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Teach Me!!! - Page 6

post #101 of 112
Well, I'm still in the process, that's for sure, so I can't give advice from on high. I do have a couple of things that are working pretty well for me, though.

First, with cooking: A while back, I was trying to help a friend figure out how to cook, because my mom always let me goof in the kitchen so I got a lot of my catastrophic failures out of the way early, and I realised maybe the number one most important thing that I always do--I split the job into two parts. There's preparation and there's actual cooking. And you will be MUCH better off if you get all or very nearly all of the preparation done before you so much as turn on a burner. If you don't have them, get yourself some little bowls (ranging from custard cup size to salad bowl size), doesn't matter what they look like, thrift store would do fine. I even save disposable pie tins--great for grating cheese especially. Then do all the chopping, measuring, even spices if you're going to measure them at all (which I only do if I'm following a recipe, which is not most of the time) into these bowls. THEN turn on the stove/oven/whatever. In fact, some nights when I can tell I'm really phoning it in on dinner, and I don't know what the heck I want to do, I just sort of start preparing...grate this, chop that, smell things, munch scrap ends...and somewhere along the line suddenly I know what I'm doing.

Other than that, I second all the ladies who said to get a cookbook that leans heavily on techniques rather than recipes. And I can't believe I'm pushing a magazine, but it really is worth mentioning that Taste of Home magazine comes with a center insert of good, solid country cooking recipe cards from all the other articles, and generally these recipes are very well worked-out and take a bare minimum of fancy techniques and ingredients. Not always what you'd call health food, though.

As for house-cleaning, the lady who said that she tries always to have a project when she goes to clean a room has a good point. The way I think of it, when I'm digging into a cleaning project, I always try to plan to do just a bit more than fight entropy. If I'm cleaning the bedroom, maybe that's the time to go through the closet and pull out the stuff I'm not wearing anymore. If I'm cleaning the living room, maybe I'll finally hang that painting the cat keeps knocking down. I aim always to do something I haven't done a dozen times before, preferably something that will stay done, you know? Maybe someday I'll reach a point where everything's got a place and a system and all I have to do is maintain, but somehow I think that day is a looooong way off.

Good luck to us all! Wish me luck establishing a good system just in time for the first little one to come and monkey it all up!
post #102 of 112
Hi there,
I just had to add that this book is AWESOME. I ended up buying a copy for both my grandmother and myself. (She loves it too).

Quote:
Originally Posted by *bejeweled* View Post
Maxomom, I just placed a hold on "Shelter for the Spirit" at our library. Can't wait to read it................
post #103 of 112
AngelBee,

How are you doing with it now?
post #104 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by *bejeweled* View Post
Hi there,
I just had to add that this book is AWESOME. I ended up buying a copy for both my grandmother and myself. (She loves it too).
Our library doesnt carry it. Just how good is it??? Worth me ordering it through amazon and waiting weeks for it to clear customs good Thx for reporting back, I think Im going to go see if I can find it.
post #105 of 112
CLEANING
I started assigning certain chores for certain days. For example, Monday morning before DS's nap I dust, then vaccum because you don't want to dust after vacuuming, defeats part of the purpose. I'll also clean the kitchen floor at this time too. I try to keep like chores together, easier for me to remember and manage.
I clean bathrooms on Tuesdays.
Thursday and Saturday I'll vacuum again...we have 4 indoor dogs so I need to.
If a mess is made it's cleaned up right then, otherwise I might let it sit 'till I can get to it another time, which may never happen.
I have certain areas that are designated as "messy and get to it when I can". Right now that's my craft table, so I just let it go and feel okay about that.

Every so often I'll go through a room and de-clutter and question our belongings. Do I need it? If not, will I in the future and if so is there a place I can store it? Would someone else enjoy it more or get more use out of it? If so, freecycle it or gift it.

I've cut down a lot of wasted energy by simplifying cleaning supplies....vinegar cleans just about everything!

COOKING
I've been on a quest the past 17 months to make everything from scratch. There's a learning curve and you can't do everything overnight but I picked one thing at a time to work on and once I had that under my belt I moved to another thing. I started with homemade bread and by now have almost everything from scratch....the last things I need to try are condiments such as ketchup and barbecue sauce.
The computer has been my best friend as far as learning to make things. I look recipes up online....usually from allrecipes.com or recipezaar.com so that I can get ratings for recipes and not waste my time on things that haven't been sucessful for others. Plus you can do ingredient searches if you want certain things omitted...for example I'm allergic to onions....so I can search for certain recipes without them.

CLUTTER
Not much is in our house 'for looks'. Most everything is functional and we keep things out that we use...those are our decorations. With a 17 month old we don't want to be wasting time looking for things or putting things back in hard to get areas just to 'make them look nice'.
Our livingroom bookcase is stacked with books we want quick access to. Next to my side of the bed is a bookcase stacked with fabric because our bedroom also doubles as my crafting/sewing room.
We don't have time for little tables or shelves with decorations on them that we can't use. Making everything utilitarian and easy to use has been a great help. You don't have to have a house that looks like one on tv....I wouldn't want to function in houses like that. Homes are for living, not showing off.
post #106 of 112
I found these homemaking articles this morning, so I'm going to recommend them and then actually go do some:
http://rubies.articledirectoree.com/...es/homemaking/
post #107 of 112
:
post #108 of 112
Hi there strathconamama, sorry for the delayed response. I'm just catching up. Yes, the book is THAT good. I couldn't stop reading it and my Grandma says the same. It really makes you stop and think about how very important caring for your home is---it's our soul's retreat from the world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by strathconamama View Post
Our library doesnt carry it. Just how good is it??? Worth me ordering it through amazon and waiting weeks for it to clear customs good Thx for reporting back, I think Im going to go see if I can find it.
post #109 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by strathconamama View Post
Our library doesnt carry it. Just how good is it??? Worth me ordering it through amazon and waiting weeks for it to clear customs good Thx for reporting back, I think Im going to go see if I can find it.

Chapters has it: Link

Amazon.ca has it, used, but all through American sellers. But a few were very cheap -- around a dollar. So that might make it worth waiting for : customs. (I assumed you were looking at Amazon.com, sorry if you already knew this )
post #110 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demeter9 View Post
I would do the wake before my children thing, but this baby has a wakeful needing to nurse period from 5:45. And I REALLY can't see me getting up at 3:45 Maybe after this baby starts to sleep during that period.
Does your baby stay awake and nap later, or go back to sleep? I've had a similar situation on and off with different babies. I found the best thing was to get up and nurse while I read something. Then if the baby stays awake, I'm up and I can at least work on something that would be difficult with all the kids awake (something I can do with baby in a sling or playing on the floor, or I take a bath with the baby -- sorry, not sure what age we're talking here) and it helps get my body in the habit of being up then. And if the baby goes back to sleep, I don't fall asleep while nursing in bed, and I still have some time left over to get stuff done.

I'm also an early-morning waker, though I start my time off with some personal reading/study/journal time (usually). Getting to bed at a decent time makes a huge difference for me to getting up on time; sometimes I go to bed at the same time as the kids (usually the toddler stays up until I go to sleep, especially now that she's at an in-between stage for napping, and often naps at 4 or 5 pm, so she's up late). The only drawback, IMO, is that on days when I'm up late the night before or have to be up several times in the night, I feel like I sleep in if I wake up at 8 with the kids and it feels rather stressful to have to go right from sleeping to getting the kids through our morning stuff.
post #111 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
AngelBee,

How are you doing with it now?
Alot of changes have been going on.

We are financial at square one.....again

We just moved from a 3br 2 bath house with 2 car garage to a 2 ROOM 1 bath utility apartment.

I am having major health issues regarding my joints.

So....alot of changes. Sigh. Trying to regroup though.
post #112 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamasaurus View Post
I've read elsewhere that you can use your own cleaning solution of vinegar and water. But don't quote me, I have to check up on that!
I haven't made it through the whole thread yet so maybe someone has already answered this but we have a Scooba and use it all the time with just 1 oz of vinegar and then regular tap water. (You'd only use an oz of the special cleaning solution too.) It works great and no clorox!

We LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE our Roomba and our Scooba. My floors are so much cleaner than they used to be (we have tile in 80% of our house). Only thing is that they aren't so great for the bathrooms where there are lots of little spots to clean. But awesome for the living room, kitchen, dining room etc.
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