The Great Kitchen Clean-up (and we have a winner!)

I am happy to announce that my kitchen is clean and sparkly once again.  And I have to say, I think I had more fun cleaning it while timing myself and wondering who was going to be closest.

SOMEONE actually guessed exactly…

But I’m not going to tell you yet.  First, here’s what I did and the pictures to prove it.

First 25 Minutes

  • Unloaded and Loaded Dishwasher (And started it).
  • Bagged all trash, Rinsed and bagged all recycling
  • Filled Tupperware w/ warm water and soaked all groady silverware and utensils that needed a pre-soak.  Did the same for dishes and tupperware inside my Dutch Oven and largest tupperware in the sink *Note, none of my tupperware is actually tupperware, it’s mostly Glad and Rubbermaid.
  • Herded all lost pantry items back into their places in the pantry.  They were relieved to be home.

The dishes look so happy now that they’re about to be cleaned!

Here’s my silverware and utensils soaking in the non-tupperware tupperware.

LOOK! I can see the actual top of my island.  It no longer looks like someone adhered a free-form glass and plastic sculpture to it. (and in one spot, I do mean adhered…)

Getting rid of trash recyclables, and herding lost pantry items home has made a big difference on the counters already.

Second 25 Minutes

  • Washed all the pans(by hand) except for the grill pan (started scrubbing grill pan and then left it to soak).
  • Cleaned the counters on both sides of the stove
  • Washed all the wine glasses (by hand, using their rinse water to pre-soak the grill pan) and set them up to dry.
  • Cleaned the stove

The Crock pot I left out, only because I was about to put dinner in it, so it actually saved effort.  And what was the point of putting it away for the pictures, when clearly I have no compunctions about displaying my mess to the world.

And things are a little better over here as well. We just need an available dishwasher to fix the rest of this.

Extra 10 minutes

To round off the first hour, I dried the wine glasses, scrubbed some more on the grill pan, and then washed, dried, and mineral oiled our cutting boards and cheese board.

Random 7 minutes
.  Unloaded, loaded, and started another load of dishes. Dumped the scrap pail into the compost pile.

Final 25 Minute Block

  • Unloaded and loaded the dishwasher (again!)
  • Scrubbed the sink out with baking soda and rinsed it really well (baking soda is good for oh so much more than baking, I buy the huge box for cleaning, and the itsy boxes for baking, AND the refrigerator boxes for the fridge).
  • Scrubbed the final counter over the dishwasher
  • Threw my drying towels in the hamper, and folded the ones I’m going to use for hand towels tomorrow…

And here’s what it looks like clean!

LOOK! There’s dishes in my cabinets… all’s right with my world.

And… Extra 5 minutes
Unloaded the last load of dishes this morning

Which… adds up to one hour and thirty-seven minute or… drumroll please 97 minutes! Jess wins! Congrats, girl, I’ll be facebooking you here soon to tell you what info I need so you can collect our t-shirt.

Honorable mentions go to Mike who guessed a hour and a half, and Shari, who guessed an hour and forty-five (sorry guys, if I had more money, I’d send you t-shirts too!).

And here’s a gratuitous clean sink picture.  That one’s for you, Fly Lady.

Bite the Burrito (and win a free t-shirt!)

*NOTE: The contest is now over.  To be notified when next month’s contest is taking place, subscribe to the Wayfaring Artist Newsletter.

Life is like a burrito, a well hidden mess. I saw this quote at some burrito place I ate at (possibly a Moe’s) and it’s stuck with me.

Hang on, Anna, what’s up with the burrito sermon?

Well, it struck me that some of you are probably wondering what the heck this blog’s about and how it all fits together (some of you might not care, but if you don’t care, then why are you reading? hmmm?)

Basically, I think far too many of us, myself included, have a tendency to treat life like it’s Mr. Monk’s dinner plate. Everything in it’s neat little quadrants, and God forbid anything touches anything else.

I prefer the burrito approach. See, Mr. Monk would never eat a burrito because everything’s all jumbled up together. And as much as I liked Monk as a character, and as much as his hang-ups made us simultaneously squirm and laugh (we’re getting more British in our senses of humour btw, essential British humour is big big on squirm factor), we don’t really want to live like that, right? I mean I don’t. Don’t live like that.

Speaking of squirm factor, Monk wouldn’t walk into my house right now… for starters, I have almost no dished in my cabinets…

See, it looks almost like we just moved in! (just to confess a hang up, the pic above is my right upper cabinet and the one below is my left upper cabinet but the fact that I just inserted them backwards, at least from my western, things-go-from-left-to-right perspective, is bothering me… I… will… not… change them… *slaps fingers moving toward mouse).

Now, we have plates and such for 12 and there’s 2 of us and yet… I’ll give you one guess as to where my dishes are…

If you thought the counters, you’re right.

If you thought, the sink, you’re right.

And if you thought the island, you’re right too!

Okay, I confess, those of you who thought the table are partially right when referring to the little table in the breakfast area, but I didn’t take a picture of it…

So on this blog then, I’m mushing everything together from spirituality to how I clean up my kitchen when it becomes a disaster area.

And I think it’ll be okay despite all those big-time bloggers out there that say I have to have a niche to blog. Just because they make money blogging and I don’t doesn’t mean they’re right (don’t check the logic, just go with it).

See, my friend and karate instructor, Billy, and I were talking about teaching methods the other day, especially with children. To keep them interested and to have them succeed, you don’t just teach them one technique and make them work and work and work till that one technique is perfect. You teach them multiple things at once, find the ones that their good at and praise them, and then polish the other ones, sort of balancing back and forth.

I’m trying to treat my life more like this. I used to try to get one area right, just one, and then I figured I’d get it right and then go on to the next (yeah, I’m a perfectionist, part of the reason my kitchen’s not clean is because I haven’t had time to do it “right”). But it doesn’t work. That technique is sort of like spinning plates and I’m never fast enough to keep them all going.

So I started multiple things at once in very small doses: exercise, gardening, cooking, blogging, regular cleaning, time with friends and so forth, and discovered that while I do over-balance and spend too much time in one area to the neglect of the others, I keep coming back to them and catching back up. Some of them are easier to keep up with, and I feel accomplished. And when I feel accomplished, I catch up on the ones I fall behind on faster instead of kicking myself that I didn’t do that one thing perfectly.

Now I kick a lot, just not me. mostly the air, and for exercise and flexibilty. Though, I did kick my karate instructor in the shin the other night at his house while he and I and his wife (who’s also the co-owner of their karate business) were sort of having a business meeting. But we were having issues staying to business, and he was in friend mode at the time. I’m sure he’ll get me back (have mercy, Billy, and don’t kill me when we spar, please. Remember, my husband is your pastor, and he’ll tell God on you… muahahahaha).

Does that make more sense now? No? Well, darn it! I guess I’ll just have to stop trying to make sense of things… maybe that’s not one of the things I’m good at. Now, I’m off to clean up my kitchen so I’ll have clean pictures to post tomorrow.


Free t-shirt? What’s that about a free t-shirt?

OH! you want the CONTEST rules, I get it.

Okay here’s how this works.  I’m going to time how long it takes me to clean up my kitchen today, actual time on job, not counting time waiting for the dishwasher to finish, only time while I’m scrubbing, loading, unloading, etc.  So to win the contest you must do 2 things:

1. Be the person who guesses the closest in minutes or hours and minutes (I’m rounding the seconds here people to the nearest minute :-P) how long it takes me to clean the kitchen up.

2. Tell your friends, because the contest only gets a winner if there’s at least 20 entries.

Comment must be on this post!  Multiple entries from one household okay only if you have different estimates 😉

Watch my twitter feed (follow me here if you don’t already) for updates.  And I’ll update facebook as well for those of you who are already my facebook pals.

The winner gets to choose from any t-shirt in my Skreened Shop, Purple Ducky Designs.  T-shirts only, but there are several options to choose from (okay if you want, you can put it on a tote bag or a onesie too!).  Any design can go on any product that Skreened offers, so don’t be put off by whether there’s a man or a woman in the picture!  I’ll e-mail the winner instructions for how to make their selection tomorrow.

This contest is on until 8:00am Central time, tomorrow (January 15th). At that time the contest will close, and I will look at the results.  If there are several answers that are all equally close somehow, I’ll plug the comment numbers of those answers into a random integer generator and let it pick the winner.

10 Things I Hate Love about You Me

Okay folks, since I’m blogging in my formal bathrobe today I’m going to write a list post and sort of give you a feel for where this blog is going. (don’t worry, tomorrow I’ll be back in the old ratty plaid one where I post things about what I eat and which teeth I picked after).

And you get a second post today because my driveway looks like this and I can’t go out!

See, as much as I love the random posts, which if you know me, random is one of the highest compliments you can get from me (As in “That was randomly cool!”), I’m on this journey-thing through this different space and I’m exploring somethings that are entirely new and some other things that I’d thought about but never had a chance to explore.

What’s that? You want to know what things I’m talking about?

Hold your puppies folks, I’m getting there.

*Note: to all of you who start looking at the below list and think it’s boring then you must also enjoy living fragmented, disillusioned, and frankly depressing lives. If however, you have any desire to learn to live holistically and live life to the full you will not only read my blog every day, but also invite all your friends. (and to those of you who are about to write me admonishing comments, by all means, do! I’ll take comments however I can get them. But first, google snarky, go ahead, it’s word 😉 )

Where was I? Oh yes, the list.

Dun dun dun.

1. (or should I start with 10? Drat that Letterman, I never know now…) Well if I was going from 10 to 1 with 1 being the sort of climax then 1 would be randomness (see above). These entries are likely to contain pictures of what I ate, what my cats ate (and what they dragged in), but never will you find an apology for my gratuitous use of parenthesis (I like parenthesis, it’s like hiding little secrets in the sentence for everyone to see :-) )

2. (or 9, if you insist). Total well-being.
Okay so, big topic, and in some ways a couple of the following topics could be viewed as sort of sub-topics to this one, yeah, I’m bad at lists (I don’t write outlines for papers either).

The world Shalom in Hebrew is usually interpreted as peace, which is a correct definition, but as I’ve come to understand it thanks to my friend Alli and, of course, my insanely intelligent Mom (who reads like 5 ancient near eastern languages including biblical Hebrew. I’d ask her to blog, but I’m never sure what language will come out), it has more of a connotation of total well-being. So when us Anglican/Episcopalian folk pass the peace and say “The Peace of the Lord be always with you” (and also with you… reflex response), we’re wishing God’s Shalom for the folks in the pews around us, and ultimately the world. (Don’t worry, you non-Anglican’s have equally valid ways of wishing peace, I’m very ecumenical 😉 )

Okay, that’s all well and good, but what does it mean in our everyday lives? Well, that’s where the next couple come in, and it’s a good thing, cause this was a long number 2 (9).

3. (8). Daily Expressions of Spirituality.
A lot of us protestants are familiar with the “quiet time” concept. I’m hoping to figure out meaningful ways to spend time with God in quiet and not so quiet ways this year. Sort of beyond the quiet time. I’ll let you know how it goes.

4. (7.) Exercise, fitness, and physical health.
There are more stories to tell in this category about the battles I’ve fought all through my mid to late twenties in this area. At 29, I had the choice to become depressed that I’d been sick or in not ideal heath for what should have been the physically fittest time of my life, or decide that my 30’s were going to be awesome in this department. So far, so good (I did just turn 30 in September, but I’m doing great, and I’ll share more of that journey in this category).

I’ve found some great ways to exercise at home, and some free resources that are helping me do that, and I’ll pass them along from time to time.

5. (6). Green living and local eating.
We’ve been slowly but surely greening the way we live (and we painted our dining room green! well, sort of olive-y, but still). We recycle, compost, are members of a CSA, and have really greened the way we clean, and as I continue making discoveries in this area, I’ll be talking about them (yes, I’ll be talking, surprise, I know).

6. (5). Gardening and preserving.
We planted an herb garden this past spring to go along with our CSA and this year we’ll be adding (hopefully!) a few more beds, which should give us enough food to start preserving some of it so our other half of the year can be more local too!

7. (4). Cooking.
I’ll lay odds, you’d already figured that one out 😉 Husband and I both love to cook, so I’ll be posting occasional pics and recipes from time to time. Neither of us can leave a recipe alone, so we’ll bring you along on our culinary adventures (and for those of you in the Nashville area, we might even have you over for dinner! but you’ll have to be willing to be blogged. No such thing as a free meal you know).

8. (3). Birdie!

Oh, huh?

9. (2). Art.
Well, this is the Wayfaring Artist after all. I’m primarily a photographer, but I also paint with acrylics, and do different things with mixed media as the mood strikes me. I also sew, but more for artistic purposes then say, clothes. I dabble in graphic design and web-page layout as well as interior decorating (I love to move furniture around!)

10. (1). …


what? I’m ADD, didn’t you know?

11. (0). (the zero means this one doesn’t count against my list of ten! numbers aren’t my strong point). Living in Community. I don’t even know exactly what I mean by this yet, but if you want to drop by and chat a while, maybe we’ll figure it out together.