Dear Mama, You can Conquer this Mountain 

Laundry. Mount Washmore. The never-ending chore.

Laundry! Once so clean in the moonlight!

Folded neatly and stacked tight;

It was beautiful then.

But the family must work and play and soil it and then,

I do the laundry, Yet again! 

(Set to the tune of “Memory” by Andrew Lloyd Webber)

Did you know that there is a hidden joy to laundry? Did you know that you can look in your hamper and smile? Did you know that it is possible to stroll through your house and not find a chair heaped with clean clothes? Did you know that you can go weeks without hearing your husband say that he’s out of clean socks? That all of this can be accomplished on autopilot? And even a toddler can help?

A load a day keeps Mt. Washmore away.

That’s it. Only handle one load of laundry every day. Sort, wash, dry, fold, iron, and put away one load – and stop.

Starting this method is the hardest part, but once you have managed to keep it up almost every day for two weeks, the clothes begin to behave themselves.

What does this even look like? FlyLady and Diane taught me how. Especially if you are a visual learner like myself, I recommend looking through Diane’s “Morning Routine.”

As for my own laundry routine, I try to avoid this chore on Sabbath, and I try not to start until I have fed the infants and gotten dressed for the day. Only then do I grab the dirty clothes basket in my bedroom and take it to the laundry room. There, I sort clothes into my lovely set of hampers that we received as a baby shower gift.


The bags are removable. So, if someone is taking my laundry to wash whilst I recover from illness or  childbirth, they can simply grab a bag on their way out. If my own machines are being repaired, the bags are easier to transport to the laundromat than baskets. Yes, I love this thing!

 

By “laundromat” I mean the closest neighbor who will permit my use of their equipment.

Anyways. I am the only one in the house who sorts things into the proper hamper, but that’s okay. Daughter throws her clothes into the hamper closest to the door, so I made that bag the children’s hamper. Husband throws one outfit at a time on top of my sorting system, so that takes maybe three seconds to sort out every day. No sweat. Whichever hamper is fullest I dump into the washer, start it, and then I get on with my morning.

Sometime before lunch, I have Daughter help me switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer. The most fun part for her is in the afternoon. My toddler loves shoving the clean basket into the laundry room, dragging out the clean clothes, cleaning out the lint, fishing out the wool balls (fabric softener), shutting the door by herself, and shoving the clean clothes away to be folded.

Then, Daughter can put some of the little items away for me as I’m folding. Once everything is folded, I finish putting away the laundry that Daughter is still too short to manage. Nearly anything I can put on a hanger, goes on a hanger, so all the shirts, skirts, nice pants, and onesies fall to me. Since it’s only one load, though, a little effort gets it done easy. “All done!” we say. “Let’s have a chocolate!”

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I am paranoid about dressers toppling on my adventurous climbers, and I like the ability to find clothes quickly. So, I keep a hanger on the child’s closet door for all the onsies, shirts, or dresses. Pants and socks fit into a light storage basket with the diapers and wipes.

 

Grab an oblong hanger off one of those gift blankets from Baby’s shower, and snap the onesies on it in plain sight. 

Keep an empty diaper box by the crib. Once you realize your child has outgrown a garment, throw it in the box. When it gets full, tape the box shut, label it, then stow it away or give it away.

Helping me with chores has given my daughter a good sense of accomplishment, and I enjoy having her company. I also notice our communication skills get stronger as we work together. Her help certainly saved me a great deal of teeth-grinding agony when I was pregnant with twins and unable to bend or twist.

Our little balls of energy are ready to play games with us to learn how to run their own lives one day. Age appropriate responsibility can help tone down sour attitudes, believe it or not. Have fun teaching them early, while the mundane chores are still fun for them to master.
There you go. That’s the way I keep the laundromonster in check and have some fun teaching my little one while we do it together. Check out those links above. This method is adaptable to people who work outside the home, or work odd shifts, too. With a little change in attitude, you can do this!

How I fold and put away sheets. Disclaimer: This method has not been approved by anyone’s Aunt Mirna. My camera’s microphone is defective, so please bear with the audio quality.

And Life is Worth the Living

The best thing my mother taught me was to read the Book of Proverbs regularly. We read those Scriptures every morning before school. When I had no faith of my own, the words rang in the back of my mind, beckoning me to know my Creator.
In the days my faith did begin, the Proverbs told me about His ways. Many days were lonely; those Proverbs still encouraged me. They told me that being alone with integrity was better than falling in with bad company and false friends. When I found myself in trouble, I could see that acting like the fool of Proverbs got me there. The words instructed and warned me. They taught me the profits of virtue, and the cost of immorality.
Chasing after wisdom and understanding, learning to fear the LORD, and seeking His ways have made life worth living, despite the pain. Plans fall through. Loved ones disappoint. Movements lose sight of their purpose. Opinions prove faulty. Friends betray. Dreams die. The Word remains. His love endures forever. He does not leave or forsake. His ways bring life abundant. He created life. He made it good. Only His purpose for life is worth pursuing.
When I peered into the black of Sheol, hoping I could find peace there, the words of Proverbs in my mother’s voice resonated with a Truth I could feel in my gut. The Truth brought me back from the edge. He decided when I would take my first breath. He will decide upon my last.
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I had escaped death, but the enemy still worked to control me. Since YHVH’s Truth was now my life, I could be provoked to rage against any who disrespected His Truth. The most likely target of my indignation would be those who knew His ways inside and out before chucking them in the trash to pursue something more “exciting.” However, I am not my God’s defender. YHWH was patient and showed me that truth lacking in love is useless.
As Dr. Emerson says, you can be right but wrong at the top of your voice. Also, to paraphrase Apostle Paul, you can speak in tongues and command mountains, but if you do not have love, it’s all meaningless. Y’shua Himself declared that all the Torah and Prophets hung on loving YHWH and loving our neighbor.
My rage has no place in the Truth, my Savior. This season, especially, I have been reading and hearing His call to love our neighbor. I am eagerly waiting for Him to show me how to love His way. How am I to show His love to the crooked while respecting His boundaries and responsibilities for me?
On this journey of learning to follow Y’shua in spirit as well as truth, I remember and am grateful for my mother, a true blessing. She raised me in the way I should go, and the Way saved my life. I thank YHVH for blessing us with the right people with the right words for the right times.

Body Clutter: a Review

…Body Clutter is a marvelous book full of honesty, encouragement, understanding, knowledge, and love for all “flybabies” who need to learn how to care for themselves.

Start by marking “Body Clutter: Love Your Body, Love Yourself” as ...

Authors Marla Cilly and Leanne Fly discuss their health and weight in their book, Body Clutter. Both ladies have struggled with weight-gain, health issues, emotional bruises, and cluttered “stink’n think’n.”  The core message of their literature is that if you de-clutter the space between your ears, you can de-clutter the weight off your thighs.

Chapter by chapter, Marla and Leanne cover numerous aspects of healthy living, primarily eating, moving, and attitude.  First, the ladies discuss what causes the “body clutter.”  Each reveals their painful history and how they learned to turn to food for their comfort.  Soon, the reader can clearly identify overeating/comfort eating/gluttony for what it is – self abuse and continuing the pain others have inflicted on us.  Food is not God.  We don’t have to turn to food to solve our pain.

They lead the reader to de-clutter the negative, downtrodden attitudes that hold us back from healthy habits.  Then, the ladies cover the eating habits that have worked for them, such as what to eat, how much to eat, and how often to eat.  They next uncover how simple it is to imcorporate exercise, or “loving movement” into their daily lives, once the excuses in their minds have been diminished.  Finally, Marla and Leanne discuss how to read labels, shop for groceries, gauge portions, and obtain useful nutrition to fuel our metabolism.

At the end of each chapter, the reader is challenged to answer questions, such as:  What is your go-to comfort food?  How do you handle it? What was going on in your life when you began this habit? What are some small, doable baby-steps you can accomplish today? Have you hidden from others while you eat? What excuses have you used against exercising? How can you plan your meals so that you can avoid the last-minute visit to the drive-thru?

The numerous pros of this book are quite useful, but I must disclose one con.  The final chapters devolve into redundancy.  Some readers could find this useful to solidly drive the ideas into their minds, but I found this unnecessary and difficult to focus upon.

Redundancy aside, Body Clutter is a marvelous book full of honesty, encouragement, understanding, knowledge, and love for all “flybabies” who need to learn how to care for themselves.  I have personally incorporated baby-steps, inspired by this book, for the past week.  In future posts, I will report on the effectiveness.  So far, I have already found myself more mindful of what I eat, and more capable of managing my blood sugar and cravings.  Accomplishing my health goals seems ages away, but as sure as my poor habits got me into this body clutter, my new good habits will eventually get me out.  In the meantime, I will enjoy the process of cooking tasty meals at home and dancing my burdens away.

The book is available at Amazon or at the FlyShop, and I encourage you to study, answer the questions, and engage in the de-cluttering process for yourself!

L’Chaim (to life),

Drywitlass

Summer Walks

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Anything on wheels looks like a feed cart to these gals, even a stroller.

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This handsome fella kept a close eye on us. With many breeds, one would not wish to be in sight of a bull without some sort of protection. This Beefmaster bull, though, is quite docile and harmless. Only if frightened or embattled with another bull would he threaten our safety. He moved off a little as we passed, and resumed with his business.