Monday, August 23, 2010

plant a garden. plant pumpkins.

There is nothing quite like the pleasure of enjoying the bounty of a garden that started as tiny seeds that you set in the ground. I am amazed every year when things sprout out of the earth. I am amazed that two days ago I brought this beautiful pumpkin inside from my tiny backyard garden. I didn’t even plant pumpkins this year, but I guess the seeds from last year’s fall porch decorations were in my compost pile. You can imagine my surprise when the large leafed vine started emerging from my tiny cucumber bed. I can’t tell you how proud I was to carry this pumpkin into the house.

Figure out how you can have a garden next spring. A container garden is a great place to start. I have two 4x8 raised beds outside by backdoor. Every year I plant swiss chard, spinach, a lettuce mix, pickling cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. I am amazed every year how much food I produce in this tiny bit of soil. Some year I want to count how many thousands of cherry tomatoes are produced from my three tiny starter plants.

Start a garden someplace in your life. Then stand back and marvel as you watch what you planted grow. And be ready for nice surprises like my pumpkin.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

set one day every week for cleaning your nest.

It worked for your great grandmother. It worked for Mother Rabbit. Set apart one day per week to do some cleaning.

Clarification: Cleaning Day is not for "picking things up" or "sorting things". Those are prequels to Cleaning Day. You may decide to set the timer and clean for just one hour, or you maybe should spend the entire day, but Cleaning Day is for cleaning.

Per your request, I will give you some basics on what should happen every week at your house. If you have only one hour, then you should move quickly. As time allows you can be more thorough. The following are Once-A-Week-Musts:

aClean all sinks and tub with Softscrub with Bleach.

aLysol the toilet bowl and bathroom floor(s).

aAmmonia clean all mirrors, appliances, door knobs and telephones. This will take less than 5 minutes but adds sparkle & freshness to a house.

aClean all floors on your hands and knees. Wood floors like vinegar and water or Murphy's Oil Soap. Tile floors like Parson's Lemon Ammonia. Note: Swiffers are stupid and for people who just want to think they are really cleaning. They just move the dirt around. Remember, if you aren't sweating, you aren't not cleaning.

if you're not sweating, you're not cleaning.

There is not a wimpy way to really clean. When you decide to clean your nest, be serious about it. Wear tennis shoes for quick and agile movements. Serious sweating is part of serious cleaning, so wear the appropriate togs. Absolutely do not wear your favorite lacy bra. When the sweating starts, you want to feel good about it and feel like you are ready for it. Do not wear clothing items that cannot handle misplaced Softscrub with Bleach. This is the place for old sports bras and baggy shorts. Few things are more satisfying than power cleaning. But always remember, dress for success even when it comes to cleaning your house.