Grab Bag

And summer comes to a close.

Ours ended well, with the arrival of Tule, a six year old beautiful black lab who needed a new home as much as we needed a doggie. We started Labor Day weekend with no inkling that by its close we would have a truly great dog. But she's here! And it has been an amazingly effortless transition so far. We haven't had a dog for six years, but it seems to be much like riding a bicycle; you never forget how. She fits in around here like a long missing puzzle piece. As I type, she is curled up on Sam's bed, cozy and happy after a day of chasing a tennis ball to the delight of some happy children.

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Two funnies from my second son today.

Funny #1: While we were at the park trying unsuccessfully to tire out our new dog, he needed to use the bathroom but I had forgotten the key. (Our local park system sells a key, for a nominal fee, that opens all the public park restrooms; funny thing about them though...they don't work if you leave them at home.) So he headed up to the wild area of the park to answer the call of nature. A few paces away, he turned and announced: "I will be back, when nature stops yelling at me." I guess he really had to go badly.

Funny #2: After complaining bitterly that he had to wash the dishes tonight, he shifted into overdrive and began what can only be described as aggressive dish washing. I walked back through the kitchen and he shouted at me: "Mom! I am ROCKIN' these dishes!" Whatever works for you, son.

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Sustainability. I've been thinking about sustainability today. Not in a green, eco-friendly, love the earth way, but in a domestic sense. I cannot seem to sustain any of the systems I come up with for handling laundry, housecleaning, grocery shopping and meal planning, chores, or anything else. Sustainability is breathtakingly hard. It seems to me that establishing systems and routines for smoothly running a household is a great gift for children, a gift I wish I were giving my own. Maybe homeschooling will be my opportunity to do this, as I hope it might be. But I have to admit, I am skeptical about my ability to really sustain a well-run home.

What strategies have you used for any part of running your home that works well for you? Please share. Please. Share. I have lots of ideas, but am always looking for more. And then, how do you turn it into routine, habit? That's the toughest part for me.

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I have also been thinking about the balance between selflessness and self-care. I am terrible at taking good care of myself, and I wish I were better at this. I am also a somewhat socially challenged person who experiences anxiety and worry on a regular basis, which I attribute to an inability to "lose myself" and an overemphasis on my insecurities. So...where is the balance between taking care of yourself and not worrying about yourself? I'm not sure where that is, but I'd sure like to live there.

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So that's my Grab Bag to mark the close of Labor Day weekend and Summer 2010. Don't let me catch any of you wearing white from this point forward. (You're exempt, Nurse Laura: sorry.)

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Sandy said…
What a beautiful dog! I have been thinking about your household routine question and I think that routine comes about at the expense of all of those lovely impulsive moments with your children. My mother had routines which I can tell you about any time you'd like. What we didn't have was the flexibility to go to the park together to try and tire out the dog. Carpe diem.
Teacher Mommy said…
I'm still learning about routine. And then all these changes keep coming along and messing it all up. I'd actually rather like to talk to you about it, but I'd rather pick up a phone. I'm too tired to type.

Life is...unexpected.

So I'll let you know what sustains...

As for self-care--yeah, I suck at that one too. And I have anxiety. So if you figure that one out, let me know.

In other words, HUGS.

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