Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What is it with working moms and holidays?

Sukkot is my FAVORITE holiday of the whole freakin' year. No, really.

Decorating the sukkah, devising, making, and eating warm autumn foods outside in the frosty (or misty, or slightly freezing rainy) air with good friends, looking up at the sky through leafy branches while the neighbor's cat (who really thinks she belongs to us) sits on my lap...

But what the heck? Where's my prep time? How in the world am I supposed to get the house clean for guests (you know, just in case it rains and they have to come in, or, G-d forbid, use the bathroom), let alone finish attaching the sukkah sides, then add the skakh, then cook, etc. etc. etc???

Is it just me, or do most working moms constantly have to fight clutter and mess from the other inhabitants of the house in the few minutes they have before crashing into bed at the end of the day? (And when they wake up, and as they're cooking dinner, and maybe giving up actually eating lunch to run the vacuum cleaner midday while nobody's home napping)?

OK, enough ranting. If you come back later I'll psot the Sukkot menus for the 1st three nights.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Books as Collector's Items instead of Clutter has a lot of great tips and inspirational articles on living more simply (with less clutter) in small spaces.

Now, the current BC/Tzip abode isn't tiny - we've probably got around 1200sq ft., at least - but it does seem to fill with clutter way too easily.

(I won't mention a certain husband's disdain for actually PUTTING THINGS BACK WHERE THEY BELONG when he's done with them. No. Not a word about that.)

Anyhoo, I had a radical thought today, looking at pictures of various collections, and feeling like I'm just NOT a collector - but then I realized, oh, yes, I am! And so is BC! And so is the toddler!

We all obsessively collect books.

(No, really, we actually can't fit all the toddler's books into his bookcases now; it's becoming embarrassing, when the babysitter comes over and can't get to the rocking chair b/c of all the books in the way.)

What happens if I think of our books as collectors' items, to be displayed and appreciated, rather than just stuff and clutter to be stored again until we need it?

We already have it set up that way in the living room, mostly, with all the prettiest of the Judaica grouped together on attractive Mission-style bookscases. But BC's study is just crammed with tons of books on cheap white shelving, jammed in any which way.

Have to think on this some more...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sukkah planning

Sukkot, one of my favorite holidays, is coming up fast, and it's time to switch from redecorating the bedroom (still only half-done) to dragging out the poles and hardware for our temporary home.

Visiting Creative Jewish Mom's blog today reminded me that I had wanted to add more hanging lanterns inside the sukkah last year, and I settled on these, ordered at wholesale price from Koehler.
I will re-use the beautiful fabric sukkah sides I created last year (see them here), and should probably start thinking about adding some decorations.

I do want to keep it simple, but it was nice bringing some of the potted plants inside, and having outdoor cushions/etc that matched. I'll try to print out, decorate, and have laminated some of the Sukkot blessings. Maybe we could get some of the toddler's art laminated too - we certainly have a ton of it hanging around!
Although Bad Cohen likes to mock me for treating Sukkot like the Jewish Christmas, come on! It's greenery, it's decorating, it's food, it's guests - all the good parts of what I had growing up without the awkwardness of the extended (very Xtian) Swedish family. So I'm going to try to finish freezing our pears and plums tonight, in order to clear the way for baking special Sukkot cookies - Pepparkakor, my grandmother's Swedish spice cookies. Yumm!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

If I won the lottery...

Read a rather silly piece on HuffPo today about how to think long-term in your financial and life planning.

The "where do you want to be in 3 years" question is easy:
  • own a house
  • be at a diff job or have more interesting duties
  • have finished my book on being a young well-spouse
  • son in public school (it's free! and all-day! hooray!)
  • Bad Cohen has reached some equilibrium with his fibro

But the lottery question reveals how really sick and twisted I am.

I don't immediately start thinking about what I want to buy.

Instead, I'm thinking about how much I have to set aside for each extended family member so that we don't seem selfish. Never mind that they're all currently much more well off than we are.

See? messed up.

But if family weren't an issue:

  • Travel. First-class. See old friends abroad, see new sights, go back to places I miss in Israel and Europe.
  • Create the garden/landscape of my dreams: not huge, but done right, really lovely, something I will enjoy spending time in.

Mmm, that's all I can really think of right now. Although it would be nice to have a house big enough to keep all our books in a separate library room instead of cluttering up the rest of the house.

(Who am I kidding? We'd just end up buying more books and regenerating the clutter.)

Oh well, a girl can dream.