing:

I also did some major cleaning in the corner of the basement where I keep craft supplies, hand-me downs, holiday decorations, camping gear and fabric and yarn. I tend to just pile things up there until it becomes completely unusable.  I cleared everything out, put things away (even threw some things away!) and swept. Believe it or not (and those of you who have followed me for a while will easily believe it) I had supplies for Christmas crafts that I had never put away (and now I know where my Scotch tape is!).

My mother-in law had given us some eggs decoupaged with things like butter wrappers and soup can labels. They had fallen out of their basket and were scattered all over the floor, and I took some small delight in stepping on and crushing them whenever I came upon them (aren't I awful?) until I stepped on the one that had not been blown, but still had its eggy contents. Amazingly, it wasn't rotten after four months, so not smelly, but still quite disgusting to clean up.

I was hoping to get to some sewing while I was in whirlwind mode, but that did not happen. Instead, Monday afternoon, E, Z and I had some down time after a doctor appointment and we did what we used to do when I worked part time: chilled. We caught dragonflies, made pudding pops, and I got out drawing supplies, because this summer all they have done is run around playing outside (and inside, when I let them) which is great, but I'm afraid they'll get to first grade and not remember how to hold a pen. They didn't get that into the drawing, but I did.

It was really nice and made me think I want a lot more of it.

In other news, we've been trying to catch up on all the Harry Potter movies so M can see the last one in the theater. When he was little he was very sensitive and terrified of his own shadow, so he's only started watching the movies recently, since he read the books (except that one time when he was three and C let him see the Chamber of Secrets when I was away). It's been really fun--I had not seen (or read) them, and was surprised that I would get into it--and it's also really exhausting just trying to find time to watch them. I recently read the average kid spends eight hours a day on screens (TV, movies, computer, video games, cell phones). How is that even possible? Where do they find the time? Anyway, we've traded E and Z for two of M's friends for the evening and are heading out to see the final installment.

Lastly, the winners of the Summer Reading Giveaway are Aunt Kirstie (The Life You've Imagined) and Woodspritemama (Shamrock and Lotus) please email me (andreaelani at yahoo dot com) your addresses so I can send you your books!


  1. What you continue to accomplish amazes me. If only I had such drive to clean and organize our house!

    S & C decided they were ready for the Harry Potter movies this summer, too. I am SO glad we waited. They've watched #s 1-3. I think we will go for #4, too, but we are talking about holding off the others and give those a bit more time.

  2. A. The raspberry jam looks amazing.


    B. I'm so jealous of your stairway library!


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