Today I’m Turning 34

Today is my birthday.  This year, I decided that at this age, you get what you want for your birthday by asking for it.  So this year, I told my family that I wanted to watch Harold and Maude, eat tapas, drink sangria and wear pajamas.  So that’s what we did.

~~~~~~~~~

Kane let Eila pick out a present for me.  Little kids, when given some choice in the matter, almost always give gifts that they themselves would like to receive.  Imagining what someone else would like is a skill that develops over time, and not usually by the time a child turns three.  So a three-year-old is likely to give you, their mother, a chocolate bar or some legos for your birthday.  (Not that mothers don’t like chocolate, or legos for that matter, but those are things the kid wants too.  And they’re not going to get you a nice perfume or that label maker you’ve been wanting.)  But our Eila seems to have a gift for noticing others’ feelings.  And this is what she got me for my birthday this year:

Eila gets me cerealThat’s a heart shaped paper weight and a box of cereal.  According to Kane, she responded several different times to the question “What do you want to give Mama for her birthday?” with a very certain “Cereal.”  The background on this is that I’m a person who you do NOT want to be around when I’m hungry (often displaying several of these “hangry” types at once), and a food I usually have time and energy to prepare for myself is cereal.  So it’s not unusual for Eila to see me nearing a complete meltdown while growling “I NEED TO EAT” to anyone who will listen.  And it’s not unusual for her to see me scarf down some cereal after that and then resume playing with her happily.  So I’m not surprised that when Eila was trying to think of what Mama really, really wants, she came up with this.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I don’t have the best memory, and this decade (my 3o’s) is the one where I started forgetting how old I am.  So I developed a trick for remembering.  Basically, on your birthday, you have to create a memorable keepsake or artifact that incorporates your age, so you can refer back to it when asked how old you are.  For example, last year, on my 33rd birthday, I made a hat with a “33” on it.  And throughout the year, I relied on the mental image of that hat to know how old I was.

kates33hat

This year, my creation was not so tangible, but it is similarly etched in my mind.  I wrote a song about turning 34.  See me perform it below, while please not judging, as I am not a musician!

And while babies may not drink sangria, they sometimes help their mama make some.  (They were mostly making the virgin batch for themselves, but I may have let them slice fruit for mine as well.)

babies make sangria

 

fruit

 

sangria

 

Eila stirs

 

 

And our dear friend, Lori, came over to celebrate with us.  Here she is with the girls.  Note the pajamas.

lori and girls

 

lori and girls

 

lori and girls

 

Also, I really, truly got everything I wanted for my birthday this year, including repairs for my other ukulele, a business class I’ve been dying to take, and some vegan cookbooks.  Oh, and cereal.

Tuesday News Day, Feb 18th

Tuesday News Day is back on the air!  See this week’s edition here:

 

 

Here are a few photos from the “snowpocalypse” mentioned by Davia:

 

Eila bundle

K and E in the snow

K and S and D in snow

Papa and Eila

Tea, Cake and Death

As some of you know, I (Kate) have recently had the pleasure and the honor of becoming involved with Death Cafe.  Specifically, the newly formed Portland Death Cafe.  And I couldn’t be happier about this.

It all started back when NPR ran this story.  I missed the airing of it, but caught the article on NPR’s website.  It was a story about an emerging global movement to bring the conversation about death out of the shadows, by offering what are called “Death Cafe’s.”  A Death Cafe isn’t a physical cafe (necessarily) but a gathering of people for the purpose of talking about death.  The events are free, and tea and cake (or other similar refreshments) are served, and also free.

Death goes down smooth with a nice serving of tea and cake.

Death goes down smooth with a nice serving of tea and cake.

I was instantly excited and immediately began trying to figure out how I could get involved.  I read every part of the Death Cafe website.  I was ready to start organizing one myself when I had the idea of searching online to make sure there wasn’t already one in my area.  The search turned up the PDX Death Cafe Facebook Page (linked to above), and I wasted no time in sending the admin of that page a message explaining my interest in Death Cafe and offering to help out in any way they needed.  The response I got was from the nicest woman you could imagine, and she was very welcoming and willing to let me join the team of co-hosts.  So I did, and after some planning, some meetings, some more planning, etc. , we hosted our first PDX Death Cafe on a sunny Sunday afternoon late last month.

It was everything I had hoped it would be and more.  It’s a funny thing, the response you get from people when you have them sit inside on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, talking about death.  It’s sort of… well, if you take all the things you imagine when you hear the words “Death Cafe”, and then take the opposites of those things, that’s what you get.  A positive experience was overwhelmingly reported on the surveys we collected at the end of the event (of which about 90% of participants filled out and turned in), with 100% of respondents saying they’d be extremely likely to recommend Death Cafe to their friends and family.  Here’s some of the words used to describe participants’ experiences, in cloud form:

Response to PDX Death Cafe, in cloud form

Response to PDX Death Cafe, in cloud form

Not too shabby for our first run, eh?

Anyway, I’m happy to say that I’ll be continuing my involvement with PDX Death Cafe, and we plan on having roughly monthly events.  I can’t wait to see where this movement is headed.  I’m very hopeful and optimistic that maybe, finally, a topic that deserves attention more than any other I can think of is starting to get it’s time to shine.

Also, as some of you know, I had the pleasure (and terror) yesterday of participating in a sort of on-air Death Cafe with a local radio station, KBOO, on a show called The Recovery Zone.  The terror part was my nervousness about speaking on the radio, compounded by our main host showing up with laryngitis and handing over her share of the conversation to me.  But aside from a bumpy start, it ended up being fine and even a little bit fun.  If you want, you can listen to it here.

 

Crows

Happy Anniversary to Us!!!

Oopsies!  Sorry to any of you who tried to view this video before I realized I had accidentally left it set on private.  Should be fixed now.  It was originally made just for Kane, to be sent to him in an email, but I am technologically challenged, and somehow this way ended up being easier.  So now he can see it (hopefully) and so can all of you!!

Two years ago today, Kane and I were married.

Here’s a video about that.  Sorry about the quality.
Hope you like it!

Happy Anniversary, Kane!!  I love you forever.

so much love,

kate

Things that go Wheee! and Things that go Bang!

Is it all boys who love to blow things up, or just my husband?  I get the sense its a trend among their gender.  But whether the gender difference on explosions is widespread, it’s certainly a great divide in our house.  Those of you who’ve seen his wallet website lately might have noticed that he’s promised $10 of each wallet sale to go toward the purchase of “face melting fireworks”.  (Really?)  Oh, and something about “for the kids.”  Yeah… right.  Anyway, he’s obsessed with getting the most elaborate and impressive set of explosives he can given his budget and state law.  So he’s been keeping on eye on ads in the newspaper and stuff.  Seriously, you should see his eyes light up when he sees a coupon for some giant set of things called “thunder bombs” or “green lightning shooters” or “eagles of flaming death.”  He looks like a kid on Christmas morning.

So he noticed some sale at the Safeway parking lot across the street from our house the other day, and he saw that they had a giant bouncy house style slide thing for kids.  Uh oh, now he knew his in.  See, I’m not generally supportive of things like explosions or spending money, and I tend to be kind of a wet blanket wrapped around Kane’s glowing, sparkly fourth-of-July experience.  Sorry, it’s just not in my nature.  I told him I’ll be hiding in the closet with the baby, probably wearing a helmet, when he’s setting off all these things he’s buying.  BUT if there’s one thing he knows I’ll almost always go for, it’s some quiet time in the house.  (I love having a house full of kids… but I love a break too.  Oh, so much.)  So I’m sure Kane knew he’d found a jackpot in a place that both sold fireworks AND provided a place for rowdy kids to burn off some energy for awhile.  I was sure to go for it.  “Yes!  Take them!”  I said, when he suggested it to me.  I don’t think he even finished his sentence.

Then away they went, and from the pictures they came home with, it looks like they had a great time…

 

 

 

 

 

 

And they came home with an arsenal of rockets and sparklers and shooters and poppers and other things that go bang in the night.

The End

A Day for a Father

Kane’s birthday was this past Saturday, so it was his turn to be pampered.  We made him green tea in a pot and lemon water in a Kane-like glass.

Presents were placed under the Birthday Tree.  Just kidding, that’s not a birthday tree.  That’s Charlie, one of our house plants.  But a birthday tree is a cool idea…

Here’s Davie, decorated, in front of some of the decorations.

Kane awoke (at his chosen wake-up time) to find his birthday morning drinks waiting for him.  “Mmm,” his face seems to say.  “Green tea.”

 

We decided to all go to one of Kane’s favorite places in Portland – Saturday Market.  It’s the best!  Here’s Eila, all dressed up and ready to go.

 

Kane tries to concentrate on driving while Kate insists on capturing the moment.

 

Shaelyn and Davia pose with a statue near the waterfront in Portland where Saturday Market is held.  If you’re wondering by now what Saturday Market is, it’s this amazing event that happens weekly (Sundays too!) in Portland except in the rainy season.  It’s a great place to go gift shopping, people watching, elephant ear tasting, music listening, etc.  It’s the weirdest of the weird, for sure, but also a great place to find some amazing creative talent.

 

 

Have I mentioned the elephant ears?  That’s the delicious display of madness you see here in each girl’s hand.  They’re fried, sweet, covered in toppings.  Everything you want in an ear!

 

Crazy times at Saturday Market.  And that guy in the blue shirt, sunglasses and black cap?  He really, really wanted to be in our photo.  I won’t tell you the longish story of how I know this, but trust me.  It was, like, his life dream.  Your welcome, strange guy.

We’re having fun.

Shaelyn and Davia enjoyed watching some street performers.  Mostly.

 

And this was the kind man in the parking garage who reminded us to THINK about where we were parked, so that we would remember.

 

Happy Birthday, Kane!!!!

A Day for a Mother

Last weekend, Sunday was Mothers Day.  I was served a morning mimosa in bed and got up to a table set with a breakfast feast and cards and presents.  Later in the day, though it was a raging 90 degrees out, we packed up the whole family and a picnic and headed to a park.  We realized somewhere along the way that this was the first such outting with all five of us.  That made it special, even if the trip wasn’t otherwise the best time anyone had ever had.  (A certain subset of the family was rather displeased with the facts that we had to share the park with other people, that it was hot, that we forgot the ice water, that the creek was dried up, that the pond was too “oily”, that other kids were crowding their frog-finding expedition, that we had to take photos, and then somehow, also, that we had to go home at the end.)  But we did it!  And it was fun enough.

Then for dinner, I thought about sending everyone out for sushi.  (That’s what I do when I need an evening break… you know, to do dishes and fold laundry in peace.)  But I decided that I actually did want to spend my evening with my family, so I kept them all home and made them eat food prepared by yours truly.  Not sure what I was thinking.  But they are what makes me a mother, so it seemed appropriate.  And deep down, I do kind of like having them around.

Kane – That’s a Wrap!

Woah, is it that time already?  Seems it is.  The movie Kane’s been working on in Oregon is wrapping up.  They’re still putting it all together (so it will be coming out in August), but Kane’s job on that movie is done.  He had a really fun time working on it, and he’s not usually this proud of the movies he gets to work on.  He says “It’s actually rare that I don’t feel ashamed and/or guilty about the movies I work on.”  But this movie… it’s awesome.  And definitely something to be proud of, for everyone who worked on it.

Here are a few photos (not taken by Kane) of Paranorman in progress:

Look how tiny! They built that! Amazing.

zombie face goes on

This is the kind of detail we're talking about here.

Tiny knitting!

"hair club for mannequins"

I’m really blown away by this work.  No words.  We can’t wait to see it when it comes out, I think, August 17th.

And now we find our little family back in that land of the unkown.  What’s going to happen next?  We still don’t know.  And we admit, that is a little scary.  But adventure seems to be the name of the game for us, so we’re taking it as it comes.  And I really believe that a place of more stability and security is in our future.  We just get to ride an exciting roller coaster of life circumstances and corresponding emotions to get there.

This weekend was designated as a relaxing time, the calm before the storm.  (Monday we start figuring out what, in the name of all things good and holy, we are going to do.)

So Kane’s keeping busy doing relaxing things.  Like painting…

And other relaxing things, like tackling our out-of-control lawn. We thought about having the girls braid it, but then decided the grown-up thing to do would be to mow it.  So we bought a push reel mower off craigslist and sent Kane to work.

There he is, mowing away. He makes it look easy!

But it’s really not easy.  This lawn is like Cousin It’s massive, flat sister.

Is that our lawn dressed as a beatnik? No, it's really Cousin It!

Here is our lawn. Poor Kane.

But then, how could anyone complain about having to do ANY job, with a cheering section that looks like this?

"Go Papa GO!!!"

Eila and I raise our glasses (hers a bottle, mine a cup of tea), to Kane for working so hard on Paranorman, and in appreciation for all he does for our family, and in total confidence that he’s going to continue to do well.  He’s a good one.

Stay tuned to find out what the heck will happen next with this family!  It’s anybody’s guess.

Oh, and I was reluctant to post this, but my shameless husband (good though he may be) requested that I include his Amazon wish list in this post…  he’s kind of a weirdo.  A lovely weirdo.  And it’s true that his birthday is a few weeks away.  So I’ll humor him.

Big Bugs and Empty Pants

The following is a written account of my roller coaster of a relationship with a bug.  Yes, my life is very interesting.  Oh, and there are photos and video of Eila, so there’s a reason to wade through my ramblings.  Or I guess you could just skip to the photos and videos if that’s what interests you.  In any case, here we go…

It’s about 2:30pm now on a Friday, and the big girls just got home from school.  Looking around our house, you wouldn’t know that something crazy happened here this morning.  All appears normal, everything where it should be.  A pile of unfolded laundry sits in the middle of the living room floor, while a pair of dirty underpants dangles from the banister.  Two baby bottles, one from this morning and one from some time last week (I don’t know which is which) sit on the side table next to me.  My empty coffee cup keeps them company.  My bag of knitting stuff, which I don’t think I’ve touched in weeks, is on the floor near the front door.  Yes, all is as it should be.

So you’d never suspect that this morning, we were INVADED!!  By a bug.  I think it was a stink bug.  And I’ll admit right here that it wasn’t THAT big.  But it was kind of big.  Big enough for me, in my lonely, attention-deprived, stay-at-home-mother-of-an-infant state to make a fuss over.  But see, this is hindsight describing my socioemotional make-up as it pertains to, and influenced, the events in question.  At the time, it was an intense experience.  My feelings are real, I tell you!

Anyway, here’s what happened:  I was just sitting here, feeding Eila and working on the computer (browsing the internet… I call it “working”), when I saw something giant moving out of the corner of my eye.  I turned to look, and oh my geez oh pete!  It was a bug the size of a small gorilla.  (Very small gorilla.) I think this kind of creature is called, at least among 8-year-old entomologists, a “stink bug.”  (Ha ha, I just told a joke inside my head about this question – What is this kind of bug called? – being the cross-section of entomology and etymology… but… that’s not funny, now that I’m typing it, so never mind.)

Kate sizes up the bug.

Back to the bug.  So I gave him (or her) a look-over.  Then I gave it the stink eye.  (Pun shamelessly intended.)  But really, I scowled at him for awhile, shaking my fist at times.  I just felt uneasy with him there.  You know those people who you can look right in the face, and even have a conversation with, yet you can’t get a reading from them?  That’s how this bug was!  I stared him in the eyes (I think), and I had a good talking with him.   But I just couldn’t get a feel for what he was all about.  What do you want, little friend?  If you even are my friend!  What do you want with us?!?!

You know that poem in Dr Seuss’ book “The Sneetches”, at the end, titled “What Was I Scared Of?”  The one about the pale green pants with nobody inside them?  It starts off like this:

“I was walking in the night

And I saw nothing scary.

For I have never been afraid

Of anything.  Not very.

Then I was deep within the woods,

When suddenly I spied them!

I saw a pair of pale green pants

With nobody inside them!

I wasn’t scared, but yet I stopped

What could those pants be there for?

What could a pair of pants at night

Be standing in the air for?!”

Sidenote:  Back in the year of 2000 BC or so, I actually memorized all the words to this poem and the others in The Sneetches.  I was living that summer in a little apartment in Greece, with a dear old friend of mine named Megan and a curly headed stranger from Boston, cleaning yachts for rich European tourists 12 hours a day, and then, apparently, reading and re-reading Dr. Seuss books to myself at night.  See, there’s so much to learn out there in the world.  Like the words to stories about pale green pants with nobody inside them.

My Point: I really think that part at the end (which is not the end of the pale green pants story, but is the end of the part I quoted) really gets to the heart of how I felt about this stink bug.  I wasn’t scared, exactly, but I just didn’t know HOW to feel about him.  Who the heck are you, and what are you doing here in my house?  Moving around all mysterious like.  What’s your plan, man?

Kate feels strong mistrust toward bug visitor.

Then things got really crazy.  Because at the very moment I was watching him – videotaping him, actually – he decided to take off flying!  All around the room, like a maniac.  Now, if I had been feeling suspicious of his motives before this behavior commenced, imagine how I must have felt now.  Actually, I can show you how I felt, because like I said, I was videotaping at the time.  But don’t show anyone else this video, because it’s not good.  Here you go:

Okay, I’m not proud of that.  Especially the part you can’t hear, which is Eila’s reaction to my scream.  (I had the presence of mind to turn of the camera at least.)  Poor thing burst into sobbing tears, probably thinking the sky was falling, because why would her normally-calm and stable mother make that kind of a noise unless something was terribly wrong?  Only a lunatic would scream like that, barring disaster.  See, Eila is still very young and is still learning that her mother is, in fact, somewhat of a lunatic.  My hope is that she learns that fact in small doses of maternal crazy, gradually, over time.  Then, even if she knows it, it will always seem somewhat normal and familiar to her.  Bwa ha ha!!!!  (Is that how you type evil laughter?)

Okay, I need to wrap this up, because this incident really doesn’t warrant a pages-long post.  But here, first I’ll show you more videos.  (Be patient with me.  I just learned the video thing, as you know, so you can expect to see excessive use of this media for the next few posts.)  In these next two videos, the bug had finished flying around the room and had landed over near the basket Eila was hanging out in.  I decided I had to investigate.  Notice the look of fear in Eila’s eyes.

 

And there’s this one:

So at this point, I have to admit, I’m starting to doubt my initial belief that the bug was out to get us.  Or that he wanted to eat Eila.  MAYBE his intentions were good.

Can you see him there on the basket next to the basket that Eila’s in?  Yes, you can, look closer!  See?  He’s that giant thing, staring at Eila with a hungry look on his face.  Or… is that a lonely look?  What if he’s a lonely bug, just looking for a friend?  (I’m not being dramatic here… or at least not for the sake of this blog.  These are actually the thoughts that went through my head at this time.)

That’s funny, now that I’m posting these photos here, it almost looks like Eila is NOT totally terrified.  Is that possible?  I could have sworn that at that time she was shivering in fear.  Hmm…

Oh, real quick, let’s go back to the pale green pants.  So as the story goes, the narrator goes about his life, doing things like fetching Grinitch-spinach, fishing for Doubt Trout on Roover River, and picking snide, in a Snide field that was almost nine miles wide.  Anyway, as he’s going about his business, he keeps bumping into the pale green pants with nobody inside them, and he keeps getting more and more nervous, until he can’t even deny that he’s scared anymore.  And then, at the end, he… oh, I’ll just post it.   It goes like this:

I had to do an errand,

Had to pick a peck of Snide

In a dark and gloomy Snide-field

That was almost nine miles wide.

I said, “I do not fear those pants

With nobody inside them.”

I said, and said, and said those words.

I said them. But I lied them.

Then I reached inside a Snide bush

And the next thing that I knew,

I felt my hand touch someone!

And I’ll bet that you know who.

And there I was! Caught in the Snide!

And in that dreadful place

Those spooky, empty pants and I

were standing face to face!

I yelled for help. I screamed. I shrieked.

I howled. I yowled. I cried,

“OH, SAVE ME FROM THESE PALE

GREEN PANTS WITH NOBODY INSIDE!”

But then a strange thing happened.

Why, those pants began to cry!

Those pants began to tremble.

They were just as scared as I!

I never heard such whimpering

And I began to see

That I was just as strange to them

As they were strange to me!

So…

I put my arm around their waist

And sat right down beside them.

I calmed them down.

Poor empty pants

With nobody inside them.

And now, we meet quite often,

Those empty pants and I,

And we never shake or tremble,

We both smile and we say…”Hi!”

(I’ve included much but not all of What Was I Scared Of? here, so if you want to read the whole thing, you should really read “The Sneetches and Other Stories” by Dr. Seuss… http://www.amazon.com/Sneetches-Other-Stories-Dr-Seuss/dp/0394800893/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327888390&sr=1-1 )

So back to the bug.  My path to peace with the stink bug was not quite as straight as that of the narrator in the pale green pants story.  I kept going back and forth from thinking I should swat him to protect my precious baby (which is a strong statement about my irrational state at the time, because a. I don’t kill bugs unless they are deadly, and b. I know that stink bugs are harmless) and then wanting to make him a sandwich and invite him to join Eila and myself in a game of “What Does A Thing Say?”  In the end, I did make peace with the bug.  Not so much peace that I wasn’t a bit suspicious when I saw him on the ceiling a day later.  But enough peace so that when Shaelyn, this morning, said, “Mom, I had to let your friend go outside,” I was a little bit sad.

Here is one last picture of Eila with our dear friend, Stinky:

I guess both the fact that this whole thing happened and the fact that I am posting about it are actually pretty meaningful.  The meaning being that I have way too much time on my hands (strange, because I can’t seem to find time to clean my house) and that my life is about as interesting as a common house fly (or in this case, stink bug) and that I am lacking social interaction to the point that I am building relationships with arthropods.  Basically, that I need to get a life.

But I hope you’ve enjoyed my story, that you’re healthy and happy, and that you find friends in the pale green pants in your life.

The Things That Bring Us Joy

I don’t like cleaning.  I hate cleaning.  I know that’s not a very original or interesting thing to dislike, but don’t worry – that’s not what this post is about.  I just wanted to get that out there, so that you don’t get the wrong idea when you read the rest of what I’m going to say here.  Kate hates cleaning.

So now I’m a stay-at-home mom.  A bona fide housewife.  And it turns out I really, really like that job.  I’m honestly totally happy and satisfied doing it, at least right now.  But it sure does involve a lot of cleaning.  And remember what we talked about?  Kate hates cleaning.

But I’m a big fan of being where you are and making the most of what you’ve got.  And of doing the heck out of whatever it is you’re doing, whether it’s your favorite thing to do or not.  I have a hand-painted, flower-shaped, wooden plaque hanging on the wall upstairs that says “Bloom where you are planted.”  I love that saying.  You often can’t choose your circumstances, but you can almost always choose what you do with them.  Anyway, my point is that if I’m going to spend as much of my time cleaning as this job apparently entails, I better make it mine somehow, so that I can do it like I mean it and not hate getting up in the morning.

Do you know what I like?  1. Making potions.  2. And good smells.  3. Decorating things.  4. And meadows.

One thing that’s making cleaning more fun for me right now is cleaning with potions.  They’re not really potions, but I call them that.  Actually, if a potion is a liquid concoction with the power to change something… maybe they are really potions.  But anyway, I call them potions, and that’s that.  But another name for them would be cleaning products.  And the fun part is making them myself!  (It’s not a potion if I buy it in the store and wipe my counters with it.  Then it’s Mrs. Meyers.)  Now, it’s kind of funny that I would enjoy making my own cleaning products, since it sort of seems like that’s just combining cleaning and cooking.  I don’t like cooking, and you know how I feel about cleaning.  But it’s SO fun!  I’m only just getting into it, but I’m already obsessed.  I want to make potions all day and then clean stuff with them.

What my kitchen counter looks like when I'm mixing up potions

One thing I make is cloth wipe solution.  This is what I use, as you might guess, with cloth wipes to wipe a baby’s butt.  I got the first recipe I tried from my good friend, Jeanna.  (Thanks, Jeanna!)  And then I’ve gotten other recipes and ideas for modifications from the internet, like from here:  http://www.zany-zebra.com/cloth-wipe-solution.shtml    It’s a fun kind of project, because it’s pretty hard to mess up.  Every time I make it, I try something a little different, and it’s always fine!  It always smells good, and it’s never once burned holes in the wipes or made red blisters appear on the baby.  Success!

The most recent potion I’ve learned how to make is laundry detergent, inspired and instructed by Anne, another good friend of mine who made an appearance here in our Thanksgiving post.  She gave me some pointers and sent me here for the recipe:  http://tipnut.com/10-homemade-laundry-soap-detergent-recipes/  (Anne and I used #3.)  With this one, I didn’t dare modify the recipe, because it seemed like there was some more chemistry involved, and I don’t know anything about that.  And luckily, the recipe was short enough that I could get through reading it without getting bored and inserting my own steps or ingredients, like I do.  That’s why I should never bake – my short attention span and ill-timed creativity when reading recipes make for some nasty baked goods.  But anyway, this recipe I could do.  And I did it!  And it was fun, even though it turns out grating bar soap isn’t as fun as it sounds.  I made laundry detergent and it worked!  It didn’t even turn our clothes yellow or flood the laundry room floor with foamy bubbles!

The finished product, ready to wash some clothes

I added lavender and tea tree essential oils to my detergent, because as I mentioned above, I love good smells.  I think they’re overpowered in the detergent by the smell of the bar soap I used (Fels Naptha), but that’s okay, because that smells good too!

I also said I like decorating things, and that’s another way I discovered that I could make this cleaning stuff my own.  I was thinking about it this morning and about how much laundry I do (a lot), and I decided that if I’m going to spend that much time in the laundry room, I should like being in there.  So today I decorated it!  I basically just found a bunch of stuff I wanted to look at, and I stuck it to the walls. But I love it!

Eila helped me decorate.

Okay, she mostly just lay there in her moses basket.

How Eila really felt about helping me decorate

Wait, why are all these people in my laundry room?

They're crazy.

Now I want to do laundry all day long!

Well, those are some of the ways I’m making my daily life more fun.  And I’m even saving money and cutting back on waste in the process!  And I have the prettiest laundry room ever.  And a pretty laundry room is like a meadow.  There, I had to tie thing-I-like-number-4 in somehow.

So do I like cleaning now?  Well, no.  Why do you think I spent all morning taping stuff to the laundry room wall?  I was putting off cleaning the kitchen.

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