Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Art Versus Cleaning for the Modern Mom

I cleaned the kitchen. I did laundry. I made beef stew and chicken noodle soup. In a little while, I'm going to leave my sick boy and take Teddy for a walk. When I get home, I may make steak and vegetable pies. Nick loves steak and vegetable pie. Can you tell I need a project?

I hate when Nick is sick for too many days in a row. Yesterday, I think I was sick too. I didn't do a thing. I just slept. Sometimes I can't tell if I'm sick or just tired. Oh man, do you know how you grow up hearing your mother's voice ringing in your ear? I just heard an echo of her voice say, "I am sick and tired ..." Well then.

Today, I have more energy, almost the kind of energy that a tiger has in a small cage. I'm pacing. I should get a good project going and that would help. The house is due for a rummage sale. I'm not sure that was the kind of project I had in mind. I'd rather paint a terrible picture of the cat. There's always a battle between the stuff I want to do, like quilting and terrible art, and the stuff I need to do, like painting the walls and boxing up stuff that I don't need any more and hauling it away. I love painting bad art, but I hate painting walls. Why is that? I have a storage area filled with odds and ends that I feel the urge to pack up and donate to the thrift shop. I give the thrift shop some good stuff. I really do. Sometimes I give them new stuff, with tags still on them.

As I've gotten older, the nature of gifts has changed. My house is full. I have most of what I need. The rest of what I need is specific, so even Mike gets it wrong sometimes and he's paying attention. At least with Mike, I could exchange it if I want to. My mother has no clue how to buy for me any more. I feel bad about that. Am I picky? I think maybe I am, coddled by years of getting just what I want and exchanging what I don't. People ask me how much something cost and I can't tell them. I have no clue. I don't look at prices. Spoiled. I will tell you, though, that I'm not a shopper by nature. Mike is more of a shopper than I am, so when I say I want something, he usually nods his head. Usually. Don't ask me why it took him two years and a lot of back aches to agree to get me a new mattress. The other reason I'm not a shopper is that my house is filling up. I have a problem with art. I love having new art on my walls, but I already have good art, too much art. People tell me I should buy more art and rotate it. Usually the people who tell me that are good artists who want to sell me that painting that I love. I agree with them, but I don't have good storage either. It's all filled up. So, I have a plan to give away something. I figure I should spread the joy.

There's a cute little thrift shop in town now, with a sense of style. I'll go there first. I want to support this woman. She's sweet. That's the nature of living in a small town. I know the owner of the food market too. When I asked for Greek yoghurt, he stocked it. At this point, I prefer to shop there. When I walk in, they smile and say hello. It's real, not just an automatic thing they're supposed to say. There's one woman who asks me what I'm cooking for dinner. Or I ask her. Sometimes, if she says lasagna, that idea sits in my mind until, a few days later, when she asks me again, I give her the answer she gave me days ago. I wonder if she notices that. I don't mind if she does. I can tell she's a good cook, though she's more of an expert on comfort foods. Tater tot casserole. Oh man, I loved her tater tot casserole, but I have to be careful because I can't eat very much tater tot casserole. Still, it's nice to live in a place where you can walk into a shop at 7:45 in the morning after you've dropped off your kid at school and you get to jaw with people in your pjs while they stock shelves. I've solved quite a number of parenting problems in my pjs on those mornings.

Well, I'm off for a nap. Yup, that energy just hit the afternoon lull. I hate the afternoon lull, but I read that taking a short nap was good for your heart. I have to be good to my heart, don't I?

Nick is watching 'The Rabbids' on television. I love that show. Mike doesn't get it, but I love it, a bunch of animated bunnies who don't talk but get themselves into trouble. Today, they're painting and playing the piano. Here's where I could get into trouble, watching television when I'm tired and never quite feeling rested all afternoon. 

So much for my big project. Welcome to my world.

Thank you for listening, jb

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