The Goose has always been really hard on clothes. Everything he touches seems to leave a stain behind, and I often find his clothes covered in ink, mud, blood, or ice cream. This means that nearly every load of laundry I wash needs to be pre-treated.
I used to buy Spray-n-Wash (and use it religiously) on all his clothes – but it never seemed to really get the stains out. Then I found a recipe for a homemade stain remover that REALLY works – and is made from ingredients that almost everybody already has in their home!
When it comes to laundry, I keep a pretty tight schedule that includes washing one load every weekday. I’ve had the same system for a few years, and it really works well for my family. On Monday I wash towels, on Tuesday I wash white clothes, Wednesday I do lights, Thursday I wash darks and on Friday I wash sheets.
Though I am happy with the laundry method that I use, I do have one small problem. The Goose has swim class after school on Tuesdays – which means that his damp towel ends up sitting in the basement for nearly a week before being washed.
I’m pretty good about checking everyone’s pockets when I do laundry. I’ve found loose change, tissues and Legos. I’ve come across bouncy balls, Chuck E. Cheese coins, and the occasional candy bar wrapper. But last week as I was checking pockets something slipped past me. And it was one of the worst things you could miss. It was a crayon. Well, two crayons to be exact.
But these weren’t just any crayons. The first one, and the major offender, was navy blue. The other crayon was that ugly shade of green that nobody ever wants to use. I’m sure that is how it ended up in The Goose’s pocket. I imagine him picking up the crayon, looking at it and thinking to himself “Man, that is one ugly crayon. Nobody’s going to want that one. I’ll just put it in my pocket for safe keeping. And, while I’m at it, I’ll just stuff that navy blue one in their, too. That way they won’t be lonely.”
Years ago, when I bought my first house and began grocery shopping on my own, I was sure that using coupons would be the key to grocery shopping success. Each week I would sit down with a copy of the Sunday paper and the weekly grocery ads and match up the coupons and advertised sales. It always felt like I was winning the lottery – there were always tons of matches, and I always had a grocery list that covered the entire sheet of paper.
Week after week I’d head right to the grocery store and fill my cart with all of the fantastic deals I’d found. I really thought I was doing it right, until the day I looked at the groceries I’d purchased and realized something – all of the stuff I’d gotten was all junk food that I really didn’t need. My grocery bags were full of Fruit Roll-Ups, packaged cookies, pop-tarts and brownie mixes. But there wasn’t any real food. I had lots of odds and ends, lots of snacks, but absolutely nothing that I could make a meal out of.
We are big wildlife fans at my house. We love watching the squirrels eat from our tree mounted squirrel feeder. We are entertained for hours watching the sparrows pull birdseed from the feeder on our window. And we really love watching the hummingbirds drink from the feeders in the front yard. (The cat especially loves watching them – they are her absolute favorite!)
Because we have so many feeders at our house, we go through a lot of nectar. Truth be told, during the summer I was spending around $20 a month on hummingbird nectar concentrate. I knew there had to be a better way – and I was right.
The bathroom can be a smelly place. Especially bathrooms in homes with kids. And because most little boys I know have bad aim, short attention spans and terrible hygiene, bathrooms in a home with little boys are the absolute worst.
At my house, it really seems like the more I try to cover up the pee smell – with candles, air fresheners, or scented soaps – the worse it gets. And, in the end, I really just ended up with ‘ocean breeze urine smell’ wafting out into the hallway. Yuck.
I’ve written before about why I love our small house, but did you know that our house is old, too? In fact, our house, a Craftsman style bungalow that was built in 1927, is 85 years old… and I absolutely love it. Our house has character, spunk, and looks pretty cool… Just like The Goose.
Our house is compact, without an inch of wasted space. It was built during a time when the majority of family time was spent together, in common areas of the home. Because of this, our bedrooms are relatively small, but our living and dining rooms are larger. While it would be nice to have a bedroom that was large enough to accommodate another piece of furniture, it certainly isn’t a necessity. After all, not much time is spent in our bedrooms anyway. And, when we are in our bedrooms we are usually sleeping.
When The Goose was a toddler he loved, loved, loved going to the garden and helping pick vegetables. We’d spend hours out back looking at each plant, talking about what was growing, who was going to eat it when it was ready, and deciding if we were going to plant it again next year. While I loved having him in the garden, it drove me crazy when I’d look away for just a second, and he’d seize the opportunity – picking a tiny green tomato, a miniscule green pepper, or an eggplant that was no bigger than my thumb.
After spending two summers trying to keep him from picking vegetables before they were ready, I’d had enough. So, last year we decided to give him his very own garden. (Yes! Kids can garden, too!) And it worked out wonderfully. He was able to plant anything he wanted, pick anything he wanted, and he was always full of pride whenever he’d show his garden to people who came to visit.
Pinterest – I often call it the best and worst thing ever invented. If you’re not familiar with Pinterest – it is basically an online bulletin board. A place to, well, Pin different articles, ideas, and webpages that you find on the Internet.
People tend to think of Pinterest as being full of exercise, fashion and recipes, but that’s not the case at all. Pinterest has served as the inspiration for a lot of projects around my house. I’ve used it to plan our bathroom remodel, find plants that will grow in the shadier areas of my yard, and to find ideas that have helped me organize a lot of the cluttered areas of my small house.
Growing up, I was lucky to spend a lot of time with my great-grandmother. She babysat me nearly every day when my mom was working, and I learned a lot from her. My Great-Grandma made the best eggs and toast, she fed me Mrs. Grass soup for lunch everyday (she’d even let me drop the flavor ‘egg’ in), and she would read books with me for hours and hours (I still have many of these books – including my favorite book, Peppermint, that I used to read to The Goose when he was younger).
One thing my Great-Grandma did that always fascinated me was use a sewing machine. With her sewing machine, she made countless Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She made almost all of my clothes, and she made clothes for all of my baby dolls. To me, her sewing machine was magic.